Kosovo question should be seen as great ‘human tragedy’

To the Editor:

I feel it necessary to comment on the number of perspectives on Kosovar independence expressed in Arsi Sefaj’s column “Serbia should not deny Kosovo’s independence” (2/19), particularly as they reflect much media discourse on the issue.

While Kosovar independence has been inevitable for some time, we should not pretend to be endorsing a free, multi-ethnic, democratic state. Unfortunately, without partition, the eviction of Serbs and the oppression of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities will continue.

Sefaj endorses the view that Kosovo’s “special case” status has legitimized Western backing for independence. The inconsistencies are, however, glaring: when will it be expedient to support Kurdish, Tibetan, Chechen or Palestinian demands?

We should also recognize the role of the U.S. and its allies in the current problems. Validated by simplistic media vilification of the enemy, a “clean,” “successful” war, in defiance of the United Nations, has resulted in a chaotic political and economic situation. Does this sound familiar? Furthermore, as the European Union now stands poised to dump thousands of refugees back into Kosovo, how can we persist in claiming that closer ties to the West guarantee a peaceful and prosperous national destiny?

Lastly, and perhaps most disturbingly of all, the suggestion running through a great deal of this debate is that Serbs are only reaping what they have sown. Many Serbs believed the same thing when avenging their mistreatment during World War II. Let us hope this “justice” is never visited on our families, communities and nations for our wrongdoings.

Too much has been said in this paper celebrating the pageantry of the conflict, or dealing in sensational predictions of Kosovo as a terrorist hub in Europe (I believe many of our terrorists fly their victims elsewhere, Peter Johnston). The Kosovo question is not an ideological abstraction. It is a continuing human tragedy and must be viewed as such.

Hugh Kesson

Feb. 21

The writer is an employee of the Office of International Students and Scholars.


  • Kris

    Very ture and objective view.

  • Adrian

    More than four IIIyrian Entities compose Albania.
    All of them speaks Illyrian language but with different dialects. Three first has a very distinct Illyrian dialect named GEGE and the rest has another Illyrian dialect named TOSKE.
    On 1912 they united in one single state and agreed to be named Eagle’s Land. SHQIPERIA.
    The foreign “SKOLARS” named Albania based on the name of only one of the Entities.
    This was not only Ignorance but also a big mistake of these “very educated Scholars“.
    The situation then was so critical for SHQIPETARET, so they accepted any injustice and compromise. This was the big price they pay to gain the independence. Of course many other Illyrian entities was ignored. This has been done in purpose to use Illyrian territories as a trade merchandise to please slavics, which in return were used in two wars. The Slavics paid their price. They lost 56 million people 1908 – 1946. Illyrian paid bigger price. They were spread over 5 different states.
    It's about time to recognize the historical right of Kosova (Dardania) to have its destiny fulfilled-That is full independence. Kosova never was a Serbian province. It was there, since the times of birth of European civilization, a very distinct Dardanian/llyrian identity. Always populated by Dardanias who, although under constant pressure of forcefully migration by Serbian shovinism, Tito's Yugoslavia & Milloshevic's Serbia, still make up 92% of the population. They speak ilirian language with the dialect GEGE. Serbs always have been a minority there. We know that Serbs appeared in Balkans (then llyria) only by the 6th Century AD, and they speak a language more similar to Ukrainian then Russian. They have always been a minority and 'the story' of Kosova being the Heartland of Serbia is just a pure Serbian nationalist fantasy. Facts Speak Louder Than Words and Serbian’s Lies Will Collapse by Themselves. Serbs always have been considered as oppressors there, not just by Albanian majority, but also by other ethnic groups too. Serbs just occupied Kosova during the rise of the Serbian nationalism early 20th century from Ottomans, who by then were loosing the Balkans after 500 years of occupation. Now Kosova should be Free!
    To find the answer for the question “do you think Kosovo’s independence will strengthen separatist movements elsewhere”, please refer to:
    Erich Hartman – top ace of all the time. German Luftwaffe Bf 109 Pilot.
    Near the end of WWII, in early May 1945, Hartmann, then Gruppenkommandeur of famous Jagdgeschwader 52, and his Commodore, Hermann Graf, ground crew, family members, and other civilians, who had joined the squadron, seeking protection approaching Russian army, moved west in direction of territory already occupied by US troops. On May 8th, 1945, the soldiers and civilians surrendered to US troops in the region between Bavaria (German province) and Czech border. But on May 17th, the US Army delivered all of these German troops and civilians to the Red Army. How did the Russian troops treat the civilians? They tortured, raped German woman, children at least 12 years old. Some woman were shot after the rapes. Others were not so lucky. A twelve year old girl whose mother had been raped and shoot being raped by several solders. She died from these acts soon afterward. Then more Russian came, and it began all over again. During the night, entire German families committed suicide with men killing their wives and daughters, then themselves. This is the way the slavics treat the human been, the innocent civilians. This is the way the Serbs treated innocent Croatian, Bosnian and Dardanian civilians. If any entity of human been will be treated like that, then they are in title to ask and gain the independence.

  • nick

    You can not do anything for Chechnya.
    Nuclear death awaits you.
    You do not control the whole planet and if you try you will have the fate of Hitler.

  • Peter

    - 20.000.000 Russians died in the 2nd WW
    - 700.000 Serbs were killed by Croatian, Muslims and Albanians in the 2nd WW

    Are we justifying originators of the worst war ever: Germans, Croatians, Muslims, Albanians?
    Are we going to turn the history up side down?

  • Anonymous

    #2 Adrian,

    Great article, did you read the end? Clearly not… He says not to hate people for what a small group did… Very valuable lesson… The Serbs ought not to hate Albanians for the actions of the KLA or radicals as the Albanians should not hate Serbs for the actions of a few…

    Everyone in the Balkans keeps killing each other, they just need to learn to move past and try to fix relationships!

    Kosovo's already left… Give it a little while, if the KLA gets worse and the gov't does nothing, Serbia should take it back. If the gov't cracks down on KLA and treats the Serbs fairly, then leave it alone.

  • Gerald

    Yesterday’s news on channel 8 reported that Yale has a chance of losing 500 million dollars in Federal funds for not responding to concerns or complaints effectively! Their behavior is very arrogant across the board on many issues of concerns or complaints it seems. Two years ago I asked for VERY basic info.(name and adress only) to snail a letter regarding medical research. Spokesman Robin Hogen refused to comply with my request, most likely due from my editorial letters critical of Yale’s research! It has now been one week and I re-asked this same request from Mr. Rudczynski(Associate VP in research administation). I would like to submit this data to pertinent people showing MORE Yale snobbery and the willfullness of it. Up to 85% of their medical research is tax-payer funded and they feel above the law in ignoring AGAIN my request from last week, probably due to another editorial letter recently. Not to get off the subject but a recent reading I had from an intuitive medium said that a portion of Yale acts like NAZI-ISM!!