Serbia needs better perspective

The commentary by Theodoros Couloumbis («The prospects for Serbia,» June 23, 2005) demonstrated once again the crass depreciation of historical lessons and shameful capitulation to aggression that for so long has defined the collective psyche of European leaders. These leaders will readily appease any people and any ruler whose potential for troublemaking in whatever form appears beyond their immediate control. In the case of Serbia/Kosovo, these leaders will assume no responsibility for having themselves created and otherwise given license to a singularly insidious, if not entirely malignant, foreign implant in the very heart of Europe. And to their everlasting shame they had no compunctions about using Milosevic’s singleminded, if not overly ambitious, confrontation with these radical, fundamentalist, and dangerous people as an excuse to redefine the borders of what has been Serbian land from time immemorial. The actions of Milosevic and Mladic are labeled war crimes, and perhaps rightly so, but the same germ of appeasement will promise that no Muslims will ever have to face the Hague tribunal, however heinous and criminal their own actions may be. What was particularly grating to my sensibilities was Professor Couloumbis’s unfortunate and perfectly cruel reference to Serbia’s rejection of this gross and blatent thievery of her lands and the removal of her people from these lands as «atavistic sentimentalism.» Professor Couloumbis should be reminded that people who live in glass houses should best not throw stones. This same reference to «atavistic sentimentalism» certainly applies to issues Greece has with Macedonia, Cyprus and even Turkey. Does Professor Couloumbis really believe that an independent and autonomous Kosovo, opening the gates of Europe to the massive influx of Albanians and to the massive entrenchment of organized crime in all its vile expressions – that none of this threatens the stability of the communities of Europe? So let him not speak so disparagingly of «yet another war.» Churchill described appeasers as those who feed crocodiles hoping the crocodiles will eat them last. «Yet another war» is in the weave of everything the Europeans are presently prepared to do to appease the Albanian Muslims. There is no room for justice or even conscience when whitewashing the glaring injustices they would force on the Serbians. I suggest he leave defining the best interests of the Serbians to the Serbians. I would also suggest that Kathimerini turn to a historian for a perspective of current prospects for Serbia and leave the international relations experts to their private crocodiles. ARNOLD HOLTZMAN, Israel.