Friday, May 12, 2006

Ljubodrag Simonovic – a reply to Noam Chomsky

Ljubodrag Simonovic – a reply to Noam Chomsky

[[Ljubodrag Simonovic, ‘Duci’ to his friends, but straight up ‘Simonovic’ to the many admirers of his heroism both on the basketball court and in the arena of political philosophy, is my dear friend, comrade and teacher.

Though I didn’t know it at the time, I was preparing to meet Simonovic in March 1999 during the short-lived demonstrations in Paris against the NATO bombing of Serbia over its southern province of Kosovo. A couple of the chants at that manif that stuck with me were:

‘NATO is Mafia—Kosovo is Serbia!’


‘Clinton in Monica—Kosovo in Serbia!’

After that first street rally there were no more—and people who publicly expressed opposition to US/NATO policies toward Yugoslavia, especially if they were Serbs, were harassed, arrested, beaten and some were even killed.

I started to see how France was abandoning another ancient ally—the Serbs and the French having fought together victoriously in WWs I & II—well, their fights against Fascism, and its sub-set, Imperialism, were certainly glorious if not really victorious. And when French Mirages flew missions in the 1993-95 NATO bombing of the Bosnian territory held by the remnants of the Yugoslav Army known by then as the Bosnian Serb Army, and actually bombed the graves of some of their own war heroes (I wonder how many of these old war dead were exhumed in the search for mass-graves, then tested positive on the ‘Muslim DNA test’, and were counted among the 200,000 victims of the ‘Serb genocide of Muslims in Bosnia’?—an issue with which Professor Chomsky is intimately familiar, if sadly disinformed.), and French ‘intellectuals’ started agitating support for the UCK (KLA in English), the Albanian terrorists, just as they had done for the ‘multi-cultural’ Islamists in Sarajevo: it was then I knew that the French had gone well beyond mere abandonment of an old comrade-in-arms and re-donned their déguisement à la poule mouillée with its full Vichy and anti-FLN plumage to be the cozy duvet for their US & NATO con-spooners in that shit-stinking bunk reserved for Fascist collaborators.

After 911 it became further apparent what all this reflexive collaboration, all this ‘Nous sommes tous les Américains’ was about: shifting the onus for the waste culture’s military occupation of the planet, with its inherent population control, from its US(read Israeli)/EU(read German)/Israeli(read US) beneficiaries to the hapless patsies du jour, the Muslim expansionists, the ‘Arab terrorists’, the Islamo-Nazis, organized as the UCK, al Qaeda, the Palestinian Authority (now known as Hamas), the Sudanese government, and even, although not Muslim, the ‘Tropical Naziism’ of the 'rascist' Hutu/Habyarimana government of Rwanda.

I wrote that paper, ‘Belgrade-NY: aller/retour’, comparing the 911 attacks on NYC and DC to the 1999 78-day terror bombing of Serbia, and presented it at the first meeting of the International Committee to defend Slobodan Milosevic (ICDSM) in October 2001. After I’d finished, nobody said much, but this really tall, really ‘interesting’ looking guy came up to me and said we should talk. I knew from the jump he was either stone nuts or a world-class genius (and, with any luck, maybe both). When I found out he had done the poster that was all over the walls of the conference, the ‘Welcome to The Hague (now just try and get home!)’ posters, I kinda got the feeling we might get along.

Simonovic’s writing on Olympism, which has been on this blog for some time, as have a lot of his posters, is among the best critical thinking I’ve ever come across—it’s right up there with the Franks, with Horkhiemer and Adorno and Marcuse. His primary concern is play, and especially how it is manifest in Olympic sports. So, as an actor, playing is what I’ve done all my life—though because of the exigencies of survival (my euphemism for drugs and alcohol), I sometimes lost sight of the fun, the pleasure in my playing. I often became very serious, too serious, even morose—too serious, anyway, for a self-promoting comic. Simonovic is very serious too—but also very funny, yebega—after all, he’s a Serb. And when he played forward for Red Star Belgrade, I’m told by all those who still, after nearly 40 years, revere this courageous roundballer, that Simonovic had serious game, incredible handle. And he showed me what real seriousness is—what creative seriousness can be and can do.

Simonovic did a lot for my game. He told me that in the great match-up between Communism and Fascism, you’re either in the game, fighting for one side or the other, or you're dead. In the Big Game, there are no corporate sky boxes; there are no objective journalist; there might be some Laker Girls, but there are no disinterestsed spectators. He told me creative seriousness is best expressed in play. Get out there and have fun, kids—you’ll have a way better game. He made real Oscar Wilde’s notion that ‘Life is too important to take seriously’.

Here’s Simovic at the top of his game. –mc]


Ljubodrag Simonovic – a reply to Noam Chomsky

Mr. Chomsky deserves respect for his brave resistance to American imperialist politics. Unfortunately, in the interview with the Belgrade daily paper “Politika” of May 7th and 8th, Chomsky sees the ultimate solution for the Balkan crisis in the implementation of Washington’s policy.

To the question “What do you see as a realistic solution to the final status of Kosovo and how much does it differ from what the USA advocates today?” Chomsky replies: “I have for a long time felt that the only realistic solution to the final status of Kosovo is actually the one offered by the president of Serbia (Dobrica Cosic), I think, sometime in 1993, that is a kind of partitioning of the Serbs. There are few Serbs left now, but what used to be Serbian regions should be a part of Serbia, the rest can be “independent“, as they call it, which means integrated with Albania. I simply did not see any other solution ten years ago either.”

Chomsky’s idea is not new. It is actually a “model” for Kosovo that in the Second World War was realized by fascist Italy and Germany. As for Chomsky’s reference to Dobrica Cosic, the ex-president of Yugoslavia, it is, as a matter of fact, a highly problematic alibi in view of the motives behind Cosic’s advocating the division of Kosovo.

Chomsky’s position is identical to that of the American establishment. That is, Chomsky does not speak of a just and principled solution to the problem of Kosovo, but of a “realistic solution”. What actually is the basis of Chomsky’s “realism”? First of all is the fact that the Albanians are a majority in Kosovo, and that they do not want to live in Serbia. Would Chomsky’s “realism” be really “realistic” if America did not stand behind the Albanians? In that case wouldn’t another kind of realism apply, namely that the Albanians represent about 15% of the population of Serbia and that the Serbs, as a majority, do not want Kosovo to secede from Serbia? Chomsky’s “realistic solution” is actually founded on the results of the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs and other non-Albanians (about 300,000), carried out by Albanian terrorist groups which, even according to Chomsky, were organized and armed by the USA – as well as the settlement in Kosovo of hundreds of thousands of Albanians from Albania.

What would happen if the principle of ethnic majority “self-determination” were applied to the solution of the question of ethnic minorities in European countries? Would, according to Chomsky, the Albanians’ breaking off of western Macedonia and its annexation to Albania be a “realistic solution”? Or the Greeks’ annexation of the parts of Albania where they are the majority? Or the Turkish annexation of the parts of Bulgaria and Greece where they represent the majority? Or Hungarian annexation of the parts of Romania, Serbia and Slovakia where they are the majority of the population? What about Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabach, etc.? What about Catalonia, the Basque country, Corsica, South Tirol, parts of Turkey where the Kurds form the majority, or Crimea and other parts of Ukraine populated by Russians, as well as the Baltic states with a majority Russian population?

Chomsky offers to the Albanians of Kosovo as a national minority the right to form their state and to be annexed to Albania. What about the right of the Serbs and Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina —who are not national minorities, but constitutive peoples—what of their right to decide on their independence?

The question is whether Chomsky is aware that his “realistic“ conception in fact gives legitimacy to the principle of ethnic cleansing openly backed by the American administration. Chomsky’s conception, no matter what the author’s real motives are, represents an invitation to a violent breaking up of multi-ethnic states. What would that mean for Serbia where 24 nations live? Practically, all the border areas of Serbia would become zones where national clashes could be provoked in order to make possible their annexation to the neighboring countries. Provocations already exist in the parts of the country populated by Muslims (Sandzak) and Hungarians (Voivodina).

How can the secession of that part of the country which represents the foundation of the Serbian state and the national consciousness of the people be “peacefully” accepted by the Serbs? Serbs are aware that the real occupiers of Kosovo are not Albanians, but Americans. Chomsky doesn’t mention the presence in Kosovo of Camp “Bond-Steel”, which is the largest American military camp in Europe. And that is, in fact, the main reason why Americans are trying to tear off Kosovo from Serbia and to annex it to Albania. Americans are trying to turn the Balkan and East-European states into a military corridor in order to isolate Europe from Russia and prevent Europe from approaching the Middle East. “Greater Albania” would become the main strategic point in the American plan to become entrenched in European territory. In his interview Chomsky “forgot” to mention that the immediate reason for the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was Milosevic’s refusal to sign the document in Rambouillet in which the Americans demanded the deployment in Yugoslavia of over 30,000 NATO soldiers. In effect, they demanded that Milosevic endorse the occupation of his country.

In answering the question “Why the USA started that war?” Chomsky refers to the book by John Norris that states, “The real cause of the war had nothing to do with care for the Kosovo Albanians. The real cause was that Serbia did not implement the required social and market reforms, which meant that it was the only corner of Europe refusing to accept neo-liberal programs dictated by the USA, and this had to be stopped.” In the same interview Chomsky says that Milosevic “should have been overthrown, and probably would have been, in the early 90s, had the Albanians voted.” Chomsky sees in the political groups in Serbia who played the “Trojan horse” for the USA and who received hundreds of millions of dollars from the USA to overthrow Milosevic, and in the separatist Albanians, the forces which should have overthrown Milosevic. How can anybody fight the criminal policy of the USA in the Balkans, and, at the same time, give support to the political forces carrying out the American policy in the Balkans?

What is Chomsky’s opinion of Milosevic? Chomsky thinks that Milosevic “committed many crimes”, “that he is not a good person”, “that he is a terrible person, but the accusations against him could have never been proved.” To the question “Are you a Milosevic sympathizer?” Chomsky replies, “No, he was terrible. . . . I certainly would never have dined or talk to him. Yes, he deserved to be tried for his crimes, but this trial could not be carried out even had it been half fair. It was a farce; they were actually happy that he died.”

For what “crimes” should Milosevic have been tried and why should he have been overthrown in the beginning of the nineties? – The man who introduced the multi-party system and brought about a constitution according to which the citizen and not the nation is the basis of the political formation of society, something that was thoroughly opposed by the political forces which Chomsky supports. Chomsky didn’t give a concrete reply to the repeated question.

Basically, Chomsky has no political vision of the Balkans that might give these countries the possibility of preserving their independence, without which the story of “democratic freedoms” is but a farce. That is the reason why Chomsky constructs some “democratic” opposition which ought to have overthrown Milosevic – something that never really existed. Madeleine Albright has many times said that Yugoslavia was bombed in order to bring to power those who would support American policy in the Balkans. This is the real opposition that tried to overthrow Milosevic, and that came to power on October 5th 2000 – that turned Serbia and Montenegro into an American colony.

In the “democracy” which the West imposed on Serbia by military aggression more than 50% of the population capable of working is without a job; over 65% of the people under 30 are without a job; the average salary is below 300 €/month; almost 80% of the employed in the private sector have no social security; in Belgrade alone there are over 80,000 drug-addicts; today’s students pay as much as ten times higher fees than in Milosevic’s time; in the process of forced privatization almost all the important factories, mines, water resources and other social property have been sold for small money to Western companies and domestic mafias; the gross national product is below the level it was even during the time of the harshest economic sanctions; never was the number of young people emigrating from the country greater than today; newspaper and television houses critical of the West are being closed; people are losing their jobs daily if they do not conform to the ruling policy; banks are being robbed every day, postal workers killed, people die in mafia clashes . . . Serbia has become a “democratic” society by Western standards.

Whether Chomsky likes it or not, Slobodan Milosevic was and still is a symbol of the struggle for freedom of the Serbian people. It is no accident that the funeral ceremony in Belgrade and Pozarevac was attended by far more people than were gathered on October 5th, 2000. One of the main slogans was “Kosovo is Serbia!” That is the reality that we also should insist on if we want peace in the Balkans.

x x x


Anonymous Goran M. said...


I wish to ask you do you have an e-mail of Mr. Simonovic so I can make a contact to him. It seems that he's very interesting person I wish to discuss with.

My address is:

Thank you.

12:45 AM  

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