By Aleksandar Pavic
First it came loudly and clearly through the State Department when on May 15 in Moscow, after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, "Kosovo will never again be a part of Serbia." Then, in late May, George Bush himself came out in favor of the so-called Ahtisaari Plan for the Serbian province of Kosovo, named after its creator, Martti Ahtisaari, the former president of Finland, by which that province is to gain independence under "international supervision," a view he has now restated at the G-8 Summit of the world's leading industrial states in Germany.
Since the U.S.-led bombing of Yugoslavia in spring of 1999 and the subsequent deployment of 50,000 NATO troops in Kosovo, 151 Christian Orthodox churches and/or monasteries in the Kosovo province (its full name is "Kosovo and Metohia," with "Metohia" coming from the Greek word "metoh," meaning "church holding") have been burned down by Albanian terrorists or mobs, scores of Christian cemeteries have been desecrated, their monuments broken and even bodies dug up, and some 250,000 Serbs and other non-Albanians have been driven from their homes. Many of Kosovo's remaining Christians live in concentration camp-style ghettos, without any freedom of movement outside strictly confined areas. All attempts to initiate large-scale refugee return have been obstructed by both the U.N. civil administration as well as the NATO military presence, which has stood by as the anti-Christian terror in the province has continued almost unabated.
Until recently, many have thought President Bush was simply stuck with the Clinton legacy in the State Department and, forced to focus on more pressing international issues such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, etc., was content to let Clinton-appointed cadres run Balkan policy by default. But this can no longer be an excuse once Bush has openly endorsed Kosovo's independence. And this is where the warning lights go off, not just for Serbia or the Balkans, but on a global scale.
For, this U.S. president's two terms have been marked by an ideologically based crusade, triggered by the events of Sept. 11, which has come to be called the Global War on Terror, or GWOT. GWOT is being promoted as "uncompromising," "limited neither by territorial nor time constraints," worth the war in Iraq, worth bombing Afghanistan and Somalia, worth antagonizing nuclear superpower Russia with the a new missile defense shield.
Yet, terror-laden Kosovo is getting wholly different treatment. This spot, variously described as "Europe's black hole," "the main European transit point for drugs, white slavery and illegal immigration" and "Afghanistan in Europe," is now being promoted to full statehood by the very U.S. administration whose "Global War on Terror" has quite literally turned that very same world upside-down over the past several years. Which is why it's no longer just an "American thing."
And which is why something appears to be terribly wrong.
As cries of "betrayal" rise in the U.S. over the proposed new immigration law, the new national ID, the creeping North American Union, the new dictatorial presidential "emergency" powers, the assault on Christianity in U.S. schools and other public institutions, a pattern is developing. And it is no better in the rest of the West. Biometric IDs are on the horizon in many Western democracies, along with rapid accumulation of citizens' personal, medical, financial, professional and any other available kind of data. Domestic spying is reaching epidemic proportions. Passenger searches have become routine. Street cameras are rampant more than 4 million in Britain alone. State bureaucracies have been assuming ever-rising powers, the police agencies even more so. All this in the name of a "Global War on Terror."
Sacrifices might be demanded and accepted for the right cause. Compelling people worldwide, but especially in the West, to give up things as precious as civil liberties and privacy is a huge thing to ask. For many, it is unacceptable, for without these, life may not be worth living. The benefit of the doubt might be given to those that insist on such sacrifices if their actions are seen as overreactions done in good faith.
But the case of Kosovo and supporting the formation of a radical Islamic narco-terrorist state on soil soaked with the Christian spirit and the blood of Christian martyrs, with more than 1,300 churches over an area smaller than Rhode Island, proves an absence of good faith in the waging of the so-called terror war. And, as this is a global fight, lack of good faith in one place means a lack of good faith everywhere. For, not only does the identified outside threat (i.e. "terrorism") have to be credible, but the response to it also has to be consistent. Otherwise, the motives of those making the call to what seems to be endless war must be questioned. That's the way it is with crusades the absolutes must be on both sides for the thing to function.
And the only global power standing in the way of independent Kosovo is Russia, which is blocking U.S.-led efforts to push Kosovo independence through the U.N. Security Council.
Miracles constantly happen. In less than 20 years, the beacon of promoting global freedom in the world seems to be turning into a beacon of slashing back global freedom, under apparently false pretenses. On the other hand, under its KGB-grown elite, the once "Evil Empire" has been undergoing an internal Christian revival and is willing to face down the U.S. on the issue of a small, beleaguered Christian enclave in the Balkans. One must pray for another miracle that President Bush will reconsider his anti-Christian policy in the Balkans. For if he does not, it will mean that the war on terror is a war of terror, in the name of an unidentified agenda. And that, like pagan Rome, America will have Christian blood on its hands.