Kosovo Commission V
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avgust 20, 2008



















If Kosovo was granted conditional and later full independence along the lines suggested by the Commission, my honest best guess is that we would risk seeing one of more of the following consequences:

o The new government in Belgrade would face destabilising internal opposition at a moment when it needs the opposite; Milosevic and his SPS, JUL and other nationalists together with many in the security, police and military would think of getting rid of Kostunica should he accept the Commission's proposal and the "negotiation" procedure toward its realisation (which I do not believe he would). Alternatively, Kostunica would have to take political and possibly military action to make the FRY side's views heard. (The situation is already bad enough at the time of writing in Southern Serbia where KFOR mysteriously has not prevented new violence from erupting at this delicate moment of president Kostunica's leadership).

o It would be an almost 100% ethnically uniform Kosova. Some 100.000 Serbs, Roma, Jews and others - plus quite a few Albanians who feel threatened by the present leadership - would flee, most to Serbia, adding to the already 700,000 - 800,000 refugees that the international community still pays very little attention to. This together with the effect of forced economic reforms in Serbia could create a social explosion.

o Serbs in Republika Srpska would probably say goodbye to Dayton-Bosnia and join Serbia. They, as well as the Serbs from Croatia, should be granted conditional independence if we adhere to the Commission's principles. So should the Croats with their statelet Herceg-Bosna in Bosnia.

o Macedonia might fall apart. It is not that repression there is anywhere near what it was in Kosovo. But the 25-40 per cent of the people who are Albanians feel grossly mistreated and may legitimately ask: if the Kosovo-Albanians, why not us? They too want more unification of the Albanian nation.

o If applied outside former Yugoslavia, the Palestinians, the Kurds, the Basques, the Chechens, the Abkhazis, the people of Eastern Timor and dozens of other repressed peoples will understand the message: forget about non-violence, people-based struggle, diplomacy and decency, nobody will support that (Rugova's case); ally instead with murky forces and get an army, get NATO to help you to take over the place and drive "the others" out, then you'll be rewarded with independence! Since the Commission distances itself only from Serb violence and not from hard-line Albanian violence, from the West's diplomatic mismanagement or from the ensuring NATO violence this is not the caricature it may sound like.

The conclusion of this analysis is NOT that Kosovo cannot or should not be independent. It may actually be the best solution for everybody in the long run. But this Commission rather tells us how it should not be achieved than how it could have been achieved or how it might be possible at some point in the future.

And that is if we talk about direct repression and violence against minorities. What about structural or system-based violence? What about the gross economic human rights violations that are part and parcel of the globalisation of market capitalism? - the hundreds of millions who have no basic human need satisfaction, no access to water, food, clothes, shelter, medicine, schools, social security, employment, because global capitalism is based on and promotes ever more unequal structures?

Could it not be argued that those who are responsible for that global economic "apartheid" have also lost, like Milosevic and even a democratic government, the right to administer the world's economic territory and exercise power over the millions of their victims? And that there is a fundamental connection between direct and structural violence in the conflicts in former Yugoslavia as well as elsewhere?

All it takes to see that is, perhaps, a change of heart? And in the Western political and intellectual circles, too.