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Here Comes The Money

Posted on April 24, 2013

Yesterday, I wrote about the recent agreement between Serbia and Pristina, and about how perhaps not every Serbian person in the world is totally over-the-moon about it. In Mitrovica, 20,000 people gathered on Monday to say “No To The Brussels Agreement.” At the headquarters of the Serbian Orthodox Church, meanwhile, Patriarch Irinej told press that the deal “appears to mark the pure surrender […] of our most important territory in spiritual and historical terms.” So it’s obviously kind of touchy. Not everyone is happy. The Serbian Orthodox Patriarch isn’t happy, and Tom Hanks (seriously) isn’t happy either. And even though the talks were sponsored by the European Union, Brussels is not the sort of entity to really delve into things like this, or to have…

We Have A Deal

Posted on April 23, 2013

Last Friday, Belgrade and Pristina agreed to “normalize relations” between Serbia and its breakaway, independent-with-an-asterisk former territory of Kosovo. Like so many supposedly certain things here, this newest declaration is full of ambiguities, mismatched definitions, and opportunities for plausible denial. It’s easy to be cynical about these things. When I arrived here, I was astonished at the degree to which Kosovo was willing to depend on vague assurances, “dialogues,” and other such questionable things. But it’s better than the alternative. When, I have come to realize, you see major world powers and organizations giving their imprimatur to these sorts of labored, dishonest-seeming constructions, its because they are concerned that guns will fire in their absence. All parties remain, for the moment, able to see…