Our beloved and dear country Kosova, the Illyrian Dardania, is suffering. She is calling and hoping for her sons and daughters to help her and save her from destruction. How is it possible for the ancient Pelasgian-Illyrian-Albanian people, the oldest in the Balkans, with extraordinary human tradition and values, with deep kindness and virtues, to be reduced to such miserable conditions?!
Serbia, an old witch, a symbol of hatred, ruthlessness, greed, pettiness, and uncivilized values, supported by Russia, continues unabated hostile actions against Kosova and the entire Albanian nation. Not only do the Serbian rulers not apologize for the monstrous crimes against Albanian civilians, but they lie, believe in their lies, deceive, and use all kinds of propaganda to portray Serbia as victim. How is it possible for such a primitive and barbaric country to be tolerated and even appeased by democratic civilized nations?!
Europe, as always, is divided, undecided and unable to resolve the Kosova-Serbia conflict. Germany, Great Britain, and some other rightful nations can support it, but they cannot force pro-Serbian countries to recognize the independence of Kosova.
America, the land of democratic values, justice and the preservation of the world order, is the only hope for salvation, establishment and existence of Kosova. We must work hard to maintain and advance the friendship between the Albanian and American people. Love and respect for America is sincere. We have long-term strategic interests in common.
As we work with American representatives to help them understand our position, it is inevitable that there will be potential misunderstandings and obstacles but this should not worry or discourage us. In America, as in any other country, the interim government officials may have temporary interests. Blind obedience and complete and unconditional submission to their demands is humiliating, unnecessary and completely wrong – especially when they are openly against the interests of Kosova, as is the case with Ambassador Grenell. This is what the lazy, corrupt and careerist Kosova politicians who are sick for power are doing. They are trying to present themselves as “pro-Americans” with the intention to deceive the people of the country and maintain their power at all costs.
America has no time or interest in doing our job for us. We must work hard and strengthen our own countries, and American support will not be lacking. In the event of disagreement, it is not wise for Kosova politicians to confront American officials publicly. They must present facts and arguments, respectfully and diplomatically. Open criticism, even when appropriate, is not fruitful. These open criticisms, in defense of Kosova’s interests, should and can only be made by Albanian-American voters engaged in political parties and lobbying organizations in America.
Until November 3, America is completely preoccupied with the general elections and everything is dedicated to them. Candidates for President and Congress need votes and financial support. They are trying to secure votes wherever possible and at the moment they are not interested in anything else. This is evidenced by the activity of Ambassador Grenell, who is doing his best to secure votes from both Serbs and Albanians. The September 4th Washington agreement, including the recognition of Kosova by Israel, was 100% in function and in the interests of President Trump’s re-election campaign. The reason why Mr. Grenell is favoring Serbia is simple and clear. Serbian chauvinists have drawn the red lines and made it clear that they will never allow anyone to cross them. State interests are sacred to them. Kosova representatives did not have any red lines but only green ones. They were willing even to sell their country for personal gains and careerist interests.
The Serbian state and Serbo-Americans are very organized and oriented in support of candidate Trump. They believe that Trump will help them achieve their goals for the destruction of the Republic of Kosova. I hope and believe that they will be badly disappointed, as even if he wins, Trump will no longer need either Serbian-Americans or Albanian-Americans. He ultimately won’t be able to help them because their goal and interest is unreal, unjust and against American strategic interests. Their demands are anti-humanity, anti-democracy, unreasonable and unachievable. Of course, this also depends on the ability of Kosova representatives, as well as our lobbying activists in Washington to defend the right of Kosova to exist.
The situation with the Albanian diaspora and our countries is completely different. We are generally disorganized and have no common national strategy. Albanian politicians do not appreciate and respect their own countries enough. Our strength lies in our just cause. Our work in America must be done in two directions, with both presidential candidates and with both parties. It is a waste of time to curse each other for supporting either American Presidential candidate. We should concentrate on how to make our vote and support relevant and more important. An example of this is the professional work of the Albanian American Civic League led by Joe DioGuardi and Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi in Washington for more than 30 years. The League tirelessly worked and succeeded to defeat Serbia through their efforts in America, until Kosova finally declared independence.
If President Trump wins, those who have supported and voted for him should not use it to pat themselves on the back for public appearances and meaningless praises. They have an obligation and responsibility to ask his Administration for support for the independence of Kosova and the Albanian cause. Others should concentrate on working through the US Congress and exert pressure on the Administration. The same applies to Senator Biden if he wins the election. Since he has been a very vocal and consistent supporter of Kosova for decades and knows the situation in the Balkans, working with his Administration should logically be much easier. In any case, the favorable solution and the final victory against chauvinistic Serbia should depend on us and not on the outcome of the American election.
The Rambouillet agreement was very bad for Kosova. The Kosovar side had no choice but to accept it because our people were suffering terribly under Serbian occupation. We were very lucky that the criminal Milosevic, enraged by hatred for Albanians, refused to sign it, otherwise Kosova would forever become an autonomous part of Serbia. President Ahtisaari’s agreement was also bad, but accepting it was the only way to achieve recognition of independence by America, Europe, and other world countries. Very large and painful compromises were made by Kosova with this agreement. There is neither the need nor the possibility for any additional compromises with Serbia.
Ambassador Grenell’s so called agreement for “economic normalization” is favorable for Serbia and does no good for Kosova. There can be no economic cooperation between the criminal who continues to be the criminal (Serbia) and the victim (Kosova). It will probably be forgotten once the American elections are over no matter who wins. Simply, it cannot be implemented. Kosova should not and cannot accept any agreement that violates the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic. No one has the right to sign an agreement without the consent of the majority of the people of Kosova. There is nothing in the world that can force our people to accept the return of Serbia to Kosova. If that were the case, it would be better not to have any agreement. The Republic of Kosova will survive and can live without a recognition by an uncivilized state like Serbia.
The people of Kosova are tired of the lies, deceptions and failures, and are very angry about the recent undemocratic actions of the corrupt political class. Only free elections can calm the situation, create real governing legitimacy and save the Republic of Kosova from destruction. The belief and hope is that the Albanian people in both Kosova and Albania will vote for change. With two strong democratic countries in the Balkans, a state-building Albanian nationalities in Northern Macedonia, fully protected national and human rights in Serbia, Montenegro and Greece, the future of the united Albanian nation within a united Europe will be guaranteed.
*Member of the Executive Board of the Albanian American Civic League and the Council of Vatra.