Reply to Nathan on Kosovo analogy

Seth Ackerman sackerman at
Mon Oct 8 14:11:42 PDT 2001

Nathan Newman wrote:

> If most Kosovars had strong familial and recent historical links with
> Albania, and the Kosovars had initiatied a genocidal aggressive war of
> ethnic clensing that they then lost, I'd have no problem with anyone
> saying
> it. Launching and losing wars has consequences-- many Serbs collaborated
> in the Kosovar ethnic clensing. The analogy between opppressor group and
> oppressed is exactly the problem here.
. I find this statement unbelievable.

You can either be pro-ethnic cleansing or anti-ethnic cleansing, Nathan. But you can't be for it when it happens to Serbs and against it when it happens to Albanians. You are saying that Kosovo Serb civilians deserved to be forcibly expelled from their homes because they supported the revocation of Kosovo's constitutional autonomy? Or because they supported Milosevic's brutal response to the KLA's attacks against them?

In the past 2 years, the KLA has waged what you call a "genocidal war of aggression" against Kosovo Serbs. Does that now mean the Kosovo Albanians deserve to be attacked because they have supported this war?

A large number of Kosovo Albanians *do* have family links in both Macedonia and Albania. That doesn't justify their being forced from their homes by armed thugs. Maybe you think it does.

This is exactly the accusation that Milosevic made: if the KLA won the war, the Serbs would be expelled, so he had a responsibility to defeat the KLA by any means necessary in order to protect the civilian Serb population of Kosovo. You are confirming the most extremist positions within Serbian nationalism.

> I have little question that most
> Israeli settlers will be driven out of the West Bank and Gaza once they
> are
> handed over to the Palestinians. Will you call that ethnic clensing when
> it happens?
. Your comparison is amazing. The Jewish settlers were implanted in the territories less than 35 years ago. The settlements they live in are instruments of Israeli policies designed to integrate illegally occupied territories into the country's borders. The construction of the settlements was a war crime.

The Kosovo Serbs were not settlers. Kosovo was not occupied territory. It was part of the internationally recognized territory of Serbia. Most of the Serbs who lived there had family roots going back, unbroken, for centuries. That doesn't mean Kosovo "belongs" to the Serbs, but neither does it "belong" to the Albanians. You seem to be a particularly bloodthirsty proponent of organicist nationalism.


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