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NO 97-98

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INFO   :::  Helsinki Charter - PAGE 2 > Helsinki Charter No. 97-98 > Text


Helsinki Charter No. 97-98

July - August 2006



By Miroslav Filipovic

Story about Kosovo is slowly ending in the only possibly way it could end. Serbs have lost the Kosovo battle six centuries ago, and now they are losing the current Kosovo battle. Like in the distant past, Kosovo is indefensible now, and those who defend it do it in such a wrong way, that they are in fact pushing it away every day. In a short while, because of a catastrophically bad and detrimental policy of Belgrade nationalists, Kosovo shall become a sovereign state probably in few months. Though the international community shall continue to control that sovereignty for some time in the future, that fact does not change the gist of the matter. Serb clerical nationalists shall lose another sacred symbol, while the Serb people shall be rid of a major stumbling block. In a stupid and hundred times played game of all or nothing, Serbia has once again got-nothing.

All-or-nothing game is an enticing game if a player is stronger or more skillful than his opponent, for it guarantees a forceful recapture of what was lost. A player can also win if he cheats better in the face of both an ignorant opponent and audience. Belgrade nationalists have none of those skills. Thjey can only stupidly repeat they Kosovo is ours (that is, theirs), that they shall not give up Kosovo, they they shall not sign any document yielding Kosovo to anyone else. As if their signature on any paper or document or their acceptance thereof mattered at all. They are not all-powerful. The Serb power, like an age-old glory of the Serb soldiers and Serb weaponry has been used up, devastated and tainted in the Slavonian planes and Srebrenica and Metohija villages, when heroes killed, raped, plundered and torched whatever there was to kill, rape, plunder and torch. Serb nationalists can currently cheat only us, the misfortunate Serbs living in Serbia. We are the only ones who accept their lies, shams and deceits. We are the only ones who still trust them, and buy their lies. Hence Kostunica's all-or-nothing Kosovo game must be and surely is-a big nothing.

On the other hand, things on the ground are maturing. Some are being resolved naturally, without outside interference. The Serb population in Kosovo is no longer united. There is a demarcation line between those loyal to Belgrade and those increasingly questioning the benefits or advantages of such a loyalty. Many Serbs in Kosovo wonder why Belgrade is doing what it is doing, and whether Belgrade's demands are more beneficial or advantagious for Belgrade and its clerical nationalists than for Kosovo Serbs. And a reply to that question is gradually forming in their minds. Many normal Kosovo Serbs are encreasingly pleading Belgrade to leave them at peace and to let them talk about their future life with Kosovo authorities. An ever increasing number of wise, desperate and brave people are demanding Belgrade to stop defending and protecting them. I think that in the midst of Kosovo Serb population a nucleus of opposition to the nationalistic Belgrade is being created, for that is the only way for them to lead a normal life and to establish necessary contacts with the authorities, and their Albanian neighbours. I admire those normal and brave people but also fear for them. I fear that the names of some of them could be soon found in obituaries proclaiming them as victims of the "Shiptari terrorists".

"Serb" parts of Kosovo are firmly in the hands of the terrible forces, the first one being relatively estranged secret military and police services. Members of former Prishtina Counter-Intelligence Group of the Yugoslav Army and members of the State Security from territory of Kosovo unhindered in the Serb enclaves and there represent the sole and undisputed authorities. The other force is a criminal structure of one of the ruling political parties from the North of Kosovo which among other things controls illegal trade with Kosovo Albanians. It is assumed that the daily profit of several families controlling all criminal groups is around half a million Euro. That money is used for financing the party headquarters in Belgrade and many other crazy nationalistic ventures, as well as guardians of bridges, sleepers and other elements of the nationalistic set-up in the Northern Kosovo.

One of the projects of axis Kosovska Mitrovica-Belgrade is related to the question what to do if Kosovo gains independence, and all other plans fail. What if Russians betray us again, and if Chinese remain disinterested, what if the other Orthodox countries and Belorus fail to declare war to other countries on account of such a development? What are we to do, if we once again remain alone, and Kosovo goes to "Shiptari"?

There are several proposals. Once afoot was the idea to use nationalism of Republika Srpska for resolution of the Kosovo issue in the most satisfactory way. The plan was to make Bosnian Serbs hold a referendum on secession from Bosnia on the same day of holding of Kosovo Albanian referendum. It was thought that if the majority of Bosnian Serbs voted in favour of secession, such a result could be used as a counter-argument against Kosovo referendum. Talks related to such a plan were held, many wise heads on both sides elaborated that plan, and even Prime Ministers of Serbia and Republika Srpska had referendum-themed official negotiations. The whole plan collapsed when Bosnian Serbs realized that such a move would be more detrimental than beneficial for their state and people. Serbs in Serbia are yet to realize that they are playing the wrong game, the game from which they stand more to lose than to gain. The only beneficiaries of that game are the Serb clerical nationalists, for they keep talking about the sacred land and threatened Serbs, and such a talk aims only to help them hold onto power for a while longer.

The print media increasingly mention a possibility of an armed defence of Kosovo, if no other solution becomes viable. That option is being mentioned by various political and human circus players, but also by people wielding genuine political power. The West is already intimidated and all serious states have tasked their intelligence officers in the region to explore whether a possibility of an armed Serb uprising in the North of Kosovo is feasible? But now let us do the reality check.

It is true that the West for some two years has been reckoning with a possibility of an armed Serb resistance in Kosovo. It is relatively known that Serbs in the North of Kosovo have a number of lightly armed men, it is also known that such a manpower may be increased manyfold in a short-term period, there is knowledge about some arms warehouses in Serbia from which military hadware could be sent to Kosovo. And, that is it.

Yes, the West is worried, but notably by what Serbia would lose by supporting such an adventure. For the West surely does not intend to fight against armed Serbs, nor, to the disappointment of the Serb nationalists, Kosovo Albanians intend to make such a faux pas. In case of sucha scenario the West would probably react immediately by meting out punitive measures against Serbia. Those measures are still not defined, but they most surely would include reinstatement of the Land Security Zone, striking off Serbia from international financial organizations and a host of measures with which we have become familiar in recent past, and which we in Serbia called sanctions. If Serbia supported the aforementioned adventure it would also entail a new blood-shed, without any gain.

The second group of information leaking from the Northern Kosovo is related to accelerated preparations for a new exodus. Allegedly evacuation lists have been drawn up, to avoid a repeat of the 1999 chaotic exodus. Such defeatism was not obviously welcomed by Belgrade. Belgrade needs Serbs in Kosovo, they need threatened Serbs, Serbs killed, expelled and raped by Albanian terrorists and militants. Serbs whose houses are torched by Belgrade needs anew the dishes being concocted in the nationalistic cuisine since the mid-70's. If such dishes are absent, then a genuine rout of nationalistic policy shall glare in their face, and consequently they would be forced to step down. And that is a possibility not a single strongman in Serbia proper wants even to contemplate.

The rumour has it that after Prime Minister's return from the States, where he was openly told how the things stood, a group of people headed to the North of Kosovo and Serb enclaves. They had a propagandistic task to convince the local Serbs "to stay there". They were instructed to persuade the locals to stay there, to boost their morale, to restore their trust in Belgrade and government, to re-establish contacts and severed networks, to give stupid and hollow promises and to tell the locals to be patient. To be patient for shortly one of Prime Minister's wise advisers would unveil to them a secret of history, shal find a golden key for a magical lock in a wondrous door leading to Eden, so that they will ultimately be luckier than the old alchemists, in their quest to discover flogiston, an element which turns everything into gold.

According to psychologists, a desperate man is extremely gullible.

Or to make a long story short, Serbia may once again declare war on the whole world, or refuse to accept independence of Kosovo. But it is high time that it admitted the failure or rather a rout of a crazy idea and ideology which had plunged Serbia first into conflicts with all its neighbours and later with the whole world. Due to the foregoing the Serb name and tribe have lost their good reputation and a beautiful and good country, as someone has said, was turned into a poor, battered loser of the world history.


NO 97-98

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