I prepared Vagabond's July issue several weeks in advance because I was away and wasn't sure I'd be back in time. So this analysis of the Second Fall of Kosovo (six hundred years later) may have been covered elsewhere but hopefully is still interesting for our readers. WM.
By William Markiewicz
I will try to answer these three questions:
1. Why did Russia carry out the role of mediator with such persistence and under unrewarding conditions?
2. Why did Yugoslavia finally give in?
3. Why did the KLA enter the joint offensive with NATO in Kosovo so late?
1. Russia grasped at the unrewarding role of mediator for its own prestige and, in the beginning, to support the most westerly located Slav-Orthodox redoubt. In Yugoslavia's desperate situation, Russia acted to disguise the Serbian defeat and to disguise also its own ultra weak position in the international arena. Yugoslavia accepted capitulation in the form of a peace agreement under the Russian banner and in this way both countries exchanged favours. The world knows that Russia is in decline and the Serbs lost the fight for their soul in Kosovo and everybody mercifully gazes in another direction.
2. Yugoslavia gave in when the KLA and NATO initiated their joint air-ground invasion. The Albanians, knowing the territory well, forced the Serbs to expose their position to the devastating attacks of bombs and missiles. Without Russian mediation, the Serbs would still be resisting and many more Serbs -- and Albanians -- would die.
3. Neither NATO nor the KLA were in a hurry for ground action, each for its own reasons. The Americans didn't want to expose their volunteer army to certain death. American public opinion, at the first sight of body bags, would surely have backed off from their enthusiastic support for the Balkan war -- a downfall for American politicians. The KLA, on their side, knew well that NATO could not afford a setback, so they kept NATO in their grip: "We will fight, OK, but only on our terms, meaning for official recognition that the goal of this war is independent Albanian Kosovo." This dictate, NATO couldn't afford either. So, both sides held their opposing positions, blackmailing each other. For the ethnic Albanians there was no rush, let Yugoslavia be bombed ... NATO stopped the stalemate when it started to bomb "by mistake" -- Albania! The KLA understood that the Albanians in Albania would not be willing to die for Kosovo and accepted NATO's conditions. They knew that they would gain independence. They had nothing to lose except a little time.