The unnatural and unprincipled (therefore false) coalition between DS and DSS has broken down because of disunity over the process of association with the EU (according to Tadić) or over Kosovo (according to Koštunica).

The problem arose, of course, with the formation of the government, when these differences were glossed over with vague and ambiguous formulations about ‘common principles’ and the platitude ‘ Europe and Kosovo’. Diplomats call this ‘papering over differences’. The allies allegedly agreed, but with a ‘mental reservation’: i.e. a readiness at any given moment to interpret this vague coalition ‘agreement’ in the manner that suited them. From the very start, therefore, there was no agreement, because there was no sincere common will. The agreement was a fake.

Technically, the ambiguity lay simply in the fact that principles which were mutually contradictory were proclaimed as being equally important, while any statement of an order of priority between the two principles was avoided. In other words, nothing was said about what would happen if it became impossible in given circumstances to satisfy both principles simultaneously: i.e. which of the principles would have the priority. On such an occasion, would association with the EU be more important than ‘the struggle for Kosovo’? In order to be able to form a government, both DS and DSS had to hide their true positions; but this could only be temporary, until those questions arose as a condition for practical political decisions. The agreement was false, as was the government based on it. Both parties deliberately deceived the electorate. In Serbia, this is called ‘politics’ – the art of careless lying. This is why the government had to fall, of course, as soon as the first important decision came along.

And now that the bubble has burst, it would appear that at the coming elections we shall be able to debate and decide FREE FROM LIES.

This, unfortunately, is not the case. Thanks to opportunism, demagogy, political calculation and cowardice, this conflict will continue to play out behind a colossal lie, and irresponsible deception of citizens, on the part of both DSS and DS (and most other parties too).

It is a lie that a ‘battle for Kosovo’ is possible, or that the measures in the ‘action plan’ might possibly produce a Copernican revolution as a result of which all the states that have recognised Kosovo would ‘admit their mistake, error and injury to us’ and declare their decision null and void. It is quite clear too that Kosovo can be an internationally recognised state despite Russia vetoing its UN membership. Serbia too was a state even though it was not a UN member. No one dares to admit what is of the essence, something that every man in the street knows: Kosovo willl never again be part of Serbia.

Kosovo is an independent state, and there is not even a theoretical possibility that this fact can be changed. Expressions of disapproval, protest, emotion, regret, disagreement, refusal to recognise this state – all this is predictable, natural, inevitable, legitimate, and irrelevant so far as the existence of the state is concerned. Everyone knows that this act is in fact irreversible. No one dares publicly to recognise this reality, however, and since politics is the art of the POSSIBLE, it is evident that ‘the struggle for Kosovo’ is no policy; that the citizens, the public and the electorate see it as ‘madness’, as has already been publicly diagnosed. DSS, SRS and SPS are once again declaring that it is patriotic to be mad.

Worse than that: this madness too is faked. This is because no one can be THAT mad. The primary aim of this simulated madness is to inhibit Serbia’s entry into the EU. This is the true aim of DSS, SRS and SPS.

In the case of the other parties, DS above all, this simulated madness is a demagogy that hesitates to admit the evident truth, because it fears that the truth is so unpalatable that the voters may punish the messenger. This demagogy, it seems, underestimates the public, the citizens and the voters. They already know the truth, so it is worthless also as demagogy. This is why this demagogy has primarily a repressive character: to threaten the pro-European parties and citizens that they will be charged with treason, if they openly proclaim the truth.

The truth is that those politicians, parties and citizens who first manage to gather sufficient courage to say openly that the emperor has no clothes, that Kosovo is independent, and that ‘the struggle for Kosovo’ is either madness of demagogy, deserve to be acclaimed not only for their honesty and courage, but also for their true patriotism. A state strategy based on such colossal lies leads only to another costly and long-term defeat.

There is no hope for Serbia so long as it remains dug in behind denial of the moral and political mortgage of the 1990s, which we AS A STATE rightly carry to this day. It was necessary to struggle for Kosovo, and to negotiate with the Albanians then – in the 1980s and 1990s. But no one wished to do so.

Translation from Bosnian Institute, 10.03.2008.

The following two tabs change content below.
Srđa Popović (1937-2013), jugoslovenski advokat ljudskih prava. Branio mladog Zorana Đinđića, Brigitte Mohnhaupt (Baader-Meinhof), Vojislava Šešelja, Dušana Makavejeva, Milorada Vučelića, Mihajla Markovića, Miću Popovića, Predraga Čudića, Nebojšu Popova, Vladimira Mijanovića (Vlada Revolucija), Milana Nikolića, Mihajla Mihailova, Dobroslava Paragu, Milana Milišića, Vladimira Šeksa, Andriju Artukovića, Beogradsku šestoricu, profesore izbačene sa Filozofskog fakulteta... Pokretač peticija za ukidanje člana 133 (delikt govora), ukidanje smrtne kazne, uvođenje višestranačja u SFRJ... 1990. pokrenuo prvi privatni medij u Jugoslaviji, nedeljnik Vreme. Posle dolaska Miloševića na vlast iselio se u SAD, vratio se 2001. Poslednji veliki sudski proces: atentat na Zorana Đinđića. Govorio u 60 emisija Peščanika. Knjige: Kosovski čvor 1990, Put u varvarstvo 2000, Tačka razlaza 2002, Poslednja instanca I, II, III 2003, Nezavršeni proces 2007, One gorke suze posle 2010.

Latest posts by Srđa Popović (see all)