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Vote on Kosovo , please...

by vbo Sun Mar 26th, 2006 at 11:50:27 PM EST

Just out of curiosity I put practically same poll about Kosovo as Migeru put about Basque country.
Now situation is not all that similar in both cases and I am not going to go in to the differences here. What is similar is that we have two European minorities wanting to break with country of which they are part at this moment. Now when you know (I hope) a little bit more about history and circumstances around Kosovo I am curious what would you vote. Also I would PLEASE like you to explain IN SHORT why you are voting the way you vote...


Poll
What do you think is the final solution to the Kosovo question?
. Reverting to a centralised Serbian State 0%
. The previous Autonomous Community status (up to 1990) 15%
. A state within a confederal Serbia 15%
. An associated free state 15%
. An independent state 46%
. An independent state included later in Great Albania 7%

Votes: 13
Results | Other Polls
Display:
Why didn't you include the option "a third republic on a par with Serbia and Montenegro"?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 03:35:24 AM EST
Do you mean what it should be or what we think it will be?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 04:10:42 AM EST
That wasn't quote clear in my Basque poll either, to be fair.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 04:13:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you think it SHOULD BE fair today?
We all know what it will be ...all though just for now and until next "round of cards are dealt"...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 05:14:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I personally believe the previous (pre-1989) autonomous status was fair, but after all that has happened in the last 17 years the pendulum needs to swing at least to Kosovo being a third republic on a par with Montenegro and Serbia.

But given that Montenegro is having its own secession referendum and that extremists were favoured over moderates by the western negotiators before 1999, I think nothing short of independence is likely.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 05:21:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I understand. But logic is some how strange today. People say BECAUSE of what happened in lasy 17 years Albanians should get independance...On the other hand it all happpened BECAUSE they wanted independance...if you know what I mean...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 05:54:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In physics one calls that hysteresis, but it's just memory.

If Milosevic had not suspended the autonomy of Kosovo (and Vojvodina) and if there had not been ethnic cleansing, and a foreign occupation, then...

But all these things have happened, and populations have been moved, and new grievances created, and the relative strngths of varios political players have changed...

I don't know what you find strange about the logic that often when a system is broken it cannot be reconstructed, it has to evolve into something new. Call it the Humpty-Dumpty rule (to complement Powell's famous Pottery Barn rule).

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 06:00:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In this light, what is your opinion on South Osetia, Abkhazia and Transdnestr?

Those republics joined Russian Empire, were transfered to Georgia and Moldova in Soviet times, refused to be part of the said countries after dissolution of the USSR, suffered agression from the newly independent Georgia and Moldova and now remain the frozen conflicts.

by blackhawk on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 06:09:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gee, I don't know. Care to solve the Basque question for me?

By the way, just on a language issue, did they 'join' the Russian Empire or 'were they joined' (i.e., annexed, conquered)?

Where does Chechnya fit into all this? (Having the entire population deported to Siberia by Stalin and managing to come back to their ancestral land, refusing to remain part of Russia, going through two wars, and now a frozen conflict — correct me if I'm wrong)

Really, the civilised thing to do in all these cases is to organize the territories politically from the bottom up and attempt a compromise that gives them as much autonomy as possible within the country they are now in.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 06:17:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe most of Caucasus was conquered by the Russian Empire in wars ending 1812 and 1813 from Turkey and Persia respectively. However, I am unable to find an online source to back me up on this.

So that would be was joined to...

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 12:52:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
plan for mucking things up in the first place.

We don't like you. We're going to change the status quo. There will be no sense in going back to what you once were. The very thing we didn't like in the first place.

Those that have the power can change the world with this philosophy.

by Upstate NY on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 10:27:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If that was Milosevic's plan for Kosovo, it backfired, didn't it?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 10:29:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking in general. Iraq. Cyprus. Kosovo. Bosnia. Anywhere, really.

Plus, in Kosovo, the Serbs were not the most powerful actors.

by Upstate NY on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 10:32:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, actually, it does work that way: if a powerful actor really wants to fuck up people's lives for a couple of generations, they can.

And even when something breaks without foul play it is not possible to reconstruct it like it was. Think Czechoslovakia or the Soviet Union. Even if they wanted to come together again, the intervening 15 years of separate history would mean that the old entity is gone forever.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 10:41:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Correct, we agree. But I think we would also agree that the international community should not privilege and reward such actions, as they often do. In short, we really need a set of international standards that everyone ascribes to.
by Upstate NY on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 11:12:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the standard needs to include not forcing people to live together that don't wish to.

How to work that into a standard that is not perceived to encourage separatist violence is an as yet unsolved problem.

But sticking our collective head in the sand has not helped.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 11:14:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One question would be, why don't they want to live together? It seems to me that as long as you have political safeguards in line, there should be no absolute right of self-determination especially in a country without any clear boundaries (i.e. mixed villages). At most, the West should ensure that there are democratic safeguards in those countries in countries with mixed populations. In the case of Kosovo, that was not one of our priorities at all. The West was much more concerned with its own interests.

As well, I don't believe Bosnia should have been split up as envisioned by Izebetgovic/Tudjman/Milosevic early on. The Vance Owen plan seemed to present a perfectly functional framework for gov't, one that worked elswehere, and without 100,000 deaths that ensued, the people would have been much more capable of getting along in a power-sharing gov't. In both these cases we see that the principle of self-determination was not used to further the cause of Democracy, or to prevent violence, but it actually caused violence precisely because the right of self-determination was given to select groups of people, while it was refused for others, and not only that, the West acquiesced as discriminatory laws were passed by the very people they had given the right of self-determination to.

There have to be real standards that have an ethical logic to them, or otherwise powerful actors will always have the option of mucking things up.

by Upstate NY on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 11:38:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about the way the Schleswig question was ultimately settled? There was a referendum and some town-swapping and population transfer, but it was (ultimately) peaceful. I say ultimately because there were a few military campaigns involved as well.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 11:40:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess my views may be tainted by Cyprus and/or Croatia. I'm not comparing the two cases, but it seems that peaceful coexistence was possible in both countries but certain outside factors threatened that possibility. I don't want to get into the history of the regions, all that the Croats did to the Serbs, and vice versa, all that the Greeks did to the Turks, and vice versa. I'm only talking about recent events. In both cases, there would have been peaceful and unified governments had the Western world simply insisted on Democratic norms. Had the EU acquis communitaire been offered as a model for multicultural citizenship, then both countries would have entered the Western system as multicultural nations with a good deal of harmony and peace among citizens.

Citizens take up arms when they feel threatened and when they feel incited to violence. I tend to resent the fact that sometimes democratic principles are swept under the rug when principles of self-determination are espoused, and that's precisely one of the triggers for violence. And I'm also disappointed when organs and entities such as the EU look askance at those very same principles when they have every right to apply them, as they should have in Cyprus before the referendum.

Cyprus and Croatia are in my mind nations where two sets of peoples could have easily co-existed in one unified nation, had the west simply insisted on the adoption of democratic principles. I believe the Serbs would have no cause for separation in the Krajina had the West simply insisted that the Croats repeal the discriminatory laws they passed on the birth of the new republic.

by Upstate NY on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 01:00:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you have to say about the Basque country (see the currently front-paged thread)?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 11:41:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, I said AFTER what has happened, and you read BECAUSE of what has happened. That's the post-hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 06:02:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well don't put me in serious English language discussion...or it's not rhetorical question but more of the substance? My intention was to say : if Albanians did not insisted on independence after having all those very wide rights at least violence would not happened ...in my opinion...but I can not guaranty and it may be just wishful thinking. See violence on and about Kosovo (or even Balkan) did not start with Milosevic and will not end with him.
It was more like ping-pong during history...We on the Balkan learned to wait but we rarely tended to forget let a lone forgive.  All of us!


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 06:36:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My point is that Milosevic reacted to independence demands by removing autonomy. 17 years later the pendulum is swinging, and it has to swing farther than the starting point [no moral judgement implied in the 'has to' here]. Nothing less than a status on a par with Montenegro fits the bill.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 06:40:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK that's your view. Thanks for that!

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 06:59:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And about "Post hoc ergo propter hoc"...logic for me/most of us on the Balkan it is much more simple.
Say if you did not kill my father I wouldn't have to kill your brother...See on the Balkan (and especially between Albanians and Montenegrins) there is thing named "blood revenge" ...means blood can only be "paid" by blood.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 06:54:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That bodes so well for the future...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 06:57:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really but that's how it is...It's really hard to break that circle...if at all possible ...One would hope after almost 50 years of peace things would change a bit...but hardly on the Balkan...
In a time of prosper they may just get busy enough to temporarily forgot about fight, ha-ha.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 07:03:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So people of the Balkans are Klingons.
by Alex in Toulouse on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 07:40:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the French elites are Vulcans, no te 'ode?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 07:42:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be the logical conclusion, yes.
by Alex in Toulouse on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 08:15:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do not know too much about Klingons but if you mean this:
"The Klingons are a proud, tradition-bound people who value honor"
YES!

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 08:34:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And no "damned if I know?" option either ... I'll have to spend a lot more time working out the competing sets of legitimate interests before I could even think about expressing an opinion on that. I'm just betting the actual outcome isn't going to be fair at all. It certainly isn't going to be seen as being fair.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 06:06:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And "I am offended by the concept of the state implied by the poll" for DoDo's benefit.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 06:08:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about a break up : one chunk to Serbia, the other to Albania (or independent)?
by Francois in Paris on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 04:46:53 AM EST
You are right I had more options and I'll see if I can add them.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 05:11:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You need a site gnome for that, I believe.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 05:12:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I did it!

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 05:19:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nop!

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 05:20:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think we can change it after the voting starts...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 05:47:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK...sorry...all though people can write what they think is right down here...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 05:58:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not obvious, and people always whine there aren't enough options whatever you do.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 06:23:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you calling me a whiner?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 06:28:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only to the extent I'm calling myself a whiner.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 08:19:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm going to whine that you have been absent from my latest Basque diary.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 08:22:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Away/sick/pissed off all weekend ... still sick and pissed off.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 08:25:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see that as a possibility. If you give the north of Mitrovica to the Serbs, that's bound to create more fighting and enmity in the future. Heck, the Serbs are already trying to quell secessionist tendencies in the Sandjak region and Presevo Valley. Giving Mitrovica to the Serbs would create a new flashpoint.

I hate to be an "I told you so" type of person, but this is precisely the reason you don't want to stir up conflicts and violence among people when a peace plan is on the table. It's impossible to have people live together right after a war.

by Upstate NY on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 10:30:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While I am at it...

While I was surfing Internet randomly I found this on Albanian site:
The Legend of Rozafa
http://www.geocities.com/spiritofalbania/legendofrozafa

And I was surprised cause that same legend is actually our legend described in"Skadar on the Bojana" (an old Serbian folk epic about building the town of Skadar on the Bojana river...It gives exact names of the participants and I'll never forget how this epic has terrifying influence on me because of the cruelty of those times but at the same time it glorified sacrifice...So see we are brought up on the same (cruel) legends ...Who actually is plagiarist here I don't know but it definitely is considered our heritage at some point?... 1040. Serbs conquered Skadar and it became a centre of Serbian state Zeta, -1350. it became capital of Serbian family Balšić...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 08:26:52 AM EST
It is considered your heritage just as much as Albanians considered it as their heritage...
by AmonRa on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 11:04:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing better than a shared heritage to guarantee lasting animosity.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 27th, 2006 at 11:05:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't buy the conventional wisdom (some commenters have spelled it out above) that people in the Balkan region are unique, either in their societal arrangements / strength of communal affinity or in their appetite for violence.  Albanian society does differ a lot from European norms, but I think that can be traced back to the relatively recent emergence of the state, and the truly bizarre histories of its rulers (which coul possibly in turn be traced back to the manner in which the Ottoman empire treated the Albanian people.  

I would contend that people in the region throughout most of its history have actded entirely logically in response to the situations they found themselves in.  If outsiders view the results as evidence of a propensity to mindless violence, that is mostly because of ignorance.  We should all take a long, hard look at our own history (and present behaviour of our states) before jumping to easy stereotypes.

The Balkans have been unfortunate in being the battleground where the games of the european (including Ottoman) empires were played out for the longest period of time, with no account whatsoever being taken of the people who actually lived there.  The Great Powers have tended to reward opportunism and military aggression.  The statesmen of the Balkans learned the obvious lessons.  The result is that almost all states and ethnic groups have genuine, just grievances about their treatment in the past

As to the future for Kosovo (and the wider southwest Balkans), i agree with a previous commenter that an absolute right to self determination would be a catastrophic mistake.  It could only result in the piling on of several more layers of injustice, perceived insults to the 'pride' of nations, and a new set of rightful grievances.  Not much hope for the future in that.  If foreign powers can have a positive influence on the outcome, it may be by making it clear to all parties in dispute that aggressors will not prevail, that rabble-rousing of the kind recently deployed by Albania's foreign minister will be viewed as aggression exactly as physical aggression would be.  There's enough history inn the immediate vicinity that everyone must know the danger in that kind of populist rhetoric.

Conversely, and more concretely, the EU could make it clear that internal arrangements enabling peaceful cooperation of different peoples in a state are a precondition to membership.  I don't hold out much hope, again because the conventional wisdom appears to be that different 'ethnic groups' cannot cooperate in this way.  The brutal history of ethnic cleansing, official and unofficial, with or without Great Power complicity or supervision, is conveniently forgotten.  I am thinking of Greece/Turkey, India/Pakistan, the de facto partition of Bosnia, among many examples.  Why should it work now when it's failed before?

by GreatGame2 (fishy_logic_at_yahoo.co.uk) on Thu Mar 30th, 2006 at 12:53:49 PM EST


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