Dear Albanians: You’re Screwed
posted by Susan Stark

These past few days mark what American State-Controlled Media are calling the “independence of Kosovo” from Serbian control. And from all appearances, it appears to be so. Kosovar Albanians certain believe it. They even have a beautiful, bright, shiny new flag to prove it.

There’s just one eensy, weensy, little problem with this. In fact, quite a few little problems with it.

This independence, unlike many other independences, i.e. Estonia, Lithuania, etc., is not accepted by a good number of people. Some major powers, such as Russia, China, and Spain, and quite a few other countries, do not recognize this little independence cocktail party, mainly out of fears that it will embolden separatist groups in their own countries.

Yet, somehow, this doesn’t seem to matter to the American, UN, and NATO geniuses who decided to bitch-slap Serbia by unilaterally stripping it of it’s terrority. Unilaterally meaning, nobody negotiated with Serbia about this, or even sent them a memo.

Some people would say that Serbia deserves this, but much of what Serbia has been accused of over the years has been grossly exaggerated, particularly what they supposedly did to the Albanians. Remember those 100,000 “mass graves” of Albanians that supposedly existed during the NATO bombing back in ’99? It turns out there were less than 3000 graves, and they were multi-ethnic. So much for genocide. And what about the Serbs driving out the Albanians from Kosovo? No less than the distinguished MIT professor Noam Chomsky stated that before the time of the NATO bombings, there were NO Albanian refugees. In other words, it can be said the the Albanians were fleeing NATO more than they were fleeing Serbs.

The arrogance with which the Bitch-Slappers have declared that it is only a matter of time before world-wide acceptance of this farce as inevitable is exactly the same arrogance that existed right before the Invasion of Iraq, when the US would be greated as liberators and flowers given to US troops.

And for the 200,000 Serbs who still live in Kosovo, the ones not kicked out by the fascist KLA thugs? Why, to put it in Dick Cheney’s terminology, they’re just “dead-enders” and “Milosevites”. They won’t be a problem, will they? Oh, they will, when the bombing starts. And it’s already started. Already, Serb fighters from the North are creeping into Kosovo as I write this. And much of Kosovo is bordered by Serbia proper, so coming in isn’t as hard as you think.

But enough about the Serbs. Let’s get back to the Albanians. The Albanians, unlike the Iraqis, have greated the US with cheers and flowers. God, that must feel like a fresh snort of blow for Bush Jr. after the mess he made in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yes, the Albanians are throwin’ a party! They’re jubilant! And I feel the most profound pity for them. Because the slave who is the most enslaved is the one who thinks he’s free. There are 17,000 NATO troops in Kosovo, the number of which can be expanded at any time, and a good number of KFOR troops. And now there is a nice puppet Prime Minister that will do NATO’s (read, the US’s) bidding. And I guarantee you that, if Wal-Mart starts invading Kosovar villages and putting the town shopkeepers out of business, or if Starbucks starts shutting down the local coffee-holes in Pristina, the Albanians will realize they’ve merely exchanged one master for another.

As the Native Americans here in the United States historically know, the US doesn’t give something without taking either the same or more in return. That is where the term “Indian Giver” comes from. Ironically, the Serbs know this. If and when the Serbs start fighting back vigorously, there might actually be Albanians with them. Now that would be a delicious irony.

21 Responses to “”

  1. Pedantic N Longwinded Says:

    Dear Susan,

    You forget to mention one rather important player: the European Union.
    Eager for peace on its borders and eager not to relive the disgrace of the 90s-Balkans (When we had to ask Clinton 1 to bail us out). Also they are a reason why I am not so pessimistic about renewed open warfare in the region. All players involved (Kosovo, Serbs and all their neighbours) ultimately want to join the EU. Fighting amongst each other is not a good way to achieve this. As explained here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2008/02/kosovo_lights_up_the_eu.html
    the EU will also, despite any face-saving operations from any of its members or other big nations, try its all to prevent any tensions from getting out of hand. In the end with the grand aim of incorporating both, in peace, in the happy family that we are. (That is what all ‘independence’-movements in Central and Eastern Europe have been about these last year; rejecting old empires for joining the EU.)

    The choice that lays before Kosovo and Serbia is to either play by the EU tune or fight each other into further disaster.

    P.S.: I imagine that for an Albanian, Wal-Mart (which is, I belief, except for ASDA in the UK not present anywhere in Europe. We are well capable of developing our own supermarkets :-)) and Starbucks are the least of their worries.
    P.S.2.: Did the incipient US negotiate with the Kingdom of Great Britain when they unilaterally declared idependence? Isn’t that precisely why and when you declare independence; because, as one group, you find, rightly or wrongly, that you can no longer negotiate a reasonable settlement with another (dominant) group?
    P.S.3.: Having said that, independence is often over-rated. Especially in this case when the net result is probably just a slightly different arrangement of seats in the EU parliament in 20 years. It’s just that people have to get along during those 20 years.

  2. Anders Says:

    Not to forget Kosovo and Albania figure in the Global Strategy as airforce bases from which the USA can bomb “targets” in the middle east.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Wow, that was two pages of typographic diarrhea. Are you seriously suggesting that Starbucks is worse than ethnic cleansing?

    “distinguished” Professor Noam Chomsky indeed. I heard him speak once. He quoted the Carter doctrine, mis-attributed it to Reagan, and claimed to have uncovered a great conspiracy. He’s all about sloppy scholarship backed by impressive sounding credentials. You’re quick to rail against anti-intellectualism. Pseudo-intellectualism is just as dangerous.

  4. Boo Says:

    Hmm… life under Milosevic, or shopping at Wal-Mart. Yeah, I can understand how those could seem equivalent.

    If you’ve been sniffing enough glue.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    The Albanians that want their own territory are actually refugees that fled Alabania when it was communist and were allowed to settle in Kosovo under Tito. Kosovo only went up in flames when KLA sepratists started killing Serbian police officers.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Milosevic is dead.
    Comparing the US’ unilateral declaration of independence from the UK to the US’ deciding to declare independence for a different country from another country is ‘apples and oranges’, no?
    Starbucks vs ethnic cleansing? Of course you mean ethnic cleansing on behalf of the Kosovars, right?
    NATO’s gotta prove it’s useful somehow I suppose.

  7. golgoth Says:

    “It turns out there were less than 3000 graves, and they were multi-ethnic. So much for genocide.”

    I can dimly make out the point you’re trying to make here, but this sounds dangerously close to the righties’ “our boys tortured and/or killed only a fraction of the detainees people think they tortured and/or killed, so there’s no problem” rhetoric.

    “It can be said that the Albanians were fleeing NATO more than they were fleeing Serbs.” Aha! Can’t argue with a statement that strongly worded. There were no refugees because Chomsky said so! He’s “distinguished!”

    Seriously, one might be able to make a strong case that the current Kosovo/Serbia situation is a disaster waiting to happen, but I’m having trouble sifting any kind of evidence from all this hysterical, borderline-Coulter-esque flailing.

  8. Angelo Says:

    He quoted the Carter doctrine, mis-attributed it to Reagan

    Oh please. Give Reagan some credit. Sure, Carter mentioned defending US interests in the middle east in his 1980 state of the union, but that does not mean his contribution in the area was significant next to that of Reagan’s. “Carter Doctrine”. Like he made up the idea of military intervention.

  9. Angelo Says:

    Eric Margolis seems to have some insight into this issue.
    Milosevic rekindled Serb nazism after Tito had suppressed it for two decades. Serb paramilitary gangsters, like Arkan and Seselj, who spearheaded ethnic cleansing and mass murder, are direct descendants of Hitler’s brownshirt thugs. The Serb army – shades of the SS- was ordered to ethnically cleanse Bosnia of `Muslim filth’ on a `sacred historic mission for the Motherland.’ Serb nazis now denounce Milosevic for failing to accomplish this goal.

    At this point, I would not even support US involvement to thwart another Hitler. Still, it appears 1)Serbia is a rotting, racist shithole.
    2)World War I never ended
    3)Bush deserves the Milosevic treatment.
    4)Arkan might have been shot in the eye by milosevic’s people so that he could not testify.

    btw, did anyone else see that amazing interview that CNN did with Arkan back in the day? He brought up the whole “Indian Problem” as proof that the US should support serbia’s ethnic cleansing. Gotta love Arkan;
    Recruiting killers from soccer teams (cause no one is more nationalistic and stupid than sports fans).
    Marrying a hot “turbo-folk” singer.
    Opening his own Ice Cream parlor.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Chomsky is suspect… didn’t he also claim that Pol Pot was some kind of fabulous freedom fighter type? I dunno. I’m drunk and fragile…

  11. swisn Says:

    Not to forget Kosovo and Albania figure in the Global Strategy as airforce bases from which the USA can bomb “targets” in the middle east.

    Well, that has to be the most poorly thought out thing I’ve seen posted in a while. This bullshit was caused by the press corp pure and simple, to sell a sob story and make a buck. Now they’ve convinced the Kosovars that they’re somehow as up to the task as the Montenegrins.

    1. That is the last place we would stick an air base and we already have better ones close by.
    2. We are already forward deployed in the middle east if we want to bomb any “targets”.
    3. We don’t actually have to be that close to the “targets” thanks to these newfangled things called fuel pods, tankers and lets not forget aircraft carriers.

    Oh, and boys! boys! boys! Carter doctrine and Reagan doctrine = Kirkpatrick doctrine. No difference except how it was pursued. And the point is not whether 3000 graves = genocide or just plain old killing, the point is that there are no innocent parties in that hot mess formerly called Yugoslavia. They ALL did some nasty things and Kosovo is only one chapter of it. And the Serbs are resentful, rightly or no, that they were solely accused of doing things that were exaggerated or that the others were doing to them as well. The immediate problem is not NATO troops and these pissant Albanians, the greater problem is how much slavic bonding is about to go down between Mother Russia and lil sister Serbia and how much of a confrontation this will become. Because, have no doubt, no one gives a rats ass about Kosovo’s independence – this is about putting Russia and Putin in their respective places using Serbia as the proxy.

  12. AltWorlder Says:

    This is amusing. This puts you and Chomsky on the same side of Michael Savage and the right-wingers of Free Republic.

  13. Angelo Says:

    This is amusing. This puts you and Chomsky on the same side of Michael Savage and the right-wingers of Free Republic.

    Yes, and Bitch-slapping Serbia would have pleased Hitler at some point.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    And blogs like this, dear posters, is why no one should take wither the far left or the far right seriously. Kinda why I like Obama AND McCain. When the nut jobs on the extremes of both sides don’t like you, you’re probably doing somthing right.

    As to the point here, only 3000 mass graves? Well, that makes it okay right?

    This woman is an idiot, flat-out, no other way to think about it.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    “And I guarantee you that, if Wal-Mart starts invading Kosovar villages and putting the town shopkeepers out of business, or if Starbucks starts shutting down the local coffee-holes in Pristina, the Albanians will realize they’ve merely exchanged one master for another.”

    Wait, so is the argument that Albanians will rise up violently against the oppressively low prices of Wal-Mart and the oppressively rich beverages of Starbucks?

    ‘Cause God knows, when Starbucks and Wal-Mart rolled into my hometown and drove out locally owned businesses, the uprising was bloody and brutal. After all, when your average Joe hears “low low prices,” his first thought is “fight the corporate tyrants!” That’s why no one in America ever buys products made in China. Am I right?

    Seriously, you might not want to post stream-of-consciousness rants without at least giving them a quick proofread for general incoherence and frothing-at-the-mouth hyperbole. Just a suggestion.

  16. Angelo Says:

    All anonymice:
    Unless you are experts on International Political Economy (which even political economists would not claim to be), could you offer more to the conversation than trying to bash someone for daring to muse on the untouchable issue? It is only in this country where people have become accustomed to a huge corporation putting millions of people out of business. This would not be tolerated in a place where people are a little more self interested.
    It is the Albanians themselves who will cite very economic reasons for wanting to split. I have given up trying to get hard figures on the ethnic cleansing. Albanians I have talked to don’t seem to even give a shit. It seems even Christiane Amanpour has given up trying to squeeze that turnip. For example: They pay taxes like the rest of Yugoslavia, yet receive less services. The failure of Yugoslavia to provide the functions of a state are not at all unlike the conditions created by TNC’s like Walmart in their race to the bottom.
    I get the whole ethnic cleansing thing, but this is not about that. It’s probably the economy, st….

  17. Jamie Says:

    Chomsky is a linguist. He is a very distinguished professor and a brilliant scholar, but it’s not for Serbian history. I think folks should keep this in mind when quoting him. And isn’t it a bizarrely right-ist sort of American exceptionalism to think that Kosovar shops and coffeehouses will be abandoned for Walmart and Starbucks? Yeah, some sort of American cultural and economic imperialism will likely take place if we support them in this, as it did in all the rest of Europe, but the Kosovars can take it just like the Germans et al. – i.e., they’ll embrace some things and reject others. I hate our government too, but if the folks in Kosovo want home rule, shouldn’t they be allowed to have it?

  18. Susan Stark Says:

    Hmmm….this is what you get when you take a politically incorrect view on things.

    It might surprise some of you to know that the Serbs, during WWII, were Allies, not Axis. That’s right. They fought with us against Hitler. And look how we repay them: by breaking up Yugoslavia through NATO and bombing the shit out of them. Among other things.(It might also surprise you to know that the Nazis killed a hundred Serbs for every Nazi that was found dead in Serbian terrority. They would drag a hundred Serbs out of their homes and publicly hang and shoot them.)

    And when I said there were less than 3000 dead in a mass grave, I also said that they were *multi-ethnic*, which suggests that the deaths were either a result of mutual fighting, or of the NATO bombings. Please read more carefully.

    And finally, the Kosovars may or may not like Wal-Mart or Starbucks; I merely used them as an example. But what will be the price that Kosovars will have to pay for their orchestrated independence? I think that’s a fair enough question.

  19. AltWorlder Says:

    Screw this, just give the land to the Turks. Let a Kemalist Ottoman Empire sort it out.

  20. Geoduck Says:

    One amusing suggestion I read elsewhere on the WWW was that Russia and China should, in response to all this, immediately recognize the Lakota as an independent nation, establish full diplomatic relations, and begin sending massive amount of aid…

  21. Angelo Says:

    labeling someone a pseudo-intellectual is a new, right-wing, troll tactic. Troll logic dictates that you weaken leftism by going into message boards, and attacking what you perceive to be its pillars. So, they just go around, no matter what the discussion is about, labeling people like Chomsky things like “leftist”. But all Chomsky does is quote factual sources, many of them purely quantitative. Here is the conclusion of the cited Chomsky article. Read it and tell me what is so leftist about it:

    The essential point—not very obscure—is that the world faces two choices with regard to the use of force: (1) some semblance of world order, either the Charter or something better if it can gain a degree of legitimacy; or (2) the powerful states do as they wish unless constrained from within, guided by interests of power and profit, as in the past. It makes good sense to struggle for a better world, but not to indulge in pretense and illusion about the one in which we live.

    That is no leftist. He only makes normative statements with regard for better information like “archival and other sources should provide a good deal more information”.
    OOOOHH careful, Comrade Noam.

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