SPECIAL TREATMENT: SCAPARROTTI, SERBIA AND BEYOND*                                                                                

By Milan Jovanović, FSD president & CEO  




 On March 15th 2018, at noon Tanjug relayed Reuters’s news on how Johnny Michael, spokesmen for the Pentagon, commented that the sharp criticism of America’s general and NATO Commander for Europe Curtis Scaparrotti coming from Serbia’s minister of defense Aleksandar Vulin – in which Vulin claims that “there hasn’t been a graver, more irresponsible and dangerous statement since 1999 – came about due to “disinformation”.

The American spokesperson also said that agencies have been reporting that disinformation regarding general Scaparrotti, in which his name is tied to a false statement, have begun surfacing in Serbian media with the goal of stoking negative sentiments towards him and the United States.

Later that day, after this news was published, the Ministry of defense issued a statement in which it states that it is “satisfied with Pentagon’s clarification”!

Following that the complete transcript of general Scaparroti’s address was published around midnight, and once more on the next morning!

Moreover, on the same evening, a news clip was broadcast in which Serbia’s defense minister spoke with general Peter Pavel, chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, and said that “Serbia is open to cooperation with Western and – obligatory – Eastern partners while upholding its military neutrality”. 

That is how an unprecedented and unheard of scandal in the normally good relations of Serbia’s Ministry of defense with NATO and the US Army was smoothed over and mollified, to a point.

Smoothed over and mollified but not clarified!

Maybe clarification will ensue in the coming days.

Maybe minister Vulin will explain more thoroughly what compelled him to use such harsh words. How was he informed about all this?

Maybe we will hear why he didn’t first refer to the transcript of Scaparrotti’s address which was published on the website of Congress?

Maybe we will come to understand why Vulin’s criticism of Scaparrotti resembled in so many ways what could be read on the webpage of Sputnik – a Russian portal in Serbian maintained by an editorial staff in Belgrade.

Maybe minister Vulin also consulted Minister Nenad Popovic, who has also sternly and in a similar manner responded to Scaparrottie’s statement.


Anything is possible…

In the meantime, words of another unnamed American official echo in reality, which were also relayed by Tanjug, who said that the US Army is making great efforts to proactively preempt information that might be purposefully misinterpreted by Russia.

Maybe we can hope that similar efforts are also being made in Serbia.

Posted in Serbian  in the morning on March 17, 2018, under the title  ''Between the possibility and reality''