Sunday, February 17, 2008

Kosovo is finally free...

The expected arrived today. A decision by breakaway Serbian province Kosovo to finally declare it's independence.

While hardly surprising, the news is still good. For the last century, Serbia's hawk-like eye has been on this former province of the Ottoman empire and the Serbs have used every tactic in the playbook - from alliances with 'the great powers' to invasion and ethnic cleansing - to get their mitts on what murky Serbian folklore has always touted as 'the heart of Serbia.'

In truth, Kosovo hasn't truly been a part of the Serbian nation since the Battle of Kosovo, way back in the fourteenth century. After five hundred years of Ottoman rule (which saw the demographic of the region change from Slavic to Albanian) the Serbs have spent a century trying to reclaim their 'lost' province - but their claim simply doesn't hold water.

Quite rightly, the UN and the European Union seem ready to support Kosovo's well deserved liberation from Serbian imperialism.

But while celebration is the order of the day in Kosovo, dark clouds are gathering on the horizon. Firstly, Serbia has shown a worrying enthusiasm for solving diplomatic problems with violent and bloodthirsty military action. Secondly, the great Russian bear is peering at the Serbia/Kosovo conundrum with a growing sense of unease. As more regions of the former Soviet bloc gear up for independence, the liberation of Kosovo would give them increased legitimacy.

At best, the liberation of Kosovo will drive a thick wedge between the West and the former Soviet Union. But at worst? Serbia could gain enough support from Russia to launch it's own military 'reclamation' and bring war right back to the heart of Europe.

1 comment:

katie said...

dude, you way smarter than me, man. i am about as deep as the letters i teach in preschool. hehe. :)

Hope you had the best weekend!! :)