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Forget all the nonsense that you may have heard about Kosovo being "the Jerusalem" of Serbia. It may contain some beautiful and ancient Serbian and Serbian Orthodox cultural sites, but it is much more like Serbia's West Bank or Gaza, with a sweltering, penned-up, subject population who were for generations treated as if they were human refuse in the land of their own birth. ~ Christopher Hitchens

Kosovo (Albanian: Kosovë, Kosova; Serbian: Косово or Косово и Метохија, Kosovo or Kosovo i Metohija) is a w:disputed territory following the collapse of Tito's Yugoslavia in the Yugoslav Wars. In 2007 it unilaterally declared independence from Serbia. Its independence was recognized by most of the European Union, the United States, and their allies but not by Serbia itself, Russia, China, and other countries.


  • The Yugoslavs accuse us of allegedly being chauvinists, of interfering in their internal affairs, and of demanding a rectification of the Albanian -Yugoslav borders. A number of our friends think and imply that we Albanian communists swim in such waters. We tell our friends who think thus that they are grossly mistaken. We are not chauvinists, we have neither demanded nor demand rectification of boundaries. But what we demand and will continually demand from the Titoites, and we will expose them to the end for this, is that they give up perpetrating the crime of genocide against the Albanian minority in Kosova and Metohia, that they give up the white terror against the Albanians of Kosova, that they give up driving the Albanians from their native soil and deporting them 'en masse' to Turkey. We demand that the rights of the Albanian minority in Yugoslavia should be recognized according to the Constitution of the People's Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Is this chauvinist or Marxist?
  • The Serbs do not want to renounce Kosovo and they remember how, by the late 13th century, the plain was conquered by Prince Štefan Nemanja and that there are no records of an Albanian presence [there]. [The Albanians], on the other hand, declare themselves to be descendants of the Illyrians, thus indigenous for thousands of years, when the Serbs were God knows where. All places in Kosovo have Slavic names. Of the Albanians, who at that period had already converted to Islam, one hears of them only after the Turkish occupation, when they became its masters.
    • Demetriu Volcic (1993) Sarajevo: Quando la Storia Uccide, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, pages 208-209
  • When Communist dictator Josip Broz Tito took over in 1945, he attempted to quash Serbian nationalism. He preached that there was no room for ethnic differences in the class struggle. But Serbs, suspicious of Tito's Croatian and Slovenian background, said he was giving them short shrift. To allay fears of anti-Serb chauvinism, Tito prohibited Albanian-language publications and gave Kosovo's most desirable jobs to Serbs. When Albanians staged protests in the late '60s, Tito attempted to pacify them by strengthening local government (largely dominated by Albanians) over local affairs and by restoring jobs. This satisfied no one: It was not enough to dent Albanian unemployment and just enough to rile Serbs. Following Tito's death in 1980, malcontents on both sides rioted.
    • Franklin Foer, Kosovo, Slate, March 15, 1998
  • Kosovo is now the biggest problem confronting Yugoslavia.
    • Tito, as quoted in Julie Mertus' Kosovo: how myths and truths started a war (University of California Press, 1999), p. 22
  • Yugoslavia cannot exist without Kosovo! Yugoslavia will become disintegrated without Kosovo! Yugoslavia and Serbia will not give up Kosovo!
  • Forget all the nonsense that you may have heard about Kosovo being "the Jerusalem" of Serbia. It may contain some beautiful and ancient Serbian and Serbian Orthodox cultural sites, but it is much more like Serbia's West Bank or Gaza, with a sweltering, penned-up, subject population who were for generations treated as if they were human refuse in the land of their own birth. Nobody who has spent any time in the territory, as I did during and after the eviction of the Serb militias, can believe for a single second that any Kosovar would ever again submit to rule from Belgrade. It's over.
    • Christopher Hitchens, The Serbs' Self-Inflicted Wounds: With Kosovo independent, Yugoslavia is finally dead, Slate, Feb. 22, 2008
  • Of all these offenses the one that is most widely, frequently, and vehemently denounced is undoubtedly imperialism—sometimes just Western, sometimes Eastern (that is, Soviet) and Western alike. But the way this term is used in the literature of Islamic fundamentalists often suggests that it may not carry quite the same meaning for them as for its Western critics. In many of these writings the term "imperialist" is given a distinctly religious significance, being used in association, and sometimes interchangeably, with "missionary," and denoting a form of attack that includes the Crusades as well as the modern colonial empires. One also sometimes gets the impression that the offense of imperialism is not—as for Western critics—the domination by one people over another but rather the allocation of roles in this relationship. What is truly evil and unacceptable is the domination of infidels over true believers. For true believers to rule misbelievers is proper and natural, since this provides for the maintenance of the holy law, and gives the misbelievers both the opportunity and the incentive to embrace the true faith. But for misbelievers to rule over true believers is blasphemous and unnatural, since it leads to the corruption of religion and morality in society, and to the flouting or even the abrogation of God's law. This may help us to understand the current troubles in such diverse places as Ethiopian Eritrea, Indian Kashmir, Chinese Sinkiang, and Yugoslav Kossovo, in all of which Muslim populations are ruled by non-Muslim governments. It may also explain why spokesmen for the new Muslim minorities in Western Europe demand for Islam a degree of legal protection which those countries no longer give to Christianity and have never given to Judaism. Nor, of course, did the governments of the countries of origin of these Muslim spokesmen ever accord such protection to religions other than their own. In their perception, there is no contradiction in these attitudes. The true faith, based on God's final revelation, must be protected from insult and abuse; other faiths, being either false or incomplete, have no right to any such protection.
  • And Dayton could not stop Serbia from launching one last campaign of ethnic cleansing, again with the most dire consequences, this time for Muslims in Kosovo. For at least a decade, Kosovars had endured the most severe repression by Yugoslavia and Serbia, although some Serbs also had suffered violence at the hands of nationalists in Kosovo. Kosovars were driven out of positions in the university, state, and economy. The population as a whole found itself removed from the state-sponsored social security and health insurance systems. Security forces conducted arbitrary arrests. The plight of Kosovo received no mention at Dayton, to the dismay of Kosovo Albanian activists. Partly as a result, Kosovar radicals organized the Kosovo Liberation Army in the early 1990s. It carried out some terrorist attacks on Serbs, which successfully provoked Serbia into a massive response. As in the Croatian and Bosnian wars, the Serb attack utilized regular army, Interior Ministry, and paramilitary forces. The intent was, again, to cleanse an area by force, and to visit such terror upon the inhabitants that others would flee in advance. The result was a forced deportation of hundreds of thousands of people, along with many murders and rapes. What Milošević had not counted on was seventy-eight days of NATO air strikes that killed around twenty-six hundred Serbs, more civilians than soldiers, and destroyed a good part of Serbia’s infrastructure.
    • Eric D. Weitz, A Century of Genocide (2018), pp. 221-222

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