Some Damn Fool Thing in the Balkans
Name a country which was bombarded by US airpower without any prior authorization by the United Nations Security Council which is dissolving into separate ethnic states. Iraq? No. Yugoslavia. The Telegraph reports:.
The Balkan state of Montenegro voted yesterday on whether to become independent from Serbia and write the final chapter in the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. ... Generations of Montenegrins have been educated in Belgrade, and Montenegrins have a long history of assuming leading positions in Serbian companies and the public sector. Given this intertwining history, many Serbs are either baffled or even hurt that Montenegrins now want to break away. Serbian prime minister Vojislav Kostunica has called on Montenegrins to remain joined to Serbia. With passions running high, there have been fears that whatever the outcome, there could be violence after the results are announced.
Science and Politics thinks it is tragic, in a way.
Right now, there are five countries in the place of Yugoslavia: Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia & Montenegro. Considering the very high turnout at today's referendum in Montenegro, there soon may be another split, as Serbia and Montenegro go their separate ways. ... Splitting along the geographical borders will not accomplish anything, as the quarrel is not really between Serbs and Croats and Bosnian Moslems and Kosovo Albanians and others, but between the modern 21st century worldview held by the people in cities and the backwater medieval worldview of the people in rural areas. Citizens of Belgrade, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Novi Sad, Ljubljana, Mostar, Nis, Pristina and Skopje have more in common with each other than each have with people living just a few miles outside of each of those cities. It is a typical division along the city-country or urban-rural or liberal-conservative lines.
And what about Kosovo? It's still being administered by the United Nations seven years after the 1999 NATO intervention.
Kosovo is presently run by its Provisional Institutions of Self-Government and the UN Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), while the security is maintained by the NATO-led KFOR. The talks on the future status of Kosovo have started in Vienna, on February 20, 2006, between the Kosovo institutions' negotiating team, and the team formed by the Government of Serbia. The future of the province is set to be determined by the end of the year.
This may well be the best outcome for the former Yugoslavia. Or maybe not. But imagine for a moment if you will if this road had been obstructed at every turn by every major newspaper, network and pundit that could put ink to paper or pixels to screen. How would it be then?