BY FULVIO GRIMALDI
Journalist, writer and videographer
formerly vicepresident of the International Committee for the Defence of Slobodan Milosevic (ICDSM)
EXTIRPATING FLOWERS, GROWING RUINS
It was May and Europe had started tearing the most beautifulspringflowers off its land, while growing ruins, much to thes atisfaction of an Atlantic master who was already busy preparing its assault on the world. An assault made possible by the biggest of its genocidal frauds: 9/11. On my way to Belgrade, as it was being torn apart by allied bombs, including those dropped by Italy’s “left-wing” Prime Minister, Massimo D’Alema, in my mind still echoed the advise given to me, a war correspondent with Italy’s State Television System, by the News Editor: “As you report from that bloodthirsty dictator’s country, always stress the ethnical cleansing of Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, never forget that you are describing a humanitarian intervention to save innocent peoples from ultranationalist Serbia”.
I reached Belgrade as the humanitarians smashed their human rights into schools, hospitals, houses, Tv studios, the Chinese embassy, Pancevo’s petrochemical industries, so as to spread toxics and provide a humanitarian exit from health and life for generations to come, Zastava’s car factory, the very proletarian heart of all the Balkans, soon to become the traitors’ offer to their conquerors and paymasters. I identified the dictator’s totalitarian regime by meeting openly, in the centre of the capital, with the voiciferous representatives of some 18 opposition parties, trade unions, associations and media, most of them spiked with Deutsche Mark and dollars; by noting that 92% of all media and the biggest Television belonged, or were controlled, by right-wing capital-happy opposition forces; by viewing monarchist Drakovich’s tv inciting the people to hang their President, Slobodan Milosevic, and still being allowed, in the midst of an aggression, to go on the air. I equally appreciated the so intensely and universally lamented ethnical cleansing in the former republics and autonomous regions when watching millions of Serbian refugees that had survived the genocidal massacres perpetrated by “democratic self-determinating” rulers, systematically armed or aided by champions of democracy and human rights such as US and German Generals, Muslim throatcutters imported from mercenary armies in Cecenia or Afghanistan, Cia-asset Osama bin Laden and his terrorists. Today all Albanians, Croatians, Bosniacs have their own or stolen homes. One million Serbian survivors don’t anymore. Such was the ethnic cleansing.
Having been able to put things right, at least in my own mind, I cut links with my former employer and had my stories published in a left-wing daily, much to the dismay of most of its readers, who had equally been intoxicated by the 9/11 planners. At least something got through and I could even save my title “Better Serb, than serf”.
I returned one spring later, to see that, thanks to the “dictator’s” guidelines and the spirit that he was able to instil in a not yet broken nation, some of Novi Sad’s beautiful bridges, brutally destroyed by the barbarians, had been rebuild. A great housing plan was in progress for all those whose homes had been incinerated. Out of Zastava’s pulverised plants workers operating under portraits of Slobo and fluttering red flags, had proudly produced the miracle of two production lines reconstructed from rubble and by patriotism and workers’ pride. I also saw the most unbreakable part of Serbia, the now destitute women, men, children who escaped genocide in Kosovo, Bosnia, Croatia, being taken care of by a government mutilated by war and strangled by sanctions. Together with thousands of Rom and Sinti brethren, persecuted and chased from their homes by fascist and criminal pupils of the European Human Rights masters, but here welcomed and housed. So much for Slobo’s hypernationalist dictatorship and notorious corruption.
And again, but this time in a dark, foreboding Autumn, in the Balkans’ most civilised capital city, I witnessed the surge of power-.and free market-hungry rats, unleashed by robbers and serial-killers to whom Slobo’s socialism, free education, health, assured jobs and pensions, national dignity, solidarity among people and peoples was anathema. Their name? To humanity’s lasting shame: Otpor. Serbia was to be punished for having resisted the world’s most ferocious organised crime ever, Nato, and, with it, the most gigantic and savage transfer of wealth from the planet’s poor to the rich, from the exploited to their exploiters. This Autumn was to see, by a stolen election, the downfall of the man whom one day history will proclaim Europe’s most democratic and humane ruler.
In my long walk through this blood- honour- and shame-ridden time of war, oppression and resistance, my encounter with President Slobodan Milosevic will stand out as the richest and most moving experience. The privilege was given to me in the president’s residence, besieged by a lie-infected mob and defended by those who, I trust, are working to this day and into the unending future to preserve Slobo’s message and heritage of peace, national dignity and sovereignty, human rights, freedom, brotherhood and equality. It was his last interview before, only three days later, a despicable and well-.paid renegade sold the best of the Serbians to his people’s murderers. I succeeded in publishing Slobo’s account of the world’s gang of vampires’ conspiracy against a free nation, the harmonic living together of ethnical groups and religions, the prospect of a just and free society. To me, to my most profoundly felt admiration and love, I kept the warmth, genuinity, honesty and penetrating foresight of one of our times’ wisest and bravest men.
It was in the winter of our depression that, in front of The Hague’s prison, we tried to reach Slobodan Milosevic by calling out loudly his name. By confirming to Slobo, over the heads of mistrusting and hostile robocops in the service of yet another ruling class engaged in mass-extermination, that as long as even only one human being, be he/she Serbian or anything else in the spirit of Serbia’s resistance, kept watch at the gates of this prison, or of any prison holding alikes of Slobo, his memory and his message would live. Much beyond the farce put on scene by the empire’s stooges, which was to culminate in the only way vampires and rats know: the kill of the just, be it a hero like Slobo, or an unknowing victim. No day goes by without my hoping that Slobo received some comfort from hearing our cry and feeling our rage and tears. I am deeply convinced, however, that he knew. That a betrayed and fallen fighter for an undying cause was aware that beyond those grey and blind prison-walls there were, not merely wailers over injustice, but vanguards of that cause’s future, reaching from The Hague, from Belgrade, into the world. Surely this must have given him that smile that shamed his executors and turned a murder into promise and glory.