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Shkrim i cituar The logic of a lunacy - by Arbėn Xhaferri

February 23, 2008 / Arbėn Xhaferri *

It’s Thursday today as I write this text, 21st of February 2008. This month nineteen years ago, at Stantrg (Stari Trg) mine in Kosova, Albanian third shift miners had made a bold stand with clear political motives. They refused to come out of the depths of earth by sending thus the message that they were the guardians of the foundations - of the Albanism of Kosova - that the new Serbian regime, led by Slobodan Milosevic wanted to shake. This month nineteen years ago Serbian nationalism had reached its peak. The demonstrations that were held made a prelude for the political campaigns that were about to follow which sought to dethrone and evade the legitimate political leaderships of the non-Serbian federative units of Yugoslavia that were still faithful to the political principles of the federation. At that time the other Yugoslavian peoples were silent, shy, waiting terrified for what would happen. They thought - in fact they wished - that the nationalist appetite of Serbs would satiate with Kosova. But it didn’t. Pandora’s Box was just opening.

The miners of Stantrg, by their bold character, forewarned that Kosovars would be an impossible bite for Serbian nationalists. This quality was first understood by Slovenians, who from their rally in Cankarjev Dom (Cankar Congress centre) sent the message of their solidarity with the Albanian miners’ requests. Serbian politicians threatened with police intervention, but no threat could move the miners away, who instead became a symbol of a long lasting Albanian resistance. From the chronological aspect many analysts consider that the dissolution of Yugoslavia began verily on that day at Stantrg mine, and came to an end on February 17, 2008 with Kosova’s independence.

Today as we remember the courageous act of the miners of Stantrg, the progenies of Serbian nationalists of the Milosevician format are holding in Belgrade a big demonstration with the same iconography, the same arguments and the same rhetoric of 19 years ago. Their main slogan is “Kosovo is Serbia”. Rally speakers shout they won’t give Kosova away, and the more they use this slogan the more they loose Kosova. Serbian politicians have plunged by now so deep in the swamp of cynicism that they cannot even see what others can see with the most clarity: the Serb’s delirious ability to self-deceit.

The headman of this cynicism, that manages to force all other politicians in acting like him, is the actual Prime Minister of Serbia, Vojislav Kostunica. He continuously compiles constitutions, laws, declarations and resolutions, to defend Kosova from Albanians... Like the alchemists of old, he has built a laboratory where he conducts experiments in vain. The more he fails the more neurotic he becomes. Should we grieve on the crazes and neuroses of an individual? Well naturally no, if they’re just individual crazes and neuroses, but as one may observe, as it was to be expected, they are in fact collective. After loosing all battles, without any real hopes anymore, without understanding the elementary fact that the problem caused by a certain method cannot be solved without changing that very method, the Serbian people are left with no other choice, but to believe in miracles, to believe in the promises of the Alchemist. And the Alchemist won’t stop promising. One day he contrives that if by means of a referendum a newer Constitution of Serbia gets approved - where upon will be written black on white that Kosova belongs to Serbia - then that’s how reality will also be. The voting for this referendum lasted two days. There, the Serbian people, like every other people in the world, showed their signs of fatigue.

Milosevic, the predecessor of the perplexed alchemist Dr. Kostunica, acted just the same as his successor. When the international factor offered to solve the Kosova question with Gonzales, the Spanish Prime Minister’s mediation, Milosevic refused in typical Serbian arrogance, and declared a referendum where his flock voted not to accept any mediation for solving the “inner problems of Serbia”. These maneuvers were not in the interest of the Serbian people, but were employed to protect the image of Milosevic, the bold leader, the politician that doesn’t rack his brains about the pressures of decadent Europe. But, the nondecadent powerful Serbian president, Milosevic (that today is buried in the house garden of his wife, because there was no other place for him) two months later allowed the entrance of two thousand inspectors, two thousand Gonzales’ that began staging not only the events, but also the terrain for what was about to come. As everyone knows, after their pullback, bombardments began which terminally broke what was left of the Yugoslavian army.

This is the way Serbian political leaders use a rhetoric by which they propagate themselves as powerful leaders, to eventually hide the fact that they are not capable of taking hard historical decisions - hard historical decisions that would liberate the Serbs themselves from their anachronistic nonrealistic doctrines that for some very long time now act as obstructions to their own perspectives. Through this unreal, megalomaniac, refractory, obstructionist policy these politicians often bring their own people in the edge of the abyss. They caused two world wars, and are still trying to heat the global antagonisms, now between US and EU, then between Western nations and Russia, China, and India, now between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, then between Christianity and Islam. But despite this fact, there still is a certain logic in this lunacy, there is a system.

Incapable, powerless in denouncing their ideologies as fraud, in accepting that they have failed, instead of asking to be forgiven for their errors and miscalculations, they continue with the same slyness, and the same lunatic logic. They force the international community into taking responsibility and decisions in their place, into resolving problems created by their erroneous politics. In this way Serbs consciously transfer their responsibility to others. Instead of themselves, it’s the foreign enemy that’s guilty, and that is why today in Belgrade the embassies of “the guilty” burn. Afterwards the “innocent” head for the central church and pray to God to save them from their lunacy.

This trick, this diabolical device - through which all the world becomes guilty - has been very clearly spotted by ambassador Holbrooke who just before the NATO assault did ask of Milosevic to back down. But the latter to save his reputation, his political philosophy, his given promises, refused the proposal of the American diplomat. And this is the very same way the current Serbian politicians behave, those who refused to seriously commit and dialogue with Mr. Ahtisaari, as witnessed in the Rambouillet Conference. This is the way they recede from guilt and the way they win the right to criticize “the others”. This generation of Serb politicians, called as anti-Milosevicians, but in fact his faithful epigones, Tadic, Kostunica, Nikolic, finally failed in all their projects for the defending of Kosova, on February 17th 2008.

An antagonism that was in display between life, reality and truth from one side and the morbid mythology and fabrications from the other, has ended in favor of the first. It is more than clear that Albanian arguments were heavier, more convincing, compared to the Serbian counterparts, which on their turn couldn’t convince anyone who thinks impartially. We must not forget that the evaluation was done by the most democratic, developed and civilized factors of the world, the very same states that in the beginning of the 20th century were supporting Serbia.

Serbian politicians instead of accounting for their failure, continue just the same, they radicalize their rhetoric, their demagogical and cynical discourse on Kosova, arriving thus at the point of transferring their responsibility to Albanians and the international factor. The Serbian people, perplexed by the masterful all-encompassing rhetoric cannot formulate the question: “How come Kosova didn’t finally defend itself, but got independent?” In hard questions such as these, the tiny Serbian politicians, who do not possess the moral capacities of telling the truth, behave the same as the first clerics of monotheistic faiths, who on their appearance convinced the crowds that if they were to accept one faith or the other, their misery would become infinite happiness, their world would become paradise. In contrast to these clerics that their paradise did they transfer to the other world, Serbian politicians transfer the Serbian paradise - the defending of lost Kosova - to the future, when the constellation of international factors will be in their favor, when Russia will become powerful and the US and “degenerate” Europe will collapse. This method of transferring the materialization of promises to indefinite time, to the future, is often used in political debates. The party that never keeps its promises and moreover that doesn’t have the courage to accept that it has failed, is the one served by this technique. Often from Albanians too, we do hear the argument that Albanians will unite within a United Europe.

On February 17, 2008, Serbia was banished from Kosova, but Serbs and their doctrines are still alive. It’s a mistake to think that Milosevic was the one to deviate Serbian politics into bringing the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the loss of the hegemonic position that unrightfully was reserved for the Serbian factor in this part of Southeastern Europe. Reality speaks otherwise: It is the Serbian nationalist doctrine what generated Milosevic and his various modalities (being these predecessors or successors of his). Therefore, it is Serbian politicians who spur from romantic fabricated mythological Serbian doctrines and not vice versa. There is in fact a central characteristic of this doctrine, and this characteristic is the extra-temporality of their fabricated myth - like that of any other myth. The tales, the characters, the events, the relations appear as extra-temporal categories, unchanged, topical to eternity. Medieval events are treated as if just happened and are taken into account as models to go by in solving today’s problems.

Albanians, the international factor, but also Serbs themselves will have tremendous problems with these extra-temporal mythological convictions. These convictions have already become part of Serbian identity. The patriarchs of this nationalism, of this irrationalism, that constantly produces world crises are writers (Dositej Obradovic), ethnologues (Vuk Karadzic), historians (Jovan Rajic), cartographers (Sava Tekelija), geographers (Jovan Cvijic), etc. people who have fabricated facts, who have played a major role in the building of the Serbian collective memory (stuck-mindedness). These ideologues from the very start have propagated the idea that all Slavs of the South, except Slovenians and Bulgarians, are in fact Serbs, or as Rajic the historian proclaimed, that along Serbia - Bosnia, Croatia and afterwards Slovenia are all of them Serbian lands. This definition of the national belonging of various lands was what cartographer Tekelija printed on his map of Serbian territories. These people were the inventors of the megalomaniac Serbian ambitions, of the eschaton Serbian nationalist. After them came the executive elaborates, starting with Garashanin and reaching up to Cubrilovic and the Serbian Academy.

Just to illustrate the starting point of this megalomaniac hegemonic process I would mention Vuk Karadzic and his book “Kovcezic iz istorije, jezik i obicaje srba sva tri zakona” (“The arc of history, language and rites of Serbs of the three confessions”), published in Vienna in 1849, where he proclaims the new dialect of Stokav as a Serbian language, and where he manages to consider as Serbs the overwhelming part of Croatians, and upholding this new thesis of his of the Serbian identity of the three confessions, he reinforces his argument for the Serbianization and assimilation of the Catholic Croats, the Muslim Bosnians and the Orthodox Montenegrins, Vlachs and Macedonians. He takes his example from Albanian tradition where as he notes “Albanians have the same identity without caring for religious affiliations”.

Karadzic the ethnologue goes on using the assimilation scheme that in Latin is defined as “Quius lingua eius regio” (Whose the language, his the land), or “Quius religio eius regio” (Whose the religion, his the land). Upon these two principles stands the whole project of Serbian expansionism.

As opposed to his bigot epigones, Vuk Karadzic was pragmatic. He compiled the method. He invented the way of how to expand a people and its territory, while he, according to Viennese Church sources, had himself converted to Catholicism. His followers, fanaticized by the fabricated myth, either leaders or followers, shout nowadays in conferences and demonstrations: “Kosovo is the soul of Serbia. How can a people live without a soul?” Well, we all know the answer to that question, but mine is somewhat more ironic: Just as you’ve lived without a soul for at least 500 years during the Ottoman occupation, you’ll also live hereafter, if you still cannot understand that the soul of man is to be found within him and not in objects.”

* Arbėn Xhaferri is a political analyst and politician, ex-leader of the DPA (Democratic Party of Albanians in Macedonia).

Adapted in English for vargmal.org, originally appearing in:
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