Yugoslavia is gone, forever. The country that emerged from World War I and Versailles as the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, land of the South Slavs, has passed into history.
Sunday's vote in Montenegro, a tiny land of fewer people than the Washington, D.C., this writer grew up in, voted Sunday to secede from Belgrade, establish a nation and seek entry into the European Union.
In 1991, Macedonia peacefully seceded. Slovenia and Croatia fought their way out, and Bosnia broke free after a war marked by the massacre at Srbenica and NATO intervention. Bosnia is itself subdivided into a Serb and a Croat-Muslim sector.
After the 78-day U.S. bombing of Serbia by the United States, and the ethnic cleansing of Serbs from the province in the wake of the NATO war, Kosovo is 90 percent Muslim and Albanian. Loss of this land that was the cradle of the Serb nation seems an inevitability.
The disintegration of Yugoslavia, the second partition of Czechoslovakia and the breakup of the Soviet Union into 15 nations -- many of which had never before existed -- seem to confirm what Israeli historian Martin van Creveld and U.S. geostrategist William Lind have written.
The nation-state is dying. Men have begun to transfer their allegiance, loyalty and love from the older nations both upward to the new transnational regimes that are arising and downward to the sub-nations whence they came, the true nations, united by blood and soil, language, literature, history, faith, tradition and memory.
Imperial and ideological nations appear, for the foreseeable future, to be finished. The British and French, greatest of the Western Empires, are long gone. Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, the Irish, though its sons had fought to erect and maintain the Victorian "empire on which the sun never set" -- and defend it in World War I -- fought relentlessly to be free of it. They wanted, and in 1921 won, a small nation of their own, on their own small island.
The Irish preferred it to being part of the British Empire.
The call of ethnicity, nationalism, religion, faith and history pulled apart the greatest of all the ideological empires, the Soviet Empire, and the Soviet Union, that "prison house of nations."
Transnational institutions, the embryonic institutions of a new world government to which the elites of the West and Third World are transferring allegiance and power, include the United Nations, the EU, the World Trade Organization, the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, the International Seabed Authority, the Kyoto Protocol, the IMF and the World Bank.