Capitulation, Not Compromise

A sordid spectacle unfolded at the United Nations on Thursday, as the government of Serbia unconditionally surrendered to the Empire, ingloriously ending the two-year charade of "peaceful and diplomatic struggle" over its occupied province of Kosovo.

Two years ago, following the declaration by the UN-established provisional government that the NATO-occupied province was an independent state, the government in Belgrade decided to "fight back" by taking its case to the UN. In October 2008, it won the overwhelming support of the General Assembly to ask for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice. In late July this year, the ICJ opined that the declaration wasn’t really illegal, employing sophistry and verbal acrobatics to support the conclusion. The regime in Belgrade reacted by drafting a resolution for the General Assembly that condemned unilateral secession and called for new negotiations.

For a brief moment, it appeared as if the government — installed in 2008 by the U.S. and EU ambassadors — might have slipped its leash and stood up for its country. Then the foreign ministers of Germany and the UK came calling, and the façade of false patriotism crumbled overnight. President Tadic and Foreign Minister Jeremic eagerly accepted a "compromise" offered by the EU: have Brussels rewrite the resolution to EU’s liking in exchange for… nothing at all.

The new resolution welcomed the ICJ decision, thanked the court for "careful consideration" of the question presented, gave a blanket endorsement to the EU and implicitly recognized an independent Kosovo. The UN General Assembly approved it by acclamation. Voting would have simply been in bad taste.

The Fatal Section "F"

There was no doubt in the English-speaking press as to what the resolution meant. For example: "Serbia drops UN challenge to Kosovo independence," proclaimed the Guardian on Wednesday, when the text of the "compromise" resolution became public. "Serbia backs down on UN challenge to independent Kosovo," echoed a headline over an AP story in the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday.

Meanwhile, Serbian President Tadic openly lied to his people that the new resolution specifically "excludes recognition of Kosovo’s independence."

Does it? Rather, the entire resolution an implicit recognition of the breakaway province. This is made crystal clear in the last section of the text:

"f) Welcomes the readiness of the EU to facilitate the process of dialogue between the parties. The process of dialogue by itself would be a factor of peace, security and stability in the region. This dialogue would be aimed to promote cooperation, make progress on the path towards the EU and improve people’s lives."

As anyone can see, the province’s status won’t be subject to discussion. The only things on the table are "cooperation" and joining the EU. The self-proclaimed government in Pristina is considered an equal party to Belgrade. And since the "dialogue" is defined as a factor of peace, security and stability by itself, it doesn’t even have to result in anything. This is not a compromise — it is a total capitulation to EU demands, an unconditional surrender.

Some of the remaining Serbs of Kosovo seem to have reached the same conclusion; they are seeking Russian citizenship.

Insult to Injury

Even though the Empire thus got Serbia to publicly humiliate itself, renounce any claims to justice, and even endorse its ongoing occupation and dismemberment, that wasn’t quite enough. Representatives of the "Republic of Kosovo" were brought to the chamber to bear witness. The Serbian delegation objected. After a two-hour delay, they were told to sit down and shut up; the "Kosovars" were "guests" of the five European powers and the U.S., and they would be allowed to stay. The incident was reported as yet another instance of Serbia causing trouble and "forcing" Britain and France to "negotiate a settlement" (AFP).

In 2006, the UN launched "status talks" about Kosovo, wherein NATO envoy Martti Ahtisaari pretended to talk to Belgrade and the separatist Albanians. His proposed "compromise" solution was an independent Kosovo; for that absurdity he later got the Nobel Peace Prize. Even before Ahtissaari’s proposal was made public, French newspaper Le Figaro quoted one UN official, who described the whole farce thus:

"Serbia will be ‘voluntarily raped’- namely, Belgrade will be required to declare the rape consensual after the fact, and then be given hush money by the rich playboy responsible for the act, in this case the EU." 

The prediction was only half right. Belgrade was indeed required to declare the rape consensual. However, with the Tadic regime declaring that the rape was actually good, the "hush money" — in whatever form — became unnecessary.

The Grand Betrayal

Boris Tadic was suspected of being Empire’s willing servant even before he became President of Serbia in 2004. He offered proof when his inauguration was set up to mimic that of the American presidents, and when he flew to Washington to swear fealty just days later. He proved it further later that year, with a sycophantic letter to Emperor Bush. But his clownish behavior was merely a mask for outright treason. It is no coincidence that the Albanian provisional government declared an independent Kosovo right after Tadic’s re-election in February 2008; Tadic and his party sabotaged the government’s response to the declaration. By July 2008, they had formed a majority government that nobody in Serbia voted for, but the Empire openly supported.

To get elected, Tadic promised the Serbs "both Kosovo and the EU." Though 22 out of the 27 EU members have recognized the occupied province as an Albanian state, and have explicitly conditioned Serbia’s hypothetical accession with the recognition of an independent "Republic of Kosova," Tadic’s control over the media and all levers of government has ensured that Serbia remained in a state of cognitive dissonance. In such complete and utter confusion, Tadic can claim to be a patriot — because "treason" doesn’t mean anything any more.

Yet what he did with the resolution was treason, pure and simple. Worse yet, Tadic’s betrayal went beyond Serbia. It was a slap in the face to all the countries — more than two thirds of the world — that had so far refused to recognize Empire’s conquest of Kosovo. And it was a betrayal of hope that Serbia’s ongoing resistance to Imperial diktat could have held out for other people around the world faced with similarly bleak prospects. Every government, every power, ultimately rests on the consent of the governed. Despite the blockade, the bombs and the media demonization, the Empire could never fully impose its will without Serbia’s agreement. And anyone refusing to consent to Imperial will was a threat. Serbia had to be broken, as an example to others.

As former PM Vojislav Kostunica put it, it was "especially humiliating that many countries trying to defend Serbia in the General Assembly had no one to defend. Serbia gave up defending itself."

No Victory

Is this a triumph for the Empire, then? Or could it be that this is merely the latest push against the fabric of actual reality, yet another brick in the edifice of lies, which will make the eventual collapse so much more disastrous once reality pushes back?

Tadic is finished; not because he has just about run out of Serbia to sacrifice, but because the Empire doesn’t need him anymore. Already several "opposition" politicians in Serbia are lining up to be Empire’s new favorite sycophants. They must have missed the memo that the Empire won’t be around much longer.

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.