I guess it's inevitable these days to reflect about Kosova/o. I still remember when we in Sweden had to learn to say Kosova in stead of Kosovo. And then came the US bombings, and some people didn't agree that albanian Kosova was the politically correct name but serbian Kosovo... It must be futile to someone living down here how much we cared in Sweden, but the Jugoslavian conflicts run deep in me/us, for a number of reasons. One is probably the high number of Jugoslav immigrants in Sweden, another the way the wars finished off the Euforia of a kindom come that actually came after the fall of the Berlin wall, and brought back history and tragedy into our TV sets. And in western Europe the TV is a family member, not to neglect. After all, we experienced the fall of the Berlin wall through the same TV.
And Kosova/o was the beginning, heart and end of it all. I remember the one week war in Slovenia, I was at the hair dressers for old men that I and my brother frequented in Sunne, and waiting to get an old man's hair cut I read the headlinde, written with the extra big types that hadn't been used since the peace -45 saying LJUBLANA!,under it was a picture of a crying woman and bombed houses in the background. The war ended before I had learned to say the name Ljubljana. The war in Croatia was also like some sort of warm up, everyone talked about what would come in Bosnia, and Bosnia came and gave us plenty of reasons to think about the blessing it is to live in a country in peace. Because suddenly it was not only on TV.These same people that you've been seeing trying to escape on long trails with cars, tractors, horse charts and god now what, these people suddenly ended up in your own streets.
I guess the west did some feeble try to make peace but I don't think George Bush or Carl Bildt understood more of it than me It was clear at the end that it was everyone against Serbia and that Serbia would lose. And of course Serbia, embittered and losing, turned against th enemy within - the Kosova Albanians, until they were finally defeated by force by the US. Somehow it always felt like that was the only possible ending of everything, because beginning with Bosnia it was Serbia against the west. And... when it gets down to it - politics grow out of the barrel of a gun like Comrade Mao cynically put it.
When the war came to Kosova/o I remembered my first Jugoslav memories - older than the headlines about Ljubljana - Refugees from Kosova, that came to Sunne in the years preceeding the downfall of Jugoslavia. They used to have exhibitions with photocopied pictures of police brutality in Serbia. I guess you couldn't guess that they would ever be the winning part in any conflict, or even make it to the CNN headlines. They did though...
And of course there is no other choice today than a Kosova that will become a part of Albania. Actually it was liberated by force 1999 and there has been no way back, and no way to negociate a solution. I'm a little worried about Serbia, this could drive them to a Russia ever more distant from the west, and I'm not sure this bitterness will disappear fast. The last defeat adds up to all the other defeats in the Jugoslav civil wars, that adds up to th memories of an extremely brutal second world war, also by European standards, that adds up to the hmiliation under Ottoman rule that adds up to the tragic defeat, caused by a traitor against the turks in 1389... Where was that? At Kosovo Polje, of course...
Not that Serbian people are more tied to their history than others, but there will be plenty of history for nationalist politicians in Serbia to use.
However. Serbia lost Kosovo/a in a war... Let's just face it. Let's not pretend that this loss is something absolutely unique that couldn't happen somewhere else. Of course Transnistrian politicians, or Hungarian nationalists in Romania, will use Kosova as an example to repeat. If it can be repeated or not depends on the political force. I don't think the Hungarians will succeed, but I'm pretty sure that the Transnistrians with Russian support will say that Kosovo got independence by an unilateral proclamation, so will we. And the EU or the US wont't like it, but what will they (we) do? Bomb Moscow?
No... after all I think Comerade Mao was quite right, and we just have to accept the use of force. And the most important is not within which borders Kosova or Transnistria are, the important thing is human rights and the living standard for the people that live there.
DN.se om kosovo
Politiken.dk om kosovo