Sunday, February 24, 2008

Moment of Transition

Everyone, including the Serbian government, has condemned the rioters who attacked the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade the other night, burning a portion thereof. How ironic, observes Dimitry Gornostayev, commentator the Russian news agency RIA Novosti:

The Department of State has justifiably appealed to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. But what about the UN Charter, which guarantees territorial integrity of sovereign states? Having recognized Kosovo's independence, Washington has openly violated Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. So, why is it angry at a Serbian student who did a similar thing to the U.S. Embassy? Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Don't blame Belgrade officials, he says. After all, they can't protect their own country's territory; how are they expected to protect that of the U.S.?

This is not a good prospect for President Boris Tadic, who talked about European prospects for Serbia, or for Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, a graduate of Cambridge and Harvard. They are not ready for any responsibility.

With all the talk of democracy, friendship and integration coming from the EU and the U.S. for years now exposed as meaningless, false and empty, those political options in Serbia who've staked their entire credibility on serving the West unconditionally are now facing popular ire. For the past seven years, the occupation of Kosovo was blamed on Milosevic (between the Imperial and Serbian quisling media, that wasn't hard; nor was it difficult not to blame NATO and the KLA, the real culprits in the matter). However, the "official" separation of Kosovo took place now, under the "democratic" government and after years of Serbian authorities catering to Empire's every whim. The official line from the West, that this is just desserts for Milosevic's (alleged) crimes, may have possibly worked in 1999, but simply won't fly in 2008. Furthermore, Serbs are so fed up with years of humiliation and demonization, even if they hadn't cared about Kosovo so far, now that it's being taken away - they are beginning to.

I cannot resist thinking that the embassy story is being blown out of proportion, in order to divert attention from the actual violation of international law - namely, the illegal, illegitimate and immoral declaration of an "independent Kosova."

Gornostayev isn't fooled, though:

Responsibility for the humiliated stars and stripes rests with American diplomats and officials - Burns, Condoleezza Rice, Richard Holbrooke, Zalmay Khalilzad, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Madeleine Albright - all those who have created this unique case and have not yet realized how unique it really is.

As Diana Johnstone put it, once you get rid of the law, everything's just one unique case after another, isn't it?

While the mainstream media have given a lot of coverage to the noise coming from Foggy Bottom, they are noticeably more reticent about one aspect of the embassy burning that doesn't fit the "evil Serbs attack sacred American territory" narrative.

One badly burned body was found inside the embassy; it was identified yesterday as Zoran Vujovic, age 21, a Serb refugee from Kosovo.

So it wasn't some sinister agents acting on the orders of the Serbian government that went after the symbols of Empire in Belgrade the other night, but a young man whose home the Empire had stolen, taking out his anger and frustration. Whether he blundered and died by accident, or intended to immolate himself in protest like Jan Palach, isn't clear.

I agree with Gornostayev; the Empire has no clue what it has just unleashed. I don't think anyone knows, honestly. More so than in March of 1999, or March 2003, the world finds itself in a moment of transition. The way it started, it doesn't promise anything good. And it's getting worse by the day.


Cossack said...

Dragi Nebojsa,

I thoroughly agree with your article. However, though you did note March of 1999 and March 2003 you did not mention March 27, 1941. Personally I see the demonstrations in Beograd and the torching of the U.S. Embassy more in the light of that March than anything else.

The long-suffering, grievously put upon Serbs have finally reached the end of their tether. They have tried reason, they have tried cooperation, they have tried acquiescence, none of this has worked. Seems the Serbs have finally reached the conclusion that you cannot reason, cooperate, or acquiesce to a bully. Bullies, by their very nature, are immune to any reasonable approach and the only 'reason' a bully understands is a punch in the snout! The U.S. has, unfortunately, shown its true colors in full since the end of the Cold War. All the preening, all the 'justification' for their vicious and illegal acts having dropped by the wayside since then, they have exposed themselves to the world as the true megalomaniacal hegemonic bullies and imperialists that they truly are.

Gray Falcon said...

I can't say that I disagree.