Thursday, February 12, 2009

Better late than never

Eight-plus years after his overthrow and three years after his mysterious death in the Hague dungeons, Slobodan Milosevic is finally getting some credit. Writes Slobodan Antonic (Serbian original here, all emphasis mine):

Slobodan Milosevic has made many mistakes in his time. But his legacy to Serbia comprises at least three things:
  1. the Dayton Agreement, guaranteeing the existence of the Bosnian Serb Republic;
  2. UNSCR 1244, as proof of Serbia's ownership of Kosovo, and
  3. Constitutional defeat of separatism and restored Serbian sovereignty in Srem, Banat and Backa [i.e. "Vojvodina"].
While the first two are under assault by powerful foreign factors, with Serbia able to defend them only to a limited extent, the third is being undermined primarily from within, by Serbian political forces. Most incongruously, one of these forces is the provincial leadership of Milosevic's own Socialist Party!

It is a historical irony that Milosevic's own party has embraced EUphoria, championed the [separatist] Vojvodina Statute, and joined Canak, Jelko Kacin and other true "Serbian friends" to hammer the last nail into the coffin of Milosevic's national legacy. We can criticize that legacy for the things it wasted and the potential it failed to live up to. It could have been, and perhaps should have been, far greater. But it is what it is. It is what we have today, and what we must defend. However minuscule, it is still far greater than anything Serbian leaders have done after 2000. And far greater than anything the Socialists have done after Milosevic.


Speaking of 2000, I remember a speech Milosevic gave on the eve of the CIA/NED "revolution" that deposed him. October 2, 2000 it was, when he spoke on Serbian television, warning about the quisling character of DOS:

Its boss is the president of the Democratic Party. For years he has collaborated with the military alliance that attacked our country. He could not even hide his collaboration. In fact, our entire public knows that he appealed to NATO to bomb Serbia for as many weeks as necessary to break its resistance.

So the 'democratic' grouping organized for these elections represents the armies and governments which recently waged war against Yugoslavia.

At the behest of these foreign powers our 'democrats' told the people that they would make Yugoslavia be free of war and violence, that Yugoslavia would prosper, the living standard would improve visibly and fast, that Yugoslavia would rejoin international institutions, and on and on.

Honored citizens,

It is my duty to warn you publicly, while there is time, that these promises are false.


He may have been wrong about other things, but about this, he was right.

6 comments:

Goran said...

If I recall correctly, this particular speech by Milosevic was being branded as some sort of Socialist propaganda piece at the time. Reading it 8 years later, its uncanny as to how prophetic it truly is.

On a side note, it’s also worth emphasising that EU meddlers are influence the Vojvodina status question.

In public, European Commissioner Olli Rehn and his ilk proclaim that Vojvodina’s status is “Serbia’s internal affairs”. And as is typically EU policy toward Serbia, their actions prove the opposite is reality. There have been hints later that yet another precondition to EU membership is on the cards (it’s being packaged as “Consolidation of relations within Serbia”- meaning Vojvodina’s status). The EU has also been open to the notion of Vojvodina opening representative offices in Brussels. This kind of talk further encourages buffoons like Canak to build a mini state. It’s EU stealth support of Serbia’s dismemberment.

Robstar said...

It reminds me of what an East German man once said when being interviewed a few years back about communism. He said the communists were wrong about a lot of things, but about capitalism they were right.

So too Milosevic was wrong about a lot of thing but his statement about DOS was spot on. Antonic is spot on that his legacy should have been greater, but to see what there is being destoryed not from the outside, but from within is a tragedy.

Deucaon said...

I recently searched lewrockwell.com to see what they thought about the situation in the Balkans, low and behold what I found:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=serb+site%3Alewrockwell.com&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

Perhaps every second article is either calling for the support of the secessionists or practically saying that the Serbs "should be allowed to be evil". My question: When did this attitude turn among American Libertarians (if it has, those at antiwar.com might be the exceptions, I'm not sure)?

Gray Falcon said...

There are certain things to keep in mind when looking at Rothbard's essays on Yugoslavia from the early 1990s. One is the quite understandable nostalgia of Austrian economic scholars for Austria-Hungary (whose demise has been blamed on the Serbs). Another is the propaganda demonizing the Serbs that was in full swing at the time, including the "Serbs are Commies" line. But when you look at Rothbard's arguments, they are internally consistent: he supported secession in every case. Western officialdom, on the other hand, loved secession when it was the Slovenians, Croats, Muslims or Albanians seceding, but absolutely forbid it in case of any Serbs.

It's important to understand that libertarians aren't necessarily any better informed about the Balkans than the majority of America. It's not a matter of lack of interest. but a lack of sources. I've been fighting an uphill battle over that for the past decade, and I hope I've had some effect, but mine is a pretty lonely voice in this wilderness.

Deucaon said...

We (readers) appreciate your effort (over 14,000 articles on antiwar.com alone). As always, I (and others no doubt) wait for you to write and release your autobiography (you lived through it, many can gain wisdom from your experience and if don't want to "sell-out" then you can donate your revenue from your book to charity and whatnot) which I hope you'll change your mind about sooner rather than later.

Deucaon said...

My bad, I meant almost 400 articles (I don't know where I got that 14,000 figure but its mathematically unlikely that you wrote that many articles if you only wrote once a week for 8 years). In any case, a tremendous contribution to the truth.