Last December 10, after four months of futile shuttle diplomacy, the mediating effort by the U.N. Contact Group “troika” to reach an agreement on the final status for Kosovo predictably collapsed.  “Neither party was able to cede its position on the fundamental question of sovereignty,” the U.S.-E.U.-Russian group reported to the U.N. Secretary General.  The European Union leaders reached the same conclusion on December 14 and made a feeble offer to Serbia—immediately rejected by Belgrade—of accelerated E.U. membership in exchange for “flexibility” over Kosovo’s status.

All negotiations were doomed to fail because, as Condoleezza Rice declared from the outset, independence would be reached “one way or another.”  The Kosovo Albanian leaders—war criminals and heroin kingpins with jihadist ties—could afford to sit back and dismiss out of hand any proposal that fell short of what the Americans had promised.

The Albanians will likely proceed with a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) after the second round of the presidential election in Serbia (February 2), with the U.S.-imposed delay calculated to ensure the reelection of Serbia’s “reformist, pro-Western” President Boris Tadic.  The UDI will be recognized by the United States, by the Islamic world, and by some—but by no means all—E.U. countries.

Serbia’s Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has a number of options.  They range from the blockade of the secessionist province—which gets two thirds of its food, consumer goods, and electricity from central and northern Serbia—to the declaration, supported by parliamentary vote, that Serbia is no longer seeking E.U. membership and will henceforth develop closer political, economic, and military ties with Russia.

Russia, China, and India, and dozens of Asian and African countries with secessionist problems—including the most populous predominantly Muslim country, Indonesia—will deem the secession of Kosovo illegal and invalid.  The theory that outside powers can award part of a state’s sovereign territory to a violent ethnic or religious minority, if that minority is able to provoke a violent government response and secure a “humanitarian” intervention from abroad, would put in question the borders of some two-dozen states.

By accepting at face value the standard claim of “genocide” by, say, Tamils, Chechens, Palestinians, Kurds, Kashmiris, etc., the “International Community” will create endless problems for itself.  Furthermore, the theory that parts of a state’s sovereign territory should belong to a “repressed” ethnic or religious minority with a localized plurality would also be an argument for the extension of “Aztlan” or La Repubblica del Norte to the San Francisco Bay Area, Denver, and Dallas.

Several E.U. members (Spain, Slovakia, Rumania, Greece, Cyprus, Malta) will not toe the line.  Israel is understandably apprehensive of the precedent of outside countries imposing a solution to an intractable political and territorial quarrel, even if one of the parties rejects the proposed solution as contrary to her vital national interests.

On balance, a U.S.-sponsored Republic of “Kosova” is likely to be as stillborn legally as it is already collapsed economically, socially, and morally.  We are facing yet another Balkan drama of mainly American making that promises to be highly destabilizing for the region, detrimental to European security, and incomprehensible to at least half the world.  State Department bureaucrats still claim that Kosovo would not set a precedent, but their words cannot change reality.  The “frozen conflicts” in the former Soviet Union may be defrosted instantly, and the best Kosovo could hope for is to become a frozen conflict itself.

Why are U.S. policymakers so hell-bent on doing the wrong thing?  Are they seriously hoping that they can curry favor in the Islamic world by being generous to Bosnia’s Muslims or Kosovo’s Albanians?  Such a notion betrays an incredible naiveté about the jihadist mind-set, which has never been impressed by concessions, as our relations with Osama bin Laden have shown over the years.  Don’t they see that a victory in Kosovo would merely stimulate the jihadists’ demand for further concessions elsewhere?

Only a week after September 11, the Washington Times reported that the hijackers were “connected to [an] Albanian terrorist cell”:

Albania is one of several places U.S. intelligence agencies are focusing their resources . . . Islamic radicals, including supporters of bin Laden, have been supporting Albanian rebels fighting in the region, including members of the Kosovo Liberation Army . . . KLA members have been trained at bin Laden training camps in Afghanistan . . . As of last year [2000], the group operated a residence in Tirana, and the CIA has been pressing Albania’s government to expel all associates of the Islamic terrorists.

Two months later, we learned of “Al Qaeda’s Balkan Links” (in the European edition of the Wall Street Journal), and, in March 2002, Conrad Black’s National Post ran a piece entitled “U.S. Supported al-Qaeda Cells during Balkan Wars, Fought Serbian Troops”:

Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist network has been active in the Balkans for years, most recently helping Kosovo rebels battle for independence from Serbia with the financial and military backing of the United States and NATO . . . In the years immediately before the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the al-Qaeda militants moved into Kosovo . . . to help ethnic Albanian extremists of the KLA mount their terrorist campaign against Serb targets in the region.

Why, then, are so many Western leaders on both sides of the Atlantic so persistent in supporting an illegal, immoral, and self-defeating act that will create a new base for jihadism?  The real answer is that they hate the Serbs, and they hate the Serbs because they hate their own past.

Soon, the reliquiae reliquiarum of the Serbs’ demographically exhausted state will comprise only those lands on which nobody else can establish any kind of claim.  The West is demanding that they accept and absorb postmodern cultural matrices to prove that they are fit to be integrated, politically and economically, into “Europe”—which is constantly used as misleading shorthand for the European Union.

The upholders of postmodernia see the continued existence of a distinctly Serbian cultural space as an unpardonable anachronism and a potential threat to those lands (Germany, Sweden, and Holland, for instance) where the grand Gleichschaltung has been completed.  No defiant village that remembers old songs and myths, that remembers ancestors and celebrates old battles, is allowed to remain in the shadow of the Euro-legions.

In the meantime, the old E.U. “core” is rapidly morphing into a cultural wasteland in which historical amnesia and aesthetic relativism are promoted to the detriment of creativity: There is no French writer worth reading today, no Dutch painter worth sponsoring, no German composer worth hearing.  If the process is so far advanced in those countries that used to define “the West” or “Europe,” the promoters of the Frankfurtian Long March rightly hope that Serbia, too, will relent and replace her obsolete and dangerous mythical consciousness with a new, global one.  They claim that only by discarding the burden of their mythologized history, and the illusion that they are in any way special—except, perhaps, in the magnitude of their crimes—can the Serbs become “normal” and cease to be a threat to themselves and others.

Blissfully unaware of the cultural tectonic shift that has taken place in “the West,” many Serbian political leaders, analysts, and institutions keep invoking old-fashioned arguments in support of their position that Kosovo ought to remain part of Serbia.  They point out that Kosovo was the heartland of the Serbian medieval state; that it contains many priceless monuments of Christian art and architecture, which define Serbia’s contribution to the common European heritage; and that, as “Serbia’s Jerusalem,” Kosovo must not fall to the insurgent jihad.  The Serbs imagine that they are talking to the Westerners of another era, the era that produced De Gaulle and Mitterand, Adenauer and Schmidt, Rebecca West and Alfred Sherman—and others born in the quarter-century before 1920, with whom such arguments could be reasonably expected to resonate.  The problem is that they are dead and have been replaced by a new breed of Westerner, who is distinguished from his predecessor by his rejection of the value and importance of the historical, cultural, spiritual, and civilizational legacy of our common civilization.

Those who argue that they should be entitled to keep a land because they have a centuries-long historical bond to it, because their ancestors had built lovely Christian churches on it, because its heritage underpins their moral code and spirituality based on Christian martyrdom, and because they are defending themselves against an aggressive and resurgent Islam . . . to this new Western mind-set, anyone who makes those arguments is unconsciously arguing in favor of having that territory taken away.

The Serbs’ arguments—especially when presented eloquently and logically—only prove that Kosovo must be detached from Serbia permanently.  Whatever is said to support Serbia’s historical, cultural, spiritual, and civilizational right to Kosovo is received among the Western elite class as yet further proof why Kosovo must be given to the Albanians, who, by virtue of being overwhelmingly Muslim (of the “moderate” variety), are perceived as perfectly natural allies of the Western elite class.

The U.S. and E.U. policies toward Kosovo, Bosnia, Chechnya, Cyprus, and other hot spots where Islam confronts traditionally Christian communities are not the only display of Western self-hatred and Islamophilia: The pathology is evident in their own countries—or, to be more precise, in the countries over which they rule but to which they no longer feel any natural bond of kinship and obligation.  Europe’s multilateralists and Washington’s neoconservatives share the same distaste for traditional, naturally evolving societies and cultures.  Divisions between them arise only with regard to the best means of accomplishing their common goal.

Serbia must not give up Kosovo.  By doing so, she would encourage the spirit that seeks the death of Europe and its surrender to the regional totalitarianism of Brussels today, and the global totalitarianism of Muhammad’s successors tomorrow.  Not for the first time, the Serbs are fighting a fight in Kosovo that is not theirs alone.