Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How does this bode for us?

Te dice is rolled, Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It's a step that sober analysts were expecting, but which nevertheless happened a bit unexpectedly soon. On the other hand, western officials were caught unprepared yet again. Still smarting form the heavy defeat their paawn Saakashvili suffered, they were served another shock. Unable to think of an apropriate reply they started to clutch at phrases of territorial integrity, soveregnity, international law and the need to respect the UN Resolutions. Grotesque beyond all comment. Even western journalists have trouble keeping a straight face when they report this new-found love for internationa law in the US and EU. Where has the "special case" doctrine gone?

So, how does this bode for Serbia's postiton vis-a-vis Kosovo and Metohija? At first glance it appears that it's position is made more difficult sinc Russia has basically руго,ово може да помогне нашој иforfeit the international law card it's been playing at the west with it's latest move. Still, things are not so simple. One can benefit, and handily, even from such a situation.

First and foremost we have to piont out wherever, whenever that this situation is a consequence of western behaviour in Kosovo and Metohija and that Serbia constantly warned as early as last year that the illegal recognition of Kosovo and Metohija would re-ignite frozen conflicts all around the world. At the same time, even though Serbs can understand Russia's motives, the governement of Serbia should abstain from recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Second, this could help our initiative in the UN that the International Court of Justice gives it's opinion on the legality of western recognition of Kosovo and Metohija. Small countries around the world are watching with anxiety as the international order built way back from the peace of Westphalia in 1648 falls apart before the eyes of the world. None wants to engage in a feverish arms race to provide basic security for themselves. That is why many could support Serbia's initiative and thus restore the world back to order, as much as it is possible after all that has transpired.

The question is whether we have men capable, or rather, willing to do so? I'm a bit sceptical on that.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Will people catch the symbolism?

So, the Olympics have ended. I won't harp on about how spectacular they were, you saw it yourself. Instead I'd like to offer personal considerations about how Serbia fared.

I'll readily admit I hoped we would not win a single medal ! Why? National sports are the reflection of the state of the nation and society. During the nineties, in spite of all attacks on the country and obstacles, formal and informal, we could count with a nice dose of certainty on medals from championships in practically every collective sports. If it came down to the last shot, last stretch, last run our guys and girls always delivered. How come? It was because they had behind them a country and a nation that still hung onto and cultivated it's positive and traditional values. The governement, for all it's faults, did not make political capital from the destruction of everything Serbs considered holy at the behest of globalist institutions. Sportsmen could make up for lack of funds with patriotic fervour because they had behind them a nation 100% supportive.

And now? Now we have the so-called "democratic forces", forces of "transition" and "common market". The media are killing all national consciousness for years, it spreads disdain towards national culture and scorns expressing national feelings. Such spiritual state has inevitably transferred onto sports teams. Why is it that today football, basketball, volleyball and other teams do not push harder when they come up against more formidable opponents? Why should they? For whom? For themselves? They have won enough, they have nothing more to prove. To governement officials that continue to abuse them? To a people afraid that any idiot can accuse them of fascism for merely waving the national flag? Not to mention that 8 years after the fall of the "sinister dictatorial regime" and "opening to the world" the state could not be bothered making serious investments in sports.

If we had ednde up empty handed in Beijing, I believe that only the staunchest of eurounionists would not stop and think how come te "thieving, criminal Milosević regime that separated us from the world" could raise European, world and Olympic champions in basketball, volleyball, waterpolo and marksmanship and quite solid football and handball teams, whereas under the "democratic pro-European governement" after the disasters of Eurobasket 2005, World Cup 2006 and other international competitons we faced a complete and definitive wipe-out at the Olympic games. Considering how shallow Serbian citizens have become, this would have opened the eyes of many and finally convinced them that the so-called "democratic forces" are taking us into the abyss. This is why I believe nobody celebrated our three medals more then Tadic and his minions.

A word or two about the medals' winners. The more sober sports analysts already pointed out that two out of three medals were won by individuals who developed themselves on their own and without any meddling from the state. There is something else, though. Milorad Čavić wore the "Kosovo is Serbia" T-Shirt on the podium and pazed the price but has since reiterated that he does not regret it one bit. Novak Đoković adressed the great rallz in Belgrade in february. The two of them were the only sportsmen that went on record of supporting publicly their country and their people on the issue. And the waterpolo team? Everybody has written them off in the third place play-off but then they removed from their midst, by any means necessary, Tadić's political commissar and the medal came. Will we understand the symbolism and take it to other fields of life?

Our last Olympic gold medal was in September 2000, the last dazs of the Milošević governement. As the Italians would say: meditate gente, meditate.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Just wondering...

Has anybody seen UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon during the Georgia/Ossetia crisis? No, I didn't think so...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Could've, should've...

„Silence is golden“ is the moto of the governement of Serbia took when it comes to the situation in the Caucasus. Unlike some previous cases, this reaction, or rather, the lack thereof, at least makes some sense. South Ossetia and Abkhazia are , according to international law, parts of Georgia. On the other hand, Russia is Serbia’s primary diplomatic backer over Kosovo and Metohija. Still, there was something we could have said...

How many people, aside from political junkies, knew about the situation in Georgia? I doubt it was on the mind of the general public, primarily because the situation was under control of the peace-keeping forces which consisted of Ossetian, Russian and Georgian soldiers(something conveniantly overlooked by western media) whose presence was sanctioned via an international treaty signed by Georgia, it’s provinces and Russia(another fact hidden from the public). At the same time, negotiations were held, some times oh a higher, sometimes on a lower level. In other words, a prototype of a frozen conflict.

So why did this conflict go from „frozen“ to „boiled over“? Lately we have been hearing western leaders demanding the preservation of Georgia’s teritorial integrity, but unlike previous proclamations, this one was in a hushed tone, as if even those saying the words did not believe it. As soon as the soveregnity and integrity slogans began being tossed around by the US and the EU, the Serbian governement should have seized the opportunity and reminded the latest palladins of international law that they were obliged to respect the integrity of Serbia as well, that their theory of a „unique case“ has been blown out of the water and that another „South Ossetia“ is to come, as inevitably as sunrise. And they would not have to endorse anybody’s position in the conflict.

But that would annoy their sponsors in Washington and Brussels, so it was out of the question, as was poking the Russians in the eye. So they just pretend nothing is happening.

Belgrade protests against the governement, August 17th 2008

A walk to the parliament building. We demad to know who beat Ranko Panić to death!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hubris and Nemesis

For those who do not know, hubris is excessive pride and arrogance, and Nemesis is the Greek godess of retribution. According to Greek mythology Nemesis would send one calamity after another to any man expressing hubris.

Nemesis is on the move these days in the Caucasus. For the past 5 years the Georgian governement headed by Saakashvili has been poking Russia in the eye, bragging about their US connections and the desire to join NATO left, right and center. For 5 years Georgia has been at the forefront of every anti-Russian action taken by the former USSR countries.

The night between Thursday and Friday saw one provocation too many. I really don't know what was going on in Saakashvili's head, did he honestly believe the story of the Olympic truce and thought that the Russians will just stand by and watch their soldiers and citizens get killed and wait for the Games to end. Or did he think NATO will go to war over him and decided to go for broke? In any case, it was a serious miscalculation. As I write the Russians have cut off Tbilisi from the coast which was already blockaded by the Russian fleet. Besides a complete collapse in military terms, Georgia is threatened with a humantirarian disaster as a result of it's leader's adventurism and irresponsability.

Saakashvili shouldn't worry too much though. He can still have his old job at a New York law firm back, the one from which he ousted former president Shevarnadze in a coup in 2003. He then legalised his ascension to power by getting 96% in the elections(a percentage worthy of Enver Hoxha's Albania or Sadam Hussein's Iraq). As he basks in the luxury of his Manhattan office, the Georgians, on the other hand, will have to pick up pieces of their shattered homeland.

It could have been all so different, if only someone has seen that the rich sponsor was thousand of miles away, while the neighbour is right next door ant there to stay, if only that someone hadn't been so eager to execute every plan of the sponsor to damage the neighbour, if only one had been more friendly towards the neighbour in his times on trouble and hadn't cricled around like a vulture. Who knows, maybe as a token of appreciation they would have recieved a certain mountainous region.

As it stands at the moment, however, Saakashvili's hubris is earning him his just nemesis.

PS I am not wasting words on Saakashvili's sponsor. Their floscules of diproportionate response and Georgia's teritorial integrity should make any person with morals gag. It is not even double standard any more, it is tribalism of the worst "good is when we sack the neighbouring village, evil is when neighbouring village sacks us" kind.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Belgrade protests against the governement, August 7th 2008

Here's us taking a little walk to the Defense ministry to hand over a T-shirt with NATO logo and a copy of "F-117A Flight Simulator" to minister Šutanovac.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

RIP Alexander Isayevich Solzhenyitsin 1918-2008

Few people can boast that they gave a significant contribution to a collapse of an entire empire merely by writing and speaking. Alexander Solzhenyitsin is definitely one of them. His books set the intelectual foundation for the fall of the communist system in Russia and Eastern Europe and dented the romantic image of the USSR many left-wing intellectuals in the West were cultivating. He also did not fall into the trap of blaming all the ills of the Soviet Union on Stalin, but in fact saw the entire system and ideology of communism as faulty thus earning banishment from his home country.

Needless to say, this made him a hero to all opponents of comunism worldwide. Yet, there was a part of Solzhenyitsin we did not know, or rather we were not allowed to know by the so-called western democracy. Apparently, Alexander Isayevich was not very fond of the modern western way of life either, as George Friedman of Stratfor writes, via View from the Right:

In the West, he was seen as a hero by all parties. Conservatives saw him as an enemy of communism. Liberals saw him as a champion of human rights. Each invented Solzhenitsyn in their own image. He was given the Noble Prize for Literature, which immunized him against arrest and certified him as a great writer. Instead of arresting him, the Soviets expelled him, sending him into exile in the United States.

When he reached Vermont, the reality of who Solzhenitsyn was slowly sank in. Conservatives realized that while he certainly was an enemy of communism and despised Western liberals who made apologies for the Soviets, he also despised Western capitalism just as much. Liberals realized that Solzhenitsyn hated Soviet oppression, but that he also despised their obsession with individual rights, such as the right to unlimited free expression. Solzhenitsyn was nothing like anyone had thought, and he went from being the heroic intellectual to a tiresome crank in no time. Solzhenitsyn attacked the idea that the alternative to communism had to be secular, individualist humanism. He had a much different alternative in mind.

Solzhenitsyn saw the basic problem that humanity faced as being rooted in the French Enlightenment and modern science. Both identify the world with nature, and nature with matter. If humans are part of nature, they themselves are material. If humans are material, then what is the realm of God and of spirit? And if there is no room for God and spirituality, then what keeps humans from sinking into bestiality? For Solzhenitsyn, Stalin was impossible without Lenin's praise of materialism, and Lenin was impossible without the Enlightenment.

From Solzhenitsyn's point of view, Western capitalism and liberalism are in their own way as horrible as Stalinism. Adam Smith saw man as primarily pursuing economic ends. Economic man seeks to maximize his wealth. Solzhenitsyn tried to make the case that this is the most pointless life conceivable. He was not objecting to either property or wealth, but to the idea that the pursuit of wealth is the primary purpose of a human being, and that the purpose of society is to free humans to this end.

Solzhenitsyn made the case--hardly unique to him--that the pursuit of wealth as an end in itself left humans empty shells. He once noted Blaise Pascal's aphorism that humans are so endlessly busy so that they can forget that they are going to die--the point being that we all die, and that how we die is determined by how we live. For Solzhenitsyn, the American pursuit of economic well being was a disease destroying the Western soul.

He viewed freedom of expression in the same way. For Americans, the right to express oneself transcends the content of the expression. That you speak matters more than what you say. To Solzhenitsyn, the same principle that turned humans into obsessive pursuers of wealth turned them into vapid purveyors of shallow ideas. Materialism led to individualism, and individualism led to a culture devoid of spirit. The freedom of the West, according to Solzhenitsyn, produced a horrifying culture of intellectual self-indulgence, licentiousness and spiritual poverty.

And it wasn't just the disenchantement with western liberalism which worried the establishment in the west enough to sweep any mention of Solzhenyitsin under the carpet, it was his vision of post-communist Russia that truly invoked apocaliptic scenarios in their minds:

Solzhenitsyn believed there was an authentic Russia that would emerge from this disaster. It would be a Russia that first and foremost celebrated the motherland, a Russia that accepted and enjoyed its uniqueness. This Russia would take its bearings from no one else. At the heart of this Russia would be the Russian Orthodox Church, with not only its spirituality, but its traditions, rituals and art.

The state's mission would be to defend the motherland, create the conditions for cultural renaissance, and--not unimportantly--assure a decent economic life for its citizens. Russia would be built on two pillars: the state and the church. It was within this context that Russians would make a living. The goal would not be to create the wealthiest state in the world, nor radical equality. Nor would it be a place where anyone could say whatever they wanted, not because they would be arrested necessarily, but because they would be socially ostracized for saying certain things.

Most important, it would be a state not ruled by the market, but a market ruled by a state. Economic strength was not trivial to Solzhenitsyn, either for individuals or for societies, but it was never to be an end in itself and must always be tempered by other considerations. As for foreigners, Russia must always guard itself, as any nation must, against foreigners seeking its wealth or wanting to invade.

One can easily see why such ideas give nightmares to the contemporary establishment in the US and the EU. It has nothing to do with alleged agressiveness such Russia might express in it's policy towards the world nor with the supposed threats to democratic institutions and processes. It has, however, everything to do with the vapid and empty culture the establishment has been cultivating in the west for the past 40 years or so. The rise of the "autentic Russia" as Solzhenyitsin saw it would show to the world that there is a different way other then extremist liberalism devoid of morality of the US and the EU. Such development could even lead to the "authentic west" rising from the ashes of that liberalism ideology. And the fact that this vision comes from a man who predicted the fate of communism more accurately then any of the so-called analysts in the west makes it all the more concerning for the powers that be.

The death of Alexander Solzhenyitsin has struck a personal note also. Throughout these years Solzhenyitsin was a staunch supporter of the Serb people, had defended them from demonization and had reprimanded Russian authorities for not doing enough to protect the Serbs. In one of his last publications he bitterly denounced western policies in Kosovo and Metohija and told the Serbs to "be tough". We could do a lot worse then follow his advice, even though things look bleak and dire and little hope is in sight. Just ask yourself how did it look for Alexander Isayevich in one of those gulags in case get thoughts of throwing in the towel.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

There will be no straying from the party line, we are a democracy!

Former member of the Monthy Python's flying circus Michael Palin is in hot water with the BBC. Reason? He does not believe in the official story of the Balkans war, which is an unforgivable sin in the British so-called democracy.

The complainant also took exception to Palin's suggestion in the show that Serbia was "unfairly blamed" for all the trouble in the region.

In its ruling the ESC said that commentary in the show had oversimplified the issues when referring to who was to blame for the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

The committee said that the programme had "tried to provide context to imply that Serbia was not solely to blame".

Palin is, however, lucky he does not live in Serbia. Otherwise his case would draw the attention of governement ofices, not to mention Serb-hating NGOs. He'd possibly get a visit in the middle of the night from a youth, or rather a jugend organization of one political party. Still, this is a nice illustration of which direction the so-called democratic world is heading towards.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Still here, in spite of everything

I admit I was tempted to give it all up on the night of the 11th of May. I could not comprehend how easily people could fall for false promises of those who only did evil to them. I thought we were finally in a fase where, as Ivo Andric wrote, we are no longer capable to distinguish benefit from obvious detriment.

Then I pulled myself together, slept on the whole thing a little bit and analyzed facts. And they spoke of a lousy campaign by the Radical party who obviously expected the elections to fall in it's lap, the media that has been brainwashing the population with pro-EU propaganda for some years, the abuse of position by governement ministers from the so-called pro-european option...Regardless, voted for parties and coalitions that expressed patriotic policies and such a governement was supposed to be formed. The fact that one of the patriotic groups decided to cheat it's voters and back up the campaign words with opposite actions is another matter. What can one say? At least the weed is separated from heathy plants. After these elections, parties have finally taken a clear postition when it comes to national survival, there is no turning back for any of them.

What followed is a logical consequence of the colaition governement connected only by their lust for power and money(and mutual pain for the deceased party chairmen) and which adheres to no principle except the aforementioned. Why should they be shook up by the fact that Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija and Republika Srpska will suffer under Albanian, Bosnain Muslim and EU occupation? They have their "eurounionist way" next to which are the villas they built from money they received as a comission for selling out state property and riches as well as the will of their voters.

It is a bit of a paradox that such state of the nation actually sprung me into action. I have non intention of standing in the sidelines while the criminal interest group that forms the current governement of Serbia wipes out everythign Serbian! And I intend to back up my blog words with action. For now it is just my participation in the daily protests against the Tadic regime, from which I'll report from time to time(besides regular blogging). And afterwards something more perhaps...I wouldn't go into details for now since the head of the regime boorishly announces that any opinion not conforming with the EU way will be crushed.

I don't know whether my fight will have any effect but I am certain that the Serbian people faces extinction under this governement. If the so-called values of the euro-unionists are adopted the Serbs will cease to exist as a nation and become and amorphic mass for anybody to shape and stretch at will. That is a fate we must avoid at any cost.