Destinations Magazine


By Stizzard

PRISTINA, the capital of Kosovo, is one of very few places that can boast a statue of Bill Clinton. The gold-painted monument depicts the former American president raising his arm in a gesture meant to evoke leadership, but which more closely resembles hailing a taxi. Ethnic-Albanian Kosovars venerate Mr Clinton for his role in the war that freed their country from Serbian rule and established a UN-administered protectorate in 1999, and led to independence in 2008. But the statue’s gleam has faded and its veneer is beginning to chip—much like the legacy of the Clinton era in the Balkans.

Just as Mr Clinton shaped the western Balkans during the wars of the 1990s, those wars shaped his foreign-policy views—and those of his wife. The liberal interventionism espoused by Hillary Clinton was forged in the American efforts to bring peace to Bosnia and Kosovo. When backing military action in Libya in 2011, Mrs Clinton invoked the memory of the massacre at Srebrenica in 1995. Balkan countries expected Mrs Clinton to continue her muscular efforts to build an international liberal order if she were elected president.

Mrs Clinton’s defeat and the…

The Economist: Europe

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