REQUIEM FOR THE SERBS

By William Markiewicz

Serb fears grow as Albanians dynamite churches.
(From the Wall Street Journal, October 17, 2003)

Why a Requiem for an existing nation? Because, for me, Kosovo is the soul of Serbia and Gracanica is the soul of Kosovo. When Gracanica is burned, like the Temple in Jerusalem, the mass media may report it, but somewhere on a back page. One of the greatest jewels of Europe's early medieval architecture will go and the rest of the world will ignore its disappearance as it has ignored its existence.

The Serbs' problem is not so much that they have enemies but that they have no friends. They can exist or not, any label may be glued on their forehead with the booing crowd's approval. The Serbs are victims, not through faults of their own but their bad historical fate. Who could have predicted that sixty years after World War 2 the Serbs would be punished for taking the Allied side? Who could have predicted that former enemies would seal their new friendship on the back of the Serbs? If the Serbs had foreseen the monstrous truth, they wouldn't have wasted time on talks but would have quickly left Krajina, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, etc. forgetting the historical past, politics, negotiations, justice, blah blah blah. In this way, just by avoiding provocation, they could even have saved Kosovo because Kosovo by itself may not be a big enough issue to provoke "the first major European war after World War 2."

The Serbs are not powerful enough to practice splendid isolation and are not made to play the role of the victim. They don't bow easily and their skin has no resistance to the deluge of mud. Now, whatever they do will be counted against them. They go to Afghanistan? It means that they put their killing skills for sale... etc. etc. They suffer too much for the injustice done to them and suffering is a bad advisor. But I'm not crying for the Serbs; they're men and women and how they handle their survival is their affair. I'm crying first of all for Gracanica, which remains totally at the mercy of enemies. Its days are numbered; it's only a matter of time. Whoever can and dares, go, and make photos. It may become all that remains of this splendor.

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