When I was Cpl regular_imbiber and on my 3rd tour of Kosovo in 2001 I found myself stagging on at a heavily fortified Serb church in Kosovo Polje. Some Kosovars of about 15-17 years of age came up and started chatting,scrounging etc...
One said to me "Why are you here?".. rather than give him the party line I said "**** knows mate,every time I come back I only see more satellite dishes,builders yards and BMW's being driven about. Some ****'s doing well out of this." He laughed and said "You and your NATO can be here for 50 years guarding this Serb church but the day you leave it unattended its getting burnt to the ground."
Thats when I realised the whole thing was a waste of time; you cant beat a Balkan for bearing a grudge. The history of the place proves this.
When I was there, I was struck by how much more agreeable the Serb end was: thriving markets, Slivo offered to you in the shops, Arkan horror patches for sale, etc. A delightful community atmosphere - photos of Putin hunting tigers on the lamp posts.
The Albanian end was appalling: full of mosques, beggars and absolutely nowhere to wet your whistle.
I always prefered the Serbs - ruthlessly efficent, you knew exactly where you stood with them compared to the slimey two faced stab you in the back and buggar you Bosnians. Apparently though thats no excuse for mass genocide - who'd have thought eh?
Kosovan Prime Minister Hashim Thaci defended the police operation at a news conference in Pristina, saying: "We cannot stay indifferent and tolerate forever that a part of our territory is to be a black hole not only of Kosovo but of the Europe.
"We cannot tolerate forever that our sovereignty is violated."
It's a travesty that there's an independent Kosovo in the first place. Regardless of the merits (or otherwise) of the Kosovar Albanian demands for independence, the fact that the country has been recognised by 78 states demonstrates breathtaking hypocrisy on the part of the international community. The position taken by most of the world during the wars in the Balkans was that the territorial integrity of the Former Yugoslav Republics had to be maintained - hence why ethnic Serb demands for the secession of the Krajina, East Slavonia and what was to become the Republika Srpska were rejected (rightly, IMHO). Serbia has every right to feel aggrieved at this blantant double-standard, especially as independence solves none of the underlying problems.
How......... is there anyone left in Kosovo?
They all seem to be wandering around South Belfast and ripping through bins.
Good news though once the Serbs get EU membership (see handing over of war criminals at speed) they wil be eligible to come to the UK en masse, then maybe we'll see some quality internecine warfare. Step aside amatuers these people are from the Balkans.