Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kosovo and the Myth of Serbian Depravity

by Jonathan Davis

(Excerpt) On the night of Thursday, February 21, 2008, a rabble attacked the U.S., German, British, and Croatian embassies in Belgrade, Serbia. Less than a mile away over 200,000 people, peacefully protesting against Kosovo’s declaration of independence, were praying in and around St. Sava Cathedral, completely oblivious to the violence being committed in their name. That protest was ignored; the riots commanded the world’s attention.

The embassy attacks were rightly greeted with condemnation, especially in Serbia itself. The following morning the air of Belgrade was blue with curses of ordinary Serbs damning those who had attacked the embassies and brought shame to Serbia.

The people of Belgrade were particularly hurt by the events of that night. Belgrade’s growing reputation as “Europe’s best-kept secret” was in tatters. The jewel of Eastern Europe, the London of the Balkans, a Mecca for clubbers and in-the-know travelers, was now just another Balkan trouble spot.

Serb-hating pundits were now triumphantly touting the riots as evidence that Serbs were unfit to govern Kosovo and that nothing had changed since the time of Milosevic. Serbs, it was argued, are violent, murderous thugs and the riots prove it.

That violent night was a grim micro-history of post-Cold War Yugoslavia. Yet again the wrongful acts of an unrepresentative minority of Serbs had commanded the attention of the entire world and generated undeserving condemnation of the people of Serbia. Serbophobia — a virulent, truth-resistant strain of racist chauvinism and bigotry that riddles the American and European body politic — was given a powerful boost that night.... Pajamas Media


Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that Serbophobia here in the West is unappreciated in Serbia itself. Too many in Serbia seem to think that it's a misunderstanding, that relations can be restored easily, that it's something easily ironed out. This is not so. I think that if they were better aware of the Serbophobia here in the West, parties like the DS and like parties would crash and burn.

Serbia needs a government willing to play hardball with the West. Before, there was the excuse of "no other game in town"; this isn't so right now, with Russia and China more powerful. The SPS and SRS back then said "just wait, be patient, the international situation will improve". People were impatient and deluded and put DOS into power, who damaged Serbian interests in the vain hope of Western acceptance. Now, they have no more excuse. The promised changes are happening and it's about time that a government is elected there that will take advantage of that.

Rares H. said...

Unfortunately there are still those in power who desire hegemony in the world and some even believe this is the only way to peace. This is an illusion and I’m afraid many more lives will perish needlessly before we all see this reality.

Savo said...

Instead of keeping the grievances about Kosovo’s self-proclaimed independence in the spotlight, those few hundred hooligans gave enough material to those who claim that there would be no peace if Serbs and Albanians are not separated.

Author of "Not My Turn to Die:
Memoirs of a Broken Childhood in Bosnia"