Empire in the Balkans: Hypocrisy Rampant

Next to the ever-present irony and all-pervading lies, hypocrisy is a major fixture of the Balkans nowadays. Besides the usual discrepancy between words and deeds common to politics, there is also a frequent discrepancy between words themselves, a sure sign that those who speak them have as much commitment to principles as a windsock.

Like Master, Like Vassal

Serbian authorities held talks this week with high NATO officials on joining the Alliance’s “Partnership for Peace” program. Three years ago, that same NATO was bombing Serbia to smithereens, yet was unable to conquer it or Kosovo until resorting to treachery. Back then, most of those who run the current government whined how the bombing might hurt their chances to win power – not really giving a damn about the countless dead, displaced, or dispossessed. Seeing how they are getting all friendly with NATO – on top of all the groveling before Empire’s Hague Inquisition – their priorities haven’t changed, only their rhetoric.

When NATO was attacking Serbia, Macedonia supported the effort, and joined the calls branding Slobodan Milosevic a war criminal. After NATO forced it to capitulate to the very same Albanian militants as Serbia, and as Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski is rumored to be in the Hague Inquisition’s sights, Macedonian media defend him much the same way Milosevic defends himself. The irony, and the comparison, is completely lost on the befuddled Macedonians.

Neither Belgrade nor Skopje sees anything abnormal in this sort of behavior. Apparently, promising Serbs a better, more dignified life really meant groveling before their executioners and being grateful for table scraps. By the same token, condemning Serbia for defending itself from terrorists is no obstacle to protesting Macedonia’s condemnation for the same thing.

But what can one expect, when the Empire itself, the Alpha and Omega of Balkan satraps’ universe, is engaging in some of the most outrageous feats of hypocrisy known to man – and getting away with it?

Their Court, And Ours

Some ten days ago the US theatrically “unsigned” the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court, the genetically enhanced spawn of its own Hague Inquisition. On that occasion, undersecretary of state for political affairs Marc Grossman said, “We believe that states, not international institutions, are primarily responsible for ensuring justice in the international system.” (AP, May 6)

The same news story quotes Grossman saying that “the United States has never recognized the right of an international organization” to try non-citizens who commit crimes against other nation’s citizens or on their territory, as that would “threaten US sovereignty”.

Further down the article,

Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., chairman of the House International Relations Committee, said, “We simply cannot accept an international institution that claims jurisdiction over American citizens.”

Both Grossman and Hyde are absolutely right. The ICC is a threat to national sovereignty, which is the equivalent of individual liberty in the world of foreign relations. But substitute the “United States” with “Yugoslavia” or “Serbia,” and these statements become mere echoes of Vojislav Kostunica, Kosta Cavoski and yes, Slobodan Milosevic.

Given its insistence on creating the Hague Inquisition to further its political aims in the Balkans; given its merciless cajoling, blackmail and arm-twisting of Serbia to surrender to the Inquisition’s authority; and given the current show trial of Milosevic at The Hague, the Empire has no moral right to object to a similar court wishing to try its citizens – unless it disavows the Hague Inquisition first. Predictably, there has yet been no mention of the possibility.

Words and Deeds

Facts are, obviously, extremely relative when it comes to serving Empire’s purposes. Discovery by NATO’s occupation forces of two major weapons caches in the Muslim-controlled part of southern Bosnia was downplayed in the media. Meanwhile, their counterparts in Kosovo have been frantically searching for any weapons in possession of Kosovo Serbs, ransacking homes even on Easter Sunday. They have found nothing, because there is nothing to find – but they will keep looking. If only they had been so eager when tons of Albanian weapons found their way from Kosovo into Macedonia last year…

Empire’s legions behave much the same when confronting rampant organized crime. It is common knowledge that trafficking in weapons, drugs and sex-slaves is a very profitable venture for primarily Albanian gangsters in NATO’s Great Protectorate. But Michael Steiner, Empire’s viceroy in Kosovo, is far more concerned with cigarette smugglers, because vassal governments lose “large amounts of badly needed tax revenue.” No mention of smoking being harmful to people’s health, or preferable to hard drugs, sexual slavery or gun-running. See, there’s just no revenue in cracking down on those…

Then there is Herr Steiner’s recently announced “reintegration” plan. Under the cover of encouraging returns of Serbs and other non-Albanians expelled at gunpoint (according to UNMIK, perfectly justifiably) in 1999, Kosovo’s occupation authorities are determined to demolish the last vestiges of Serb society in Kosovo, completely subordinating them to the Albanian-dominated government. Nor does he stop there.

In an interview with Beta, a Serbian news agency, Steiner criticized Kosovo Serbs for wanting “what is not your [Serb] right”; defended his privatization plan, which seeks to plunder Serbian property in Kosovo for sale to foreigners; rationalized the Albanian hatred of Serbs; and even had the nerve to say he supported “decentralization of power from higher levels to the local communities,” which directly contradicts his “reintegration” plan.

Obviously, neither Steiner nor his masters believe in much of anything except raw power. There is certainly nothing remotely resembling principles to be found in their words, let alone actions. And that’s what the Empire is all about.

A Universe of Lies

Lies and hypocrisy – as a sophisticated form of lies – have been in the Balkans for a long time. Only recently, though, has the Empire made them into a way of life, built an entire elaborate universe out of them. In that universe, Ibrahim Rugova can freely commit perjury in the service of Imperial “justice,” while hypocritically accusing Milosevic of doing the same. In that universe, there can be a sham court for the Balkans savages, but none for Imperial Übermenschen. Words and deeds are judged not on their own merit, but rather on the political correctness of those who stand behind them.

It is an act of supreme hubris, prideful arrogance, to defy reality itself and try to replace it with fiction. What dire consequences await on that road? Perhaps the ravaged lands of the Balkans, reduced to mimicking their executioners and bowing to their every whim, should serve as a haunting example.

And maybe, just maybe, if anyone there finds the strength and courage to say “No!” they might yet offer an example of hope.

Author: Nebojsa Malic

Nebojsa Malic left his home in Bosnia after the Dayton Accords and currently resides in the United States. During the Bosnian War he had exposure to diplomatic and media affairs in Sarajevo. As a historian who specializes in international relations and the Balkans, Malic has written numerous essays on the Kosovo War, Bosnia, and Serbian politics. His exclusive column for Antiwar.com debuted in November 2000.