Saving Serbia: Both Complex and Simple

By James Jatras
Friday, 10 Jun 2011

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The question of “Saving Serbia” is a matter of some frustration as viewed from an American perspective. As a citizen of the “friendly” country that has made it its special mission to reverse the gains of Serbian statehood bought with the sacrifice of much blood over the centuries, it is a sorry topic to contemplate.  

Moreover, it is a matter that upon first examination appears – but only appears – to be one of dauntingly multifaceted and reinforcing complexity:

* A fawning attitude to the idol of pro-western “Euro-Atlantic integration,” including not only “pro-Europe” (in translation meaning pro the Brussels bureaucracy, as Serbia would be in Europe even if no EU existed) but pro-NATO. The former means a reprise of the communist “radiant future” that somehow never managed to arrive, and which has already become a deepening swamp for the countries already in it. The latter is an aggressive mutation of an originally defensive alliance with Serbian blood on its hands.

* A continued western (especially American) commitment to further reduction of the Serbian lands, encompassing the separation of Montenegro from Serbia and ongoing attempts to detach Kosovo and Metohija and to throttle Republika Srpska, with Sandzak, the Presevo Valley, and Vojvodina yet to come. 

U.S. regional policy continues to take as its touchstone the unquestionable assumption that Serbs, alone of all the former Yugoslav nationalities, had no legitimate interest in how Yugoslavia came apart, and that all wrongs and conflict stemming therefrom were exclusively the Serbs’ fault.  Having adopted all former Axis allies from World War II, American policy remains centered on sponsorship of anti-Serb regional interests, above all the vain attempt favorably to impress the Islamic world – America’s global obsession since 9/11 – with our goodwill towards Muslim populations in the Balkans.  

Connected to the foregoing, a Serbian public perception that all is lost, and that as Serbia contracts to the contours of the Pashaluk of Belgrade, all that can be done is to accept cruel fate and, in effect, convert to the adversaries’ thinking.    A key element is the cultivation of widespread despair about Serbia’s future absent such a capitulation. This is nowhere more clearly seen than in the public lynching of Vladika Artemije of Ras and Prizren, a pillar of Orthodoxy with respect not only to KiM but to “reform” and “ecumenism” in the Serbian Orthodox Church.   Cut out Serbia’s heart by undermining confidence of the Church, the spiritual strength that carried the nation through the long centuries of persecution under the Ottoman Caliphate, then what hope of recovery can there be?

Viewed in such terms, Serbia’s and Serbs’ predicament seems both complex and hopeless. Let Serbs forget they are Orthodox Christians or Serbs, let them become good little godless “Europeans” (as commonly understood), let them kiss the hand (I am being polite) of the aggressors who had bombed them, -- and then they’ll be welcomed back into the family of such nations (or more correctly, former nations, who are themselves waiting to succumb to the jihad and Sharia bacillus with which they are perhaps fatally infected).

Or, on second thought – maybe not.

Maybe none of the complexity and hopelessness described above is warranted, and the solution is both simple and attainable.   None of what is lamented above would be happening, or could happen, or even appear to be happening, without the active and knowing collaboration of the ruling coalition in Belgrade.   Without such a coalition, and viewing facts as they are, Serbia’s situation is far from one of despair and, in fact, is quite advantageous.

With regard to “Europe,” Serbia would be well-advised to stay outside of the EU and negotiate a relationship with it as a non-member. Can anyone say that Switzerland or Norway is worse off than Greece or Portugal – or for that matter, Bulgaria or Romania? Even aside from the question of when, if ever, Serbia would be invited to join the EU, there’s no reason Serbia needs to base its relationship with western countries on subservience to the Brussels bureaucrats, worthy successors of their communist models.   Meanwhile better and more lucrative opportunities exist for trade and cooperation with Russia than with Europe.   As for NATO, what can one say? How any decent Serb can even contemplate membership in such a monstrosity is beyond my understanding. Perhaps some practical benefit can be derived from technical cooperation with Partnership for Peace, perhaps not.   If so, Serbia should also seek to balance such cooperation by building ties with the Collective Security Treat Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Shouldn’t any country base its security arrangements on countries that support her sovereignty and territorial integrity, not those trying to violate and destroy them?

With regard to the pseudo-state pretending to exist in KiM, neither all of Washington’s horses nor all of Brussels’ men have been able to breathe life into this fraud.   At each step – the UDI, the absurd International Court of Justice ruling, the holding of “elections” and formation of a new “government” in Pristina under whomever the American viceroy picks as “president” – the promised consolidation of “Europe’s newest state” never quite arrives.    Meanwhile, Hashim Thaci reportedly is afraid to travel abroad for fear of arrest but no thanks to any action by Belgrade, which has not lifted a finger to secure an Interpol “red notice” for this murderer’s apprehension – either for the organ-harvesting murders committed by his KLA underlings or on an outstanding warrant for terrorism and murder, which Serbian officials admit is still in effect. Instead, the yellow coalition in Belgrade tries to convince Serbs that KiM is already lost and the only course is some kind of negotiation with the organ-traffickers, while shunning cooperation with the global majority on Serbia’s side: Russia and China, India and Pakistan, Iran and Israel, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, almost all of Latin America, almost all of Africa.   Instead of socializing with killers, a patriotic government in Belgrade would give active priority to seeking which will be the first government to de-recognize “KosovA.” That is, if there were a patriotic government in Belgrade . . .

Which, in the end, is what it all comes down to. A famous American writer once described a “liberal” as someone who won’t take his own side in a fight. Serbia is in a fight – an urgent fight for physical, moral, and physical survival – that can and must be won. More the point, it is a fight that is eminently winnable if Serbia had a government willing to fight on Serbia’s behalf, not act as handmaids for Serbia’s enemies.   Thus, the survival of Serbia and the Serbs means the need to replace the current government with a patriotic government.

It’s that simple.