Serbia, EU sign SAA in Luxembourg

The European Union has today in Luxembourg signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia.

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  1. nice Nebojša, if you are the person I think you are, great.

    I once looked for the possibility to contact you, but I found no contact-info...

    let´s just see what Martin will say about the level of the attacks that you will experience here...
    (Jovan, 2 May 2008 15:03)
  2. Nebojsa,

    I just want to say that that was one of the most thoughtful and well-argued entries that I've ever read in the B92 forum. It has really set me to think. Thank you for enriching this discussion. I will give it some thought and hopefully have time to write a response before this article expires.
    (Martin, 2 May 2008 01:36)
  3. I can tell (without you actually point out) that calling on more civil debate and actually being able to engage in it for your ends up being a somewhat dilemma.

    This “victim argument” has long been used as justification for NATO’s bombing, the subsequent expulsion and persecution of Serbs (“revenge attacks”) and others by Albanians, and indeed for claiming the “right” to independence. Supporters of independence have repeatedly claimed [link available in the original article] that Serbia has somehow “forfeited” its sovereignty through actions in Kosovo in 1999 and before.

    As NATO bombs began raining on Serbia and Montenegro in March of 1999, media in NATO countries began manufacturing atrocity stories from the mold perfected just a few years earlier in Bosnia. Refugees, ethnic cleansing, genocide, massacres, rape camps — everything was there. In addition to propaganda injected into the mainstream media by U.S. and other NATO governments, there was also KLA propaganda directly fed to gullible reporters.

    Even today, veteran propagandists dutifully repeat the claim that Serb “ethnic cleansing” of Albanians led to the NATO attack. Nothing can be further from the truth. NATO launched the attack in March 1999 after failing to coerce Serbia into accepting an occupation force, during the false negotiations in France. The official justification for the bombing was to force Belgrade to sign the “agreement” presented by the U.S. envoys in Rambouillet. Alleged atrocities are all said to have happened subsequent to the start of the bombing. Indeed, the ICTY indictment against Slobodan Milosevic included only one alleged crime dated prior to March 23, and that was the faux massacre at Racak.

    By late 1999, it was obvious that the death toll in Kosovo was much less than the alleged 100,000 — or even the more commonly used 10,000, often falsely qualified as Albanian civilians (That number was actually a wild claim by UK Foreign Minister Geoff Hoon, who sought to justify the bombing.) The total number of bodies exhumed by ICTY’s investigators was 2,108, of all ethnicities and with varying causes of death. It is unclear whether that death toll included the numerous Albanians killed by the KLA, the KLA’s own substantial casualties, or those of the Yugoslav Army. In any case, horror stories presented as facts in a State Department “report” were later proven false. For example, the “Trepca mines” story was debunked by Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Pearl. True, several other mass graves were discovered in the province since 1999. However, the victims buried there were Serbs, so the discoveries quickly faded from memory.

    Although many Kosovo Albanians suffered terribly during the KLA insurrection and the NATO bombing, their claim that “Serb atrocities” have earned them the right to independence holds very little water.

    However, neither the Albanians nor their Western sponsors actually believe the "atrocity argument" on principle. For if they did, and it was universally applicable, they would have forfeited all right to Kosovo themselves!

    We could start from the beginning: NATO's war itself was illegal and illegitimate. In the course of the war, NATO pilots targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure. The Alliance naturally claims those were "unfortunate mistakes" and that bombs were dropped "in good faith," yet Gen. Michael Short publicly stated that the campaign was designed to force Belgrade to surrender by terrorizing civilians.

    Korisa, Grdelica, Aleksinac, Surdulica – these were just some of the NATO atrocities during the "humanitarian" war of 1999.

    Once the government in Belgrade agreed to withdraw from Kosovo and allow the UN to occupy the province (in practice, it was NATO occupation), Albanian separatists began terrorizing Kosovo. Violence against Serbs has been amply documented, in photographs, in print, and on film. It is important to note that Serbs were not the sole victims of Albanian attacks; Roma and other communities in Kosovo have also been exposed to violence, intimidation, extortion and murder.

    Here are just some of the more gruesome incidents of anti-Serb violence:

    - July 1999: fourteen Serb farmers massacred in the fields near Staro Gracko (graphic photos);

    - October 1999: Valentin Krumov, UN official from Bulgaria, slain for "speaking Serbian";

    - February 2000: bus carrying Serbs to a cemetery service hit by a missile;

    - February 2001: roadside bomb blows up another bus;

    - June 2003: brutal slaying of a Serb family in Obilic;

    - August 2003: Serb children swimming in the river near Gorazdevac machine-gunned down;

    - March 2004: massive pogrom throughout the province targets Serbs; 8 dead, 4500 expelled, several villages razed.

    All this was accompanied by systematic destruction of Serbian Orthodox churches, chapels, monasteries and cemeteries.

    Albanian separatists and NATO leaders claim that Serbia's violent suppression of the terrorist KLA in 1998-99 merited not only an illegal aggression in response, but also forfeited Serbia's sovereignty over Kosovo. Yet the Albanians have not "forfeited" their right to Kosovo because of systematic terrorism under NATO occupation – they are being rewarded for it by independence!

    "The Croatian Precedent"

    Further proof that the "atrocity argument" was made up for the specific purpose of fabricating a reason to separate the occupied province from Serbia and make it into an Albanian state is the absolute absence of any such argument in the case of Croatia, which once had a considerable Serb population.

    No "humanitarian" interventionist has ever claimed that atrocities of the Ustasha regime between 1941-1945, in which hundreds of thousands of Serbs perished (Croat and Nazi estimates were over half a million!), somehow disqualified Croatia from sovereignty over territories with majority Serb population that rebelled in 1991? Nor have any of them claimed that Croatia "forfeited" its sovereignty after the ethnic cleansing of Serbs in 1995, following a brutal Croat military incursion that ended the Serb rebellion and "reintegrated" the disputed territories. So how is Kosovo different?

    When Croatia engaged in suppression of a Serb rebellion, it was an ally of the United States and NATO, enjoying their full support – military, political, intelligence and diplomatic. When Serbia tried to suppress the Albanian rebellion three years later, the U.S./NATO support was there again – on the side of the Albanians! This is why the same logic does not apply to Krajina and Kosovo, Croatia and Serbia, or even the Serbs and the Albanians. There is no logic here, no principle, no coherent concept of right or wrong – beyond the naked argument of force: whomsoever the Empire supports is a righteous victim, and its enemy an irredeemable villain.

    Empire's pattern of aggression has by now torn the fragile tapestry of international law to shreds. The UN has already lost so much credibility and respect in the world, unable to stop the abuses by the Washington-run "international community," the Ahtisaari Show is but a final nail in its coffin. Over the past fifteen years, many lines have been crossed. Appeasement of NATO and Albanian aggression in Kosovo might just be that last step over the edge, and into the abyss from which what remains of Western civilization may never return.
    (Nebojsa, 2 May 2008 01:05)
  4. all that matters is that serbia joins the EU so my friends in novi sad dont have to stand in a que on the street with 600 other people in the rain for 5 hours like animals just to get a visa to come visit me in london . if signing this SAA thing stops that ... then thats all that matters .
    (lee coleman , london UK ., 1 May 2008 21:14)
  5. Nebojsa, I don't know what '(nonexisting crimes) your refering to my friend. Kosovars did not just wake up one day and decided to succeed from Serbia because they were having a ball! They, as did others mind you, wanted to leave Serbia because of what was going on. I mean, if the Montenegrins left the union, how do you expect Kosovars to stick? Logic? Please! In any event, this goes beyong my initial point since I called for everyone here to engage in civil debate - but then again - who was I fooling!
    (Adi, 1 May 2008 19:15)
  6. "Nationalist on all ends." Really? Come by me again. One is tempted to think being a nationalist might not be so bad, if it means being opposed to Serbophobes unleashed.Not surprisingly, Serbia's choices provided an opportunity for professional Serb-haters yet again to ply their trade, seeking perhaps to reawaken the hysteria of the 1990s.

    The whole thing -signing the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union- was just for show – as the typically forthright Independent called it, "a bid to defeat nationalists" at the upcoming polls.The political nature of the show was made crystal clear by the composition of the Serbian delegation in Luxembourg: President Boris Tadic and Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic were present, but the document was initialed by Bozidar Djelic, Deputy Prime Minister of the outgoing caretaker government.

    Will the SAA help shift the voters' allegiance? Clearly, the intent the EU is not even bothering to hide is that this will be the "April surprise" tipping the scales in May in favor of the Democrats. Of course, the treaty is meaningless and dead on arrival, but in this modern world it doesn't matter what is, but what is said to be.

    Tadic and Jeremic are already waxing ecstatic about how Serbia has "irreversibly" committed to Europe, and promising to do "everything in [their] power" to meet any demands. The major media in Serbia, mostly foreign-owned and heavily favoring Tadic's party and Europhiles in general, will no doubt hype the agreement as something momentous and crucial, conveniently neglecting to mention its suspended status or a complete lack of practical consequences.

    It is one thing to impose conditions on a defeated and humiliated enemy. It is something different altogether to cheerfully pretend the war itself was for the enemy's own good, and expect his gratitude and everlasting friendship. Most EU countries are members of NATO, and took part in the 1999 war. Javier Solana, now the EU's foreign policy commissar, was the Alliance's senior civilian official at the time. Yet instead of at least feigning appropriate distaste, Serbia's Europhiles eagerly shake hands with Solana and sing praises to the EU – and even NATO!

    While Brussels demands that Serbia's condition for being annexed is to appease the "court" in The Hague, that very "court" routinely releases those accused of atrocities against Serbs – if they are even indicted – while rounding up every Serb official and officer they can and charging them with a nonexistent conspiracy.

    When Serbs in Bosnia or Croatia protest having to live under regimes that have committed mass atrocities against them in the past, they are told that borders of Yugoslav republics are sacred. But when Albanians claim (nonexistent) atrocities by Serbs as an excuse for their own secession, the world is told that Kosovo is a "special case." Law? Law is something that applies to other people. Not the Empire. Not the EU.

    And so we come to the latest absurdity: a meaningless treaty, signed by officials without authority, signifying nothing and designed solely to influence an election. Fittingly, the Europhiles' empty promises – made repeatedly over the past seven years – are now supposed to be backed by an empty gesture. In such a context, that is substantial progress, indeed.

    The Stabilization and Association Agreement (bureaucratese much?) was supposed to be the crowning achievement of the EU's attempts to manufacture Balkans reality through lies, threats and even brute force. If the Serbs are as stupid, gullible and easily intimidated as the EU and its enablers seem to believe, then it will indeed be the capstone to a textbook postmodern conquest. Otherwise, come May 12, the whole rotten edifice will come crumbling down.

    Now that would be a truly memorable day.
    (Nebojsa, 1 May 2008 17:52)
  7. I totally agree with Adi, soon as the southern serbian province is completely re-integrated we will let the past be past!

    but of course some things have to be done before... like arresting criminals who are guilty of killing, torturing and raping innocent Serbs,Albanians, Roma and others...

    THEN, every peace-loving Albanian will have a secure and prosperous life in Serbia.

    and then Adi, I will invite you to celebrate that day with me. will you attend the celebrations then?
    (Jovan, 1 May 2008 16:51)
  8. I am very sorry to see that the comments section has been overtaken by nationalists on all ends. The signing of the SSA is a victory for the democratic forces in Serbia, for the progressive Serbs who want Serbia in the EU.
    So my most sincere congratulations to Serbia on the SSA coming from Kosova.
    I have said this way to many times and will say it again on commenting on these pages, that we live next to each other and we have to face that! Whatever happened, whomever did it - leave that in the past, we will never get ahead if is only negative baggage we are carrying with us in the future. So stop this nagging and get on with re-building our societies and economies to compete with those on the global market - that's where the future is.
    (Adi, 1 May 2008 11:38)
  9. That Serbia today is weak, confused, and angry, Brussels and Washington have
    only themselves to blame. A decade of sanctions, threats, aggression, occupation, humiliation, extortion, and false promises would have tested anyone's patience. For a decade, everything was said to be Slobodan Milosevic's fault; but in 2000, Milosevic was deposed, and Serbia's subsequent rulers have been downright sycophantic toward the Empire ever since. But if anything, Serbia has been kicked around even more, and the demonization of Serbs in the Western mainstream has gotten even worse. The brief hope in the aftermath of 9/11 that America's awakening to the danger of Islamic terrorism would help change some of its Balkan policies was crushed shortly thereafter. No matter how many demands of the "international community" the government in Belgrade fulfills, often at the expense of its own sovereignty and laws, all it ever gets is more demands, and comparisons with either Wilhelmine or Nazi Germany. For a nation that has suffered greatly at the hands of both, it is the par!
    amount insult to go along with
    its grave injuries.

    Contrary to propaganda, Serbia has always sought a relationship with the West. Milosevic tried to deal with the West as an equal partner in an international system governed by law, not realizing that such an attitude marked him as "uppity" in the New World (dis)Order. His successors tried a groveling approach, to no greater effect. The appeals of Kostunica and Tadic for "partnership" and "reciprocity" fall on deaf ears in Washington and Brussels, who expect nothing short of unquestioned obedience.

    This expectation will not change, despite the "concerns" in Brussels. Pressure will continue to force Serbia to accept the separation of Kosovo, assume responsibility for the 1990s wars, and obey any demands of the Hague Inquisition. No government in Belgrade can survive this sort of policy for long; the fact that Kostunica has done so illustrates his remarkable political dexterity, but without any actual achievements beyond staying in power, he will be doomed come next election. Both Brussels and Washington are keenly aware of this.

    The question, then, is why the continued flogging of Serbia, if it's bound to bring the Radicals to power? And the only logical answer is that to the Empire, it makes absolutely no difference whether the government in Belgrade is "tyrannical" or "democratic," "ultranationalist" or "pro-Western." To those who desire to "solve the Serbian question" by crushing Serbia, both sycophancy and defiance will be treated with equal hatred and contempt.

    Once the people of Serbia understand they have nothing to gain by crawling
    before the Empire, and nothing to lose by resisting its dictates, they will see the clarity of the choice facing them. Standing against the Empire does not mean "going against the whole world." Bowing to it does.
    (Coleus, 1 May 2008 05:37)
  10. "Russia has lost in war against Japan, Germany, Afghanistan, and others, do you really think the country that can't feed their own soldiers has any money to travel to Europe? Russia is more concerned with central heating and cable tv than Serbia, Kosova, and the whole Balkan area.
    (KS, 30 April 2008 04:14)"

    Russia lost World War Two while Japan and Germany won???? You really ought to sue your history teacher big time!
    (lowe, 1 May 2008 03:51)
  11. well, I don´t think that I am "setting the bar too high", Martin.

    I know very well about the chronology of the events in south-eastern, don´t believe I do not know what I am talking about.

    most of the kiddies here are arguing on a rather low level, that´s right. in regard to Karen, I do not judge from the ethnical standpoint, but simply from those ( I must say it that clear ) stupid accusations that she and many more have been taught in the main-stream-media and now believe to be in the position to teach us about democracy and war crimes. if it were not such a serious matter, I would simply laugh at her.

    but reiterating nonsense doesn´t make it become the "truth"...

    as for myths: I am the one here who is constantly attacking those stupid myths which are only used to justify simple and naked terrorism.

    every more or less informed person knows that the illyrian theory is outdated, lastly by american historians and archeologists from Detroit, Michigan...but that´s something that doesn´t fit into their self-created greater-albanian-ideology...

    you didn´t know that? I thought that you have had a deeper insight and background info since you certainly studied modern history very hard!

    let´s better not start about whose level is higher or lower...that´d be only ridiculous.

    if you´d have followed this kindergarden here for a little bit longer, you´d have realized anyway that it is mostly the serbian posters who bring up arguments only to get accusations and insults from the socalled "independence"-camp... if you don´t believe me - just take your time to check it.

    finally,as for Karens "argumentation": I didn´t answer on her "points" since I do not consider them as worthy enough. THAT´s just the level of some western-european yellow-press...but.. as already said, I don´t wanna start a discussion about that here...
    (Jovan, 1 May 2008 00:16)
  12. To Karen.

    I am not quiet understanding up-to-date situation on the Balkans but I am sick of people being biased. I think it is absolutely ridiculous, useless and irrelevant to compare the war in Ex-Yugoslavia with the atrocities of WW2. Ex-Yugoslavian wars were involving all three sides(Croats, Serbs and Bosnian Muslims) and if we are to play justice, all three sides should be equally and deeply responsible for what happened there. When you say 'Germany Took all responsibility' you were right BUT the German ordinary people did not suffer as ordinary Serbs suffer now in their everyday life. Actually, they have much more benefits all around the world than ordinary Serbs. When the WW2 finally ended we all said "Why should we punish entire German nation? That is not fear"...we were just looking for the Nazis or those who were playing important roles of WW2 . So, I am asking you and the international community, why should we punish entire Serbian nation and all ordinary people?

    Jason, Kenora, CA
    (Jason, 30 April 2008 23:39)
  13. I've posted this up from because it made me upset, why is Serbia the only country to sing the SAA like some piece of paper without any meaning.

    Why can't Serbia never become an EU candidate without fully pleasing Holland and Belgium but Kosovo got its independence despite the opposition of Spain, Greece and Cyprus.
    (Cain, 30 April 2008 23:19)

    Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica today rejected the claims by EU High Representative for Foreign Policy and Safety Javier Solana that the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU is status-neutral to Kosovo-Metohija….

    “On the basis of Javier Solana’s statement, one could conclude that he is pleading for Serbia and for Kosovo to remain within Serbia and that I am against it. And Solana’s main argument is that the SAA is status-neutral to Kosovo-Metohija.
    …”..If we look at it without deception, we will see that the true answer to these questions is well-known. Perhaps Solana does not know it, but every Serbian citizen knows it. Just as every Serb knows that Solana’s decision to bomb Serbia was not neutral but utterly senseless. Just as every Serb knows that the decision to set up Bondsteel base is not status-neutral, but that it meant the construction of the capital city of the first NATO state which Solana began creating by bombing Serbia. And we all know very well that Ahtisaari’s plan, implemented by the EULEX mission, is also not status-neutral but that it affirms that NATO is the supreme authority in Kosovo.

    Solana should know that a number of still visible ruined facilities throughout Serbia are his doing. If not for anything else, then least of all because it is not appropriate to compare who loves Serbia more, me or him”, reads the Prime Minister’s statement.
    (Anna, 30 April 2008 21:47)
  15. Under a compromise proposed by the Netherlands and Belgium, the 27 EU states agreed not to ratify the pact nor give Serbia its trade or aid benefits until all agree that Belgrade is fully cooperating with the U.N. war crimes tribunal.

    But the EU hopes signing the pact will bolster President Boris Tadic's pro-Western reformers in the May 11 election. Polls currently show nationalists have a slight lead, boosted by anger at the Western-backed secession of Kosovo in February.

    Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen said he would welcome Serbia as an EU candidate only if it lived up to commitments to track fugitives such as Mladic.

    "Otherwise it will never be possible," he said, stressing Mladic must be "on the plane" to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Hague before further steps on ties could be taken.
    (Cain, 30 April 2008 21:31)
  16. SAA loks literally like a pre-Contract between a Master and his Servant. Everything is conditioned on good behaviour of the humble employee, that is, if he is proves to be devouted enough to his ‘Massa”.
    Apart from the fact that Serbia can’t join the blessed EU for another half a century, one can easily guess the mechanisms
    of the disciplinary actions that would be applied to her for failing to dance to the tune.
    Serbia will never be able to prove she delivered all her “war criminals” simply because she would be at the mercy of some of the twenty seven stooge countries.( by that time even ‘Kosova’ might be on the list)) .It is enough that Lithvania or Lichtenstein’s foreign ministers declare not satisfied with Serbia’s compliance with the Hague court( or that Serbia won’t permit them to rampage through her economy) and Serbs would be again in the european doldrums.
    All this, of course , can last easily through to twenty second century.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, this is exactly what Tadic and his troupe of ‘hohstaplers’ are offering Serbs.

    It is unacceptable that once a proud nation would permit such a suicidal degradation.
    (dissident, 30 April 2008 21:02)
  17. Take care of your students.

    Try to reach each one, find out if they are coming back, if not, why not. Let them know that you are their advisor for the time that they are at the college, unless they change their major. Make a difference in their staying in college.
    (dissident, 30 April 2008 21:00)
  18. ...And no, I'm not going to debate the Albanians' supposedly Illyrian origins. I know nothing about that, nor does it interest me. As far as I'm concerned, ethnic identity is an illusion everywhere and nowhere more than in the Balkans that, as Yorgos points out, has seen more migrations and population transfers than most parts in Europe. But I know well that many Balkan peoples live and breathe myths. If that's of some consolation to them than so be it. I think it's quite illusory whether you're Serb, Albanian or Greek.
    (Martin, 30 April 2008 20:13)
  19. Firstly to Yorgos:

    "to a certain extent you are right in regard to your interpretation about me: In fact, I cannot respect someone who does not read properly what I have written but instead of that writes about me personally.
    that´s simply stupid, what more is there to be said? I think nothing."

    Secondly to me:

    "do you still wanna sell us those myths about Serbia having the most and best-developed infra-structure?

    do you really think the Croats would have succeeded in their socalled "storm" without US-american satellite-survey?

    get real, Martin."

    Jovan, you set the bar too high even for yourself when you tell other people not to misinterpret your comments.

    Nowhere did I say that Operation Storm was the work of Croats and of Croats alone. If I'm wrong please correct me and quote me where I say that. I know fully well that the Americans supported this operation. I am not so naive.

    But I was writing about the DESCENT into war, while Operation Storm as we all know took place at the very end of four years of fighting. It is OBVIOUS to everyone that the military balance of power shifted to the detriment of the Serbs in the course of the war. That's why there could be peace in the first place. How could Dayton have been achieved unless the Muslim-Croat offensive had been successful in the autumn of 1995?

    But that just proves my point. Indeed you inadvertently strengthen my argument that the Serbs held the military dominance for most of the war and only succumbed to American-supported Bosniaks and Croats in the very last stages when the NATO allies had been able to overcome their differences and the West was desperate to restore its prestige in the eyes of its own public who had been seeing unchecked Serbian aggression for several years.

    That, my friend, is not a myth.

    Do not put words in my mouth, and, please, pay greater attention to chronology. It might help in your argumentation.
    (Martin, 30 April 2008 20:09)
  20. to Yorgos:

    to a certain extent you are right in regard to your interpretation about me: In fact, I cannot respect someone who does not read properly what I have written but instead of that writes about me personally.
    that´s simply stupid, what more is there to be said? I think nothing.

    as for "my friend"...I hope you use that in the same manner like I do here, otherwise I would have to point out that I certainly am not your friend.

    you´re simply one of those who are swallowing the anti-serb propaganda...and "teaching" us here the "truth"...acting as one of those "good europeans"..nothing more - and therefore quite irrelevant to me.

    so, let´s leave it at that, my dear, the only advise I would give you is to be careful with your "analyzes"...

    to Martin:
    it´s okay, I usually do not pay attention to those macho-rambo-whatever comments ... so, if you have your own opinion, I am fine with that, but and that´s something you should keep in mind, it´s mere and simple interpretation of the worst kind to say I am one of those who argue with the ICTY if if fits for my purpose and against if not.

    that´s rubbish. I totally refuse to accept the ad-hoc-courts established on pressure by just the very same "players" that have attacked a european country with depleted uranium shells for 78 days...poisoning the very same poeple they were allegedly saving from "genocide"...

    if I mention the verdict that is clearing Serbia of war-crimes charges, then I do it only in order to show you, that even your own institutions, which you are so proud of, cannot bend the truth into absurdity ( although the Haradinai-case is indicating it).

    that does not mean that I accept that court in the slightest way... please keep that in mind, before you start interpreting my comments again.

    if I say that Tadic and Co. could end up before a court in the best case... I want to express my sorrow that in the worst case they could be assassinated by some desperate maybe jobless, and stupid extremist.

    that ALSO does not mean that I wish that to happen. so please, if possible let your negative interpretations at home, and don´t spread accusations here! there are too much k-albanian teens spreading accusations here anyway.

    why don´t you give us some lectures about the illyrian-descent of the Albanians, Martin?

    I guess you as an modern historian will not refer to the Encyclopedia Brittannica in it´s edition of somewhere in the 1920´s... like our albanian friends are usually doing it here...

    how about giving us even more lectures about the croatian and "bosnian" armies being trained and equipped by MPRI and other private mercenary-firms?

    do you still wanna sell us those myths about Serbia having the most and best-developed infra-structure?

    do you really think the Croats would have succeeded in their socalled "storm" without US-american satellite-survey?

    get real, Martin.

    I once started commenting here in order to have an exchange of thoughts with some Albanians on the Kosovo-issue..

    only to realize that the only ones commenting here are those who are clueless, full of prejudices that they have been taught by their greater albanian spin-doctors and sometimes even merely capable of writing in english but on the other hand very eager to accuse Serbia, the Serbs, and everything that stands in their way of an ethnically cleansed Kosovo in order to build their greater Albania...

    some of them even think the Serbs come from "Siberia"...what speaks for itself...
    (Jovan, 30 April 2008 19:13)
  21. 'what drives a Croatian to post antiserbian comments on a Soros-paid site? =)

    sometimes it doesn´t make a big difference whether you are a Croat or an Albanian. your anti-serb fear and hatred are almost the same... '
    - Jovan

    Is this the level of discussion you consider fit for this 'Soros-sponsored' forum, Jovan?

    No wonder that democracy in Serbia is progressing so slowly if people like you refuse to engage in other people's opinions, refuting them out of hand because of the people's ethnic background. I could give 100% support to many of the arguments that Karen puts forth and I'm not from anywhere near the Balkans. Why should it matter that she is Croatian? If her points are valid address them, if they're not valid at least tell us why they aren't. Instead you choosing the easy, intellectually undemanding solution of dismissing arguments because they happen to come from the 'wrong' source. How would you respond if Karen's points were raised by an ethnic Serb, say by Canak or Cedo Jovanovic? Would they be more valid then? Or just as invalid? Forgive me if I'm going ahead of myself but I'd reckon you'd dismiss those people too, on the basis that they're not 'true' Serbs or that they're 'traitors'.

    This is the kind of stick-in-the-mud debating that may well propel your whole country into the arms of that epitomy of simple-mindedness - Nikolic.
    (Martin, 30 April 2008 18:48)
  22. Karen,Karen/Martin,Martin,

    I still feel and declare myself as Yugoslavian. My family is all mixed – Serbs, Croats and others. But you are forgetting who started to break Yugoslavia and all this nonsense. Remember in Split booing national anthem and start illegal arming under US and German's help and supervision. Remember the Lisbon Conference when all three representatives made agreement and we are all celebrating in Sarajevo. But after call from US – Inglenberger – Alija Izetbegovic revoke his signature and got US green light for war and push for destruction of Yugoslavia and Serbia too.

    The most important point is – The Serbia was/is –still the great power in Balkan but they couldn’t benefit from it because the West didn’t allow them to keep all military gains that they have in Croatia, Bosnia and the easiest-most recent one – Kosovo.

    If Croats, Muslims or Albanians were as strong as Serbia(n) was during that conflict – Serbs will be wiped out of the map.
    Please, just be honest and confirm this fact.
    (dd, 30 April 2008 17:52)
  23. Karen,
    we've had our portion of Croatian 'good will' and 'civility' for long time to come.Think of that contraversial act (not to call it by different name)of in one day recognizing of Kosovo with Bulgaria and Hungary- was a rather pathetic act of hostility towards us.
    Two years ago I visited Croatian coast and couldn't believe the level of obnoxiousness among the Croatian folk.It is really sad.
    And sorry that Jovan confused you with the Albania reader, but there is an explanation to it:
    Your letter carries similar tone and similar arguments that we are used to reading in letters of Albanians readers on this site.
    Well, think about that.
    (veki, 30 April 2008 17:07)
  24. Oh, grand, just grand. How could things get any worse? The EU, US, and the rest of the indpendent Kosovo supporters, have just; without any effort what so ever, been handed the rights to 15% of Serbia. Tadic, you are about as Serbian as a pizza is Chinese. My god, does anyone else agree with me, that Tadic, and his DS team are nothing more than a lost flock of sheep heading into the wolf's lair? What better way to declare Kosovo independent than signing it formally.

    Maybe, just maybe, there is light at the end of this endless tunnel. Maybe, Mladic is our glistening basket of hope. For, as they had previously stated, the SAA would not be permitted to begin until all Hague commitments are met. So, as Mladic may have to keep "hiding from" the Westerners'.

    I cannot even bring myself to carry on. This is just idiotic.

    Karen, do me a favour, when you’re done squealing about war crimes, go and sue George bush. You could be famous for bringing down the devil himself. 90,000 plus Iraqi's have died since the invasion. No weapons of mass destruction have been found. No time was wasted in putting out the oil fields, set alight by Sadam. This war on terror is nothing more than political banter, blanketed by crimes against humanity. You want war crimes, go and find out who gave the order to fire a tomahawk missile into the RTS building when people were known to be inside. Go find out who gave the order to shell Serbia with depleted uranium. Not to mention the bombing of civilian targets. Go find out why the former Hague prosecute, Del Ponte, has revealed publicised facts about Kosovo Serbs were being murdered for organs, and why nothing was done. Go find out, why it is, that while 150 + churches were desecrated, that UNMIK and KFOR troops did nothing. Go and ask how it is, that 568,000+ Serbs were forced out of Srpska Krajina during operation storm, forcibly by murder and torture, and yet no one did anything. The list goes on...….. and until you go find those out, not to mention the thousands more, don't you dare try and preach.

    I seriously can't figure out what kind of puppet Tadic is. I don't see the strings, but most likely the EU plays him along witht their hand in his back.
    (Goran, 30 April 2008 17:05)
  25. I won´t repeat the verdict of that international court here, but perhaps you should take a look, surf the web and then think it over, before you start commenting here about things you obviously do not know enough about.
    every serbian politician who thinks to play around with serbian state interests, should take care...he could end up before a serbian court, in the best case.
(Jovan, 29 April 2008 21:52)

    ...if Yorgos is not capable of reading my comments properly.., well okay then...
    (Jovan, 30 April 2008 02:31)

    Dear Jovan
    I can see from your comments that you cannot respect the opinion of someone who does not share yours. And I clarify:
    You discredit my comment here in the sense that I should try to surf the web, think it over, use my brains (if I have...), I am not being capable of reading your comments properly...
    Great, man, you could just tell me that I do not meet your 'approved ethnic/racial qualities' and get it over with, instead of trying to insult me with your superiority complex. Listen, the same kind of rhetoric like yours is used by nationalist Greeks who try to persuade the world that they stem from the ancient Greeks, that Greek is the first and foremost of cultures and that the Greek race is the 'chosen one' that will prevail through the centuries. I am sure you will have heard similar Serb (Albanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian etc etc) versions of it yourself, am I wrong?
    Personally I strongly disagree with any genetical/racial argument, especially if it used on any of the modernist Balkan Nation Building projects (be it Greek, Serb, Bulgarian, Albanian, Macedonian etc..) for the simple reason that I similarly do not believe in the Nazi ideology of the Aryan race and genetic descendants. If you take into consideration the vast movements of populations that took place in the Ottoman empire throughout its existence in the Balkans and the subsequent intermarriage/mixture of these populations,you would have to see what I mean and which approach I take on this matter. There are no 'clean races' as such in our neighbourhood my friend, the sooner we realise it the better.

    As far as your democratic credentials are concerned I can see how you imagine justice for every Serbian politician who plays around with Serbian state interests: to end up before a serbian court, in the best case. And in the worst case? Lynch him? I am impressed again.

    My friend Jovan, hatred -no matter how justified it might be- never brings the solution to any crisis. Take this into consideration and allow the 'others' to take part in this dialogue here. This is not an academic journal nor a conference, so let us also write our comments, which at the end of the day is our opinion, even if we are not historians or anthropologists as you probably are.

    (Yorgos, 30 April 2008 16:57)
  26. Karen,
    Don't make me laugh. Croatia has dealt with its past?? That is a ridiculous statement.
    Croatia has never apologized, or been punished for, for their Nazi Ustase past. Jasenovac was so brutal that teh Croats even made German SS Officers sick, and that is a fact. Feel free to read about it some time to find out about your own history. What did Tito do? He gave you Istria and Dalmatia and never gave autonomy to Krajina Serbs, and actually rewarded you for your genocide against Serbs, Jews and Gypsies.
    Today Ustase singers like Thompson hold concerts in Zagreb, with 60,000 adoring fans, where even your former foreign minister is in attendance - Miomir Zuzul.
    The WWII genocide was not enough for Croatia, they did it again in 1995 when they ethnically cleansed the entire Serb population out of their county. How many Serbs have returned? Almost none, and you know it. It is not safe for them to live in that racist and fascist country of yours.
    Don't you ever dare compare Serbia to Nazis. Serbs, including my relatives, fought the Nazis, whereas Croats WERE Nazis. Nothing much has changed. Serbs have a pround history, and have always been on the side of right, whether against Ottoman Turks, Austria-Hungary, and against the Axis powers. You have always been on the side of wrong. The truth hurts doesn't it? People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Croats are the last people on earth who should be lecturing anyone about racism, Nazism, or Fascism. Serbia is the most tolerant and multi-cultural country in the Balkans. Croatia never will be, they have show who they are.
    (Dragan, 30 April 2008 16:57)
  27. "Don’t you worry about Croatia! Croatia has dealt with its past and has a clearly defined political objective for democracy. There will always be fascist and racists and nationalist but Croatian society has always condemned them at large and we have never been in denial of the cracks in out society unlike Serbia that denies everything and continue to protect war criminals from the Hague."

    dear Karen, it´s becoming a impertinence what you are posting here!

    Croatia has dealt with it´s fascist past, humm?

    and only some minority-fascists are being outnumbered by the vast majority of democratically convinced Croatians?

    ahum, yeah.

    I can remeber the statements that have been revealed, made by your current president...about how you have won WW II...and about the Ustaša-movement...
    or those thousands of youths (!) who were little babies in 1991...and last summer showed the Hitler-salute, wearing t-shirt with slogans from your nazi-past...

    that´s all only a minority, right?

    I think you are not honest here.
    but that alone wouldn´t be new for someone who is spreading anti-serb thoughts here...

    but what is really unbelievable that you DARE to deny the obvious... disgusting!

    come to reason, girl!

    as for your statement, ... let me assure you, I don´t worry for Croatia - I couldn´t care less!

    as the whole world could see in Croatia there´s a significant part of the population even proud of it´s fascist-past! you have to live with your past and nothing,not even posting nonsense here.., just nothing can change that.
    (Jovan, 30 April 2008 15:52)
  28. "my dear, it doesn´t matter whether you have an academic degree, I´ve got one too, so what? do you really believe that your words are gaining weight through mentioning that?"

    Ok, I agree, that was a pointless bit of information on my part. I wanted to make sure you didn't dismiss me as ill-informed but it made it look as if I was waving a paper degree and asking to be taken seriously. So let's ignore that bit please.

    Back to the actual question of the wars I agree that atrocities happen in all wars, but my point is that the Serbian command had a much more developed plan of systematic ethnic cleansing. That is apparent in the organised cleansing of Bosniak areas in Bosnia, which followed closely similar patterns of 1) shelling and other forms of sabre-rattling in order to intimidate inhabitants 2) intensified long-distance attacks until the area was pacified 3) the deployment of paramilitary troops such as the Scorpions or the Tigers. All of this was fuelled by a nationalist and semi-racist ideology that buttressed the Serbs' claim that they had sort of primary right to these supposedly ancient Serbian lands.

    I'm not indicting Serbs collectively. I would never do that. That would be ludicrous and an enormous injustice to the vast majority of Serbs. I'm saying that the political and military establishment were driving this development.

    I don't buy the view that the 'West' or the 'International Community' were somehow engineering the break-up of Yugoslavia. We all know how strongly most Western powers (including the US and Britain) supported the status quo of a united Yugoslav federation well into 1991 and only gave up on the idea after political tension between Croatia and Serbia had translated into armed clashes and the idea of a Yugoslavia left intact seemed workable. Most of all the West wanted stability in the area. That's all the West has ever wanted there; they have gone by Bismarck's dictum that the Balkans isn't worth a single Pomeranian grenadier. Look at how much the EU especially, but also the OSCE and individual Western states like Britain have suffered in terms of prestige from their failure to prevent the descent into war in Yugoslavia. Of course there were external factors such as the end of the Cold War and the ensuing cessation of large-scale investment in Yugoslavia, and the fact that Western nations perceived the changes occuring there as part of the same process of democratisation that was evident elsewhere in Eastern Europe, and also, finally, Germany's proactive involvement in Croatia and support for Croatian independence. But I think the main factors that led to the outbreak of war were internal and came from the character of the political establishment which favoured political machination á la Milosevic, the lack of a strong civic sphere and the fact that forty years of Brotherhood and Unity had prevented anyone from seriously dealing with the WWII past. Add to this that the new political elites in both Serbia and Croatia came to power on the backs of waves of nationalism and owed their support to scared, uncertain, vindictive and economically poor people one can start to understand why the collapse of legitimate government in Yugoslavia paved the way for attempts to create new polities through force of arms.

    Serbia had the greatest resources (military, population and control over central political institutions) and the greatest interests in going to war over the fate of the successor republics.
    (Martin, 30 April 2008 14:56)
  29. Jovan:

    Don’t you worry about Croatia! Croatia has dealt with its past and has a clearly defined political objective for democracy. There will always be fascist and racists and nationalist but Croatian society has always condemned them at large and we have never been in denial of the cracks in out society unlike Serbia that denies everything and continue to protect war criminals from the Hague. This is not a competition about whose better or worst – this is a statement of the obvious. Serbs need to ask themselves why is it that the whole Democratic world is bashing them? Why is it that majority of the EU countries supported Kosovo’s independence? Maybe because they know that Serbia would have never had any regard for the rights of Albanians to live under Serbia or maybe because they saw enough through the 90’s to know how Serbia treated non-Serbs.

    To Biljana:

    The EU has nothing to apologize for as it was not the EU but NATO that bombed Serbia. Having said that, I don’t think any one should apologize to Serbia sine the NATO bombing was done with the intention of stopping further crimes against humanity and massacres of civilians in Kosovo which we all witnessed in 1999 – that’s not too long ago but I can see how selective memory has become a syndrome in Serbian society. In my opinion, it only came too late; the bombing should have started before Vukovar and Srebrenica.

    To the editors:

    I have high respect for B92 as a source of rational information. Why they always slice my comments is beyond me. I don’t think they sounds anything as fierce of offensive as some racial comments I am reading now on this thread.

    (Karen, 30 April 2008 13:19)
  30. Martin #30
    Well writen and many valid points raised, however i must disagree that Serbia is 100% totally to blame.
    My under standing of the situation is that there never was a plan for a greater Serbia, whatever you read in those history books is not totally correct.
    In Yugoslavia of old post ww2 all ethnic peoples be they serbs / croats / muslim etc etc intergrated and in many cases inter married.In general every body got on well with some exceptions.
    Here iam talking about the general civilian population not the politicans / bureaucrats who had another agenda.The dissemination of Yugoslavia after the death of Tito and onwards to present day can only be attributed to and supported by other outside forces
    The guilt and lack of conscience from these outside forces is deafing for they are the merchants of death .
    Every human life is important and should not be used as a chess piece.
    The instigators and perpetrators should be held accountable for their actions.
    The cloak and dagger mentality of some countries willingness to destroy anothers by means of political, economical and internal ethnic sabotage is shameful.
    I must reiterate that whilst knowledge from a book is important so too is actual living knowledge on the ground on the day, people live and breath it every day.
    Before we cast a stone and condem we should take off the blinkers or sun glasses and see the real picture.Iam sure there are many people and countries that are not blinded by the properganda fed to us and above all to question Why.
    One must question the UN and its charter, why is it that so many of its members violate human rights and or aid and abet the destruction of anothers democracy and yet go un punished.
    Its time that the UN comes of age in the 21st Century and is re structured accordingly and not monopolised by the permament members of the security council simply because they are not doing their jobs ,hence the termoil in the world.
    There is a common factor that is evident in all of these proceedings can you see it ??
    Peace to all the innocents and damnation to those that chose evil.
    (Momcilo, 30 April 2008 12:38)
  31. Karen, how dare you compare Serbia with Nazi Germany? And what do you mean by: Serbia needs to apologize for the crimes committed during Milosevic’s regime! Serbia has apologized many a times for crimes committed in Bosnia. Late Prime Minister Djindjic has apologized 6, 7 years ago and recently President Boris Tadic did the same, but has anyone from EU apologized to Serbia for brutal bombardment and constant interference in Serbia’s affairs! I don’t think so. And yes, EU needs to lower the bar for Serbia because they are as guilty as Serbia is.
    (Biljana, 30 April 2008 12:18)
  32. Well done people of Serbia. This is a step forward!
    (alex uk, 30 April 2008 12:15)
  33. KS

    Jealous that Serbia signed before Kosovo and Bosnia, aren't you? That would explain why you would say such a comment knowing full well that Vojvodina is 65% Serbian and that the international community wouldn't even support Vojvodina's break from Serbia (since there is no reason for them to do it).
    (Peter Sudyka, 30 April 2008 10:16)
  34. Tadic should stay in Luxembourg.As someone stated deocracy is on the way out in the EU (actually I do not know hwen it was there)This is on par with the signing of the pact with Hitler same bs diffrent people.I hope Mladic is NEVER handed over if sgining the EU pact means Srbija's soul than thanks but no thanks what do they think the EU is gonna be a union like the 50 states of the US? History especially in Srbija has a tendency to repeat and not stay buried.
    (Jovan z, 30 April 2008 09:42)
  35. ZK UK,

    Oh boy, you appear to know something from US history, but fail to sense Balkan reality...

    Abraham Lincoln, G W Bush comments are more important than Kostunica's or Seslje's as Americans put it in practice whatever they say, even something when say wrong...

    ...and what concern the Balkans... the Kosovo independence is a done job in 2 steps

    1. On 12 June 1999,

    2. Multilateral agreed proclamation of independence (17 Ferbruary 2008), which sealed the Kosovo status business...

    To prove this even further yesterday Mr. Tadic indirectly recognised the Kosovo indepedence...a positive step toward recociliation ...lets hope Serbia' wont be the last (192nd UN member state) to directly recognise Kosovo but will do this earlier...

    It is in our mutual interest (and probably more in the interest of Serbia than Kosovo, as Kosovo has the backing of the West which Serbia badly needs)

    Peace to all

    (PRN, 30 April 2008 09:01)
  36. "Actually Mark you are an E3b haplotype which means your origins are north African "

    Cygnus, the increased prevalence of the E3b Y haplotype among Albanians AND Greeks can be interpreted as evidence that both Albanians and Greeks have been in the Mediterranean much longer than Serbs.

    Be careful when you bring these genetic arguments into discussions about current political events, especially if you don't understand what you're talking about.

    Personally I believe, after having seen many specimens from both nations, that there isn't any difference between the two people, you can't really tell a Serb from an Albanian just by looking at them. I will take the opportunity, however, to point out that the current Serb prime minister is a lot uglier than the Albanian one:)
    (albi, 30 April 2008 06:22)
  37. Russia has lost in war against Japan, Germany, Afghanistan, and others, do you really think the country that can't feed their own soldiers has any money to travel to Europe? Russia is more concerned with central heating and cable tv than Serbia, Kosova, and the whole Balkan area.
    (KS, 30 April 2008 04:14)
  38. "Kosovo is gone my friends,try to except the reality,forget the past and try to put Serbia where it belongs,in Europe!
    (louie, 30 April 2008 01:17) "

    Obviously you are referring to Pristina's Kosovo below the Ibar. Enjoy your skyscrapers there. But I would rather have food and education than gaze all day long at tall buildings in which I have no stake in.

    One more thing about the SAA, Kosovo itself has no hope of signing this anytime soon since not all in the EU had accepted the validity of your UDI ......
    (lowe, 30 April 2008 04:12)
  39. There are 2 other aspect to this and it points to the self-serving interests of the EU.

    Firstly, it is easier for the EU to control Serbia by using the SAA as a leverage. Until yesterday, the EU had no hold over Belgrade.

    Secondly, Srpska is unlikely to acquiesce to Bosnia's own SAA if Belgrade is left out. This would put paid to the EU's goal to control the entire Balkans -- of course when I say EU, I really mean the main countries that run the show ie. UK, France and Germany.
    (lowe, 30 April 2008 03:54)
  40. Dear all,

    I would like a little bit calm down feelings about SAA. It is only one pragmatic deal about planned future cooperation between Serbia and EU. Deal which is living and changing through the time, a deal which one can implement with more or less wideness 5 or 50 years. So what.

    My humble advise would be to keep doors open to cooperation with Russia,China,India, Brazil etc. and neighbours; do not let EU dominate the proggress of Serbia. EU is only one factor in global game.
    (Arktika, 30 April 2008 02:37)
  41. "One more thing. Don't tell me that I'm misinformed. I happen to have studied these issues in depth as part of my university degree in modern history.
    (Martin, 30 April 2008 00:26)"

    no, that´s not what I would tell you...

    if Yorgos is not capable of reading my comments properly.., well okay then...

    but if you as someone who allegedly has a "degree in modern history" cannot distinguish between my words and what you or Yorgos think to interprete here, it´s even worse!

    my dear, it doesn´t matter whether you have an academic degree, I´ve got one too, so what? do you really believe that your words are gaining weight through mentioning that?

    that´s laughable.

    once more, so that even a modern historian gets it: in every armed conflict there are atrocities and war crimes on every side involved. that´s not the question least not for me.

    so please either READ what I have actually written or at least don´t bore us to death with your analyzes of "kinds of persons"...
    last but not least, if you are holder of an academic degree in history, why don´t you teach our albanian friends something about their illyrian illusion, that wishful-thinking that makes them believe to be "rightful-owners" of serbian territory? how about showing some wisdom here? :)

    to Karen:

    what drives a Croatian to post antiserbian comments on a Soros-paid site? =)

    sometimes it doesn´t make a big difference whether you are a Croat or an Albanian. your anti-serb fear and hatred are almost the same...

    as for the historical record...both Croats and Albanians have sided with the Nazis... perhaps that´s why they are so keen on presenting others as perpetrators of genocide...

    but history knows the truth, my dear Karen... and those thousands of youths in the Maximir-stadium showing the Hitler Salute at the Thompson-concerts speak for themselves...

    so, the bottom-line is: why don´t you post some smart comments on a anti-fascist site in Croatia? it´s quite necessary, as we all know...
    (Jovan, 30 April 2008 02:31)
  42. SOLANA: "Today is also an important day for the European Union. Serbia is an enormously important partner. It has great economic, cultural and intellectual potential and this can make it a powerful motor for the progress of the entire region."

    Are we speaking about Serbia here?? In the name of whom you're saying this Mr.Solana?? Why you need us suddenly?? ELECTIONS ?! No,thanks! We'll fragment whole Europe now!! Change of world order..,WE'LL HELP YOU!!! This is the only thing WE WILL help you! SIGNATURE?? It was personal one! Whole thing-DISMISSED !!

    Are you really thinking Serbia would change it's real bacon for the "plastic-LIDL" one??

    You're welcome for lunch in Serbia Mr.Solana-signature not necessary!After the lunch you can visit some bombed sites-wherever lunch take place! If you come in few years..,you'll visit our brother RUSSIA base in Kosovo-hope you like military conserves!! ADIO!
    (Zoran Paljevic, 30 April 2008 02:19)
  43. Almost two months ago I wrote the last comment in this very interesting forum.There were some technical problems and my comment wasn't published!
    No harm done there as I only wanted to thank B92 for being so "cool" about everything.
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank B92 for hard work and understanding.
    Even though a lot of commentators in here still don't believe that Kosovo is gone,it is amazing how some of the Irish and Polish supporters are behaving in this forum!!!
    Kosovo is the newest country in the World,recognised by the RICHEST countries in the World!
    Of course there is not Russia,China and India where the human rights are the most violated!!!
    There is not Romania and Slovakia with problems with their minorities(Hungarians),Spain and Cypros with other more problems,etc.
    Kosovo is gone my friends,try to except the reality,forget the past and try to put Serbia where it belongs,in Europe!
    (louie, 30 April 2008 01:17)
  44. Jovan,

    You're the kind of person who is happy to whip out the ICTY card whenever it fits your opinion (i.e. the exoneration of Serbia of Bosnia's genocide charges), and to reject it whenever it does not (i.e. the exoneration of Haradinaj). If you want to be taken seriously you need to show some more consistency than that. If Haradinaj's verdict discredits the Hague court, then surely we shouldn't attach much importance to the ruling in the genocide case either.

    I think Yorgos is VERY well-informed regarding Serbian war guilt and the balance of casualties in Bosnia. I'm not going to make a full case for why this is so, as I think the UN, the ICTY, the BBC and a long line of distinguished historians, including Sabrina Ramet, Adrian Hastings and Mark Almond have already provided sufficient evidence disproving those viewpoints which have been championed almost exclusively by the accused themselves, i.e. the Serbs.

    But I want to ask you one question. When the vast majority of independent international organisations and members of the scholarly community have found that Serbs committed a disproportionate number of the crimes during the 1991-95 wars and were conducting a much more systematic policy of ethnic cleansing than (at least) the Bosnian Muslims (something which even Biljana Plavsic admitted during her trial in The Hague), shouldn't that ring a bell?

    Maybe you'll accuse the UN, the BBC, Oxford University, Oslo University, Cambridge University, Harvard University and other institutions whose members have spoken out against Serb-instigated crimes, of being manipulated by NATO and the US, but seriously, how manipulated weren't the Serbs under Milosevic? And besides, why would a Serb, who has everything to lose by accepting the 'Western' view, be more objective in his analysis of the wars than an Oxford historian like Mark Almond?

    I think there are still details to sort out, and I DON'T think the Croats (who organised Operation Storm) and the Bosniaks (many of whom, like Oric, carried out atrocities against Serb civilians) are free of guilt. That would be ludicrous to argue. But I DO think that Serbia as the much greater power, with the much greater military resources, and a much greater interest in acquiring military control over parts of Croatia and Bosnia, and fuelled by a semi-racist view of Bosnian Muslims as Serbian 'degenerates', was the main force behind the descent into war and the actor with the most advanced, systematic and well-resourced military plan.

    Many people when discussing the wars have a tendency to whip out particular facts to back up a certain opinion of guilt. The ethnic cleansing of the Krajina was an atrocious crime - and I could name you a few more crimes carried out by Croats. But that kind of debating isn't going to get us very far because I could just put forth a counter-example, such as the attack on defenseless Vukovar. Determining guilt is a very complex issue that many people try to reduce to a politico-nationalist sand-box tiff. But looking holistically, and looking in particular at which side had the greatest power to influence and shape the course of events, as well as at who pursued its political and military aims in the most ruthless manner, I'm afraid, the bulk of the guilt will have to fall on the Serbs.

    One more thing. Don't tell me that I'm misinformed. I happen to have studied these issues in depth as part of my university degree in modern history.
    (Martin, 30 April 2008 00:26)
  45. CONGRATULATIONS SERBIA!!! Europe is a better choice for your future then (alek, 30 April 2008 00:13)
  46. apparently, desperation likes signing agreements :)
    expiry date for this is may 11. everybody knows it. so the solana's agreement will last full 12 days. this is just part of the solana tadic election campaign. it counts on serbian voters being idiots that will be swayed by an extraordinary example of hot air. fair enough. but once elections are over and this is annulled and forgotten, i fear certain persons will not only be recalled over this in the months to come, but will also face courts.
    (smile, 29 April 2008 23:31)
  47. So Karen the Croatian thinks she has the moral high ground over Serbians. So tell me, when is your country going to allow the half a million Serbian refugees return to Krajina?

    Fredy, I stand by what I say. Kosovo's occupation is a fact but independence is a story made up by the occupiers and belongs in the world of fairy tales.

    Here is a quote from Abraham Lincoln:

    "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time"

    Here are some quotes from George W Bush:

    "Iraq has weapons of mass destruction"
    "Kosovo is independent"
    (ZK UK, 29 April 2008 23:26)
  48. This signing was meaningless. The agreement means nothing because Mladic will never be handed over after the SHAMEFUL acquittal of admitted murderer and terrorist Ramush Haradinaj by the Hague. This agreement will NEVER be ratified.

    The only thing this agreement achieved is ensuring that Kostunica has no other choice but to form the next government with SRS, and thus taking Tadic and DS out of power on May 11th.
    (Bojan Ratkovic, 29 April 2008 23:25)
  49. Oh my God I am so happy and proud of my country today.
    I have not much else to say but this news came as such a relief after
    those hellish last couple of months.
    I wish to express my gratitude to our friends Russians, Romanians, Spanish, Slovaks, Greeks and all other who supported Serbia in this awful
    difficult times. I think this situation with Kosovo and everything else was a most serious test that showed so clearly who is friend of our country and people.
    While too many of our 'good-willed' neighbours were just happy to kick us while we are down, those countries gave us their hand -were sensitive to injustice and the suffering of Serbian people.
    We will never forget that.
    Peace to all of you!
    (veki, 29 April 2008 22:25)
  50. To Jovan:

    Dear Jovan, no I am not Albanian, I am Croatian - not that what I am makes any difference in how I feel. I know how you can think that it does since you assign yourself to that collective mentality that does not understand individual opinions for what they are. What I said, is what I mean and what I am shouldn't matter in the very least.
    (Karen, 29 April 2008 22:00)
  51. Hi All,

    I think it is like putting your hands in front of your eyes in order not to see, this is how I perceive the denial of what happened not only in Serbrenica during the war from ALL the sides which took part there. And to clarify it a bit more, I am a Greek married to an ex-Yu as my wife always says...

    (Yorgos, 29 April 2008 16:17)

    Crimes were committed on all sides as in any civil war. The territorial integrity of Yugoslavia was smashed by the tacit support of the EU while the UN and other idly watched.

    The dis-proportianate suffering was struck against the Serbs.

    (1) Mass Expulsion of Serbs from Krajina frontier populated in the 14th centure at the request of the Austrian King Ferdinand with special rights.

    (2) Mass expulsion of Serbs from Sarajevo, Tuzla, and recently Kosovo against all international law and norms.

    Greeks suffered mass expulsion at the hands of the Turkss from Asia Minor and Greek Macedonians will not and do not forget the killing and extermination of the Greek Orthodox, neither should the Serbs.
    (konstantin gregovic, 29 April 2008 22:00)
  52. Until Tadic has stepped down, one way or the other, Serbia will not be a part of the EU.

    Serbia has friends all over the world, Serbia has a very strong military, best in the region. Serbia is one with Kosovo.

    Long live Serbia and the Heroic Serbs.

    Kosovo is a Serbian province, and it is an inalienable part of Serbia.
    (Steve, 29 April 2008 21:59)
  53. I won´t comment those rather naive comments about illyrian ancestries, ...since they simply aren´t worth it - but one answer to Yorgos:

    buddy, if you have eyes to see, use them, if you have a brain should use it too!

    I won´t repeat the verdict of that international court here, but perhaps you should take a look, surf the web and then think it over, before you start commenting here about things you obviously do not know enough about.

    as for the EU, Serbia will enter the EU anyway! ...but Serbia shouldn´t do it now, and not under these circumstances.

    there must not be any deal about the southern serbian province, that must be clear.

    every serbian politician who thinks to play around with serbian state interests, should take care...he could end up before a serbian court, in the best case.
    (Jovan, 29 April 2008 21:52)
  54. Serbia just signed Vojvodina's independence.
    (KS, 29 April 2008 21:50)
  55. Dear PRN

    "This is a prgamatic and forward-looking step for entire Serbia...

    Bravo Tadic...

    Do not heed what backward-looking DSS/SRS/SPS are is after all for their self-interst rather than Serbia...

    ...and in the SAA signing Kosovo should not be given importance...Kosovo independence is history now and with February 17, Ahtisari plan, and power on earth cannot undo is done, it is over and it is sealed...(since 1999)..."

    I completely a hundred percent agree on signing of SAA.
    However I still cherish the idea that Serbia will rise again in the future And we are going to retake whats been taken from us by force thats Kosovo, larger part of Bosnia and probably also some parts of Croatia (thats the only thing I belive from Seselj) It may not hapen in your or my lifetime. The world is today under NATO occupation just like it was under SPQR occupation 2000 years ago and SPQR also thought they will rule forever just like NATO thinks today.
    (EDPR, 29 April 2008 21:47)
  56. "Mike, please let me know why it is so important for the EU to sign the SAA with Serbia before the elections? Why is there pressure being applied to Belgum and The Netherlands? If the DS win then agreed, offer it then but why such a strong push to sign beforehand?"

    Good question, ZK UK. My gut feeling is that it gives the DS coalition additional ammunition to enter the May 11 elections. No doubt such a signing would take place after May 11 in the event of a DS win, and no doubt such a signing would be scrapped in the event of a SRS-DSS win.

    But I think this is a positive sign from Brussels in that it finally realizes it needs to engage Serbia far more than the finger wagging it's been doing for the last 8 years. While this certainly doesn't mean the end of road for Serbia and the EU, it does begin to unravel some of the restrictions of travel and mobility for Serb citizens. Its youth is craving to see the rest of the world without shelling out piles of dinars for a visa. Just this alone is a good thing.
    (Mike, 29 April 2008 21:32)
  57. "Actually Mark you are an E3b haplotype which means your origins are north African
    NOT Illyrian. This link is from an American Anthropology Organization if you don't trust "Serb Propoganda" read this then. "

    The author specifically indicates that the presence E3b only suggests a hypothesis that as a result of diffurion over the years is demands further study. There are other studies, who with larger N's, have reached the oppossite conclusion.
    the link does not refute nor confirm anything, but I will bet you, Cygnus, that you just opened a can of worms that is going to refute your argument. This site will now be bombarded with similar genetical studies that disprove your erroneus conclusion:)
    (Ari, 29 April 2008 21:10)
  58. Actually Mark you are an E3b haplotype which means your origins are north African
    NOT Illyrian. This link is from an American Anthropology Organization if you don't trust "Serb Propoganda" read this then.



    (Cygnus, 29 April 2008 20:34)
  59. “I am glad that the readiness of Europe to help has been confirmed and the understanding it has for our people, -

    What drives these anti-people Serbians?
    Who will take them seriously from now, if they protest against EU forces on Kosovar soil?
    Will the world support their evil aspirations...?

    Read these statements -

    EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said that the agreement "does not include Kosovo."

    Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, pointed out that further cooperation between the EU and Serbia depends on the country's cooperation with the UN war crimes tribunal. -
    Hand over the patriots, then hand over Kosovo...

    They must be turning in their graves tonight, those that died for the cause...

    BTW, can someone please clarify, among Tadic & Co., whether Serbia will withdraw from either the SAA or EU if Kosovo is invited as an independent state...?

    These people are the real anti-Christians of Serbia...
    (vencor, 29 April 2008 20:24)
  60. Wow, a big step for Serbia! I imagine the reactions are very mixed, as are the implications of being in the EU for me and most Polish people are.

    Of course on a national scale, this has very positive implications, Serbia is nearing itself to an organization that through tried-and-true methods remains one of the best developed and richest regions in the world, Serbia as a state can look forward to economic development, standardization of all major services (of the highest quality) and general stability/security. One major plus is open borders for Serbs who wish to visit other countries without hassle.

    Of course, there are big negatives, in the sense that many educated and talented Serbs will flee to the West, causing a huge brain drain, prices will sky rocket and private businesses will suffer greatly in the face of advanced competition. Later, there may be a big influx of third world immigrants that will bring a lot of negative elements to Serbia too, though I hope this does not happen to you (thankfully Poland is not a victim of this. Yet.).

    In the long run, it is good that Serbia is seeking peace with the rest of Europe and this may be the answer for peace and stability in the Balkans. I still think the way the Kosovo issue was handled was extremely unfair towards Serbia, but what's done is done, and I hope both sides will accept the occurrences of early 2008 and move on. Perhaps there is some consolation for the Serbs that they will be free to enter Kosovo at will and live there at peace with their roots (I just hope that the Kosovo Albanians will accept them and tolerate them without resorting to violence against the Serbs who wish to visit, and vice versa as well).

    On the other hand, I fear the EU is doing this for their own interests rather than that of Serbia's, as they can add the whole of the Western Balkans into the EU and benefit from the new investment playgrounds from countries who will have done their deeds in the current new EU states.

    Either way, it all depends on how the Serbians choose to live and what they want to do with their lives, in the long run, I think they will enter a love-hate relationship with it, as have just about all people in the EU today.

    nikshala and Mr. X

    Understand that I am not putting down anything positive that is coming out of Kosovo lately, I wish them all the best, but I think that since they have gotten independence, all they have wished is Serbia's demise and are already practically claiming EU membership/economic prosperity when there really is a long way to go before Kosovo reaches even the levels of current Bulgaria or Romania, that's all I say.
    (Peter Sudyka, 29 April 2008 19:47)
  61. PRN,

    You need not answer ZK UK, as ZK UK is aware (him/her-self) that such comments make no sense.

    ZK UK comments are mere illogical and/or spiteful deriving from inability of Serbia's government to do something.

    Such comments deserve no attention and should be sensored by B92.
    (Fredy, 29 April 2008 19:43)
  62. The EU will not allow Serbia in the EU. They are just playing games. They will use the Hague against Serbia. This is a mockery and stop making fun of the Serbian people. Peoples lives are not a joke or a game.
    (Gojko, 29 April 2008 19:08)
  63. Mr. X

    First Kosovo needs power supply, regular food supply and other services before it will have money to build skyscrapers. BTW. How does someone form Kosovo get off with calling Serbia backward? Kosovo is the poorest and most backwards country in Europe, I saw that in fact, even Moldova is better developed. Skyscrapers? Kosovo has a LONG way to go before anyone will see those in the cities.
    (Peter Sudyka, 29 April 2008 16:08)

    The preperation for the constructuion of the highest skyscraper in Balkans has already begun. I have personaly seen the preliminary design.

    The investors and funds have already been found for this commercial development in centre of Prishtina. Thats a fact. Within 5-6 years this project will be completed. Just wait and see.

    There are major projects on the pipeline for centre of prishtina from private invsestors with the aim of getting completed in the next 5 years.

    Not that any of what I wrote is related to this article, or whether it proves anything, but I am simply amazed at the ability of some to constantly deny or try and put down any positive news that comes out of Kosovo.
    (nikshala, 29 April 2008 18:46)
  64. Excellent.
    (italy, 29 April 2008 18:42)
  65. Signing the SAA has made the upcoming serbian elections illegal and can in no way be considered 'free and fair'.

    The EU bureaucrats have fundamentally undermined Serbia's democracy by blatantly trying to rig Serbia's elections. The DS will now be able to claim that Serbia will recieve extra hundreds of millions of stabilizations/structural funds.

    There was absolutely no legal reason to sign the SAA before the elections. DS et al seem to like Serbia becoming a banana republic who's elections are nothing but a fig leaf.
    (Aleks, 29 April 2008 18:39)
  66. This is extremely strange, to say the least. Someone is in a rush...
    (Felix, Romania, 29 April 2008 18:33)
  67. My understanding is that this agreement will not come into effect until Mladic and Karadzic are handed over to the Hague which as we saw with Oric and Haradinaj is political and biased in nature. Mladic or Karadzic woudl not get a fair trial in the Hague since due process is predjudicial against them as they would be already guilty before they even entered the Court for preliminary hearings. If the above mentioned are to be held accountable for their crimes, let Serbian or a neutral court try them.

    Secondly, signing the SAA without the full agreement of the rest of the cabinet smacks of political opportunism by Tadic in order to boost flagging support ahead of elections. It is also undemocratic as the DSS views were never taken into consideration.

    What this shows us is that Tadic giving the DSS the middle finger. It is bad political discourse to act unilaterally with the due consent of the rest of the cabinet. My estimation for Tadic has gone down alot after this. Why sign this now. Why not after the elections when a new government is formed.
    (Niall O'Doherty, 29 April 2008 18:21)
  68. Shame on you Tadic.. shaking hands and smiling with solana who bombed and killed Serb children men and women! God willing we won't have someone like him running our country. He fooled the citizens in voting for him.

    Why was this such a rush to sign right before May11? Kosovo je Srbija!
    (Ratko, 29 April 2008 18:06)
  69. Great news - signing the SAA is a step in the right direction - but it could be too little, too late. If only the EU had behaved like this a few years ago (and lifted the VISA restrictions as well) then half the Serbian population wouldn't want to vote for the "Kosovo first - decent future last" parties on May 11th.

    Sad and disturbing to read how deeply divided Serbia is: those anti-EU, russian romanticising Serbs might well get their chance, to make losers of their nation once again!
    (Zed, 29 April 2008 18:00)
  70. True, the SAA not coming into effect offers nothing to Serbia.

    But if you claim that the SAA in effect gives nothing, you words are just empty rhetoric –proving that you haven't even read the SAA.
    Olli, the SAA offers nothing until the conditions are met, being Hague cooperation. So a signature means nothing until Mladic is handed over. Plain and simple.

    Whether DS sign it or not offers nothing new to Serbia. I hope that is clear. Just like the IUDI offers nothing new to the Albanians except broken promises.

    What it does is strengthen the grip of the occupiers. They are the main beneficiaries as well as Božidar Đelić, who will undoubtably retire to a nice villa in the South of France.

    The DS have just done a huge disservice to the Serbian people.
    (ZK UK, 29 April 2008 17:26)
  71. Actually Jovan, yes, we are the descendants of the Illyrians. If you read German, Austrian, British, American, etc. history books (and not biased Serbian sources) you will discover this truth. If you hear our language and examine our ancient tribal structures you will also come to this realization. But that's not related to this article and Serbia signing the SAA, so don't deviate with your bias.

    Regarding Kosova getting skyscrapers: There is a record-setting skyscraper to go up in Prishtina, to be completed over 6 years, which will be the highest in the Balkans.

    Similarly, Slovenia is investing in industrial districts in Kosova and highway construction has begun to improve the quality of roads and transportation in the country. This will no doubt help bring foreign investment into the country. While there is still a long way to go, progress is being made and Kosova is developing thanks to the European Union and America which are helping out.

    Serbia signing the SAA is a positive thing: it should open up investment opportunities for Serbia and move towards stabilization of the country. I only hope that the radicals are moved to the backburner and don't gain a majority following: although its not their intent, they are a destructive force that will ultimately keep Serbia back and ruin her!
    (Mark (Shqype), 29 April 2008 17:24)
  72. IOWE,

    That what civil war is precisely. Its no joke, half of the country wants EU and half does not! Whoever wins in May 11th that scenario is possible!

    We wont build skyscrapers in the north because its not a good economic decision just yet. But time will come and you will see. As far as money being better spent on feeding the people and education. This project will do just that, will bring businesses in, which in turn will create jobs, education fill flourish and people will feed themselves
    Like a saying goes - If you give someone your fish to eat, they will eventually run out. But if you teach them to fish, then they are set for life!

    If you don't believe do some research and you will see. But I do agree with you that Kosova needs a power supply source. Be that from a new Terminal C, or invest in the future technology using solar in combination with wind power. Hold your horses on calling Kosova underdeveloped, we just gained our independence 2 months ago, it will take take some time to prosper. But that we will, I guarantee you that much.


    We are the decendents of Illyrians, prove it to me otherwise. And yes our dreams are coming TRUE, just watch the news more often and you will see it for yourself ;)

    (Mr. X, 29 April 2008 17:13)
  73. Again, I wish you a VERY GOOD LUCK in you mission to get Kosovo in Serbia's hand again...even dreaming has strings attached and is scary (remember 2 mil Albanians, NATO, KFOR, Kosovo Army...etc)...
    (PRN, 29 April 2008 16:01)
    PRN, sorry to disappoint but there is no mission to get Kosovo back because it never left Serbia in the first place, unless of course, you believe in fairy tales.

    Also, lets be clear, Serbia has no interest in ruling the Albanians otherwise an offer of self-rule would never have been put on the table.

    However, there will come a time when you realise that Serbia is not isolated but rather it is your "Kosova" with nowhere to go. No investments or development but just a bunch of broken lies straight from fairy land. The only skyscrapers you'll be seeing are little plastic models used for demonstrations.

    So go ahead and believe your "history" and fairy tales but reality will visit soon enough.
    (ZK UK, 29 April 2008 16:57)
  74. now they are dreaming of skyscrapers! :)


    and you are descendants of the illyrians, right? =)
    (Jovan, 29 April 2008 16:35)
  75. ZK UK,

    True, the SAA not coming into effect offers nothing to Serbia.

    But if you claim that the SAA in effect gives nothing, you words are just empty rhetoric –proving that you haven't even read the SAA.

    Pick up your phone and call a Serbian company doing export. Tell them the SAA offers them nothing. Don't hang up, listen to what they will tell you.
    ... I mean after they stop laughing.
    (Olli, 29 April 2008 16:20)
  76. Hi All,

    I just want to comment on Jovan's statement that there were no Serbian war crimes in Bosnia. I think it is like putting your hands in front of your eyes in order not to see, this is how I perceive the denial of what happened not only in Serbrenica during the war from ALL the sides which took part there. And to clarify it a bit more, I am a Greek married to an ex-Yu as my wife always says...
    I think that Serbia has a bright future in front of her, even if for the time being it does not seem so. What Serbia really needs is to face the past and reconcile itself with it, accept it and move on. This is the only way forward.
    Nationalisms have (and still are) caused a huge and terrible impact on the Balkan, sometimes I think it was better under Ottoman Rule (!), so trying to find a solution or the way forward through late 19th century ideology such as the small Balkan nationalistic ideology is an utopia and a very dangerous one as well...
    Anyway, whenever I visit Serbia (and it is quite often) I tell my friends in Beograd and Pancevo that the only way ahead is reconciling with the past and breaking the barriers that divide all our Balkan states for no other reason but to serve the interest of the usual suspects (US, RU, GB etc)

    thanks for the space

    (Yorgos, 29 April 2008 16:17)
  77. Mr. X

    First Kosovo needs power supply, regular food supply and other services before it will have money to build skyscrapers. BTW. How does someone form Kosovo get off with calling Serbia backward? Kosovo is the poorest and most backwards country in Europe, I saw that in fact, even Moldova is better developed. Skyscrapers? Kosovo has a LONG way to go before anyone will see those in the cities.
    (Peter Sudyka, 29 April 2008 16:08)
  78. PRN, keep dreaming about your "done deal" in fairy land but so long as that deal is out of the UN and without Serbian approval, it is more of a dud deal! Peace to you also.
    (ZK UK, 29 April 2008 15:29)

    Dear ZK UK,

    Again, I wish you a VERY GOOD LUCK in you mission to get Kosovo in Serbia's hand again...even dreaming has strings attached and is scary (remember 2 mil Albanians, NATO, KFOR, Kosovo Army...etc)...

    I think you shouldn't even dream because it to scary...

    It is part of history and it is alrady in our history books, and opening new wounds it is not a good idea...
    (PRN, 29 April 2008 16:01)
  79. ZK UK:

    Im rather a supporter of Nikolic & kustunica but the answer to your question is quite obvious isn´t it?

    Tadic and those in the €U/US/NATO pulling his strings knows full well that he and the rest of his ilk will be defeated in May so signing away Southern Serbia to NATO is his last job in this respect/the final nail in the coffin, and mark my words, by May he will be far away in some nice resort in Malibu waiting for him...
    (fas, 29 April 2008 15:41)
  80. "Civil war may start in Serbia while Kosova continues to develop itself with sky scrapers and build its economy from scratch.

    (Mr. X, 29 April 2008 15:07) "

    I wonder whether you are expecting the Serbs to fight themselves in this civil war scenario of yours .....

    Yes Kosovo can build all the skyscapers it wants south of the Ibar. Because Pristina won't dare to build any in the north for obvious reasons.

    Personally I think your money for your skyscrapers will be better spent on feeding your people, on education and job creation for your massive unemployed. But then it is your money to do as you wish.
    (lowe, 29 April 2008 15:40)
  81. Olli, the signing of the SAA gives nothing to Serbia. If the DS are promoting it as progress (or momentum) then it is a lie (or you are mistaken). The condition to sign the SAA was Hague co-operation, however, that has been changed to nothing comes into effect until Hague co-operation is met. So it is just a signature on a piece of paper offering nothing new. There is no guts in signing a piece of paper offering nothing except giving some legitimacy to NATOs occupation.

    Karen, how enlightening is your view of Serbia although you seems to forget that half a million Serbians were ethnically cleansed out of Croatia and thousands murdered. They also committed the worst crimes whilst part of the Nazi Axis during WWII. No apologies from them ever and they have already signed the SAA. You may convince your ignorant friends with your simple views but the Serbians do not buy that rubbish. If you are truly concerned about justice then perhaps you should focus in your own backyard and vent disgust about your coalition of the willing who are responsible for over a million deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan plus the complete destuction of those two countries.

    PRN, keep dreaming about your "done deal" in fairy land but so long as that deal is out of the UN and without Serbian approval, it is more of a dud deal! Peace to you also.
    (ZK UK, 29 April 2008 15:29)
  82. Slovenia's Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel said after the announcement was made that the agreement will be signed in the form in which it was initialed, but that its implementation will be "appraised by the EU Council of Ministers at a later date".
    What a joke! So why the rush to sign it if it can not get implemented until later anyway? This is just a cheap political ploy dreamed up by Solana and the 'humanitarian bombers' in order to help the fifth column inside of Serbia in the upcoming elections.
    Interesting how the Tadic-Canak-G17 gang refuse to sign the Russian energy deal but are falling all over themselves to sign this meaningless piece of paper. Who is Tadic working for? I think the answer is obvious.
    Kostunica is the man to lead Serbia, not this duplicitous and treasonous coalition.
    (Dragan, 29 April 2008 15:28)
  83. This is just the prove that not only Serbain people thinks that they are special. You see that also those leading European cheaters admits that.
    Every other country in region is begging in line(bending, kneeling) to get chance to sign agreement, but they are rushing and offering it on the plate to Serbia only.
    That means they play the games to cover up-make up for injustice-policy against Serbia, serbian pride and dignity.

    (dd, 29 April 2008 15:11)
  84. I hope the SAA signing does not go through. This will just show how backward Serbia is.
    If Serbia does not join EU now, it will not join for a very long time.
    Civil war may start in Serbia while Kosova continues to develop itself with sky scrapers and build its economy from scratch.

    (Mr. X, 29 April 2008 15:07)
  85. I'm a Dutchman living in Belgrade and I'm ashamed of my country. This treaty is designed so that the EU can put Serbia back in the doghouse whenever they want it. Because who is and how is 'full cooperation' with the Jugoslav tribunal going to be evaluated? Will the extradition of Mladic be enough or will it only stop when the last conscript of the Jugoslav army is extradicted? The EU demands (and not only from Serbia) complete submission. Holland think it's smart now but when the Lisbon treaty comes into full force then all the small countries will be at the will of the EU. Because then the big countries and the big fractions within the European parliament will call all the shots. Democracy is on the way out in the EU. And they cleverly put in the ball in Serbia's courtyard because Serbia has to decide what to do now. If the Serbs choose a pro European government, they have to accept this treaty with its implications and they will be at the will of the EU. If Serbs choose a radical solution, the EU can say "you see, Serbs don't want to cooperate".
    (J.A., 29 April 2008 14:56)
  86. I am very confused and rather depressed.

    People who have read my previous posts will know my attitude to Kosovo and my love for Serbia which I visit twice every year.

    I have just returned from a nine day visit to Belgrade and what I saw and heard there has worried me. People are very confused and very divided and everything seemed much more subdued than before. Some want the EU, some hate it, some fear another war, some want to just get out. Also the city itself is in great need of investment.

    However I believe the EU has been playing games with the country and this does not reflect well on the EU itself. So, in my muddled state I will just say for now that I hope that whatever happens will be for the benefit of Serbia and its wonderful people.
    (Tom O'Donoghue, 29 April 2008 14:43)
  87. After all the hoopla they decided to sign SAA. Ops, Kosova is not included in that piece of paper, because Kosova is another country.
    (Ahmet Isufi, 29 April 2008 14:33)
  88. So it seems that All this stuff about SAA is going to end in a ridicoulous way..
    Eu will offer something..Tadic will sign.. anyway the Partnership must be signed in the future by every member state (all 27 and i doubt that it will happen Mladic or not included , for sure it will never happen if the Radicals win )Serbia will split itself in two like an apple on the issue be continued
    (Luigi, 29 April 2008 13:54)
  89. just forgot to mention it:

    whatever Tadic signs there, he doesn´t sign in the name of the serbian poeple...

    the serbian constitution is quite clear on this, and what he does can be revoked again.

    so much for the clapping of some "europeans" here...
    (Jovan, 29 April 2008 13:50)
  90. since we all know how few REAL Sebastian´s or Karen´s are reading or writing here... it continues amusing me to read long comments like that one of "Karen"... very likely written by an albanian desperately trying to spread accusations against Serbia although we all know that even the international court made clear that Serbia is in no way connected to war crimes in Bosnia...

    Albanians, it´s senseless what you are doing! those who could be influenced by your lies, do not read here,...and those who do read here, know it better!
    (Jovan, 29 April 2008 13:47)
  91. Upto now US led EU elites has shown neither regret for their faschist attacks of 1999 nor compassion for their innocent victims. Neither did they showed internal unity nor European will power in anything but twisting hands of the Serbs.

    I do believe T.Nikolic can find a shorter way to the EU without loosing national dignity of the Serbs and without spoiling special relations with Russia. If you do not respect yourselves nobody will do it for you and your children will enjoy the harvest.

    Strange to sound but Russia is Serbian Jocker in it's play for the membership discussed. And I don't think Russia is not ready for such developments. We have strategic partnership with Greece to be member of both EU and NATO. So I can see nothing wrong to have such a friendly nation as the Serbs no dobt are inside the EU. If backed by Russia Serbia too will gain much more of such an integration. The Serbs may become the Ambassador of EU to Russia to solve the most complicated bilateral problems. This role vainfully tried to play Poland and Peter Sidyka is here to tell you here why Poland has failed the mission.

    So dear Serbs if you trust those people in Brussels do what they want you to do. If not then do quite the opposite ! And the last thing I'd like to mention here is the demand "the deal would be implemented only after Ratko Mladić and other war crimes fugitives have been arrested"

    If the Serbs give up those people you will possibly save some support of the Russian government to be used to deal with real politics. But you may forget about the vast support of ordinary Russians you can always rely on. Then the Russians will remind you of the treason concerned Milosevic and no arguments will be accepted. If Ratko is guilty he must be judged and jailed by the Serbs and not by the "Tribunal" to act as if it's presided by the Snake himself.
    (ORTHODOX.RU, 29 April 2008 13:31)
  92. Dear all,

    This is a prgamatic and forward-looking step for entire Serbia...

    Bravo Tadic...

    Do not heed what backward-looking DSS/SRS/SPS are is after all for their self-interst rather than Serbia...

    ...and in the SAA signing Kosovo should not be given importance...Kosovo independence is history now and with February 17, Ahtisari plan, and power on earth cannot undo is done, it is over and it is sealed...(since 1999)...

    I often hear childish comments in here that Serbia is going to take Kosovo (one day)...I tell them VERY GOOD LUCK....and before you think/express such a wishful thinking heed because Serbia may be divided even further...

    I have and have had many Serbian friends but none were so optimistic about Kosovo...

    Please remember ONCE AGAIN...KOSOVO IS HISTORY...and focus on Euro-Atlantic integrations...(and if you can gain some advantage from Russian friendship),...

    Peace to all

    (PRN, 29 April 2008 13:29)
  93. ZK UK,

    While I'm not most dedicated supporter of DS I dare to speculate on your question (the very question many of us, including myself, hear ringing in our heads).

    After many too complex speculations I have come to an answer: Having seen the slow - often nonexistent - process of reforming Serbia DS tries to add momentum for reforms.

    Serbia must (continue) to reform itself. I have lived in and out of Serbia for 30 years now, my kids are Serbian citizens... so I have some weight in my words when I say that things must change in Serbia. I know a lot of people from different walks of life in Serbia and I can tell straight on that 90% of them want a change! They want and need reforms.

    They want openness in municipal and state governing and decision making, in running institutions and schools, instead of corrupted and dishonest profit searching wheeling and dealing they want rational decision making and agreements in politics that concerns them directly in everyday life. And about million other reforms that those who actually live in Serbia know to ask for.
    Yes, then there are that 10% of people who try to convince me that everything is OK., Serbia is a paradise on Earth. I admit, it is for them. They profit from the state of things in today's Serbia. They don't want a change.

    So, the SAA is hoped to be THE KICK IN THE ASS for reforms to take a long leap forward. Otherwise it makes no sense that some politicians risk to become accused as "traitors of Serbia".
    One must have guts to drive forward the signing of the SAA. I cannot see much private profit to be gained by standing for the signing.

    This is why I raise my hat in front of those politicians who have guts to fight for the reforms. I myself have doubts about signing the SAA before the elections. But it is so very easy to have doubts -and not to act.
    (Olli, 29 April 2008 13:16)
  94. Tadić travels to Luxembourg for SAA signing -

    NO, Tadić travels to Luxembourg for getting his Commissions.
    NO, Tadić travels to Luxembourg in order to decieve the Serbian people...
    NO,Tadić travels to Luxembourg for agreeing to hand over the Serbian patriots to this criminal court, while Albanian criminals go scot free...

    NO,Tadić travels to Luxembourg for the handing over of Kosovo...
    (vencor, 29 April 2008 13:04)
  95. Mike, please let me know why it is so important for the EU to sign the SAA with Serbia before the elections? Why is there pressure being applied to Belgum and The Netherlands? If the DS win then agreed, offer it then but why such a strong push to sign beforehand?

    lowe, no new members are permitted until the Lisbon agreement is ratified by all EU members and some will take it to referendum (which means it's far from guaranteed to be approved).

    EU membership is a carrot with a very long string. Serbia can negotiate to have most benefits it offers without becoming a member. That would be a far better arrangement.
    (ZK UK, 29 April 2008 13:04)
  96. please explain why signing the SAA before the election is so important?

    I’m guessing its political maneuvering. Should the DS control the next government, they can argue that the support from the EU is what Serbian citizens want (& voted for). Should they, DS, not be apart of the next government, they can sit back and watch as those in power rip up the SAA agreement, assuming they choose to do so, and then have the DS argue that again, Serbia is taking another giant leak backwards.
    (Dragce, 29 April 2008 13:01)
  97. @Karen: Tadic officially apologized for war crimes to and in Bosnia. Nobody can arrest Mladic & Karadzic as long as the US (and no doubt certain other European countries) protect them, as it has been clearly the case since now over 12 years.
    (Novi Sad, 29 April 2008 13:00)
  98. The SAA agreement must be signed in the interests of all Serbian Citizens. Kostunica must not be allowed to hold a nation hostage for the poorest region in europe , where most Serbs have never been to. You owe it to your children and remember Nationalism is Facism no matter whose Nationalism it is.
    (mrgud, 29 April 2008 12:37)
  99. If there will be one message that will be sent to Serbia by signing the SSA before Mladic is handed over to the Hague, is that Serbia can violate the most basic human rights in the most horrific manner seen in Europe since WWII and get away with it without an official apology, reparations or public acknowledgement of the crimes committed by the Milosevic regime. The Germany of post-WWII took full responsibility for the crimes committed by the previous government and this is what Serbia needs to do before it can even get on the long train ride to EU integration. How many times will the EU have to make concessions with before elections in Serbia? How many times will the EU have to lower the bar for Serbs to renounce their nationalist leaning? How many times will Europe have to show the carrot? I think Serbia needs to make up its mind if it wants to be part of the EU community or the Commonwealth of Independent States, in the latter they wont need to renounce anything since the condition to join would be to suffocate whatever civil society there is left in Serbia today.
    (Karen, 29 April 2008 12:27)
  100. "Holland and Belgium tried to have the contents of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) altered, but the proposal was not adopted yesterday at a meeting of senior European officials": is this to be considered as a Dutch "best practice" of Good Governance? Altering an already initialed agreement?
    (novi sad, 29 April 2008 12:27)
  101. I would say that in the event of a DS coalition win in the May elections, SAA signing should be immediately made, with Holland being forced to acquiesce on its holdout. The Tadic coalition needs a clear sign from the EU that they have international support and that positive signs are being given from Brussels that the fate of the Serbian population is more important than the fate of Ratko Mladic. Every day I see Serbs line up in front of embassies trying to get visas. The biggest problem I hear from Serbia's youth is that they can't travel anywhere because it's too expensive. How are you going to present the EU in any inviting way to Serbia when Serbs can't go there?

    I don't really buy the idea that SAA signing means recognizing Kosovo's alleged independence. Rather, the SAA is the first step in opening the door to greater mobility, greater trade, and greater conditions for economic investment. After basically leaving Tadic hanging from a a tree after the presidential elections in February by giving the Pristina the green light to declare its UDD, I'm bold enough to say that in the event of a DS-coalition victory, Brussels "owes" it to Serbia to sign SAA. The Radicals have far too much political and rhetorical ammunition at this point to steer Serbia away.
    (Mike, 29 April 2008 12:01)
  102. given that the EU can't reach consensus with 27 members, how can it expect to gain unanimity when it enlarges to 34 or 35?????
    (lowe, 29 April 2008 11:57)
  103. Given that in all likelihood, the DS is unlikely to win the next election, can someone who supports DS please explain why signing the SAA before the election is so important?

    At the moment there is a condition that it should not be signed until Mladic is handed over, however, The Netherlands is prepared to permit the signing but it cannot take effect until Mladic is handed over.

    As the condition still applies, can a DS supporter please explain to me what the purpose of that would be? Also, the likely new government has already stated it would not be ratified.

    Does it not make sense when Koštunica stated that since over half of the EU recognise this NATO occupation that signing the SAA with them means they do not see Serbia as a whole, thus legitimising their recognition?

    I would appreciate it if a DS supporter could explain their view. What's going on?
    (ZK UK, 29 April 2008 10:44)
  104. "Divisions regarding the signing of the SAA exist not only in the EU, but within the Serbian government as well."

    I see no point adding another element of conflict to Serbia's political life. No matter is the SAA a good or bad agreement signing it must have stronger support in Serbia, among political parties and citizens. To create another stability shaking division in Serbia is the utmost stupidity!

    I am for the SAA, but this is not the way Serbia should sign it.
    (Olli, 29 April 2008 10:40)

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