Monday, December 26, 2011

A Dreary Slog

I have not seen Angelina Jolie's directorial debut. As I mentioned the other week, the trailer was enough for me to dismiss it as derivative, and the strong opinions of those who have seen it have only fortified my determination not to actually pay Ms. Jolie for the privilege of being insulted.

For better or for worse, the Serbs don't have an ethnic lobby in the US - neither a political pressure group, nor an organization set up to be professionally offended. The only bit of public outcry so far has been on the social networks, as well as this review from the American Serb publisher William Dorich, deservedly taking the film to task for misrepresenting the Bosnian War.

The government in Serbia is so useless, it may well promote the movie to show its commitment to the Empire. Things are somewhat different in the Bosnian Serb Republic, where there have been calls for a boycott and even banning the movie. All things considered, though, a public campaign against Jolie - by the "evil Serbs" no less - could only give her publicity. What to do, then?

As with many problems, this one sort of solved itself. You see, in addition to wallowing in bigotry, the  movie is actually rather terrible. It appears I wasn't the only one less than impressed with Jolie's film-making skills. Last week, the Onion's AV Club dismissed "In the Land of Blood and Honey" as "fevered good intentions gone awry, a dreary slog of a message movie with little but noble if unfulfilled aspirations to commend it," giving it a D+.

Writes critic Nathan Rabin:
"Serbian groups have justifiably complained about Jolie’s glib stereotyping of Serbs as racist heavies. Kostic, for example, emerges as the film’s hero almost exclusively by virtue of being somewhat less terrible than his contemporaries. Subtlety and understatement become collateral damage as Jolie drives her points home as forcefully as possible and the film devolves into a grubby melodrama that fails to edify or entertain."
While Jolie has successfully attracted the attention of the Western public to international atrocities, Rabin continues, "It’s possible, if not particularly likely, that someday she will get around to dramatizing atrocities compellingly as well, though her colorless work here suggests she’s a lot more likely to do that as an actress than as a filmmaker."

There you have it, then. For a much better story about the horrors of war, go see "War Horse" instead.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The German Fixation

Angela Merkel may be an Ossie, but she was definitely channeling American emperors on Monday, telling the German occupation garrison in Kosovo that Germans "should always remember that our security and our peace back home are down to troops serving their country here."

Pray tell, Angie, how does re-enacting the Third Reich's Balkans adventure contribute to Germany's security and peace? It is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer that such an argument is nonsensical - and then there is proof, too.

Equally obvious is that Germany gets off on bludgeoning Serbia. This goes beyond realpolitik and eternal interests, too. German companies already own much of the Serbian media and the banking sector. If they wanted a client state, Serbia was theirs for the taking - Djindjic was a Germanophile, and the Tadic government literally took groveling to a whole new level. No, there is clearly more at work here than political and economic interests. It could be historical memory - blaming the Serbs for thwarting German designs in both world wars, for example - or, more likely, an attempt to exorcise Germany's own ghosts through transference: if the Serbs are genocidal aggressors, surely the world can stop going to the Nazi well for the standard of villainy, right? (Yeah, good luck with that.)

Part of the trouble is that the victorious Allies chose to impose victors' justice at the Nuremberg trials, rather than try to explain to the Germans why the Nazi ideology was evil. In effect, Germans were to consider the Nazis evil because the powers that defeated them said so - and that's been their ongoing frustration ever since. It wasn't until recently, with Oliver Hirschbiegel's Der Untergang (2004), that the Nazis were approached as three-dimensional human beings rather than cardboard cut-outs, their villainy actually shown and explained. I dare you to watch the part where Frau Goebbels murders her children and make apologies for National-Socialism afterwards. If you are somehow able to do so, then seek help.

Yet it does seem that the Germans have "learned nothing and forgotten nothing", to borrow a phrase from Talleyrand. How else to explain the fact that Berlin, no matter the party in charge, thinks nothing of overtly supporting Hitler's henchmen (see here, with photos, and also here)? Far more troubling is that the British, the French and especially the Americans not only don't object, but actively support such policy. The only ones to object are the Russians - but they are shrugged off as impotent Cold War losers. Indeed, the Soviet contribution to defeating Hitler (90% or so of the war effort in Europe) is routinely minimized, and the Eurocrats are now endeavoring to equate Nazism and Communism. Russian support for the Serbs is dismissed as irrational feelings of ethnic and religious kinship, while Western support for Serbenrein Croatia or Magna Albania is supposedly noble, pure, and the paragon of humanitarianism (!?)

Germans understandably want to avoid constantly being compared to the Nazis. Don't act like the Nazis, then. Bombing Belgrade, supporting a Serb-persecuting chauvinist regime in Croatia and the establishment of a greater Albanian state, occupying Serb territory with tanks and troops, and insisting that Serbia become a member of the "European family of nations" but only if it gives up much land and its own identity - those are all things Germany did not just back in 1941-45, but again from 1991 onwards.

Want greatness again? Remember Bismarck. He wanted friendship with Russia, thought the Balkans wasn't worth the "bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier", and (reportedly) died with "Serbia" on his last breath.

Speaking of grenadiers, I'd like to remind those German (and Austrian) troops in Kosovo that, before they act on any desires they may have to shoot those pesky Serbs refusing to roll over and die, they ought to remember their Bible:

Da sprach Jesus zu ihm; Stecke dein Schwert an seinen Ort! denn wer das Schwert nimmt, der soll durchs Schwert umkommen.(Matthaeus, 26:52, Martin Luther's translation)
And with that in mind, fröhliche Weihnachten!

Monday, December 19, 2011


There is a particular group of politicians who emerged in central and eastern Europe (as well as the Balkans) in the late 1980s, who played a major role in the dismantling of Communism and bringing about "democracy". Along with Nelson Mandela of South Africa, NATOland has made these people into a fetish of sorts, epic heroes deserving of worship.

It is indicative, though, that in their own countries they are either shunned, or outright reviled (as is the case with Gorbachev, for example), rightfully regarded as people who made out well for themselves and their cronies, but brought widespread misery to everyone else, through the great robbery project known as "transition".

One of these men, Vaclav Havel, died yesterday. His opus as a writer is already pretty much forgotten. Likewise his tenure as Czech president. What Havel may well end up being remembered for is his enthusiastic support for the Imperial doctrine of "humanitarian intervention", which he preached in 1999 as bombs were raining on Serbia. As victims of the original Munich "agreement," the Czechs may also find it ironic that Havel supported its modern-day equivalent

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the events of the past two decades were not some sort of "end of history," but rather a temporary distortion of world affairs due to the demise of the USSR and the ensuing vacuum the Atlantic Empire endeavored to fill. What order of affairs will end up replacing this age of transition, I do not know. However, I do hope it won't remember Havel and his ilk as heroes.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Christopher Hitchens built his career on hating. That is why I never really dwelt on his Serbophobia in particular. He hated the Serbs because hating the Serbs was the fashionable thing to do in the circles he moved in, and it is pointless to debate one's tastes in fashion, however ghastly they might be.

Hitchens was perhaps best known for his obnoxious atheism, a hatred of [the Jewish and Christian] God. So I think it most appropriate to cite here the elegant epitaph penned by blogger Vox Day, author of The Irrational Atheist:
The conglomeration of atoms that were, for a very brief moment in history, collectively known by the name Christopher Hitchens, have begun to disperse. The universe continues as before, uncaring and unaware.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Thanks, Angie

It just occurred to me that I haven't posted anything here since mid-November; I've been entirely too preoccupied with my other blog,, and travel.

So, to recap: the Kosovo Serbs' citizenship gambit failed, when Moscow refused them on a technicality. The barricades remain, however, in spite of all the attempts to get them dismantled. Speaking of which, the German and Austrian complaints about the "violence" - when it was their fully armed and armored troops that initiated violence against the Serb civilians - has to be the pinnacle of cynicism.

It did Belgrade no good to make yet another set of capitulations to the KLA "state" Saturday night; the EU decided to put its candidacy on ice until the formal recognition of "Kosovia", and whatever new demands they come up with thereafter. In a way - and quite unintentionally I'm sure - the Austro-German axis running the show is actually doing the Serbs a favor: had the quisling regime's obsequiousness been rewarded by a candidacy, meaningless and symbolic as it is, they'd have smooth sailing till the April elections regardless of their manifest ineptitude, and the Serb resistance in Kosovo would have been undermined. As it is, the EUrocrats are sabotaging the very people working to please them. Well, no one said they were logical...

So, German Chancellor Angela Merkel deserves a thank-you note for what she did, however inadvertently, to keep Serbia out of EU bondage. I'm sure once the Serbs sort out their politics, that note will be forthcoming in some shape or form.

I'm not so sure about Angelina Jolie, though. Her directorial debut, "In the Land of Blood and Honey" is yet another take on a real-life romance between a Serb and a Muslim during the Bosnian War. Judging from the trailer and the few snippets of footage floating around, it's a derivative and disappointing bit of chetnixploitation, borrowing heavily from movies about the Holocaust. While Bosnia was a nasty (un)civil war, comparing it to the Holocaust is in horrifically poor taste at the very least, if not an outright insult to Holocaust victims.

There have been many films dealing with the Balkans wars in the past twenty years, but none of them have done any good financially. One would think Hollywood would have got the point by now.

In other news, the EU is coming apart at the seams, the Empire is trying to engineer a color revolution in Russia, the Iranians claim to have shot down a U.S. drone, and Pakistan is bolstering air defenses after "NATO" aircraft mauled two dozen of their troops last week. None of that is likely to turn out very well.