Vital Signs

Kosovo in the Crosshairs

Serbian voters have approved a new constitution that, among other things, reaffirms Serbian sovereignty over Kosovo, which, since the NATO bombing of 1999, has been administered by the United Nations with the help of NATO troops.  The referendum’s passage will further complicate the efforts of Western policy-makers to grant independence to Kosovo since to do so without Serbia’s consent would violate the U.N. Charter’s protection of territorial integrity and the inviolability of borders.  Nevertheless, there have been indications that U.N. Special Envoy Marrti Ahtisaari will recommend before the year is out that Kosovo be separated from Serbia and become an independent country.  This would be a mistake.

For the past seven years, Kosovo, under U.N. administration, has become one of the most dangerous places on earth.  It is the center of heroin, weapons, and human trafficking into Western Europe.  Murder and abduction of non–Albanians occur daily.  Civil society is nonexistent, and living standards are equivalent to those of Haiti.  More alarmingly, there is evidence that Islamic extremists with Al Qaeda connections are a growing presence there.  Kosovo has all of the characteristics of a failed state, and, of all the people in the world striving for independent status, the Albanians in Kosovo must rank among the least deserving.

Under the watchful eyes of U.N....

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