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Kosovo's cannibalism
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-05-09 08:36:07
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For years I keep saying that we should not be naïve and believe that in a civil war like the one that happened in the former Yugoslavia there are good guys and bad guys, since the truth is that there were a lot of times I felt very lonely or that due to my origins I was blamed to support only one side.

kosovo_02Having seen a civil war and the results of a civil war I believe that the blame game should be the last one to play, that the process of healing is far more important and that it is including forget and forgive. However this is where the international community failed in Yugoslavia and forgetting that all the western powers share the responsibility of this civil war, including Germany, the US administration, EU and NATO – the above are not the only ones but they definitely played the dirtiest part, but this is for another time and history – forgetting that in Yugoslavia there was not a clash of religions despite the fact that Turkey and Albania, for their own Balkan interests has tried to show; and apart from all burning hates between Serbians, Bosnians and Albanians the truth is that they all share equally the guilt for what happened and if international justice wants to be fair instead of going constantly after Serbia should check a bit more carefully what the rest did.

It is equally sad that the person who started all this crusade against Serbia was the very same person who brought to light the sins of the others with more horrific the ones made from the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. Oddly when she was prosecuting a whole nation she had the whole Europe following her angry just because Milosevic died before convicted.

The former UN war crimes prosecutor, in a book published a few weeks ago, claims that the ethnic Albanians killed hundreds of Serbians in Kosovo to sell their organs. What can you call that? A crime against humanity? I have asked a question before and I feel that this is the right place to ask again, how do we define a genocide? Is it after killing a million, ten millions, ten thousands, ten hundreds of just ten people? Is a special scale which defines what makes one more genocide or crime against humanity than the other?

What the Albanians did in Kosovo should be treated as crime against humanity because they treated Serbians not as humans, they treated them worst than animals, products they could actually profit from, apparently they might have been nicer to their animals. Mrs Del Ponte is not the everyday person, and whatever she says has a lot of proven truth inside it; if not then the whole UN war crimes court has mistaken in every single case including the ones against Milosevic and I doubt if there is anybody who will dare say so. Mrs Del Ponte wasn’t exactly friendly with the Serbian government and the Serbian people often blaming them for the escaping Serbian criminals and punishing them by excluding from the union they have every right to belong. Actually Serbia is not allowed to join EU or NATO or any other international organization before the war criminals are arrested. So what is going to be the international reaction to Kosovo?

usbase_kosovo_400Kosovo has declared independence ignoring any reaction from Serbia and the reaction of the Serbians who live in Kosovo, actually the Serbians who dare still live in a country where they have been slaughtered. George W. Bush and his administration were all jolly to recognise straight away Kosovo and they are using every method to force the Europeans partners to join them in this party. How all of them are going to react now these things coming into light? They gave immunity, protection and support to some of the very same people Del Ponte named as the minds behind the crimes and they enjoy parliamentary and governmental positions in Kosovo.

In a civil war there are heroes, nationals who fight for the right of people in freedom and dignity but there are the others, the opportunist who see a civil war as a good chance to profit in many ways and that is something we have often seen. Instead as I said before leaving these people to heal, forget and forgive; apply justice, their own justice we were too kin into provoking a new problem with the name of independent Kosovo and all that while Serbia was in so bad condition that couldn’t defend even the Serbians who live in Kosovo. Now the international community is in front a new situation where the victim has been proven the worst victimizer, a cannibal of fellow humans. Is this how Kosovo people want to create a new country? And id the international community prepared to accept the responsibility of a new country based on cannibalism?

Last and not least, because I strongly believe that the US administration, the German, the French, the British government were well aware of all these crimes but especially the US administration why all this rash to recognize Kosovo? Is something we don’t know going on in that area? Does the fact that the biggest American base in European solid is around there, constructed and held from companies where Donald Rumsfeld the former US defence minister and Dick Cheney the US Vice-president have special interests? Perhaps that will explain their interest for FYROM as well. Or as I wrote three years ago in an article for Ovi magazine the war between USA and Europe has started and energy is the main issue with the natural gas spouts been the first front? Will that explain the Russians interest in the Balkans as well? As an Ovi magazine colleague often comments …that is food for thought!

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Emanuel Paparella2008-05-09 11:03:58
Indeed, plenty of food for thought here Thanos! For whatever they may be worth, some ruminations on the definition of genocide of which you inquire: if one defines genocide as the violent elimination of a whole race, then what the Nazis did to the Jews was not genocide since they did not eliminate the whole race. Idem for the Armenina genocide since not all Armenians were liquidated. I suspect that the definition of genocide has more to do with the actual intention on the part of the perpetrators, than in the actual number of people they successfully massacre. Let us take the Srebrenica massacre as conducted by General Mladic in 1995, a war criminal still at large, and as witnessed by 4000 Dutch UN troops who sadly did absolutely nothing while it was going on. It certainly deserves the designation “massacre” since more than 8000 men and boys were in fact systematically massacred. It also deserves the designation of mass murder, the biggest in Europe since Word War II.

Emanuel Paparella2008-05-09 11:06:28
(continued from above)In 2004, in an unanimous ruling on the "Prosecutor v. Krstić" case, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), located in The Hague, ruled that the Srebrenica massacre was genocide. What were its criteria? This: “They targeted for extinction the forty thousand Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica, a group which was emblematic of the Bosnian Muslims in general. They stripped all the male Muslim prisoners, military and civilian, elderly and young, of their personal belongings and identification, and deliberately and methodically killed them solely on the basis of their identity.” In February 2007 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) confirmed the ICTY judgement that the Srebrenica massacre was genocide. It ruled that Serbia failed to take all measures within its power to prevent the genocide, and that Serbia was to cooperate fully with the ICTY and that it must transfer to the Hague individuals accused of genocide or any other acts. So it would appear that even the intention of eliminating part of a race fulfills the definition of genocide. Moreover, since what is good for the goose is also good for the gander, I would fully agree with you that whomever commits massacres and/or genocide, no matter their rationalization, their religion, their political affiliation, their race should be brought to the International Court of Justice (paradoxically located in the Netherlands from where the UN troops who did nothing came from) for prosecution as war criminals. (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2008-05-09 11:18:47
As far as religion not being a factor in the political turmoil of the former Yugoslavia, consider this statement by the head of the Serb Orthodox Church in Kosovo, Bishop Artemije, who denounced the Serbian armed forces for doing nothing on the day of Kosovo’s declaration of independence on February 17th 2008 and called for war with these words: "Serbia should buy state-of-the-art weapons from Russia and other countries and call on Russia to send volunteers and establish a military presence in Serbia." Now, for a bishop, who proclaims to be a follower of Christ, to call for war is certainly and anomaly; so much for the Prince of Peace; but then ought we be surprised? It has happened before; it has in fact happened any time the universal principle of religion and justice have been politicized with narrow parochial ethnic concerns . Indeed, ethnic politics makes for some strange bedfellows.

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