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April 24, 1999
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 7-Special

Right to Defend

The toughness of resistance to NATO attacks on Yugoslavia could have been easily predicted since it was in a direct relation to strong emotions of the population that the traditional Serbian allies from the wars of the past have taken the side of one terrorist and separatist group, the side of furious 'young Albanians' who are controlling the destiny of hundreds of thousands of people by means of mobile phones, and whose propaganda aim has never been directed to stabilisation but to bursting the war-like fire and conflict in Kosovo.

But, that feeling of a common citizen of this country on whose head bombs  are being thrown for one month and who reacts according to the natural right to defend against whatever endangers him, still does not justify the message which goes through the main TV newscast and which tells that we are all one party whose name is - freedom. But even the political parties of this country themselves do not behave as if they all belong together, even if their name is - freedom, which is a natural condition and it is good for the future of this country. From the party notifications, the listener can still  conclude whether it was composed by the Radicals, SPO, JUL, SPS or someone else, even if he did not turn on the radio on time to hear the announcement.

The last VREME edition carefully cited Slobodan Jovanovic who stated that a country in war needs politics more than a country in peace, because
mistakes made during the war are more difficult to correct and their consequences persist much longer. The objective of politics during the war could, without much involvement in details, be based on two elementary claims: to define the realisable aim of the war and to prevent the parties from dealing with political profiteering which is, on a longer basis, more perilous than profiteering with cigarettes and flour. Both tasks of smart warlike politics evolve from a logic consequence that state defense is not a matter of party politics but state politics, and that soldiers are not recruited according to which party they belong but as a necessity of the general military service.

Serbia defined her attitude about Kosovo, as an initiative premise which consists of two rudimentary points: there is no question of detachment of Kosovo and the presence of a third factor (international troops) which would limit the sovereignty of the country. People have expressed that in a  single message "We don't give Kosovo away" and everything else is no more than variations on a theme. From a Serbian viewpoint it is quite clear that Kosovo must obtain a high level of autonomy and self-management, but conversations about it can begin only when the last indication of realising secessionist ambitions of Kosovo Albanians is eliminated. That consensus, expressed in words of the parliament declaration, was reached in the Serbian Parliament, and is in its essence acceptable on the federal level   as well, hence for both federal units. Is there, however, any confusion about such established aim of the war in Yugoslavia, are there those who are limiting such an aim by denying some of its elements, or, are there those who are trying to expand that aim and who have mixed up state and ideological aims of this defensive war?

Abandoning that aim by any of the parties belonging to the spectre of all political parties in Yugoslavia would mean defeatism, and the expansion of the aim of war would also have a fatalistic outcome on the attempts to defend the country. The self-proclamation of Belgrade as the centre of resistance to the new world order, at the moment when Yugoslavia is in a desperate quest for an ally in order to actualise its state and national interest, pushes Yugoslavia away from realisation of that aim, just as do our expectations to win NATO who really might die over Yugoslavia, as our president said to the president of Bellorussia, and that might happen but more likely due to the moral crash of the military alliance of 19 powerful countries, than to our martial and state potential or victory of one ideology over the other.

And just as the quoted Jovanovic's maxim about meaning of politics during the war makes sense, the new thesis that war allows everything is not valid
at all. By that we do not think about what is clearly sanctioned even by our laws (crimes over civilians, sabotages, desertion, robberies...), but above all about those speculations which would overturn the set aim of the defensive war and renounce a certain aim or expand it in the direction of bringing about the power seizure of one group or some individuals in their right to interpret the world, or even to eliminate from public life any politics which does not correspond to their own.

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