Phantom Statehood II

 Addressing the February 17 U.S.-KLA Declaration of Independence from the Republic of Serbia, Sir John Sawers, the British ambassador to the United Nations, explained it like this (S/PV.5839, p. 13.2):

We…expect the Serbian authorities and Kosovo Serb leaders to take no action to promote separation of the north of Kosovo from the rest of the country.  Excluding Kosovo’s Government from majority-Serb areas of Kosovo will not be accepted.  Kosovo Serb leaders should work with the Government in Pristina and with the international presences.

Read Sawers’ warning as many times as you must.  Just don’t miss this fact: It reiterates nothing less than the blueprint for the dismantling of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, ca. 1991 through the present.

From the Badinter Commission’s original stripping of its federal administrative units along the old republican boundaries (i.e., those demarcating the republics of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia – Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia from one another), while denying comparable rights to the peoples trapped within these newly independent states to declare their independence from them or to remain within the SFRY, rather than to secede from it (i.e., overwhelmingly, the ethnic Serb populations then living in Croatia and Bosnia – Herzegovina); all the way to the current U.S.-UN Special Envoy for Kosovo’s stripping of the province from the Republic of Serbia along the province’s administrative boundary, while still denying to Kosovo’s ethnic Serb population its right to remain within the Republic of Serbia, as if this wish somehow made them the separatists threatening the territorial integrity of the newly independent state of Kosovo!   

So: The independent state known as the Republic of Serbia is violable along the boundaries of its former province. 

But this state of Kosovo is now inviolable along exactly these same boundary-borders. 

And the ethnic Serb population trapped within the newly independent state has no right to remain citizens of the Republic of Serbia.

To quote Sir John Sawers one last time (p. 13.1): "The international community cannot be party to a settlement that is opposed by more than 90 percent of the territory’s population."

Replace "international community" with neocolonial community, and the British ambassador’s words are perfectly understandable.  Such principles are observed in the breach whenever observing them in actual fact gets in the way.

Kosovo (Serbia) (S/PV.5839), UN Security Council Meeting Record, February 18, 2008  

Blueprints for a House Divided: The Constitutional Logic of the Yugoslav Conflicts, Robert M. Hayden (University of Michigan Press, 1999)

"The Absurdity of ‘Independent’ Kosovo," George Szamuely, CounterPunch, February 15, 2008
NATO’s Kosovo Colony," Diana Johnstone, CounterPunch, February 18, 2008
"The Dismantling of Yugoslavia: A Study in Inhumanitarian Intervention (and a Western Liberal-Left Intellectual and Moral Collapse)," Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, Monthly Review, October, 2007

"Phantom Statehood," ZNet, February 17, 2008

Afterword. What follows is a brief excerpt from the U.S.-based Cable News Network, February 22, 2008.  It reproduces some comments by the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns, as interviewed by CNN’s Tony Harris. — Among the factors that make the Kosovo Albanians’ right to declare their independence from the Republic of Serbia "unique," Burns said, as opposed to the litany of other cases of self-determination and statehood that also come to mind, is this: "[Kosovo is] the only place where ethnic cleansing took place [and] where…Slobodan Milosevic attempted to annihilate one million Kosovo Albanians." – Five will get you ten that Burns never uses the nice round figure of 1 million when dealing with the topic of Iraqi war dead since the U.S.-U.K. invasion in March 2003.  Or Iraqi deaths during the "sanctions of mass destruction" years, 1990-2003. 


HARRIS: So the Kosovars claim their independence with the support of the United States and the EU states, many of them. Aren’t the floodgates now opened, the (INAUDIBLE), Spain, or next maybe it’s Chechnya, and what about India? Are we willing to support independence and the wishes for statehood wherever those desires spring up in the world?

BURNS: Well, as you know, every part of the world is different, culturally, socially, historically. Kosovo is unique. It’s the only place where ethnic cleansing took place nine years ago, where Milosevic, Slobodan Milosevic attempted to annihilate one million Kosovo Albanians. It was taken over by the United Nations. The United Nations said there must be a process leading to the final status of this place and the United Nations envoy recommended independence. That does not exist in Chechnya, that situation. It doesn’t exist in the Basque countries or any place else in the world. So we’re arguing, and many other countries are arguing, that this Kosovo situation is absolutely unique. And you know, 95 percent of the people are Kosovo Albanian Muslims. The Serbs left. And the Serbs, by their action, the Serb government, nine years ago gave up any right…


BURNS: …to keep hold of Kosovo.

HARRIS: Ambassador Burns, it’s great to have you on the program…. [#####]


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