I would like to mention several things that were not mentioned in the RT article written by Nebojsa Malic that might shed some more light on the whole story published below.
- “Montenegrin” as a nation is product of Communist Party of Yugoslavia. Prior to that population of the region called Montenegro considered themselves to be part of Serbian nation. For centuries during Ottoman Empire occupation parts of Montenegro managed to maintain their freedom and became host of the Head of Serbian Orthodox Church. Petar Petrovic Njegos (the head of Serbian Orthodox Church and small state of Montenegro) wrote about ethnicity of people living in Montenegro – “Narod srpski – pleme crnogorsko” (Nation Serbian – Montenegrin tribe)
- The Montenegrins belong to the Serbian branch of the South Slav peoples … They speak the Serbo-Croat language, using the Cyrillic alphabet. In religion the majority traditionally belong to the Serbian Orthodox Church.”
excerpt from Encyclopedia Americana, 1994 ed., s.v. “Montenegro”
- Milo Djukanovic (the leader of today’s Montenegro) has been investigated for connections with Sicilian Mafia and illegal trade of tobacco by Italian Police – the investigation has been stopped under political pressure by Italian government and intelligence services (including CIA)
- History of Serbia (and Montenegro as part of it) is full of situations when people simply overthrow rulers who cross strong feelings of the population. Just as government of Yugoslavia was overthrown after signing pact With Hitler and Mussolini. Government of Montenegro is taking the country into NATO pact but if NATO ever decide to attack “encircled” Serbia from Montenegro they might find themselves under attack by various tribes in Montenegro.
- All attempts to create “Montenegrin Orthodox Church” have failed with attracting tiny minority of people following it to gain benefits from government.
- All attempts to create “Montenegrin language” have failed miserably and there is nobody using it – the same applies for completely artificial “Bosnian language” introduced in Bosnia as well as parts of Montenegro and Serbia (under pressure from western powers). The simple fact is – Croats, Bosnian Muslims (not Bosnians as they could be of any nationality born on territory of Bosnia & Hercegovina) and Serbs speak one and only language – widely known as Serbo-Croatian language (Bosnian Muslims and Montenegrins are not mentioned in the name of the language simply because they are not qualified to be a “nation” – Socialist Yugoslavia was the first and the only country in the world declaring “Muslim” as a nation in 1974 Constitution).
- Barbarossa Plan was delayed by Yugoslav (mostly Serbian) NO to pact with Hitler and Mussolini in 20th century and if there is going to be Barbarossa II in 21st century then those planning it should consider possibility it might be obstructed in the mountains of Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia by grandsons and granddaughters of those who obstructed Germans and their allies (all of them members of NATO today) in WWII. What governments in Sarajevo, Belgrade and Podgorica might sign will not matter much in that situation – what will ALWAYS matter is what PEOPLE will decide to do.
- Germans must know one thing – their third campaign going east (Russia) will be the end of their history. We have forgiven but not forgotten. Their artillery was within range of Leningrad (St. Petersburg today) for 900 days but did not break the will of Russian people to defend their motherland. And Russian people were not alone during their struggle – the only other meaningful and effective force against Hitler in Europe from 1941 to 1943 was force made mostly of Serbs in former Yugoslavia. All other such called “resistance” movements in Europe were more product of some cosmetic work to history of some countries to cover up the shameful collaboration with Hitler.
- Self proclaimed “exceptional” Masters of the Universe – Caliphate of Chaos and their henchmen in Europe (Kingdom of Genocides) should know that Barbarossa II will bring the same result to them as the original Barbarossa did to Hitler and his collaborators all over Europe who are all now the most loyal members of NATO. Those who fail to learn history from the history books might be learning it the hard way on the battlefield.
- Njegoš, showed the necessity for human struggle and suffering in his epic religious poem Luca mikrokozma (“The Ray of the Microcosm,” 1845) and made them profoundly meaningful in his other great poem. Gorski Vjenac (“The Mountain Wreath,” 1847) is a mighty hymn to the national struggle for liberation and to the struggle against evil in general. To justify this struggle he elaborated a dynamic and basically dialectical conception of the world. The world is made up of opposed and dangerous forces at permanent war. Through this struggle, order emerges out of chaotic disorder, and spiritual power triumphs over great confusion. Struggle and suffering are not mere evils but have a positive, creative aspect as well. The spark appears only after the flint is struck hard, and the soul that has endured temptations “nourishes the body with internal fire.” Heroism is the master of evil, and human life has an aim only if it contributes to the realization of liberty, honour, and dignity. His ethics were essentially derived from his people and, in turn, had a powerful influence on them in all trying moments of their history. Njegoś’s desire, at that very time, was to stress the vital idea of the unification of the South Slavs. For him this idea was something higher and deeper than a political aim; it was the union of people ordained to share the same fate, nurtured with the same milk, and warmed by the same blood, as he put it.
By Nebojsa Malic for RT
Last week, the government of Montenegro signed a protocol on joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. If ratified by the Alliance’s other 28 members – and it will be – the membership may become a formality by the end of this year. While the country has a population fewer than 700,000 and no more than 1,500 members of the military, the reason NATO wants Montenegro is not its military might, but in equal measures strategic location and symbolism.
Geographically speaking, the country is a natural fortress, and could be held against an invading force by a much smaller number of defenders, Thermopylae-style. That is precisely what the Montenegrin Army did at Mojkovac in 1916, protecting the flank of the retreating Serbian Army against a numerically superior Austro-Hungarian force.
Then there is the symbolism part. Back in the 15th century, even after they successfully overran the Serbian principalities of the central Balkans and advanced on Vienna, the Ottoman Turks found that they could never fully subjugate the mountain clans of Montenegro. After trying many times and failing, they settled for exacting tribute instead. This enabled the small Orthodox Serb community to preserve their faith, culture and memories – until their statehood could be resurrected in the 1800s. The Prince-Bishops of Montenegro were a loyal ally of Imperial Russia, to the point of declaring war on Japan in 1904 in solidarity with the Tsar.
Montenegro united with Serbia in 1918, and soon thereafter became part of the Kingdom of South Slavs, later known as Yugoslavia. It stayed in the union with Serbia even after Yugoslavia was dismembered by the EU and NATO in the early 1990s. It, too, was bombed by NATO airplanes in 1999, when the Alliance attacked Yugoslavia in support of the ethnic Albanian separatists in Kosovo. When NATO sought to drive a wedge between Serbia and Montenegro by sparing the latter, the following graffiti appeared in the city of Niksic: “Bomb us too, we’re not lepers.”
Yet the leader of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, decided to switch allegiances after that war. Having come to power in 1989 as a fierce supporter of union with Serbia, he reinvented himself a decade later into the biggest anti-Serb in the former Yugoslavia, a fairly daunting task.
Djukanovic aided the US-backed activists in their October 2000 coup that seized power in Belgrade, arguing that Montenegro’s suddenly-discovered problems with Serbia were due to a deficit of democracy. Within months, however, he was campaigning for independence. NATO and the EU were happy to oblige. They first negotiated an agreement between Montenegro and Serbia, abolishing the very name of Yugoslavia and proclaiming a “State Union.” Within three years, right on script, Djukanovic called a referendum on independence.
A video surfaced of Djukanovic agents openly buying votes, persuading people to “break their minds” and vote yes. Tens of thousands of Montenegrins living in Serbia were disenfranchised, while buses and charter jets of ‘Bosnians’ and ‘Kosovars’ were brought in. On May 21, 2006, the separatists won by fewer than 2,000 votes, or 0.5 percent. The US-controlled government of Serbia shrugged and accepted the outcome.
Djukanovic proceeded to turn Montenegro into a virulently anti-Serb society, establishing a new “Orthodox Church,” proclaiming a new language, and essentially redacting all mention of the country’s Serb identity from history books and literature. The crowning achievement of this ‘identity change’ would be membership in NATO and the EU.
The regime in Belgrade, which oscillates madly between practical submission to NATO and gestures of eternal friendship towards Russia, doesn’t appear too concerned about Montenegro’s membership in the aggressive military bloc. Neither, for that matter, does Moscow.
“This is their personal matter, it’s their personal choice. It’s up to them to decide on this. If they think that this will benefit their national security, then this is so,” is how Yevgeny Lukyanov, Deputy Secretary of Russian Security Council, commented on Montenegro’s NATO membership to reporters on Monday, according to TASS.
Is it? So, one supposes, was the choice faced by Regent-Prince Pavle Karadjordjevic of Yugoslavia in March 1941, when Hitler and Mussolini pressured him to join the Tripartite Pact, promising safety in the Axis rear. Traumatized by the bloodbath of WW1, his government signed the pact, only to be overthrown in a coup two days later. The enraged Hitler – who needed the Balkans pacified before he could launch his invasion of the Soviet Union – ordered Yugoslavia “wiped off the map,” postponing Operation Barbarossa from mid-May to late June. The end of that particular story was commemorated on May 9 – though hardly by any NATO members, one should note.
Yugoslavia was literally decimated, and the USSR lost almost 27 million people fighting the Nazis, only for the modern map of Europe to look eerily like it did in 1942. Many of Hitler’s allies then are NATO members now, and German troops are once again in artillery range of Leningrad (now called St. Petersburg). Having secured Montenegro and expecting no resistance from “softly” occupied Serbia, NATO may be emboldened to act even more aggressively towards Russia. This is madness, of course, but there is an alarming lack of sanity in Brussels and Washington these days.
That is why Montenegro matters.
Nebojsa Malic for RT
This article was first published by RT Op-Edge