Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bush's Kosovo Policy

Chronicles Magazine is an interesting site. One of the reasons I like it so much is because it features the work of Dr. Srdja Trifkovic. Dr. Trifkovic is of Serbian heritage, and is very well-educated and articulate. He has a particularly good handle on Eastern European affairs, though I find that his articles are well worth reading, regardless of what topic he writes about; he does his research, and develops his points logically, using clear and appropriate analogies.

Dr. Trifkovic has a fairly recent article entitled The President’s Painted Corner. Please go to the link and read it; as always, Dr. Trifkovic's article is most excellent.

In his article, Dr. Trifkovic addresses the policy of the current Bush Administration to promote the independence of Kosovo.

My readers my not be familiar with the background and significance of Kosovo, and it is beyond the scope of this article to address that in depth. Briefly, however, Kosovo is now a mainly ethnic Albanian/Muslim area in Serbia. In that respect, it is somewhat akin to certain regions of the United States, in that the United States is predominantly an English-speaking, Protestant country, which has regions with significant Spanish-speaking, Catholic minorities. However, generally speaking, those two groups in the United States get along reasonably well; this has certainly not been the case between the 1) Slavic and Orthodox Christian Serbs and the 2) ethnic Albanian and Muslim people in Kosovo.

In the fourteenth century, Kosovo was the scene of a big battle between the Serbs and invading Muslim armies. In that respect, a comparison with the Alamo, scene of a battle between Texans seeking independence from Mexico and the Mexican Army under Santa Anna, is somewhat useful.

It should be emphatically noted, however, that such comparisons only serve up to a point; again, relations between the "anglos" and the "latinos" in America are not bad, relations between the United States of America and the United Mexican States are generally good, and, in any case, any historical animosities are neither as deep nor as old as they are in the Balkans.

For a little more background on Kosovo, you may wish to begin with the Wikipedia article.

I have reproduced here some excerpts of Dr. Trifkovic's article, along with my comments:

It is not prudent for the United States to insist that Kosovo should and will become independent—as President George W. Bush did in Tirana last June, followed by similar sermons from Dr. Rice and her aides on an almost daily basis—even as it is obvious that Russia will veto any attempt to achieve that goal through the U.N. Security Council, and even as the European Union is increasingly reluctant to participate in any scheme to bypass the United Nations. Statements by U.S. officials that Kosovo’s independence is “inevitable” are a classic case of irresponsible policymakers painting themselves into a corner on a peripheral issue, and then claiming that the issue had morphed into a test of American resolve.

Never mind that it is not prudent -- which, as we will see, it is actually quite foolish -- but why would we want to?

Keep that question in mind as you consider this topic: Why does the Bush Administration insist that Kosovo become independent?

A mature, self-confident and globally hegemonistic “hyperpower” would never allow Kosovo to become such a test for three reasons.

Quite apart from its historic, cultural, moral, and legal aspects, the issue of who controls the southern Serbian province is perfectly irrelevant to American interests. It is a small, land-locked piece of real estate, of dubious “objective” value, away from all major Balkan transit corridors, and not nearly as rich in natural resources as both Serbs and Albanians like to imagine. If Kosovo were to disappear tomorrow, no ordinary American would be able to tell the difference.

Okay, no reason there to insist on Kosovo's independence from Serbia....

The change of Kosovo’s status against the will of Belgrade, in addition to being a clear violation of international law, would set a precedent potentially detrimental to U.S. interests. To enable an ethnic minority to secede from an internationally recognized state on the grounds of that minority’s numerical preponderance in a given locale would open a Pandora’s box of claims all over the world, not least among Russian speakers in the Crimea, parts of Estonia and Latvia, northern Kazakhstan, and eastern Ukraine. It could also affect the future of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and perhaps even California, when Mexicans achieve a simple majority in those states. (The question is indeed “when,” not “if.”) State Department officials Nicholas Burns and Daniel Fried still insist that no precedent would be set by creating an independent Kosovo, but they cannot control reality, and their assurances are nonsensical.

There Dr. Trifkovic outlines some serious counterincentives.

If a group of people can simply move in to an area, and continue arriving until members of that group become a majority in that area, and then have an internationally-recognizable claim to independence from the country to which they immigrated, that would really cause some problems.

Sweden would become "balkanized", places in France would no longer belong to France, and, as Dr. Trifkovic alludes to, the United States might quickly no longer be united.

The Muslim world will not be appeased by Kosovo today any more than it was appeased by Bosnia a decade ago. America will not earn any brownie points among the world’s “Jihadists of all color and hue” (to borrow a phrase from Rep. Tom Lantos) for creating a new Muslim state in the heart of Europe. Albanian “gratitude” would prove as valuable to America today as it has, over the years, to Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and Communist China. On the other hand, the failure to create an independent, internationally recognized Kosovo would be yet another sign that Emperor Bush has no clothes and that America has no sureness of touch. Furthermore, favoring the imposition of a “solution” from the outside against the will of one of the parties could set a dangerous long-term precedent for Israel.

Danger to Israel by imposing a solution from the outside....

But, what's this about no "brownie points" for America among the world's jihadists?

Well, those guys are so mean, they hate themselves -- literally.

But, what about certain other elements in the Islamic world?

Is there anyone in the Islamic world to whom Bush hopes to endear himself? Anyone whose policies he seems to further? Anyone that he is exceptionally close to, both in business dealings and on a personal level?

Our policy is not sensible. It panders to the aspirations of a small and primitive, yet shrewdly opportunistic, polity with territorial pretensions against all of her neighbors. President George W. Bush declared in Tirana last June that America is committed to Kosovo’s independence, and he was greeted almost as enthusiastically as Benito Mussolini, Nikita Khrushchev, and Chou En-Lai had been greeted by the Albanians over the decades. As Nicholas Stavrou noted in the National Herald, Mr. Bush reflects the Albanians’ talent for choosing patrons who fulfill three criteria: They must be big enough, far enough, and willing to offend the interests of Albania’s neighbors:
President Bush’s venture into the Balkan tinderbox is nothing short of a blatant provocation aimed at two nations that stood side by side with the United States in two wars, Serbia and Greece. It is part and parcel of a neo-conservative agenda, formulated by the same gang that produced the Iraq war . . . and threatens to engulf the Middle East into a regional conflagration. The ultimate goal, of course, is the conversion of Russia into a first class enemy. The new Cold War warriors view the Balkans as a “logical extension of the Middle East” that ought to be part of a new arrangement that would facilitate integration of Islamic and non-Islamic cultures. Russia, in their view, cannot be trusted with any role in their nefarious schemes to “modernize” Islam and redefine the Middle East as a “region that starts in the Persian Gulf and ends in Sarajevo.”

Serbia and Greece, two nations that have historically been on the front lines against violent Islamic expansion, the kind Osama bin Laden advocates....

And President Bush, who made the comment:

"Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make: Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

is siding with Kosovo, whose links to Islamic mafia and Islamic terrorists are well-known.

Our policy is perfectly sensible. We just need to (forgive me for using this over-used buzz-phrase) "connect the dots."

It is plainly irrational to insist on Kosovo’s independence, with all the risks such a policy entails, while the United States faces so much other “unfinished business” around the globe. The list is well known and depressing. Iraq is a disaster, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Afghanistan is a lesser calamity only when compared with Iraq. Any solution to the challenge presented by Iran will depend on Washington’s ability to have Russia on its side as a partner, which is impossible if Moscow’s concerns over Kosovo are treated as illegitimate. Russia is also an essential partner in helping control Kim Jong Il and devising a sustainable long-term energy policy for the Western world.

Insisting on Kosovo's independence is only irrational if you are concerned about US national security -- or the national security of Serbia, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, etc.

In short, Kosovo is an asymmetric issue. Mr. Bush cares about it only as it relates to U.S. “credibility.” The second greatest blunder of his presidency may result from his willingness to accept the assurances of inherited Clintonite bureaucrats of Mr. Burns’ ilk, who have insisted that the Serbs will cave in and that the Russians will budge.

If push comes to shove, Mr. Bush will face Moscow all alone. There is a great deal of dissent in Europe, from Madrid to Athens to Bucharest and Bratislava, but not even those Europeans who are nominally pro-independence—notably, the Germans—would sacrifice a single day’s supply of natural gas over Albanian claims. By contrast, this is, for Serbia, an existential issue and, for Russia, a litmus test of her ability to be a great power once again.

The most important reason the United States should not support Kosovo’s independence is and always has been cultural and civilizational; but trying to explain that to the chief executive who is fanatically supportive of a blanket amnesty for tens of millions of illegal aliens in the United States is as futile as trying to reform Islam.

George W. Bush has painted himself into a tight corner in the Balkans, and he will get a bloody nose if he does not relent. That is bad news for the church-burning Albanian Muslims of Kosovo, and bad news for their heroin-financed lobby in Washington, but it is very good news for America and the civilized world.

Saudi Arabia has been pouring a great deal of resources into Islamic communities in the Balkans.

The Saudis have been financing mosque construction and renovation, they have been training mullahs and sending them to the Balkans....

The Saudis sent mujahideen to the Balkans in the 1990's; although their holy warriors were of little use on the battlefield, they had a great impact committing atrocities against the infidels, and increasing the level of brutality in that war, provoking Serb reactions. Saudi "freedom fighters" (terrorists) even managed to irritate the Croats, who were Muslim allies against the Serbs -- so much so, that on at least one occasion the Croats were pulling troops off the lines facing the Serbs, and putting them on the lines facing the mujahideen!

The Saudis have a vested interest in Kosovo becoming independent from Serbia. They also have a vested interest in seeing that precedent set, so other lands that have growing Muslim minorities can some day have their Muslim enclaves demand independence from the nations to which the places where they live now belong.

That would mean the dismemberment of Sweden, Norway, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Holland, Denmark, Spain, Canada and the United States, to name a few Western nations.

Russia (Chechnya!), China (Ningxia, Gansu, Xinjiang!!), India (Kashmir!!!) and other countries would not be immune, either.

And Bush is furthering this goal -- although whether deliberately or through incompetence remains to be legally established.

Allahu Akbar, Mr. President!


pela68 said...

Brilliant analyze- as allways!

"Sweden is becoming more Balkanized"

You just look at the apartment balconys here and see where the Swedish flags are being displayed and where there instead are satelite dishes...

What does this mean? Maby nothing at all- maby everything...

Then again; most of the Balkans lives in the three big citys. Here there are mostly ME:s. And I would not say a bad word about my ME neghbours.

It's their ideology- allways their ideology!

anticant said...

We in Europe are facing a demographic time-bomb. No mainstream politicians are addressing this issue seriously.

Thankfully, it is unlikely to explode in my lifetime!

Yankee Doodle said...

Anticant, the "mainstream politicians" are so out of touch with the people they represent, it's incredible. The mainstream politicians, the mainstream media -- all represent and pander to those who are loudest, and that is not the decent, hard-working people of the communities, whether Muslim or infidel.

Thank you for the words, Pela, but perhaps not so brilliant....

When it comes to Bush, I automatically focus on the Saudi connection, and that tunnel vision could be a big mistake.

When you start to see things in black-and-white, fine distinctions in hue are lost, and I think that is what I may have done in this post.

The Bush Administration has well-placed connections to the powerful Turkish lobby and to the Turkist Deep State, and that influence is more likely what is sacrificing Serbia and Greece to the caliphate. Both Serbia and Greece are traditional enemies of Turkish Islam and Turkish power, and the Balkans have been a playground for Turkish rulers for centuries.

Truth is, I would probably give myself a C- for analysis in this post.

Yankee Doodle said...

C- is too generous.

I just did an internet search, and I completely missed it.

The connection is to Turkey, as well as to Afghanistan and to narcotics trafficking.

Watch for another post later on....

Thanks for making me think, Pela.

anticant said...

It's not just the mainstream politicians - it's what used to be the mainstream centre of the politically conscious electorate.

When at least at million - and maybe a couple of million - people marched against the Iraq war folly, Blair simply ignored them and went ahead, having tied himself to Bush's coat tails. At that point a lot of thoughtful people simply gave up on politics, concluding that nothing they could do or say would make any difference. It isn't a matter of 'Right' or 'Left', but a common feeling of impotence, which is very dangerous though understandable.

The task of those who care about responsible citizenship is to re-mobilize this 'solid centre'.

But how?

WomanHonorThyself said...

excellent read my friend! u say.............If a group of people can simply move in to an area, and continue arriving until members of that group become a majority in that area, and then have an internationally-recognizable claim to independence from the country to which they immigrated, that would really cause some problems....and yet are permitting this very infiltration right under our collective noses!

anticant said...

Quite so, but don't forget that is what happened when the Thirteen Colonies were first established on lands belonging to the indigenous population!

What we are now seeing in many European countries is a build-up process which is already irreversible.

anticant said...

Have you read the comments on Trifkovic's 'Chronicles' thread? Quite an Albanian/Serb slanging match. Obviously no love lost there!

Yankee Doodle said...

Thanks, Angel!

How, indeed, Anticant.

It often happens when Dr. Trifkovic writes about the Balkans that a word battle ensues.

I like the one guy that blames the Republicans for the Civil War. Naturally, to do so, he has to point at the political parties that existed before the Republican Party was born, and say they were the Republicans.

Then he blames "Lincoln's aggression", failing to realize that the war had already started when Lincoln was inaugurated.

But, his mind is made up; let's not confuse him with the facts.

Which brings us back to your questions: Try confusing your solid center with the facts.

You know, the UK has a long history. The people who won their rights vis-a-vis the Crown at a time when other countries were still absolute monarchies, the people who withstood the Blitz... I think their finest hour may yet be ahead of them.

anticant said...

I hope you're right, but I fear that the current generation aren't a patch on that of my parents and older brethren who fought and won World War Two. 1940 was, as Churchill said, our finest hour. I am proud to have lived through it. But unless people wake up to the real nature of the present threat - as distinct from all the government "war on terror" waffle - and produce leaders capable of dealing with it, a far more shameful and catastrophic hour may lie ahead.

QeniMac said...

Have any of you ever actually been to Kosovo??? To me it sounds like the answer is no. You should try going there and seeing for yourself how things really are and I highly doubt you would have made the comments that you have. I am 100% in favor of Maarthi Aathisaari's proposal. You should check it out. Also, I am personally acquainted with numerous residents of Kosovo who are of different faiths (i.e. Islam, Orthodox and Roman Catholic), and I really think that you have blown the religious issue in Kosovo way out of proportion. Needless to say, it was interesting to read your thoughts on this matter.

Yankee Doodle said...


Sorry it took me a while to respond, I just noticed your comment. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts.

My understanding is that the religious issue was not such an important one for several decades at least, until about the 1990's, when religion seemed to become leverage for foreign powers.

It should be noted, however, that Russia, ethnically Slavic and traditionally Orthodox Christian (minus, of course, communist influence) has traditionally been aligned as a protector of Serbia; consequently, predating the communist era of the last century, there are examples of when religion was paramount -- the Battle of Kosovo coming to mind here.

Beyond that, however, there is an influence of Saudi Wahhabism in the Islamic world, and the Balkan nations are one of their many targets.


It sounds like you have some input that would be interesting. I checked your profile, and I see neither a website nor an email address.

I would be interested in asking you some questions, and perhaps doing a post based upon your answers. If you think you might be interested in participating, please email me -- my email address can be found on the sidebar.

Thank you!