Several doctorates have been defended in Serbia on the topic of who is actually responsible for the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001. In America, whose system of education and scientific research is the best in the world, however, there are no such doctorates. It will be that American experts and scientists do not know and are not able to determine the truth about the background of the attack on the Twin Towers, while “experts” from Serbia are quite competent for that. We will bypass that logic, so today we will not deal with the presidential elections in the United States and theories about who actually won and whether the elections were regular. We will, however, leave that to the American electoral and judicial system, as well as to the experts who deal with it in their country. We will deal with our current affairs.
President Vučić was in no hurry to send congratulations to Joseph Biden, moreover, he emphasized that he did not want to hurry and push and stand in line with, as he said, the world… who congratulate the newly elected American president. And those who “stood in line” and “pushed” were the leaders of Germany and France, Angela Merkel and Emanuel Macron, the prime ministers of Britain and Japan Johnson and Suga, the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, Prince Mohamed Al Nahyan from the Emirates, Benjamin Netanyahu… All in all, about fifty leaders from all over the world, primarily the part of the world that Serbia aspires to. The congratulations from Belgrade, therefore, left the next day, but the question is whether they were wiser than their night sister because of that. Because, President Vučić did congratulate and wish wisdom and determination to the new President of the USA, but also – the continuation of the cooperation he had with his predecessor, Trump, whom he thanked on the same occasion. Wanting, indeed, better relations between Serbia and the United States, it remains that we rely on Vučić’s words that his personal relations with Biden are better than with Trump, rather than in the tone, messages and timing of his official congratulations to the newly elected American president.
While the new Serbian-American chapter is just opening, the holiday of the Armistice Day of the First World War was used to draw the line in the previous, eight-month defensive war against the corona virus. The president decorated people from the state Crisis Staff, thus making them (also formally) into the heroes of our fight against the virus, which is still ongoing. They received high state decorations on the day in which the most patients were registered since the beginning of the crisis – 3,536, and as many as 21 patients died. Days before that, black “records” were recorded, and all chances are that the days after the decoration will be even worse.
Of course, the people from the Crisis Staff are not responsible for the statistics on the disease being so bad, but are they really most responsible for the fact that they are not even worse? What is their immediate, daily role in suppressing and not spreading the virus, and whether, perhaps, someone from the front line should have been honored, some warriors who have not yet been met by television cameras, because they do not take off their spacesuits fighting every day for every life. The purpose of awarding the decoration is in the symbolism worn by the winner, and he should motivate others to follow in his footsteps with his accomplishments. Can members of the Crisis Staff do that? Enough honor and trust were shown to those who have been invited to be where they are. We do not expect them to be heroes, but cold and calculated strategists, to whom the crisis will not slip out of their hands.
Whatever you think about the way the state fights the infection, no matter how much room there is for better solutions, it is miserable to take a natural plague for a political ally in the fight to seize power. And that seems to be one of the most important refuges of the opposition, which is already deeply immersed in “ideological and action” (as the communists would say) deadness. Chasing its own tail, faced with all (expected) consequences brought by the post-boycott period, it still does not find any other political platform except the previous one – down with Vučić! Even when they know that new elections will be held as early as tomorrow, announced in a year and a half, and they can be expected well before that deadline. Will their “original” answer be a boycott again, as is already being hinted at? Or we will have some kind of more serious political game, which should, above all, reduce tensions in the public, political space and relax tensions on the social scene. A year will pass very quickly, and the answer to this question should not be expected only from the authorities. The answer should be offered by its competitors, as instructed by the European Commission in its annual progress report, although they did not pay much attention to that. As, unfortunately, the authorities did not take the EU’s objections about the “one-color” parliament seriously, so they continue to deal with the opposition, which is not there, which all together leaves a sad impression.
In a year, Serbia will already have the corona epidemic behind it, it will have an economy set on post-crisis standards, and a partner in the White House who has already spent a quarter of his mandate. This is Serbia, for which we should already have clear policies and prepared decisions, for sure in government, and preferably in opposition. Do we have them, really?
Are there any estimates at least similar to the one from the Guardian that Trump’s departure will mean the departure from the scene of a whole series of right-wing populist leaders around the world? In the Guardian’s portrait gallery, there are Janša, Orban, Kaczynski, Bolsonaro… and not Aleksandar Vučić. Whether by accident or not, will largely depend on him and on the policy that Serbia will pursue in the next, very important, year.