Elected Affliction

By this time next week, it should be known who will become the 44th President of the United States. Once a "chief magistrate of a confederated republic," the holder of that office is now a "global tyrant…part secular pope, part military despot, part pseudo-philosopher-king and full-time overbearing global gangster." Both John Sidney and Barack Hussein share the latter understanding of the office. Politicians who are even aware of the former can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Americans may think they are voting for President, but they are really casting their ballots for the man who would be Emperor.

In a virtual world shoddily designed by the news media, this is the Most Important Election Ever – just like every other time the Democrats and Republicans clash. In reality, the differences between two parties are minor at best; their contests boil down to a Leninist choice of who will do the doing, and who will get done. As one historian puts it, it’s a choice between a Socialist "ObaMarx" and the National-Socialist "McMussolini," arguing that the only real patriotic choice is to stay home and deny both the mandate to destroy what’s left of America.

The situation may not be quite as dire as the Swedish blogger Fjordman thinks – he claims Americans are "outsourcing their industry to China, their education system to Saudi Arabia and their breeding to Mexico" – but they certainly look grim. Cracks in Empire’s façade started showing even at the peak of its power, in the spring of 1999, as a small country successfully foiled the onslaught of the host of the West for 78 days. Within a few short years, the Imperial troops were bogged down in two futile wars, while worldwide sympathy in the aftermath of September 11 terror turned to resentment. The economic crisis currently unfolding is considered to be the worst since the Great Depression, and it’s just beginning. But for all the candidates’ talk about "change" and being mavericks, their advisors are the same people who brought us Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the real estate bubble – to name just a few recent fiascos.

In short, come November 4, Americans won’t have a say in the actual question crucial to their lives: should the United States continue on the suicidal course of Empire, or attempt to restore the old Republic? That choice has already been made for them. All they have to do is crown the Emperor.

Worse Than Communism

About six months ago, voters in Serbia actually had a chance to make that important choice, one between liberty, with all its hardships, and an illusion of safety in the suffocating bosom of the Empire. The vote was split. For a moment, it looked like the forces of liberty – though disorganized and confused – would prevail. The Empire ensured it was otherwise.

Eighteen years since the Berlin Wall came down and eight years since a U.S.-sponsored coup overthrew the government of Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia is in a grip of something worse than Communism. It is not merely a matter of people in power being old Communist officials, or their privileged children; or the fact that the ruling coalition seems to be composed of old Communist factions created from Party purges in 1973 and 1987, and now reunited in commitment to a new, Imperial master.

Americans at least enjoy the illusion that they have a choice of political parties. In Serbia – which has some 400 registered parties, of which about a dozen sit in the Parliament – there is no choice. Only Democrats are qualified to govern democratically in a democracy. After the Socialists joined their coalition (thereby becoming "democratic" from "hard-line retrograde nationalists" virtually overnight), the opposition crumbled. The Radicals, painted for years in the media as a menace to everything, have fallen apart. The larger faction that split off, the Progressives, are an inert compound at best. The Populists of ex-PM Vojislav Kostunica, who always had a problem with articulating precisely what they stood for, have already melted away.

Having declared in their campaign, "Europe has no alternative," the democratic-reformer gang made sure that reality reflected the slogan. Anyone critical of the government or its slavish devotion to Washington and Brussels is branded an "ultranationalist" and subjected to pressure in the media and even censorship. Editor in chief of Politika, Belgrade’s oldest daily, was recently sacked by the government-appointed board. No reason was given. It was clearly a message to the media to toe the line – or else. One notorious Western-bankrolled NGO even published a pamphlet listing "unsuitable" professors, writers and journalists. All of this has led one Belgrade columnist to declare that, "Communism of old is turning out to be a green garden of freedom compared to where we are headed."

Self-Hating Regime

Less than four months into the absolutist reign of the "democratic reformers," Serbia’s spirits appear to have been crushed from within. Observers familiar with the region are shocked at the defeatist atmosphere. Few still think the government is serious about trying to reclaim the forcibly separated province of Kosovo. Instead, everything indicates the regime of president Tadic is trying to find a suitable semantic device to accept the EU mission in Kosovo, and thus implicitly its declaration of independence.

Some Serbs still persist in defying the Empire, pinning their hopes on Russia. But, as John Laughland of the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris recently wrote,

"…if Moscow currently does hold the key to Kosovo in virtue of its veto in the Security Council, and if Russia therefore represents a beacon of hope for patriotic Serbs, there is little she can do with this power if Belgrade itself is determined to throw it away."

Now, remember, Serbia’s current rulers campaigned on a message of hope in a better tomorrow that’s just around the corner. To say that this was a lie would be an understatement.

Surviving the Plague

Would it be far-fetched to say that certain political activists in America dream of having as much power as Empire’s servants in Serbia? With total control of the executive and the legislature and media support bordering on the cult of personality, who knows what sort of change an Emperor might inflict upon the country.

It could be a moot point. Neither McCain nor Obama can do much to solve the financial mess created by almost a century of central banking and currency debasement. Nor do they seem willing to pull back from the precipice of foreign military adventures, even as escalating the war in the Middle East could result in the worst defeat in American history.

For all the talk of fate revolving around individual candidates, it seems that they have already been overtaken by events. Both the U.S. and Serbia will have to find a way to survive the exceptionally virulent strain of socialist plague they’ve been afflicted with. They may fail. It’s not without precedent – history‘s graveyard is littered with nations that did not make it. But that doesn’t make what’s going on any less sad.

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.