Milosevic to La Stampa (integral version) Part II

Les Schaffer schaffer at
Sat Feb 24 07:32:49 MST 2001

[ Part II ]

Up to Dayton Only

In Dayton he was very obviously engaged in favour of the Federation of
Bosnia&Herzegovina and to the detriment of the Republic of Srpska, but
still within the limits of the real desire that everyone achieves
success, so that period of co-operation I may assess as successful.

However, shortly after Dayton and after fulfilling the obligation of
the Security Council of the United Nations to lift all the sanctions
against FRY, they did not keep their word, they unilaterally imposed
the so-called outer wall of sanctions and continued with the

When in 1998, completely without any basis and upon a false
construction, they opened the issue of Kosovo and Metohia I told him:
"You are not interested in Albanians at all, nor their interests, you
have a different objective". He asked : "Which one?". I answered: "To
confirm your leading role in Europe". He said: "It is true, but we are
a super-power and we have that interest."

If this could be correct in principle, it by no means could represent
explanation, even less justification for the illegal, criminal war
against FRY in 1999. That's why it would be necessary and useful if
the new American administration would pose one very simple question to
it's predecessors: "How did you serve the American national interests
by making alliance with the Albanian narco-mafia, white-slave traders,
killers and terrorists?"

The answer to this question is something every citizen of their and
our country deserves. Especially the veterans of the two World Wars
who fought shoulder to shoulder for freedom.

Q: You were accused by the Western countries and DOS that you are not
a democratic personality and that you never received leaders of the
opposition for talks on the dramatic situation the country was going
through. Would you comment on that?

The Time of Power

A: Of course I would comment on that. Actually, I will deny every
single word relating to such assessments.

At the time of my "undemocratic" power, I proposed forming of the
Government of the National Unity back in 1993 in Serbia. Such a
Government was formed in Serbia in the course of the several terms of
office and as such it lasted up to October 2000. That month a new
Government was formed with the members of only one party. The
Government of National Unity with several parties making it existed in
Serbia during two terms of office and was made up of three parties,
and in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in several terms of office,
made up of four or more parties.

In the course of my "undemocratic" power, 95 percent of the press was
in the hand of the opposition. Almost all the local television
stations, about 500 of them, also. In those media, that were
financially supported from abroad, I and my family were offended in a
most vulgar manner, were accused of all the crimes in this world. No
one was ever made responsible for that slander and accusations though
none of them had any grounds.

There were no forbidden books, theatre plays and movies, as it is
common both at the West and East when it is deemed that such contents
are not in the interest of the state, people or the current policy,
and sometimes only because they are offensive to the distinguished
representatives in power.

And here such "artistic" works were quite plentiful.

In the course of my "undemocratic" authority, the doors of this
country were open to the thousands of foreign journalists, even to
these for whom it was known that they were coming with the texts
prepared beforehand - unprofessional and non-principled and offensive
not only for the persons in power, but also for the people. Doors were
also open to all the diplomats, even these who conducted themselves
undiplomaticaly in respect of internal affairs of the country and the
interest of the people living in it, something that the states sending
them would not allow ever to happen in their countries.

We Were Meeting

Of course, it is not true that I did not communicate, that I did not
receive leaders of the opposition parties. I was regularly receiving
heads of all parties who participated in the Cabinets. But, I was also
receiving the heads of parties that were not in the Cabinet, but were
in the Parliament. I received even the leaders of the parties that
were not represented in the Parliament.

I was receiving them in the manner they wanted to be
received. Publicly or for consultations without informing the public
of such meetings.

I personally never expressed wish not to inform the public of my
meeting with any opposition leader. Why should I , really, have such
desire? It was in my favour. But, when there was a meeting the public
did not know about, it was in accord with the wishes of my

Really, I do not know if they were avoiding the public when meeting me
because they were ordered so by their sponsors from abroad or because
they did not wanted their sponsors to know of the sins they committed.

Q: What do you think about censorship of the Yugoslav media,
especially during the course of your presidency?

They Were Competing in Slander

A: I think that censorship of the Yugoslav media while I was President
of Serbia and later Yugoslavia is an absolute and, really, dirty
concoction. I have just told you that approximately 95 percent of the
press was in the hands of the Serbian opposition. In the hands of the
opposition also were almost all the local TV stations, that is over
500 of them. Only at Kosovo, for example, there were over 40 papers in
the Albanian language, both daily and periodical. All the media in the
hand of the opposition were not critical towards authorities in the
sense of elaborating their own programme and principled criticism of
the social reality they disagreed with. These were media totally
committed to libel and slander against individuals. My family and
myself were at the top of the pyramid of libel and slander. And it
went on for years, for a whole decade. Perhaps my responsibility is
possible in the opposite sense, because I allowed the media,
controlled by the opposition, to lower down in the ethical sense,
below the level a nation should allow.

If I did so, what would have the West said then, so immersed with the
situation in Serbia, for such a policy in media, when liberal and
really without any control media was considered censored. Though, who
knows, perhaps they would have reproached me less if I really emulated
them and censored and punished everything in the state as they are
doing in their states.

Q: After the last election it was revealed that JUL does not have any
significant support of the citizens, and on the other hand SPS become
the largest opposition party. Do you think coalition with JUL was a

Important for the Unity of the Left

A: I do not think coalition with JUL was a mistake. Firstly, because I
think parties of the Left should politically work together for it
means strengthening the Left as a whole. Unity of the Left is of huge
significance not only for the left parties, but also for national
interests. If the unity of the Left was preserved, FRY would have a
government of the Left today.  Then, I think it was not a mistake
because with JUL we had better results at the previous
elections. December elections results are showing everything except
the real will of the citizens. After all, up to now the largest
numbers did not turn out to vote, as a consequence of the fact that
elections were held in the circumstances of lawlessness and
violence. As far as JUL itself in concerned, its December electoral
results are showing that, first of all, the very membership of JUL did
not turn out to vote or they voted in minimal numbers. That is a
consequence of terrible demonisation of JUL in all the media of the
new government and the big pressures towards the membership. It is
known that the first and dramatic dismissals from the leading
positions occured at places where such positions were occupied by the
members of JUL. The largest number of dismissed and sacked persons,
mistreated individuals and even their children are from JUL. Apart
from that, there were some strange occurrences at the elections. I was
told by the people who voted for JUL with their families that at their
voting places JUL did not get a single vote.

Q: You met with Kostunica in the night of October the 6th . At that
moment the tension was absolute and danger of confrontation was
essentially real.  What can you say us about that night? Were you
afraid for you life, since some of the DOS leaders wanted to arrest
you that night as general Perisic recently confirmed.

Everything is an Absolute Lie

A: You ask me several questions. I shall try to answer as briefly as
possible. As far as the meeting with Kostunica is concerned, on that
occasion he informed me that the Federal Constitutional Court passed a
decision confirming his (electoral) victory. I accepted that
information.  However, I did not expect that violence and lawlessness
of the previous day shall continue. But, obviously there was a
scenario to cause bloodletting at the streets, that we luckily
avoided. It is known who would have been accused. There were attempts
to impute to me such aspirations.

In my birth place, the town of Pozarevac, which is in the electoral
unit where the Left coalition won at presidential, parliamentary and
local elections respectively, they destroyed, robbed and put to fire
everything my son owned. That was obviously planned in advance. As
well as , after all, this four months long media satanisation of me
and my family, especially my 26-year old son. Everything written about
us is an absolute lie.

Now, new authorities are threatening me with the court trials for
crimes they are inventing in their offices. Such practice of stage
managing of court trials belongs to the experiences of the darkest
years of Nazism, Stalinism and Mckartysm. All the press is in the
hands of the authorities, there is no other press, nor are there any
chances to change things until violence and single-mindedness are
stopped and democracy is established as well as the right of free
expression of political opinions and political organisation.

Q: What do you think about president Kostunica? What do you think
about the Hague Tribunal? And what about the decision of Biljana
Plavsic to "voluntarily" go to Hague?

Tribunal Against Serbs

A: I have not yet made up my mind regarding the new President of
Yugoslavia.  It is necessary that some time passes, at least from my
point of view, to assess efforts and results of the Head of State
regarding peace in the country, its independence, security of
citizens, economic development, social stability, position of the
country in the international community, his authority in the country,
in the world etc.

The Hague Tribunal, as I always maintained , is an immoral an illegal
institution, devised as means of retorsion for disobedient
representatives of the disobedient nations. In the exactly same manner
as at one time concentration camps were designed for nonessential
nations and superfluous persons.

That court exists above all because of Serbs. In other words, its main
task is to block the struggle of the Serb people for its national
interests by putting on trial the most distinguished representatives
of Serb people in that struggle. That is a form of intimidation Nazis
implemented over Jews, and later also over the Slavic peoples. By her
"volunatary" journey to The Hague, Biljna Plavsic wanted to
demonstrate her thrust in the Hague Tribunal and the former American
administration, which had just left the American political scene.

>From a virile nationalist, almost a chauvinist, Biljana Plavsic
transformed herself into an allay and collaborator of the former
American administration. I do not know whether she got scared and
hopped that by changing orientation from extreme anti-Western to
extreme pro-Western she would get amnesty of their anger or she simply
assessed that Serb nationalism does not have prospective and turned
her back to it. In any case, she co-operated with them during the last
few years with a great trust in Western justice .

I am not amazed by the West. But I am amazed by her. In the West,
their Governments know, as all the people in the world know, perhaps,
that one should not and need not relay on turn-coats. I am amazed by
her. Did she really think they had a good intention regarding her?

Q: These days there are many rumours you will stand trail in
Belgrade. Is there any truth in the accusation of taking money out to
your family accounts? Could you comment on that?

We are Exposed to Daily Threats

A: I know what for they would try me in the Hague. These indictments
are invented as well as the reasons for war against FRY. But, in
Belgrade..?  Unless there is an established branch of the Hague
Tribunal in the capital of Yugoslavia...? Sort of an extension
office. Then it would be clear to me.

As far as my accounts abroad are concerned, they are searching for
them ten years now. I have said to Holbrooke a few years ago, when he
threatened me with blocking of may accounts abroad: "Do not block
them. All you find, you may take".

I have no accounts abroad. I never had them. My whole life I only had
my salary and that is all. Out of the salary I could not have an
account in the country, let alone abroad. Now, I do not have a
salary. The new authorities left me without a salary in October.

Q: There were some announcements that your security will be reduced as
soon as a new government in Serbia is established. How do you feel
regarding your personal safety and that of your family?

A: Setting up the status of the Head of State whose term of office
expired by the new Head of State is a matter of honour and moral of
the new Head of State. But, in that there is also a bit of morale and
honour of others, the whole nation, in the final account.

Regarding to the security of my family and myself, we do feel
insecure. We are exposed to so many threats every day. It's not
strange that Europe sees the Balkans as a part of the continent it
would wish does not exist, which compromises it.

They did not Have the Strength

Q: What is your opinion of Italian foreign policy at the Balkans?

A: Italian foreign policy is similar to Italy. It strives to be
principled, co-operative, honours others, takes account of its own
interests, tries to avoid strife with Europe, to be important in
Europe. On many occasions Minister Dini had a goodwill, principled,
just and cordial position towards our country in the difficult years
and the days of our negotiations and confrontations with some Western
governments, especially during the war with NATO. Unfortunately, Italy
did not have the strength to confront the crazy crime NATO inflicted
against our people in 1999.

Q: What do you see in the future of the federation of Serbia and
Montenegro?  You said once that Serbia and Montenegro are two eyes in
one head. Do you believe DOS will succeed in preserving the
federation? How do you imagine the future of the region?

What Next

A: That future depends on what political forces in Serbia and
Montenegro would have decisive influence on the circumstances in these
republics. Both in Serbia and Montenegro there are forces that are
separatist and others, who are in favour of preservation of the
Yugoslav state. At this moment I think that in both republics
dominating forces are ones oriented towards the weakening of
Yugoslavia, towards its disintegration, perhaps eradication.

In regards to DOS I do not know whether it will manage to preserve the
federation. No one knows that, because in the DOS there are extreme
separatist and anti-Yugoslav oriented persons, but also those who are
in favour of Yugoslavia. Though, I think the latter are fewer.

Concerning my vision of the region, I have one, but on that in another
interview. Now is not the time to talk about that.

Q: How do you envisage your political future in the country?

A: I have no plans of such nature. What I was I never planned to be.

Q: Could you say to the Italian public something I omitted to ask you in
this interview?

A: No one may make a small man a great one, nor an honest man
dishonest. Nor the coward a courageous man. Nor the bad man a good
one. Not even if such endeavour is supported financially,
technologically, media-wise, diplomatically and psychologically, said
SPS Chairman Slobodan Milosevic in the interview to the reputable
Italian daily "La Stampa".

Macdonald Stainsby
Rad-Green List: Radical anti-capitalist environmental discussion.
Leninist-International: Building bridges in the tradition of V.I. Lenin.
In the contradiction lies the hope.
                                     --Bertholt Brecht

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