The long term question will be whether or not the Serbs produce a righwing political movement which will once again call for a Greater Serbia. If they can make it a few decades in peace with their neighbors, there might be hope......
I have no apriori stake in anything involving the balkans. I am not of slavic origin, a member of the orthodox church etc. and in fact I do not really even know any Serbs. I speak Russian reasonably well and I have a reasonably good idea of how Russians think, and there was a big question mark in 95, i.e. assuming everything you read in the media is correct and the Serbs really are the assholes of the world, is it worth damaging relations with Russia over? To me the answer was not really, but I could not have framed an argument or a case very easily.
When the whole process started up again in 99, I decided to make it my business to go out on the internet and learn as much as possible on the subject. Here's what all I learned:
As nearly as I can tell, the Serbs are the closest thing there are to normal decent people in the Balkans. There were 25 or 26 ethnic groups in the yugoslav federation, only three or four of which had any sort of a problem dealing with Serbs, and those are the three or four which sided with Adolf Hitler in WW-II.
In fact the Serbs declared war on Hitler and held him for many months and sent him into Russia in the dead of winter instead of on schedule, but for which we might all be working in a Nazi coal mine in West Virginia. In fact, the Serbs rescued something like 500 allied airmen who were downed coming back from the raids over Ploesti and other alkan targets. Any allied airman who ever parachuted into Croatia, Albania, or any of the other parts of the Balkans was tortured and killed.
The Serbs paid a huge price for this, two or three million being killed in death camps in the surrounding states, which sided with Hitler.
Kosovo in fact had been majority Serb prior to the war and was the ancient heartland of Serbia, with 1500 or so orthodox shrines and monasteries. Many Serbs living in Kosovo were killed by the nazis, and Tito, a Croat, moved many more out of Kosovo, and then you started getting large numbers of Albanians moving into Kosovo to escape one of the worst regimes in the commie world in Albania. Most Albanian Kosovars are in fact illegal immigrants.
Bad went to worse after the war until Milosevic ended up having to rescind the autonomy of the province in 89, and that was the genesis of the modern problems of Kosovo. Milosevic had no options; every other ethnic group in Kosovo was being brutalized by the Albanians. According to every account I was able to read, in the winter of 99, there was in actual fact nothing resembling ethnic cleansing or genocide going on in Kosovo; only a bunch of innocent people trying to protect themselves from a low-grade guerilla war being waged by narco-terrorists with money and arms being supplied by other nations.
In fact the whole problem in Kosovo was the Albanians, who appear to be universally hated in the region. These people average ten or twelve children per family, and attempt to ensconce themselves into little corners of other peoples' countries and breed for fifteen or twenty years until they constitute a majority population in those corners, and then break those corners off into their "greater Albania". Greeks, Macedonians, Serbs and othere refer to this as "rabbit breeding your way to power". That's aside from rape, murder, poisoning wells etc. etc., which they also excel at.
From everything I was able to read, Albanians are responsible for as much as 90% of European heroin trafficking, most of the prostitution south of Germany, most of the traffic in stolen vehicles moving from Europe to Russia and the Levant, and on and on and on. Therefore it came as no surprise to to learn that the real reasons such as they were for our involvement had basically nothing to do with Albanian Kosovars, who no rational person could give a rat's ass over. There were six or eight real reasons for wanting to get into Kosovo and together they did not add up to a believable case and the pentagon advised Slick not to do it.
Nonetheless the thing which was on the front page of virtually all American journals at the time was the Juanita Broaddrick story, i.e. a credible allegation of a brutal rape by a sitting president of the United States, and Slick clearly needed something to get that story off the papers. A week after Kosovo started, there were pictures of Slick and his toadies doing high-fives and talking about hitting a home run. A home run, in fact, which cost the lives of several thousand little slavic orthodox children.
As near as I could tell, NATO commanders realized that this thing was another episode of dog-wagging for which they could not ask pilots to risk their lives over and ordered bombing attacks practically from orbit, and then when they realized they could not harm the Serbian military from 25,000', embarked upon a wholesale campaign of what most people would call war crimes, targetting the Serbian people and their infrastructure hundreds of kilometers from any legitimate military target.
Aside from every other problem with Kosovo, the precedent which it represents cannot possibly be allowed to stand. If ethnicity is everything and ownership and sovereignty don't mean anything anymore, then what are we going to say when the UN comes here demanding that we hand Texas, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and California over to Mexico on the same perverted basis?
In other words, Kosovo is the basic blueprint for "Atzlan".