Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Kosovo's sovereignty is a fiction: real power lies with EU officials backed by western firepower
By John Laughland
(author of Travesty: the Trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the Corruption of International Justice)
The Guardian, Tuesday February 19 2008
"There seemed to be no immediate consequences when, in 1908, Austria annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina. Vienna was in clear violation of the 1878 Treaty of Berlin, which it had signed and kept Bosnia in Turkey, yet the protests of Russia and Serbia were in vain. The following year, the fait accompli was written into an amended treaty. Six years later, however, a Russian-backed Serbian gunman exacted revenge by assassinating the heir to the Austrian throne in Sarajevo in June 1914. The rest is history.
Parallels between Kosovo in 2008 and Bosnia in 1908 are relevant, but not only because, whatever legal trickery the west uses to override UN security council resolution 1244 - which kept Kosovo in Serbia - the proclamation of the new state will have incalculable long-term consequences: on secessionist movements from Belgium to the Black Sea via Bosnia, on relations with China and Russia, and on the international system as a whole. They are also relevant because the last thing the new state proclaimed in Pristina on Sunday will be is independent. Instead, what has now emerged south of the Ibar river is a postmodern state, an entity that may be sovereign in name but is a US-EU protectorate in practice......"