"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." The Statue of Liberty (P.S. Please be so kind as to enter through the proper channels and in an orderly fashion)

Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Letter To Victor Davis Hanson

In today's NRO postings, the esteemed Victor Davis Hanson wrote an article ("Yippy Ti Yi Yo, Europe!") about utopian EU realities and referred to the situation in Kosovo therein.

He wrote:
Consider Kosovo again. Europe is invested, quite rightly I think, in promoting its independence. But it is a Muslim country...
I know VDH--no fan of Bill Clinton, and a philhellene to boot (the Orthodox Greeks were sympathetic to the Orthodox Serbs' territorial issues with ethnic Albanians)-- was a strong supporter of military intervention in 1999, presumably on humanitarian grounds, but I wouldn't have thought that such a strong proponent of Western Judeo-Christian integrity supported Albanian, Muslim expansionism in an Orthodox stronghold (particularly since he frequently laments the folly of EU multicultural integration without the proper mechanisms in place for assimilation).

So I wrote him a letter, which may very well never see the light of day, so I reproduced it here to share my thoughts on the matter:

Professor Hanson:

In "Yippy Ti Yi Yo Europe," you opined: "Consider Kosovo again. Europe is invested, quite rightly I think, in promoting its independence. But it is a Muslim country..."

I neither understand your opinion that Kosovo should become independent or your characerization that it is a "Muslim country."

Should the Kurdish section of Iraq be granted sovereignty? And is it a "Kurdish country?" How about Northern Cyprus? And is that a "Muslim country?" Perhaps you are characterizing in strictly demographic terms. If so, how about the Southwestern United States? Is California a "Mexican country?"

They're not quite apples and oranges. The rationales for Kosovar Independence put forth by KLA activists have their origins in the expansionist "Greater Albania" movement, the ideology of which does indeed sound very much like Aztlanist mythology.

And Serbia's cultural claims on Kosovo resonate as strongly as Israel's on Jerusalem, so I trust you understand the sensation of a disconnect I feel here.

End of letter.

As one of Greek Orthodox heritage (and good luck finding many others of a similar conservative mindset and Republican sympathies), I found the agrressive stance against the Christian Milosevic--for the sake of the Muslim narcoterrorist KLA who pursue a dream of a "Greater Albania"-- odd.

True, Milosevic was engaging in ethnic cleansing, but it was in the context of a tit-for-tat turf war that has been going on for centuries.

That's not an excuse to justify the barbarity of ethnic cleansing, but is meant to point out the doubler-standard:

After the empowerment of the Albanian Kosovars (thanks to the 1999 air war on their behalf), they themselves turned around and began engaging in...ethnic cleansing!

While Clinton basked in his military "victory" and enjoyed a dog-wagged, post-Impeachment bump in his approvals, Serbs were murdered in retaliation and their 800-year-old churches torched. In fact, more churches were destroyed since NATO's "peacekeepers" entered Kosovo than were lost under 400 years of occupation by the Ottoman Turks (who weren't too squeamish about destroying the worship centers of Christendom).

The KLA (i.e. Kosovo Liberation Army) financed much of its war effort through human trafficking and the sale of heroin (hence the epithet "KLA narcoterrorists"), and some of its members were trained in terrorist camps run by...Osama bin Laden.

Bin Laden visited the Balkans at least three times between 1994-1996, and while Clinton underwrote the Bosnian Muslim government of Alija Izetbegovic, his embassy in Vienna had given bin Laden a passport in 1992.

Meanwhile, in his self-indulgent, self-congratulatory autobiography My Life, Clinton lists his unilateral, unprovoked bombardment of Kosovo as a "success" (with the high drama of almost depleting the entire active inventory of cruise missiles while Milosevic hid safely behind a Rembrandt the whole time).

And now you have his general Wesley Clark front & center defensively defending the "successful" operation (certainly in the interest of Billary's campaign and her touted foreign policy "experience").

He doth protest too much, methinks...

The strange, double-standard against the Serbs was particularly blatant when Clinton refused to pause bombing on Orthodox Easter (cf. his contemporary respite during Operation Desert Fox--his bombing campaign against Iraq-- for the sake of honoring Ramadan), so something stunk.

Eight years later (last summer in fact), I befriended a Serbian foreign-exchange student who was the lifeguard at my apartment complex's pool, and I took the opportunity to hear his point-of-view. I expressed my belief that we had bombed the wrong side, and asked why he thought the Serbians were demonized so to enable that.

From a sophisticated--perhaps cynical/conspiratorial--European point-of-view, he blamed a cryptic, geopolitical plot that aimed to fracture the traditionally Eastern Orthodox bloc of Balkan countries for the interests of other nations.

I don't know anything about that, but that explanation is as good as any when trying to fathom why on earth are the United States and EU countries like France and Germany, and VDH to boot, promoting Kosovar Independence at the expense of a UN member's sovereignty?

That was all in a pre-9/11 context, during the Clinton presidency, and "seem like far off mountains turned into clouds," as the waking Demetrius characterized the morning after Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, but lo and behold, in the midst of a primary season wherein Hillary waddles around and references the foreign policy "accomplishments" of her faux-husband as hers by osmosis, the good Lord himself, it seems, has condescended once again and stirred a pot for us to smell and remind us what kind of dishes the Clintons had cooked up years ago.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how many years of peace do you think Europe will enjoy before the Muslims in Bosnia demand to link up with the Muslims in Kosovo/ Albania? Twenty? Thirty?

7:42 AM  
Blogger John said...

I'd think less than that. If you haven't already, research the "Greater Albania" agenda.

Putin's warning of setting a dangerous precedent is spot on.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Phelonius said...

Being a Medievalist, it is hard for me to separate in my mind the ancient Russian loyalty to the Balkan Slavs. You characterized that as the Orthodox bloc, and that is really a good characterization, but that loyalty continued all through the Soviet years as well. I have wondered if perhaps the prejudice against the Serbs comes from long habit in the west of opposing Russian interests in the far east of Europe? Modern Russia under Putin clearly continues its support of the Balkan Slavs, and the war against Serbs seems to fit that ancient pattern of thinking.

2:21 PM  
Blogger John said...

Perhaps. There seems to be some geopolitical strategy afoot that makes Kosovo an exception to the rules applied elsewhere.

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Methinks he doth protest too much... "

IMHO - it's usually better to put "Methinks" at the end of the sentence, like in Hamlet (It was Hamlet, right?)


"He doth protest too much, methinks"

It has that wry pistol shot ending, methinks..

7:32 PM  
Blogger John said...

Agreed. Change made.

8:43 PM  

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