Washington Times Editorial Board: Kosovo is Europe’s New Jihadist Statelet
The miscalculation by the State Department that through an act of breathtaking illegality it could redraw borders and create a fiat state carved out of the territory of a recognized state has not turned out to be the expected cakewalk. As of this writing, just 20 countries have been foolish enough to recognize Kosovo, an illegal, criminal-ruled, economically nonviable entity.
To be sure, three nuclear-armed permanent members of the Security Council have recognized Kosovo. But Russia, China, and India (two permanent members and a country that should be) have not recognized it and almost certainly will not. Washington's facile claim that 100 countries were lining up to extend recognition was a soap bubble. Some observers think the real number may hardly break 25. Non-recognizing countries already constitute more than half the world's population, and with the likely support of Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina, Nigeria, perhaps Israel, and most of Africa and Latin America, may exceed three-fourths. Maybe Washington is counting on mighty Tonga and Lesotho. Outgoing Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns has expressed high hopes from Arab and Islamic regimes.
The State Department has made much of the regrettable disorders in Belgrade, particularly the attack on the US embassy. Some context is in order. Despite the complaints of US officials obviously lacking any sense of irony that "sovereign" American territory has been violated, Serbian riot police were deployed within the hour, the violence suppressed, and fault admitted. Some 200 suspects were placed in custody and the dragnet is out for more. No doubt Belgrade will pay compensation for damages. (For that matter, If an independent "Aztlan" were declared in the US and recognized by, say, Russia, China, and India, who then deployed troops to guard the Aztlan-US "border," I'd think some Americans might get a bit violent too.)
Serbia’s failure to fully protect embassies is a far cry from the US-led NATO's non- and malfeasance in protecting Serbs in Kosovo over the past nine years. Belgrade's inadequate enforcement of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations pales next to Washington's calculated breach of the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, UNSC Resolution 1244, the North Atlantic Treaty, the US Constitution, the Serbian Constitution, and pretty much every standard of law or decency it is possible to violate.
The developing stillbirth of “Kosova” and the resulting frozen conflict is shaping up as an embarassing and unnecessary isolation of the United States. Besides the competition between recognizing and non-recognizing countries -- at last count decisively in favor of the latter -- the next flash point will be if NATO presses forward with use of force to draw a border between Kosovo and the rest of Serbia, or to impose on Serbs in Kosovo the will of the illegitimate “authorities” in Pristina and the EU’s paradoxically named “rule of law” mission. Serbia will not accept either action and NATO has no such mandates under Resolution 1244. It remains to be seen if Washington compounds political violence with physical violence to help our "friends" in Pristina.
The ensuing frozen conflict over Kosovo should not be seen as a prelude to partition. Instead, it must be seen for what it is: Serbia’s reassertion of effective control over part of Kosovo, and the pending liberation, over an uncertain time frame, of the remainder of its territory, which now is subject to an illegitimate administration misguidedly propped up by NATO. Belatedly, wide segments of the American public are now taking note of the train wreck into whcih the State Department has driven the US.
The sooner Washington’s ill-advised triggering of the current crisis is seen for the failure it is and annuls its recognition, the sooner the ersatz entity will collapse and real negotiations between Belgrade and decent elements of the Kosovo Albanian community, with no predetermined outcome, can begin.
James George Jatras
Director, American Council for Kosovo