Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Diplomatic "successes"

Western diplomats are still celebrating their success in bringing down Gaddafi. Never mind that it took 30,000 to 50,000 Libyan lives. Never mind that the fact that half of the dead are Gaddafi soldiers most probably means that at least a third of all the dead were killed by NATO. Never mind too that a negotiated solution was possible and that it would very probably bring in the long run more democracy, stability and prosperity. Our most evil politicians had another "bad guy" to pummel in order to increase their popularity at home and that was what counted.

Our diplomats in the Balkans aren't sitting still either. They just managed to solve the problem of Kosovo's custom stamps. Never mind that it was a non-issue as Kosovo has virtually no exports and saw the issue merely for its propaganda value. Never mind too that the "solution" brought increased ethnic tensions, replaced negotiations with establishing "facts on the ground" and the use of violence and led to rabid nationalism in Pristina. Never mind too that the issue could have been solved with a little Western pressure, some small inducements and some token Albanian concessions... We had to feed the blood hounds at home.

Now we are heading for the next showdown in Kosovo. At stake this time is Kosovo's "lawless North". As I have written previously I think it is in reality about the money that the Kosovo government is missing due to smuggling. Here too Kosovo's government has partly to blame itself and its uncompromising attitude. The West could adopt a minimalist attitude and refrain from going beyond the immediate problem in an evenhanded manner. But they there is a risk that they will attempt to bring Kosovo's North under Albanian rule. This might result in open ethnic conflict and large scale ethnic cleansing. But our diplomats are so used to blaming everything that goes wrong on their "pre-modern" victims that this seems to be less of a mental obstacle as it should be.

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