How to be a ‘Serb basher’
Here’s a patriotism test for dummies.
Take a look at these two photos.
The photo on the left is of the Partisan Stjepan Filipovic, who fought to free Serbia from the Nazis in World War II. As commander of a battalion of Serbian Partisans, he was captured in combat by the collaborationist Chetniks, who handed him over to the Germans. As he was being hanged, he called upon the Serbian people to fight the Nazis and their Serbian collaborators.
The photo on the right is of the Serbian quisling prime minister Milan Nedic, meeting with the German Fuehrer Adolf Hitler to request the establishment of a Great Serbia. Nedic had loyally helped Hitler to crush the Serbian Partisans and exterminate the Serbian Jews.
Who was the greater Serbian patriot, Filipovic or Nedic ?
It’s not a difficult question to answer for anybody with a shred of political decency or morality (nor should anyone’s answer be changed by the knowledge that Filipovic was originally from Croatia, and that the Partisans were, unlike Nedic, opposed to a Great Serbia and fought tooth and nail against its supporters).
Yet today, the Serbian fascists – when they aren’t too busy physically harassing unarmed women – are trying to convince the world that they ‘are’ Serbia. In other words, anyone who condemns their disgusting activities is supposedly attacking ‘all’ Serbs and engaging in ‘Serb bashing’, as I have learned anew after posting my last article here, which was a statement in support of the Serbian human-rights activist Sonja Biserko, who is currently suffering a campaign of harassment from the gutter press and the neo-Nazi movement in Serbia.
I appreciate that the sheer shamelessness of the fascists’ claim may be difficult for any normal person to grasp, so I’m going to elaborate. The fascists have long argued that they should be free to kill, rape and torture; wage wars of aggression against neighbouring states and carry out genocide; destroy mosques or burn libraries – but nobody should condemn or even mention this behaviour, because to do so is to be ‘anti-Serb’; to engage in ‘Serb-bashing’. Today, failure to respect the right of fascist thugs to bully and harass human-rights activists is likewise ‘Serb bashing’.
On the other hand, if you want physically to assault a Serbian human-rights activist, murder a dissident Serbian journalist or even assassinate the democratically elected Serbian prime minister, then not only is this not seen as ‘Serb bashing’, but it is seen as the height of patriotism. To attack Serb democrats and human-rights activists is not to attack all Serbs; indeed, it isn’t to attack any Serbs at all, because any Serb who supports democracy and human rights automatically stops being a ‘proper’ Serb in the eyes of the fascists.
Put differently: a ‘Serb basher’ is not someone who actually bashes or even murders Serbs – like the neo-Nazis who physically harass Sonja Biserko or the assassins of Zoran Djindjic, not to mention the people who besieged and bombarded the Serb residents of Sarajevo for three and a half years. No; a ‘Serb basher’ is anyone who speaks up for Serbian democrats, or Serbian human-rights activists, or for ordinary Serbian citizens who don’t want to fight endless, unwinnable wars with the rest of the world.
If the mentality of the fascists in Serbia is still difficult to comprehend, I invite readers from outside Serbia to imagine how they would feel if their own countries’ fascists claimed that they ‘were’ those countries. In other words, how would English, Scottish or Welsh readers feel if supporters of the British National Party claimed that they ‘were’ Britain, and that any attack on them constituted ‘Briton-bashing’ and an attack on ‘all’ Britons ? How would German readers respond to the claim that condemning the Nazis was ‘German-bashing’ ? How would American readers take the suggestion that condemning the Ku Klux Klan was ‘American-bashing’ ?
Can you imagine anything more impudent ? I can’t.
But are the Serbian fascists right ? Are they really the ‘true’ Serbian patriots, while the Serbian democrats and human-rights activists are all traitors, Western stooges and not really Serb at all ?
What is the record of the Serbian fascists – the supporters of Slobodan Milosevic, Vojislav Seselj and others, now represented most prominently by the Serbian Radical Party and most crudely by groups such as ‘Movement 1389’ and ‘Obraz’ ?
1) They deliberately destroyed the state of Yugoslavia, with which most Serbs identified, in order to replace it with a ‘Great Serbia’;
2) They initiated and fought a series of wars against Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and the Albanian population of Kosova, which resulted in military catastrophe; brought about Serbia’s bombing by NATO; killed tens of thousands of Serbs and turned hundreds of thousands more into refugees; impoverished the once-prosperous Serbian people; and blackened Serbia’s image internationally;
3) Having ruined Serbia economically and robbed it blind, they are now doing their best to keep it out of the EU and ensure its continued international isolation, while countries that were once considered poorer cousins, such as Bulgaria and Romania, are peacefully enjoying the benefits of international acceptance and EU membership.
What a glorious patriotic record ! Shame on Sonja Biserko, Natasa Kandic, Zoran Djindjic and other ‘bad Serbs’ for dissenting from this programme. And shame on us ‘Serb bashers’ for complaining about it. Just think: if people like Sonja in Serbia, and people like me in the West, had just kept quiet, Milosevic, Seselj, Karadzic and co. might just have been able to conquer Bosnia and much of Croatia, and wipe out much of the Croats, Bosniaks and Kosovar Albanians without the outside world noticing. And then wouldn’t everything have been just fine ?! There’d be a Great Serbian state stretching to the outskirts of Zagreb, in which most non-Serbs would have been quietly exterminated, without the country suffering from any negative international media coverage whatsoever !
And now – oh, the cheek of it ! Not content with foiling these exalted, noble grand schemes, we Serb-bashers have the nerve to make a noise when the poor, defeated fascists want quietly to beat up a few human-rights activists without causing a stir. Must we kick a man when he’s down ? Having denied them a Great Serbia, can’t we at least allow them the satisfaction of bumping off Sonja Biserko ? Have we no shame ?! Why, one can’t even form a neo-Nazi gang and attack unarmed women without provoking negative coverage from the Serb bashers. What’s the world coming to ?
I’m not joking – this is actually the way these people think. Readers are directed to Sarah Franco’s blog Cafe Turco, where Sarah and I came under attack from a couple of charming individuals who came to the defence of the neo-Nazis. You can read the exchange here. One of them, a certain Ivan Sokolov of Hartford, Connecticut, had previously emailed me to inform me of his view:
‘I feel that the Orthodox people had every right to burn all the mosques they could throughout the 19th century.’
A second such individual, who went by the monikers ‘Slavonic’ and ‘Not a slave’, had this to say about me:
‘MAH is very forgiving towards the Turks. The Turks, you see, are approved ethnic cleansers. That’s because 1) they are solid NATO allies and 2) they are friendly to Israel (very important for the Henry Jackson Society). MAH can’t get them fast enough into Europe (with Israel to follow?).’
Has everyone got that ? I’m a servant of the Zionists.
Any further comment would be superfluous. But if anyone would like to join the Neocon-Zionist Conspiracy to overthrow the Aryan Race in Serbia, do please get in touch. Fascism in Serbia is increasingly a defeated, marginal phenomenon, but it is no less dangerous for that to those brave Serbs who, like Sonja Biserko, are under attack from it. Even the current pro-European government in Serbia was forced to encompass a fragment of the Milosevic regime, in the form of Ivica Dacic’s Socialist Party of Serbia, in order to take power: Dacic’s control of the Serbian interior ministry may explain why the harassment of human-rights activists is allowed to continue. Until the last dregs of Serbian fascism have finally been mopped up, Serbian freedom and Serbian democracy can never fully flourish.
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