Christmas All Year 'Round
Gifts from the Imperial Santa
America, Christmas is the time for, among other things, exchanging
presents. In the former Yugoslavia where many celebrate
Christmas on January 7, and others not at all gifts are
usually exchanged on New Year's Day. But thanks to the great
gift of "humanitarian democracy," delivered by tens of thousands
of Santas in NATO fatigues and their countless little helpers
in politicians' suits, in this part of the Balkans gift-giving
can now last for the entire year.
since the spirit of giving is also the spirit of sharing,
why not take a look at some of the more notable gifts bestowed
upon some of the most blessed people of the Balkans by their
enlightened benefactors and benevolent hegemons?
was very nice of the Empire to remember one of its pet wards
of the past decade. Sure, it was very nice of the United States
to actively step
into the war that made headlines for three years, then
conjure an illusion of peace and send thousands of its troops
to make it a reality. But that was years ago, under the previous
Emperor. What has the United States done for the "Bosnians"
for one, its pet court finally came through and declared
sentencing Serb general Radislav Krstic that genocide against
Bosnian Muslims really took place. It is worth noting that
the Hague Inquisition (a.k.a. ICTY) never actually proved
the existence of a genocide; but because of what it is,
and because of who pays for it, assertions are considered
enough. It may not seem like much, but Alija Izetbegovic
wartime Muslim leader is likely to disagree. The legitimacy
of his regime and its wartime conduct rests solely on the
thesis that they were protecting the Muslims from a Serb genocide.
of genocide, the story of one that happened some
60 years ago figures prominently into Croatia's gift this
year. With tourist profits falling in the aftermath of Black
September, and the current government tangled in a web of
war crimes scandals that somehow never came to a conclusion,
packages from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
represented a bright ray of sunshine.
all its woes, Croatia could hardly afford to cope with the
fact that its Founding Fathers (so to speak) were extremely
good at the mass killing of Serbs and Jews during World War
II, when they were enthusiastic allies of Nazi Germany. Because
the US Government-funded Holocaust Museum seized the physical
evidence from the biggest concentration camp, Jasenovac, from
its Serb victims and delivered it to the Croatian government
for safekeeping, Croatia will now have the freedom to cope with its
history at a more convenient time, in a more convenient manner
the fact that Kosovo Albanians were not granted their dearest
wish this season otherwise, they would have led this alphabetical
list as "Albania" they still got a few things
from Santa's bag. One of them is a nice
shiny new Assembly, with elections and a President and
Constitution and all, so they can play State under the ever-watchful
eye of the NATO governor, and with his ever-benevolent guidance.
They are supposed to share this wondrous gift with the Serbs,
of course, and some remaining Kosovo Serbs are quite thrilled
at the prospect. Others would be much more appreciative if they
could venture out of their ghettos without the fear of being
course, one should not get too ambitious. Just last week,
two Albanians suspected of blowing up a bus full of Serbs
in February were released from jail. The court cited "lack
of evidence" and dismissed the case. With the third suspect
mysteriously vanishing from the supposedly impregnable US
fortress-base Bondsteel this summer, and no attempts to track
down the perpetrators and "smoke them out of their holes,"
it seems as if blowing up Serbs in Kosovo is neither terrorism,
nor a crime punishable by law. How is that for coal
in the stocking?
Macedonia's gift this year was simply precious. There is no
other way of describing the Treaty of Ohrid, if one is to
avoid being labeled a "hard-line militant nationalist
warmonger." For a while it looked as if Macedonia would
have to fight a full-scale war against the Albanian "liberation
army" on vacation from pillaging in Kosovo.
through the merciful intervention of
Europe's noted peace activist Javier Solana and America's
honest broker James Pardew, Macedonia was prevented from making
the dreadful mistake of self-defense, which would have cost
its taxpayers millions of dollars for weapons from non-NATO
countries. Instead, the Macedonian government happily accepted preferential
treatment for the Albanians, establishing ethnic quotas and
enforcing bilingualism on the 75% of the population for the
sake of the remaining 25%. Ever since then, things in Macedonia
have been just wonderful with the exception of some evil
nationalist hard-line warmongers, who simply hate peace.
has not been forgotten in this flurry of gift-giving, either.
It may seem to have had a bad year. Milo Djukanovic failed
to obtain approval for secession in the polls this spring.
Now the republic's inhabitants are experiencing power
shortages, California-style, in the midst of a cruel winter.
Maybe Djukanovic will tell the people only independence would
bring them back light and warmth? Surely, as with everything
else in the Balkans, the power shortage must be Serbia's fault
a brighter and warmer note, the money from the US treasury
continued to flow into Djukanovic's pockets even as US diplomats
ambiguously disagreed with his plans for secession.
someone who has been on the "naughty" list for so
many years, Serbia was simply showered with presents this
time around receiving so many that its neighbors have grown
jealous. One could start with the millions of dollars the
Empire gave to the Serbian opposition to win the 2000 election,
but that would technically be ineligible for this year.
the greatest gift of the year, then, would be the liberation
of Serbia from the presence of Slobodan Milosevic, the
Constitution, its legal system and much of its dignity
and all at once! Though the aid money that was promised for
Milosevic's head never actually arrived prompting plaintive
words from Prime Minister Djindjic there was still the
$5 million bounty. Since he ordered both Milosevic's arrest
and deportation, Djindjic obviously qualifies for the money.
Interestingly enough, there is no record of what actually
happened to the bounty.
are other generous gifts, too numerous to mention: ICTY indictments,
partially forgiven fabricated loans, generous restorations
of Yugoslav property Serbia had owned to begin with, and so
just before Christmas, the European Court of Human Rights
sent a gift to all lovers of human rights and liberties. Last
week it ruled that NATO could
not be judged for killing 16 Serbian TV workers in April
1999. Apparently, NATO did nothing wrong
by bombing Serbia, since any action outside the defendants'
territory (i.e. Serbia) is not in the Court's jurisdiction
and is not bound by the European Human Rights Convention.
Serbia, then, is in NATO's territory when it needs to be bombed,
and is outside the territory when the butcher's bill comes
due. For this enlightening clarification of humanitarian law,
and its celebration of universal human rights, we should all
it has been a wonderful year in the Balkans, filled with marvelous
gifts coming straight from the heart. The Empire looks
forward to blessing the benighted Peninsula with even more
treasures in the years to come. Yet in its altruistic benevolence,
it asks for nothing in return save absolute obedience and
utter submission. Surely, this is a small price to pay for
such bountiful rewards.