The Throwin' Off The Shackles Rave: First Kosovo, Now The World
Yesterday was a great day for all those of us who truly value freedom and strongly believe in the right to self-determination. The people of Kosovo are finally free. And they definitely deserve their independence and their freedom from Serb domination and oppression. Simply put, they wanted their own country and, therefore, they deserve their own country.
And, hey, you know it's a rare day indeed when I applaud a decision by George W. Bush, but, after his quick recognition of Kosovo as an independent nation yesterday, he simply must be praised... even by the likes of me. And, no, I'm not being sarcastic here.
Now if only the Chechens, Tibetans, Palestinians, Kurds, Tamils of Sri Lanka and all others living under foreign oppression could be granted their freedom we'd be on the road to a much more just and peaceful world.
Will it be allowed to happen without moronic nationalistic generals and politicians insisting on a bloodbath before any succession is ever permitted to take place? Of course not. But that doesn't mean these people's eventual peaceful independence isn't the right thing to support and hope for.
I mean, it's been 90 years - ninety years!! - since President Woodrow Wilson made his grand proclamation stating that all nations had an inalienable right to self-determination. And yet today so many still live under the oppressive rule of others.
Who, besides a few wacko nationalist Russians, really thinks, for example, that the Ukrainians, Georgians, Kazaks, Lithuanians, etc. should actually have remained under Russian colonial domination? Same thing with Tibet, of course... and any other people who want to be free.
Yes, including Quebec, if a majority of the people there want independence then they obviously should have it. No one has a right to force nations of people to remain in a country against their wishes. I definitely don't want Quebec to leave Canada, but if the majority of Quebecers want to leave they certainly have that right.
Is it a tragedy that Czechoslovakia split up? No. If Belgium splits should the world cry? Come on. If Sri Lanka is split into 2 countries is that a reason for despair? Hardly. In fact, it'd be an occasion to rejoice. Stop the slaughter. Screw the old borders. Let the people go!
Everyone should be allowed to seek national determination. It's that simple. If France deserves to be a free separate country, if Germany does, if Ukraine does, if Ireland does, if East Timor does, so then does Kurdistan, Palestine, Chechnya, Darfur and Kosovo. Really, it's a no brainer if you ask me.
However, it seems that just about every other group fighting for freedom, liberation and independence these days is labeled a "terrorist organization", even though the greatest terror is usually dished out by the armies of the countries trying to crush them. Nowhere is this more glaring than in Chechnya, where the Russian army carpet-bombed the capital of Grozny and, in the end, killed over 200,000 Chechens in a few short years. All for nothing, nothing but nationalistic glory. "Our present borders can never change" the colonial masters declare, as they engage in their slaughter of innocents. Well, why the hell can't they? That's what I want to know.
At least the West is supporting freedom in this one case in Kosovo. It certainly shines a light on the glaring hypocrisy of most Western governments' positions on so many other independence movements. But being on the side of justice this one time is definitely better than never, right?
So let's hear it for the people of Kosovo and let's hear it for George W. Bush and the governments of France, Germany, the U.K., Italy and all other countries that quickly recognized this new nation. It's a great day!
Mike Cowie (Oredakedo)
Tuesday, February 19th, 2008