Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Another Reason To Stay In Iraq

NewsMax has a small piece advising that we look to Kosovo as an example of why we should stay in Iraq for a while longer.

Bloomberg: Kosovo Offers Iraq Lesson

Those calling on the U.S. to cut and run in Iraq might look to another
conflict-ridden region, Kosovo, opines Bloomberg.com columnist Amity
Shlaes.

The southern enclave of the old Yugoslavia was a battleground between
Albanian Muslims and Christian Serbs in the late 1990s, when Serbian leader
Slobodan Milosevic launched an effort at ethnic cleansing.

NATO intervened with a bombing campaign against the Serbian capital,
Belgrade. Milosevic relented, and both NATO and the United Nations sent in
troops to keep the peace. Around 1,600 American troops remain there among the
more than 15,000 peacekeepers in Kosovo.

The results, more than six years later, suggest that President Bush's
plan to remain in Iraq through his second term might prove a wise one, according
to Shlaes.

"Many Americans are coming to believe that posting soldiers to spend
years defending a beleaguered Muslim population in some dangerous backwater is a
suicide mission," Shlaes writes from the region's capital, Pristina.

"This week I am visiting a place that may disprove all those ideas --
and in the end provide a powerful precedent for Bush's Iraq plan."

Everyone in Kosovo wants the Americans to stay, Shlaes says.

"Sometimes they don't ask. They insist. "

'There will be no more war in the Balkans,' Ardian Gjini, a cabinet member
in Kosovo's provisionary government, said in a meeting this week in Pristina.
'The U.S. presence is why.'"

When asked how long the U.S. must stay in Kosovo, a Serbian official
told Shlaes: "At least 10 or 15 years."

A member of Shlaes' group in Pristina asked an official if Europeans
soldiers might replace Americans in Kosovo.

"Europeans are good fellows," the official replied. "They operate in
two speeds. Slow and slower."

Shlaes concludes: "The former Yugoslavia is worth looking at twice.

"People in the U.S. just now may doubt the value of flying the flag in
these places. But in Kosovo and Belgrade, they don't."

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