what do you think about kosovo? and tibet?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by pedro1974, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. BMoody

    BMoody Well-Known Member

    Worried Man- I wrote that the girl's willingness to fight for Serbia at so young was "scary stuff" because it showed how easily war could begin again. I did not mean to say that the war would be right or wrong. If my country were split apart by a larger power, I would go to war if need be too.

    I guess I was just pointing out how much everyone cares there. It is good that they care about their country. It just means there maybe more war... thus it is "scary," but not necissarily wrong.
  2. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    I'm not an international lawyer, so I apologize if I don't know the strict "official" definition. Aggression in the abstract sense is a tendency toward violence, and does not have to be inherently defined by political borders. In that sense, I'll defend my use of words in this instance. Note, I'm not trying to say that the Albanians were not aggressive.

    OK, I misspoke again. Rather, I should have said that the potential for mass loss of life was greater on the Albanian side, and so to try to maintain the status quo, as you put it, it was necessary to intervene, specifically to separate the Serbian military from the Albanians during those times of escalated aggression on both sides.

    Thanks for the correction.

    I agree with this to a point, and in this case as well; however, there is a danger in this line of thinking that may lead to a "possession-is-9/10's-of-the-law" type of thinking. Specifically, how long does a country need to possess a territory, for their ownership to be justified by the status quo? A year, 10, 100?

    Another story altogether, of course, but the topic of debate had centered around these two nationalities.

    In this case, I meant "feasible" in the sense of "morally acceptable," rather than "logistically possible." The relocation of Germans from the Sudetenland also differed from the situation in Kosovo, in the sense that many, perhaps most, of the ethnic Germans had only recently moved (a few years prior to their forced expulsion) to the Sudetenland, and therefore their claim to the land was only as recent conquerors (which goes against the status-quo, possession-is-9/10's-of-the-law mentality). Of course, the blanket removal of Germans from the Sudetenland expelled many German families whose families had lived there for generations, and this I can not justify.

    Exactly my point! So when one side or the other doesn't respect this principle, then should the rest of the world stand by and merely watch, or else try to do something to stop it?

  3. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    OK, I could respect your vague usage of the word in informal matters, but I can respect no legal claim based on it.

    (BTW, aggression is rather the act of violence, isn't? The right word for the tendency, as I feel it, should be aggressivity or aggressivness.)

    I can accept that the separation of the hostile sides could start by pacification of the most strongest side. It's a natural solution from the technical point of view. But I can not accept it as a complete solution. And it is absolutely unacceptable to base a punishment of the one particular side on it.

    The immorality of a situation is not an a priori reason for intervention (the Tibet is an excellent example of it). You have to consider the morality of the intervention itself. Even in the moral matters, it is reasonable to think in terms of costs and benefits. And the way, in which the intervention affects the responsibilities of the intervening forces, is not of less importance.

    The NATO started the intervention by crushing the Serbian army - that's fine, but in such a case the NATO has to take over the full responsibility for protection of the civilians in Kosovo. And the intervention has to continue by pacification of the other sides. NATO failed in this aspect which calls the whole intervention in question.

    Yes, what is done can't be undone, today is to late to meditate on the morality of the intervention, but it is not to late to question the morality of the recent policies. I don't think it is moral to ignore the Serbians and to appease the Albanians.

  4. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    I'm not interested in legal claims in this respect--legality is a sticky subject when dealing with international issues--I'm interested only with the moral claim.

    Aggression can mean either an act or the tendency or behavior, whereas aggressiveness refers only to the tendency or behavioral characteristic.

    I agree with this completely!

    Although even recognition of a country is a sticky subject, because often one nation with recognize a new country, whereas another will not. Is this a case where the majority rules, i.e. the majority of countries either recognizing or refusing to recognize a new nation establishes moral and/or legal right to land? I'm not sure if the issue is clear--it's definitely not black-and-white.

    I agree.

    Hmm... I knew that there was a long-term German presence there, but was not aware that there was so little immigration after pre-WWI annexation. I know a German family who settled near Ostrava after annexation of the Sudetenland and later expelled. I was under the impression that German settling there was significant in those years. My mistake.

    New perhaps relatively speaking, since according to Wikipedia, "By the mid-19th century, the Albanians had become an absolute majority in Kosovo." And no, by "conquerors" I was referring specifically to the redrawing of political, not ethnic boundaries. The question might be ambiguous of whether inherent moral right to land should be derived from ethnic or political boundaries, present or past.

    True. In my opinion, the U.S.'s and other's recognition of Kosovo can be traced in large part to a desire to reconcile with Muslims worldwide, so as not to appear to be anti-Islamic in world politics. Of course, Americans often side with the underdog, so this is of course a contributor here as well.

    By the way, how exactly was loyalty to Czechoslovakia attested? Surely there could not have been formal hearings for the 2.5 million Germans expelled after WWII.
  5. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    International law is consensual, the majority doesn’t matter. Only the mutual recognition of all concerned sovereign sides does matter.

    The United States recognized Mexico and Mexico recognized the United States. This makes any war of conquest between Mexico and the United States illegal under international law. The recognition by other states doesn’t matter here.

    The United States recognized Serbia and Kosovo as its integral part, but now the United States recognizes also Kosovo as an independent state. This is not problem of Serbia, it’s problem of the United States. Recognition is a form of deal and you can not cancel one deal by making a contradictory deal with somebody else. Of course, all deals could be canceled, but you need some legal reason for an unilateral canceling of the deal. In the case of Kosovo, I miss the base for disrecognition of Serbia. (In this paragraph you can replace the United States with the Czech Republic, if you want. :wink:)

    Pre-WWII annexation.

    Yes, my mistake. I don’t mean the absolute majority, just the biggest influx of Albanians attributable to one single event (as long as the WWII could be considered to be one event :wink:).

    I think it could be traced to the British and American switching sides in WWII Yugoslavia. Since this single event the Serbians were always the “bad guys” for the West.

    That was the main reason for the expulsion, to prevent the trials with the millions of Germans.

    Hmm, the loyalty? I wish I could hold my tongue (fingers) :twisted: :wink:. Not for some sheepishness to speak about it openly, just for the complexity of the problem. It can not be fully described in few words. And as a physicist you surely know that every complex problem has its real and imaginary part, right :twisted:? There was chaos afterwars.

    The basic criterium was paradoxically the nationality! It is strange, isn’t? But consider it was quite easy to switch the nationality for the Central Europeans and that it was formally declared during the WWII.

    By the 1945 standards, there was not clear distinction between nationality and state citizenship, but still it was not the same. Thus the citizenship was the other important criterium. All the Germans (and not only they) faced this hang-choice – either to accept the citizenship of the Third Reich (which was treason, a capital crime, under Czechoslovakian law), or to accept the citizenship of Czechoslovakia (which was treason for the Nazis), or to accept the Protektorat citizenship (which was, especially for the Germans, the shortest way to be marked as anti-Nazis and to get into troubles). An unfair choice, I know. But it was not set this way by Czechoslovakia.

    And finally, it was possible to dispute (or confirm) the supposed disloyalty by testimonies of other persons, or on the basis of any evidence of resistance to the Nazis.
  6. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    I have been to Kosovo recently, all I can say it is nice booming country, where I felt safe, you would have never guess the nice city around you is Prishtina if there were no soldiers. I only met friendly people willing to help, no tourist scams so far, low prices, good transport system. There is brand new bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica, opened three weeks ago from now, some five days before I were there, for pedestrians only, with a sign "let this bridge is a link between people" or something like that - with no guards, unlike the famous bridge with patrolling French soldiers.

    This is what I have seen, no political propaganda. Should you have any questions about how it look like in Kosovo, ask me here, I can write more about my trip.
  7. Fitore

    Fitore New Member

    Oh come on , you think Kosovo is a fake state ? It's not like that . You gotta learn more about history . Kosovo is Albanian , and Albanian's origin is from Ancient Illyrians,who were the first in Balkan territory.And you still think that Kosovo is Serbia , right ? It's not . If you want to come from Serbia to Kosovo,you need a passport . :)
  8. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    I do honestly think europe should be more about swallowing down personal/national pride (in political sense, not cultural and so), get over the past and create multicultural space where no passports, stams, visas and borders what so ever are needed.

    There is a lot of nations who used to have problems with each other in past (Slovakia-Hungary, France-England, Germany-everyone, ...) but now there are virtualy no borders and people can live together (most of them) without problems. The same is possible in balcan region, not only Kosovo-Serbia.
  9. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    I think the opposite. Good and stable borders make good friends. Disrespect to the old borders leads to escalation of violence.

    Well established borders are not to the detriment of harmony between people — on the contrary, it helps to find a modus vivendi from all conflicts of interest. Border is not an iron curtain which limits the free movement, it’s only a clear divide of responsibility. Just think of the situation between Czechs and Slovaks, we have virtually no border disputes, and no sane Czech or Slovak would ever mind the necessity to use visa or passport on the Czech-Slovak border. Only guilty conscience leads to the chauvinistic Schadenfreude like in the Albanian post above.
  10. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Czechs and Slovaks have no border disputes and are "good friends" in no small part because they have no history of violence one toward another, not to mention similar culture/ancestry/ethnicity. So, no offense, but your example seems weak in this context. If you'd cited France and Germany, on the other hand ...

    I do agree with the statement about disrespect toward borders escalating violence; however, whether stable borders (I'm not sure what exactly makes a "good" border) foster friendship is open to debate. As a counterexample: borders between democratic western Europe and the Eastern Bloc were stable for over 40 years, but this didn't foster much in the way of friendship--although perhaps one might argue that these boundaries were not "good." :wink:
  11. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    The recent period of non-violence between Czechs and Slovaks is only a short episode in comparison with the millenium of no border disputes. There was a lot of fighting between Czechs and Slovaks (as loyal subjects of the King of Hungary or of the Sultan of Ottoman Empire, or as soldiers of fortune in the invading armies from Asia), many religous conflicts, and even more dynastic conflicts, but the most recent border dispute I’m aware of dates back to the Boleslav’s reconquest of Moravia, that is to the 10th century. The border seems to be settled since the Battle of Lechfeld (August 10th, 955) which most likely ended the Boleslav’s campaign in Moravia.

    The history of French-German relations is notorious for violent border disputes.

    From historical perspective, the recent calm between Germans and French is an exception, and so was, on the other hand, the border dispute between Czechs and Germans under Hitler.

    Instability of borders is one of the most common sources of violence between nations, of course it is not the only one. I think it is one of the most persistent ones. People relatively quickly forget of dynastic or religious conflicts, but the border conflics persist for long time and they also tend to bring the other conflicts back in life.

    The Iron Curtain (except of in Berlin) copied the old historical borders which exist even now twenty years after the end of the Cold War. These borders have nothing to do with the Cold War itself.
  12. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Interesting discussion
    We have a saying....Good fences make good neighbors.....
    Dobré ploty ze sousedúm dělají dobré přátely.....anebo něco takového.
  13. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    The model for my good borders make good friends was the Czech saying dobré účty dělají dobré přátele (good accounts make good friends), but your English saying with fences is much more fitting.
  14. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure how "loyal" Czech and (especially) Slovak subjects were to their respective monarchs--rather they had little to no choice in the matter of fighting for king and country. I doubt that loyalty or love for the crown in most instances was a huge motivating factor. As mercenaries for hire, ... possible, but such participation of mercenaries in foreign wars tend not to cause the same political tension as the direct involvement of a people/country/ethnicity as a whole.

    I'm not sure how much of a role Slovaks played in any religious conflict directed against the Czechs (e.g. during the Hussite Wars) or vice-verca--it sure is difficult to find mention of such online. Maybe I'm wrong, and just can't readily find such mention, but given that it's not easy to find, I'm assuming that such is not given much importance from a historical perspective.

    My point is that likely there have been no border disputes in the past 1000 years between Czechs and Slovaks, because they have largely not fought each other in the past 1000 years, except perhaps as pawns of other ruling powers.

    I wouldn't agree with the part above I've highlighted in red. There are many Muslims who haven't forgotten the Crusades, plus, getting back to the original topic, Christians and Muslims alike in the Balkans for which religion still plays a large role in regional tensions (Worried Man mentioned this fact as well). One major reason why Serbs are so unwilling to give up claim to Kosovo is the fear that a new Islamist state might be created there, where Serb Christians might not be afforded equal freedom of religion.

    And yes, Czechs love to blame religion, particularly the Catholic Church, for the Hussite Wars, now almost 600 years gone. Granted, it's not a motivator for you to renew old wars, but you have far from forgotten or forgiven.

    Yes, that was my point--that the Cold War had nothing to do with borders; that even with stable borders, the neighboring countries were not friendly.
  15. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Mostly loyal, Czechs rebelled a few times for religious reasons, sometimes they were split between two concurrent monarchs, but in general and especially in foreign affairs Czechs were loyal to their monarchs.

    Slovaks rarely rebelled for religious reasons, at the most against some local landlord or against non-Christian conquerors. Slovaks were a few times involved in some rebellions of oligarchs and sometimes a minority part of Slovaks joined the army of the conquerors.

    Before introduction of conscription, the country folk was not forced to fight for the king at all and since the introduction the people mostly supported the king during wars. Czechs massively supported the kings in wars against the Turks, against Napoleon, against Italy or against Prussia. The only case in which the king failed to gain general support for war was the WWI.

    The folk, while not involved in fighting, was always affected by the plundering, raids etc.

    No, Slovak involvement in the Hussite wars was marginal. There were a few Hussite raids in Upper Hungary, but the Slovaks mostly joined the Hussites and faced the non-Czech Catholics (In fact, the last fighting Hussites were Slovaks). At that time Slovaks were engaged rather in the war against Turks.

    But there was a lot of dynastic disputes with religious background in which the Slovaks fought for the King of Hungary, that is for the Catholic side. It started right after the Hussite wars (the disputes between Czech Hussite King George and Matthias Corvinus of Hungary, his Catholic son-in-law) and culminated in the Thirty Years’ War.

    Some Slovaks also fought in the non-Christian invading armies (Magyars, Cumans, Mongols, Turks…).

    You have to extract it from the history of Hungary. Slovaks were not able to form a political nation before 1848 and therefore mostly figures as Hungarians in the historical books. Even the Czechs who were one of the first in Central Europe to form a political nation are often in the historigraphy, epecially the English one, incorrectly included among Austrians or Germans. (The history books say for example that Napoleon declared war on Austria, while in fact he declared war on King of Bohemia and Hungary, the so-called Austrian army consisted mostly of Czechs, Germans and Hungarians.)

    You have a point here, I was thinking primarily of conflicts between Christians and the conflicts with Muslims are different.
    But I still think that religous conflicts unrelated to border disputes are less persistent (compare with the situation in Spain, for example). The Balcans is cursed with conflicts which are both religious and border disputes, and that’s lethal combination. It is so because the Balcans was a battlefield for centuries-long positional war campaign between the Ottomans and Christians. I think that two centuries of stable borders can heal Balcans.

    In my opinion, the Serbs are more worried of the lost of territorial integrity, but fear of Islam and Islamism (that’s not the same) is present as well.

    Hussite Wars may be almost 600 years gone, but not so the Hussitism. Hussitism smoothly merged with the Protestantism and the religious conflicts between Catholics and Protestants are hardly 600 years gone.

    The Czech conflict is definitely less vivid than analogous conflict in Britain for example. Czechs are not interested in religious beliefs of their politicians, but PM’s conversion makes headlines in Britain.

    Also, a lot of the modern disputes about Hussites arise from the 19th century myth that Hussitism was an anti-German movement, and are thus unrelated to religion. It’s interesting that this myth is more persistent among Germans who likes to raise the Hussite card in disputes with Czechs.

    It is also interesting that most of the foreigners, especially Americans :D, like to link any Czech opinion with Hussitism or the life under Communism.

    I think that the main point should be that Cold War was not conflict between nations or peoples, it was conflict of democratic states with states which were mostly against the will of their respective peoples controlled by the communists.
  16. AxeZ

    AxeZ Active Member

    I must reply to this although it is bit old.
    Living there I am half czech and half serbian living in Vojvodina i witnessed the bombings and wars.
    First and foremost I would like to shed some light on the matter.
    Serbia generally started almost every war in the former Yugoslavia.
    Both Vojvodina and kosovo were territorial autonomies in Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and their autonomy was guaranteed by the constituition of 1974. In the late 80's serbia forcefully abolished those autonomies aginst the constitution. It was the trigger of all wars later on.
    After abolishment of the autonomy, albanians were kicked from their worplaces, their schools, from the whole system.
    Same thing happened in Vojvodina but it was not limited to nonserbs. Nonserbs and serbs alike lost their jobs in Vojvodina only because they were seen as unreliable element.
    The riches of Vojvodina were plundered by serbia thus financing wars that will start onlt a year or two later.
    Everything people of Vojvodina built is now destroyed, plundered, pillaged, sold to shady businessman and given as present.
    Our railroads are nonexistant, our oil industry given to russians for peanuts.....
    Serbia is completely useless, predatory, thieving excuse of a country.

    Yes, well, only after serbia abolished autonomy for kosovo and Vojvodina, started wars in SLovenia, Croatia, Bosnia...etc

    You are forgetting to tell that huge ammount of serbs left kosovo before the war after selling their homes to albanians for riddiculosly high prices.
    It really shows how much you care about kosovo

    Oh please...your friend told you what he saw at a friends friend house a video borrowed from a friend. You are very naive. Only facts please, although you are right that everyone commited attrocities.

    You mean the one serbia helped by destroying it...you know, the one, original SFRJ?

    Blah, they are all brave when in another country

    Yeah, a small country you are, so small you managed to attack and invade every other small country in the neighborhood.

    No....you only managed to trigger World War One by a terrorist attack on a crown prince of the neighboring empire.

    Really, a dog.......shame on them.
    How about a video os serb soldiers killing 16-years old boys by shooting them in the back in Srebrenica....wanna see this one. I can provide a link if you wish

    Well, you forgot to tell the audience that serbs eventually lost that battle and the right to kosovo for the next...well, 500 years.
    So kosovo was essentialy Turkey more then it was serbia by a large magnitude.
    ALso a Vojvodina was never serbia and serbia shoved its troops to Vojvodina after WWI and used bogus referendum where only 30% of the population were allowed to vote to make it "join"to serbia. After that it's all downthehill for Vojvodina which was once a developed part of the Europe until it "became" serbia. Let's face it...serbia is totally incompetent sorry excuse of a country.

    Vojvodina is NOT your land..remember...you occupied it..never was serbia. It was developed part of Europe until serbia annexed it

    What war....?? Serbia started most of the wars

    Well, I am 36 and I loved my country which serbia essentially destroyed and I love my homeland of Vojvodina which serbia is destroying as we speak.
  17. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Still a lot of animosity and hard feelings. Hard to move into the future with all that.
    Each people(the different nations) see only the real and perceived wrong doings of the others.
  18. AxeZ

    AxeZ Active Member

    You can't move into the future when you are constantly being molested, stripped of everything you earn and humiliated.
    This thievery has first to stop so we could have something to build our future width!
  19. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Axez...I did not mean to sound judgmental. I am not there, so I don't feel the emotions and passions. It was just an observation on my part.
    But maybe such a simple observation can only be made by the detached observer.
  20. AxeZ

    AxeZ Active Member

    No worries, scrimshaw.
    Let me give you an example....you take for instance USA where you live.

    Let's say for the sake of argument that Florida is one of the most developed states in the US, biggest income,production, everything and for instance there is...I don't know...mississippi which is much underdeveloped ( appologies to all mississippians, this is only for conversation sake )
    For instance, Mississipi was once one country, Florida was in another and the times has come that both states participate in sigle union...but....Mississippi wants to control everything..and thus imposes to every other state some riddiculpus taxes...some 23 of them, and whatever is made in Florida is taken away by Mississipi...all the taxes are paid to Mississippi and not Florida...all the land in Florida now belongs to Mississippi, all roads are now property of Mississippi...etc, etc....and everything that now Mississippi owns was built by good, hard working people of FLorida..

    That was the case wiith Vojvodina, that was the case with Kosovo and Serbia is Mississippi.

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