"Readers with exceptionally tenacious memories will recall that this pundit was opposed to the NATO intervention in Kosovo nine years ago. This may come as a suprise to readers without tenacious memories, since it is widely believed that I never saw a war I didn't like. Yet, believe it or not, I was opposed not only to the wanton bombing of Serbia, but to the whole 'inevitable' project of carving a new European Muslim state out of the flesh of that Orthodox Christian country. ... But the fact that Kosovo had a significant ethnic majority of Albanian Muslims over Serbian Christians was not, in itself, sufficient argument to detach it from Serbia by main force. For if that is the argument, the state system which provides the only order the planet currently enjoys will disintegrate. Strange to say, I am with Vladimir Putin on this one, and against George W. Bush. Mr. Putin's remarks on the inspiration that Kosovo's independence has given to violent separatists in Chechnya, Abkhazia-South Ossetia and elsewhere, are entirely to the point. Indeed, driving the Serbian government and Serbian people into the protective embrace of ex-Soviet Russia, and ultimately her ex-KGB strongman, was among several counter-productive dimensions in the war that Madeline Albright organized, along with other ruinous Clinton interventions in areas of peripheral interest to the U.S. ... The NATO action in Kosovo brought Mr. Putin--the hammer of the Chechens--to power, by demonstrating that force and force alone will decide secession struggles. ... Bush et al have validated ... a deadly new round of Balkan troubles, ripe for Islamicization", David Warren (DW) at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/, 23 February 2008.
"But with the presence of NATO troops, and swift recognition yesterday by the U.S. and European powers, ought to calm nerves and end the last territorial dispute in the Balkans. By taking the lead in the 1999 war that forced Slobodan Milosevics's ethnic cleansers from Kosovo and now on independence, the U.S. is shepherding one more Muslim nation to freedom", Editorial at the WSJ, 19 February 2008.
Well said DA. I wish Connie Baby, our Secretary of State, would read you column. I await the next administration's response to a Kosovar-like declaration of independence for the new state of Aztlan to be carved out of Southern California. Will Russia immediately offer it recognition and military support? Putin called the breakup of Serbia a dangerous precedent. I agree with Putin. Putin for President. Of the US. See my 11 January 2008 post.
VDH, be serious. The US lacks the military capability to defend Kosovo in Russia's backyard and everyone knows it. Why the Russians don't intervene militarily is for them to to know and for us to find out.