Illegitimate state

Published on March 2, 2008, Kansas State Collegian

Category: Growing International Opposition to Imposed Solution

By: Brett King

The pinnacle of U.S. foreign policy has been to support the development of new democratic states across the globe. Through funding and military action, we have worked to develop relations with countries who might become supportive of us.

According to Reuters on Feb. 19, President Bush formally recognized the region of Serbia known as Kosovo as an independent nation.

"History will prove this to be a correct move, to bring peace to the Balkans," Bush said. "The United States supports this move because we believe it will bring peace. And now it's up to all of us to work together to help the Kosovars realize that peace."

The European Union also supported the independence of the Serbian region; however, Russia and Spain refused to recognize its independence.

Since this announcement by the United States, violence has broken out in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. USA Today reported on Feb. 22 that the United States' State Department ordered all nonessential diplomats to leave Serbia immediately after the U.S. Embassy was attacked.

Though aggression against the United States is unacceptable, Serbians should be frustrated with the stance the United States has taken. Since the late 1990s, Serbia has been seen as the aggressor against a weaker power. However, the Kosovo Liberation Army has been the guilty party, slaughtering Serbs under the noses of U.N. Security Forces.

The Global Policy Forum, which monitors the policies of the United Nations, stated on their Web site, "The KLA attacked police and government installations as well as Serb civilians."

During his time in office, President Clinton ordered bombing attacks against Serbia on the basis of genocide. A Wall Street Journal investigative piece, written by the late Daniel Pearl in December 1999, demonstrated how the number of Albanians killed were greatly inflated and some of the bodies found showed no evidence of mutilation.

Unfortunately, Clinton's evidence of genocide was just as substantial as Bush's weapons of mass destruction argument in Iraq.

The Serbian region of Kosovo has neither the means nor the right to become an independent nation.

According to Gregory R. Copley, president of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and editor of Defense and Foreign Affairs, Kosovo fails to meet the qualifications of a state on many foundations.

Kosovo cannot sustain itself economically through legitimate means; the KLA is heavily involved in narcotics and weapons trafficking for financial support.

Foreign aid is the only other means of support for the region of Kosovo.

According to the New York Times on Feb. 19, "A donors conference will be held soon in Europe, and the United States will give $335 million in aid to Kosovo this year."

In his position paper, "The Burden of Statehood: Is Kosovo Ready?," Copley said, "For Kosovo to be recognized as a legitimate sovereign state, the international community must violate the sovereignty of another recognized state - the Republic of Serbia - by passing a variety of treaties, such as the U.N. Charter and the Helsinki Accords."

The region of Kosovo already has proven to be a failed state even before being recognized by countries around the world. The United States has set a dangerous precedent itself with its foreign policy.

This decision will come back to bite the United States and Europe in the future.

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