Zvonimir Bakotin on Fri, 16 Jul 1999 03:18:38 +0200 (CEST)

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Syndicate: Ivo Skoric: two articles (long) (fwd)

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Subject: Ivo Skoric: two articles (long)

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From: "Ivo Skoric" <ivo@reporters.net>
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1999 01:01:23 -0400
Subject: two articles


(from www.iwpr.net)

Serbia is rebuilding its bridges--and its minds. Academics are reviving
the spirit of Brezhnev. China supports Yugoslav Prime Minister Momir Bu La
To Vic. And our president boasts: "Our country is the freest and most
democratic in the world."

By Petar Lukovic in Belgrade

We have triumphantly defeated NATO, defended Kosovo, and managed to return
the United Nations to its rightful place. Now we have embarked on the
glorious Reconstruction.

"It is quite possible that the results of the Reconstruction will be a
positive surprise not only to us but to the entire world," Dr Mira
Markovic, wife of the Yugoslav president, told Radio TV Serbia. The
courageous Reform and intimate co-operation with "the progressive and
democratic part of humanity," such as North Korea, China, Russia, and
Belarus, have proceeded apace."

"Our country is the freest and most democratic in the world,"  Slobodan
Milosevic has stated. This is why we go on, why life continues. We
preserved our sovereignty, confirmed our independence, and ensured that
the American and French armada could not roam throughout our country. They
will beg us to forgive them.

Anyhow, state opinion polls say that only 25 per cent of the population
want reconciliation with the NATO countries.

In the first outbreak of the popular enthusiasm, Presidents Milosevic and
Milan Milutinovic, the president of Serbia, competed over who would erect
more marble plaques proclaiming the start of the Reconstruction.
Television viewers were showered with promises that everything that was
destroyed will be rebuilt by tomorrow.

We do not need foreign aid, we can do everything ourselves, we are clever,
we are capable, we have a wise leadership. We are lucky to be led by
Comrade Slobodan. According to the Association of Late Soldiers, he "has
grown into a world leader in the struggle for freedom and became a symbol
of the resistance of the 20th century."

In the post-victory euphoria, it seemed as if we had slept through 77 days
of bombing. As if nothing had happened, as if we picked up from where we
stopped on 24th March, as if it is true that only several hundred of our
soldiers had died. As if it is self-evident that no crimes were committed
against Albanians. How could we, the Serbs, who have only defended
ourselves for centuries, harm anyone?

This is the country ruled by dance-patriots from Radio Kosava (director
and owner: Marija Markovic, the President's daughter), the newly- opened
Bambiland of her brother Marko Milosevic, mother Dr. Mira Markovic and
above all her husband, Slobodan.

They preach that "readiness for the Reconstruction is such that it will be
as efficient as the Defence." They are persuading us that everything is
under control in Kosovo, that the dinar will survive, that reforms will be
here soon, that the ruling coalition of Socialists, Communists and
Radicals will look after us eternally.

Just now Radio Belgrade is broadcasting frightening news that puts it all
into perspective: a huge fire has swept through Sweden, the production of
steel in Holland has dropped by 20 percent, the harvest has not started
yet in the United States, not a gram of rice can be found in Pakistan.
Everybody in the Czech Republic regrets having even started privatisation
and demands a return to the Warsaw pact. People in Hungary are starving,
the return of Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena is being organised in

Serbian academics are working to revive the spirit of Leonid Brezhnev. The
Poles are demanding that Russian soldiers occupy Warsaw. China supports
Yugoslav Prime Minister Momir Bu La To Vic. The North Koreans adore us.
Cuba is sending us congratulations.

At the moment the Reconstruction began, the Yugoslav president bestowed
awards on more than a thousand soldiers and policemen, and as many
factories and companies and their workers. The names of the lucky winners
were read out for 20 minutes on the prime time television news. Only those
who did not want to win were not awarded.

Politika announced on its first page that it had deservedly won the
"Honour of Merits of FRY" for demonstrating "patriotism, courage,
self-initiative, sacrifice, humanity, solidarity, expertise, and a
particular effort in fulfilling its tasks in war conditions."

The Medal of Courage was awarded to "the defenders of bridges", a group of
citizens employed and paid to tell the reporters of the state television
Serbia that they are ready to swim in the Sava River if the enemy hit
them. The medal was also awarded to the manifestation "With the Song
against the War", in which all singers who were intelligent enough to open
their mouths and deride Clinton took part.

A number of lieutenants, colonels and captains of the People's Police have
been presented a pile of decorations: the order of "the long barrel of
security of the first degree", the order of "merits for truth covered two
meters below the ground", the order of the "paramilitary death squad" . .