Through our crystal ball
The year is 2025 or thereabouts; pick another year if you wish, because this hypothetical scenario is a real possibility.
Russia has argued in the United Nations for the independence of California.
California's leading minority-grievance activists presume to speak for the state's Spanish-speaking majority — or near majority, depending on the coming census. They have succeeded in pressuring the state legislature and governor into declaring the state's independence from the United States of America. California thus would become the first U.S. state to attempt secession since the mid-19th Century, though a self-proclaimed socialist senator from Vermont has made noises in that direction over the years.
Russia, having gone to war with the U.S. over the latter's 2008 successful use of its power to back the Muslim-majority Kosovo in its drive for independence from Christian Serbia, is using its own increased authority in Europe and in the world community to bully the U.S. in world affairs. Russia pronounces this as a drive for "liberation," an Orwellian term for its privately expressed desire to give Uncle Sam "as taste of his own medicine."
The slogan, of course, served to encourage the (successful) campaigns for secessions by other ethnic and/or religious-motivated "breakaway provinces" elsewhere, Muslim and non-Muslim.
These included Albanian communities in areas of southern Serbia -Montenegro and Macedonia — as well as Bosnia-Herzegovina. And then there are the Turkish majority in northern Cyprus and the Basque separatists in Spain. It is believed that Scotland's petition to secede from the United Kingdom is next.
Shortly after U.S. recognition of Serbia's breakaway province back in 2008, the American Council for Kosovo publicized an article arguing that "the dumbest statement about Kosovo's independence is that it will bring stability to the region, since as anyone can see the opposite is true."
Russia went to war with the United States a few years ago, not only because of Vladimir Putin's support for Serbia in its part of the world — but also out of concern that the Kosovo breakaway would create similar pressures (in its own backyard) on the part of the restless and troubled Sunni Muslim province of Chechnya.
Now in 2025, the president of the United States has personally addressed the United Nations, arguing that California had been an integral part of the United States for 175 years and had been the home base of several U.S. presidents in the 20th Century. The pleas fell on deaf ears at the UN, as Russia was able to marshal the forces of the Islamic and Spanish-speaking nations and some allies in Africa and parts of Europe.
Is this the future? Back to 2008
The continental United States — notwithstanding the War of 1812, the Civil War, Pearl Harbor, and 9/11 — has been blessed with a relative absence of the ravishes of war on its own territory. If we keep meddling in matters that are not only none of our business — but are also contrary to our own best interests — that string of good fortune may soon run out.
Defining our "best interests"
John Bolton, President Bush's highly respected former ambassador to the United Nations, is concerned about the administration's "dismissive attitude displayed toward Russia's objections [to an independent Kosovo] " and contends it would backfire against the United States in a very real and dangerous way.
In a Washington Times article co-authored with former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger and former Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter Rodman, Bolton issues the following warning: "Whatever disagreements the United States may have with Moscow on other issues, and there are many, the United States should not prompt an unnecessary crisis in U.S.-Russia relations. There are urgent matters regarding which the United States must work with Russia, including Iran's nuclear intentions and North Korea's nuclear capability. Such cooperation would be undercut by American action to neutralize Moscow's legitimate concerns regarding Kosovo."
A tone-deafness on the campaign trail
Further contributing to the foreign policy downslide is the fact that all three major party candidates for the presidency — Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain — support independence for Kosovo. McCain, in fact, sent his wife Cindy to meet with Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, implicitly signaling that if elected, McCain — as would be the case with either of his Democrat opponents — is fully supportive of the newly minted state.
Bush ignored warnings
It is sad to recall that President Bush — during his first campaign for the White House in 2000 — expressed a disdain for "nation-building." And yet in his second term, he has followed just that path with an intensity and stubbornness that would make Woodrow Wilson proud. Though lionized by the liberal establishment , Wilson's pompous and self-righteous pursuit of nation-building made him one of the biggest failures in America presidential history. President Bush would do well to think twice about going down the path of the first of his One-Worlder predecessors.
What sense is there in pursuing Islamists in Iraq, while offering American prestige and power to establishing an Islamist state on the European continent? Not only an Islamist state, but one whose persecution of Christians is a matter of record.
His Grace Bishop Artemije of Ras and Prizen, a leading Serb cleric, came to Washington prior to the U.S. action and begged the White House to change its planned course of action.
"I do not welcome having to direct these critical words of the United States," the bishop declared. "Serbs have always regarded America as a friend and continue to do so. Americans and Serbs were allies in both World Wars. We are not the ones who are pursuing a confrontation today. But it is impossible for America to profess friendship with Serbia while demanding the amputation of the most precious part of our homeland."
Bush 43: Clinton redux?
One despairs that a president who started out with such great promise — and indeed on such issues as tax cuts and appointment of judges has indeed fulfilled some of the promises — should make such a foreign policy blunder as recognizing a new Islamist state.
In so doing, he follows in the footsteps of his immediate predecessor Bill Clinton who — under NATO auspices — lobbed missiles at the former Yugoslavia — a war that (1) was blatantly unconstitutional, since he did not seek the input of Congress; (2) was suspect as having been a "wag the dog" exercise in deflecting attention from Clinton's White House scandal hit parade; (3) was waged on the premise of pervasive genocide by Serbia against Albanian Muslims — a claim that was wildly exaggerated at best and patently false at worst; (4) recklessly cost innocent civilian lives; and (5) ended in withdrawal of Serbian troops from Kosovo based on a promise by the world community that Kosovo would remain a Serbian province, but with a measure of "autonomy."
Biting off more than we (should) chew?
Here are some other facts to bear in mind the next time you hear someone rhapsodize over the beauty of Kosovo as a new "democracy":
A — Kosovo is 90 percent Muslim, including remnants of the old Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), with an early linkage to al Qaeda, whose camps have hosted KLA members for terror training. B — Criminal gangs, drug trafficking, and corruption are rampant there. C — With a reported 40 percent unemployment rate and average annual income of less than $3,000, Kosovo is too weak to be self-sustaining economically, forget about militarily. Guess who will be called upon to pick up that tab? D — The U.S. has committed troops in Kosovo in the long term (1500 last fall, according to the Washington Times). Will we stumble into an avoidable war on the side of "the bad guys?"
To what purpose?
As I write this (Sunday afternoon, April 6), President Bush's last meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin is big news, though — as of right now — no publicized word about discussions of Kosovo, a thorny issue perhaps reserved for one-on-one discussion behind closed doors.
Bush 43 thus engaged in an exercise that — aside from the damage alluded to above — puts an unspoken stamp of approval on Bill Clinton's legacy chestnuts which are thereby pulled out of the fire. It is beyond any rational understanding of seasoned foreign policy specialists. But then we are speaking of specialists beyond the rarified atmosphere of the nation-building striped pants diplomats who populate the State Department, whose building is appropriately nicknamed "Foggy Bottom."