Leaked Cables Show What the US Ambassador to Kosovo Really Thinks of Kosovo

The Feb. 15 cable, written by U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo Philip S. Kosnett and obtained by NBC News, details the burnout, isolation and mental health challenges for those serving in one of Europe’s poorest countries. It also provides insight into the greater challenges faced by many State Department employees abroad.

While ex-pats working in Kosovo have a totally different view of the country than the US Ambassador seems to have. Even Americans living in Kosovo, have said they never want to return to the US and Europeans, think being in Kosovo is the best place to be, especially during the pandemic, with little lockdown as in other countries, as Albin Kurti started the lockdown last year one week before New Zealand did and had numbers under control by July last year.

Kosnett wrote “Persistent anxiety — for some community members, fear — punctuates an existence of isolation, separation, and diminishing hope. Post leadership can and must do more locally to address morale issues,” Kosnett said. “Until the Department is able to provide vaccine to posts like Pristina, the impact of the pandemic on health, welfare, and productivity will remain profound.”

This is totally untrue, as numbers are at zero percent, even though all the bars and clubs are open and busy. Most people have had the virus, with little or no symptoms. Those with symptoms are treated at home with injections of vitamin D, so antibody levels are high and vaccines are not needed. Hugging still goes on when meeting friends as people are not as paranoid as the Ambassador seems to be.

Pristina, the capital city where Kosnett is stationed, suffers from a weak system of medical care, hazardous levels of pollution and notoriously unreliable internet, he said.

In reality Kosovo does have a weak system of health care, but as the ‘pandemic’ is all but over, empty hospital beds are now being used by patients from nearby countries. The pollution levels from the lignite  burning power station, is not good, but the US has not helped with that problem, by flip flopping over a new one to be built.

Last but not least, saying that Kosovo has notoriously unreliable internet is a downright lie, as Kosovo is known for having one of the fastest internet in Europe. Lets hope your next position is in France or Australia Mr. Kosnett, then you will know what unreliable internet it.

Overworked, understaffed and faced with conditions that leave employees feeling unsafe to leave their homes for basic necessities like groceries, the cable describes how some Americans at the U.S. mission in Kosovo see the current state of affairs as simply unsustainable. One person described their experience over the past year as treading water and wondering when the lifeboats would come.

Prishtina is one of the safest cities in the world and women think nothing at walking home in the early hours of the morning alone. Most employees at the US Embassy are marines or ex-servicemen and they are frightened to go out and buy groceries. Where does Kosnett think he is living, in Afghanistan?

The truth is, that since the lockdown last year, American staff at the US Embassy and Camp Bondsteel have had their own quarantine and not allowed to leave the base or embassy. A year ago, this became too much for those that worked at the base but lived in their own homes. They were expected to live on the base and not go home. This led to mass resignations by the staff that could. They gave up their jobs to live by Kosovo rules, instead of the US rules of the base.

If Americans are unhappy about the way they are treated in Kosovo, it has nothing to do with Kosovo and more to do with America and the winging Ambassador Kosnett, that many Kosovars would like to see the back of, since his contribution to the ousting of the legally elected government, mid-pandemic last year.

So the hypocrisy of  the man telling lies about Kosovo, when he and his staff are frustrated about the US laws they are living under.

JLC/FOK

 

 

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