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Author Topic: Serbia rejects Kosovo independence  (Read 5993 times) Average Rating: 0
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sdcheung
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« on: February 15, 2006, 08:20:26 PM »

I say this is very good...

Photios...

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Serbia rejects Kosovo independence

February 16, 2006 NEW YORK:

Serbia's President has proposed a 20-year grace period before deciding Kosovo's final status, a suggestion quickly dismissed by Kosovo's Prime Minister and European powers.

The dispute at yesterday's UN Security Council meeting on Kosovo illustrates the chasm between the two sides just days before long-awaited talks organised by the UN on the future of the Serbian province begin in Vienna on Monday .

Kosovo has been run by the UN since NATO bombs drove Serb forces out of the province in 1999 during a campaign of ethnic cleansing under former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.

Serbian President Boris Tadic yesterday offered Kosovo wide autonomy but rejected independence for the province, now controlled by ethnic Albanians.

He told the Security Council that Kosovo's status could be renegotiated "after an agreed period of time, say 20 years".

But Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi, the first Pristina government official to attend a council meeting, rejected drawn-out negotiations, saying: "I believe this is the appropriate moment where we have to end and close the Kosovo question.

"I do not think we should leave room for other periods to deal with the Kosovo question," Mr Kosumi said. "We need to give the people of Kosovo their chance to create their own lives and live in freedom."

However, Mr Tadic and Russia's UN ambassador, Andrei Denisov, warned that independence for Kosovo could have an impact on the resolution of other conflicts in the region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested, for instance, that if Kosovo were granted independence the same might be appropriate for the breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia provinces in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

The top UN envoy in Kosovo, Soren Jessen-Petersen, told Mr Kosumi it was important that minority rights for Serbs and others be protected among other demands by the council.

"The message is clear," he said. "The sooner and the faster we institute in Kosovo implemented standards, the sooner we will have a decision on the status in Kosovo."

Mr Jessen-Petersen said the talks needed participation from the Serbs in Kosovo and not just those from Belgrade.

The Serb, Turk, Bosnian, Roma and other minority communities, which account for 10 to 12per cent of the population, have faced isolation, insecurity and violence from the ethnic Albanian majority since the takeover. Many Serbs have been expelled and have been prevented from returning home.

In response, the Serbs have maintained parallel administrative structures linked to Belgrade and rejected overtures to participate in the Kosovo regime.

The EU and a group of countries acting as advisers, which includes Russia, want the status dispute resolved this year.

"Any settlement should conclude during 2006," British envoy Adam Thomson said.

"And it clearly cannot disregard the aspirations of 90per cent of the population of Kosovo, so independence is a realistic option."

Reuters
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2006, 08:27:53 PM »

Oh dear, just what we need: the status of Kosovo being decided by the same idiots that screwed up the "statuses" of all the other nations in the Balkains...
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2006, 08:32:39 PM »

yeah..
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2006, 08:34:39 PM »

prayer and fasting: the two necessary components to the process, the two that will be the most visibly absent...
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2006, 09:07:49 PM »

Hmmm, serbia might have to make a military commitment for this one, I wonder if they still have it in them.

Hold out against the air-strikes, wait for an invasion, hopefully that will spark Russians involvement like it probably would have in '98, if the Russians do come in, you can use Russia's nukes as leverage against the west.

It's a long shot, but with the way things are going I dont know if the Serbs will have any other choice.
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2006, 09:13:39 PM »

Interesting theory.... you really think Russia would go in to support Serbia in case of invasion... who would be invading?  I guess they might depending on what the answer to this question is...
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2006, 09:26:01 PM »

Interesting theory.... you really think Russia would go in to support Serbia in case of invasion... who would be invading?  I guess they might depending on what the answer to this question is...

I'm not certain that anyone would for sure and if no one does then Serbia wins. The US only got involved in 98 to score political points with our european allies, I doubt we'd be willing to go so far as an occupation, and I really doubt that any European country has the balls to invade and occupy Serbia. Back in the last conflict there was a serious possibility that Russia would get involved if a land war commenced, regardless of who was involved. But I could definately see them getting in a direct conflict with any country other than the US, and as I said before I dont know that the US is willing to go to that extent, we're busy, we have our next targets, Iran, Syria, and N. Korea.
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2006, 09:56:42 PM »

CLICK HERE to hear Serbian troops dis the Kosovo swearing in oath:

Translation of link:

Officer: "I solemnly swear"
Serb recruits: "I solemnly swear"

Officer: "that I'll defend"
Serb recruits: "that I'll defend"

Officer: "sovereignity"
Serb recruits: "sovereignity"

Officer: "territorial integrity"
Serb recruits: "territorial integrity"

Officer: "constitutional order"
Serb recruits: "constitutional order"

Officer: "and political independence"
Serb recruits: "and political independence"

Officer: "of Bosnia and Hercegovina"
Serb recruits: "OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA!!"
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2006, 10:13:11 PM »

CLICK HERE to hear Serbian troops dis the Kosovo swearing in oath:

Translation of link:

Officer: "I solemnly swear"
Serb recruits: "I solemnly swear"

Officer: "that I'll defend"
Serb recruits: "that I'll defend"

Officer: "sovereignity"
Serb recruits: "sovereignity"

Officer: "territorial integrity"
Serb recruits: "territorial integrity"

Officer: "constitutional order"
Serb recruits: "constitutional order"

Officer: "and political independence"
Serb recruits: "and political independence"

Officer: "of Bosnia and Hercegovina"
Serb recruits: "OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA!!"

Cool
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2006, 10:21:26 PM »

I'm not certain that anyone would for sure and if no one does then Serbia wins. The US only got involved in 98 to score political points with our european allies, I doubt we'd be willing to go so far as an occupation, and I really doubt that any European country has the balls to invade and occupy Serbia. Back in the last conflict there was a serious possibility that Russia would get involved if a land war commenced, regardless of who was involved. But I could definately see them getting in a direct conflict with any country other than the US, and as I said before I dont know that the US is willing to go to that extent, we're busy, we have our next targets, Iran, Syria, and N. Korea.   

I was thinking along these similar lines when I read your earlier post.... just needed the clarification of your position.
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2006, 06:24:45 AM »

Έάν μή Κύριος οίκοδομήση οίκον, είς μάτην έκοπίασαν οί οίκοδομούντες, έάν μή Κύριος φυλάξη πόλιν, έίς μάτην ήγρυπνησεν ό φυλάσσων.
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« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2006, 08:03:53 AM »

Έάν μή Κύριος οίκοδομήση οίκον, είς μάτην έκοπίασαν οί οίκοδομούντες, έάν μή Κύριος φυλάξη πόλιν, έίς μάτην ήγρυπνησεν ÏŒ φυλάσσων.   

Absolutely.  We just need the patience to understand that the Lord often works on different timetables than we do; while not wanting to be totally passive in life, we also don't want to force His hand.  We'll see what kind of approach is taken with the whole Kosovo thing...
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« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2006, 08:17:07 AM »

Έάν μή Κύριος οίκοδομήση οίκον, είς μάτην έκοπίασαν οί οίκοδομούντες, έάν μή Κύριος φυλάξη πόλιν, έίς μάτην ήγρυπνησεν ό φυλάσσων.

It's all Greek to me!  Wink Shocked

Don't worry about translating it, I have given up on that a long time ago...  Tongue
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2006, 08:31:08 AM »

It's all Greek to me!  Wink Shocked
Actually, it's Koine Wink It's the first verse of the 126th Psalm in the Septuagint:
"If the Lord does not build the house, then the builders work in vain, if the Lord does not guard the city, in vain does the watchman keep vigil."
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2006, 08:34:13 AM »

Actually, it's Koine Wink It's the first verse of the 126th Psalm in the Septuagint:
"If the Lord does not build the house, then the builders work in vain, if the Lord does not guard the city, in vain does the watchman keep vigil."

Well I knew it was Koine, but Koine is still Greek  Smiley And knowing what language it is makes me no closer to knowing what in the world it's saying  Grin Thanks for the translation  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2006, 09:53:11 AM »

I have a different (and less optimistic) view than the rest.

Serbian politicians in power right now, have no stomach for war.  Taking control over their country is something the current crop of western "yes men" has no desire towards.

On his last visit to New York (a few months ago), I was "fortunate" enough to have been involved in some group "discussions" with Tadic.  He made it abundantly clear that the army was not an option.

Second, I do not believe (as GiC does) that Russia will provide any help.  Serbia held out from bombs for 78 days in 1999.  Those bombs hit residential buildings, bridges, water treatment facilities, major thoroughfares etc.. yet Russia didn't budge.  In fact, IMHO, instead of helping the bungled any opportunity to help Serbs (not that they are required to do so, its just that most Serbs view Russians as a "big brother").

I still think the trade of is going to be Kosovo for Republika Srpska in Bosnia.  Serbs are forced into a position of accepting whatever scraps are thrown to us.  This will probably be the most palatable, which is very sad.

However, sitting comfortably in a leather chair in an American office, I suppose it is very easy for me to say "they should go to war".  It wouldn't be me or my children dying.  I really don't know that the answer is for Serbia, I can hardly identify the questions, let alone the answers. Undecided
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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2006, 09:54:32 AM »

By the way, in the event none of you has seen this kind of thing, check out this website http://www.byzantinesacredart.com/iconographer-inspiration-kosovo3.html and see some of the things which go on everyday in Kosovo.
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« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2006, 10:39:09 AM »

You know all this talk about invasion, busting out troops in Serbia (and Kosovo), as well as whether or not Serbs are going to get help from "big brother" Russia...it all sounds vaguely familiar....hm....something about....1918....no?  hm..maybe not. 
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« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2006, 10:41:33 AM »

IMHO I think Serbs SHOULD go out there and kick some butt!  However, having family there and having gone there last summer, I know people are SICK of war.  They just want to know that there will be some kind of stability and that no more Serbs will have to die in mass amounts.  I think at this point, if that means that they have to lose Kosovo, then so be it.  Which truly tears my heart apart.  I hope someone steps in and explains to people that 70,000 serbs died there in 1389 and that God made them martyrs and saints because of it. 

Oh how often we forget our roots...
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« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2006, 10:42:07 AM »

But nowadays I don't think it can and/or will develop as that war did.  I tend to agree with SS99 that there won't be any Russian intervention in the matter, and I don't think that all-out war will develop on this either...

(Of course, I may be proven wrong in the next few years, so who knows...)
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« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2006, 11:37:35 AM »

You know all this talk about invasion, busting out troops in Serbia (and Kosovo), as well as whether or not Serbs are going to get help from "big brother" Russia...it all sounds vaguely familiar....hm....something about....1918....no?¦nbsp; hm..maybe not.¦nbsp;

It was 1914...and Serbia did come out on the winning side...in 1918; and even got some extra land from the Austro-Hungarian Empire out of it. If the military course of action was taken there would cerainly be casualities, but it really comes down to what of greater value, peace or honour?
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« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2006, 12:43:28 PM »

Kosovo has become for all practical purposes a de facto Muslim enclave in which a small minority of Kosovo Serbs now eek out a living amidst the continual persecution by the Muslim majorities inspite of the KFOR now in place. The very thing that the U.N. feared happening when Serbian troops moved into Kosovo, ie a genicidal ellimination of a people, namely Albanian and Kosovo Muslims has had a reverse affect. It is now the methodical genicidal ellimination of the Serb populations or what is left by the Kosovo Muslim people.  A war by Serbia would only bring down condemnation upon them from the EU and the US.  Serbia needs to find a way to negotiate a settlement one in which guarantees some sort of autonomy and protection for the remaining Serbs. I dont see an armed conflict resolving these problems, it can only make things worse.  Serbia has to be ever vigilant on it's borders to insure that this dosnt spill into its own country.  She also has to be strong enough to effect any outcome of peace talks between the two parties.  And, KFOR although its protection has been spotty at best is better than nothing and must remain for the forseeable future to protect the Serbs from roving gangs of thugs bent on killing and destroying any remaining vestiges of Eastern Orthodox influence.
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« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2006, 01:53:47 PM »

And, KFOR although its protection has been spotty at best is better than nothing and must remain for the forseeable future to protect the Serbs from roving gangs of thugs bent on killing and destroying any remaining vestiges of Eastern Orthodox influence.

spotty at best??  Then how can we (serbs) expect KFOR to protect!!?!?

Also, spotty at best is the understatement of the century.  I always think "what if 100,000 serbs were to just pick up and move into Kosovo, to force the hands of KFOR and protect people" 

Unfortunately the answer is, every single one of those people would either die, or be forced out of Kosovo, and KFOR would do close to absolutely nothing about it.  I find it EXTREMELY hard to believe that KFOR is the answer for protection Serbs would need to live in Kosovo. 
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« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2006, 02:22:03 PM »

She also has to be strong enough to effect any outcome of peace talks between the two parties.  And, KFOR although its protection has been spotty at best is better than nothing and must remain for the forseeable future to protect the Serbs from roving gangs of thugs bent on killing and destroying any remaining vestiges of Eastern Orthodox influence.

I think the Serbian Military would do a better job...the more I think about this situation the more I think it would work, with or without Russia, Europe today is not the Europe that once ruled nearly the entire world...it is a weak and worthless shadow of its former glory. Of course there would be a high price to be paid...and there are few men of honour today (in any country, I'm certainly not singling out Serbia on this one) who would be willing to pay this price.

I suspect what will happen is that serbia will be divided, and will accept this to maintain the peace, and in doing so will be slowly weakened until she is eventually destroyed by her enemies.
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« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2006, 05:20:50 PM »

Divide and conquer.....Napoleon's still alive.  
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« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2006, 05:21:51 PM »

Divide and conquer.....Napoleon's still alive. ÂÂ

Is he? Who did he reincarnate as after Patton died?
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« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2006, 05:23:39 PM »

Wesley Clark...i don't know who he is now...but that's the most recent version
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« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2006, 06:29:35 PM »

Kosovo has become for all practical purposes a de facto Muslim enclave in which a small minority of Kosovo Serbs now eek out a living amidst the continual persecution by the Muslim majorities inspite of the KFOR now in place. The very thing that the U.N. feared happening when Serbian troops moved into Kosovo, ie a genicidal ellimination of a people, namely Albanian and Kosovo Muslims has had a reverse affect. It is now the methodical genicidal ellimination of the Serb populations or what is left by the Kosovo Muslim people.ÂÂ  A war by Serbia would only bring down condemnation upon them from the EU and the US.ÂÂ  Serbia needs to find a way to negotiate a settlement one in which guarantees some sort of autonomy and protection for the remaining Serbs. I dont see an armed conflict resolving these problems, it can only make things worse.ÂÂ  Serbia has to be ever vigilant on it's borders to insure that this dosnt spill into its own country.ÂÂ  She also has to be strong enough to effect any outcome of peace talks between the two parties.ÂÂ  And, KFOR although its protection has been spotty at best is better than nothing and must remain for the forseeable future to protect the Serbs from roving gangs of thugs bent on killing and destroying any remaining vestiges of Eastern Orthodox influence.
Wow, I really thought this was excellent.

I also agree with S1389, I'm not sure Serbs have the stomach for more war (as per family in friends still living there).  While military intervention *may* yield the best result, I don't think it is likely at all.  Kosovo is gone, I'm not sure this is where it stops.  Muslim and RC's have aligned in Montengro, leading them towards separation and I'm now hearing murmurs of Vlach displeasure in Vojvodina.

All of this, and of the nearly 300,000 Serbs expelled from Krajina, less than 20% have been returned to their homes.
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« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2006, 07:37:32 PM »

spotty at best??ÂÂ  Then how can we (serbs) expect KFOR to protect!!?!?

Also, spotty at best is the understatement of the century.ÂÂ  I always think "what if 100,000 serbs were to just pick up and move into Kosovo, to force the hands of KFOR and protect people"ÂÂ  

Unfortunately the answer is, every single one of those people would either die, or be forced out of Kosovo, and KFOR would do close to absolutely nothing about it.ÂÂ  I find it EXTREMELY hard to believe that KFOR is the answer for protection Serbs would need to live in Kosovo.ÂÂ  

You are right in your assumptions.  However, I have heard of individual acts of heroism by the Italian KFOR forces in transporting those few Orthodox Christians back and forth to church and have been successful although limited in protecting some small villages from attacks.  Most churches under KFOR are somewhat protected by barbed wire and have a permanent security force. So, although for the most part KFOR is but a paper tiger some individual units of KFOR are doing a a good job with what resources they have.  
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« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2006, 08:09:39 PM »

I totally understand.  Please forgive my emotional replies.  I have also heard of many KFOR troups protecting certain Serbian monasteries such as Decani and Gracanica.  There have been plenty of heroic acts.  And I truly appreciate that, but its not enough.  Its not even something.  Its 1 or 2 guys doing something, because of their conscious.  Where and what is the conscious of the entire KFOR.  According to the documents that began the group, their job is to protect all people in Kosovo.  

I realize they can't do that because of KLA and other factors, but isn't that what they bombed Serbia for in the first place?  Supposedly expelling Kosovar Albanians?  Wasn't it KFOR's job to ensure things like that would never happen?  Its just so hard for me to deal with people's applause of KFOR and to suggest that they are doing some kind of good, when the bad that they are causing is so much greater.  (in my opinion).  
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« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2006, 02:07:31 AM »

Second, I do not believe (as GiC does) that Russia will provide any help.ÂÂ  Serbia held out from bombs for 78 days in 1999.ÂÂ  Those bombs hit residential buildings, bridges, water treatment facilities, major thoroughfares etc.. yet Russia didn't budge.ÂÂ  In fact, IMHO, instead of helping the bungled any opportunity to help Serbs (not that they are required to do so, its just that most Serbs view Russians as a "big brother").

Most Serbs unfortunately forget that the Yeltsin administration was majorly leaning towards the Clinton administration, due to the fact that the latter was closely linked with the Yeltsinite robber barons. As a matter of fact if it wasn't for the population of Russia that was immensely hostile to the Yeltsin government during that time in particular, I think that the Yeltsin administration would have acted even worse in relation to Serbia.

The Russian populace was raging with anger and there were many grass roots volunteer groups that were preparing to go to Serbia in the event of a land invasion. The obstacle to such an initiative was 1) the Yeltsin government, which hunted down, arrested, and jailed many Russian volunteers that helped the Serbs during Bosnia, and was preparing to do the same for Kosovo, and 2) the fact that volunteers needed to cross Moldova and Romania to get to Serbia, when the Constantinescu government was heavily under NATO's sphere of influence.

So, Russian volunteers who wanted to fight in Serbia would a) risk being arrested by the Romanian police trying to cross into Romania and go through to Serbia, with the possibility of them being handed over directly to NATO forces where they'd be kept prisoner until the end of the war, or b) if they survived the war, face arrest and prosecution when they returned home or end up living forever in Serbia.

Yet it's admirable that there were enough people willing to fight, and during the 78 days of bombing there were a considerable number of Russians who risked everything and came to fight - there was an entire Russian police unit in Kosovo as a matter of fact. I find that not many Serbs appreciate this. Usually the Greeks get lots of credit and love from Serbs during the war but the Russians are told "you really did next to nothing".

Also, let's not forget that if it wasn't for Russia, the current UN resolution which states that Kosovo is a part of Serbia would not have been passed.

As far as today's situation is concerned, Putin is a considerably different man from Yeltsin - and thank God. I'm sure that his acts of diplomacy will be crucial in helping Serbia keep Kosovo, or at least forestall the damage that may happen if the Albanians get their way.

Let's hope that Bush is wise enough not to open yet another front.
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« Reply #31 on: February 21, 2006, 08:43:46 AM »

Let's hope that Bush is wise enough not to open yet another front.

I don't think wisdom from him has anything to do with it.  Its all gona come from those around him, not actually from him.  So in a nutshell....we're looking at another fiasco.  
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« Reply #32 on: February 21, 2006, 12:23:19 PM »

Yet it's admirable that there were enough people willing to fight, and during the 78 days of bombing there were a considerable number of Russians who risked everything and came to fight - there was an entire Russian police unit in Kosovo as a matter of fact. I find that not many Serbs appreciate this. Usually the Greeks get lots of credit and love from Serbs during the war but the Russians are told "you really did next to nothing".
I've gotten into this once before (here) and when I speak of "Russian" involvement, I mean Russia as a political entity.

No doubt, Russian individuals supported Serbia (and still do).  Absolutely true that some Russians came to fight also.  However, without the force of the big Russian bear behind them, Russians, like Serbs were just canon fodder for Nato bombs.

I also don't think we give more "credit and love" to Greeks and not Russians.  Our relationship is different, but if I had to say, I would think the average Serb has a greater affinity towards the Russians because we are essentially the same people.  The Greeks are our spiritual brothers (as are the Russians) but as far as the Russian are concerned, we probably view them more like a "father figure" or "older cousin".  I think most Serbs, prayed that Russia (under Yeltsin) tried to help Serbs, he did not.

Where you and I differ is our view on Putin.  While agree he is better than Yeltsin (isn't anyone), I don't see him going to war over Serbia.  We have to be realistic about it, in assessing the overall importance of Serbia in world politics.  Do you really think Russia is anxious to put her troops in harms way to help Serbs?  Why would they be?  I just don't think any Russian leader (save maybe some of the more radical opposition) cares enough about Serbia to really get involved.
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« Reply #33 on: February 21, 2006, 01:41:55 PM »

I agree.   However, I wouldn't put it past Putin to try to stick it to the West, and show them that they still are the Big Brother of the East.  
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« Reply #34 on: February 21, 2006, 01:47:08 PM »

Look at this article: http://english.people.com.cn/200602/12/eng20060212_241996.html

Kosovo ready for first status talks in Vienna
       

Newly-elected Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu said in Pristina on Saturday that the Kosovo negotiating team is ready for the first status talks with Belgrade due to be held in Vienna on Feb. 20.

Sejdiu, who was elected as the president on Friday, said "it is yet to be decided on the composition of the delegation that would leave for Austria," the official Tanjug news agency reported.

But Kosovo's negotiating team decided on Saturday to take part in the talks and adopted a document on the local administration reform in Kosovo, said Sejdiu, who heads Kosovo's negotiating team for future status talks.

A part of Serbia-Montenegro, Kosovo has been run by the United Nations since mid-1999. Kosovo's future status has long been a bitter subject between Belgrade and Kosovo's Albanian majority who are pushing for independence from Serbia.

The UN-sponsored talks would initially be focused on decentralization, which would help ensure the security of non- Albanian minorities.

Sejdiu said that the basic document on the local administration reform was discussed by the negotiating team and was accepted in principle, as proposed by a political group and foreign experts.

Kosovo Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi said that there are no delays in the negotiating team's preparations, since the team and working groups had completed their tasks on time.

Source: Xinhua

Quote
The UN-sponsored talks would initially be focused on decentralization, which would help ensure the security of non- Albanian minorities.

I would LOVE to see an inkling of this type of action.  Its all empty words... Undecided Angry Angry
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« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2006, 01:50:23 PM »

Here is an article about the Serbian delegation, notice the difference:
http://english.people.com.cn/200601/06/eng20060106_233255.html

Serbia appoints delegation for Kosovo talks in Vienna
       

The Serbian negotiating team for Kosovo's future status talks, which is led by top Serbian leaders, met on Thursday and appointed a delegation for Kosovo's status talks in Vienna in late January.

The delegation includes four members of the negotiating team as well as the members of the Kosovo decentralization working group, said a government statement.

The negotiating team, which was set up on Nov. 24 in 2005, includes three main negotiators, a nine-member operative part and a standing advisor. It is co-chaired by Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and Serbian President Boris Tadic.

Kosovo, a Serbian breakaway province populated mostly ethnic Albanians, has been under the UN administration since mid-1999. Its future status talks are expected to be started officially in Vienna in late January under the auspices of UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari.

In the meeting chaired by Kostunica on Thursday, the team also unanimously adopted a platform of the negotiating team for the forthcoming talks, said the statement, adding that the platform is based on the well-known principles from the previously adopted documents.

These principles are the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, essential autonomy for Kosovo within Serbia, the formation of a Serb entity in Kosovo via comprehensive decentralization, protection of Orthodox churches and monasteries, as well as the entire cultural heritage and the protection of public and private property in the province.

Source: Xinhua

Quote
These principles are the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, essential autonomy for Kosovo within Serbia, the formation of a Serb entity in Kosovo via comprehensive decentralization, protection of Orthodox churches and monasteries, as well as the entire cultural heritage and the protection of public and private property in the province.

See how Serbia's delegation and the article about it is much more expressive of WHAT needs to happen.  It also expresses what the situation IS, and what's going on, by expressing what needs to be changed.  

Its really interesting to see how different the 2 articles are, even though they were written by the same person.  
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« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2006, 02:42:13 PM »

I've gotten into this once before (here) and when I speak of "Russian" involvement, I mean Russia as a political entity.

It's better to say "Yeltsin administration", just to make it clear, or even better "the pro-Clinton Yeltsin administration". I hate it when people interchange Soviet Union for Russia and when we're talking Yeltsin's foreign policy, that's almost the same as the USSR. Russia was on Greece's side during WWI, but the Soviet Union supported Attaturk. Go figure...

Quote
No doubt, Russian individuals supported Serbia (and still do).  Absolutely true that some Russians came to fight also.  However, without the force of the big Russian bear behind them, Russians, like Serbs were just canon fodder for Nato bombs.

You can be sure that if there was a land invasion there would be many more Russians there, which is why some of Yeltsin's people were desparately trying to pass legislation that would help prosecute Russian volunteers. When you're being bombed from 10,000-20,000 feet there's not much a soldier can do even with an anti-aircraft weapon.

Quote
 I think most Serbs, prayed that Russia (under Yeltsin) tried to help Serbs, he did not.

I think that their prayers were being answered, because if the Russian people hadn't responded to the bombing the way they did, the Yeltsin government would have done far worse.

Btw, I absolutely LOVE Greeks for the record and I do highly respect their response during the bombing.

Quote
Where you and I differ is our view on Putin.  While agree he is better than Yeltsin (isn't anyone), I don't see him going to war over Serbia.  We have to be realistic about it, in assessing the overall importance of Serbia in world politics.  Do you really think Russia is anxious to put her troops in harms way to help Serbs?  Why would they be?  I just don't think any Russian leader (save maybe some of the more radical opposition) cares enough about Serbia to really get involved.

I think Putin as an Orthodox Christian really does care. He's just not as openly verbose about it as some of Russia's other politicians are.

Someone like Zhirinovski will wave his fists and say that NATO will be destroyed, but ultimately he doesn't have any effective manner of doing that, nor do I think he really cares deep inside about anything other than getting the votes from his electorate. The communist party will also stammer up and down about the Serbian issue, but only because they hate the west period, and because they are using the patriotic sentiments of the older generation to win support. The communists were hoping to impeach Yeltsin during the bombing, Zuganov was aiming to jump into the president's chair and he knew that standing behind the Serbian issue was the best way to win popular support. Thank God that didn't work, it would have been worse for both Russia and Serbia.

I think that if anything happens with the Serbian issue we'll see Putin playing a major role on Serbia's behalf - as much as any political figure is willing to take a risk.

But for Putin to simply walk out and say "If you touch Kosovo we're going to immediately force march our troops through NATO member Romania and send our aircraft" is suicidal. That's identical to declaring war on NATO. NATO is then in a great position to send aid to the Chechens, they'll press on all their levers in the Ukraine, they'll immediately make some very lucrative overtures to starving Voronin in Moldova, they'll get their ally Latvia to up the pressure against the Russian minority living there, Poland will get a chance to show its NATO loyalty again, China which is chopping away at Siberia will get more license to do whatever it wants, and it will turn into a war for the dismemberment of Russia (which has already begun). They'll also strangle Russia with embargos. Russia's more moderate Islamic community will also be more prone to extremist propaganda if this happens.

If anything the strategy will be to properly convince NATO that defending the Albanians is not in their interest, that the Serbs aren't going to give up and there will be others that will help the Serbs if the west thinks it can bully away Kosovo.

I'm sure that if the military situation escalates we'll see a drift of Russian volunteers as well as others, which is what happened during the Balkan wars two centuries ago. There are many ways of fighting the war without sending aircraft carriers and tanks. Let's just pray that it doesn't get to that and that the NATO leaders see beyond their ego.
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« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2006, 04:04:17 PM »

While appreciate your optimism, I'm not sure I share in it.

I have little faith in man, but plenty in God and I suppose that is all that matters.  I'm sure he will watch over and protect his faithful servants.
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« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2006, 09:00:40 PM »

The only real hope for Kosovo to once again become an Orthodox stronghold is encourage an expansion of of Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana's missionary efforts among Albanians.  This is not really any more far-fetched than the miracle he has already accomplished in Albania in resurecting the Orthodox Church there.  A military occupation by Serbia of Kosovo isn't a long term solution.  

Apparently though the political machine is already at work in all this (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4737382.stm).  I wonder what sort of deal Serbia hopes to get by offering up Mladić's head on a platter when the time comes.    
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« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2006, 09:22:57 PM »

Mladic is just a sign of appeasement to the West.  He's a figurehead just as much as Milosevic was.  

 Kaminetz

I really liked your points.  You bring up a lot of very realistic obstacles to Russia.  I would much rather they do what they can, and not push open the envelope than commit political (and national) suicide.  As the "little brother" i'd much rather see my "big brother" live to survive another day and fight.  
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« Reply #40 on: February 21, 2006, 11:30:01 PM »

If Mladic is taken, I'm really hoping to get a chance to do some work on his behalf, if for nothing else, I truly want to look at the evidence against him first hand and make my evaluation.
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« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2006, 12:27:25 AM »

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If Mladic is taken, I'm really hoping to get a chance to do some work on his behalf, if for nothing else, I truly want to look at the evidence against him first hand and make my evaluation.

I honestly hope he does get a fair trial of being innocent until proven guilty.  In the end I think a real trial will be more beneficial to the peace process in the long run for Srebrenica victims than a show trial to convict a figurehead.  Idealistic and naive... I know.  
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« Reply #42 on: February 22, 2006, 12:52:56 AM »

Good luck on that one Nektarios, the figurhead situation is so prevalent in the Hague it even makes an ex-victim of communist beurocracy want to puke.  

General Sesej's afidavit is so long, that he proclaimed to the court that it would take him 7 years just to READ THROUGH IT.  you know what they told him?  that's just too bad, we're going to try you anyway.  

so if you think Mladic's situation is going to be any better...think again my friend.  
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« Reply #43 on: February 22, 2006, 02:46:46 PM »

There's no such thing as a fair trial before the Hague, the verdict has been rendered before the charges are announced. And people wonder why we insist on sticking with our Legal system, even if it isn't perfect it's a lot better than the alternative.
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« Reply #44 on: February 22, 2006, 04:17:53 PM »

S1389,

     By any chance have you seen the video of Seselj at the Hague, floating around cyber space?  If you've seen it, you know which one I'm talking about.  Lets just say he's reading a statement which is in typical Seselj style.
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