Democratic Destruction

Hardly a day goes by in the southwestern corner of Europe without local authorities and their foreign minders repeating their worn platitudes about the importance of democracy and social engineering, and the need for more of both. Yet the lives of the people they are supposed to be serving and protecting continue to get progressively … Continue reading “Democratic Destruction”

Forged Memories

History is the collective memory of a society. Individuals can be manipulated by tampering with their recollections (see Christopher Nolan’s eerie Memento), but doing this to societies is much easier. Personal memory is at least derived from human senses, unreliable as they may be. History is based on written interpretations of events that the authors … Continue reading “Forged Memories”

Making the Balkans Connection

In two commentaries this past week, Empire’s Balkans adventures were brought up in connection with the planned invasion and occupation of Iraq. They didn’t say, though they could have, that the new UN resolution paving the way for weapons inspectors was akin to the establishment of Kosovo Verification Mission, tasked in 1998 with finding a … Continue reading “Making the Balkans Connection”

Remembering the Obvious

If memory is what defines an individual, history is what defines a nation. Just as personal memory is colored by individual perceptions, collective memory – history – tends to be colored by the perceptions of those who record it. However economy of scale, and the differences between the collective and individual mind, make manipulating collective … Continue reading “Remembering the Obvious”

Empire’s Playground

The Serbs are arming Saddam Hussein’s drive for world domination. Huh? If it sounds like a plot of a pathetic spy caper, that’s because it does. But even Hollywood flacks, who habitually insult the intelligence of American moviegoers, would never dare stoop this low. It just wouldn’t sell. Unsurprisingly, this particular plot was written in … Continue reading “Empire’s Playground”

Forward to The Past

Results of the Bosnian general elections should be official by now, though it was already obvious on Tuesday that ethnic parties triumphed convincingly. Though agency reports over the past several days have made a great deal of that outcome, as usual they refused to let facts get in the way of a good story. Much … Continue reading “Forward to The Past”

The Unbearable Futility of Voting

Results of the Serbian presidential vote this past weekend were entirely predictable, and Vojislav Kostunica is likely to win come the October 13 runoff. And while any outcome of the vote will make little difference in the grand scheme of things – for the future of Serbia is not decided at the ballot box, but … Continue reading “The Unbearable Futility of Voting”

A Global Balkans

When the New York Times published the current government’s "National Security Strategy of the United States" last week, the American Empire – already a painful reality – became official. According to one review, "the 31-page document asserts American dominance as the lone superpower – a status no rival power will be allowed to challenge. And … Continue reading “A Global Balkans”

Triumph of the Will

For three successor states of the former Yugoslavia, this fall is all about voting. Macedonian parliamentary elections were held this past weekend, with predictable results. Serbian presidential elections are next on September 29, followed by a general vote in Bosnia-Herzegovina on October 5. It is a time of choice, a time of civic responsibility, a … Continue reading “Triumph of the Will”