Thank you for the link. I must give you credit-you do write an interesting and articulate blog. I'm somewhat familiar with Anarchism, thanks both to a lifelong interest in politics, as well as being involved in my local hardcore punk scene for a time about 25 years ago. I can't say that I honestly support anarchism (though I've known many fine folks who support and advocate it), but that's because after 46 years of living on this planet, I've seen enough to more than convince me that human beings are nowhere even near ready to handle such a concept.
I've been to your blog before, and you present lots of realistic views and opinions. However, what I find rather unpalattable is your far-reaching condemnation of the pro-Serb side when it comes to Kosovo, or Kosova as you call it.Thank you for the kind compliments! I do need to say that actually, if you've read my blog entries throughly, you've probably noticed that in reality, I've written very little about the Kosova (I trust you will not mind me refering to it as such, as that is I am comfortable with and used to, just as I would would expect you to refer to it as "Kosovo") independence issue. To wit, to the best of my recollection, I have only a couple of times explicitly addressed the matter of Kosova independence in this blog. While I most definitely do support independence, my advocacy on behalf of that matter is not the primary focus of this blog. Rather, its purpose has been, from the "get-go", to refute slanders, lies, and half-truths against the Albanian people as a people, as perpetrated by various Serbian (and Greek) Nationalists and their supporters, as well as hypocritical and disingenous manipulations of both evidence and arguments by them designed to make out the Serbian (and/or Greek) people to be wholly "angelic" in comparison to the "evil", "barbaric", "nazi-islamo-fascistic" Albanian-an effort that I honestly believe goes far beyond a "mere" attempt to sway opinion on Kosova independence.
Something else I should point out: I have always tried to make clear that I feel there's a difference between "The Serbs" (or "Normal Serbs", as my occasional contributor Francois refers to them) and "Serbian Nationalists". I do not believe that all Serbs are Nationalists; in fact, I know this is not the case. Which is why I have even made positive posts on Serbs who are trying to escape/working against "the old hatreds" and Nationalism. On the rare occcasion when I do use the term "The Serbs", it is usually meant to reflect the point of view of the "Haters", rather than my own, since they seem quite unable, or more likely unwilling, to differentiate between "Serbs" and "Serb Nationalists". Such was the case of the title of the post you responded to, in fact (something I should have made clearer, but evidently erroniously assumed I didn't need to).
To answer your other point, I have never said that the Serbian government or Serbs (Nationalist or not) have no right to have their "side of the issue" represented. As a strong free speech advocate, I am a firm believer in both sides being able to express their take on that matter, or all sides on any matter to begin with. (And no, being opposed to Kosova independence does not make one a priori a "Hater" in my book, BTW.) And there may well be relatively "moderate" arguments out there for why Kosova should remain a part of Serbia forevermore. But all of them overlook, IMO, two things. One is history. The oppression and violence that took place under Milosevic was not the first time Albanians had suffered such things on the instigation of Belgrade. I'm sure you're aware of Aleksander Rankovic's using his post to conduct an ongoing vendetta against the Albanians of Yugoslavia (part of why Tito eventually sacked him in 1966), the mass killings of Albanians who resisted Communism in the Drenica Valley in 1945-46, and of course the attempts at outright genocide during the First and Second Balkan Wars. The other is political reality. Let's be honest: No matter what promise Belgrade makes, it could be swept away (and probably would be) in a heartbeat should the Stranka Radikala gain a majority of seats in parliament, and thus the primeminister's office. As long as a good many of the Serbian electorate still view Seslj and Nikolic, Karadzic and Mladic as heroes, and the SRS as potential national saviors, no Albanian within the bounds of Kosova can feel safe as long as it remains even nominally a part of Serbia, no matter what is promised.
Ok, some of the protagonists of that camp may say things that are either factually incorrect or perhaps convey facts in an incorrect manner. But those members of the public who oppose Kosovo independence, however much you may personally justify it, do deserve some form of decent representation at the very least. And there are moderate advocates out there who do just that without having to apologising for Milosevic. Do have a look.
Two reasons I added New Serbian Optimism to the Haters list. The first, as you rightly guessed, is the disingenous video Moler (the blogger who's blog that is) did on why Kosova is an illegitimate version of the Serbian name "Kosova". By his argument, the name London for the capital city of the UK is also illegitimate, since it is a corruption of the Roman name "Londinium", and means nothing in the English language. What he overlooks (deliberately IMO) is that Kosova is the proper way to say "Kosovo"-according to the rules of the Albanian language. (But then, I suspect if you asked him, he would likely say, like Seslj, that Albanians living in Serbia should speak only Serbian, and in fact, should identify culturally and ethnically as Serbs only. ;-) )
The other is because he, like Svetlana Novko of Byzantine Sacred Art Blog, takes such an over-the-top, "in your face, world!" attitude when "tooting" that aforementioned "horn". To be honest, I'd find it annoying even if I was totally neutral on Balkan affairs or Kosova/Kosovo. And no, I have no problem per se with a people being proud of their nation's or countrymen's sporting achievements-but like a lot of Americans, I find such hubristic trumpeting of it to be distasteful at the very least.
I notice where you mention in the article how you first heard from the "Pro-Serb/Anti-Albanian Conservative" crowd only in 2004. May I remind you that 2004 was the year in which the 17th March pogrom in Kosovo took place, followed later in that year by the November presidential elections in America between George Bush and John Kerry, who basically gave his support for an independent Kosovo. So it's not surprising that the anti-independence voice started to become louder at that time.
Yes, but as I said, I later discovered that at least a few of the "Haters" on the "right" were active well before that point-including people like Gorin and Feder. Also, I have real problems with calling the violence that took place in Kosova after the drowning deaths of the three lads in the Ibar a "pogrom", since usually a pogrom is a deliberate, well planned and organised act of racial/ethnic violence. And while there does appear to be evidence that some of the violent acts that took place at that time by Albanians were instigated by opportunistic political groups, taking advantage of a high tension situation where all the facts were not yet "in" at the time, a good bit of it also appears to have been a spontanious response. (Note: However much I may understand the emotions that were running through the Albanian community in Kosova at the time, I denounced then and continue to denounce the violent reaction to the incident, especially in light of the fact that all of the facts surrounding the incident were not yet known at the time. IMO, it was both a horrific thing from a moral standpoint, and a counterproductive thing from a practical/political one.)
Alan, I have no intention of putting you or your blog on the "Haters" list :-), and I do believe you when you say you're not "Anti-Albanian" (I highly doubt you would have greeted me in Albanian if you were!). And you are welcome to post a response to things here anytime. We may not agree on certain things, but at least you are a reasonable voice-and I can deal with reasonable disagreements a lot better and easier than I can unreasonable ones!