The Donkey on Mon, 04 Oct 1999 21:37:11 +0100

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Syndicate: Re: reactions and consequences

A long one again...

>If ever there was a time where 'only unity can save >the Serbs', it's now, I would hazard, and yet those >posts are a living, breathing, practically >*radioactive* demonstration of the success of Slobodan >Milosevic's 'divide and conquer' strategies. Which, if >it wasn't such a palpably NOT useful emotion, would >already seem to be a good cause for despair; I mean >both for those in Serbia demanding major change and >those on the outside hoping for the same thing.

  I am not a Serb. My parents aren't Serbs either. My grandparents are all Serbs. I believe a person can choose if and which ethnic groups it will align itself with. I will not accept anyone forcing me into membership with an ethnic group, on any basis. 
  You will find that many that you called Serbs have similar views.
  Divide and conquer isn't something just Milosevic is doing. Compared to U$ policies, you could call him an amateur.
  I would really like it if you defined major change. I do not support just any major change. A major change would be if the Serb Radical Party threw out Milosevic and started ruling on their own. In fact, that was their election program in 1997. (for Belgrade use, at least). SRP people were going around, telling people that anybody is better than Milosevic and his coalition. Then they went into coalition with Milosevic.

>Practically everyone identified in those posts is in >league with this or that form of corruption or >subversion. 

  Alas, I tend to write little about my friends and too much about my foes. I shall try and rectify that. 
  Otherwise, Milosevic has built up a system, where you can't survive if you are not corrupt. There just isn't a source of income otherwise. I mean, you can maintain some basic functions like food and internet, but if you ever want to rent an appartment, without holding three jobs...
  As for subversion, I like to consider myself subversive, but I do place great value on motives, methods and consequences of subversion.

>In this world-view, the many and manifold sources of >evil that have been afflicting Serbia for, oh I don't >know how many centuries, or years in this century, >have now taken up positions within the Belgrade city >limits (I mean, they or their well-paid proxies). 

  I would sooner say that they had been within the city limits all the time. 

>It's actually the exact same picture that has been >spewed out of the Milosevic controlled mass-media for >years, only now in 'opposition' garb. 

  Yes, they had been spewing out a similar picture and, just as B92's criticism of US policies, using all the false arguments and an occassional true one.

>Opposing the monolithic evil of the Milosevic
>regime we have, according to this portrait, a host of >corrupted, not-so-monolithic power-hungry >wanna-be-Slobos. 

  I wouldn't be too sure that they are actually opposing him. In the Serbian experience, the worst for-the-public enemies of Sloba in one election are the first (and not only) ones to jump into coalition with him after the next election. It was so with the Serb Radical Party, Serbian Renewal Movement, New Democracy and many ex members of the Democratic Party, Civic Alliance... If you look at the leaders of the Alliance For Change, almost all of their presidents have been in high positions in the previous establishment and many under Milosevic. From Nebojsa Covic, ex Major of Belgrade and president of Democratic Alternative, through Vuk Obradovic, president of Socialdemocracy, who was a spokesman for the army during the war in Croatia...

>Everyone's taking money and espousing someone else's >propaganda; everyone's in someone else's pocket. It's >wall to wall, floor-to-ceiling blackness, with not a >glint of light in sight.

  If the political scene in Yugoslavia was limited to political parties, that would truly be it's essence. 
I believe the word "opposition" should mark something else than political parties. They have hardly ever in history (of Serbia, at least) been opposition to the system. 
The thing with Milosevic's propaganda machine is that it is trying to present EVERYONE in such blackness. 
  One other thing is symptomatic, that it tries to depicted everyone who is against Milosevic, as working for "The worldwide judeo-mason conspiracy involving the USA, ex-nazis, Vatican...", sometimes abbreviated to "The Americans" (nation=government). 
  This approach (for me or for him) can be seen in a more subtle version, from the "opposition" and "independent media", who try to show it like the only people that criticise them are those that work for Milosevic.
  Anyway, I think that both Milosevic, Haider, Djindjic, Draskovic, Kucan, Pesic, Sonja Licht, Zivkov, Glavas, Racan and Perovic all fall into the same kind of power+money=control_hungry_scum. Congrats to those who can divide the amorphous list of names into a country-by-country order.

>... the execrable Vuk Draskovic, a.k.a. "the Prince of >the Streets",...

  "King of the Streets and Squares" is the name he ordered his members to spontaneously start calling him.

> is just a microcosmic Milosevic, already plugged into >the IV lines of corrupt money and patronage first >rigged up by Slobodan (Ok, yes, arguably Josip Broz >before him; that's another argument). And clearly the >TV that he controls, by dismissing the size and scope >of the protests against Milosevic, is playing exactly >the same game as TV Serbia. - FOR DIFFERENT MOTIVES

  He only controls that television, because his minority government in Belgrade city, exists with support from ALL of Milosevic's parties (Serb Radical Party, YUL, SPS). Should I mention that he doesn't mathematically need support from all of them?
 During the days when Zajedno coalition ruled Belgrade, his party wasn't allowed to steal enough. The Democratic Party and the Civic Alliance had some measure in their plunder. They wanted somebody to vote for them next year... Then, Studio B had a bearable (and no better than that) editorial policy. I mean, the news were crap, but there were some excellent political shows.
  When Draskovic's people took over, they not only trashed Studio B, but they also stopped giving money for public transport, which collapsed after a couple of months, trash disposal was also at the edge of collapse... I think I already wrote something about how Draskovic's people dealt with the public transport and trash disposal strikes. Compared to them, Nebojsa Covic (while he was Milosevic's major of Belgrade) is really a civilized person. Covic only sent in police and armed strike-breakers, never his personal security thugs.

>And when it comes to the games played by Zoran Djindic >in the past, in particular regarding his on-again >off-again support of Karadjic and Mladic during the >Bosnia war, they make him a thoroughly suspect figure. 

  "Hristos Voskrese - Demokratska Stranka" (Hristos Voskrese is an archaic way of saying "And Christ ressurected". stranka=party) - the text of posters that were put over posters of the Antiwar Campaign in Spring of 1998., during heavy fightings in Kosov@.

>But -- what's really depressing to observe is who is
>winning from all these divisions, and how they are produced by the same poison. This is just to just say out in the open that those divisions are no accident; they even have an author! Same guy who wrote most of the Balkan history book for the last decade. 

  The winner are the Euroamerican buisiness interests, Milosevic's, Tudjman's, Izetbegovic's and Bukoshi's gangs, Rugova's gangs, people like Djindjic, Arkan, Glavas, Vesna Pesic, Milo Djukanovic, Sonja Licht, Sali Berisha...
  In my view, the divisions between leaders are not the problem. It is the lack of them. The lack of healthy division between the leaders, who are all united(Milosevic and U$A and Tudjman and...) making Yugoslavia a place with no healthy food or water, with the cheapest workforce in Europe. This is truly a success that exceeds even the achievements of Albania, Moldova, White Russia, Russia and Romania. It took 10 long years of joint work, side by side, shoulder to shoulder, shouldering the biggest alliance of destructive forces that Yugoslavia has ever suffered. 
  The divisions between those who should be resisting these people are what is depressing. 

>What's really depressing about those divisions is that >they could have been prevented by those in the >'opposition' who had bothered to study even
>the most primitive basics of 'divide and conquer' >strategies -- not exactly new political methods, after >all. I mean, it's something that the slogan 'only >unity can save the Serbs' is already advocating!

  The Belgrade section of the Yugoslav Left had a flyer saying "Citizens of Belgrade, go to the referendum and say no to foreign interference and the hacking up of our country. We all think the same! YUL of Belgrade".
  That is also the context in which the need for unity has been evoked over the last decade and a half.
  I fear unity is the problem, for it is always unity for the wrong thing and usually unity of the wrong people. 
  Until many people begin to understand their basic interests, I propose a healthy discord, where the wiser do not give up their integrity, for the sake of false unity.

>The problem, again, is of course that they have, >studied the  basics I mean, and they've been corrupted >by them, and thus the  not-very-merry-go-round goes >around again. Because (to take only the most egregious >example) micro-Milosevic Draskovic 
>thinks that by his strategies he too can learn from >the master and divide and conquer his hated "nominal >opposition" enemies. Not realizing who is pulling his own strings, a.k.a. the master puppeteer
>of Dedenje.

  Draskovic knows damn well who is pulling his strings and he is one of the rare persons who know how many people have pulled his strings so far. I don't.

>So, is there any hope? Only if younger generation >people like Acimovic, and, unfortunately for him, half >the people he can't stand and has contempt for,

  Not being able to stand and having contempt for are very different sometimes. I have learned to stand a lot of anoying people, but to have contempt for them, or the other way around. 

>realize that they have to put aside all their >differences, hard though it might be, all shoulder the >same wheel, and throw the bastards out, and fast.

  I might have mentioned what shoulder to shoulder usually means... 
  Putting aside differences is also something I don't like doing. If I can work together with someone although that person is different from me, that is ok, but leaving the differences for later...

>And by bastards here I mean Milosevic and co AND >Draskovic 

And I would also mean the U$ government. Do you think of them as lesser bastards? Or do you think they are not significant enough a factor to be mentioned. Maybe you think they don't deserve to be mentioned? What is your opinion on them, anyhow?

>(with Djindzic maybe getting anambassadorship >somewhere -- in the tried-and-true Soviet-style reward
>granted the fundamentally untrustworthy but moderately >useful. Pesic I suppose gets Foreign Minister!). 

Yes!!! We get to chose who will be the government! :)
  Vladan Batic gets to be the new Minister of Education, if that isn't reserved for Irinej Bulatovic ("Religious science should not be mandatory, at first. We [Serb Orthodox Church] are proposing a transitional period of maybe one year, so the students can get used to it...", "Children should be taught christianity from their first year, from the cradle". 
  Vuk Obradovic becomes the minister for ethnic minorities ("I believe the biggest mistake in the previous war was that Ljubljana wasn't leveled by airforce bombardment").
  Milo Djukanovic becomes the minister of borders and customs (no need for comment)... 
  Now, that would really be an interesting cabinet. :)))))) 
  I forgot Sonja Licht as the new rektor of Belgrade University and Milan Bozic as the minister of police. :))))))
  Milan Bozic is a previous member of the Civic Alliance Of Serbia and the Democratic Party. Probably two other parties as well. He is now a member of the Serbian Renewal Movement and the last I heard, he was acting as Mayor of Belgrade. He was very distinguished in breaking the strikes of the public transport and trash disposal workers (already mentioned). His wife is a member of the YUL. He was very active on email, before he got into running the city. He seemed very libertarian on email.

>Rather than raving in a deep Belgrade
>cynicism over the many and endless corruptions of >almost everyone else, someone -- Mihajlo Acimovic, I >nominate you, if only as penance! (Ok, I realize the >ridiculousness of presuming to meddle in the mess)
>-- *someone* has to bloody well unify the opposition, rather than further divide it. 

  What is opposition? Re-phrased, where is the limit where opposition becomes simulation or collaboration?   Who do you want unified? If the answer is "Everyone against Milosevic", I say no thanx. I've had enough of that. I will be against Milosevic, but I will not do it together with just anybody. If Seselj turns on Milosevic again, like he did (or simulated) in 1993., should I support him? Should I ignore him?
  I would like some clarification on what you meant.

>That means make a platform, try to build some trust, >use the phone, e-mail, radio etc etc as a tool to *organize*, not *criticize*, and make some desperately >needed changes.

  Ah, spoken in the true spirit of the Zajedno (Together) coalition - While Milosevic is in power, the opposition (meaning leaders) shouldn't be criticised. Of course, when they come to power, they will be a democratic government, so there would again be no need for criticism... 
  I don't mean that is your intention, but it certainly is theirs'. 
  It's your vocabulary that reminded me. Especially the part with "desperately needed changes". 
  What kind of changes? 
  Are you sure their changes are what you would like to see? 
  I say "their", for it is always them and not people like my friends that control everything, after people *organise* and "throw the bastards out". 

"Slobodan Milosevic has led the Serb people to the edge of economic anihilation" - Zoran Djindjic, a day before he got on a charter flight to Bon. 
  Of course, who else could live in Serbia...

> I mean, who was it who observed -- Slavoj Zizek was I >guess only the latest -- that the moment of the >victory of a political movement is the moment
>it fractures into a million pieces? Well, evidently >the Serbian version of that isn't even that efficient, >because it fragments long *before* it wins anything >significant. Like all those proto-airplanes in the >late 1800's that never quite made it into the air, no >matter how hard they flapped their disintegrating >wings.  

  The movement in Serbia didn't fracture. It was systematically torn apart by U$-funded politicians, whenever it truly endangered the system. From what I had seen, I have gained the impression that they are not trying to oust Milosevic at all. 

>No, new designs are needed, and then flight really is >possible. I mean, shit, if Soros is handing out >badly-needed money to help organize and inform the >revolt, and if that great questionable character would >like to see Milosevic's head on a platter -- so what? 

  If that is so, than I truly question the possible efectiveness of such a revolt in changing people's lives to the better. I repeat, if they wanted Milosevic's head on a platter, they would have had it in one month maximum. Same goes for Saddam and Ghadaffi.

>It doesn't do any harm to take the money, if you have >the same goal 

  This is true, except there is more than one goal being pursued by the parties involved. 
  It depends greatly on what you take with the money.

>I mean, especially since he won't be in a position to >direct the post-Milosevic era, even if he shares your, >and my, satisfaction at the man's four square meter >cell in the Hague (which I also hope would be the >result. Along with Karadjic, Mladic, Arkan, etc.). 

  I would take no satisfaction from that. A Milosevic dead or neutralised, that is a relief, but cells like those in EU prisons are something I don't wish for anybody.

>My humble suggestion: Mihailo, take your stress pills, >remember who the real enemy is, and get to work!

  I don't do pills, but I'm taking the rest of the advice. Btw, do you remember that one "And now everyone to your working assignments"? I'm not the only one who is sounding like someone.


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