Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) in the movie Good night, and good luck

Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) in the movie Good night, and good luck

One of our ministers was publicly caught trying to embezzle 2 million EUR. All newspapers have written about it at length, disclosing how the minister divided the funds, earmarked for the work of NGOs which help the elderly, sick children and the disabled, between his friends, relatives and party cronies. Which is the same as if he gave the money to himself. When this became public, he annulled this budget item and allotted the funds to the Fund for sick children, to prove himself a humanist. And who would criticize him for providing sick children with more money to get treatment?

In our country, salaries and pensions are being dramatically cut due to austerity measures aimed at budget savings. There is no correlation between the imposed impoverishment and the moral sensitivity of the government. On the contrary, the moral insensitivity has increased so much that the minister caught in the act of corruption does not suffer any consequences. Not only will he not be faced with any moral, criminal or status-related consequences, but he has also received absolution from the highest place, as if nothing has happened. The Prime Minister, in charge of this minister, said that he was not informed about this case, “that the appropriate paperwork should be submitted and the competent authorities will carry out their tasks, regardless of who the person in question is”. We know what the phrase “competent authorities will carry out” means. It means that the minister will continue to give out budget funds to whomever he wants, the way he seems fit and the way he is instructed to. Those who catch him cheating better give up what they are doing, because, as the minister himself said, only those who hate him would do such a thing, and they are the very same people who work against the nation and the state.

The minister will not resign, because he says he does not have the right to do so, and that he can only be deposed by the Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, who has appointed him to his position in the first place. It is obvious that the Prime Minister will not depose him. Why won’t he, when the case is so clear-cut? Because this is exactly the type of minister he needs. The more a minister is morally insensitive, the more irreplaceable he or she becomes. Ergo, minister Vulin. He does and says what he is ordered to. He is a special kind of employee, a minister pro forma. He is not appointed to lead a ministry, except to provide funds for his comrades. These funds, of course, come at the expense of the citizens, who have to suffer austerity measures. Funds for Mr. Vulin have to be found, because he has a special task, and is at beck and call of some very important people. Should a person tasked with accusing foreign countries of attempting to destabilize Vucic’s government suffer? The one who bravely claims that Americans ordered the Hague Tribunal to release Seselj from prison. And they did not stop at that, but also organized his re-extradition to The Hague, just to spite Vucic and force him to arrest his former leader and war comrade. And so, this case was closed, and there will be no more discussion on the topic.

The party buddies of the minister have also stood up to defend him. The president of the city board of the Movement of Socialists in Leskovac said that “big powers are behind the campaign led by NGOs against the leader of his party”, alluding to Vulin’s success in exposing the conspiracies these very powers are constantly organizing against Vucic, that is, the state and our people. “This is not only about the status and integrity of one minister and one party, but it is about the attitude towards a state, towards a nation which fights to have its own standpoint, status, integrity, the right not to be forced to ask permission about every little thing from the foreign masters on this continent and across the ocean”. These are the words of the Movement of Socialists representative.

Fine, we know how much our politicians and parties are corrupt, and how far have they brought us. If it all ended with the minister remaining where he was, as it befits him, not many people would be surprised. Even I would not try so hard to write, for the umpteenth time, about how corruption in Serbia is everyday business, well protected by top government leadership. Nor is anyone surprised that the assault on Vulin is equated with an assault on the state, even on the people. We don’t even find it odd that an international power is being blamed for a conspiracy against our people.

But what is new is that the very international power itself has stood up to defend Vulin, who was brave enough to name it. The US Ambassador to Serbia, Michael Kirby, gave a statement claiming that the US embassy has good cooperation with Mr. Vulin, and that he hopes this will continue in the future. If he was only defended by Vucic, that would be understandable, but by the US Ambassador in person! A neutral and most powerful individual is necessary to testify to the righteousness of minister Vulin. Who will be more convincing than the US, perceived by the people as an enemy power? And, lo and behold, even the great enemy power supports our minister. Really, is there anyone who can guess why Ambassador Kirby is working for Vulin?

Vulin, caught with his hand in the cookie jar, is being given absolution from corruption by the US Ambassador. Vulin being protected by the US, go figure? Oppose a large international power, if you dare, and if you are as brave as Vulin? It’s not easy for me, but I have to report them all. It is not only the mighty US that is participating in washing the government’s and Vulin’s own dirty laundry, but also European powers and the great Russia. How did they all throw a lifebelt to our leaders? Easily and nicely. Vulin will be the representative of the government at the conference about the annual issue of the London magazine “The Economist”. It will be held on December 18, and the participants are as follows: the Head of EU Delegation to Serbia, ambassadors of the US, Russian Federation, Germany, France and Israel.

I just remembered Pajtic, who complained to these countries how the government is terrorizing the opposition.

Good night, and good luck.

Translated by Bojana Obradovic

Peščanik.net, 13.12.2014.

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Vesna Pešić

Vesna Pešić

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).