When I posted on my Facebook profile a link to my blog post taling about Charles Crawford, the former British ambassador in Belgrade, insulting Serbian people and Tomislav Nikolic, the democratically elected president of Serbia, my American Facebook friend (met him last year in Belgrade) David, went on to comment saying “ I doubt he (Charles Crawford) is all that incorrect in his assessment of the recent election. Nikolic is a corrupt nationalist who will only extend Serbia’s (very sad) pariah status. Tadic and the DS weren’t ideal by any means, but Nikolic and the SNS are far worse.”
Oh my god, one of my American friend said that “Nikolic is a corrupt nationalist.” Based on what? Oh yes, maybe, western media!! Western media loves Serbia! “Serbs are bad, bad” Nationalists, and what, they elected (democratically) a bad, bad Nationalist President! Hopefully, Diana Johnstone, an American (Yes, American) political writer based in Paris, France, wrote an excellent article over at CounterPunch talking about the “Bad, bad Serbs Nationalist”. Here’s a short excerpt, but it’s worth reading the whole thing entitled “Life and Politics in a Semi-Occupied Country
Graveyard Humor in Belgrade.”
For Western media and politicians, Serbia serves only one purpose: to be the bad example of “nationalism” that enhances the virtuous anti-nationalism of the EU and NATO. In an era when in EU countries a mere disparaging remark against any ethnic or religious group may lead to lawsuits for “incitement to racial hatred”, the Serbs are there to allow cartoonists, editorialists and film-makers to stigmatize the pariah group to their heart’s content. Serbia’s most prized export to Europe is its “genocidal war criminals”, sent to The Hague to feed Europe’s pride in its humanitarian values. So the best thing Serbia could do for Western media was to elect “an extreme nationalist” – well, not exactly – only a “former extreme nationalist”, or “a former ultranationalist”, or “a former strident nationalist”.