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Kosovo Precedent Prevails
The National Interest ^ | 08.26.2008 | Ted Galen Carpenter

Posted on 08/26/2008 1:49:38 PM PDT by DTA

When the United States and its key European allies ignored Russia’s protests and recognized Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in February, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice blithely insisted that the Kosovo situation was unique and set no international precedent whatsoever. Prominent members of the foreign policy communities in Europe and the United States echoed her argument.

Moscow’s August 26 decision to recognize the independence of Georgia’s separatist enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia demonstrates the arrogant folly of that position. In just a matter of months, the Kosovo precedent has backfired on the United States and generated dangerous tensions between Russia and the West.

It is difficult to imagine how Washington and its NATO allies could have more egregiously mishandled the Kosovo situation. Western policy has been a debacle from its beginnings in the early 1990s. When Belgrade attempted to suppress the secessionist campaign by the Albanian majority in Kosovo, NATO intervened with air strikes to compel Serbia to relinquish control of the province to an international occupation force. NATO’s actions ignored Moscow’s vehement objections and showed contempt for Russia’s long-standing interests in the Balkans. The Clinton administration also bypassed the UN Security Council (and, hence, Russia’s veto) to launch that military operation, exhibiting further disdain for Russia’s prerogatives as a permanent member of the Council and a major power in the international system.

Russian leaders fumed, but Moscow was too weak to do anything but issue futile protests. Ultimately, the NATO powers offered Moscow the sop of a belated UN resolution that professed to recognize Serbia’s territorial integrity, which included Kosovo, even though that province had been put under international control. How much that resolution was worth became apparent in 2007 and early 2008 when the United States and the major European Union governments pressed for Kosovo’s independence without Belgrade’s consent and—once again—without UN Security Council authorization. Moscow warned at the time that such action would set a dangerous international precedent; countries as diverse as China, India, Indonesia, Spain and Greece expressed the same concern. Most ominously, Russian officials specifically cited Abkhazia and South Ossetia as places where the Kosovo precedent could apply.

Russia has now demonstrated that two can play the game of using military force against another country to detach discontented ethnic enclaves. And the United States and NATO are not able to do much about it.

Rather than escalate the already alarming tensions with Russia, Washington needs to walk back its policy on Kosovo and seek a deal with Moscow. The U.S.-EU position on Kosovo is untenable from the standpoint of both wise diplomacy and basic logic. American officials have put themselves in the awkward position of arguing that quasi-democratic Georgia’s territorial integrity is sacrosanct while fully democratic Serbia’s is not. Moreover, despite the expectation of leaders in Washington and Pristina that the vast majority of countries would quickly recognize Kosovo’s independence, only a meager forty-seven have done so—and most of them are long-standing American allies and clients. The rest of the world still worries about the broader implications of the Kosovo precedent and withholds recognition.

Washington should propose a mutual diplomatic retreat to Moscow, in which the United States would rescind its recognition of Kosovo’s independence and urge the Kosovars to accept Belgrade’s proposal for a negotiated status of “enhanced autonomy,” which comes very close to de facto independence. Russia would be expected to adopt a similar policy with regard to Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

If U.S. leaders do not suggest this course, they will face the unpleasant prospect of further demonstrating NATO’s inability to do anything effective to reverse Russia’s conduct in Georgia. American miscalculations have already underscored the alliance’s impotence; it is not a lesson that officials should want to reinforce. Moreover, if Washington and Moscow do not back off from their tenacious positions, relations between the two countries—already in bad shape—may degenerate into a new cold war. Conversely, some common sense and flexibility on the twin secessionist issues could be a catalyst for repairing that important relationship.

Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, is the author of eight books on international affairs, including Smart Power: Toward a Prudent Foreign Policy for America (2008). He is also a contributing editor to The National Interest.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: clintonlegacy; dhimmwit; georgia; kosovo; nato; russia; stooge; wrongside

1 posted on 08/26/2008 1:49:38 PM PDT by DTA
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To: DTA
How much that resolution was worth became apparent in 2007 and early 2008 when the United States and the major European Union governments pressed for Kosovo’s independence without Belgrade’s consent and—once again—without UN Security Council authorization. Moscow warned at the time that such action would set a dangerous international precedent; countries as diverse as China, India, Indonesia, Spain and Greece expressed the same concern. Most ominously, Russian officials specifically cited Abkhazia and South Ossetia as places where the Kosovo precedent could apply.

We cannot say they didn't warn us.
2 posted on 08/26/2008 2:00:16 PM PDT by microgood
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To: DTA

interesting


3 posted on 08/26/2008 2:05:44 PM PDT by griswold3 (Al qaeda is guilty of hirabah (war against society) Penalty is death.)
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To: griswold3

Clintons’ Kosovo precedent is capable of projection to the US Southwest and the movements demanding its cultural or worse divorcement from the US. Open borders, and a two-party permissiveness and passive support for separatist movements (La Raza is consulted by both parties) begs the question in the future. Where is Lincoln and his party when you need the support? The Union is seemingly up for grabs, and Kosovo is just as potentially seminal as the Kelo Decision has been to property rights.


4 posted on 08/26/2008 2:28:46 PM PDT by givemELL
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To: joan; Smartass; zagor-te-nej; Lion in Winter; Honorary Serb; jb6; Incorrigible; DTA; ma bell; ...

5 posted on 08/26/2008 2:45:16 PM PDT by kronos77 (Kosovo is Serbian Jerusalem. No Serbia without Kosovo.)
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To: DTA
"Russia has now demonstrated that two can play the game of using military force against another country to detach discontented ethnic enclaves."

That pretty much says it. NATO, with its sanctimonious and false self righteousness had no business in the Balkans. This proved that the intentions of NATO and its eastward expansion were not benign and harmless.

Sure Putin is a thug and a predator. But now he holds the winning hand. Without US muscle, NATO is nothing. They will do nothing.

In truth, good relations with Russia is more important than our relationship with any so called NATO allie. That's only my opinion. But there was no reason for this to occur, except for the ineptness of the West. This phony self righteousness and sanctimonious fantasy that we have the right to bring "democracy", even if it puts mortal enemies of civilization in power will kill us.

The more our leaders talk regarding this situation, the more they embarrass themselves. The empty huffing and puffing puts us in greater danger. Because meaningless statements eliminate credibility and invite aggression.

6 posted on 08/26/2008 3:02:41 PM PDT by webrover
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To: DTA
Russia said the recognition of Kosovo’s independence was illegal. So if it was illegal, then where is the legal precedent?
7 posted on 08/26/2008 3:05:43 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: DTA
quasi-democratic Georgia’s territorial integrity is sacrosanct while fully democratic Serbia’s is not.

Serbia fully democratic? Isn't Serbia run by Socialists including the party of the mass-murderer Slobodan Milosevic himself? Does the party who got the most votes in the last election run Serbia?

8 posted on 08/26/2008 3:09:57 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe
I shouldn't laugh when you show how little you know about the Balkans, but it's just so damned funny! LOL!
9 posted on 08/26/2008 4:18:18 PM PDT by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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To: FormerLib
My question are rhetorical, fool. Serbia is in fact run by Socialists including Milosevic’s party. The party which got the most votes in the last Serb election does not run the Serb government. Serbia is not “fully democratic,” it's “fully socialist.”
10 posted on 08/26/2008 4:22:27 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe; FormerLib; Bokababe; kronos77; BabaYaga; Kolokotronis

Actually, TGJ, the Red-Yellow-Green (communist-EU-groveling quisling-muslim) coalition that now governs Serbia is the result of meddling by the US State Department, the EU, and Soros. The results of the fully-democratic vote of the Serbian people, as in many parliametary systems, could have resulted in any number of governing coalitions. But because of outside meddling, that is what they got.

I would have preferred to see a patriotic governnmet of Kostunica’s party with the Radicals. But what I (or you) want isn’t important. What’s really needed is NO MORE MEDDLING by ousiders in government processes in Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, etc. with the purpose of encircling and eventually breaking up Russia, as Brzezinski (Obama’s and Carter’s advisor), Soros, and all the globalists have schemed about for years.

Breaking up Yugoslavia—and Serbia—was the first step in this evil scheme. It is Russia’s reaction to this scheme that is the reason for the Georgian incident, not just the “precedent” of “Kosovo independence”.

Real democracy means no such outside interference. And saving our civilization means reuniting its Orthodox and Roman Catholic/Protestant halves in partnership and equality!!!!


11 posted on 08/26/2008 5:33:15 PM PDT by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Seriously....what are you, 12 years old? Calling people “fools” and making statements like...

“You Serbs are Russia’s bitches so you better do what Vlad says or he’ll have to pimp-smack you. Know your role, punks.”

“That’s right, nobody gives a crap about your shitty little country. You are Russia’s friend and our enemy so we are glad now about what Clinton did to you. We feel stupid for ever having sympathized with you. Now we are happy about your misfortune.”

...show you for your absolute ignorance and idiocy. You have real issues, amigo...GO SEEK HELP.


12 posted on 08/26/2008 7:19:25 PM PDT by Serb29 ("A nation that expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be")
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To: Honorary Serb

At which point did my country get taken over by nation building idiots? What happened to “friendship and open trade with other nations, entangling alliances with none”?

Albanians already have a country, why do they need Kosovo?


13 posted on 08/26/2008 9:27:02 PM PDT by Ras al Putin
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To: DTA
Why should the U.S. play trading cards games with Russia over Kosovo when Serbia isn't keen on Russia's play in Georgia?

Moscow’s Actions in Georgia Have Undermined Russia’s Ties with Serbia

14 posted on 08/26/2008 11:38:53 PM PDT by TigersEye (This is the age of the death of reason.)
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To: TigersEye

Good question. Annuling recognition of Kosovo and Osetia, Abkhazia is the only way to restitute World balance.
Even if Russia and America strike a deal and say “we will not do any more of this nonsense” the genie is out of the bottle and other countries can do the same. 10 000 ethnic groups, 200 countries, possibilities are endless. NATO is incapable to pacify Afghanistan. Imagine 10 flashpoints like this one, in countries where human life is valued less than an AK-47 or a cow.


15 posted on 08/27/2008 6:32:46 AM PDT by DTA
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To: DTA
the genie is out of the bottle and other countries can do the same. 10 000 ethnic groups, 200 countries, possibilities are endless.

I posted this earlier on the "Quiz" thread, but I just can`t resist:
List of active autonomist and secessionist movements

Just "target" next country /s.

16 posted on 08/27/2008 8:00:21 AM PDT by BabaYaga (BRE!)
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To: DTA
Bush/Rice recognized Kosovo's independence and I don't think there is any way to take that back. It was a very bad move putting the crowning touch on Clinton's War Against Impeachment but it's a done deal.

As for a need to restore "World balance" I don't think that even exists. World politics isn't played by Marquess of Queensberry rules. We will certainly reap the consequences of our stupidity in Serbia in one way or another but there is no need to concede anything to Putin over it. I see only some moral equivalence between our actions in Serbia and Russia's actions in Georgia and no political equivalence.

Christopher Hitchens - South Ossetia Isn't Kosovo

The Truth About Russia in Georgia [Michael Totten]

17 posted on 08/27/2008 9:55:29 AM PDT by TigersEye (This is the age of the death of reason.)
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To: Honorary Serb

And don’t forget that ity was Brzezinski in his book “Between Two Ages” in the 1980s who asked essentially “Can we not consider the Bolshevik Revolution a blessing for the world because it destroyed Russia?”


18 posted on 08/28/2008 4:27:58 AM PDT by wildandcrazyrussian
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To: Tailgunner Joe; FormerLib; BabaYaga; DTA; Bokababe

Tailgunner Joe, my fine-feathered friend, forgot to take your medication again? How in the world anyone with supposedly “conservative” credentials could come to the defense of Bill Clinton’s little wag-the-dog actions in Kosovo, to distract from Blowjob-gate and his impeachment, truly boggles the mind.

If you were an actual Tailgunner in WWII rather than the armchair soldier that you actually are, the Serbs would’ve been your best friends— it was the Serbs, more than any other USA ally, who put their lives on the line to rescue American and other Allied pilots. And the Serbs have always been on the front lines in defending Europe against Islamofascism, since the Battle of Kossovo against the Ottoman Turks in 1389.

But no, Bill Clinton couldn’t be bothered by actual history, since it was far more important to protect his sorry hide from political fallout over Blowjob-gate. Despite the confusing situation on the ground (with mutual atrocities), the Serbs were an easy target in the media, so Bill decided to bomb Serbia for 78 days and kill thousands of cilivians, even hitting a TV tower. Even now, Bill still has his bootlickers defending him for his war crime.

The biggest irony of all this, TGJ, is that your beloved little Kosovo Albanians demonstrated their gratitude for Bill Clinton’s war crime by helping to mass-murder 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. The KLA has always had cozy relations with al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden, and in fact the 9/11 hijackers themselves had links to the region which helped them to train, and to plot the attacks in Europe. Even now, the KLA-led Kosovo is an unviable state led by drug-runners, and people and weapons-smugglers, still with connections to al-Qaida.

So you see, TGJ, you are effectively sympathizing with al-Qaida here, and in fact with al-Qaida operatives who murdered 3,000 Americans on 9/11. And you call yourself a patriot?


19 posted on 08/28/2008 7:30:40 AM PDT by Javeth (Free the Naga Christians of Nagaland in India! http://tinyurl.com/2o4vf3 Nagalim is a nation)
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To: BabaYaga

Yeah, in fact Aztlan in the US Southwest is next on the list. The Aztlan, Aleutian and Hawaiian independence movements are already citing Kosovo as the fundamental legal precedent for secession, and the irony is, they’re right— when the US government itself creates a precedent like this, nowhere is that precedent stronger than in our country itself.

Hey, if they wanna secede, more power to them. If our corrupt leaders are stupid enough to shoot ourselves in the foot over Kosovo, an Islamofascist-led al-Qaida allied narcostate that directly assisted in an attack on our own soil (9/11), then perhaps our government deserves the shock. And besides, Aztlan in particular will stop leeching precious tax dollars away from the rest of the nation. Let ‘em fend for themselves.


20 posted on 08/28/2008 7:35:09 AM PDT by Javeth (Free the Naga Christians of Nagaland in India! http://tinyurl.com/2o4vf3 Nagalim is a nation)
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To: wildandcrazyrussian; FormerLib; Bokababe; kronos77; BabaYaga; Kolokotronis

Did Brzezinski REALLY say that the Bolshevik revolution was a blessing because it destroyed Russia? Then he’s even WORSE than I thought he was!!!!

In fact, he’s in the same league (but with much more intellectual firepower) as the Nazi Biden and his Nazi son “Beau” (Joeeph Biden III, really). Biden said in 1999 that all Serbs should be put in “Nazi-style concentration camps”. Last night, at the Democratic Convention, Beau praised his father for standing up to “Serbian thugs” who were committing “genocide”, to the cheers of the Kool-Aid drinking Obamamaniacs and clintonites in the crowd.

Serb-bashers and Orthodox-bashers in America just don’t get it. Whether Obama or McCain wins, we will have the kind of Soros-shill, New World Order government that the bashers prescribe for various Eastern European countries, especially Orthodox ones. The bashers richly deserve to have a taste of their own medicine, but the rest of us will have to go through it, too. Lord defend us!!!!


21 posted on 08/28/2008 7:53:14 AM PDT by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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To: Javeth; FormerLib

Since I grew up in a part of what would become “Aztlan”, I would NEVER stand for their secession!!!!

If other conservatives from the Great Southwest would think about “Aztlan”, they would have some idea of what Serbs feel about Kosovo. Ditto for all American conservatives who deplore the land of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill being taken over by a bunch of “gay allies” and EU-wannabes!!!!


22 posted on 08/28/2008 8:00:51 AM PDT by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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To: Honorary Serb

Majority of Russian nationalists accuse West of inposing communism on Russia in 1917.


23 posted on 08/28/2008 10:44:15 AM PDT by kronos77 (Kosovo is Serbian Jerusalem. No Serbia without Kosovo.)
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To: kronos77; wildandcrazyrussian; RusIvan

The plain (i.e., non-conspiracy theory) facts about that are:

1. Marxism was originally a completely Western movement, developed in Germany and England. It was based on completely Western philosphy, e.g., Hegel.

2. The Germans (in order to take Russia out of WWI) helped Lenin get back into Russia.

3. Communism is an atheist system that is especially antagonistic to Christianity. The vast majority of those killed by communists outside of China have been Orthodox Christians.


24 posted on 08/28/2008 12:20:04 PM PDT by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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To: Javeth
Dear traitor,

If you love Serbia so much, you should go there. Stop stinking up the USA with your foreign loyalties, and go to the place where your loyalties lie.

I was against Clinton's bombing of the Serbs, but Putin-worshipping Serbo-Nazi scum like you have made me change my mind. Now I'm upset Clinton didn't wipe Serbia off the map completely and permanently.

My sympathies are with my country, the USA, and with the US soldiers such as those who occupy Kosovo. If Serbs want to take Kosovo away from the US soldiers who occupy it, I hope our soldiers totally annihilate them. You can root for the Serbs to kill our soldiers, but that won't happen, because the cowardly Serbs only talk about Kosovo, they are too scared of the USA beating the crap out of them again to actually try and take it back.

So you see, cowardly traitor scum, that you are no better than Al-qaida to me. They are my enemy, and you are my enemy. If Al-Qaeda kills Serbs then I am happy because my enemies are killing each other. That's what you get for supporting America's enemies. We celebrate when you die.

25 posted on 08/28/2008 2:49:49 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Sounds like a post one might read on the Democratic Underground.


26 posted on 08/28/2008 5:03:56 PM PDT by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
You can root for the Serbs to kill our soldiers...

You are the only one suggesting that, Joe. It's called "projecting".

27 posted on 08/28/2008 5:15:15 PM PDT by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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To: Honorary Serb

How do you feel about the Russians using Chechens to exterminate your Orthodox Christian brethren? Just curious . . . do they get a pass?


28 posted on 08/28/2008 5:29:59 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy; Honorary Serb
How do you feel about the Russians using Chechens to exterminate your Orthodox Christian brethren?

Assuming that were so for a second, with more regret than you can muster over NATO troops allowing the KLA to exterminate our Orthodox Christian bretheren.

29 posted on 08/28/2008 8:37:42 PM PDT by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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To: FormerLib
LOLOL, you Kremlin tool, what about these APC's with the spraypainted white lettering?

http://noviny.narod.ru/A0002016.html

I'm not surprised at that you try to deflect attention toward me. Explain those photos.

30 posted on 08/28/2008 8:59:15 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Tailgunner Joe
I agree with you. They've chosen the wrong side in this one, and by doing so they have laid to waste almost every argument they've made over the years to convince us the Kosovo war was wrong.

Funny thing is, no one needed to be convinced that the war was wrong. Now these Bolsheviks have convinced us that the war was right because of what the Russians have done. That is their argument, after all . . . what the Russians did was ok. Therefore, in the absence of any argument that what the Russians did was not ok, what NATO did was ok also.

Hey, we can call it even! Now maybe FR can get back to normal.

31 posted on 08/28/2008 9:07:35 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

Explain this pogrom in process.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsSswNz7lBU


32 posted on 08/29/2008 1:15:51 PM PDT by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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To: FormerLib

Explain what I’m about to see, first. I do not serve you.


33 posted on 08/29/2008 1:19:44 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

It’s quite clear whom you do serve.

But I can understand your reluctance to witness scenes of the Jihadist progroms in Kosovo against the Christian Serbs.


34 posted on 08/29/2008 1:28:11 PM PDT by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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To: FormerLib
Who do I serve, you Bolshevik? Shout it from the rooftops. Remember you are on a conservative website.

And by "conservative," I don't mean "NATO kicked my ass, boo hoo."

35 posted on 08/29/2008 1:30:47 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: FormerLib
Aah, so you want me to see evidence of war crimes in Kosovo against Serbs?

Well seeing that I have never denied the evidence of war crimes on either side, just where do you think you are going with your argument, you idiot?

36 posted on 08/29/2008 1:33:04 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

LOL! Calling an Orthodox Chrisian a Bolshevik screams out your ignorance of the Balkans better than anything I could post.

I’ll just leave you hung on your own foolish petard then. LOL!


37 posted on 08/29/2008 2:35:46 PM PDT by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
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