THE YEARS OF MENACING
By Nikola Samardzic
The assassination of Premier Zoran Djindjic on March 12, 2003 declared
the crime a paradigm of the current in the Serbian politics that regained predominance in
the meantime - a negation of justice and human aspiration for free thought and vocation,
for free expression of views are also realized in politics. And that should be the basics
of modern politics. In this sense, the Djindjic assassination was a crucial step towards
demolishment of the emerging civilization in Serbia, based on the rule of law and
individual values, the only components of a completely free community.
As time went by, political motives and personal interests behind the
murder of the Premier were more and more obvious. Instead of institutional investigation
into the political background of the Premier's assassination, once executioners were
convicted, it was the time itself that conducted the investigation, almost to the last
detail. The murder was planned and effectuated in governmental institutions, in the media,
in domestic and in foreign policies. Many of the accomplices among politicians,
journalists and church dignitaries are nowadays well-known and influential figures. The
governmental services from which both planners and executioners had come have not been
reformed - actually they were reinstated in their pre-democratic shape. The media have
been revealing the treasuries of the basest motives and the dirtiest urges all the time.
The state has been centralized, the economy tycoonized. The predominant politics have been
Nazified again vis-a-vis the unwelcome or less worthy human groups as wholes, and as such
harmoniously promoted by governmental, political, religious and cultural mainstream.
Instead of the "third" road the political Serbia and its overall culture
reinstated its original road seemingly abandoned in the processes that have brought about
the Zoran Djindjic government - that first administration with democratic mien throughout
its brief history. Or, to put it precisely, such were its tendencies, historical in the
However, that history was stopped in a day.
The assassination of Zoran Djindjic had to do with his personal traits
as well. The politics is not about ideas only. Djindjic has matured in politics for long.
However, his occasional meandering was misused for denial of his personality - living and
in death - by all those who, unlike him, endeavored to retain Serbia politically
unchanged. Or by those who were politically closer to him but unready for an endeavor that
would transform them as well, and unwilling to take over responsibility or, like him,
invest in public good anything more than personal interest and generalized sarcasm. Zoran
Djindjic's transformations that made him a symbol of a new policy and culture related to
his appearance, energy and ability to invest all his power and knowledge in public good.
His murder was also meant to extinguish a glowing charisma in which he - in the
developments when escaping serious challenges of life and death almost en passant -
invested his enormous dedication to any work, even the least important one. His strong
appeal simultaneously held back the people that could have been his more reliable allies
and protected him from the Serbia he planned to leave to oblivion. Therefore, as time went
by, he was more and more surrounded by emptiness, alone and left to the destiny that soon
swallowed the entire country.
Today's Serbian politics is managed by direct profiteers from the
assassination of Premier Zoran Djindjic. That the origin of the ongoing, mainstream policy
both the government and the opposition ground on contempt for individualism and ideas of
individual freedom and general progress summarized in the messages and values of the
Western civilization. The assassination directly gave birth to two cabinets of Vojislav
Kostunica that governed by the same pattern by which they originated. The new
administration, its public culture in particular, generated verbal and ethnographic
primitivism and supported talibanization of the Church and its pseudo-spiritual profile.
Its response to Kosovo's independence was physical violence against Western symbols and
embassies, and its own citizens and their property. Serb Nazism, clerical bolshevism and
racism were ideologically legalized. Any social minority became open to assaults. A series
of strange murders of soldiers in barracks took place. With majority consent, institutions
made decisions that restricted human, civil and minority rights, and additionally closed
the system. Cohabitation and then coalition between Tadic and Kostunica, covered by a
layer of delusion about the democratic bloc, were the processes managed by almost the
entire elite, resulting in final and logical consequences of the political motives for the
murder. So the absolute power, hardly hindered by the growingly weak institutional
resistance, went to an obscure cabinet and its secret ties with political, military and
criminal underground in the country, the region and in Russia.
It also became obvious which foreign state at least politically
supported the assassination. With their personal motives and wrong insights, obsessed with
the support to Djindjic's political opponents whom - despite the realities and, moreover,
despite the initial findings of the investigation - they considered democratic and
pro-European, Western diplomats also hindered the investigation into the political
background of the Djindjic assassination. From that time till today, the most worthless
figures of Serb politics managed to criminalize its overall reformist substance:
post-conflict and transitional justice, Europeanization and civilization.
Five years later, the assassination resulted in weak democratic figures
and institutions, gradual restitution of the traditional, populist policy, blurred and
wavering role of the European Union and Russia's prominent part in undermining Serbia's
democracy, human rights and market economy. Basic values of politics were relativized.
Serbia is split in two on the questions the answers to which are simple given that they
are enlightened and rational: European and Euro-Atlantic integrations, liberalization of
the system, finalization of transition, secularism and dedication to the global trends in
culture that both encourage its safeguard and innovation. Serbia is divided on the issue
of Kosovo, the one from which it profited the least from the perspective of ex-Yugoslav
federation and the future status of which escaped Serbia's statehood forever. The ideology
of borders caused the mental state characteristic of concentration camps. And adequate
figures emerged as symbolic wardens of that mental state.
Premier Zoran Djindjic was murdered so as to leave emptiness in our
political culture meant to relativize all major issues of the past and the future. From
today's perspective, cooperation with the tribunal in The Hague and fight against
organized crime seem to be the motives of Serb politics' longstanding resistance to modern
civilization. Resistance to individuality, responsibility, changeability. On the opposite
side of the same reality hundreds of thousands of people in Serbia as it is remained
movingly faithful to Premier Zoran Djindjic, personally and ideologically. The emotional
side of their dedication and the chronology of the assassination produced a new political
power that solely relies on its superior social and educational, and more and more
property structure. Personal traits for which Premier Zoran Djindjic had to be gunned down
also matter in politics. By force of coincidence he remained irreplaceable even after he
was physically gone. The dark cloud hovering over Serbia's politics in the past five
years, and particularly over its mentalities, persons and the legacy of Zoran Djindjic,
emits messages that have never been so clear and obvious. Today, in the country and
culture of apparitions and human shadows he is more alive than the reality established by
his departure from the world of tangible things the value of which is not always complete