U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (on behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States) congratulated the people of Serbia as they celebrated Serbia’s National Day this February 15. Hillary Clinton went on to say that “The United States and Serbia have a partnership based on mutual respect and built upon more than a hundred years of relations between our people and our governments.” I see this as a political statement. What is far more interesting is the ‘true’ story/history.
On February 15th (Serbia’s National Day), the WalesHome put up an article written by Royston Jones, a Welsh political activist, about Serbia’s history. It looks at the events that have shaped modern Serbian attitudes, and takes a closer look at “more than a hundred years of relations between U.S. governments and Serbia”. The story is fascinating, and I highly recommend listening to it. Here are two excerpts from the WalesHome article entitled Serbia: the shame of the West but you should read the whole thing:
As late as 1998 the US State Department had the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) listed as a terrorist organisation. The very same bunch of drug-traffickers and gun-runners whose leader Hashim Thaçi was then being lionised by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, with his gang promoted as freedom fighters, posing in front of the cameras and promising to go fight the Serbs. (Posing was what the KLA was best at, it did very little fighting.) And as we all know now, the KLA also ran a lucrative organ harvesting business from Serb civilians they kidnapped and butchered.
Why so many lies? Put quite simply, the West (again, mainly the US) had an agenda based on geopolitical considerations. The Soviet Union was breaking apart. The Cold War was over and Eastern Europe was in turmoil, with every Ivan and Istvan wanting to be a capitalist and to drive a Merc. The one remaining obstacle to the eastward advance of Western ideas (and goods) was perceived to be Yugoslavia led by Serbia, which despite the strained relationship under Tito, was now rediscovering older ties with its Orthodox cousins in Russia. Ergo Yugoslavia had to be dismembered and Serbia itself weakened.
He went on to say that contrary to what you might think, Serbs ‘these barbarians’ have fought in defence of their land and their people:
Given that on more than one occasion they have come close to total annihilation as a people, we should not be surprised that when threatened Serbs fight back with everything they’ve got. But their struggles have invariably been defensive. Whether fighting medieval Turks or 20th Century Germans the Serbs have fought in defence of their land and their people. It was the same in the 1990s when Yugoslavia was broken apart.
Why the West – yes, again the USA – chose to misrepresent the situation has been explained. The dismemberment of Yugoslavia, the support for Croat neo-fascists, Albanian gangsters, and possibly even foreign mujahideen who came to kill Serbs, is one of the most dishonourable chapters in recent Western history.
Again, don’t just read these excerpts, read the whole thing.