Balkans Leaders Chose Servitude

It’s been a fact for at least a year now, ever since the Treaty of Ohrid was signed, that the Balkans was fully conquered. Perhaps the final, unnecessary confirmation came in March, when the last remnant of the last Yugoslav federation was officially dismantled. Those who inherited the rubble of what used to be Yugoslavia pledged their fealty to Emperors of the West, just as Yugoslavia’s neighbors had done previously.

Certainly, the Empire’s control is not yet fully established. There are little things, details such as what will happen to Kosovo and Macedonia; will Bosnia ever be united; who will rule the vassal principality of Serbia, or how small it will end up being. Right now, the money seems to be on Zoran the Foul, since any resistance to his parliamentary coup is readily interpreted as support for The Evil Milosevic. But whoever wins will be rewarded by being a friend and partner in hunting down any and all Serbs who might oppose it.

For it is not enough merely to obey the masters, one must love them as well. Only willing servants, such as Macedonia’s political elite, will do.

(Re)writing History

To this purpose, then, the history of the entire region is extensively rewritten. Gone are chapters about certain nations’ associations with the Nazis, for example, or massacres they perpetrated against today’s designated culprits. Instead, a new history is composed in prestigious institutions of Western academia at the behest of the Hague Inquisition, one that has as much resemblance to the truth as "Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

Certainly the mainstay of this effort is the omnipresent myth of "Greater Serbia" as forged by the Austro-Hungarian government in the early 1900s and resurrected at need by the Nazis, Communists, and NATO. But the effort goes far beyond that crucial generalization, and into horrifying details.

One instance is the recent ruling of the Inquisition’s "appeals chamber," upholding the convictions of three Bosnian Serbs accused of mass rape. The decision reiterates the Inquisition’s position that "sexual offenses had been used by Serb forces as part of a campaign to intimidate Muslims and prompt them to flee." (AP) Essentially, this means that Bosnian Serbs committed systematic mass rape during the 1992-95 war.

Accusations of systematic mass rape by the Serbs have long been a staple of most rabid propaganda. Stories of 40,000 victims sheltering in Tuzla alone dominated the news in 1993. But while rape, along with torture and other forms of abuse, has certainly been widespread in the Bosnian conflict, there is no evidence – save the claims by the Muslim regime and reporters sympathetic to its cause – that there was ever a method in this madness. Most tellingly, the realistic number of rape victims has never been officially established. Surely, it would be imperative that an accusation of this magnitude be accurately documented? Or is the word of an illegal court all it takes, these days?

Definitions By Fiat

Sadly, it seems the answer is yes. When the Inquisition convicted Gen. Radislav Krstic of "genocide" for his alleged role in the 1995 "Srebrenica massacre," it never bothered to establish the facts of the case beyond what has been heard in countless propaganda pieces over the past seven years. Even the exhaustive Dutch report, published this April and condemned by Keepers of Official Truth, failed to establish for certain how many people were killed and how, or whether they were civilians, combatants, or both. Two claims have proven enduring in this veritable vacuum of facts: that "up to 8000 Muslims" were killed, sometimes qualified as "men and boys;" and that this constituted "genocide."

Those who believe genocide entails a near-complete annihilation of an entire people may be forgiven for their confusion. The Inquisition, itself a product of manipulated definitions, is prone to stretching terms a bit.

Preordained Outcomes

The depths to which the Inquisition stoops were made apparent last week, when a German general who oversaw the NATO attack on Yugoslavia claimed Slobodan Milosevic told him Serbs should conduct mass executions of Kosovo Albanians. So what if Klaus Naumann was a high-ranking NATO officer who took part in an illegal war of aggression, and thus needs to justify it, lest he be charged by some other court on grounds of "command responsibility"? So what if Milosevic was actually referring to the 1946 Communist executions of Albanians who sided with Nazi Germany, and whose sons and grandsons fought in the 1999’s KLA? What could sound more righteous than a German general accusing Serbs of mass murder?

An American Ambassador, maybe.

A sort of controversy broke out last week regarding the possible testimony of Richard Holbrooke, the dark apprentice of Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright, who engineered the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord and the 1998 agreement that opened Serbia up to NATO bombs. Namely, the State Department demanded that Holbrooke’s testimony be made secret, citing fears of precedent if one of their own appeared in an "international court." It was a neat attempt to create a false impression of the Inquisition’s impartiality through US reluctance, and deflect potential embarrassment from Holbrooke’s tactless candor. But when London’s Financial Times opined that the US was jeopardizing Milosevic’s (already assumed) conviction, the State Department could not resist.

"That’s absurd. […] Prosecutors have a very strong case," cited Reuters an unnamed US official. Another said that American diplomats "do not have knowledge that constitutes a smoking gun."

But Holbrooke was eager to go. "I absolutely believe he’s guilty," he told the New York Times. "Whether we have smoking guns, that’s a different issue." He went on:

He noted that there were 66 counts against the former Yugoslav leader. "I don’t know which of the 66 will matter," he said.

Namely, any one of the charges is enough to lock Milosevic away for life. Holbrooke’s testimony is irrelevant not because he has nothing to say, but because the outcome of the "trial" is already preordained. One cannot be allowed to interfere with the rewriting of history, not on this scale.

A Union of Vassals

There has been talk in Serbian papers recently about a Western plan for a "Balkans confederation," consisting of Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bosnia. Much as the post-WW2 Yugoslav federation was built as a conglomerate of conflicting interests that were used as a control mechanism by the supreme power of President Tito, this "confederation" would provide a means to control the Balkans conflicts while establishing complete economic, political and military supremacy of the new supreme power, the Empire. Such an entity would then serve as Empire’s lever against (or within) the European Union.

There has certainly been a push from the West for cooperation between the shards of former Yugoslavia, and some have even drawn parallels to the origins of the EU. But while peaceful cooperation between neighbors is something to be desired, this "confederation" would be nothing of the sort. A forced marriage created for the purpose of servitude and exploitation, it would be no place for those who cherish liberty.

The Second Yugoslavia was a union of people who were originally convinced of their commonality, yet they all eventually staked a claim to difference in a sea of blood. What makes one think this clear violation of free association, this "confederation" of disparate peoples – some openly hostile to others – could possibly function? Yet so many thralls of the Empire long for "integration" as the cure to all their ills, without even thinking they should solve them on their own.

Choices and Consequences

Perhaps "integration" is simply a reflection of desire for wider horizons, now that they have shrunken so much. But the root cause of Balkan conflicts – unsolved property issues, personal and state-level – would not be addressed with this panacea. Notions of "confederation," entry into the EU (as if that will be allowed to happen!), or membership in NATO merely trick the people into believing their problems are being solved. They are but an illusion of a carrot, followed by a certain stick, for the Balkans donkey: a beast of burden for the rapacious Empire.

"Leaders" in the Balkans and elsewhere may think – no, do think – that joining the Empire is the best choice at this time. Serbia’s experience has shown the price of defiance, and it’s not as if freedom has ever been easy to gain, or hold. But taking the path of least resistance is far from being cost-free. The Leaders themselves would do well to remember the fate of Empire’s servants who fell from grace, or were discarded when they were no longer useful: Zaire’s Mobutu, Iraq’s Hussayn, Nicaragua’s Noriega, Persia’s Reza Shah, Chile’s Pinochet. Their people would suffer even more (not that the Leaders care, but even so), as the price of servitude grows ever higher. After all, choices always have consequences.

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 debuted in November 2000.