"Dodik is the only president, after Slobodan Milošević, who fights properly for his people," said Emir Kusturica at the Vidovdan celebrations in Andrićgrad, following Milorad Dodik's recent unconstitutional decisions and the loyalty of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska (NSRS) towards him.
"Unlike Milošević, who overestimated the Serbs, Dodik has assessed them correctly", the director attempted to explain his thought. And he failed.
Kusturica is inclined towards such statements that may sound (or clang) impressive but lack any substance. Therefore, they are difficult to interpret accurately. In taverns, such empty statements are convenient because they can easily be withdrawn when faced with a stronger bully. They are also useful in courts as they can be claimed to be taken out of context. It is difficult for sober-minded individuals to understand what "overestimation" and "correct assessment" of the Serbs mean, but it is certain that it is never good when an entire nation is arbitrarily moulded by one person's judgment.
Nevertheless, Kusturica was clear about one thing - Milošević and Dodik are the only presidents who fought for their people "properly."
According to Kusturica's assessment, what constitutes a proper fight for the Serbian people?
Milošević ruled Serbia from 1989 to 2000. His emergence amidst the ruins of Yugoslavia triggered a chain reaction of nationalism and unimaginable suffering for the people. He led Serbia through four wars, during which numerous war crimes were committed, resulting in the country being bombed.
The collapse of sanity and the apocalyptic amount of foolishness, malicious intentions, and logical inconsistencies spread by the Academy, Writers' Association, church, press, and television was unprecedented in post-war Europe, comparable only to the intellectual tragedy that befell Croatia in 1990, with the significant difference being that Croatian nationalism of the 1990s will be recorded in history as a reaction to the terrifying messages emanating from Belgrade in the late 1980s. - wrote Vuk Perišić in the article "Slobodan Milošević in the Mirror of Consequences."
During Milošević's reign, record-breaking inflation was recorded, a banknote with the highest denomination in the world was printed - 500,000,000,000 dinars, organized crime infiltrated state institutions, and the country was plunged into darkness from which it has unsuccessfully been trying to emerge to this day.
In the same article, Perišić concludes: "There does not exist and cannot exist a society in which Slobodan Milošević is a natural, logical, and inevitable phenomenon."
Judging by Kusturica's statement, it seems that it is possible if there is a person who will "properly" follow his path and who will "assess" the Serbs better. Apparently, it would be the Republika Srpska, where Milorad Dodik is the "natural, logical, and inevitable" successor to Milošević.
According to Kusturica's vision, Republika Srpska must significantly resemble Milošević's Serbia. However, in such a fragmented state, it would not be a significant geopolitical factor and could barely be considered a small change in the affairs of serious nations. So feeble, it wouldn't pose a serious threat to anyone - as best seen during those comical parades on January 9th. With a modest economy dependent on the aid of a few world dictators, an independent Republika Srpska would turn in the direction determined by its sponsors, which certainly does not lead to Europe or democracy. Without land connectivity to its alleged allies and facing sanctions, it would struggle to survive in an environment it has declared hostile. It would be a sharp, unpleasant stone on the edge of Europe, suitable only to be pushed off the road in haste.
Nevertheless, the most challenging aspect would be within its borders, where Dodik would establish absolute power. He has already declared himself the national treasure.
"I think I am the national treasure of Serbs and Republika Srpska. I think... And I'm not conceited, I'm not conceited. I am serious..." recently stated Milorad Dodik on RTRS.
The President of Republika Srpska indeed made that statement seriously, without any consequences. No one expressed concern for the mental health of someone holding such a significant political position. In addition to resembling Milošević's Serbia, the Republika Srpska that Dodik desires would have to resemble its "national treasure" - being deceitful, aggressive, unreliable, intolerant, homophobic, chauvinistic, primitive, and crude.
It would be a society with a single face, bearing all the characteristics of an absolutist monarchy. Dodik would finally become untouchable by the judiciary, while his "independent social democrats" would merely be fearful "nobles" trembling at the ruler's latest whim. The ruler would control all the money flows, implementing his economic strategy of cigarette smuggling - "give everything and give it now." In this strategy, as we know, there is no room for interest rates and inflation; only short-term satisfaction of basic needs is considered, inevitably leading to debt bondage.
The entire social climate would be crafted according to his taste. Ceremonial events would be directed by the monarch's aforementioned friend, turbo-folk singers would be the constant prima donnas, the official marching anthem would be a song from a football movie, the ruler's daughter would shape the theatre repertoire, and critical thinking would be expelled, the LGBT population could be free within their four walls until paid football hooligans, with police assistance, break through their doors, and minorities would be tolerated until they start asking for their rights.
In the quoted text, Perišić describes Slobodan Milošević's greatest aspiration as follows:
He himself was the quintessence of nationalism, nationalism in human form, which, through his political biography, reveals everything about the nature of this heavy political and psychological anomaly, the desire for a hermetic, small world that, like a cosmic catastrophe, tries to separate itself from the universe and exist in the entropy of its timeless and spaceless blind spot.
Today, Milorad Dodik is attempting to achieve that same aspiration for the "blind spot," the "hermetic, small world" that Milošević desired.
Dodik can be seen as a pocket or portable version of Milošević, with much less power and significantly fewer possibilities. However, we cannot know the extent of the catastrophe that could be caused by further escalation of his political ambitions. That is why it is necessary for him to be stopped. Peacefully, democratically, but urgently.