Monday, January 30, 2006

Better to lose

From an excellent post by Chris Deliso over on Balkanalysis:

"Today we live in an imperial moment like any other. And when it becomes necessary to grovel at the feet of empire to curry favor, those who have neither self-respect nor an interest in self-reliance always win. Sometimes it's better to lose."

Perhaps it is worth noting that people who habitually grovel before empires are triumphant only temporarily; as soon as their patrons are defeated, so is their cause - and they seek out another sponsor (usually ending up doing their bidding in the process; it's how it works). Any sort of lasting achievement comes from those who stand with honor and dignity.

Something to think about.

Friday, January 27, 2006

AI, UPI and "job cleansing"

Amnesty International warned this week that ethnic discrimination in employment is still a problem in Bosnia. Specifically, the advocacy group said, the issue of unlawful terminations in 1992 prevents many people from returning to their homes and resuming their lives.

AI names both the Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat Federation as culprits, saying that neither have done much to resolve the problem. But to hear United Press International (UPI) tell the story, AI has placed the blame squarely on the Serbs, who "block Muslims" from returning home and to work (see here).

I can see how it happened. The UPI story quotes this part of the AI statement: "Discriminatory dismissals were in many cases the first step in aggressive campaigns of 'ethnic cleansing'....which included killings, forcible transfers and deportations." So, since everybody knows that only Serbs engaged in "ethnic cleansing" and that Muslims were solely their innocent victims...

The truth, of course, is rather different. I know it from personal experience. In those chaotic early months of the war, every side was systematically purging "undesirables" from all public posts. The Muslim regime in Sarajevo kept some Serbs and Croats around for propaganda purposes, but they had no actual authority. After establishing the perception of "multi-cultural, tolerant" Muslims being victimized by "racist, genocidal" Serbs, Izetbegovic purged even those token infidels from his government.

While the media and "human rights" groups often cry crocodile tears about the refugee returns in the Serb Republic, the fact that Muslim and Croat parts of Bosnia are conspicuously devoid of Serbs even now, ten years after the war's end, is often ignored completely. After all, everybody knows...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Boris Tadic just doesn't get it

Serbian president Boris Tadic really doesn't know when to sit down and shut up. True enough, few politicians do - but this one makes choking on his own foot a veritable art form.

It's bad enough that he wanted to go to Kosovo to attend the funeral of Albanian separatist leader Ibrahim Rugova (who is being buried today at the KLA "martyrs' cemetery" in a ceremony celebrating not so much the man, but the idea of Greater Albania), and that he "requested permission" to do so from the UN occupation authorities. Now that the UN hasn't responded one way or another, but the Albanians have erupted in howls of protest about how Tadic - or any other filthy, criminal, disgusting, evil Serb - is not welcome to Rugova's funeral, or to their precious "Kosova" for that matter, Tadic "deeply regrets" it. Not asking permission to visit his own territory, or wishing to support Albanian separatism, but the fact that Albanians have snubbed him so.

According to the AP, Tadic issued a statement Wednesday saying that he "respected the stand of the Rugova family to whom the 'presence of a Serbian president was unacceptable',” and that his "desire was to pay respects to a man who was of a different political persuasion than myself, but who campaigned peacefully for his ideas and who was the legitimate representative of the Kosovo Albanians.”

Where to begin...? I do hope that Tadic is "of a different political persuasion" than Rugova - that is, that the current president of Serbia doesn't share Rugova's ideal of forcible separation of Kosovo from Serbia, involving by necessity the disposal of non-Albanians (Serbs, first and foremost) from the territory. And though many people - including the mainstream Serbian media and politicians - persist in the misconception that Rugova was a pacifist, it is worth noting that the crux of Rugova's strategy was never to negotiate, deal or otherwise engage the Serbs, but to get someone else (specifically, the American Empire) to achieve Albanian goals for them. It is worth noting that the "pacifist" Rugova also had an "army" (FARK) that was eventually absorbed by the KLA simply because the KLA had stronger foreign backing.

Tadic went on to say that, "Unfortunately neither political representatives of the Kosovo Albanians nor the international community realized what a chance this was for us to start changing relations between Serbs and (ethnic) Albanians.”

Let's face it, between the shameless cheer-leading for the separatist cause by viceroy Jessen-Petersen, and the ever-present fear of UNMIK that rampaging Albanians mobs might go medieval on them at the next perceived slight (much as they did to Serbs in 2004 and before), it should be obvious to a blind man that UNMIK doesn't give a rotting roadkill's posterior for Serb-Albanian relations. And neither do the Albanians, if the vitriolic response to Tadic's offer is anything to judge by.

Tadic himself, however, doesn't get it. “If the presence of a Serbian president at a funeral in Pristina is unacceptable, the begging question is whether we are acceptable to one another and whether we shall ever be so in the future,” he said (AP).

Judging by a lengthy history of Albanian violence against the Serbs in Kosovo; the establishment of "Greater Albania" including that territory in 1941-45; the periodic riots demanding independence since 1945; the emergence of the KLA and the NATO aggression in 1999; and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of Serbs ever since - should there be any doubt in anyone's mind that the majority of Kosovo Albanians have decided that no, Serbs are not acceptable to them in any way, shape or form? Not even when they come to validate their separatist agenda, making a complete mockery of themselves (as Tadic would have done)?

That's some powerful hatred there, folks. And Boris Tadic is either too naive, or unbelievably stupid not to see it. Neither of which is exactly a desirable characteristic in a president, however ceremonial his post might be.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Albanians 1, Tadic 0

The not-unexpected death of Ibrahim Rugova last weekend may have delayed the sham talks about the separation of occupied Kosovo, but is, predictably, being used to make that separation just about inevitable. It has also offered yet another opportunity for Serbian president Boris Tadic to humiliate himself and the nation he supposedly represents.

As Reuters reports, Tadic "made a request" to attend Rugova's funeral, and was rejected by the outraged Albanians, who saw this as an insult and provocation. After all, Reuters continues, "the Albanian majority rejects any return to Serb rule after years of discrimination and often violent repression."

First of all, if Tadic really believed Kosovo was Serbian territory, he would not be asking permission to visit - not of KFOR or UNMIK, but especially not of the separatist, Albanian "provisional government." Secondly, why would he, or any other Serbian official, want to attend the funeral of a separatist leader like Rugova, especially when it will be taking place at a KLA cemetery?! Last time I checked, Serbia was still classifying the KLA as a terrorist organization. So how does the president going to a terrorist monument (KLA cemetery) to pay homage to a terrorist ally (Rugova) represent anything remotely legal, legitimate, constitutional or proper?

Oh, some may quibble that Rugova was really opposed to the KLA, a pacifist, a democrat and whatnot. Did he fight for an independent "Kosova"? Yes. Does the KLA? It does. Did Rugova ally himself with the KLA as "president" of the occupation government? He sure did (Ramush Haradinaj's AAK is part of the "government" with Rugova's LDK). QED.

Which brings us back to Tadic. A man who has shown himself to be a sycophant of the Empire, with a penchant for posturing in just the wrong way, in the wrong place, at the wrong time (Srebrenica commemoration, anyone?), has gone and done it again. I don't much care that he's embarrassing himself - stupidity like that deserves a comeuppance - but that, through the misfortune of being the president of Serbia, he gets to project that embarrassment onto an entire nation.

Blackened by the vilest propaganda as the intellectual heirs of the Third Reich, blockaded, bombed and put on show trials by kangaroo courts and two-bit hack journalists, displaced from homes, stripped of rights and land - all over the past 15 years of "democracy" and "liberation" by the Empire - the Serbs at least had some remaining dignity in their tragedy. Boris Tadic and others like him are working real hard to destroy that dignity. Makes me wonder if they are doing it on purpose.