Saturday, 15 October 2011
I could not help laughing bitterly out loud when I read, on the website of B92, one of Serbia's leading media outlet, a story picked up from Alex Jones' Infowars (http://www.infowars.com/occupy-wall-street-affiliated-with-professional-revolutionary-organization-otpor-cia/). The fact that a reputable, mainstream media outlet relies on Alex Jones as a news source was not the reason I was laughing this time, oddly enough.
The gist of the (conspiracy) story is as follows: the shadow powers in America, possibly the CIA or a similar organisation, have procured the services of the leaders of Serbia's "Otpor" (Resistance) movement-yes, the same one that was instrumental in bringing down Milosevic in 2000! The part of the conspiracy theory that connects Otpor to foreign agents is well-known. This is not, of course, the first time that allegations of Otpor involvement outside of Serbia have been made. Serbian "know-how" has also been linked by some media outlets to the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003 and even the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine in the winter of 2004-2005. What is curious is the idea that "revolution consultants" from an allegedly CIA-sponsored SERBIAN movement would be hired to act on AMERICAN soil-as a false movement no less-whose purpose would be to obscure and obfuscate the legitimate grievances of the American people!
Meanwhile, Anders Breivik, the infamous Norwegian accused of mass-murdering left-wing youths and blowing up government buildings in and near Oslo this summer also seemed to have benefited from Serbian "know-how", according to several media reports covering his infamous 1,500 page pre-rampage rant.
In January of this year, the Economist ran a story that reported that Serbia's arms industry was reporting annual growth of 30% (!) in the period between 2002 and 2010: http://www.economist.com/node/17862268 The revival of Serbia's arms industry is a source of great pride for the Government and ambitious plans have been announced regarding "expansion" into "new markets" such as Angola and Nigeria. The industry suffered a heavy setback this year, due to the toppling of Colonel Qaddafi, one of Serbia's most staunch allies and best customers of arms and military technology. Yet Serbian presence still seems to exist on the ground in Libya, if one believes the allegations regarding Serbian mercenaries fighting on Gaddafi's side in the recent (and, it increasingly seems, ongoing) conflict in that country. Hypothetically, a resurgence of the Serbian military-industrial complex in Libya remains a distinct possibility, even under the new regime, if the example of Iraq is anything to go by. Indeed, while it was Serbian construction companies that built Saddam's famous underground bunkers, it took intrepid state arms dealers from the same country no more than five years from the fall of the Iraqi dictator to the negotiation of fresh contracts with the new Iraqi government.
Last but not least, the leading role of Serbian/Montenegrin crime bosses in the global cocaine trade has become public with the high profile indictments of several prominent kingpins. For the present author at least, it is a mind-boggling prospect to think how gangsters from tiny Serbia and the even tinier Montenegro managed to forge such strong ties with Colombian drug cartels based halfway across the globe. Of all the small nations in the world, the Colombians chose Serbs and Montenegrins as their trusted business partners. Go figure.
Add to all of this the story of Otpor "experts" providing "revolutionary consultancy services" to the Occupy Wall Street movement and one may well see a trend emerging.
Increasingly, it seems that, wherever there is trouble, there is some sort of Serbian connection. What does that tell us? One interpretation is that the we are witnessing the "afterburn" of the 1990s anti-Serbian propaganda in Western media. Serbs are, indeed, easy scapegoats. It is easy to paint a picture-even if it is false-of Serbs as the ideological inspiration for the more maniacal elements of the islamophobic far-right in Northern Europe, as well as mercenaries for dictators in distress. Tragic as it is, this is arguably the less disturbing interpretation. Serbia's image in the West and its media has improved by leaps and bounds in the past few years and afterburns do burn out, after all.
A more disquieting interpretation could be that Serbia's troubles of the 1990s, largely fomented and augmented by the West according to many views, have yielded a unique, macabre "skill set". Although Serbian people are most unwilling to seriously engage in any more conflicts on or near their own soil-whether military or political-past conflicts have left behind a vast body of experience in all manner of subversive activities. If this vast body of experience is, indeed, being tapped today, the obvious question is: for whose account? Could Serbian expertise be merely a subject of Western (CIA or other agency) "subcontracting", similar to the way the KGB allegedly used the Stasi and the Bulgarian secret service for "black on black" operations in the 1970s and 1980s outside the Soviet Bloc? Alternatively, is this body of expertise simply available to the highest bidder-be he American, Chinese, Russian or any other? Finally, is Serbia profiling itself as a silent but potent source of "conflict skills", as an ironic "payback" to a world that painted it so black at the end of the twentieth century? Ten years from now, could Serbia be to conflicts what Sweden is to furniture? "Where did you get this lovely coffee table? Why, IKEA, of course!" could find its equivalent in: "Who is handling your subversion in country X? Why, the Serbs, of course."
The difference today is, of course, is that full-scale global conflicts do not happen or, at least, they do not happen in the same "tanks and artillery" fashion of 1914 and 1941. Today's global conflicts are fought in a multitude of seemingly disconnected and contained theatres simultaneously, without grandiose battles, in a partially overlapping sequence of hugely diverse "wars": democracy wars, currency wars, energy wars and a myriad of other wars that are or that may come in the near future.
As the first victim in this latest trend of limited intensity, seemingly contained but globally significant conflicts, Serbia has a unique position to provide several types of product that are in high demand: from consultancy services for "pro-democracy" revolutions to "boots on the ground" mercenaries and military hardware.
According to numerous historians, Adolf Hitler and the esoteric elements of the SS and its ideological precursor-the Thule Society-believed in supernatural assistance on their maniacal path to global domination. A key source of supernatural assistance, in their view, seems to have been in the Spear of Longinus, also known as the Spear of Destiny (the spear allegedly used by a roman soldier named Longinus to verify Jesus' death on the True Cross). The artifact, apparently housed by the Schatzkammer in Vienna at present, was believed to guarantee victory for any army that possessed it and Hitler is believed to have possessed it himself. Ultimately, after a series of unprecedented, inexplicable conquests that brought Europe to its knees, Hitler's losses were as momentous as his earlier victories and the sacred relic did not prevent him from being confined to hiding and, according to most accounts, committing suicide in a Berlin bunker, with the victorious Red Army approaching.
Unlike the Spear of Destiny-and in contrast to its patchy record when fighting "solo", for its own account-Serbia has an unbroken record of being on the victorious side of global conflicts. Who knows? It may well be that, by observing the deployment of the Serbian "skill set" in today's struggle for world domination, one may sniff out the future winner.