Balkans, History, Yugoslavia

Greater Albania and the Balkans

Hits: 535

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”.[1]

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.”[2]  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.[3]  Prime Minister Nikola Guevski and his associates, claims Jove Kekenovski,

“are ready to do anything, including ethnic conflict, to escape jail.”[4]

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.

Notes

[1] https://europeanwesternbalkans.com/2017/04/20/thaci-albanians-to-unite-if-eu-closes-door-to-kosovo/

[2] https://inserbia.info/today/2017/04/vulin-eu-must-know-that-greater-albania-means-great-war-in-balkans/

[3] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39799208

[4] http://www.politico.eu/article/post-election-limbo-deepens-macedonian-stand-off-gjorge-ivanov/


Originally published on 2017-05-05

About the author: Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. 

Source: Global Research

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

READ MORE!
Rape and War: Bosnian Muslim Rapes at the Celebici Camp
War President of Bosnia-Herzegovina Alija Izetbegovic - author of jihadist "Islamic Declaration" in 1970 One of the most outrageous and heinous hoaxes and Hitlerian Big Lies perpetrated by the US and Western media during the Bosnian civil war of 1992-1995 was that Bosnian Serbs had used rape as an “instrument of war”. In order to discredit the Bosnian Serbs, they were accused of committing mass rapes against Bosnian Muslim women, in “rape camps” and “rape motels”. Even the United Nations commander in Bosnia, Canadian Major-General Lewis MacKenzie, a veteran of eight UN peacekeeping missions, was accused of committing rapes against Bosnian ...
READ MORE
Trump’s Win wasn’t Ideological?
CNN explained well “5 surprising lessons from Trump’s astonishing win”, and the historic crushing failure of traditional Presidential-year American politics, but it really boils down to one simple fact: In the battleground states, where most of the advertising dollars and get-out-the-vote money was being spent, the Trump organization made use of the Republican-Party organization in those portions of the campaign-operation that benefited from those established contacts and its tried-and-tested methods and techniques, but not in the portions of the campaign-operation that needed to be improved and to function better than in all prior U.S. Presidential elections.The simple fact is that ...
READ MORE
Western Campaign Against Orthodox Church Turns to Montenegro
“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” So Karl Marx wrote in 1843. For three generations over the course of the 20th century his atheist disciples violently sought to break their subjects of this “opium” addiction.They failed. In many though not all parts of the former communist bloc Christianity not only survived but provided the impetus for national and social revival. In some countries, like Poland, Hungary, and Lithuania, this meant Roman Catholicism. In others, like Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, and ...
READ MORE
‘Humanitarian’ Concerns Increase Wars, Benefit only Arms-Producers
Unlike a regular corporation, the corporations that manufacture and sell weapons to their government are virtually 100% dependent upon their government and its military allies, for their own success; their markets are only those governments, not individuals (such as is the case for normal corporations). Consequently, either their government will control them, and those firms won’t have any effective control over their own markets, or else those firms will, themselves, control their government, and thereby effectively control their markets, via the government’s foreign policies — not only via expanding its military alliances (those firms’ foreign markets), but via its designating ...
READ MORE
19 Years since the Start of the NATO Military Aggression on Serbia (FRY)
Adolf Heusinger was far from being the only Nazi war criminal who would later serve at a top position in NATOOnce again this March, the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals, the Club of Generals and Admirals of Serbia and other independent non-party associations in Serbia pay tribute to the victims of NATO’s 1999 aggression on Serbia (FRY).This aggression took lives of more than thousand defenders, military and the police and their officers, and also of thousands of civilians, including 87 children.Regrettably, the final list of the civilian casualties has not been determined as yet, although the number is ...
READ MORE
Target Orthodox Church: NATO’s Eastern Crusades
Needless to say, the important and portentous story of the attempted subversion of the Orthodox Church using the intelligence and political instruments still at the disposal of the moribund post-Christian West has gone virtually unreported, uncommented, and uncondemned. It concerns the multi-front offensive currently being unleashed against the most ancient and authentic Christian communion, the Orthodox Church.The epicenter of this externally induced commotion is at this moment in Montenegro, NATO’s latest “catch” in its persistent effort to secure or at least neutralize the Balkan rear, with a view to the projected conflict with Russia. One of the major remaining targets in ...
READ MORE
The US and China Can Avoid a Collision Course – If the US Gives Up its Empire
The problem is America’s global hegemony comes with insistence on maintaining military and economic dominance right in China’s backyard.To avoid a violent militaristic clash with China, or another cold war rivalry, the United States should pursue a simple solution: give up its empire.Americans fear that China’s rapid economic growth will slowly translate into a more expansive and assertive foreign policy that will inevitably result in a war with the US. Harvard Professor Graham Allison has found: “in 12 of 16 cases in the past 500 years when a rising power challenged a ruling power, the outcome was war.” Chicago University scholar John ...
READ MORE
Authentic Video on the U.S. Democratization of Afghanistan
The US marines in the mission of democratization of the Afghan Talibans.An authentic video clip.No comment, except: Can you imagine reaction by the CNN in the case of the Russian marines are doing the same in Syria with the fighters of the ISIL?Enjoy 38 sec. of the documentary clip on democratization of Afghanistan.Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to ...
READ MORE
This is the Real, Americanized, Nazi-Dominated Ukraine
Such important reality as is shown in this picture is virtually unpublishable in mainstream US ‘news’media, because US ‘news’media need to deceive their public about the most important international realities — such as that the US imposed upon Ukraine a nazi regime against Russia, and the US now lies to accuse Russia for doing what Russia must do in order to protect itself from the US nazi regime next-door. This picture is among many which were originally published in the excellent 4 July 2018 article by Asa Winstanley at The Electronic Intifada. His article was headlined "Israel is arming neo-Nazis in Ukraine”. That article focuses upon Israel’s strong support for ...
READ MORE
Why London Presented Hitler with Vienna and Prague?
State frontiers are established by human beingsand may be changed by human beings.Adolf Hitler.  Mein KampfDiplomacy, with all the conventions of its forms,recognizes only real facts.Charles de GaullePart OneAll of Adolf Hitler’s actions, from the time he rose to power in 1933 until 1939, could be described as one triumph after another.  He met each challenge he faced: he took over as head of the country, returned Germany’s lost territories without a struggle, and was given permission from England and France to rearm.  But one further task lay before him, and failure now would make his previous achievements almost pointless.  ...
READ MORE
US Human Rights Violations: Geneva Centre for Justice
Universal Periodic Review reveals longstanding unwillingness to fully commit to obligations of pertinent human rights treaties.On 11 May 2015, the United States of America participated in its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The Universal Periodic Review is meant to be a mechanism by which all UN Member States are periodically assessed on their human rights record. The process allows countries to present a report of their efforts to promote and improve human rights within their country. It also affords the Working Group of the UPR, comprised of member countries of the Human Rights Council, the opportunity to assess the human ...
READ MORE
Fragility of Belarussian National Identity
Belarus is a land known also as Belorussia (White Russia, Weißrussland) in East Europe which was for centuries occupied by a Polish-Lithuanian common state until it became included in Tsarist Russia in the late 18th century.[1] Belarus is facing many identity problems but the most important is the ethnolinguistic challenge to a separate Belarussian[2] national feature.National identityA common national identity is a focal element for the creation of a national state as without a common identity that is based on a fundamental element of group’s identity a psychological sense of common solidarity cannot be developed. However, such solidarity is a ...
READ MORE
In the Pandemic NATO Shows Itself to Be as Irrelevant as Ever
In 2015 Bill Gates gave a talk titled “We’re Not Ready for the Next Epidemic” in which, in a remarkable exhibition of understated and uncannily accurate prescience, he reflected on the outbreak of Ebola virus and forecast worse to come. This amazing man told us that “As awful as this epidemic has been, the next one could be much worse. The world is simply not prepared to deal with a disease — an especially virulent flu, for example — that infects large numbers of people very quickly. Of all the things that could kill 10 million people or more, by ...
READ MORE
The US has Invaded 71 Nations since 1776
Make 4 July Independence from America Day (2014).Originally published in 2014Author: Dr. Gideon PolyaOrigins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]
READ MORE
Will Russia Surrender?
The Russian government’s sincere and diligent effort to prevent chaos in Syria and additional massive refugee flow into Europe, all the while avoiding conflict with Washington and its vassals, has been brought to an end by Washington’s intentional attack on a known Syrian army position, thus wrecking the cease fire agreement that Russia sacrificed so much to achieve.The response to this fact by the Obama regime’s ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, reveals that Washington will lie to the hilt in order to achieve its agenda of reducing Syria to the same chaos as Washington has reduced Iraq and Libya. ...
READ MORE
America’s “Long War” Against Humanity
America’s hegemonic project in the post 9/11 era is the “Globalization of War” whereby the U.S.-NATO  military machine –coupled with covert intelligence operations, economic sanctions and the thrust of “regime change”— is deployed in all major regions of the world.  The threat of pre-emptive nuclear war is also used to black-mail countries into submission.This “Long War against Humanity” is carried out at the height of the most serious economic crisis in modern history. It is intimately related to a process of global financial restructuring, which has resulted in the collapse of national economies and the impoverishment of large sectors of ...
READ MORE
NATO’s Illegal War Against Serbia
Facts And Truth @ YouTube: “Remember why NATO spent 78-days bombing Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999? There was 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 2001A forthcoming article by three Finnish pathologists throws further doubts upon official descriptions of a “massacre” in the ...
READ MORE
Albert Einstein’s 1948 Letter to the New York Times Comparing Israeli Politicians to Nazis
Albert Einstein’s 1948 letter to the New York Times If we want to understand the real history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, we can turn to a trustworthy Jewish source: Albert Einstein. Einstein was a humanitarian and peace activist, in addition to being one of the greatest scientists of all time. What did this extremely intelligent, wonderfully wise and warmly humane Jew have to say about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians? In a landmark open letter to the New York Times in 1948, Einstein clearly and candidly explained why Israel’s militant Zionist leaders were not to be trusted and did not deserve money ...
READ MORE
The Idea of a Greater Croatia by Pavao Ritter Vitezović (II)
Part I The political purpose of Vitezović’s writings The ultimate political purpose of P. R. Vitezović’s works, based on his ideological construction, was of a triple nature. First of all, he tried to refute the Venetian claims on the territory of Dalmatia, the Istrian Peninsula, the Dalmatian Islands and Boka Kotorska (Cattaro Gulf in present-day Montenegro) that rose during the Great Vienna War 1683–1699 in which the Republic of St. Marco successfully fought the Ottoman Sultanate in a coalition with the Habsburg Empire [Banac 1984, 73]. The war clearly marked the beginning of the irreversible decline of the Ottoman power which consequently opened ...
READ MORE
General Ratko Mladić and the Pandora’s Box of the Bosnian War (1992-1995)
General Ratko Mladic’s arrest and his extradition to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia satisfied the prerequisites for Serbia’s membership in the European Union. As expected, the western media have tagged the defendant as the “Butcher of Bosnia” and piled on as many charges against him as possible, thereby masking NATO’s role in Yugoslavia. But there can be no reconciliation without truth, which, as Slobodan Despot observes, is far more complex than the Manichean account given. Ratko Mladić did not serve his country well by hiding from justice for all these years, but his late capture may allow a ...
READ MORE
Rape and War: Bosnian Muslim Rapes at the Celebici Camp
Trump’s Win wasn’t Ideological?
Western Campaign Against Orthodox Church Turns to Montenegro
‘Humanitarian’ Concerns Increase Wars, Benefit only Arms-Producers
19 Years since the Start of the NATO Military Aggression on Serbia (FRY)
Target Orthodox Church: NATO’s Eastern Crusades
The US and China Can Avoid a Collision Course – If the US Gives Up its Empire
Authentic Video on the U.S. Democratization of Afghanistan
This is the Real, Americanized, Nazi-Dominated Ukraine
Why London Presented Hitler with Vienna and Prague?
US Human Rights Violations: Geneva Centre for Justice
Fragility of Belarussian National Identity
In the Pandemic NATO Shows Itself to Be as Irrelevant as Ever
The US has Invaded 71 Nations since 1776
Will Russia Surrender?
America’s “Long War” Against Humanity
NATO’s Illegal War Against Serbia
Albert Einstein’s 1948 Letter to the New York Times Comparing Israeli Politicians to Nazis
The Idea of a Greater Croatia by Pavao Ritter Vitezović (II)
General Ratko Mladić and the Pandora’s Box of the Bosnian War (1992-1995)
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS
Share