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The Death, Finally, Of Yugoslavia

by @ 8:14 am on February 23, 2008. Filed under Europe, Foreign Affairs, Serbia

Over at Slate Christopher Hitchens writes that the independence of Kosovo means the death of a one of the final legacies of World War One:

┬áSomeone with a good memory of the conversation once told me how Lord Carrington, then one of the “mediators” of the incipient post-Yugoslavia war, came to the conclusion that Slobodan Milosevic was a highly dangerous man. Well-disposed toward Serbia (as the British establishment has always been), Carrington told the late dictator that he understood Serb concerns about significant Serbian minorities in Bosnia and Croatia. But why did Milosevic also insist on exclusive control over Kosovo, where the Albanian population was approximately 90 percent? “That,” replied Milosevic coldly, “is for historical reasons.” It’s a shame, in retrospect, that it took us so long to diagnose the pathology of Serbia’s combination of arrogance and self-pity, in which what is theirs is theirs and what is anybody else’s is negotiable.

We used to read this same atavistic proclamation by the hellish light of burning Sarajevo, and now we glimpse it again through the flames of the blazing U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, and by the glare of similar but less dramatic arsons set by Serbs in ski masks in northern Kosovo itself. But it needs to be understood that “Serbia” itself has lost nothing and has nothing to complain about. With the independence of Kosovo, the Yugoslav idea is finally and completely dead, but it was Serbian irredentism that killed the last vestige of that idea, and it is to that account that the whole cost ought to be charged.

The Serbs who are protesting what is really nothing more than the inevitable result of a process than began more than ten years ago would do well to remember that it’s really all the fault of their own leaders.

3 Responses to “The Death, Finally, Of Yugoslavia”

  1. [...] So Goes Quebec ? Russia: Force Not Ruled Out In Kosovo Crisis More Serbian Violence In Kosovo The Death, Finally, Of Yugoslavia   [...]

  2. Nicole says:

    Giving Kosovo independence is the equivalent of the U.S. handing over the World Trade Center grounds to Al Queda in 500 years. Would the U.S. agree to that?

    I agree that Croatian and Slovenian and even Bosnian succession from Yugoslavia was the end of Yugoslavia, but Kosovo is and always will be Serbian land.

    It is like giving Utah to the Mormon church (officially that is) simply because a Mormon majority lives there.

    I wholly disagree that Kosovo is Yugoslavia’s final breakaway republic. Kosovo was never its’ own state. Kosovo is Serbian land. Whether it becomes entirely Muslim or not, it still was Serbian land. If Texas becomes 95% Mexican, should we encourage and support their efforts to form their own Tex-Mex republic?

  3. turi says:

    Nicole!
    You obviously lack a great deal of history on your part. cant compare Texas and Kosovo. No American special force has ever laid a hand on any Latin-speaking crowd anywhere in the US. You are obviously very ignorant when it comes to telling history how it happened, as does any other Slav in the world.
    Great article Mr. Hitchens
    Congratulations Kosovo Congratulations

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