In Kosovo, we’re still watching same scenes we saw in 1989, 1990 or 1999. There are barricades. “Peaceful” people empowered with stones and ﬁrearms face off against well-armed KFOR soldiers. Governments engage in “negotiations”. Foreign leaders try to pick sides.
Some positive moves were made in the last day or two when the Serbs opened some roads allowing international peacekeeping forces to access their bases and to fulﬁll duties assigned by United Nations and NATO. Some commentators say that move is the result of blackmail schemes from foreign leaders forcing Serbia to recognize Kosovo as independent state. The plot is supposed to include German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Merkel recent spoke in the Serbian capital of Belgrade regarding need of better relations between ofﬁcial Belgrade and Pristina. Her words carry weight, since Merkel’s government was and it is one of those who recognized Kosovo. She’s advocating for further recognition, maybe because that will help Germany’s public image or to score some political points as one of the strongest and loudest EU leaders. She may want better relations between Thaci’s and Tadic’s government for perfectly rational reasons: the less conflict, the less danger to Germany’s soldiers stationed in Kosovo.
Germany is the strongest nation represented in KFOR. Recently these soldiers wereattacked, injured and threaten by those who set up barricades in several North Kosovo areas. Better relations between Pristina and Belgrade will make it easier work for them and ability to comply with mandate which was given to them by UN. In the meantime, she has also promoted Kosovar independence in the face of Serbian complaints.
Recently one of the best known Serbian politicians of the older generation, Vuk Draskovic wrote an op-ed for the biggest Serbian Newspaper Blic clearly describing societal elements which are using Kosovo as a bargaining chip.
“Celebrate war proﬁteers, smugglers, underground and omnipotent State Security Service, the parties who are not Serbs and Serbs, but the “little Russians”, celebrated Synod of the Serbian Church, celebrating all those who hate the mentally Europe and the West and our neighbors who hate each in Serbia who is against their hatred”.
Draskovic sees current situation on Kosovo as a result of hatred. I’m usually in favor of the opposite of whatever Draskovic says, but on Kosovo, he gets it right. As Draskovic points out correctly, Serbia’s biggest enemies are not Angela Merkel, the USA or any other foreign nation but Serbs themselves.
“They are not enemies of Serbia and our people even in America or in Europe or anywhere else around us, but our only enemies among us,” he says. “These are academics who preach that misery and hatred is a major advantage of Serbia, to the poets who wrote odes to Bin Laden, to the commentators who only think of hatred and the only ink, to the political leaders that the hatred is the only program, to the bishops…”
Serbia is not alone in this feelings towards others. The same type of hatred can be found in Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia or Montenegro as a result of previous wars, actions of leaders and politicians only caring for their own good. The players in Kosovo need better cooperation. They need to see people as human beings not as enemies.