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HomeArchive-1The Absurdity of "Independent" Kosovo

The Absurdity of “Independent” Kosovo

A Saga of Injustice and Hypocrisy

By George Szamuely

With their unfailing passion for the inconsequential and their knack for doing the wrong thing at the wrong time, NATO leaders appear determined to out of Serbia and grant it “independence.” That they lack the physical, legal and moral power to bestow independent statehood to a part of a state that is neither a member of the E.U. nor NATO appears only to have emboldened them to use this issue to demonstrate Western resolve. Just as in the 1990s, and just as erroneously, a self-righteous West has seized on the Balkans as an opportunity to parade before the world in the unfamiliar guise of champion of democracy and national self-determination, and protector of Muslims.

The United States has said it will recognize independent Kosovo with or without U.N. sanction. Unlike Iraq, this time the Europeans intend to take an active part in the Easter egg hunt and are as determined to ignore the United Nations as the Americans. Confident that the new state of Kosovo will prove to be a reliable NATO/E.U. satellite, key European countries, and especially the ever-compliant British, promise to recognize Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence on the very day it happens.The line from Brussels and Washington is that the status quo in Kosovo is unsustainable and that the status of Kosovo needs to be settled once and for all. Final status means “independence” and only “independence.” The Serbs have been told to forget about and all the talk of historic patrimony and to focus instead on “Europe” (the grand name the European Union has arrogated to itself). Curiously, the Kosovo Albanians are not told forget about their national aspirations and focus on Europe. Yet their claim to statehood is particularly dubious since an Albanian state already exists in Europe. There doesn’t seem to be any reason to have two Albanian states.

Kosovo’s status is governed by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, which envisages only self-government for Kosovo, and acknowledges the “sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.” Kosovo’s status can’t be changed without a new resolution.


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