Bitter conflict runs deep in Balkan history and flared most recently with a terrible spate of ethnic cleansing and manipulation of international sympathies in the 1990s. Those years showed us the cunning that prevails on all sides of the former Yugoslavia. This is perhaps a mix of peasant farmer ingenuity and political intrigue learned over centuries lived between empires: Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian, Axis and Alliance, Soviet and capitalist, Islam and Christian. And this acuteness resides, though the fighting seems to have abated and global interest wanders elsewhere. The Balkan wars continue silently in different theatres. They have taken a turn, becoming wars over heritage.

Soldiers of the Kosovo Liberation Army demonstrate in Pristina, November 2004, against the UN's deliberation over the region's future and the International Criminal Court's promise to arrest President Haradinaj for war crimes.