Monday, February 18, 2008

What is Taking Harper So Long?

It is odd to me that Harper has yet to declare on Kosovo. What do you think is holding him up?

Fear of how Quebec, specifically the separtists, will react? He is obviously very sensitive to how Quebec reacts to his government, so perhaps that is it.

He required Dion's help to develop his Quebec is a Nation statement so perhap's he waiting for him to declare to take his cue.

Well, Dion has declared so let's see if Harper reacts in kind and perhaps with the same sentiment. Maybe even the same verbiage.

Kosovo has a long road ahead. It may not be the perfect solution, but their options were limited. We can only hope for peace and more importantly some prosperity ahead.


Miles Lunn said...

I am not sure that exact reason, although I should note countries with separtist movements inside them have generally been more reluctant to recognize Kosovo than one's that don't face them. Spain has gone against the majority of EU member states in refusing to recognize Kosovo, worried the Basque separtists will use this precedence, although Britain did recognize them despite the fact many in Scotland favour separating.

I personally am not an expert in international law, but I am somewhat skeptical about recognizing Kosovo myself. The Albanians were treated horribly by Serbia, but the same could be said for many other groups such as the Tamils in Sri Lanka and so unless we are willing to recognize all those groups as independent states, I am not sure it says a good precedent.

A better solution is to say we will recognize a new independent state if it meets one of the two following countries.

1. It was illegally occupied by the other country (which is not the case of Kosovo, this would apply to Palestine for example).

2. There was a referendum with a clear question and a clear majority (i.e. Montenegro).

The second one would likely happen in Kosovo, but it is still better to insist it happen as a matter of consistency.

knb said...

Well said miles, nor am I an expert.

I'd add criteria to your conditions though.

I think the fact that there was ethnic cleansing...some would say genocide must be considered.

I support 2 women in that region who lost their husbands. To be honest, I'm a bit confused now where they live. We write to each other, but they are cautious and do not speak politically. I don't know if they are okay tonight.

Mushroom said...

In fact, Lewis Mackenzie has been saying Canada should be cautious in recognizing Kosovo. Note that he was criticized for taking a pro-Serb stance during the Yugoslav Civil War.

Bernier is not the brightest piece of work in Cabinet. An intellectual lightweight compared to others, so he will probably say nothing. However, I would not be surprised if Harper uses the Quebec issue to attack Dion for supporting Kosovo independence. This will put Dion in a bit of a bind as this recognition does not go well in the Greek communities of Canada.

Abdul-Rahim said...

Britain had no problem recognising the state, and it has plenty of Independence movements. Perhaps it is because they have not been so esaily taken in by such superficial comparisons of Kosova and Québec

wilson said...

Ànd then there is this:

`...Cokorilo says the current Albanian political elite that declared independence for Kosovo, were killing Canadian soldiers in Bosnia during the Balkan conflict in the early nineties...


MD said...

I'm not an expert in international law, nor do I think a comparison between Quebec and Kosovo is reasonable, but I do think that Dion is wrong on this one and Spain is right. There are numerous places, like Transnistria and South Ossetia, which exercise de facto independence but which are not internationally recognized. There are no shortage of violent ethnic conflicts in the world, and accepting any unilateral decleration of independence as legitimate is an invitation to chaos. Even in an extreme case like East Timor, whose people suffered unspeakably under Indonesia, a stepwise route to independence was taken which the central government in Indonesia had to accept. Lewis Mackenzie is right...the situation is nuanced. But Canada should not recognize Kosovo against the wishes of the Serbian government.

knb said...

I don't think any of us are experts so it's a tough call.

I support two women who lost their husbands in that fight. Their stories are telling.

I will not tell you where they are from, but I will say that they agree on the concept of peace and how to achieve it.

You know, writing to the people who are really affected, because they do write back, gives you a glimpse of reality.

The women I speak of have changed their lives. Given what they have, which is little, have used their smarts and did it. Rather they are doing it.

Obvious in my comment is this. They live on both sides of the argument and they agree.

Humanity is being left out of the argument. Sadly, it usually is.