Chancellor Merkel’s Belgrade Ultimatum: Yet another Bitter Pill for President Tadic
Chancellor Merkel’s Belgrade Ultimatum: Yet another Bitter Pill for President Tadic
By Vojin Joksimovich, Ph.D.
Modern Tokyo Times
On August 23 German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Belgrade. The first leg of her trip was Zagreb where she met with Croatian leaders. In Belgrade she met with Serbian leaders including a one-on-one session with President Tadic. The upshot was her blunt dictate that Serbia must meet the following demands in order to qualify for consideration of EU membership: progress in the Belgrade-Pristina dialog, normalization of relations including abandonment of parallel structures in Kosovo; administrative and legal reforms, and satisfying the 1995 Copenhagen criteria. Merkel pointed out that Germany would like to see Serbia into the EU, but Germany has recognized Kosovo and Serbia has not. She recognized that resolution of the Kosovo issue is a lengthy process but it should be done now rather than later. It appears President Tadic was naively hopeful that arrests and deliveries of General Mladic and Goran Hadzic to the International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) were sufficient to obtain the EU candidate status by the year end and even the date for opening the EU membership negotiations. It has been apparent for years that Serbia cannot win and that even after numerous humiliations new ones are in store. Nonetheless President Tadic and his government continue with their EU membership quest since according to them Serbia has “no alternative.”
Continuation of German Serbophobia
Chancellor Merkel has inherited German Serbophobia and has now become a loyal practitioner. Her ultimatum is abundantly clear: recognize Kosovo on EU terms and then we can talk. It is nothing new. Last August during a visit to Belgrade, the German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, lectured the Serbian government that the Southeast Europe map was cast in concrete and that Serbia should come to terms with its amputation. On September 12, 2010, I published an article titled Serbia Capitulates: Address was UN, not EU. As a result of his visit President Tadic yielded to the EU/US pressure to redefine the Serbian UN Kosovo resolution scheduled for a debate at the UN General Assembly. The EU was concerned that the original resolution might be voted in. As usual President Tadic capitulated. The resolution was redefined and became a joint resolution with the 27 EU countries. As such it was accepted by the UN General Assembly without a vote.
In the same article I provided a short overview of the German involvement in the Balkans. Germany went to war against Serbia three times in the previous century: WWI (1914-1918), WWII (1941-1945), and as participant in the 1999 NATO incessant 78-day bombing of Serbia. In WWI and WWII close to 2 million Serbs died. In WWII Germany created the Independent State of Croatia, in which the largest WWII genocide per unit of territory took place over the Serbs, Jews and Roma. One should also add that Germany played a pivotal part in dismemberment of Yugoslavia in 1991 with recognition of secessionist republics of Slovenia and Croatia. As a result the Serb-Croat war erupted, which was characterized as the Genscher’s war (after the German foreign minister) by Cyrus Vance, former US Secretary of State and then UN envoy, who brokered the ceasefire in January 1992. As discussed in my book Kosovo is Serbia, in 1997-1999 Germany had supported the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), a terrorist group initially supported by Osama bin Laden, which led their insurrection into Kosovo from Albania.
Every ethnicity in Yugoslavia had a right of self-determination other than the Serbs. The Versailles Treaty which ended the WWI was a thorn in the eye not only to Adolf Hitler but also to the reunified Germany. Hans Dietrich Genscher in his memoirs wrote that by the end of the wars in Former Yugoslavia, the Germans have repaired the deeds or consequences of WWI: the foundation of Yugoslavia and the end of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. The US Balkan policies, including siding with the Bosnian Muslims and Kosovo Albanians, have helped Germany repair the consequences of WWII. The amputation of Kosovo from Serbia is probably not the end of dismemberment of Serbia. Vojvodina and Sandzak are also candidates until Serbia is reduced to either its 1878 Berlin Congress size or the Hitler’s 1941 version. Abolishment of Republika Srpska in Bosnia is probably on the cards in order to satisfy the ambitions of the Bosnian Muslims who also want inclusion of Sandzak into their Islamic Republic.
Chancellor Merkel is obviously continuing with these Serbophobic policies of Germany as a Balkans predator. Given that she wasn’t the chancellor at the time, I had some illusions that she might show some compassion for the destiny of the Kosovo Serbs, who have been victimized by US/NATO Kosovo policies. Abandonment of so called parallel structures would in all likelihood lead to yet another ethnic cleansing of the remaining Serbs in Kosovo after the ethnic cleansing in Croatia (1995), Bosnia (1995) and Kosovo (1999) respectively.
While in Zagreb, Chancellor Merkel has provided a boost to Croatia’s ambition to be the leader of so called Western Balkans. Germany pushed the EU to grant Croatia EU membership as of July 1, 2013. In no time the Croatian PM Kosor went to Pristina to tell Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci: “You can have in Croatia the best friend in southeast Europe and you can count on that.” She also said that Croatia “fully supports the approach of Chancellor Merkel towards Serbia by saying it has to extinguish its parallel structures in Kosovo and cannot acquire EU candidate status before solving its problems with Kosovo.”
Kosovo Serbs: Victims on UN/NATO Watch
On UN/NATO watch, with significant participation of the German KFOR contingent, 2,500 Serbs and Roma were murdered, while 230,000 were ethnically cleansed. Iseult Henry, Mary Walsh in real life, an Irish lady who was a member of the international mission in Kosovo, wrote a book Hiding Genocide in Kosovo: A Crime against God and Humanity. She provided an account of twelve true stories illustrating shooting, beheading, burning, bomb attack, maiming, rape, abduction, torture, desecration, theft, mutilation, and harassment. The book is an indictment of her fellow internationals that saw what was happening and have looked the other way or even abetted ethnic cleansing. She characterized Kosovo as prison without walls.
On March 17, 2004, there was a pogrom named by some as the Kosovo Kristallnacht. A 60,000 strong Albanian mob drove 4,500 Serbs from their homes, 550 houses were burned, and 35 Serbian churches and monasteries demolished. The toll in Prizren included nine damaged or destroyed Serbian churches encompassing four medieval shrines. The German troops, more than 3,000 in Kosovo, evacuated the monks but abandoned the entire compound. The German Der Spiegel reported: “The Bundeswehr played a sad, perhaps even very shameful role in restraining the violence. The German soldiers, hiding like rabbits in their barracks, emerged again with armored vehicles only once the Albanian crowd had calmed down and having completed its work of destruction. Human Rights Watch condemned KFOR/UNMIK for “failing catastrophically in their mandate.”
In my August 2 article titled Kosovo Serbs Defend Their Existence, Christianity & UN Resolution, I described the July 25 incident. Hashim Thaci, accused by the Council of Europe of running a “mafia state” and alleged to have committed unspeakable atrocities including organ harvesting, who masquerades as the Kosovo PM, sent his special police units to seize two crossing posts on the administrative line between the Republic of Serbia and Kosovo. His objective was to ban trade with Serbia, seeking to pressure the Kosovo Serbs into recognizing his custom stamps. His units were transported by KFOR commanded by Erhard Buhler, a German general. It is outside the scope of this article to further discuss this incident. However, it should be said that a retired American diplomat, Gerald Gallucci who repeatedly warned against the military takeover of Northern Kosovo, wrote: “KFOR under the command of German General Buhler has clearly stepped outside its UN Security Council mandate in deciding to enforce the requirements of the institutions in Pristina. Buhler should be removed.” Not only that Buhler was not removed but it was discovered that his Albanian girlfriend of three years was born in Pristina. He met her in Kosovo in 2001.
The UN Security Council has scheduled a session to discuss the crisis in Northern Kosovo. Mayors of the Serbian cities of Leposavic, Kosovska Mitrovica, Zubin Potok and Zvecan representing 80,000 inhabitants have submitted their letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon explaining their position. This time around the Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremic will be allowed to represent his country. Nine out of 15 Security Council members have not recognized Kosovo.
Chancellor Merkel’s Audacity
Despite all of the above, which is nothing more than a snapshot of atrocities and injustices committed by so called international community, Madam Merkel had audacity to come to Belgrade and tell the Serbian leadership that the parallel institutions in Northern Kosovo should be dismantled. This means de facto that the Kosovo Serbs should be subjugated to Hashim Thaci and his fellow narco-terrorists, who have committed genocide and ethnic cleansing over them. It appears that Chancellor Merkel is shameless. Former Russian president and now PM Vladimir Putin, in response to a Kosovo question from a German journalist he said it best: “Europe, you should be ashamed, Kosovo is Serbia.”
To his credit, President Tadic told Chancellor Merkel that it was unacceptable to Serbia to abandon its Kosovo citizens. It would result in a political and existential vacuum. On the other hand he stated that Serbia will not abandon its quest to join the EU. If by that he meant that Serbia would only freeze its efforts until the future EU leadership develops a human face, this writer would go along. Of course freezing the accession efforts doesn’t mean abandoning various EU dictated reforms, which are in Serbia’s interest anyway nor does it mean that Serbia should not be trading with various EU countries, such as Italy or even Germany, as it does now. Meanwhile President Tadic might learn something from the Czech President Vaclav Klaus as well as from the Turkish EU membership accession experience. He should also take time to understand that there are viable alternatives.
Czech President: EU “Foreign Empire”
In response to a question at the European Forum held in Alpbach Austria, about whether he regretted the fact that his country had joined the EU, Czech president Vaclav Klaus said that he considered the EU a foreign power and compared it to several empires that oppressed his country for centuries. “First Vienna ruled over us for three centuries, and then Berlin did it for a few years. Then the four decades of Moscow followed, and then ten years of freedom. Now we have Brussels…After the Velvet Resolution of 1989, here were graffiti on the walls reading, ‘Back to Europe,’ and in that situation, it went without saying that we belonged to Europe. That was before Maastricht, that was the time of the European Community.” Klaus went on to say that the Europeans should cooperate and live together, but that should be taking place through bilateral cooperation between governments, rather than through “supernationalism.”
Turkey’s EU Accession
Turkey first applied for associate membership in the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1959. In 1963 it signed an association agreement, known as the Ankara Agreement. In 1987, Turkey submitted its application for formal membership in the EEC. In 1989, the European Commission (EC) confirmed eventual membership but deferred the matter to “more favorable times.” This position was confirmed in 1997. The next step was the December 2002 Copenhagen European Council. According to it, the EU would open negotiations “without delay” in 2004. The EC recommended that the negotiations should begin in 2005. Turkey’s accession has been stalled since. The earliest date that Turkey could enter EU is now 2013 (EU’s six-year budget comes into force), but Brussels has refused to back the 2013 deadline. The EC president Barroso said that the accession process will take at least until 2021.
Needless to say, Turkey has all but lost interest in the EU and has looked to their rich Islamic Persian Gulf brothers for investments. With the help from them plus a number of successful regional initiatives, Turkey has developed its economy and currently enjoys economic prosperity.
Like the Czech Republic, Serbia in its history was oppressed by several empires: Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, Nazi Germany, Communist, and US/NATO. It doesn’t need to be oppressed by the current German dominated EU empire.
The Tadic administration has been driven by EU pre-membership donations amounting to 2.68 billion Euros between 2000 and 2011, which are 1,600 times greater than donations from Russia and China. However, Russia and China didn’t bomb Serbia nor did they amputate the country. Germany and most other EU countries – NATO members had caused an economic damage in excess of 100 billion Euros plus numerous human sufferings. The 1999 aggression plus the 1992 UN sanctions have contributed to the present economic misery in Serbia: GDP 75% of that in 1990, industrial production 43% of that in 1990, over 20% unemployed, 700,000 living below the poverty line, etc. Besides, the accession process may last until 2021 suggesting that further donations would be much reduced as the EU budgets will shrink in all likelihood.
On a number of occasions I have advocated that Serbia should attempt to establish an association with the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). In the decade that ended in 2010, the BRICs added $8 trillion to global GDP. The BRICs will probably add $12 trillion over the coming decade, double the US and eurozone combined. South Africa has joined the BRICs.
Another alternative for Serbia is to join the Russian-led Customs Union (Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia) which became fully operational on July 1. Yet another is to wait for a likely breakup of the eurozone predicted by many distinguished economists including Alan Greenspan, former US Federal Reserve chief. Martin Sandbu, in the Financial Times article Europe need not wait for Germany, has advocated that the solution of the eurozone fiscal crisis is to leave Berlin behind. Eleven eurozone countries can create a 3.5 trillion eurobond market on their own. Currently Chancellor Merkel considers eurobonds as the very last resort. There is no question that Germany benefitted most from the eurozone but now doesn’t want to be a part of a “transfer union” to profligate countries like Greece. The idea that Serbia could become a member of this new European entity is of course far-fetched but anything can happen before 2021.
Vojin Joksimovich is the author of three books and over 100 articles on the Balkans
The Revenge of the Prophet by Dr. Vojin Joksimovich is another classic book which gives great insight and knowledge about the Balkans, radical Islam, US foreign policy and other important areas.
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