But as Julia Gorin reminds us, many fall short when faced with what needs to be done:
"By shining a light on our Kosovo mischief, I am merely doing my duty as an American. But there are Americans who have a greater responsibility than I to save the U.S. from this bipartisan treachery, Americans who should be most on the case at this eleventh hour: Serbian-Americans."
So, where are they? I don't count; I'm not an American citizen, just someone who's lived in this country for almost a dozen years. Besides, I've definitely not kept silent, what with having been a columnist for the past eight. Yet I'm an exception, rather than a rule.
Why is this? Julia has a theory:
"I understand the reasons that Serbs shy away from this duty. They want finally to be liked, and more than anything else to fit in; indeed, the modern Serb rejects his Serbhood. As well, a Serb knows he will instantly be painted with the “Oh, but this is coming from a Serb; of course you’d say that” brush. Notice this is never a consideration or stumbling block for the Serbs’ enemies..."
While true to a great extent, it's not the whole reason. I personally know people who fear that any sort of public expression of opposition to the current U.S. policy in the Balkans would have negative consequences to their careers, wealth, property, and even lives. I know people who believe their voice can't change anything. But they are saying something, with their silence: they are saying that their cause is not worth speaking out for, much less fighting for.
I, quite obviously, disagree.
Now, here's the real kicker: most of these Serbs who don't dare so much as whisper in public have no qualms about bemoaning the current situation in private, lamenting the state of the Serbian nation today and wishing for someone to step in and save it. Which brings me to the point I want to make, using the words of a brilliant American playwright:
"Look, if you think we're wrong... then I respect that. But if you think we're right and you won't speak up because you can't be bothered, then God... I don't even want to know you."