Back to the Future: U.S. Negotiates With War Advocates and Criminals of Old – By Doug Bandow (American Spectator) / June 28 2020
But at least the Trump Administration is not treating Serbia in the ugly way its predecessors (and NATO) went out of their way to do.
The last couple of weeks brought momentous news from the Balkans. The Serb politician who began his career as chief propagandist to Yugoslavia’s authoritarian leader throughout the Balkan wars enjoyed a big election victory. The Kosovo politician who served as one of the top insurgent commanders who helped win that nation’s independence was indicted for war crimes. The Trump administration’s effort to bring them together to resolve their nations’ differences collapsed.
At the president’s behest, his jack-of-all-trades aide Richard Grenell had hoped to clinch a stunning peace deal by inviting Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovar President Hashim Thaci to meet at the White House last Saturday. But Grenell was embarrassed and frustrated. In contrast, the Europeans could barely suppress their glee after Grenell left them on the sidelines.
Indeed, for years successive Serbian governments found a dramatic way to ensure that memories of the West’s perfidy when Serbia was attacked by NATO would not disappear.
Kosovo is one of many international issues dominated by ethnically-based interest groups. In 1998 and 1999 Albanian-Americans organized to push Washington to support the burgeoning insurgency in Kosovo, an autonomous territory within Serbia. The U.S. had no reason to get involved, since the bloody consequences were limited though tragic and had no meaningful security consequences for America.