Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Blackmail won't solve Kosovo's problems

My fellow dutchman Peter Feith has a new idea. He is going to use the Ahtisaari Plan to blackmail Kosovo's Serbs in submission. In his words: "The offer is on the table. It is up to the Kosovo Serbs alone to judge and take this offer". Of course that won't work, but that is not his problem. It will be a good excuse for his Albanian friends to refuse those Serbs the autonomy that the Ahtisaari Plan offers them. An autonomy that many of Kosovo's Albanian leaders don't like anyway.

Feith seems to understand his mission narrowly as the promotion of Kosovo's independence. It would be a much wiser course of action to give Kosovo's Serbs the Ahtisaari autonomy on their terms - under the guidance of the European Council. That way the autonomy can prove itself. If it really works and provides the Serbs an environment were they feel at home that would be a big step towards solving Kosovo's status.

The same "surrender or we will cleanse you" mentality can also be seen in the recent decision of EULEX and the Kosovo government that Serb cops should return to the police before june 30 or they will be fired.

It seems to be the ideology of the diplomats involved that only results matter. I beg to differ: their mafia-style behavior may influence Kosovo politics for decades to come. Just look at the color revolutions where lots of Western money for PR and "non-violent" means like the storming of the parliament building were supposed to strengthen democracy. In Kyrgyzstan and Georgia the men brought to power are showing clear dictatorial inclinations. In Ukraine Yushchenko's approval rates stand now at 3%. What would have happened in Serbia if Djindjic hadn't been assassinated is not clear, but his approval ratings at that time were already quite low. And Tadic Machiavellian tactics poison Serbia's politics.

In the end the dubious means of those Western diplomats may have more lasting and profound effects than the goals they reach.


Anonymous said...

The Europe Report describes it as: "The Ahtisaari plan is a compromise that offers Kosovo Albanians the prospect of independence, Kosovo Serbs extensive rights, security and privileged relations with Serbia, and Serbia the chance to put the past behind it once and for all and realise its European future."

I think this sounds reasonable, except that Kosovo is already independent.

Anonymous said...

The "Ahtisaari Plan" unncessarily complicates the issue.

Kosovo is independent, - NOT SO FAST.

Even the very few countries (less than 1/3 of the world's countries - including the ones that were paid to do so)that do recognize Kosovo, are willing to withdraw...

Anonymous said...

The Ahtisaari plan does compicate the issue, that is for the Serb dream of having the inernational institutions save Kosovo for them.

You people that seem to be intersted about Kosovo, please read some scientific literature on the subject and then talk about solutions.

Anonymous said...

Kosovo is independent. If not for pressure from China and Russia, most nations would recognize it as such.

Besides, aside from recognition, it is in fact independent of Serbia. The secession is complete: Serbia no longer controls Kosovo. The colonization of Kosovo by Serbia which began in 1913 is over. It is, as it was before, not attached to Serbia, and the nearly century-long mistake of forcibly attaching Kosovo to Serbia is over.

Wim Roffel said...

Please stay to the facts. Colonization by Serbia was a project in the 1920s and 1930s that never really got started.

Most nations choose for their own reasons not to recognize Kosovo. They know that tomorrow the US can take a province from them and declare it independent - just as it took Kosovo from Serbia and Panama from Colombia.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where you get your information. I grew up in Kosovo, in Prizren area, and everyone new who the 'old' Serbs ans the 'new' Serbs were. I must tell you that the more recent Serb comers were more numerous.


Anonymous said...

Wim said: "Please stay to the facts. Colonization by Serbia was a project in the 1920s and 1930s that never really got started."

I did. The process of colonization started when Kosovo was forcibly annexed to Serbia against its will. years before.

If you must stick to the facts, realize that the US did not take Kosovo from Serbia. Kosovo itself chose to secede from Serbia (a country it never chose to join in the first place. The US and others belatedly chose to recognize the fact of Kosovo seceding from Serbia, just as Europe's African colonies seceded from their European colonial masters.

It is also not true that most nations "have their own" reasons for ignoring the fact of Kosovo's temporary joining to Serbia being over. Trade pressure from China and Russia (both of which hold colonial territories, such as Russia in Chechnya, or seek to colonize other nations, such as China vs Taiwan) plays a big role.

"know that tomorrow the US can take a province from them and declare it independent"

This has not happened since Panama.

Bill: Are the "old Serbs" immigrants from the 1920s and 1930s sent there as part of an earlier effort to make Kosovo "Serbian" at the expense of the Kosovars? Or a different group?