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World: You Say Kosovo, I Say Kosova; Let’s Fight

1 minute read
Andrew Purvis and Anthee Carassava/Pristina

It looks as if PRESIDENT CLINTON will visit Kosovo later this month, and even though the U.S. military base is built to withstand a Klingon attack, the Secret Service is edgy. A report published last week noted that there are as many murders in Kosovo today as there were in the months prior to the NATO campaign, but now Serbs are the main victims. Kosovo Albanians are purging the province of Serbian culture: license plates are being blacked out, accents dropped, and street signs lengthened to show Albanian pronunciation. A U.N. worker was shot three hours after arriving in Pristina last month for speaking Serbian. How should Clinton pronounce the name of the place? He has already shown a Clintonian flexibility. In speeches prior to the NATO bombing he used the Serbian “Ko-sovo.” During the war, he switched to the Albanian “Ko-so-va.” There is a third option, the Arkansas variant, which he has drawled on occasion: “Ko-so-vo.” It’s wrong, but under the circumstances, it may be the safe one.

–By Andrew Purvis and Anthee Carassava/Pristina

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