Kako je Papa zalutao u državu u kojoj su pogaženi svi božiji zakoni


Differenzen zwischen Washington und Berlin

Newsletter vom 07.06.2011 – Der alte Westen

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Eigener Bericht) – Mit Blick auf die heutigen
Gespräche zwischen der Bundeskanzlerin und dem US-Präsidenten dringen
transatlantische Kreise auf eine Kursänderung Berlins in Sachen
Libyen. Er wolle mit Angela Merkel darüber diskutieren, wie man in
Nordafrika „gemeinsam noch mehr tun könne“, kündigte Barack Obama an;
das beziehe sich explizit auch auf den Krieg gegen Tripolis.
Befürworter einer engen deutsch-amerikanischen Kooperation bedauern
schon lange die zunehmenden Differenzen zwischen Washington und
Berlin. Erst kürzlich hat ein prominenter Kommentator einer der
führenden deutschen Tageszeitungen erklärt, angesichts des Aufstiegs
der Volksrepublik China könne sich der „alte Westen“ diese
Uneinigkeiten nicht leisten. Sowohl die Vereinigten Staaten als auch
die EU befänden sich in einer Phase der Schwäche, heißt es in der
Analyse, die von der Transatlantic Academy in Washington publiziert
worden ist: Beide litten an einer Finanzkrise, die EU sei nach Meinung
mancher sogar vom Zerfall bedroht. Für eine künftige Kooperation kommt
nach Auffassung des Kommentators, der bereits seit Jahrzehnten eng in
die transatlantischen Netzwerke eingebunden ist, eine lockere
Koalitionspolitik in Betracht. Sie soll der Bundesrepublik als
ökonomischem Schwerpunktpartner der USA in Europa Privilegien
einräumen. Der Vorschlag zielt auf den Aufbau eines starken Bündnisses
gegen Beijing.


Serbian TV Apology is Kicking a Dead Horse

03 Jun 2011 / 15:58

Serbian TV Apology is Kicking a Dead Horse
It’s not hard to congratulate yourself for doing better than Milosevic’s
journalists did 11 years ago. How about addressing the pressures that
journalists face today?
Ljiljana Smajlovic
Nearly eleven years after Slobodan Milosevic’s fall from power, his former
mouthpiece, Radio Television Serbia, RTS, has apologized to viewers throughout
former Yugoslavia for having been a propaganda tool for his “undemocratic
regime” in the 1990s.

The newly elected managing board of Serbia’s Public Broadcasting Service stated
at its first meeting that the station’s programming had been “almost constantly
and crassly abused” with the aim of “discrediting the political opposition in

According to the board, the programmes in the 1990s had repeatedly violated the
“feelings, moral integrity and dignity of the citizens of Serbia, the
humanistically oriented intelligentsia, members of the opposition, critical
journalists, a number of ethnic and religious minorities in Serbia, as well as
some neighboring nations and countries”.

The board’s gesture follows in the wake of President Boris Tadic’s official
apologies to neighbouring Croatia and Bosnia for Serbian war crimes, and the
board itself is stamped with Tadic’s imprint, stacked with Tadic’s inner circle
and friends, as is the board of another powerful state-owned media company,

The chair of the board of Radio Television Serbia chair is the historian
Slobodan Markovic, a protege of Tadic’s influential friend, Sonja Licht, who
presides over the managing board of Politika.

Moreover, Markovic’s deputy on the RTS board is Licht’s husband, the sociologist
Milan Nikolic.

The media refer to Licht and Nikolic as “independent intellectuals.” In reality,
the two are the power couple of Serbia’s political and media scene, Licht also
being the founder of an influential NGO, the Belgrade Fund for Political
Excellence, which trains young politicians, members of parliament and party
leaders to guide Serbia’s transition toward democracy and European Union

In addition to other important functions, she chairs the Foreign Ministry’s
Council on Foreign Relations.

The RTS board is right on the money about state TV’s role in the 1990s. There is
no question that in its heyday under Slobodan Milosevic, RTS was a hotbed of
Serb nationalist cant and government propaganda.

It’s old news. RTS as a much-hated symbol of repression in Serbia was the
opposition’s rallying cry. No wonder the RTS building was set on fire by
anti-Milosevic demonstrators in October 2000.

Eleven years after Milosevic’s downfall, it hardly requires political courage or
moral idealism to restate the obvious.

That is why I have little enthusiasm for this politically correct apology, so
clearly calculated to win easy points abroad for Serbia and its government.

Simply kicking a dead horse will get us nowhere. Instead, how about waking up to
the reality that Serbian journalists are facing, 11 years into the democratic
transition that swept Milosevic away.

Is this really the time to pat ourselves on the back merely for being better
than Milosevic?

Serbia is far from the liberal democracy with a vibrant press that those of us
who worked against Milosevic promised, when we encouraged protesters to
challenge his police on the streets of Belgrade in October 2000. Yes, the
regime’s propaganda indeed dominated the airwaves.

But what of the government propaganda now pervading the Serbian media? It is
hard to rejoice simply because the propaganda now comes from a pro-Western,
pro-democratic and pro-European government.

The problem, in other words, is not that we did not apologize enough for the
misdeeds of the Milosevic regime–a regime, by the way, that we ourselves
brought down.

The problem is that subsequent democratic governments in Serbia have persisted
in holding the press in bondage, that ruling politicians, their business
partners, their public relations and marketing gurus, coupled with their good
friends, are not relinquishing the levers. Indeed, they are tightening the
screws on the media even as I write.

A week from now Belgrade will be hosting the annual meeting of the European
Federation of Journalists, EFJ, an organization whose webpage opens with a
slogan than encapsulates the conundrum that Serbian journalists face daily:

“There can be no press freedom if journalists exist in conditions of corruption,
poverty and fear.”

The EFJ’s president, Arne Konig, wrote to President Tadic in April, pressing the
point of view shared by thousands of Serbian journalists that “press freedom in
Serbia is still seriously compromised” and that the situation is “utterly

Konig added that this was one of the main reasons why the EFJ is coming to
Belgrade this spring.

It is important to note that two years ago, Tadic’s government adopted a
draconian, anti-European media law, designed to intimidate the press. The
government willfully ignored protests from Serbia’s journalistic community.

The Constitutional Court quashed the law last summer, but a poll by the
Journalists’ Association of Serbia since indicated that up to 40 per cent of
journalists and editors say they still experience one form of self-censorship or

The reality is that things haven’t been this bad for the media since 2000.
Journalists live in penury and sometimes in fear. The local press is on its
deathbed, while municipal financing comes with the proviso that journalists do
not publish critical stories.

Independent papers and journalists also experience pressures from both
politicians and advertisers.

To this day, the authorities are either unable or unwilling to bring to justice
the murderers of my former publisher, Slavko Curuvija, killed in 1999, or the
reporter Milan Pantic, killed in 2001.

Meanwhile, three investigative journalists are forced to live under 24-hour
police protection. Others fear for their safety. When reporters are beaten up
and brutalised, the judges are lenient to their assailants.

There is, therefore, no real reason to applaud the RTS Board’s decision. It’s
not difficult to do a little better than Milosevic. Serbia needs to do much

Its government must stand behind the people’s right to know, must encourage
media pluralism and respect freedom of expression.
Ljiljana Smajlovic is president of the Serbian Association of journalists, UNS.