Kosovo Research Papers
Kosovo has a rich and long history of turmoil. You can have help writing your research papers on Kosovo from Paper Masters and our expert history writers.
Western and American public opinion on the appropriateness of the Kosovo crisis and NATO intervention in the region was based largely on the information that was mediated through the international news media. This filtering of data had several reasons.
- First, as mentioned previously, the large physical distance between the actual conflict and most Westerners necessitated the intervention of a third party to transit reports from the region.
- In addition, the involvement of military forces meant that much of the information about what actually transpired in terms of airstrikes, raids, and troop movements was closely guarded by both the Serbians and NATO.
Although these factors both present understandable obstacles to the dissemination of information in the context of war-like situations, another factor that played a significant role in the information that was dispersed through Western was the rhetoric of genocide and “ethnic cleansing”.” Although many analysts assert that it was the vigilante activity of the ethnic Albanian KLA that precipitated the crackdown by Milosevic in 1999, the Western news media seemed determined to cast the story in the same mode that it had followed during the conflicts in Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the early 1990s, namely, one that attributed genocidal motivation to Milosevic and painted his targets as wholly innocent victims of racism.
The conflict in Kosovo, however, did not neatly conform to this template. Despite this, news stories about the conflict largely conformed to this pattern. The American news media seemed much more prone to ignoring or failing to report information that contrasted with this model. To the contrary, the European press proved to be far more willing to relay stories that did not support the “ethnic cleansing” theory.
The 1989 break-up of the Soviet Union caused a vacuum in Eastern and Central European politics. To this point, international relations were bipolar in nature, with the Western democracies and Soviet bloc serving as the world’s superpowers. The Soviet bloc consisted of many small countries united by federation, but divided by ethnic nationalism. The strength and security of the federal union kept disunifying factors in control. When the federation failed in 1989, Eastern Europe’s smaller states were left without political and economic guidance, causing political confusion. This confusion has opened the door for mobilization of ethnic nationalism and political violence.
The current political situation in Serbia is the perfect example of such chaos. Since 1989, Slobodan Milosevic has controlled Serbia-Montenegro through the Socialist Party of Serbia. In 1990, Milosevic eliminated the constitutional framework of Kosovo, bringing the small province under Serbian control. This co-optation of Kosovo’s government allowed Milosevic to deny Kosovars the right to speak their language, run their schools, and enjoy basic freedoms of expression, association and civil rights. Extreme violations caused a major separatist movement. In 1998, the peaceful Albanian struggle for autonomy turned violence. The resulting government crackdown has pitted Milosevic’s troops against the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army. Kosovo’s people are trapped in the middle, facing homelessness, atrocity and death.
Last year, the United States addressed the violence in Kosovo through diplomatic channels and the threat of force from the NATO Alliance. In February, escalating humanitarian concerns arising from continued human rights violations and refugee crises forced NATO to push for peace talks. In Rambouillet, France, the concerned parties met to create a peace agreement. When we finished negotiating in March, the Serbian government refused to sign the agreement. The Albanian group, although the agreement did not grant them the concessions they desired, agreed to the provisions of the agreement. At the same time the Albanian group was moving toward peace, the Serbian government was launching an attack on unarmed ethnic Albanian villages. In the context of political uncertainty in Eastern Central Europe, the stable governments of the world must act to safeguard human rights and protect Europe from political chaos.
Slobodan Milosevic has embarked on a campaign of ethnic cleansing with the goal of creating a perfect Serbia, free of those with non-Serbian ethnic and cultural characteristics. His methods mimic those we recently saw in Rwanda, and earlier saw in Hitler’s Germany. Hate is spread through the media, ethnic leaders are assassinated, and Serbian troops are being ordered to massacre civilians. There is a difference in Kosovo, however. This time, we can act before Milosevic’s campaign of ethnic cleansing reaches holocaust proportions.
Human rights organizations, like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have reported that Serbian government forces are evicting people from their homes and carrying out summary executions. Albanians not executed embark on a forced exodus from the country. These refugees are not the result of the civil war; Milosevic has designed his fighting strategy to create refugees. Along the way to asylum, these refugees are being persecuted, beaten, robbed, and murdered by Serbian government forces. Such assertions are not speculation; we have seen these violent acts repeatedly brought to us by brave television journalists.