Is there a limit to how many times you can leave a place? ( “Please, Ma, can we do it again?”)

New Kosovo branding slogan: A place worth leaving more than once!

It’s the roller coaster you line up again and again to *not* ride.

Koso-Go! First stop: “Genocidal” Belgrade

Bus departures canceled as 100s of Albanians leave Kosovo (B92, RTS, Tanjug, Sept. 8, 2017)

For several nights in a row, hundreds of people have been arriving at the bus station in Pristina, looking for ways to reach the countries of Western Europe…Many people are at the station when there are no departures, except for Belgrade — and Belgrade, they say, is the first step on their way to Western Europe.

I thought they told us Belgrade was a step backwards, the first step on the way to the Dark Ages. Meanwhile, can you imagine Jews trying to get to Germany in the years after WW2? “Genocide and ethnic cleansing” indeed.

“…The youth have no perspective [prospects], there is no hope that it will get better. We are going, but nobody knows where it will be,” says Skender Lugici.

The Kosovo economy wouldn’t be so bad if Albanians could get back-pay per Serb killed. (Sort of how they got money for every dog tail they brought in after slaughtering the province’s dogs a few years ago.)

“I appeal to anyone who can leave Kosovo to do that because there is no perspective,” said one of the Albanians who left Pristina.

A few hundred people gathered at the bus station welcomed the arrival of the first bus bound for Belgrade with ovations.

Those who have already tried once to go abroad, but have been returned, are among those gathered at the bus station now. They are not giving up, and want to leave Kosovo again.

What’s the matter? Is Wesley Clark Avenue not working out for them? Life on Tony Blair Street too rough? Maybe Bill Clinton Boulevard is too pricey, but what about Madeleine Albright Street or George Bush Square? Are there no jobs on Eliot Engel Blvd? How about on Bob Dolt Avenue?

Say, if all the Albanians bolt, and since their rule is “A place belongs to those who live there,” then do the 100,000 remaining Serbs get to keep Kosovo? Or does it go to the almost-as-many American troops inhabiting the U.S. base that inhabits Kosovo? (Talk about a state within a state!)

…Most arrive to learn about the conditions for leaving Kosovo.

That is how it started two years ago when more than 50,000 people left Kosovo in a two-month wave. […]

Ah yes I remember two years ago, when “Kosovars” felt the Seven Year Itch and left their betrothed Kosovo for something more fun, and we ended up with Exodus II.

Now, 50,000 is an interesting number. That’s how many Serbs the Albanians cleansed in just four days during the March 2004 pogrom.

Indeed, it seems that after crying Ethnic Cleansing while cleansing almost all non-Albanians, Albanians are now ethnically cleansing themselves from their NATO-minted Albanian paradise. A case of Careful What You Wish For, if ever there was one.

Here was the item on it in NY Times, which in the ’80s knew who was attacking and expelling whom, but in the ’90s kept its own work buried so its president could have his war and create this cesspool. Guilty as all the hellbound politicians above.

Kosovars who fought for land are now eager to leave (NYT, March 7, 2015)

The extended Cakaj family has built a few dozen homes here, along Tony Blair Street, between the Dubai supermarket and the French peacekeepers base, in a clannish faith that closeness would bring security. But recently the family of Kosovo Albanians has begun to splinter, as a disastrous economy, static politics and a newly created opening in the border with Serbia have enticed tens of thousands of Kosovars to leave their troubled land in search of opportunity and work.

Afrim Syla, 48, of Pristina, who makes pancakes for a living and recently had a son join the exodus, concurred: Once, Kosovars were laying down their lives to stay here. “Now,” he said, “we have come to a situation where we leave of our own free will.”

Sixteen years after NATO, in its only war [so far], drove out Serbian security forces so 850,000 Kosovo Albanians expelled [sic] by the Serbs could return home, the flow of Kosovo Albanians has reversed. For months now, buses have been bringing Kosovo Albanians through Serbia to the porous land border with Hungary, in the European Union.

The Albanians cross on foot, often undetected. When picked up by Hungarian officials, they have been detained only briefly. Many are enticed by the promises of a paid Serbian “guide” or have a friend or relative in Austria, Switzerland, Germany or Scandinavia and, moving freely among European Union nations, make their way toward them.

But Kosovo’s Albanians, most of whom are Muslims, are not being greeted with open arms. In another twist, they are being forced back to their land, deemed too physically — if not financially — secure to warrant asylum status.

[So many ‘unforeseeable’ “twists” in the ongoing Kosovo saga!]

…At Pristina’s grim bus station, the flow of buses leaving each night is down to two, from a reported 12. There, a large notice lists 10 reasons not to emigrate, first among them that the Kosovo state for which Albanians fought so hard needs people if it is to exist. [’ And we’ve gotten rid of everyone else!’]

No one seems to know exactly when and why the exodus started, but it has been startling in its swiftness and intensity. Officials in Austria and Germany sounded alarms in January, after registering huge increases in Kosovo Albanians seeking asylum. [Couldn’t happen to two nicer countries.]

European-brokered agreements last fall…created more entry points for Kosovars to enter neighboring Serbia and freer passage across Serbia, as well as broader mutual recognition of identity documents. The buses started to roll northward.

While Kosovars felt hope in the aftermath of their brutal war with the Serbs and their declaration of independence in 2008, many — particularly the young — say they now see few prospects.

Ah but there is blame to be thrown in a non-Albanian direction yet! Wait for it…here it comes:

Many feel a stifling sense of uncertainty rooted, in part, in the territory’s status. Russia, a longtime ally of Serbia, does not recognize it, and some nations see its independence as a signal to their own separatists [imagine that!]…

Austria registered 1,901 asylum applications from Kosovo citizens in 2014, but saw 1,029 in January alone…By mid-February, Germany had some 18,000 applications from Kosovars since Jan. 1. Within Kosovo, the Education Ministry counts some 5,600 absent pupils. [Look in Syria or Iraq.]

But Western Europe is already swamped with refugees….some Kosovo arrivals were housed in old United States Army barracks in Heidelberg, Germany. In Germany, the flood from Kosovo has now slowed to about 200 arrivals a day, from 1,400 a day in early February.

Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, 63, now faces the challenge of keeping Kosovo Albanians at home….[H]e said he hoped to ease youth discontent by spreading the city’s sports and cultural facilities across Kosovo — a region that broils in summer, but still has no public swimming pool — and improving education. [No public pool in all of Kosovo? Just open up one of Thaci’s, Haradinaj’s or Ceku’s.]

For the Cakaj family, the problems have prompted some reinvention. Isa Cakaj, 42…has a degree in geological engineering, but Kosovo’s mineral mines are either drying up, or still untapped. So he is retraining in forensics…[What does Kosovo need forensics for suddenly?! That’s defeating the purpose.]

“If you don’t have connections and know people, there is no way for you to get a job,” said Isa Cakaj’s father, Sherif….In his 75 years, he insisted, things had never been so bad. “The worst thing is when you are alive, but you are dead,” he said. “If I was not so old, I would leave myself.”

Let’s hear that again: In his 75 years, things had never been so bad. 75 years includes quite a bit of pre post-Yugoslav times. Which means Albanians, like everyone else there, being ruled from Belgrade. Wasn’t so bad, was it? So what did our vital, violent dismantlement fix, exactly?

Meanwhile, it’s interesting that Prime Minister Mustafa, who just left office this month, had “the challenge of keeping Kosovo Albanians at home.” Because apparently he couldn’t even keep his family at home:

Kosovo PM says brother, other relatives, tried to migrate to EU (Reuters, March 20, 2016)

Kosovo’s prime minister said on Sunday his brother and some nephews and nieces were among tens of thousands of Kosovars who tried to enter the European Union last year fleeing poverty and unrest in their homeland.

Confirming a report by Pristina-based news portal Insajderi, Prime Minister Isa Mustafa said his own brother Ragip was among those who had tried to get into the EU.

“I read that my brother was an asylum seeker to get medical help. This is true,” Mustafa wrote on his Facebook page. “On the wave of migration, I want to be open with you, nieces and nephews also went but they are back now. This shows that my family members also face the same destiny as other citizens,” he said.

In the six months to March 2015, some 70,000 Kosovars — more than any other nationality — sought asylum in the European Union.

Ragip Mustafa first applied for asylum in France and made another application in June 2015 in Germany, Insajderi said. [Yes, the brother of the PRIME MINISTER actually made an ASYLUM gambit.]

Up to 800,000 Kosovars are estimated to be already living and working in western Europe, mainly in Switzerland and Germany, as part of an exodus that began in the late 1990s. [Careful they don’t all decide to live in one province.]

The medical sector is in a miserable condition and those who want better medical treatment have to pay [or bribe] for private care in the region or in EU countries.

And here it’s interesting that the medical sector in particular is mentioned. Maybe this March 2000 NY Times item helps explain its dismal state:

Albanians are singling out the dwindling number of educated Serbs in an effort to expel all Serbs from the province, [UN Kosovo administrator] Mr. Kouchner said…[H]e told the story of a Serbian gynecologist who chose to stay in his town, Gnjilane, after the war ended. The doctor, Josef Vasic, was one of two remaining Serbian doctors in the city, the American troops’ main Kosovo base, and was shot and killed one Sunday morning as he left his clinic. He had spent much of his professional life treating Albanian women, and was one of the moderate Serbs working with Mr. Kouchner to try to build a functioning multiethnic Kosovo. “He was my best ally,” said Mr. Kouchner, who founded the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders.

The Times of London also mentioned this doctor:

Six centuries ago it was the Turks who were rampant. Now, as Nato and the United Nations look on bewildered, it is the Albanians. Ethnic cleansing continues unabated and Vasic, a gynaecologist with three young children, was its latest victim….”I heard four shots,” said his widow, Dragana. “He had already been beaten up once and had a grenade thrown at him. I didn’t think it could happen a third time.” … Apart from Nato-led Kfor peacekeepers, the only organisation fighting the losing battle to contain Kosovo’s anarchy is the UN international police force. Their two commanders in Gnjilane, an American and a Russian, have admitted that little can be done to halt such cold-blooded assassinations. If an Albanian wants to murder a Serb, UN sources say, he can do so with virtual impunity. Any attempt to find the perpetrator is lost in the conspiracy of silence…[of] a province in the grip of a powerful Albanian mafia.

Such was the fear of further attacks that the doctor could not be buried in Gnjilane. Under heavy Kfor protection, Dragana Vasic and the couple’s daughters…were taken to Gornje Kusce, two miles to the north. This is one of several villages that serve as havens for the Serbs. All have an Orthodox church or monastery, ringed by barbed wire…Much of the UN organisation in Kosovo appears apathetic, but [American Gary] Carrell and [Russian Valeri] Korotenko provide an uplifting example of international co-operation.

Let’s see what nuggets we can glean from some of the other reporting at the time: Oh, here was Reuters on Feb. 6, 2015:

…More than 15 years after NATO bombs wrested Kosovo from Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, the young Balkan country is witnessing a dramatic surge in the number of its citizens smuggling themselves across Serbia’s border into Hungary to reach the European Union.

Since September, more than 30,000 have been caught in Hungary, compared with 6,000 for the whole of 2013. Almost all apply for asylum, and use the time it takes to process their applications to give overstretched immigration authorities the slip and push westwards to the likes of Germany and Switzerland through the EU’s borderless Schengen zone.

Aided by a relaxation of entry rules to former master Serbia, families travel by bus for 15 euros per person to the Serbian capital, Belgrade, then again by bus to the northern town of Subotica, from where they take a taxi to the border and walk across, through a water-filled ditch and then kilometers of forest.

“This is the gateway to Europe,” said Zoltan Salinger, a 23-year-old Hungarian border ranger. “I spoke to old hands on the border; they told me, in 1998, a total of 34 migrants were caught. Now we get 500-600 every day.”

Let’s hear that again. 1998 — that desperate time of running for their lives from a “monster” named Milosevic: 34 Albanians a day; 2015: 500-600 a day.

“Those two planks you see leading across that ditch,” he said to a reporter, “that’s the Schengen border.”

At the border, men removed their shoes and trousers to wade through three feet (a meter) of water in the ditch, carrying children. The walk to the nearest town is 10 km (six miles), through forest and snow that began falling on Friday afternoon.

Kosovo’s president went to Vushtrri the same day to urge residents to stay.

“You should not leave; you have to stay with us here and find solutions,” Atifete Jahjaga told a crowd of people.

One man yelled back, “I’ll go tonight to Hungary.” Another said: “Madam president! Find me a job and I won’t leave Kosovo.”

Authorities, however, are at a loss to explain the sudden jump in numbers since September. Migrants spoken to by Reuters reporters suggest smugglers have found safer routes across the border, and word of mouth has triggered an exodus.

Gazmend Xhema, 28, said he, his wife and three-year-old daughter had tickets for…one of at least 10 packed buses leaving every night for Belgrade…Once in Hungary, he said, “I’ll tell them: ‘Kill me, just don’t turn me back to Kosovo, because there’s nothing here.’”

From the horse’s mouth: better dead than in the Albanian paradise. Meanwhile, like the Kosovo “president” Jahjaga, the Yugoslav president also once called on Albanians to stay home, to not leave. That was in 1998-99, but they took off anyway, and it was called “ethnic cleansing.” And that president, Milosevic, was hauled before an international tribunal. So should it be now, no? Especially since in this case — unlike the posthumously exonerated Milosevic — the ruling class really was complicit in the project forcing Albanians to flee: an independent Kosovo.

Ah but wait. Some would say I’m not looking at this the right way. See, this was precisely Milosevic’s long-term plan all along — one to survive his death: Provoke a NATO intervention whose bombs would send people running, which in the immediate term would result in the desired expulsions and deaths of Albanians (See “[Milosevic Prosecutor Geoffrey] Nice Loses his Mind and Accuses Milosevic of ‘Allowing’ the NATO Bombing“). In the long term, though, Milosevic just knew that this all would leave Kosovo in the West’s hands, to be handed over to a criminal Albanian leadership that would make life in Kosovo impossible, resulting in an outflow of the Albanians in the end, emptying out the province so the Serbs could move back in.

More from Exodus 2015:

Kosovo PM calls for end to exodus on sombre anniversary (AFP, Feb. 17, 2015)

Kosovo marked a sombre seventh anniversary of independence from Serbia Tuesday with Prime Minister Isa Mustafa urging citizens not to quit the mainly ethnic Albanian territory as it grapples with a deep economic malaise.

Apart from a reception by President Atifete Jahjaga for foreign diplomats and local officials, the parliamentary session was the only official event planned to celebrate the territory’s unilateral breakaway from Belgrade in 2008.

Not a single Kosovo flag was flying on the main street in Pristina. [You know things are bad if an Albanian is without a flag.]

In the past, Kosovo independence anniversaries have been celebrated with military parades attracting thousands of people. […]

More coverage: Kosovo Albanians flee misery for EU promised land (Feb. 12, 2015) [I thought Kosovo was the promised land.]

… “We have independence, but our stomachs are empty,” said Hasan Fazliu, 27, who was making the 10-hour trip with his wife and his one-year-old son Liridon.

“It is hard to leave your country, but it is even harder to live in it,” Ilir Sejdiu, a 20-year-old construction worker said.

Once in Palic, the migrants are at the mercy of Kosovo smugglers working with local criminals, who charge an average of 300 euros ($339) per person smuggled into Hungary and demand exorbitant prices for lodging.

For their part, Kosovo authorities have done little to stem the flow apart from issuing warnings against using Serbia as a transit route to enter the EU illegally. Serbian authorities have also come under fire for failing to act.

…Serbian officials say they’ve recently received more than 60,000 requests for Serbian passports. Kosovo citizens still need a visa to travel in the EU, while Serbian nationals can travel freely in most of the bloc’s 28 member states.

Let’s go over this. I covered the 2010 crush for Serbian passports, but let’s state it plainly here for the record: Opportunistic though the reasons may be, Albanians are lining up to become Serbian citizens. Even as we hear the mantra: “Kosovo will never be ruled from Belgrade again!”

In an interview on the occasion of Albanian Kosovo’s 7th anniversary, London-based commentator Marko Gasic put forward the following:

…[T]he key thing here is that the population of Kosovo appears to be voting with their feet and leaving the failed Kosovo project…There is of course another school of thought that suggests that the leadership in Kosovo perhaps is helping this crisis to occur in order to give the EU a choice between billions of euro of aid going to Kosovo, or half a million refugees going to the EU. So everything is possible…We had scenarios in the past of crises in Kosovo which have been manufactured….The EU together with NATO has attempted to manage the Kosovo project and has utterly failed to do so. If Kosovo had been under Serbian control, the Serbians would be to blame for these consequences; we would be hearing all sorts of accusations…[I]n 16 years the EU and NATO have delivered nothing to Kosovo in the way of prosperity…Even the EU itself is now accused to be part of the corrupt society that they have helped to create in Kosovo…But from NATO’S point of view Kosovo still meets [a goal:] the ability of NATO to relocate from Germany into the biggest military base since Vietnam, that’s Camp Bondsteel sitting there in the heart of Kosovo which doesn’t require anybody’s permission as it continues its encirclement of strategic targets further east. So Kosovo still fulfills NATO’s demands for its function even if doesn’t fulfill any demands of the population, and any demands for what economic prosperity should involve.

Kosovo’s joy now despair on anniversary of independence (AP, Feb. 17, 2015)

Jubilant throngs gathered around gigantic letters spelling “NEWBORN,” when Kosovo declared independence from Serbia seven years ago. Today, there’s a new national symbol: The bus stop where hundreds of people gather every day to flee a country they’ve given up on.

High hopes have turned to despair as Kosovars on Tuesday mark the anniversary of their dream of nationhood coming true…The departures, coupled with violent January protests, threaten to export Kosovo’s economic and social troubles beyond its borders.

“I am so disappointed with my own place, I just want to leave,” said Bislim Shabani, an ethnic Albanian heading to Germany with his wife and four children.

Lured by promises of a secure future abroad, many are happy to turn their backs on a country with rampant unemployment and corrupt officials — who critics say enjoy the protection of a justice system that caters to the elite.

Mirsad Muliqi waved goodbye to his brother and his family boarding a bus to Serbia, then said: “They just want to get out of this filthy place.” The unemployed Muliqi said he would follow as soon as his brother settles down in Germany.

Serbia’s rejection of Kosovo’s independence has prevented further recognitions and helped to isolate it internationally.

The ease of travel to Turkey has also encouraged hundreds of Kosovo Muslims to join the ranks of Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria….

Political analyst Dukagjin Gorani blames the simmering troubles on former rebel leaders… “Kosovo has … been systematically robbed and enslaved in the name of liberation,” Gorani said, referring to officials from the Kosovo Liberation Army who fought the separatist war and are now in leading positions…[N]o sentences have been handed down — triggering claims that the accused have strong-armed the fledgling legal system. Gorani said the situation could explode into unrest at any time.

“You know how it is with the Balkans,” he said. “It is always a powder keg and at the heart of which Kosovo remains with a very short fuse.”

‘Kosovo exodus – lesson for West not to meddle in other countries’ affairs’ (RT interview with political analyst Aleksandr Pavic, Feb. 24, 2015)

…RT:Kosovo’s biggest daily newspaper has published a full-page appeal from Austria not to waste time and money trying to get asylum in the EU. What do you make of that?

Aleksandr Pavic: That is just a continuation of the real Western hypocrisy….They encouraged independence of a territory which absolutely cannot sustain itself. They encouraged civil war within the country. They did all that and gave those people false hopes, and now they are turning them back. It’s really cynical. And now what? They [Kosovans] lived much better in one country when they were part of Serbia. [Now] their living standards are about 10 times worse. But now Serbia is supposed to take care of them, but Austria and Western countries were encouraging them to secede from Serbia.

RT: Austria and some other Western countries gave a green light to Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008. So why does the West refuse now to take responsibility for their actions?

AP: Austria is afraid of people who have become absolutely desperate; people who since their so-called independence was declared in 2008 have lost all hope, because Austria as well as other Western countries gave power in Kosovo to the mafia, to terrorists. Ordinary people who just want to live a normal life have absolutely no chance to earn a living whatsoever. There is no industry in Kosovo: whatever worked has been destroyed either in the war or afterwards during the so-called privatization transition…And as a result you have desperate people who are just trying to make a living, and Austria doesn’t want to provide for them. It shouldn’t have been offering them false hopes to begin with.

RT: We see the similar situation happening in Ukraine right now. Shouldn’t there be any lessons learned after conflict in Kosovo?

AP: The lesson that should be learned here is that…when you start meddling in other countries’ problems you cause problems for that country and for your own country as well…Kosovo is just one example of a territory that has been instrumentalized for the purposes of others. We have a similar example now in Ukraine….I don’t think that Ukrainians…would choose today’s Ukraine over Ukraine before other countries meddled in their own affairs and cause a civil war…So, the key lesson is: mind your own business…[and] respect international law…

RT: What do you think is the best way to resolve the long-running complex situation in Kosovo?

AP: The best way to resolve the situation is to give up on the project of so-called independent Kosovo. Kosovo Albanians and Serbs lived in the same country for decades, they lived peacefully, and it was a prosperous country compared to what it is now. If they stopped with the project of independent Kosovo and just told the Albanians that if they want to live peacefully they should make arrangements with their neighbors, with Serbia and just not interfere. And I’m sure that Serbs and Albanians would much more quickly come to an understanding — as would Ukrainians and Russians — without outside meddling. So just give up on your own projects that serve your own interests and let other people settle their difference between themselves.

Based on these eminently predictable developments, in June of 2015 Canadian military reporter Scott Taylor offered some advice to Ukraine: “The people of Ukraine who see their salvation in the form of a NATO intervention should take a good look at NATO’s ’success’ in Kosovo.”

A few interesting tidbits here:

The exodus appears to have been abetted by an EU-encouraged easing of travel rules in Serbia, which since 2012 has allowed Kosovars to enter with Kosovo-issued documents that Belgrade previously rejected given that it does not recognize its former southern province as independent.

Again, this was part of the arm-twisted “progress” in relations between Serbia and Kosovo, a series of Western-overseen agreements that climaxed in April 2013, making eventual Serbian recognition of Kosovo inevitable. Let the West continue enjoying the fruits of its coercive brokerings. But back to the blame game:

Kosovo declared independence in 2008 and is recognized by more than 100 countries. But Serbia’s refusal — backed by U.N. veto-holder Russia — to do so has impeded Kosovo’s international integration and therefore its economic development….Kosovo Interior Minister Skender Hyseni…appealed to [EU ambassadors] to speed up procedures for processing asylum requests to discourage would-be migrants. He pinned the blame on the smugglers, saying: “There are criminals who are profiting on the misfortune of Kosovo’s citizens.”

The smugglers, of course, merely respond to new circumstances. And those are created at the top. More blame, and the solution to Albanians leaving: make it easier for them to leave (or, er, “travel”):

[M]inister for European integration [Bekim Collaku] sees their anger as the fault of the EU. “This generation is extremely frustrated,” he said. “Kosovo has a huge diaspora, yet just to get an appointment for a visa takes six months. People feel trapped.”

Kosovo is the only country in the region not to have a visa waiver scheme within the Schengen area – even Moldovans can travel without a visa, which rankles in Pristina. But surely the exodus is due to his government’s economic and political policies, rather than the visa situation?

“It has been a worrying situation, but now the numbers leaving are falling,” he said.

Washington Times coverage mentioned another distinction:

…50,000 people left this tiny Balkan country of 1.8 million since late last year, according to the Kosovo Intelligence Agency, though unofficial estimates are twice as high….In March, the United Nations ranked Kosovo as the fourth-biggest source of asylum-seekers in the world after Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, with Kosovo the only country on the list not facing mass violence and civil war.

Even as all these Exodus headlines have been coming out, the pressure on Serbia to recognize the disaster of a state only intensifies, while permanent Congressman Eliot Engel drafts a resolution to give it “observer” status at the UN like its almost-as-fictitious counterpart Palestine. Just this month Washington Times got duped into publishing longtime Albanian shill David L. Phillips’ “Why Serbia must recognize Kosovo’s Independence,” and Kosovo’s fanatical leadership continues its PR, from its own little world:

Hashim Thaci: Even Serbia Will Recognize Kosovo in the Not So Distant Future
(Novinite Insider (Bulgaria) interview, Feb. 18, 2015)

Kosovo became a state only 7 years ago and is now recognised by the majority of UN members. We became members of international bodies such as IMF and World Bank as well as International Olympics Committee. Independence of Kosovo helped Balkans become a stable and peaceful region. I think that after a long and dark century under Serbian occupation and communist rule, as well as genocidal war in 1999, Kosovo today can stand tall and proud of its position in the new regional geopolitical architecture….Recognition of Kosovo is a one-way street. One day in not so distant future even Serbia will recognise Kosovo and our flag will wave in Belgrade because EU will demand full and good neighbourly relations between candidate countries aspiring EU membership.

(Later in 2015 Thaci called the EU-forced relations-normalizing dialogue what it was, saying Serbia has already “de facto recognised Kosovo is an independent state”. “Every day Belgrade has been taking steps which bring it closer to the official recognition of Kosovo.”)

Nor did the bad news from Kosovo chasten it out of again asking — the same month as all the Exodus news — for the coveted recognition it’s always sought: Kosovo seeks recognition from Israel (World Jewish Congress, Feb. 26, 2015)

In a speech before the Israel Council on Foreign Relations (ICFR), which operates under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress, Enver Hoxhaj, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations…said that the rise of the State of Israel was seen as a model for Kosovo in its struggle for independence and expressed admiration for the achievements of the Jewish state in many fields of endeavor. He stressed that as a student at the University of Vienna, he had become well acquainted with the writings of Theodor Herzl and these had served as an inspiration to him and some of his compatriots. […]

Theodor Herzl. Yasser Arafat. George Washington. Kosovo was inspired by them all — it just depends on who the audience is. Indeed, Kosovo is the geographic Bill Clinton.

Perhaps the funniest part of it all is that when reading about the Exodus you’ll often find a sponsored link on the page listing “Flights to Kosovo.” The travel industry hasn’t gotten the memo that all the flight is FROM Kosovo.

(Oh, he’s waving good-bye.)



Kosovans from the city of Pristina walk on a street in [Albanicidal] Belgrade…Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images



Serbian border police stop Kosovars trying to cross the border to Hungary, as they walk in a field near the town of Subotica, (REUTERS/Marko Djurica)



Kosovar children cry after they crossed illegally the Hungarian-Serbian border with their family (REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh)



A Kosovo man carries his baby as he illegally crosses the Hungarian-Serbian border near the village of Asotthalom (Reuters)

Am I the only one who finds these images hilarious? They’re visual documentation that ethnic supremacy can backfire. And that fake tears can lead to real ones.

In five months we’ll see how Kosovo’s 10th “anniversary” goes. Hold on to your hijabs.