(I am writing this article in English although my main audience is in Serbia. But I am doing it also because very few people in the world, preoccupied by other world crises, such as the war in Ukraine, US-China issues, covid and the like, know what is happening in the Balkans and what is the nature of the EU game there.)
You are right Branko. I have read nothing about this anywhere. Many thanks for writing this. NB. The comparison of the EU to the teenage bully "selling" a brick is particularly apt I think.
Excellent article Branko. Thank you. I did ventilate it on my FaceBook (if there are still some people (out of 5000 "friends" I do have there) who are reading anything beyond titles - it is there for people to see it).
However, I recently did one experiment and I would like to tell you about it here.
Namely, you probably have heard about AI CHatGPT. Since I do work with Computational Biology, I was wondering how useful ChatGPT could be. After some other experimental questioning, I offered the text to the dialog field of ChatGPT where I basically describe arguments in favor of long-standing R1b gene haplogroup (WESTerners) hatred against Serbs. In less than a second, ChatGPT answered something like this:
"The text appears to express a belief that Westerners have hostility towards Serbs and that they use deceptive practices to undermine and ostracize successful individuals of Serbian origin. It also claims that this behavior is particularly pronounced in sports, arts, and science and that Western society is rotten and Nazi-like. This text is not only offensive but also contains inaccuracies and is not supported by evidence. It is not productive or helpful to make sweeping generalizations about entire groups of people based on nationality or ethnicity."
It also added that I had cited many unreliable sources and facts which do not correspond to reality.
Well, it is a typical answer from empty-headed, indoctrinated, and poor souls of many of colleagues I have around the world, but who are at the same time very successful "scientists".
I concluded that the ChatGPT training was not only biased but heavily inclined toward defense of the WESTRN type of logical mind flux.
Therefore, I asked ChatGPT if it is capable of self-improvement based on factual data.
It responded vaguely that yes, but it can not access the internet and the data on which it is trained are limited to 2021.
So I asked to list all data it considers false in my text. ChatGPT listed those. In response, I send to it pointers (all published before 2021), proving the point I was making in my original text and ask ChatGPT if it is having access to those data in its training and if it is considering such proof, all coming from for example Reuters, as reliable sources? CHatGPT affirmed that it does KNOW about those sources.
Finally, I know that the language model relies on logic models and logic will force the final output to recognize the value of the text I sent at the beginning as theTRUE and not false, so I asked again the initial question and this time the CHATGPT responded in favor of my text.
The long story right?
However, it serves for three very important points regarding your article:
1. Both people and DB as well as AI are all indoctrinated, brainwashed, and biased in a conscious attempt of WESTerners to keep them always on top of the HUMAN HIERARCHY
2. Logical decomposition of their (clearly) WRONG PREMISSES is POSSIBLE by
A) having trustful and factual data
B) complete control of LOGICAL operations that would together decompose willing individuals or machines capable of self-improvement, to abandon the FALSE WESTERN narrative.
3. such an approach would bring a single most important conclusion (that your article is probably intentionally not offering) regarding the question: what should Serbia do facing yet another WESTern ULTIMATUM?
The answer is simple - Serbia should again refuse to obey ultimatums which always serve just as a tool to the POWERFUL but WRONG sides, that use their power to convince the righteous one of wrongdoing.
I hope this might be of some use to someone.
If this were only a Kosovo issue, then one may take into account the purely mercantile arguments made by prof. Milanovic, whose work I have always admired btw. However, it is common knowledge that once Serbia shows readiness to negotiate, this is read as weakness by our EU/Western partners, and soon demands will be made in regards to Republika Srpska, then Sandzak and so forth...
The consequences of 'rejecting the ultimatum' may not be as clearly drawn as Professor claims. We don't know if US/EU is ready for a new front in Europe, unless they have completely lost their minds. A full-fledged set of sanctions would soon create chaos in the region. National sentiment in Serbia would spiral, spread through the region, and soon all Serb populated countries would be in some sort of political upheaval. Kosovo and Bosnia, the Federation, would seize the momentum, create additional havoc, and things could soon become uncontrollable for a longer time period. EU would have another chaos at its doorsteps and US would lose a valuable security partner (agencies) in Serbia, that it had been able to befriend over the last decade. On the business side, Serbia would obviously hurt, but so would multinationals operating in Serbia (Professors' potential large spread in GDP loss of 5-10% hints at different scenarios, not all equally harsh). Remember, EU and multinational companies did not all leave Russia (party directly at war, where 8 rounds of sanctions have been implemented), Reiffeisen, Unilever, Nestle, Kellog, Barilla... and roughly 50% of all multinationals still do business in Moscow. Are we that certain they will all leave Serbia following an order from European Commission?
Maybe a 'soft rejection' of the ultimatum would induce a soft set of sanctions, such as reduction of pre-accession funds (roughly a few hundred mil), a standstill in EU accession process (no chapters closed anyway in the past three years anyway)... Even if Vucic can not pre-arrange some sort of 'soft rejection' with the West it is riskier to accept the ultimatum than to reject it. To explain, back to the beginning of Professor's text and the brick story-we have been lied and cheated by the EU (not so US-they are straightforward and have less to offer anyway) for decades now. Most of the population is against EU and against this ultimatum, and the sentiment towards Kosovo-the cradle of Serbia- is strong and growing. The younger generations, those in high schools and unis are overwhelmingly nationalist, and this quiet force is something to count on in the next ten years.
We should refuse for 3 reasons.
1. Accepting would wet German appetite and new ultimatums would quickly follow regarding Republika Srpska, Vojvodina, and Raska.
2. EU is offering nothing in return and is thus putting forth an unreasonably aggressive ultimatum that will not be supported or enforced by everyone. Romania, Hungary, and Greece would almost certainly quickly fall out of the coalition, offering us a way to the world and trade.
3. China would see it as an opportunity to get back at the West and would offer financial aid to blunt the impact of sanctions, helping us get through them.
Eventually the other side would have to get reasonable, especially if the war in Ukraine gets settled.
It seems that only a large international congress or conference, which would solve broader, regional problems within which Serbia is included, with long-term political solutions that also imply sustainable economic strategies, could perhaps give some hope of achieving a more peaceful region. All the rest are short-term schemes, temporary extinguishing of the fire, which, sooner or later, would flare up with even greater ferocity. The only problem is that holding such a conference without Russia, which is ostracized from the international community, cannot offer a sustainable solution. And here we go in circles and foreboding bad days.
Milosevic's Minister of Information, Vucic is ruling the country 20 years after the Kosova War. Serbia is democratically backsliding, it is trying to destabilize its neighbors, especially BiH, Kosova and Montenegro. Meanwhile it has a candidate status and has not aligned its foreign policy with the EU, being the only country in the region to do so. This increasingly authoritarian country never denazified after causing genocides in the Balkans. It should not be appeased or justified by these self-victimizing articles.
The sheer limitless capacity of the aggressor to see itself as the only real victim, never ceases to amaze me. It's only topped by the inconceivable depths of the hypocrisy to holler all this from free, safe, prosperous, elitist New York, New York.
Imagine the most lenient, consensus-prone, paper-tiger-like, sluggish, boring, technocratic, bureaucratic establishment (the EU) losing patience. Well… you had obviously nothing to do with it.
Prilično precizna slika oniga što i ja mislim da se dešava. Hvala!
Thank you. That is the problem the West currently has - it offers only only bricks. Was different 10 years ago.
As for Serbia - emotionally the ultimatum is very hard to accept, but rationally it should be accepted. means political suicide for the guy accepting it though, Vucic.
Very interesting piece. Thank you, Branko.
Pieces like this should alert the EU that Serbia is not politically or culturally ready for membership in the EU.
Oh my God. Serbia, the victim. Who are you kidding. Why do you think you were subjected to sanctions and ultimatums? You keep attacking your neighbors. You keep committing war crimes. There must be a real shortage of mirrors in the Serbian nation.
I have ask a lot of people the following two questions:
(1) on what legal or moral principle should Serbia accept unilateral secession of Kosovo?
(2) why can Bosnia secede from YU but not RS from Bosnia?
I've never received a good answer except some hand wringing or vague notions of "genocide"
This article misses the fact that five EU countries do not recognize Kosovo and EU cannot act in unison. Even Serbia's current close ally Hungary would not vote for sanctions against Serbia.
It also missed the fact on how much Serbia wold lose by giving up on Kosovo de jure.
In the global environment where BRICS and other countries are rising and more and more countries are withdrawing the recognition of Kosovo, the only prudent choice is the frozen conflict for now.
This mostly, as one reader previously aptly called it - mercantile analysis begs to question, if the needs of 1% of the people in Kosovo can't outweigh the needs of 99% of Serbs outside of Kosovo, where does one draw a line, mercantilely speaking? Is it when the hostage population is at 10%, 20%, 50%?
I understand, as any reasonable person should, that we stand in a very delicate position and that any path we may choose will have an array of negative consequences for our interests, that we must act with jewelers precision and tact. However, precisely because of that, when it comes to higher state reasons, specially ones determining the fate of a nation, they should be brainstormed by interdisciplinary experts taking into account in their analysis much more than this relatively simple mathematics you presented.
I think you present some valid arguments, but I also think this by no mean represents the entirety of the issue at hand and entirety of the consequences. It mostly focuses on negative consequences of one path (saying NO to the ultimatum, or at least working on it diplomatically), not mentioning any negative consequences that would arise if we accepted this ultimatum outright.
Well written analysis of current situation. IMO, EU is completely empty of creative solutions after lessons learned from Balkans EU members as well other E.E- EU members too. Due to lack of mutually acceptable compromises to find suitable solution, EU is playing bullying blame game in the absence of good political will to find sustainable solutions, EU do not want to add another Balkan country to already troublesome E.E. Club.