Professor Viseslav Simic

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Ukraine: Western Lies as Truth, Russian Truth Called "Propaganda"

Download audio file   12 March, 2014 10:08

The western propaganda and brainwashing of the population is so widespread and the populace so completely under control that even when presented with concrete undeniable facts that run counter to the official narrative the majority of people still refuse to believe. This has made it a literal information war when it comes to the situation in Ukraine and even the simple fact that there was never an “invasion” of Ukraine by Russia, something egregiously and erroneously reported by the western media, is almost impossible to counter. Russia has not now or ever “invaded” Ukraine or the Crimea, there has been a contingent of Russian troops supporting the Black Sea Fleet there for decades. That is the simple fact.

This is John Robles, you are listening to part 1 of an interview with Viseslav Simic, a Professor and Doctoral Candidate at the Technology Institute in Monterrey, Mexico. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com.

Robles: How are you this evening?

Simic:I’m very well, thank you. It is beautiful here, in Mexico.

Robles: I’m sure it is. It is spring here in Moscow, so maybe it will be beautiful here soon. Very ugly situation in Ukraine, a lot of media manipulation going on, you as an expert on Serbia on that side of the divide, I was wondering if you could tell us some of the ways that the media is manipulating the narrative with regard to Ukraine, and what’s going on? And what are the reports like in Mexico? What is the reaction from your students and from people over there regarding what is going on with Ukraine? And if you could sum up the outright media lies that are going on and being spread.

Simic:Yes, I’m very glad to be on your program again. It is a great honor, and …

Robles: Nice to have you.

Simic:I can state that here it’s not in the news that much. Obviously they always talk about Ukraine but it is all basically Western or US news repeated and very carefully selected so that we have here a situation where really good students who are interested in the international relations, who are studying geopolitics, are asking me – “why did Russia actually invade Ukraine”? And how much more territory is left to be conquered by Putin?

Robles : They say invade?

Simic:Yes, they said that it was an invasion, that the troops are in Ukraine. Obviously there are Russian troops.

Robles: Though they’ve been there for over two decades.

Simic:Yeah, but they omit that part. So it looks like they just came in. The same thing that has happened in Yugoslavia, when Yugoslavia was falling apart when they say ‘Serbian troops are in Slovenia, Serbian troops are in Croatia, there are Serbs in Bosnia’. Obviously there were Serbs everywhere because it was a country of all these people at the same time and troops were deployed disrespectfully of their ethnic background to all the republics.

The same thing is here, things that were agreed upon officially, and it’s an international treaty which gives the right to Russian troops to be there – it is presented as an occupation and an invasion, or rather an occupation following an invasion, by Russian military crossing the border and taking over the land in Ukraine.

So it is a very difficult thing to explain to people, especially people who are not involved in international relations, who don’t have some basic knowledge of geography. It is very difficult to actually explain to them what Ukraine means (‘Ukraina’), and that there are many Ukraines in former Yugoslavia that every other piece of land in former Yugoslavia is called ‘kraina’, we called it ‘kraina’, not ‘ukraina’ and that it is the basically the same meaning.

And I keep showing them on the map in my classes, and I can see the Mexicans actually being very interested but the Western students I have their eyes blaze over, they turn off their brains and they just keep telling me: ‘You are saying this because you are Serbian and we don’t believe that’. And then they quote to me some news from their respective countries, believing completely in those while it is obviously propaganda and I can rebuff all of these with facts, with maps, with history but it is so difficult to get through to a typical average westerner, that it is just amazing how brainwashed they have become and how non-thinking these creatures have become.

I have to say that it is really puzzling and it is very sad thing. Once you face those people who are basically very intelligent and very interested in things, but they just refuse to see what their side is doing. When you bring it up they say it is only because you are pro-Russian or you are Serbian. So they dismiss all of these things and then they claimed that anything that comes from the Russian side is propaganda, while their own is always truth and it is all about democracy and fighting for human rights. It is just unbelievable how these things work out.

Robles: It is part of their brainwashing and the programming that starts in first class in the United States.

Simic:I have noticed that with some members of my family, where their are kids, who were born in the US, they just cannot comprehend, they have direct family experience, their grandparents on both sides, in many cases not only one side, both parents are Serbian, they speak Serbian at home, they have Serbian friends, they hear all these things and yet they stepped in, these little kids who are first or second grade, they step in to a conversation and they tell their parents, their friends that they are speaking lies and that they are anti-American if they even mention something, and I have witnessed this many times. So this is unbelievable. One of my friends actually he pulled out his kids from an American kindergarten and elementary school, and he enrolled his kids into a Japanese school and they are big totally different kids now.

Robles: I see. Now people who know both sides of the story, right, they know that everything is being manipulated and controlled and there is no real true information coming out, especially with regard to Ukraine. And this has been I think thrown in the world’s face. Is there anything we can do?

Simic:If you are doing it in the West, it’s going to be very difficult because especially in the United States, I know how difficult it would be in Western Europe, in the European Union, but in the US if they declared you a foreign agent then you would have lots of difficulties. And anything similar, when Putin tried to do something like they do in the United States, on a daily basis, he was declared a dictator and it was an anti-democratic practice.

So in the US it is very difficult but it is possible, but it requires lots of money and lots of guts by the people who would be involved in it, because you would be basically seen as an enemy of the state and would face harsh consequences. I know this from personal confessions in many cases, by many people, my many friends who are really wonderful people, very honest and they know things and they feel things differently but they tell me openly: ‘We would lose our job, we are going to be fired, we would never advance in our career, we would lose our scholarships, we would lose our research money’. And they just keep quiet, so hoping that someday something will happen that they can actually change the situation.

Many of them are writing personal diaries and keeping information in their own computers, and personal archives, but once, only when it is public, when it is organized, when there is an institution that can be trusted and that will be permanent it will be possible to change something. As long as it is all of these blogs and individual people who popped up from time to time, when they get sick, or they go on a trip or they have a child, or something happens in their life, then they are off for weeks and that information inflates people’s interest and it is good, it is necessary, thank God for the Internet at least we have some information. But we need institutions, we need some big names, we need something that’s like your own organization that we are using right now where people can go all the time, it is updated, it is properly done, professionally done. It is very difficult.

Just a reminder you are listening to an interview with Viseslav Simic.

Robles: WikiLeaks should have been that organization for example, but look what happened to WikiLeaks? They were completely demonized, poor Julian Assange is still trapped in an embassy, even though he has asylum, he can’t leave there. Everybody that is associated, or has been associated, with WikiLeaks is on some sort of NSA or CIA man hunt or watch list, even just simple users. And WikiLeaks was not a small organization, it was quite a large one and they weren’t even based in the United States, so I would say this would be impossible in the United States, and what you just said, as I understand, I just wanted you to vocalize this one more time- basically the truth is an enemy to the US government.

Simic:Yes, absolutely.

Robles: It has gotten to the point where they are doing things that are so illegal and so egregious that any kind of truth is their enemy. And anyone who wants to speak the truth is instantly an enemy of the state, right?

Simic:Yeah. It is not only those things that they are doing are illegal, there are many things that are illegal that many governments do because the circumstances, by the time you changed the law it would be too late. It is not only that it is illegal, it is criminal. It is deadly, it is lethal and it is not punished. It is not even recorded, it is not even presented. We are missing all of these things, like right now, because if Ukraine, we don’t know in many other places, there is no knowledge of what is going on in Kosovo for example, or in Bosnia, where there are people detained, beaten up, attacked and arrested.

There are people on hunger strike right now like Oliver Ivanovic, a leader of the Serbs from Kosovo, who is not one of the favorites for the Serbs because he kind of betrayed from our point of view and sided with the West, and this is how he was repaid. He was even put on the list to be elected on the elections in Kosovo, that he basically recognized the existence of the Albanian government there and the legality of it, and then he was repaid by being detained, put in a solitary confinement and he is now on hunger strike, I don’t know, maybe for a week already. He is basically dying and there is no news about him anywhere. I tried to contact some organizations that worry about human rights, even some of my students, but they said they are busy with something else. But I’m sure if it were the case of a Muslim from the Balkans being kicked behind by a Serb, then it would be on the front page right away.

So lots of stuff is being done while this crisis is going on and the truth is the biggest enemy of these countries, of these governments actually. It’s not even fair to talk about the United States as a country because these poor people, most of them have no clue of what is going on in their own country, not talk about Ukraine, Kosovo, Venezuela or anywhere else. It is a specific gang of people who are going around the world, accusing everybody of being criminal and dictators while they are doing the same thing. I mean, look at this – they are accusing Yanukovich of being on the side of the oligarchs. Who is more on the side of the oligarchs than Obama for example, who gave trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars to a very small group of people who actually caused the crisis, who created all this mess, and then money the public money goes to them, and everybody thinks it is for the good of the country, it is very patriotic and it is beautiful.

So everything is twisted, everything is upside-down. We are living in a very, very difficult situation, difficult times, and I think that it is coming up to this point where something will have to happen. They decided that they will take over everybody and everything, and use drones to kill us while we are talking like this for example or something will have to happen and at least some parts of the world will become free and normal at a very high price and later at a very difficult duty to prevent any crossover from the other side because it will be used against that country or those people like in Ukraine, Russia or Venezuela right now. I have students from Venezuela - friends from there – who are telling me that it is basically on the verge of civil war just as Ukraine.

Robles: Just a few minutes ago the Venezuelan authorities, this came in on the news wires, they called the US government ‘the master mind of violence all over the world’, and they dismissed US Vice President Joe Biden’s statements about this situation in Venezuela. What he was saying was that they were ‘concerned over the use of law enforcement during anti-government protests’, the same thing they were saying in Ukraine and everywhere else.

Now they are so concerned, but when American law enforcement is beating people that are just sitting there, locking people up without giving them any sort of rights to a phone call. I mean, basically conducting secret arrests. Any time, and this happens every day, every time some American policeman shoots and kills some usually black or Latino or minority person, they get off with a slap on the wrist and nothing ever happens to them and this happens again and again and again. But that is ok.

Can you talk about some of the ways that they demonize countries like they did to Serbia, and of course we can go down a very long list of demonized and destroyed countries starting with Serbia, starting with Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, etc, etc, Syria, the attempt there, etc. Can you talk about that?

Simic:Yeah. Well the thing is, that really saddens me is, that in the end we are seen like Serbians are seen as enemies of the Muslims, and that we hate Muslims, which is not the case. Maybe some individual people do it, and in individual cases when they hate each other, but in general I think most people in Serbia realize that it is … we are the same victims on both sides who are then made to hate each other and waste our energy instead of uniting and fighting somebody who is actually causing all of this.

But it is a typical story everywhere. I remember when the war in Yugoslavia broke out all three sides basically had the same curse that said something like, if you hate somebody you say: ‘May God make Christiane Amanpour reports from in front of your house’, which meant that your house to bombed or destroyed and then she will come like a vulture immediately and report from there.

Today it is ‘May Americans or John Kerry express concern about your case’. Which means you will end up in prison or being beaten up, and then be the most viewed video on YouTube or something like that, unfortunately. Though it is kind of sarcastic, we have grown to see things in a sarcastic way, and then that is kind of like a self-defense mechanism when you are helpless and totally lost because we are not a big power or any power at all of any kind in this case today. But it is done everywhere, and Americans can do whatever they please, nothing really happens.

You were listening to part 1 of an interview with Professor Viseslav Simic, a Doctoral Candidate at the Technological Institute in Monterrey, Mexico and a Professor at that institution. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com. Thank you very much for listening and as always I wish you the best wherever you may be.

DUE TO THE LIQUIDATION OF THE VOICE OF RUSSIA PART TWO NEVER AIRED

In many countries US imperialism operates by default - Part One

Download audio file   15 October, 01:52  

World organizations and military blocks are being used by the West to subvert the sovereignty of nations. This is easier to do with broken countries where the West can destroy the legitimate government and the deal with the warlords for example, as is the case in Libya, where the country is shattered and the West has access to the resources by dealing directly with the authorities in the region where the resources are. The Voice of Russia spoke to Professor Viseslav Simic on these issues and more.

This is John Robles I am speaking with Mr. Viseslav Simic, Doctoral Candidate at the Technology Institute in Monterrey, Mexico, he is a native of Serbia.

Robles: Hello, how are you this afternoon?

Simic: I am very good, thank you very much!

Robles: It’s a pleasure to be speaking with you. You wrote a very well-written paper on… titles “the International Community in Territories with Altered Sovereignty”, in your opinion, in what ways is the so-called international community altering the sovereignty of nations in order to facilitate their own ends?

Simic: It is a subject that came up in the last 20 years, 15 years, the topic of sovereignty, and they have been ridiculing it in the West, the concept of sovereignty over the last couple of decades, trying to diminish it and to actually kind of cancel it out, in the countries that they want to intervene in, while they are of course preserving all the aspects of sovereignty, in the West and especially in the United States.

Right now they are trying to at least alter sovereignty, they are not cancelling it out completely, but we are experiencing this period where we cannot really define what is happening in many of the countries right now, or many of the territories, (That is why I said “territories” because many of these places are not even countries anymore), like Kosovo, and it has so many sovereignties overlapping and cancelling each other out at the same time. And we really don’t know what is going on in Libya, for example or what they are planning to do in Syria.

Robles: You see that these countries, and Kosovo, they really have no say in their own internal decision-making processes, the way you are talking about for example, Libya?

Simic: Yes, absolutely, because right now we have a situation where, as we just learned yesterday or today depending on where you live in the world, that the Prime Minister of Libya had been kidnapped and then released. We don’t know who did it, how it is possible to kidnap the Prime Minister of a sovereign nation.

And to go back to Kosovo for example, their own constitution says that the ultimate authority, which is sovereignty in just different kind of words, is NATO, even though their own constitution says that institutions of Kosovo are not going to be questioned, or even consulted and they have no right whatsoever to question or even request any explanation about anything they decide or the UN decides, even though officially at least for the United States it is a sovereign country and for many European countries too.

Robles: The organization such as NATO, first it was the United Nations in Somalia, and they tried to do the same thing in the former Yugoslavia. They set up a caretaker organization, or “oversight body”, for example with the case of Somalia, there is no central government. The ultimate authority there is the UN Mission “overseer mission”. How are these organizations being used and what other organizations are being used, to compromise the sovereignty of nations?

 Simic: It is a very interesting development because it was, I believe very strongly, when Russia was very weak under Yeltsin and when China was not really capable of getting involved too deeply in international relations and was keeping mostly to itself, they set up these missions through the UN and they totally hi-jacked the world organization and used it for the interests of a very small number of very specific countries in the west, but now the problem is that they try to make it that way and set up kind of like a “blueprint” for the way they would take over certain territories.

But now with Russia exercising its rights, especially in the UN, and China, at least not voting for, if not blocking completely, certain actions like in Libya or in Syria rather, now they are seeing in the West that this is not the way. It looked like the perfect way to control everything and to exercise the will of the West because Russia and China were complacent and following whatever the west was doing and right now the west is experiencing a setback if not a complete defeat in the international arena.

Robles: I’d argue that Russia was not agreeing with it. Originally in Kosovo the agreement was that Russian peacekeepers would be involved and then NATO just said “No, sorry Russia, no Russians are going to be involved”. And Russia was supposed to guarantee the sovereignty of Serbia, I don’t know if you remember that.

Simic: Yes, yes and Russia is guaranteeing and actually preserving it, at least legally-officially- technically-speaking, in the UN, even though Russia still has not been able to revoke the new status of Kosovo as it is established by the US and western European countries.

Robles: Don’t you think it would be very difficult for Russia to do that with the complacency of a lot of the population especially maybe the younger generation, they are apolitical, they don’t seem to really care, they don’t seem to understand what is going on? Would you say that is the case?

Simic: I disagree with that. I go to Serbia very often and I am in touch with lots of people and I actually think that the young generation is very political and very ready to change things. The problem is that we don’t have any leaders right now in the politics of Serbia. Any good ones have been eliminated and only the ones that are obedient to the west or that are being blackmailed by the west are being forced upon the population.

So, there is no organizational structure, there is no political party, there is nobody who can actually do anything. As probably you know they fire up the population, especially the young people, with gay parades and things like that that really don’t not matter in real terms, and it looks like nobody cares about Kosovo, when they do.

Reminder

Robles: I’ve heard that over and over again; that the government is not the government of the people and the government has its own agenda, which is the European integration, westernization and the people are upset with that. Isn’t there something more that the people can do?

Simic: There is always so much more that the people can do but “the people” is a term that doesn’t really mean much by itself. There is a need for leaders, or for at least some political movements or some political force that will organize and present a vision and a policy to the nation and be elected to the parliament and then start passing laws that will change things and take over and become the government and govern the country.

Right now we don’t have that and it is very chaotic, it is all ad-hoc as things come up and it is all retroactive, there is always at least one if not ten steps behind the west and the policy imposed by the West.

Robles: You’ve been in Mexico for quite some time.

Simic: Yes, now almost 4 years.

Robles: Mexico is on the borders of the greatest imperialistic power on the planet. How would you compare the western influence in Mexico to the western influence, or the American influence, in Europe and in Serbia?

Simic: I would say that here they don’t really have to impose anything because the upper class, the ruling class in Mexico, or the leading political groups in Mexico are basically by default very pro-US. They know where the money is, where their interests are and they push for it and they don’t consider the interests of the nation so much.

In Europe, at least in Serbia or in Eastern Europe, in some of the places, they do have to impose, here it goes on by default, even though the population, and I can tell you with my students, even though my students at this university are from… this is a private university and it is very expensive, and the kids are from kind of upper middle class and upper class levels, and still the young people see this and they feel very humiliated, especially for example now with the scandal with the spying of the president Mexico and the Mexican government activities by the US, and they compare it with what happened in Brazil or how Brazilian government reacted to it, in Mexico they just basically buried it and didn’t want to talk about it.

So, the young people are very upset about that and they want to exercise their sovereignty, they want to expand to other areas of the world, they want to have an opening to Europe, to Eastern Europe, to Russia, to China but they are stuck with NAFTA and many other agreements and with the general policy of the country totally with the US and they are heavily dependent on everything that is going on in the US.

Robles: I think maybe there is a concerted effort to keep Mexico away from Europe. Just a case in point for our listeners; it took me approximately 3 days to finally get a hold of you.

Simic: Yes, it was very strange, because I couldn’t believe that in this age we can not connect.

Robles: Yes, I make calls all over the world all the time, hundreds of calls, and I’ve never had as many problems getting into anywhere except Serbia, and the this problem with Mexico.

Simic: That is maybe why I feel at home in Mexico.

Robles: I see, that is actually not very funny.

Simic: Yeah, I know.

Reminder

Robles: Shouldn’t Mexico be looking towards South America, Central America? I mean the Latin American block and the South American Spanish-speaking nations, I mean; it’s actually a much larger force than all of the English-speaking world, I mean, population-wise and territorial-wise and resource-wise I believe. Why isn’t (or is) Mexico leaning towards more anti-imperialistic policy such as those in Bolivia and Venezuela, etc.?

Simic: I think there are possibilities here, especially among the young people, but the thing is that Mexico has been so integrated into the American system, into the western system that it is very difficult to change things. And the ruling parties have been so entrenched here that it is very, very difficult to even envision any way of getting people organized in different way.

The media are basically controlled by the same people who push for this pro-US policy, but you can feel it in the streets, in seeing all the protests all the time against policies of the government and you can see it even with the kids from upper classes I said. They are dissatisfied, they can see that something is not really going on the way it should be but just as in Serbia there is no organized political party. That is the way things function.

We need a political force some voice that will articulate all of these needs, present a policy and actually run for government offices and to the parliament and change the laws. It sounds very simple. I guess we, professors, have a tendency to see it as very simple but it is very difficult to do it in practice especially when there is no money to support all these activities.

Robles: Back to international organizations, and we can get back to political parties in a minute, the World Bank, the United Nations, other international organizations; how have they been used in Kosovo to subvert the sovereignty and how are they being used around the world with regard to resources, territory, etc?

Simic: I believe, when I started working on my thesis (doctoral thesis) in public policy and public policy of international organizations in territories under their jurisdiction and administration, which is something totally new, not too many people have actually even looked into this,

Robles: Very interesting.

Simic: … and it was very interesting. I thought in the beginning that Kosovo was a blueprint how things will be in the future, that they will follow this but I think that they figured out that it is much easier to have “no” sovereignty, or fake sovereignty, or altered sovereignty and to just burst in, mess things up, set up some war lords, like in Libya and then have businesses, especially concerning oil or any other important resources, deal directly with these people on the ground who control that specific area.

And of course you can always bring in NATO to liberate somebody and bomb the ones who are opposing you and then continue with the western businesses exploiting those areas.

So, I think the UN has basically outlived its role, its usefulness to the West. I don’t know if it had any usefulness to the rest of the world but we can see that it’s being ignored completely.

Robles: By the United States in particular, right?

Simic: Absolutely. Yes

Robles: Libya was a perfect model because right before they were attacked and Muammar Gaddafi was assassinated, they were planning to change the oil trade from dollars into the Euro as was Iraq.

Once they bombed Libya, they installed their own banking and economic system that was based on the dollar. They returned the oil trade to the dollar and they oil is flowing freely to the West and Libyan people live with continuous blackouts, nobody knows where these; upwards I think of about 40 million barrels a day, nobody knows where al that oil is going. And the Libyan people, they have an energy shortage, they have blackouts, they have problems fueling their vehicles.

How do you see that carried out for example in Iran? I just want to underline the fact that Israel is still, to this day, right now: they are importing oil from Iran. They are dependent on Iran, their so-called arch enemy, for oil.

Simic: Well for these basic necessities they don’t care they don’t recognize enemies or friends, it is need and it has to be satisfied, so it’s been going on, if you look into history, from the beginning of the world. The biggest enemies have been trading and you could have seen it in the former Yugoslavia; where Serbs, Croats and Muslims in Bosnia traded between each other while they were killing each other (and men and women) and burning villages at the same time, the semi-mafias or darker sides of those governments were trading and continuing business with each other.

The same thing in Kosovo, you could see that Kosovo used to produce enough electricity for basically Serbia.

End of Part 1

You were listening to an interview with Viseslav Simic, a professor and doctoral candidate, at the Technology Institute in Monterey, Mexico, you can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com, thank you very much for listening and I wish you the best, wherever you may be

U.S. is Only Exceptional in its Impunity - Part Two

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Download audio file   16 October, 19:19

Kosovo remains a protectorate of the United Nations, part of Serbia officially, which shows how bi-polar the US government is or has been in the last 20 years, because at the same time they guarantee the sovereignty of Yugoslavia and Serbia. While Yugoslavia doesn’t exist, but Serbia now is a successor state, the United States guarantees the sovereignty of Serbia over Kosovo, while at the same time it recognizes Kosovo as a sovereign country. Viseslav Simic, Doctoral Candidate at the Technology Institute in Monterrey, Mexico, stated that and more in his interview for the Voice of Russia. Mr. Simic also said that unless you get into the structure of the government and you impose your will through those institutions and organs of the government nothing will change. Change must come from within.

Robles: I just want to underline the fact that Israel is still, to this day, right now: they are importing oil from Iran. They are dependent on Iran, their so-called arch enemy, for oil.

Simic: Well for these basic necessities they don’t care they don’t recognize enemies or friends, it is need and it has to be satisfied, so it’s been going on, if you look into history, from the beginning of the world. The biggest enemies have been trading and you could have seen it in the former Yugoslavia; where Serbs, Croats and Muslims in Bosnia traded between each other while they were killing each other (and men and women) and burning villages at the same time, the semi-mafias or darker sides of those governments were trading and continuing business with each other.

The same thing in Kosovo, you could see that Kosovo used to produce enough electricity for basically Serbia and most of that part of former Yugoslavia or the Balkans. Now they have shortages in a place that has the largest reserves of lignite, and some of the best power plants for production of electricity. But it’s all transferred to somebody else’s hands or shutdown, and is being used for somebody’s profit, and we can go into more details about that, but I think it would take too much time.

But the same thing in Libya, or probably in Iran - if it ever comes to that, I hope not - that that very proud and old nation would be destroyed, regardless of its government we have to take into consideration that some people live there. Regardless of Milosevic, whatever you think of him, Serbs and Albanians, and Hungarians and others lived in that country that was bombed by NATO and destroyed.

So people suffer, resources are misused or not even used to benefit the nation, and somebody’s lining their pockets with the wealth of those nations.

Robles: I think, well it’s clear for me, that they absolutely do not care one iota if there’s people living there, if they need something, those people are …

Simic: Well I agree with you absolutely. I have this experience in working for the State Department in the US as an interpreter, and I was in many meetings where it was very obvious that neither US or Western leaders, because I worked for the UN and the World Bank and IMF as well, more the leaders of those nations like in Eastern Europe or in former Yugoslavia, they are very concerned only about the very specific group of interests for a very specific group of people. Everybody else can …

Robles: They’re expendable

Simic: … or could just disappear if they didn’t need them to work.

Robles: They’re expendable. They are not needed. They can just die, it doesn’t really matter, and there is no such thing as a, of course, a humanitarian intervention or bombing. I mean, that’s ridiculous.

Simic: Intervention, yes that’s absurd. A term completely.

Robles: Now back to the “International Community”, in quotation marks: UN protectorates, UN overseeing bodies. How many of these are there currently now in the world, and what countries? Somalia is still under the UN I believe, they have observer mission there. What about other countries?

Simic: Yes, but it’s not a protectorate, there are very few, and right now there is still a mission going on in Bosnia, which is basically just a civilian supervision of everything in Bosnia with enormous powers that even colonial governors would not have in those old and forgotten times. In Bosnia, an international representative for Bosnia Herzegovina can remove any official from power and change any law, or impose any law, or any decree on the country.

The protectorate is now, exists in Kosovo, even though it is basically kind of totally diminished, and the European Union has taken over even though it’s the same person. It’s the same … it sounds like the Emperor of Austro-Hungarian Empire, where he would wear the crown of Austria and the crown of Hungary on the same head, and it’s the same thing in Kosovo. The civilian representative is at the same time the representative of the European Union, which calls the shots there.

But essentially, even with … it’s written in the constitution of Kosovo in Article 153, it’s NATO, the Commander of NATO in Kosovo is the one who has the final authority.

Robles: I see

Simic: So basically it’s a NATO protectorate, not anything else.

Robles: How many other countries are there in the world like this, I mean, right now are territories or areas or …?

Simic: The official ones really don’t exist anymore, because everything … each one has completed its mission. There was one in East Timor which has been shut down, and there is presence in Iraq still, but it’s basically not doing anything, and it’s just kind of supervising or observing, but it’s not anymore a very active policy and I really believe that it’s being abandoned and it’s going to be completely forgotten.

Because in all of these cases you need all the countries from the Security Council to agree, or at least not to oppose it or not to veto. And now with Russia, with Putin in charge in Russia, and with the Chinese being very assertive, the West cannot impose it and even … I think they even regret the fact that they ever did it in Kosovo.

Robles: You think they regret something, in Kosovo?

Simic: Yes, I am quite sure, because I think the whole story would have been finished a long time ago, and now even they - with the new government in Serbia, which is completely a puppet government of the West - even that government would agree but the ones who guarantee the situation are the Russians, it’s Putin and the Russian Government, and it doesn’t matter what the Serbian Government says, the final word will be in the Security Council of the United Nations, where Russia will just block it, even any discussion of changing the status of Kosovo.

So Kosovo remains a protectorate of the United Nations, part of Serbia officially, which shows how bi-polar basically the US government is or has been in the last 20 years, because at the same time they guarantee the sovereignty of Yugoslavia and Serbia. While Yugoslavia doesn’t exist, but Serbia now is a successor state, the United States guarantees the sovereignty of Serbia over Kosovo, while at the same time it recognizes Kosovo as a sovereign country.

Robles: Well it has its biggest military base outside of the United States in Kosovo, which was …

Simic: Absolutely, and there you don’t need anyone’s permission to go in to do whatever you want: you can water board, you can torture, you can arrest people, you can experiment …

Robles: Well they’re killing Serbs and selling organs out of there.

Simic: Yes, that’s another big issue that is very important and that is one of the things that should be studied as the ultimate neo-liberal policy of privatization, privatizing human beings and human organs in this new world economy. Everything is on the market.

Robles: And banalizing evil, so almost anything is possible

Simic: Yes.

Robles: Some of the things that are going on, there should be just a huge international outcry, but it seems like the world has been accustomed to just endless evil. Would you agree with that?

Simic: Well, I would not agree with “we have become accustomed to it”, but as I said, you need an organized force to oppose it, or to at least voice your opposition to it if you cannot physically oppose it and defeat it. And right now at this time in our history, in human history, we are not really capable to organize ourselves in an efficient way to do something about it

Robles: Well I think there’s a big difference … I’m sorry if I said “we”, ok? By “we” I mean the general population, I mean most educated people and intelligent and independent thinking people are up in arms, and most people are doing something against all this monstrosity and illegality. You are one; I would count myself, many people I know are …

Simic: Yes, I agree positively.

Robles: … but the general population seem to be dumbed down with their gadgets and their YouTube and their iPhones, and their endless propaganda that anything’s OK, especially the American population, but I think they are beginning to wake up.

Simic: I hope so because I know many Americans, I have lived there, I am a US citizen, I have lived there for more than 20 years, 25 years, before coming to Mexico and I know how wonderful an average American is as a person, how much they believe that they are free and how much they hope that they can change.

It was obvious when Obama was elected, it was all about “change” and “hope”, and all this stuff, and of course we know what happened, but the problem is and maybe I am insisting on this as a professor, as a person who is studying public policy, unless you get into the structure of the government and you impose your will through those institutions and organs of the government nothing will change.

We can talk, we can write, but as long as somebody else is commanding what’s going to happen, that is what’s going to happen, because they don’t obey us, they obey somebody else. That’s essentially what’s going on in Serbia, because I guarantee you that 99% of the population in Serbia disagrees with the most essential things that this government or the previous government have been doing, but nobody can change anything because the ones who command, the ones who press buttons, the ones who sign documents and treaties are different people, and their word is law.

NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED AUDIO ONLY - Part Three

AUDIO PART THREE OF INTERVIEW WITH VISESLAV SIMIC

Despite America's Belief in its Own Exceptionalism, No Country or People are Indispensable

Download audio file   22 October, 2013  20:59  

“At any moment any one of us could be executed by a drone anywhere in the world and you can be just indefinitely detained in the US or anywhere in the world,” says Vladislav Simic, a Serbian Professor in International Affairs currently teaching in Monterey Mexico. In an interview for the Voice of Russia Simic talks about the fallacy of American Exceptionalism and the dangers behind it. According to Simic, the dangers of exceptionalism lie within particular countries signing agreements that give the US special treatment thereby “legalizing” such a concept.

This is John Robles I am speaking with Mr. Viseslav Simic, a Doctoral Candidate at the Technology Institute in Monterrey, Mexico, he is a native of Serbia.

Robles: Now, I went through the American school system from first grade. Actually I started in second grade, but that’s not important, and the patriotism is brainwashed into everybody from the very beginning, and Americans are taught to believe that they were the winners of World War II. Nowhere was there any mention of Russia losing, or the Soviet Union losing 27 million people, and that World War II was actually won on the Eastern Front, etc, etc.

And in light of that, I would call brainwashing, because even most Americans believe that everyone in Mexico, everyone is just like dying to come to America. But I was in Mexico City, it’s an urban city, it’s a cosmopolitan city, people live their own lives, people study, people actually want to go to places like Europe. Nobody’s really worried about America.

Simic: Yes, this is a world quality, world level city, it’s a beautiful place. It has its problems but it is a very beautiful city to live in and it’s very exciting.

Robles: So my … what I was getting at was this concept that has been going around the world media lately, since Obama’s speech at the United Nations: “American Exceptionalism”. What’s your opinion? You’ve been there, you’ve been here, you’ve seen it from both sides. What’s your opinion on American exceptionalism?

Simic: Well, it’s a very dangerous concept. It’s of course normal that the most powerful country, militarily powerful right now, and its politicians can say that, it’s been like that for the last … at least one century, that belief is very strong, but it’s very dangerous.

In certain cases it could be said that it is an exceptional country, or it had been because of so many wonderful things that came out of America. I’m talking about general culture and many valuable and wonderful things, innovations and scientific progress and all that stuff, but politically it’s a very dangerous thing because no nation is exceptional, and we remember, hopefully, Madeleine Albright saying that America is an indispensable nation, which is even worse, because nobody’s indispensable, it’s a clear fact, its logic.

Robles: Well apparently to the so-called Americans. The “real” quote Americans, they were expendable and nobody … and I think that’s the biggest lie, and it’s almost a psychosis in the United States that the country was founded on the genocide of a people …

Simic: Absolutely that’s correct.

Robles: … and it was built by slaves and from a historical perspective this was only a few minutes ago. I mean, we are talking about 200 and something years ago. Historically, that’s a drop in the bucket…

Simic: Yesterday.

Robles: … it’s nothing.

Simic: A blink of an eye, but the thing is, when you start talking about exceptionalism it can lead to many dangerous and many nasty things, because people start believing that whatever they do is righteous and correct and extremely important and the only way.

The only problem is that formally it is an exceptional nation, it is an exceptional country, it is an exceptional government, because look at all the bilateral agreements that so many countries have signed with the United States. I mean, where the United States is exempt from prosecution, US citizens cannot be arrested, US officials have special treatment.

Serbia is one of those countries, Croatia, Bosnia, and most of Eastern Europe. Any country that is weak enough, that was forced to decide between foreign aid, or some humanitarian aid, or any other political or economic or financial aid or support, and signing the bilateral treaty that exempts Americans from prosecution and from any problems in any of these countries.

Well, if you work for the government, if you are in that system and you see that the whole world actually signed it, it’s a legal document that has to be respected, it makes you feel like that, and you know that it’s true.

So we have to distinguish this general statement, you know, I can say I’m exceptional, but if you sign a treaty with me, a contract, where it says that I can come to your house, I can do whatever I want, and you cannot even say a word, then it is a legal document. It’s a binding document that actually makes America exceptional.

Robles: They can invade The Hague; they have war plans in place if an American is arrested for war crimes. They have plans in place to invade The Hague, to invade the Netherlands.

Their agreements you are talking about, they signed one in Iraq after Abu Ghraib and the Iraqi people were up in arms with the torture and the murder and the rape and the desecrations, and even private contractors were exempt from any sort of prosecution in Iraq.

When we say the word exceptionalism, I … to my mind I see goose-stepping troops in black wearing swastikas, and for me, I mean that was the first country that really used this policy, nazi Germany of course, exceptionalism. Do you see a correlation?

Simic: Yes, it’s very possible and we don’t know, of course, I don’t like to predict the future because we never know what’s going to happen, but then we can always hope that the people, the ordinary people will get organised and change things, but it’s very possible because as we know from history one thing leads to another.

There are some historical laws, some repetitions, history never repeats itself 100%, but there are some things that we can say are indicators that should tell you that certain things are to be expected. It’s very dangerous, it’s very scary.

Robles: What would you say we should be expecting soon?

Simic: I hope with … well at least from a perspective of other people outside of the United States it could even be a good thing for the rest of the world if they get busy on their own territory and start abandoning or forgetting the rest of the world for a while so that the other people can actually get on with their lives and try to organise something that’s not completely controlled or imposed or observed at least by US embassies but I hope not because it could just be another ugly period, not only ugly but horrible and tragic period in human history.

Robles: What do you mean exactly?

Simic: Well if things go as some of these people that we can read on the Internet and some of the dire predictions about totalitarian regimes taking over and eliminating civil liberties, which have actually been eliminated even though they claim that it’s only against terrorists,but at any moment any one of us could be executed by a drone anywhere in the world and you can be just indefinitely detained in the US or anywhere in the world.

Robles: In the US.

Simic: If it pleases somebody to do so.

Robles: Well I feel pretty safe in Russia. So, I mean, thank God.

Simic: Well you are lucky that you are there because it is a sovereign country, one of the few that remain in this world.

Robles: Yes, that is true.

Simic: That is why Snowden is there.

Robles: Yes, Yes. That’s why I am here.

Simic: I agree. You are smart.

Robles: Maybe I am just lucky. So, I am actually very grateful. Anyway, we’ve got to finish up. We’ve already got about 40 minutes. I really appreciate speaking with you.

Simic: The same. Thank you very much.

Robles: It was a great pleasure. Thank you very much.

Simic: It was a great honor for me.

Robles: OK, thank you.

You were listening to an interview with Viseslav Simic, a professor and doctoral candidate, at the Technology Institute in Monterey, Mexico, you can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com, thank you very much for listening and I wish you the best, wherever you may be.

 

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