If the media are on the lookout for gaffes by the presidential campaigns, they missed a big one last Wednesday, when Cindy McCain met with Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in Kosovo's capital Pristina, while her husband was giving a major foreign policy speech calling for "new foundations for a stable and enduring peace." Kosovo's declaration of independence, which McCain accepts and was implicitly recognized by Cindy McCain's visit to Pristina, is a major threat to global peace and security. It could spark a U.S. war with Russia.
It may be asking too much, however, for the media to cover a gaffe like this. The Kosovo policy is a bipartisan blunder. For the liberal media, Iraq, where McCain differs with Hillary and Obama about the length of stay of the U.S. military, seems to be the only foreign policy issue worth talking about. But the U.S. faces other major problems.
We need to recall that the war against the former Yugoslavia was depicted by the liberal media as a worthwhile humanitarian intervention. But it was waged on the basis of Clinton Administration lies of a "genocide" being waged against Albanian Muslims in Kosovo, a province of Serbia. In fact, the Clinton Administration's NATO war against Yugoslavia probably cost more lives than were lost in the civil war in Kosovo. Serbian troops were forced to withdraw in exchange for an international guarantee that Serbia would retain sovereignty over Kosovo but the province would get substantial autonomy. The U.S. agreed to that, but that agreement was violated when the Bush Administration, with backing from McCain and Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, recently recognized Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia.
Sending his wife to Kosovo confirms that McCain accepts Clinton's fraudulent version of what happened there and that he agrees with Bush's "solution," which can only make the situation worse.
Conservatives should contemplate what is happening here. McCain, who says he wants to wage a vigorous war against Islamic radicals worldwide, is prepared to let Muslim extremists come to power in Kosovo and even have their own sovereign state. This is itself a major gaffe. But McCain compounded it when he gave a speech urging the building of "international structures for a durable peace," including strengthening NATO. This sounds good, except that McCain has to know that recognizing Kosovo's independence has split Western nations and even NATO itself. It is a major foreign policy blunder that the next administration, Democrat or Republican, may never recover from. It represents a direct threat to the international order of nation-states. That is why many nations have not recognized this new state of Kosovo. They realize that Kosovo's independence could spark other groups to wage wars against established regimes around the world.
This is not to say that some territories under the control of internationally recognized regimes do not deserve their independence. Tibet, under Chinese Communist occupation, deserves its freedom and sovereignty. And Taiwan should become an independent state as well. China's communist rulers, who opposed Kosovo's independence because they fear it could serve as a precedent for Tibet and Taiwan, are the illegitimate ones. The regime in Beijing should be undermined. But China, which supplies so many of our products and invests so much in our economy, is too big an adversary to pick a fight with. This shows the fallacy of claims of the U.S. being a "superpower." We are at the mercy of China, and the presidential candidates of both major political parties know it. Only a commentator like Lou Dobbs of CNN dares to address the controversy on a regular basis.
Atrocities occurred on all sides as the former Yugoslavia went through disintegration. But Serbia was involved in trying to hold the former Yugoslavia together when outside powers, including various Arab and Muslim states, were trying to carve the nation up. Kosovo's Muslims, who are a majority, may not be as radical as those in other Arab states. But wait until the radical Mosques that are being established around the territory, with the financial assistance of Saudi Arabia, begin to exert their influence on the next generation. They won't be waving American flags out of gratitude for NATO waging war on Serbia. Meanwhile, many Christian churches in Kosovo have been destroyed, and many Serbs, who are Christians, have fled the province. No wonder Serbian demonstrators recently burned the U.S. embassy there. And yet McCain says he wants to repair America's bad image in the rest of the world. Start with reversing the disastrous Kosovo policy, Senator McCain.
Hillary Clinton was accused of lying about her visit to Bosnia when she was First Lady. The more important controversy is why the U.S. was militarily involved in Bosnia in the first place. The record shows that her husband approved the shipment of Iranian arms to the Bosnia Muslims so they could fight the Christian Serbs. Clinton then expanded that policy to helping the Muslims in Kosovo. So the Iranian influence that McCain warned about in his World Affairs Council speech has already been brought into the Balkans by the Clintons, in a policy that he supported all along.
If you have noticed the evidence that the Arab/Muslim bloc of nations benefited from the Clinton policy in the former Yugoslavia, then you have grasped an essential truth about what has led to the current precarious state of affairs. It should be noted that Osama bin Laden, who was accused of supporting the Muslim extremists in Bosnia and Kosovo, would go on to order an attack on the U.S. on 9/11, killing nearly 3,000 of our fellow citizens. So he is clearly not grateful for the U.S. helping his Muslim brothers.
The lesson, which McCain says he recognizes in Iraq, is that the terrorists cannot be appeased. But he wants to appease the Muslim extremists, backed by bin Laden, in Kosovo.
The mystery is why President Bush, who authorized our soldiers to fight Muslim extremists in Iraq, embarked on this policy to accommodate them in Kosovo, and why McCain backs this wrong-headed approach. Some may see a conspiracy in this, but I prefer the stupidity theory of history. I don't think our foreign policy elites, and the politicians they control, are that smart about what constitutes the national security interest of the U.S. Bush may be under the manipulation of career bureaucrats in the State Department. They seem to have an inordinate influence on McCain as well.
Since the Democrats won't quarrel with McCain or Bush on this unfolding catastrophe, it is up to what used to be called an "adversary press" to raise this uncomfortable foreign policy problem. It is an emergency because another war could be on the horizon. This "adversary press" now includes, more than ever, conservative commentators and bloggers. But some of those blogs seem to be running more and more "McCain for President" advertisements. This is a bad sign.
Russia, which is promising to go to the aid of the Serbs remaining in Kosovo, has recognized the danger to its own territorial integrity. It doesn't want to see Chechnya, another potential member of the OIC, inspired to more violence in order to attract recognition as an independent Muslim state like Kosovo. A war with NATO forces in Kosovo cannot be ruled out.
Then the situation may get some serious media attention.
If foreign policy is McCain's strong suit, we are in serious trouble. His policy is the same as that of Democrats Hillary and Obama. And yet McCain says that Russia has a deficit of democracy.