Kosova's secession: Part 2 - What can happen after this?

What is likely to happen on Monday, the day after Kosova's unilateral declaration of secession from Serbia? Perhaps not a lot - but I hold this likely, sooner or later:

- violence here and there in Kosovo, increased powerlessness and hatred;

- many of those who are not too old or poor will leave for Serbia and elsewhere - Romas and Serbs in particular;

- none of the 200.000 Kosovo-Serb refugees who were expelled under the eyes of the UN, EU, OSCE and NATO's in reverse ethnic cleansing in 1999 and have been sitting for 9 years in Serbia will come back, and the international community will continue to do nothing to help Serbia carry this burden;

- counter-moves by Serbia - the only modern lawful state dismembered by NATO bombings lacking UN Security Council endorsement; one can imagine sanctions against Kosovo, cutting off energy supplies to Kosovo, introducing visa requirement for anyone from states recognising Kosovo, lowering diplomatic exchanges with them, deploying troops at the border with Kosovo;

- probable ongoing conflict about northern Kosovo being part of Kosova;

- rapid development of an over-sized Kosova Army and future clashes along that border;

- traumas and hatred for decades - sooner or later violence/war again;

- Albanian secessionist voices will be increasingly heard in Western Macedonia and Montenegro, stimulated by this event;

- a huge economic burden on the EU - as Kosova has little production but a truly successful black economy with mafia connection in East and West;

- possible civil war-like tendencies when Albanian politico-mafia clans/families begin to divide the treasures of a new state – including Serb state property - between themselves;

- since independence is merely a symbolic act, the Kosova-Albanians will wake up Monday and recognise that not much has changed and they may increasingly become dissatisfied with their leaders; remember, they have been told for almost 20 years that everything bad in their lives was caused by Belgrade and everything would be fine after Independence when they were masters of their own house; nationalist leaders seldom bother much about the quality of their society but hinges everything on formal status, flas, anthems and rhetorics - it's a different thing to run a state;

- preservation and expansion of the largest US military base built between the Vietnam War and Iraqi invasion, the Bondsteel Base outside Kosovo's capital, Pristina (a very important factor for the US backing to independence and thus never mentioned by the media);

- Serbs in Bosnia's Republika Srpska will ask themselves and the world why they must be locked up in Dayton Bosnia which they never wanted when Albanians can get their freedom;

- deep scars, nationalist and anti-EU sentiments inside Serbian society, a strong and not unfounded sense of being object of collective punishment once again;

- even more Cold War-like developments between the US and Russia;

- secessionist movements will refer to Kosovo and begin to see their chances: Kashmir, Chechnya, Tibet, Taiwan, the Basque country, you name them – why not them if Kosovo?

- in the future some may ask themselves whether we have established an Israel in the Balkans with Serbs in the role of Palestinians and begin talk about a two-state solution in Kosovo.

So, 17 possible dangers and sorrows ahead? I can only hope that I will be proven wrong on many of them!

In short, I predict we will see anything but the “peace” and “stabilization” which pro-independence advocates all over the West wishfully – to soothe their own fears and calm down public opinion – assert will be the outcome of the independence.

The international community in general and those who recognize Kosova today or tomorrow are likely to blame "the Serbs" and Belgrade for everything bad that may happen after this Sad Sunday. You will even hear modern Europeans and Americans say that these poor guys do not understand that the independent Kosova is in their own best interest...

You’ll also hear them repeat that Serbia has lost the right to keep Kosovo because of Milosevic policies. But a) Serbia is the only republic that has made up the account with its wartime leadership and b) how many other countries would lose such a right dues to human rights violations, and what should the US then lose proportionately after Afghanistan, Iraq??

You will also hear the unique-to-Kosovo argument that no solution could be found over 9 years through negotiation and this we do a fait accompli. Imagine that that principle had been applied to the Middle East or to North and South Korea!

Be sure that no on will explain to you aloud WHY "the Serbs" are not happy with this.

The reason being that there is not one single thing they have gained or won in this historic drama and for them as a people and minority there has not been and will not be any justice. The winners take it all on Sad Sunday. Let's see in the future how wise it was.

I am sorry to present you with a heretical thought prior to Sad Sunday: The Serbs may have a point too and it would have been wiser to not present the most important Balkan player with 10 million multi-ethnic citizens with this series of humiliations and this fait accompli.

It is the EU, the US and the UN that has failed since 1990. At least as much as the Serbs. The formula of archtype human folly and conflict illiteracy applies: “The winners take it all - the loser shall be humiliated. To hell with mutual understanding, reconciliation and fairness. We’ve done it to foes around the world for cventuries, to the Russians since 1989 with such excellent results - and now we do it with the Serbs.”

The unavoidable result of Sunday February 17, 2008, then? The beginning of a new round of conflict and violence for future generations to suffer from.

When will they ever learn?

Jan Oberg
Lund, Sweden
February 17, 2008

Views: 22

Tags: Balkans, Bosnia, Clinton, EULex, Eu, Kosova, Kosovo, Macedonia, NATO, OSCE, More…Serbia, UN, bombings, cleansing, conflict-management, ethnic, humantarian, in, intervention, refugees, secession


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Comment by Jetmir on February 19, 2008 at 3:47pm
Dear Jelena, thank you much for your reply.

I am involved in this forum accidentally. Last night, I was looking something in the Internet and suddenly saw a kind of opinion of Mr Oberg on Kosova situation; he was expessing the opinion on independence, its consequences, some comparisons to the crises and many others. I totally disagreed, of course. Few other reactions from other people were the same. Why I have reacted was just to bring more light to the wholly truth.
Then I thought it is waste of my time to continue replying at this forum, but nevertheless. If you have read my three replies you have an answer on you questions you have raised today. However let me start by stating that Kosovars never in the history did attack anyone, never. Also, we have never occupied land, anywhere. We also never accepted the dictatorship from anyone, not even Ottoman that was here for more than 5 centuries, nor anyone else.

We want the freedom just like anyone else in the world wants it. We do not want see the others suffer as we suffered enough from many occupants including Serbians lately. We don’t want to treat the others as second class population or nation as we were treated such for a long time. We don’t hate the others as we were hatred from the others mainly Serbians. We will not under no circumstances pressure the other nationalities. We will not be like the others. We will be the first to respect the yesterday enemy giving them lectures and sufficient live cases how wrong they were until they publicly accept and ask for apologies – government and all other for the crimes against humanity they did, better call it genocide.

If you have been living in Belgrade for a long I am sure many of these killings are not known to you as many of you were “blind” from lies printed in the press, TV, and all other mediums or no information at all. Otherwise not accidentally one of my best friends happens to be Serbian who was amongst the first to congratulate. It is also very pity that Kosovar Serbians were unfortunately for many many years manipulated from dirty politics in Belgrade, this is really a shameless shame. However….. it was so far only Natasa Kandic who was here and congratulated to all of us the Republic of Kosova. She was the first to reasonably judge the event as rightful. None of you, yet became number two. This really pity. It is even bad for you government who still are thinking at completely old socialist – communistic way. By, withdrawing the ambassadors, the knife only goes deeper, killing your future, poor Serbians with this kind of government who to me is the same of Miloshevic government except they changed the clothes. Sorry, but this is true.

This is not a rage, at all. It is not that I am anger. Instead I am happy and wish everyone be happy. All people that suffer wish them their freedom.

Above is only a part of true Albanian history, a very painful one. Said earlier, we have forgiven but we will never forget. Let me use this analogy to better explain: it is like you are driving a car, you have a very big view before you and three little mirrors to look back time to time. So we are strongly determined to look forward with everyone – no difference whatsoever who wishes to join us not by changing them but by respecting them. This is our national motto. This will be a case model of excellence. The government many times stated the guarantees toward minorities. We will keep the promise and the guarantees.

You will soon see the reaction of kosovar Serbians itself. They have by the Kosovar Constitution, the most advanced privileges that are possible to give to a minority in whole world. Remember that 95% are Albanians living in Kosova and all 6 nations are equal. This is more than a democracy, something that many people cannot even believe. This is an advancement of the democracy. Serbians, Bosnians, Turks and all others will continue to live and be treated equally (not even equally as they have more rights and priviledges than I have, but this is ok with us, we accepted it) and fairly.

As far as what values we bring to the EU despite the respect of human rights, 4 kinds of freedom, respect of others culture, habits, language, right to school, do fair business etc. I think that accounting all nations as all equal though different is the most advanced value even for Europe itself.

So, finally do not fear and do not distribute fear of revenge. If we wanted we had our time. Instead we have forgiven. This is I think a best start possible.

P.S. I am sorry I don’t have time to read and react on you another opinion. Hope you understand.
Comment by jelena grujic on February 19, 2008 at 2:15pm
Dear Jetmir, truly sad is to see much rage toward different opinions! State is just a beginning of serious commitment to complicate and demanding values of modern democratic world. You learned your historical narrative very well. Now is time for you to learn dialogue and exchange. Wish you all luck, as you going to need it, try to make difference in your own yard. Therefore, I would like to hear from you what Kosovo will bring to all of us, and I do not mean only to your first neighbours, Serbia. As we are all part of one
big European family, tell us how you attending to contribute to our common future? I wrote some thoughts on mister Oberg's blog
Kosova's secession: Part 1 - What is conveniently forgotten . Would like to hear your arguments on that.

Regards from Belgrade, Jelena
Comment by Craig Zelizer on February 19, 2008 at 9:24am
HI Everyone
Jan Thanks for posting very interesting reflections. I would like to remind everyone that although this site promotes open dialogue, and there is plenty of room for disagreements and difference of perspectives, this is not a space for insulting one another. If you choose to disagree with others fine, but not matter how passionately please try to be respectful.
Comment by Jetmir on February 19, 2008 at 3:27am
Dear Mr Oberg and all of you replied so far on this topic (the "global and equal thinkers" and "crises forecasters, deep analyzers and efficient solvers")

If you all go back to the world history, you will see that the hard facts are just for a little bit different. For example, the Middle East conflict has very little or nothing at all to do with Kosovar problem as few of you were making silly comparisons. Kosovars (Albanians) were fighting for their freedom in their land, with its pure historic culture, language and incontestable values and habits for more than 5 centuries – since the era of Gjergj Kastrioti – Skenderbeu. I am sure many of you have heard for this name.

The fighting-events-chronology between Albanians (ancient Iliret) and Serbians begins at VII century when Serbs came from Carpathian Mountains who started to occupy the territories belonging to the others. Since then, up until now (17 of Feb 2008) the Serb Slavic orthodox were fighting with us Albanians for two reasons: more land and more servants. They have experienced many times defeat from Albanian sword and gun; but they have hardly convinced that what belongs to them is maybe just Belgrade with its suburbs.

Neither, Car Dusani, nor Pasic, nor Rankovic, nor lately Millosevic one one hand as army leaders and bloodsuckers and V Cubrilovic and I Andric at the other hand heading the Science and Arts Academy (Serbia of course) as the designers of total extermination of Albanian population through many years so as to have a sea port in the Adriatic. Of course many others were involved eg. R Mladic, who killed 8,000 innocent Bosnians just in one place. Imagine what kind of butcher. Serbian army and paramilitary forces killed more than 12,000 innocent kosovars too.

However, Serbians lost against slovenia, croatia, bosnia, monenegro, Macedonia and of course Kosova. 6 lost wars. Of course they did loose back in 1389 – the famous Battle of Kosova. To the surprise of everybody they were celebrating the war they lost.

So, finally, the last war between famous KLA and Serbian heavy army was decisive for our freedom, after many centuries of robbery. They still feed their children with lies and many other false arguments as id Kosova is their home. If it was so, they would not kill and burn everything above the land surface, children and pregnant woman. This is who the serbs were. And those who did commit these kind of crimes, left themselves Kosova because they knew it they are guilty. Those who were align to the justice, are still here and will be here because they are safe and treated equally as per our new Declaration of Independence. In our new flag, we have 6 stars – meaning that 6 nations compose Kosova – different but all equal.

I am sorry to see protests in Belgrade while we were really very happy and celebrating with champagne. They deserved so and we have deserved so. All most advanced democracies have already acknowledged Kosova as a new independent and sovereign state, even France one of first, who historically was on Serbs side. You, my dear “lobal thinkers”, the justice can only late.

As far as, unique case, it is true no one else had the case as ours. At the very end I don’t really care if Abkhazia or any others wishes not to be any more part of Russia as I am sure they are same butchers to the other nations as the Serbs were. So everybody want its freedom.

I hope you have enjoyed my little reply on your false and very narrow arguments. No matter what you would reply will not reply back as we have now the state and must take care of it and is waste of my time dealing further with you poor losers.
Jetmir, God Bless Good People Everywhere, Viva La Kosova
Comment by Jan Oberg on February 19, 2008 at 12:16am
Thanks to all who comment here - I tend to respond on their own homepage - and I try my best to respond to you all!

Comment by Luciana on February 18, 2008 at 4:46pm
Thank you for explaining and predicting at the same time.
Comment by Ankica Kosic on February 18, 2008 at 7:53am
Thank you very much for your analysis of the situation in Kosovo.
Comment by Oasis of Peace on February 18, 2008 at 6:04am
Thanks for this interesting and worrisome analysis.
Comment by Sonja Kuftinec on February 18, 2008 at 3:46am
Hi Jan--Thank you for posting such a detailed and thoughtful analysis. Having worked with Kosovar Serb, Roma, and ethnic Albanian youth, I appreciate the complexity you bring to the independence/secession declaration. It's always troubling (yet unfortunately historically predictable) when the oppressed turn into oppressors. That's why I'm struck by your analogy between Serbs and Palestinians. It seems a curious one given that the position of the Palestinian people in relation to the Israeli state. I would have thought that the opposite analogy had more resonance--that of Serbia with Israel. Here you have a people who have a significant material history of victimization (both in WWII under various fascist regimes) and a state that in different ways manipulates that narrative and the existential fear of its people to maintain political control (even this analogy has limits; the political manipulation was Far more disturbing in Serbia). In any event, in both cases, the victim narrative became a rationalization for oppression of, in one case the Palestinians, in the other the Kosovar Albanians. The oppressive tactics were quite different in both cases, but the response similar. From some (not all) of the population, inexusable yet understandable violent retaliation against members of the previously oppressive population. Anyway, that's a bit long-winded and of course reductive. I'm just curious about your rationale for aligning Serbs with Palestinians. Best--Sonja

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