On October 5, 2000, in an almost bloodless coup by the security forces staged against the backdrop of massive street protests, Slobodan Milosevic was removed from power in Serbia. Ten years later, many of those who cheered his downfall then (this author included) have nothing to celebrate. In the run-up to “Peti oktobar” they believed that a change of regime—any change—was essential to Serbia’s recovery from six decades of war, bloodshed, communist and neo-communist nightmare.
We were wrong. It is futile to debate whether Milosevic’s dead-end regime was “better” or “worse” than what Serbia has today with its “pro-Western” rulers. It is like discussing whether pancreatic cancer is preferable to congestive heart failure. Let me be specific.
On October 10 the first “gay pride parade” will be staged in Belgrade. The government has been promoting the event as yet another proof that Serbia is fit to join the European Union, that is has overcome the legacy of its dark, intolerant past. It has threatened the opponents of the spectacle with violence and judicial consequences. It has earned praise from all the right quarters in Brussels, Washington and the NGO sector for its “public commitment to … thwart any attempt to stop the march from proceeding to its conclusion.” There will be five thousand policemen in full riot gear marching with a few hundred “LBGT” activists on the day.
This is pure anarchotyranny in action. The current government in Belgrade is quite powerless to protect its citizens from harassment in the NATO-occupied province of Kosovo. It is powerless to prevent young jihadists from pelting with stones tourist buses from non-Muslim areas in the majority-Muslim region of Novi Pazar—not in Kosovo, mind you, but in “Serbia Proper.” It is powerless to stop rampant corruption by its own functionaries and politically associated cronies. It is powerless to halt open war-mongering by Islamic extremists such as Mufti Zukorlic in the Sandzak region in the south, or advocacy of ethnic separatism by Hungarian activists in the north. It is powerless to evict the Gypsy criminal underclass from usurping prime real estate in the nation’s capital. It is unable and unwilling to arrest and prosecute mafia bosses, privatization tycoons and foreign agents in its own ranks.
At the same time, the regime of Serbia’s Euro-Integrators led by President Boris Tadic is brutally efficient in clamping down on those “extremists” who dare protest the promotion of sodomy and who dislike the imposition of psychopathological “norms” imposed by the regime’s foreign mentors. It is good at normalizing criminality and criminalizing normality. Serbia will never enter the EU, of course, and it will never be absolved of its alleged sins harking back to the Milosevic era, but in terms of anarchotyrannical shackles it is eminently “Western” already.
In foreign affairs Serbia’s position is even worse. It is incomparably worse than a decade ago. On September 10, at the UN General Assembly, Serbia abruptly surrendered its claim to Kosovo. As Diana Johnstone explained in Counterpunch, the government in Belgrade tried to pretend that this surrender was a “compromise”; but for Serbia, it was all give and no take:
"In its dealings with the Western powers, recent Serbian diplomacy has displayed all the perspicacity of a rabbit cornered by a rattlesnake. After some helpless spasms of movement, the poor creature lets itself be eaten. The surrender has been implicit all along in President Boris Tadic’s two proclaimed foreign policy goals: deny Kosovo’s independence and join the European Union. These two were always mutually incompatible. Recognition of Kosovo’s independence is clearly one of the many conditions—and the most crucial—set by the Euroclub for Serbia to be considered for membership."