This is not a matter of Serbs never being satisfied, an argument and a sentiment used to suppress any negative public response to the move, but a matter of this Serb not being willing to buy the dilettantism and cheap populism, especially when it is sold while ignoring Serbian law.
Today, Zoran Stanković, chief of the Coordinating Body for Serbia's South, which includes the Preševo area, said that the removed monument will not be destroyed, but its fate will be discussed further, with relocation to a more suitable place as an option. Stanković also said the whole monument issue was a base for political manipulation and "an attempt to secure better negotiating positions, to use the moment in the Belgrade-Priština dialogue, because some would like to draw parallels between that area and northern Kosovo."A bargaining chip, then? If it was a chip indeed, whose chip was it?
Stanković, the man in charge of the security crisis-fertile area, appointed specifically to deal with these kinds of problems, hasn't been a player in the process, if we can even call the pissing contest and the Gendarmerie action a process. While I wholeheartedly support Serbia's resolve to protect people's sensibilities and defend itself against provocations from its hostile minority, I didn't see the removal of the monument through such a prism, as it was unclear which law was broken by its placement, who filed charges and at which court, how the legal decision to remove it was arrived to and who made it. Serbia's dealing with sensitive issue must be grounded in its law and when it is not, there must a question: to whose benefit?
The people of Serbia are happy in their fervor and oblivious to the implications of the removal and the total disregard of the law by the Dačić government. Dačić's populist maneuver worked. The rule of law failed and the Albanian provocation succeeded.
The OVPBM, the terrorist group whose fallen members the monument honored, has been amnestied by the government of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 2002, and the argument that the monument honored enemies of the state does not hold water, unless the amnesty excluded the killed members of the group. Anyway, since there hasn't been a legal process in which such distinctions can be defined, the public will remain in the dark as to what the hell just happened.
If the monument was a problem only because it was built outside of the mandated construction process, as Stanković's inexplicable offer to the Albanians to reapply for a permit seemed to imply, then why would the Prime Minister get involved? Why wasn't it resolved by appropriate construction officials? Why was their such a national attention generated by Dačić's threats and Preševo Albanians' warmongering if this just ended up being a construction permit issue?
While the Preševo Albanians, including their deputies in Serbia's National Assembly, screamed that there can be no peaceful solution to the monument crisis, across Kosovo, their brethren went on a violent rampage against Serbian cemeteries, monasteries, homes, even tearing down a monument to the fallen World War II anti-fascist fighters in the village of Vitina. So, while Serbia fails to enforce its own laws in tearing down a monument to the Albanian fascist in Novi Pazar, Kosovo Albanians go ahead and lawlessly derelict Serbia's fight against fascism, not to mentioned the continued attack on the lives and homes of Serbs. It is confusing, right? Anything that goes against logic is confusing like this. It is easy to see why the Albanians would destroy a Serbian anti-fascist symbol, attack a monastery in Đakovica and reportedly desecrate about 140 grave sites in a matter of two days; Albanians are still waging a war against Serbia, even if defenseless monuments and graves are the target, and their fascist legacies are still very much alive. Serbia, on the other hand, is not easily understood. Why would you leave a monument to a convicted fascist standing, but temporarily remove one of the monuments to the terrorists you have amnestied? Why would you amnesty terrorists is a million dollar question, asked 11 years too late...
I myself fear that the Preševo monument issue may serve to galvanize the Preševo area Albanians in asserting more of the existing desire for a unification with Kosovo, inching closer towards the goals of the Greater Albania project. The Preševo area was not an open issue until the monument charade and it will be Serbia's defeat if it does become an issue parallel with North Kosovo.
Dačić, sowing confusion, populism and inconsistency in statements and in deeds, stand to be blamed by the Serbian public for not dealing with the Kosovo - and increasingly - the Preševo problem with a higher degree of responsibility, but instead operating outside the constitutional framework and keeping the public unaware of the details of the process and its implications, while doing it all under the watchful eye and directions of Brussels imperialist bureaucrats that aided the Albanian expansion. And apparently, Serbian lives and property in Kosovo remain unprotected and exposed to all kinds of Albanian violent extremism and ethnic cleansing policies.