Four years ago I wrote about the largest anti-Serb mass violence in Kosovo since the 1999 war. Today, an independent Kosovo stands as a testament to the rewards of violence–this reward is particularly galling as it occurred under an umbrella of western protection that was supposed to prevent the Albanians from abusing their newfound power as the majority. Indeed, the Albanians have been rewarded well; neither treaties nor concerns for the West’s reputation as an honest broker have done anything to slow them down.
Kosovo will prove to be a stillborn state, dependent on western protection, perpetually poor, crime-ridden, and a subordinate arm of Albania proper. Our unlawful recognition of Kosovo has created unnecessary friction with Russia and China and, like all our efforts to appease the Islamic world, has resulted in little or none of the promised good will. After all, 9/11 happened after US intervention on behalf of Muslims in Bosnia and in Kosovo. But we keep on trying! To admit a major civilizational difference and the utter irreconcilability of our interests and values would mean the unraveling of liberalism itself, which depends upon a cult of the Sacred Other.
During the 2004 attacks, National Review reported the following (quoted in my blog entry linked above):
A pogrom started in Europe this week, with one U.N. official being quoted as saying, “Kristallnacht is under way in Kosovo.” Serbs are being murdered and their 800-year-old churches are aflame. Much of the Christian heritage in Kosovo and Metohija is on fire and could be lost forever. By these deeds too many of Kosovo’s Albanians have shown that their rhetoric about “democracy” and “multiethnicity” is false, and demonstrates also that the international community’s acceptance of them has been naive.
How did this week’s events begin? Just as in the 1930s, a rumor became a fact and prearranged plans were put into action. Members of the victimized community (in this case, Serbian children) were accused of chasing four Albanian children into a river and causing the death of three of them. Hours later, the U.N. Mission–which is what passes for authority in Kosovo–issued a statement that the accusation against the Serbs was false, adding that the surviving Albanian child had told the U.N. that no Serbs had been involved in the drownings. Nevertheless, anti-Serb violence did not abate. And today Kosovo burns still.