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.

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