Democracy School

Kosovo needs a government. The U.S. is betting on the K.L.A.'s leader. Now he needs to learn how to govern

Hashim Thaci is on unfamiliar ground. The Albanian guerrilla leader, once the bane of Serbian forces in Kosovo's hinterlands, has arrived triumphant in Pristina and is undergoing his first rite of passage as an aspiring politician: dinner with TIME. Looking out across a table laden with the best postwar cuisine available--three platters of chicken franks, canned tuna and tomatoes--the 30-year-old rebel answers questions with a voice at once shy and calculating. Trying his best to toe the Western line, he assures us repeatedly, "We will live up to the obligations given to us." But as dinner stretches to midnight, Thaci begins...

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