Archive for May, 2006

Parliamentary Politicos

Bust the ghosts already!

The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them. — George Orwell

For those of you without intimate familiarity with the Serbian political soap opera – I give you some definitions:

Socialist Party of Serbia – A political party formed by late Slobodan Milošević in 1990; a bastard child of the Serbian League of Communists. Although Milošević won the harsh battle against reason and life by embracing the nationalist tide, this party never forgot its socialist roots and all of its members still secretly sing L’Internationale in the shower (you can quote me on this).

Serbian Renewal Movement – A monarchist political party, who’s leader Vuk Drašković once promised to prune limbs of Muslims who dare to step on the Serbian soil.

Politicos – People who make politics their career. They’ve never really done anything good for the country. They never made any positive change. But their ego depends on them being in the Parliament, and the bacon just doesn’t taste right if it isn’t state issued.

As it happens, the Serbian Renewal Movement is currently in the minority coalition government, while the Socialist Party of Serbia is supporting the very same government. This means that if the Socialists withdrew their support, the government would fall.

As you can imagine, the Socialists aren’t particularly fond of Vuk Drašković, who was so far in the Serbo-Montenegrin government. However, as Serbia-Montenegro is no more, Drašković wishes to get a new position in the Serbian government (ministry of foreign affairs is shifting from federal to state level now). The Socialists won’t stand for Drašković in the government, they hate him that much.

Now, remember what I said before about what happens if the Socialists withdraw their support for the government?

On the other hand, if they do decide they can live with the hairy monarchist scarecrow, it won’t be their first. In 1998-1999, they were both in the ruling coalition; ’twas something about “Albanian scare” and “Serbian unity”.

For all I care, the government can and should fall. Which brings me to the punch line of this post (if you survived so far, feel free to ask me for a beer): Vuk Drašković is just a politico. He will do anything to always be a politician, even flirt with “commies” which he “hates” so much. The Socialists are even worse – the butchers of Yugoslavia are not only not locked up, with the key making its way down to the Black Sea by now, but their role in opposition is nearly as repulsive as their government once was.


May 31, 2006 at 5:51 am 32 comments

Priština Negotiation Party

PristinaBoycotts are sometimes noble, but product boycott according to their "made in" label is a big no no ever since Serbs started campaigning for the boycott of Slovenian goods, in the years before the breakup. In the early 1990s, the campaign got out of hand, although it was not that effective. Still, we all know how that ended.

Last Wednesday, a youth organization from Priština called for a boycott of Serbian products. They hope to hurt Serbian economy, but Self-determination, as this organization is called, is also urging their own government to cease independence negotiations with Serbs.

For a while, I thought it was only the Serbian government that still believed the negotiations for Kosovo's independence had any substance. The international community insists on self-determination and preservation of current borders, and unless we are up for another war, it seems like a done deal. Unfortunately for the you-will-get-fuck-all-of-Serbia camp, President Tadić misunderstood the border thing, and said he agrees with it. Tadić thought that administrative border between Kosovo and the rest of Serbia isn't really a border, you see.

So, what's up with Self-determination? Why didn't their attitude change since 1999?

If Albanians had more dignity in their victory, this entire process would be much easier to bear.

May 30, 2006 at 3:46 am 2 comments

Rocking Srebrenica

"From far away, through the sights of a sniper, they would look like Muslims, Serbs or Croats to somebody, but I approached them face to face, I saw them clearly, and trust me… They were just people…" — Đorđe Balašević

In 1995, Serbian forces massacred about 10,000 people in Srebrenica. Try to come up with 10,000 people around you. It probably includes all of your co-workers, classmates, friends, relatives and half the stadium of the last match you went to.

At the same time, Vojvodinian punk band Atheist Rap, was probably somewhere rehearsing their hit song which goes:

I don't wanna die,

die in Sarajevo fight,

die for the blood-red gang,

and listen to bang, bang, bang.

Eleven years later, on 3rd July, Atheist Rap will be the first Serbian band to play in Srebrenica after the massacre, along with Sarajevan band Zabranjeno Pušenje (my favorite growing up) and some other peace-loving bands. I wish them luck, and hope there are no incidents in Bosnia. So far, most cooperation between peoples of former Yugoslavia has been through art, and "Ateisti" are true ambassadors of peace.

If you think this is as cool, go to their website, click on "Guestbook", and tell them so.

May 29, 2006 at 3:19 am 2 comments

Procrastinating Facing Reality

How slow?A country lagging behind in transitional reforms as much as Serbia has no time to waste on waiting things to happen. Think of it as a bad student who needs to get the average up, but decides to stay in his room and smoke instead.

Ever since Vojislav Koštunica formed the government, I see very little progress. The two most wanted men on this planet, probably next only to Al Qaeda bigwigs, are still at large. When stabilization talks with EU were suspended over Mladić, I really expected a quick reaction, or at least an attempt at appearing to be doing something, but he is still not arrested. In fact, I honestly doubt that most citizens of Serbia even realize the magnitude of damage. Miroljub Labus resigned over the scandal, but he will simply be quietly replaced.

The suspension probably played its role in the recent Montenegrin referendum for independence. Circa 55.5% of the citizens of Montenegro decided that Serbia and Montenegro no longer exists. And what did Vojislav Koštunica decide to do? Nothing at all.

The country's president, Boris Tadić, on the other hand, decided to go to Podgorica and establish some non-Balkanian (read: human) relations with our new neighbours. This, seemingly reasonable and logic, incident got a good spin by the media, which accused Tadić of trying to get to control the new Serbian army, instead of the Parliament.

So, S&M is no more.

Everybody is trying not to give a shit.

Probably sucked up by the state issued dose of lethargy, most citizens of Serbia are really mellow about the whole thing. As S&M was just a "state union", not even worthy of being called a federation, some simply don't feel any difference. Others are a bit depressed, this being a dejavu, although peaceful. Even worse, this not being the last "ensmallement" of the country.

The only enthusiasts in this situation are monarchists who see this as a new chance to get Serbia some 70 years back in time. They are not procrastinating.

May 29, 2006 at 1:39 am Leave a comment

First post

I have contemplated starting a blog for some time now. What immediately springs to mind when you hear something like that is rightful questioning of whether the world needs yet another blog.

Probably not, but it might be interesting anyway. I at first wanted to create a discourse on the impact of Pasolini's use of light pornography on the story telling, but rather decided that the world would be better off reading about, recently independent, Serbian politics.

Politics in the Balkans is such a horrific and eventful topic, that I really need a vent to blow off some steam. Occasionally, I do come up with a smart idea or two, so it would be nice do have it documented.

Before I start writing, I'd better write a little something about myself. This is a list of very broad and general things I believe in:

  • I do not have strong ethnic affiliation. Just like all other human beings, I do have ancestors, but that blood in no way defines me nor makes me different from any other human being on the planet.
  • World does not revolve around humans, so:
  • I don't subscribe to any religion.
  • In fact, I might sometimes come off as a radical atheist.
  • I am not fully convinced that states are a good thing, but I accept them as a necessary evil.
  • I do wish EU finally let Serbia join their tree-house club, but with the above mentioned provision in mind.
  • I don't think having a president of a state serves much purpose in the XXI century, let alone a monarchy (besides, we all know what a limited gene pool does for one's intelligence).
  • I do think libertarianism would work only if everyone was a socialist (email me and I will provide further readings).

That should suffice, for now.

May 28, 2006 at 10:22 pm 4 comments

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