On the 28th June, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie von Chotkova were assassinated by Gavrilo Princip. Several members of the Black Hand group in Sarajevo were arrested and interrogated by the Austrian authorities. The Austro-Hungarian government soon discovered that three men in the Serbian Army living in Belgrade had organized the plot.
Emperor Franz Josef of Austro-Hungarian and his ally, Kaiser Wilhem II, of Germany, decided that Serbia had to be punished for this crime.
On 23rd July, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian government demanded that the Serbian government arrested these three men and send them to face trial in Vienna.
On 25th July, 1914, Nikola Pasic told the Austro-Hungarian government that he was unable to hand over these three men as it "would be a violation of Serbia's Constitution and criminal in law" and appealed to Russia for help.
On 28th July, 1914, Austro-Hungarian declared war on Serbia.
The Bosnian Crisis
The Bosnian Crisis of 1908-09 was very much the precursor of the events in the Balkans that spilled over into the assassination of Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo in June 1914. In this sense the Bosnian Crisis needs to be analysed within the same context as the assassination that was to trigger World War One.
The Bosnian Crisis was a very complicated issue that involved nine nations. In 1878, Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia-Herzegovina with the agreement of the rest of Europe (Treaty of Berlin). Bosnia-Herzegovina were the two most northwesterly provinces of the Ottoman Empire. Austria-Hungary signed an agreement that the Sultan’s sovereignty over the area would be upheld but few expected Austria-Hungary to adhere to this. In fact, Austria-Hungary quickly made plans to annex the provinces. However, annexation had not been agreed at the Berlin meeting of Europe’s powers and the whole question remained dormant until after 1900.
If Austria-Hungary wanted to annex Bosnia-Herzegovina, she would have needed the full agreement of other European powers, especially Russia. In 1906, Austria-Hungary was generally experiencing problems among the people in the Balkans that it ruled over. The Austro-Hungarian Empire principally contained Croats, Slovenes, Serbians, Albanians and Macedonians and the whole issue of independence for these peoples reared its head.
Russia had lost a great amount of international prestige when she was defeated by Japan in the 1905 war in the Far East. The destruction of the Russian Navy at Tsuhima Bay was seen as a humiliating defeat. Russia, therefore, needed to restore her standing in Europe and in Foreign Minister Alexander Izvolsky they had a man who was determined to do just this. The Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, Baron Lexa von Aehrenthal, also wanted to show that his nation was more than a mere satellite of Germany. He was willing to negotiate with Russia on their issues and the two men met in September 1908. Austria-Hungary wanted Russian support for the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina while Russia wanted Austrian support for the ending of the 1841 convention that banned men-of-wars from using the Bosphorus and Dardanelle’s, effectively trapping the Russian Navy in the Black Sea. If Russia had broken this convention with no support it would have provoked Britain who had a major naval presence in the Mediterranean however, with support from Austria-Hungary, this would have been less of an issue for the Russians, though still provocative to Europe’s major naval power.
When both men met they put forward each nations aspirations. What actually happened at the meeting is open to dispute, as the Russians never released their official minutes of the meeting. The Austrians did and claim that an agreement was reached that each would support the other. Later the Russians did not dispute this but Izvolsky did claim that Austria gave no hint that the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina would be “imminent” and he interpreted what was said as meaning that annexation would take place but that it would be sometime in the future.
Bosnia-Herzegovina was annexed on October 6 th 1908. This occurred before Izvolsky had sounded out Britain and France with regards to Russia’s desire to fully use the Bosphorus/Bosphorus. Izvolsky believed that Aehrenthal had tricked him – Russia had declared her support for the annexation but got nothing in return.
Ironically, Britain had been willing to discuss the naval use of the Straits in 1907, including Russian capital ships using it. However, in 1908, Sir Edward Grey decided that the annexation had made the whole region too volatile (Bulgaria had also announced her independence from Turk rule in October 1908) for any further changes.
To spite Austria-Hungary, Izvolsky then suggested that Serbia should receive territorial compensation from Austria-Hungary to balance up the land annexed from Bosnia-Herzegovina. This Austria refused to even consider. Germany, though irked by the annexation, supported Austria-Hungary and Russia had to climb down. By the end of 1908, Russia had achieved nothing – no concessions for the use of the Straits and a powerful neighbour expanding her territory. It had also bonded Germany and Austria-Hungary even more and to all intents Russia appeared alarmingly isolated. The only thing Izvolsky achieved was to push Russia and Serbia together. Serbia had been against the annexation, as she wanted Bosnia-Herzegovina for herself. In late 1908, there was even talk of Serbia declaring war on Austria-Hungary and the press in Belgrade stirred up a great deal of public anger – not that it had to try too hard. While Serbia received no support from West European states, Nicholas II of Russia met with the Serbian Foreign Minister, Milovanovich, and while the tsar did not offer Serbia his full support in terms of military aid, he made it clear that he supported what the Serbs hoped to achieve but advised a patient approach.
Secretly – and this only became known in 1918 – Austria-Hungary and Germany’s chiefs-of-staff were in contact with regards to the declining situation in the Balkans. In January 1909, Conrad von Hötzendorf wrote to Helmuth von Moltke, the German chief-of-staff, that
“The possibility must be reckoned with that in the event of an Austro-Hungarian war in the Balkans (that is, against Serbia) Russia will enter upon warlike action in favour of the opponents of the monarchy.”
Hötzendorf asked Moltke what military support Germany would offer to Austria-Hungary in the event of a war in the Balkans. Moltke replied – and stated very clearly that what he wrote was fully supported by Wilhelm II – that
“At the moment Russia mobilises, Germany will also mobilise and mobilise its entire army.”
When Aehrenthal knew about the contents of this letter he safely assumed that he did not have to make any concessions to Izvolsky or Serbia.
The matter was further complicated when Turkey demanded to be compensated for the loss of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Their demand was supported by Britain. After much haggling, the Austrians agreed to pay the Turks a sum of about £2 million, which the Turks accepted and recognised the annexation. However, a matter that had initially involved Austria-Hungary and Russia had now dragged in Germany, Serbia (though Serbia was always going to be involved), Turkey and Britain.
In January 1909, the Serbian Foreign Minister Milovanovich made such an inflammatory speech against the Austrians in the Serbian Parliament that he was forced to write an apology to Aehrenthal. It was symptomatic of how the situation was degenerating.
In an attempt to pacify what was emerging in the Balkans, Sir Edward Grey asked Aehrenthal bluntly via telegram what Austria’s intentions were with regards to Serbia. He had first gained approval from Paris and Moscow about the contents of this telegram. Grey also asked Germany to support his quest to pacify the region but with no luck. Germany put the emphasis on Serbia to appear to be more peaceful rather than condemn Austria-Hungary. Grey decided to ask Izvolsky to put pressure on Serbia to be more willing to come to an agreement with Vienna. To complement this, he asked Aehrenthal to offer Serbia aid to stimulate Serbia’s economic growth. Grey also got France to support his move and Paris made it clear to Izvolsky that he had to inform Belgrade that Serbia had to start being more conciliatory and less provocative. On February 27 th 1909, Izvolsky telegraphed Belgrade that they had to be more open to conciliation and that Russia did not support their desire for territorial compensation and that Serbia “must not insist on this”.
Given the circumstances of what had emerged in the previous twelve months, it would appear strange that Serbia agreed to this. However, a newly appointed coalition government appeared to hint at the desire for a fresh start. In a letter sent to Belgrade, the Serbian government stated that it had neither desire for war nor any intention of starting one and that Serbia’s relation with Austria-Hungary remained “normal”. Izvolsky was very influential in drafting this letter, which finished with a stated desire for the great powers of Europe to restore order in the Balkans.
The letter was not well received in Vienna. What irked Aehrenthal was the comment made by Serbia that she was content for the great powers of Europe to resolve the Balkan issue. Aehrenthal believed that only Austria-Hungary had a right to be involved in a dispute between neighbours and that the great powers had no right to be involved. Vienna informed Berlin that she was prepared to invade Serbia if the government in Belgrade failed to make an unequivocal declaration towards “peaceful intentions”. Germany rejected the letter because it failed to mention anything about Serbian disarmament. Aehrenthal, probably buoyed by Germany’s stance, declared the letter unacceptable because it was addressed to Europe’s great powers and not directly to Austria-Hungary. A date was set – March 16 th 1909 – for Serbia to have addressed all of the concerns expressed by Vienna. On March 14 th , the Serbian government sent a note to Austria’s representative in Belgrade. The note was primarily concerned with commerce between Serbia and Austria-Hungary. It was quickly rejected.
However, on the previous day a conference took place in Russia that effectively meant that Serbia would be isolated if war occurred. On March 13 th Russian army and naval senior officers met at Tsarskyoe Selo. They all agreed, along with the Minister of War, that Russia could not go to war and that military support for Serbia was “out of the question”. This decision was reaffirmed on March 20 th . There were those in Berlin was believed that this decision was a clear indication that Russia’s military might was not as great as some thought.
To what extent the decision at Tsarskyoe Selo made politicians in Berlin more hawkish is difficult to know, but historians have assumed that this was the case. It may well have had the same impact on Aehrenthal. Grey did what he could to rein in the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister but with little success. Aehrenthal planned to announce his desire that the ruler of Serbia should be the ‘King of Croatia’ (Emperor Franz Josef) who should take over from the dynasty that ruled Serbia in March 1909 – the Karageorge’s. Grey cautioned Aehrenthal that Serbia would not accept this and that what he was doing was bound to lead to friction.
However, Aehrenthal had gauged the situation correctly. He believed that there was no desire for war among the Triple Entente (Russia, France and the United Kingdom). Russia had clearly expressed her position while Britain’s naval might would have had little impact in the area. France’s large army would have had little direct impact on Austria and would have had to attack via Germany to get to the region. This was not going to happen in 1909. On March 29 th 1909, Germany reaffirmed its support for Austria and condemned Serbia for its warlike attitude. Two days later, Serbia accepted Austria’s demand that she recognise Austria’s annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Serbia also announced that she would be a “good neighbour” to Austria-Hungary.
In Vienna and Berlin there was a universal belief that Aehrenthal had been successful. There was also a shared belief that both Britain and Russia had shown a very clear desire to avoid war, almost at all costs. It was also assumed that France would be unwilling to go to war over Serbia without the support of the other two members of the Triple Entente.
What had the Bosnian Crisis solved? Arguably nothing. Austria-Hungary had developed an inflated opinion as to her relative strength in Europe. Hawks in Berlin had witnessed what they deemed to be the weakness of Russia. In Russia itself, many believed that Izvolsky had humiliated the country and resolved that it would never happen again. Serbia was also in a position whereby she wanted revenge.
Serbian Crisis - Simulation - History
Conducting exercises to test both your plan and response team allows for you to see where the plan succeeds in a crisis and where it may need some work. It also gives your staff the practice they will need to ensure a smoother crisis response.
With Kenyon, you gain access to real world proven expertise that can help you develop and conduct various exercises, whether you are starting from nothing or you simply need support bringing to life what you have already planned.
Test cooperation between your departments or agencies with a low cost, low stress exercise. Gather your internal team around a table and walk through the details of your plan.
Test your response to a specific scenario with a Simulation Exercise. You can augment the stress level and intensity of this exercise depending on your company&rsquos level of readiness. Take the opportunity to change a few factors to ramp up the effectiveness. This can include conducting out-of-hours exercises, jumping to day ten of the response instead of day one and limiting the availability of one or more key staff members.
A Full-Scale Exercise is the closest you can get to testing your crisis management system outside of responding to an actual crisis. Your management, coordination and functional task performances are validated in these complicated and intense exercises. Make sure other departments in your organisation are involved such as legal, communications, security and IT. Involve major partners (port authorities, airports, baggage handling companies, etc.) who might be affected. Kenyon can help you bring a Full-Scale Exercise as close to reality as possible. When it comes to exercises, the only limit is your imagination. Taking the time to properly plan an exercise is integral to success. Kenyon experts can work closely with you to help you craft the right size and scale of exercise for your team, interjecting real-world scenarios based on our extensive experience.
Serbian Crisis - Simulation - History
Lesson Plan #: AELP-WRH0206
Submitted by: Marc Major and Kari Nelson
Email: [email protected]
School/University/Affiliation: Lloyde High School, Los Angeles, CA Date: October 14, 2000
Grade Level:10, 11, 12, Higher Education
Duration: Five 55-minute sessions Description: This five-day simulation focuses on the Yugoslavian civil war of the 1990’s. The activity is set in early 1991, when international involvement in Yugoslav politics was minimal. Students will learn the geography and history of the Balkans, assume a role in the conflict, and make decisions which may maintain peace or begin a war. The details of this activity reflect actual facts.
- world atlas (one per student)
- two 6-sided dice
- overhead projector and overhead pens
- the following pages (one instructor overhead & one per student):
- blank Balkans map (see Procedure for details)
- Balkans Data Sheet (Appendix B)
- Yugoslav Situation Summary (Appendix C)
- Quality of Life Points (Appendix D) (Appendix D1 for instructor, D2 for students & overhead)
- Fact Sheet (Appendix E-1 through E-4)
- Student Instructions (Appendix F-1 through F-4)
- Individual Roles (Appendix G) cut into roles–unique for each group–and distributed, one per student, within the proper group
As the simulation begins, students representing one of three different factions within Yugoslavia will meet with others in their region to determine mutual concerns and demands. Each participant must balance individual and group interests in this initial negotiation process. These regional groups will then send diplomatic representatives to the other regions to discuss conflicts and possible compromises. A fourth group of students representing the United Nations will determine whether to impose sanctions or award aid to any region. At the end of each round, the instructor will calculate how the various groups’ decisions have affected each region’s quality of life. The region with the most Quality of Life (QOL) points at the end of the game wins. The activity requires five class hours to complete: two hours of advance reading and map work, two hours of the simulation proper, and one hour of follow-up discussion.
– Spend 2 to 3 minutes introducing the activity.
– Distribute a world atlas, Balkans map, and Balkans Data Sheet (Appendix B) to each student. [The authors regret that, due to copyright restrictions, we could not distribute our map over the Internet however, any blank map of Europe should suffice.]
– Ask students to find in their atlases and draw on their own maps:
1. the six regions of Yugoslavia outlined on the blank map
2. the three main geographic features listed on the Balkans Data Sheet–the Dinaric Alps, the Romanian Plain, and the Dalmatian Coast
– When half the class has finished, ask volunteers to fill in their findings on the overhead map, so other students can finish and check their work.
– On a European map in the atlas, point out the position of the former Yugoslavia relative to Moscow, Istanbul, and Rome–centers of the Eastern Orthodox, Islamic, and Roman Catholic religions which play a central role in dividing the Balkans to this day.
– Spend any remaining time drilling students on the Balkans Data Sheet, focusing particularly on the table at the bottom. Ask students to note on their maps the majority nationality in each region. (Note that Tito recorded Muslims as a “nationality” in a deliberate effort to maintain a balance of political power).
– Distribute the Yugoslav Situation Summary/QOL Points sheets (Appendices C & D), and read aloud and dissect each paragraph.
– Crucial knowledge about the Balkans includes:
1. the common language and ancestry
2. the religious differences
3. the differences in nationality
4. the different forms of government desired
5. the historical bases of the Croat-Serb enmity
– Inform the students that, for the purposes of the game, they will be divided into only four groups, representing Serbia (including Macedonia and Montenegro), Croatia (including Slovenia), Bosnia-Herzegovina, and a United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
– Read the Student Instructions to the class.
– Explain the Quality of Life Points scoring system, whereby groups try to augment their starting scores by various actions detailed under QOL Points.
– As a class, review the Yugoslav Situation Summary.
– Choose 3 to 5 students to form the UNSC, and then break the remainder of the class into three equal-sized parts–the regional groups.
– Distribute the appropriate Student Instructions/Fact Sheet to each student. Ask one person in each group to read the information aloud (quietly) to the group.
– Distribute to each student an Individual Role appropriate to her group. Each student should read hers in secret and, based on these roles, write on her Fact Sheet 2 to 3 personal goals she wants to achieve during discussions within the regional group.
– Each group should then produce 3 to 5 group goals its members want to achieve during negotiations with the other regions. Allow 5 to 10 minutes for group members to reach some consensus. Each student should write the group’s final goals in the space provided on his Fact Sheet.
– As a class, review the Quality of Life Points scoring system, and list each group’s starting score on the board.
– Announce that the first round of negotiations is about to begin. Each round should include 5 to 7 minutes of negotiation, after which everyone must return to her region and–after 3 minutes of discussion–make public press releases, hear any UNSC decisions, and watch the instructor tally the Quality of Life points.
– Instructor tips:
1. Any treaty or other agreement between two regions should be written out and signed by a representative of both parties.
2. The UNSC is typically neglected during the initial round, so urge the regional groups to send a representative to the UNSC as early as possible.
3. Emphasizing the scores might prompt dramatic action if none has occurred after two or three rounds.
– Begin Round 1.
– When the first round of negotiations seems to be winding down, ask students to return to their regional groups and prepare their announcements.
– When each group has read its press release to the class and the UNSC has announced its decisions, tally the QOL Points (q.v.) and start the next round.
– Don’t forget to record the day’s final scores for continuation the next day.
– Reassemble the students into their groups and begin the next round.
– In the event of war or a complete impasse (or if the students seem tired of negotiations), the final scores should be tallied and the game brought to a close.
– Follow-up discussion can be in many forms. Suggested questions include:
1. What were the main causes of conflict in the simulation?
2. How did group and individual goals contrast? Did they conflict?
3. What constitutes effective diplomacy? Compromise? Bellicosity?
4. How might the simulation have differed from real life in Yugoslavia?
5. How were events in the simulation similar to those in students’ lives?
– To update students about the current situation in the Balkans, we suggest these sources:
1. Various current articles available on the Internet or from one organization that specializes in global issues (ACCESS: Information on World Issues tel. (202) 783-4767)
2. Useful articles from the time of this simulation’s creation may be found in:
Atlanta Journal-Constitution 12, 13 February 1994, pp. A-14, G-1
Europe no. 337
History Today vol. 44, no. 3
New Statesman Society vol. 6, no. 249
USA Today 5 December 1994, p. A-11
Washington Post 1 December 1994, p. A-17
Assessment: Observe students’ participation throughout the simulation. Students can be asked to share and write about their reactions to the simulation. Possible follow-ups include a test or a research project on Balkan history and future.
Special Comments: An article about this simulation, Conflict in the Balkans: A Classroom Simulation, was published in the Sept/Oct 1995 issue of Social Studies. A brief citation of this article can be found in the ERIC Database (EJ519010).
Historical Simulation 3: Historical Crisis
Open only to Simulation Track students in the Varsity and Junior Varsity Divisions
The International History Olympiad has featured a competitive Historical Simulation since its inaugural event in 2015. For the 2022 International History Olympiad, IAC will be expanding on its tradition of this event by adding the Historical Simulation Track. This represents a separate way to qualify for the Olympiad, and a separate way to compete at the Olympiad. The Historical Simulation Track is only open to Varsity and Junior Varsity students who have either won any award at any prior historical simulation (e.g. at a prior Olympiad, or in such a committee at a Model UN conference, etc.) OR students have won any award aside from the Best Novice Award or Best Position Paper Award in any other simulation exercise (at a Model UN, Model US Congress, Model EU, etc.)
Students who compete in the Historical Simulation Track are required to compete in all five simulations. Students who are not in the Historical Simulation Track may only compete in the Alexander the Great Scenario, and that is not open to any Elementary Division student either. Two Simulation topics (the campaigns of Alexander the Great, and the Quebec Conference: 1943) are confirmed the other three will be determined by early 2022. At least one of these will definitely feature a non-Western historical theme. One of the three will be a Historical Crisis scenario, for which the topic will not be revealed until the Simulation begins. The other topic will relate to the history of Canada in some capacity.
In the Historical Simulations, students are given a character or role to represent. They are to some extent beholden to how such a character could have realistically acted, but negotiation skills are even more important. The narrative arc of the Historical Simulations need not follow the actual historical sequence of events. Rather, the conditions that presented themselves at the outset of each Simulation will begin with the conditions that existed at that point in history, but from there, the decisions of the students and the way that Simulation staff guide each Simulation along will determine how things progress.
Preliminary Modern History
Early in the twentieth century, the European powers had formed themselves into two rival groups: the TRIPLE ENTENTE versus the TRIPLE ALLIANCE. The policies of these groups began to clash in many parts of the world. Altogether there were four important clashes from 1905 to 1913: two arising out of the Moroccan question, and two concerning disputes in the Balkans. Whenever a clash arose, the two groups seemed to be on the point of war.
1. First Moroccan Crisis 1905-06
Morocco on the northern coast of Africa was rich in mineral and agricultural wealth. Both Germany and France coveted the place. By her entente with Britain in 1904, France was given a free hand in Morocco. Kaiser William II, angry at France’s influence and at Germany’s exclusion, decided to intervene. In March 1905, the Kaiser landed at Tangier where he made a speech greeting the Sultan of Morocco as an independent sovereign and promising him German protection if France attempted to colonize his state. The German government followed this up by demanding an international conference to clarify the status of Morocco.
Germany’s aim of calling a conference was to humiliate France and to split the Entente because from the point of view of international law, Morocco was an independent state and the French claim to Morocco was illegal. France was prepared to fight but at last she agreed to settle her conflict with Germany at a conference.
The Algeciras Conference
At the conference at Algeciras in 1906, Germany was supported by Austria while France was supported by Britain, Russia and the United States. In name Morocco was preserved as an independent state whose trade was to be open to all nations but in fact France was given two special privileges: (i) she, in conjunction with Spain, was given control over the Moroccan police and (ii) she was to control the customs and arms supply of Morocco. Thus the Entente powers scored a diplomatic victory over the Dual Alliance of Germany and Austria.
The Algerciras Conference could only offer a temporary solution to the Franco-German conflict. Germany was dissatisfied with the resolutions of the Conference because they would benefit France more. France also bore ill feeling towards Germany. She remembered that Germany had tried to browbeat France to give up Morocco by a threat of war. To prepare for the eventuality of a Franco-German war, France began to hold secret military conversations with Britain, which finally led to the sending of British army to fight alongside the French army during the First World War.
2. Bosnian Crisis 1908-09
Each succeeding international crisis from 1905 to 1913 threatened the security of all the powers and thus increased the hostility between the rival camps. If a war broke out in Europe, it would naturally become an international war involving all the powers.
The Balkan area was a trouble spot in Europe. It was ruled by the despotic Turks. By the late nineteenth century, many of the subject races of the Turks had gained independence and formed their national states–Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania and Bulgaria but these national states were small and many of their fellow nationals still lived in the Turkish Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Thus the Balkan states were prepared to carry on a series of struggles against Turkey and Austria-Hungary in order to win back those territories that were still lived by their fellow nationals. For example, Serbia wanted Austria to give up Bosnia which had many Serbs.
Intervention of the Great Powers
The national struggles of the Balkan peoples were complicated by the rivalry between the powers in the area. Of the five great powers, Russia, Austria and Germany were particularly interested in the area. Russia’s interest in the area was based on economic and cultural reasons. Economically speaking, Russia wanted to find a warm water port in the south because half of Russian total exports (including nearly all her exports of grains) passed through this area. Many historians have also pointed out that Russia might need a warm water port for the construction of naval base.
Russian support and Austrian suppression
Culturally speaking, Russia always regarded herself as a member of the Slav race. As Russia was the powerful Slavic state, she took it as her duty to support her Slav brothers (e.g. Serbia) in their national struggles against Turkey and Austria. Pan Slavism (the union of all Slavs) was always espoused as the policy of the Russian government in the Balkans. Austria’s interest in the Balkans was based on political reason. Austria wanted to suppress the nationalist movements in the Balkans, particularly that in Serbia. By the early twentieth century, Austria wanted to extend her rule over Serbia. This brought her into conflicts with both Serbia and Russia.
Germany’s interest in the area was based on both economic and cultural reasons. Economically speaking, the control of the Balkans would provide industrial Germany with abundant supply of cheap raw materials, a populous market and a large field for profitable investment. From 1888 onwards, Germany began her economic penetration in the area by building the Baghdad railway, which was ultimately to connect Berlin with the Persian Gulf. Culturally speaking, the German government believed that the Germans were spiritually and culturally a superior race and so had a ‘historic mission’ to dominate both the Balkans, the Middle East, central Europe and Asia. The inferior races should be forced to accept the German culture.
Because of the complicated nationalistic movements and the conflicting interests of the powers in the Balkans, the area was prolific of crises from 1908 to 1914.
Events leading to the Crisis
Count von Aehrenthal, the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, always wanted to extend Austrian political control over the Serbs in the Balkans. In 1908, three events caused him to take action at once. First, a new king had ascended the throne in Serbia. The new king, Peter, was strongly anti-Austrian and he wanted to unite with his fellow nationals in Bosnia, which had been under Austrian administration since the Congress of Berlin in 1878. Second, in 1908 a revolution, known as the ‘Young Turk Revolution’, broke out in the Ottoman Empire. The Young Turks were liberal reformers and young officers. They demanded the Sultan to grant a parliament and a modern constitution and to liberalize his despotic rule. In July 1908, they rose in rebellion and threatened to march to Constantinople. The Sultan Abdul Hamid II gave way at once and agreed to restore a constitution. Taking advantage of the chaos at Constantinople, Ferdinand of Bulgaria threw off his last shreds of allegiance to the Sultan and proclaimed himself King of Bulgaria. Crete proclaimed herself united with Greece. Austria also wanted to take advantage of this chaotic situation. Third, Russia’s defeats in the Far East had turned her attention back to the Balkans again. In September 1908, the Russian Foreign Minister, Alexander Izvolski made a political bargain with Count von Aehrenthal: Russia agreed not to oppose Austrian annexation of Bosnia Herzegovina if Austria agreed to raise no objections against the opening of the Dardanelles to Russian warships.
Austrain annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina
While Izvolski was trying to gain approval from the other powers about the opening of the straits, Austria suddenly annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina on October 6. Thus Austria had strengthened her position in the Balkans without giving the Russians any compensation. Russia was indignant. The country which was as indignant as Russia over the Austrian action was Serbia. The inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina were primarily South Slavs Serbia had long cherished the dream of creating a Greater Serbia which should include Serbia proper and all the neighbouring kindred people. The Austrian annexation dashed this dream to the ground. Serbia was ready for war and asked for support from Russia. War seemed imminent but Russia was obliged to back down because England and France were unwilling to become involved in this issue and because Germany promised to give military support to Austria (The Kaiser said, “a knight in shining armour will be found by her [Austrian side.”).
Greater Serbia Movement
All the Serbs in the Turkish Empire, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and in Serbia and in fact in southern Europe were to be united together to form an independent country. That was the dream of the Serbs.
Bosnian Crisis – Consequences
The Bosnian crisis had harmful consequences for the peace of Europe.
Firstly, Russia felt humiliated and was determined that this must not come again. Immediately after the crisis, the Russian government intensified her armaments programme and sent Izvolski as ambassador in Paris in order to get more support from France.
Secondly, the annexation of Bosnia Herzegovina made Serbia the irreconcilable enemy of Austria. Without Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia could never become a united state and could not have an outlet to the sea. The Serbian nationalists foamed a secret society, the Black Hand, in 1911. The society aimed to provoke revolt in Bosnia and war with Austria. Young Bosnians were trained to assassinate Austrian officials in Bosnia.
Thirdly, as a result of the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria had more Serbs than the Kingdom of Serbia itself . Three fifths of the South Slavs were now under Austrian rule.
The Slavs were opposed to the annexation, so Austria had great difficulties in ruling these two provinces. Troubled by the restlessness of the Slavs and encouraged by the German promises of support (Moltke, the German Chief of Staff, wrote to Conrad, the Austrian Chief of Staff, “the moment Russia mobilizes, Germany will also mobilize”, and “his deepest regret is that a chance has been let slip which will not soon offer itself again in favourable conditions!”), Austria wanted to crush Serbia if a new opportunity arose.
3. Second Moroccan Crisis 1911
Continued rivalry between France and Germany
The French were not satisfied with their partial control of Morocco since 1906. France wanted to have complete control of the country. After 1906 France steadily increased her influence in the country. In 1908, the French installed a pro-French Sultan on the throne. In May 1911, the French forces occupied Fez, the capital of Morocco, in order to suppress a rising against the pro-French Sultan.
The Germans responded by sending a gunboat Panther to Agadir, a strategic port on the Atlantic coast. The British feared that Germany would make Agadir as a German naval base on the British naval route (the Cape Route). So Britain protested against Germany and backed up France to fight against Germany. War seemed to be inevitable.
Because of British support of France, Germany gave in. In a negotiated settlement, France (together with Spain) gained most of Morocco, leaving a small portion opposite Gibraltar to Spain. Germany was compensated with a strip of the French Congo. (This was a consolation price to Germany.)
The Agadir crisis also had harmful consequences for the peace of Europe.
On the one hand, as Germany had suffered a diplomatic defeat, she was unwilling to suffer another diplomatic defeat again.
On the other hand, the British, French and Russian governments were alarmed by the aggressive attitude of the Germans. They remembered that Germany had tried to dictate the world by force for three times since 1905, firstly in the first Moroccan crisis of 19056, secondly, in the Bosnian crisis of 1909 and finally in the second Moroccan Crisis of 1911. After the crisis, the Entente powers exchanged information about the conditions of their army and navy. In 1912, Britain and France made a naval agreement that in the event of a war, the British fleet should guard the North Sea and the English channel, while the French fleet was to be deployed in the Mediterranean.
4. Balkan Wars 1912-13
After the Young Turk Revolution, the Turkish government remained weak and inefficient. In 1911 Italy attacked Tripoli. In 1912, by the Treaty of Lausanne, Italy received Tripoli from Turkey.
First Balkan War 1912
Exploiting the chaotic political situation following the Turkish defeat in 1912, the Balkan states — Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro–formed the Balkan League and declared war on Turkey in October 1912. They aimed to partition the Turkish Empire. From October 1912 to May 1913, the League won series of battles and Turkey could only retain the areas around Constantinople. The powers watched the victory of the League with great anxiety. Austria wanted to stop Serbia from becoming too powerful and was determined not to allow Serbia to get a seaport on the Adriatic. The powers intervened and imposed their own settlement, the Treaty of London. The most important provision of the Treaty was that, on Austria’s insistence, a new state, Albania, was created to prevent Serbia from getting a coastline on the Adriatic. To compensate for this, Serbia was given a large part of Macedonia.
Second Balkan War 1913
Bulgaria had long regarded Macedonia as her possession. Her quarrels with Serbia soon developed into a war. In the second Balkan War, Bulgaria alone fought against Serbia, Montenegro, Rumania, Greece and Turkey. The war was soon over. Bulgaria was soundly defeated. The territorial settlement made after the First Balkan War was largely preserved except that Turkey and Rumania gained some valuable territory.
Balkan Wars – Consequence
The consequences of the Balkan Wars directly led to the outbreak of the First World War.
Firstly, Serbia was twice victorious in the Balkan wars and was larger than ever–her area doubled as she got a large part of Macedonia. The desire to make herself larger by including all fellow nationals in a united Slav state was intensified. This brought her more sharply into collision with Austria which ruled eight million Serbs and Croats and which prevented Serbia from getting a coastline.
Secondly, Austria found that the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina grew increasingly troublesome. She was determined to attack Serbia before it was too late.
Thirdly, the Kaiser knew that Austria was her only dependable ally in Europe. He assured the Austrian Foreign Minister that ‘You can be certain I stand behind you and am ready to draw the sword whenever your action makes it necessary.’
Fourthly, the Russian Czar felt that Russia had suffered a diplomatic defeat because she could not obtain Albania for Serbia due to Austrian insistence. In order to recover her lost prestige in the Balkans, the Czar declared in February 1914, “For Serbia, we shall do everything.”
Serbian CSOs urge the EU to insist on fundamental values in Serbia amidst political crisis and police brutality
BELGRADE – It can reasonably be expected that the results of the elections in Serbia on 21 June will lead to a political crisis, while the trust in government policy on fighting the pandemic has been dealt a serious blow in recent weeks, seven civil society organisations from the country wrote in a letter to EU institutions on Monday.
The CSOs invited EU to remain true to its own founding values and norms and demand concrete track record in implementation of rule of law and fundamental democratic principles in Serbia.
Only democratic Serbia, firmly relaying on democratic institutions, will be able to resolve its outstanding regional issues. Whoever claims differently, does not care about the stability of Serbia and the region.
The letter was sent by the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, Centre for Contemporary Politics, European Movement in Serbia, European Policy Centre, International and Security Affairs Centre (ISAC) and Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM).
“The protests throughout Serbia are a result of a major loss of trust in government institutions, especially when it comes to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Reports by investigative media point out at manipulation of statistics on coronavirus cases and deaths, especially in the weeks prior to the 21 June parliamentary elections. Serious suspicions that numbers were reduced and restrictive measures revoked before the elections in order to ensure high turnout dealt a massive blow to the citizens’ trust in official statistics and government policy on fighting the pandemic”, wrote the organisations.
They pointed out that, after parliamentary elections on 21 June, there will be no opposition in the Serbian parliament and large parts of the Serbian society will no longer have their representatives in the highest legislative body.
“Not only has one part of the opposition, unsatisfied with electoral conditions, boycotted the elections, but the electoral process was seriously compromised by unusually high number of irregularities and suspicions of electoral fraud. Independent observers have already classified these elections as the most irregular in recent memory, and it can reasonably be expected that their results will lead to a significant political crisis. Incumbent political leadership displays no willingness to accept the reality and deems these elections as a “historical victory”, thus showing lack of preparedness to engage in a badly needed broad societal dialogue about the future of Serbia’s democracy”, the CSOs stressed.
They also wrote that brutal police violence against protestors in Belgrade which took headlines around the globe is disturbingly reminiscent of the events in Serbia in the 1990s and does not belong in a democratic country which aspires to EU membership.
“This escalation of violence, where peaceful protestors find themselves between the police and a small violent group can in aforementioned circumstances easily spiral out of control. The use of force was brutal and disproportional. There are serious indications about involvement of parts of security services and organizations close to the ruling political parties in provoking violence”, the letter reads.
The CSOs reminded that they recently issued a public statement on the occasion of Serbia’s demotion into a “hybrid/transitional regime” by Freedom House, expressing our serious concern about the state of democracy in Serbia and called on the Serbian government to initiate a serious societal dialogue about the state of democracy and on the EU to devote more attention to the issue of democracy within Serbia’s accession negotiations.
“Having in mind recent developments, we find our messages more relevant than ever. Unless serious efforts are made to improve the state of democracy in Serbia and bring the dialogue back in legitimate institutions where it belongs, the current crisis could deepen, and Serbia’s EU path could be jeopardized in years to come”, they concluded.
Unraveling the Syria Mess: A Crisis Simulation of Spillover from the Syrian Civil War
The Saban Center for Middle East Policy joined with the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War in June 2012 to host a one-day crisis simulation that explored the implications of spillover from the ongoing violence in Syria. The simulation examined how the United States and its allies might address worsening instability in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, and elsewhere in the Middle East as a result of the internecine conflict in Syria.
The Saban Center’s Middle East Memo, “Unraveling the Syria Mess: A Crisis Simulation of Spillover from the Syrian Civil War,” authored by simulation conveners Kenneth M. Pollack, Frederick W. Kagan, Kimberly Kagan, and Marisa C. Sullivan, presents key lessons and observations from the exercise.
- A humanitarian crisis alone is unlikely to spur the international community to take action in Syria.
Looking for something simpler?
For a fixed fee of £2,000 plus VAT we can facilitate a Scenario Discussion with your Crisis Management Team. Using a pre-prepared crisis scenario (e.g. a cyber attack) we will drive a discussion designed to draw out how that crisis might affect your organisation. Using our experience of 1000’s of crisis scenarios your team’s knowledge of your organisation we will facilitate a challenging discussion that ensures a thorough examination of the impacts of a crisis.
Serbian Crisis - Simulation - History
Decani Monastery at night
The Kosovo Crisis: Origins and History
Medieval Serbian Empire
Ottoman Rule and Serbian Migrations
Failure of the Medieval Albanian State
Ethnography of Kosovo
Kosovo in Post-War Communist Yugoslavia: 1945-1981
Economy and Migrations
Evolution of the Autonomy of Kosovo
Epilogue: Kosovo or Kosova? An Epistemological Analysis
Why is there a Kosovo crisis? What are the origins,roots, and causes of the ethnic and political conflict in Kosovo? What issues are crucial in understanding the crisis?Are the roots to the conflict in Kosovo found in the historical development and evolution of the region, in iancient ethnic hatredsi, in the occupation of the region by foreign powers, in the demographic changes which resulted from war and occupation, the migrations and immigration, or in recent political policies. President Bill Clinton stated that the crisis in Kosovo can be blamed on a single individual, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic: iThe roots of this conflict lie in the policies of Mr. Milosevic, the dictator of Serbia. For more than 10 years now, he has been using ethnic and religious hatred as a path to personal power and a justification for the crime of ethnic cleansing and murder of innocent civilians.i What isolutioni does President Clinton offer to the Kosovo crisis? The solution Clinton offers is that the people of Kosovo be given ithe autonomy they were guaranteed under their constitution before Mr. Milosevic came to power.i But will autonomy create stability and political integration of Kosovo within Serbia and Yugoslavia or will the opposite more likely occur? To determine the answer to this question, the evolution of Kosovois autonomy within Serbia and Yugoslavia will be examined.
The history of Kosovo and Metohija is central and crucial in the development and emergence of Serbian national and religious consciousness and in the formation of a Serbian identity.During the Nemanjic Dynasty, Kosovo-Metohija, which made up a region called Old Serbia (Stara Srbija),was the religious and political center of Serbia. Pec was the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church while Prizren was the political capital of the medieval Serbian state.
To understand the significance of Kosovo for Serbs, one has to examine the medieval history of Kosovo, which is so central in the Serbian national consciousness.
With the occupation of Kosovo by the Ottoman Turks following the Battle of Kosovo on June 28,1389, the Serbian Orthodox Christian population began to slowly migrate out of Kosovo due to threats, intimidation, and to an inferior and subservient position as Christians in a Muslim state.The Serbian Orthodox population was gradually replaced by Albanian Muslims. The fact of ethnic migration is crucial in understanding why there is a continuing conflict in Kosovo today, a conflict based in large part in demographic change.
The Austrian-Turkish wars led to the Great Migration of 1689-90, when thousands of Serbian families were forced to abandon their homes and villages in Kosovo and leave the province.This migration pattern will be examined because it explains why the demographic changes occurred in Kosovo.
Under Muslim rule, many of the Albanians converted to Islam and attained dominance over the subordinated Serbian population. A dichotomy or division emerged between Christians and Muslims, between Serbs and Albanians. There was a further split between Roman Catholicism and Eastern or Greek Orthodoxy. The Serbian Orthodox population was discriminated against and Serbian peasants faced oppression under Albanian Muslim landlords and rulers.
Kosovo played a crucial and central role in nineteenth-century Serbian nationalism and the Serbian nationalist goal to reclaim and unite former Serbian lands occupied by the Ottoman Turks.Similarly, Kosovo played a key role in Albanian nationalism with the formation of the League of Prizren in1878 which sought to unite all the territories settled by ethnic Albanians. The two nationalist goals clashed and were in conflict with each other.
Kosovo became a part of Serbia after the First Balkan War of 1912. During World War I, Kosovo was occupied by the Austro-Hungarian and German armies. In 1918, Kosovo again became a part of Serbia with the formation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, which in 1929 became Yugoslavia. Albanian guerrillas and separatists, known as kachaks, began a guerrilla war against the new government, seeking secession from Serbia and unity with Albania. The Serbian government sought to resettle Kosovo during the interwar period, 1918-1941, with the colonization programme, which sought to restore ethnic diversity and ethnic balance in Kosovo by settling Orthodox Serbs.
During World War II, Kosovo was annexed to Albania and a Greater Albania emerged, albeit one controlled by Benito Mussoliniis Italy and Adolf Hitleris Germany.Not only Kosovo-Metohija, but also parts of Montenegro and western Macedonia were annexed to the Italian-German sponsoredGreater Albania. The plight of the Kosovo Serbian population will be examined during this Albanian rule. The role of the Balli Kombetar and the 21st Waffen SS Division iSkanderbegi will be examined in creating an ethnically pure Albanian Kosovo.
Kosovo emerged with defined political and geographic boundaries only in 1945, when it was made an autonomous region of Serbia. Was the nationalities problem isolvedi by the Yugoslav Communist leadership? Yugoslav Communist nationalities policies will be examined. The evolution of the autonomy of Kosovo did not lead to stability and integration.The 1974 Yugoslav Constitution granted to Kosovo de facto republic status within Yugoslavia. Albanian nationalism and secessionism only increased.
What are the origins and roots of the Kosovo crisis? Is the root of the Kosovo crisis to be found in the policies of Slobodan Milosevic within the last ten years as President Bill Clinton claimed, or are the roots to the conflict more complex and based on the political and demographic changes wrought by centuries of occupation and wars?
During the pre-historic period, the Balkan Peninsula was settled by tribes speaking dialects of the Indo-European language groups. Among the Illyrian group were the Pannonian and Dalmatian tribes who mixed with Celtic tribes. Ancient Illyria was a region from northern Epirus to the Danube river. The region of Rhaetia was made up of Illyrians and Celts. In the 6th century BC, Greek cities were established on the Illyrian coast. Philip II and Philip V waged war against the Illyrian tribes. In the 3rd century BC, an Illyrian kingdom was created based in Scodra. To combat piracy, the Romans fought two wars againstY the Illyrians in 229-228 and 219 BC. The Dalmatian tribes broke off and established their own rule shortly thereafter.Y The Roman colony of Illyricum was established by the Romans in 168-167 BC after King Genthius of Scodra was defeated by Roman forces. In 156, 119, 78-77 BC, all of Dalmatia was conquered. Augustus conquered southern Illyria in 35-34 BC. In 12-11 BC, the Pannonians were conquered as well. By 6-9 AD, the Roman colony of Illyricum was divided into the provinces of Dalmatia and Pannonia, provinces which were on important trade routes to Asia Minor. In 1809, Napoleon re-instituted and revived the name "Illyria" for the region north of the Adriatic in the area of present-day Slovenia and Croatia, which he termed the Illyrian Province. From 1816-1849, this same region was called the Illyrian Kingdom in the Austrian Hapsburg Empire.
Slavic groups began settling the Balkan Peninsula beginning in the sixth century AD. (1) In the fifth and sixth centuries AD, Serbs, part of this large Slavic tribal population, occupied parts of central Europe north of the Danube. The Serbs had been based in the Czech region and in Saxony. The Serbs had earlier migrated from the north and north-east region of the Black Sea.After the 586 siege of Thessaloniki, Slavic groups settled the Praevalitana and the region south of the Shkumbi river where Slavic place-names predominate. Serbs developed small tribal territories called a zupa, which were ruled by tribal chiefs known as zupan. By the middle of the 7th century, Serbs were moving from the coastal land in Montenegro and were settling northern Albania. The Serbs were iagriculturalistsi and settled in river valleys and plains. (2)By the 11th century, ialmost all arable soil in the northernmost part of what is now Albania and in the region of present-day Kosovo was in Slavic hands.i (3) The original homeland or base area for the Serbian population in the Balkans was the Rashka region,or Rascia, a region just north of Kosovo. By the end of the 12th century, the Serbian population moved south and settled the area of what is present-day Kosovo. (4) In 1166, the Nemanjic dynasty emerged in Serbia, headed first by Tihomir andthen by his brother Stefan. The Serbian Nemanjic dynasty would base the Serbian empire in Kosovo-Metohija, making Kosovo the political,cultural, and religious center of the Serbian people and nation. The Nemanjic dynasty would endure until 1371 when it would end due to the invasion of the Ottoman Turks and defeat at the 1371 battle of Marica.
The Albanians are first mentioned in historical records in 1043 when they are described as being soldiers in a Byzantine army. (5)According to Noel Malcolm, while the name iAlbaniai has a continuous history, iit does not amount to proof that the Albanians have lived continuously in Albaniai because iplace names can endure while populations literally come and go.i (6) He noted thatiAlbanians do not use this word to describe themselvesi, instead, Albanians refer to themselves as a Shqiptar, and to Albania as Shqiperia, and to their language as Shqip.(7) Malcolm rejected the claims of Albanian historians that attempted to show an Albanian national or ethnic continuity, especially the claim of Illyrian-Albanian continuity, evidence for which according to Malcolm imust also be described asinconclusive.i(8)
The ancient Illyrians described in Greek and Roman histories inhabited an area on the Adriatic from Epirus in the south and Macedonia in the south-east to Istria in the north. (9) . Albanian historiography claims that the Albanians are descended from the Illyrians and thus are the iindigenous inhabitants of Kosovo.i That is, Illyrian-Albanian continuity is used by Albanian historians in the ideological-political debate to prove that they have the more valid historical claim to Kosovo-Metohija because they were the original inhabitants of the region. Thus the historical discussion of ancient Illyria becomes a presentist and agenda-driven debate motivated by political considerations. As Miranda Vickers noted, ithe issue has been consistently obscured by political and ideological arguments which have prevailed over academic ones.i (10) Moreover, the ancient Dardanians, who inhabited Kosovo, northern Macedonia, and southern Serbia, are claimed to be an Illyrian people by Albanian historiography. (11) Serbian historians, on the other hand, argue that since the Serbs arrived in the Balkans in the 6th century, Serbs have idominated the Kosovo regioni.The bulk of the Albanian population only arrived in large numbers in the 17th century. Thus, Serbian historiography presents the Albanians as colonists and immigrants who began settling Kosovo in large numbers only after the Ottoman invasion and occupation and iunder the protection of Islam.i (12) Archaeological excavations in Kosovo have shown that in the 8th century BC a Dardanian culture existed in Dardania In 70 BC, the Roman Empire fought the Dardanians and incorporated them into the Empire and ithus the Illyrians disappeared into the Roman Empirei according to Vickers. (13) There is historical debate,however, whether the Dardanians were Illyrian or Thracian. In the 4th century AD the Roman province of Dardania was created, which included the area of Kosovo and Skopje. The northern Macedonian towns of Tetovo, Gostivar, Struga, and Ohrid were part of the province of New Epirus, while the Albanian-settled regions of Montenegro were then part of the province of Praevalitana.During the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, and Huns invaded the Illyrian regions. In addition, the Romans settled Saxon miners from Hungary in the Kosovo region. This was the state of affairs in the Kosovo region by the time of the 6th century AD when Slavic tribes started crossing the Danube river and established settlements in the Balkans.
Medieval Serbian Empire
As the Serbian empire sought an outlet to the Adriatic coast,the administrative and religious center of the empire shifter to Shkoder,Prizren, and Decani. From 1180 to 1190, Stefan Nemanja or Nemanjic conquered the Kosovo and Metohija regions, northern Macedonia, Skopje, the upper Vardar later, Zeta, southern Dalmatia, and northern Albania would be added. (14)After the fall of Constantinople in 1204, Kosovo became the cultural and administrative center of the Serbian Empire established by the Nemanjic dynasty. (15) In 1219 the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church was moved to Pec after the church obtained autocephalous or independent status. King Milutin built the Gracanica Monastery in 1321 near Pristina. In 1054, the Christian church had split into the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches. Northern Albania became predominately Roman Catholic and was thus incorporated into the powerful anti-Serb coalition of the Catholic monarchs of Europe that the papacy attempted to constructi according to Vickers.i (16) This created a divisive and confrontational setting for Albanians and Serbs. During the reign of Stefan Dusan, 1331-55, the area o Antivar (Bar), Prizren, Ohrid, and Vlora were added to the Serbian Empire by 1343. In 1346 the patriarchal throne was permanently established at the Pec Monastery.In 1346, after Epirus and Thessaly were added to the Serbian Empire, Dusan was crowned the emperor of the Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians, and Albanians. A legal code was promulgated and the bishopric of Pec was proclaimed a patriarchate which established the Serbian Orthodox Church as independent from Constantinople. Prizren became the political capital of the Serbian Empire and was the chief Serbian city of trade and commerce. After the death of Dusan in 1355, Kosovo was ruled by King Vukasin Mrnjavcevic, who was a co-ruler with Tsar Uros, the last of the Nemanjic rulers.On September 26, 1371, the Ottoman Turks scored a major military victory at the Battle of Marica near Crnomen over the Serbian forces of the Nemanjic empire.In 1386,the Ottoman Empire invaded Serbia and captured the town of Nis. The Bosnian King Tvrtko Kotromanic sent a detachment of troops to bolster the Serbian army and a combined force of Serbs and Albanians defeated the Ottoman Turkish army in Montenegro. Ottoman Turkish Sultan Murad I, 1362-1389, then in Asia Minor, began preparing a massive army to invade and conquer Serbia. This set the stage for one of the greatest battles in history, the 1389 Battle of Kosovo.
The Battle of Kosovo took place in Kosovo Polje (ifield of blackbirdsi in Serbian) outside of Pristina on June 28, 1389, on St. Vitus Day, or Vidov Dan.Northern Kosovo was then ruled by Serbian Prince Lazar Hrebeljanovic, while his brother-in-law, Vuk Brankovic, ruled Metohija. Bosnian King Tvrtko sent a large contingent of Bosnian troops under the command of Vlatko Vukovic, while Vuk Brankovic led his troops himself. Thus, the Ottoman army was confronted by a Serbian army which included Hungarian, Bulgarian, Bosnian, and Albanian nobles. The Albanian princes were close allies of the Serbs at that time and there were close political and economic ties between the two groups.Both Murad and Lazar were killed in the battle which involved approximately 30,000 troops on each side. As the battle ended, the two Serbian contingents and the one Bosnian contingent withdrew, while the Turkish troops held the field. But the death of Murad created a crisis in Ottoman leadership, so his successor, Bayezid, also had to withdraw his troops, lacking the manpower to continue the offensive.Thus it can be argued that the battle was inconclusive. In 1448, a isecond battle of Kosovoi occurred when the forces of the Hungarian noble Janos Hunyadi were defeated by an Ottoman Turkish army under the command of Murad II. By 1455, all of Kosovo fell to the Ottoman Turks. By 1459, all of Serbia was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire with the surrender of Smederevo.
Ottoman Rule and Serbian Migrations
At the time of the Ottoman occupation of Kosovo-Metohija, the population was almost entirely Serbian Orthodox. Miranda Vickers noted that iAlbanian historiography asserts that Albanians were the majority in Kosovo even before the Ottoman conquest.i (17) She concluded that iin fact, the documents do not show any such thing.i She examined the evidence of the defter, a Turkish register of landed property for 1455, that irecord an overwhelming Slavic (Serb) majority.iYInYThe Kosovo Chronicles, Dusan T. Batakovic examined the 1330 Decani Charter which showed that out of 2,166 farming homesteads and 2,666 houses in cattle grazing land, 44 were registered as Albanian, which is 1.8 % of the population. (18) In the 14th century, the non-Serbian population of Kosovo-Metohija never exceeded 2% of the total population. During Ottoman rule, the Serbian Orthodox majority population became second-class citizens and faced religious discrimination.The Ottoman Empire was organized on the basis of religion and not on nationality. So by converting to Islam, one could obtain privileges and status not available to non-Muslims. By converting to Islam in mass numbers, Albanians were able to gain social,political, and economic dominance in Kosovo. Batakovic noted that iit was only with the process of Islamization that the ethnic Albanian colonization of Serbian lands took on an expansive character.iAccording to Batakovic, iit is not until the end of the 17th century that one can establish the colonization of Albanian tribes in Kosovo and Metohija.i The ethnic balance of Kosovo-Metohija, nevertheless, did not change significantly until the 17th century.
The migrations of the Serbian population from Kosovo during the 17th and 18th centuries would alter the ethnic balance in Kosovo-Metohija and create ia massive social upheaval.i According to Batakovic, the Serbian migrations iupset the centuries-old ethnic balancei and that the iperiod opened by the Great Migration of the Serbs marked the beginning of three centuries of ethnic Albanian genocide against Serbs in their own native heartland.i (19) InYThe Great Migration of 1690, Sima Cirkovic assessed the impact of the migration as follows: iThe great migration of 1690 constitutes one of the gravest and most decisive events in Serbian history.i (20) According to Batakovic, ithe great migration of the Serbs in 1690 was a major turning point in the history of the Serbian nation.iMany Kosovo towns were deserted and depopulated which Albanian tribes from the Malisor highlandssettled. Both Batakovic and Vickers refer to the great migration as causing a idemographic upheavali. The great migration resulted from the wars between Austria and the Ottoman Empire.
By 1690, the Austrians had advanced through Serbia and Kosovo and had reached Skopje in Macedonia. In Skopje, the Turks defeated the Austrian forces. The Turks retaliated against the Serbian population of Kosovo,which had allied themselves with Austria,ikilling and plundering on a large scale.i. Serbs were massacred and their homes looted. The massacres and looting continued for three months. The Serbian population was granted asylum by Austrian Emperor Leopold Ito settle in Austrian territory.Led by Patriarch Arsenius Crnojevic III, 37,000 Serbian families from the Kosovo regionsettled in Hungary, Syrmia, Slavonia, the Banat, and Backa.InYKosovo: AShort History, Noel Malcolm, however, stated that the Great Migration (Velika Seoba) is an iessential element of Serbian national-religious mythologyi and that it is a iSerbian national mythi. (21) Malcolm noted that Albanian historians had offered a idifferent interpretation of the events of 1689-90.i According to the Albanian iclaimi, the rebellion against the Ottoman Empire was made up of local Albanians, that Patriarch Crnojevic was never in Kosovo, that Catholic Archbishop Ndre Bogdani met the Austrians in Prizren, and that the number of Kosovo Serbs that did in fact migrate iwas not very large. not enough to have a major effect on the demographic balance in Kosovo.i(22) After a lengthy and convoluted analysis, Malcolm concluded that inevertheless, a large number of Serbs did travel north into Hungary, including the Patriarch.i (23)Malcolmis key criticism is that Patriarch Crnojevic in his petition gave two estimates of the number of persons in the migration, in one account he gave the total as imore than 30,000 soulsi while in another as imore than 40,000 soulsi.(24) Malcolm argued on this evidence that the ipopular tradition of 37,000 families derives from . a Serbian monastic chroniclei which icontains errorsi and was iwritten many years after the event.i (25) But even if 30,000 persons and not families left Kosovo, and even if not all the Serbs came from Kosovo, the migration represented a significant and major demographic change in the ethnic balance of Kosovo.Malcolm does not consider the fact that for that time, 1690, such a change in population would have major consequences on the demography of the region. Instead, Malcolm sought to dilute the number of Kosovo Serbs in the total number and to emphasize and grossly exaggerate the number of Albanians in the number.Malcolm is thus argumentative,polemical, and dogmatic in his analysis which he uses to support his pro-Albanian position and argument of the text that Kosovo should become independent from Yugoslavia. So Malcolm definitely has an pre-set agenda and presentist motivation in his analysis as he explained in his introduction and concluding chapter.Nevertheless, Malcolm admits that the migration occurred and that iafter the fall of Belgrade 30,000 people had come to Hungary.i (26) The Great Migration of 1690 did alter the demographic balance of Kosovo and set in motion migratory waves of Kosovo Serbs which would transform Serbs from an overwhelming majority to a minority of Kosovo.
A second migration of Kosovo Serbs occurred after the Austro-Turkish War of 1737-39, when Patriarch Arsenije IV Jovanovic led iseveral hundred Serbian families . from the mining settlements around Janjevo, Pristina, Novo Brdo and Kapaoniki according to Miranda Vickers. (27) According to Vickers, the migrations along with a plague epidemic ileft hundreds of villages desertedi and this idemographic upheaval which followed the Serb migration witnessed the arrival of more migrants from the impoverished highlands of northern Albania.i (28) Following the Crimean War, 1853-1856, iwhole villages fled to Serbia or Montenegro,i because Kosovo Serbs were victimized and targeted for massacrebecause like the Russians, they were Orthodox and were perceived by the Muslim Turks and Albanians as a common enemy.
Migrations of Kosovo Serbs from Kosovo continued. In the beginning of the 19th century, iJashar-Pasha Gjinolli of Pristina . destroyed a number of churches in Kosovo, seizing monastery lands and killing priests. he moved out more than seventy Serbian villages between Vucitrn and Gnjilanei according to Batakovic. (29)According to Batakovic, ifrom 1876-1883, approximately 1,500 Serbian families fled Kosovo and Metohija for Serbia in the face of ethnic Albanian violence.i (30) Batakovic maintained that until the 1875 Bosnian Insurrection, when Bosnian Serbs rebelled against Ottoman rule and the ensuing Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, iSerbs formed the largest ethnic group in Kosovo and Metohija, largely because of the high birth rate.i (31) So according to him, the ibiggest demographic upheaval in Kosovo and Metohijai occurred during the period 1875-1878, the period when Serbs became a minority in Kosovo and Metohija.
Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, Albanian nationalist leaders convened a meeting on June 10, 1878 in Prizren, attended by 300 delegates, mostly from Kosovo and Western Macedonia. They founded the Prizren League which had as its main purpose ito organize political and militaryopposition to the dismemberment of Albanian-inhabited territory.i The Prizren League had a goal to unite the vilayets of Janina,Monastir, Shkoder and Kosovo into a single administrative and political unit, a territory which united all the Albanian-inhabited regions of the Balkans into a Greater Albania. The Prizren League was important in uniting the Albanian leaders in creating a political and nationalist program to create an Albanian nation or state. This was a important development precipitated by the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in 1878. In the Ottoman Empire, status and position is achieved through religion and not through nationality. After 1878, nationality and nationalism became more dominant in the Ottoman Empire as ethnicity and nationality became decisive.The League of Prizren is significant because the Albanians now emerged with a nationalist agenda and had a political goal to create a united Albanian state.
After the Greek-Turkish War of 1897, Kosovo Serbs were again massacred and driven out of Kosovo. Batakovic quoted the Prime Minister of Serbia as stating that i60,000 people fled Kosovo and Metohija for Serbia in the period from 1890 to 1899i at the time when Serbia was preparing a so-called Blue Book that was to be presented at the 1899 Peace Conference at the Hague. The Blue Book documented the acts of violence and deportation of Kosovo Serbs, acts which today would be termed genocide and crimes against humanity. Austria-Hungary,however, prevented the presentation of the Blue Book at the Hague and thus prevented an international discussion of the Kosovo issue.
Crimes against Kosovo Serbs continued into the 20th century. In 1904, 108 persons fled to Serbia from Kosovo, while 46 were murdered. In 1905, 65 Kosovo Serbs were murdered. Batakovic cited the case where ethnic Albanians killed nine members at a wedding and a case whereAlbanians raped a 7 year old girl. (32)
The forced migrations of Kosovo Serbs which began with the Great Migration of 1690 resulted in a idemographic upheavali, transforming the Kosovo Serbs from an ethnic majority into a minority. Centuries of foreign occupation by the Ottoman Turks, a Muslim empire, led to the exodus and migration of the Serbian populations from Kosovo and the Old Serbia region. This population change would lead to crises as Kosovo Albanians would seek to secede Kosovo from Serbia solely on the basis of their majority population, on demography.
After the First Balkan War of 1912, when Serbian and Montenegrin forces defeated the Ottoman Turks, Kosovo became a part of Serbia. Serbian and Montenegrin troops and irregulars, continuing the cycle of massacres and counter-massacres, engaged in massacres of Albanian soldiers and civilians and committed atrocities against Albanians.After five hundred years, Kosovo had again become an integral part of a sovereign, independent Serbian state.During the five centuries of foreign occupation and rule by the Ottoman Turks, the population of Kosovo had changed. Ethnic Albanians, most of whom were Muslims, were the largest ethnic group in Kosovo. Following the 1878 League of Prizren, ethnic Albanian nationalism regarded Kosovo as an integral part of an emerging Albanian state. Serbian and Albanian nationalist claims and aspirations thus clashed over Kosovo which for both acquired an ideological or nationalist dimension.For Serbs, Kosovo was part of Old Serbia, the region that was the religious and political center of the ancient Serbian state. There had been over 1,300 Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries and other structures in the Kosovo-Metohija area. The battle of Kosovo had become an essential part of Serbian epic poetry, folklore, and nationalism. Kosovo was regarded as the Jerusalem of the Serbian people. So Kosovo had symbolic and nationalist meaning for the Serbian population. For Albanians, Kosovo was where the League of Prizren announced its nationalist goals to create an Albanian state that would incorporate all the Albanian-settled lands of the Balkans.Albanians were the largest ethnic group in Kosovo. During Ottoman rule, Albanian Muslims in Kosovo dominated and controlled the region. After the Ottoman Empire was defeated, ethnic Albanians sought to preserve Albanian control of Kosovo and to unite the Albanian-settled population of Kosovo-Metohija, and of Montenegro and Macedonia into the new Albanian state. The Albanian nationalist goals came into direct conflict with Serbian nationalist goals. Conflict and ethnic tension were inevitable.
Following World War I, Kosovo became part of the Kingdom of Serbs,Croats, and Slovenes in 1918 the name of the country was changed to Yugoslavia in 1929. The Yugoslav government sought to reintegrate Kosovo as part of Serbia. According to the 1921 census, Kosovo had a population of 280,440 Albanians,or 64% of the population , 73% of whom were Muslim.(33) Ethnic Albanians were a national minority of the new state. The goal of the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo was to seek union to or annexation with Albania. Resistance to Serbian rule resulted in the Kachak movement (from TurkishYkachmak, meaning to runaway or hide) aided by Italy whose key objective was ito persuade the international community to agree to Kosovo being annexed to Albania.i The Kachak movement , coordinated by the kosovo.netmittee, was called a inational-liberationi movement by Albanians, while the Serbian regime referred to it as a terrorist-outlaw organization, it was a guerrilla movement similar to the 1990s so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA, orYUCK, Ushtria ClirimtareE Kosoves, in Albanian) guerrilla movement. Kachak guerrillas attacked and murdered government officials and authorities and Serbian civilians, especially settlers. By 1924, support for the kachak movement dwindled. Nevertheless, the goal of Albanians in Kosovo continued to be annexation to Albania.
Beginning in 1918, the Serbian regime sought to resettle Kosovo-Metohija with ethnic Serbs and Montenegrins in what is called the icolonization programmei, which lasted until 1941. According to Alex Dragnich and Slavko Todorovich inYThe Saga of Kosovo: Focus of Serbian-Albanian Relation, i60,000 Serbs from Bosnia, Hercegovina, Lika, and Montenegro homesteaded in the regioni. Dragnich maintained that ithere were pieces of land that nobody claimedi and that imost of the land available for homesteading belonged to Turks who had left with the Turkish army or who had left for Asia Minor.i According to Vickers, 10,877 families were settled on 120,672 hectares of land, that 330 settlements and villages were built, along with 12,689 houses, 46 schools, and 36 churches. Some Kosovo land was expropriated from Albanians who could not document ownership.The official policy of the Yugoslav government was to encourage Albanian and Turkish emigration. According to Dragnich, iabout 40,000 Turks left Kosovo and other South Serbian regionsi, while 40,000 Albanians left during the same period. Nevertheless, the so-called colonization programme was meant to establish a ethnic balance in Kosovo and to remedy the results of the forced migrations and expulsions of the Serbs when Kosovo was occupied by the Ottoman Turks.The programme resulted in creating greater tension and animosity between the Albanian-Serbian populations in Kosovo. Following the German invasion and occupation of Yugoslavia in 1941, Kosovo-Metohija was annexed to Albania and the German-Italian occupation regime encouraged the ethnic Albanians to drive out the Serbs and to create an ethnically pure and homogenous Kosovo, thus reversing and destroying all the attempts to achieve ethnic balance and diversity in Kosovo which the colonization programme in part sought to achieve.
Kosovo in Post-War Communist Yugoslavia: 1945-1981
The evolution and development of Kosovois autonomy after Kosovo was integrated in post-war Communist Yugoslavia demonstratesa total and complete failure in the attempt to politically integrate Kosovo within Serbia and Yugoslavia. The policies and constitutional changes of the federal government led to what they sought to avoid, secession and independence from Serbia and Yugoslavia.The post-war policies only exacerbated the nationalities question and did little to solve it.
InYStudies on Kosova, edited by Arshi Pipa and Sami Repishti, are presented a collection of papers delivered at an International Conference on Kosova at the City University of New York on November 6, 1982, dealing with the historical, social, economic, political, and historical aspects of Kosovo. The conference was held following the mass riots in Kosovo in 1981.
Albanians,or Kosovars, made up 77.5% of the Socialist Autonomous province of Kosovo according to the 1981 census, which is part of the Socialist Republic of Serbia. In 1945, Kosovo had been an autonomous region, becoming a province in 1963. Gradually, beginning in 1968, following riots that year, greater autonomy was achieved in the province. The 1974 Yugoslav Constitution expanded autonomy to the extant that Kosovo had de facto although not de jure status as a republic. This created rising expectations among ethnic Albanians that Kosovo would become a republic within federal Yugoslavia and not merely a province dependent upon and subordinated to Serbia.Yugoslavia was made up of six republics, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Hercegovina, and Macedonia. Serbia had two autonomous provinces, Vojvodina in the north and Kosovo in the south. The 1981 riots in Kosovo, which left at least eleven dead,resulted when the Kosovars demanded that Kosovo be made the seventh Republic of Yugoslavia.Simultaneously, ethnic Albanians in the Republic of Macedonia, where Albanians were 22% of the population, demonstrated for greater political autonomy there.
These demonstrations threatened to destabilize the region. In 1981, there were 1,754,000 Albanians in Yugoslavia,in Montenegro,Macedonia, Serbia ,and the Kosovo province, while there were 2,800,000 in Albania proper.The attempts to unite ethnic Albanians into a single state, Greater Albania, would destabilize the entire region and threatened neighboring countries. Greece, for instance, claimed southern Albania, Northern Epirus, with a Greek population, as part of Greece. Thus, Kosovo threatened to lead to an explosion in the Balkans.
Studies on Kosova offers several discussions on the political, historical, cultural, and economic development and evolution of Kosovo. The first article examines the emergence,development, and evolution of the medieval Albanian state which iwas nipped in the bud by the intervention of neighboring statesi and thus an Albanian state failed to survive. Before 1912 there had never been an Albanian state.The next article examined medieval ecclesiastical reports which discussed Kosovo-Metohija and Macedonia.An examination of ethnographic maps of the Kosovo region from 1730 to 1913 showed that they were in many instances motivated by political and nationalist agendas rather than a concern for objective analyses. Linguistic analyses were presented which examined the Kosovo dialects which offered the thesis that Albanians were present in Kosovo-Metohija before the iSlavic invasion of the province.iThe 1389 Battle of Kosovo as reflected in Serbian and Albanian oral epic songs and frontier epic cycles is examined. The second part begins with the economic analysis of the province of Kosovo.The article examines the economy of Kosovo and explains why it is behind the rest of the country, which is attributed to ia discriminating federal credit policyi. Economic backwardness in Kosovo is due to political reasons, because iSerbian tutelage fosters a sense of political impotence that foils initiative in the economic field.i The Yugoslav economic system favors the more developed regions while neglecting Kosovo. The 1981 riots are explained as the iresult of feelings of humiliation and anger accumulated during two generations.i The argument is that granting Kosovo full de jure republic status would lead to greater economic initiative and development. According to these articles, the problem of Kosovo can ibe solved only through rational dialogue between the interested parties.iThe two editors, however, envision a solution that involves Albania and Yugoslavia.That is, an internal solution is not practicable to them. They state : iWe envision the solution of the problem in a international rather than bilateral context.iThus, they seek to internationalize the crisis and preclude an internal solution within Yugoslavia.They concluded that the conference was needed to analyze the Kosovo crisis because knowledge about that region would contribute to peaceful existence in the Balkans.i They concluded as follows: iFor lasting peace cannot be built on deceptions and mirages. And the best service a scholar can do humankind is to pursue the truth.i
Failure of the Medieval Albanian State
In iGenesis and Failure of the Albanian State in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuriesi, inYStudies on Kosova ,Alain Ducellier analyzed the evolution and development of the medieval Albanian state. His conclusion is that ithere was no Albanian state before 1912.i (34)He noted that the Ottoman Turkish invasion and occupation of the Balkans was a inegative factori in the process of forming a Albanian state only after 1415, although they had intervened in Albania first in 1385. (35) He maintained that iwhereas elsewhere the Turks disrupted and afterward destroyed previously established states, in Albania they found only a conglomerate of heterogeneous and rival princedoms.i (36)Ironically, it was only due to Ottoman Turkish pressure thatiAlbania almost succeeded in becoming a Statei during the period of George Kastrioti, Skanderbeg.
Beginning in the eleventh century, a icompact Albanian nucleusi, Arbanon, did exist, but ineither Arbanon, nor much less Albania as a whole, constituted a political entity.i He concluded that iAlbania did not at the time have even administrative status.i (37). According to Ducellier, Albanians are imentioned for the first timei in historical documents in 1040.(38) By the 12th century, Arbanon achieved a isemi-autonomous statusi being a part of the duchy of Dyrrachioni but recognizing the authority of the Byzantine Empire.In 1256, a Byzantine Governor was appointed to Albania and according to Ducellier ithe princes of Arbanon disappeared definitively from the records.i (39) Arbanon, ithe first sketch of an eAlbanian sateii failed because it was not ipolitically viablei, making up only a small portion of the area and population then settled by Albanians. Moreover, Arbanon icontinued to conceive of herselfi as part of the Byzantine Empire. (40) Finally, Arbanon irepresented a regression in the process of unification of the Albanian people.i (41) Arbanon failed to produce a unified state because the majority of the Albanian population was outside of its borders, in Kosovo-Metohija and the rest of Albania.Being a irump statei, Arbanon could not resist the expansion of the established and unified Slavic states, such as Serbia and Bulgaria. (42) The Albanian state failed also because of the cultural and linguistic divisions in Albania. North of the Shkumbin river, the Gheg linguistic group predominates. South of the Shkumbin, the Tosk is dominant. According to Ducellier, this differentiation occurred during the 12th century .This split between the Gheg and Tosk groups was a further divisive factor which prevented unity of the iembryonic Albanian statei and prevented union of the itwo Albaniasi.
By 1343, Albania was a province of the Byzantine Empire and had close commercial and trading links to Ragusa and Venice. (43) Beginning in 1343, the Serbian Empire expanded westward and encompassed Albanian-settled areas. Ducellier called this era the iperiod of the great Serbian expansion which . spread over Albania.i (44) Byzantine rule was replaced by Serbian rule until the death of Stephen Dusan in 1355 which resulted in the disintegration of the Serbian Empire.According to Ducellier, the disintegration of the medieval Serbian Empire allowed the iBalshas---the Slavic-Albanian lords of the Shkoder region---to secure for themselves the Zeta, the coast of Budva and Bar and the entire northern Albanian plain by the year 1362.i (45) Nevertheless, throughout this period, Albania remained the ibusiness of othersi, that is, the regional powers sought to prevent a unified Albanian state. Because Albania was the ikey to the Adriatici strategically, Venice sought to preclude the unification of Albanians into a single state because such a state would ihinder her links with the Mediterranean.i (46) Venice sought to maintain a colonial economy in Albania which was well-suited for this because it was arable land that produced salt, wood, and grains. (47) Throughout this era, Albania remained a imass of heterogeneous principalitiesi which were under the control of either the Ottoman Turkish Empire or of Venice.
The rebellion against the Ottoman Turks led to the only time during the medieval period when unity was attempted. In March, 1444, Gjergj Kastrioti, Skanderbeg, assembled a convention in Lezhe, the League of Lezhe, which united all Albanian lords iin a common struggle against the Ottomansi and created a common army and a common treasury . (48) According to Lucellier, the League of Lezhe was the ionly real attempt in the Middle Ages to unify the country.i (49) Nevertheless, the League remained ia loose political structurei and was not centrally organized. (50) Venice and Turkey exploited the iinternal divisions in the countryi. (51) The Venetian-Albanian war of 1447-48 resulted when Venice sought to prevent Skanderbeg from seizing the Venetian possessions of Durazzo, Dagno, Scutari, and Antibari. (52)
Why did no medieval Albanian state emerge? According to Ducellier, it was because Albania ibelonged to an economic network whose system of command was out of her hands.i(53) In other words, the great powers, Turkey, Venice, sought to keep Albania disunited and divided to maintain the region as a colonial outpost suitable for economic exploitation. Thus, outside powers had divided the country and prevented unification. The lack of a unified Albanian state was not, however, due to a ifundamental incapacity to become a nation and afterwards a statei according to Ducellier. (54) There was a icommunity of language and customsi which demonstrated that an Albanian state would have emerged if not for the Republic of Venice, the Pope and the Sultan, i who sought to keep Albania divided and ifanned conflicts in the domainsi. (55)
The new administrative system of the Ottoman Empire, instituted in 1480, revived the Byzantine divisions, dividing the population and territory of Albania into four areas, icut off Kosova from the western provinces of the country, and even from the nuclei of Albanians inhabiting the fringes of Montenegro and Macedonia, from the Lake of Shkoder to the Peje [Pec] region.i (56) Thus, the Ottoman Empire sought to prevent a unified Albanian state from emerging. These powers prevented the emergence and evolution of an Albanian state because they sought to exploit Albania as a colony.
The weakness of Ducellieris analysis is that he assumes that Kosovo and Metohija were originally settled by ethnic Albanians and that the population of Kosovo and Metohija remained static throughout this period. The historical evidence does not support such an assumption. Miranda Vickers, Noel Malcolm, Alex Dragnich, and Dusan Batakovic all are in agreement that the population of Kosovo changed over time and that Albanians were not the majority population of Kosovo in the medieval period. Noel Malcolm dismissed this Albanian ideological argument as follows: iSome modern Albanian writers argue, quite implausibly, that there was always an Albanian majority in Kosovo.i Serbian village and town names clearly show that the Serbian population was the dominant one of Kosovo and Metohija during the medieval period. Moreover, he totally discounts emigration and immigration, the migrations which dramatically altered the population make-up of Kosovo and Metohija. He gives short shrift to the Serbian medieval state and empire which was based in Kosovo-Metohija, referred to for that reason as Old Serbia (Stara Srbija). The political capital of the Serbian Empire was Prizren while the ecclesiastical or religious capital was Pec.He gives an erroneous impression that the Serbian presence in Kosovo was fleeting and minor. In fact, the historical evidence shows that Kosovo and Metohija were the center of the Serbian state and nation in the medieval period. Moreover, his thesis is contradictory. He stated that only the threat of outside powers could bring the disparate Albanian regions to attempt a united front. Without a foreign threat, unity was not possible. But then he concluded that Albanian unity was not possible because foreign powers sought to keep Albania divided.
Ethnography of Kosovo
Gerhard Grimm, in iEthnographic Maps of the Kosova Region from 1730 to 1913i inYStudies on Kosova, analyzed the ethnographic maps of the Kosovo-Metohija region by Vadim Karic, Carl Ritter von Sax Guillaume Lejean Ami Boue, G. Muir Mackenzie , A.P. Irby, and Jovan Cvijic, among others. He concluded that iexternal political influences prevented the information of unprejudiced science concerning the ethnic situation in the Kosova region from being utilized for a appropriate solution to the problem.iEach of the cartographers produced maps which usually had a political or nationalist agenda which was to be advanced. The influence of external political factors has continued to the present day with regard to Kosovo. According to the 1981 Yugoslav census, ethnic Albanians were 77.5% of the population of Kosovo, 1,226,736. By 1991, this figure was put at 1,830,000, an increase of over 600,000. (58) . In 1981, the ethnic Albanian population of Macedonia was 377,726, while in 1991 it was listed as 900,000, that is, that it had almost tripled within 10 years. Currently, the US media, US State Department,put the Albanian population of Kosovo currently at 1.5 million,1.6 million, 1.8 million, and 2 million.The larger the population estimate, the greater the Albanian claim to secession.But because there is no reliable population census, the population figures are inflated to buttress the secessionist agenda. There is no question that population statistics are used for propagandistic purposes by ethnic Albanians and the US media and government much like ethnographic maps had been used for such purposes earlier. Grimm concluded that iin view of this, it must be concluded that political will almost always is stronger than scientifically grounded insight.i (59) Grimmis article is important in pointing out a perhaps not so obvious aspect of any analysis or discussion on Kosovo and Metohija, that almost all such analyses are biased and seek to advance agendas. Just the name one chooses to refer to the region indicates a position. Those who support Albanian claims on the Serbian province refer to it not as Kosovo, but as Kosova. Moreover, the historical name for Kosovo, Kosovo and Metohija, or Kosmet, is unacceptable to those who support Albanian nationalist claims because Metohija derives from the Greek wordYmetoh, meaning church property, and denotes aOrthodox religious history,i.e., Serbian history,which Albanians reject. The 1990s are a period of spin, when spin doctors, public relations consultants, and media consultants, manipulate, distort, and spin doctor virtually all aspects of discussion and debate. Historical analysis is not exempt. Politically correct and spin doctored history books are common in the 1990s.In any analysis of Kosovo, one must always be aware of this. Facts are never given merely as facts, but are presented to advance a pre-determined agenda. We have to use what Richard Mitchell called iinformed discretioni, weighing all the evidence and deciding for ourselves.
Grimmis analysis,moreover, emphasizes the fact that the boundaries for Kosovo and Metohija have not been constant, but have changed over the centuries. The ethnic population of Kosovo, Serbs, Albanians, Turks, identified their national identity with Serbia, Albania, and Turkey,or, in the era before nationalism, with their religious, ethnic, group.In other words, it is problematic and controversial to argue for a distinct and separate national,political, and ethnic identity for Kosovo. As Malcolm pointed out,unlike Bosnia, Kosovo lacks historical continuity and unity: iThe precise politico-geographical borders of Kosovo. were created for the first time in 1945.i There was a vilayet of Prizren from 1868 and a vilayet of Kosovo was established in 1877, but the area within the vilayets differed from that under the present day provincial borders of Kosovo. A vilayet under the Ottoman Empire was initially a small taxation district, while after 1864, a vilayet became a large province, which replaced the earlier Turkish provincial administrative division known as an eyalet.Malcolm admitted that there was isomething rather artificial about writing the history of territory, as a unit.i Miranda Vickers stated that the iactual name eKosovoi. was used to designate the Kosovo vilayet which. covered the territory of Sandjak,Gornje Polimlje, Kosovo and Metohija, as well as northern Macedonia up to Veles, and eastern Macedonia up to the Bregalnica catchment.i Vickers noted that ithe whole region is called by Serbs Kosovo-Metohija or eKosmeti.iSo Vickers and Malcolm agree that the geographical boundaries of Kosovo have changed and that the use of the name Kosovo to designate the region originated only in the late nineteenth century with the establishment of the vilayet of Kosovo.
Economy and Migrations
In iKosovais Economy: Problems and Prospectsi, Peter Prifti noted that the Serbian population of Kosovo decreased by 18,172from 1971 to 1981 while the Montenegrin population decreased by 4,680. He warned, however, that istatistical data on Kosova need to be read with caution. They vary. from one source to another.i Serbian government sources maintained that 57,000 Kosovo Serbs and Montenegrins migrated out of Kosovo during the same period. (60)He explained this population decrease as due to economic factors and not, as the Serbian population and government claim, due to Albanian pressure. He cited the Albanian newspaper Rilindja (Rebirth), the organ of the Communist League of Pristina, which blamed the Serbian exodus and out migration on widespread unemployment, housing shortage, and lack of educational opportunities in the province. (61)The exodus of Kosovo Serbs has depleted the province of professionals and specialists in technology, industry, science, and the professions. (62)This depletion has contributed to the making the Kosovo province the poorest and least developed regions in Yugoslavia.Moreover, Kosovo is the most densely populated region in Yugoslavia, in 1975, 133 persons per square km, compared to 84 for the rest of Yugoslavia.Kosovo has the highest birth rate in Yugoslavia and in Europe, in 1979, 26.1 per 1,00 population, compared to 8.6 for the National Yugoslav average. (63)Such a idemographic explosioni has had deleterious consequences for the Kosovo economy.These factors, a rising Albanian birth rate and Serbian migration out of Kosovo,have destabilized not only the economy but the political equilibrium in the province. In 1981, this instability resulted in the riots and the breakdown of the autonomous political structure for the province.
InYThe Migration of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo and Metohija: Results ofthe Survey Conducted in 1985-86, by Ruza Petrovic and Marina Blagojevic, the conclusion is that of 103,000 Serbs and Montenegrins that migrated out of Kosovo, 17% migrated prior to 1961, while 83% migrated during the itwo critical decadesi of the 1960s and 1970s. From 1981-1987, 20,000 Serbs and Montenegrins migrated out of Kosovo. Dusan Batakovic, based on iofficial figuresi, put the number as follows: From 1961-1980, 92,197 Serbs and 20,424 Montenegrins migrated out of Kosovo, while after the iseparatist revolt of ethnic Albaniansi in 1981, ianother 38,000 Serbs and Montenegrins moved away under duress.i (64) Petrovic and Blagojevic analyzed the migrations based on two different interpretations of why the migrations occurred. The first thesis is that the Serbian migrations are inormal migrationsi motivated by ieconomic reasonsi and that other ethnic groups in Kosovo migrated out as well during the same period. The migrations are ascribed to the process of ioverall economic growthi and the irelative lag in economic development.i The second interpretation was that the Kosovo Serbs were being driven out by Albanian separatists and by the policies of the Albanian authorities who ruled Kosovo when it achieved de facto republic status. The results of the survey show that the migrations of the Serbs and Montenegrins out of Kosovo was an iabnormal, pathological phenomenoni, the result of iethnic homogenization of Kosovo and Metohijai, which was ione of the main goals of Albanian chauvinists and secessionists.i Petrovic and Blagojevic concluded that the ipull factorsi for migration were imostly of a non-economic nature, not the kind of contemporary migrations prompted by the desire to improve oneis economic and social position.i They analyzed the conflict in ethnic relations, the threats to property owned by Serbs and discrimination at the workplace against Kosovo Serbs, and iideological and institutionalized discriminationi.Their conclusion is that while some left for economic reasons, most emigrated out of the Kosovo province due to non-economic reasons, such as threats to personal safety, threats to property, ethnic discrimination, institutionalized discrimination of Albanian authorities, a policy of iethnic homogenizationi of Albanian nationalists-separatists.
Dimitrije Djordjevic, a professor of history at the University of California at Santa Barbara, testified before a United States Congressional Hearing on April 27, 1988, explaining that the Kosovo Serbs were migrating out because of pressure by Albanians:
Exposed to daily pressure, with personal and family existence threatened (desecrated graveyards, mutilated cattle, damaged crops, orchards andYvineyards) and feeling unprotected by the Albanian authorities, Serbian peasants are responding in two ways. They are either moving out of theYProvince, selling their property to Albanians and trying to find refuge in Serbia proper, or they are spontaneously organizing their self-defense and are electing their own leaders. Thousands of these desperate people crowded trains and buses to come to Belgrade, their only hope, to present theirYgrievances and to ask for help and protection.
Two differing explanations emerge for the mass exodus and migrations of ethnic Serbs out of Kosovo. The Albanian explanation is that Kosovo Serbs are migrating solely due to economic factors and that Kosovo Albanians are migrating out as well for the same economic reasons. The Serbian explanation is that while there are some economic factors for the migrations, most of the migrations of Serbs are motivated by non-economic reasons. From the evidence,two factors, both economic and non-economic, are motivating the migrations. Significantly, the emergence of a de facto Kosovo republic, with greater autonomy, has resulted in an increase in iethnic homogenizationi and an increase in Serbian migration out of the province, due to institutionalized discrimination, lack of safety, threats based on ethnicity derived from Albanian separatist nationalism.
Evolution of the Autonomy of Kosovo
In iThe Evolution of Kosovais Autonomy Within the Yugoslav Constitutional Frameworki, Sami Repishti traces the development and evolution of Kosovois autonomy in Yugoslavia.Meeting in Bujan, Albania, the Anti-Fascist National Liberation Council of Kosovo-Metohija announced the Bujan Resolution after the meeting ended on January 2,1944. The Bujan Resolution declared that iKosovo and the Dukagjin Plateau is a region predominantly inhabited by Albanians who, now as always before, desire to unite withY Albania.i The Yugoslav Communist Party and the Yugoslav Army Headquarters rejected the Bujan Resolution but envisioned only a regional autonomy status for Kosovo within the republic of Serbia. A large-scale insurrection broke out in Kosovo in November, 1944, by Kosovo Albanians who sought to maintain Kosovo as part of Albania.From 1941, Kosovo had been a part of Albania under Italian-German sponsorship. On February 8, 1945, Kosovo-Metohija was declared a iwar zonei by the leader of the Yugoslav Communist Party, Josip Broz Tito.(65) A Military Directorate was established for Kosovo when the rebellion was quashed in May, 1945. Kosovo-Metohija was made an autonomous region (oblast) of the republic of Serbia after the July Resolution of 1945. In 1963, Kosovo became an autonomous province (pokrajina) under the 1963 constitution, which gave the province greater autonomy, the Regional Council became the Provincial Assembly, the number of delegates increased in the House of peoples, and a Supreme Court was established in Kosovo.According to Repishti, from the 1944 Bujan Resolution to the 1963 Yugoslav Constitution, ithe Albanian population of Kosova-Metohija experienced a downhill spiral of decreasing political power.i (66) Following the 1966 Brioni Resolution and the Constitutional amendments in 1971, the iprovince became similar, but not identical to the republic.i The 1974 Constitution of Kosovo was the firstreferred to as a iconstitutioni (ustav) and not a istatuteiThus, in 1974, the Kosovo province, like the other republics, had its own constitution. Moreover, isovereign rightsi outside of the province, at the federal and republic level, were granted to Kosovo that allowed the province ieto decidei on a federal level.i (67) Kosovo thus attained de facto republic status within the Yugoslav federation. The evolution in the autonomy of Kosovo is described by Repishti as a iprogress-regress cycle of constitutional amendments, according to the political climate of the day.i (68)Repishti argued that the crux of the problem is denial of de jure republic status for Kosovo, the denial of nation status for Albanians. He pointed out that Montenegrins, though imainly people of Serbian stocki were granted nation status, even though the Albanian population in Yugoslavia is almost three times the size of that of the Montenegrin. Moreover, the Bosnian Muslims were granted nation status in 1961 although they are Slavic because of their ireligious affiliationi. Yugoslav Albanians had developed a inational identityi since 1945 like the Macedonians, who were recognized as a nation at that time for the first time. According to Repishti, Albanians share the feeling of belonging to a single peoplei who inow think of themselves as a separate nation, with its own history and cultural heritage.i (69) According to him, nation status to Kosovo must be granted: iThe denial of a nationis status to Kosovars is an untenable tenet.i (70)
In iThe Government and Constitutional Status of Kosova: Some Brief Remarksi, Paul Shoup concluded that the Kosovo crisis was created by the iinability or unwillingness to grant the Albanian population symbolic equality with the Slav nationalities.i (71) But he noted that isomething approaching de facto equality has already existed since 1971.i (71) But as he implies, this de facto equality has only increased the desire of ethnic Albanians to secede and has not lead to stability and normalcy in the province. Indeed, the increase in autonomy from 1968-1974 only resulted in a time bomb or powder keg waiting to explode.
The 1946 Yugoslav federal constitution created the Socialist Autonomous region of Kosovo and Metohija and the Socialist Autonomous province of Vojvodina. But unlike Vojvodina, Kosovo had no supreme court, independent legislature, or local provincial administration,but were administered by the Serbian Republic as integral administrative units. (72) Kosovo-Metohija did,however, send a delegation to the Chamber of Nationalities in Belgrade and provincial statutes were promulgated for the region. But with the abolition of the Chamber of Nationalities in 1953, the autonomous status of the Kosovo region had little practical meaning and significance until 1967.In the 1963 federal Yugoslav constitution, Kosovo was made a province, whereas before it had been an autonomous region.
In 1967, the Chamber of Nationalities was reinstated. In November, 1968, riots in Kosovo forced the federal government to make changes in the autonomy of the province. In January, 1969,a constitution for Kosovo itself was adopted by the Serbian parliament in Belgrade. A Supreme Court was created for Kosovo and all the ethnic groups which made up the province were allowed to display their own flags. The Kosovo Albanians, the so-called Kosovars, displayed the Albanian national flag, a double-headed black eagle on a red background.These constitutional changes were incorporated in the 1971 federal constitution which allowed Kosovo to gain iequal representation with the republics in the organs of the federation.i (73) Thus, by the 1974 Yugoslav federal constitution, Kosovo (Metohija was now dropped from the name of the province) had achieved de facto republic status, as Shoup explained: Most important. was the power of the provincial delegations in the Federal Executive Council to veto or block legislation of which they did not approve. After 1974, this right of veto was extended to the decisions of the Chamber of Republics and Provinces.Thus, in the 1970s, Kosova emerged as an independentYactor in the federation. This was a remarkable transformation, given the fact itYwas paralleled by a consolidation of power of the Albanians in the provincialY government under the leadership of Mahmut Bakalli and David Nimani, presidents of the provincial party and government, respectively.
Under the provincial constitution, the provincial assembly can decide the foreign policy of the federal government because it had the power to debate and approve that policy. (74) Kosovo had its own national bank, its own supreme court, and its own administrative apparatus independent from the Serbian Republic or federal ones.In time of war, the provincial presidency could organize its own defense planning for Kosovo. (75) Most importantly, the provincial assembly could veto any legislation passed for the entire Republic of Serbia, of which Kosovo was a part.Thus, what resulted was the tail wagging the dog. To pass laws for the entire Republic, the prior approval of the Kosovo Province was required.This veto power did not exist with regard to questions of national security, defense, property relations.But with regard to economic policy, taxation, education, culture, the province had veto power. (75) This veto power allowed the Kosovo government, which was highly tolerant of Albanian nationalism in the province, to prevent the 1977 iBlue Booki ,which detailed grievances and abuses of the Serbian minority, from being presented on the federal level for discussion.A legislative assembly consisting of three chambers, exercised legislative power, while the Executive Chamber (Izvrsno Vece) exercised executive power. A nine member Presidency was the highest body in the province, consisting of the President of the assembly and the President of the Communist Party.Thus, de facto republic status was achieved for Kosovo following the 1974 Yugoslav federal constitution.
Shoup remarked that the 1974 Constitution iresulted in an unprecedented degree of autonomy for Kosovoi and that inowhere in Europe have such far-ranging concessionsto national rights been granted in regions considered as potentially separatist.i (76) Why did such measures fail to achieve stability in Kosovo? Shoup argued that these iconstitutional solutionsi were motivated by ipolitical expediencyi and did not accurately assess the iunderlying national outlooks and emotionsi. From 1971 to 1981,the Kosovo government and party ruledthe province with iminimal restraintsi from either the federal or Serbian governments.The crux of the problem remains that the 1974 constitutional changes resulted in a de facto but not a de jure republic status for Kosovo.
Yugoslav Albanians, non-Slavs, like Hungarians, Gypsies, Romanians, Germans, Turks, and other ethnic groups in Yugoslavia were classified as inationalitiesi or inational minoritiesi, termed isocio-political communitiesi. Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Macedonians, Montenegrins, and in 1961, Bosnian Muslims, all Slavic,were classified as inationsi(narod). Under the Yugoslav political,constitutional, and national system, only nations could have republic status, not nationalities or national minorities.The rationale was based in part on the fact that the national minorities in Yugoslavia had homelands and nations outside of Yugoslavia, while the nations of Yugoslavia did not. To grant nation or republic status to Yugoslav minorities such as Hungarians, Romanians, and Albanians, would be tantamount to creating a second Hungary, a second Romania, and a second Albania. The Kosovo scenario was similar to the Sudetenland crisis which emerged following the creation of Czechoslovakia. The Sudeten region was made up of a population of 3.2 million ethnic Germans who were a minority in the nation of Czechoslovakia. Like the Sudeten Germans, the Kosovo Albanians argued that based on the size of their population, they were justified at the least in being an equal constituent nation of the country of Yugoslavia.But in granting nation status to Kosovo Albanians, the dichotomy between nation and national minority becomes meaningless and contradictory. If nation or republic status were granted to Kosovo, then Serbia, of which Kosovo is a constituent and integral part, would cease to be one nation, but would become two.This is why granting republic status to Kosovo is opposed by the Serbian and Yugoslav governments.
During the decade 1971-1981, 102.000 Kosovo Serbs are estimated to have emigrated out of Kosovo. An estimated 26,000 Kosovo Serbs and Montenegrins migrated out of Kosovo from 1981 to 1988.As Miranda Vickers noted, ithe increasing migration of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo had become one of the most pressing political issues of the Yugoslav federation as a whole and of the Province of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia in particular.i This fact, the forced migration of Kosovo Serbs from Kosovo, a policy termed iethnic cleansingi, began the process of the collapse of Yugoslavia. But remarkably, the ethnic cleansing of the Serbian population of Kosovo went, for the most part, unnoticed. Indeed, human rights groups, such as Amnesty International (AI) and Helsinki Human Rights Watch, focused exclusively on the treatment of Albanian separatists by the Yugoslav police and totally ignored the rape of Serbian women, the murder of Serbian civilians in Kosovo, the threats and intimidation against Kosovo Serbs by Albanian authorities and civilians, and the desecration of Serbian graves and churches.Under Article I of the 1949 UN Genocide Conventionigenocide ..is a crime against international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.i Genocide is defined as iacts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group.i The Polish jurist Rafael Lemkin had developed the termegenocidei inYAxis Rule in Occupied Europe in 1944. The forced migrations of Kosovo Serbs from Kosovo, due to rapes, murders, intimidation, desecration of graves and churches, however, went unnoticed in the so-called West. But in Yugoslavia, the forced migration of Serbs created a political crisis that threatened to destroy Yugoslavia.
A NewsweekYarticle of October 24, 1988, iPower to the Serbsi, by Harry Anderson and Theodore Stanger, reflected the perceived victimization of the Kosovo Serbs not only in Kosovo but in the rest of Serbia and Yugoslavia, and the outrage and anger it engendered: One account speaks of 1,119 attacks on Serbs and Montenegrins by ethnic Albanians since 1986. Many of the stories allege rape and other atrocities. One described how a group of Albanian adolescents dug up the corpse of a Serbian child from a Kosovo cemetery and began tossing it around. iIt is hard for anyone who calls himself a Serb to remain cool when he hearsY of such outrages,i said Stefan Pilic, a medical student in Belgrade.iWe are on the verge of a revolution,i said Milovan Djilas, Yugoslaviais best-known dissident.
United States foreign policy, based on a principle of safeguarding and ensuring human rights, like international human rights groups, ignored the human rights abuses committed against the Kosovo Serbian refugees.Only when the Serbian and Yugoslav governments took actions to halt and to reverse the human rights violations against Kosovo Serbs did the United States government and so-called human rights groups take notice. And then it was to condemn the Yugoslav government for human rights abuses. Due to mounting outrage and mass demonstrations and protests by Serbs over the forced migration of the Kosovo Serbs, the Yugoslav government was forced to take action.
On March 28, 1989, the constitution of the Socialist Republic of Serbia was amended to suspend the work of the Kosovo Executive Council and the Kosovo Assembly. These constitutional amendments began the erosion of Kosovois autonomy. Kosovo was now more directly under the rule of Serbia.On July 11, 1990, the Presidency of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) approved the dissolution of the government and Assembly of Kosovo, putting the Kosovo Province under the authority of the Serbian National Assembly.Moreover, the Province was renamed eKosovo-Motohijai, whereas under Albanian autonomy it was referred to officially as eKosovoi because Albanians rejected the name eMetohijai because of its Serbian Orthodox religious history.Both terms, eKosovoi and eMetohijai are Serbian in origin ( Kosovo is derived from the Serbian word,Ykos, meaning, iblackbirdi, the suffixY-ovo, means literally, iplace ofi, Kosovo is theiplace of the blackbirdsi Metohija is a Serbian word derived from the Greed,Ymetoh, meaning Orthodox church property,Metohija is the iplace of church propertyi), but Albanians accept the one Serbian term and reject the other.These constitutional amendments had the effect of abolishing the wide-ranging autonomy granted in the 1974 Yugoslav constitution.The Kosovo Albanians reacted by boycotting elections and by not participating in the Yugoslav political system and process.Instead, Kosovo Albanians created a iparalleli or iunderground governmenti. The goal of Albanian separatists was secession. As Vickers and Malcolm correctly noted, a return to the autonomy of the 1974 Yugoslav Constitution would be unsatisfactory and unworkable for both Albanian separatists and the Serbian government. Under this scenario, Kosovo is a secessionist problem, not unique or different from any other secessionist conflict: the Kurdish goal to create a Kurdish state or to obtain autonomy in Turkey, the Palestinian goal to achieve statehood, abolished in 1948 with the creation of Israel, the Basque goal to achieve independence from Spain, the Corsican goal to achieve independence from France, the Kashmir goal to secede from Hindu India and to unite with Muslim Pakistan, the goal of Quebec to secede from Canada, the goal of Chechnya to secede from Russia, the goal of Puerto Rico to remain independent from the United States,the goal of Chiapas to break away from Mexico, the goal of the Irish Catholics to expel the British Army from Northern Ireland and to unite it with Ireland proper, and similar secessionist movements.Unlike many of these other secessionist movements, the Kosovo secessionist movement is weakened by the fact that Albanians have a national homeland, Albania. The Kosovo Albanians are seeking to achieve what the Bosnian Serbs and the Krajina Serbs sought to achieve, a re-adjustment of borders. A re-adjustment of borders, however, is not a national liberation movement or a movement to achieve iindependencei or ifreedomi as those terms are traditionally understood. A re-adjustment of borders is problematic and usually involves a civil war because under the United Nations Charter each sovereign member state of the UN has the right to control its borders and to safeguard its sovereignty. Under the United Nations Charter and all international laws, agreements, norms, and covenants, the Kosovo Albanians have no right to secession from Serbia or Yugoslavia. This is the reason why the so-called Kosovo peace process is being conducted not under United Nations or international law guidelines, but by NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), a defensive military alliance established by the US in 1949 to wage war against the Soviet Union. The UN Charter and international law are not invoked with regard to the Kosovo crisis, unlike the Bosnian and Croatian civil wars, where US policy was to rely on international law and the UN Charter.
NATO, on the other hand, is directly under the control of the US government. With regard to the Kosovo crisis, US policy is not consistent. The US rejects international laws and customs and the UN Charter. With regard to Bosnia and Croatia, US policy was to uphold the primacy of the sovereignty of the state,Bosnia and Croatia, and to relegate minority rights,of Bosnian and Krajina Serbs, to a secondary position. With regard to the Kosovo crisis, US policy has reversed itself completely, upholding the primacy of minority rights, of Kosovo Albanians, and relegating the sovereignty of the state, Yugoslavia, to a secondary position.For example, even though the Bosnian regime was made up almost entirely of Muslims and was ruled by a Muslim political party that represented little more than a third of the population of Bosnia, nevertheless, US policy was to regard this Muslim regime as the Bosnian Government representative of the people of Bosnia. Conversely, the Albanian minority of Yugoslavia, 18% of the total Yugoslav population, has primacy under US policy over the Yugoslav Government which represents 82% of the population.Indeed, the Yugoslav government is referred to as a iregimei and the President of Yugoslavia is referred to as ithe dictator of Serbiai, thus, the Yugoslav government lacks legitimacy and full recognition under US policy. The Kosovo crisis, therefore, is not being addressed under the norms and guidelines of international laws and covenants and treaties and agreements meant to resolve such crises. Instead, Kosovo has become a military-political conflict between the United States and Yugoslavia.As such, the Kosovo crisis is about the expansion of NATO into the Balkans, establishing a strategic US military-political presence in the Balkan Peninsula, establishing client states and military bases, and procuring economic markets,i.e., creating ibanana republicsi, pliant client states economically, politically, and militarily dominated by the US and ruled by US imposed idictatorsi on the South American model using igunboat diplomacyi.In other words, the Kosovo crisis for US policy is defined not by concerns about international law, the UN, human rights, or sovereignty, but by US national interests. Unlike most of Europe, Yugoslavia (made up of Serbia and Montenegro) is not a client state of the US and rejects the status of a US satellite state. Thus, a conflict between Yugoslavia and the United States (through its satellite states of the NATO bloc) existed and the two states were in a confrontational and mutually antagonistic posture even before the Kosovo crisis began in 1998. The Kosovo crisis cannot be adequately understood or comprehended without an analysis of the US role in the crisis and US policy towards Kosovo.
Kosovo is no different from any other secessionist movement. Populations change and states and nations are constantly in flux and evolving, creating conflicts and civil wars. In 1999, there were over 60 civil wars globally. As we have seen with the Kosovo crisis, such conflicts are rarely, if ever, simple and easy to resolve in a just and equitable way. The Kosovo crisis is complex and a solution can only be achieved at the expense of either the Serbian or Albanian populations.The roots to the Kosovo crisis are not to be found in the policies of Slobodan Milosevic, but in the centuries-old history of the region, which experienced occupation, wars, and migrations. Unfortunately and tragically, such crises are complex and insoluble, and stability and normalcy results only after civil wars destroy one or the other of the populations.Y
The broadened autonomy granted to Kosovo since 1945 did not lead to political stability in Kosovo. The political, cultural, and economic integration of Kosovo within Yugoslavia did not result. Instead, Kosovo Serbs migrated out of the province in large numbers as ethnic homogenization was achieved in Kosovo, which was contrary to the multi-ethnic structure of Yugoslavia. In short, greater autonomy only strengthened the desire and impetus for secession of Kosovo from Yugoslavia. Closer relations with Enver Hoxais Stalinist Albania only strengthened the bonds between Kosovo Albanians and Albanians in Albania proper. The 1981 riots were the denouement of this self-defeating policy on the part of the Yugoslav government. Ironically, measures meant to increase autonomy for Kosovo only resulted in greater instability and a failure to integrate within Yugoslavia. By 1981, the Communist policies of the Yugoslav League of Communists were incapable of resolving the Kosovo crisis. That is, it became apparent that Communist nationalities policy had failed and that there was no method by which the regime could resolve the Kosovo crisis.
Yugoslav leaders,like Soviet leaders, claimed that ithey had solved the nationality problem in Yugoslaviai.But the Yugoslav Communist isolutioni to the nationalities problem, like the Soviet model, was flawed and based oncontradictory assumptions.V.I. Lenin, in 1914 in iConcerning the Right of Nations to Self-Determinationi, like Karl Kautsky, argued that the istate of diverse composition is something backward or an anomalyi and that iboth the example of all progressive mankind and the example of the Balkansi showed that multi-ethnic or multi-national states were not the norm under a modern capitalist system. Like Karl Marx, Lenin saw nationality as subordinate to the class struggle, and once the proletariat developed its class consciousness, nationality would wither away.Yugoslav Communist leaders and theorists sought to create a iYugoslav consciousnessi, a iYugoslavnessi (Yugoslovenstvo),based in ibrotherhood and unityi (Bratstvo i Jedinstvo) much like the Soviet attempt to create ia Soviet mani, and a Soviet identity.But both the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia were multi-national states that were made up of national republics which were based on nationality and ethnicity. That is, the isolutioni to the nationalities question was based on contradictory assumptions.The Soviet Union and Yugoslavia were states not based on class identity, but ethnic and national identity.This ethnic and national identitywas always present in the Communist states, which Communist ideology failed to subordinate or to destroy. In Kosovo, the so-called solution to thenationalities question was a total and complete failureWhat resulted was a time bomb or powder keg that was insoluble under the policies of the Yugoslav government and based upon Communist principles. What resulted was an explosion of Albanian nationalism and a nationalist ideology of a Greater Albania, an ideology that dated at least from the 1878 League of Prizren and during 1941-1944 when Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini had created a Greater Albania incorporating Kosovo -Metohija, a nationalist ideology which continued and developed during the Communist regime and rule. The U.S. policy was to exacerbate the Kosovo crisis by adopting and adapting the policies of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini on Kosovo. Adolf Hitleris policies on Kosovo differed very slightly from those of Senator Bob Dole, Madeleine Albright, James Rubin, and President Bill Clinton. NATO adopted the techniques and strategies for resolving the Kosovo crisis initiated by Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, occupation and expulsion of the Orthodox Serbian population of Kosovo-Metohija. Hitleris objective was a Greater Albania Clintonis objective is a Greater Albania. The Kosovo crisis has not been resolved, but only exacerbated by NATO military occupation of the Serbian province. Up to 300,000 Kosovo Serbs have been ethnically cleansed since the NATO occupation and dozens of Serbian Orthodox churches have been demolished under the auspices of the US-led NATO forces. Serbian civilians, including children, and the elderly are daily murdered by Albanian nationalists supported and sponsored by the U.S. and Germany. Many Kosovo Serbs and Roma have been kidnapped and abducted. Kosovo Serbs face repression and genocide in Kosovo. But now those committing the genocide are iclientsi of the U.S. Thus, the repression and human rights abuses and genocide against Kosovo Serbs is censored by the U.S. government and the media it controls in a cover-up and propaganda campaign. Kosovo has become more unstable and the crisis has been exacerbated. There are 300,000 Kosovo Serbs who are in Yugoslav refugee camps who wait to return to their land and homes in Kosovo. Daily, Kosovo Serbs are murdered and terrorized in an ethnic cleansing campaign sponsored and fostered by the U.S. and Germany. The U.S. goal is to create an ethnically pure Albanian Kosova, a Greater Albania. Such a plan will destabilize the entire Balkans region and will create the potential for the next war or conflict. Is the Kosovo crisis resolved? The opposite is true. Kosovo is a time bomb and Balkan powder keg.
Epilogue: Kosovo or Kosova? An Epistemological Analysis
To understand the Kosovo crisis and to comprehend and appreciate the problem, one must deconstruct the issue, or conduct an epistemological analysis. In an age of spin, with New World Order spin doctors, information warfare, political war propaganda, brain-washing techniques of U.S. media, NATO, Pentagon, and State Department, lobby groups, and public relations firms, it is difficult to obtain an objective,unbiased, accurate analysis of the Kosovo crisis. As Noam Chomsky has noted, one has to deconstruct the problem by going ibehind the rhetorici. The Kosovo crisis, like the earlier Bosnian civil war, was permeated with rhetoric and self-serving assertions. For example, few know that the three ethnic factions in Bosnia met in early 1992 in Lisbon,Portugal and agreed to a partition plan for Bosnia called the Lisbon Agreement. US Ambassador to Yugoslavia, Warren Zimmermann, who styled himself ithe last ambassador to Yugoslaviai, informed the Bosnian Muslim faction that the United States would support them in rejecting the Lisbon Plan and allowing them to create a Muslim-ruled and Muslim-dominated Bosnia, although Muslims were at most 43% of the population, while Christians were 57% of the population. Zimmermann promised diplomatic, political, economic, and ideological support,i.e., information warfare, the American euphemism for propaganda. Thus, the US and US policy was crucial and instrumental in causing and maintaining the Bosnian civil war. To create an imperative for military intervention by the US, information warfare was utilized to create images of igenocidei, iethnic cleansingi, imass rapesi, irape motelsi, iconcentration campsi, iwar crimesi, icrimes against humanityiihumanitarian disasteri, and iatrocitiesi. But the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Butros-Butros Ghali, dismissed Bosnia as a irich manis wari and pointed to a dozen places on the globe much worse than Bosnia in terms of carnage and human suffering.Indeed, during the Bosnian civil war, a legitimate genocide did in fact occur in Rwanda, where close to a million civilians were brutally murdered. But there were no UN peacekeeping troops in Rwanda and the US government and the US media hardly paid any attention to one of this centuryis most horrendous acts of genocide, in Rwanda. Moreover, the Kurds of Turkey were denied autonomy and ifreedomi and Kurdish ifreedom fightersi or iterroristsi, depending on what spin one wishes to give the conflict, had their entire villages obliterated by Turkish Army troops, who shelled Kurdish villages with artillery fire. Following the creation of Israel in 1948, there were close to a million Palestinian refugees who were iethnically cleansedi by the Israelis or ifledi, most living in decrepit refugee camps in Jordan. Meanwhile, Palestinians who seek independence and ifreedomi and the creation of their own state are hunted down by the Israeli Army and their homes are demolished by bulldozers. Something is wrong with this picture. But we may ask, even if this spin and hypocrisy and selective morality exist, surely historians and the academic community are immune from such arbitrary and inaccurate factors. History treatises and history books are not written and published in a vacuum. Moreover, books are a commodity and those history books sell which appeal to the mass audience and which reflect a common denominator approach. In short, the scholarly historical studies on the Kosovo crisis mirror perfectly the public or popular perception, which is totally induced by the US government and the media it controls (the information or propaganda machine of mass media), of the crisis. The Kosovo crisis played out almost as if there was a script or pre-designed blueprint or formula. The crucial question is: Is the Kosovo crisis one based in human rights abuses, oppression/repression by the government of a minority, or, on the other hand, one based on a movement of separatism and secession based on the creation of a Greater Albania?
As we have noted, the Albanian population was given rights and privileges in Kosovo under the 1974 Constitution that no other sovereign nation had given to a minority group. Such minority rights were unprecedented. Kosovar Albanians spoke their own language, published their own Albanian language newspapers, ran their own schools and universities, conducted lessons from textbooks imported from Albania, and displayed the Albanian flag. Political, social, economic, and social institutions were all controlled by Albanians. As German author Matthias Kuentzel noted in his analysis of the Kosovo conflict, The Road to War: Germany, NATO, and Kosovo, iYugoslavs of Albanian origin in Kosovo were enjoying greater political and cultural rights than any other minority in any other state in the world.i The United States, for example,through legislation has sought to eradicate and stamp out a separate and distinct Spanish/ Hispanic cultural and language identity in states with a majority Hispanic population. The English language and English culture are indoctrinated and imposed on Hispanics in a conformist policy of assimilation. The U.S. itself would never grant the kind of iautonomyi the Albanian population of Kosovo enjoyed. So in part, the Yugoslav/Serbian government is in part responsible for the crisis in Kosovo.The Yugoslav government fostered separatism and secession. Greater Albania was the inevitable and ineluctable goal.
The basis of the Kosovo crisis is separatism and secession. The 1981 riots in Kosovo and the Yugoslav government reaction in 1989 were based solely on separatism and secession, not human or minority rights. The Albanians were free to participate in the Yugoslav/Serbian political process. Seeking secession and separation from Serbia, Albanian leaders naturally refused to participate in a political process they did not wish to be a part of. Moreover, by participating in the process, they would be giving the process legitimacy and stability and would not advance the goals of separatism/secession.The boycott added more fuel to the fire, increasing the level of tension and maintaining instability and a lack of legitinacy.The 1981 riots showed that the basis of the Kosovo crisis is based in Albanian nationalsim, a goal to create a Greater Albania. The slogans of the rioters were, iWe are Albanians, not Yugoslavsi, iWe want a Kosovo Republici.This separatist nationalism was based in a racist policy to ethnically cleanse all non-Albanians from Kosovo and to create an ethnically pure Kosovo, or Kosova. As part of this Albanian nationalist policy, Kosovo Serbs were driven from the province and those that chose to remain were discriminated against and had no security from nationalist attacks. This policy of ethnic cleansing against Kosovo Serbs led to the changes in the status of Kosovo in 1989 to safeguard and to protect the minority and human rights of Kosovo Serbs.But throughout the crisis, the Albanian goal was to create a Greater Albania through secession and separatism or independence, precisely the kind of independence denied to the Krajina and Bosnian Serbs. Why was one supported and the other was not? Simply, because the Kosovar Albanians were clients of the U.S. government (and thus media) and the Serbs were not. Likewise, Palestinians, Kurds, and Basques are not clients of the U.S. government (and thus media) and therefore their separatist movements are not supported. Only client states or client ifreedom movementsi which have the support of the U.S. have legitimacy and and military, economic, and political support. The KLA is in fact a proxy army for the United States, armed, trained, and supplied by the U.S. government, like the banana republic death-squads in Central America which the U.S. sponsored. The Kosovo crisis is thus based in human rights or in separatism and secession. We have seen that it is a separatist movement that has nothing to do with human rights. As clients of the U.S., the Albanian leaders of the separatist KLA movement have the propaganda support of the U.S. government and media. Thus, the information war is controlled by Washington. Washington can define the issue and the nature of the crisis. How is the issue/crisis defined? The U.S. has an incoherent and inexplicable position on the crisis. The U.S. State Department policy opposed secession based on ethnic nationalism. But at Raimbouillet, the Albanians were given the right to vote on secssion after 3 years. The U.S. also sponsors and supports the Albanian policy to ethnically cleanse Kosovo of Serbs and other non-Albanians and to make Kosovo an ethnically pure region, 100% Albanian. This policy follows the similar one in the Krajina which U.S.-trained Croat troops ethnically cleansed of Krajina Serbs in 1995 in the largest single act of ethnic cleansing during the entire Yugoslav conflict. The Krajina is now Serbien and Juden frei (Serbian and Jew free). The stated U.S. government and media policy is to make Kosovo Serbien and Juden frei. This genocidal policy does not have its origins in the U.S. State Department, but derives from the policies of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Ante Pavelic, and Bedri Pejani and the Balli Kombetar.The adopted and adapted U.S. policy is obscured by a smokescreen of propaganda and disinformation. The U.S. goal is to create a Greater Albania. So the U.S. position too is not based on human or minority rights but is based in Albanian separatism and secession. Why isnit the actual reason or basis for the Kosovo crisis revealed? Why is there a propaganda and information war? Why is the public hoodwinked by brain-washing techniques and political propaganda? Only the U.S. State Department and media know the answer to this question for certain.
Is it Kosovo or Kosova? The CIA has already made its choice: Kosova. The CIA propaganda machine, based in Prague, Czech Republic, sends propaganda messages through Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty (RFE/RE),Y anachronistic CIA propaganda outlets from the Cold War, which refer to the province as Kosova. The U.S. government and media have decided: Kosova. The whole issue of whether it is Kosovo or Kosova has thus been resolved. An epistemological analysis is required to deconstruct the political rhetoric and propaganda and brain-washing techniques of the U.S. government and media. A future conflict is inevitable when the U.S. seeks to create the future Kosova. The U.S. goal is to create a Kosovo by fait accompli, based on the Israeli government model. Israel builds settlements and ethnically cleanses Palestinian Muslims off their land. Gradually, an ethnically pure Jewish region is the result. This is how James Rubin and Madeleine Albright seek to create a future Kosova.
Kosovo is a time bomb and Balkan powder keg, an accident waiting to happen. Kosovo has the potential to spark the next future war in the Balkans. Kosovo or Kosova? What is the difference? It is the difference between war and peace.