## Monday, February 25, 2008

### NPR talks to Serbian students

NPR (audio)

has just aired a relatively decent program that presents what has, bizarrely enough, become "the other side" of the conflict so that at least some of the Americans who listen to NPR or read the Reference Frame can learn some basic facts.

The host asks Andrej Komnenovic and Tamara Pavasovic about the role of Kosovo for the Serbian history and psychology, problems related to the co-existence of nations in the region, and about their visions for the future.

Tamara Pavasovic, a Harvard sociology graduate student, with Boris Tadic, the president of Serbia.

In my opinion, the young people (and Obrad Kesic on the phone) do a great job and it might be pretty difficult for the host to get an equally educated, cultivated, and fair representative of the Albanian side; an example that appears in the show offers something else instead of detailed historical, legal, and psychological analyses: he says "Hooray, now I have a country." ;-)

Nevertheless, you can see some of the deeply irrational attitudes of the host who tries to find capital letters in a somewhat angry - but otherwise completely relevant and well-informed - e-mail and deduce that all Serbs are evil. She sees a lot of bigotry in the e-mail; I don't see much of it. Instead, I see a lot of inspiring things that the stupid P.C. woman should try to learn from. Also, I can show you much worse things written by the Albanians - and there would exist even worse things to offer if those worse people knew how to write.

Also, the host seems to be hysterically defending the Muslims of any kind against any kind of hypothetical discrimination. Also, she seems to have absolutely no understanding for the democratic nature of current Serbia and for the fact that the past and recent crimes are being normally investigated and the culprits are being prosecuted just like they would be in any other country that respects the law.

In countries where the former dictators and their heritage still enjoys a huge support, the P.C. church wants us to pretend that the population is completely innocent. On the other hand, in Serbia that has voted Milosevic out of office after 200,000-strong rallies, we should believe that it is apparently the whole nation that is responsible for - and should pay for - his controversial responses to the Albanian provocations.

At the same moment, she seems to be completely uninterested in the bad things that the Albanians have been doing and are doing against the other groups on the territory and that are likely to continue or accelerate under the leadership of the big shot criminal and the former boss of an officially terrorist organization KLA (until 1988, in the U.S.), Hashim Thaci, who is supposed to be the new prime minister.

She even uses an irrelevant flag with six stars drawn somewhere in Brussels to strengthen her belief that Thaci et al. will respect minorities - is she serious? The same comment applies to her naive quotation of a wishful-thinking cliche by Condi Rice that the Balkans will now abandon the past and happily move on, with Serbs apparently happy that they have been completely robbed, cheated, and betrayed. It's just weird.

And she seems to predict that the future of an independent Albanian-led country in Kosovo would be rosy. The comment by the Serbian scholars that the "new country" will be on a permanent life support is more likely given the Kosovar natural 50% unemployment rate and the economy whose 50% is made up by crime and prostitution and the remaining 50% comes as the international help. That's where such regional economies end if they can't be influenced by economically and legally more potent nations that live around.

In other words, she simply wants to view this situation in a black-and-white fashion and moreover, she is confusing who is white and who is black. She reminds me of certain pro-communist-party journalists during communism but I appreciate that NPR has allowed the students to speak.