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Srdja Trifkovic’s Interview on RT International
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a leading advocate of NATO’s bombing of Serbia in 1999, will be an advisor to Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, who was Milosevic’s information minister at that time. Five years later Vucic edited Seselj’s book which referred to Blair as “that English faggot fart.” In his latest RT International interview Srdja Trifkovic examines this strange development.
RT: The chief proponent of NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia could now advise a Prime Minister who was himself an outspoken critic of Tony Blair. What’s going on there?
ST: The Belgrade government is almost desperate to continue what is euphemistically called the “European path”: They want to join the EU, even though the benefits of doing so are rather moot. And there are some major obstacles, including the determination of Germany to demand Serbia’s recognition of Kosovo’s illegal independence as a precondition. What is bizarre is that Tony Blair has never expressed any regrets about his support for the bombing of Serbia in 1999, even though his justification for joining the U.S.-led bombing campaign was as false as his reasons for joining Bush in the war against Iraq.
In fact, his government and he personally claimed that it was the objective of Serbia to create an apartheid society and to ethnically cleanse Kosovo of the Albanians, which was simply not true. But what is even more bizarre… I mean, one might imagine that Serbian Prime Minister Vucic would want a former foe on board because he wants to influence the powers-that-be in Western Europe. But what is particularly bizarre is that they seem to be blissfully unaware of Tony Blair’s low standing in his own country, where he has been under fire primarily for his role in the Iraq war. Let us not forget that his government published two false report – o ne in September of 2002, which claimed that Saddam Hussein had plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons deployable within 45 minutes of an order to use them, which was complete rubbish. And then later on, in February 2003, his team published a second dossier called “Iraq: Its Infrastructure Of Concealment,” which was also as true as Colin Powell’s presentation…
RT: Mr. Trifkovic, you’ve spoken ofd the lack of remorse Tony Blair has shown over the bombing of Yugoslavia, and obviously this Iraq history is well documented as well What is the reaction likely to be inside Serbia to this news?
ST: I think it will do nothing for Prime Minister Vucic’s credibility and popularity, especially since the role of the United Arab Emirates in the whole affair is not transparent. We don’t really know who is paying for this – and obviously whoever is paying is expecting something in return. This is all very hush-hush. And in addition to Tony Blair’s very low reputation in Serbia I think that the government is effectively shooting itself in the foot, because this is going to be a liability at home, and abroad it will achieve absolutely nothing, because as I said Tony Blair’s credibility in either London or Brussels is close to zero.
RT: Let’s talk now about the funding, allegedly from the United Arab Emirates. Where do they fit in, in all of this?
ST: Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has close contacts with some prominent personalities there, and they were instrumental in putting together a project called Belgrade Waterfront, which is supposed to be a multi-billion dollar investment into a complete transformation of Belgrade into a sort of Abu Dhabi on the Danube. Personally I don’t think anything much will come out of this. But with all sorts of failures on the economic front in recent months, not least the recent failure to sell the major steelworks to a U.S.-based company, Vucic needs some kind of PR coup. He will probably present this through the media – and the media in Serbia are closely controlled by the government, even though they are nominally free – that this is yet another major public relations success for Serbia, and that Tony Blair will do wonders for Serbia’s “European Path.” All of that is just a smokescreen for the fact that this government is actually in deep trouble. Their economic indicators are abysmal. I think that a beleaguered government meeting a former politician whose credibility is very low is a pretty nice fit, in fact.
This is goofy. If Blair is paying the Serbian government to pretend he is relevant to anything it might make some sense. The Poodle comes to Belgrade. Fortunately, there will be no EU for Serbia to join and Vucic should take the prison cell left empty by Seselj.
One more brief comment. Belgrade is getting advice from a man whose country desperately wants out of the EU morgue? Again laughter is the only decent response. But it might also be about Washington. Tony was never anything but our shoeshine boy.9DB4CO
Dr. Trifkovic, various Russian websites have expressed concern over Victoria Nuland's interest in Vojvodina. Apparently she or some of her subordinates are suggesting that the region, being a "diverse" area, should have special status or be independent. Have you heard of this? If true, it could be an attempt to get back at Putin and to hold the threat of a special status or independent region over the heads of the Serbs. As to Mr. Blair, he may well be out of favor in London and Brussels, but for the right money, he can still carry water for the elites.
The Germans have been particularly keen ever since the beginning of the Yugoslav crisis to push for Vojvodina's "special status" and (albeit less openly) restitution to the descendants of the expelled Danubian Schwabians. Nuland may be too late to rekindle the issue, however: Orban's Hungary is none too keen to join the bandwagon, and in any event the Hungarians' numbers have plumetted after they were given Hungarian EU passports: tens of thousands, mainly young and educated, took this opportunity to emigrate to Germany and elsewhere in Western Europe. In 2011 Vojvodina had 70% Serbs, 13% Hungarians and 17% all others (Slovaks, Gypsies -- pardon, "Roma" et al). It is thus less "diverse" than Not easy to engineer creeping partition, not even with the cooperation of the ex-commie/Sorosite nominally Serb "autonomists" ("The Social Democratic League of Vojvodina" with 3% support). Istvan Pastor's alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians is supporting the ruling SNS. There is nowhere near the critical mass, in spite of some tens ofmillions of NED/Open Society dollars poured into the project. Victoria Nuland undoubtedly would love to distribute cookies in Novi Sad or Subotica, ut that is not going to happen.
I remember reading Chronicles a few years back where Vucic's rise to power was viewed favorably. My comment at the time was to the effect that this was silliest and most incompetent person in charge ever. Before this Blair debacle there was the hiring of a Yale undergraduate for economics minister, the foul up of the South Stream negotiations and subsequently of the Putin visit to Belgrade. Why such a dilettante continues to stay in power is beyond reason.
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