Not So Fast

It is obvious by now that this January’s presidential elections in Serbia were called with the specific purpose of entrenching Boris Tadic and his Democratic Party in power before the planned declaration of dependence by the terrorist KLA regime in the occupied province of Kosovo. The same "diplomats" and "reliable sources" that whispered to reporters about the inevitability of Kosovo’s secession said in the same breath that the Empire hoped for Tadic’s victory, as it would make things easier.

The Serb response to the forced separation of Kosovo – outpouring of anger, rage and defiance, from Belgrade to capitals around the world – temporarily shocked the Empire’s supporters in Serbia. Tadic himself dared not show his face at the mass demonstration in Belgrade on February 21, traveling to Romania instead. Only after the suspiciously well-funded media conglomerates in Serbia – which, oh so incidentally, stand somewhere to the left of Stalin when it comes to annexing Serbia to the EUSSR – manufactured outrage over rioters that damaged the U.S. Embassy did the professional apologists for Empire in Serbia’s politics and public opinion catch their breath.

No political party in Serbia opposes joining the EU on principle – which is unfortunate – but the Popular Bloc, led by Prime Minister Kostunica, is challenging the notion that Serbia should continue talking to Brussels as if nothing happened, even as the EU acts as the instrument of Kosovo’s separation, through the EULEX mission and the "International Steering Group." In this, he has the support of the largest opposition party, the Radicals, who last week proposed a parliamentary resolution demanding that government officials obey the Constitution and defend the territorial integrity of Serbia (i.e. Kosovo). The resolution could have passed a parliamentary vote, but the chairman – a Democrat – passed it along to the government, where the majority of ministers were loyal to Tadic. Facing a de facto mutiny, Prime Minister Kostunica disbanded the government and asked for a new election. Tadic agreed.

The Democrats – and their satellites, G17 and the LDP – believe that the May 11 vote will be a decisive battle for the future of Serbia, in which their policy of "pragmatic pragmatism" and unconditional surrender will triumph over the "backward nationalism, isolationism and violence" of those who still believe in the "antiquated" notions of sovereignty, dignity, honor, patriotism, etc.

More importantly, the Empire believes the same thing. The New York Times has openly endorsed Tadic, while the foreign ministers of France and Sweden have sunk to abusing the ghost of Zoran Djindic in order to make facetious promises of "European future" to Serbia.

With ‘Friends’ Like These…

It has, indeed, been five years since Prime Minister Zoran Djindic, then-leader of the Democratic Party, was shot at the doorstep of his office. Militant elements of the DOS coalition quickly declared martial law and rounded up hundreds of people, from known underground figures to political opponents, alleging a grand conspiracy against democracy by "Milosevic sympathizers and organized crime clans." A member of a special operations unit was convicted of killing Djindic, and his commander was also jailed as a member of the conspiracy. Controversy about Djindjic’s death still persists, however.

None of this stopped Carl Bildt and Bernard Kouchner, now foreign ministers of Sweden and France, respectively, from digging up Djindjic’s corpse – metaphorically speaking – in service of most cynical propaganda. Both Bildt and Kouchner have had a hand in Empire’s Balkans adventures; Bildt was a viceroy of Bosnia, Kouchner a viceroy of occupied Kosovo, among other things. On the anniversary of Djindjic’s death, they sent an open letter to their "friends in Serbia." The London Times was one of the Western papers to publish it; in Serbia, it was carried by the pro-Tadic Blic.

The ex-viceroys repeatedly claim they are friends of Serbia, and that friendship is what guides their actions (such as, say, recognizing Kosovo). Even more incredulously, they make an absurd claim that their countries, "like many others, would have preferred the continuation of the union between the western Balkan states. But the horrific wars of the 1990s, and the massacres their peoples suffered, dealt Yugoslavia a fatal blow."

So, the EU did not recognize Slovenia and Croatia before any sort of negotiations over their status? It did not recognize Bosnia-Herzegovina’s illegal declaration of independence, or endorse the Izetbegovic regime that reneged on the Cutilheiro Plan with American backing? It did not train, fund and sponsor the terrorist KLA, and start a war of aggression against their "friend" Serbia, in the spring of 1999 – which resulted in the occupation of Kosovo, massacres and ethnic cleansing of Serbs, and systematic destruction of their heritage in the province, even during Kouchner’s regency?

How nice of them to clear that up.

Messrs. Kouchner and Bildt continue by proclaiming that, now that Kosovo has become "Kosova," Serbia can take its rightful place – under Europe’s boot:

"…in our view it is certain that Serbia will soon be a member of the EU, because there is no alternative. This is in tune with the march of history, because Serbia, everyone agrees, is the backbone of the region."

And because they are such great friends of Serbia, they want to "help Serbia to move towards accession, proud of its history and focused on the future."

Just about the only thing coming anywhere close to the truth here is that Serbia is the "backbone" of the Balkans. But that is precisely why it has been the target of every aspiring conqueror in that corner of the world, from Murad I to George the Lesser. As for the rest, judging by the comments on the Times site, Bernard and Karl’s Serbian "friends" already know the ex-viceroys are full of horse manure.

New York Times Knows Best

Parallel to the Kouchner-Bildt letter, the New York Times ran a staff iditorial, titled "Serbia’s Choice." Hoary clichés mingle with malicious fabrications in this case for a future of "pragmatism and progress" for Serbia, as envisioned by its very truest friends (not again!) in Washington and Brussels.

In trademark turgid prose, the NYT editors proclaim that Serbia is now facing a "historic choice" between a "better future as part of the European Union" and "isolation, stagnation and decline." Yet there are plenty of indicators that the EU actually consumes more wealth than its conveniences help create, and EU members are actually experiencing "stagnation and decline" – economically, socially, culturally and demographically.

Profound ignorance of history is another strong suite of the NYT. Consider, for example, their claim that "Kosovo has been a symbol of Serbian nationalism since the 14th century" – even though nationalism is a 19th-century phenomenon!

Then there is the shocking mendacity that "Serbia weakened its hand by allying with Russia against the European Union and refusing to negotiate in good faith over Kosovo independence." (emphasis added) One is tempted to ask – what hand? Neither the EU nor the U.S. so much as bothered to listen to Serbian arguments; Kosovo’s secession was arranged several years in advance, and the "talks" chaired by Ahtisaari and later Wisner were a sham from start to finish. Serbia was the only party at the table that tried to negotiate at all; the KLA regime in Pristina and its EU and U.S. sponsors did not even bother to pretend.

The NYT, predictably, makes a wholesale endorsement of President Boris Tadic and his Democratic Party, whose policy of EU membership at any cost is praised as "the most sensible," and an "economic necessity." To wit, "A clear victory for Mr. Tadic’s party would be best for Serbia, Europe and the United States." The latter two out of the three, anyway.

The paper that gave us Walter Duranty and Judith Miller may still believe it shapes the American public opinion. Fortunately for the people of Serbia, it doesn’t get to pick their president. Or does it?

The Dwindling Choice

Two weeks before Washington and its European camp-followers orchestrated the "independence" of Kosovo, Boris Tadic was re-elected president of Serbia by the slimmest of margins; his victory was a mixture of equal parts fear and naïve hope: fear from the "horrible nineties" the foreign-owned and pro-Democrat media whipped up, and a promise that he would defend Kosovo. Tadic has reneged on his promise, and fear can only go so far.

It is impossible to say with any amount of certainty what the Serbian electorate actually thinks. Opinion polls are hopelessly rigged. Most of the media are some of the worst enablers of Empire, either outright owned by foreign conglomerates or financed from the outside, e.g. by George Soros. The election is in two months – that’s enough time for all sorts of brainwashing to the tune of "friendship" that Bildt, Kouchner and the New York Times have professed this week. Then again, one reputable analyst who visited Serbia recently is confident the Democrats are heading for a humiliating defeat.

There is one grain of truth in the hysterical and incongruous propaganda the Empire has aimed at Serbia. May 11 will indeed be a choice. It’s more of a choice than Americans will have in November, and most definitely more of a choice than the EUSSR’s subjects will ever have. The choice in question won’t be between "isolation" and "progressive future," but between a chance to be free and perpetual submission to the Empire and its lackeys. Once made, the latter choice is very hard to alter – maybe even impossible.

Irony is one of the few constants in the Balkans. What could be more ironic than the fact that Empire’s actions concerning Kosovo appear to vindicate the arguments of another notable Serb, who died two years ago, defending his people before the Hague Inquisition even as they reviled his name?

This week, the beleaguered Empire sought Russia’s help to pacify Afghanistan. The wheel of history turns, empires rise and fall, and the fortunes of men and nations change. Nothing is inevitable, or set, or hopeless. Irony, however, endures.

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.