Experienced diplomats say that you always know where you stand with the Americans. There is no stalling and flattery, no exaggeration either when the news is good or when it is bad. They say it the way it is. We don’t have to take their word for it, but it seems logical. Why would the world’s superpower choose words when talking to a small country like Serbia, and even with a slightly bigger country like the former Yugoslavia? On the other hand, why would they talk to anyone in the world unintelligibly, indirectly, in ciphers? They do not have time to engage in such tricks, nor is there any other reason to behave differently. The degree of American openness is directly proportional to its influence in international relations. So, maximum.
It is a completely different matter how we understand what we hear from Americans. Unfortunately, the way we hear American messages is often full of noise coming from our inner voices, and that has nothing to do with what the Americans really said. Why, for example, is it difficult for us to “digest” the sentence of the American Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, that Serbia is “the economic locomotive of the Western Balkans”?
From the moment when her message, followed with congratulations on the occasion of 140 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Serbia and America, appeared on Twitter, only a small number of our people wrote – Thank you! Most of them put the American secretary “on hate” with two explanations, so typical for everyday domestic civil warfare on social networks. According to some, she is completely ignorant of what Serbia is today, and according to others, Secretary Raimondo was “bought” by Aleksandar Vučić. Here, we will not pay attention to the ramblings of Kosovo Albanians, who, as you can assume, do not spare words because she dared to say anything praiseworthy about Serbia.
So, it is really a mystery where our people got the idea that the American Secretary of Commerce, one of the closest associates of President Biden and one of the most influential people in the administration, the former governor of the state of Rhode Island, can say anything stupid on social networks. How do they get the knowledge or at least the information on the basis of which they can so easily trivialize the statement of one of the world’s most influential figures, who “dared” to call Serbia the economic locomotive of the region? What do our people know that Secretary Raimondo doesn’t know? What kind of logistical support, statistics and analytics are behind our Twitter experts and commentators on the portals, which shows the opposite of what the modest and uninformed Secretary of Commerce of the world’s largest economy said?
And what about those who have expertly concluded that Secretary Raimondo was “bought” by Vučić and that is why she says what she says? Gina Raimondo manages a trading system that weighs between four and five thousand billion dollars a year on the world market. And the president of the small Balkan economy, which is worth as much as America trades with the world in four days, manages to “buy” such a “heavyweight”!? Congratulations. If this was close to common sense, the Serbian president would have to be envied by China, Russia and Europe together.
It is clear, unfortunately, that we are not dealing here with a rational, or even common-sense view of things. We are dealing with a deep-rooted, provincial hatred for someone else’s success, and probably pathology also. It is clear that the US Secretary of Commerce has many reasons to call Serbia the “economic locomotive” of the Western Balkans. Both statistical and political. Just as her current boss, and then US Vice President Joseph Biden, in a Belgrade meeting with Aleksandar Vučić five years ago, called Serbia “a key political and economic cornerstone of the entire region”.
Why would Secretary Raimondo today, and President Biden five years ago, “honor” Serbia with the same title, if they really don’t think so? Do they have any reason to flatter Serbia and its President Vučić? And what do they expect in return? They have no reason, and they have no need to flatter Serbia, they do not expect anything in return, they are not even bribed. They simply say their position, which is based solely on data and the political manner we talked about at the beginning – to tell you openly what they think. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not, but you always know where you stand.
America has been repeating for years that Serbia is an economic and political leader in the region, and we should accept that as a fact. Because we will not only receive praise and congratulations from Washington, just as we do not, but we should also accept those less pleasant things as facts. Only political brats are allowed to choose which messages from Washington they will take seriously and which they will ignore. Unfortunately, they are not only among the Twitter grumblers, but they are also on the public stage. You can bet that Secretary Raimondo will be called one these days by one of the local opposition leaders, either an ignorant person or a bribed Vučić’s bot. Tomorrow, the head of the State Department or President Biden personally will have a similar experience, who knows. Unfortunately, irresponsible statements and nonsense are not taxed in Serbia, nor are there any penal provisions for them, so the offer is huge and there is never a shortage.