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Another US “Success Story”: The Creation and Abandonment of Kosovo


#1

Another US “Success Story”: The Creation and Abandonment of Kosovo

Thomas S. Harrington

Kosovo is falling apart at the seams, with it thousands of its citizens seeking desperately to escape life there by any means possible.

Haven’t heard about that one?

Perhaps that’s because the US is almost wholly responsible for creating an independent Kosovo, and from there, the brutal and corrupt power structure that lords cruelly over the life of its people.

The creation of an independent Kosovo in the name of democracy and humanitarianism is considered by the Clinton crowd to be one of the US's first post-Cold War foreign policy successes.


#2

While your analysis of the US interests may be (or not) correct, the entire narrative and framework of this article demonstrates an extremely poor understanding of Balkan history, of European history, and of the history of Kosovo (Kosova) - which entirely distorts the hundreds of years of struggles of an entire (albeit small) people (those in Kosovo and those in Albania) to maintain their ethnic identity against all odds forced upon them from big powers and empires from the east and from the west.

It is impossible in the framework of these comments to demonstrate this...but this article while seemingly progressive...by virtue of distorting, opting out, and obscuring the historical facts surrounding Kosova and the Kosovars (not the Kosovans as the writer calls them), seems more like an attempt from yet another clueless (or not well intentioned) westerner aiming to use and to put down an unfortunate people (slaughtered ferociously by the Serbs as of recenlty), in order to promote his agenda.

As for your interpretation of that statue of Clinton that you have carefully elected to show in this article (amongst hundreds of monuments in Kosova dedicated to the fallen for preserving national identity, or to other figures who have helped their national cause throughout centuries) - any student of history (and simple net searches) would have led you to discover President Wilson's peculiar historical role in protecting the area against European grabbing powers - and as a historian, you should have made an attempt to at the very least associate this historical trail with the noble cultural customs of a small but ancient people.


#3

The complex history of the Balkans, and Kosovo in particular, is one thing; US designs upon world domination are quite another. The author is quite right that Clinton, Holbrooke and all the other gang members made use of the Kosovo tragedy to advance the goals of the Empire. "Humanitarianism" was never their primary concern. They used Kosovo to go after Serbia, and they went after Serbia, not for "crimes against humanity," but for refusing to go along with what is euphemistically called "the strategic interests" of the United States. We were told (another Big Lie!) that Serbia had to be bombed so Kosovo could go free. Kosovo is now free to be in misery. The Kosovars should have paid more attention to the history of US interventions. A subject country rarely benefits from having the United States as its occupying master. Haiti? No. Iraq? No. Afghanistan? No. Honduras? No. Thailand? No. All the world over it's "no, no and no!" with the only exceptions being countries like Japan and Germany, which were already industrial powerhouses prior to US occupation. Kosovo is yet another example of that Kafkaesque scenario of US Empire: it's a "free and liberated country, but the people are mere vassals and slaves and their lives are positively hellish. But from the point of view of American imperialists, "success" has been achieved because the liberated country now belongs to the United States, and that is all that really matters....


#4

While Mr. Harrington's accurate and harrowing account of what U.S. powers, often behind closed doors elect to enact as foreign policy presents an important case, I dispute THIS point:

"This is who we are. This is what we borrow trillions from the Chinese to do."

The fact that the MIC and its deep state network of players destroys nations is not indicative of who WE--presumably the whole of the nation's citizenry--are.

How many citizens want these policies?
How many understand them?
How many congress people or senators honestly relay their positions?
How many benefit from them given the priorities that cut school lunch programs while earmarking endless funds for armaments?
How many, due to the corporate control of media (that means who gets seen and heard) hear of any views that run counter to Inverted Totalitarian State narratives and related objectives?

The Piketty Study proves that TONS of $ has headed to the top of the fiscal pyramid.

That $ buys think tanks, media, court judges, attorneys, radio time, and political puppets. In other words, IT controls policy!

In nations everywhere, The People are crying out for a legitimate voice and the power to influence policy. So far, most have been held in contempt by increasingly militant domestic forces AND an all-seeing surveillance apparatus that's more in place to suppress local dissent than form or ferret out "terrorists" to fight.

In the U.S. there is very little indication that Congress, the courts, Presidency, or law enforcement follow the WILL of The People. Often, consent will be deliberately manufactured to grant the necessary fig leaf of legitimacy to some (hardly all) policies.

Throughout patriarchy's written history, so much of it is and remains the story of males vying for power and using warfare to obtain it. The storylines favor the dominators. It is THEIR limited worldview.

You, Mr. Harrington, continue that tradition by taking precisely what is done by these dominators and alleging that their empowered positions, and all that they do through stealth, dirty money, and all sorts of coercive tactics represents the rest of us.

No!

The woman who gets raped did not ask for it and she is not responsible for it. People who are not able to stop the military monster do not necessarily grant their CONSENT to its rape of this planet (along with those annihilated in its crossfire zones).

It's important to make these points and for persons to distinguish the larger truth.

Statements of this broad ilk suggest that what a few do--because they had the influence to make it to the top of today's hierarchies--define us all.

This makes GENUINE alternatives and all forms of dissent invisible. Consciously or otherwise, such statements therefore support the status quo that I frequently define as that of Mars (militarism, and homage to the god of war) rules. They are derivatives of Margaret Thatcher's authoritarian and rigid TINA: There Is No Alternative.

In fact there is, Mr. Harrington, and those of us who do not support war, militarism, disaster capitalism, the rape of this beloved planet, or any aggression-based typically male baboon hierarchy ARE that alternative. And WE are speaking up!

YOU do not speak for me, neither does this idea that what militaristic misfits manage to do defines the human story!

Lastly, all writers see through the prism of their selected paradigm(s). That you, Mr. Harrington identify with Trinity College lends evidence to something that I think is more deeply embedded than you (and some other insightful writers) have sought to examine: It's the degree to which the premise of Original Sin--that we ALL are guilty sinners--informs your political perspective.

I hope you will consider what I've stated here. You are hardly the only writer that falls into this trap.


#5

Kosovo is the heart of Serbia and Serbian culture including the Serbian Orthodox religion. The Kosovars in this conflict were an ethnic Albanian minority - many of them violent individuals and gangsters. They were similar to the current-day fighters for the "Donetsk Peoples Republic" - but in this case these gangsters are not on the side of US economic interests - or the US would be bombing Kiev like they bombed Belgrade right now. All claims that there were massacres of Kosovars by Serbians have been thoroughly debunked - no graves or bodies were ever found. Every Serbian emigre in my Slavic-friendly US city has the same fervent belief - Kosovo is the heart of Serbia and it will be Serbia again someday.

Over the course of the Balkan conflict, more Serbians were ethnically cleansed from their homes, notably in Croatia but also in Kosovo and Bosnia than any other ethnicity. Maybe you can explain to me why the Serbian people have been turned into such bogeymen in the US propaganda narrative, while the Croatians and their blood soaked late leader Tjudman are regarded as some kind of heroes.

And Mr. Harrington's main point was that everywhere the US intervenes, poverty, disfunctionality and unrest follows. That point remains valid.


#6

Kosova is not the heart of Serbia. For most of the past century Serbia was just one of the 6 independent republics of Yugoslavia (each with their own ethnicity and separate language). Kosova was also an independent province in Yugoslavia (with its own ethnicity and non Slavic language). But Yugoslavia was created artificially in Paris at the end of the 1st war as part of the European victors who gave themselves permission to divi up the continent according to their interests and it contained at least 8 distinguished ethnic groups, artificially put together under one nation state. Again, Serbia was just one of them - the most aggressive and which the rest of the groups commonly despised.

Therefore, even the title of this article is very misleading. Especially coming from a historian. The US did not create Kosova. Kosova has existed and it has been where it is for at least 2,500 years. This is a historical fact, which this article glosses over.


#7

So for you history only began a century ago? Kosovo was the heart of Medieval Serbia lost to the Ottoman Turks after the battle of Kosovo until 1912.

Do you agree with pogroms against the Serbians and the razing of historic Serbian church and monasteries by the Albanians? Notably in 2004 and still ongoing?


#8

Mr. Harrington:

As someone familiar with Kosovo, I found your article to have a pro-Serbian bias and agenda.  Have you ever been to Kosovo and spent some time there? As a professor, you owe it to your self to do accurate research on your subject and not write a paper based on your personal assumptions or what you read on the Internet.
You started your article “Another US “Success Story: The Creation and Abandonment of Kosovo” by saying “16 years after the 1998-99 War, impoverished Kosovo still lacks basic water, electricity, and waste management.” I would challenge you to go to Kosovo and prove this is a correct assessment. This may have been true right after the war when Kosovo’s infrastructure was destroyed but is not true in 2015. 
Your comment about Camp Bondsteel funding the mafias through the flow of cash from construction is also incorrect. Can you offer any evidence or facts that support your statement?
As to prostitutes and drugs, this is the same old drum roll from the Serbian propaganda machine.  Show me any country in Europe or any State in the U.S. that does not face similar issues and most do on a larger scale than you will find in Kosovo. 
You might be an expert in Iberian studies and culture, but in my opinion, you need to do spend some time in Kosovo to better understand what is going on there. Do not rely on what your read on the Internet or what you fined based on secondary data sources.

#11

This article is 100% BIASED. Not even close to reality. Not worth reading.


#12

I am a survivor of a brutal massacre done by the Serbian military against Kosovar civilians (children, women, men). I am an alive witness of what has happened in Kosovo. What Serbia did, even animals don't. That's all I can say. Long life Republic of Kosovo!


#13

Show me evidence that the collective "WE," in the US are standing up. I see very little evidence of this.


#14

And I'm referring to our foreign policy.


#15

I'm an American that worked in Kosovo for a little over two years during 09-11. I spent most of my time in Prishtina, but having said that, I did see basically every part of Kosovo. I came into the country that had just declared it's independence not that long ago at the age of 21. Not long after I was in Kosovo I found myself in Prishtina climbing up a flight of stairs in an apartment complex, climbing through a broken window to sit on a roof with Albanians. We were sitting and waiting hoping to get a glimpse of Bill Clinton and hear his speech at the ceremony of the unveiling of his statue. The picture you have posted in your article.

I moved their to help start a real estate appraising business. Our goal was to train people to become appraisers, create real estate appraising standards up to the European standards of Tegova, and start a database.

I've never been in a country that was so welcoming especially to Americans. The people there were always very kind to me. Being 21 I feel I may have had a much different experience. Most expats were older and I usually was the youngest in ever meeting or event I attended. I also was able to hangout and become friends with people of similar age. The future work force of Kosovo. In the major cities like Pristhina, Peja and Prizren there were many young adults with bright ideas and hopes for their new country.

I met a lot of hard working people and I met corrupted people. I'll admit that doing business there was not easy, it was always an uphill struggle. Everyone knew each other at a certain level and if you didn't have any connections then good luck getting anything done. But that can be said pretty much anywhere in the world. The politics in Kosovo were a mess when I was there.

Even though I spent years there, I can't pretend I understand the struggles the Albanians went through. Because that is what the "Kosovars" are in majority...Albanian. If Americans didn't intervene in Kosovo a lot of Albanians would have lost their lives and even the Albanians acknowledge that. I do know the last thing the majority of the Kosovars would do is flee into Serbia. To be honest I believe if the people of Kosovo had their way with no interference they would just add Kosovo as additional territory to Albania. But that obviously is not possible.

I am not saying the Albanians don't have any faults of their own, because they do. I'm not saying Americans or all the other European countries aiding Kosovo have done everything perfect there because we haven't. When I think of Kosovo a whirlwind of thoughts come to my mind. I miss living there and I miss my friends.

I met Americans and people from all around the world that have devoted their lives to help the people of Kosovo and still continue to do the best they can in all the chaos surrounding the country.

There is no easy solution. I don't envy the people that have to deal with politics in developing countries. I'm not against the US liberating countries or aiding them. But if we do that we also have to realize we must respect their culture and traditions. We can't expect to solve all the problems in a few years or a decade. It will take much longer then that and the support of the people we are aiding. But we live in such a fast paced world that probably will never happen.

My last thoughts regarding the conflict between Kosovo and Serbia. The Serbians need to get over Kosovo and this idea of Kosovo being the heart of Serbia. They need stop bringing up old history and face the reality in front of them. Times change and land occupation changes like many places have around the world. Kosovo today is 90% Albanian. If Serbia would just acknowledge Kosovo and if Kosovo would just let Mitroivica become part of Serbia. They could focus on their countries, building their economies and creating more jobs. But that is just my 2 cents.