It has been a month since President Boris Tadić proposed that Serbian parliament adopt a resolution condemning the genocide in Srebrenica. In order to avoid, as it was explained to the Serbian public, that parliament allocate “collective guilt” Tadić also supported the idea of a separate resolution condemning war crimes committed against Serbs. In the mean time, a few decisive voices in the Serbian political arena have been heard saying that the resolution about Srebrenica should be the only resolution and that the word genocide should be used. The others were very cautions and declared that they’ll wait for a specific text of the resolution(s) and then decide whether to accept it or not. The ruling DS announced that wants to achieve wide parliamentarian support for the resolution on Srebrenica and thus negotiate not just with coalition partners but with the opposition too (LDP). That will not be easy task for the DS since the Socialist Party of Serbia and its coalition partner Dragan Marković Palma (United Serbia) declared that the word genocide is too strong to be mentioned in the declaration (Palma even declared that genocide did not happen in Srebrenica) and Liberal Democratic Party said that “serious crime” is not acceptable as a qualification for Srebrenica. Against qualifying Srebrenica as a serious crime are also The League of Social Democrats from Vojvodina, Social Democratic Union and the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians.
On the side of the right wing oppositional parties, media and experts we could hear a variety of “same-thoughts-said-in-a-different way” statements. Aleksandar Vučić, the former builder of Ratko Mladić’s boulevard and the man who renamed the Serbian parliament in a safe house for Ratko Mladić, now freshly bathed in hypocrisy and without THE badge said that he feels shame because of “the horrible crime in Srebrenica”. But, as he explained, the crime was so horrible that he is not able to go into discussion was it a genocide or not. Imbued with patriotism but liberated from the conspiracy theory ideas, an expert explained that Srebrenica must not be interpreted outside the context of crimes in Kravica and Skelani since, otherwise, we can put Dodik and Republika Srpska in a very unpleasant situation while the other one characterized the already mentioned resolution as “a premeditated suicide.” This, from repeating hackneyed, refrain would not be complete without the former conducting baton who wisely said that special resolution on Srebrenica would be “immoral and inhumane” and would represent a degradation of Serbs and in a certain way undermining of Republika Srpska. “If the Assembly of Republic Serbia should make a special declaration instead of a one that would condemn all war crimes, then it should be a declaration about Jasenovac, where genocide was committed against our people. No one has the right to put on Serbia, Republika Srpska and Serbian people a stigma of responsibility that crime (Srebrenica – author’s comment) was committed in their name.“ – said the man at the mention of whose name I feel ashamed and degraded because of the fact that he was twice prime minister of my country. Of course, it would not be fair from my side not to mention Glas javnosti – “newspaper that doesn’t make reality to look prettier than it actually is”. Glas javnosti quickly found the book “which reveals all lies about Serbs who were continuously destroyed for 60 years and then suddenly became the aggressor and the only one to blame for all the evils that are happening in the world “.
In the mean time, Belgrade daily Blic published a survey (sample 1000 respondents) according to which 55.2 per cent of respondents who were asked following question “What is your opinion about the crimes against Bosniaks in Srebrenica in 1995” answered that they believe that was only one of the crimes “whose scale our enemies and the media maliciously magnified”.
So, what do we have here?! We have the situation where governing political party and the President are trying to pass the resolution about the event on which they have not previously informed their citizens. Don’t get me wrong, but we cannot underestimate effects of misinformation. People in Serbia were constantly misinformed during 90’s about world conspiracy against them, how the whole world hates them and just waits for a chance to destroy them. After the changes in 2000 political elites didn’t do anything to change that! No! The cooperation with the ICTY is presented as international legal obligation and necessary bitter medication for becoming the EU member state. Have you ever heard that some Serbian politician speak about the necessity of mastering the past and war crimes committed in the name of all Serbs? Who among Serbian highly ranking politicians ever publicly said, with the exception of late Zoran Djindjic, that conspiracy against Serbs does not exist? Have you ever heard that prime minister tried to explain to his fellow citizens that the adoption of the resolution is not the degradation of Serbs, nor the attribution of genocidal characteristics neither to Serbs nor to Republic Serbia? Did he say that the adoption of the resolution on Srebrenica genocide would be the best way to show the opposite? Have anyone ever heard that Tadić, who suggested the Resolution, says to the Serbian public that the Resolution would show that Serbs are not genocidal nation, but that they are aware that the genocide was committed in their name; that Serbs and the Republic Serbia do accept the responsibility for not preventing genocide and supporting criminal regime and that they will do everything to prevent the creation of conditions that would lead to something similar? I haven’t…yet. The only people who speak about those things are NGO’s which are all labeled as traitors and foreign mercenaries and a few politicians (Korać, Jovanović I Čanak) with a low support in electoral basis.
Boris Tadić was elected in order to prevent “dark forces from coming to power”, but then he formed the government with SPS with the explanation that “tribunals of history do not define the future. Otherwise, there would never be any room for overcoming and reconciliation” and that SPS is a new party. If that’s the true, why then SPS doesn’t speak openly about the Resolution. SPS and its president Ivica Dačić should be the first to say: “Serbian Parliament has to adopt only one resolution – Resolution about the genocide in Srebrenica.” A declaration which will condemn the Srebrenica’s massacre is not a disgrace. The disgrace is to adopt two resolutions because the second one is there only for relativization. What’s the point of adopting the resolution which will use the word “crime” when the European Parliament in its resolution used the word “genocide”?
Condemnation of the massacre in Srebrenica does not mean denial of other crimes (committed by others and/or committed by the Serbs). That is an act which unambiguously shows what was done there and that we are aware of it. Taking a position in relation to crimes is a moral imperative that cannot be justified by opportunistic expectation. But, Serbian politicians, who are very proud on their pro-european and democratic attitudes and orientation, don’t have a courage to step up and say out loud why it is really important to adopt the resolution. Instead of that they use empty sentences nicely written by their PR specialists while the true can be said with just a few simple words. That gives me the right to question their abilities for moral judgment and understanding of four simple but very important concepts: human rights, justice, democracy and change?