Hope on the Balkans Kosov@ Crisis 1999
We have been persuaded for two days by all sides that the war is over, and Serbian television news have already started with its famous reports at which even the children laughs. "Wise and above all patriotic policy of our The Only Possible President, won an another victory for us which will surely remain in Serbian mythology... President already secured return to peaceful solution, this will be a land of milk and honey, everyone will rush to rebuild everything that was destroyed, East and West are rising, all they were waiting for was the end of unprovoked, criminal aggression on our small, always democratic, freedom loving, peacefull, yet belligerent country, in short - the land of dreams. We have endured, won, mighty NATO is defeated, Serbia be joyful, the peace have begun, any time now, few signatures left and it's over"
All this could be seen and heard in the last two days on programmes of the indestructible TV Bastille, which now broadcasts its shows for brainwashing this unfortunate nation, that already has a used mental structure, from a basement of some only to them known building.
Not a single editor or commentator of State TV remembered to mention that this what President accepted now is the same, if not worse than the document offered to him before over two thousand civilians, and, who knows how many more soldiers and policemen (people as well in my, maybe strange, view of the world) were killed, before hundreds of thousands Kosovo Albanians (also civilians and citizens of Serbia) were forced to leave their homes, before Serbia was levelled. No one remembered that our Great Leader decided, again, to bargain, not with his own life, but the lives of citizens of this country, for which he cares as much as for the history and culture of Serbian nation - that is none at all. And all that only to save his own skin, from going to Hague and the removal of his own regime from highly profitable position.
Of course, it is out of the question to mention, even between the lines, that it weren't the NATO countries authoritative internal policy that gave them a moral excuse before their own citizens for the unlawful attack on Yugoslavia, but that the excuse was given to them by our Unprovoked President, who wanted to repay them for nursing him for years, promoting him as a factor of peace and stability in the Balkans, indispensable negotiator, and a man they could make deals with (usually after deals become worst possible for the Serbs), and, in the end, a man which made consensus omnium of NATO countries on air strikes on Serbia - "We are not at war with Serbian people, we are in war with Slobodan Milosevic". Yes, sure. Why did you kill all those Serbian people, probably foes to Milosevic, too? By mistake, using such precise weapons? No matter how much I try, I can't believe that these missiles are operated by Windows 95. But it is another story...
And, indeed, for two days everything appeared to be just like before March 24th. No sirens in Belgrade, and except for few fly-overs and occasional low-intensity bombing on Kosovo there were no news and signs of madness we, sort of, got used to in the past couple of months. You could feel anti-regime climate in the streets of Belgrade again, it appeared as the negative energy is finally channelling to not the only one, but for citizens of Yugoslavia certainly the main cause of their tragedy, not in the past two and a half months but in the last ten years. Encouraging news were coming in from the meetings of representatives of Yugoslav Army and NATO forces in some tavern called "Europe 93" in Macedonia, where military heads negotiated on the implementation of peace agreement. On Sunday morning, the end of the bombings was predicted for Sunday evening already, and during that afternoon we were all becoming somewhat nervous, because the expected good news from the tavern never arrived.
And then, around midnight, RAIUNO reported that an anonymous Italian officer stated that there was a break in negotiations, not over some small technical details but over crucial matters. Yugoslav side was given an ultimatum to accept the agreement next time, or the bombings will continue (déja vu?). CNN reported later that Yugoslav side accepted six out of twenty articles of the agreement offered (offered?), which means they refused it. General Michael Jackson (this is not a typo), of NATO forces, stated that bombings of Yugoslavia will continue and will be intensified. Like many times before, we don't know what was the issue of these negotiations, what were the terms given by either side, who sabotaged the negotiations by giving the terms he knew they wouldn't be acceptable. Someone, obviously, really cares about this war, since every attempt to end this war is sabotaged, if not at the very beginning, then in the moments when even the greatest sceptics hope for peace.
Sunday was already behind us, Monday begun, when the sirens started to howl over Belgrade. Louder than ever in my neighbourhood. The feeling was just about the same as on March 24th at 8.30 p.m. Only the surprise and disbelief were missing. Fear that all this could continue with even worse consequences strengthens with each incoming news.
"To hell with them all! Let them demolish everything and kill all of us and then start all over again!" my younger sister screamed when she heard that negotiations failed in tavern "Europe 93", which could be symbolically translated to Serbian as "Farewell Europe 99".
Pant@, age 23, student
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