For the past six months, the quisling regime in Belgrade justified a policy of consenting to rape with a promise of a promise: if only Serbia would submit to every demand from Brussels and Washington, it would receive from Brussels a promise of a date on which negotiations about Serbia’s eventual membership in the EU might begin. “Our kingdom for a date!” became the unofficial slogan of the Belgrade government, echoing the madness of Shakespeare’s Richard III.

The madness of Serbia’s quislings went so far that Deputy PM Aleksandar Vucic actually said this would be the “first ever victorious Vidovdan.” He was referring to St. Vitus Day, a portentous date in Serbian history ever since the 1389 tragedy of Kosovo. Traditionally, however, Vidovdan was seen as a difficult test of faith, never as tragic or symbolizing defeat. That those governing Serbia have such a twisted understanding of their own history goes to show how unhinged they’ve become.

And for all that, the response from Brussels was “Maybe.” Oh sure, the media spin it as EU’s eagerness to embrace Serbia. Yet the EU is simultaneously opening membership talks with “Kosovo”, an occupied Serbian province declared an independent Albanian state in 2008. Recognizing “Kosovo” is one of the key EU demands to Belgrade, and the promised January talks will depend on Germany’s assessment of Serbian “progress” in that regard.

By then it will be 2014, the looming centennial of the Great War. Considering the rush to blame the Serbs and Russians for its outbreak, and the resulting implosion of Imperial Europe, it is extremely unlikely that the West will somehow reverse a century of antagonism and embrace Serbia. Perhaps if it were reduced to a more manageable size… But then, any size Serbia might be too big.

Family Reunion

On Monday, Croatia will officially become a member of the EU. Officially, it will be a joyous reunion after 95 years in the Balkan “wilderness”. In practice, however, it will be a desperate effort by a crumbling economy to get a new lease on life.

This lack of enthusiasm is noted even by the cheerleading Western media, such as the Voice of America. One reporter from the Irish Times noted the despair of newly unemployed shipbuilders. According to the governments and media spin across the Balkans, joining the EU means living like the Germans. Reality looks more like Greece, Spain, Ireland, or Portugal.

Or Slovenia, for that matter. That former Austrian province similarly looked down on “Balkan savages” as it seceded from Yugoslavia in 1991 and joined the EU in 2004. But once the wealth accrued from its privileges within Yugoslavia ran out, Slovenia became an economic basket case easily rivaling Greece.

Brussels as Bait

The looter “elites” dominating the shards of Yugoslavia see the EU as a guarantor of their ill-gotten gains and a potential new trough from which they can feed, having mostly squeezed their subjects dry. The said subjects, for their part, hope the EU would save them from corruption (!) and bring German-like prosperity advertised by the media and commissars from Brussels.

That promise is dangled before the impoverished masses as the Holy Grail, for which they ought to sacrifice everything, from their property to their history, culture, identity and statehood.

Bosnia, for example, has a major structural problem its inhabitants desperately need to address before they can do anything else. But the “Euro-Atlantic integration process” is preventing this from happening, and indeed trapping all Bosnians in a political arrangement guaranteed to cause conflict.

The very real discontent in the country is then channeled into staged riots, and the resulting crisis is seen as an opportunity to further centralization “reforms” and further the EU agenda. Makes one almost wonder whether the crisis itself was orchestrated for just that reason.

Encouraging the Empire

The “success” of induced EUphoria in the Balkans is also used to feed the interventionist narrative. Earlier this month, the Washington Post editorialized that the shining example of “Kosovo” ought to guide the Emperor in Syria: look how unilateral intervention and thumbing the nose at Russia and the UN, could produce glorious “successes” such as HashimThacistan.

Worse yet, even critics of imperialism seem to buy this line. Here’s Leon Hadar in the National Interest:

“In a way, one could make the argument that a similar kind of U.S. military intervention worked in Yugoslavia. There it deprived the Serbs led by Slobodan Milosevic of military victories against the Croats and the Muslim Bosnians and later against the Albanians in Kosovo. This helped produce a diplomatic agreement, the Dayton Accords, that brought about independent Bosnia and Kosovo.” …

“The agreements that settled the conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo have not been challenged because for all practical purposes, the Serbs had actually lost the war. Hence, the rival nationalities and ethnic groups were able to form separate territorial enclaves, and Serbs, Croats, Bosnians and Kosovars were all intent on becoming part of Europe.”

None of this is actually true – but it appears true enough. Yet the credit for this is not due to Empire’s military might, but to the special operations side of things. It was the propaganda, bribes and old-fashioned political skullduggery that installed a series of quisling regimes in Belgrade, that in turn made sure Serbia would always lose.

How Shaky the Foundation

In effect, that both the EU and the Empire can go on pretending they aren’t rotting from the inside comes down to their apparent success in breaking Serbia. By groveling before Brussels, Berlin and Washington, the quislings of Belgrade are damning not only their own people but the rest of the world, ensuring that untold others will be targeted for “humanitarianism” and “democracy” via regime change.

An exaggeration? Not at all. Kosovo enabled Iraq. Bosnia enabled Libya, and is now being invoked as a way to get openly involved in Syria.

On the other hand, the attack on Serbia in 1999 brought about the resurgence of Russia. Who could have believed that possible, after the great looting of the 1990s? Yet it happened.

“Look on our works, ye Mighty, and despair!” proclaim Brussels and Washington today, believing their dominion would last forever. Not if, but when, the myth it all rests on is successfully challenges, the entire enterprise of Empire and EUtopia may come to resemble Ozymandias of Shelley’s sonnet:

“Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

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.