Nebojsa Malic is on vacation for the next month. His column will return in February.

December 26, 2002

The 12 Months of Christmas
Empire's Gifts In a Year of Lies

The year that is about to end has again left the Balkans a bit worse for wear. Of course, the entire world is substantially worse for wear since the shocking attacks of September 2001, and the Empire's resulting announcement of its quest for global domination. However, the War on Terror has had remarkably little impact on Balkans affairs. Faced with the prospect of embarrassing revelations that it nurtured its present mortal enemies as valuable allies during the wars in former Yugoslavia, the Empire has gone out of its way to demonstrate that its Balkans agenda has not changed.

Throughout 2002, Washington and its Brussels-governed vassals have continued insisting on discredited myths of modern Yugoslav history, dismissing inconvenient facts as politically-motivated inventions while insisting on their own fabrications as unvarnished truth. Certainly, questioning the motives of Balkans actors who tried to challenge the current policy by bringing up the war on terror did not stop Washington from using trumped-up Balkans scandals to bolster support for its planned Middle Eastern adventures. Post-modern morality at work, perhaps.

So while in terms of Balkans events 2001 was best described as a year of capitulations, 2002 would best deserve the unflattering title of the Year of Lies and the bigger, the better.

In the Shadow of Show Trials

Perhaps the event of 2002 has been the the show trial of Slobodan Milosevic at the Hague Inquisition. From its beginning in February to its most recent frustrated recess, it has demonstrated the lengths and depths to which servants of the Empire are prepared to go in imposing their versions of history and reality to their conquered subjects. Week after week, witnesses for the prosecution proved only their incompetence, incoherence, and lack of anything remotely resembling reliable recollection. One can hardly forget the debacle in May, when the Inquisitors' vaunted "insider" turned out to be an impostor of dubious repute. There was also the disaster in late July, when another key witness said his statement was entirely fabricated by the prosecution. Having thus torpedoed the Inquisition's case, Radomir Markovic was disappeared.

The utter lack of credible evidence, coupled with useless witnesses, led the desperate Inquisition to finally confirm exactly what sort of judicial operation it was running. When former Bosnian Serb Republic president Biljana Plavsic "confessed" to conspiracy to commit and conceal war crimes, she acted like so many brainwashed victims of Communist purges. Plavsic's gesture of commissioned contrition likely had the opposite of its intended effect: rather than act as a catalyst for widespread self-abasement and surrender, it solidified the resistance to the Inquisitors' persecution.

Given that they continue to bay for blood, it is safe to assume that in 2003, the Inquisitors will sink even lower, lie even more, and commit further mockery of civilized judicial process. Nothing more should be expected from an institution that, fancy dress aside, has all the legitimacy of a lynch mob.

All-Seasons' Greetings

As noted last December, the Balkans enjoys the poisonous gifts of Imperial occupation year-round, not just at Christmas. Besides, depending on where one is, Christmas is celebrated on December 25, January 7, or not at all, and gifts are often as not exchanged on New Year's Eve.

A list of everything the Empire has generously bestowed on its wards just this year would take up too much space, and would frankly be sickening enough to be declared a biological weapon. For example, in March, leaders of Serbian and Montenegrin governments signed an agreement in Belgrade to dissolve the last Yugoslavia and create a new, paradoxical association called "Serbia and Montenegro." The agreement was signed ten days before the third anniversary of NATO's aggression against Yugoslavia. It was sponsored by no other than Javier Solana, EU's top diplomat, who holds that post thanks to his services as NATO's Secretary-General during the aggression.

There is, of course, much more in this vein. So at the end of the Year of Lies, let us note just the most recent gifts of the Empire, timed to coincide with the season.

Politics of Plunder

Last week, a report from Bosnia made a stunning admission: "excessive government regulation, not violence, now stands as the greatest obstacle to progress," wrote Guy Taylor in the Washington Times. According to Peter Nichol, a New Zealander in charge of Bosnia's central bank, more than 40% of Bosnia's economy consists of enterprises that did not bribe their way into registering with the government. What Nichol or Taylor neglected to say is that those who do pay up are soon driven into bankruptcy by the incessant government racketeering.

To anyone who knows anything about economics, all this is self-evidently true and not just in Bosnia, either. But challenging the absolute power of the government is risky business, which is why the rest of the article does its utmost to refute its main point, as Taylor's editors frantically fought the simple truth with politically correct platitudes.

Apparently, it is the very pinnacle of evil that those uppity Bosnians are daring to do business without first paying off their rulers, foreign and domestic. This is why both Viceroy Ashdown and the local satraps are eager to force everyone to pay the existing exorbitant taxes, and even introduce some new ones. This, most of all, should debunk any foolish notion that either the Imperial authorities or the local governments have any real interest in protecting the lives, liberty or property of their subjects.

Believers in benevolent government were presented with another challenge last week, as the IMF released a $16 million portion of a $91 million loan to Bosnia. This money will go to pork-barrel projects, bribes, welfare and vote-buying schemes. Even if it were all spent on infrastructure projects that could help the economy and it won't be the loan's benefits would be highly dubious. It will have to be repaid through heavy taxation of future earnings, if there are any. In essence, the country's current rulers have mortgaged the lives of their people's grandchildren for the sake of personal power. Who is the real criminal here, these folks or the ones who try to keep their hard-earned money from being stolen through taxes?

The answer is obvious.

Terrorists Among Us

Three weeks ago, a bomb destroyed the honorary consulate of Macedonia in Karachi, Pakistan. Three Pakistanis were killed. One was a security guard at the consulate, the other two remain unknown. They were all bound and gagged first, and two had their throats slit, before the explosive was activated.

Some speculated that this attack was revenge for a Macedonian police raid this March, when seven armed Pakistanis suspected of plotting terrorist acts were killed. The modus operandi, however, is eerily reminiscent of KLA terror attacks in Kosovo and Macedonia itself. Connections between the KLA (UCK/NLA/ANA) and the Islamic terrorist networks are well-known, despite vehement US denials, so the question is: did the KLA learn this terror technique from the Pakistanis, or was it the other way around?

This question should be especially pertinent now that the leader of the Macedonian KLA, Ali Ahmeti, has taken his seat in the Macedonian parliament, the Sobranye.

The Undead Madhouse

Proving once again that it's capable of doing just as badly as its bigger cousin, Montenegro failed to elect a president in the exact same fashion last weekend. This time, however, the opposition boycotted the vote and ensured the turnout would be below 50%, as the government candidate was poised to win. In Serbia, if you recall, it was the government that boycotted the vote to deprive its ostensible ally of a victory.

Faced with such open ridicule of the holy rituals of democracy, Imperial legates have already called for a repeal of electoral census, but the odds of that happening are long. Both Prime Ministers, Djindjic in Belgrade and Djukanovic in Podgorica, have a vested interest in controlling the reins of power without being directly responsible to voters, and ruling through puppet presidents is just what they've been hoping for. Given their loathing of fellow citizens and the eagerness with which they've accepted the "undead union" in March, one is tempted to wonder if Djindjic or Djukanovic would explode into a cloud of dust if they were staked in the heart.

Even so, some psychologists in Serbia are calling on the government to do more about the public's mental health, according to the Belgrade daily Glas Javnosti. Obviously, their knowledge of psychology can't be all that good. Serbia and Montenegro may be gripped by a psychological disorder of mass proportions, but it is clearly originating from their demented rulers.

Christmas Under Siege

As Kosovo prepares for a third Christmas under NATO occupation, there are fewer and fewer of those who actually observe the holiday. Thousands have been killed, hundreds of thousands expelled, and 112 churches and monasteries destroyed by the rampaging KLA, while NATO and the UN authorities did nothing or worse, focused on destroying the remaining Serb communities completely.

Still the occupiers and their journalist concubines insist on derisive qualifications of this disaster. Serbs "say they can't move freely," a euphemism for being herded into ghettos surrounded by barbed wire and NATO troops. They "blame" Albanians for attacks, as if it wasn't clear enough who the culprits were. And even when it is, all attacks are dismissed as "revenge" for "oppression under Milosevic."

Kosovo's true holiday is not Christmas, but Easter; the Serb province has been crucified, and NATO occupiers are the modern-day Pontius Pilate. All else is just window-dressing.

Freedom by Next Christmas!

These, then, are the blessings of Imperial occupation, "aid" and nation-building, as evidenced by a year marked most of all by lies and fabrications. Inhabitants of the former Yugoslavia and the Balkans in general have managed somehow to survive yet again, but if this goes on, their long-term chances aren't very good. One can only hope that sooner or later preferably sooner they will wake up and realize the truth that is staring them in the face: their governments' depravity, the Empire's sinister agenda, and liberty as the best cure for their ills. One can only hope against hope that this will occur before the next Christmas.

This year definitely deserves to be concluded with an old Balkan blessing:

As this was, may it never be again!

– Nebojsa Malic

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Nebojsa Malic left his home in Bosnia after the Dayton Accords and currently resides in the United States. During the Bosnian War he had exposure to diplomatic and media affairs in Sarajevo, and contributed to the Independent. As a historian who specializes in international relations and the Balkans, Malic has written numerous essays on the Kosovo War, Bosnia and Serbian politics. His exclusive column for Antiwar.com appears every Thursday.

 

Archived Columns

The 12 Months of Christmas
12/26/02

More Dirty Lies
12/19/02

Democratic Destruction
12/12/02

Forged Memories
11/28/02

Making the Balkans Connection
11/21/02

Remembering the Obvious
11/7/02

Empire's Playground
10/31/02

Casus Belli
10/24/02

Forward to The Past
10/10/02

The Unbearable Futility of Voting
10/3/02

A Global Balkans
9/26/02

Triumph of the Will
9/19/02

The Day Nothing Changed
9/12/02

Illusions of Truth and Justice
9/5/02

More archived columns by Nebojsa Malic


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