Entry # 79: Sept 30 - Yugoslavian Elections
Last night, when I visited the web site of the Yugoslavian Ministry of "Information", several things came into my mind, but what I felt mostly was a sense of horror and déjà-vu. What you can see there is the classic communo-fascist machinery of governmental disinformation, more or less elaborate lies disguised as truths, facts manipulated, facts deliberately put into a wrong and distorting context, the ugly truth behind hidden in an elaborate and tempting wrapping, hidden behind shiny façades and a diabolical grin.
This is the same kind of machinery which has betrayed the world for too long a time, a machinery which pacted with the Nazis and produced horrors close to the holocaust, yet hidden behind a falsely benevolent web of lies, a machinery of false promises and hate, a machinery of fostering stupidity and fear of the complex realities of today, a machinery which has created the false specter of "world capitalism", a machinery crying out peace but creating nothing but war, a machinery crying out social justice and creating suppression of ideas and faculties, a machinery falsely setting itself against fascism, but in its wrong Marxist/Communist/Anti-Western agenda creating a new form of fascism instead, a machinery plotted to secure the power of the few over the suppressed majority. And now, this machinery has set out to organize elections. Is this the end - or is it just the beginning?
The Soviet system has never been without "elections". Yet you were not allowed to actually make a choice, everything was constructed to be a farce. The same farce has been tried to be pulled off again, votes have been manipulated, opposition forces criminalized and detained and probably even worse measures taken, the resulting vote ignored and a false one presented as true.
Yet times have changed. There is no Soviet big brother any more. With the internet, not only the machinery of lies but also the oppositional forces can get heard. The UN, especially with the assistance of NATO forces, are stronger than during Cold War times, and Milosevic has proven time and again to be a notorious liar betraying his people.
The above cited web site is in English by default, not in Serbian. It is not intended for Serbians but for foreign visitors - showing both the audacity but even more the desperateness of the Yugoslav regime. Western opinion is seen as something important even for this machinery of lies - Yugoslavia is still a European country. It cannot afford to be isolated forever, so time is running out.
Gorbachev didn't set out to terminate the Communist system, he wanted to strengthen it by redefining its basis. This move was utterly necessary as the Soviet economy had been destroyed by the government over decades, the people being the victim of that. But allowing freedom of thought and movement as well as a more liberal economy into the system was the critical impulse to let the entire web of lies and violence not only crack but break down. The result was the end of the Soviet state, and Gorbachev deserves the credit for accepting this to happen, and for letting it happen peacefully. If he hadn't incited the changes leading to the end, it would have self-destroyed eventually. The ensuing fall of other central-European dictatorships embedded into the Soviet system had been due for a long time, as the economy was ruined everywhere and everything only glued together by governmental cosmetic surgery. The collapse of the Evil Empire meant that the protector of suppression was gone, and without it, the individual states couldn't possibly sustain the pressure from inside and outside.
Yugoslavia somehow managed to evade this, but it had to fight three bloody wars for it. The costs for its economy and for its people have been enormous, and a forth war, this time against Montenegro, would be fatal, and Milosevic would lose again. If there is some intelligence in his governmental and military staff, they'll know that. The opposition has won the electoral vote. The Orthodox Church has sided with the opposition. European sanctions will be lifted when the opposition takes government. Montenegro has sabotaged the elections and sided with the opposition too. The only option left for Milosevic - besides stepping - is to use violence again to reaffirm his rule. But this time, the odds against him are infinite. His rule will end soon - the question is just, how many will have to die for it. He doesn't seem to be a man who cares about something like that, so he has to be stopped from the inside.
The task of the opposition will be to stay united and to accept Western help. The West is no evil organization, neither is it built upon what is called the capitalist system. The West is built upon democracy and freedom, it is not flawless, but it is the best system available. Isolation and internal dissension would be the worst things to happen, they would only lead to strengthening the old reactionary Communist and anarchist forces. For the EU, this means active involvement and assistance, not just talking. The EU has a responsibility for the Yugoslav people. It is not "us" or "them" - it is just "us". Especially Germany should take a more active role in promoting democracy and freedom - even more with the decennial of unification coming up. The plight of the Serbian people is a plight of all humanity.
September 30th, 2000