Aldo Bernardini: Remembering President Milošević

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On August 16th 2001 I met President Milosevic in his jail in Scheveningen (the Netherlands). I will never forget the two hours I was intensely conversing with him.

I remember. At first, his touching words about his family and his wife, whom he painfully missed. From the beginning, I got the impression of a great personality, profoundly humane, politically wise, morally strong and courageous. He asked me to assure all his supporters, all the supporters of the cause of freedom and independence of peoples, first of all the Yugoslav people, that he wouldn’t give up. He would not accept the unjust and totally illegitimate trial in den Haag. He refuted the illegal so-called International Tribunal for former Yugoslavia. We know he has kept his word, he has been faithful: the whole world couldn’t but witness with amazement how President Milosevic alone, without formal legal aid which he refused, defied during five years prosecutor and judges of the illegal Tribunal. Under painful conditions, his health being more and more impaired, up to his death in the shameful prison, really an assassination.
I admired his political and social insight. His steady and clear judgement that “globalisation” was, and is, imperialism impressed me. Against all false allegations he was a supporter of the Yugoslav idea, which he considered as a model for Europe. President Milosevic was not an adherent of a nationalist great-serbian ideology, according to false accusations. He wanted to defend Yugoslavia as a federal and possibly socialist State, or at least as a unique State for those components who wanted to live in it.

For South Balkan peoples he had proposed in an international Conference in Creta in 1997 – so he told me – to create an association of these peoples independent of present Europe. In his opinion this idea of him became decisive with regard to the Western will to destroy residual Yugoslavia: according to him it was in particular the French minister Védrine to refuse his idea of an autonomous Balkan Power.

President Milosevic was well aware that Europe was, such as it is, a part, a gear in the machinery of imperialism: imperialism has been the destroyer of Yugoslavia, of the socialist federative Yugoslavia and then – he could not see this, but he foretold it – the residual Yugoslavia. And to this end the person of President Milosevic had to be annihilated. Up to the present disgrace of Kosovo, where United Nations and the International Court of Justice have brought monstrous dishonour upon themselves.

Milosevic knew very well that his trial was the continuation of the aggression against Yugoslavia in order to conceal it under a pseudo-legal performance and to subdue Balkan peoples.

For his clairvoyance and his steadfastness he shall be thought of as a hero of mankind, of free mankind, of progressive mankind. He strove for unity and independence, his enemies, within and without Yugoslavia and Serbia, for fragmentations and slavery.

Aldo Bernardini,
University of Teramo