Serbian president Boris Tadic really doesn't know when to sit down and shut up. True enough, few politicians do - but this one makes choking on his own foot a veritable art form.
It's bad enough that he wanted to go to Kosovo to attend the funeral of Albanian separatist leader Ibrahim Rugova (who is being buried today at the KLA "martyrs' cemetery" in a ceremony celebrating not so much the man, but the idea of Greater Albania), and that he "requested permission" to do so from the UN occupation authorities. Now that the UN hasn't responded one way or another, but the Albanians have erupted in howls of protest about how Tadic - or any other filthy, criminal, disgusting, evil Serb - is not welcome to Rugova's funeral, or to their precious "Kosova" for that matter, Tadic "deeply regrets" it. Not asking permission to visit his own territory, or wishing to support Albanian separatism, but the fact that Albanians have snubbed him so.
According to the AP, Tadic issued a statement Wednesday saying that he "respected the stand of the Rugova family to whom the 'presence of a Serbian president was unacceptable',” and that his "desire was to pay respects to a man who was of a different political persuasion than myself, but who campaigned peacefully for his ideas and who was the legitimate representative of the Kosovo Albanians.”
Where to begin...? I do hope that Tadic is "of a different political persuasion" than Rugova - that is, that the current president of Serbia doesn't share Rugova's ideal of forcible separation of Kosovo from Serbia, involving by necessity the disposal of non-Albanians (Serbs, first and foremost) from the territory. And though many people - including the mainstream Serbian media and politicians - persist in the misconception that Rugova was a pacifist, it is worth noting that the crux of Rugova's strategy was never to negotiate, deal or otherwise engage the Serbs, but to get someone else (specifically, the American Empire) to achieve Albanian goals for them. It is worth noting that the "pacifist" Rugova also had an "army" (FARK) that was eventually absorbed by the KLA simply because the KLA had stronger foreign backing.
Tadic went on to say that, "Unfortunately neither political representatives of the Kosovo Albanians nor the international community realized what a chance this was for us to start changing relations between Serbs and (ethnic) Albanians.”
Let's face it, between the shameless cheer-leading for the separatist cause by viceroy Jessen-Petersen, and the ever-present fear of UNMIK that rampaging Albanians mobs might go medieval on them at the next perceived slight (much as they did to Serbs in 2004 and before), it should be obvious to a blind man that UNMIK doesn't give a rotting roadkill's posterior for Serb-Albanian relations. And neither do the Albanians, if the vitriolic response to Tadic's offer is anything to judge by.
Tadic himself, however, doesn't get it. “If the presence of a Serbian president at a funeral in Pristina is unacceptable, the begging question is whether we are acceptable to one another and whether we shall ever be so in the future,” he said (AP).
Judging by a lengthy history of Albanian violence against the Serbs in Kosovo; the establishment of "Greater Albania" including that territory in 1941-45; the periodic riots demanding independence since 1945; the emergence of the KLA and the NATO aggression in 1999; and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of Serbs ever since - should there be any doubt in anyone's mind that the majority of Kosovo Albanians have decided that no, Serbs are not acceptable to them in any way, shape or form? Not even when they come to validate their separatist agenda, making a complete mockery of themselves (as Tadic would have done)?
That's some powerful hatred there, folks. And Boris Tadic is either too naive, or unbelievably stupid not to see it. Neither of which is exactly a desirable characteristic in a president, however ceremonial his post might be.