I won’t even start with the old rule that when there’s a contract killing, it’s usually the killer who first offers their condolences.
— Nenad Čanak, Radio Free Europe, January 22, 2018
The highest form of scandalous patriotism is real estate, often blood soaked, and almost always fortified. What one controls is often less important as who is doing so. In the case of Kosovo, attempts at control, overt and covert, have been exerted for years. Officially, Serbia lacks de facto effectiveness, a state of affairs in place since the aftermath of the 1999 bombings by NATO. Neither does Albania, which also acts as a stalking counterpart in the region. Kosovo itself occupies a legal twilight zone, tormenting those in search of certainty, puzzling international legal scholars and experts in the field of recognition.
The territory itself has been pockmarked over the years with ethnic displacement and redistributions. Concentrations of Serbs, for instance, can be found across the Ibar River, many having fled in the wake of avenging Albanians in 1999. Governance has been shot to pieces. Security incidents take place during the course of each week.
Various groups, elements, and bands of not so merry creatures have done their best to insinuate themselves into the ethnic and loose framework of this fragile entity. Such conditions have been facilitated by the less than forceful assertion of control by NATO and the United Nations, notably over matters touching…