Kosti u mikseru

A lot of the news from Serbia this week has to do with real or imagined political conflicts about how to confront the recent past. But that is not enough for today's ambitious politicians. They also want to refight the Second World War. And why not, when Richard Burton, Yul Brynner and Orson Welles fought it so well?

What, you say? Well, this: before the Serbian parliament is a proposal that would declare the Partisan and Četnik movements of the WW2 era to be equivalent. This is the same sort of bad idea about "reconciliation" that inspired Ronald Reagan to visit Bitburg, Franjo Tuđman to develop new symbolic schemes for Jasenovac, the Burger King to relieve the Freedom Fries of their feudal obligations, and a host of other misguided gestures in which the bodies of the dead are exploited for political gain and the whole spectacle is promoted as if it had something to do with "peace." But clearly it is a burning issue for a parliament that has nothing meaningful to do, led by a government for which paralysis is a political principle.

The whole nonsensical business was either sidetracked or revealed, depending on your politics, in yesterday's debate (there are varying reports in B92, in Danas, and in Blic). DSS deputy Dragoljub Kojčić made his contribution by telling deputies from Montenegro to go back there, instructing Muslim deputies to "respect my history!" and praising his daughter's ideological interventions in her third-grade history lesson.

For good measure, he also called SPS deputy Ivica Dačić a "Četnik in a tetrapack." No, I don't know what that means either, but chances are it raised the level of the debate.

Update: One of the best responses I have seen on this comes from Ivan Torov, who is for some reason now writing for Политика. It's right at the other end of this link.

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