Friday, February 22, 2008

Why the West Should Care About Kosovo

From a column by John Zmirak, a Roman Catholic Croat:
The independence of Kosovo as a second Islamic state in the heart of Europe is now a fact. Serbia and Russia will continue to contest it, as they should, but their efforts will come to nothing, as they must. The battle for Kosovo was lost not in 2007 or in 1999, but a century ago, when the birthrate among its Albanian population vastly outpaced that of its Christians. The “revenge of the cradle” has ridden to power in Kosovo on the inexorable logic of one-man, one-vote. Or should we say, one womb, seven votes?

I will go into more depth on what the economist Milica Bookman calls the “demographic struggle for power”—in her tragically out-of-print book on the subject—in a further post this week, analyzing the latest failed attempt to explain the clash of civilizations between Mideast and West, Worlds at War. But for now, I’d like to reflect on what the fate of Kosovo portends for the homelands from which most of our ancestors came. It’s often reported, correctly, that Kosovo was “spiritual heartland” of Serbia. Since most of us aren’t Orthodox, and have no special love for the Serbs (in 1992 I wanted to sign up with the Croatian army to fight them, but cooler heads prevailed), it’s easy for us to skim lightly over this. So let me put in starker terms: For Serbia, read “England,” and for Kosovo read “London.” Or “Paris,” or “Rome.” So as you read the news accounts of Kosovo’s secession, and the reports of Kosovars dynamiting historic Serbian churches, imagine the demolition of Westminster Abbey, Notre Dame, or St. Peter’s Basilica. Imagine it all taking place quite democratically, by valid majority vote. You’ve just ridden a time machine through the next 60 years.

You may have wondered, as I did, why the U.S. bombed Yugoslavia in 1999—to halt the admittedly brutal behavior of Milosevic, whose attempt to hold onto Kosovo was futile, and 50 years too late. (On the day New Yorkers marched outside the U.N. against that illegal American intervention, I was probably the only Croat holding a sign.) Why did the Western powers so enthusiastically support the attack? In part, because it let them off the hook. The better sort of European remembered some real atrocities committed by ethnic Serbs (although they were far from the only ones) in Bosnia. But there was something more going on. The Europeans were enacting a little drama in their heads, acting out a mystery play intended to teach a lesson to their descendants: The lesson was “You will never act like this. You will not resist. When the Moslems come to power, you will go quietly and cooperate.” The French, the English, the Germans who endorsed America’s attack had admitted that the lights of their societies would soon go out, and they were quietly setting the timer.

It’s well-known, and widely (if quietly) lamented, that birthrates among Islamic immigrants and their children are vastly higher throughout Europe than those of native peoples. I’ve read at least one prediction that France will have an Islamic majority within 50 years—assuming the Moslems’ stern desert creed proves resistant to our contraceptive culture. (Hard to know who to root for there....) Indeed, Eurocrats openly advocate the mass importation of (still more!) young and fertile immigrants from the Middle East, the better to fund the cozy retirements which the dying peoples of Europe voted themselves after World War II. It’s hard to imagine a more perverted scheme for keeping oneself in office, than to sell your motherland into the seraglio, to auction it off piece by piece to an intolerant, alien civilization. It’s as if members of the Byzantine government in the 15th century were to gradually dismantle the walls protecting the city, to use the stones for Roman baths. As Burke once said, “People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.”
Mr Zmirck also links to this extraordinary post by Andrew Cusack (from which the above photograph, showing literally defaced icons, is borrowed), which is essential viewing and reading. Excerpt:
The results of Kosovar self-rule are apparent. The Christian Serbs are continually intimidated with force, Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries (many of them centuries-old and containing irreplaceable works of sacred art) have been routinely attacked and even burnt to the ground, and the province has become a vital trading center on the East-to-West human sex trafficking route.
May God, through the prayers of St Sava of Serbia, have mercy on His much-suffering people!


Felix Culpa said...

FC: I moved this here from the post below:

Nomodiphas said...

Interesting piece. Too bad you don't get thoughtful analysis like that in the news. Just last night I was watching CNN and they were said the anger of Russia and Serbia at America was rooted in simple anti-Americanism. Why don't they make anyone read a history book before they spout their stupid opinions on the news!

I read an interesting article the other day (I am not sure if I agree with it, but it is thought provoking). The author claimed that the Nazis came to power because the German government was too tolerant. They tolerated any political group, even those like the Nazis that oppossed central Western values like liberty and equality.

It seems that in our age we are once again tolerating groups and movements within us that hate and wish to undermine the very values that have made us great. But how can a man stand when his legs are knocked out from beneath him?

Felix Culpa said...

The last time I watched a cable news talk program is burned into my memory: the screen was divided into eight boxes with a talking head in each -- and all of them were shouting simultaneously. This makes schizophrenia look like child's play. When reading print journalism I'm forever asking myself: don't these people have editors and fact checkers?

I find it utterly dispiriting to see how any criticism of any act of US foreign policy is instantly judged treason (if spoken by an American) or vulgar anti-Americanism (if spoken by a non-American). It's even more depressing to see how little attention is given to foreign policy -- which seems to me THE issue of importance -- in the presidential race.

Your invocation of the rise of the Nazi regime cuts even deeper. One thing we often forget is that the National Socialists were legally and democratically elected. In Kosovo we have the principle of democracy run wild (albeit illegally). A similar thing is happening in Iraq: the US wanted to make it into a democracy, and now is appalled by the parties the people want to elect (democratically, of course).

Finally, if we are indeed waging a "war on terror," then allowing the creation of a Muslim state in Europe which will essentially be run by the KLM, an Islamic terrorist organization, then it shouldn't surprise anyone should we lose.