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Irrational Rejection


In NRO’s February 19 symposium on independence for Kosovo I backed the move, provided

the Albanian majority will have the integrity to allow their Serb minority to split off itself and rejoin Serbia. This is not only consistent with Kosovar rhetoric of national self-determination, but removes a potential future pretext for intervention by Serbia, Russia, and others. … If the Kosovars decide not to allow the Serb minority an opportunity to make its preference known, such as by referendum, then they will have missed an opportunity to seize the moral high ground. It will be an enduring bone of contention, and future cause for conflict and conquest.

Now comes news that Kosovar leaders, joined by the U.S. government, reject the notion of partition. This is logically contradictory. The ethnic Albanians cannot at the same time claim that they deserve independence based on the right of self-determination, yet deny that same right to a minority group contiguous to their ethnic kin in Serbia with whom they want to remain joined. The current border of Kosovo is a fiction, there is no reason to treat it as sacrosanct. And the U.S. claim that denying the ethnic Serbs the opportunity to remain with Serbia will increase stability in the region is clearly unsupportable, since the issue is causing instability right now. Meanwhile I’m experiencing cognitive dissonance by having what I think is the most just stance, the most consistent stance, and the stance adopted by Russia.


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