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Tilting at Windmills

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February 19, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

YOU SAY KOSOVO....Who says Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama don't have distinct policy differences? Moira Whelan offers up this fascinating tidbit:

I was looking at the statements released by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama regarding the announcement of Kosovo's independence....There are some interesting differences between the two statements that I'm sure will not be lost on a number of voters concerned with this issue who live in Ohio and Pennsylvania, let alone leaders in the rest of the world.

First and most notable is the Clinton reference to "Kosova" and the Obama reference to "Kosovo." Arguments differ, but suffice to say "Kosova" is considered the pro-Albanian reference while "Kosovo" is the historical name of the region dating back centuries. This may seem subtle to some, but speaks volumes to those who follow the issue.

Question: Is the use of Kosova intended to pander to the pro-Albanian vote? Or is it more of an anti-Serb thing? Seems like more of the latter, and it's hard to figure out what good that does Hillary or anybody else. Still, since I'm obviously in a mood to document campaign trivia today, I thought I'd pass this along.

Kevin Drum 11:49 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (78)

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Comments

Bismarck said that World War I would start because of some "damn fool thing in the Balkans"

Posted by: picturemerollin on February 19, 2008 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

You say "Deutschland," I say "Allemagne." Let's call the whole thing "Germany."

Posted by: Grumpy on February 19, 2008 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

It's a language thing. The names of countries are feminine in most European languages and Kosova is a feminine ending; Kosovo is a neuter ending. When Serbs say Kosovo, they are saying it is not a country, while the Kosovars say Kosova to indicate it is.

Posted by: Bryan on February 19, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Next up: Obama says "ruff" while Hillary says "roof"

sound the alarm!

Posted by: craigie on February 19, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

This is a destabilizing precendent, and a big reason why Darfur is such a problem. The Sudanese government isn't stupid. They've seen how things have gone in Kurdistan, East Timor, and Kosovo. Once an international peacekeeping force gets into Darfur, their chances of getting it back are just about nil.

Notice that the strongest protests came from Russia, Serbia, and Spain. Spain? Yes, any country with a restive region is going to have problems with Kosovo's independence.

Posted by: ArkPanda on February 19, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

I'd wager it's not an indication of preference. Rather, somebody thinks they're cool because they know the local spelling. See "Turino" and the Olympics.

Posted by: bubba on February 19, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

she's just demonstrating that there's nothing she doesn't know something about when it comes to politics - I mean what are the odds that the Obama camp even had a debate about what to call it or even knew they had a choice. After all, the chosen one has already admitted he's too busy writing [stealing] pretty speeches to be spending much time on details.

Posted by: ofentalk on February 19, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

It's not a pander. It's policy.

Bill Clinton used the term Kosova throughout his term, for just such a reason.

Posted by: Matthew G. Saroff on February 19, 2008 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I see you do not understand the importance of gender in language. In non-English languages, each noun is typically associated with a gender. "o" means its masculine, "a" means its feminine. Because Hillary is female and a radical feminist, she prefers to end her nouns with a "a" instead of "o". Hence Kosova instead of Kosovo. Pretty simple when you think about it.

Posted by: Al on February 19, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Geez! How about a typo?

Posted by: fillphil on February 19, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

"she's just demonstrating that there's nothing she doesn't know something about when it comes to politics"

Like when she talked about Mushareff running in the Pakistani elections.

Oh...wait a minute. He wasn't. Yeah, the woman who was merely voting for "more inspections" back in November of '02 is a real genius who always can be counted on to "get it" down to the finest detail.

Posted by: brucds on February 19, 2008 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Laugh now and regret it later.

Remember GWB's inability to come up with the name of the leader of distant, insignifigant little Pakistan back during the 2000 debates?

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on February 19, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

That's got to be part of HRC's much-vaunted rapport with the working class--she's from Chicago and she doesn't know how many more people have Serbian roots than Albanian?
Or her people are like that guy who read way too many Patrick O'Brian novels and said "niggardly" to a couple of Black guys who got an unfortunate impression (because the even older Anglo-Saxon "stingy" didn't sound arcane enough). Yeah, let's piss off the Serbs for the sake of precise terminology.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on February 19, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I usually pay attention to the news, but I have to admit this is the first time I've heard of Kosova.

As to Hillary's " will allow Kosova and Serbia
to finally put a difficult chapter in their history behind them and to move forward," well, best of luck on that one.


Posted by: tomeck on February 19, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Albright is one of Clinton's main advisors, and she has always held a firm, anti-Serbian line. The difference in terminology doesn't surprise me at all.

Posted by: Tyro on February 19, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

I'm assuming Al is making a funny -- confusing grammatical gender with biological gender is pretty silly, and generalizing about non-English languages is just nuts.

Bryan's reference to "most European languages," though, is rather odd. Albanian is an outlier among Indoeuropean languages, and its feminine nouns more typically end in -e or -ë. "Kosovë" is the feminine singular indefinite form, but Albanians tend to use the definite form Kosova ("the Kosovo"). Kosovo is derived from an adjectival form of Slavic kos, blackbird (Turdus merula), and the complete form is Kosovo polje (field of blackbirds), referring to the battle the Serbs lost to the Ottomans on St. Vitus' Day (June 28), 1389.

That's just a taste of the the history, but the bottom line is that Kosova and Kosovë are Albanian forms, whie Kosovo is the Serbian or Slavic.

Posted by: Invigilator on February 19, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

she only says she was voting for 'more inspections' because you whinging pansies on the anti-war left have forced her into such silly circumlocutions. If it were possible to have a reasonable discussion about the war without the wacko elements from left right wetting themselves seeing who can piss idiotic rhetoric the farthest the logic of voting for the resolution would become clear.

Posted by: ock on February 19, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

This is a disaster. While I supported the NATO policy of Serb containment, allowing Kosovo to become independent will give comfort to 30-40 other factional groups wishing for the same. Kosovo has NEVER been considered a state. It is not like Slovakia, Slovenia or many other states, which were cobbled together into a state years ago. Kosovo is new.

Basqueland

Kurdistan

Chechnya

Sudetenland

Transylvania (hungarian Roumania)

Dozens of nascent nationalistic groups are now saying "Why not us, too?"

It's a horrible precedent, and we will be occupied with the problems from this for the next 50-75 years.

Posted by: POed Lib on February 19, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

And note that I am firmly, totally, without doubt anti-Serb. My granduncle was killed by the Serbs. My family was driven out of B-H by Serbs. I know Serbs.

Posted by: POed Lib on February 19, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

I supported the 1999 Nato bombing campaign against Serbia by reason that, in all honesty, the Republicans were so dead set against it and, being a staunch Democrat, I trusted Clinton's judgement over their's. But in hindsight I think it was a bad idea- nothing good has ever come from a big power's meddling in some shitty Balkan conflict. And it seems that this is the case now.

Posted by: botecelli on February 19, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

"That's just a taste of the the history, but the bottom line is that Kosova and Kosovë are Albanian forms, whie Kosovo is the Serbian or Slavic."

and the choice of pronunciation is not arbitrary. It basically means what you choose as the final destination of Kosovo. Kosovo will not depart from Serbia without cost. I believe that the Serbs will act, and it will be a huge mess again.

Posted by: POed Lib on February 19, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

It was probably just a typo. This theory is supported by Clinton's recent statement on the transfer of power in Cubo.

Posted by: Nemo on February 19, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

I bet there is an actual Serbian voting bloc in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Not so much the Albanians, I think. But Hillary's the wonk, right? Oh, well.

Posted by: David in NY on February 19, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Actually I don't think Serbia will do anything about it directly (like invade Kosovo or something). They know they can't win or even scratch the Western powers. I'm sure Russia will find more little ways to make our lives more difficult though.

Posted by: ArkPanda on February 19, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

And POed lib has a real point re the Sudetenland.

Posted by: David in NY on February 19, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

It's obvious that she's just gunning for the all-important Jim Belushi endorsement.

Posted by: Joe on February 19, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

But Kosovo is the accepted form in all media in English. I appreciate Obama following good form.

Posted by: Bob M on February 19, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Wow--an issue over a vowel. Sounds like trivia for me. Hillary's whole campaing lately is all about trivia--she'll lose the nomination, and we'll be stuck with Barack "Dukakis" Obama.

Posted by: mikeel on February 19, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

What's it matter when Bush is simply going to aid reactionary forces by sending in American soldiers to fight and die and, even better (by his lights) kill as many Albanians as possible. Government must be protected. The people, pfft.

Posted by: Anon on February 19, 2008 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Pshaw! Everybody knows the difference between casabas (women have these) & cassava (clearly male).

Posted by: Downpuppy on February 19, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Presumably the Serb vote is a lost cause for her, her husband having bombed them and all that, so she might as well kiss up to the Albanians. It's not like any of this matters for any reason other than electoral targeting of demographic groups.

Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet on February 19, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

It's probably more the influence of weaselly clark and albright than anything else.

Posted by: jerry17 on February 19, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Some more foreign policy differences …

Nearly all of Hillary’s key foreign policy advisers (Albright, Gen. Kean, etc.) supported the invasion of Iraq.


Pretty much all the “liberal hawks” are in Hillary’s camp (though the more controversial ones such as O’hanlon and Pollack are currently being kept at arm-length for PR reasons.)


She was the only Democratic senator to support the Kyl-Lieberman amendment which called for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to be designated a terrorist organization.


She was one of only a handful of Democrates who voted against the Feinstein-Leahy amendment restricting U.S. exports of cluster bombs to countries that use them against civilian-populated areas.


She has been a strong supporter of Israel’s illegal security fence.


Not only did she Hillary Clinton vote to authorize the Iraq war as is well known, she couldn’t be bothered to read the NIE before casting that vote. From everything I’ve read about Obama I really doubt this would have been the case, whichever way he might have voted.

Posted by: Onslow Memling on February 19, 2008 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Thought I disagree with jerry17 about Wesley Clark, I think I did see Wesley Clark also refer to Kosova yesterday and it seems likely it may be his interest.

Posted by: jerry on February 19, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

But what do the Serious Foreign Policy experts think - does the Serbian bombing (under Clinton) present a problem for them?

Wouldn't they like to support it: given that it was, ostensibly, a humanitarian intervention to prevent an ongoing genocide. And they'd like to keep the handy "humanitarian intervention" in their toolkit for justifying invasion and killing of intransigent countries (i.e., Muslims).

But wouldn't they also like to oppose it: the intervention was against the Serbs (the Christians), and in support of the Croatians (the Muslims).

Is this a problem for the Serious Foreign Policy experts, or is there a consensus opinion on the Serbian bombings?

Posted by: luci on February 19, 2008 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Who says Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama don't have distinct policy differences?

Certainly not David Rees:

"Over 150 nations have signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. It pains me that our great nation has not. But in the autumn of 2006, there was a chance to take a step in the right direction: Senate Amendment No. 4882, an amendment to a Pentagon appropriations bill that would have banned the use of cluster bombs in civilian areas.
Senator Obama of Illinois voted IN FAVOR of the ban.
Senator Clinton of New York voted AGAINST the ban.
Analysts say Clinton did not want to risk appearing "soft on terror," as it would have harmed her electibility."

Looks to me like Billary has no problem standing up for the cluster bombing of brown skin folk....

Posted by: frankly pissed in Hawaii on February 19, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

PO - You forgot South Carolina. :)

Seriously, any area should, with a free and non-violent plebiscite, and adequate economic and property terms with their parent state, be able to succede from a country. Why people think Lincoln was great for fighting to keep the south is beyond me.

Posted by: K on February 19, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

I think I did see Wesley Clark also refer to Kosova yesterday and it seems likely it may be his interest.

You stupid shrillary fuck.
I got his book "Winning Modern Wars" in my hands right now. He uses Kosovo about 1000 times.

Enjoy this sucka: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK4S4fY8gFA&feature=related
You've earned it.


Posted by: b is superior on February 19, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

What is the official name of this new nation?

Perhaps, it will refer to itself as "Kosova". Nevermind, that the traditional word/spelling in English is Kosovo. Doesn't really matter.

What of Siam, Burma, and Persia?

Posted by: pete the butcher on February 19, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Not that I think anyone will even know this happened...but for trivial purposes, it might be interesting to know that one of Milwaukee's most famous landmarks (visited by tons of candidates, dignitaries, etc.) and best fish-fry houses is the American Serb Hall (http://www.serbhall.com/). So, I figure there must be a decent-sized Serbian-American community in Milwaukee, at least as Serbian-American communities go. In Wisconsin's primary today, it could swing a vote or two!

Posted by: Hmm on February 19, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

So the Clinton campaign knows every intricacy of foreign names, but cannot be bothered to read up on how delegates are allocated in the Texas primary, or manage to appoint enough delegates for themselves in Pennsylvania. Curious.

Posted by: Outis on February 19, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

K: "PO - You forgot South Carolina."

Oh please. That's a slave name. The local term is South Cackalacky.

Posted by: Grumpy on February 19, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

C'mon, in the google age, can you really expect to make statements like 'Bill Clinton used Kosava during his term' and expect to get away with it?

http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/04/28/kosovo/transcript.html

That insensitive prick!

Posted by: Chris on February 19, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Nemo, that was funny :-)

Back when I was doing a website for a volunteer organisation sending people to Kosovo, we faced a real dilemma when it came to how to spell the name. In the end, we settled on Kosov@, which for a while was pushed by more idealistic NGOs as the PC spelling for the region.. havent seen that one in years anymore though.

Posted by: Nimh on February 19, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Kosova vs. Kosovo.

The fact that Kevin cares for the difference between the two is fairly wonky, and yet the fact that he's mainly interested in the politics of it is fairly hacky.

Not sure if Kevin is a wonky hack or a hacky wonk.

Posted by: Fides on February 19, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

That's why googling wesley clark +kosova turns up this from WesPAC where he uses it six times alone.

http://securingamerica.com/node/765

Of course "b is superior" I can see how you would think that anyone that heard Wes Clark uses the phrase on the radio yesterday and mentioned that today must be a "stupid shrillary fuck."

Are you really an Obamaphile or just playing an Obamabot?

Posted by: jerry on February 19, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

According to this site, there were "113,661 people in the United States .. of Albanian descent" according to the census of 2000.

The largest group (32,428) lived in New York; another 15,343 lived in Michigan and 10,594 in Massachusetts. Between 7,000 and 8,000 each lived in New Jersey and Connecticut, which must mean that CT has the largest concentration of them.

Looks like it's a bit late, electorally speaking, to strike a chord with Albanian-Americans ;-)

Posted by: nimh on February 19, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, you found a difference between the two Democrats.

So I was wrong, they don't share 99.9% of their views with each other. They only share 99.87% of their views.

It must be tough to have a campaign where it doesn't matter, from a policy point of view, who wins.

Posted by: neil wilson on February 19, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

"she's just demonstrating that there's nothing she doesn't know something about when it comes to politics"

...except lining up enough delegates in Pensylvanio.

Posted by: cazarta on February 19, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Nemo, that was funny :-)

It was!

Posted by: shortstop on February 19, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

OK, so this site has the number of Americans of Albanian ancestry (according to the 2000 census) for every state.

Turns out that they dont make up more than 0,2% of the population in any state. There are, respectively, 4.520, 2.951, and 2.417 Albanian-Americans in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas - all of which rounds off to 0,0% of the state population.

Posted by: nimh on February 19, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

yes, funny. But nobody seems to be able to articulate the Democrats' approach to what will turn into a major fiasco in Kosovo? Granted Kevin's expertise is not in foreign affairs ... but still.

Posted by: botecelli on February 19, 2008 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

There are, however, according to the census.gov factfinder, over 18 thousand Serbian-Americans in Pennsylvania, and almost 17 thousand in Ohio. Which means that those states rank as the states with the highest and third-highest Serbian-American population in the country (Illinois is second).

It's still just 0,1% of the population in each case though.

There, useless trivia of the day. No need to thank me.

Posted by: nimh on February 19, 2008 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

There are some interesting differences between the two statements that I'm sure will not be lost on a number of voters concerned with this issue who live in Ohio and Pennsylvania, let alone leaders in the rest of the world.

How many dozens of voters is that?

Posted by: Jimm on February 19, 2008 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Seems like more of the latter, and it's hard to figure out what good that does Hillary or anybody else.

People have bad memories of the Serbians, so maybe she's trying to pick up very politicized liberals- human rights activists. That seems the obvious answer. Maybe it's just unnecessary pandering, but she probably figures that anyone it offends is powerless to affect her fortunes anyway.

Posted by: Swan on February 19, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Names matter. Note that the US was about the last country to accept and use Bejing instead of Peking. It was not by accident.

Posted by: Robert on February 19, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

If true, this makes sense:

It's not a pander. It's policy.

Bill Clinton used the term Kosova throughout his term, for just such a reason.

Posted by: Jimm on February 19, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Kosova or Kosovo (an etymological analysis)

Posted by: Jimm on February 19, 2008 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Having looked into it a bit, Kosova seems like the name we should be using, since the vast majority (90% or so) are Albanians and prefer/use that name.

Posted by: Jimm on February 19, 2008 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Beyond that, Kosovo has just renamed itself the Republic of Kosova, so it would seem the issue is pretty much settled, since this seems to be the opposite of the situation in Burma, where a military junta hijacked the country and renamed it Myanmar.

On Sunday the new Republic of Kosova (formerly Kosovo) declared itself independent, the world's newest country, but several countries are refusing to recognise it - perhaps unsurprisingly, mainly countries that have most to lose from emboldened secessionist movements, such as Russia, Spain and Greece.
Posted by: Jimm on February 19, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

For wisdom, we must turn to Pat Buchanan

http://buchanan.org/blog/?p=951

"In the spring 1999, the United States bombed Serbia for 78 days to force its army out of that nations cradle province of Kosovo. The Serbs were fighting Albanian separatists of the Kosovo Liberation Army, or KLA. And we had no more right to bomb Belgrade than the Royal Navy would have had to bombard New York in our Civil War.

We bombed Serbia, we were told, to stop the genocide in Kosovo. But there was no genocide. This was propaganda. The United Nations final casualty count of Serbs and Albanians in Slobodan Milosevics war did not add up to 1 percent of the dead in Mr. Lincolns war.

Albanians did flee in the tens of thousands during the war. But since that wars end, the Serbs of Kosovo have seen their churches and monasteries smashed and vandalized and have been ethnically cleansed in the scores of thousands from their ancestral province. In the exodus, they have lost everything. The remaining Serb population of 120,000 is largely confined to enclaves guarded by NATO troops....

By intervening in a civil war to aid the secession of an ancient province, to create a new nation that has never before existed and, to erect it along ethnic, religious and tribal lines, we have established a dangerous precedent. Muslim and Albanian extremists are already talking of a Greater Albania, consisting of Albania, Kosovo and the Albanian-Muslim sectors of Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia..."

Posted by: Luther on February 19, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Troubles begin:

Hundreds of Serbs torched government and UN buildings in Kosovo today in the worst violence since the country declared independence on Sunday, raising fears of an ethnic split, Reuters reports. Seemingly well-organized gangs rampaged near the border, driving off peacekeepers who tried to intervene. No injuries were reported. “We are inches from partition,” said one Western official. • Ethnic Serbs who dominate the new country’s northwest corner staunchly oppose Kosovo’s split from Serbia. If the violence persists, Kosovo may be forced to close the bridges to the region, dividing Kosovar Serbs and Albanians. But one UN official said he doubts it will come to that. “We have had the major earthquake” of independence, he said. “These are just the aftershocks.”

Posted by: POed Lib on February 19, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

OK, here's a clue on Hillary Clinton--she's hugely anti-Russian, with a neo-con/AIPAC slant ("The road to peace in the Middle East lies thru Teheran.")

Elect her and you'll see the continuation of the aggressive "US rules the world strategy".

Perhaps Obama will be no different but Clinton has already placed too any of her war-like markers down.

Point goes to Obama!

McCain rides the same nuclear warhead that Clinton rides. Birds of a feather.

Posted by: Dr WU-the last of the big time thinkers on February 19, 2008 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Brava, Al.

Posted by: ww on February 19, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

the intervention was against the Serbs (the Christians), and in support of the Croatians (the Muslims)

That statement is true only for very large values of "Croatian" (or of "Muslim").

Posted by: Mrs Tilton on February 19, 2008 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

That is really going to hurt Hillary in Milwaukee, home to Serb Hall etc.

Posted by: sara on February 19, 2008 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Jimm at 4:05 seems to have it. It makes one wonder why this story was written blaming Hillary for calling it Kosova in the first place.

Certain people seem to have gotten into the habit of blaming Hillary for everything or calling everything she does a mistake. Which would make sense, if it were true.

Posted by: Swan on February 19, 2008 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK


"You stupid shrillary fuck.
I got his book "Winning Modern Wars" in my hands right now. He uses Kosovo about 1000 times.

Enjoy this sucka: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK4S4fY8gFA&feature=related
You've earned it.

Posted by: b is superior on February 19, 2008 at 2:05 PM "

Another reason why this life long dem is becoming increasingly disenfranchised and is seriously considering not voting.

Posted by: optical weenie on February 19, 2008 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

optical, that was a bit cryptic. Are you considering not voting because of the level of incivility on a blog comment thread? If that's what you meant, it seems like overkill. There are less drastic cures for that.

Posted by: JS on February 19, 2008 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Are you considering not voting because of the level of incivility on a blog comment thread? If that's what you meant, it seems like overkill.

What do you expect from someone that calls himself weenie? And a life long Dem to boot?
Balls?

Posted by: mastodon on February 19, 2008 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

I think weenie is only here for the cats, anyway. She's never seemed too interested in politics, which aren't particularly cute and fuzzy wuzzy even on a good day.

Posted by: shortstop on February 19, 2008 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Also: I wish we'd stop using the word "disenfranchised" to refer to "pissed off with my own side of the aisle." It's really insulting to people around the world who have dealt with real disenfranchisement--being denied the vote or, more secularly, if you will, lacking opportunity to meaningfully improve their severely limited lives.

Lately we're hearing it on this blog from several HRC supporters who just don't like the way the primaries are going and the way they're being talked to by other candidates' supporters. It's melodramatic to say the least.

Posted by: shortstop on February 19, 2008 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

I seem to remember Madeleine Albright always saying "Kosova."

Posted by: Ryan Walters on February 20, 2008 at 3:35 AM | PERMALINK

I accepr fact that most of US citizens does not have a clue regarding difference between Kosovo and Kosova. From linguistic point of view, difference is minor. Kosovo is just part of province name. Full name is "KOSOVO POLJE". In Albanian it means nothing but in Serbian it means "BLACK BIRD FIELD". Territory name is almost always in relation to ownership. So to be able to distance the meaning of name Kosovo from Serbian ownership, Albanians are trying to change name. The difference looks as a minor but not from political point of view. Politically the difference is huge because name Kosova does not have any meanings in Serbian language.

Posted by: Michael on February 20, 2008 at 5:26 AM | PERMALINK

Doesn't matter because they just renamed themselves the Republic of Kosova through Democratic means, so why would we call them anything different?

Obama just needs to update the Rolodex and move on.

Posted by: Jimm on February 20, 2008 at 6:14 AM | PERMALINK

"Doesn't matter because they just renamed themselves the Republic of Kosova through Democratic means, so why would we call them anything different?"

Jimm, I would say that meaning of word "Democracy" is not your stronger point. 250,000 Serbs and other nationality man, woman and children are expelled by Albanian terrorists. The homes that they own through generations are destroyed or occupied. Sorry, but I can't call ethnic Albanians as "Kosovars" because such nation does not exists and never existed. Hundred of Christian churdhes have been burned and destroyed by Albanians. This is far from democracy, or maybe your view of democracy is different.
If we return back to discussion regarding name Kososvo/Kosova, I supposed that name is very important.
For example if somebody change your name by replacing letter "J" with letter "K", you will become Kimm. So jugging you by your new name, some people that do not know you personally can even think that you can become pregnant under some circumstances. If you are normal person, I do not think that you will like that idea.

Posted by: Michael on February 20, 2008 at 6:50 AM | PERMALINK

Of course stress matters... you guys seem to think that an 'o' is an 'o' is an 'o.' But if you drop the stress to the second to last syllable--Russian style--you get a nice compromise. The spelling is Kosovo (a la Serbia), but the final 'o' is pronounced like an 'a' a la Albania. I heard this Russian style pronunciation quite a bit a few years ago, but it seems to have dropped out. In

Posted by: Cornfields on February 20, 2008 at 7:50 AM | PERMALINK

Michael, you're only clowning yourself.

Posted by: Jimm on February 20, 2008 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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