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There's a new nation in Europe: Kosovo

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Feb 18th, 2008, 08:23 AM
  #1
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There's a new nation in Europe: Kosovo

As we were walking through the streets of Lucerne last night (to go watch "The Kite Runner" no less) we heard horns honking, saw flags being waved and felt a wave of joy and celebration. The Kosovo natives were celebrating their country's independence all over Switzerland.

Serbia's against it as well as Russia. Switzerland is supporting Kosovo's independence.

Quiz question: What's the capital of Kosovo?

http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/front/K...43089000&ty=st
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Feb 18th, 2008, 09:04 AM
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Pristina !
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Feb 18th, 2008, 09:29 AM
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That's right! A very pretty name.
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Feb 18th, 2008, 10:00 AM
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Great...now I can add Kosovo to our country count..we were there a few times during Tito time, and once during its Serbian days.

Met some walking pilgrims from Seattle(about a dozen) in Pristina one day in 1983..they were "World Peace" people (young and old), walking from Brussels to Israel.

They thought we were German because of the plates on our Frankfurt rental car, and when we stopped to talk with them they were so surprised to see two Americans in that part of the world back then...insisted that we join them to take a group pic which we did.

We took phone numbers and when we returned home we called their families who were all so grateful for the current eyewitness regards.

This pushes the country count over the 70 mark.

stu t.
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Feb 18th, 2008, 10:25 AM
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Not everyone recognizes Kosovo's self proclamated independence - namely Russia who is right now trying to get U.N. opinion to change against it.

Expect this classic example of Balkanization to be a Taiwan or Isreal situation where it's a nation to some and not to others.
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Feb 18th, 2008, 10:28 AM
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It is not an example of Balkanization it is Balkanization.
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Feb 18th, 2008, 10:31 AM
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Posters were put up in Pristina and other parts of Kosovo thanking America (and other countries) for support of Kosovo nationhood. We found it amusing that the posters feature a portrait of former Pres. Bill Clinton instead of GWB. There's even a Bill Clinton Boulevard:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mopsy_slaughter/303085686/

From the IHT:
n an outpouring of adulation for the United States, the architect of NATO's 1999 bombing campaign against Serbian forces under President Slobodan Milosevic, thousands of revelers unfurled giant American flags, carried posters of former President Bill Clinton and chanted "Thank you U.S.A." and "God bless America."
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/...e/18kosovo.php
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Feb 18th, 2008, 10:36 AM
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wonder if Bill is so revered in Bosnia?
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Feb 18th, 2008, 10:45 AM
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You realise of course this will (and since the US and the serious EU members are recognising it, that's "will", not "might be", however much the Greeks huff and puff) be Europe's first Islamic-majority state.

Though apparently that wasn't obvious last night from the amount of booze Muslim Kosovans were drinking. And the girls don't exactly look as if they're going to let a bunch of self-apponted imams tell them what to wear.

A pro-West Islamic state that the lunatic, Orthodox Christian, fringe refuses to recognise. Complicated stuff, international politics.

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Feb 18th, 2008, 11:20 AM
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I heard Archbishop of Canterbury is urging the creation of Sharia law in Kosovo?
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Feb 18th, 2008, 11:22 AM
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>first Islamic-majority
Albania or Turkey, if you consider Turkey being part of Europe.
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Feb 18th, 2008, 11:27 AM
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From the viewpoint of International and constitutional law this opens Pandora's box.

Sorry, but while I am glad for the Kosovaris I am quite concerned about what might happen in other countries with strong, concentrated minorities. Is now any minority that inhabits a clearly to define region free to declare secession? Kurds? Basque? Corsica? Ok, ok, the latter is probably fine.

I really wish all the parties involved would have come to an understanding.
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Feb 18th, 2008, 11:31 AM
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Bosnia ( now) has about 48% Muslim population - not a majority, but from what I hear from friends, very influential group .
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Feb 18th, 2008, 11:33 AM
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Is now any minority that inhabits a clearly to define region free to declare secession? Kurds? Basque? Corsica

Bavarians and Bavaria?
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Feb 18th, 2008, 11:38 AM
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Of course most of Turkey's not in Europe. And most Albanians don't have a religion at all, whatever religion their grandparents might have belonged to: religion hasn't really resurfaced there.

Religion - or at any rate describing your tribe by religion in roughly the same way the Northern Irish tribes describe themselves - seems to matter more in Kosovo because the Serbs define themselves as Orthodox. Serb propaganda since the late 1980s has been obsessed with the Muslim peril and the wrongs Muslims (and Catholics, and practically everyone else you can think of including the Little Rissington Mothers Union) have allegedly inflicted on Serbs over the centuries.

Will Kosovo become the beacon of enlightened "you can tell I'm Muslim because I don't go to the mosque and you can tell he's Serb because he doesn't go to church" Euro-Islam? Or will Saudi money bring the same dismal Wahabbi misogyny to Kosovo that currently curses the housing estates of Bradford or Tower Hamlets?

It'll be interesting to watch. But probably best from a distance.
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Feb 18th, 2008, 11:41 AM
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Albanians and Kosovo are one one people with some serbian minorities in the Kosovo. So...
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Feb 18th, 2008, 11:45 AM
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"Is now any minority that inhabits a clearly to define region free to declare secession?"

Most of the time it scarcely matters. If most Catalans or Scots want to be independent, why shouldn't they be? Why is that more of a Pandora's Box than saying they can be any religion they like, or read any books they like? And in modern Europe, "independence" is no more significant than letting part of Virgina break off to become a 51st State. 100,000 pages of EU aquis communitaire tie wannabe dictators' hands pretty robustly.

But Kosovo's seriously different because, under Milosevic, Muslims were grievously (ie official rapes, murders and forcible dispossessions) persecuted. Serbia simply can't be trusted to govern minorities in a civilised way.
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Feb 18th, 2008, 12:17 PM
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I've been surprised that, with the Kosavars waving Albanian flags, I've heard no discussion of an eventual merging with Albania. Any insights on that possibility?
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Feb 18th, 2008, 12:33 PM
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Sadly I'm not so sure that independence is going to be a good thing for Kosovo. It's a mostly rural economy that doesn't produce anything and relies heavily on Serbia for goods and energy. I'm glad they're out from under the Serbs' thumb, but I can't see that independence is going to be all that helpful to their economic situation.
 
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Feb 18th, 2008, 12:34 PM
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there are large Albanian minorities in Macedonia and Montenegro ;there has been some talk about the " greater" Albania , but for now, it seems none of the parties is interested.
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