Consenting to Rape

The calmness with which the Empire and the EU took Belgrade’s initial refusal to accept their ultimatum should have been a telling sign of things to come. The carefully cultivated quislings of Serbia weren’t going off-script, but performing just as they’ve been coached. Their “no” had served to interrupt the momentum of domestic discontent and sow confusion. Then, on April 19, after an utterly meaningless “concession” on one of the fourteen points in the ultimatum, the quislings changed their answer to “yes”.

Even proponents of submitting to the EU had qualms about the proposed “deal”, which got Serbia to recognize – in effect, if not outright – its occupied southern province as a separate, independent state. In exchange, the EU promised it might decide to maybe offer Belgrade a date for the start of negotiations about possible future membership. Perhaps. Eventually. Meanwhile, the four counties that have successfully resisted “Kosovian” control since 1999 were to be “reintegrated” into Hashim Thaci’s ethnically cleansed mafia state.

Quashing Dissent

“Kosovian” media, as well as the quisling press in Serbia, struck the same jubilant note: victory for all! To hear the supporters of surrender in Serbia say it, EU membership is just around the corner. As opposed to, say, 2020 at the earliest, provided the EU survives that long.

Opposition to the surrender was downplayed: AlJazeera described a 30,000-strong demonstration in northern Kosovo as “up to 10,000… protesters” against “a deal that could end years of tensions, and put the Balkan rivals on a path to EU membership.” Reuters was even more dismissive, estimating the protesters at “more than 5,000” and branding them “nationalists.”

While the quisling regime controls all branches of government, the courts, the police, the military, and most of the media, its dominion is far from absolute. Among those publicly opposing the surrender is the Serbian Orthodox Church, thought to have been neutralized by the choice of a “moderate” Patriarch three years ago. On April 21, the Prime Minister was heckled at the start of the Belgrade Marathon, and fled the ceremony in embarrassment. There are questions about police loyalty as well; the police union is actively seeking reinstatement for the officer sacked for joining the protesters in Belgrade.

And though the “agreement” was initialed, it still remains to be ratified, then put into practice. Neither of those steps ought to be considered a foregone conclusion.

Propping the Narrative

What is morbidly fascinating is the same desperately delusional tone in the Serbian quisling media and in the West. Both are spinning the deal as a great crowning achievement of their policy – groveling and conquest, respectively – and imbuing it with a great deal of symbolic significance.

In the Western press, Belgrade’s capitulation was quickly hailed as “a ground-breaking step forward“. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt told the BBC, “I think a Rubicon has been crossed… There is no way back.” The Washington Post called the capitulation a “historic deal.” Presumably because Serbia will have been made to renounce its history. Misha Glenny of the Financial Times sang paeans to the glories of the EU.

Brussels’ Foreign Policy commissar, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, waxed poetic in the New York Times about the great triumph of the EU, “a great experiment in making diversity work for the benefit of us all.” Yes, the creation of an ethnically cleansed Albanian state from a territory occupied in open violation of international law is a true jewel in the crown of “our glorious diversity”.

The Christian Science Monitor, long a purveyor of the “Noble Empire to the Rescue” narrative in the Balkans, editorialized in the same vein, arguing outright that this was the “end result of the West’s armed intervention in 1999 to prevent genocide in Kosovo, similar to its 2011 success in Libya.” Never mind that the “genocide” was a propaganda fabrication, and that Libya was a disaster – for the Libyans, anyway. Those are hatefacts, which detract from the Narrative.

All About Empire

Lest there be any confusion about the Narrative, Elizabeth Pond of the World Policy Journal made sure to explain it all. Per Pond, under the evil “ultranationalists,” the Serbs went on a conquering rampage, “occupied half of Croatia and two-thirds of Bosnia,” committed “Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II” in Srebrenica, and repressed the “huge Albanian majority” in Kosovo. In so doing,

“Milosevic’s heavily armed security forces killed more than 10,000 Albanians and forcibly expelled more than 60 percent of the Albanian population from their homes, often discouraging their return by throwing dead livestock into wells to poison the water.”

(Regular readers will recognize all this as textbook propaganda. Adding insult to injury, the poisoned wells imagery was stolen from an actual Croatian atrocity against Serbs.)

But now, Pond avers, the “ultranationalists” of yesteryear have become good “progressives”, renounced “banditry” and pledged to become “decent.” Their submission “justifies NATO’s first-ever military intervention[emphasis added], on behalf of the civilians who were the chief targets and victims in the Balkan bloodshed”. Furthermore, it validates “EU’s long-standing offer to share its own prosperity and security with all European nations that carry out democratic reforms.”

And if you believe any of this, invest in Irish mortgages, Greek and Spanish bonds, and Cypriot banks. Prosperity and security guaranteed.

Quest for Legitimacy

Particularly intriguing was the comment of one former UK diplomat who argued that Serbia got the better of the “deal” by sacrificing symbolism for substance. Yet all Serbia had was the symbolism, i.e. its legal claim to Kosovo under international law, the Helsinki Final Act, UNSCR 1244. NATO may have occupied the province by force in June 1999, the Albanians may have ethnically cleansed Kosovo and virtually annexed it to Albania proper, but those were all issues of might, not right. To actually make the seizure of Kosovo legitimate, both the Albanians and the Empire needed Serbia to consent to it.

That was the purpose of the EU “proposal”. That was the importance of symbolism in the fourteen points. Once that is taken care of, the alleged “substance” – who gets to appoint police commissioners, and so on – becomes entirely irrelevant.

Back in 2006, when the “status talks” farce was just starting out, a commentator for the French International Radio (RFI) quoted an anonymous UN official’s statement to the daily Le Figaro:

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.

None of the quisling regimes installed in Belgrade for this purpose were actually opposed to such a “plan” – they merely quibbled about the amount of the hush money. That only made it easier for the Empire to offer none, and eventually demand that Serbia declare its rape not only consensual, but also enjoyable. To which the only natural reward would be more of it, of course.

Now the Christian Science Monitor editors proclaim with satisfaction: “Once the powder keg of Europe, the Balkans is serving as a positive lesson for the rest of the world.” The point of breaking Serbia was tell the rest of the world resistance was futile.

Commenting on the backlash in Serbia, Baroness “Diversity” Ashton told the BBC: “…we’ve always said we need a big selling operation. People need to feel this is being done for them, not to them.”

If that were really true, would a “big selling operation” be necessary? To ask is to answer.

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.