- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Beyond black and white

Posted by: bill on May 05, 1999 at 17:37:37:

In Reply to: Sounds like someone is cooking up another conspiracy. posted by lark on May 05, 1999 at 12:55:55:

: Seriously guys sometimes things simply are as they seem. If I had to say one thing about Kosovo I'd say remember the Spanish Civil War maybe the democracies have learnt a lesson about being idol in the face of dictatorship.


The Spanish Civil War? In what way? Where is the worker's movement? Where is the CGT?

You are assuming that just because Milosovic is a thug, Any force against him must therefor represent the angels.

After WWII many displaced Serbs (some of whom had their property confiscated by the State) were relocated into Kosovo. They were in the majority, the Albanians in the minority. Tito put in place (for whatever reason) very liberal minority rights legislation. This included a 1% federal sales tax to provide funding for Kosovo's infrastructure (the poorest region in Yugoslavia). This included the school and health systems.

Gradually the ethnic Albanians, with inflows from Albania, became the dominant population. Albanian mayors were elected, directors of organizations were appointed, etc. The Serbs became a minority. But wonder of wonders - the Serb minority began to feel that they were not being given the same rights that had previously been given to the Albanians! Thus:

1. They were losing "Good Old Boy" power to the local Albanian

2. They were forced to adopt to certain reforms initiated by the
Albanian majority, (e.g. as the requirement that all Serb children
learn to speak and write the Albanian language).

3. That the other ethnic minorities had similar restrictions (e.g. as
the requirement that the Romas (Gypsies) provide their newborns with Albanian first names).

4. It must have appeared to Serbs that the "Grand Notion" of a
multi-etnic nation with extensive minority rights was being cut off at
the knees.

In 1989 Milosovic headed the nationalist clamour of the minority Serbs in Kosovo and cut off the 1% subsidy. (There may have been other economic reasons). This caused huge resentments among the Albanian majority who then looked to Albania for assistance. Albania provided school textbooks which must have furthur annoyed the ethnic Serbs who were forced to learn the Albanian language from books of another flag.
Meanwhile, the ethnic Albanian majority, now receiving no help from Belgrade, began to mutter words of secession. Milosovic cracks down, kicks teachers out of universities, etc. KLA makes its appearance. Kills a few Serb policeman as well as pro-Belgrade Albanians and...here we are.

The irony (as indicated by a post above - "More War Analysis") is that Kosovo might well become "ethnically cleansed" with the possibility of becoming part of a "Greater Albania". In which case there will be less minority rights than existed under Tito. I wonder how the Roma feel?

Follow Ups:


The Debating Room Post a Followup