Aleksandra Pavlovic

Related to the text "Why Rec Again?

The relationship between the first two sentences in the paragraph "Kosovo Issues" is less than clear, and imply that "basic democratic principles" are to consider "the situation as it is". It is clear that the principle of democracy is, generally , to accept the will of the majority and that majority will in this instance is that the status quo be accepted. I agree that the status quo can hardly be seen as an acceptable argument. But as for "the Kosovo issue" (and many other issues), I think that the point is not real acceptance of certain circumstances of the status quo but in acceptance of it as "an unchangeable situation" (which should also include the case of the change of such a situation being too costly). Unfortunately, none of us (at least not you or I) will decide at which moment in history time should be brought to a halt and the status quo frozen as it is.

It is clear that the "basic starting point" would be the moment before this war (i.e. the bombing) began, and I think it is also clear that a return to that particular status quo would not be possible. From the point of view of the refugees, for example (and their numbers are much higher than one side admits but much lower than the other side claims) everything could come down to a declaration of accepting that all should return together while, on the other hand, it is realistic to expect that, once expelled, only some of these people will return and that the repatriation will be a long process. The point is that something which cannot be changed (or whose change would to too costly) simply must be accepted, but the causes for that situation and the people responsible must not be forgotten nor their responsibility written off.

As confirmation that everything around here is topsy-turvy, the following general views of what is regarded as public opinion can serve as examples: (1) At the beginning of the war - we will not give Kosovo up (non-acceptance of the situation), and we will take on the whole world (lack of comprehension of inability); (2), a couple of weeks later - after all the destruction, Nato's demands cannot be accepted (substitution of cause and effect, or a totally sick example of the simultaneous awareness that something cannot be changed and refusal to accept that awareness (Mira Markovic: "They may beat us, but they cannot convince us.")

Are the Americans (the British, the French, the Germans) guilty for the Nato bombings (or for that matter for the "collateral damage")? They are and they are not. They are not since it is very clear that US policy is not created by an airhead from Oklahoma. They are guilty because they have allowed CNN to mould their thinking. "Our collective guilt" is no greater or less than theirs. Then again, I have a guilty conscience. I openly admit that this is all the greater because I have not done more in the past ten years to change this regime ("criminal", "aggressor"). Maybe it's because I have never felt that someone has been killing "in my name" (you may recall that they "ousted" us as far back as 1990). So my guilty conscience is confined to my omission, my own choice not to do something. (Not that I watched the demonstrations in Belgrade on television and ate my popcorn, but certainly I could sometimes have done more than I did). Therefore guilt can exist for something not done but (I agree) free will must exist and consequently the possibility of free choice must also exist. It could be argued that all of this has nothing to do with Kosovo or with the related issue of guilt. I think it has. I believe (perhaps because I am naive) that if we had managed to change things around here everything would have been different. However assumptions a la "if only... ) come too late. Therefore the issue of guilt (responsibility) remains. Individual responsibility of course. However, if I believe (as I do) that everyone could have done more, but did not (in order not to jeopardise their own comfort or to preserve their own individuality), or were too stupid to know what needed to be done (which is not an extenuating circumstance), then all of us are guilty as individuals. I don't even mention those who believed all along that the policy of The One And Only was correct and who sincerely, and moronically, supported him. So finally I arrive at collective guilt, but only as the sum of individual guilt and, even more importantly, different individual guilt. Perhaps it is more correct to ask about "the guilt of the collective" rather than collective guilt.

Parallels with World War II (ideology and characters) are really interesting. Leaving investment programs out of this, since both here (unofficially) and in the West they are being compared to the Marshal Plan anything else seems to be mere insults rather than a correct discourse. It's clear that we're not dealing with a war for the defence of the country or with intervention to prevent humanitarian catastrophe, so comparisons with any kind of ideology simply cannot be regarded as serious. The very fact that someone feels the need to insult someone else is interesting. Insults, as such, include the fact that the insulter knows that he is not speaking the truth. Why would a fascist feel offended if someone calls him a fascist? (When I refused to vote at "the most democratic elections" they tried to insult me by claiming that I was a member of the UJDI). At a political level, during a state of war, the exchange of insults seems absolutely senseless to me. What purpose does it serve? In any case it would be interesting (if anything interesting is to be found there at all) to see all those fascists, nazis, drug addicts (!), Hitlers and others, those of them who are able, kissing each other and passing into eternity in a sort of beginning of a wonderful friendship.