In the spring of 1999,
the United States bombed Serbia for 78 days to force
its army out of that nation`s
cradle province of Kosovo. The Serbs were fighting
Albanian separatists of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).
And we had no more right to bomb Belgrade than the Royal
Navy would have had to bombard New York in our Civil
We bombed Serbia, we were told, to stop
the genocide in Kosovo. But there was no genocide. This
was propaganda. The United Nations` final casualty count
of Serbs and Albanians in Slobodan Milosevic`s war did
not add up to 1 percent of the
dead in Mr. Lincoln`s war.
Albanians did flee in the tens of
thousands during the war. But since that war`s end, the
Serbs of Kosovo have seen their churches and monasteries
smashed and vandalized and have been ethnically cleansed
in the scores of thousands from their ancestral
province. In the exodus they have lost everything. The
remaining Serb population of 120,000 is largely confined
to enclaves guarded by NATO troops.
"At a Serb monastery in Pec,"
writes the Washington Post, "Italian troops
protect the holy site, which is surrounded by a massive
new wall to shield elderly nuns from stone-throwing and
other abuse by passing ethnic Albanians." [Independence
Is Proclaimed By Kosovo, By Peter Finn, February
On Sunday, Kosovo declared independence
and was recognized by the European Union and President
By intervening in a civil war to aid the
secession of an ancient province, to create a new nation
that has never before existed and, to erect it along
ethnic, religious and tribal lines, we have established
a dangerous precedent. Muslim and Albanian extremists
are already talking of a Greater Albania, consisting of
Albania, Kosovo and the Albanian-Muslim sectors of
Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia.
If these Albanian minorities should
demand the right to secede and join their kinsmen in
Kosovo, on what grounds would we oppose them? The
inviolability of borders? What if the Serb majority
in the Mitrovica region of northern Kosovo, who reject
Albanian rule, secede and call on their kinsmen in
Serbia to protect them?
Would we go to war against Serbia, once
again, to maintain the territorial integrity of Kosovo,
after we played the lead role in destroying the
territorial integrity of Serbia?
Inside the U.S.-sponsored Federation of
Bosnia and Herzegovina, the autonomous Serb Republic of
Srpska is already talking secession and unification with
Serbia. On what grounds would we deny them?
The U.S. war on Serbia was
unconstitutional, unjust and unwise. Congress never
authorized it. Serbia, an ally in two world wars, had
never attacked us. We made an enemy of the Serbs, and
alienated Russia, to create a second Muslim state in
By intervening in a civil war where no
vital interest was at risk, the United States, which is
being denounced as loudly in Belgrade today as we are
being cheered in Pristina, has acquired another
dependency. And our new allies, the KLA, have been
credibly charged with human trafficking, drug dealing,
atrocities and terrorism.
And the clamor for ethnic self-rule has
only begun to be heard.
Rumania has refused to recognize the new
Republic of Kosovo, for the best of reasons. Bucharest
rules a large Hungarian minority in Transylvania,
acquired at the same Paris Peace Conference of 1919
where Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina were
detached from Vienna and united with Serbia.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two
provinces that have broken away from Georgia, are
invoking the Kosovo precedent to demand recognition as
independent nations. As our NATO expansionists are
anxious to bring Georgia into NATO, here is yet another
occasion for a potential Washington-Moscow clash.
Spain, too, opposed the severing of
Kosovo from Serbia, as Madrid faces similar demands from
Basque and Catalan separatists.
The Muslim world will enthusiastically
endorse the creation of a new Muslim state in Europe at
the expense of Orthodox Christian Serbs. But Turkey is
also likely to re-raise the issue as to why the EU and
United States do not formally recognize the Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus. Like
Kosovo, it, too, is an ethnically homogeneous
community that declared independence 25 years ago.
Breakaway Transneistria is seeking
independence from Moldova, the nation wedged between
Rumania and Ukraine, and President Putin of Russia has
threatened to recognize it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia
in retaliation for the West`s recognition of Kosovo.
If Putin pauses, it will be because he
recognizes that of all the nations of Europe, Russia is
high among those most threatened by the serial
Balkanization we may have just reignited in the Balkans
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to VDARE.COM readers;
his book State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, can be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its
Empire and the West Lost the World,
Paul Craig Roberts.