The Balkans has always been cursed by a recurring theme: that each entity within it can, at some point, become greater and more consuming in territory than the next neighbour. Each nation has, and in some instances continues, to nurse dreams of enlargement, pecking away at borders and assuming that few will notice.
Strategies of expansion tend to have one problem: they are hard to evaluate in the way of conventional agreement, contract or conspiracy. For decades, historians of various shades would attribute to Imperial Germany a conscious, global goal of conquest, mistaking the plans of contingent invasion with actual policy.
In the Albanian context, the gnawing phenomenon, one of a terrier insistent on chewing away at the sinews of a larger opponent, has been taking place since Yugoslavia imploded in spectacularly bloody fashion in the early 1990s.
A cementing aspect of the old project of unity, one that saw the creation of Tito’s Yugoslavia, was Kosovo; central to the current Albanian project of consolidation and security is the increasing influence of figures within southern Serbia and Macedonia, generally Albanian nationalists of various colours of severity who dare to dream. With Serbia the tainted bogeyman of Europe, their chances are better than ever.
The writing is already being scribbled on the wall – with feverish enthusiasm. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama had expressed the view that an Albanian-Kosovo union would be very much on the cards if the EU were to make admission more challenging. Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaçi [former leader of the KLA, on the Interpol list] was even blunter, his words having the effect of a threateningly deployed mallet:
“all Albanians in the region will live in a single, united country so that the integration into the European family may continue”.
The fear to Serbia’s north, in Belgrade, is amply reflected by Serbian cabinet minister Aleksandar Vulin:
“Pristina and Tirana have clearly said what their goal is, it is a ‘Greater Albania’ and unification of all Albanians, regardless of where they live, into a single ethnic area.”
Accordingly, this could “only be accomplished through a great Balkan war, and Brussels (EU) must be clear on all of this.” Given the current obsession with the unraveling of the EU, best indicated by the groans of Brexit, it is unlikely whether any eyes are being peeled on that score.
Members of a nation, as opposed to the idea of a state, remain the great problem international relations after the First World War. No better illustration of this was offered than the nationalist gymnastics that unfolded in the aftermath of a destroyed Europe.
Demography has become central in these latest disputes. In southern Serbia, where the breath of Greater Albania blows, ethnic Serbs are in demographic retreat before their more virile Albanian neighbours. This situation seems calm, but is actually electric, a surface energy that may well only resolve itself by the power of the gun.
In its broader theatre, Albanian leaders are cunningly playing the pro-Western card to keep western powers on side. This is to be expected, given the shrewdness that resourcefulness entails. As the Albanian foreign minister Ditmir Bushati explained in his April visit to Washington, his country provided an appropriate, stern bastion against Russian influence in the Balkans.
These broader ambitions are not to be taken lightly. Technically, it could see Serbia amputated as far as Niš. This point is perceived as another territorial reassertion, given the expulsion of Albanians from the area during the Serbian campaigns of the 1870s.
Municipalities in southern Serbia have griped and groaned over the nationalist issue, centred upon Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac. Hot heads, from time to time, reach for their flags with heart. Editorials of irritation, barely tempered, are written.
The issue of secessionist violence is far from a moot point, given the insurgency in the Prešovo Valley from 1999 to 2001 mounted by the Liberal Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac. The violence reached such levels that the then Yugoslav President Vojislav Koštunica urged the NATO-led KFOR to intervene, given the handbrake that had been applied to Serbian freedom of action.
In Macedonia, a country with a strong Albanian voice, similar issues are on the march. A vigorous Albanian push (some argue putsch) remains a persistent reality for the Macedonian majority. The fraying began last December with the opposition Social Democrats achieving a parliamentary majority by going into coalition with parties representing ethnic-Albanian interests.
The long standing VMRO-DPMNE government, backed by President Gjorge Ivanov, refused to budge, fearing the new power arrangements. Matters duly got violent with a coalition attempt to elect a new parliamentary speaker.
The deputy leader of the Social Democrats, Radmila Šekerinska, deemed by Balkan Insight to be “Brussels’ favourite Macedonian”, was duly assaulted when Parliament was stormed by 200 protestors on April 27. Social Democratic Union leader Zoran Zaev and lawmaker Ziadin Sela, leader of the Albanian Alliance, were also injured.
The government beef was an ethnic one. It was claimed by such figures as Ivanov that too much was in the offing by way of concessions to Macedonia’s Albanians, who were exerting a natural gravitational pull on the Social Democrats.
Šekerinska insists that that issue is tactical, designed to obscure the need to create “a new reform-oriented government” that would hold various politicians accountable for criminal theft and corruption. Prime Minister Nikola Guevski and his associates, claims Jove Kekenovski,
“are ready to do anything, including ethnic conflict, to escape jail.”
Some of that is bound to be true, though blood tends to be thicker than reform in Balkan politics. A resort to the gun over the boardroom; this is the Balkan vice, tainted by active or cynical indifference from outside powers.
About the author:
Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Global Research
The legal and diplomatic argumets for granting “Kosova” indepence, whether “supervised” or unsupervised, are totally spurious and unfounded. There is no basis in international law or international agreements or the UN Charter for dismembering Serbia by allowing a minority population to secede. The only argument is the argument of force, “the spoils of war”, seeing Kosovo as a spoil of war. This is the only “argument”. But since this is an unpalatable and unconvincing argument, it must be buttressed and camouflaged with the discredited and disproved “genocide” construct, which acts as a convenient obfuscating smokescreen. This argument runs as follows: ...
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US-NATO military control of Kosovo serves several purposes for Washington’s greater geo-strategic agenda. First it enables greater US control over potential oil and gas pipeline routes into the EU from the Caspian and Middle East as well as control of the transport corridors linking the EU to the Black Sea.
It also protects the multi-billion dollar heroin trade, which, significantly, has grown to record dimensions in Afghanistan according to UN narcotics officials, since the US occupation. Kosovo and Albania are major heroin transit routes into Europe. According to a 2008 US State Department annual report on international narcotics traffic, several key ...
This article was written and originally published in January 2015.
„God is our objective, the Quran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, struggle is our way, and death for sake of God is the highest of our aspirations“
The West Europe before the 2014 Christmas became once again a target of several mini-terrorist acts by the radical Islamists among whom the Wahabbies are the most active and dangerous. On Tuesday, December 23rd, Germany’s security service warn of highest terrorist threat in decades as the German participation in the anti-ISIS struggle became the reason for potential terrorism. ...
Revelations of fascistic crimes carried out by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) prior to, during and after NATO’s war against the former Yugoslavia should provide a salutary lesson whenever Washington again cites humanitarian concerns to justify its predatory war aims. A new report prepared by Swiss Council of Europe deputy Dick Marty slams Kosovo leader Hachim Thaci for organ trafficking and other abominable crimes, deftly shaded by the U.S. in pursuit of their own self-interests.
“Professional and honorable” KLA posing with the severed heads of Serbs they butchered in Kosovo
A report by the Council of Europe describes Kosovo today as ...
The most useful parable about progressives is that offered by Bernard Sanders, self-styled “socialist-progressive-independent” rep from Vermont. Sanders owes his political career to rage against the Vietnam War among radicals, many of whom moved into the state in the early 1970s. They forthwith planned a long-term, carefully organized, assault on Vermont’s two-party structure. Sanders linked his political ambitions to this effort to organize a third force, the Progressive Alliance. He became mayor of Burlington and, later, congressman.
At a rapid clip the emphasis moved from party-building to Sanders-building. By 1994, it was apparent that the only movement B. Sanders was interested in ...
PRISTINA, Kosovo — Every Friday, just yards from a statue of Bill Clinton with arm aloft in a cheery wave, hundreds of young bearded men make a show of kneeling to pray on the sidewalk outside an improvised mosque in a former furniture store.
The mosque is one of scores built here with Saudi government money and blamed for spreading Wahhabism — the conservative ideology dominant in Saudi Arabia — in the 17 years since an American-led intervention wrested tiny Kosovo from Serbian oppression.
Since then — much of that time under the watch of American officials — Saudi money and influence ...
Jasenovac in Croatia was the third largest World War II concentration camp in Europe by number of victims. It was operated by the Catholic and Nazi-allied Ustasha government. Wartime Croatia has been called “one great slaughterhouse.”
The prisoners – mostly Serbs, Jews and Roma had their throats cut with specially designed knives, or they were killed with axes, mallets and hammers; they were also shot, or they were hung from trees or light poles. Some were burned alive in hot furnaces, boiled in cauldrons, or drowned in the River Sava.
Here the most varied forms of torture were used. Finger and toe nails were pulled out with ...
“Kosovo: Can You Imagine?” is a documentary film by Canadian film maker Boris Malagurski, about the Serbs that live in Kosovo and the lack of human rights that they have today, in the 21st century.
Most of the Kosovo Serbs have been ethnically cleansed by the Albanians who make up the majority of Kosovo.
Kosovo has been under UN administration since 1999 when NATO bombed Serbia for 78 days to halt a crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatism in its province of Kosovo.
In the years following the war, thousands of Serbs were expelled from their homes, kidnapped and killed. Their houses, cultural and ...
Facts And Truth @ YouTube: “Remember why NATO spent 78-days bombing Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999? There was the ethnic cleansing. The atrocities. The refugees chased out of Kosovo by the Serb army. The mass graves. The heaps of bodies tossed into vats of sulphuric acid at the Trepca mines. NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said there were 100,000 Kosovo Albanian Muslims unaccounted for.
Problem is, none of it happened.”
Forensic report throws doubt on US/NATO claims of Racak “massacre”
By Richard Tyler
wsws.org, 12 February 2001
A forthcoming article by three Finnish pathologists throws further doubts upon official descriptions of a “massacre” in ...
Louis XVI needed a revolution, Napoleon needed two historic military defeats, the Spanish Empire in the New World needed multiple revolutions, the Russian Czar needed a communist revolution, the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires needed World War I, Nazi Germany needed World War II, Imperial Japan needed two atomic bombs, the Portuguese Empire in Africa needed a military coup at home, the Soviet Empire needed Mikhail Gorbachev … What will the American Empire need?
I don’t believe anyone will consciously launch World War III. The situation now is more like the eve of World War I, when great powers were armed and ...
Over the past several years, analysts and commentators have noticed a rising tide of domestic support for the Croatian homegrown Nazi movement of the Second World War, the Ustashe, which actively exterminated Serbs, Jews, and Roma in the territory it controlled from 1941-45. Far from condemning this alarming development, the Croatian government, the European Union, and non-state actors within it have tacitly and actively supported the rising tide of sympathy towards the Ustashe.
This disconnect between the ostensible “European values” of human rights and tolerance that the European Union claims to represent, and its tacit support of trends towards extremist politics ...
Long live the European court, the most humane court in the world!
That is why seven times as many Croat and more than ten times as many (Kosovar) Albanian war crimes suspects, in percentage terms relative to Serbs, were acquitted by the Hague Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, with Radovan Karadzic being just its latest victim. (Source via this recent infographic from Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda).
No matter that well before Srebrenica you had Sisak, where 595 Serb civilians of which 120 were women were disappeared by Croatian paramilitaries in 1991-1992. Everyone has heard of Srebrenica; almost nobody has heard heard of Sisak. The largest ethnic cleansing ...
BELGRADE – Many innocent civilians were killed in American military interventions around the world – from Vietnam and Serbia to Iran and Afghanistan, because of the alleged “errors” or “collateral damage” – without consequences for civil and military leadership. In addition to political, military and every other power, Americans secured itself with legal mechanisms.
Twenty-two civilians, wounded and doctors, among them three children, were killed in the American bombing of a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz. Americans acknowledged the error and apologized. The President of the United States expressed his condolences, the military leadership announced three independent investigations. “Doctors ...
Peace TV, an enterprise directed from India, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai by a fundamentalist Islamist preacher, Zakir Naik, has established a 12-hour daily program in Kosovo, a country 90% Muslim.
The entry into Kosovo of Naik’s Peace TV, broadcasting each day in Albanian from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., appears to be an element in a novel campaign by South Asian Islamists to establish a foothold among Europe’s indigenous Balkan Muslims. Peace TV’s message is hard-line Wahhabism, which insults, in aggressive terms, spiritual Sufis, Shia Muslims, non-fundamentalist Sunnis, Jews, Christians, and Hindus, among others. Radical Islamist interlopers and their financiers, mainly ...
Because the request for its membership is a serious breach of the international law, the Constitution of UNESCO, the legally binding UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) and the Charter of the UN whose Article 25 says that „The Members of the UN agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter”.
Because according to the UN Security Council resolution 1244, which reaffirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now Serbia), Kosovo and Metohija is an integral part of the Republic of Serbia, under the administration of ...
In nineties, Srebrenica was the center of terrorist activities – « Jihad », the Muslim 28th Division under the command of Naser Oric Monster, with the participation of mujahedeens operated here, covered by UN and US forces. In 1993, The Embassy of Bosnia & Herzegovina, in Vienna, even issued the Bosnian passport to Osama bin Laden! Thus, Bin Laden became honored Bosnian citizen, under blessings of the Bill Clinton administration.
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Kacanik, KOSOVO – A plume of smoke hangs over our table in the corner of a dark, shabby café in this rugged town in southern Kosovo. The lanky 19-year-old sitting next to me is chain-smoking through half a pack of L&Ms, his hands trembling as he recalls how he joined one of the world's most brutal militant Islamist groups.
Through his neatly trimmed beard, Adem, who asks me not to use his real name for fear of arrest, says he had never even left Kosovo. But two years ago, he found himself on the perilous and far-off Turkey-Syria border -- a ...
Kosovo obtained part independence when America and many European nations gave the go ahead for the creation of this new nation. However, it is clear that things are not plain sailing because many other nations did not support this elitist adventure, therefore, the wider international community was ignored. Therefore, today we have a situation where some nations support this new state, however, the majority of nations in Africa, Asia, and South America, have not given their consent.
Also, the Russian Federation, Spain, and some other European nations, refuse to accept this American led adventure. Therefore, what does the future hold for Kosovo ...
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