Appeasing the aggressor and pressuring the victim will never achieve a lasting peaceful solution
BY MSc. AGIM ALIÇKAJ
The peaceful resistance led by historical President of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova; the glorious fight for freedom of the Kosova Liberation Army led by heroic commander Adem Jashari; the great work of the Albanian American Civic League in Washington led by lobbying legends Joe DioGuardi and Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi; aided by the intervention of NATO in 1999, have ended more than a century-old brutal occupation of Kosova by Serbia. It was a historical, courageous and noble act by the democratic world to stop ongoing genocide against the Albanian people.
After years of hard negotiations and painful compromises with the Ahtisaari plan in 2008, the independence of Kosova was declared and recognized by the world’s most important countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. From that moment onward, the dialogue between Kosova and Serbia, led by the European Union and supported by the United States, is characterized by few achievements, but numerous failures. The main reason is the insufficient engagement of America in the organization of the dialogue, combined with the unfair European pro-Serbian mediators who have failed to consider the following facts and nuances of the conflict:
- Serbia is an aggressor that has started and lost four terrible wars for which it must be held responsible. Once again, Serbia is threatening another war. Kosova is the victim trying to build pro-Western democracy and secure its existence.
- Serbia is still trying to dominate the Western Balkans by trying to destabilize all of its neighbors, including Bosnia, Kosova, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Croatia, while Kosova is promoting peace and stability in the Balkans.
- Kosova is a pro-American and European democracy. President Vjosa Osmani and Prime MinisterAlbin Kurti are uncorrupted, educated, and very capable pro-Western leaders. Serbia is a pro-Russian and Chinese autocracy. President Aleksandar Vucic is a despot, and a former Milosevic minister and supporter. His corrupt government is filled with racists, chauvinists, fascists, and possible war criminals.
- The Serbian minority in Kosova enjoys all national and human rights, plus many extra privileges. Albanian people insouthern Serbia lack their basic national and human rights.
- Kosova is trying very hard to fight corruption and implement law and order. Recently the World Justice Project ranked Kosova 2nd among rule of law improvers globally and 1st in the Balkans. Serbia is way below.
- Kosova has entered the dialogue in good faith and has been open-minded. The despotic Serbian officials, before every meeting, repeat like parrots that they will never recognize the independence of Kosova. What kind of dialogue is that?
- The Albanian people practice three major religions: Islam, Catholicism, and Orthodox Christianity. Their religious tolerance is unprecedented and has been an example of the ability to coexist peacefully. The Serbian people have only one religion (Orthodox Christianity), and the church, in particular, leads in showcasing no tolerance for others.
- The Serbian Church has played a major role in planning and preparingthe people, army, and paramilitaries for the practice of genocide against the Albanian people. During the Kosova war, Serbian priests blessed the soldiers to massacre Albanian children, women and elderly.
- The Albanians, including my father, Arif Aliçkaj, showed their genuine religious and racial tolerance during the Holocaust, with the rescue of the Jewish people from the Nazis. Many Serbs showed their evil spirit by sending innocent Jews to concentration camps.
- Serbia is organizing and financing criminal illegal structures in Northern Kosova, terrorizing both Albanian and Serbian people. Kosova is trying hard to calm down the situation.
- Serbia is supporting Russian aggression, while Kosova is supporting Ukraine’s fight for freedom and democracy.
- Serbia’s behavior and policies are based onlies and deceitful propaganda. They are poisoning even their younger generation with hatredfor Albanians and other surrounding nations through their school systems and media propaganda. Kosova government’s policies are based on truth and justice, equality and inclusion for all.
All these facts considered, it is beyond imagination why Western countries are still appeasing Serbia! Their desperate efforts to get Serbia out of the Russian world has become an embarrassment. Enough is enough. It is time to change these failed policies and employ ones that work.
It is unfair to blame theKurti government for implementing an already signed agreement about license plates. The decision to implement it in stages and postponing the deadline until April 21, 2023, shows flexibility and wisdom, addressing the concerns of American and European friends and standing up to the Serbian obstructionists. Enforcing law and order is the right thing to do. The Serbiangovernment’s blackmail and their threats to instigate unrest are completely and fundamentally wrong.
The time has come to address the problem, where it has been carefully planned and created: solely in Serbia and Russia. Blaming and defeating the aggressor is the only solution to any conflict. Blaming equally and pressuring the victim is immoral, and it is not going to work.
Serbia and its allies have brought the situation to the point where it can only be resolved through a major confrontation. It will largely be diplomatic and political, but show of force may also be needed. Kosova Security forces should be assisted by KFOR, UNMIK, and EULEX to keep peace. They were created to promote and preserve security, stability, and human rights in Kosova and in Southeast Europe.
It is about time to leave the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Kosova alone. No ethnically pure associations, no border changes, and no extraterritoriality for any religious sights. These are all against European and American proclaimed policies and values. They should not and cannot be part of any dialogue. Period.
It is the very difficult duty of Prime Minister Albin Kurti and President Vjosa Osmani to properly confront Serbia’s latest aggression and demands. They should not, under any circumstances, submit to pressure from outside and inside Kosova that aim to resolve the conflict “very easily” at the expense of the people of Kosova. Unlike their predecessors who chose the path of shame and submission to Serbia, they have chosen the path of national glory and resistance to injustice from all sides.
Even though some American diplomats andgovernment officials are also pressuring them, in the finalanalysis, America always leans towards truth and justice. Many important European democratic countries may also do the right thing and support the victims’ right to exist.
President Osmani and Prime Minister Kurti should notcount on any support of those in Kosova’s opposition who are either totally confused or bent on undermining the government for power and personal interests. Nor can they count on support from the pro-Serbian Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama.
If the international pressure exceeds the limits of their possibilities, they should put the issues that violate the sovereignty and integrity of the country for a vote in the parliament and in a referendum of all citizens.
Most important is that they have the support of the majority of the Albanian people of Kosova, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Greece, as well as the support of a very large and powerful Diaspora all over the world, especially in the United States. Losingthis support would directly affect their legacy and political future. The voters of the Republic of Kosova have matured significantly and will not accept any injustice and intimidation. “Vox populi vox dei”.
The bottom line is that Serbian aggression must be stopped. Once Serbian rulers see the absolute resolve of Kosova and the international community to stand up to their unjustified and unnecessary demands, threats, blackmail, and destruction, they will seriously consider stopping their carnage and embracingreal dialogue for a peaceful solution to all the problems that they have created.
However, if fascists in power in Serbia today still dare to start another war in Europe, to achieve their goals for the domination of the Balkans, and to help Russian aggression in Ukraine, it will be their huge miscalculation. They will get burned. The position of Kosova is not the one of 1999. The Albanian people in Kosova and everywhere they live now are much stronger and ready to respond to the Serbian aggression. They will have no other choice but to defend and protect their freedom, their homes, their children and their Pelasgian-Illyrian lands.