For some reason, I looked at the comments posted under Sieff's article. As of the time of this posting, there are about three pages of comments, ranging from isolationists who don't care and Albanians who shower Sieff with ad hominems, to those who claim Serbs should be given a free hand to fight against the jihad.
One comment, on the bottom of the first page, caught my eye. I reproduce it here, because there is no direct link to it. It is from PaulAndrewKirk of Redmond, Wa.:
I have served two tours in Kosovo with the US Military and I can tell you the following as factual:
1. Almost all facets and levels of the provisional government in Kosovo are corrupt. In fact its the worst I've ever seen and I've had to deal with some pretty corrupt governments during my career.
2. Supervised independence or even full independence will not improve the miserable lives of the ordinary people of Kosovo. Partly because of what I've listed as fact "1"., and partly because it will take decades of imense amounts of foreign aid throughout economy in order to bring Kosovo into a functioning state that wouldn't need foreign assistance for its survival.
3. Ethnic cleansing is still a common occurence in Kosovo but, this time its the ethnic Albanians ethnically cleansing the Serbs, Roma, Ashkali, Croatians, and Turk minorities through intimidation and at times outright force. I have personally witnessed this on many occasions.
4. No amount of foreign investment will provide enough jobs for the amount of unemployed people in Kosovo. The only way for Kosovo to maintain stability is for the EU to open its borders for an influx of foreign workers from Kosovo.
5. Islamic extremism is on the rise in Kosovo. KFOR soldiers have been attacked in Gjilan [sic: Gnjilane], Ferizaj, [sic: Urosevac] and Prizren when I was there. You just won't see or hear about it in the news. More Mosques have been built in Kosovo in the last five years than schools, roads, health clinics, and all other santitation project combined. Compliments of Muslim charities from the Middle East.
6. Mass graves of Kosovo Serbs and Roma have been found during my rotation and reported to the UN. Yet nothing has been done. Why? When we posed the question to our UN contacts in Pristina they replied: "During the transitional stage of Kosovo this would be destablizing. We'll wait until there is a final resolution before we proceed." All those journalists interested in a real story...start looking in around Novo Brdo.
7. The US Government along with key EU allies never had any intention of allowing Serbia a fair opportunity to negotiate with the Kosovar provisional government on the possibilities of a workable settlement that might have been permanent. I was party to a couple of meetings where US Government officials point blank told the Kosovar representatives that no matter what, the US will support independence and that going to these conferences in Vienna were just to give a favorable impression on the world opinion.
These are the facts. Some people might be outraged and some might be supprised [sic] however it really doesn't matter in the final analysis of all things considered. Superpowers will do what they want.
Kosovo independence will do nothing for stability of the region, in fact, the opposite will occur.
The Kosovar Albanians are now joyous they will have a new nation but, when all the partying ends and the dust clears, all that will exist is another backward, poverty stricken, underdeveloped, internationally protected country in an area of hostile neighbors thats todays news story and tomorrows breeding ground for extremism and resentment.
There you have it. The Empire-sponsored "Republic of Kosovo" is a crime, but also a mistake.