Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Kosovo is Serbia!"...or is it?

Since Kosovo declared its independence a week ago there has been unrest in Serbia. Not only are the Serbs enraged by what they call an illegitimate declaration of independence, they are furious with the United States for giving recognition to what they deem to be a false state. Anti-American sentiment came to a head on Thursday at a Serbian government sponsored protest that turned violent when protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy and lit the ground floor on fire. The Serbian Prime Minister has directly blamed the United States for the violence and one of his aides was quoted as saying, "If the United States sticks to its present position that the fake state of Kosovo exists ... all responsibility in the future will be on the United States."

Ethnic tensions between Serbs in Serbia and Albanians in Kosovo have flared throughout a series of wars in the 1990s and the ethnic cleansing propagated by Slobodon Milosevic. Although Kosovo officially remained a part of Serbia, it has been administered by the United Nations since 1999 because of these wars and tensions. Does Kosovo have a legitimate claim to independence? Should the United States have acknowledged the state before the U.N. passed a resolution? Do you think this act will have implications for other nations with relatively strong separatists movements such as Cameroon?

4 comments:

MadMax said...

In 1861 the US government went to war on the basis that none of the Confederate states had a right, either collectively or individually, to succeed from the Union of their own free will.

As that principle has not altered, why is the US now supporting the secession of Kosovo from Serbia, when this act clearly does not have the support of the Serbian Government or the majority of the Serbian people?

I believe that this has more to do with the Bush administration counting on Kosovo becoming an ally in the Muslim rather than an enemy. Perhaps this is a new, less expensive way to fight the war on terror.

hannah said...

I don't think the U.S. has any right to recognize Kosovo as an independent state before Serbia or the U.N. came to an agreement on it. And while the U.S. may not be responsible for any and all violence that occurs because of this, they are definitely responsible for contributing to that violence. The U.S. has done enough meddling in other countries affairs and should probably stay out of it until the international community as a whole addresses the issue.

sara said...

I agree with Hannah, and would like to speak further on the necessity of the U.S. waiting for an international consensus. We need to realize that on issues of GREAT international significance (such as war, sovereignty) we need to be acting multilaterally rather than unilaterally as a matter of pragmatism, security, respect, and credibility.

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