“Almost half the nations of the world refuse to recognize” means that more than half do recognize it as legitimate. As far as “not a real country”- it has a government, it administers laws, it collects taxes, and has a population that consider themselves citizens of Kosovo. In reality on the ground, it is independent. Nonrecognition, not recognition, must be considered a diplomatic fiction at this point.

The same act may be considered justified or not depending on the circumstances - if a random man is grabbed and locked into a concrete cell it would considered kidnapping, but if he had been beating his daughter with lead pipe it would be considered a just arrest. If in the scuffle, he got his arm broken and maybe an extra boot to the ribs, his complaints about police brutality should probably be looked upon with skepticism.

As it happens, a German consulate in Kyiv was hit by a Russian missile; they don’t seem to be making a decades-long grievance out of it.

This is including rather different situations under the broad heading of “changing borders.” Undoubtedly Russia’s support of Balkan states against the Ottoman Empire had Russian imperial interests in mind, yet I’ve never heard it called “imperialistic” for them to support the independence of Bulgaria, Serbia, and the rest. Kosovo is now aligned with the US, but its lack of strategic location or other contribution to US wealth or power argues that it was not from supported for selfish reasons, and its independence argues against classifying it as an imperial land grab like the Ukraine SMO.

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Mar 20·edited Mar 20Liked by Claire Berlinski

As Thomas Sowell noted, the "peculiar Western aberration to think other peoples believe as we do" applies here. Serbs in particular seem to have an enormous capacity to hate.

BBC's Panorama TV program visited a Serb sniper position overlooking Sarajevo, recording the visiting Russian poet Eduard Limonov taking up an invitation to shoot some Bosnians. Found out later they had also organized "Human Safari" parties by subscription.

Mentioning to a recent Serbian refugee family we had befriended that I had watched the naval rocket attacks on the Dubrovnik hotels live, amazed at BBC technical quality making the guide wires of the missiles visible and remembering the man walking his little dog along the seawall, was startled to hear them claim it had never happened and that the Markale market artillery massacre killing 68, was "pure Hollywood" fiction. Motivated thinking can overcome most obstacles.

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That’s Kate. She’s lost a bit of weight which is why her face, head and neck look a somewhat thinner. Depending on what type of abdominal surgery she had, there’s nothing surprising about weight loss.

I wish someone would explain to me why Clinton’s decision to bomb Serbia (including the Serbian electric grid) in order to create an independent Kosovo by force is different than Putin’s decision to bomb the infrastructure of Ukraine to append it to Russia by force. Obviously there’s a difference in degree, but is there a difference in kind?

Isn’t what’s good for the goose also good for the gander.

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The difference between invading a country and ending its independence and stopping an invasion to create independence seems evident enough. Serbia had just come off a string of ethnic cleansings-turned-civil wars, and looked to be starting something similar in Kosovo.

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Aaron, almost half the nations of the world refuse to recognize Kosovo as a legitimate country. Ukraine doesn’t recognize Kosovo. Neither does Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan.

Spain doesn’t recognize Kosovo’s independence. Neither does Portugal, Slovakia, Romania, Greece, Cyprus or Montenegro. Bosnia doesn’t either.

Mexico doesn’t recognize Kosovo. Neither does Brazil or Argentina. Israel doesn’t, India doesn’t, Sri Lanka doesn’t. Most African nations don’t either.

Kosovo is not a real country. It’s independence was cooked up by the United States and it’s Western European allies and it’s divorce from Serbia was facilitated by a NATO bombing campaign that employed tactics remarkably similar to the tactics Putin used in Ukraine.

Putin bombed Ukraine’s electric grid. NATO did that in Serbia. Putin targets civilians and civilian infrastructure. The United States Air Force bombed civilian infrastructure in Serbia including pedestrian bridges in Belgrade. As far as I know, Putin hasn’t targeted any foreign embassies in Kiev. The United States bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade; it may or may not have been an accident.

Imperialism is imperialism whether it’s practiced by NATO or by Russia. With the attack on Serbia, the United States and it NATO allies changed the borders of Europe because they wanted to and they could. Similarly Putin wanted to change the borders of Europe by essentially annexing Ukraine. He believed he could.

It looks like he might have been right.

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I also can't figure out the Kate thing. I have had three emergency laparoscopic surgeries in the last 10 years. Each was a recovery of about 6 weeks. Depending on the reason for the surgery it wouldn't be surprising that she would be out of the public eye. It's not an easy thing to recover from. But it's not like she is next in line to the throne and her health is a threat to the monarchial lineage. It wouldn't be a global story if it were anywhere else - but it's the UK and Fleet Street must know!!!

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Mar 19Liked by Claire Berlinski

In North America, the latest Trump news is that he can't pay the almost half-billion-dollar bond that he would have to pay, in order to appeal the Trump Organization's real-estate financial-fraud conviction.

So one interpretation is that Kushner is in Belgrade, trying to chase up lines of credit from a Russian proxy, so that the bond can be paid. Another interpretation is that it's quite unrelated, but this is being reported now, in order to create the impression that the Trump clan are seeking Russian help in their hour of need.

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Mar 19Liked by Claire Berlinski

Hi Claire - Bosnia holds a special place for me. My husband's best friend was in the Bosnian Army during the conflict in the '90s and rose quickly through the ranks once NATO became involved due to his proficiency in English. We've spent time in his hometown of Mostar and seen some of the damage that still remains. It's such a beautiful country and we felt so welcomed by his family. I have been following some of this news and also the recent commencement of talks as a precursor to joining the EU. Given what an arduous process that is, I am very nervous they will not make it before something breaks out.

What on earth is it going to take for the Western world to wake p and truly see the impact Putin is having on places fare and wide??? This was another interesting article I got from This Week In Africa: https://africasacountry.com/2024/03/wagners-war-on-civillians

Prigozhin might be dead but Wagner is far from it.

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