SPECIAL TREATMENT: KOSOVO BETWEEN REALITY AND NIGHTMARE                                                          

By Milan Jovanović, FSD president 

 

While awaiting the continuation of Brussels negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina in September and autumn 2018 there might still be time to also review the current state of the internal dialogue on Kosovo and, perhaps yet again, obviate the dangerous possibility of that dialogue slipping away into an internal confrontation!

Stopping such a “transition” would also decrease the ever more obvious danger of the destabilization of Serbia’s fragile economic recovery and the state of political and security affairs in the country and in the rest of the region at the very end of that dialogue on Kosovo.

This isn’t the sole responsibility of officials; it is shared by the opposition, the public and the Serbian Orthodox Church – which has earlier this year (with the now forgotten Appeal of the 100 from January) started the avalanche of intolerance surrounding Kosovo.

In the past few days that avalanche climaxed in an irresponsible appeal to the army and the police for the arrest of the initiator of the internal dialogue on Kosovo – the President!

Even though that was “just a tweet” of the leader of Dveri, it outlines the pushing of Serbia through the gate (‘’dveri”- in Serbian) of social turmoil, which is quite easy to picture and would have incomprehensible far-reaching consequences for the country and most of its citizens.

So it was that a small leader from a small political party has spilled a ruinous and destructive toxin among those gathered in the Alliance for Serbia.

The fact that, president’s party colleagues and allies notwithstanding, the reaction to this message which pushes Serbia through the door of an institutional abyss was surprisingly lukewarm and slow is, however, another subject entirely, as unsettling as it is.

As far as the internal dialogue on Kosovo is concerned there is still time to, despite all the mitigating circumstances for the resolution of the Kosovo problem and the failure of the negotiation discourse, to see who has contributed to this current state of affairs and in what way.

As far as the significant portion of the opposition is concerned, the internal dialogue was the big break which they have failed to act upon.


It (ab)used the loose propositions of the internal dialogue to set for its initiator a populist trap, to tempt him into competing in nationalist bravado. However, they seem to have fallen into their own snare, thus becoming its main victims as well as chief protagonists.

 

                                                                                                                         

What few hopes there were that the opposition could be the firebrand and advocate for the fact that there is no solution to the Kosovo problem without simultaneous re-establishment of trust and reconciliation between Belgrade and Pristina, between Serbs and Albanians, as well as the initiator of self-critical introspection on how it all came to this, proved barren.

However, any and all peering into the past of the Kosovo conflict has been avoided – followed by notable neurotic suppression of possible unpleasant truths about past deeds, in close as well as the distant past, that form the bedrock of hostility between Serbs and Albanians.


Instead of arguing through its involvement for what is, at its core, a self-critical introspective approach the Serbian opposition has, through the previously mentioned method and outcome of the populist trap for a populist government, shown its own disconcerting political and emotional immaturity and above all else its avarice for the seats of power.

Its ally in that endeavor was the dogmatic spirit within the SOC which contributed to these events in a significant way.

The end result was the reiteration and the underscoring of the dominant hindering conceptualization of the Kosovo discourse, trapped in mythos and citation of a Constitution blind to reality, which was conceived and undemocratically imposed by the cohabitation tag-team of Kostunica-Tadic, DSS-DS.

What wasn’t reached was the realization that Serbia cannot, without enormous risks, maintain for much longer this shared nightmare of a frozen conflict, authored by Kostunica and Tadic, which is just a frozen future by another name.  

To continue to do so is to pave the road of self-destruction.