While Pescanik’s website was being taken down for publishing an analysis of how the police minister Nebojsa Stefanovic got a quick PhD, using the „Resava School method“ (the technical term being „plagiarism“), prime minister Vucic wrote to OSCE representative Dunja Mijatovic. He demanded an apology because she said that there was censorship in Serbia. He criticized her for running a dirty campaign against the country whose government he leads (as if the country, he and the government were one and the same), and he was forced to examine all the allegations in her statement. But nothing was said about how this inquiry was conducted and who or what government authority carried it out. Although he made sure to examine everything and determined that there was no censorship, he put the ball in Dunja Mijatovic’s court, demanding she offers “evidence proving the Serbian government disabled the websites Druga strana, Telepromter or took down a blog from Blic’s website. But alas, Dunja Mijatovic offered no such evidence, and still she is running her mouth against Serbia and its government.
Although prime minister Vucic claims he refuses to believe, he still does believe that Dunja Mijatovic got her information “in a flippant manner, from one of the sites running a customary dirty campaign against their government.” What is worse, “misinformation was provided by the representatives of the so-called independent institutions,” and it seems to me that he was alluding to the Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic, who suddenly found himself under great pressure from the authorities. Prime minister Vucic refuses to believe, and yet he still believes that Dunja Mijatovic is part of a deeper and wider conspiracy. She did it, the prime minister said, “because there is a need to discipline the Serbian leaders and stifle any idea of a free and independent Serbian reaction in its foreign policy.” It seems to me that our prime minister said: don’t bother me with such trivialities; censorship, dictatorship, nonexistent institutions – instead of worrying about him.
But to understand why he got so angry with poor Dunja Mijatovic we have to take a step back. This is what we read the other day in Blic, when the prime minister suddenly said someone is undermining him from abroad. Some foreign factors zeroed in on him (and Serbia). He already sees himself as their victim, informing the public that he would resign. Resign why? To save Serbia, of course, because it is for Serbia that he cares most. And are they threatening him? Because he would not allow Serbia to suffer and face sanctions for the government’s free and independent (read: pro-Russian) foreign policy. Has it come to that, that we have to choose between the EU and Russia? Fear is a great inventor. Vucic suspects that the usual enemies of Serbian liberty and sovereignty will soon leave him in the lurch. This is how he read the OSCE statement. It seems like just yesterday he bathed in applause, and suddenly this Dunja came out of nowhere to undermine him. She latched on false censorship, in cahoots with traitors.
Well, Dunja is trying to bring him down, but what about his Europeanism now that these heavy clouds are hovering over him?
We would hardly get an answer if we only listened to Vucic’s lament about global and internal conspiracies. It is true that our textbooks say the Serbian people have always been victims of injustice and deceit of the great powers, while we only defended ourselves and never hurt a fly. But it does not help much when the OSCE and Dunja home in on us. The foreign minister Ivica Dacic was more specific – things are not great but we will still put up a fight. From his current office this avowed jokester held a press conference at which he said: “Until Serbia becomes a full-fledged member of the EU, we will look after our own national interests.” We’re not stupid, Dacic said, “we know what we want and what our interests are. And we also know what we must do and what we don’t have to do.” We all know what our national interests are: while Karlobag and Virovitica may be forgotten and while Kosovo is still somehow in the wings, it is certain that will not give up on Russia and Republika Srpska. And those strangers also know what it’s like, they are not as stupid as Dacic and Vucic seemed to believe. They also read the letter to Dunja Mijatovic. And they heard us well that we are very principled and non-aligned: usually we favor integrity of all countries, but our relations with Russia are a priority. When we go for national interests, and it’s not that we never went for them, Europe doesn’t stand a chance. How do we pursue our national interests if it’s precisely because of those interests that we will never be accepted as a member? Europe is far from those interests, because they necessarily include censorship. And if things are as they are, at least those in power can make themselves confortable. Once we become a full-fledged member, there will be no censorship.
Until then it’s censorship. And don’t make Vucic write such tender letters to the rest of you.
Translated by Ivica Pavlovic
Vesna Pešić, političarka, borkinja za ljudska prava i antiratna aktivistkinja, sociološkinja. Diplomirala na Filozofskom fakultetu u Beogradu, doktorirala na Pravnom, radila u Institutu za društvene nauke i Institutu za filozofiju i društvenu teoriju, bila profesorka sociologije. Od 70-ih pripada peticionaškom pokretu, 1982. bila zatvarana sa grupom disidenata. 1985. osnivačica Jugoslovenskog helsinškog komiteta. 1989. članica Udruženja za jugoslovensku demokratsku inicijativu. 1991. članica Evropskog pokreta u Jugoslaviji. 1991. osniva Centar za antiratnu akciju, prvu mirovnu organizaciju u Srbiji. 1992-1999. osnivačica i predsednica Građanskog saveza Srbije (GSS), nastalog ujedinjenjem Republikanskog kluba i Reformske stranke, sukcesora Saveza reformskih snaga Jugoslavije Ante Markovića. 1993-1997. jedna od vođa Koalicije Zajedno (sa Zoranom Đinđićem i Vukom Draškovićem). 2001-2005. ambasadorka SR Jugoslavije, pa SCG u Meksiku. Posle gašenja GSS 2007, njegovim prelaskom u Liberalno-demokratsku partiju (LDP), do 2011. predsednica Političkog saveta LDP-a, kada napušta ovu partiju. Narodna poslanica (1993-1997, 2007-2012).