Stratagem Number Three in the Art of War is to slay with someone else wielding the knife. The enemy is to be destroyed by someone else’s hand so the real perpetrator remains hidden. It is a winning strategy that relies on substitution and alibi. The Serbian political, academic, media, analytical and NGO elites have long been brandishing the Hague dagger and inflicting untold misery on Serbia. The last verdict of the Hague Tribunal is a tribute to the policies pursued by the former Serbian regime and the propaganda machinery that has been on the roll in Serbia for the last twenty years. It reached its apogee when the regime of Tadić and his clique was set up, the same Political Cartel that is calmly and methodically reinventing itself and preparing to finish off what is left of Serbia. It started with the delivery, under duress, of former President Milošević to the Hague. There, he was coldbloodedly liquidated before our eyes and in full view of the world. Now, the scenario is being repeated with Vojislav Šešelj. The task was completed with the relentless manhunt and delivery of Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić, overseen directly by Boris Tadić, Vladimir Vukčević, and Miroslav Rakić. The entire process was urged on by Nataša Kandić. Let no one be fooled by the loud disapproval of the Gotovina and Markač verdict emanating from those circles today, because that is no more than a facade. Serb-hunting is far from over, because Serbia still owes the Hague the one-time fugitives’ cohorts, and much more. Plans are also under way for the launching of Project REKOM, which is a sort of Hague Plus. Our domestic pro-Hague crowd have scored well, what with over 1.020 years of prison, plus three life sentences, meted out to Serbs, while crimes committed against Serbs have earned their perpetrators a total of 30 years of prison, something that is discussed at greater length by Nikola Vrzić in his piece „Justice for Gotovina“ in this issue of Pečat. But, to be fair, Serbs did get some cash donations as well, one for delivering Milošević’s scalp, the other promised to Tadić for the victims of Croatia’s Operation Storm in 1995. What we got was Fool’s Gold.
Better not be carried away by that banal theater of emotions or the seemingly harsh remarks of our officials, or analysts, in the initial sentences of their public statements because they are always followed by that famous BUT. After the “but” comes what they really think, and that usually is one more solemn commitment not to stray from the “European path” they are pursuing headlong. Our politicians are unable to step out of that confining box and to explain to the people ofSerbiawhy joining the EU, which evidently does not want them, would be to their benefit. A unique way of thinking has taken hold of our public opinion which can be described as “EU But Thinking“. By far the worst are the untutored know-it-alls who try to smuggle historical analogies into the discussion, spout nonsense, and keep talking about erstwhile statesmen that they have nothing to do with. Watching and listening to the officialdom of today, the most notorious Serbian collaborationists in years past actually invite a certain respect.
Even as a result of wars regarded as “lost” theRepublicofSrpskawas won, as well as theFederal Republic of Yugoslaviaand ceasefire conditions which guarantee the territorial integrity of theRepublicofSerbiawith Kosovo and Metohija as its integral part. Yet those who are thought to have conducted a misguided and counterproductive policy managed to have the Ahtisari plan rejected by the UN Security Council on three separate occasions, and they also successfully inaugurated a constitution that was adopted by popular referendum. In contrast, what have the so-called pragmatists, realists, and EU partisans achieved?
It is indeed salutary that president Nikola Hajdin of the Serbian Academy of Sciences was able to control his emotions and told President Tomislav Nikolić in no uncertain terms that as far as the Academy of Sciences was concerned Kosovo was a political issue and that the academicians, with Hajdin in the forefront, have no intentions of meddling in politics. If the issue were the construction of an expensive bridge, does anyone doubt that Hajdin and Dragan Djilas would be eager to get involved? If anyone is really interested in what the academicians have to say about Kosovo, that can easily be established by consulting the published works of the best known and most distinguished among them. They were not loath to „get involved in politics“. Should we bother to look a bit ahead at what is going on and bound to continue happening in Vojvodina, it is worthwhile to read the article of academician Vasilije Krestić in this week’s issue of Pečat and to draw from it some very useful lessons.
Could a more preposterous statement be made than that “the Hague Tribunal has now lost its former credibility” and that “reconciliation in the region has been dealt a serious blow”? Those who until yesterday could see no fault with “justice” and “reconciliation” originating inthe Hagueand were actively promoting regional catharsis on that basis are now supposedly shocked and sobered. We are to believe that they have finally seen the light. But that is just a new camouflage tactic practiced by long-term participants in the Joint Criminal Enterprise who are still at it, only by other means. That JCE consists of two decades of satanization of the Serbs. It has given us relentless accusations that the Serbs and Serbia are responsible for the collapse of the former Yugoslavia and charges of complicity in crimes they did not commit or that were committed by others. It has resulted also in shameless downplaying of Serbian war victims, pathetic apologies right and left, readyness to accept any humiliation, and dismal National Assembly declarations … In a systematic and organized fashion, members of this JCE have revised and falsified history to suit criteria dictated from the Hague. The fact that indictments in the Milošević and Šešelj cases that are over, and in the Mladić and Karadžić cases that are still in progress, have been blown to smithereens has simply been swept under the rug.
How many careers and how much money has been made on false accusations about Serbs as the culprits in the Balkan wars and tales about the so-called Anti Hague Lobby? How many of them have taken part in disinformation campaigns about Operation Horsehoe and Greater Serbia… And what of the huge effort invested by chief war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukčević and his assistant Bruno Vekarić, not to mention the „Independent Journalists’ Association“, television B92, and numerous so-called non-government organizations, to indict Serbian journalists, intellectuals, and even Patriarch Paul, for „hate speech“.
Whatever ultimately did come to light, and it was thanks primarily to foreign sources, was systematifally obfuscated. The Belgrade propaganda machine did the lion’s share of the work in presenting Muslims as victims. Serbian State Television led the charge to minimize the guilt of Stepinac and Mesić and to reduce the number of Jasenovac victims. It has been amply demonstrated that Moujahedeen units and the Al-Qaeda were actively involved in the Bosnian war, that Serbian shells were not responsible for the Markale and Vasa Miskin Street incidents, and that the Krajina was under UN protection when it was attacked jointly by the US and Croatia, as suggested by the high level meetings of US and Croatian officials at the Šepurine military base near Zadar and related activities on the island of Brač. That is attested additionally by the illegal arming of Croatia carried out by the Iranian intelligence service, and confirmed by Slovenian politicians and the US ambassador to Croatia at the time, Peter Galbraith, who had a picture taken of himself riding a Croat tank during Operation Storm so as to leave the Serbs in no doubt about who was terrorizing them. All that has been written about at length and the Croatian media have been stating all these things with unconcealed pride for quite a while.
And why should they be discrete about it? They always took great pride in their CIA connections. As Jasenovac makes clear, there is no need in that particular case of the „knife-wielded-by-another-hand“ strategy. The CIA helped us, to be sure. It assisted the Croats in Operation Storm, and us as well in catching and extraditing Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić. The knife inserted by others into Serb hands serves above all to absolve NATO for its aggression and dismemberment of Serbia. That is its real function: to justify and legitimize NATO crimes.
Nor is this the end of the criminal operation against the Serbs. The public have already been habituated to the thought that Ramuš Haradinaj might be aquitted. We might even be overwhelmed with pleasure when that happens, if for no better reason than because we knew it in advance. And we have indeed taken that outcome for granted. A judgment of the International Court of Justice in the Hague is bound to follow ordering Serbia to pay Croatia huge reparations, even in the event that Serbia withdraws its countersuit, an option which has been implicitly on the table since it gave up on the claim of genocide against the Serbian people in Jasenovac. Serbs must continue to be put on trial in Serbia, simply because the Hague has ordered it. Laws will have to be passed to make it a punishable offense to question the judgments of the Hague Tribunal. No help whatsoever will be forthcoming to Serbs incarcerated at the Hague, whether they are awaiting trial or appellate judgments or serving their sentences, and are now entitled to release, such as Momčilo Krajišnik.
For a long time, as was demonstrated with faultless precision,Serbiahas been implementing a Croatian cultural policy in the absence of its own, and by all accounts it will never have one. The year 2014 shall find us completely unprepared, and we will then have to face the most ferocious anti-Serbian campaign in the last hundred years for allegedly provoking World War One, because of the shots fired by Gavrilo Princip, and that will be in perfect sync with the judgments of the Hague Tribunal. Just as we had neither a film nor a television series to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the liberation of Kosovo, neither shall we have anything of the sort for commemorations coming up in 2014. The brilliant work of Radoslav Pavlović notwithstanding.
Serbiawill not – it dares not – honor theConstitutional Courtdecision declaring the Vojvodina Transfer of Authority Law unconstitutional. It will be travelling the EU road with Vojvodina’s secession actively on the agenda. Unconstitutional horse trading with the separatist leadership has begun already. Boldly and openly, we are asking the “international community” to inform us whether Preševo is still inSerbia, or not. TheAcademyofSciences, with Hajdin leading it, declines to get involved in politics. But they all are happy to become involved whenever the EU is involved. There is no need to waste words on Kosovo and what awaits us there because the tempo of events is accelerating at such rate that a weekly publication is hardly capable of keeping up with it. There is not a single Serb who can match the speed at which Catherine Ashton, premier Ivica Dačić, and Hašim Tači are hurtling ahead. There is no judgment inthe Hagueor any manner of humiliation that are capable of stopping them in their tracks. The popular adage has it that heroes are tested by adversity. But that does not apply in our day and age. There is no adversity to speak of that our officials are obliged to face, nor can what there is be compared to the trials and tribulations of our ancestors. To overcome today’s adversities it is unnecessary to be a hero; it is sufficient just to be a normal Serb.
The time for heroes will come when it dawns on everybody thatSerbiacomes first, that it is of an incomparably greater order of magnitude than the EU, and that the knife must be discarded or knocked out of the hand that is wielding it.
Change of direction and rectification of innumerable errors, failures, and misconceptions is the great adversity lying ahead, and that is whenSerbiawill truly need its heroes. And they will be there, waiting.