Welcome to Vitriol. If you're one of the eleven people who read the Extreme, then you may remember that this was a column in which I spewed forth on whatever may have been irking me at the time. I am considering starting a new, online publication at some point, but in the meantime, I've decided to resurrect Vitriol in hopes of getting myself back in the habit of writing regularly. And since I've been finding myself pissed off more and more lately... ;)
I'll start with the meaty stuff. Kosovo. I understand that this conflict goes back six hundred years. But for the Serbs to make such an issue of a land they haven't significantly populated since that time, and to try to 'cleanse' said land of the Muslims who have been living there a long time, is preposterous. If Bosnia and Croatia hadn't happened, I might say that the Kosovars were exaggerating the situation, that they were just getting greedy. It's obvious, however, that Milosevic and the Serbs have a serious problem with people who are not Serbs.
The ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, while desiring independence, agreed to settle for autonomy. They agreed to NATO troops keeping an eye on the situation after all was said and done. Milosevic balked. Why? If he truly wants a peaceful and equitable resolution to this crisis, what's so wrong with keeping Kosovo in Yugoslavia, which he obviously wants, and allowing a temporary peacekeeping force to monitor the transition? It seems that he doesn't want anyone getting in the way of any ulterior motives, any secret plans.
Milosevic's actions have pretty much guaranteed that the Kosovars will never subject themselves to his rule again; they'd rather die fighting him. And who could blame them? He's risking Yugoslav and Serbian property and lives rather than let the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo continue to live there, in peace, under his rule. He's forcing them out even as I'm writing this, and while it's possible that the NATO bombings hurried his plans along, there's no doubt in my mind that he planned to do this anyway. This man is a rabid nationalist, using the Albanians to consolidate his power in much the same way as Hitler used the Jews. While I am generally not a fan of war, this man must not be allowed to remain in power and continue his campaign of terror. And the Russians should back off. They're sympathetic to Milosevic as a former Communist, and also because they've faced a similar situation in Chechnya (as China still faces with Taiwan), but the fact remains that you don't treat your own citizens this way! Most of the world agrees.
Enough o' that. My car, too, has blown a gasket. I hate when that happens. Why must it be so difficult, and so expensive, to get one's car up and running after a mechanical problem? Teens, take note: we've got more than enough lawyers and doctors. Consider becoming auto mechanics. Create more competition, drive rates down, and maybe I'll be able to afford self-locomotion.
Hurray to Libya for finally turning over the two suspects in the Pan Am bombing to the UN for trial. I'm no fan of Mo's, but I guess he's realized that this was not an issue worth being stubborn about; years of sanctions over these idiots? Maybe Milosevic (and Saddam) will take note: play ball with the world consensus, and the world will play ball with you. I'm sure Tripoli will appreciate getting those planes back from Egypt...
OK, I feel better. ;) I'm going to try to make this a monthly thing. See you in May. And E-mail me if you've got an opinion on my opinions...