Kosovo: A New Day of Infamy for a New Century

Chronicles Magazine | Srdja Trifkovic | Feb. 18, 2008

The grotesque charade in Pristina on Sunday, February 17, crowned a decade and a half of U.S. policy in the former Yugoslavia that has been mendacious and iniquitous in equal measure. By encouraging its Albanian clients go ahead with the unilateral proclamation of independence written at the Department of State, the U.S. administration has made a massive leap into the unknown.

That leap is potentially on par with Austria’s July 1914 ultimatum to Serbia. The fruits will be equally bitter. While their exact size and taste are hard to predict right now, that in the fullness of time America will come to regret the criminal folly of her current leaders is certain. Their Balkan policy is worse than a crime: It is a mistake.

Having devoted seven News & Views columns to Kosovo over the past year I have little to add to the sordid story of Western deceit, allied with Albanian barbarity, that has culminated in the spectacle in Pristina. Suffice to say that Belgrade vs. Washington, in this particular instance, is the clearest-cut case of “white hats vs. black hats” in today’s world affairs.

Some prominent Americans with no cultural or personal axes to grind are trying, even at this late stage, to check the insanity. Writing in the usually interventionist Wall Street Journal on February 9, Ruth Wedgwood, one of America’s foremost legal scholars, thus warned of the “dangerous precedent to tear apart the territory of a member state of the United Nations”—a move that may cause an unnecessary crisis when America is overengaged elsewhere. “Kosovo’s best (and perhaps only) chance to join Europe’s economy is to ride in as a part of Serbia,” she says, but it is more likely to join the Organization of the Islamic Conference instead. In addition, Wedgwood warns, Kosovo’s proclamation may well destabilize the Old Continent, from Bosnia and Macedonia to Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

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