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Monday, February 18, 2008


Kosovo's independence

In today's coverage of Kosovo's declaration of independence, there are some interesting things to note. First, we see reference to Kosovo's population being 90% Albanian. But only in the Guardian did I find any indication that that "90%" figure used to be a lot lower, before 200,000 Serbs and Roma were forced to flee Kosovo in the aftermath of the NATO bombing; 10% of the population of the country.

We're also told that "NATO airstrikes ended former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic's crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists, which killed 10,000 people." Naturally, no source is given for the number 10,000, which is interesting for several reasons. First of all, the U.S. assault on Yugoslavia was justified by claims that more than 200,000 people had been killed in Kosovo; later, a Canadian team spent six months digging up graves in Kosovo and came up with a grand total of...86 bodies. A U.N. court has ruled that no genocide took place. No mention of any of these facts can be found in today's coverage. The truth, that the U.S. NATO assault on Yugoslavia had nothing whatsoever to do with preventing "genocide" and everything to do with breaking up the last state in Europe professing allegiance to "socialism," was most certainly not mentioned.

Finally, a note on "democracy" and "dictatorship." According to today's news, the United States has today formally recognized Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state. How? By a vote of Congress? No, by the simple declaration of George W. Bush. No debate, no discussion. Very democratic.

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