of Power and Violence
for a Portrait of Lost Peoples
thing that more than anything else defines the contemporary
patchwork of states that used to be Yugoslavia – with the
notable exception of Slovenia – are the 1990s Succession Wars.
They are the Genesis myth, at the heart of their governments'
source of legitimacy and their leaders' claim to power. No
longer just the Health
of the State, war for them is the source of the
State. Not surprisingly, the veneration of war finds greater
expression among those who "won" (Croatians, Bosnian
Muslims, Kosovo and Macedonian Albanians), then among those
who "lost" (Serbs and Macedonians). But there are
many ways of glorifying violence. For example, the current
regimes in Serbia and Montenegro draw their power from their
political opponents' defeat in the 1999 Kosovo war.
are so fond of conflict because it allows them to increase
their power and silence opposition. Faced with danger, people
become a herd, and the instinct of the herd is to "fall
in line." Everyday politics is a low-intensity conflict,
a smoldering fission reaction politicians believe they can
control and exploit. War, on the other hand, is akin to a
full nuclear blast, uncontrollably smashing everything it
its path. Sadly enough, some people think they can control
it nonetheless, as a form of "creative
destruction." In the Balkans, this heinous notion
created only widespread death, devastation and despair. But
this is yet
another lesson the Empire will ignore.
all, all of the Balkans bows to its power. Bulgaria and Romania
for U.S. military bases. Bosnia and Kosovo are under occupation
already. The rest grovel and bow, eager to swear fealty to
the new lords of destruction, and maybe get
a good-doggie treat in return. This is seen as a vindication
of that perverse belief that success indicates righteousness.
the talk about security, integration, peace and prosperity
(which will, of course, be nothing of the sort) reveals only
the degree to which the current rulers of Balkan countries
are not so much puppets as willing servants of the Empire.
is this more pronounced than in Serbia, itself a victim of
NATO's naked aggression just four years ago. Now its leaders
cite a need to avoid another 1999 as a reason to become a
NATO satellite. Some advocates even go as far as to say that
Serbia presents a "threat
to global security" by not being a member of NATO!
Furthermore, they say, because it's unworthy of NATO
membership, Serbia should realistically only hope to perhaps
join the Junior Varsity version, the Orwellian-named Partnership
far does this mental rot go, that the president of Serbia-Montenegro
the very need for a military – while denying he was doing
so, in an execrable display of doublespeak now commonplace
in Belgrade and Podgorica.
places are such obvious examples of "creative destruction"
at work as the occupied Serbian province of Kosovo. A product
of the 1999 NATO aggression, it has been systematically ethnically
cleansed of non-Albanians under a mask
of "multi-ethnicity" and "dialogue." Its
imperial overlords have committed so many abuses and criminal
misdeeds, their name
appropriate poster-boy of this tragic farce is Michael Steiner,
German diplomat who is the province's current Imperial proconsul.
Unlike his predecessor, who at least tried to commit
his promises to paper before proceeding to break them,
Steiner has made a host of promises to both Serbs and Albanians
which he had no intention of keeping.
what could be another of those false promise, he recently
suggested to an Albanian gathering that Kosovo's independence
was a foregone
conclusion. This was immediately condemned
by Serbian government legate Nebojsa Covic, who nonetheless
felt compelled to say that Belgrade wanted to "work with
the international community in establishing a multi-ethnic
Kosovo." Why, there is nothing more natural than cooperating
with one's occupiers in achieving their official goals!
how are those official goals holding up under the harsh pressures
of reality? Not too well, it turns out unsurprisingly. Kosovo's
UN authorities have quietly
terminated a program of training members of the "Kosovo
Protection Corps" in foreign countries, after two KPC
members died attempting
to mine a Serb-used railway. The UN-funded
Corps was conceived as a way to provide some legitimacy
for Albanian militants after their "Kosovo Liberation
Army" was officially disbanded.
hard to talk about protection when the "protectors"
are members of a terrorist
Kosovo has been under Imperial occupation for almost four
years, Bosnia has experienced its softer form for over seven.
Forcibly "reunited" through the Dayton Peace Agreement,
country is struggling under the burden of managerial state
while its leaders and occupiers claim the solution is more
past seven years have been an endless parade of laws and decisions
aimed at expanding, strengthening and making all-pervasive
the power of the State – all in the name of the people, of
course. Complicating things somewhat is that Bosnia's political
and administrative divisions weren't designed to check the
power of the State government, but to replicate it
on a lower level.
preparations are underway to create a unified
system of State education. Behind the claims of giving
"greater autonomy" to local schools lurks the reality
of a centralized system of State indoctrination. Talk of "non-discrimination"
means mandatory political correctness. And good old-fashioned
knowledge, deemed "outdated" by the occupiers, will
be replaced with "skills, values, competencies and attitudes."
all its flaws and propaganda, the old Communist system still
managed to instill its victims with enough knowledge to be
more than competitive at Western institutions of higher learning.
Now that danger will be removed, and the children across the
Balkans will enjoy a cloned version of the American
public-school system, free
again, the current government is falling
over itself to give its American occupiers immunity for
any war crimes they might commit in course of their stay,
even as its members clamor loudly for prosecution of domestic
war criminals. Now, those leaders are a product of the old
educational system. One shudders to imagine what sorts of
similar reasoning leaps the new system will produce.
study of Balkan depravities should not omit the mention of
in Serbia, as a textbook example of crass social engineering.
But since that has been analyzed in some detail here already,
it bears no repeating now. The government's attempt to portray
a political crackdown on its enemies and former associates
as a "war on crime" should have been laughed out
of any newsroom in a remotely sane society. That it wasn't
testifies to Serbia's tired resignation more than anything
"end justifies the means" approach is by no means
unique to Serbia.
Hague Inquisition recently "indicted" Croatia's
former top general, Janko Bobetko, for murders of Serb civilians
in 1995. Bobetko refused to surrender, and ten days ago, died
of old age. Even before his "indictment," Bobetko
protested the prosecution of any Croatian war crimes as "treason"
against heroes of the Homeland War. His death came
as a relief for the beleaguered Croatian government, caught
between needing to please both The Hague Hydra and its own
population, which considered Bobetko a national hero.
the people indicted by the Inquisition is not uncommon in
former Yugoslav states. Until recently, the most popular imprinted
goods in Serbia bore the likenesses of Radovan Karadzic and
Ratko Mladic, Bosnian Serb war leaders accused of genocide.
But while Karadzic and Mladic sympathizers believe their "heroes"
are unjustly persecuted for atrocities they did not commit,
Bobetko's advocates advance a horrifying argument: that the
atrocities were the proper, even heroic thing to do.
is one thing to defend people accused of war crimes by either
alleging the crimes were fabricated, or claiming they were
a justified response to others' atrocities. Both defenses,
however flawed, at least retain humanity in recognizing that
atrocities are an act of evil. But in the minds of those who
idolize Bobetko, the "Homeland War" was holy and
good, thus everything done in its pursuit was blessed. A similar
notion could have been heard from the mouth of Izetbegovic's
wartime foreign minister, Haris Silajdzic, about a decade
ago: whatever the Bosnian Army did was in self-defense, and
thus legitimate. There is hardly a clearer distilment of the
by politicians who thrive on conflict and worship power, the
peoples of the Balkans are steadily driven away from reason,
responsibility, freedom and choice. They already live in a
silent horror dystopia,
lost and frustrated in the wastelands of democracy. They hope
for quick deliverance through false promises, oblivious to
the possibility that the road not taken could lead to honor,
freedom and peace.
choice ought to be clear. Further worship of power, violence
and servitude can only bring more of the same. Isn't a definition
of madness doing the same thing over and over, expecting a
road is there. If only someone would bother to look.
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