Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Government Falls in Belgrade

by Srdja Trifkovic for Chronicles Magazine

Far from indicating Serbia's readiness to cower into the vivisection kennel, Tadic's victory on February 3 was the last chance for the U.S. and the EU to stop the Kosovo trainwreck. Both Washington and Brussels decided to play va banque instead. Serbia's resulting anger against the West will translate into the well-deserved demise for the DS and other "pro-Western democrats" at the parliamentary election on May 11.


The collapse of Serbia's government on Saturday was unsurprising and necessary. Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica finally stated what we've known for months: that his coalition government "has no united policy any more on an important issue related to the future of the country, on Kosovo as a part of Serbia." The immediate cause of the split was the refusal of two pro-Western parties in the coalition to support Kostunica's position that Serbia would only seek to be integrated into the EU if it can be so in its entirety, including Kosovo.

The underlying causes of the rift are complex. Their explanation requires semantic clarity that is absent among Western analysts of Balkan affairs and their Serbian colleagues alike. Thirteen years of Slobodan Milosevic's rule in Serbia have left many ugly marks on the political and cultural scene of the country. One of them, of a secondary order yet illustrative of the country's mood, is the reluctance of participants in Serbia's public discourse to use certain eminently useful words, such as "conspiracy," and "treason." [ ... ]

In reality there had been many full-bloodied conspirators, enemies, and traitors among the Serbs' foes throughout the 1990s. In 1993, for instance, Bill Clinton actively conspired with the mullahs in Tehran to smuggle arms to Bosnia's Muslim mujaheddin, in blatant violation of the very UN resolution which the United States had proposed a year earlier. Albright's brutal ruse at Rambouillet in February 1999, executed with all the subtlety of Reinhardt Heydrich or Zia ul Haq, was a conspiracy against peace par excellence. Its perpetrators were Serbia's enemies in the technical, rather than ideological, sense of that term.

A semantically precise description of political events is the prerequisite for their proper understanding and analysis. We need those words to explain accurately and adequately what has been going on in connection with Kosovo over the past few months.


In the final quarter of 2007 we've witnessed a coldly premeditated conspiracy by the United States administration to prevent any possibility of compromise in Kosovo. Earlier statements by various U.S. officials, from Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice down, that Kosovo's independence was "inevitable" and that it would be achieved "one way or another" (June-July 2007) were a classic case of policy makers actively torpedoing a diplomatic outcome they dislike - and then claiming that the failure of "diplomacy" had been preordained, and therefore an imposed solution was necessary.

This same trick was played by then-U.S. Ambassador in Belgrade, Warren Zimmermann, when he actively sabotaged the Bosnian peace accord brokered by the Portuguese Presidency on behalf of the EU in early 1992. Zimmermann flew post-haste to Sarajevo to tell Alija Izetbegovic that the U.S. would support him if he were to renege on this agreement. The rest is history: Izetbegovic followed American advice, thereby igniting the Bosnian civil war. Zimmermann, his masters at Foggy Bottom, and the White House all share the responsibility for the bloody results.

The present American conspiracy over Kosovo went far beyond engineering the failure of diplomatic efforts. It was focused on getting the EU to follow the Diktat from the Potomac. The doubters were to be cajoled, threatened, maligned as Russian stooges, or otherwise press-ganged into submission. As Slovenian analyst Tomaz Mastnak noted in the latest issue of Foreign Policy in Focus, this behind-the-scenes collusion revealed two violations with regard to Kosovo:

The United States, with Slovenian assistance, sought to circumvent the European political process - not to speak of the UN. And Kosovo itself, by unilaterally declaring independence, violated international law. These two violations - of a political process and of the rule of law - will come back to haunt Europe and the United States in the coming months and years.

Slovenia plays a disproportionately important role in this story, Mastnak explains, because it assumed the European Union presidency on January 1, 2008. A week before, on Christmas Eve 2007, a top official of the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its Political Director Mitja Drobnic, had a meeting in Washington with Daniel Fried, assistant secretary of state for European affairs, his deputy Rosemary DiCarlo, and Judy Ansley, NSA senior director for European affairs. An internal Slovenian report of this meeting was leaked to the Slovenian daily Dnevnik and the Belgrade daily Politika and published on January 25. Their authenticity was beyond doubt, causing the immediate resignation of Mr. Drobnic.

According to Drobnic's minutes, the Americans presented a list of demands, including "a mention of Iraq and rogue states, such as Iran, Burma, and Syria" in the US-EU declaration at the forthcoming summit in Ljubljana. Regarding Kosovo, the conversation was a careful orchestration of the timetable for independence. Drobnic asked for help with obtaining the UN Secretary General's statement in support of sending the European Security and Defense Policy mission to Kosovo, "since some EU member states have difficulties with making the decision to send the ESDP without the UN agreement." Fried responded that "the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is under the pressure of the Russian Federation and thus in a difficult position," but the U.S. had assurances that the UN was not going to put restrictions on the sending the mission. Washington, he explained, "will help the UN Secretary General in the case of difficulties with the Russian Federation, while [Slovenia] has to achieve within the EU the sending of the ESDP in the shortest time."

As Mastnak points out, the decision to send the ESDP mission to Kosovo was of key importance for the United States, since it was effectively replacing the UN mandate over the province with the EU mandate. In pushing that decision through, Fried was clear: "one can ignore the critical positions and statements of the Russian Federation and Serbia." His deputy Rosemary DiCarlo noted that it would make sense if "the session of the Kosovo Parliament, in which they pass the declaration of independence, were to be on Sunday, since this way the Russian Federation would not have the time to call for the UN Security Council. In the meantime, the first recognitions would already have happened."

Fried further told the Slovenes that "the US is drafting the constitution with the Kosovars" and that the situation on the ground was "promising." Fried added, "The US hoped that the Kosovars would not lose confidence in themselves, because that would mean that the US will lose its influence."

Both by the formal and substantive criteria, the U.S. Kosovo policy in general and Daniel Fried's behavior in particular is a classic case of CONSPIRACY: the pursuit of illegal and illegitimate objectives through secret association with other plotters. Mr. Fried's manner of a mastermind telling his Euro-underlings how to stage a heist offers far more incontrovertible evidence of conspiratorial culpability than, say, the Hague "Tribunal's" accusation against Milosevic or Seselj that they had forged a conspiracy for the creation of a "Greater Serbia."

The US-EU plot is not aimed only at Serbia, Russia, and those EU members that oppose Kosovo's independence. Let us recall that Swedish foreign minister and former premier Carl Bildt declared last December that the EU should seek to maintain a "mere appearance" of respect for international legality. In reality the trans-Atlantic Kosovo conspiracy is directed against the very foundations of the global legal and political order, and therefore against peace as such. This is a capital crime par excellence under the Nuremberg Rules.


There is no more overtly inimical act in international relations than taking territory away from one nation for the benefit of another. Throughout history it has been a perfectly legitimate casus belli. Accordingly, the proponents of Kosovo's independence are stricto sensu Serbia's enemies, just as the proponents of the Munich Diktat in September 1938 were the enemies of the Czechs. Accordingly, Under-Secretary of State Nicholas Burns - Daniel Fried's boss - "explained" why UNSC Resolution 1244 did NOT prevent Kosovo's secession in terms worthy of a Ribbentrop or Molotov:

The language referring to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia is mentioned in the resolution's preamble, not in any of its legally operative language. In other words, while UNSCR 1244 aimed for a negotiated agreement, it did not prejudge the ultimate outcome and did not legally require a negotiated agreement.

By this standard of "legality" this world is a Hobbesian jungle in which the life of small nations that do not obey the will of Messrs Burns, Fried, and their ilk, is nasty, brutish, and short. By allowing its Kosovo policy to be shaped by these dysfunctional bureaucrats and recognizing the monster of its own creation, the United States government - the Conspirator-in-Chief - has declared itself as an enemy of Serbia in the purely value-neutral sense, just as the proponents of a "free" Chechnya are objectively Russia's enemies. This is the context needed to understand the motives of demonstrators who damaged an auxilliary wing of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade just over two weeks ago.

Within Serbia there are prominent "pro-Western" political leaders and top-level state officials belonging to the "reformist" and "pro-European" parties who have coordinated their domestic political strategies with the likes of Messrs. Burns and Fried, and their Euro-ilk. By any normal, i.e. non-ideological yardstick they are guilty of treason: of criminal disloyalty manifest in actions that undermine or jeopardize the interests of their nation and state. There is ample prima facie evidence of such culpability among Tadic's coterie. The recent presidential elections, for example, were called on December 12, 2008, by the Democratic Party without prior agreement among coalition partners - but in agreement with, and the approval of, Washington and Brussels.

Contrary to Mr. Burns' stated expectation of "a period of stability" after Kosovo's declaration of independence, the U.S. policy has destabilized the Balkans and divided the world. The good news is that the polarization will finally debunk the myth of the "International Community." If about a half of all sovereign states, accounting for more than two-thirds of the world's population, are not on board with the United States on this issue - intense pressure, threats and promises notwithstanding - the result will be a long-overdue and welcome loss of face and credibility by the global-hegemonist "foreign policy community" inside the Beltway.

Mr. Burns' confident expectation that, after some passing anger, Serbia would "take its place in the European Union in the future and in a better relationship with NATO and as a friend of the U.S." is as absurd as his "legal opinion" on UNSC Resolution 1244. The flames in the U.S. embassy in Belgrade were easy to put out, but the country's anger is deep and the people's resentment of America abiding.

President Boris Tadic's narrow victory (51 percent) in the second round of the presidential election on February 3 was entirely due to his claim that, as a pro-Western reformist, he could obtain less brutal treatment for Serbia from Brussels and Washington than his "nationalist" opponent. But Mr. Burns et al misinterpreted his victory as a sign that the Serbs were throwing in the towel. (Oh yes, had Tomislav Nikolic of the Serbian Radical Party won, they would have said that their scenario should be applied because Serbia proved herself to be irredeemably nationalist . . . )

Far from indicating Serbia's readiness to sling into the vivisection kennel, however, Tadic's victory was the last chance for the U.S. and the EU to stop the train wreck. The anger against the West will translate into the well-deserved electoral demise for Tadic's Democratic Party at the parliamentary election on May 11.Kosovo will linger on for a few years, as an expensive albatross costing American and European taxpayers a few billion a year. It will continue developing, not as a functional economy but as a black hole of criminality and terrorism. The ever-rising and constantly unfulfilled expectations of its unemployable multitudes will eventually turn - Frankenstein's monster-like - against the entity's creator.