Once again the Balkans give one that same old deja vu all over again.
Whether it’s the Austrians mad at the Serbs (summer of 1914) or the Serbs, Bulgarians, Russians, Turks, Macedonians, Albanians, Greeks, Montenegrans, Bosnians, and of course, the Kosovars mad at one another and MORE than willing to pull the trigger, some things never seem to quite change.
What gives this a somewhat more serious aspect is what, IMHO, is essentially still a hangover from the Moslem Ottoman Empire being pushed back from its 17th Century high-water mark when it was attempting with some real chance of success to change the map of Europe by bringing the crescent flag of Islam to rule over Vienna.
Not for nothing do the Serbs recall the alliance between the (Moslem) Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler’s 3rd Reich that led to the formation of Moslem Bosnian Waffen-SS divisions during WW-II. Admittedly the Serbs haven’t been Mr. Nice Guys in the 1990s edition of the on-again/off-again Balkan wars, but then again neither was anybody else, including NATO’s extensive use of US air power to decimate the Serb infrastructure without regard (unlike Bush’s Iraq policies) to collateral damage.
Unfortunately, we’re still there on the spot if the balloon goes up again. This is NOT a situation we need to be in. If you’re walking down a path in the desert and come upon a scorpion fighting a rattlesnake, you don’t choose sides and get in the middle of the situation. That is too close to what we did in the Balkans for the Chief’s comfort.
Meanwhile the Serbs feel severely put upon since Kosovo includes the original cultural and religious heartland of the Serbian nation…not that the Moslems will leave much of that standing for long, given their penchant for burning Christian churches these days.
Another complication is that the Russians have traditionally – going back a couple hundred years or so – have considered themselves to be the “big brother”protector of their brother Slavs in Serbia, which does little to lessen the tension there now – remember, it was the Russian response to Austria-Hungary attacking Serbia in the above-mentioned summer of 1914 that triggered the diplomatic train-wreck that became WW-I.