Sat, May 25 2013
Barack Obama, the Democratic Party's candidate for US president, indulged in a campaign swing through Europe. His vice-presidential running partner, Joe Biden, if tempted to do the same, may as well avoid Belgrade.
Memories run deep in the Balkans, but among Serbian nationalists, uppermost on their minds is that long-term senator and foreign policy committee figure Biden was strongly in favour of the 1990s bombing of Belgrade.
Popular Serbian newspaper Blic reminded its readers on August 28 that Biden was one of those who proposed resolution on bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.
"He also believes that all changes in Serbia are the result of pressure from Washington."
The newspaper quoted Obrad Kesic, an analyst in the US of Serbian origin, as saying the choice of Biden was especially bad for Serbia.
"I am expecting Biden to be even more engaged in lobbying over Kosovo," Kesic is quoted as saying. Biden was a "severe opponent" of Russia, which could affect Serbia indirectly in view of its traditionally close relations with Russia.
In contrast to media in Kosovo, where in Pristina daily newspaper Koha Ditore said "a great friend of Kosovo will enter the White House along with Obama if he wins", website Serbianna.com carried a report alleging that former US ambassador to Romania Jim Rosapepe had said that he witnessed Biden shout at Romanian officials from whom he was trying to get information on Serbia and its politics so that Biden could "inflict political and diplomatic damage".
Rosapepe says that the most extraordinary meeting Biden and him had was with the president of the Romanian senate, Petre Roman, whom Biden met before but this time "Biden grilled him on Serbian politics" and Roman "helped defeat Milosevic in the 2000 elections".
However, when Biden asked the Romanian delegation why Romania was seeking Nato membership, Biden was offended at the answer.
According to Serbianna.com, the Romanian said: "If we are in Nato, we won't have to worry about Nato attacking Romania over our relations with our Hungarian minority the way you attacked Yugoslavia. Since Turkey has been in Nato for decades, you let them do what they want with the Kurdish minority".
The website said that "Biden got visibly angry that former communist Romania had an existential reason for joining Nato, so Biden `rose from his chair, leaned across the table and said: "If that's why you want to get into Nato, I'll make sure you never do!'".
The Serbianna.com item alleged: "Biden has long been on the payroll of Kosovo Albanian extremists so that he can lend support for their desire to annex Serbian province".
Another Serbianna.com item quoted Croatian priest Iliya Zivkovic as telling Croatian daily Jutarnji List that he was a friend of Biden and that he was a key figure that shaped Biden's view that Serbs were exclusively to blame for events in former Yugoslavia.
"He [Biden] knew about Croatia... But I think that the most influential was my speech that I gave in Little Rock in front of the just elected Bill Clinton who called American minorities for a conversation," Zivkovic was quoted as saying.
"In 45 minutes I explained why bridges must be bombed in Serbia, Belgrade... I believe that that it was very effective on Biden," Zivkovic said.
As Democrats in the US observed the Republican attack machine spewing out against its candidates Obama and Biden, Serbianna had a hat-trick with an item online on August 29 - in the process managing to hit out at both Obama and Republican presidential nominee John McCain.
"Whether Obama wins or McCain, Serbs should expect that US will seek to destroy them, culturally, ethnically, physically, politically and diplomatically, tells us an analyst who fears to disclose his name because he will be witch hunted."
The article continues by quoting its source as saying that for the past eight years, "Serbs in Kosovo have been killed like deer in season and US has approved every one of those murders because they've recognised such a state".
"More Serbs are to die and the US will delight in the death of Serbs no matter who wins the presidency," Serbianna quotes the source, which it describes as "close to government" as saying.
"No matter if it's Obama or McCain, many more Serbs in Kosovo will die and all churches in Kosovo will be leveled but any of the two will say that Serbs are genociders," the website said.
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