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PostKosovo War at 21 (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 03/25/20 4:31 am)
Twenty-one years ago (March 24th, 1999) saw the beginning of the war for Kosovo.
It was a stupid and self-defeating war, but finally one that the Empire (and NATO) apparently won. Of course it was not a great triumph like the one against the "dangerous" Grenada, as in Kosovo the situation is still unclear and deteriorating. It's the usual Balkan story, and we still have our expensive troops there.
JE comments: In times of coronavirus, all other news is relegated to the back seat. The Balkans crisis seems so 1990s-2000s, but stuff never stops happening, even during a pandemic. WAISers Brian Blodgett and Gary Moore were in Kosovo during the troubles (as was the late Bob Gibbs). Brian, Gary, do you keep abreast of Kosovar affairs? Would love an update.
Eugenio, in what way is Kosovo "deteriorating"?
What is the Present Situation in Kosovo?
(Eugenio Battaglia, Italy
03/26/20 6:54 AM)
Our esteemed moderator asked me about the deteriorating situation in Kosovo. Here is some information:
More than 20 years after the NATO-Serbia war, the KFOR (Kosovo Force) is still present, lately under the direction of an Italian general. In the beginning the KFOR had 55,000 NATO personnel; the number has now been reduced to just over 4000.
The various Orthodox monasteries that the UCK wanted to destroy are now protected by Kosovar police. Only the big Decani monastery continues to be protected by KFOR (Italians).
The relation between Serbia and Kosovo is still one of a "frozen conflict," as per UN Resolution 1244. Many nations, including some European ones, do not recognize Kosovar independence.
Unemployment is very high at 45%. Average income is about 3000 euros per year. Several Muslim NGOss are operating to assist the people but require attendance at mosques (supported by Turkey and the Gulf States) and the use of the veil by women.
There are radical Koranic schools, and foreign fighters are still around if not particularly active.
The UCK, a terrorist organization until 1999 when the Empire decided to call it a freedom-fighter organization in its war against Serbia, remains powerful and has blocked the trials of its many war criminals . At present the government is in trouble and may fall under the pressure of UCK strongmen. Negotiations with Serbia, which started in 2018 for a territorial treaty more or less similar to the one established by Italy in 1941 to protect the Serb minority, has failed.
The Northern town of Mitrovica is still separated by a bridge on the river Ibar. One side is occupied by Serbs with their administration, language, and money, and the other side is occupied by Albanians.
The remaining Kosovar Serbs resist in the extreme North and in a few other places, but they are discriminated against. They survive primarily thanks to the KFOR.
Beside the fact that the economy is poor, it is also dominated by mafias that engage in contraband, human smuggling, drugs and the arms trade. Moreover, according to Carla Del Ponte, they traffic in the organs of kidnapped Serbs.
Muslims from Kosovo may be the pawn of Erdogan and other Balkan groups in Bosnia and Bulgaria. The goal is the reconstruction of the Ottoman Empire. For Saudi Arabia, they are the tools to conquer Europe with their religion.
Anyway, so far that the Empire has its occupation troops in the huge Camp Bombshell from where it keeps watch over all the Balkans and especially Serbia's latent love feelings for Russia.
JE comments: Even when the subject is geopolitical dysfunction, it's refreshing to talk about something other than coronavirus. Things in Kosovo seem, paradoxically, bad yet stable. As for intrigue by outside actors, isn't the pandemic the perfect cover for dirty antics? The world can only focus on one crisis at a time.
Any updates on Erdogan? Putin? The Saudis?