17 January 2007

Consider Kosovo's History

WASHINGTON POST (USA), Saturday, November 18, 2006; A19 LETTERS


Regarding the Nov. 10 editorial "Here Comes Kosovo":


Americans don't understand or like history, which most other cultures accept and study as an invaluable source of knowledge and experience. Americans generally look at history as an unnecessary burden that can have only a negative influence on the present.


Your editorial regarding Kosovo, the very cradle of Serbia, showed such ignorance. Nowhere did it note that Kosovo has been part of Serbia since the Serbs moved to it in the sixth century, four centuries before any Albanians were heard of in the Balkans.


Moreover, the editorial said, "By incorporating Kosovo into a new constitution, Serbia's leaders staked out yet another of the reckless nationalist stands that have caused their country so much damage in the past 15 years."


Wrong. It is ignorance of historic facts displayed by The Post and other similarly inspired American publications that has caused so much damage to a small but brave nation and a loyal ally in two world wars. The Serbs do not want what belongs to others, but they will not give away what is rightfully theirs.


The United States and its citizens would react in the same way if someone suddenly decided that Southern California or New Mexico should secede just because Spanish-speaking Mexicans live there.


As for your specter of 2 million Albanians in Kosovo being enraged, they should just go back where they came from -- neighboring Albania. Most Albanians came to Kosovo during World War II or during the rule of Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia, which maintained an open border with Albania, its fellow communist neighbor. Since then the incoming Albanians have systematically pushed untold numbers of Kosovo Serbs out of Kosovo.


Your editorial writers should study history to ensure more meaningful and more accurate editorials.


Michael Mennard

Potomac Falls