In its rocky but resolute path towards independence and after, Kosovo has met its share of notable detractors. Russia. Serbia. China. Cyprus. But, truth be told, the positions of these countries were never really in doubt. There was no surprise in anyone’s mind that Russia or Serbia would not now, and probably not ever, recognize Kosovo’s independence. The same probably goes for China (i.e., the People’s Republic of China as opposed to the Republic of China) as well as for Cyprus (but not the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus).
So what now? Does Kosovo and the international community try to spend its limited resources on changing the minds of countries that will unlikely change their mind? Shouldn’t hard earned money and time be spent on things that really can make a difference? Well, like what?
For starters, how about drop down menus. That’s right, the real barrier to worldwide recognition of Kosovo’s independence are not countries or cults of personality, but the silent killer: drop down menus. To date, I have not been able to locate any drop down menus where you could select “Kosovo” as a country. In fact, I have only been able to find one drop down menu that lists “Serbia” and “Montenegro” as separate countries. Most drop down menus either list “Yugoslavia” or “Serbia & Montenegro” or both as countries. Of course, as I’m sure everyone in the matrix knows, neither “Yugoslavia” nor “Serbia & Montenegro” exist. But in the real world of drop down menus, they do.
Don’t think for one second that these drop down menus are mistakes or oversights. After all, I have to date not found a drop down menu that lists the U.S.S.R as a country. The super-majority of drop down menus list Taiwan as a country, Kazakhstan, and of course Macedonia (although some report it as Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).
So what gives? Who or what is behind these drop down menus? Perhaps if the international community spends time discovering the mastermind behind the drop down menus, then maybe there would be less tension in the Balkans.
A large part of me, though, feels that the majority of the programmers who are making these drop down menus are Americans. As most know, Americans are horrible at geography, even when it comes to their own geography. I think this is the result of believing you are the center of the world, so why feel any need to know where anything else is. I think if you say “Yugoslavia” to most Americans, you’ll likely get this response, “Oh, that’s the country that makes those crappy cars, right?”
Jeez. To all those programmers out there, you may have different stands on whether Kosovo should be independent or not. But at least change what isn’t at issue: YUGOSLAVIA NO LONGER EXISTS nor does SERBIA & MONTENEGRO.