Saturday, April 10, 2010

Still a Believer

After lengthy negotiations with his captors, Russian television channel RT successfully obtained a written interview with former Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadžić. (They also had me as a guest in their studio on Friday evening, to comment on the case; see YouTube clip here.)

To me, the issue of whether Richard Holbrooke and the Empire promised Karadžić immunity isn't all that interesting. Empire going back on deals? Um, that's what they do. Let's see here: the Vance Plan, the UN arms embargo, the Dayton agreement, the Kumanovo Military-Technical agreement, the UNSCR 1244... Not to mention the NATO Charter and the U.S. Constitution. There isn't an official piece of paper that the Empire hasn't violated in the Balkans, often with a contemptuous "So what?".

I am not entirely certain that Dr. Karadžić is fully aware of this, though. His RT interview has some worthwhile insights. He's entirely correct, for example - though way too polite - when he compares NATO to "an old tool that is more trouble to keep than it is worth to maintain."

And he is absolutely on target when he claims that:

Serbs and Serbia are not really an objective of Western imperial intentions and we should not over-estimate our own significance. But this crisis has served as preparation for the forthcoming events. Serbia and the Republika Srpska were a sort of voodoo doll for Russia.

Here is what I simply don't understand. Even though the EU has been one of Empire's principal tools in grinding the Serbs into dust, Karadžić still has a soft spot for "Europe". Even though at one point he describes the EU as "a dormitory of retired people, students, and unemployed," he still argues that "Serbia should join Europe immediately"!

"There are many contradictions in Serbia's relations with EU countries, but that has not hindered integration with Europe," he says, adding:

It would be great if we joined Europe without these kinds of humiliations, bombardments, blackmails and finally attempts to impose the unacceptable price of giving up Kosovo. Otherwise, we share all European values and it would not be difficult for us to get along with Europe. Serbian people living throughout Europe are very integrated without any cultural problems, and they are very prominent in their own professions.

What values are those? Omnipotent government, gay "rights", political correctness, Islamophilia, cultural Marxism? That's the Europe of today, the Europe Karadžić hasn't seen in the two decades he spent first fighting a war, then living as a faith healer in Belgrade. To say that it would be "great" if only Europe weren't the way it is... that's just naive. And kind of sad, too.

Even though he was a psychiatrist by training, Karadžić was also a poet. And he has always thought more like a poet. He never understood how the propaganda in the West cast the Serbs as the new Nazis and twisted all the facts to fit that predetermined perception. Nor did he understand the mind of Alija Izetbegović, who was willing to sacrifice as many lives as it took for his dream of a Muslim Bosnia.

Karadžić is a man that very "Europe" (and the US) has cast as the principal villain of the Balkans Wars (having been unable to do so to Slobodan Milošević), and he's still dreaming of a Europe that has not existed in years. He doesn't understand that the Europe he speaks of has been methodically dismantled, with malice aforethought, just like his former country (Yugoslavia) - and by the same people, too.

Milošević figured this out eventually - too late to make a difference in Serbia, but just in time to destroy the Inquisition's show trial. Only time will tell if Karadžić will manage to do the same.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

I think to understand Dr. Karadzic, one must realize that he is, in some aspects, an extremely optimistic man. In a way, that is a flaw because he sets himself up for disappointment. I know you have your disagreements with him (and I do too) but I ultimately still do like him.