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Recognising Kosovar independence will have little impact on Quebec separatism

It is a matter of credibility for Canada. Like it or not, we contributed militarily to what amounts to Kosovo's war of independence. To not recognise Kosovar independence now would be a reversal of a position we backed up with our own military.

In 1999, Canada sent 16 CF-18s into battle, dropping a significant proportion of the bombs dropped by NATO aircraft in that war. Canada partook in the bombing of Serbia to drive out the Serbs from Kosovo. The result has been de facto independence for Kosovo for the 9 years since. Now that Kosovo has declared independence, it only makes sense for Canada to recognise what we helped make happen.

The argument that recognising Kosovar independence would affect Canada's relationship with Quebec makes little sense. Quebec is not an oppressed region desperately wanting out by the near unanimous consent of even its majority French population. Even at the height of separatism in Quebec, the province could not even muster 50% support for a negotiation of any sort with Canada in a referendum with a deceptive question.

The FLQ attacks and the October crisis of 1970 hardly merit being called a war of independence, and it certainly did not gain widespread and lasting acceptance by the population as a legitimate means to secede. No foreign countries have felt a need to bomb the rest of Canada out of Quebec.

I see no real parallels between Kosovo and Quebec. The backgrounds are different, the scenarios are different, the relationship between Kosovo and Serbia and the relationship between Quebec and the rest of Canada are completely incomparable.

So let's get on with it.

Congratulations Kosovo on the official declaration of what has been true for almost a decade, the independence of your country.

Posted at 08:18 on February 20, 2008

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