Thursday, December 20, 2007

Partition within a partition

The Solution to the Kosovo Problem, por Ivan Eland (talvez fosse melhor chamar-lhe "a solution" do que "the solution"):


A greater problem may be the fact that many Serbs regard Kosovo as the cradle of their civilization. In the Middle Ages, Serbian civilization was centered in the province; Serbian religious and historical shrines remain there, including Gazimestan, the site of an important battle lost to the Turks.

History shows that nationalities often are less willing to trade off or substitute for land of such "intangible" value than they might be to trade economically or strategically valuable land. So the Serbs may feel compelled to fight over these sites. They have certainly been unwilling to acknowledge the independence of Kosovo, despite international pressure.

The Russians have hinted that in the partition of Kosovo from Serbia, Kosovo should also be partitioned, and the land with the Serbian shrines should be returned to Serbia. Predictably, the Albanian majority rejects this idea, because they want the biggest country possible. Less understandably, the U.S. and its European allies reject it too. They want to defend prior boundaries, contain Serbia, and play hardball with Serbia's Russian ally. This stance is unwise.

A more stable, long-term solution is to adjust the border so that Serbia can retain some – if not most – of these critical historical and religious sites. Although the new state of Kosovo would be slightly smaller, it would be more secure against its stronger Serb neighbor. (...)

No comments: