The End of Nationalism

Ivan Marović RSS / 22.02.2008. u 04:38


Since Kosovo declared independence Belgrade has become a warzone. Radicals are burning and looting, and ordinary people are confused - five days ago they were concerned with Kosovo, today they are concerned with the possibility that drunken hooligans may smash their heads with rocks. Kosovo is far away, radicals are just around the corner, breaking windows and setting buildings on fire.

The Belgrade riots are a symptom of a failed political movement. Nationalism has nothing to offer, no strategy, no plan, no political vision. Unlike Gazimestan in 1989, where Milosevic faced a crowd much bigger, crowd consisted of people that were calm and determined, Kostunica today faced people without a clue. Unlike Milosevic who promised war and revenge, Kostunica has nothing to promise, nothing to offer. He can only complain.

You can tell the day by the dawn. Nationalism is finished in Serbia, nationalism has nothing to offer except self destruction. We just need to wait for the mob to get tired of rioting, come out and continue the peaceful protest that started two weeks ago, protest led by Belgrade students, protest with a clear goal - European integration. 

Boris Tadic was in Romania, while Kostunica was giving a speech together with Nikolic. This may prove to be a big blow to Kostunica. The message is more than clear: Serbian interests are better served with diplomacy than with speeches followed by looting. The contrast between Tadic and Kostunica is clear and will undermine Kostunica's base of support in the months to come.

Today there was only one place for Tadic to be - Romania. For us, there is only one thing to do today - not to criticize Tadic for Romania, but to start bringing down Kostunica.

Komentari (113)

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Brooklyn Brooklyn 16:41 22.02.2008

do you know

things that we don't? why are we practising english here? did you publish this elsewhere? but, mostly, do you have info that we don't, so your optimism is based on sth i can't quite comprehend right now, or is it just feith on your part?
Ivan Marović Ivan Marović 16:47 22.02.2008

Re: do you know

We are practising english because there are some folks that need to read this and their serbian is a bit rusty. This wasn't published anywhere else, only on this blog. This is my assesment, based on my experience. In the last eight years I have seen many political movements around the globe, worked with some, trained quite a few. I can tell a promising political movement when I see one. Nationalists in Serbia have no future. The only thing that keeps them in place are the whimps on our side saying "Oh, we are so small, nationalists are so strong, our country is sliding back to the nineties..."
Solomon Solomon 16:50 22.02.2008

Re: do you know

Maybe it's the same optimism one has when they see a drug addict finally hit rock bottom ?
Maybe this is Serbia's rock-bottom ?
Maybe it can't get worse ?
However, as with Britney Spears, I have grown used to things just getting worse.
Serbia is the Britney Spears of Europe.
JJ Beba JJ Beba 16:50 22.02.2008

Re: do you know

did you publish this elsewhere?

i ja mislim da će ovaj blog da upotrebi za neku svoju svrhu, za neki svoj benefit. recimo kao deo nekog istraživanja, nekog eseja pa su mu potrebni odgovori na engleskom. ima autentičnost, ne mora da ih ubeđuje da je sam izmišljao odgovore...
.... u stvari ne da mislim, ubeđena sam. uklapa se u njgeov psihološki profil
Brooklyn Brooklyn 16:58 22.02.2008

Re: do you know

Serbia is the Britney Spears of Europe.

that's funny! but i hope not, since Britney Spears is going to wind up dead pretty soon. also, did you know that AP already wrote spears obituary? not a good omen.
Solomon Solomon 17:13 22.02.2008

Re: do you know

did you know that AP already wrote spears obituary? not a good omen.

Well, this is a point from which she will either recover fully or she will continue to slide into oblivion.
That comparison with Serbia is, I think, valid.

P.S. - Are you snowed in today ?
Vodzo Modzo Vodzo Modzo 17:29 22.02.2008

Re: do you know

I'd like to think this could be the last flash - back of nationalism. However, I agree that instead of whining, we have to rally.
Hugh Griffiths Hugh Griffiths 21:50 23.02.2008

Re: do you know

Britney's pills might not be working, but there's other medication out there.
AmosMouse AmosMouse 19:21 22.02.2008

my thoughts exactly

well, almost exactly. with few exceptions:

1.the title – too optimistic, even for me. beginning of the end maybe, the end – not yet, i'm afraid. it will be around for many years to come. but hopefully weaker and weaker. we can beat it. we must beat it.
2.criticism of bt – see jelena's amandment
3.student's protests for eu integration – not sure about the potential of that. perhaps if articulated somehow, but haven't got a clue how :(

with all the rest i agree and i admire the way you have put it. thanks
historix historix 00:19 23.02.2008

Student's protest


if the one wants to help, to support studets movement EUROPE HAS NO ALTERNATIVE, their potential would become much bigger. Insted of beeing suspicious, help them to articulate it.

I also think that the title is not too optimistic. I think now is the chance to diminish nationalistic tendencies in Serbia, bearing in mind both DSS and VK, as well as some organisations like OBRAZ, 1389, PONOS, NOMOKANON etc.

They have shown their faces yesterday evening. Finally, it is very clear to everyone that those are not "nice prayerful boys and girls" that represent good pupils and honest youth, but poor vandals and stealers. And finally everyone knows who is their patetic leader. And leader is blind!
Vasa S Tajcic Vasa S Tajcic 01:24 23.02.2008


Why we shouldn't jump on the Kosovo bandwagon

From Friday's Globe and Mail

E-mail Marcus Gee | Read Bio | Latest Columns
February 22, 2008 at 3:26 AM EST

The Serbian parliament condemns Kosovo's declaration of independence. Angry Serbs throng the streets of Belgrade in protest, and rioters break into the U.S. embassy. Just another spasm of ethnic bigotry in the Balkans? It's not so simple.

When Serbs argue that Kosovo's leap to independence has no legal sanction, they have a point. When they say it sets an awful precedent, they have an even better one.

Let's remember how all this came about. In 1999, an ugly little civil war was under way between Serbs and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, a province of Serbia.

Western governments saw a repeat of the ethnic cleansing that had plagued the Balkans through the decade. They ordered Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic to stop oppressing the Kosovo Albanians or face the consequences. When he proved un-co-operative, they bombed targets around Serbia. Albanians fled Kosovo in the hundreds of thousands, arousing the sympathy of the world. After 10 weeks of conflict, Mr. Milosevic capitulated and pulled his troops out of Kosovo. NATO troops moved in and have been there ever since.

This was viewed at the time as an example of humanitarian intervention that worked. A nasty man, Mr. Milosevic, had been brought to heel (and eventually forced from power). The Albanians had been saved and could return to their homes to rebuild their lives.

But NATO's intervention was never intended to back the Kosovo Albanians' fight to break away from Serbia. That, after all, would have meant intervening on the side of a secession movement fuelled by ethnic nationalism, hardly the sort of thing liberal Western countries want to get into. The idea, they insisted, was merely to head off the ethnic cleansing and rescue the refugees, with political solutions to be left for later.

The United Nations resolution that came out of the Kosovo war explicitly recognized the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia (in today's terms, Serbia, Yugoslavia's recognized successor state). That clearly meant that the UN was not endorsing the secession of Kosovo. Yet, the U.S., Britain, Italy and France have all recognized the breakaway Kosovo state. No wonder the Serbs feel angry and betrayed. They are losing a large part of their already diminished country. They are seeing many of their ethnic kin in Kosovo, the 120,000 remaining Serbs, marooned in a hostile Albanian sea.

Western governments argue (with considerable logic) that the horse has bolted the barn. The Kosovo Albanians are never going to agree to live under Serbian rule again, and every attempt at reaching some Serbian-Albanian compromise, such as autonomy for Kosovo within Serbia, has failed utterly. They say (again with logic) that, after nearly a decade in limbo, Kosovo has to be left to get on with its life as a free nation. As U.S. President George Bush put it, "The Kosovars are now independent."

But have they really thought through what this means? Other ethnic secession movements certainly have. "I salute the independence of Kosovo. No people can be forced to live under the rule of another," said Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Turkish Cypriots. The Basque regional government in northern Spain hailed Kosovo's independence as "a new example of the right of self-determination." Leaders of breakaway movements from the Transdniester region of Moldova to South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia chimed in, too. Even the Bosnian Serbs, who were the centre of the worst of the Balkan bloodshed in the 1990s, claim that Kosovo's secession justifies their own bid to be free of Bosnia-Herzegovina - the patched together federation that the West has tried for years to keep from coming apart.

Western governments can't just dismiss these as the wild claims of woolly foreigners. Many have secession movements close to home. Britain has Scotland, which has been part of the United Kingdom for a mere 300 years, considerably less than Serbia's claim to Kosovo. Spain has the Basques and the Catalans. That is why Madrid has refused to jump on the bandwagon and recognize Kosovo. It argues, quite rightly, that Kosovo's independence has neither the consent of both parties involved nor the assent of the Security Council (which is deadlocked on the issue).

Let's not even speak of Quebec. Canadian warplanes took part in the campaign against Serbia in 1999, a campaign that has resulted in the secession of a province on the basis of its people's demand to be maîtres chez nous. Is this what was intended when the West cheered victory in Kosovo?

Siniša Boljanović Siniša Boljanović 23:58 23.02.2008


Postovani Ivane,

s obzirom da sam saradnik Global Voices ( dobio sam pismo citaoca sl.sadrzine:
"Hi, I am looking to get in touch with a serbian blogger, someone young who is perhaps living and working in the united states to have her or him on a nationally broadcast interview, to give a voice to their impressions in the wake of Kosovo's announcement of indepdendence.
It is saturday feb 23 and I am working under a tight deadline. Could you make a few reccomemndations to me of bloggers you think have done a good job expressing themselves?
I appreciate your posting here and I would love to connect with US-based Serb youth as soon as possible. Saturday if possible!!
thanks hugely,
if you are able to pass along any email addresses I greatly appreciate it."

Ne znam zasto, ali mi je kroz glavu proletela misao da ti zivis u Americi. Ako sam u pravu i ako si ti voljan da se odazoves na poziv mog citaoca, zamolio bih te da mi se sto pre javis na sledecu e-mail adresu:

S postovanjem,
Sinisa Boljanovic
p.s. Ako poznajes nekoga od srpskih blogera, molim te, upoznaj ih sa sadrzajem citiranog pisma.

Vozac Vozac 04:14 26.02.2008

History in Reverse

The Sovereign Individual of the new millennium will no longer be an asset of the state, a de facto item on the treasury's balance sheet

I have seen it 10 Years a go, and since then I do not feel like part of “the flock”. By my own eyes I have seen and live true the death of a state. So when ever I hear arguments stating word “we”, I see it coming from an inexperienced mind.



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