Opposing Ambassador Grenell’s wrong policy is pro-American and a patriotic duty
By Agim Aliçkaj, MRSC
We have reason to be proud of our beautiful nature, culture, tradition, history and the high human values of the Albanian nation. However, we have also reason to feel ashamed by deficiencies and negative aspects of a small minority among us. More patriots are needed to balance out a small number of traitors.
WHY WE LOVE AMERICA
How boring and bordering to the absurd is the exploitation of labels like “pro-American” and “anti-American” for some narrow personal political interests. Let me repeat again for the record that the Albanian people, as an overwhelming majority, loves and respects America wholeheartedly. There are many reasons for it:
– US is the most democratic, the most just, and the most powerful country in the word, a symbol of liberty and only guarantor of peace global order.
– The American nation is the only one in the world that is composed of people whose origin and roots come from all the other nations, races, religions etc.
– This is a country that guarantees to the fullest the freedom of speech, the practice of faith, individuality, private property, wealth and pursue of happiness.
– Hundreds of thousands of Albanians from our ancient lands have found a second home here and many have accomplished and are living their American Dream.
– Throughout our entire history the United States have stood up in defense of the Albanian nation. From President Wilson to Presidents Clinton and Bush.
– US helped the liberation of Kosova from a century of Serbian yoke, supported the preparation and the declaration of its Independence, and has invested heavily in the progress of Kosova.
– It is the only country in the world that can help the Albanian nation from a very strong and irreconcilable enemy the Serbian-Russian chauvinism and hegemony.
America is not without shortcomings, but the work to corrected those is constant and with the tools provided by its democracy.
Albanians’ sincere and timeless love for America differs essentially from the temporary, interest-driven pseudo affection displayed by the ruling Serbian clique. The American and the Albanian people share the same long-term strategic interests, as opposed to the Serbian people whose vast majority has an embedded pro-Russian orientation that will never change.
AMERICA AND THE KOSOVA-SERBIA DIALOGUE
The American support for the Albanian people should not be taken for granted. Nor should we fall into the trap of thinking that America can afford to focus endlessly on our our affairs. The world has plenty of bigger challenges that are more important than Kosova. It is first and foremost our job to build and strengthen our nation. We should work harder and tirelessly to deserve and secure the ongoing American support. We face the possibility that our enemies through their state diplomacy or powerful lobbyist connections to win influence over senior American officials, as in the case of Ambassador Richard Grenell.
Serbian President Vucic working for the interests of Serbia, helped by President Thaçi who is working for personal interests and Prime Minister Rama led by his inflated ego, have convinced him that a territorial exchange is the easiest solution. He then began his mediation by siding with Serbia and exerting pressure on Kosova. His role in the coordinating between Thaçi and Mustafa of LDK to overthrow the democratic government of Kosova was clear. The aim was to establish a puppet government, controlled by Thaçi, which in dialogue with Serbia would accept the destruction of Kosova.
These anti-Albanian and anti-American actions have mobilized the Albanian people to stand up in defense of the state of Kosova. This long-suffering people has no other alternative but to resist with all the democratic means, including peaceful protests throughout our lands and in the diaspora. In America, the Albanian American Civic League, led by former congressman Joseph DioGuardi and Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi, is working hard with the US Congress and the Trump Administration to change the wrongful policy of Ambassador Grenell in Kosova.
As soon as the lockdown measures are eased, the League is expected to hold massive rallies in Washington, just like in the 1990s, against the division of Kosova’s territory. Similarly, hearings in US Congress are expected to take place in which Ambassador Grenell will be obligated to explain his actions. Whoever doubts in the abilities and the capabilities of the League is welcomed to visit their website aacl.com and educated themselves with its 30-year work in service of the national cause.
Opposing a wrong policy of a US official or a of part of the Administration is to do the right thing. There is no logic in obeying blindly when someone asks you commit suicide. All US Administrations and officials are temporary. The friendship between the Albanian and the American people, however, is eternal.
If pressure to accept the division of Kosova, the Albanian people reserves the right to ask the unification of all the Albanian lands occupied by Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Greece. The same thing may be demanded by other people as well, who live outside their national mother countries. Germany and other important countries in Europe oppose this idea. It would be a catastrophic mistake with immense dangerous potential for destabilization in the Balkans and the entire Europe.
Ambassador Grenell’s ambition for a quick solution of the Albanian-Serbian conflict can become a reality through a just and realistic approach. He should understand that reciprocal recognition on the existing borders and the guarantee of the same national and human rights for the Serbs in Kosova and the Albanians in Serbia is the only solution. The territorial integrity and the sovereignty of the Republic of Kosova is not negotiable. Those have been established with the Declaration of the Independence on February 17th, 2008. The International Justice Court in The Hague has found this Declaration of Independence abiding to the international law. This independent country has been recognized, in its existing borders, by the United States and more than 100 countries around the world.
Furthermore, war crimes committed by Serbia’s state terrorism against innocent Albanian civilians cannot be forgiven if their perpetrators are not brought to justice. This is only one of many other issues that remain unresolved between the two countries. Every solution can be expedited if America and Europe exert true pressure on Serbia to recognize the independence of Kosova. Serbia should choose whether it was to become part of democratic Europe or to remain a pawn of Russia and China with all the negative aspects of the totalitarian systems. The time of coddling and tolerating the Serbian aggressor, while pressuring the victim has ended. Kosova is ready; it has chosen its European, pro-American path.
THE GOVERNMENT OF ALBANIA IS DOING SERBIA’S BIDDING
The Albanian people wherever they lived showed a great brotherly hospitality and generosity in their support for the people of Kosova in 1999. That is why it is heartbreaking to watch Prime Minister Edi Rama serving the interests of Serbia against those of Kosova and the entire Albanian nation. This has been obvious from his support for the Serbian project of mini-Schengen, for the secret talks between Vucic and Thaçi on the back of Kosova, his shameful fawning after Vucic and his effort to impress the Serbian opinion, all while being dismissive and insulting toward Kosova people and its leaders. The question is, can’t he see how behind the Serbian embrace lies the eternal project for the submission of Kosova, the creation of the Greater Serbia, and an access to the Adriatic Sea at the expense of the Albanian territories? What else can we expect from a government which shows support for the open enemies of the Albanian people abroad and destroys the cultural values and the democracy from the inside?
No one has the right to trade away Albanian lands. There is no force in the world big enough to crush the desire of the people of Kosova to live in freedom in its own ancient land.
* The author is Member of the Executive Board of the Albanian-American Civic League and of the Council of Vatra.