August, 15, 2013
Like so many Western journalists, Olivia Ward tells only one side of a tragic story that needs all sides to be told if there is ever to be any chance of true peace and reconciliation in a region racked by centuries of division, violence and instability.
I visited Kosovo in 1988 before the recent Yugoslav civil wars and witnessed firsthand the blatant persecution of Serbs, desecration of their religious and cultural monuments, and poisoning of their water.
The Serbian province of Kosovo was granted wide-ranging autonomy by Josip Broz Tito (Yugoslavia’s communist dictator) in 1974 but Albanian extremists used this autonomy to persecute Serbs, encourage illegal immigration of Albanians from Albania, and drive Serbians away from their ancestral lands that they had inhabited for over 1000 years.
Currently, Kosovo is an unstable terrorist safe haven/pseudo-nation/Mafiaesque banana republic from which we have suffered significant “blowback.” Kosovo will revert to war when NATO (and its proxies) leave the Serbian province thus requiring its presence indefinitely (which was NATO’s goal in the first place vis a vis Camp Bondsteel).
Any lasting solution for Kosovo must account for the fact that both Serbians and Albanians (among other ethnic groups such as Gypsies) have the same rights to live there without fear of persecution and that all those who owned and lost land (including the Serbian Orthodox Church) must have it returned to the rightful owners or at the very least be properly compensated for it.
Telling all sides of this tragic story would be a first step in the healing process.
Dr. Michael Pravica, Henderson, NV