Kosovo conundrum

Washington Times, By Michael Djordjevich, June 29, 2007

At the forthcoming summit, among other issues, Presidents Bush and Putin will face the problem of independence for the Serbian province Kosovo.

Kosovo is unfinished business, left over from the violent dissolution of Yugoslavia in the past decade and the legacy of fundamentally flawed American policies promulgated by the Clinton administration and then perpetuated by his successor. In terms and perspective of American long-term geostrategy and the ongoing struggle with radical Islam, it is indeed unfathomable how our foreign policy establishment has rationalized its strategy in the Balkans. Already, a body of impartial evidence strongly suggests an inexplicably steady policy of accommodation by the United States to Islamist demands. Essentially, at several key junctures on the road to peace and stability in the Balkans, America gave veto power to extreme Islamist leadership and its supporters worldwide.

The U.S. objective in Bosnia has been to establish a unitary state governed by Muslims, in effect abrogating the international treaty, the Dayton Accords. Together with the European Union, the United States has exerted consistent and relentless pressure to abolish or at least severely diminish the Serbian entity.

Currently in Kosovo, America is aggressively forcing the establishment of the second Muslim state in Europe. This is in contravention of international law and despite serious misgivings in Europe and resolute resistance by Russia.

An independent Kosovo would be a failed state, ethnically and religiously cleansed of Serbs and other minorities. During the past eight years of U.N. and NATO control of the province, the non-Albanian population experienced ethnic cleansings, destruction of a great number of homes and more than 100 churches and other medieval evidences of overwhelming Christian presence. Add to this a flourishing international drug and white slave trafficking, Kosovo is rather far from the democratic and multicultural model that the U.S. foreign policy establishment professes to support. Obviously these are not credentials for independence.

Equally serious is the undeniable rise of the puritanical strain of Wahabbi Islam and real potential for increased interacting between heroin trafficking and crime with terrorists in Kosovo, Southern Serbia, Bosnia and Northern Macedonia.

Where is the quid pro quo for rendering such significant aid to the Islamist agenda in the Balkans? Putting aside slogans and calculated deceptions, the U.S. geostrategic balance sheet in the Balkans shows perceived assets — such as, for example, the preservation of NATO by activating it in war in Bosnia and against Serbia, testing the functioning of international laws and treaties and institutions in the post-cold war world, standing up for expansion of democracy and multiculturalism, punishing Serbia and ascertaining Russian response, stopping wars and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, imposing its will on Europe and concerns of the European Union and establishing a beachhead in Albania.

Likely, the most significant asset was recently named by the chairman of the House foreign affairs committee, Rep. Tom Lantos. Advocating independence for Kosovo, he said “just a reminder to the predominantly Muslim-led governments in this world that here is yet another example that the United States leads the way for creation of a predominantly Muslim country in the very heart of Europe.” Impartial examination of each of these strategic assets may not value them highly. They can in fact be liabilities for our long-term strategic interests and will undermine Europe.

Bosnia is a failed state; Albania is simply incapable of democracy and multiculturalism; Kosovo is a foreign policy disaster in waiting. Instead of building a strategic position in this important region of the world around the Serbs and the Greeks — our trusted friends from both world wars — we have in effect traded them for Bosnia, Albanian and Kosovo Muslims.

Our credibility as a champion of international law and order has been seriously undermined. Our ideals of democracy, justice and liberty have possibly suffered irreparable damage.

With Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo, Europe will have three Muslim states in the Balkans, an historical “soft underbelly.” The Ottoman armies marched from there to spread Islam into Europe for five centuries. Presently, a more insidious threat is emerging from the region. Estimates are that some 90 percent of heroin reaching Europe come via the Balkans. Waves of illegal emigrants travel with ease through the region to the heartland of Europe. Among terrorists directly involved in the September 11 attack on America and on terrorist attacks in Spain and the UK were jihadists who had come from the Balkans. Al Qaeda’s links and dormant cells in the region are indisputable.

Hopefully, the United States will pragmatically consider and reassess the impact of Kosovo independence on her long-term geostrategic interests.

Michael Djordjevich is president of the Studenica Foundation.

July 5, 2007 | 60 Comments »

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