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President Trump Appoints Grenell Special Envoy for Serbia and Kosovo; Good Time for That Apology…

To Serbia for Attacking That Nation for No Reason!

I just read that Serbia and Kosovo are trying to work out their differences as well they should. Apparently Germany and France have been trying to mediate a solution that will provide recognition for the independent Republic of Kosovo (In Pristina the capital there is a street named after Hillary Clinton and a statue of Bill Clinton!) and the Republic of Serbia. I support any people group seeking independence and we can do the same for Kosovo.

Now our President is sending the Ambassador to Germany from the United States of America, Richard Grenell, to be a special US envoy to the peace talks between Serbia and Kosovo. From The Hill:

President Trump has selected the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, as the Trump administration’s envoy for ongoing peace talks between Serbian and Kosovan officials, the White House announced Thursday night.

Grenell, who will remain as ambassador to Germany in addition to his new duties, will lead U.S. efforts to assist Serbia and Kosovo to reach a formal peace agreement that could result in Serbia’s recognition of Kosovo as an independent nation.

Irony alert: Remember that scene in The Mouse That Roared (fabulous book and terrible movie – they started off the track when they turned Duchess Gloriana to an older woman rather than a young maiden) where at the Cabinet meeting to discuss options now that Grand Fenwick has the Quadium Bomb, the prominent US Senator Griffin, upon being told that the Soviets will provide assistance to the victorious Duchy of Grand Fenwick, said we must do even more!

“We must take immediate and effective countermeasures, Mr. President,” he burst out. “We must match the Soviet offer of mutual assistance with one of our own….”


“We’re overlooking something basic here,” said the President. “That is we are at war with the duchy of Grand Fenwick.”

While I contend the war with Kosovo was illegal (The House of Representatives actually voted against continuing it) it also was for no real reason. It was unprovoked aggression against Serbia. People died; there was extensive destruction, including in Belgrade proper. The fact that NATO authorized the war is of no import; No NATO action can be justified without US support. It is also implicit in the NATO Treaty that NATO forces will never be used for aggression (emphasis mine):

Article 1

The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

So like the USA in The Mouse That Roared, we have unfinished business with Serbia. How can we bring peace?

I have called in the past for a US apology to Serbia (and Montenegro, which was part of the last remnant of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) and I think our new envoy ought to do the same. The Parliament chamber of Serbia in Belgrade ought to do it nicely.

I do not think we have any credibility with Serbia unless we officially apologize to it for attacking them without any compelling reason; we certainly were not attacked first. I realize this might lead to some financial contribution from the USA but we probably will do so anyway to get the Serbs to recognize Kosovo (there is also the issue of ethnic Serbs in Kosovo who need legal protections and an issue of some sort of access to the reason Kosovo is so important to the Serbian people) as independent. From HistoryNet:

To the Serbs the Field of Blackbirds (Kosovo Polje) was sacred ground—like Valley Forge to Americans or Verdun to the French. To the Albanians the battlefield and its monument were ugly reminders of Serbian repression and the sectarian strife that have dominated the Balkans for the last 700 years. Thus, NATO troops found themselves standing round-the-clock guard over the site of a 600- year-old battle of which most of them had never heard. But for many local residents the battle might have been fought yesterday.

So my advice (If I had ten minutes…) to the President is: Write that apology and send it with your new envoy to bring peace to Serbia and Kosovo.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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