In yesterday’s Washington Times, James George Jatras looks at the unintended irony in Washington’s opposition to the expected Russian recognition of an independent Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the wake of the Bush Administration’s support for an independent Kosovo. Jatras, an advisor to AOI, asks:
If Moscow stepped over the line in its crushing military response to Mr. Saakashvili’s offensive, what do we call 78 straight days of NATO’s bombing throughout Serbia, destroying most of that country’s civilian infrastructure? If Russia is to be faulted for imperfect implementation of the Sarkozy agreement, what can be said about Washington’s violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, which ended the 1999 Kosovo war and reaffirms Serbian sovereignty in the province?
The standard reasons cited for making Serbia an exception to the rule we demand in Georgia is that NATO intervened to stop genocide of Kosovo’s Albanians and that they will never again accept being part of Serbia. But after the war actual casualties among all ethnic groups – whether by military action, atrocities committed by both Serbs and Albanians, and the toll of NATO’s bombing – proved to be far fewer than those cited in justification for the war. Compared to South Ossetia’s much smaller population, mutual accusations of genocide against South Ossetians and Georgians, respectively, are proportionally larger than those at issue in Kosovo. And are South Ossetians and Abkhazians less adamant that they will not submit to Tbilisi’s rule than Kosovo’s Albanians are with respect to Belgrade?
Read the full article on the Times site.