INTERVIEWER:†††††††† How did you get involved in Kosova?

 

HHP:†††

Well, I first got involved in Kosova in 1998.Ambassador Richard Holbrooke suggested that I organize some of my students, staff, and faculty who had been active in Bosnia to see what we could do to help relieve the hardship in the refugee camps for the 850,000 Kosovar Albanians whoíd been driven out of their homes into these camps in Macedonia and Albania.And so as soon as he suggested that in August of 1998, I dispatched some teams of students and staff to those refugee camps where we tried to help them use technology to contact their families and then eventually to collect evidence of war crimes.I myself came to Pristina in December of 1998 to help UNHCR provide relief more effectively to the people who were still inside Kosova who were going to freeze to death in the mountains if they didnít get assistance.It didnít take much of that to get all of us very much involved in the future of Kosova.I returned right after the war and provided technical assistance to the interim government that Mr. ThaÁi had put together, primarily in the area of economic development. Iíve been back about 20 times since then, working a lot on economic development and privatization, also with the University of Pristina Law Faculty to help improve its program, and with the political parties to improve their functioning as political parties.And of course, you canít spend much time talking to people in Kosova without understanding the important role that the KLA played so I got more and more interested in the KLA.I think it was in early 2004, I had a meeting with Ramush Haradinaj, whom I had got to know pretty well, and I asked him, ďWhat do you think about a book on the KLA?Ē and he said, ďI think thatís a great idea, but its important that you write it.ĒAnd so I said well, ďI will.ĒI started working on the book then. The book is finished now. In doing research for it I talked to more than 100 KLA commanders and fighters and U.S. Army generals, people who didnít like the KLA and others.Last summer when I was going back to Chicago from one of those rounds of interviews, I was thinking about the human stories that Iíd heard which are very moving--stories of 18 year old kids who didnít have access to a gun, but who decided that they were going to fight for their dignity and for their family members who had been abused and killed. They joined the KLA as soon as they could get a gun. I was similarly moved by the stories of commanders who didnít really have much military training, but were determined to do the best they could with limited weapons and limited numbers of soldiers. As I was thinking about those human stories, I realized that there are some things that you can say better in music than you can in a book. So on the airplane I wrote down--more accurately, keyed into my computer--some lyrics (words) for a song.Then when I got back to Chicago, I went to work on the music and then after I was pretty satisfied with that, I recruited a singer, and recording studio, a drummer, and a trumpet player.

 

INTERVIEWER: But itís not your voice on the CD?

 

HHP:

Yes, I didnít sing itÖI do not sing it; I am not a professional singer.

 

INTERVIEWER:

Who sings?

 

HHP:

His name is Tim Sandusky.Heís a folk singer in Chicago, and has his own recording studio.

 

INTERVIEWER:

And the book is it published?

 

HHP:

The book is finished.Itís at the publisher, The University of Illinois Press, and it will be out sometime next year.On this trip, Iím talking to people in Pristina and Peja about possibly doing an Albanian language version to be release at the same time as the English version.

 

INTERVIEWER:

Is anybody interested?

 

HHP:

Yes, several people have been interested and itís a matter of them figuring out the economics from their side and my figuring out the economics from my side.

 

INTERVIEWER:

So Professor, tell us a little bit about your background.

 

HHP:

Well I went to engineering school. I did my undergraduate work at MIT in aeronautical engineering. Then I went to law school at Georgetown and I worked for the United States Federal Government. I was on the White House staff in the early 70s and held an office called Deputy Undersecretary of Labor, which is an assistant to the Secretary of Labor.Iíve been a law professor since 1981 and very much involved with international affairs, particularly nationbuilding in the Balkans. I think Kosovo is a great success in nationbuilding.I have been involved in politics in the United States.I ran for the United States Congress in 2002.I didnít get elected, but it was a great, great experience. I think Kosovo is a place where courage and just a handful of people has brought ordinary people closer to a dream that theyíve had for several centuries--a dream of dignity and independence. I think thatís coming much closer now and I hope that stays on track.

 

INTERVIEWER: What is your position now?

 

HHP:

Iím a Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Thatís a part of Illinois Institute of Technology.I was dean of that law school from 1997 until 2003.

 

INTERVIEWER:

So you are here in Kosova with some students doing what?

 

HHP:

I almost always bring students with me because I have been inspired by the experience of Kosovars and I want my students similarly to be inspired. Too often Americans forget the struggle that we went through 225 years ago when we had just a handful of young men and women who fought against the most powerful army in the world and eventually won and obtained independence. When Americans get reminded of our own struggle by coming to understand somebody elseís struggle, I think that makes them better Americans, and they also understand that each of us as individuals can make a contribution, if we are determined and creative.So when my students come here and work for the Special Chamber of the Supreme Court, as one guy by the name of Ed Pauker is doing now and will do for the rest of the summer, or Jeff LaMirand who is the other student with me this time collects information for one paper that he is writing on job creation for Kosova and another paper that he is writing on corruption in Kosova,I think they understand that they as individual professionals can make a contribution and can make a difference. They learn that you donít have to be part of some big organization, you donít have to have a million dollars to do it, you just have to want to do it and then work hard and you can touch peopleís lives and change the worldóat least in small ways.

 

INTERVIEWER: Shouldnít Kosova have a referendum on independence? Montenegro just did

 

HHP:

Kosova already had a referendum 15 years ago.

 

INTERVIEWER: But should it have another?

 

HHP:

I think that is an example of how a referendum by itself doesnít necessary do any good because the political reality is, and international law says, that an independent state comes into existence when other states recognize it as a state.So I think the crucial thing to happen for Kosova is for other states, it doesnít have to be all of them, but for enough states in the West or major powers to recognize Kosova as independent.If another referendum would be helpful in that regard, then I would be for it, but I donít think you need another referendum to get the result.It seem to me that for now and I hope people continue this way, I think that the United States and Britain at least and other powers are convinced that the appropriate answer for Kosova is independence and that that change of status should occur this year.

 

INTERVIEWER:

What do you that is the best solution for Kosova status?

 

HHP:

Independence, complete independence, a seat in the UN, naming, uh renaming TMK as an army, and for the internationals to stop making political decisions here.

 

INTERVIEWER:

And you think that it wouldnít be a problem with minoritiesÖ

 

HHP:

I think thatÖ

 

INTERVIEWER:

Do you have a problem with minorities?

 

HHP:

I think itís very important that a new state of Kosovo treat its minorities as human beings.I think that Prime Minister Ceku Ramush Haradinaj, , when he was prime minister, others have consistently expressed a heartfelt commitment to treat the minorities in Kosova as human beings and give them an equal share in the political process and the economy.Now people have to back up their words with actions. An important part of the moral commitment of Kosovaís leadership and Kosovaís people as it becomes independent is to fulfill those promises with respect to fair treatment of the minorities.Fatmir Limaj said to me when I was here in DecemberóI donít think he would mind my repeating it-- ďWe didnít fight a war in order for anybody in Kosova to be afraid to go out of his house. We fought for a set of values and we cannot betray those values now that we are in charge.ĒI thought those were very good words from Mr. Limaj.Thereís no doubt in my mind that he meant them when he said them. Itís important for everyone in Kosova to share those values.

 

INTERVIEWER: How are negotiations going. People tell us we have to make compromises in the negotiations.

 

HHP:

Well I think there already has been a spirit of compromise shown by the Albanian side in the negotiations over decentralization.I wish that more attention were being paid to economic negotiations particularly, because there are many, there are hundreds of millions of Euros in dispute over privatization, over housing, over pensions, over Yugoslaviaís debt. In my view the only way to deal with that in a satisfactory way is for the economic negotiations to produce a kind of international arbitration body that would enforce the decisions of the courts in Kosovo and would be a place where anyone could go to get a final resolution of these claims. This would not dilute or weaken the authority of an independent Kosovaís courts; it would make them stronger.If you donít have that, Iím worried that investors will be reluctant to invest in an independent Kosova because they will worry about conflicting claims to property and other assets that will result in lawsuits in not only in Kosova, but in Serbia, and Italy, Switzerland, the U.S., and that kind of thing. Itís important to have a mechanism while we have the leverage of these negotiations to reduce that uncertainty for investors.

 

INTERVIEWER:

So, uh, Montenegro won its independence without armed conflict.If we are waiting in Kosovo to win the independence in fact um, it may be too hard for Serbia to accept it.Do you think that it is possible to have any conflict and a new crisis?

 

HHP:

Well crises and conflicts are always possible, particularly if you go out ten or fifteen years. Nobody know whatís going to happen that far out. But it seems to me that it is unlikely in the short term, in the three to five year time period, for there to be any significant military conflict in Kosova or in the other areas. I think that the leadership in Kosova, of people who are likely to be in leadership positions are all for independence.I donít detect any sense on their part that violence would be necessary or appropriate.And Albin Kurti, who certainly is imaginative, and creative, and forceful in expressing his views through public demonstrations and other forms, I donít hear anything from him that suggests that he thinks that violence would necessary. This is very much unlike the situation in the early 1990s when all of the evidence would suggest that Kosova was going to have to use violence in order to get the attention of the international community and that if it didnít get the attention of the international community, then the Milosevic regime of oppression would not only continue but it would get worse.So this is very unlike that.My greatest concern is that Kosovaís leadership step up to its responsibility after independence comes.Frankly, neither UNMIK nor the PISG has done a good job over the last six years.UNMIK has made really stupid mistakes and the local leadership of the institutions of the provisional government have used UNMIKís presence as an excuse not to do anything.There is no economic plan.Not from UNMIK, not from the EU, not from the administration of the PISG.There are, depending on how your measure the numbers, there are 30-50 percent unemployed, there are 36,000 new young Kosovars who enter the labor force every year, and there is no plan whatsoever as to how jobs are going to be created for them.And so we need not only a new status for Kosova, we need a new commitment by the popularly elected government in Kosova actually to take action and to have some sort of coherent vision, especially in the economic sphere.Each of the three major parties, perhaps should say each of the four major parties, has not met its responsibility, so far, to articulate some kind of plan for the economy.

 

INTERVIEWER:

Now it comes to the end of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, UNMIK.What do you think about this mission job?

 

HHP:

The sooner they are gone the better.

 

INTERVIEWER:

[laughing]

HHP:

But, itís very important that we not simply change the name to EUMIK and continue in the same way.All responsibilities must be transferred to the local government because the way forward for Kosova is for its local political leadership to have the full responsibility to deliver for the people of Kosova.As long as the international community retains any sort of reserve competencies or veto powers, thatís going to give the local politicians an excuse not to do anything.That excuse has to be eliminated and then the way forward to democracy is for the people of Kosova to hold their own elected officials accountable.

 

INTERVIEWER:

For seven years we have a had a difficult situation, with reserved competencies in UNMIK.

 

HHP:

I agree that independence is essential, but itís coming too late.It should have come three years ago, but all of the things that you mentioned were excuses to do nothing.There were many things that could have been done.There is no reason that an economic and job creation plan could not have been put forward by the parties, at least, and hopefully implemented by the government three years ago. But nobody did anything.That is a disgrace. The parties and political leaders need to accept the fact that it was a disgrace and figure out how they are going do their jobs after independence because they have not been doing their jobs in the economic sphere up until now.

 

INTERVIEWER:

So Professor, tell us a little bit more about your book.What, how does Kosovars view your book?

 

HHP:

The book is about the KLA.It doesnít pretend to be a balanced view, it doesnít about what the Serbs think, or about what the Europeans think, or anything of the sort.

 

INTERVIEWER:

Is it fiction?

 

HHP:

Oh, no, no, no, no.Itís absolutely not fiction.It tells the facts, but it tells the facts through the perspective of the people were involved with the KLAóthe commanders, and the soldiers, and in some cases, people who were involved in a negative way, people outside the KLA who were opposed to it, who were critical of it.It describes the historical context for what, in my opinion, was essentially a nationalist war of liberation against an occupier.Thatís certainly the way the KLA organizers saw it.It begins in the 1980s with the Gervallas, Zeka, and LPK and explains how that organization with some others became the KLA in the early 1990s.It explores the struggle between the KLA and the LDK and the parallel institutions to win over the hearts and minds of the people in Kosova, to get them to accept the reality that some sort of arms struggle would be necessary to free Kosova.It explains how the KLA. at the beginning and throughout its existence. really comprised two somewhat different, but not completely independent groups.One is what I call the Planners in Exile.These were people like Xhavit Haliti, and for a time, Hashim ThaÁi who very early had begun planning a guerilla insurgency from Switzerland, Albania, and Germany. A second group that I call the Defenders at Home was exemplified by Ramush Haradinaj and Commander Remi who were inside Kosova the whole time.And at first, the second group was not particularly interested in strategy, they just were going to fight back and defend their families and their homes. The book explains how these two groups begin to come together and form linkages between each other in the mid-1990s with people like ThaÁi crossing the border secretly more than a dozen times to help tie the two groups together, Rexhep Selimi who did the same thing and sneaked around Kosova to help the Defenders at Home know what each other were doing.And then it tells how the KLA took advantage of the Dayton Accords to show the people of Kosova that the Rugova ďPeaceful Path InstitutionalistĒ group was not going to produce results because Kosova got neglected at Dayton. Then, it explains how the collapse of the Albanian state made it possible to get arms and how the Jashari Massacre in March of 1998 ended the KLAís recruiting problem because all of sudden there were thousands of young Kosovars who wanted to join the KLA and fight.The final important part of the story I think is how the KLA--not only the KLA, but mostly the KLA--became more sophisticated about international politics and realized that its central strategic objective was to get the international community to intervene militarily.

 

INTERVIEWER:

What do you think about Mr. Rugova?

 

HHP:

I think that Mr. Rugova was a great man and a hero because he believed Kosova and its future.I think he is appropriately honored in death.I think that his strategic approach was disastrous.There was never, never any possibility that the international community would intervene here unless there was an armed conflict.

 

INTERVIEWER:

You think that it would be impossible?

 

HHP:

Yes.So he was completely wrong from the beginning with his view that all the Kosovars had to do was to sit back and be nice and the internationals would eventually take care of them.

 

INTERVIEWER:

In Montenegro though there was no war but they became independent.

 

HHP:

Well, Montenegro was not a situation that was under the thumb of military forces from Serbia.It also already was an independent state.It was part of that union that the constitution for the union of Serbia Montenegro expressly said that Montenegro or Serbia was free to secede after I think three years.So you had a legal framework that provided for independence already and he didnít have that for Kosova.

 

INTERVIEWER:

So letís come back to the outcome of final status negotiations.

 

HHP:

Well I think that itís clear that Kosova is going to need international involvement for a long time.Even if you rename the TMK an army and they get weapons, itís not big enough to you any good in terms of protecting yourselves.You are going to need an international security framework--and that means NATO--here for a long time; maybe forever.It doesnít bother me if its forever.Secondly, your economy depends almost 40 percent on some kind of international money.Now not all of that is assistance, some of it is the money that the internationals spent while they are here.And you donít want to go through a 40 percent reduction in your economic activity when the internationals leave because that means everybody would make on average 40 percent less money and people in Kosova donít make enough money now.That means that you are going to need continued international presence to help you economically and that certainly includes the EU, it includes the World Bank, it includes the international monetary fund, and others. So: security involvement, economic involvement.The other thing is trickier: you also will need--the court system here and the prosecution service here are not functioning at all well.You have a serious corruption problem.Everybody talks about that.I donít think they talk about it scientifically enough, if I can put it that way.People just talk about corruption in the general sense and maybe that includes asking your friend for a favor which doesnít seem like corruption to me, it depends what the payer is.It may include smuggling cigarettes, it may include murdering your political opponent. There is a big difference among those things.Some are big problems, some are little problems, and some are not problems at all.But it is clear that there are significant instances--as your own auditor general has said with respect to three ministers--there are significant instances where public resources are being diverted for private gain.Thatís bad because it means that when you pay your taxes, your taxes donít necessarily go to benefit the public; some percentage of them just go line somebodyís pocket.I donít think there is a clear anticorruption strategy yet. You need four things to have an effective anticorruption strategy.First, at the top, there must be the political will to put people in jail, even high level people.I think the Prime Minister is doing a wonderful job overall, but Iím very disappointed in his approach to corruption so far. He said at the beginning that he was going to clean house and now he seems to be backing away from that.So I donít see the political will here yet.

 

INTERVIEWER: The government says it is committed to rooting out corruption

 

HHP:

But nobody does it.No one yet has been put in jail at a high level.

 

INTERVIEWER:

Yeah, but the Prime Minister said that he would.

 

HHP:

So whatís he doing about the auditor generalís report?So whatís happening? Nothingís happening.There is a lack of political will.Number 2, you have to have an honest, competent, and courageous prosecution force; and you donít have that.Third, you have to have an honest, competent, and courageous judiciary; you donít have that.And fourth, you have to have victims who are willing to report corruption, and you donít have that. We have to understand how you are going to develop the political will and you have to understand how you will be able to get the victims of corruption to be willing to report it.And of course you have to have the second and third as well, but those are technical things that will do you no good if you donít have the political world and the willingness to report it.

 

INTERVIEWER: All of this is political responsibility.

 

HHP:

Well I donít think the political responsibility is being exercised.I think thatís a serious weakness.And the judge, if you have some judge whoís being paid a couple hundred Euros a month, which is a problem anyway, he is not going to stick his neck out and risk his career or worse by trying to send somebody to jail.If you lack the political will at the top, then people in the middle, most of whom probably are quite honest and would like to do their jobs, they are frustrated and eventually they give up.I had a conversation yesterday with someone who had worked as a reporter and who had investigated many instances of corruption and he couldnít get them in the papers because his editor was too often a friend of the person whoíd been investigated.And in that case the reporter, after working on this for a long time, had given up and wasnít going to do it anymore.Same thing happens with the prosecutors and investigators and auditors. There must the high level political support for this. Youíll know when that comes.Youíll know that you have that high level political support when at least one minister and businessman get put in jail for corruption.Youíll know that you have it then.And until that happens, until at least one businessman and at least one minister get put in jail for corruption, you will know that you do not have the high level political support.

 

INTERVIEWER: How is democracy development coming?

 

HHP:

I donít see that as, I donít think you can have effective democracy with closed-list systems.So I think that OSCE made a serious mistake in 2004 when they continued with the closed-list system and did not move to an open-list system.I think itís essential that you have an open-list system for the next elections.I think that it is a mistake to postpone the local elections.If you believe in democracy--and the international missions are here to promote democracy--if you believe in democracy you canít postpone elections.

 

INTERVIEWER: Why have they postponed them?

 

HHP:

Too much trouble to do elections and too many of the internationals donít want to do anything to rock the boat about final status negotiations.I think that that is bad for Kosovaís future because it perpetuates the situation in which people donít do anything.And one other point on elections: itís not a good idea to have local elections before national elections.Now that the local elections have been postponed, one good thing about that is that it gives Kosova an opportunity to have national elections at the same time as local elections or even before.And you should have national elections first, and then local elections because what you need to do after independence is to consolidate the political structure for governing Kosova as a whole and you donít get that through local elections, you get that through national elections.

 

INTERVIEWER:

So what do you think about Mitrovica?

 

HHP:

I think that itís going to be very hard to have harmony in Mitrovica in the near term. On this trip, my students and I crossed the bridge and came into a cafť and just at random asked some people if they were willing to talk to us. We found someone who would talk to us and he was a Serb, older man.And he was very frightened about the future and completely under the influence of the Serb nationalist myth about Serbs and Albanians.And frankly, many of my Albanian friends are . . . feel the same way about the other side.So I think with Mitrovica, what needs to be done is to put together a political structure so that people donít kill each other even if they donít eagerly live together in a physical sense.

 

INTERVIEWER: What is your forecast?

 

HHP:

I think itís likely that we will get independence towards the end of this year.Itís very important to insist on that.My guess is that there will be some limitations on it.I think it would be a serious mistake to preserve the veto power in the international community, Iíve already said that, but my guess is that youíll have some fairly heavy supervision in your political decisions by the EU.I donít know what the details will look like, but there is a lot of talk that that full independence might be deferred for a period of months or even years.I know that having an army is important as a symbol and so Iím in favor of that.As a practical matter, I donít know if that makes any difference.

 

INTERVIEWER:

According to these negotiations, would this happen in this year?

 

HHP;

I donít think you are going to get absolutely everything this year.I hope you do, but I donít think you will.

 

INTERVIEWER:

So, In next year, weíll wait Ö.

 

HHP:

Well I think it would be absolutely disastrous if the negotiations were to be continued or delayed beyond the end of this year.I mean everybody has made it clear that you should have independence by the end of this year.I say everybody, but itís really the U.S., and Britain, and other major powers.I think that everyone needs to stick to that and insist on it.I hope that the U.S. will continue to insist on it.

 

INTERVIEWER:

Will U.S.A. be willing to recognize Kosova as an independent state?

 

HHP:

I hope so.I hope so.Iíve written editorials in the U.S. newspapers saying that I favor it.

 

INTERVIEWER:

We donít sell around here [laughing].Thank you for everything.I donít know if you have anything else to say that I didnít ask you.

 

HHP:

Well I think, just to wrap things up: I think that Kosova has the kind of energy, and persistence, and creativity to it make a great independent state, but the question now is not whether somebody else can do if for you, but whether you can do it yourselves.And that means that ordinary people will have to insist on a political leadership that is committed to results, and action, and honesty.

 

INTERVIEWER: Tell us more about your other activities

 

HHP:

Well, I have, I mean I have been fortunate to have done a variety of things.Iím working on, in the United States Iím working on a law review article about music file sharing and copyright law.As I said, I was dean of the law school, and Iíve written about 12 books on legal subjects and about 75 other law review articles.And as I say, Iíve brought probably 25 or 30 students to Kosova.So Iím, I enjoy my job and try to experience it to the fullest.

 

INTERVIEWER:

I presented you as a writer or publisher, but what do you want ___ ___?

 

HHP:

Well, I Iím a law professor first.

 

INTERVIEWER:

Yes, yes.

 

HHP:

And then I suppose itís interesting that Iím a writer of books about Kosovo and a writer of songs about Kosovo.

 

INTERVIEWER:

Yes.Thank you very much.

 

HHP:

Thank you.