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The Wages of Kosovo (and South Sudan)

The AU is rightly becoming more flexible. It recognises Sudan as exceptional. Its break-up does not threaten the rest of Africa. ~The Economist [1]

This is always very easy for others with nothing at stake to say. Sudan’s break-up doesn’t threaten the rest of Africa until it provides the precedent in other countries for similar independence movements. Kosovo was supposed to be exceptional, too, until recognition of its independence more or less directly led to the effective partition of Georgia. When the U.S. and other states recognized Kosovo, few believed that it could have an effect on South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but it did. How many countries will suffer from greater instability because self-determination prevailed in Sudan?

Once major powers start re-drawing borders to satisfy the demands of self-determination or other concerns, there is no obvious place to stop. Kosovo’s example isn’t supposed to have any effect on the situation in Karabakh, either, but why are the people in Karabakh and Armenia bound by this Western assumption? Supporters of the secession of South Sudan have to take into account the possibility that the success of the southern Sudanese in achieving independence will encourage other separatist and automomist movements in Africa and elsewhere. In many ways, African nation-states are among the most arbitrary, artificial creations in the entire world, but that doesn’t mean that splitting them up into equally artificial, less viable statelets will make things any better. Kosovo’s separation from Serbia and eventual independence empowered [2] a gang of criminals. Is there much reason to hope for better in South Sudan?

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21 Comments To "The Wages of Kosovo (and South Sudan)"

#1 Comment By the crackshot crackpot On January 11, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

Dr. Larison:

I always enjoy reading your blogs, and I hope that you (and TAC) will be around for the long haul.

I think that there is one glaring omission from your analysis of Sudanese secession, though: Russia. In each of the states and regions that you use to harbor doubts in the minds of others about South Sudan, there is the distinct presence of Russian influence there. Kosovo, Serbia, Georgia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Karabakh, and Armenia have all, at one time or another, come under the direct influence of Moscow for extended periods of time, and therefore are considered by Moscow, rightly or wrongly, to still be on the periphery of Russian influence.

And I don’t think that major powers are redrawing the borders in Africa, either. Rather, I’d say that some powers have begun to consider alternatives to the current power structure in Africa, and that secession is one of those alternatives. I can see how you would draw such a conclusion, though, because of the nature of Brussels’ and Washington’s course of action against the Bashir regime. However, I would argue that the heavy-handed tactics of the West towards Khartoum has more to do with a sense of guilt towards sub-Saharan Africa rather than stalwart attempts at once again redrawing political borders in the region.

And I think we should be looking at this change of policy by the West towards sub-Saharan Africa as an encouraging sign that we are willing to look at other alternatives and (Lord have mercy!) recognize that Africans should be able to choose how their societies are governed. The recognition of the newest state in Africa by the West is, all in all, a wonderful thing, I think. I mean, just look at how our attempts to keep Somalia together turned out.

Your point about the gang of thieves is well-taken. However, I don’t think that the West was fully able to engage in the newly-minted state of Kosovo because of the Russian factor. In South Sudan there will be a variety of factors at play, of course, but there appears to be much more room, so to speak, for promoting trade there.

That South Sudan may prove to be a beacon for secessionist and autonomist movements elsewhere in Africa is almost guaranteed, but who is to say that this is a bad thing? I don’t have any statistical data on hand, but I am pretty sure that interstate wars in Africa happen much less often than to intrastate wars. In any case, why not let the Africans experiment in government?

#2 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On January 11, 2011 @ 8:30 pm

Daniel, I don’t entirely share your aversion to secession. To be sure, the effort to create entirely homogeneous nation-states where peoples have been interpenetrated has sometimes proven disastrous, as with the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, ramshackle though it is said to have been. On the other hand, there is no particular reason for a bunch of Muslim would-be Arabs in Khartoum to rule over NIlo-Saharan speaking cattle herders, mostly Christian and pagan, in the South, especially when they treat them rather badly. I would not be anxious for the US to intervene in such matters, but the Southerners managed to achieve considerable success in a long war. I see no reason to begrudge them their independence.

Will societies build on segmentary lineages manage to create a modern state? Probably not, especially when there is oil money to divert the élite. Are they better off than under the peripheral Arab fanatics of Khartoum? Probably.

I see no principled reason to reject such adjustments out of hand. Present arrangement did not evolve organically, but were imposed by a bunch of Oxonians in pith helmets, and such. The main thing is for us not to look to bet on a dog in every fight in distant and alien places, and to cultivate our own rather overgrown and shabby garden.

#3 Comment By omikaberidze On January 12, 2011 @ 7:52 am

Excellent article again Mr. Larison!

I think what we should understand in terms of “self-determination” is how organic is the movement. If it is organic and has a popular support, history has proven that it is nearly impossible for the coercive power to subdue it. What becomes problematic is the outside influence and how it shapes such processes.

What we have seen in Serbia, Caucasus, and Moldova is interference from the outside on a process which was yet ill-defined and not ready for either manifesting itself as an independence movement or something else. What such outside influence did was to stunt the maturation process and disrupt the balance of power which resulted in an outcome which suits no one.

Look at situations in Kosovo, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, even Karaback; what we see are territorial creations which cannot sustain themselves, either politically or economically, and require heavy outside intervention both military and political. This leads to instability not only within but without as well because the responsibility for the sustenance of the sovereign state no longer rests on the citizens because the ethnic identity has not transformed into a national one, and for neighbors it is uncertain whether such creations are temporary or not.

With Sudan what we see is a process of formation of people. Karl Schmidtt described this as a transition of ethnic, religious, economic, or any other form of struggle into a sphere of political where individuals are ready to die and kill for the idea, where leaders emerge, and where the identity of a sovereign state, a political state is forged. When such process is organic and there are enough people ready to fight for it, then result is something akin to the United States where a nation is forged in the fire of war and national identity emerges.

Then there are numerous other examples where the “do-gooders” interfere and create problems which last for decades and seem to get worse as the time goes. For example Palestinian and Israeli conflict. It had a natural process, Zionism was creating a Jewish identity in the area where there was no national identity (“Palestinians” didn’t identify themselves as such yet) and the natural process might have led to what David Ben Gurion envisioned as a Jewish cultural and ethnic autonomy within an Arab state of Palestine. However, interference from without (British, Arabs, the US, French, Germany, etc.) led to situation where one side picked a wrong ally and got completely screwed, as a result today we have a conflict which is extremely complicated and difficult to resolve because we have one side which has a sovereign nation state (Israel) and another which formed its identity as a result of outside interference (PLO was created by Egyptians to fight Israel and PLO created the “Palestinian” identity among the refugees who saw themselves as Arabs).
If we interfere with the processes on Southern Sudan, as much as George Clooney wants us to, we will be doing more harm than good to the people which are trying to earn their independence and form a nation.

Regards,

#4 Comment By Mila On January 12, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

So, what is crackshot crackpot trying to tell us with this comment, “… there is the distinct presence of Russian influence there. Kosovo, Serbia, Georgia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Karabakh, and Armenia have all, at one time or another, come under the direct influence of Moscow for extended periods of time …” ? ‘Russian presence in Kosovo’??? Looks like too few know it is the ‘presence and influence’ of USA-NATO that has really messed up Kosovo. Let it not be forgotten that in 1999 the sovereign country of Serbia was bombed mercilessly for 78 days, totally on phony pretexts, solely for the purpose of USA-NATO installing yet one more huge military base, Camp Bondsteel, on foreign occupied territory. In the process, USA-NATO have been propping up a criminal entity in Kosovo. People, do your own research to get to the truth. It’s not about Russian meddling in the Balkans, it’s all about the US penchant for meddling everywhere on the planet. Better that USA pay more attention to its own backyard, which is in desperate need of more TLC.

#5 Comment By the crackshot crackpot On January 12, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

Mila:

Thanks for your enlightening response.

I think, though, that your diatribe against NATO and the United States helps to enhance my argument, rather than embarrass it.

My initial reaction to Dr. Larison’s blog was that a common theme ran through the his examples of secessionist movements gone awry: Russia, right?

More implicit in my argument was the point that these regions on the Russian periphery are so prone to violence because their is a contest for influence here between Russia and the West.

While in South Sudan (and Africa more broadly) the secessionist argument is one based on self-government and (dare-I-say) decolonization rather than geopolitics and entangling alliances.

With that being said, I can see how you may have misconstrued my argument here, and I will try to make my arguments less convoluted in the future.

Peace!

#6 Comment By maximilian On January 12, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

Mila:
Who are you trying to fool about Kosovo being Serbian land.Serbs were given Kosovo in 1913 and ever since then have made every attempt to ethnically cleanse it from its native population.
NATO and USA did not come as aggressors but as saviors.
Kosovo 90% plus population greeted them with flowers and still does so.
You Serbs were the aggressors and you elected Milosevic hoping that his policies will create Greater Serbia. It did not work out.So do your research and next time use internationally unbiased sources not the ones fabricated in Belgrade.

#7 Comment By Mila On January 12, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

Maximilian, you really know how to massacre the truth. All someone has to do is check a variety of sources, to get to the facts. Fabricated in Belgrade? No, there are more of the facts out there than out of Belgrade. You know what they are, but you pretend you don’t. Others should do their research, not depending on you or me. We need a variety of sources, not only what’s said by those who have an interest to hide the truth. Think about it. The organ trafficking fiasco would not have been outed if not for Dick Marty. No, he’s not a Serb in Belgrade.

#8 Comment By Blackbird On January 12, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

Kosovo is covered with Byzantine-era Serbian Orthodox monasteries and churches. Were those built by the Albanians then? Oh, wait, no! The Albanians are the ones who have been trying to obliterate those religious sites, one by one, pulling down crosses from church spires, burning down and blowing up chruches, not to mention digging up Serbian graveyards and tossing the caskets aside like so much rubbish, in their effort to obliterate the 1,000-year old Serbian culture there in the Serbian heartland.

Hitler tried to amputate Kosovo from Serbia because the Albanians sided with him (as did the Croats) but he didn’t succeed — it took NATO to do the job and fulfill Hitler’s dreams in the Balkans. There were some Albanians living in Kosovo, of course, over the years, but the biggest increase in the Albanian population in Kosovo came during the latter part of the 20th century. Half of the Albanians in Kosovo today are there due to illegal immigration from Albania, combined, of course, with their high birth rate. The Albanians in Kosovo, nevertheles, had every social amenity and social subsidy from the Yugoslav government. Their numbers ate up the social services and the country’s resources, which was part motivation for Slovenia’s secession from Yugoslavia.

As street signs were repainted in both Serbian and Albanian, as quotas were set up to give Albanians more jobs in Kosovo, simultaneously the Albanians were plotting to take Kosovo for themselves. For this plan they had the assistance of foreign-based Albanians, money from Albanian organized crime, and in the final analysis from NATO. Mila is right that Camp Bondsteel was one of the major goals and a top reason that the United States abandoned its WWII allies whose self-sacrificing struggle against Hitler when he invaded Yugoslavia is what slowed down the Germans long enough to ensure their defeat in Russia.

No, there is no diatriabe here against NATO – nothing like what NATO deserves has been said against it yet. This criminal pretend-state called “independent Kosovo” would be a joke if it wasn’t so horrific. A lot of people behind it have a lot to answer for and many people, besides Thaci, belong in jail who are ruling western countries instead.

#9 Comment By Mila On January 12, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

Crackpot, what is your obsession with Russia? I enhanced your argument? What argument? You know well that NATO was at loose ends afte the end of the cold war. So, instead of being on the defence, NATO decided it could get some trackage by going on the offensive. Of course, the phony pretexts were contrived between NATO and USA, not all that unlike the phony pretexts for USA’s attack on Iraq in 2003. You’ll have to do much better than what you’ve thrown out here. Yes, peace. But, let’s work to get to the truth. A lot is hidden because of those who must have their Camp Bondsteel in the Balkans. How many US world military bases so far? Better that USA take care of it’s own backyard.

#10 Comment By the crackshot crackpot On January 12, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

Mila:

Thanks again for the cordial response. I am going to answer your rebuttals as best I can, and hopefully be able to elucidate my argument a bit more carefully.

“what is your obsession with Russia?”

I did not realize that I had an obsession with Russia. Perhaps we can get to the bottom of this misunderstanding a little later on this debate.

“I enhanced your argument? What argument?”

Um, the argument that the regions on the Russian periphery are so prone to violence because their is a contest for influence here between Russia and the West, and that secessionist and autonomist movements on the African continent deserve a different analytical lens.

“So, instead of being on the defence, NATO decided it could get some trackage by going on the offensive. Of course, the phony pretexts were contrived between NATO and USA, not all that unlike the phony pretexts for USA’s attack on Iraq in 2003.”

Yes, I concur, but this statement only bolsters my argument that secessionist and autonomist movements along the Russian periphery are more prone to violence because there is a contest for influence between the West and Russia in these regions.

“You’ll have to do much better than what you’ve thrown out here.”

Am I missing something?

“Yes, peace. But, let’s work to get to the truth. A lot is hidden because of those who must have their Camp Bondsteel in the Balkans. How many US world military bases so far? Better that USA take care of it’s own backyard.”

Huh? I do not see how any of this relevant to Dr. Larison’s post or the debate at hand. I thought we were talking about secessionist movements in Africa and their relation to the secessionist movements in other parts of the world (specifically regions on the Russian periphery). Alas…

#11 Comment By Mila On January 12, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

Crackpot, you’re talking in circles, not saying much of anything worthwhile. I mentioned Kosovo and USA’s Camp Bondsteel because it is very relevant to what still goes on in that region. By the way, Mr. Larison made reference to Kosovo. FYI, USA-NATO now hang on to Kosovo, simply because they needed another military base. It was nothing to do with humanitarianism, only USA’s global aims gone terribly awry. Pay attention to what’s in the news. Do a search on the internet. Learn that it’s not about Russia, or its spheres of influence. It’s no longer the Soviet Union. Yes, we’re talking about secessionist movements, because those movements now have an argument, i.e. if Kosovo was permitted to secede, so can we. And, as we know, Kosovo was torn away from Serbia by an illegal war. And, that war was all about gaining one more military base for USA. Don’t you think that USA is not paying enough attention to its own turf, knowing all that is going on within/on its own borders? The Fathers of Confederation must be turning in their graves.

#12 Comment By the crackshot crackpot On January 12, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

Haha! Thanks for the pointers, Mila, and for the, um, “debate” as well…

#13 Comment By Mila On January 12, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

Crackpot, pls. know that this is not a ‘ha,ha’ matter. You’re the one who said that Russia has some sort of influence in Kosovo. Those who know the facts, know that Turkey, Albania and even Saudi Arabia have had a whole lot of influence in Kosovo since 1999, and continue to have. You are typical of those who are afraid of the truth, but you sniff around the peripheries, hoping that no one intelligent is around to take you on.

FYI, you have much to learn if you want to be a debater. My main advice to you is to get informed. Then we can debate. Good night.

#14 Comment By maximilian On January 12, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

Mila,
I must admit that you are a quite manipulator. At another era you could have gotten away with it
West did not tear Kosovo away from Serbia. Just like Slovenia ,Croatia , Bosnia Macedonia and Montenegro they succeeded because Serbia’s genocidal actions to dominate Yugoslavia’s non Serbs. Why can’t you Serbs accept that no one wants to live in any kind union with you.Not even Montenegro that has more in common with you that anyone.
People have spoken and this is the outcome.Live with it.
If you look closer at Serbia’s drastically declining population and economy, you should thank the west for stepping in.
Serbia could have lost even more. Who knows maybe its still not to late. Did somebody say Sandzak?

#15 Comment By the crackshot crackpot On January 12, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

Mila (isn’t that a girl’s name, or is it just the name of a particular ethnic group that I am unfamiliar with as an American citizen?):

Your comments have been getting less and less cordial, and, as result, less and less coherent. Nevertheless, I think enough of you and your arguments to step into the ring that you have created – wholly outside of the framework of the original debate at hand, I might add – and explain to you my line of reasoning.

Keep in mind that it was not I who was “talking in circles”, but rather it was I who attempted to stick to the issues at hand, like a rock in stream, and avoid getting carried away by the whims of the fickle current. Alas…

“You’re the one who said that Russia has some sort of influence in Kosovo.”

Yes I did say this, largely because it is a fact. The idea that Moscow has no influence and no motives in the Balkans, especially in Serbia, is absurd, and simply does not deserve any credible recognition. Mila, of all the major states in the world, which one has led the charge to officially shun the declaration of independence issued by the parliament of Kosovo? Washington? Brussels, perhaps? The fact that Russia can do next to nothing about the situation (except issue diplomatic protests) is hardly relevant to your assertion that Russia does not have some sort of influence on the Kosovo debacle, either currently or historically.

“Those who know the facts, know that Turkey, Albania and even Saudi Arabia have had a whole lot of influence in Kosovo since 1999, and continue to have.”

I don’t remember ever stating otherwise. That Ankara and Tirane have attempted to influence the outcome of the Kosovo debacle is not in doubt, and I again ask where (or if) you believe that I asserted such preposterous claims. Both states have significant ties to Kosovo, and Turkey especially seems apt to regain its status as a regional player.

There is no reason to suspect that Saudi Arabia has an influence on the issue of Kosovo separatism, though. This is an absurd assumption, and one that I think is based on the idea that because Kosovo is largely Muslim, that Riyadh must, by implication, be taking part in any schemes to European-ize the Balkans.

The Saudi regime has much more on its foreign policy plate (like Iraq, Iran, and the Palestinian issue) than European affairs of state. At best you could say the Saudis are aligning themselves with the West as part of a protest to Russia’s current involvement with Tehran, but the fact that Riyadh has recognized Kosovar independence hardly suggests that they have a significant amount of influence in the Balkan region, especially in relation to Russian influence. That’s absurd.

“You are typical of those who are afraid of the truth, but you sniff around the peripheries, hoping that no one intelligent is around to take you on.”

I don’t doubt that you an intelligent human being (I don’t know yet if you are a man or a woman), but I am apt to remark that in politics one man’s (or woman’s) truth is another man’s (or woman’s) lie. By “sniffing around the peripheries” (am I a dog? an animal?), as you say, I am merely trying to paint an overall picture of the general situation at hand. First, in the context of comparative secession movements in Africa and the Russian sphere of influence, and now, at your insistence, in the context of Russian influence in the areas traditionally under Russian influence.

FYI, you have much to learn if you want to be a debater. My main advice to you is to get informed. Then we can debate. Good night.

Thanks for the kind encouragement. I know that I am not much of a debater, but I do try and support my assertions with facts and logical reasoning. Those assertions that do not stand the scrutiny of these two criteria are usually tossed aside in favor of more sound reasoning and explanations. I will work on my technique in the future, as it is obvious I have much to learn. Good night my friend.

#16 Comment By omikaberidze On January 12, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

It is nice to see such a lively debate. Let me step into this “ring” and offer my 2c in defense of wonderful Serb people who I have known nothing but warmth, respect, and friendship.

First things first; in a war, as is in all other conflicts, there are no angels. What Milosevic did in Serbia was reprehensible; he wronged not only non-Serbs but he betrayed Serbs as well.

I am not one to defend Russia, but I must admit that Russian position in the Kosovo travesty was very constructive. They warned the world not to interfere beyond stopping the bloodshed but as always, colonial mindset prevailed in the Old Europe and they thought they knew better than some wanna be superpower.
That said, punishing Serb people for the crimes of their leader doesn’t sound like a fair thing to do. If the Srebrenica massacre was causus belli for the NATO’s intervention then what happened in Kosovo to Serbs at the hands of Albanians after the international mandate was quit a compelling case for hanging Albanian leadership and Albanians by their privates, along with European do-gooders. We are all responsible for what happened in Kosovo to Serbs whose churches were burned, villages destroyed, youth harvested for organs to sell, women sold into slavery. We do not like to talk about consequences of our actions but that doesn’t make them go away. The only thing we have left to do is to learn from our mistakes.

There was no basis for what happened in Serbia; no legal norms, precedents, nothing. It was done judiciously and arrogantly. As much as we would like to think we were in the right, the law, in this case an international, is there not to be adapted to exceptions but to introduce stability and predictability into otherwise chaotic international system. As Lord Blackstone said “better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”.

That said, Crackpot does have a point, however I disagree in its formulation. Russia, though it held a positive and constructive position on the Kosovo issue, became totally irresponsible after the recognition of Kosovo. If recognition of Kosovo was not in the best interest of the international system and was “criminal” (per their original position), then that position was still the pragmatic and constructive one post-recognition. However, like bratty child, Russia threw a tantrum and went ahead with recognition of the Georgia’s occupied territories. This further compounded the problem created with Kosovo by introducing two new and unique elements, ethnic cleansing and unilateral occupation of a sovereign state. This is the irrationality of the Russia’s foreign policy and the destabilizing element which it brings to its neighbors. If Europeans, and by inertia the US, acted capriciously with regard to Serbia, then Russia returned us back to the inter-war period when colonial powers drew international borders as they saw fit in the occupied territories. I would hate to think what is next.

I am not making an argument that Albanians in Kosovo, or Abkhazians in Georgia, shouldn’t pursue their independence; it is not for me to say. But by outside interference we stunt that process; we stunt the formation of a nation state mindset, and what we get in return are ethnic-criminal organizations which feel very little responsibility associated with sovereign powers.

Regards,

#17 Comment By Blackbird On January 13, 2011 @ 12:16 am

Maximillian, you are merely an Albanian hack. Who cares about your regurgitated lies that are all you have left to spew.

Crackpot, Mila seems to have shown a lot of restraint with you, especially in view of how you repeatedly accuse her in that sarky, passive-aggressive way of not debating you when you are not actually offering a debate. Mr. Larison’s premise correctly presents Kosovo as affecting secessionist movements the world over. To further complicate things, Kosovo’s birth after the 1999 NATO bombing as a pseudo-independent narco-mafia state was based on deliberate falsehoods from the outset. i really don’t have the energy, nor much interest anymore, to try to educate those who have merely taken the easy road in world affairs of swallowing the media rubbish, as dictated by their agenda-oriented governments, so, for the moment, the best I am prepared to do is leave you with well-written and lucid information from somebody else, namely Diana Johnstone. Mila is right, you have a lot to learn before you try to debate anything about Kosovo. The standard rhetoric and demonization has already been blown out of the water by Mr. Marty, a completely neutral party, so I would appreciate none of the usual dripping drivel from the likes of Maximillian and hope that you might gain some insight to further your “debates.”

[3]

#18 Comment By the crackshot crackpot On January 13, 2011 @ 2:22 am

Blackbird:

Thanks for acknowledging my presence. If you don’t mind, I’d like to offer a defense of my postings, and a critique of the one you just aimed at me.

“Mila seems to have shown a lot of restraint with you, especially in view of how you repeatedly accuse her in that sarky, passive-aggressive way of not debating you when you are not actually offering a debate.”

I appreciate Mila’s restraint, especially in regards to the debate at hand. God forbid that she (I guess that she is a woman after all) present some facts, some well-reasoned arguments based on those said facts, and some sound critiques of my postings based, again, on some facts. If she were to do that, I don’t think that I could bear to present myself on this blog again! I would be too embarrassed!

In regards to the accusation that I have not offered a debate (this seems to be a common theme running in this dialogue; perhaps I should not post such convoluted writings), I would point you in the direction of some earlier posts of mine, and remind you that the debate at hand is on comparative secession movements in sub-Saharan Africa and the Russian periphery. Why has this been so hard to grasp? Is my writing not clear enough?

That you bring up the subject of Kosovo and secession in your next line of argument suggests that you know quite well that there is a debate at hand, albeit in a different form from the one that Mila and I were originally debating in.

Since neither Mila nor yourself has brought up a credible counter-argument to mine that the secessionist movements mentioned by Dr. Larison along the Russian periphery are much different than the secessionist movements in Africa, do you think it is fair to cede this point to me? If we were to do so, I think that such a move would enable us to move along to the next segment of this debate, which has taken on the form of Kosovar independence, NATO, Russia, Serbia, and the like, no?

“Mr. Larison’s premise correctly presents Kosovo as affecting secessionist movements the world over.”

Yes, but, as I stressed earlier: secessionist and autonomist movements along the Russian periphery are more prone to violence because there is a contest for influence between the West and Russia in these regions. I gave Mila a pass on the issue of misconstruing my point here, but I think that the time to amply explain my position here is now. I don’t see how this statement implicates Russia, or Serbia, or NATO, or the United States, or any other regional player (to say nothing of the least of Saudi Arabia!) as the sole aggressor in the Balkans.

There is a HUGE leap that both you and Mila have made between my point that Russian influence plays a factor in the secessionist movements mentioned by Dr. Larison and the inevitable secessionist movements in sub-Saharan Africa and the assertion that I have pinned the blame on Serbia or Russia for the violence in the Balkans.

Although illogical, I understand the nature of this tactic that you have chosen, I think, as neither you nor Mila care all that much about secessionist movements in general and are much more interested in centering a debate around the issue of Kosovo, no? I’m not totally sure about your motives, so let’s see where your next line of reasoning takes us.

Ah! Here we go:

“To further complicate things, Kosovo’s birth after the 1999 NATO bombing as a pseudo-independent narco-mafia state was based on deliberate falsehoods from the outset.”

I see. I think that the issue here between you, Mila, and I is one of misunderstanding, Blackbird. After all, where in my posts do you see me accusing Russia or Serbia of committing genocide, or of mass-murdering Muslims, or of scheming to control the world through nefarious means?

You don’t, and I have tried to assert that the debate at hand is about comparative secession movements, not Kosovo. Yet you and Mila keep coming back (dare I say circularly?) to this issue, which is fine, but it has absolutely NO logical connection to the debate at hand (which is fine, too, because this is an internet forum, not a debate club).

Now that the two of you hopefully have some idea of where I’m coming from, the accusations that I don’t know what I’m talking about, or don’t know the facts, or don’t know the truth, or support American hegemony, or support NATO expansion and bombing expeditions, or that I am a fool who believes unquestioningly the standard line espoused by Washington’s press corps on the issue of Kosovo, will cease.

I think that this is fair, no?

If you can accept the premises that I have laid out before you, then I would like to move past the debate (provided you acknowledge that I won it) and begin to listen to your side of the current conflict in the Balkans. Until then, though, I don’t think it is possible to move forward with a better understanding of the world around us.

#19 Comment By the crackshot crackpot On January 13, 2011 @ 2:30 am

Thanks for your well-thought out musings omikaberidze!

#20 Comment By maximilian On January 13, 2011 @ 3:43 am

Blackbird, your well polished sentences full of deceiving arguments and conclusions are not selling very well.You probably have good explanation of why Serbs massacred man, women and children from Vukovar through Srebrenica to Recak but nobody is buying it.
You call Kosovo pseudo-independent narco-mafia state.Wow impressive sentence from a Serbian nationalist.We Kosovars call it home. We have our share of problems with corruption unemployment and rebuilding after Serbian destruction but we are happier than ever,check the polls.If you look at the statistics, Serbia’s narco-mafia groups distribute more illigal drugs into Europe and have infiltrated your state in every level.
You know Blackbird, after the WWII there were and still are the ones who deny the Holocaust with all the victims and concentration camps, so you are not alone,But don’t expect us to buy your hateful rhetoric.The collective crimes that Serbs committed in Kosovo paved the road to Independence.

#21 Comment By Mila On January 13, 2011 @ 8:09 am

Daniel Larison spoke very eloquently and intelligently i.e.:

“… Once major powers start re-drawing borders to satisfy the demands of self-determination or other concerns, there is no obvious place to stop. …”

“… Supporters of the secession of South Sudan have to take into account the possibility that the success of the southern Sudanese in achieving independence will encourage other separatist and automomist movements in Africa and elsewhere. …”

“… Kosovo’s separation from Serbia and eventual independence empowered a gang of criminals. Is there much reason to hope for better in South Sudan? …”

Obviously, ‘other concerns’ took precedence in USA-NATO re-drawing Serbia’s borders. The ‘redrawers’ needed a military base in the Balkans, and they got it via bombing.

As for South Sudan, they also took a cue from Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence. If the Albanian Muslims could get their own state, why not the Christians of South Sudan?

Those ‘gang of criminals’ were empowered in Kosovo due to the military greed of USA-NATO in the region. In order to get a military base, a blind eye was turned to the criminal activities of terrorists such as KLA. It should be known that the perpetrators of crime have an insatiable appetite for even more territory, not only Kosovo. The Albanians also want pieces of South Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Greece. Will NATO be there to bomb for them again, or will the Albanians manage on their own in future, simply by out-populating and terrorizing others? I guess we stay tuned.

As for South Sudan, it would appear that the Christian Sudanese simply want to be separated from their Muslim kin and their ongoing brutalities. To be seen whether a separate homeland will solve that dilemma.