Who Killed Djindjic? And What Will Be the Repercussions in the Balkans?

Who put Zoran Djindjic in power? The mainstream media tells us that the Serbian people did. In reality, his popularity rating was always close to zero. Especially after he supported NATO while the bombs were raining on his country.

Who put Djindjic in power? The West. Thanks to more than nine years of a crushing embargo (dictated by the IMF in order to destroy to impose globalization), plus nine years of an info-war demonising the Serbian people, plus 78 days of NATO bombardment and tens of millions of dollars spent on a destabilization campaign to get rid of Milosevic, a campaign which was orchestrated by the CIA in 2000. It’s the same kind of campaign that is now being led against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

Since then, no one ever talks about Yugoslavia, a country to which the West had generously offered the “free market,” democracy and the promise of NATO and EU membership in exchange for surrendering all of its wealth to multi-national corporations. Not a word since 2000. Is this the End of History, with globalisation triumphant all the way to Belgrade? And in Kosovo, where the forces of Globalisation are discreetly privatising 25% of the publicly-owned companies while closing down the rest?

But History has never ended. The Serbian people are resisting privatisation and betrayal. The workers at the Zastava auto plant just went on strike, refusing to be thrown on the garbage heap so that a group of Canadian investors can get the upper hand in their factory. They still judge NATO as it deserves to be judged, as “an aggressor.” Their pride is unbowed, and they are stirring up a crisis for the group in power.

Two or Three Hypotheses

Who killed Djindjic? There are many hypotheses, even if at this stage it is better to remain cautious. The professional method employed in the assassination seems to exclude the idea of a patriot wanting to avenge the betrayal and sell-out of his country. This is what remains: 1) Rivalries at the core of the ruling clique; 2) The mafia settling scores. Or both.

Djindjic toppled Milosevic while building a diverse coalition of 18 political parties, whose sole bonding element was flunkeyism. Once the coalition gained power, Djindjic had to seize the reins of power himself, which aroused frustration because the privatisations, for the most part, profited his pals (see PTB article Two years later: where is Yugoslavia?). Those who felt betrayed in his own camp were, therefore, numerous and certainly would not have given him a nickel to hire more body guards.

But who were these “pals” of Djindjic? A few months ago, he quashed an investigation of the mafia and the cabinet ministers from Kostunica’s party responded by resigning in protest. Mention the word mafia, and it conjures rivalries, noxious interests and the settling of scores. We can’t speculate on the question of where the bullet came from, but we can recall precedents: All of the West’s protégés in the former Yugoslavia were tied to illegal trafficking, even though the mainstream media remains discrete about it. The entourage of the Bosnian Muslim President Izetbegovic pilfered millions of dollars of “international aid.” The KLA, according to European police agencies, have turned Kosovo into a lazy Susan bearing drug trafficking, weapons and prostitution. “NATO entered into a marriage of convenience with the mafia,” as we pointed out in our film, The Damned of Kosovo.

Western propaganda refers to Djindjic as “the man who installed democracy.” However, this is a disastrously false estimation. He dismantled the Yugoslav state simply to deprive his rival, Kostunica, of a government position. He illegally excluded from Parliament deputies from the largest party, the one headed by Kostunica. He trampled the verdict of the Supreme Court that invalidated this exclusion. He did the same thing when the Court rejected the kidnapping and extradition of Milosevic to The Hague. He cut the army’s budget (including food for the soldiers) because it had unmasked foreign spies at the heart of the government. The man on whom the West had pinned its hopes for the future was simply a political gangster.

Washington against Berlin?

The Serbia street called Djindjic “the guy who belongs to the Germans.” This morning, an Italian journalist asked us: “Could the murder be tied to the rivalry between Washington and Berlin, which you have spoken of for so many years?” This is not the kind of thing that can be proven so easily. But it is, in any case, perfectly possible. There are several clues:

Clue 1. Now is the time to recall why the war in Bosnia lasted so long. In his memoirs, Lord Owen, the EU’s special envoy to the Balkans, wrote: “I have a great deal of respect for the United States. But during the last four years (1992-1995), this country’s diplomacy is guilty of needlessly prolonging the war in Bosnia.”

What does he see? He sees what we exposed in our book, Liar’s Poker (Poker menteur): Berlin forced the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991 and took control of the new regimes in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia. Washington, at first taken aback by its suddenness, was forced to take the cards back into its own hands. Yugoslavia, i.e., the Danube, is a strategic route to the Middle East and the Caucasus, therefore, to oil and gas. It is the route that all the great powers have always wanted to control.

Berlin wants to transport its oil via the Danube and the Rhine. On the other hand, Washington wants to construct a pipe line further south, spanning Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania because the U.S. intends to control the energy supplies of its rivals, Europe and Japan. There, they built a super military base, Camp Bondsteel, which they count on using against Iraq.

In Bosnia, Washington ordered the Bosnian Muslim President, Izetbegovic, not to sign any peace plan proposed by the Europeans, promising him he could win the war on the ground. his strategy accomplished its goals. In brief, the U.S. prolonged the war by two years, and prolonged the suffering of all the different peoples living in the region. The lowest blows are permitted in the rivalry between great powers.

Clue 2: In 2000, Washington, which controls the credits that are granted or withheld by the IMF, promised a flood of credits to help the new regime and to maintain the electoral illusions disseminated among the population. But no such credits materialized. In an interview with Spiegel, a German weekly, Djindjic complained that he was in danger because of it: “I warned the West.” It was a warning. All that one can say at this stage is that Djindjic’s passing will be regretted much more by Berlin than by Washington.

Clue 3. What is going on these days between the great allies which were allegedly forever bound together, the U.S. on the one hand, and Germany and France on the other? They are embroiled in the greatest dispute since World War II. If Washington absolutely wants to attack Iraq, and then Iran, it is also in order to weaken their European rivals. The Anglo-American multinationals, Esso, BP, and Shell want to oust the French corporation, Total, from Iraq. And Washington also wants to oust Germany, from Iran. At the very moment Berlin and Paris are upsetting Bush’s plans, the blow dealt to their Serbian pawn could very well be a warning in this cynical game of chess, which is in fact a global war.

And Now?

What will be the consequences of Djindjic’s disappearance from the scene?

1. The Crisis at the heart of the regime will be exacerbated and Kostunica will try to regain his lost power. Various clans will confront one another to take control of the economy and illegal trafficking.

2. A fascist threat is lying in wait for Serbia because the new power will have a lot to do to break the resistance of the workers.

3. The Balkans could be plunged into further destabilisation.

Were the Balkans pacified by Western humanitarian intervention? The myth is going to have a hard time sustaining itself. After the protégés of the U.S. unleashed a war in Macedonia in 2001, the Sandzak could flare up next with a new separatist menace based on “nationalism,” which would in reality be manipulated from outside the country. In Kosovo, Washington continues to protect the KLA and its policy of ethnic cleansing, which is driving Serbs out of Kosovo, as well as Jews, Roma and Muslims, in short, all non-Albanian minorities. This is disturbing to certain European powers that want to stabilise the area and construct their “energy corridor.” Other neighbouring regions could topple. A region where pipe line projects are confronting each other would not be capable of staying calm for long.

With this catastrophic summary, it is high time that the Western Left emerges from its silence and draws up a balance sheet of four years of NATO occupation in Kosovo. It is a catastrophe. At the very moment Washington is preparing invasions and occupations, the truth must be known and recognized once and for all. Let the debate finally begin!

Translated by Milo Yelesiyevich

REFERENCES: Les Damnés du Kosovo, video in English from: lesdamnesdukosovo.chiffonrouge.org; El País, 12 november 1995; Michel Collon, Poker menteur, EPO, Bruxelles, 1998, chap. 9; Michel Collon, Monopoly, Bruxelles, 2000, p. 98, 120, 122.