Who is Vojislav Kostunica?
Kostunica is a political personality
who not until the presidential election campaign was introduced by the
Western media and who, according to the reports, previously had played
only a subordinate role in Serbia and Yugoslavia. He is the chairman of
a "Democratic Party of Serbia". For a short time now he has been the presidential
candidate of the "Democratic Opposition of Serbia", a coalition of several
parties in which apparently Zoran Djindic calls the shots, acting as Kostunicas
This union actually already tells
essentials about Kostunica, because among the "opposition" politicians
who since long have been built up by the West, Djindic is the one who during
the NATO terror bombings went so far as to demand to give up the independence
of the country and to have it formally incorporated into the realm dominated
by the aggressors. Since then, of course, he cannot dare any longer to
run for a public office in Serbia, and it seems reasonable to suspect that
Kostunica is serving as a fig leaf for Djindic‘s direction, for enabling
it to anyway take part in the election campaign and for pushing the West‘s
objectives nearer to their fulfillment in spite of all of this.
In fact all the signs are that Kostunica
is acting as the still relatively guiltless and unsuspected one who helps
Djindic come to power - a Trojan horse of the US- and NATO-dependent opposition.
Kostunica appears as someone who
objects NATO, who condemns the aggression against his country and the separation
of Kosovo, and who also drops critical remarks about the US‘ interference
into Yugoslavia‘s domestic affairs.
It is worthwhile, however, to have
a closer look at Kostunica‘s statements.
What, for example, should one think
about the following explanations in a speech by Kostunica of April 14,
1. "There is one more thing
Serbia desperately needs today - national reconciliation. First of all,
the living Serbs are to bury the hatchet and allow the dead to make up
and bring about that historic reconciliation. The first step to reconciliation
is to abolish the existing division into patriots and traitors. After all,
the present-day rulers of Serbia, who decreed themselves patriots, have
demonstrated their patriotism to all but the Serbs. They have built other
people’s countries and demolished their own. They did many a good turn,
but caused their own people to grieve. Slobodan Milosevic has committed
a mortal sin against his own people and his own state. Accordingly, he
has to leave."
Here Kostunica accuses Milosevic who
so far has been trying, within the bounds of his possibilities, to defend
Serbia‘s and Yugoslavia‘s independence, of being a non-patriot, whereas
he wants figures like Djindic who definitely represent nothing but serfdom
towards the West, to be freed of the treason accusation.
In the same speech Kostunica continues:
2. "It is my duty to say one
more thing. There is another sort of violence that befell our misfortunate
people - external violence spearheaded by power-wielders in Washington
and Brussels. The forms of the external violence are the long-standing
sanctions, last year’s bombs and support to Albanian terrorists in Kosovo.
Whatever the source, violence is always violence, despite occasional attempts
at presenting it as humane. It is hard to believe that people are killed,
exhausted and starved by sanctions, and that their environment poisoned
for their own benefit. First and foremost, we have to trample the domestic
violence underfoot. In order to survive as a people, we have to normalise
our relations with the world, but we must neither disregard nor forget
the foreign violence conceived by the United States and NATO. More importantly,
we must never elevate it in our esteem or present it as anything else but
violence. Otherwise we will forget who and what we are."
These sentences deserve a more detailed
Here "the external violence" is criticized,
and a critical attitude is at first taken towards NATO, towards the US
and the EU. If however this is at the same time subordinated to a maxim
like "whatever the source - violence is always violence", this criticism
immediately evaporates into cheap talk. For it is by no means unimportant
from which sources violence originates and which objectives it serves.
Violence motivated by neocolonialism, as exerted by NATO‘s latest war,
by the economic sanctions and the starvation strategy against the Serbian
people, has to be objected and fought against exactly because of its political
goals, whereas military violence for repelling this aggression is necessary
and must be supported. More generally, the resistance against these objectives
of the West cannot be denied the right to apply force if necessary.
Even more clearly Kostunica speaks
in the following when he goes so far as to declare the "domestic violence"
to be the main enemy. This means in other words: we regret to be the victims
of violent acts by the NATO countries, but it is not our main task to do
away with that but instead with the domestic violence. Having the situation
in mind one has to understand by this "domestic violence" repressive acts
by the Milosevic government, and in the first place such against the so-called
opposition of the Djindic and Draskovic type. Kostunica here apparently
chooses expressions by which the most miserable forces can be vindicated.
He avoids the concrete articulation of just demands from the people against
the bureaucratic apparatus, although he likes to allude vaguely to the
struggle against corruption, but on the other hand he puts possible justified
measures by the government against treason, or corresponding acts by the
people, on the same level as the suppression of democracy.
Here Kostunica‘s adaptation to the
West‘s strategy becomes already very clear.
Now a passage from an interview with
the magazine Vreme:
3."I also believed that we have
to distance ourselves from declarative, conterproductive support coming
from the present, departing, American administration which has proved to
be absolutely useless for the opposition and democratic forces in Serbia.
And that support can cause a lot of harm in the election campaign. It is
common knowledge how they can help the population in Serbia. It seems that
some European states are far more aware of that, and they have over some
small but important projects, such as energy for democracy, established
some cooperation and assistance and led to a quiet and gradual abolishment
To publicly play the distance from the
US is absolutely necessary for somebody who wants to act as an opponent
of the Milosevic government - this Kostunica is admitting here. If the
connection with the US is all too clear, if somebody like Djindic appears
in Ms. Albright‘s office for receiving her orders, if the US from their
part are too openly sponsoring, financing and media-supporting this "opposition",
this cannot be but "counterproductive", therefore its image has to be changed.
The substance of NATO‘s policy however is what this Kostunica identifies
himself with. The program "energy for democracy" is nothing but a part,
an element of the war and its continuation by different means. After the
bombs had destroyed power plants, refineries and transport routes and an
import blockade had been erected, NATO offered delivery of oil and food
to those regional rulers in Yugoslavia who would associate themselves with
NATO against Milosevic It is a prime example of the "democracy" of Western
capitalism which even after decades will be able to claim a prominent place
in the list of its self-exposures: ‚you dance to our tune and acknowledge
the government we selected for you, or else we look after your dying a
One more clear example for Kostunica‘s
bootlicking of this kind of "democracy" (from the same interview):
4. "VREME: In first news about
your presidential campaign, foreign news agencies mostly described you
as a ‚moderate nationalist, inclined to democratic changes‘, and ‚a fierce
critic of the American administration‘. Would you add anything to or take
away from this news agency portrait of Vojislav Kostunica?
KOSTUNICA: I would add a few things.
Above all, there is a radical dedication to the struggle against corruption,
regardless of its source. That has characterized my political struggle
so far. As far as the fierce criticism of the current American administration
is concerned, it does not at all imply an anti-western attitude. On the
contrary. That criticism is in a way balanced with a different attitude
with respect to Europe. That criticism is pro-western rather than anti-western.
In as much as it advocates the return of the West to its original democratic
and liberal values."
The European governments which represent
this dog‘s muck of an "energy and food for democracy" program, are for
Kostunica relatively close to the "original democratic and liberal values"
of the West. Enjoy your meal!
Apart from the toadying, Kostunica‘s
analysis completely misses the heart of the matter. In fact, the EU countries
made war against Yugoslavia shoulder to shoulder with the US, and exactly
they in fact are the ones which continue to exert massive pressure against
Serbia and Yugoslavia by their extortionist policy. Basically they are
only subordinates of the US.
Concerning this one more statement
by Kostunica. In a "Statement by Democratic Oppostion of Serbia (DOS) Presidential
Candidate Vojislav Kostunica 18.9.2000" he says:
5. "In what they called a message
to the Serbian people, EU foreign ministers unequivocally pledged to lift
the sanctions against Yugoslavia if the September 24 election results led
to a democratic change, thus furnishing compelling evidence that Europe’s
policy towards Yugoslavia has changed for the better. Of course, it would
have been much more useful for Serbia’s democracy hadn’t the ministers
made the lifting of international sanctions conditional, but this gesture
of goodwill will no doubt mean a lot to the Serbs, particularly given the
fact that we have already fulfilled their sole condition - readiness for
democracy. This is also yet another opportunity to pay full respect to
France’s diplomacy and Hubert Vedrine, a man at its helm."
The shameless extortion from the part
of the EU which ties the abolition of the embargo to the installation of
a government according to the wishes of the US and the EU, for him really
is "a change for the better", "a gesture of goodwill".
We don‘t to withhold from the Serbian
people what a special sort of friend Mr. Kostunica chose for it in the
person of Hubert Vedrine, the French foreign minister.
(Q.) "The air strikes seem to
put the Serbian population strongly in tune with their leader, Slobodan
Milosevic. Is a harsher Western military blow needed to bring home to people
the consequences of what they‘ve done, perhaps shock them to their senses
after living in denial about the outside world for several years?
In an interview with the US paper
"International Herald Tribune" of April 20, 1999, Vedrine came to the fore:
* * *
"For 10 years, in fact, ever
since Mr. Milosevic seized on the Kosovo issue to propagate the backward-looking
nationalistic delusions that have done so much harm to the country he runs.
Someday the people of Serbia will have a place in Europe, but right now
they have developed a mood of paranoia - which existed before the air strikes
but has worsened. After a decade in which Serbian leaders have misled their
people so badly, Western governments can‘t operate in terms of collective
guilt, we can‘t make war on a people. We did not intervene to change the
regime in Serbia; we intervened because the Kosovo situation was intolerable.
Now we have to work for solutions, not think about punishment. It‘s going
to take the Serbs a long time to recover and we‘re somehow going to have
to manage for them - until they are again ready to take responsibility
wg / Editorial staff of Neue Einheit