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Kosovo & the population imbalance
By Ioannis Michaletos | Blog
March 16, 2008
In a recent article in this column the importance of the Kosovo precedent was discussed, from the point view of the international law as it has been exercised for the past generations. Certainly the new situation arising from the unilateral Kosovo declaration of independence shapes a new reality that will have multitude and mostly negative consequences for countless nations across the globe. It is important also to illuminate around the existence of the Kosovo issue as a demographic one, shaped by the expansion of one group of people (Albanian Muslims) versus the other one (Serbian Christians). Moreover the existence of facts on the ground as resulting from the population growth of the former, signify a real precedent for other regions in the world.
In 1913 when Kosovo & Metojia became a part of the Serbian state the population of Christians exceeded 50% , whilst the Albanians counted around 350,000 souls, approximately 40%, the rest being occupied by Roma, Bosniaks, Turks and people of mixed origin. A generation later in 1948, after WW2 that resulted in the killings of 20,000 Serbs and the expulsion of some other 150,000 by the Nazi Albanian collaborators, the balance tilted in favor of the Albanians. On top of that, the Tito administration willingly opened up the border up to 1949 and accepted 150,000 illegal immigrants in order to deliberately change the population makeup of the province as a counter-measure against the Serbs. Tito’s motto was “For a strong Yugoslavia we need a weak Serbia”.
Thus, in 1961 the Albanians numbered 650,000 people, and the analogy was 65% Albanians, 28% Serbians. From that period onwards a dramatic –And basically unexplained- population expansion derived from the Albanian community. In the mid-60’s the Albanian population had a 6.5 children per woman ratio, whilst the Serbians around 2.5. Although the second number is enough to replace the previous generation, it was much less and that resulted in a virtual takeover of the land by the Albanians. In 1981 just after Tito’s death and the start of the first rebellions in Pristina, the Albanians numbered 1.2 million, a 100% increase in less than 20 years. The pressure exercised by them against the Serbian farmers that took the form of homicides, arsons, rapes and vandalism obliged to an exodus a considerable part of the Christian populous.
Nowadays the Albanian population is estimated at around 1.8 million people, and one has to consider that a part of the population immigrated to Western Europe and Northern America during the past 15 years. In short the demographic imbalances altered the established order and of course the international intervention took advantage of this fact by initiating a round of land take over from the Serbian state. The message that a neutral observer can get is the following: Population imbalances endanger national sovereignty therefore measures have to be taken to ensure that the Kosovo precedent does not apply to them.
In simple terms no prudent government would let its minority citizens reproduce to a pace that will ultimately lead them to declare themselves independent, or even worse form a state that will constitute a real threat against them. The intervention in Kosovo instead of making a positive contribution to the world stage will certainly raise the above issue and result to future minority massacres, forced abortions and ethnic cleansing of a grand scale. For the policy-makers who conduct their profession based in a pragmatic approaches of every day life it is a notion perfectly understandable. Unfortunately modern day diplomacy seems to be hijacked to an extent, by radical elements that lead each and every nation towards a new age of barbarity.
In Kosovo the 1,500 Churches, Monasteries and pilgrimages constitute one of the “Holy places” of Eastern Orthodox Christendom on par with Mount Athos, Meteora, Constantinople (Hagia Sophia), Alexandria, Jerusalem, Ohrid and Mystras and other important regions. A 350 million strong Eastern Orthodox population is being subject to a humiliation of historical proportions, similar to that of the Ottoman conquest with two major differences: The Turks were far more tolerant and respectful towards the Christians than the modern-day Albanians and secondly the role of the West has been a total disappointment, to say the least.
The rest 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, Protestants and the Jewish communities are also negatively affected judging by the demise of their numbers in the world stage and the re-emergence of two cultural and social giants; the Arabic-Muslim one and the Confucian-Chinese one. Of course there are quite a few analysts that do not conform to the notion that the world was, is and will be divided in ethnic-cultural zones on which religion often plays a decisive role. It seems the everyday news and special broadcasts from the Middle East, Africa or East London- (-istan) haven’t still grasped their attention. Human history is a spiral never-ending procedure. On that basis everything is possible and nothing can be excluded in the end of the day.
Since 13/06/1999, 350,000 Serbians, Roma, Gorani and other were forced to flee from Kosovo. It was a flight of survival, considering the 1,500 homicides against Serbs in the coming months, up to early 2000. Around 80 UNESCO “protected” Christian monuments were blown up by the Albanians in front of the eyes of 40,000 KFOR personnel. It has to be stressed once more that even during the days of the Ottoman Empire and the numerous battles in the eparchy, nowhere close did the destruction of shrines came that close. This constitutes another issue having to do with the psycho-synthesis of the nationality that committed these acts and has a specific modus opperandi from the medieval ages and onwards. Another 1,300 Serbs were killed up to 2003, 80,000 houses and estates were grabbed by the Albanians along with 20,000 automobiles and 15,000 shops, barns and commercial property. Some other 30,000 houses were burned to the ground in well-organized arson a campaigns another method regularly exercised by Kosovo-Albanians over the 20th century. It is also interesting to point out the situation in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. Until 1999, Serbians constituted some 20% of the population. Nowadays there is a mere 0.1% having being entirely wiped out. The declaration of Kosovo’s independence as a multicultural state-Without minorities- is one of the worst public relation campaigns that someone would advise the Albanian leaders in Kosovo. Certainly it is something that only certain State Dept. officials could explain.
In 2004 the last phase of the most recent genocide in a European soil (By Muslims against Christians) took place. In a space of 2 days, 27 Churches were burned to the ground, 7 Serbian villages, 40 people dead, 1,000 wounded and 4,000 refugees on their way to Serbia. The 17th of March 2004 constitutes a stigma for the United Nations and marks the imposition of the will of the fanatics that control Kosovo.
A state that is much interested in the Kosovo precedent and history is Israel. Up to 1987, Tel-Aviv controlled the situation in the West Bank and Gaza, having being victorious in five consecutive wars against its Arab neighbors. The start of the first Indifada, the population explosion of the Muslim Arabs, the dramatic appearance of international Jihad, and the relative decline of the Western (European) support to Israel poses a strategic-survival dilemma to the Israeli policy makers:
Should they try to push towards a conciliation approach towards the Palestinians and decide for a low key strategy against them, or to oppose all calls for bargain and form a strategy of a total war. That was the same dilemma the Serbians reached in the early ‘90’s. The firstly used the tactic number one and it failed. The second option was barely begun to be implemented in late 1998 and would have yielded total success bar the NATO air campaign in 1999. Note however the Kosovo is a province of the Serbian state therefore in contrast with the Israelis the Serbians are not in fear of “Being driven to the sea”. One certain conclusion is that countries such as Israel will invest considerable intellectual capacity in making concrete analysis based on Kosovo’s recent history.
The present day situation in Kosovo will lead ultimately to a division between the Serbian-controlled North and the rest of the province. That means that the multiethnic concept is dead and a new Christian-Muslim division line will be established. The only hope for the region is the assistance of the EU in creating the necessary conditions for an overall security framework for the Western Balkans. It is a gigantic task that has to face the USA-Russian antagonism, the internal EU differences, moves towards a “Great Albania”, the widespread poverty & corruption, and the presence of active Islamic groups. If there was a bet most would choose the option for another conflict in these lands. The Kosovo issue will soon become another frozen conflict that will erupt from time to time in accordance to the local geopolitical balances, the demographic shifts and the various economic interests. What will remain though is that Kosovo marks the first definite victory of the European Islam since the occupation of Crete by the Ottomans in 1669. The difference was that then all the major European powers fought in unity.
NOTE: The role of religion is often omitted by many analyses on the issues of regional conflicts. By itself any religion cannot ignite a war, but one has to take into account that any religion is simply the outer appearance of a whole system of beliefs, norms and mentalities of particular groups of people that have been molded by historical events and have constructed collective archetypes and cultural icons. The mistakes made by Western policy makers will come to haunt sooner than latter, even if they aren’t aware of the stakes involved in the first place.
1) Link to images depicting destroyed Churches in Kosovo:
2) RADIO FREE EUROPE Research, RAD Background Report/186
3) Counter Punch Magazine, March 4, 2008.
4) The Hamilton Spectator, February 25, 2008
5) Arutz Sheva -Israel National News.com-, February 25 2008
6) University of California, Berkeley-Departments of Anthropology and
7) Videos of cultural genocide in Kosovo
8) Excerpts from “Albanian Nazi troops in WW2 Launched a Wide Spread
Terror Against Kosovo Serbs”