Trojan Horse in Belgrade
Beware Imperial Bureaucrats Bearing Gifts
Danaos et dona ferentes (tr.).
2001 draws to a close, so does a circle of destruction in
the Balkans that began over a decade ago. From its role as
an all-too-partisan observer in the beginnings of the Yugoslav
crisis, the Empire has gradually asserted itself as the maker
and breaker of kings and nations.
A decade after it set the rules
for Yugoslavia's bloody destruction, Europe is back at the end of the beginning,
trying to "mediate" the survival of Yugoslavia's last remnant.
Its envoy is no other than Javier Solana, the Bomber of Belgrade
and Murderer of Macedonia. If
Macedonia's experience is anything to go by, where Solana
goes, Ambassador James Pardew cannot be far behind. And though
the United States currently seems preoccupied with events
farther East, it can hardly miss an opportunity to crown its
conquests in the Balkans by finally subjugating Serbia.
as it is that the leaders of Serbia "reformist" or not
even contemplate, let alone enthusiastically welcome, the
presence of NATO's erstwhile leader while the Alliance still
occupies a large chunk of Serbian territory, the truly befuddling
characteristic of recent talks in Belgrade is that they were
Namely, in late October, Montenegro's
met with his Belgrade counterparts and all agreed that the
issue of Yugoslavia's survival should be put to a referendum
(Reuters, Oct. 26). So persistent was Milo Djukanovic's
refusal to talk anything but independence, that both Zoran
Djindjic and Vojislav Kostunica agreed (a rare enough event)
that further talks would be a waste of time. Perhaps they
counted on data indicating that Djukanovic could not win the
referendum unless he resorted to some heavy cheating.
God forbid, however, that anyone
in the European Union's sphere of influence dares achieve
a mutually agreeable settlement on any issue without the guidance
of Brussels bureaucrats. Their subjects might even get the
idea that existence without a mammoth transnational state
apparatus might be possible! On cue, the EU and Solana
got involved in a "new bid"
to prevent the "breakup" of Yugoslavia.
CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER
is possible that all three leaders completely forgot about
Europe's "bid" of similar nature some ten years ago, or that
they drew completely wrong conclusions about Solana's "mediation"
services in Macedonia. Quite
possibly, their vanities might have been flattered by the
European Union's attention to their internal power squabble
though none seems to have paused to wonder as to the motive
behind this sudden curiosity. Yet none of this explains why
all three leaders promptly forgot the agreement they had achieved
and restarted the talks that quite predictably stalled
the same way as before. These days, the oft-mentioned definition
of insanity doing the same thing over and over expecting
a different result seems to apply perfectly.
THE LOGIC OF LUNACY
when considering the pattern of Imperial interference developed
over the past decade does this kind of behavior gain some
inner pretense of logic. Left to their own devices, chieftains
of Balkans principalities would likely have found some sort
of modus vivendi to stave off the original Yugoslavia's
collapse in 1991 for they knew better than anyone the balance
of power in the region and the price of armed conflict. That
logic, however, ceased to apply the moment a powerful outside
force (whether the EU, the UN, NATO or the US) got involved.
At that point, all diplomatic, propaganda and war effort went
into enlisting that force on one's own side, thus altering
the balance of power.
Kosovo and Macedonia are living testaments that this strategy
has been effective, just as their dependent, corrupt societies
bear witness to the high price of currying Imperial favor.
APPETITE FOR CORRUPTION
Montenegro's Djukanovic initiated the latest round of this
"sycophant diplomacy" by declaring that he would gladly renew the talks under
Solana's guidance. Why he did so is still a mystery, however,
since he had a better chance of seceding if the EU which
officially opposes Montenegro's secession had been kept
out of the deal.
Solana knew exactly which buttons
to push in the case of Serbia's eagerly pro-Imperial
Prime Minister. Desperately needing money to maintain
a state apparatus, and through it control all aspects of life
in Serbia, Djindjic was easily persuaded by the promise of
new IMF funding and the threat that it could be withheld.
Only Kostunica was reportedly reluctant to embrace the new
talks probably wondering about their purpose. However,
experience of the past year indicates he will cave in after
Djindjic and Djukanovic are
two of a kind in many ways. Both lack true popular support
for governing, and rely instead on the repressive state apparatus.
It, in turn, needs to be fed by money that in both cases comes
from the outside the Empire, to be precise. Both are being
blackmailed by threats that the trough will run dry unless
they remain compliant, but both know that turning off the
spigots completely would deprive the Empire of leverage and
is thus extremely unlikely. As a result, they both endeavor
to make the best of the bargain, while the Empire gives them
just enough to remain in power.
USE IT OR LOSE IT
real enigma in this tragic trinity is Kostunica. He may have
been the poster-boy of the ragtag coalition that forced Milosevic
to abdicate power in October 2000, but he quickly found himself
playing second fiddle to the ruthless and much more ambitious
Djindjic. Having used Kostunica's popularity to become Serbia's
Prime Minister, Djindjic proceeded to seize the reins of power
both in the Serbian and through allies the federal government.
Much has been written here about Djindjic's
machinations, his disregard for the law, the courts, the Constitution,
and even the rules of political conduct. Yet every time Kostunica
could have confronted him, he
chose not to. Now Djindjic controls all the levers of
power in Serbia and Yugoslavia, leaving Kostunica only in
control of the military, which is immobilized by the constant
threat of war crimes indictments from the Hague Inquisition
which in turn has made no secret of preferring Djindjic
Keeping in mind Lord Acton's maxim
that power corrupts, Kostunica forgot that he was for better
or worse already in power, and had to use it to the best
of his conscience or lose it entirely. Kostunica's fear of
possible abuse of power immobilized him; he chose not to act
when action was called for. This allowed someone with less
moral fiber (but more determination) to usurp and abuse the
power in a very real way, thus ironically vindicating Lord
OF A LARGE WOODEN HORSE
far, the "negotiations" in Belgrade have exhibited a typical
pattern of Imperial meddling into affairs the local leaders
have been perfectly capable of settling peacefully on their
own. They join the long history of such sinister interference,
from the most recent "peace talks" in Macedonia to the ill-fated
"Conference on Yugoslavia" of the early 1990s. No one has
yet bothered to wonder why the EU is so enthusiastic about
supposedly preserving Yugoslavia now, when for the past ten
years it has been enthusiastic about its destruction.
It has long been said that
the Balkans needed democracy to prosper. Yet democracy
in its pure, unadulterated form (mob rule) not yet hidden
by the elaborate faηade of propriety developed in the Empire
is largely responsible for the nations of former Yugoslavia
and elsewhere being afflicted with leaders interested solely
in amassing power and personal gain, all too willing to curry
Empire's favor in order to triumph in avoidable conflicts.
Thus deluded, it is easy for
them to ignore the prophetic warning of a war long ago, in
a place not so far away: "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts."
Though in this case the "Greek" is actually a Spaniard acting
on behalf of the European part of the Empire, his superfluous
"gift" is nonetheless a great wooden
horse, in whose belly who knows what deadly perils lie.