Monday, February 18, 2008

Good Diana Johnstone article on Kosovo

And about how an independent Kosovo means ethnic cleansing for the non-Albanian inhabitants as well as containing a great history of the actual sequence of events that lead to NATO's bombing of Kosovo. (

Although the Serbs committed genocide in Bosnia Herzogovinia, Kosovo is another matter. Maybe an example of the apocryphal Marx quote that history repeats itself first as tragedy next as farce, because the Kosovar Albanians used the chaos that enveloped the former Yugoslavia to push for a goal of an ethnically pure, independent, Kosovo as part of a Greater Albania.

Johnstone points out that the place was and sort of is still a multi-ethnic society, that it's always been dominated by Albanians and that the idea that Serbs, the minority in Kosovo, were ethnically cleansing the place is unlikely. She provides quotes from news services from before the final breakup of Yugoslavia talking about the harassment of non-Albanians in Kosovo and about what a serious problem it was. While it's true, also, that Milosevic got his start by famously declaring in a broadcast town meeting in a Serb town in Kosovo that the people would never be stepped on again, thereby cementing his commitment to right-wing nationalistic politics, that doesn't mean that the underlying problem was not there.

1 comment:

Kirk Johnson said...

If by "Good Diana Johnstone article on Kosovo" you mean "Absolutely horrible and thoroughly disingenuous Diana Johnstone article on Kosovo" then I agree with you.

She has zero credibility on this issue; I see from your post that you recognize that the nominally socialist but actually right-leaning national-socialist Milosevic regime committed genocide in Bosnia--were you aware that Ms. Johnstone does not agree with you? Were you aware that she believes the illegal--and avowedly racist/fascist--Bosnian Serb republic was a legitimate actor in that war?

As for her assertion that the Albanian majority in Kosova would have precluded any genocidal/ethnic cleansing actions against them--please. Her "historical understanding" of Kosova starts in 1389 (actually, it starts sometime in the 19th Century when nationalist Serb historians created the myth of Kosovo, but never mind that) and then skips ahead 600 years. She completey ignores the 20th Century history of this region (it was invaded and annexed by Serbia in 1908 and then permanently in 1913--you wouldn't know that if you rely on her for your information), as well as the history of the region in the 1980s, as Milosevic stripped Kosova of its legal status, and imposed martial law and other apartheid measures, turning the Albanian majority into second-class citizens. She ignores the years of peaceful, non-violent resistance by Kosovar Albanians against the Milosevic regime.

So you're approvingly quoting a woman who believes that the Serb genocide in Bosnia was justified, who believes that that the Srebrenica massacre never actually happened, who believes that the Racak massacre was staged. Don't let her socialist/leftist credentials fool you; like Michael Parenti, when it comes to the former Yugoslavia she has been little more than a shill for far-right Serbian nationalism. Her "knowledge" is superficial, biased, and clearly derived from Serb-nationalist sources.