The time has long passed for Greek policymakers to undertake a broad, sober and in-depth analysis of the looming dangers for the country*#8217;s security which is, once again, undermined by the shortsighted U.S. policy vis-*agrave;-vis Kosovo. The plans Washington has cooked up for that region must be seen for the precedents they set forth and the implications for four countries: Serbia, Albania, Greece and FYROM.
Kosovo is a convenient wedge for permanent Balkan turmoil; it augments the Turkish role westward and could potentially destabilize the European Union. For those reasons, Albanian nationalism is uncritically excused, but everybody else*#8217;s defense of national interests in the region is treated as evidence of regressive and anachronistic tendencies.
With the U.S. as the moving force, Kosovo re-emerges as the first post-Cold War geo-strategic space where military force has been used *#8211; without United Nations approval, and in violation of a member state*#8217;s sovereignty *#8211; to curb territory of one state in order to create a feudal dependency in the form of a new state. The implications for Cyprus are direct.
Kosovo is also a place where externally instigated violence has been defined as defense of human rights which, in turn, is served as the rationale for military assault on a sovereign country.
As I have stated repeatedly, in print and orally, the blonde Balkans Muslims have been chosen by America*#8217;s global strategists as models of moderation, and our interventions on their behalf as evidence of the willingness of the West to use force to defend Islam in hopes of improving America*#8217;s image among Islamic states. Because they look like us, it is easier to defend them, and to sell a foreign policy in the same fashion which Madison Avenue markets laxatives and toilet paper.
The latest initiatives in the Balkans are also related to two other events: the 9/11-interrupted Balkan business and the Middle East crisis. The 1992-95 Balkan fragmentation designs included, aside from the fragmentation of Yugoslavia and sub-fragmentation of Serbia, the mortgaging of FYROM*#8217;s sovereignty to the Albanian minority; the undermining of Greek national cohesion; the conversion of Albania into a Balkan wedge; and the elevation of Turkey as the pivotal regional factor with a ready made Muslim bloc in E.U., if it finally enters, and if the Balkan mini-states are invited to join.
The socio-political engineers are back in business on that score. Because they know the Middle East will become a huge issue in midterm elections (November 2006), and that the U.S. involvement in Iraq will be central for the Democrats, the Bush boys are eager to shift attention to a region where the Democrats created the mess and thus change news headlines.
In this context, the Chams (Tsamides, in Greek), acting on a plan in place since 1978, follow a well designed pattern: they create facts on the ground after they have secured American understanding of their plight, and they de facto link Greece to the broader Balkan fragmentation, as originally envisioned by the Clintonites.
The Chams demands for property rights are just one manifestation of the Greater Kosovo Scenario.
The Greek Government is, or ought to be, aware that migrant Albanian workers have gone beyond the bounds of being guests, and have created a Federation of Albanian Societies in Western (Greek) Macedonia to promote and defend their interests. And as the agendas are being advanced, Greek policymakers ought to expect the good Gendarme versus bad Gendarme from Washington and from Tirana.
The formalities will continue (i.e., Greece will be called a strategic partner by the State Department, while the Washington para-state will continue to paint the country as violator of human rights).
Similarly, Salli Berisha will be praising Greek-Albanian friendship while his designated hitters will be inflaming the crowds all the way from Sarandes to Omonoia Square.
Finally, it must be underscored that a substantial numbers of Chams had declared themselves Turks in the 1920*#8217;s, and availed themselves on the opportunity for Exchange of Populations, and resettled in Turkey.
In 1992, the Turkish Government revived their organizations and linked them to their counterparts in Tirana. The latter consist of those who exited Greece in 1944 with the troops of General Hubert Lanz, proudly wearing Nazi uniforms.
International law and American victimologists never recognized the right of Nazi collaborators to claim properties or war reparations.
One wonders what the difference is between Albanian Nazi collaborators and those who were expelled for the same reasons from the Soviet Union, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Vojvodina, Yugoslavia.
Dr. Stavrou is Professor Emeritus of International Affairs at Howard University and Editor of the Mediterranean Quarterly (published by Duke University Press).