Civil war looms in Djukanovic’s not so “merry” (as in “Widow”) Montenegrin fiefdom

by Stephen Karganovic for The Saker Blog

The news from Montenegro is bad, and getting worse by the hour. Its until quite recently apathetic and compliant population is up in arms. The cause of the unanticipated disturbance would probably seem incomprehensible to most denizens of the post-Christian West. It is the rubber-stamping by the regime controlled Parliament of an unprecedented law enabling the government to seize churches, monasteries, and other real estate assets belonging to the Serbian Orthodox Church which were built or acquired before 1918 and register them as its own property, unless the Church can “prove” that it owned them before that date. To make the scheme crystal clear, the legislation Parliament approved on December 27, after a tumultuous session, classifies all pre-1918 ecclesiatical assets presumptively as state property.

Oh yes, at this point it is not a bad idea to mention that since a couple of months ago Montenegro has been a NATO member, a status we are told is synonymous with commitment to certain “values,” whatever those are. Since the two go hand in hand, Montenegro is also slated to become a member of the European Union (replacing Britain, perhaps?), with all the human rights, freedom of conscience, and the rule of law baloney associated with it.

With that context in mind, we recall our April 10, 2019, column “Europe’s last not-so-comic opera dictatorship.” There, we pointed out that “it seems that in one respect Marx may have gotten it right, after all. To paraphrase one of his insightful thoughts, what in 1905 in Vienna [the debut of Lehar’s operetta “The Merry Widow”] began as operatic entertainment, now, in 2019, repeats itself as a sinister farce.” Since April, the sinister farce has turned positively ominous, and blood has already been shed in the decidedly unmerry Montenegro.

To further contextualize current developments, we also recall the following observation from our April analysis: “[NATO tyrant Djukanovic] anticipated Ukrainian russophobes by initiating a ferocious government-sponsored identity altering campaign, in an attempt to deny Montenegro’s Serbian heritage and to reinvent it as a separate nation. Equally precociously, though a declared unbeliever, he set up a Montenegrin ‘Orthodox Church,’ having it registered sacrilegiously as an NGO at a police station. And, of course, he lost no time ‘privatizing’ every state asset he could lay his hands on, which in practice meant reassigning ownership to one of his front men or cronies.”

Until literally a few days ago, few took seriously Djukanovic’s repeated threats to enact the offensive religious confiscation law. But with perfect infidel timing (on December 27, between the Western and Orthodox Nativity feasts) Djukanovic kept his outrageous promise. After granting opposition deputies all of three hours to “debate” the confiscation bill, thus complying generously with EU and NATO rule of law standards, Djukanovic signaled to his parliamentary minions to get it over with, and they did. As the measure that deeply offended the sensibilities of the bulk of the Montenegrin population was railroaded into law, pandemonium broke out in the legislative chamber. Deputies who opposed the measure were forcibly ejected by security and subsequently detained by the police. As of this moment, deputies Andrija Mandic, Milan Knezevic, and Milun Zogovic are still incarcerated, their parliamentary immunity scarcely an impediment for Djukanovic’s “rule of law” tontons macoutes. If any readers have a problem with that, they may address their concerns to Ambassador Nebojsa Kaludjerovic, Embassy of Montenegro,  1610 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009, United States, email: Be polite please, burdensome as that task might be.

Predictably, Western presstitute media lied through their teeth about the gathering storm in Montenegro. AP’s mendacious report that “trying to block a vote, the pro-Serb lawmakers hurled what appeared to be a tear gas canister or a firecracker and tried to destroy microphones in the Parliament hall” was a regurgitation of the regime’s own self-absolving propaganda.

The outraged populace, led by its Orthodox religious leaders, took to the streets in all major population centers in Montenegro to protest the seizure of church property. In an interview given on December 17, days before the atmosphere heated up to the point of producing widespread street clashes, Serbian historian of Montenegrin descent, Aleksander Rakovic, prophetically warned that “Montenegro is on the threshold of civil war.” His prophecies are being fulfilled at this moment in Djukanovic’s abysmal realm, as an Orthodox bishop was viciously beaten by the tontons macoutes, ending up in the hospital with severe fractures, and youthful demonstrators played cat and mouse games with the tyrant’s police until the late hours of the night. In Belgrade, students, veterans and other citizens gathered in large numbers in front of the Montenegrin embassy to voice their protests and demand that Montenegro’s improbably named ambassador, Tarzan Milosevic, be declared persona non grata and expelled. The Orthodox Church in Montenegro has ordered church bells to ring every two hours in mournful protest until Orthodox Christmas on January 6.

Politically savvy readers have correctly guessed that the only person inexplicably missing in this imbroglio is the US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, who only a few months ago was heard to say that “there is no nation on the earth that pushes human rights of religious freedom any more than the United States.” (The ambassador’s poor syntax may be excused and disregarded; his self-congratulating point is still clear.) If leading Western embassies accredited to Djukanovic or their NGOs made any adverse comment, that was not recorded by the media.

The deteriorating situation in Montenegro is dynamic. We will try to keep readers posted about further developments.

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