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18 February 2008
Kosovo: what may the future hold?

As Kosovo declared its independence yesterday, reaction from Serbia and Russia has been muted. It looks as if Serbia has embarked upon a long game, one that will drag on for decades. The Serbs are ideally suited to that strategy having survived all the other empires that have crossed their territory over the previous few millennia.

In the short and medium terms, as the above video makes clear, their aim is to deny Kosovo any legitimacy whatsoever and continue to govern the two areas of the breakaway province that have large Serb majorities. If the Albanian drug dealers want to try and take those regions, then the onus of starting any conflict will clearly be on their shoulders.

That said, and assuming that war doesn't break out immediately, two things are rather clear:

The first is that the Albanians will probably ethnically cleanse those parts of Kosovo that they fully control of their Serb and Gypsy populations whilst Serbia will remain a multi-ethnic polity. What this means is that we will get to say "we told you so" to the various types that are supporting this clear breach of international convention.

The second factor is that no matter how Washington and Brussels tries to spin this away as a special case, a precedent has been set. Secessionist groups, based on language or ethnicity, have suddenly been given a rather large boost. The USA has a large Hispanic population in its South and West. The dream of a New Aztlan is little more than an internet fantasy at the moment, but it could become real with a bit of outside help. Russia, once her economy fully recovers from the catastrophe that was the collapse of the USSR, may just decide that a bit of limited help might be in her interests.

Of course this ignores all the other secessionist groups that the rest of the world is already having to handle. The idea that they are not going to be emboldened by yesterday's events is too ludicrous for words.

Capitalism needs tranquillity for its future growth, but what it has got is a recipe for international chaos. We as socialists need to remember that out of chaos comes opportunity, and we need to be ready to take advantage of whatever opportunity arises as Kosovo's drug-dealers and whores start to kill off the Serb population.

All of this is rather tough on the Serbs, who did not ask to stand in the front line against globalised capitalism. Neither for that matter did the Iraqis, but they seem to have risen manfully to the challenge. We can expect no less from the nation that told both Austria-Hungary and then Germany to go and take a flying fuck last century.

Бог защищает Сербию
God Defend Serbia

And may God bless you too, brother, both you and yours, for all eternity!

18 February 2008 at 18:36  

What have you got against whores all of a sudden? I hold no brief for Kosovar drug-dealers, but the whores I take to be the same good working women as are doing their bit for humanity all over the world. (Incidentally, don't tell Svetlana, but there are some pretty good Serbian ones too, as I know.) And nationalism rarely does the slightest bit of good to the workers of any country.

19 February 2008 at 00:13  

I used the word as a pejorative, not descriptive.

And as I have said time and again, I hold no real brief for Serbia. It just happens that the same maggots who attack them are the ones who attack us.

The enemy is at home, always fucking has been.

19 February 2008 at 05:23  

Yes, understand where you're coming from. But the idea "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" is completely screwy. There are plenty of cunts who hate other cunts. Also, it's been proved throughout history, particularly in Germany circa 1933, that it doesn't really do the Left any good to find a community of interest with fascists. I know you hold no real brief for Serbia, but you're maintaining fairly close relations with Serbofascists (Byzantine Sacred Art blog my arse!) and that isn't really in the interest of fighting the enemy which, as you rightly point out, is at home.

20 February 2008 at 19:42  

How nice it must be to have received a quarter of a mil from the FO. If I had that kind of brass I would be all self righteous as well.

Since I do not, then I will take whatever allies come my way. To be honest, Svetlana comes over as a nice girl, and what she wants to do in Serbia is not my business. It just so happens that the people who screw her over are the same ones who try to do the same to me.

21 February 2008 at 00:22  

So how much do you think working people who get made redundant ought to get?

I accepted redundancy on the basis of a lot less than that, but it got recalculated. I wasn't going to say no, was I? Nor was I going to assume it changed my class position. All it means is that the amount of shit I have to take from management bastards is less than it might have been. I do have to work, but entirely on my own terms. We disagree on some things, but I don't think either of us is more self-righteous than the other.

21 February 2008 at 00:51  

That's not quite the point, is it? The point I am making is that you have economic security and always have had. Ergo you view things through the prism of a bloke who can pick a cause up or ignore it without it effecting him in any way.

I and people like me have a vested economic interest in seeing a return to collectivism. For that to come about the political class needs to be discredited. Lost wars are one way that this will come about.

21 February 2008 at 04:33  

I really don't see how my economic interests are any different from your own. Like you I've never had a penny in my life that I haven't had to go and earn (apart from the student grants which we both had in the good old days). I don't need to tell you how difficult it is to get a job when you're that bit older (and a piss-artist to boot). Yes, I was lucky getting a decent redundo, but we all do our best to get what we can for doing bastard work, and I was luckier than most.

I don't pick causes up and drop them according to the fashion of the time. I try to use a bit of imagination and to do what I can to improve the lot of people like us in different parts of the world, having lived in quite a few different parts myself.

I can see your point about embarrassing the political class, but these people have hides like a rhinoceros. Also, there are plenty more where those came from. Losing wars is only going to result in one lot of bastards replacing another. We didn't support an inadequate Labour government in 1979, and where precisely did that get us?

On the whole, the most significant truth revealed in the 20th century is that the working class is best served by squashing the fash. For this reason, though you have an obvious right to make friends with whom you like, I will always be there to bop them whenever they appear.

21 February 2008 at 22:56  

You have to have good guys and bad, don't you? God knows why you can't accept that, as Milo said, there aren't any damned heroes. The Serbs are no better and no worse than anyone else - as the Albanians will demonstrate when they kick the Serbs out of most of Kosovo.

The point is that the Serbs are fighting against the same enemy that I am. Why that is hard to accept is hard to understand...

22 February 2008 at 13:01  

Of course I understand and accept your argument. I’m just disagreeing with it on strategic grounds. If I thought you were talking complete bollocks I wouldn’t bother.

I agree largely with your position, that the enemy is here at home. I just doubt whether the “my-enemy’s-enemy-is-my-friend” approach is the best one. Have you seen the latest article by your mucker Neil Clark in the Spectator? It explicitly abandons that position with respect to the Castro clan. (Castro is rich. He’s rich because he’s a cunt. He’s a cunt because he’s rich.)

And of course I confess to having been ever-so-slightly wound up by your suggestion that, because I drink my tea without sugar, because my low-paid public-sector parents spent £300 a year (not an awful lot of money even in 1972) on a charity-school education rather than on fags, and because my hands are no use for anything much except wanking, I must be some poncey middle-class dilettante, who’s just arsing around with left-wing causes as part of a pose. I don’t recall anyone telling me that in Mexborough in 1985.

I make the odd comment on foreign affairs because that happens to be what I know about. But like you, I don’t really care much what happens in all these places – they’ll sort themselves out. Always happy to see our Paras, Marines etc. shooting fascists though – that’s what they’re for, and they haven’t had enough chances since 1945.

The reason nationalism/fascism is horrible is that it postulates a wholly false community of interests between the rich and the poor of the same nation. There are loads of poor working Serbs getting swept up in nationalist enthusiasm at the behest of their bosses. If I really thought this would do the slightest bit of good to the British working classes, I might nonetheless agree with you. But no. (Remember how the Falklands set Thatcher up for squashing the miners.) All there is is a slight chance that it might embarrass a few people who we know to be totally shameless and unembarrassable. Worse, it diverts the attention of the Left away from the real issues. Don’t know whether you see the Guardian much: it’s absolutely chocker with ignorant windbaggery over Iraq and Afghanistan, but if it weren’t for (the impeccably middle-class) Polly Toynbee there’d be fuck all about low pay and crap working conditions. The Left just isn’t interested in the rich and the poor any more; they’re all much more interested in stoning women to death and shouting abuse at “countries” they don’t like – including those “countries”’ working classes. Cui bono?

OK, I’ll shut up now.

22 February 2008 at 20:33  

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