Europe's Nightmare: The Struggle for Kosovo

Europe's Nightmare: The Struggle for Kosovo

Europe's Nightmare: The Struggle for Kosovo

Europe's Nightmare: The Struggle for Kosovo

Synopsis

Recent bombing campaigns and peacekeeping efforts have achieved a fragile and uncertain peace in Kosovo. However, NATO will need help from both the European Union and the United Nations to create and maintain a lasting peace in the region. An expert in the affairs of the troubled region, Rezun traveled to the crisis zone to interview Kosovar refugees and foreign statesmen. He offers a sharp critique of the conflict, taking NATO and the entire Western Alliance to task and emphasizing the villainous behavior of the Milosevic regime. One cannot consider what happened in Kosovo to be an isolated affair, Rezun contends.

Excerpt

The Balkans are comfortably warm in the spring. The place I ended up in, though, was more a grim reminder of somber winter.

I came to Macedonia to conduct research. I was teaching International Humanitarian Law and Eastern Europe in Canada. War crimes were also on my agenda. There were several unhygienic refugee camps on the Macedonian border, where local Macedonian police and camp guards were quite unwelcoming. Sometimes they even abused the Kosovars who came there. The camp I visited was an utterly distressing and morbid sight. The predominantly Muslim Kosovars were surrounded by heavy rolls of barbed wire. But they were safe; they had adequate food and shelter, and legions of international relief workers were ministering to their needs. To the northeast a vista of breathtaking mountain scenery offset the dreariness. The very afternoon that I arrived I could see the pale light of a gray sky. The wind was up, and billowing clouds rose above the mountaintops in distant Kosovo. When dusk settled over the encampment, small fires were stoked all around; the air had a dank taste, full of the eerie sounds of night. The whole place felt clammy like a grave.

A straggle of women with bundles came around the bend on a route leading into the camp. The sight of them made my heart sink. There were thousands of weary people, and more and more pouring in—so many that the place looked thoroughly cluttered as well as dreadfully muddy. Behind them, at an army checkpoint, rolled a line of rickety tractors and beat-up cars, twisting forward like a serpent, groaning under their human cargoes. The wounded, the sick, and the hungry appeared bewildered. Chaos reigned everywhere. A rancid and sour smell

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