‚Kosovo : 10 years later , 1999-2009‘ was the title of a panel discussion organized by the Lord Byron Foundation for Balkan Studies*  at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa on March 31.  The purpose of the event was to summarize and analyze political and social developments of the last ten years in Kosovo.

After a 78-day bombing campaign, which started on March 24 1999, the UN and NATO had negotiated a ceasefire agreement with the Serbian government. Under the terms of UN Resolution 1244, the Albanian guerrillas – known as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) – were to be disarmed and demobilized by UN troops, who would also ensure the safety of Kosovo’s 200,000 ethnic Serb civilians. Resolution 1244 also made it very clear that under the UN Charter, Kosovo would remain the sovereign territory of Serbia .

From l. to. r. Scott Taylor, Boba Borojevic and  Branimir Filipovic

For the last ten years the US administration has used its influence to sever the province of Kosovo from Serbia and to establish its protectorate of Kosovo ruled by the same Kosovo Albanian thugs named as terrorists by the US State Department in 1988. Although under heavy pressure from the US only 57 countries, including Canada and most members of the European Union and NATO, have recognized Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence proclaimed in February 2008. Over two-thirds of the U.N. member states have not done so, however, including Russia , China , India , Brazil , Spain , Israel , South Africa , and Indonesia .

A picture is worth a thousand words, so is the documentary „Kosovo: Can you imagine“ by director Boris Malagurski, shown at the beginning of the event. In a sharp contrast to what the western media and politicians report on Kosovo’s improved civil and economic life, institutions of self-government and a viable economy the movie shows deprived Kosovo Serbs with no human rights. It shows ghettos in the middle of Europe in the 21st century. Its shows burned and demolished Serbian houses, churches and graveyards. It shows Kosovo Albanian hostilities towards the Serb presence in the province and a new apartheid created by the west in the name of „humanity“.

Why, then, is the US so vehemently insisting on calling Kosovo a success?

Scott Taylor, one of the panellists, explains that the US and NATO countries needed an example of a „successful mission“ as a contrast to their gravely failing efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan . He also pointed out that in Kosovo (and in Albania ) only Americans are „loved“ and appreciated as „liberators“.

Scott Taylor, author of „UNembedded“**, a former professional soldier, editor and publisher of a military magazine “Esprit de Corps” has visited Kosovo several times. In his presentation, Taylor was very critical of NATO’s aggression against Serbia in 1999 and of its current role in this part of the Balkans.

Western countries spent hundreds of millions of dollars in making bombs and military aircraft used in bombing champagne against Serbia . The „success“ of their military operation in 1999 was measured in 14 destroyed Serbian tanks only, said Taylor .

In responding to a question from the audience as to why is it in the interest of the US to disregard the international law and support Albanians, Taylor explains that the confusion exists because there is no clear and common American interest in Serbia and its province of Kosovo .  The interest of the US State Department, he explains, differs from the interest of lobbyists of the military, tobacco, or car industry there.  In addition, Taylor cited difficulties arising from what he called the ethnic-Albanian “mafia” in Kosovo and their involvement in trafficking narcotics, arms and people.

The fact that the West is blindly ignoring them is a dangerous sign. Also, Kosovo Albanians are not hiding their objective of creating Great Albania. To show their allegiance to Albania , Kosovo Albanians are hoisting and waving the Albanian flag – not the American-designed new Kosovo flag.

In his speech Mr. Branimir Filipovic – Charge d’affairs a.i. of the Embassy of Republic of Serbia in Ottawa , rejected the notion of Kosovo as an independent nation, calling the protection of human rights for the Serb minority minimal. Mr. Filipovic spoke about the ongoing Serbian diplomatic activities in promoting Serbia ’s argument regarding the status of Kosovo and Metohija, as well as the forthcoming procedure before the International Court of Justice.

Both in his speech and in his response to questions from the audience, Mr. Filipovic followed his government’s official line believing that the ICJ decision on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia will enable Serbia to keep Kosovo as its integral part. It will also give Serbia new ammunition in, what he believes, new round of negotiations about the status of Kosovo.

The event was very well attended. Noticed were representatives of the members of House of Commons, professors from the University of Ottawa as well as ambassador of Republic of Slovenia , diplomatic representatives of Azerbaijan , Romania , Algeria , Egypt and representatives of the Serbian organizations in Ottawa .

By Boba Borojevic

Organizer of the event

* The Lord Byron Foundation and American Council for Kosovo have jointly published a book “Kosovo: The Score”. To order the book please sends your contribution in the amount of US $ 25 to The L.B.F.   P.O. Box 1246 , Chicago , IL 60690-1246 , USA ; e-mail: ckcuboba@yahoo.ca

** „UNembedded“ by Scott Taylor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A39WLRCL0aY

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