Friday, July 29, 2005

Kosovo Confronts Its Future

Jackson Allers - 7/29/2005
KOSOVO. It is a regular sight in the Ferizai/Urosevac municipality of Kosovo - some 50 kilometers north of the Macedonian capital of Skopje - to see U.S. servicemen parking their Humvees in front of small cafes during their regular “security” details. M-16’s strapped across their torsos, the troops snack on kebabs, washing them down with Coca-Cola, and ogle the local Albanian girls.

These GIs are part of an occupying NATO force, known as KFOR, Kosovo Protection Forces, and they are expected to be present in Kosovo for a long time to come.

The so-called Contact Group countries – United States, United Kingdom France, Italy, Russia and Germany * most involved in deciding the future of this southern province of Serbia, tout 2005 as the “year of decision” for the status of Kosovo. Six years after the United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 designated Kosovo a U.N. protectorate the beleaguered U.N. Mission administering the province is looking to exit as quickly as possible despite the fact that the U.N.-appointed envoy to the region, Norwegian Ambassador Kai Eide, says the security and freedom of non-Albanian communities is at risk.

At the forefront of this push to resolve Kosovo’s status are representatives of two U.S. presidential administrations.

During a July trip to Kosovo as the head of the Washington D.C.-based (and CIA funded) National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright commented, “I know Kosovans have a dream and people are entitled to have their dreams fulfilled.”

This sentiment is backed by Venhar Nushi, a spokesperson for the Pristina-based political think-tank, Kosovo Action for Civic Initiatives, KACI, who said, “We all know what the United States actually did for Kosovo. From my point of view, I think the U.S. came here for a task, and that’s to make Kosovo independent. Definitely.”


But, any claim by the U.S. to "resolve" the situation in Kosovo is hobbled by the legacy of former President Bill Clinton’s decision to lead NATO in a 78-day bombing campaign of Serbia in violation of the U.N. charter. Diplomats and analysts point out that the bombing was illegal by international standards and its repercussions have been felt widely, including its invocation by the Bush administration to justify its own illegal invasion and occupation against Iraq.

What is clear, however, is that the United States has no plans of abandoning Camp Bondsteel, the 955-acre military installation described on the Camp's official homepage as being “located on rolling hills and farmland” in south-eastern Kosovo. The Pentagon has paid Halliburton subsidiary KBR more than $2 billion to construct the camp – an amount, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office, that was one-sixth of the money spent by the Pentagon on Balkan operations from 1995 to 2000.

During a visit to Kosovo in June, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Nicholas Burns said, “The U.S. is going to remain centrally involved in Kosovo, leading the diplomatic process [to resolve status],” adding, “we will certainly maintain a military presence here, with KFOR, as a symbol of our commitment for a secure and peaceful Kosovo.”

Few ethnic Albanians question the presence of the U.S. military. The U.S. support of the Kosovo Liberation Army, the same group branded by the U.S. State Department in 1998 as a "terrorist organization," showed clearly to all ethnic groups in the disputed region that the U.S. favors the Albanians.

Political commentator, Dukagjin Gorani, Senior Editor of the Kosovo daily paper, the Express, admits, “Kosovars are not very prompt to understand the geopolitics of conspiracies. To Kosovars the existence of Bondsteel, which is now the biggest U.S. military base in Europe, is and will probably remain a sign of political stability for Albanians. In fact to most of us it is a sign that Kosovo will never again go back under the umbrella of Serbia and Montenegro.”

Gorani also suggests that the average Kosovo Albanian sees "allowing" the U.S. military presence on Kosovo soil as their contribution to the U.S. “war on terror.’


But ordinary Kosovo Serbs see the United States and the international community suggesting the province move towards independence, as stealing, by military force, the cradle of Serbian civilization.

Zoran Zdravkovic is a kindergarten teacher in the main central Serbian enclave, Gracanica, who traces his family roots in Kosovo back 600 years. He says that none of his friends can imagine living under Albanian rule.

"My son graduated faculty [university]. What work can he get here now? Nothing. My daughter is about to go to faculty. What then? My youngest daughter is 11, and what schools will she attend in an independent Kosovo?"

Official statistics put the unemployment rate at 60 percent among ethnic Albanians; numbers are much higher in the ghettoized Serbian communities. Serbian schools are precariously maintained in a de facto parallel system of governance. And while the United States, the international community and the Albanian-led government all talk about ensuring the security and human rights of Kosovo's minority communities, Zdravkovic, like many Serbs, says there is little practical evidence of this.

"If we want to move anywhere in Kosovo outside of our village to village routes, we have to request NATO escorts," Zdravkovic says, adding, "if Kosovo gets independence, no matter how bad our economic conditions could be in Serbia, we will leave because we want to have peace for our children * freedom to move around and, just live.”

Belgrade's political leadership is very clear that independence is off the table as a condition of future status. The line coming from Belgrade: "Less than independence, more than autonomy."

But, as the Serbian leadership has acquiesced to earlier U.S. demands to hand over suspected war criminals to the International Court of the Former Yugoslavia in exchange for financial aid, many Kosovo Serbs are afraid that they will forgotten by Belgrade's leadership in future dealings.

Framed in a larger political context, analysts like Gorani see the resolution of status in a Muslim-dominated province as something that the Bush administration would love to put as a "positive example" of U.S. foreign policy that would allow it to continue the unilateral imposition of what it calls "democracy and human rights" through military means. But, he concedes that the verdict is still technically out as to what the future status of Kosovo will be.
Jackson Allers is the Balkan Correspondent for Pacifica Radio's Free Speech Radio News. In August, he will assume the International Media Advisor role with Kosovo's top legal watchdog, the former Polish Solidarity movement lawyer and internationally appointed Ombudsperson, Marek Antoni Nowicki. He has been published in the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Indypendent in New York City (, Relief Web, Urb Magazine, and have won or been nominated for three national awards as a radio journalist/producer/documentary audiophile. Most notably with the National Federation of Community Broadcasting's Gold Reel Awards. From July of '04 until April/May of 05', Mr. Allers was the Chief of Radio for the UN Mission in Kosovo (Unmik).


Anonymous said...

well written, few information.

Anonymous said...

"Jackson Allers is the Balkan Correspondent for Pacifica Radio's Free Speech Radio News. In August, he will assume the International Media Advisor role "

Pacifica Radio is a far-left small-time network in the USA. The hints in the article are phrases like "what it calls" democracy and human rights. Pacifica was also against the Kosova intervention and you can hear a lot of commentary on it to the effect that Milosevic is being tried in a kangaroo court.

If Allers influences Kosova media, it will adopt an anti-American stance guaranteed to make the USA less inclined to support Kosovar aspirations.

Chris Blaku said...

The less-than-100,000 Serbians are sure causing an uproar among Human Rights groups, aren't they?

Perhaps we should examine this topic more thoroughly, as any civilized human being can attest to the importance of civil rights.

Which group has threatened the Serbians formally, that has lead to their isolation in enclaves? None.

Who initiated the war of aggression in 1998? The Serbians. Their isolation can be considered a guilty plea.

Who oppressed and illegally occupied the disputed land? The Serbians in 1913.

The Bush Administration does not have to justify its invasion of Iraq, and will not have to justify its intervention in Kosova.

The justification lies in the stories of Srebrenica and Rwanda.

Anonymous said...

Where are all the bodies in Srebrenica? Even if there were as many bodies as claimed, it pales in the light of Rawanda where 250,000 were slaughtered in six weeks.

The albanian's have been threatening the Serbs. Look at the events of March 2004 and the rioting, killing and destruction that took place all throughout KosovO. Were Serbs to blame for the 3 boys that drowned? NO.

Yes the United States does have to justify its involvement in KosovO due to the fact that they and their Nato allies attack a soverign country that posed no threat to either the US or NATO.

Then they must explain to me why did they are support the KLA, an organization that was branded by the US State Department in 98 as a "TERRORIST ORGANIZATION"

What isolation are you talking about? They are getting aid from all parts of the World.

Who innitiated the aggression in 98? Milosevic was cracking down on terrorist insurgents creating problems.

Come on...

varske said...

It's been said before and no doubt will be again:

One's man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

Anonymous said...

I am fed up with nonsense serb bloggers! KLA was a guerrilla force and has not been listed as a terrorist organisation in any other countries apart from Serbia and the Serb lovers.
As far as the Srebrenica bodies go you can claim whatever you wish everybody knows what happened. The bodies were scattered all over the place in an attempt to hide the genocide committed there. This very same method was followed in Kosova-woman, children and the old were loaded on trucks and sent to different locations in Serbia to be burnt. You might want to deny this as well since you are a nation of denials, a nation of uneducated thugs (50% of you never finish primary school). No wonder radicals and war criminals are in power since people like you keep them there. I have to admit though Serbian people would be a great model to study the thuggish and murderous behaviours.
You might wish to deny the crimes committed against humanity by you and your people but i am afraid you have missed the train. By now even the life forms in Mars (that is if there are any) would have learned about it.

Grow up and be a man. Stop posting the nonsense here. Instead try changing our minds. Write a more constructive comment with no nonsense based on the PRIMITIVE ideologies of you nation. Try and admit the suffering you have caused and start apologising. Maybe that will be a good start for the next generations but do not leave it for to late

Chris Blaku said...

11:29 blogger- are you ridiculing the severity of the Srebrenica massacre simply because the Rwandan massacre was worse? I want you to get a clear picture of exactly what occured, 8,000 unarmed people died. No if's, and's, or but's, your nation was responsible for it, and your Orthodox Priests blessed it and watched it. The World knows, and has seen your barbarity, and your trying to make sense of it only emphasizes your uncivilized character.

Look at the March rioting you say, perhaps we can look at the Serbian expulsion of over a million Albanians from Kosova in what is known worldwide as a "deliberate campaign by Serbia to expel the Albanian majority from Kosova."

Serbia did not pose a threat to NATO or the US, they posed a threat to humanity. They consistently violated useless UN mandates, attacked UN soldiers, even kidnapped US soldiers on occasion. Moreover, they are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands, and the systematic rape of millions of women.

The KLA was branded as a Terrorist Organization by an uninformed State Department with falsified information from Belgrade. Immediately upon notification, Clinton and the State Department reversed the label and moreover, bombed Belgrade for weeks.

The isolation I speak of is the Serbians in their enclaves, which are supported and funded by Belgrade, illegally. They are not assisted from all parts of the world, for if they were, they would not be ghettos considering the tiny population that inhabits them.

The aggression was initiated by a criminal occupation which reduced the economic prosperity of Kosova to ashes under Slobodan Milosevic. His intention was to starve the population, drive out the men, and perhaps initiate some sort of armed movement among the Albanians so his crackdown could begin, and his final solution to the Albanian problem could be realized. It almost was, except America stopped Serbia dead in its tracks.

Chris Blaku said...

Informative article on the educational background of the "civilized" Serbians, that have had their own nation for over 125 years, backed by a formidable world power, Russia.

Half of Serbia without primary education | 15:36 July 29 | B92

BELGRADE -- Friday – According to statistics from the Education Ministry, nearly 50 percent of Serbian citizens never finished elementary schooling.

This means that over 3 million people in Serbia are considered illiterate by all international and European standards. While night schools are meant to help people in such situations, because of numerous problems and the lack of support from state institutions, help is hard to find.

There are a total of twelve adult schooling institutions in Serbia, all of which are currently on recess. According to the Education Ministry, this school year was once again filled with various problems faced by institutions responsible for the primary schooling of people over the age of 15.

The director of one such school, Nada Pejovic-Mitrovic, said that the schools do not have enough resources for the proper education of adults.

“The education of adults is considered very marginal, there are not enough resources, and no one is addressing the issue. I have been a director in this system of education for eleven years. Eleven years ago there were eighteen of these schools now there are only twelve or thirteen. That means that these school have already been cut down by about 30 percent either because they have lost their facilities or that the directors of such schools were not able to convince people to attend.” she said.

Adult schooling festivals are organized every year in an effort to make the public aware of these problems faced by those working in such institutions. Experts say that the biggest lack of interest is being shown by the state institutions.

The institutions disinterest for these issues is best displayed by the recent failure to implement the project of setting up a special sector for adult education in Ada.

“I really cannot believe it myself. Firstly, adults will receive an education. Secondly, it would give teachers jobs who are currently on the market looking for employment. My professors will get five to ten percent which they need to reach the norm, while visiting the schools on a monthly basis for testing. Everyone has an interest in this project, but it looks like no one is interested. I cannot do it alone; I am only one small screw in the entire system. I am coming from the home base and looking for options, but I need to be certified to do so by the region of the state so that this school would have the right to work, because I cannot do anything before that.” Pejovic-Mitrovic said.

Anonymous said...

Another reason for Kosova to be independent, they say we can't rule ourselves, but look at Serbia, they can't rule themselves, thus logicaly, they can't rule us :)

More Ice-cream and SCHOOLS for Serbia! And of course independence for that poor sad nation that keeps denying things like Srebrenica!

Anonymous said...

First, Last time I checked, Genocide included women within birthing age, not just men.

Secondly, if this massacre did happen as reported, then all involved should be punished. My contention is with the facts. Im sure something happened but not to that degree. Regardless those who were responsible NEED to brought up on charges and dealt with in a most harsh way.

Anonymous said...

my wow gold buy wow power leveling cheap wow gold cheapest wow power leveling
replica replica rolex
CHEAP wow power level
BUY power leveling
CHEAPEST power leveling l

Adi said...

Oes Tsetnoc one of the ways in which we can learn seo besides Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa. By participating in the Oes Tsetnoc or Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa we can improve our seo skills. To find more information about Oest Tsetnoc please visit my Oes Tsetnoc pages. And to find more information about Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa please visit my Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa pages. Thank you So much.
Oes Tsetnoc | Semangat Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa