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  • A Biden/Kosovo Preview

    When Vice-President Biden arrives in Pristina on Thursday, he is guaranteed a rapturous welcome. Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Hashim Thaçi and President, Fatmir Sejdiu have facilitated the warmest public welcome for the Vice President, including presenting him with ‘The Golden Medal of Freedom’, a state honor in recognition of his long-standing support for the country’s independence.

    Kosovo’s independence attracted bipartisan support in February 2008 when it declared full independence from Serbia following seven years as a U.N.-administered protectorate. President Bush led the way by unequivocally and bilaterally endorsing the small enclave’s sovereignty which to date has been recognized by 59 countries, including 22 EU Member States.

    As a pro-Western, Muslim nation, there was some speculation that Kosovo was in the running for President Obama’s much-vaunted presentation to the Islamic world (it lost out to Egypt, where the President will travel on June 4). However, the visit by Vice President Biden should be taken as a significant show of support by the Administration for both Kosovo and the Balkans more generally (Biden will visit Bosnia and Serbia too during this trip).

    Since Kosovo declared its independence, EU jurists and trainers have been dispatched to the region to work on the country’s administrative and legal infrastructure, and earlier this month Kosovo formally joined the IMF. A true milestone was reached in July 2008 when Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic was captured and transferred to the International War Crimes Tribunal, demonstrating green-shoots of cooperation on Serbia’s part. This contrasted sharply with events months earlier, when Serbian rioters set fire to the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade. If Serbia is now genuinely interested in compounding an image of a cooperative partner for Balkan peace rather than an anti-American belligerent, it must work with international investigators to hunt down the notorious war criminal, Ratko Mladic.

    As Vice President Biden tours the U.S. Bondsteel military base in Kosovo and meets with U.S. and NATO officials, he should bear in mind the awesome power – both hard and soft – of the alliance, which was the only international institution prepared to end the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo’s Muslims in 1999.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to A Biden/Kosovo Preview

    1. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      I thought president Clinton told us that we would have our troops back within a short time. We still have our troops in the Balkans. Where is Harry Reid demanding exit strategy? Democrats are hypocrites in school vouchers for DC students but are also in national security matters. I guess at least they are hypocrites through and through.

    2. KLWallace Illinois says:

      First of all, there is no such thing as a "Pro-Western, Muslim Nation". I know of what I speak, I can say I was stationed in the Balkans also I can state that I have also lived in the Balkans. Several things: First and foremost; the "ethnic cleansing of Muslims" isn't exactly what they and the western news media report and portray. There are far far more atrocities commited by the Muslims than they let on. In fact, Melosavic (although not squeaky clean) was defending Serbia and had enough. The Muslims were (and still want to) take out the Orthodox Christians by ethnic cleansing. Anyhow, he said enough and put his foot down. Now mind you, he put it down too hard and we played right into the cries for help from the wrong side!Second: There actually are plans for a United States of Albania (of course under a Muslim government). Third: We had better pay close attention to the entire Balkan region; this is the "key" to everything. We had better be pumping all we can into Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro,Slovokia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Hungary and so on. These are seriously our stanchas allies in the world. They actually do understand us and support or ideals. Let me make this clear: They support what America was built on and stands for, they do not understand why we are swinging to the "left", seriouly, it scares them.

    3. Fisniku, Prishtina says:

      Welcome home Mr Biden!

      You will experience the warmest welcome since President Bush in Albania 2007.

      Your visit is truly a commitment to Kosovo and a sought for a real solution of unresolved issues.

      Kosovo must be recognized by Serbia asap in order to have stability and prosperity in the Balkans.

      See you soon, then!

    4. Labinot, Prishtina/K says:

      Of course Kosovars await Biden's visit to the youngest country of the world with such a joy and enthusiasm. Kosovars owe America more than any other ally. America was always in the Albanian history a strong defender of the Albanian cause for freedom and justice. Most importantly, Biden was so ardent in advocating and lobbying for Kosovo's freedom, so we are more than lucky and blessed to see that same person becoming the vice president of the most genuine ally country and the deputy of a very skillfull and intelligent and just president (Obama).

      God bless Kosovo, God Bless Clintons, God Bless Biden and God bless America!

    5. Sally McNamara Sally McNamara says:

      For information, out of 14,000 NATO troops stationed in Kosovo, only around 10% are now American. America did the majority of the 'heavy lifting' initially, to be replaced gradually by other contributing nations from NATO. For details of contributing nations, see http://tinyurl.com/pqzzzf

      One of America's qualifiers for support of Kosovo's independence was the promise of not forming a Greater Albania.

      Lastly, Lady Thatcher put it best in 1999: "[I]t would be both cruel and stupid to expect the Albanian Kosovans now to return to live under any form of Serbian rule."

    6. Ilir, Gjilan/Kosova says:

      Warm welcome to Biden, same as all Americans that came to Kosova you will be provided with same warm welcome, 'KLWallace' i don't have nothing against you expect your thoughts about Kosova we are a youngest people in Europe and also the youngest country is i recall in the world and we deserve proper education and proper ally's such as USA in order to have prosperity on Balkans we don't deserve your thoughts on the United States of Albania, i wish that you will have a chance to meet real prosperous to humanity people in Balkans especially Slovens Croats and Albanians, not low minded people such as Serbs.

      God bless America and God bless George Washington first president till the latest one President Barack Obama

      Best Regards

    7. Tom Iowa says:

      Everything will be fine till Joe opens his mouth and blows us right out of the water..

    8. Rick W., Minneapolis says:

      I'm surprised Obama is actually letting Joe out of his sight for that long. I hope there will be some adult supervision along. Maybe Mr. Teleprompter should be there.

    9. Gary S ,Williamsport says:

      What so hard to understand a independent Kosovo is nothing more then a Muslim terroris state in Europe ! Look at history ,World war 2

      Were they pro America ?

    10. felix says:

      Albanian love for America didn’t begin overnight. It started when President Woodrow Wilson, after World War I, stood up to the victorious nations of Europe and insisted that Albania, made up one of the oldest people of Europe, was a true nation and that its borders had to be preserved and protected. “Kosovo and Israel are two most pro American nations in the world.” Shimon Perez, president of Israel.

    11. ILIRICUMSACRUM says:

      Balkan politics is reshaping through the effects of changes in global politics after the end of the Cold War.

      Creating new political and economical frontiers for Albanians in the Balkan region is essential for US Foreign Politics and within they will take a leading role in shaping the political reality of the region! As consequence the government of R. Kosova has a desperate need for maintaining and developing functional political and economical systems.

      Serbian politics has a desperate need for strong US support, but this is almost Impossible under the circumstances of strong Russian influence in the same time.

      God Bless US!

    12. Dave Manter, London says:

      As I understand Kosovo needed statehood so you americans and EU; Just let them live their own life peacefully..

      Serbia during WW2 has terrorized many jews and my uncle Miklosch was one of them to experience this horrible crime of slavic-Serbian regime.

      Personally, I wish Kosovo all the best,

    13. Sally McNamara Sally McNamara says:

      KFOR (NATO's force in Kosovo) currently comprises

      1,483 American troops, representing less than 11% of the total force posture in this country. It is not the largest contributor of troops to the KFOR mission either.

    14. Marko, Serbia says:

      Hm.. well, my USA friends, before speaking (and acting) about something that you actually do not know anything about, maybe you should do a bit of a research. Try to search this:

      Operation

      The Royal Serbian army, better known as "the chetnics", under the command of general Draza Mihailovic, saved a total number of 513 American pilots during WW2.

      Legion of Merit is the highest USA decoration meant for foreign citizens for exceptional merits. Draza Mihailovic was decorated at the proposal of USA General Dwight Eisenhower.

      Hollywood even made a movie about it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035729/

      So much about Serbs hating USA.

      And what you did? You allowed Albaninan heroin trade lobbyists to buy your politicians (i.e. Biden). Your media demonized a complete nation. You bombed us. For what? Dealing with terrorists in our own backyard? You have to admit it my friends, you do not know anything about Kosovo, and you do not know anything about Serbs.

      Check your own facts. Maybe you will find that CIA first recognized KLA as a terrorist organization, only to start helping them several years later.

      " While the CIA's role in the Balkan disaster is not clear, it appears

      certain that NATO's chief military ally in the war against Yugoslavia, the

      KLA, is deeply involved in the heroin trade. And as late as last year, the

      KLA was still listed by the State Department as a terrorist organization. "

      "Jerry Seper has reported in the Washington Times that some members of the

      KLA, which has financed its war effort through the sale of heroin, were

      trained in terrorist camps run by international fugitive Osama bin Laden —

      who is wanted in the 1998 bombing of two US embassies in Africa that killed

      224 persons, including 12 Americans."

      And so on.. with CIA dirty tricks and destabilization of my country.

      Then check for Great Albania.

      Then for SS Skanderbeg Division.

      Maybe you should search something about Albanian mafia as well.

      Maybe than you would realize to whom, and how, your government helps. Or you can just listen what KLWallace Illinois is saying. He was actually there, you know.

      We built universities in Kosovo. We built schools. We built infrastructure. We built factories. We built powerplants. We built everything. We built Kosovo. And you just took it.

      Thus, if this is what your founding fathers had in mind when creating your country, then i'm Bugs Bunny.

      P.S.

      To all those Albanians from Kosovo that now describe Serbs as low life animals:

      Why are you destroying 7 centuries old Serbian monasteries all over Kosovo? Trying to re-write history?

      Regards,

      Marko.

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