Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Super-Easy Way to Piss Off Serbs: Praise Any Clinton

In a move calculated to piss off pretty much every Serb around the world, Kosovo is about to unveil a statue of Bill Clinton. This is an overly dramatic comparison, but think how would Americans feel if another country commissioned a big public statue of Osama bin Laden?

Deliberate provocation.

I wasn't aware of any connection between Clinton and Serbia before I married my husband, and so was astonished by Serbs' invariably venomous reaction to any mention of the name "Clinton." The anger extends to the whole Clinton family, and simmers just under boiling to this day. It's about the NATO bombing of course. Something typical Americans were only vaguely aware of, and only few knew Clinton had anything to do with. It was a European thing, between Europeans, surely?, many would say if asked.

So no one in New York thought it was unusual when then-Senator Hilary Clinton promised to use her powers of international persuasion to get that young Serbian basketball player sent back to the US to stand trial for beating up an American in a bar a couple of years ago. Anyone who knew Serbs laughed at her presumption. Not a chance. No matter how hard she tried or what she promised -- with a name like Clinton!

And now, most people in the US who hear about the new statue of Bill Clinton in Kosovo will probably think, 'How nice' and assume American aid such as food for hungry people or help building schools had something to do with this international 'thank you'. They won't recognize the insult. Kosovo is slapping Serbia in the face, and using an American President's image to do it.

18 comments:

Zvonko said...

And let's not forget Hillary's made-up story of having to dodge sniper fire after landing in Bosnia on a trip as the first lady. When tapes of the trip surfaced, they showed a perfectly safe cozy little landing. People jumped to ask if every Clinton thought it was alright to lie to the public until busted (like Bill had done initially about Lewinsky).

The Bosnian war is an ever so delicate subject for Serbs. The Clintons, indeed, are ever so despised by Serbs everywhere - including by some I know in the USA.

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN2540811420080326

Anonymous said...

I am an American not married to a Serb, but I followed the 1999 bombing campaign in every available media outlet, so I don't know how you missed it - regardless of when you met your husband. It was a far bigger mistake than any Oval Office indiscretions. I could forgive Lewinsky, but I could never forgive what US-led NATO did to Belgrade.

Christina said...

The US-led NATO bombing campaign was by far the biggest mistake of the Clinton presidency, covered by all newspapers and network and cable news. I figured out a way to listen to B92 from New York, and found myself in the strange position of informing my friends in Slovenia as to what was going on, because Slovenian news - right next door! - mainly ignored it. I was in Belgrade during some of the 10th anniversary events last Spring, and was pleasantly surprised that most people who lived through it were ready to move on.

Rosemary Bailey Brown said...

While many Americans are simply unaware of news outside their national borders, I'd always prided myself in keeping up with the rest of the world. Except, I must admit in 1998-2000, when I was completely and utterly swept up working in the Internet tidal wave. I didn't know non-Net news that happened across the street, let alone across the ocean, then.

Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor said...

Let's cut the crap Rosemary. You pretend to be objective. Do you recognize that Serb forces committed the Srebrenica genocide? Are you genocide denier? Answer this question please. Thank you.

Rosemary Bailey Brown said...

I recognize that apparently very nasty things occurred on all sides (except perhaps Slovenia) of Yugoslavia's break-up and aftermath. But, I wasn't there and have never studied any of it in detail.

What is interesting is how nations and people from different ethnic and/or religious backgrounds then manage to copy and evolve after terrible things happen. For example, I've read and seen fascinating studies on what's going on in Rwanda right now, as people responsible for even larger and nastier killing are reintegrated into society.

Anonymous said...

What goes around comes around. If Serbs hadn't attacked Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and tried to ethnically cleanse Kosovo, no bombing would have occured.

Serbs got off cheap.

Anonymous said...

I admired how the Serbs coped with the NATO campaign, but it didn't seem like much after the siege of Sarajevo and the other egregious horrors in Bosnia.

mrki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hdragoo said...

As an American married to a Serb myself, I like you Rosemary was oblivious to the NATO bombings and any of Serbia's history. My husband has since educated me on the history and I have taken it upon myself to read as much as I can to better understand the culture I married into. Of course I find mostly articles that do nothing by badmouth Serb's and their "actions." My husband states very bluntly that media was generally very one sided and Serbia's intentions and actions were entirely misconstrued. All I can say from the personal experiences I have with my Serbian family and friends is that the wounds are still there. They feel robbed and exposed. They are embarrassed to present passports to travel to most of Europe simply due to their country of origin. And I will never forget watching my husband, my sister in law and her boyfriend's faces sink when a couple of Albanian born gentlemen walked by us in a mall wearing shirts that said Kosovo in the Albanian language. In their hearts, Kosovo is Serbia and that will never change....and they only hope it will be made right one day. I am sure wrong was done on all sides, but how would American's feel if part of our country was just given away. We are not a perfect country either....

Anonymous said...

The people of Serbia suffered as much from Milosevic as they did from the NATO bombing campaign - he was pillaging his own country, lining his own pockets (and Mirjana's) the whole time. How he managed the economy has left a scar ten years later as deep as the scars of the bomb targets, but those scars are not as visible.

mrki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nicole said...

If only this post was here many moons ago. I've been a lurker on your blog for quite sometime now. I'm african american in a relationship with a serbian man for 2 and a half years now. We are both in our mid 20s, He moved to america nearly 10 yrs ago for reasons that were unclear to me. So I never brought it up much. But one day we were talking about politics and I mentioned my profound love for bill clinton only to get my head chewed off. Like u didn't know much of anything about the bombings, I didn't even know much of serbia until after I studied more the first year into our relationship. I felt so bad about bringing it up, I never mention politics anymore. I have studied more about the bombings after that heated discussion and am suprised this has been kindof swept under the rug when it comes to history. Can't say I've ever seen this being brought up in my school days. Just wanted to share my experience. Love ur blog! -nicole

Anonymous said...

Are people not free to erect statues of Milošević and Karadžić if they are more suitable heroes?

Rosemary Bailey Brown said...

If I had to pick a statue, I'd prefer something that's not a particular person. Serbs would probably pick "Justice", and Albanians "Brotherhood" or "Family".

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why they don't repair the bombed out buildings in Belgrade? This has always fascinated me. My husband says it would just be too expensive to fix them, but I find that hard to believe.

Anonymous said...

@ previous anonymous
My belief about not repairing the bombed buildings in Belgrade.
It is psychological mind game led by same elite who widely helped occupying forces of EU and NATO. You see, the quisling puppet government that was installed in Serbia after the occupation until now, was carefully instructed not to repair those buildings in the center. When I say those I mean the HQ building of Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Police. Occupying forces know well that Serbs are proud nation who keep their long history in defense being proud on the army and policing. So they want these buildings to stand their as a monument of defeat of Serbs knowing that every day thousands of Serbs could see that. The point is to brake down the Serbian spirit so they could finally enjoy occupation of Serbia restfully. When somebody raise the question in Serbia why those buildings are not yet repaired, the puppets in the city town hall just find some answer like there are not yet the laws and building licences for clearance of the problem but they would be fixed soon. Of course , that means soon when they are confident the Serbian spirit is broken. But in their blind aggressors pride they forget Serbs were under Turks for almost 500 years and they liberated the Serbia. So the story is hard to believe for westerners but very sad and true for Balkan people. Installment of NWO will take millions of victims and it is inevitable. However it will be in vain as it always has been cause once man wants to rule entire world and departs far away from his Creator and His Divine Glory, it simply vanishes and disappear. May God have mercy on all our sinful souls. Thank you

Fenomenal said...

As far as I know, that ruined buildings became something like monuments. The government has decided not to fix them. People who died there were just, quoting- collateral damage for US and NATO.
And yes, every time I passed by this ruins, I remember Milica Rakic, 3 years old kid, who died on potty. (and other 88 children)


Did you know that bombing of Serbia 1999 was "humanitarin war"?