Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bringing Down the Presevo Monument

source: novosti.rs
The Preševo monument has been removed over the weekend, after Ivica Dačić came back from the meeting with Hashim Thaci in Brussels. Serbs should be happy, but this Serb is far from it.
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.

source: radiokim.net
To make things even more confusing, Serbia's Prime Minister didn't order a removal of the museum honoring the killed commander of OVPBM in the village of Veliki Trnovac. Wouldn't that be expected if any logic was followed? The monument to Aćif-efendi in Novi Pazar is still standing as well, even though Albanian fascists from the World War II have never been amnestied. In my mind, all three stand to offend Serbia's people equally, so why remove only one and outside of the legal process at that. The inconsistency in upholding Serbia's laws cast more doubt about patriotism of Serbia's Prime Minister and the government he heads. 

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...

source: vesti-online.com
Outside of populism so characteristic of Dačić, the manipulations, as Stanković called them, around the Preševo monument, served as a false show of Serbia's strength and a pretext for the Albanian leaders to mobilize popular support against Serbia, both in Priština and in Preševo. Dačić and Thaci reportedly agreed to freeze negotiations on customs levies at the North Kosovo crossings for a period of one year and, more importantly, to open the North Kosovo status as a mandatory bargaining subject of sorts. In President Nikolić's weird Platform for Kosovo, or at least in one of its versions, North Kosovo is treated as an autonomous subject under the autonomous province of Kosovo within Serbia. Unreal, ain't it? Under the recent parliamentary Resolution on Kosovo and Metohija, Kosovo is reaffirmed as a province of Serbia, but the key commitment was made to the EU path, which is contradictory in itself. Now, Thaci couldn't be expected to relinquish the hardline position regarding the North without receiving a "just" compensation. He can't sell it to his own warmongering public without a promise of getting something in return. Or is Dačić just putting fear into the Serbian public that the insistence on North Kosovo could cost Serbia the Preševo area, especially in the light of his repeated intention to dismantle Serbia's state institutions protecting Serbs in the North Kosovo municipalities? If this was a bargaining chip that Serbia bet with, how exactly will this resolution benefit Serbia?

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.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Presevo Monument: A Chip, a Decoy and an Outpost

source: voiceofserbia.org
The deadline for removal of the Preševo monument has passed without action by the men responsible to act, or at least the man who set the deadline in an outburst of verbal bravado, Ivica Dačić. Dačić threatened a forceful removal, instead of taking legal action. It was clearly smoke and mirrors, as is usually the case with Dačić's "threats." Threats of no less than a war over the monument from the Albanian side, both in Kosovo and the Preševo area, only amplified the clamor.

Serbia's government, increasingly subjugated to the will and whim of Western officials, even the low-ranking ones, like Philip Reeker of the U.S. State Department, decided to allow the monument to the men who attempted to rip off another part of it to remain standing. For the sake of charade, the Preševo municipal assembly decided to "legalize" the monument in a weird twist of Serbian jurisdictional mumbo-jumbo. Just like the monument to Aćif-efendi remained standing and just like no one talks about that formerly hot topic anymore, the Preševo monument will probably experience the same legitimization. The museum built to honor the commander of the terrorist OVPMB, which, as an extension of OVK (Kosovo Liberation Army), was thwarted in its attempt to transfer the NATO war against Serbia east of Kosovo administrative line in 2000-01, has never even been debated as an issue in the Serbian public. I don't consider the museum to be any less of a provocation against the home country by the Albanian minority than the Preševo monument. I hate when I have to substitute arguments with comparisons of this type, and I know how Americans like to think their lives are objectively more precious than lives of others, but imagine building a monument to Mohammed Atta in the lobby of the Freedom Tower. There.

The fact that Serbia's increasingly subservient prime minister cowers before any threat to his good standing with Western powers doesn't make the threat of the Greater Albania design, being materialized beyond the territory of Kosovo, any less critical. The fact that Serbia shies away from a conflict may indeed mean that the Albanian encroachment beyond Kosovo is fully supported by Western imperialists in the same way their terrorist actions in Kosovo were in 1998. Dačić is currently meeting with Hashim Thaci in Brussels and their working lunches may produce changes in the Kosovo stalemate, but considering the fact that the imperialist European Union is sponsoring the talks, there is no doubt that those changes will only benefit the Albanian side, even if in the short term Dačić is able to sell the solutions as a win.

source: nasisrbija.org
In other related news, Serbia's National Assembly adopted the Resolution on Kosovo and Metohija built on principles that were not very dissimilar to the principles Serbia was guided by in the failed Vienna talks in 2006. It will be interesting to see if Dačić, who has already allowed the Albanian customs to stand at the administrative line crossing, effectively drawing a border, obeys the Resolution in his talks with Thaci. President Nikolić's Platform has already been dismissed by both Dačić and, of course, Thaci. In Priština, any and all Serbian official lines are ridiculed and outright waved off. Albanians are not ready to negotiate, but only to accept no less than the official recognition. The EU keeps sending mixed messages but the course of its actions doesn't speak loud enough only to those paid not to hear. The EU has police presence in Serbia's occupied province without any international agreement warranting it and its mercenaries in Belgrade still dare to speak of its political missionaries as neutral, as some form of mediators. How could an occupying force be impartial in the process in which the country its armies occupy is a participant? Were the Nazi Germans impartial to their Croat cronies' genocide against Serbs? No, they allowed it and supported it. Why does anyone expect Catherine Ashton to impartially mediate talks between the side her bosses support and the one her bosses have fought a war against?

Dačić often insists on resolving the Kosovo issues once and for all. This is illogical because it puts the imperative on Serbia to strive to solve the issue that others imposed on her, while the other side is actually the one begging for a solution. The Albanians and their overlords need Serbia to affirm what they call "reality" and legitimize their aggression against her. What better absolution of sin than when the victim herself absolves the aggressor?

The Preševo monument issue may indeed play out as a bargaining chip against Serbia and for Dačić at this stage. (I say "at this stage" because no agreement made with the Albanians and their overlords is permanent. Even if the Preševo issue is a decoy now, the Preševo Valley subject will open up under the Greater Albania design eventually.) If Dačić comes back from Brussels with Thaci's nod to the Preševo Albanians to remove the monuments, whatever further concessions he makes to Thaci will be masked in the "victory" of the monument removal. As things stand now, even this is hardly likely. So, I'll quit speculating about something we will find out very soon.

source: webpublicapress.net
No matter how Dačić spins it, the policy of concessions to the EU hasn't produced anything positive and brought back only losses to Serbia. But since it is Serbia who is professing its undying desire to join the EU, the bargaining power generated by the fact that it is others asking something of Serbia is lost. With it, the power to condition the side across the table in the Kosovo haggling is gone. Thus, Dačić continues Boris Tadić's policy of allowing the Kosovo recognition in through the back door, distracting the Serbian public with side issues by amplifying them in a way that trumps real, meaningful debates about Serbia's strategy of defending its national interests.

The Preševo monument issue in itself, notwithstanding the humiliation and provocation it represented, should be irrelevant to everyone outside of Serbia's prosecutors and courts. In a country that increasingly acts like a colony, it becomes a matter of high political priority that must be resolved with the involvement of foreign ambassadors. Meanwhile, the people of Serbia sink deeper into discontent and, while Tadić's removal from power is still regarded as a definite positive, the new administration, continuing on his path in many areas, doesn't have a promising future. Voices against the Western imperial tyranny and plundering are ever louder, especially among the youth, radicalized in opposition to the continued Western aggression against the Serbian nation.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

''Springing'' Dodik and Serb Republic's Survival

source: svevesti.com
On its 21st birthday, Serb Republic is "more stable than ever," President Milorad Dodik said. At the same time, he and his party's PR guru Rajko Vasić have been increasingly warning the public of a prospect of a violent overthrow, or a "spring" being in the works against their leadership. They cited knowledge of intensified financing of Western-sponsored NGOs in Serb Republic and their agitation among the impoverished and economically deprived segments of population, which Serb Republic, like every other country in Southeast Europe, doesn't lack.

On Tuesday, there was a condescending tone of denial in a Deutsche Welle article, written by a Bosnian Muslim and re-posted on B92 website, which, considering the outlets and the sources quoted, indicated to me that Dodik and Vasić are not merely talking crazy populism they tend to engage in every now and then. In fact, even with the notion of a violent overthrow of a government of a non-independent entity such as Serb Republic sounding so absurd and counter-intuitive, I'm inclined to regard such a prospect with fearful attention after Veran Matić's B92 jumps to mock it. Serb Republic has been under the threat of abolition since its establishment and Dodik has become a symbol of the resistance to Sarajevo's post-Dayton onslaught against the Serb entity. The Dayton Accords, which established Bosnia-Herzegovina and recognized Serb Republic as one of its two entities, had been violated consistently by the Office of High Representative and the Sarajevo central leadership prior to Dodik's second accession to power in 2006. Effectively decapitated through the political persecution of its leadership, the Serb Democrat Party couldn't withstand Sarajevo's march towards the abolition of Serb Republic in the first part of the last decade, but Dodik's return to power and his staunch and, oftentimes, abrasive attitude, has stabilized Serb Republic as a defender of the interests of Serbs west of Drina. He went so far to chastise and frown at Western envoys, and while a part of it was a show for the people and electoral rhetoric, in essence, that was the only way to repel the ever-oppressing imperial agents and their Sarajevo clients.

Considering the degree to which Dodik's burly presence, both political and personal, thwarted the abolition of Serb Republic efforts, it is understood why Western imperialist agents would want to overthrow him. One ridiculous element of the whole "spring" prospect is, as I said earlier, the fact that the Western imperialists would violently target the democratically elected government not of an independent state like Libya or Syria, or Yugoslavia in 2000, but of an entity within a state.
Dodik appears to be close to World Jewish Congress and, indirectly, to certain influencers in Israel, through his key advisor, a Holocaust survivor Arie Livne, as well as to Russian leadership and business circles. He recently closed the key energy deal with Russia's oil magnate Rashid Sardarov and the building of a new coal plant in the mining town of Ugljevik is underway. NIS (Serbia's largest oil corporation, owner by Russian Gazprom Neft) has bought Austrian OMV's gas stations throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was close to Serbia's former president, Boris Tadić, but the current leadership, despite the advances he has made, has been cold towards him, with Ivica Dačić rejecting Dodik's call for a formulation of a united national political strategy. Although a staunch supporter of Serbia's refusal to recognize Kosovo's secession, Dodik repeated his proposal to divide Kosovo along ethnic lines, but that was ignored in Belgrade as well.

source: pressrs.ba
The opposition within Serb Republic to Dodik's Alliance of Independent Social-Democrats (SNSD) is mainly represented by the formerly ruling Serb Democrat Party (SDS). While SDS holds significant power at the local level, kicking SNSD's behind in most major cities' mayoral races in October, and while the entity-level political battles between SNSD and SDS are as fierce as ever, they are united in the front towards Sarajevo and usually follow the common strategy in defense of Serb Republic. Although Dodik has become the symbol of resistance against Muslim domination over Bosnia in recent years, without the support from SDS' Mladen Bosić, it would be hard for him to remain as steadfast. For the sake of Serb Republic, it is crucial that their power-sharing model, where SDS dominates on the local level and SNSD controls the higher levels, is entrenched and maintained. I haven't seen indications that SDS leadership is willing to "spring" Serb Republic and remove Dodik in the streets, but there are minor parties clinging to the margins of the political arena dominated by SNSD and SDS, whom I wouldn't put past the desire to grab power in any way possible. Out of Mladen Ivanić's Party of Democratic Progress (PDP), which has seen a precipitous decline, and former president Dragan Čavić's Democrat Party (DP), whose leader strives to reclaim lost political strength, together with the Serb Republic extension of Serbia's ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), an aspiring "spring" architect could, under right circumstances, assemble a coalition of the willing and pit it against Dodik in a way they themselves, relying on their own capacities, cannot. Supported by the unions and a number of trained NGO operatives, and relying on popular mobilization spurred by a negative PR campaign, a street attack against Dodik in the mold of the one against Slobodan Milošević is not beyond a realm of a possibility.

For Serb Republic, such an event would be a disaster on many levels.
First, any instability within Serb Republic, especially one caused and orchestrated from the outside, is an invitation for vultures to come and feast on it. Serbia, right across Drina, is a cautionary tale. The robbery and the colonization of Serbia that ensued following the Milošević ouster in 2000 highly exceeded the negative aspects of Milošević's rule, however just his removal appeared to be at the time. At the time, Serbs that bulldozed Milošević out of power were not aware that CIA and NED sponsored their "revolution." A similar ouster of Dodik would almost certainly signal to Sarajevo that it is time to go for Serb Republic's jugular. I'm not even saying that no one but Dodik can secure the survival of Serb Republic, only that no foreign-sponsored overthrow of a people's choice can ever be grounded in a motivation benevolent to Serb Republic and the Serbian people. Or, from another angle, if the likes of those who conduct "springs" are going for Dodik's head, he must be doing something good for Serb Republic that its traditional, lurking enemies desire to end.

source: blic.rs
Second, anyone who advocates violence in Serb Republic is most likely an enemy of its people. Serb Republic has one top priority: survival. In the world of perceived greater and lesser evils, there is no model for its survival more appealing than power-sharing between its two major parties. The bad economic situation may continue to deteriorate and Dodik would be advised to roll up his sleeves, curb his personal greed and improve it, because he can. The increased popular outrage at the standard of living and widespread systemic corruption, and especially at Dodik's visible role in contributing to it, may indeed prove to be fertile soil for Western NGOs recruitment of cannon fodder against Dodik. Dodik must not close his eyes to this possibility, as examples of ousted leaders who refused to adjust their position in relation to their own people are too many to count.

Third, SDS, should it be drawn into a violent battle against Dodik on behalf of Western imperialists, must remember it is a party of Radovan Karadžić, because no matter what, its enemies will always remember this and if they pardon it for a short term co-optation, they will never forgive it. It must remember that the real enemy is in Sarajevo and not in Banja Luka and it must look for ways to bring Dodik to a position of cooperation for the benefit of Serb Republic. It appears Bosić is well aware of this and that's a positive.

Petar Luković, a renowned anti-Serb propagandist from Belgrade, might as well be right when he mocked Dodik and his "conspiratorial" sentiments for Deutsche Welle and dismissed it as rhetoric and even a straw Dodik is grabbing onto to preserve his power. Dodik could just be playing mind games with the people. Sure, it's possible, but since Luković called it, I doubt it. I wasn't even going to rush into commenting on Dodik's "conspiratorial" sentiments if I didn't see Luković's "analysis," in which he curiously, and I'd say, nervously, pokes fun at someone even talking about such outlandish propositions such as CIA and Vatican meddling, foreign-financed "independent" media etc. Yeah, sure, it is preposterous to think that ever happens...