IHT ... : Serbs were first in Balkan in 19th century with own freedom but last to get rid off communism (both were result of Serb nationalism). How will nationalism affect democracy? Precedents are not encouraging. Between two wears orgy of instability fueled by ethnic and religious hatred which were eased only by Tito's brutal dictatorship. Such a rivalries still pose danger. Conflicts (Kosovo, Cr., Bos.). The Serb's ethnic insecurity is agravated by bad economy. Outlooks are grim... dissaster if democrates do not reduce unrest. Bulgaria can implode without influencing Serbia. .. not so Serbia. Bulgarians are dissapointed with democracy. Space is factor in East EU. Between two wars countries with Ottoman legacy had difficult to adjust to free society. Opposition do not boast credentials, are nationalists, only they are less hostile to West and free market than communists ... promising Serbia to..in the hand of fledgling democrats. Power vacuum can create wars ... low intensity conflicts in next century. Milosevic's dictatorship restrains how serbian nationalists so alblnian's also. Weak democrates would allow aggression from Croatia and wars in Bosnia and Kosovo. But to stick with Milosevic is not an option. Democracy is under way. Milosevic's political survival might be convinced(?) for the Wests risk of Tiemmien square chain of events which Serbia's communists are capable to prepare. They have done much wors. Washington is not ready to help serbia's untested possible inept and passionately nationalistic demoerates with substantial economic and administrative aid. Should they come to power, there is no another choice.
Here is my comment:
It is interesting that US has ever been present by the power exchange
in YU, not so in other countries, where the power exchange is performed
by citizens. And second: the typical US mistrust to democrats in that country,
exemplified so many times since WWII.
©Copyright 2001 Pavel Kollar
By Pavel Kollar
An ex-Yugoslav high profile politician, now in the role of croatian politician, Bilandzic, gave statements to IHT about the present Yugoslavia. His main statement was that Milosevic is at the moment better for West than any opposition politician in Serbia. He could be right but he did not say why. I'll try to explain this.
To me the situation resembles to one in 1945 when Tito was better for
America, Britain and Russia then the King and democrats, the latter being
better for YU people. I still argue that had the first post-WWII elections
been fair and democratic, communist would never come to power in Yugoslavia.
Then who decided? There were the manipulated elections with only one alternative
for voters, Tito, already elected by great powers, before the peoples'
elections. I think from that time is comming the term "voting machine"
also. The first 'voting machine' were Yugoslavs in 1946. American press
in 1946 informed the American public about the results " Marschal Tito's
victory jubilations in Belgrade". Tito contributed something to alliance's
victory in the war, and he was interested to capitalize this for so long
time as possible. The motiv of his participation in the war: this was the
only chance to survive. The alternative for him and his compagnions was
either gain power or perish. Under democrates he has been an illegal element
and this reputation he gain because, using freedom of speech in democracy
promissed(and canvassed followers) that when communists gains power they
will abolish all democratic institutions, so showing the possibility what
can happen to democrates(to be illegal as it happened in Russia 1917).
For then WWII came as a chance to survive. And he succeded to become the
member of victory alliance. Why Americans and Britons gave up King and
democracy in YU in 1945? Because this was the agreement between the big-powers.
They carved EU. The big power in whose interest sphere came YU at first
( the Russia) was non-democratic communist country. And Tito was also communist.
The consequences of those decisions are the problems of today. The 45 years
of a power without opposition and last 5 years with very weak opposition.
Why America entered deal with Stalin in 1941? To weaken the dictatorial
block Hitler-Stalin established in 1939?. To play out one dictator against
another and so easy ones own position: "better coalition with one dictator
against another than have two dictators in coalition against us". At the
end of the story it remained only one dictator "against us"(the ex-partner
in war coalition) and the conqured dictatorship(now transferred to democracy)
became partner against the ex-partner. But what was solved with this game
play? Peoples of different countries had different problems but these were
not solved. The whole game-play was for the sake of rivalry between governors.
Democracy and peace were problem-solving tactics for peoples' problems.
Wars and dictatorial governments were problem solving tactics for solution
of competitive problems between different governors. These seconds gain
overhand and their impulses are felt even today. Every decision is a chance
and risk, benefits and costs. The question is to whom. The estimation of
costs and benefits from the standpoint of governors proved to be different
from the same from the standpoint of citizens. In 1991 when the choice
was Milosevic or ..... ? (there was no clear alternative, democrates were
still not organized) America recognized Milosevic. Milosevic started the
war because this was the only chance for survival in power(he was not ready
to be opposition, that is to be illegal), now feeling himself strong because
recognized by big-powers. America was not for partitioning of YU and Milosevic
also not. In all other alternatives he was losser of power. The other alternatives
were possible better from the standpoint of people but he was not ready
to sacrifice his power for the sake of benefits for people. When later
became clear that America will recognize independence of some ex-YU republics
he felt this as danger for his position. The only what he has seen was
war and to involve great powers in the war and this in such a way that
they be adversaries in this war. He started to play on panslavism which
was in the past condemned by the organization whose member he was in past.
But this was a false tactic because the two great power just ended their
long-run-cold-war and started the era of cooperation with potential benefits
for Russia. Russia was not ready to give up these benefits in exchange
for an uncertain outcome of one big war, caused by small Serbia which changed
side so many times in past(in any sense a very uncertain partner) and without
its ex-block-partners. So, Milosevic haven't succeded in his tactic and
was forced to accept peace and sign the Dayton treaty. He lost war but
kept power. Now he want to capitalize Dayton for continuation of his power
inside and so inhibiting democratization. His weight today is even higher:
he can say 'I signed the treaty, so I am recognized by the outside as peace
guarantor, not you democrates'. The old tactic of communist propaganda.
After WWII they started to explain to domestic public and to democratic
opposition that only they(communists) are recognized as political entity
by democratic community, so taking away the ground for every democratic
opposition. And this functions even today. Milosevic started war to keep
the power, and he suceeded in this despite that he lost the war. But with
this his success Serbia lossed too much. So for him every war was good:
succesful or not, won or lost, because both were keeping him in power(as
winner or as peace guarantor). It seems that West with his policy of keeping
YU played in his hands. West hesitated too long with supporting opposition
against Milosevic. It is true that democratic opposition was too weak at
the beginning, much stronger was the undemocratic opposition which couldn't
expect West's support but this is not excuss for West. Supporting means
also creating from nothing. What tactic of West could demotivate Milosevic
to start any war, equally with keeping him in power or removing him from
power? I think a clear stand regarding YUs future. They had to tell him
that they will recognize secessionists if they will try to exit YU. They
told him this too late. Instead of having initiative in YU from the very
beginning, West only reacted on initiatives of Milosevic. This is the reason
why is Milosevic in power today. And today he is blackmailing West, that
if he will be depowerized, there will start a a war again. Is this his
threat today real? The choice is today: either keep Milosevic on account
of people, or sacrifice Milosevic to solve the problems of people. But
this decision is in the hand of Serbian people.
©Copyright 2001 Pavel Kollar
Some cultural elements, when confronted with elements of other cultures
as stimulies motivate to strong competition. The leading imagines are changing
from 'other' to 'enemy' which is to be defeated with all means. This supresses
all cooperative incentives or some trade. Serbia is in reality an ex-collonial
power which has trouble to find itself in a new role, as common power.
©Copyright 2001 Pavel Kollar