Monday, February 25, 2008

Serbs Try to Attack US Embassy in Vienna; Munter Warns Serbia

Ah, the fucking fun and games we like to call the Balkans.
Frances Trix of Indiana University and a long-time researcher in Kosovo gives the historical and cultural context of the Balkan crisis at our collective Global Affairs blog.

Kosovo independence from Serbia continues to provoke Serbian protests, including a rally of 6,000 in Vienna on Sunday that turned violent when 600 hooligans tried to move toward the US embassy, found that Austrian police had sealed it off, and then vented their rage on local shops and restaurants.

Isn't that actually a form of terrorism?

Angry protesters had attacked the US embassy in Belgrade on Thursday, setting fires and forcing an evacuation. US ambassador to Serbia Cameron Munter demanded better security for embassies in Belgrade on Sunday, saying, "I'm very angry at what happened . . . It had better not happen again."

For anyone who can't quite get the nuance here, I think Munter is saying that the Serbian government will be held accountable for any further attacks on the United States embassy in Belgrade. And, indeed, Sunday's events raise the question of why Austria can protect its US embassy but Serbia can't protect its.

Kosovo's emergence as a country in its own right raises the question of why Palestine should not also just declare its own independence. [links in original].

Juan makes a couple very good points. Munter is warning Sebia in a not-too-subtle fashion. And why doesn't Palestine just declare independence?

Via Informed Comment (Juan Cole).

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