Biden Appeals to Bosnian Muslim and Albanian Voters Reveal Democrats’ Plans in the Balkans

Biden's Victory May Further Destabilize the Balkans

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US Democrat Presidential Candidate Joe Biden has been on a whirlwind campaign in an attempt to defeat President Donald Trump in next month’s election. Published policy papers has shown Biden’s strong support for Greece, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Albania and Kosovo as he seeks to win over millions of Diaspora votes. The candidate has taken a very strong anti-Turkey position in his bid to win over Armenian and Greek Diaspora voters at a time when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan makes daily threats of war against Greece and is directly sponsoring, arming and facilitating the Azerbaijani invasion of Artsakh, or more commonly known as Nagorno-Karabakh.

However, away from Greece and into the heart of the Balkans, Biden is also appealing to the greatest enablers of Turkish expansionism into the region – BiH, Albania and Kosovo.

If Biden wins next month’s presidential elections, there will be no sudden changes in America’s foreign policy, besides perhaps a stronger position against Erdoğan compared to Trump’s "bromance" with the Turkish president. To empower US positioning in the Balkans, Biden wants to resurrect policies from the 1990’s that resulted in poverty, ethnic cleansing and war in the region.

In a letter to the Bosnian Muslim Diaspora in the US, entitled "Joe Biden’s vision for America’s relationship with Bosnia and Herzegovina," the Democrat said he is "a proven friend of Bosnia and Herzegovina – from the country’s darkest days of war and genocide to the continued struggle for stability and justice."

Biden’s letter highlighted that as senator he was a key player "to stop [Serbian leader] Slobodan Milosevic’s brutal campaign of genocide." It also highlighted that "Biden knows that for Bosnia and Herzegovina to succeed, it will need the steadfast support of the United States" and that as president he will convene "European Union partners and NATO allies to jointly develop a strategy for anchoring the Western Balkans in Euro-Atlantic institutions."

Most interestingly, in the letter, the presidential candidate notes that "Unfortunately, under President Trump, US influence in the region has faded as the administration has cast the European Union as a strategic adversary and questioned the value of the NATO alliance." It has been well established that Trump has taken a greater disinterest in Balkan issues compared to his predecessors.

In another letter entitled "Joe Biden’s Vision for US Relations with Albania and Kosova," the presidential candidate said that he "is a longtime friend of Albania and Kosova and the Albanian-American community. As President, he will continue to support Albania’s security, and democratic and economic development in the region. Biden understands the important role played by NATO and the threats to the region posed by Russia."

It is clear from his addresses to the Bosnian Muslim and Albanian Diaspora communities in the US that a Biden administration will play a more active role in the Balkans to contain Russian influence in the region by pressurizing Serbia.

If Biden defeats Trump, new pressure will be created against the Serbian dominated entity, the Republika Srpska. The Republika Srpska is one of the two entities comprising of BiH, with the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina which comprises mostly of Bosnian Muslims and Croats. Biden’s policies indicate that the Serbs will be pressured into accepting NATO and into accepting Sarajevo as the centralized political center for BiH, thus taking away even more liberties and autonomy from the Republika Srpska. Effectively, if Biden is successful in the upcoming elections, what the Bosnian Muslims want could be achieved – the complete integration of BiH into the Euro-Atlantic agenda by being absorbed into NATO and the EU, thus eliminating most of Russia’s influence in the region.

The fact that nearly 25 years has passed since the signing of the Dayton Agreement, which formulated the two-entity system of BiH, without settling deep seeded problems in the untenable system, is a testament to the failure of the US experiment in the Balkans.

Biden’s strong backing for further integrating the Balkans into NATO and the European Union will certainly affect the Serbian electorate in America, who were not strong supporters of Trump either. This will likely steer Serbian-Americans into voting for Trump, however, their community is smaller than the Albanian and Bosnian Muslim diaspora in the U.S.

Although such letters may flatter the Albanian and Bosnian Muslim Diaspora, two important factors remain – it is more than likely Biden will not be elected, and, will his policy ambitions come to fruition? Although the U.S.-led NATO was highly successful in dismantling Yugoslavia in the 1990’s, the geopolitical situation is vastly different today. Russia in the 1990’s, led by the famously incompetent Boris Yeltsin, was a shadow of the previous Soviet Union.

It is highly unlikely that Russia would be willing to military intervene in any future conflicts in the Balkans, but it will certainly be a lot more proactive diplomatically and materially in the Balkans then what it was after the fall of the Soviet Union.

What Biden also does not acknowledge is that within the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the second entity comprising of BiH, there are strained relations between the co-ruling Bosnian Muslims and Croats. Whereas they were once allied against the Serbs, the Croats are now demanding more autonomy that the Bosnian Muslims are unwilling to give.

Meanwhile, there are greater numbers of countries withdrawing their recognition of Kosovo’s independence. Washington’s second experiment in the Balkans, Kosovo, again finds itself problematic as it has become a European hub for drug trafficking, human trafficking and organ harvesting.

Assuming a Biden victory, his hopes of turning the Balkans completely into a bastion of Euro-Atlantic dominance devoid of Russian influence will unlikely come to fruition. Although the Democrat may give rhetoric on the success of the BiH and Kosovo experiments, both are failed states with little economic, infrastructural or developmental prospects for the future. However, perhaps this is exactly how Biden wants these entities to be – volatile points that could explode at any moment and put Serbia under pressure.

Paul Antonopoulos is a research fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

18 thoughts on “Biden Appeals to Bosnian Muslim and Albanian Voters Reveal Democrats’ Plans in the Balkans”

    1. And the Serbian war crimes against Bosniaks and Muslim Albanians? What of those? Least we forget or are they forgotten because they are of Muslim heritage?

      1. what of the Bosnian and croat Albanian war crimes against Serbs and Romani? your hypocrisy is farcical

      2. what of the Bosnian croat Albanian war crimes against Serbs and Romani? your hypocrisy is farcical

  1. Interesting that this site decided to post Paul Antonopoulos. Some time back in the not so distant past he was let go from Al Masdar news after his posts and stances on white supremacist Nazi website StormFront were uncovered. The Australian media network, the ABC featured those shenanigans by Antonopoulos on its highly respected watchdog programme Media Watch: https://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/episodes/paul-antonopoulos-forced-out/9972694

    Deeply surprised that Antiwar.com would allow someone with those kinds of views to post here. Whatever Turkey’s disputes with Greece, Turkish support of Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia (mainly of its Bosniaks) are the force that keeps a checkmate on Orthodox regional powers, who have built their states on anti Muslim sentiment and actions, so past massacres and genocides perpetrated against Muslim Albanians and Bosniaks are not repeated again.

    The US under Clinton was the only time when a power other than Turkey cared enough and importantly had the power to militarily intervene and put a halt to those catastrophes. Biden follows in the tradition of Clinton and yes much welcomed and supported by Muslim Albanians and Bosniaks if he becomes president. And especially if he also goes after Russian influence, historically an enabler of local Orthodox Balkan powers by providing cover and egging them on to persecute Balkan Muslims.

    I remind Antonopoulos that there are more Albanians and Bosniaks in Turkey than there are in their indigenous Balkan homelands, a fact openly acknowledged by the Turkish leadership at the highest levels. How that happened was through the ethnic cleansing, expulsions, massacres and genocide of indigenous Balkan Muslim populations by Greece, Serbia and others in the region from the late 19th century till mid 20th century. Never again, hence why for many Balkan Muslims (secular, cultural or devout) its a case of Je Suis Turkey, regardless of who runs the country.

    Indigenous Balkan Muslims oppose any extension of Greater Greece (Megali Idea), Greater Serbia etc and Christian Orthodox supremacism. Whatever Turkey’s issues are and there are many at the moment sadly, if Balkan Muslims were asked who was a threat to their existence, unlike most of culturally Christian Europe, they will not say Turkey, but Greece, Serbia, Russia and so on.

    I also draw attention to the book by a real journalist Takis Michas titled: “Unholy Alliance: Greece and Milošević’s Serbia” published by Texas A&M University Press in 2002. Michas did investigative work and research based on real facts that detailed the latest round of anti Albanian and anti-Bosniak machinations between Serbia and Greece in the 1990s.

    Compare Michas’ work to the output of Antonopoulos on the Australian based Greekcitytimes site and its not hard to determine whose work is factual and whose is based on fearmongering and fringe conspiratorial clickbate about the ‘Muslim peril’ and other Albanophobia, Turkophobia and Slavophobia (in particular toward Macedonians and Bosniaks).

    1. Biden & the Clinton’s only care about people from the Western World, Bill regrets having peace talks between Arafat & Rabin & they are warmongers because they regret the fact Bill avoided the draft & protested the Vietnam War. Bill Clinton bombed Iraq after the Gulf War was over & before the Iraq War started so did the 2 Bushes and Britain’s PM’s. Clinton interfered in Haiti’s affairs to get the leader suitable to him. He bombed a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, a Non-Western, Muslim Majority Nation.

      1. Sure its nuanced, i accept that. The US intervened for its own reasons. In a well researched book “Collision Course: NATO, Russia, and Kosovo” (2005) by John Norris, he interviewed most of the higher ups on the NATO and Russian sides. Taking a cynical view, and to a large being true, the Kosovo war was a proxy war between the US and Russia, with Kosovo Albanians being the reason used (i.e humanitarian intervention) to go after what was perceived to be Russia’s last main outpost represented by Serbia. Kosovo Albanians needed to survive and the US needed to fulfill its geopolitical aims. Sure too there were some who did really care about the humanitarian aspect like Madeline Albright, Hilary Clinton (who pushed her husband to intervene – well that’s what is said in her memoirs) and Tony Blair. But those were few. In the end for Balkan Muslims the US has been important to survive in the region.

        Obviously the opposite is true in the Middle East. I understand why some Muslim countries and peoples have relationships with Russia and China. Its for their survival and an attempt to checkmate Western neo colonialism/economic neoliberalism and try to prevent a repeat of old school colonialism. Same too with parts of Africa and Latin America. The world is a strange place, that’s for sure.

        1. Madeline Albright may have cared about the Balkans but not the ME except Israel. She said it was a good thing people starved in Iraq. She’s lucky she didn’t come from a poor nation where people starved and were always bombed by more powerful nations.

          Tony Blair Witch Project lied about Iraq having WMD’s. Britain as well as the US bombed Iraq from the No Fly Zones after the Gulf War ended and before the Iraq War started. Blair worked for peace in Northern Ireland but war in the ME.

          1. I agree with you. Its screwed up. In some places they did what had to be done in the Balkans or Northern Ireland and in others they committed outrages that amount to war crimes. Will they ever be prosecuted for those actions? No. Why, power is made in the West (and by West i include Russia too – regardless if some Euro continentals view them otherwise) and the powerful don’t go after their own.

            The sad reality for the Middle East is they have oil and gas. Much could have been done with that, but it was squandered and the West made sure that it remained a divided area supporting cronies and alike. I don’t want to go on a rant and come off lecturing people from the Middle East. However fresh thinking and discourse about the way forward are required urgently. We can’t have another Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya or Iraq enveloping the whole Muslim world as a new norm. The older generations had their go. Its time for us Millennials and Zoomers to start charting the future course.

        2. drivel–albright claimed it was “worth it” that 500,000 Iraqi children died because US embargoed medicine, baby formula—a real “humanitarian”
          US created the the Yugoslav conflict–listen to Dubozia Kollective

  2. Oct 28, 2020 Armenian-Azerbaijani War – One Month After

    After a month of war, the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc continues to keep the initiative in the conflict, exploiting its advantage in air power, artillery, military equipment and manpower.

    https://youtu.be/Qmt1ak4ObDA

  3. obviously m smith is wrong; the worst crimes were committed against Serbs by amerikans, Hrvatska, Bosnians. Indeed many Bosnians have joined ISIS. US supported the fascist KLA also—but I am sure CIA wiki claims that the Bosnians are all “victims”…there are few antagonisms between 28 million Muslims in Russia…it was the amerikan created dissolution of Yugoslavia that created these hostilities. it is farcical to believe that Arabs do not despise turks, except for the Qataris. Turkey is despised by all neighbors due their amerikan induced imperialism in Libya, Syria, Sudan, Yemen–they are opposed by UAE, Egypt, Greece,Bulgaria, France and to less extent by Russia, Iran. It is typical for amerikans to inflame ethno/religious/linguistic differences for their benefit…it is no accident that they align with the nazis in Croation and Ukraine, fund and train ISIS, al Qaeda, SDF, the nazi battalions in Ukraine–Azov, Svoboda, Praviyia Sektor…USA instigated conflicts on the Azeri side in 2014, 2016 also

  4. Thanks from an european!
    These two countries Kosovo and Albania we do not need.
    Would you like them somewhere in the midwest or close to Florida or something like that. It is like having Libya in the middle of New York.
    Nothing works but maffia and crazy crime level.

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