Kosovo independence move was illegal, may trigger war

The support for an independent Kosovo by the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and other nations, together with the opposition from the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation and Serbia, have highlighted the deep divide between member states of the United Nations and the European Union.

Irrespective of their positions, an independent Kosovo has been created in direct violation of international law. In the absence of a U.N. mandate, the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo is illegal. Thus, the independence of Kosovo currently rests on very weak foundations.

The German and French governments quite correctly denounced the invasion of Iraq — undertaken in violation of international law and without U.N. sanction — that has broadly and very negatively impacted both Iraq and justice and human rights worldwide. Ironically, both of these countries have fully supported the Kosovo declaration of independence.

How can we expect Serbia to respect international law when we do not? Indeed, if Serbia decided to invade Kosovo tomorrow, how could we possibly fault that action?

Even more troubling is the precedent set by members of the international community who support the independence of Kosovo. Will these members give the same support to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus? Will they give the same support to other hopeful “breakaway provinces,” such as those occupied by the Kurds, the Basques and countless other minority groups who desire their “own” homeland?

Where is the overwhelming support for a truly independent state of Palestine? Indeed, neither the U.S. nor the U.K., France or Germany even recognize the democratically elected government of Palestine, much less support its independence. When will we see the disregard directed at Serbia be directed at Israel?

The actions of the U.S., U.K., Germany and France have weakened the very concept of international law, have weakened the authority of the U.N., and have seeded further discord between member states of both the U.N. and the E.U. No good will come from this. The last thing this region needed was yet another excuse to go to war. It has now been provided with exactly that.

Giessen, Germany



Elect Clinton, avoid catastrophe

From Joe Bialek

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) often repeats that he is the presidential candidate for change, but what has he done to work for change? He appears to mimic the candidacy of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in spirit but not in substance. Clearly he has not thought the issues through, and perhaps given more time and experience he will emerge as a fine statesperson. But at this most crucial moment in history, our country cannot afford to gamble again with someone who is simply not prepared to take on the enormous responsibilities of commander in chief.

 On the other hand, Sen. Clinton has spent her whole life working for change — change that has improved the quality of life for all Americans by focusing on fairness. She truly cares about our country. Given the current state of our economy, she may very well represent the last chance for this country to avoid catastrophe.

Cleveland

More in Letters

Smiling all the way to DC

Read more »