Friday, February 29, 2008

Empire's Ostpolitik

It's a rough time to be an American Serb. (For the sake of clarification, I'm an ethnic Serb who lives in America, but I'm not a U.S. citizen; I just happen to live here for the time being, resentful that the taxes bleeding me dry are funding the Empire but not having much of a choice in the matter.)

First there is the matter of the U.S. being the principal sponsor of the "independent state of Kosova," the illegally occupied and severed province of Serbia. Listening to lies and hatred coming from Daniel Fried and Nicholas Burns, and knowing it is official U.S. policy, has to be infuriating.

Worst of all, though, is the awareness that all three front-runners for the post of Emperor this fall share the dreadful Serbophobia that governs America's Ostpolitik.

Hillary Clinton is, well, a Clinton. She is fully behind her husband's illegal 1999 war, and eagerly uses the Albanian term for the new false state, "Kosova" (even though the Albanians actually declared recognition as "Kosovo," the province's proper name). Riding on her coattails (petticoats?) are Madeleine Albright, Wesley Clark, and Richard Holbrooke, war criminals we all know and love from the 1990s.

John McCain is an enthusiastic supporter of the Albanian cause, and specifically the terrorist KLA. 'nuff said.

What of Obama? Surely, he's got to be better than these two, right? Not so fast.
As Justin Raimondo of puts it today, "there is a problem with Obama's foreign policy stances, and I can boil it down to two words: George Soros."

Kosovo is proof positive that there's no shred of difference between the two major parties governing U.S. affairs. American Serbs voted for George W. Bush in 2004 not because they approved of the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, or anything else he and Darth Cheney have inflicted upon the world, but because John Kerry was in bed with the KLA. Unsurprisingly, though disappointingly, the lesser of two evils turned out to be, well, evil.

"It seems to me," comments Raimondo, "that the division of labor between the two wings of the War Party is, to a large degree, geographical." While the Republicans focus on the Middle East, the Democrats obsess about Europe, and more specifically, Russia. Now, Raimondo holds out some hope that Obama is not entirely in Soros's pockets yet, and may be using Soros as a means of getting to power. So far, however, he seems to be following the same Soros playbook Clinton, Albright, Holbrooke and Clark played by a decade ago.

As Daniel Larison of the American Conservative points out:

Recognizing separatist states... is how the Balkan Wars of the ’90s became international conflicts that drew in outside powers. It is how the West could make the wars of Yugoslav succession into an occasion for isolating and humiliating the rump Yugoslavia [i.e. Serbia] and backing up the historic proxies of… Germany, bizarrely enough. It is through the persistent mistaken belief that outside powers have some stake in the conflicts of the Balkans that great powers collide with one another and risk a more general war.

One question a whole lot of Serbs are asking right about now is WHY the Empire is so hell-bent on supporting Greater Albania and dismembering Serbia? To say that atrocities - both real and quite made up - were the actual cause of Imperial intervention in the Balkans is folly; they were an excuse - hence all the fabrications - nothing more. Ignoring the real genocide in Rwanda while making up a genocide in Bosnia; imposing a UN blockade harsher than the one against Iraq because of alleged "Serb aggression," then launching aggressive wars of its own (1999, 2003); condemning "ethnic cleansing," but sponsoring the largest instances thereof (half a million or so Serbs from today's Croatia and Kosovo) - how much more proof do we need that the Empire does not have a moral compass?

Almost 2000 years ago, Apostle Paul wrote, "there is nothing new under the sun." That is certainly a good description of American foreign policy. Its Russophobia is British in origin; its dislike of Serbs appears to be borrowed from Austria-Hungary and Nazi Germany (as is its choice of "allies" in the region). But the sheer stupidity of demolishing the international order over a patch of land utterly insignificant to anyone but the Serbs and the Albanians... that's 100% Made in America.

They should have outsorced it. Seriously.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


"Balkan Insight," publication of the Imperial propaganda mill otherwise known as IWPR, reported the other day that the new "Independent State of Kosova" has been assigned an international indexing code by the U.S. bureaucrats. The code used for this abomination will be "KV."

I find that somewhat ironic. No, make that especially ironic. In a recent film version of Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend, KV is the name of a retro-virus engineered by Dr. Alice Krippin (hence, "Krippin Virus") as cure for cancer. That it did. The "side effect," however, as to kill 90% of humanity, and turn the rest into vicious, rabid killers.

The creation of "Kosova" was supposed to win the Empire brownie points in the Muslim world and finalize the conquest of Europe by subjugating the stubborn Serbs. Instead, it tore up international law. All bets are off now, and God only knows how this will end.

"KV," indeed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pseudo-Bourgeois Parasites

I've called them "missionaries" and "neo-Jacobins" before, but I think I've finally found a really good description of the rats that have been gnawing on Serbia for decades. Quoting extensively from a splendid text by Saša Gajić of NSPM, titled "Serbian Pseudo-bourgeois Narcissism" :

"Our pseudo-bourgeois elite originated in Communist times, having supplanted the old bourgeois class that was by and large physically exterminated. They grew into a semi-parasitic class of eager political cronies, drawing constant benefits from their privileged position. When the old system collapsed, these circles simply switched to a diet of foreign donations.

For decades, the pseudo-bourgeois have been reinforced by ambitious arrivals from the countryside, mostly students, who compensated for their superiority complex (accompanied by an actual inferiority complex) and hatred for their home towns by artificially "civilizing" themselves through adopting whatever was considered modern in city culture, all in the service of a fanatical desire never to return to the countryside and "succeed in the city"...

If, during their conceited efforts to "rise above the average," they somehow managed to travel abroad, mostly through one or two summer internships in the West, they became convinced of possessing all the wisdom of the world, which set them apart from the "unenlightened" masses.

Members of this caste are not only incapable of performing the functional role of the traditional societal elite, but are ideologically and intellectually mired in a handful of vacuous beliefs drawn from the image they are trying to present and former ideological convictions. They are incapable even to soberly observe current developments in the world, nor perceive the tendencies therein. Although with eyes wide open to the "great world" they've seen as tourists or interns, domestic pseudo-bourgeois have in fact adopted only a load of obsolete prejudices, and have no real clue about the world they claim to value so much. Indeed, they are incapable of actually making their way in the world, because they are essentially incompetent to make an effort, change their mind, or engage in honest work. Their unearned privileges and social status are only possible here, and are maintained not by constructive social engagement, but by direct or indirect service to outside interests."

(Original here; any translation errors are my own)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Apt Comparison

One would think that, for an analysis titled "What Kosovo means to the Serbs," Olivia Ward of the Toronto Star would have talked to, you know, an actual Serb or two.

No such luck; the story quotes two (!) officials of the International Crisis Group, and former NATO commander in Bosnia Gen. William Nash, now at the Council of Foreign Relations. The rest is a rather familiar dish of boilerplate serbophobic rhetoric wrapped in distortions of history.

And yet, I cannot help but wonder what James Lyon (ICG's man in Belgrade) was thinking when he said:

"Kosovo plays an integral role in Serbian identity," says Belgrade-based James Lyon, senior adviser on the Balkans for the International Crisis Group. "Without Kosovo, they suffer an identity crisis that is much more serious than just losing territory."

But he added that "the overriding factor is how easy it is to mobilize the crowds. You could compare it with mobilizing an anti-Muslim rally in New York the day after Sept. 11."

Yes, he did just compare the U.S. recognition of Kosovo to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Perhaps now it will be easier for Americans to understand why the Serbs are so upset.


Moment of Transition

Everyone, including the Serbian government, has condemned the rioters who attacked the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade the other night, burning a portion thereof. How ironic, observes Dimitry Gornostayev, commentator the Russian news agency RIA Novosti:

The Department of State has justifiably appealed to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. But what about the UN Charter, which guarantees territorial integrity of sovereign states? Having recognized Kosovo's independence, Washington has openly violated Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. So, why is it angry at a Serbian student who did a similar thing to the U.S. Embassy? Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Don't blame Belgrade officials, he says. After all, they can't protect their own country's territory; how are they expected to protect that of the U.S.?

This is not a good prospect for President Boris Tadic, who talked about European prospects for Serbia, or for Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, a graduate of Cambridge and Harvard. They are not ready for any responsibility.

With all the talk of democracy, friendship and integration coming from the EU and the U.S. for years now exposed as meaningless, false and empty, those political options in Serbia who've staked their entire credibility on serving the West unconditionally are now facing popular ire. For the past seven years, the occupation of Kosovo was blamed on Milosevic (between the Imperial and Serbian quisling media, that wasn't hard; nor was it difficult not to blame NATO and the KLA, the real culprits in the matter). However, the "official" separation of Kosovo took place now, under the "democratic" government and after years of Serbian authorities catering to Empire's every whim. The official line from the West, that this is just desserts for Milosevic's (alleged) crimes, may have possibly worked in 1999, but simply won't fly in 2008. Furthermore, Serbs are so fed up with years of humiliation and demonization, even if they hadn't cared about Kosovo so far, now that it's being taken away - they are beginning to.

I cannot resist thinking that the embassy story is being blown out of proportion, in order to divert attention from the actual violation of international law - namely, the illegal, illegitimate and immoral declaration of an "independent Kosova."

Gornostayev isn't fooled, though:

Responsibility for the humiliated stars and stripes rests with American diplomats and officials - Burns, Condoleezza Rice, Richard Holbrooke, Zalmay Khalilzad, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Madeleine Albright - all those who have created this unique case and have not yet realized how unique it really is.

As Diana Johnstone put it, once you get rid of the law, everything's just one unique case after another, isn't it?

While the mainstream media have given a lot of coverage to the noise coming from Foggy Bottom, they are noticeably more reticent about one aspect of the embassy burning that doesn't fit the "evil Serbs attack sacred American territory" narrative.

One badly burned body was found inside the embassy; it was identified yesterday as Zoran Vujovic, age 21, a Serb refugee from Kosovo.

So it wasn't some sinister agents acting on the orders of the Serbian government that went after the symbols of Empire in Belgrade the other night, but a young man whose home the Empire had stolen, taking out his anger and frustration. Whether he blundered and died by accident, or intended to immolate himself in protest like Jan Palach, isn't clear.

I agree with Gornostayev; the Empire has no clue what it has just unleashed. I don't think anyone knows, honestly. More so than in March of 1999, or March 2003, the world finds itself in a moment of transition. The way it started, it doesn't promise anything good. And it's getting worse by the day.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Embassies, and the Torching Thereof

I'll start off by saying that I don't approve of destruction of property, even if it's government property. Even if that government has just committed what's effectively an act of war, by recognizing the declaration of independence by a terrorist gang occupying the host country's province illegally.

After all, that's just descending to that government's level.

But for that government to actually react with righteous indignation to such an expression of ire? That takes some nerve.

The U.S. government is "furious" over what happened to their fortress in Belgrade. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says:

We are interested in a political dialogue with the Serbian government. The European Union is interested in a political dialogue with the Serbian government. It is very clear there are differences with respect to the action that we took to recognize Kosovo and the action that others have taken to recognize Kosovo. We can talk about that. But none of that, none of those disagreements are an excuse or justification to incite others to violence.

Hogwash. Neither the U.S. nor the EU are interested in "political dialogue"; they demonstrated that by organizing and recognizing the secession of occupied Kosovo. "Differences"? Is that how we're calling it now? Well, Mr. McCormack, I have a feeling that the angry young men who threw a Molotov cocktail at your embassy thought they were engaging in political dialogue over their differences and disagreements with the U.S. government, in a fashion that very government taught them was the right and proper way of doing things. I mean, when Washington has differences and disagreements with people, there's usually blockade, bombing and occupation in those people's near future.

Washington engages in violence, then protests when the victim engages in some violence of their own? Again, I think attacking that embassy was wrong on principle. But the sheer gall of Foggy Bottom protesting it...?

Have you no sense of decency left, Mr. McCormack? Have you left no sense of decency?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Good Point, Even If In Hindsight

Reuters today quotes the Sri Lankan ambassador to the UN, Dayan Jayatilleka, who said "Serb forces should have held their ground in 1999 and fought NATO troops back." (Update: Here's a link to Jayatilleka's article)

Actually, they did. NATO did not "force" the Yugoslav Army out of Kosovo, nor was the Kumanovo agreement a capitulation. That NATO and its press corps interpreted it that way and acted as if Serbia had unconditionally surrendered is a whole 'nother matter.

One could argue that NATO was cracking at the seams, that its escalated terror-bombing of civilian targets was a sign of desperation, and that had Serbia held out just a few more days... Well, it's not exactly clear what then. According to testimonies by Russian military and diplomats involved in the talks that resulted in the Kumanovo agreement, Moscow had caved in at the crucial time and accepted all of Washington's diktats. It is entirely possible the deal Milosevic thought he was getting sounded a lot better than what actually happened. Compared to NATO's demands in Rambouillet and at the start of the war, the Kumanovo MTA and UNSCR 1244 could technically be seen as victories for Serbia. The "only" trouble is that NATO had no intention of honoring the deal. Russian paratroopers were supposed to be a check on that; sadly, for whatever reason, Moscow failed to deploy them in force. (I have a theory that these two failures of the Yeltsin regime are what eventually brought it down, and represent a powerful motivator to the current Kremlin leadership not to screw the Serbs).

Back to Ambassador Jayatilleka:

"The...independence of Kosovo is the result of the failure of political will on the part of the ex-Yugoslav leadership," he wrote in a Sri Lankan newspaper, drawing lessons for his own country, where government forces are launching an assault into rebel territory where Tamil Tigers run a de facto state.

"Never withdraw the armed forces from any part of territory in which they are challenged, and never permit a foreign presence on (your) soil."

Hindsight or not, that ought to be elementary logic.

As I've pointed out before, any time the Serbs made any sort of deal with the EU, UN or NATO, they ended up being double-crossed: the Vance Plan, Dayton, the Kumanovo MTA. But of course, it was always the Serbs being accused of "negotiating in bad faith." Classic switcheroo.

It is clear that the assumption of bad faith has to be made in any dealings with the countries that recognized "Kosova." Anything short of that would be criminally stupid.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

At last, understanding

Not to say that this weekend's proclamation of the Albanian state of "Kosova" is by any means a good thing (I'm refraining from posting much about it yet, saving it for an exclusive this Thursday), but if one were to look for silver lining, it would be the rising awareness among the Serbs that they've been played for idiots these past years, deluded by the tales of "democracy", "integrations", and "friendship" with the Empire.

Oh, there are some who've cheered "Kosova" (atrocity pornstar Natasa Kandic, for one, as well as B92 drones), and many others who still think Serbs should bow down to the "inevitable" and serve the Empire instead of resisting. There's no saving the former, but the latter may still be redeemed.

Because, you see, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. Serbs have faced similar tribulations in the past. Some passed the test. Others, not so much. I think Djordje Vukadinovic of NSPM said it best, on Monday in Politika:

It is said we are all descended from those who deserted from Kosovo.... That's not really true. Actually, we all descend from people who, in previous "unofficial referenda", made the choice of "isolation" - in the mountains, hidden valleys and exile - instead of the integrations then on offer (of the "Eurasian" variety) that also seemingly "had no alternative." Many chose otherwise, embraced the "kingdom of earth", "realism" and integrations. We should not begrudge them. But when I look at them, scattered from Cazin to Anadolia, it doesn't seem they've done particularly well, or gone very far.

All I want to say is that there are always choices, and that they are often difficult. And that we can never be entirely sure where the road may take us. And that what may have seemed "pragmatic" or "realistic" in 1389, 1804, 1914 or 2008 has not been, and doesn't have to be, the best choice.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Isn't Albania Enough?

The inimitable Taki Theodoracopoulos does a drive-by assessment of the Empire's Kosovo policy in his most recent column:

Even worse is the issue of Kosovo. With a few prominent exceptions, NATO, the EU, the USA, and the UN all favor speedy recognition of a rogue state led by drug dealers and terrorists and militant Muslims. What the hell is going on here? Why must we have a second Muslim state in our midst? Isn’t Albania enough?

Of course it's not enough to those who see "Kosova" as just the first step in annexing parts of Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece, and even more of Serbia. And after that, who knows? If one believes the 19th-century canard about Albanians descending from ancient Illyrians, it's only a matter of time before some "reputable expert" asserts that all of the Balkans is actually "ethnic Albania." And why stop there? There's Albanians in Switzerland, Britain, New Jersey...

Anyway, at this stage slogans won't do Serbia much good. The people dismembering her, Czechoslovakia-style, seem to believe only in coercion. When dealing with aggression, polite arguments can only get one so far. Maybe it's high time to start doing some coercin' right back.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Yep, Hoppe sure was right

To be fair, I was hedging my bets. The election really could have gone either way. On Friday I wrote:

"Tadic and the Democrats have turned to spreading panic and fear.... it could work, given that Serbs have been brainwashed not for years, but for decades, to feel inferior, guilty, and unworthy of their rulers. Having gone from blockade to postmodern, credit-funded consumerism, Serbians feel they are living better, and may fear to lose it. Yes, the whole selling out for a mess of pottage thing comes to mind here, but how does one argue that with someone who's mortgaged his soul for the sake of a suburban apartment and a mid-sized car?"

On Sunday this turned out to be the case.

Many are now saying that it was decided by ethnic minorities' disciplined turnout. And no, before the professional and amateur Serbophobes pipe up, it's not the Radicals engaging in baseless accusations; it's the minority politicians themselves claiming credit for Tadic's victory.

I don't think it matters as much, though. Sure, these communities fail to appreciate that Serbia treats them better than EU chairman Slovenia treated its minorities (think of the outrage if Serbia had "erased" people), but how can anyone expect other people to respect the Serbs if the Serbs can so manifestly fail to respect themselves?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Hoppe Was Right

A prominent place on my "history, philosophy and politics" bookshelf is occupied by an autographed copy of "Democracy, The God That Failed" by Hans-Hermann Hoppe. I think of it every time I read or watch anything related to the current elections in Serbia. So much of what passes for debate there is just such pure, unadulterated nonsense.

On Sunday, Serbian voters will have a choice of two presidential candidates that made it into the second round: the incumbent Boris Tadic (Democratic Party, DS) and the challenger Tomislav Nikolic (Serbian Radical Party, SRS).

Nikolic runs with a simple message that has the benefit of being true: Tadic represents the forces that have run Serbia since October 2000, beholden to foreign powers, corrupt and craven.

Of course, one could hold it against Nikolic that his party was once allied with Milosevic (then again, professional Milosevic-hater Vuk Draskovic was once a minister in a Milosevic government...), or that its leader is in The Hague on trial for war crimes. Except, the charges against him are pretty much for "inciting hatred," i.e. crimethink, and not any specific action. People tried by the Inquisition are political prisoners; Seselj is more so than most. Nikolic is a Russophile; he once famously expressed regret that Serbia was not a Russian province. Instead, one supposes, he should have been ecstatic that Serbia is actually a whipping boy for the US and the EU?

What bugs me about Nikolic is that the Radicals don't mind the modern omnipotent state at all; they just think it would do better with them in charge. To the extent that a hypothetical Radical government (the president is the ceremonial head of state, nothing more - Tadic's power comes from being the Democrats' party leader) would not serve the Empire, that is correct; but would it really serve the people of Serbia?

It's not hard to be patriotic in comparison to Tadic, Ceda Jovanovic, and a variety of other quisling types currently riding on the backs of Serbians. But would the Radicals steal (i.e. tax) any less? Would they not support oligarchs? Would they not sell off government property to their preferred investors (Russians, rather than Germans or Americans)? Would they actually try to restore the property stolen from Serbs in 1945? Ha! That will be the day.

Tadic, on the other hand, is desperate. For years he has spoken of "Euro-Atlantic integrations" as a "path that has no alternative," promising Serbians a better future in the EU and NATO. Thankfully, the NATO part died somewhere along the way (the fact that it was even mentioned, after what happened in 1999, is depressing enough). The EU part is equally incongruous; far from being a haven of prosperity, the EU is a reincarnation of the USSR. Its totalitarianism may be more polite, but it's there nonetheless.

Then, of course, there's the demonstration of EU's true colors, as the Brussels Leviathan openly declared its support for the Albanian separatists and decided to take over the occupation of Kosovo. The EU has gone past demanding Serbia's acceptance of its dismemberment, to simply ignoring Serbian opinions altogether. Brussels isn't even making the indecent proposal of trading Kosovo for EU membership any more; the EU intends to detach Kosovo anyway, and maybe negotiate with Serbia about annexing it in some distant future. Just the kind of beacon of civilization one should aspire to, isn't it?

With his promises thus shown to be hollow, Tadic and the Democrats have turned to spreading panic and fear. If they don't hang on to power, they say, Serbia would return to the "dreadful nineties," isolated, blockaded, besieged, even bombed (though they aren't saying so explicitly). It amounts to a "lesser of two evils" approach: If you think we're bad, wait till those guys come to power! Such brazen arrogance may well drive voters to Nikolic's camp, if nothing than out of sheer Serbian spite (inat).

Or it could work, given that Serbs have been brainwashed not for years, but for decades, to feel inferior, guilty, and unworthy of their rulers. Having gone from blockade to postmodern, credit-funded consumerism, Serbians feel they are living better, and may fear to lose it. Yes, the whole selling out for a mess of pottage thing comes to mind here, but how does one argue that with someone who's mortgaged his soul for the sake of a suburban apartment and a mid-sized car?

After October 2000, the "elite" that imposed itself on Serbia (with a little help of Uncle Sam) has been a textbook definition of "transnational progressivism" in action. My own distaste for this sort of people and their politics requires a rant in its own right; suffice to say that I would shed no tears if they were thrown out on the curb and forced to make an honest living (they'd whore themselves out to the Empire elsewhere, though; it's just what they do).

Whoever becomes president on Monday, it won't make the slightest bit of difference when it comes to the Empire's project of Serbia's dismemberment, or Moscow's support, or the pathological hatred of Serbs harbored by Albanian separatists and others in the region. It may make a difference in how the Serbs respond to it all. If Nikolic succeeds in toppling Tadic, it may mean a shift in Serbian politics not favoring the Tranzis, but it won't really change the essence of the problem. Until Serbia can somehow wipe off the fetid muck of statism, it will be neither strong, nor prosperous, nor free.