Flame war

On one of the Balkan lists I monitor, someone posted a criticism of the infamous pan-Albanian report:

Greater Albania my not have materialised by the changing of borders but as a state of mind it’s being implemented quite literally
I would suggest the authors venture on the ground and get amongst it all they’ll see exactly what I mean.

Their view wasn’t tempered by recommendations to confront Albanian Separatism either.

I posted a grumpy reply:

As a matter of fact our report was precisely the result of investigations on the ground, and does indeed include recommendations to confront extremism. Next time, why not read it before posting your response?

His next reply was:

Thankyou for your response I did indeed read the text in entirety your assumption in that regard is wrong. What I would like to do is ask the following question, which I hope you, can share with us all in relation to the ICG report into the subject of Pan-Albanianism.

As the article was devoted chiefly as an Albanian commentary – the entire report obviously was representative by or on behalf of the Albanian viewpoint. Readers would’ve leaned a great deal more if an analysis were done between opposing opinions, experiences and events which wasn’t acknowledged is that an Ingredient of irrelevance?

And my riposte – mysteriously not yet posted to the moderated list – was:

I’m sorry for presuming you hadn’t read the text. You asserted that we hadn’t been “on the ground” and “amongst it all”; I had incorrectly assumed that most readers of the report would be able to detect that we had in fact been on the ground and amongst it all, from the numerous footnotes citing on-the-spot interviews, and from the fact that we continue to maintain offices in Belgrade, Pristina and Skopje.

You also asserted that we had no recommendations to confront Albanian separatism either; since the first two of the seventeen recommendations (and also recommendations 11 and 17) do directly speak to this issue, I assumed that anyone who had actually read the report would not make such an assertion. Obviously if you tell me you did indeed read the report, I cannot contradict you, but I hope you can see how I would have made the mistake.

I completely deny that this is a report representing only the Albanian viewpoint. Having said that, you are of course right that we concentrated in this report on what *Albanians* actually say about Greater Albania. If one wants to understand the concept, surely it is appropriate to start by analysing what is said by the people who support it?

I’m not sure what “opposing opinions, experiences and events” you think we omitted. Our report does acknowledge several such opinions, including (with implicit disagreement) the 1998 report of the Institute of Geopolitics in Belgrade on “Greater Albania – Concepts and Possible Consequences”, and (also with implicit disagreement) the recent statements of Momir Stojanovic, and (with implicit *agreement*) the condemnation by the Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences of the infamous “Platform” published by the Albanian Academy of Sciences in 1998. Again, this should be clear to most people who read it. I’m sorry that you found it difficult to follow.

Further developments will be posted here as they happen.

One thought on “Flame war

  1. I would love to know just what is wrong with Sawyer’s writing such that he shouldn’t be winning these awards.

    Oooh, that sounds as though I’m snarking at you, doesn’t it?

    Actually, I do mean it seriously, because I too can’t work out why people are voting for him, while myself finding him terribly blah. It’s sometimes said that the Nebulas are the educated award as against the populist Hugos, yet here is Sawyer winning a Nebula.

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