Orchestrated Campaign Against any Dissonant Voice
Latinka Perovic, the Most Influential Woman in
04/19/2006 , HCHRS
In the issue of April 13, 2005, one of Serbia's most
popular weeklies, NIN, set apart six pages to a piece of "investigative
journalism" dealing with outstanding historian Latinka Perovic. The
excerpts from this story presented in the paragraphs below probably best
testify of the orchestrated campaign against any dissonant voice in
Latinka Perovic, the Most Influential Woman in
MOTHER OF THE ALTERNATIVE SERBIA
"The 'alternative Serbia' is the topic that calls for
clarification and can be tackled from different angles. NIN has
investigated for weeks the public (or less public) activity and
political heritage of Latinka Perovic seen by many as an icon and
ideologist of the 'alternative Serbia.' To write the article to be
carried in two installments, the author has interviewed ten-odd figures
and read piles of written material. NIN has decided against interviewing
Latinka's political opponents (from the 'first Serbia') or the people
who had been in any way victims of repression in the period of
'Liberals'' rule in late 1960s.
Journalist Zoran Cirjakovic has solely interviewed
Latinka's colleagues - historians - personal or family friends from
different periods of her life, and her comrades in arms both from the
era of 'Liberals' and the 'alternative' Serbia of 1990s. All those
people - whose insights made it possible to portray this powerful and
secretive woman - wanted to remain anonymous . Some wanted anonymity
for the sake of longstanding friendship. Asked why no interviewee from
the 'alternative Serbia' would not speak out about this extremist
segment of the civic scene, one of them said, 'People /from the
'alternative Serbia'/ are afraid of them.They look like some secret
society with huge influence and the people are afraid of being
discredited. Scores of scientists, researchers and activists are doing
magnificent things for Serbia but depend on foreign foundations'
financial assistance. Should they speak up, the former will undermine
them and probably block their projects.'
The people from Latinka's circle denied interviews to
NIN. NIN has not even tried to interview Latinka Perovic.
In its next issue, NIN will broach the war within the
'alternative Serbia' /in which Latinka triumphed/, similarities and
differences between Dobrica Cosic and Latinka Perovic /an interviewee
labeled her 'Dobrica Cosic of the alternative Serbia'/ and Latinka
Perovic's influence on the Liberal Democratic Party and other 'civic'
* * *
".'What we have over here is the conflict between two
extremisms - Seselj's national Bolshevism, which is to be found in many
Latin American states, and Latinka's Stalinist liberalism. Both rely on
social Radicals believing one can leap over ten steps and meet people's
basest expectations,' says an outstanding historian from Belgrade.
'She acts from the shadow and lets the others speak on
her behalf. The circle wherein she plays a guru disseminates a
black-and-white picture of Serbia, and a picture as such can never be
faithful. They have contributed to the West's delusions and spoonfed
those eager to prevent a rational perception of Serbia. By referring to
us as a black hole, the people of darkness and the people of hatred,
they have not only jeopardized Serbia, but also the entire region.Today,
they are telling Europe it should leave such people behind,' says a
chairwoman of a renowned non-governmental organization. 'Seselj's and
Latinka's extremisms alike are pushing Serbia over the edge of normalcy.
Actually teamed up, the two extremisms narrow the scope of normalcy.'
".Latinka exercise her influence primarily through a
group of her loyal 'civil mujahedeens' who, as an interviewer put it,
absolutely adore her. Her huge influence is not to be ascribed to some
major breakthroughs, but to the fact that she has marginalized and
paralyzed Serbia, and that her interpretation, usually voiced by her
loyal associates, has such influence on the international community.
"Latinka's major mouthpieces and pawns are to be found
in Ceda's Liberal Democratic Party and the Helsinki Committee. Those
people often guest the radio show 'Sand-Glass' that is their main
mouthpiece. 'Some of them are most talented, clever and nice people but
overtaken by frustration, fury and hatred. Today they stand for a wasted
potential in a country that nevertheless makes progress. Many of them
are perplexed by the fact that some doors remain open to Serbia in spite
of all,' says an interviewee. 'Unfortunately, the most loud-mouthed
among them are intellectual and moral dwarfs, the people whose
exclusiveness and stupidity have made the Serbs run away from the
"What Latinka mostly puts in footnotes, places between
quotation marks or just hints at, her front men turn into an avalanche
of unfinished, offensive and fatalistic phrases. Lacking Latinka's
erudition, her epigones - intent to reform and modernize Serbia under
summary procedure, by force, through territorial amputations and
punishment - offer a mixture of half-truths, stereotypes and pictures
from the 19th century spiced with communist zeal to give shape to a
'new,' European man at all costs.
".Latinka Perovic and her circle are obsessed with the
Orient and its destructive legacy in Serbia. In the worst possible
spirit of European cultural racism, Srdja Popovic writes, 'Serbia faces
two incompatible options: Europe or Asia and its mud. There is no middle
way. Serbia cannot sit on both chairs since they are at such distance.'
Sonja Biseko, Latinka's main 'transmission' and probably among the most
bizarre products of Milosevic's era, titled her book wherein she
attempted to 'dig deeper into the sum and substance of the Balkans' and,
in particular, Serbia's political catastrophe in late 20th century'
'Serbia in the Orient.' Nikola Samardzic speaks about 'neo-Asiatic
folklore' and destruction of 'life forces swallowed by the predominant
elites' Asiatic mental despotism.'
".Some time ago, Sonja Biserko spoke of 'the terror of
the majority led by the basest instincts' in the Serbian society 'marked
by destruction and primitivism of sorts.' Even should we agree with
their standpoint, no one could possibly deny that destruction and
primitivism are actually characteristic of her circle.
"They hate Kostunica and Tadic more than Seselj.
That's because they fear normalcy. They are aware there is no room for
them in a normal Serbia. They keep telling us we are deadlocked. That's
nonsense, but a most dangerous nonsense. I've never heard about a
society that has not find a way out of a blind alley. Today they claim
we are deadlocked because of retrograde trends. Well, those people used
to tell us we would never get rid of Milosevic. Just listening to them
is an awful experience. Were it not for the democratic block, for
Kostunica and Tadic, Serbia would be left without democratization and
normalcy. No matter how much I disagree with Kostunica and Tadic, no
matter how much I would prefer something else - which is nowhere to be
seen - Serbia can certainly find a way out of any blind alley,' says a
source from a renowned non-governmental organization."
(To be continued)
 The author's sources are referred to as "an
outstanding historian from Belgrade," "the chairwoman of a renowned
non-governmental organization," "her former associate," "an old family
friend, "her former comrade in arms," "Latinka's colleague," etc.