A terrible crime happened in Srebrenica
Čedomir Jovanović, “leader” of long non existing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Nenad Čanak, “leader” of tiny regional party League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina (LSV) are rehabilitating intensively these days convicted war criminal and Srebrenica genocide denier, Vojislav Šešelj, leader of the not any more parliamentarian Serbian Radical Party (SRS) by participating in fake debate with him and alike on obscure national TV Happy. Namely, despite the reduced census threshold of 3%, SRS was expelled from the parliament by the citizens of Serbia in the recent elections, a great sign coming from Serbia that many tend to overlook.
Why are Jovanović and Čanak are participating in this transaction is irrelevant, although one can guess. What matters is that they, cashing in for peanuts their previous lives’ careers, are giving Šešelj media time and tabloid post-production that can only raise the rating of the SRS, because he crushes them in front of his own audience. His voters don't mind his rhetoric or his style in this fake debates, quite the contrary.
These self-compromised Jovanović and Čanak are publicly devaluating their former identities and positions, falsely presenting themselves as their public faces nowadays, to such an extent that it is legitimate to ask whether they were ever sincerely committed to them, since they are capable of doing this now. I am increasingly worried that all they ever did was supporting what they knew was in vogue and lucrative at the time. Convicted war criminal and Srebrenica genocide denier Vojislav Šešelj is being rehabilitated by two individuals without parties or transparency in their work. But, it’s not just what Serbian tabloids and Happy TV (all praising president Vučić policies) are doing that give this duo visibility in this scandal. They are kept on the surface by those who only care that “the genocide took place in Srebrenica” phrase is repeated often and in as many places as possible no matter where, why and how too.
Normalization of Šešelj, as the other side of the medal of civil, anti-war, uncompromised and non-selfpimping liberal or social-democratic pro West Serbia, which Čanak and Jovanović have not been representing for a long time, is among key goals of ethno-nationalistic prone to violence and historic revisionism Serbian public actors. Jet Jovanović’s and Čanak’s unacceptable recent behaviors are received by that same “civil” Serbia and the Serbian NGOs, that are allegedly also sharing the same formal values, with a loud silence. The reason is mostly because neither of them almost exists in Serbia anymore as independent authentic public entities. Thus, Čanak and Jovanović keep trivializing the word genocide in Srebrenica (G-word), persistently repeating it in fake duels with Šešelj as a token of their purity, while from their position of comfortable opportunism, those who have never publicly and fervently dealt with any issues more difficult than transitional benchmarks in EU integration process and do not comment anything outside of this comfort zone, or others expressing though and unpopular wives on recent history to suit transitional justice projects it turn out, with abundant goldhegenization of Serbia, permit the use of the G-word to become the only parameter for one’s public support or condemnation. To please donors community and push particular agendas.
Maybe Canak’s LSV still "has some clout” in Vojvodina, but it no longer represents or promotes anything. Čedomir Jovanović, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)! Gimme a break. Two same phrases "Kostunica Dr. Vojislav" (Čanak) and "for the future of our children" (Jovanović) (nope, obviously only for your children, the ones you keep compromising-JM note) and two of the same poses, one as the supreme moral arbiter in political-media brothel (Čanak), and the other as a concerned, misunderstood thinker and the sole person who knows how and what to do next (Jovanović), G-word in Srebrenica while legitimizing Šešelj nonthing more to say nothing more to do. That is what Jovanović and Čanak are in last several years. Paintfull truth is that Jovanović literally has no one left around him, assuming Čanak LSVexist, which is his own fault entirely. "Zoran and I (our former PM Djindjic-JM note)." If I were in a position of authority, I would ask him to stop using that phrase. According to Jovanović only Vučić is persecuted more than him, and only Vučić has it worse than him. Gimme a break. Vučić is getting double for his money from them in this normalization of Šeselj. It seems to me for less and less money, having in mind what they are prepared to do. I can understand Vučić, Milomir Marić (notorious former journalist and editor with HappyTV, mastermind of this fake duels and other banalizations of anything meaningful in Serbia) and the tabloids, but not these two.
And all of this is taking place in full view of the region, because national frequency Happy TV is especially watched in Republika Srpska (RS) entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH), but also on satellite. Believe me, I know firsthand. And Serbian tabloid portals, that give this fake duels a huge visibility and spin, are widely read. I hope the eyes of the diplomatic corps are watching this demise as well. Jovanović's and Čanak work is being monitored, especially in BH, where they are mostly wrongfully seen as rare good guys from Serbia, and by some Western donor circles. I hope that someone there, if they failed to do so by now, will see this new rock bottom. And react. But I doubt it.
On the other hand, there is a case of Milan Antonijević, prominent human rights NGO leader and until recently head of the Open Society Foundation in Serbia (Soros Foundation branch-JM note). Mr. Antonijević didn’t really express any solidarity when the Serbian TVs-tabloids machinery was ruthlessly denigrating and intimidating me for years. He hasn’t shown any solidarity the last couple of years while the abovementioned convicted war criminal and Srebrenica genocide denier, Vojislav Šešelj, continuously spouts misogynistic slurs and insults uninterrupted, actually stimulated by workers in front of cameras (I cannot call them journalists-JM note). On the contrary, in response to my attempts to draw attention to what I’m experiencing, instead of publicly condemning the behavior of convicted war criminal and Srebrenica genocide denier, Vojislav Šešelj and the media, and instead of calling out to competent institutions to react, which he actually loves to do when he talks about depleted uranium with Dr.Grujičić (for her role in systematic spread of #disinfo about NATO, WHO, US ARMY and more see numerous CEAS statements and reports) on public service television, Antonijević advised me with conciliatory wisdom and analytical deficit not to "fret" because "Šešelj's time will soon pass". It rather seems to me that the SRS will soon, as a result of Čanak and Jovanović despicable behaviors and nonsense called the dialogue between the government and the opposition under the patronage of local Soros Foundation and the EU Parliament, become a parliamentary party again.
To put aside his behavior when it comes to me, Milan Antonijević was expressly canceled despite his without doubt very beneficial long-time work for Serbia and the region because of one mistake. Namely, Antonijević, in his “I am balanced, calm mediator” zeal and ambitions to participate in the reform of Dayton Accord talks, uncomfortably unprepared for the TV duel with Vučić on that topic, chose the very wrong date to call citizens of Republika Srpska entity of BH to peace and reconciliation, or whatever. It would have been better had he chosen the anniversary of Dayton Accord instead, because it created Republika Srpska. He was canceled in an instant.
Willing cancellers of this gangbanging of Antonijević were those who only care about mentioning the G-word in Srebrenica at any cost and as much as possible, with a goal that does not always have to do with the nature of crime, condemnation of perpetrators or reverence for the victims, but various other reasons. The goal is the goldhagenization of Serbia, a rewriting of history in which it is forgotten that Serbia was an ally in two world wars. At the same time, all those fighting for Serbia with the allies against the Germans, and who were neither Titoists nor pro-Nedić (local fascist collaborator-JM note), are intentionally put in the ranks of Draža Mihajlović's (controversial and compromised figure from Serbian history whose units under loose command were committing crimes against Muslims, but also participated with others in great Halyard operation of saving US aviators during WW2-JM note) followers. Tito was a Stalinist, then an autocrat and a ruthless manipulator whose loans we are still paying back, I believe.
But some in BH really had it better during Tito's time. Allegedly, Titoism was a great "emancipatory movement". In relation to what? If he had not brutally eliminated ideological competition and the possibility of its reemergence under the cloak of war victory, would Serbia perhaps have moved immediately towards democracy and a market economy, and would now already be in the EU and NATO? Be where women have labor rights and where there are kindergartens and schools, but also parties, democracy and market economy. "If the Goli Otok gulag had not justifiably existed, Stalinism would have prevailed.” No, it wouldn't, if the predominantly Serbian democratic opposition to both Nedić and Tito hadn't been crushed. Without costly and cruel Titoist methods, perhaps Serbia would be much more emancipated. By the way, if anyone can be accused of redrawing the borders in and around Kosovo province, fitting and fixing them to suit the desired organization of the Yugoslav Communist Party (KPJ) and its local branches and the relations with Stalin and Albania, then it was certainly the Communists and Tito.
And what about BH, which goldhagenizers claim was multicultural, and that only Serbia and the Serbs criminally ethnically cleansed and divided it in the 1990s? Nope. The de-multiculturalization of BH began with the creation of circumstances that forced Serbs from BH to start emigrating to Serbia and elsewhere. It started back in the eighties, when the jobs that deservedly belonged to doctors and other highly educated Serbs, non-nationalists, especially those who were not members of Communists Party, began to be given to their former interns because they were Bosniaks and party members. Until then, there were very few highly educated Bosniaks.
Trust me, this is my lived experience. And why is it less relevant than someone else’s? Many such experiences become a source of funding for life and/or an incontestable grounds for revising the broader history of the Western Balkans, or a chip used to bring down a compromise between Belgrade Pristina on big international conferences, and tearing down 2021 Serbia and innocent Serbs, because of personal and special interests agendas.
I am also a victim in this process. At an age when I still couldn't take care of myself, I first witnessed the breakdown of my parents, medical doctors non-Communist Party members, Serbs in BH. Then, like many other normal Serbs, I was the victim of 10 years of UN sanctions against Serbia. When I was in the second grade of high school I returned to Serbia from BH to my uncle’s place, to two tiny rooms and a toilet on the terrace. Afterwards, while protesting against Milosevic's policy, I lived alone in rented apartments, which were filling up with refugees from BH. My family was denied the tenancy rights to their former state-owned apartment in Tuzla (BH) because, after facing systemic discrimination, they decided to return to Serbia. And then NATO bombed me. Then I was thoroughly satanized and marginalized while advocating for transitional justice and the arrest of all war criminals, which I never did based on "project activities", but solely out of principle. At the same time, I was trying to explain the circumstances that led to the NATO bombing, which was very popular in Serbia, as you can imagine. I have never said "NATO is good for the economy" in public, and "I am also for NATO, but it’s not the right time" when at the embassies. It's just that I never abuse it or try to commercialize it. And I have no hidden agendas, only principles that I abide by and a straightforward agenda for Serbia to stand firmly in the Euro-Atlantic community.
But all of this, and there is much more, is not the same as "Uncle Draža's monument in Chicago", "siege of Sarajevo" and "genocide in Srebrenica". Those are always phrases used, whenever an example is given that Serbs and Serbia were victims as well. Try mentioning Jasenovac (huge concertation camp in Croatia during WW2 where tens of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma were killed-JM note). No, that is the “justification for Srebrenica”. Not always and only when used by Mladić and his cronies.
Eventually, it was suggested from a USA donor center, not to my face but behind my back, that I should not appear in public as the director of CEAS, but as an independent analyst "because of my future political engagement." This happened in the period when the CENTER FOR EURO-ATLANTIC STUDIES, a local TT that I chair, identified and supported the rapprochement of Serbia and the USA and organized the largest BELGRADE NATO WEEK, CEAS flagship biannual international event, so far, while others were just whining and criticizing. Do you get it? Atlantic in CEAS, pro NATO in Serbia, mostly US funded TT for more than a decade cheer for Serbia-USA improvement of relations…. What a sin to support it!
This suggestion offended CEAS as a research and analytical organization of considerable reputation and reach, and myself and everyone in CEAS as individuals. Our decade-long transparent, analytical and advocacy work has been discredited by the implication that it is not the result of a consistent approach but of something else - "my future political engagement". It is obvious that some intentionally want to leave Serbia out of the new positive trends and who deliberately overlook the good developments in Serbia. They have agenda and the funds to do so. Only CEAS does not participate in such a thing under my watch.
That is why all of the above, my lived experiences as opposed to theirs, are becoming more and more similar regardless of the length of the siege of Sarajevo, Srebrenica and Batajnica (mass grave at the outskirts of Belgrade of Kosovo civilians killed by Serbian forces during war in Kosovo-JM note). If all this double standards tendencies continues, Serbia 2021, and the citizens of Serbia, will have many reasons for a new round of disappointments in the West, this time with good arguments, and without a single crime committed.
The same centers that instantly canceled Antonijević are still silent on Jovanović's and Čanak's scandalous normalizations of Šešelj, abusing the positions they once had, I guess for the sake of financing their lifestyles. These are the same ones who, from the heights of an undisputable exclusive victim, advocate the principles and/or positions that others are expected to follow, with the aim of goldhagenizing Serbia. On the other hand, they missed the public support for the rapprochement of Serbia and the United States (see CEAS-CESID polls from 2019, 2020, 2021-JM note), as well as the progress made in other areas, while others in the region are steadily declining, especially if we take into account their initial starting point in 2000, something that CEAS also draws attention to. In the same time, they did not fail to notice and act with regard my "future political engagement" non existing at the time, or existing all the time. For Serbia strongly anchored in the West.
One important fact that led to many relevant current circumstances described above, including loud regional NGOs and sponsored media portals silence, is that Serbs fled the bloody war in BH Kosovo and Croartia ( “Bloody war” is, BTW, one of the phrases for which Antonijević was canceled, assuming that only Serbian aggression and crimes is correct one-JM note) to run to Serbia, while Kosovars, Bosniaks and some Croats fled to the United States. Catch 22.
Did the same gang, which canceled Antonijević, also cancel the United States, where they usually work, or whose money they distribute in grants, because the US government decorated General Mihajlović ( Čiča Draža-JM note)? Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock. Since Lincoln, who fought in a just civil war for the abolition of slavery, but treated the Indians brutally, cannot be canceled, let's gangbang Milan Antonijević. At the same time, let’s continue not to mention Jasenovac much, or Operation Halyard, in which Serbs rescued more than 500 American pilots, the crimes committed in Serbian villages in eastern Bosnia (it is usually acknowledged once discretely, for the record, and never repeated again), continuation of de-Serbization of Croatia through non-return of property and other means, but instead hyper produce historical revisions by translating all Bosniak Muslims into anti-fascists with a halo.
They were silent when Vucic, the then president or prime minister of Serbia told me, with the enthusiastic approval of the host on national TV, that "everything I do is against the interests of Serbia." Nobody commented on that, the focus was on whether or not I should have turned around when I was leaving the studio. They wrote proposals for grants to supposedly expose disinformation, while CEAS and I battled with the likes of Dr.Grujučić over narratives such as "the equivalent of a hundred Hiroshima was thrown on Serbia - there is a cancer epidemic in Serbia" in all mainstream media, and now continue to do the same in the courts.
We do this as a matter of principle, because for that aspect of advocating cooperation between Serbia and NATO, we have never been project-supported, nor have we applied for it. Just is the case of a hyper-production of "malignant Russian influence" detection, although we were the first to describe in detail the strengthening of the perverted Russian soft power in the region, five or six years ago. We were widely quoted then. Now that we are calling attention to pro-Kremlin actors working against Vučić behind his back and standing on Serbia’s path to the EU, we are no longer a reference. They kept silent when we went through the reverse process of what Čanak and Jovanović are doing now in Happy TV production and tabloid post-production. Namely, according to all the tabloids, I was the face of NATO evil, and convicted war criminal Vojislav Sešelj wrote a book "Jelena Milic NATO crabs" and promotes it constantly and frequently on national TVs. All this went on without a collective pro Western NGOs’ and pundits’ public reaction, not even on the grounds of gender equality. Not even that much.
Some revoked my and CEAS cancelation due to an absolutely independent and autonomous proposal concerning the correction of the administrative line as one of the elements of a compromise solution between Belgrade and Priština, while emphasizing all relevant verdicts of the Hague Tribunal. Others canceled us exactly because of that, although we did not change any starting principle or analytical method. Because of "multiethnicity". Because "the change of borders in the Balkans (in the 21st century with NATO all around) will lead to the Third World War." Gimme a break. What multiethnicity, the one that began to erode during my childhood due to the excessive affirmative measures for Bosniaks that frustrated Serbs for a good reason as they vere serving other purposes too? Or multiethnicity of Berlin or Brussels in 2021, in which there are single-ethnic neighborhoods larger than entire North Kosovo? Or multiethnicity in the enclaves for Serbs in Kosovo?
Serbia did not leave the UN despite the fact that it established a court in a very specific historical period, which declared Srebrenica a genocide, and yet for the ethnic cleansing of Serbs in Croatia in Operation Storm (Gosh I hope I do not have to give a background on that tone too, remember 250 000 expelled Serbs from Croatia in 95-JM note), almost no one was punished individually. Croatia quickly became a member of the EU and NATO, although the first-instance verdict, which was scandalously changed by the Appeals Chamber, stated a common criminal intent and an undeniable number of crimes. Croatia, as a political entity, was also convicted of a joint criminal enterprise in BiH. Serbia was not. Haradinaj's (Familiar with the guy and the case?-JM note) trial in The Hague is the second ICTY scandal, which completely delegitimized that institution.
Serbia has been convicted "only" for not preventing genocide, and delivered all the indictees to The Hague. However, there is very little pressure on Pristina to prosecute or cooperate with the Specialist Chambers for KLA crimes, even twenty years after the killing of 2,000 Serbs. On the contrary, it is kept hidden, with couple of honorable exceptions, that everyone in Kosovo is trying to undermine the whole process. Not much was said and no grants were provided for Serb victims who were forced to leave "in still peaceful circumstances", although their departure also changed the ethnic landscape of BH and Kosovo, or about those in exile due to the bloody war, because in the 90s there were many more Serbs in Sarajevo than now. Not a word of condemnation for denying the existing verdicts on genocide in front of UN and other relevant international courts when new Western darlings Kosovo leaders Kurti and Osmani claim that Serbia committed genocide in Kosovo, for which no indictment, let alone a verdict, has been passed.
Jovanović and Čanak are canceled as far as I am concerned. Those who cancel everyone not using the G-word in the context of Serbs and Serbia are still loudly silent when it comes to their scandalous mainstreaming of convicted war criminal Vojislav Šešelj. It is because these two, trivializing Srebrenica for their own purposes, still mention the G-word, which is obviously the only thing that matters.
When I take all this into account, I think that a terrible crime took place in Srebrenica. There was a genocide in Jasenovac, only back then that verdict-description did not exist in international law. This is said with a sound mind by Jelena from BH and Serbia, who used the G-word for Srebrenica throughout the Trump administration ( and before it of course ever since the verdicts-JM note), by a person who knows many from the new Biden administration that will deal with Europe and the Western Balkans.