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Who is to be Blamed for Kosovo?                              28 Sept. 1998

By Pavel Kollar

The immediate cause and its consequences. The problem is correctly diagnosed with only a minor mistake: that it is from the standpoint of one side, from the side of the serb dictator Milosevic. And the proposed remedy: it is also right under condition that you know exactly what Serbs want: a Kosovo with Albanians or without them or with them in imagines but in reality without them. And the situation resembles to that of modern medicine: curing of symptom by the doctor letting the patient to coup with the cause.

I wish you success with your proposal but I would better start with one sentence that was expressed by Richard Hoolbrook several months ago when he said something as “...there is no solution ...” but I would add several words more: there is no solution in the frame of existing institutional system and existing notion of state and sovereignty and similar rules.

That means to come to solution there are necessary new rules. But who to propose them, to legalize them? The sides in conflict? Why they did not make already this? Why they hang so much on rules that do not offer way out and following of which brought them in situation in which they are now? The answer could be calculations, wrong calculations. They estimate they are gaining with what they are doing just now. Try to persuade them in opposite and you will see what would be the reaction. The difference is possible in time phasing of gains: immediate gains and later gains. Naturally so long they have whom to sacrifice for these gains. This is the way of thinking behind the existing rules.

Then possible somebody from outside? But who? With application of rules that are valid even today, America, Great Britain and France created great (possible by mistake too great) Serbia in 1918. The consequence of that decision is, that there is a ‘rebellion’ in Kosovo mountains today, that there was war in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, that reasons for war exist in other part of Serbia also but it was not accomplished for some reason until now, possibly waiting some more adequate time point to go off. So, why these ‘creators’ of problem, that calls ‘Yugoslavia’ today, do not propose rules that would satisfy all sides?

Serbs today complain that their sovereignty is endangered. But compare the national structure of Yugoslavia according territories in 1918 with the same distribution in 1991 (before the start of Yugoslav war). Who started to change the national structure in specific regions, playing out the rules? Did really Versailles Treaty give them this right? Had Serbs remained in Kosovo 1918, instead of moving to Nord and West and creating problems there also (and giving ammunition to Hitler's war campaign), then they would be the leading nation in Kosovo today, not Albanians. But why they left Kosovo? Were they really ‘terrorized’ by Albanians also that time (the plausible explanation of some of them today) or the reasons were more tangible, ‘milk and honey’ and governing posts in new gained territories in Nord and West?

Kosovo Albanians today are making the same what Serbs in the southern parts of A-H Monarchy, where they have been minority, made in 19-th century and beginning of this century. That time Serbs rebelled, asked autonomy, tried secession (instigated by Belgrade), killed policemen and not to say whom, and were rewarded wealthly for such behaviour. Will you punish Albanians today? You made Dayton accord for Bosnia and some leaders are now satisfied because they obtained a piece of territory which they can govern, but how many replaced people will come back to their original homes. Will you make a Dayton for Kosovo also?

So I would say that the cause of present conflict are the wrong rules. They are wrong because they are one sided, they are from the standpoint of authoritarian governors, not from the standpoint of people. Bring these two standpoints in consensus and you will have right rules. I do not believe that there are good tactics that would be able to compensate bad strategic decisions.

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