Returned to Sofia today from Veliko Turnovo via Plovdiv and how fitting that on scanning the ‘Guardian’ I discover that Karadzic not only defends his ‘just and holy war’ but also denies two counts of genocide and other war crimes while asserting that Turkey wants to”re-establish an “Ottoman” presence in the Balkans.” Yes, when you are out looking at the “sights” anywhere in the Balkans the “Turkish Yoke” is not too far away.
Unfortunately, for Karadzic, however, he was caught in flagrante delicto at Sarajevo, where he supervised the bombing of civilians although we would all do well to at least read and consider what Edward S. Herman says on Srebenica. Nevertheless, even if the extent of his crimes might be somewhat exaggerated, criminal Karadzic is and he is also a bit of a “yesterday ethno man” and while his trying to sell himself as a latter-day Prince Lazar by conjuring up specters from yesteryear might appear ridiculous to the Western eye in 2010, his putting the fear of thе “Turkish yoke” into the people of the Balkans might in fact just win him support from a people who, bit by bit, could be beginning to feel that they are approaching the end of history or, at least, their history in a community with which they can identify. Of course, we cannot blame the Turks for that, although I am quite sure that some Turkish capitalists will get their share of the cherry in what is rapidly becoming another of so-called investment capital’s playgrounds. However, it is this so-called “investment capital” that away from the plush malls of Sofia and Belgrade leaves the majority of the people struggle to get by. Difficult for them to figure that one out apparently and a scapegoat is found; the Turks are back on the Balkans.
Nevertheless, I do believe that moving away from the homogeneous ethnic state is not only desirable, it is necessary. Unfortunately, what we see here are an increasing number of impoverished and alienated people failing to identify the real enemy and instead turning to the “yesterday ethno men” in their look for salvation. We are tempted to expand on Marx”s: “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” And the third time? “The third time”, however, is most certainly hypothetical at best and we can surely take solace in the fact that Karadzic and his ilk really are yesterday’s men. Yes, the problem on the Balkans is not the “Turkish yoke” but rather an unacceptable face of capitalism that would have the people go to hell if need be and, while there is certainly a war to be fought, it is certainly not a holy war. The battles are in the here and now and they are material and not spiritual. The war is against a system of trade which makes local produce and products hardly worth producing and which not only leaves the producers of those products destitute but also forces tomatoes the size of melons down the consumer’s throat while allowing the lucky few to wash away the taste of chemicals at Costa Coffee where the cost of a latte is equivalent to double the hourly wage rate and believe me the majority of the Turks find themselves in a similar mess.
The picture was taken from the fortress at Veliko Turnovo yesterday; a reminder of a yesteryear before the Turks arrived and when everything was just hunky-dory, which it wasn’t, of course!