Tuesday, February 19, 2008

POLITICS: Kosovar Independence

What was once this...

...is now this...

(tried to put in the new flag of Kosovo, which is notthe Albanian dual headed black eagle on a red field, but it's not working)

Now, the rest of the world is like "WHAT" -- CNN reports here that, while China, Spain (still fighting off the Basque rebellion for an independent state), Greece, Romania, and Russia (Serbia's longtime ally) are standing with Serbia against Kosovar independence, the US, France, Germany and the UK are for it. Big surprise... the (now former) Serbian PM to the US, who was recalled by the Serbian President Boris Tadic, said the US was treating the independence as "fait accompli." I just wanted to use that term in a blog :-).

The fun thing is that two of Georgia's (country, not US state) little provinces -- Abkhazia and South Ossetia are saying they may use the move by Kosovo to declare their own independence.

This is all well and good. But I like to point out just how small these areas of the world are, but it's funny because Kosovo is one-eigth the land mass of the entire state of Serbia.

Serbia is about 88,000 km-sq, which is just under the size of the US state of Indiana (ringing in at a whopping 94,000 km-sq). One-eigth the size of the US, meanwhile are the states of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana combined. So you can see why maybe this is a problem.

However, it's so small. Connecticut is larger than Kosovo.

Though I understand and appreciate the years and years and years of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and political subjugation that the Kosovars have gone through -- for the love of jeebus. This is such a small area of the world -- same with the Irans, Israels, etc. They're just tiny. You'd think that people would be able to figure things out if it barely takes a day to travel cross country (doesn't make for much of a road trip, now does it???).

That said, good for you, Kosovo. Now, let's just watch the shit hit the fan. There are hundreds of these autonomous regions in the world -- what happens now???

LOL -- probably nothing.

Oh, and btw, geography and the history of war:

Whoever designed this was ASKING for problems. I mean, really, look at Croatia.

So I decided I wanted to go visit the new Republic of Kosovo for many of the same reasons I want to visit Prague -- that is, I have no idea, but it would be cool to tell my friends that I went to Pristina. Then they'd think I was hip or cool. So I did a little googling images of Pristina to get an idea of what historical points of interest or cityscapes would be like:

"the Church in Pristina"

don't worry, they're protecting it from Muslims

"Ottomon Architecture"

it stands the test of time!

"View from the Hotel Ora"

this from a travel page about Pristina interestingly subtitled "bring a book"

and, of course... the chamber of commerce pictures..

the Independent Commission for Mines and Minerals

it's like driving through Over-the-Rhine, turning a corner and BAM! Cincinnati City Hall and you're like WTF?

central downtown?

from possibly the most boring and useless travel article ever written on the planet ... not joking

Needless to say, my desire to go is no longer.

Final note, I found eciks: investment opportunities in kosovo, which I was fascinated existed. Much like David Letterman, they have their own Top Ten Reasons to Invest in Kosovo. "Being the center of global conflict" and "history of bloody political warfare" do not appear on the list.

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