I think its a cross between irony and poetic justice. But of all the yummy chickens-coming-home-to-roost situations that one expects, and duly gets, with regard to the Kosovo issue (the Russia/Georgia war was just one), I couldn’t have foreseen, nor asked for, something as delectable as the notion of Bill Clinton — “liberator” of Kosovo — being sent to the Middle East to make sure that his Kosovo scenario isn’t repeated with the Israelis and Palestinians. That is, to make sure that his Kosovo precedent isn’t used as a precedent. Debka File has the story:
After US Secretary of state Hillary Clinton warned Mahmoud Abbas on Oct. 31 that he was going against the wishes of president Barack Obama, the White House hauled out a heavy contingent of big American guns to make him see reason. They visit Ramallah Sunday, Nov. 15, to lean hard on him to back off his plan for a unilateral declaration of the Islamic Republic of Palestinian within 1967 or 1949 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, following the Kosovo example of 2008, according DEBKAfile’s Washington and Jerusalem sources.
Obama took advantage of the Sadan Forum’s sixth session taking place in Jerusalem Saturday to assign key participants to this mission, including former president Bill Clinton, governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, five US congressmen and several presidential advisers including Dennis Ross.
It now transpires that Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ dramatic resignation and his obstruction of peace talks by demanding that Israel first halt settlement activity were stunts behind which he and his aides have been actively lobbying world capitals to support his independence project.
Our sources disclose that the US president’s objections are shared by Cairo and Riyadh. Still, Abbas refused to heed Secretary Clinton when they met in Ramallah, or Obama in two subsequent telephone conversations. He is so fixated on his plan that even if Binyamin Netanyahu were to stop all settlement construction on the West Bank and Jerusalem, Abbas would not come round. At best, he would let the Americans force him into a meeting and then abort it.
The details of his plan are simple: Ruling out further negotiations with Israel, the Palestinian Authority will unilaterally proclaim an independent state with Jerusalem its capital within the 1949 armistice borders, transitional boundaries which ended Israel’s war of liberation. To obtain maximum international support, Abbas will refer to the 1967 - not the 1949 - boundaries in the first stage, thereby making the hundreds of thousands of Jews living in West Bank settlements and the Arab districts of Jerusalem sovereign Palestinian citizens.
Even before taking on the Obama administration, however, Abbas has his work cut out to beat his way through insurmountable thickets at home: Under the Palestinian constitution, his presidency, government and parliament are illegitimate. He first tried scheduling an election to Palestinian institutions for Jan. 24, 2010, to rectify this lacuna and make his government legal, only to discover that the legal difficulties besetting the Palestinian Authority and its rule of the West Bank (the Gaza Strip is ruled by Hamas) were even more complex than the status of Kosovo.
Even that Balkan territory only attained partial recognition (63 members excluding Serbia) for its self-declared independence; its de facto control of the territory does not include Serbian enclaves; and Kosovo’s independence is still awaiting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice for which Serbia has filed.
Meanwhile, the Albanians of Kosovo live under the interim administration of the European Union Rule of Law Mission which took over from the United Nations in Dec. 2008.
Most UN members have avoided recognizing Kosovo for the same fundamental reason they will deny Palestine majority recognition: the danger of a violent secessionist pandemic overtaking their own ethnic and religious minorities. The UN, including Europe, therefore stopped short of granting Kosovo’s independence full recognition.
Even so, the Balkan enclave has a major advantage over the Palestinians; its people are united, whereas the Palestinian people are deeply split between two illegal entities, the Fatah-ruled West Bank and the Gaza Strip under Hamas rule.
And because Iran and Syria are also opposed to the Abbas unilateral independence initiative, they egged the Palestinian Hamas on to block elections, to deny the PA Chairman and his “Kosovo initiative,” legal validity both domestically and internationally.
But none of this has stopped Abbas. Last week, he withdrew his candidacy for re-election. This was no bluff to bring his backers running to hold him back, but rather a device to free his hands; he sees himself as the national figure who will go down in history as having delivered independence to the Palestinian people.
The Obama administration is determined to stop him.
Sunday, the formidable group led by Bill Clinton will present itself to Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah for two tasks: One is to show Abbas that he is not irreplaceable as the preferred Palestinian leader and the other is to persuade Fayyad to lead a general movement in the Palestinian leadership to force the PA chairman to give up his plan.
Saturday, Nov. 14, the Palestinian Authority’s senior diplomat Saed Ereket said that the PA would ask the UN Security Council to recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state within 1967 borders and its capital of Jerusalem. He claimed the plan had won the support of Russia and the United Nations, but omitted to mention the United States. When he spoke, Erekat knew perfectly well that any such motion would run into an American veto and so die in its tracks.
He appears to have got the message from Washington that if Bill Clinton is against Abbas’ unilateral move, the opposition it faces is formidable. After all, Kosovars hold him up as the father of their independence; on Nov. 1, they unveiled a large statue portraying him as a hero.
Of course, the funniest part is that a unilateral declaration of independence by “Palestine” would probably get more international recognitions in its first week than Kosovo has gotten in over a year. At the same time, this effort by Abbas couldn’t have come at a better time — just a month before the International Court of Justice is to rule on the illegality of Kosovo’s independence; no doubt the court will take such devastating and very real repercussions into consideration.
Meanwhile, this delicious whoops-ee-doo was on the heels of an almost-as-delicious appetizer on Wednesday. Who would have thought that one narco-terrorist war criminal mobster — tired of not being the guy in the spotlight — would accuse his rival narco-terrorist war criminal mobster of being “connected to organized crime”? I guess it was just a matter of time before these heroes to Albanians everywhere — for their “liberation” of Kosovo — exposed their true priorities and motivations behind the whole thing.
The paper [Koha Ditore] reports that in its closing election rally in Prizren, AAK leader Ramush Haradinaj said he will be the next Prime Minister of Kosovo and accused the current government led by Hashim Thaci of coexisting with mafia and corruption.
“Mafia and the government are coexisting together, two years after independence,” said Haradinaj. “What I am telling you are not words to get to power or words to win over your votes but explanations about the real situation in the country. These are also explanations by international mechanisms.”
In a different article, the paper quotes Haradinaj as saying that the Thaci Government is involved in corruption together with mafia groups.
This was two days after the following incident occurred:
An attack on Prime Minister Hashim Thaci as he left a campaign rally cast a shadow over preparations for Kosovo’s first election since it proclaimed independence from Serbia.
But the size of a threatened Serb boycott of the poll on Sunday could decide the success of the municipal elections that Thaci has said is “the most important historic event for Kosovo” since it split from its neighbour in February 2008. Thaci’s motorcade came under a hail of stones and eggs late Wednesday as he left the western town of Decani after a rally organized by his Democratic party of Kosovo, or DPK.
The U.S. embassy in Pristina voiced “distress” over the violence and called on “all political leaders, parties and activists to refrain from all violence and provocations.” General Markus Bentler, the German head of the NATO-led international peacekeepers, KFOR, has vowed that his almost 13,000 troops would be ready to react at very short notice if needed. […]
This report craftily — and rather typically — leaves out who attacked Thaci’s motorcade. Notice that the first sentence following the mention of the attack refers to a “Serb boycott.” AFP wants you to think it was an attack by Serbs. God forbid you should discover that this was actually an Albanian-on-Albanian incident: Haradinaj’s people versus Thaci’s. And that’s what accounts for the U.S. embassy’s very stressed reaction to this otherwise small incident: because god forbid the charade should fall apart before we’ve gotten some more international recognitions under our belt for our misbehaving, schizophrenic demon child that we fathered with Germany. The report below gives a few more details:
Kosovo police says Prime Minister Hashim Thaci’s convoy was pelted with stones after a political rally in western Kosovo, days ahead of Kosovo’s first local polls since declaring independence from Serbia. Thaci was not injured.
Police spokesman Baki Kelani says three suspects were arrested and that police are investigating reports of gunshots. Car windows were smashed following a tense political rally in the town of Decan, a stronghold of Thaci’s rival politician, Ramush Haradinaj.
Kosovo’s government condemned the attack as a “politically motivated criminal act.”
Haradinaj’s opposition party said in a statement that Thaci’s supporters attacked their sympathizers during the rally. Police could not confirm the claim.
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