Sunday, October 08, 2006

Absurdity of an Aggressive Propaganda Policy

Sunday, 08 October 2006

As the conclusion of the political process that will decide on the fate of Kosova is approaching, any average observer is able to notice that Belgrade official propaganda is becoming more and more arrogant, irrational and hysterical. This intensification of the restless aggressiveness, the rhetoric and its tone are not new to the ears of experts of relational interdependence of cause and effect of the tragic events of the last two decades that occurred in the areas of the former Yugoslav federation.

This rhetoric, a blind servant of the policy of the ruling Serb circles and their chauvinist and expansionist aspirations towards their neighbors, born and erected on foundations of anachronic premises of anticivilizing antihistoricism, unfortunately neglected by the international, mostly European diplomatic factors, created the catastrophic horror of rivers with the blood of hundreds and thousands of innocent victims and expelled millions from their homes. Ironically, the policy that inspired this process was initially promoted in Kosova, reached the peak of its lunacy in Kosova and finally got punished for it in Kosova.

In civilized societies with moral values, it would be logical and natural for leaders that promoted the policy that lead to all that happened, to stop, think and analyze the causes and circumstances that lead to it, critically analyze the events with a cool head, while looking at the consequences and liabilities. Well, Serbia would not be Serbia if it did that.

Crowds, tired and traumatized by a decade of wars finally rose in Belgrade in 2000. The opposition was at the right place at the right time and with a little trickery, their 'legendary vožd' [1] of the 90’s was overthrown. The irony continues… The defiant butcher of the Balkans was not overthrown for his direct fault and responsibility of turning Balkans into a slaughterhouse; he was overthrown because “he lost four wars” while leading Serbia. Unbelievable but true, this was the motive of the uprising. This is how far the hatred and xenophobia can go.

Sui generis, neuropsychiatry would describe this sociopsychological phenomenon as a collective amokery. An alarming sign indeed… Their problem! Or is it? Ask the neighboring nations that witnessed it first hand and paid for it in blood. This nation needs a national catharsis. Unfortunately, only some lonely voices within Serbia are asking for this to happen, mainly due to their guilty conscience.

Regardless of its motive, this dissatisfaction of the crowds was taken advantage of by the opposition leaders, who after coming to power pompously presented the event as a “democratic revolution”. Of course, this was applauded as a big step forward towards democracy by the world, and successfully capitalized in the diplomatic interrelationships by the new Serb government. The propaganda of the former regime was somewhat silenced, the tip of the pyramid was replaced, but the existing governing structures of the military, police and judicial branches were not touched. The political parties, responsible for the political course that led to the bloodshed of the 90’s were also allowed to continue their activities in the name of “freedom and democracy”.

During new political structures’ conquests for political power, the moderate groups suffered the hardest blows, mainly due to the fact that they were promoting radical changes from previous regime’s ways, and as a result, the winner was conservative wing, personified by the actual prime-minister. A proven nationalist, a consequent legalist, compatible with the former regime and sympathized by them, cherished by the church and conservatory sections of the community, calculating and cunning, well familiar with the Serb traditional spirit, abusive to the friendly World which sympathetically saw in him a symbol of new democracy, he manages in holding onto his post and powers.

In his policies towards Kosova, he is not only a persistent follower of the political course of Slobodan Milosevic, but a more dangerous one. The fact that unlike his communist predecessor, he is wrapped in a gown of a democrat will have more negative consequences for Kosova and its aspirations. Faced with the de jure loss of Kosova, he re-activates the giant propaganda machine that he inherited from his predecessor, and takes a spaghetti approach, firing from all the fronts and calibers. He whips without clemency towards not only towards the aspirations of Kosova for independence, towards the political subjects and its interim leading structures, but also towards UNMIK (the UN Mission in Kosova), it’s Special Representative and towards the international community that is allegedly siding with Kosova residents. With the motto of “the ends justify the means”, this propaganda overpasses even Niccolò Machiavelli, and aligns itself right next to Joseph Goebbels. For him, it is not important if you present facts; fabricate, make up, falsify, defamate, lie and maybe someone will believe you! A lie recycled and repeated many times may begin to sound like a fact. This appears to be the logic and the strategy behind this campaign.

This rampage peaked when it compared UN special envoy Martti Ahtisaari to Adolph Hitler. What a repulsing absurdity! Another jewel! While the rest of the world is recognizing Ahtisaari’s virtues of an experienced and impartial diplomat by nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Serb geniuses compare him to Hitler. But again, the Serb spite is big. It was Marti Ahtisaari together with Russia’s Viktor Černomirdin that convinced the Serbian “vožd” to sign his surrender after the NATO bombing campaign in June 1999.

“Medice, cura te ipsum!” – Physician, heal thyself! Fearing that they will lose the nationalist vote, the same Serbian leaders that are inciting this hysterical propaganda are also turning the blind eye to the skinhead neo-Nazi ultra-aggressive groups that tattooed with swastikas are circulating freely in Belgrade and the rest of Serbia and brutally quashing any attempts of the real pro-democratic forces in Serbia to denazificate the society.

On August 27, 2006, two Israeli citizens were severely beaten by a group of skinheads in a Belgrade park. Yariv Avram and Bojana Petkovic were attacked by men wearing Nazi symbols who were yelling “Auschwitz, Auschwitz” and “Go to Germany”. Mr. Kostunica, In Ahtisaari’s country, this would be considered a political scandal; it would disturb the people and would be punished harshly. Nazism is present in your country, and it is plaguing your nation. Seven years ago, your nation’s forces used the Nazi methods in your Mathausens in the industrial plants in Mackatica and other Mathausens that are surfacing across Serbia. The foundries in your plants were turned into crematoriums for innocent Albanian civilians. It is obvious who needs denazification. Obviously, Finland and Ahtisaari do not.

You rant about the Kosova mafia, and pretend that you do not see the complete criminalization of the society you live in. The whole world knows that your mafia killed your former Prime Minister. Yet, you continue with the motto of “Attack is the best defense”.

When one is short of facts or arguments for a given notion, one uses great words to throw over a smoke screen. The head cleric of Kosova, Artemije, who has for several years misinformed and spread lies against the independence of Kosova in American and European offices, a few days ago said: Kosova can not become a state, for the reason that during World War II they were on Hitler’s side.

His excellence no doubt knows but refuses to openly admit, as it would distress him, that in terms of entertaining friendship with the Fuhrer and subservient stand towards him, that there is no match in Europe with the Serbs or their government. Belgrade had its own “Auschwitz’s” concentration camps in Batajnica, Kosutnjak, Sajmiste, etc. The Serb government of the time took pride in that it uncovered trucks with poisonous gas in them, which were used to transport Jews into these “concentration camps”. With delirious pride the Serb government relayed to Berlin in 1942 the news that Belgrade was the first European city totally rid of Jews. In other words, Jews in the Serb capital had been exterminated.

In Kosova however, neither the Albanians nor its quisling rule, not only did they not kill or denounce any Jews but organized their secret transfer to safety in Albania. Your excellence, another bit of information on the side: Albania (which at that time included a large section of Kosova) was the only country in Europe where the number of Jews after the World War II grew bigger then it was prior to the war. This is also ascertained by Jews themselves. The facts are stubborn, whereas the bluffs of your propaganda which come in abundance, in a case such as this, are not worth a dime.

Nonetheless, the contribution of your Institution represents one of the main pillars of the deafening anti-Kosovar propaganda. Its specter of political colors, whether of black or red provenance, or their coalition with a false white, you carefully put under the lid with your irritating medieval incense. Worse than its lure and enticement is your scandalous, direct and programmed continuous effort in involving others in lay works of this world, in flagrant violation of your primary gospel mission of ennoblement human souls, which is also the founding purpose of Christianity.

Many have claimed that your actions in the forming of public opinion of your community are based on religious nationalist and fascist ideas. As if this wasn’t enough, there came the wholehearted support and encouragement of the Milosevic criminal regime, some of your higher ranking hierarchy did not hesitate to display military awards obtained, with high importance naturally. The Gods Shepherds became colonels. We would like to believe that these are cases of moments of madness of specific individuals. Even the blessing of the death squads setting off on their missions in Bosnia and else, were not some innocent religious rituals.

You are the essence of the doomed Serb myth on Kosova. You turned that into opium for your nationalist violent people, while your political intellectual elite turned that into an icon of expansionist aspirations to the detriment of Albanian lands in the region. Now that your historiography of manipulated claims with everlasting pretension on political and territorial possessing of Kosova is coming to an end, you are consumed by your own agitation. You were the designer of this vicious circle and it must be difficult indeed to break free from it. Even Trocki back in 1913 warned that by occupying Kosova, Serbia was taking over a very serious burden that will never allow the latter to develop or democratize.

Your dying state propaganda chorus, anti-Kosovar secular and ecclesiastical, whether as an attempt to influence the international community or a justification instrument in the eyes of internal public opinion, have in common the paradoxal confrontation with dialectical objectivity of historical development of processes and even more absurdly ignoring the new reality in and out of Kosova, as a consequence of such processes.

The break up of former USSR federal states, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were examples of historic objective processes in Europe, and the independence of Kosova represents the most natural final act of the break up of the former SFRY. Any other interpretation is a farce. You are well aware of this, but due to the arrogance and prepotency that distinguishes you, you claim to have won, not lost, for wars, you try to duck this issue with various machinery, by blackmail and even threats.

You lecture the world how if Kosova was to become independent, basic principles of international right would be violated, whilst you know well how the latter sanctions the initiators of aggression wars, and in particular their losers; you blackmail using instances from political map of Europe and outside it, forgetting that these comparisons are not typical and total nonsense; you threat using Bosnian Serbs, with the peace in the region and further away and with other absurdities, that no longer hold truth.

In relation with Kosova and the obstructions you generate, you attempt to undermine the new reality. With a catalog of pretentious subject you nurture or even invent, you aspire in stopping unstoppable processes: whether is freedom of movement, decentralization, privatization, return of the displaced, etc. and all this in the name of protecting the rights of Serbs in Kosova. A washed out political hypocrisy and known to everyone, a very transparent camouflage trying to obscure your colonial ambitions. Your countrymen fatalist views on Kosova are also symptomatic, since they connect their collective fate with the paternalization of Belgrade. Fanatic and nostalgia-ridden illusionist beyond repair, just how you want them to be, we trust they will not again assume the notorious role of Kosovar “wolgdeutscher”, as in the times when the Dedinje sovereign ruled, despite their public statement indicating otherwise.

The tactics you implement are meticulously calculated and highly flexible: if Kosova nevertheless gains independence, then if possible, damage the state’s vertebral column, decapitate it at the start, let it not become a member state in the UN, let it not have full sovereignty or postpone it for another time, let it not have an army, etc. Much time and space is required to properly dwell upon these subjects.

Pointers to a specific thinking, self-conscious and paranoid, not individual however, are the absurd gut reactions against the formation of the Kosova army. Bitter reminisces of the evil of a recent past, blurry hypothetical associations with the fact that same price may be repaid, or cultivation of crazy grudge-bearing ideas that once again we will gain occupied Kosova back at any cost? As far as the former is concerned, let that be food for thought and contemplation for you, since in any case the army of Kosova sirs shall be an organized institution based on the modern notions of NATO as its ally, its ranks consisting of those that took the brunt of the liberation war as well as members of all communities in Kosova. It will be placed under the control of civil, democratic institutions, shall not have expansionist ambitions, but will serve in the protection of the independence of Kosova. It will not degenerate and deteriorate to the point of killing women, children or elderly. Your unruly army slaughtered and massacred, burnt and scorched throughout Kosova, and according to its own confirmations, killed 835 children, infants and teenagers, not counting hundred and thousands of unarmed civilians. Such gruesome crimes the civilized world has not yet seen anywhere.

Regarding the second point and likely tendencies of a possible alternative adventure in Kosova, a capable army would be the best response and necessary raison d’etre. More so if taking into account your daily gun tooting threats. Consequently, claims that it may pose danger to the regional peace are but cynical and immoral.

Murat Blaku Ph.D.
(Author is a resident Lecturer in the Faculty of Philology, University of Prishtina)