Jasmina Tesanovic: Kosovo

Ed. Note: the following essay is by periodic BB contributor Jasmina Tesanovic; as I format this post and prepare to hit "publish," Jasmina sends a second email: "Update: groups of hooligans have thrown stones on American and Slovenian (presiding country of EU) embassies, on police members and journalists...several people are hurt ...they are cruising town now here in Belgrade but police are controlling them...reporters are following up..."

Image: "Orthodox Church," cc-licensed photo from Flickr by decafinata.

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The Sirens :: 02.17.2008

It's starting again: the language of war is the daily bread in Serbia. The sirens of nationalism are turned on again, as if nothing had changed in the eight years after Milosevic was toppled.

Or as if nothing had changed since the year 1389 and the mythic battle of Kosovo: a myth is a myth, a dictator who uses the language of myths is squandering people s minds as well as their lives.

Today, 17 February. at 15 hours Kosovo province unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia. It been ten years now since I wrote my "Diary of a Political Idiot," a book that started with riots in Kosovo. Although I've tried to stop writing that book, I have never been allowed to. The Balkan disorder became the model of world disorder.

I can hear the voice of my dead mother, who passed away in 1999 after the NATO bombings, with her last words: "take care of Kosovo." She didn't mention her granddaughter, my daughter, whom she loved more than herself or me. She instead scolded me, the traitor, severely: Kosovo is not yours and you cannot give it away. You and your similar traitors don't have pants on their asses and you are giving Kosovo, our heritage, away.

Last week in Geneva, I talked to a young Albanian blogger. He told me: this time "independence" will be declared for real, because it is not our independent decision but that of the world community. Nobody asks us anything anymore. They just give us orders and set rules.

Most young Serbian people have never visited Kosovo. There is nor reason to go to Kosovo if you are not trapped in Kosovo already. It is a hard place. Since the fall of national Yugoslav radio and television, Serbian has fallen out of use there. The Serbs never bothered to learn Albanian.

In Belgrade yesterday a thousand nationalists with Serbian flags marched downtown to the Slovenian embassy. Today, in front of the American embassy, potential riots were controlled by the police. In Kosovo province, two thousand policemen from EU mission will be deployed for 120 days until the situation "becomes stable."

Will it ever become stable? Serbian officials threaten to downgrade their diplomatic relationships with anyone who recognizes independent Kosovo, meaning most of the world. The newly elected president of Serbia, Boris Tadic, declared that only "diplomatic tools" will be employed to refuse the independence, but the same might be said of the fraught relationship of Cuba and the USA, which goes on for whole lifetimes.

The president of the government with much harsher tones accused the US and EU of robbing Serbia of its territory, after destroying Serbia in 1999 with bombs. High ranked Orthodox priests also condemn the loss of their historical heritage. The members of the Serbian government tour Kosovo, encouraging Serbs to stay there. They could have done that eight years ago by coming to terms with the criminal ethnic cleansing.

The last sentence in my 1999 diary was: I hope they don't build a wall. Today I must say the same: I hope the Serbian population in Kosovo survives, and I hope they don t build a wall: them, us, their armies, our armies, foreign armies.

After their independence declaration, they are feasting in Pristina, while here in Belgrade it is cold, freezing silent and peaceful. Only small groups of hooligans are gathering under a strong survelliance of the Serbian police.

May it be a beginning of new era; may our children never have another war with their neighbors just because they speak a different language and have a different sign on their graves. The Balkans have always been a multiethnic territory. No matter who wins the battle, nobody will be able to win a war.

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Jasmina Tesanovic is an author, filmmaker, and wandering thinker who shares her thoughts with BoingBoing from time to time. Email: politicalidiot at yahoo dot com. Her blog is here.

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Previous essays by Jasmina Tešanović on BoingBoing:

- Christmas in Serbia
- Neonazism in Serbia
- Korea - South, not North.
- "I heard they are making a movie on her life."
- Serbia and the Flames
- Return to Srebenica
- Sagmeister in Belgrade
- Jasmina Tešanović: What About the Russians?
- Milan Martic sentenced in Hague
- Mothers of Mass Graves
- Hope for Serbia
- Stelarc in Ritopek
- Sarajevo Mon Amour
- MBOs
- Killing Journalists
- Jasmina Tešanović: Where Did Our History Go?
- Serbia Not Guilty of Genocide
- Carnival of Ruritania
- "Good Morning, Fascist Serbia!"
- Faking Bombings
- Dispatch from Amsterdam
- Where are your Americans now?
- Anna Politkovskaya Silenced
- Slaughter in the Monastery
- Mermaid's Trail
- A Burial in Srebenica
- Report from a concert by a Serbian war criminal
- To Hague, to Hague
- Preachers and Fascists, Out of My Panties
- Floods and Bombs
- Scorpions Trial, April 13
- The Muslim Women 
Belgrade: New Normality
- Serbia: An Underworld Journey
- Scorpions Trial, Day Three: March 15, 2006
- Scorpions Trial, Day Two: March 14, 2006
- Scorpions Trial, Day One: March 13, 2006
- The Long Goodbye
- Milosevic Arrives in Belgrade
- Slobodan Milosevic Died
- Milosevic Funeral


  1. I’m hoping for the best over there. My wife is from Serbia, emigrated here to the states less than a year ago. I spent almost a year living in Belgrade and came to really like the city. In my time there I never really met any of the flaming nationalists you hear so much about. (Admittedly, I didn’t spend much time in small towns and villages and didn’t go out of my way to talk politics with people I didn’t know well). Serbia still maintains some of the mystery and darkness of the communist era and the more recent nationalistic past. But I found the people to be generally nice and pragmatic about the bigger picture.

    One of the first people I met was a cab driver who happened to speak English. When he asked me how I liked the country and I said just fine, his reply was, “so you see that we’re not all monsters here”. On the contrary I found most to be wryly friendly and helpful, with a kind-of sideways sense of humor. Most of the time I felt welcome and safe. I didn’t get any resentment about the United Nations (US mostly) bombing of their city, and most seemed to blame the Milosovic regime. My impression was that most people would be happy to give up the nationalist politics and join the EU and the rest of the world.

    Anyway, I’m just feeling a bit apprehensive with the news today and sending hopes that things will settle down quickly.

  2. Thanks, Jasmina. It is very refreshing to hear that what is happening now is entirely the Serbs’ fault, and has nothing to do with the building of the largest US military base since Vietnam, or – in the long run – splitting up Europe into comfortably small morsels.

    As for who decides and sets the rules, and the new Albanian leadership’s commitment to the well-being of its own people, I can but quote James Rubin, the widely-known Serbian nationalist:

    The only carrot I had left to offer Thaçi was a telephone call from Clinton. So I asked Jonathan Prince, a White House aide who had been assigned to Jackson’s headquarters, to have us patched through to the president’s hotel room in Germany. Then I told Thaçi if he accepted this one change and agreed to sign then and there, he would receive a congratulatory telephone call from the president of the United States. He looked at me for a few seconds, then said: “Yes, yes, let’s do it now.”

    (“Countdown to a very personal war”, Financial Times, October 6, 2000)

  3. @elsmiley , February 17, 2008 1:02 PM

    Organized crime already has its own state. It’s called Sicily.
    very intelligent comment!

  4. Now for the Basque region of Spain, Kurdistan in Iraq and Turkey, Chechnya, Souix in North Dakota, Tamil in Sri Lanka, Northern Territory in Australia, etc, etc, etc. I’m sure we give them all our blessing.

  5. The United States and European Union loves to support the disuniting of other nations, the smaller and the less threatening the better. That’s how you play Civilization, isn’t it?

  6. #6: And don’t forget the success of East/West Germany or North/South Korea! And also never forget Tibet, Northern Ireland, Alaska, and numerous African countries. It is fun to create so many countries with arbitrary names.

    Some day it would be surely fun to see Midwest Union of America, Republic of Texas, United States of New England and People’s Republic of California.

    Metaphorically speaking, it feels like this lawyer is making a lot of money out of divorcing couples.

  7. Ethnic hatreds run deeper in Eastern Europe than they do in any other quadrant of the globe save Africa. There are only two ultimate solutions to the Kosovo problem: open up the death camps and be done with it, or do the right, easy thing and let the region go. Certain geopolitical regions are simply not ready for multicultural nationstates. Subdividing until every particular ethnicality has their own sovereign territory is the only way to avoid a repeat of the Croat/Serb Death Camp Bonanza of the mid 1990s.

    Sad to say, ethnic cleaning is sometimes necessary. But there are two ways to do it: by murder, or by expulsion. If you don’t want certain undesirables living in your country, push them out. Better still, see to it that they have their own country to be expulsed into. Giving up territory in the name of long-term ethnic relations and regional stability is a Good Idea, and if the Serb leadership has any ounce of brains, they will gladly let Kosovo go.

  8. I come from Slovenia. And I give you some update in this situation:

    Several hooligans have entered Slovenian embassy and crashed few shops owned by Slovenian firms.

    McDonalds was trashed to.

    Worst is in Kosovska Mitrovica where few hand grenades were thrown near UN building.

    I really hope that this will not bring another war on Balkan. Its really sad to see people to go through all that suffering.

  9. Kosovo was always going to be an insurmountable issue. I never realized it’s full significance to the Serbs until, when working as a funeral director, I saw the inside of a local Serbian Orthodox Church: The Entire ceiling is a mural depicting the Battle of Kosovo. It still means that much too the Serbs, but obviously they aren’t treating the locals well enough for the world community to allow them to keep it.
    I’d liken the situation to the eternal Israel/Palestine problem, but to be fair, Balkan ethnic tensions must be at least on par with or greater than even that impasse

  10. It’s true that Kosovo is a sort of a national myth in Serbia, but it’s also true that a lot of the people there have outgrown national myths.I also find it encouraging that on many Serbian forums, right now, many people are expressing their wish to just see the end of the whole story. They also perceive the official Serbian reaction to be all noise with no substance, similar to the reaction when Montenegro voted its independence. So this may be a reason to hope that the situation will not become any more heated than it is.

    And yes, it’s very easy to perceive the disintegration of Balkan states as a part of some sort of master-plan for the destruction of Europe. But that view doesn’t take into account the fact that ethnic relations there have very long and convoluted histories, most often closely connected with economy. (Kosovo isn’t rich in oil, but it has a lot of coal and metals.)

    The promise of international recognition probably did a lot to encourage Kosovo to re-declare its independence, but it is a re-declaration: the first time Kosovo proclaimed its independence from Serbia was in 1991, confirmed by a referendum a year later — not to mention that conflicts in Kosovo began in the 80’s, and had their roots in problems that went unsolved since WWI. Kosovo is not an invented state with an arbitrary name.

  11. TAKUAN, #11 No, there isn’t much oil there to speak of. There IS one of Europe’s largest industrial plant/oil refineries in Pancevo, which is a few miles from Belgrade. Since the bombing it’s been an environmental disaster area, much of Easter Europe’s oil and other chemicals flow through the place.
    #12 No, haven’t read “Monstrous Regiment”, what’s it about?

    MILENA #14 “on many Serbian forums, right now, many people are expressing their wish to just see the end of the whole story. They also perceive the official Serbian reaction to be all noise with no substance, similar to the reaction when Montenegro voted its independence. So this may be a reason to hope that the situation will not become any more heated than it is.” — Let’s hope.

  12. Takuan… Ooooh, Terry Pratchett (love him). Now I get it, duh on me. :)

    But since nobody has yet mentioned the magic word, who exactly here is getting Balkanized?

  13. I’m not trying to be funny, ironic or a wise ass, I’m just asking a question born of ignorance.

    Isn’t Kosovo mostly made up of Albanians? Isn’t there already a country called Albania?

    How and why did all these Albanians move to Kosovo and then decide they needed a seperate Albania?

    I’m just asking and if links are an easier answer I’m willing to do the reading.

  14. Tankdoc, not a bad question. According to my wife, stupid, short-sighted (her terms not mine), Serbian people, who were greedy, sold off too much land. This is one part of the story I’m a bit sketchy on, and I may be wrong. But that’s what I gather.

    So, apparently capitalism and/or greediness is the cause. The nationalist outrage seems to have come later.

  15. As always, Tesanovic gives this complex topic the thoughtfulness it deserves… Glad to read her stuff, as always.

    I’ve been watching this very closely, and I find myself conflicted. Ethnically dividing the area will not help, but it’s clear that the majority in the region (meaning Kosova) do not want to remain part of greater Serbia… Nor do they want to largely Serbian area of Kosova divided from greater Kosova. I find Albin Kurti’s arguments most compelling, reject of the UN/EU plans, which is not real independence, a vote for independence, and getting the overlords packing… And how much does it matter how the kosovar Albanians got there, really (we can argue for ages about how whatever group that is here in the states got here, but we can’t change that at all, can we?)- I’d suspect it would have something to do with the fact that the area was always ethnically diverse given that it was under the Ottoman empire until, what, the end of the 19th century and also because of utter lunatic in charge of Albania during the communist era (Hoxja- who spent much of his time driving out Albanians who were from different groups than his own). I’m keeping my fingers crossed on all this and hope it works out. All we need is yet another war so we can hear, smugly, how we in the “west” have to take over for everyone else, because they can’t handle “modernity” or some such nonsense. Like we aren’t constantly fudging things up all over the place.

    Again, great article!


  16. Vapourlock: the NT is going nowhere. There is no successionist movement. It’s called the Northern Territory because it’s not heavily populated enough to be a state in it’s own right. The population up there would be less that 200,000 at a guess – a handful considering the land area. As a consequence, they have very few representatives in the Federal Parliament. The NT did achieve a fair degree of statehood in the 70’s, and is now independant of my own state, South Australia, in pretty much all respects.
    Now WA on the other hand…

  17. Tankdoc,
    Blame the people who divided the former Ottoman Empire in the early 1900s. It’s a nice thought that national borders might be drawn in a way that encompasses everyone of that nation, but politics just doesn’t work that way. I’m not up on the detailed history of the Balkan Wars of 1912-1918, but Albania probably rebelled too early or too late, while Serbia rebelled at the right time and had better allies. (For a while the whole area was going to be part of Bulgaria or Greece, depending on which Great Power you talked to, as the heart of a new Byzantine Empire).

  18. @18: Like most Balkan stories, this one began a long, long time ago but not, unfortunately, in a galaxy far, far away…

    What we call “Albanians” today are in fact the descendants of the indigenous population of the whole region, Illyrians. Slav tribes came in the 6th century and took a large part of the region, including what will become Kosovo, although a portion of the indigenous population remained there.

    Kosovo was created as an administrative unit during the Ottoman rule of the area. It was taken from the Turks by Austrians in the 17th c. with help from Albanians, but it also served as refuge for Serbs escaping Ottomans, which is why it’s been torn between Serbia and Albania ever since. (This is a very short version, there was more changing of hands, but you get the idea, I hope.)

    A portion of Kosovo officially became part of Serbia in the 19th century, for political reasons, as it was a good way for the West to put it outside of reach of the by then dwindling Ottoman Empire, and then in the Balkan Wars, Serbia conquered another part of it, while another part was taken by Montenegro. However, the majority of the population was — and remains — ethnically Albanian. However, they do not see themselves as Albanian citizens in search of a nation, although they share the language and the ethnicity with them. They see themselves mostly as Kosovari, who just happen to be Albanians. And, to make things more interesting, although most are Muslim, due to the long Ottoman rule, there is also a sizeable portion of them who are Christian.

    As for the nationalist view that Serbs seem to take, it’s due to the 14th century battle, which was one of the defining points of Serbian nation. It took place right in the middle of Kosovo, and, although Serbs lost it, it remained a cultural turning-point for them since it was the first time they stood up to the Ottomans in an organised manner.

    Sorry for the long-winded response.

  19. Milena, bravo for your (NOT long-winded) posts here. As one who has been following this story for years (long before I met my wife who is from Belgrade), it seems like the more one tries to understand the situation, the more complicated it gets. With all the hundreds of years of conflict over territory, ethnicity, religion, etc. I wonder if ANYONE has a true and unprejudiced picture of what the hell’s going on. As one who has friends and family in that part of the world I can only hope that cooler heads will prevail.

  20. I too applaud Milena’s response. It gives a great over view of historical events in the region, the conflict of ethnicity, religion, etc, which in reality, all come down to political constructions (but who cares what is a construction, when it is real in the minds of people…). Too many people want to ignore history and just chalk it up to ethnic/religious tensions that are 1) universal and 2) natural and 3) historical (even if they are not). All too often the reductionist view takes hold, and we forget that what is going on right now is part of a long process of events that is made by people, not nature.

    I think what makes me the saddest about issues like this is that everyone seems to want to reduce the issue and ignore the fact that this is really about people whose lives will be affected by decisions made in places of power. I feel for you and your family Jake, as well as for everyone in Kosova and even Serbia, because this has an impact on your lives much more so then mine. All too often, we want to reduce this all to numbers and meaninglessness just to make it go away and not understand that these things can be changed. Why do we have to think that war and hatred is natural?


  21. I would not be surprised to find out that this political/nationalistic hot air coming from Serbia is being staged for a Russian audience.

    Serbia has held a special place in Kremlin policy since the Romanov’s and I think it likely that at least some “nationalism” has Moscow’s tacit backing.

    As for the people who blithely suggest that this is some how exceptional within Europe have missed the great decentralization that has happened since 1990. Scotland and Wales have there own parliaments, Catalonia is autonomous except in name, Slovakia and Czech have split, Sud Tirol and Aosta are now automomous regions within Italy, and there is serious movement to break up Belgium into it’s constituent pieces. Not to mention all countries which have come from the break up of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

    Within this wider pan European decentralization Kosovo is one of many.

  22. @Takuan:
    Israel is a tiny repubblics but they have big friends (and the nuclear bomb).

    Serbia made war to Slovenia then to Croatia then to Bosnia, and even if it was not a real “WAR” because they used a real Army against innocent unarmed people all the stupid Media in Europe and the rest of the world at like 1980 defending their friends (France Pro Serbian, German Pro Croatian etc).

    Let de Kosovo be free!

  23. When cutting countries to small pieces is a solution to the many conflicts of the past… I think the Kosovo should go for it. When the Kosovo feel responsible and involved to their indipendent country and other countries respect that.. what’s the problem?

  24. As these countries divide themselves ever further are we seeing a return to something similar to the medieval city states?

  25. milena, your commentary is awesome and insightful and so useful for someone who knows little about the history of that region. thank you.

    in canada we have quebec, who every so often starts complaining about wanting to separate. people here have been lightly comparing the kosovo/serbia situation to the quebec/canada situation, but there’s a difference – quebec has a lot of provincial autonomy and enforces its own rules over its territory, and it has its own party which has a giant chunk of seats in the federal parliament so that it is never left out of decisions. canada bends to the will of quebec far more than it does to that of any other province, even alberta, which has oil and big moneyz.

    many people say the same thing that that guy up there said – isn’t there already a country called france – but as milena said, it goes deeper than that. we’re talking about hundreds of years of a separate history. and people move, and people settle everywhere, and dialects develop and change, and different histories develop, so what can you do… forcibly move all the english in quebec to ontario, and all the french in ontario and the maritimes to quebec?? then we’d get another india/pakistan situation. it would be terrible.

    if kosovo can guarantee that their government will recognize the serbs who live in the region and legally and physically protect them and their culture — just as the canadian government does for quebec — i see no problem with the independence of kosovo. godspeed kosovo!!

  26. yeah but if we let Kosovo leave Serbia, then any ethnic majority region will become its own country and the world will descend into chaos


  27. I am living in Serbia, Belgrade. Most things of Jasmina Tesanovic report are not true.
    First I apologize if I say something wrong, becouse I did not practice my English too long.

    Try to imagine that someone took part of your country, and you dont feel angry, sad ?!?!

    Situation in Serbia is quiet. Few hunderd hooligans brake windows on McDonalds, few embassies, but I thin that is “normal”. We talking about few hunderd people, Serbia have 8 billions.

    This is very proud people, we are not nacist, but being nationalist is normal. That meens that you love your country and respect other countries and poeple, not hate other people. Everybody normal love his country.

    I am personaly very sad, beocuse Kosovo is part of my country, although I dont been in kosovo ever.

    I hope that you understand me :)

    Best regards

  28. @33, Gandalf81: I don’t think anyone here has said you have no right to feel angry or sad because of what’s happened with Kosovo. And I can certainly understand that the government in Serbia is not ready to just laugh, shrug, and wave Kosovo bye-bye. As long as the reactions remain on a diplomatic level. I can see — and appreciate — that you feel that breaking windows is simple vandalism. Which it is.

    However, Kosovo’s independence is not something that happened overnight, and it’s not something that only one side is responsible for. By now, actually, it’s not something that only two sides are responsible for, either. It’s all much more complex than that.

    Everything’s always much more complex than any “that” — and doubly so in the Balkans.

    I’m sorry for everyone in Serbia who feels the loss of Kosovo as their personal loss. But I also understand everyone in Kosovo who rejoices in their newly declared independence. And I also understand my mother in law, who also lives in Belgrade, and who says, “I don’t understand what the fuss is all about — it’s not as if it’s frigging California.”

    There are a lot of people in Serbia who just want to get on with their lives, regardless of what they may feel about Kosovo. And that’s what I suspect Serbia as a country will simply have to do, the international climate being what it is.

    But nothing in your posts actually means that anything written by Jasmina TeÅ¡anović isn’t true; there has been very strong, myth-relying language in use, thanks mostly to those who are trying to capitalise on the situation, and it is scary and boring at the same time (living in the Balkans is a very strange experience) to hear that same vocabulary being dragged out for the umpteenth time.

    I for one believe that Serbian people are, in principle, much more intelligent than their leaders sometimes make them out to be (or hope they are). And the same goes for any people on Earth. But that’s a different topic all together…

  29. I think there are two things the “anti-splittists” (Kid, Vaporlock, et. al.) are ignoring:

    1) A genocidal war, justified on the Serbian side as a defense of “national integrity” and “defense of ethnic Serbs” means that nobody in their right mind is going to oppose a majority-Albanian region from seeking greener pastures elsewhere.

    For all I know, it might be a bad move for Kosovo, economically and politically, but the Serbs gave up their right to territorial integrity as soon as they began ethnically cleansing. Isn’t that why we split Germany in the first place? And isn’t that a constructive (if desperate) stick to beat developed nations with- commit genocide, get politically dismembered?

    2) Now that Kosovo is independent, how long will it be before it starts folding itself into a greater trans-European sovereignty, the EU? Honestly, while I have concerns over the much of what goes on inside the EU- their economic policy is just steamrolling some ex-Bloc members like Hungary- I sure as hell welcome the notion that wars of nationalism will be short-circuited by continent-wide relationships that are too sticky to break with a couple of bombs.

  30. OK, this is just something that no one’s thought to mention so far, and I find it, at the very least, interesting: Kosovo Albanians living in Croatia — and there is a fair number of them — decided to celebrate Kosovo’s independence in a somewhat peculiar manner. Since there are so many of them who own bakeries and goldsmith shops, Albanian bakers today gave all their goods away for free, while goldsmiths offered 15% discount on all wares.

    The bread-for-free action goes on until midnight, local time. A lot of people were surprised, and some even went back to their local bakers bringing gifts in return: wine and other stuff to help the celebration along. Make of that what you will, but I think it’s cute.

  31. Ed. Note: the following essay is by periodic BB contributor Jasmina Tešanović; a

    “They could have done that eight years ago by coming to terms with the criminal ethnic cleansing.”

    Jasmina you must be a Westernized Balkan youth.

    The full story of the Balkans is unending.

    I myself know of it, being Macedonian I perceive the Macedonian
    gov’t as being “suck-ups” abd stooges to our King George.

    The ones in the diaspora that have been gone a while
    like myself keep in touch with relatives, we know what truth

    T S NT TH TRTH eminating from Washington, or NATO war criminals.

  32. #8 posted by Kid Author Profile Page, February 17, 2008 2:23 PM

    “Some day it would be surely fun to see Midwest Union of America, Republic of Texas, United States of New England and People’s Republic of California.”

    Dont’ worry thats in the works –
    its called Aztlán. Pls do a search on it –
    there are many non-US citizens who support that idea.

    This is a question for all Americans on this
    board -excluding the CIA (he-he-he) -do you see
    the big picture yet. Don’t you realize
    that what goes around comes around.

    As a US citizen this is pure BS politics presented
    by Dems&Repubs–> Jamsina doe’snt see that.

    Same ludicrous for. policy – irrelavant if its
    a Dem or Repub

  33. #36: I agree that I did not put the genocide into part of the decision, but I’m not too sure if that necessarily justifies independence. There are still Serbs living in Kosovo, too.

    Not to be sarcastic, I like that “anti-separatist” moniker. I am not necessarily against countries separating, but I feel that it should be done not against its people’s will. Here we have a country disintegrating by two gravitional forces (EU and Russia). I guess countries are like planets. When its structure is weak, it self-explodes and shatters into pieces.

  34. #27 posted by Mindpowered Author Profile Page, February 17, 2008 11:48 PM
    “I would not be surprised to find out that this political/nationalistic hot air coming from Serbia is being staged for a Russian audience.”

    Of course the reality it should be:
    I would not be surprised to find out that this political/nationalistic hot air coming from Washington/America is being staged for a Albanian audience.

    Pls don;’t lecture me on crap coming out
    of King Bush – I have voted in many elections –
    both parties are ruining America as well as
    what was to be something positive after Berlin
    Wall fell.

  35. (For35 post Milena
    However, Kosovo’s independence is not something that happened overnight, )
    Yet I and many other Americans have witnessed
    the dealings and associations that neocons and
    Bushites have done over the course of 8 yrs.
    First of all, bogus ND I mean bogus WR N TRRR.
    wasting our tax-dollars in the tune of $90 Billion
    in Iraq & Afghanistan. Same folks are involved in
    the crap over Kosovo.
    This all nothing -we saw the previous PR spin for WR N DRGS, WR N PVRTY. Waht did it do –
    same here for our foreign policy in the Balkans, it is going to sow more distrust and anomosity towards
    the US. I hope my fellow Americans wake up!!!

  36. #36) I agree about ignoring the ethnic cleansing… but, I talked to my prof, who is from Kosova, yesterday (he’d just gotten back) how was Kosova- he said “boisterous, yet I think a bit naive”. I can’t help but agree with that. It’s not like Kosova is getting full independence here, a point that everyone seems to be forgetting. Basically, UNMIK is moving out and the EU is moving in- the “western” overclass that has grown up around UN presence in Kosova (and Bosnia, for that matter) is not going away (but will continue to bleed Kosovars and Bosnians dry economically). The west does not think that the Balkan people can handle independence (they have not evolved as far as us oh so enlightened westerners, or some such nonsense), so the west (the US, EU, and Russia as well) keep putting their noses in to “correct” their behavior. We act as if all of what happens in the Balkans is independent and “natural” of events in the rest of the world, and influences from the outside and that we are just swooping in to save them from themselves… How much of what happens in the region comes from our direct involvement, and how much did come from our direct involvement in the first place (back when Serbia broke out of the Ottoman Empire, for example- you’re gonna tell me that was all Serbia’s idea, and had nothing to do with Russian and Austria-Hungry political interference? Get real! ) If the region is a mess, you have to in part blame outside interference as well as this insistence that the only way to have a stable country is to have it ethnically/religious homogeneous, and guess where that brilliant idea comes from. I’m not saying that all Serbs are bad guys, and that all Kosovars are good guys. That is reductionist and wrong. Of course there are bad Serbs and bad Kosovars and vice versa, but condemning an entire nation of people is always wrong. I am saying that I think that most of both countries are just over it, and are probably tired of everyone getting involved in their internal affairs that leads to these sorts of problems…

    #37- I think that is very interesting, actually… What does that tell you about the good side of human nature, that we can be good to one another. As soon as you give in a positive way, you do get back in a positive way. Call it Karma, god, just being human, whatever… all these things that seem to divide us are just man made constructions, and the hegemony of the nation-state keeps instilling in us these notions that for whatever reason (different language, color, beliefs, etc) we can’t get along on a human level (the world is not a “binary” place). As all these things are constructions, it is absurd on it’s face.

    That’s just my $.02 on this issue. Yet another loud mouthed American pontificating on things she knows nothing about. I go back to my petty little counter-cultural historical fiefdom now.


  37. Hi,
    Mindy and Milena,both of you give great opinions for the the heavy situation on Kosove.
    I particulary like this one”:good side of human nature, that we can be good to one another. As soon as you give in a positive way, you do get back in a positive way. Call it Karma, god, just being human…” It’s wonderful that there are people that go beyond race, religion, language differencies and come to the basic of humanity.
    I’m alabanian and I am happy that kosovars have their own state which I hope that will use it for the better and create a state that is equall and respectful for all its citizens. Maybe this is the last of our conflicts and prosperity and peace prevail….

  38. My ancestors controlled some interesting real estate in the 14th Century. I’ve never thought that gave me any claim on it now.

  39. Jasmina Tesanovic,
    which ethnic clensig are you refering to in your article above? Perhaps, the supression of the Serbs and Serbian national and cultural identity ever since the communist Yugoslavia? I am trying to hold back my outrage at the ignorance for the Serbian suffering when the Serbs were disciminated against based on their name or religion in Bosnia, Croatia and in Serbian province of Kosovo. How can anyone talk about reconciliation and justice when people from paramilitary albanian units in Kosovo live freely regardless of the crimes against the Serbians they were commiting for decades? How can anyone believe in fair trial when Naser Oric walks off freely from the Hague? Why do you fail to see the demage done to your own people before you exercise your ‘european’, cosmopolitan and sarcastically (licemernu, srb.)humanitarian politics? Yes, let’s talk about Srebrenica, for example, but not before nor after we talk about Jajce, Gradishka, Gorazde, etc. Turn around and have a look at the messages of hateress and despise towards the Serbians…Does it not hurt you to see deserted Pec Patriarchy or Decani monastery in flames and ruins with demonic grafiti in Albanian language celebrating the death and misfortune of so many Serbs in Kosovo?

    p.s. Also abouth the Serbians never bothering to learn Albanian…I cannot believe that you meant it seriously, unless i failed to sense a humorous tone in this shameless remark. Perhaps we shoud ask people in Vojvodina to start learning Hungarian? Yet given the politics our modern EU-longing Serbia is leading (with the support of Tesanovic and alike authors) we might even need Hungarian in Novi Sad. It’s a free world after all.

    God save Serbia

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