Saturday, January 01, 2011

The 'Sui Generis' Nature of Kosovo

Read this on Prof William Schabas's blog:

"Dick Marty, the member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe who exposed the secret US detention centres and the rendition flights, confirms the charges of Carla Del Ponte that forces associated with the Kosovo Liberation Army took Serb prisoners into Albania where they were murdered for their organs, which were subsequently trafficked through organized crime networks".

The Political Leader of KLA is now the Prime Minister of Kosovo. Something that was and is repeated by western diplomats in Sri Lanka is how it was impossible to side with the LTTE because it was highly illiberal. Clearly the KLA seemed to be worse. So supporting a secessionist movement really comes down to nothing but pure and simple geo-political calculations. Hence the US promoting Kosovo's independence as a 'sui generis' case. All this talk about earned sovereignty doesnt really help make sense of why Kosovo and why not Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Staying on the Kosovo topic this recent opinion piece in the Guardian restates the realist school on the politics of state recognition:

Notwithstanding that states encompassing between 80% and 90% of the world's population (by my rough calculations) recognise the state of Palestine, while states encompassing only between 10% and 20% of the world's population recognise the Republic of Kosovo, the western media (and much of the non-western media as well) act as though Kosovo's independence were an accomplished fact while Palestine's independence is only an aspiration that can never be realised without Israeli-American consent; and much of international public opinion (including, apparently, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah) has – at least until recently – permitted itself to be brainwashed into thinking and acting accordingly.

As in most aspects of international relations, it is not the nature of the act (or crime) that matters but, rather, who is doing it to whom. Palestine was conquered, and is still occupied 43 years later, by the military forces of Israel. What most of the world (including the UN and even five EU member states) still regards as the Serbian province of Kosovo was conquered and is still occupied, 11 years later, by the military forces of Nato; the American flag is flown there at least as widely as the Kosovo flag and the capital, Pristina, boasts a Bill Clinton Boulevard and a larger-than-life-size statue of the former American president.

Note: I am back to blogging after a 8 month absence. One of the new year resolutions is to blog more regularly.

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