That photo is me about ten years ago, standing in the ruins of a land where people rejected the rule of law in favor of the rule of force. I think a lot about my year-long deployment to Kosovo these days. I think a lot about people today who, for short term political points, cavalierly disregard the rules, laws and norms that made America what it is. I think a lot about how liberals, especially those who boo God, should pray to Him that those rules, laws and norms are restored.
I am most certainly not smiling – I am squinting in the winter sun, having doffed my ever-present Ray-Bans. Behind me is – well, was – a village along the Ibar River in northern Kosovo. In the 1990s, it was full of Serbs and gypsies (The new, politically correct term is “Roma”). Back then, after the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Kosovo was a province of Serbia. Without rehashing the centuries of ancient animosities and grievances, the Orthodox Serbs found themselves unrestrained by the political consensus that Josip Tito had enforced and began an escalating series of petty and not-so-petty oppressions against the Kosovar Albanians. The “K-Albs” are about 10% Christian but mostly moderate Muslims (we called them “party Muslims,” and our troops used to love to go on patrol through K-Alb towns during the spring when the gorgeous Albanian women were in full effect). They were a minority in Serbia as a whole, but a majority in the province of Kosovo.