Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
vbo: Let me say that I do have personal friends who are Serbs and was shocked and disgusted at the NATO military intervention, which, quite predictably and apart from murder and the destruction of Serbian infrastructure, has guaranteed that Kosovo will for the forseeable future reaman an explosive nationalist issue, at the heart of the Balkans, ready to reignite, or trigger a nearby explosion, at the first chance. Incidentally, I am afraid that the aftermath of this series of Serb humiliations, will lead inexorably to the Radicals gaining power in Serbia, sooner or later, bythemselves or with equally scary allies.

However, having said all that, it seems that the idea that Kosovo is, was and should always remain Serb is flawed and unrealistic. Serbs voted with their feet over the past half-century, creating a reality on the ground that is now (and in the future will be even more) leading to permanent partition of one form or another. The idea that Albanians are "guests" in Kosovo is both unhistorical and unrealistic. Not only because Albanian speaking people have lived in the area for ages - and certainly before the "Slavic invasions", but also because in point of fact there is no way that in an area fiercely contested by opposing nationalisms, the majoritarian nationality will not tend to have the upper hand...

Although I am very much against the recognition of an independent Kosovo as things stand (being an example of victorious militancy, this sets a bad example in an area still quite teeming with minorities which are local majorities), it seems unlikely that in the long term Kosovo will be in any meaningful way Serb, apart from a small minority perhaps living there (or in a partitioned province). This is a fact. The only way it can be reversed is by a large scale military operation that will expel most of the current inhabitants and settle a new population. This would be a. impractical, b. unlikely and c. morally repugnant.

I tend to think that the least problematic of current options would be a large scale concerted and consensual redrawing of borders in the Balkans, affirming minority rights, repatriation of refugees and granting autonomous status to various population groups (as stated briefly here). The EU train (if it ever arrives) is still pretty far off, don't wait for it to arrive too soon, because you'll be disappointed.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri Jun 30th, 2006 at 10:31:33 AM EST
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