Streams

Underreported: An Independent Kosovo?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

On the second part of Underreported, we’ll speak with Patricia DeGennaro, Associate Professor of International Affairs at New York University, about why Russia has recently blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution endorsing independence, and what will happen as a result.

Guests:

Patricia DeGennaro

Comments [2]

James from Boston

The two features today on Kosovo were extremely one-sided. Why must our media (even NPR!) continue to stereotype Russia as proud, short-sighted, wanting only to maintain its influence and the U.S. and Europe as only pure, distinterested humanitarians? I've spent plenty of time in Slavic countries and I've talked with many people from the former Yugoslavia. The situation is not nearly as black and white as today's program would lead one to think. Why not ask a Serb or a Russian on to the program to give some balance?

The Kosovar Albanians have a compelling case for independence, but please also read the posting on the previous story by Lilly Pollack. Many famous historical sites, many important Serbian religious sites are in the region of Kosovo. Unlike the way that Lopate formulated the question, it's not that the ethnic make-up of another nation became largely Albanian, it's that a region within Serbia became largely Albanian (for a host of reasons--again see the posting for the previous story). Would we accept it if Boston or Philadelphia became largely (name your ethnicity) and then wanted independence on that basis, American history be damned!?!

Of course it's not that simple--terrible things happened in Kosovo and the Serbs in particular are still coming to grips with this. But why must we put out pure propaganda showing it only as the racist, xenophobes and their weakened hubristic ally vs. everybody else? It's just not that simple, and we look to NPR for the complexities.

Lastly, don't forget that during the entirety of the war President Clinton and NATO continually said that independence for the region was not the goal and not an option. The fact that the Russians resist and don't trust us might have something to do with the fact that we made this assurance in order to get them to assist in the war and now no one, not Bush, not the media, ever mentions this?

Jul. 26 2007 10:36 PM
Jeff Delija from New York

As result of the Russian opposition to the Ahtisari plan the Western diplomats were forced to move resultion of the Kosovo status outside the UN Security Council. Europeans, Americans and to some extent Russians are proposing 120 days of intensive negotiations which will lead to nowhere. The extension of these talks is being done primarily to satisfy the Russians and to make sure that all avenues were pursued and no stone was left unturned. Unfortunately I know full well that Serbs and Kosovars will never reconcile their positions. Serbs want Kosovo to remain part of Serbia – Kosovars want independence. These are irreconcilable differences. At the end of the 120 days, Western democracies will tell Russia and the world that they’ve done all they could but the parties unfortunately remain far apart. Europeans and US diplomats will try to convince Russia one more time not to veto UN Security Council resolution. If Russia insists on vetoing the resolution then Western Powers will tell Kosovars to declare independence. I believe US will be the first country to recognize Kosovo followed by the EU member states.

Thank you,

Jeff

Jul. 26 2007 01:04 PM

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