Updated: Jul 1, 2020
If the media are on the lookout for gaffes by the presidential campaigns, they missed a big one when Cindy McCain, in 2008, 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 accepted and was implicitly recognized by Cindy McCain’s visit to Pristina, was a major threat to global peace and security. It could have sparked 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, 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, said he wanted to wage a vigorous war against Islamic radicals worldwide, was 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 had to know that recognizing Kosovo’s independence has split Western nations and even NATO itself.
It was a major foreign policy blunder. It represented a direct threat to the international order of nation-states. That is why many nations have not recognized this new state of Kosovo. They realized 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 knew it.
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 burned the U.S. embassy there. And yet McCain said he wanted to repair America’s bad image in the rest of the world. He should have started with reversing the disastrous Kosovo policy.
Conservatives should be concerned about the Kosovo policy for another reason. In his speech to the World Affairs Council, McCain talked about the security of the state of Israel. He didn't seem to realize that recognition of Kosovo is a precedent for the creation of another Muslim state, Palestine, in the heart of the Middle East, which could end up being just as much of a threat to the Jewish state as a nuclear Iran.
Israeli analysts have recognized this threat. They know that Kosovo is to Serbia what Jerusalem is to Israel. Bush, of course, was the first U.S. president to campaign for the creation of an Arab/Muslim Palestinian state.
He encouraged the elections that brought the terrorist group Hamas to power in the Palestinian territories. Did McCain favor this suicidal approach for the state of Israel? Or does Israel’s security lie in asserting its own sovereignty and building a border fence? McCain, of course, seemed to have an aversion to border fences, at least when they are on the U.S. southern border.
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 had 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 said he recognized in Iraq, is that the terrorists cannot be appeased. But he wanted 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 backed 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 seemed 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.
This “adversary press” included, more than ever, conservative commentators and bloggers. But some of those blogs seemed to be running more and more “McCain for President” advertisements. This is a bad sign.
McCain, in his speech, seemed to go out of his way to offend the Russian government, making it clear that he doesn’t regard the regime there as a democracy.
He even wanted to exclude Russia from the G-8 group. Russia, McCain said, does not qualify as a member of what he proposed as a global “League of Democracies.” But how can democracies survive if their countries face dismemberment by groups of nations and alliances acting outside of established and acceptable modes of conduct?
How does it benefit the U.S. to increase the membership of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) by adding states such as Bosnia and Kosovo?
Russia, which promised 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.
Then the situation may get some serious media attention.
If foreign policy was McCain’s strong suit, we were in serious trouble. His policy was the same as that of Democrats Hillary and Obama. And yet McCain said that Russia has a deficit of democracy.