Military Strikes Are Part of Kosovo's History of Conflicts
Posted March 23, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST
RALEIGH — The reasons behind the bloodshed in the Kosovo region are still a mystery to most people. But with American troops getting involved, people want to know if the conflict is worth the lives of Americans.
The bombs, the gun-fights and people fleeing for their lives are all part of a long history of bloody conflicts in the region dating back to 1910.
Kosovo is a Yugoslav Province no bigger than Connecticut. It has a population of two million people, and most are ethnic Albanians.
"They want to have freedom," said Dr. Robert Greenberg.
Greenberg is an expert in Ethnic conflicts in Yugoslavia. He says before 1989, ethnic Albanians had their own parliament, national government representation and universities.
That was taken away when Slobodan Milosevic rose to power.
"They have been repressed for at least the last ten years, and they've had enough. They want to secede from Yugoslavia," said Greenberg.
Greenberg says for the Serbs, Kosovo is the birthplace of their heritage.
"This province was the area where Serbian medieval culture flourished, and there are several Serbian monasteries in Kosovo," explained Greenberg.
Greenberg suggests looking at the conflict in another way for perspective.
Consider that the state of North Carolina decided to secede and become independent. In all likelihood, U.S. Armed Forces would move in to put down the rebellion.