More on Kosovo

The regions of the conservative blogosphere that I frequent have made much ado about the declaration of independence in Pristina Sunday. James at Postmodern Conservative, as I, supports the move; Daniel Larison of and Pat Buchanan, writing on the Chronicles blog, stand opposed.

I’ve made a case, weak as it be, in favor Kosovar secession previously. Having encountered in the combox of Larison’s blog refutations to my assertions from him and other readers, I thought that perhaps I might briefly, and not too deeply (I love Wikipedia, but will not bet the farm on it, so to speak.), brush up on my history of Kosovo.

In my first post, I expressed my sympathy for the Serbs, in and out of Kosovo, who look to Kosovo as a homeland. The history, however, of the Serbs, as with most modern nationalities/ethnic groups, far from indefinite, is quite traceable: Slavs (“true” Slavs and those indigenous peoples whom they encountered and with whom they intermarried) split into, roughly delineated, Eastern, Western, and Southern Slavs. Each, then, further split up, and further interbred, leading to our Russians, Czechs, Serbs, et cetera.

Long before the Slavic peoples descended upon the Balkans, Thracians, Illyrians (who, I must note, are considered to be the likely predecessors, linguistically and culturally, if not ethnically, as well, of the later-Islamicized Albanian people), and others (both Indo-European-speaking, as were the aforementioned peoples, and indigenous earlier Europeans) inhabited the area. Kosovo, then called Dardania, was home to the Illyrian Dardani.

In time, as Germanic barbarians routed the continent and Slavs finally migrated to the peninsula, present-day Kosovo became a center for preserving this culture and heritage. Only in the twelfth century, after Slavicized Bulgars and Byzantines had dominated the are, came the Serbian people to conquer Kosovo.

History is often more complex than the victors (in this case, the Serbs) make it out to be. The Serbian cultural concerns are not without merit; nor, perhaps, are the political fears of the Serbian minority within the newly established republic’s boundaries. However, ultimately, Kosovo, is an Illyrian — an Albanian — land, and, I believe, ought to be ruled as such.


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