Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Galvanic twitches

It would be nice if the different ethnic groups in Kosovo could all get along and focus on creating a new nation which everyone can feel at home in - but there are signs this may not happen easily (1).

It would be a disaster if the new country became an Albanian Muslim only country. Both groups have spilled plenty of blood down the centuries and should recognise that the name Kosovo belongs to both Serb and Muslim. A shared history - even an antagonistic one - can be the start of a new understanding and respect.

It takes a humanitarian (in the broadest sense) and socialistic view point to look beyond national, religious and ethnic prejudices. It took the people of Europe hundreds of years to come to the realisation that killing each other in the name of their monarchs, Gods and what-have-you was a stupid idea.

I desperately hope the Kosovars - of whatever ethnic stripe - sort it out. To borrow from William Golding again,

If humanity has a future on this planet of a hundred million years, it is unthinkable that it should spend these aeons in a ferment of national self-satisfaction and chauvanistic idiocies. (2)

Until the Kosovars can work out a way to live in peace together, we're all trapped in their miserable history of revenge and chauvanistic idiocy. To paraphraseJFK, "Ich bin ein Kosovar."
1 - 'Serbs attack Kosovo border crossings as tensions mount,' unattributed Agence France-Presse article, 20th of February, 2008. (
2 - Golding, discussing Lord of The Flies, in an essay called 'Fable,' contained in the collection The Hot Gates.

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