Monday, February 18, 2008

Kosovo Factsheet

by Elissa Haney

Where is Kosovo?

Kosovo is a southern province of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which is composed of Serbia and Montenegro1. The country is about the size of Kentucky. It is bordered by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Albania.

The Factions
At odds are the Serbs, under the leadership of archnationalist Slobodan Milosevic, and the ethnic Albanians, who make up 90% of Kosovo's population. While Serbia is internationally recognized as having control over Kosovo, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), a militant ethnic Albanian group, is calling for full independence for the province.

The ethnic Albanians of Kosovo share the ethnic background of the people of neighboring Albania and speak the Albanian language. They are largely Muslim, while the Serbians are generally Eastern Orthodox Christians.

At Issue
Kosovo was autonomous within the former Yugoslavia from 1974 until 1989, when new Serbian president Milosevic took control of the province. During their period of autonomy, the ethnic Albanians enjoyed a measure of cultural freedom that ended with Kosovo's absorption into the Serbian state.

The Serbs are struggling to maintain control over Kosovo for cultural reasons as well. The territory has a significant role in Serbian history, as the site of the Serbs' defeat by the Ottoman Turks in 1389. The battle at Kosovo Field figures prominently in Serbian poetry and has great national significance as the cradle of Serbian civilization.

Setting the Stage
While the issues at the center of the fighting in Kosovo date back nearly two decades, the recent tension began to heat up after the emergence of the KLA in 1996. In 1997 the KLA took a more active role against continued oppression by the Serbs. They began killing Serbs in Kosovo, their main target being policemen. Eventually the KLA was able to establish control over areas within the province.

In February 1998, President Milosevic sent Serbian troops to take back KLA-controlled areas. Eighty people were killed in the ensuing battle, including many women and children. The government-sponsored violence against Albanian civilians sparked rioting by outraged Kosovars and marked an escalation of the conflict.
It also gave cause for intervention by NATO, which, until that point, had never stepped into the middle of a conflict between a sovereign nation and its own citizens. In justifying its involvement, NATO cited the responsibility of protecting fellow human beings from crimes against humanity.

After months of unsuccessful attempts at restoring peace to Kosovo, NATO resorted to military action in the spring of 1999. On March 24 it launched an air campaign that would last for 78 days.

As bombs fell on Serbian soil, Western officials debated the likelihood of defeating the Serbs without the deployment of ground troops. NATO's hesitation in committing to a land battle —and therefore putting its troops at greater risk of danger— ultimately paid off. Serbia finally agreed to sign a UN-approved peace agreement with NATO on June 9.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Barack Obama

"My presence on this stage is pretty unlikely," Barack Obama said at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Seventeen minutes later, his presence on the national stage was virtually assured. Four months after The Speech, the three-term Illinois state legislator won the race to become a United States senator. Little more than two years later, Obama declared himself a candidate for president of the United States.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton has been in the public eye for some 40 years, her face one of the best-known in the world. She has been both admired and reviled with great intensity. She is a First Lady full of other firsts - the first student to speak at her college commencement; the first First Lady to become a United States Senator; the first woman to be treated seriously as a candidate for president of the United States.

Obama: Clinton Divides America

February 11, 2008 8:28 AM
At a town hall over the weekend, at the high school that inspired the Denzel Washington vehicle "Remember the Titans" -- TC Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia -- Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, asked voters to remember that, in his view, the Clintons were titanically bad for the Democratic Party.

“Keep in mind we had Bill Clinton as president when in '94 we lost the House, we lost the Senate, we lost governorships, we lost state houses," Obama said. "And so regardless of what policies they wanted to promote, they didn't have a working majority to bring change about.”

ABC News' Sunlen Miller has more on this HERE.

This argument dovetails with a harsh Obama campaign mailer (check it out HERE) that argues that "Democrats win when we unite America" and goes on to argue that the Clintons are divisive.

"8 years of the Clintons, major losses for Democrats across the nation," the flier says, enumerating that from November 1992 to November 2000, Democrats lost 12 governorships, 7 Senate seats, and 46 House seats.

The flier seems to insinuate that the Clintons have a "political strategy that's been all about division" and pushes instead what Obama says is his plan, which is "about addition -- to build a coalition for change that stretches through Red States and Blue States."

"It's time to turn the page on the divisive politics of the past," the flier says. "South Carolina voters rejected Hillary Clinton's divisive and deceptive attacks."

"Fair or not, poll after poll shows Hillary Clinton helps Republicans divide America. Clinton's nomination would be a guaranteed return to the permanent political warfare of the last decade -- the kind of warfare that succeeds in winning elections for Republicans but accomplishes nothing for the American people."

Something the flier doesn't touch on is former President Bill Clinton's strategy of "triangulation" -- positioning himself in the center with congressional Republicans on the right, congressional Democrats on his left, which a lot of Democrats complained at the time made Clinton look reasonable and made Democrats look like kooky liberals.

In any case, these are strong charges. What do you think?

Clinton Blasts Obama For Slamming Edwards Jab

WASHINGTON, DC—Dissent continued to plague the 2008 presidential campaign this week, as Sen. Hillary Clinton had harsh words for Sen. Barack Obama's recent criticism of blunt remarks made by former Sen. John Edwards over what he called "petty Democratic-party infighting."

"I am dismayed and outraged by my opponent's baseless accusations in response to my other opponent's crude mudslinging tactics, which were inappropriate and which the American people will not stand for," Clinton said, echoing the criticism of criticism that has become a key element of this race. "The sheer effrontery. Destructive. Barb. Vitriol."

Campaign observers speculate that Clinton's comments could provoke a strongly worded response.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Civilisation or the Strength

We always spoke how the country could be strong from any threat, didunia this all showed off each other whoever was most strong and interesting when we saw how the Country america with several countries as England, France, Spain and Germany could make the strength that almost did not have his rival?

Certainly these countries always became the focus by all the sides and their strength also was helped with the IMF strength, the world bank and seterusnya. from the side of the production also was like this and must be seen by us that almost all the
products must have the licence from international and this showed that if the country wanted to go up must be supported by several factors and was here sent by me that among them;

Firstly, each citizen must have the commitment that had against his nation personally without exception a Second ideology, the country must be able to have the strong defence or complete military weapons of the three, the country must be able to make the production of fourth economics, the Country must could do taklukan against the other country or that liked to be known by the expansion of the fifth military, his human resources capacity must be cleverer the six, the law must be really upheld without exception including himself the seven, the Country must could make and created the place of the place of economics as the production of his people and this will create equitable economics of the eight, the country must be able to give the answer and was responsible towards the unemployment and the child yatim.
Prinsif was national must really could be realised in the behaviour in bernegara. I was very jealous how the country that I mentioned above that how America could be allied with monarchial countries!

Today for the developing country and the dependence with the debt immediately must rise and go out as well as immediately proved himself that could compete with developed countries!!
Already during him developing countries proved themselves and said that we went up with civilisation that actually and definitely the bureaucrats, the political elite and the leading figure -the public figure no longer is protracted in his game personally and always came back with the big strength that this country will not go up except by dirinya. this commitment that became the main factor so that hope becomes real and not was the reverse all to wacana. it is hoped!!!

Working As A Black Man In Corporate America

By : Jack Goode
Ah...the thrill of being a black man in corporate America. Actually, it's not all that bad, but it sure isn't everything it's cracked up to be. There are some inherent problems, but, sure, there are some benefits too. Not everyone makes you feel as if you are the token of the organization, but, still, some things continue to need addressing. I'd like to explore those issues, good and bad, one by one.

Many black men won't even consider a position in corporate America. Why? Well, for a lot of us, it's just too darned hard to play the dual roles that are expected of us when we join the corporate ride. To many of our white counterparts, we've not earned the right to be there, and to many of our own black contemporaries, we've "sold out" to white America.

You know, I'm not sure that it has to be either way. I have a female friend who hails from Canada and we were recently discussing the issue of "blackness" in this country. She's a black woman and has encountered a great deal of resistance from the black community for her desire to participate in corporate life. She has been criticized for talking, dressing, and acting..."white".

Yet, for my friend, there's no such thing. Remember, she's from Canada. For her, there is no identity crisis between culture and career goals. And, you know? I have to agree with her. Success within corporate America for a black man is the same as it is for any American. We're not selling out. We're simply grabbing an opportunity and running with it; just like any other American would.

So, is seeking a career in corporate America a sell out? No way. Most of us play different roles at work and away from work. For a black man, maybe the difference between the roles is greater than for someone of another cultural background, but it is no less a role. I say grab the brass ring wherever you can and in whatever way you can reach it.

Don't worry about what other people think because you will never get to where you want to go in life. Being successful is not selling out...that is being from being smart, diligent, and hard work. No one can take away your heart and determination - only if you let them. Keep striving hard and be all that you can be.

Can Democracies Work And Do They Make A Difference To Ordinary Lives?

By : Holly Franklin
What is a democracy and are there truly any real democracies in the world. It seems that the western world is becoming cynical of politicians and there is voter apathy toward elections as many people no longer believe there vote will make a difference. In the United Kingdom the two main parties the Conservatives and Labour are arguing policies over a very narrow middle margin as both parties try and win votes or the next election.

It seems that most people in the UK see the next elections as more of a popularity contest rather than one on ideological grounds. The turnout for elections seems to become lower with each new one. In America turnouts for the caucuses has been higher than in many years. The race for the White House is going to be the most expensive in history. Many Americans are energised ready for change as they see their country as a much more dangerous place after the tenure of George Bush.

The race here though also seems to be more of a popularity contest as the man of the hour Barack Obama really hasn't set out his vision for America even though he believes the electorate should vote for him for change.

The question is will voting for either one of the other of the parties even here going to bring about a radical change in the way America moves forward. Countries like Britain and America who ever is in charge affects the average person very little. Most people wake up, have breakfast, go to work come home, have dinner and go to bed. The highways are maintained by local government a most of the day to day public services they use. Big government doesn't affect them and their vote for then counts for little.

It is an irony for many that at the same time that Western Governments are now trying to force their values and political ideas on other countries. They claim that democracy is the only way forward for countries such as Afghanistan and much of the Middle East when there hasn't been a precedent before. By trying to force these values on other countries they are causing many if these countries to become unsettled when before there had been peace if not always unity. There is supposed democracy in Afghanistan but it only goes as far as the outskirts of Kabul otherwise much of the rest of the country is held by local warlords.

Most people are disenfranchised by politics and believe their vote counts for little in the West. Whilst those who want change in other countries have only seen democracy leads to disorder as we are witnessing in Kenya now.