Later today, Kosovar leaders likely will declare independence for the “poor, mostly Muslim but feverishly pro-Western” state tucked in a southwestern part of the former Yugoslavia, opposition from Moscow, Belgrade, and the Kosovo Serb minority notwithstanding.
The complaint of Serbs, on both sides of the Serbia-Kosovo border, is not without merit: The tiny province contains numerous monuments sacred to the Serbs and is considered to be “the heart of their ancestral homeland.” Russian opposition, however, I cannot so easily suffer. Neo-Soviet imperialists fear a “dangerous precedent for secessionist groups worldwide.”
And what, I ask, is so bad about that? Have not a people, culturally, ethnically, or otherwise differently constituted from their sovereigns, and fully desiring self-rule, the right to have just that? Is this not particularly so in Neo-Soviet Russia, where hundreds of ethnic groups, victims of the conquests of the tsars and Communists, enjoy only dependent government of their own, local authority submissive to the Kremlin? Colonialism occurs next door just as easily as five thousand miles away, and though not all fruits of such endeavors are unworthy of praise, mankind ought by now wholly to have recognized the general unsavoriness of such foreign policy (though at times, so things seem, the current administration of the United States and those who “advise” and otherwise manipulate it have no cognizance of such truths) and to urge its cessation, whether in Chechnya, Scotland (as some Scots, Mr Connery amongst them, so seek), or Kosovo.
The Vermont people might be on to something, too, though Vermont-born Orestes Brownson has left me questioning my heretofore held belief that States might possess Constitutionally the right to secede.