I am busy these days, so I'd just like to be able to sit down, write a straightforward review of David Ford's book, and be done with it. But I can't. This book has already begun to interfere with my life. It may even end up costing me real money. That check for the Kosovo relief effort I am now writing in my mind keeps getting outrageously larger. I worry that I might actually put it in the mail.
The Kosovo crisis has created an extremely precarious situation for ethnic Hungarians who live in Vojvodina, the northern portion of Serbia on the border of Hungary. And the danger comes from both NATO bombs and the hostility of Serb citizens who resent ethnic Hungarians because it is "their" NATO planes that are bombarding the Serb homeland.
The NATO countries have been clear about the postwar agenda in Kosovo and Serbia. The first goal has been to create conditions under which peace and order might return to Kosovo. That means providing a credible police force that not only allows the Albanian refugees to return but also—a much more difficult task—protects Serbs from retaliatory violence.
The 20th century began in Sarajevo and it will end in Sarajevo.” That saying, current during the war in Bosnia, wasn’t too far wrong. A grim age that began with the 19th century’s bleeding to death in a war sparked in the Balkans is ending, in places like Sarajevo and Kosovo, with the aftershocks of communism’s collapse.