August 2011: Belgrade Blesses the NATO Blockade, NATO Proclaims Serbian Resistors Criminals
Don't buy the Vučić hype. In any Kosovo crisis you must first understand that Belgrade is actually on the side of NATO
What follows below is something that I wrote in 2011 while chronicling the 2011-13 Kosovo crisis, triggered by Empire’s move to subdue Kosovo Serbs, assisted by Belgrade. The crisis concluded when Vučić (who was formally Deputy PM to Dačić but led the largest party in the government) withdrew Serbian institutions from Kosovo, terminated the Serbian constitutional order in Northern Kosovo, and delivered Kosovo Serbs to NATO and Priština gift-wrapped and against their wishes, concluding the “Brussels Agreement” that represented the 2nd Serbian withdrawal from Kosovo and a soft recognition of Kosovo as something other than a province of Serbia.
Vučić is now complaining that Empire-backed Priština is violating this Brussels Agreement, which of course it is. He is also posturing as if he might do something in reaction to that. Do not buy any of this. He is the Quisling who stabbed the Kosovo Serbs in the back in the first place and signed a surrender in their name at a moment when they were offering spirited resistance, willing to hold on forever.
He has sent the army to the line of control, but in the same breath he says he will ask NATO for permission to cross, but expects to be rejected, after which he will launch “legal proceedings”. This isn’t just laughably tame, it is a misdirection.
If Belgrade wants to return to Kosovo it doesn’t need an army. It has citizens there who never wanted to be pushed into Priština’s embrace in the first place, and would love nothing more than to reconstitute Serbia’s constitutional order where they live. If Vučić was actually serious about seeking Belgrade’s return he would be talking about the return of civil institutions of the Republic of Serbia to Kosovo that with the Brussels Agreement he disowned and cut off. Since the other side has broken the treaty by ridding roughshod even over the minor window-dressing assurances for Kosovo Serbs that Vučić-Dačić won for them, he would have every ground to abrogate the 2013 surrender treason, but that is the one thing he isn’t willing to do.
This is what Koštunica did in 2008. Since by recognizing Priština as something other than Serbia the Empire had breached UNSCR 1244, Koštunica was also no longer bound by the 1999 settlement and adopted Kosovo Serbs back into the civil order of the Republic of Serbia.
The role of Vučić who rose to power in 2012 was precisely to dismantle this Serbian infrastructure of resistance and get a win for NATO that it could never get for itself.
Something that he was perfectly suited for because while running the same policies of the preceding liberal government, as a former Radical, he could more effectively muddy the waters.
The text below is from the days of the Tadić-Dačić government, rather than the later Dačić-Vučić government, but they were really the same beast, the latter with a little more window dressing.
When last month, the KLA-staffed government in Priština attempted a takeover of the Jarinje and Brnjak border posts, between Kosovo and unoccupied Serbia, it showed itself incapable of doing so. The reaction of the local population forced its speedy withdrawal. Instead, NATO took over the crossings in its place and enforced a blockade on the Serb enclave in the north of Kosovo for it. This week official Belgrade attempted to grant the blockade its official blessing.
When the crisis first broke out Serbia dispatched negotiators to demand a return to the state of affairs as it existed before the attempted Albanian takeover. This would mean a withdrawal of American and French NATO troops occupying the border posts, and an end to their barring Serbian goods from crossing the administrative border. Instead, the government’s negotiators signed under every aspect of the state of affairs currently in place – except under the roadblocks set up by the local Serbs.
The settlement the Serbian government had agreed to would have the NATO blockade of the north continue. As it is already the case only people would be permitted to cross the administrative border, but not goods. The only way in which the deal would perhaps improve the existing situation is that NATO would promise to let pass humanitarian aid shipments. As a precondition to the agreement becoming valid the makeshift roadblocks impeding NATO access to the border posts would have to be dismantled.
In summary, the Serbs in the north of Kosovo — who are facing a shortage of provisions and medical supplies — were called upon by their government to abandon their most effective avenue of resistance and protest. So that in return a NATO-enforced economic stranglehold on their enclave may be formalized and they be reduced to dependence on shipments of humanitarian aid.
Needless to say the roadblocks remain in place. The people who would be affected by the blockade rejected the deal the marionette government made in their name and ostensibly for their benefit. One thing the independent-minded Serbian community in the north of Kosovo can teach us is that the best hope for dignity lies in breaking away, not from your country, but from your government.
In the course of the current tensions in the north of Kosovo the commander of NATO forces, a Bundeswehr officer Erhard Bühler, on multiple occasions claimed the people obstructing NATO were criminals or in the pay of criminals. Bühler ascribes every aspect of local response to NATO enforced stranglehold of the north to “criminal structures” which allegedly run the whole north of Kosovo. He goes so far as to claim the people assembling at roadblocks had been paid by criminals to do so.
The German NATO general claims there are no problems in Kosovo of a political nature, troubles only arise from dissatisfaction of criminals. In other words, the Serbs have no valid reason to object to politics enforced by NATO, the only people who could object are criminals, so anybody who objects must be a criminal or in the service of criminals.
Bühler’s propaganda points are as predictable as they are idiotic. Attempting to criminalize resistance to occupation has been long domain of powerful states and militaries. In the German case it began with hysteria surrounding francs-tireurs in the Franco-Prussian War, then intensified through every subsequent conflict until it, in 1942, culminated in the formalized security doctrine of Bandenbekämpfung.
One pillar of German security thinking was that any resistance to occupation was illegitimate. A person offering resistance behind the front line was not to be thought of as a legitimate fighter — a partisan, but as a bandit, which is to say a criminal. An area where resistance existed was to be thought of as a bandit area and the people among whom the partisans moved as people harboring criminals.
There exists a perception Germany laden with a Nazi past is now more pacifistic than other comparable powers. It is a view that can not but bemuse the northern Kosovo Serbs in the sights of a belligerent German general who is resurrecting the talking points of Bandenbekämpfung in relation to unarmed people staging sit-ins.