Closing Statement at the Fourth SPS Congress
February 17, 2000

Speech delivered by: Slobodan Milošević Chairman of the SPS

Dear Delegates,

Distinguished guests,

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Socialist Party of Serbia.

Its establishment coincides with a the beginning of the decade in which the countries of Eastern Europe, a part of countries of Central Europe, and Euro-Asian region, where the Soviet Union was until recently, generally entered a major crisis. That has been manifested as a civilizational degradation of these societies and the break-up of all multinational States (Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia) and the emergence of several hotbeds of crisis in two of these three countries (Russia and Yugoslavia).

Throughout that decade that has been marked by the ongoing crisis, the Socialist Party of Serbia from its very inception until today, did all it could preserve Serbia as a State. First of all, all the very beginning of the 90's, within the former Yugoslavia, and then in the process of its break-up, it sought to preserve it as a State community which, (together with Montenegro) was the initiator of the continuance of a third, smaller but nevertheless feasible Yugoslavia.

Those efforts of the Socialist Party of Serbia have produced results. Serbia has avoided a fratricidal war that raged in the other territories of the former Yugoslavia (in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina). It managed to preserve the unity of its territory and succeeded in having Yugoslavia survive as a state, albeit in a smaller territory, it is not only the Yugoslav state that has been preserved but the Yugoslav idea as well, which first half of the 20th century and that, despite the dramatic conflicts among the peoples that comprised the former Yugoslavia, perhaps not even today is at odds with the historical reasons for which it was established at the time, and thanks to which it existed for the whole century.

The Socialist Party of Serbia rightfully considers that it is thanks to its efforts that in these years of fighting for the survival of Serbia, despite all outside pressures and all internal obstructions against it, it managed to maintain its economic and social stability ag a higher level than all other countries of the region which avoided the break-up of the State, major demographic disturbances, war and sanctions. Finally, the Socialist Party of Serbia considers that it is mostly thanks to its efforts that Serbia has extended huge material and moral assistance to Serbs who were caught up in the civil war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina with the peoples with whom they lived together until then. Not seeking to dwell on the genesis of these wars, which were fuelled from the outside and from the inside, the Socialist Party of Serbia has rightfully as the ruling party in Serbia for most part in the past decade, directly and through the institutions of the State in the Republic of Serbia, assisted the Serb people in the war and later in peace once it was established. In the war, to make it easier and shorter, in peace to make it more serene and more dignified. For their part, both the Socialist Party of Serbia and Serbia itself, in that period did their utmost. Whether those to whom the Socialist Party of Serbia and Serbia gave all that managed to make advantage of it or appreciate it in particular, is not the topic of this Congress, but it will be the topic of a new Serb history and ethics, on whose principles that history will be interpreted.

If the Socialist Party of Serbia and Serbia did all they could for the Serbs outside Serbia in war and peace-time in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, for the Serbs, who at the very beginning of the winds of war and throughout, sought refuge in Serbia, the Socialist Party of Serbia and Serbia did more than they could.

That will be an outstanding topic for history and ethics. The Serbs who arrived in Serbia in the first half of the 90's from the territories engulfed by the war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina were the only refugees in the world that have been treated as equal citizens in the country in which they found refuge - the citizens that have often been, as we all know full well, more equal than the citizens of Serbia. They have embarked upon a new life in Serbia with all advantages - employment, education and resolving housing needs. They even took part in the social and political life of Serbia. Every young person from those who found refuge in Serbia could enter University, convinced that with the sincere support of the society, teachers and fellow students he will be able to complete his studies successfully. The doors of schools in Serbia were open fully to refugee children. All those who came to Serbia were able to get jobs and social protection enabling them to avoid living as common refugees. Very often, the Serbs who came to Serbia from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina were given jobs that able-bodied and qualified citizens of Serbia could be envious of, but without any evil intentions. In addition, throughout Serbia for the whole decade now, a great number of comfortable and modern apartments have been built for refugees whereby for most part they are considered legitimate residents of this country. That is the reason why only a small number of them leaves Serbia although a few years have elapsed since the end of the war in the territories which they left, and despite the fact that in the territory of the former Bosnia and Herzegovina, a Serb state has been established.

I am listing these facts and presenting these assessments because no time, including the present, will be spared subsequent falsifications which serve someone's interests and daily events.

We have no intention of renouncing any false move, but it should be noted that we have no intention either of renouncing impressive good results that this Party achieved for the Serb State, for all citizens living in it and the Serb people on the whole.

These positive results include, therefore, not only freedom and independence but an impressive upward development trend achieved in the most precarious conditions, from the beginning of 1994. Later on, the lifting of the greatest part of the sanctions and reduction of obligations towards the Serbs outside Serbia after end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, have eased the burden that Serbia carried until then, so that in 1997 bulding and creative activities were in the ascendant in general, while economic and cultural ties were restored with all, even with the proponents on the sanctions and all other pressures.

Such a perspective of Serbia's recovery, and thereby of the new Yugoslavia, did not fit into the picture of the fate assigned to this part of the world. That picture envisaged a disintegrated society, degraded State, puppet government, disoriented people accepting the fact that the world is ruled by a single government, readiness to serve to that Government and even be happy by doing so. Such reincarnation of feudal inferiority, humbleness and backwardness could not pass in Serbia, not only because Serbia has a historical habit of not being subservient but because in terms of development and emancipation, it seems to have departed most, compared to all other European States, from the feudal medieval way of thinking.

The bill for such creative and emancipated response was delivered already a year later. Urgently the repression of more than million innocent Albanians by Serbs chauvinists and terrorists was concocted. The genocide against Albanians was invented as a pretext for genocide against the only disobedient European people, a rarely emancipated European people at that.

The Socialist Party of Serbia and the authorities in Serbia, comprising the Socialist Party of Serbia along with other parties of different political but the same patriotic orientation, did all they could so that the relations between the Serbs and Albanians and all others in Kosovo be set up in line with our experience - meaning, in a tolerant way - so that they did for centuries in the past - meaning, together and without subjugation from any part.

For no fault of our own, we have accepted to prove that we are not guilty. We have accept, for, no reason, an outside meditation to go to the side which has provoked the conflicts, to treat the representatives for that side as well-meaning representatives of the international community, although we as all others in the world, knew perfectly well, that these are the representatives of an independent political will who usurped international rules of the game, harbouring ill - intentioned towards stubborn and disobedient Serbs. Had we, at many negotiations, from Belgrade to Rambouillet in 1998 and 1999 respectively, accepted the proposals of the so called international community regarding the relations between the Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo, it would have been the same as though in the end of the 30 's and the beginning od 40's the Jews in Germany had accepted to have carried out genocide against the Germans in Germany.

This is how almost a three-month long daily bombing of Serbia was brought about. That was disgraceful and cruel war which 19 most developed countries of the present-day world waged against 10 million residents of Serbia with a view to destroying everything - people, country, the life itself.

The entire world is aware that in this war we have offered resistance ia all ways - by arms, media and morally. And that in all of the three ways we were superior. By arms, because not even the state-of-the-art weapons of the 20th century could overpower the resistance of little Serbia. By media, because despite the Goebbels-like censorship of the world media, a great part of the world still managed to see for itself heroic resistance of the Serb people and be carried away by it, and be horrified with evil retaliation of the most powerful countries in the world against the civilians in Serbia. In doing so, it seems that their preferred targets were hospitals, maternity hospitals included. The genocide the Serbs did not carry out against the Albanians was supposedly to be paid by newly born of yet unborn babies form the Belgrade maternity hospitals.

The textbook on Fascism is not completed yet. The most convincing pages are yet to be written on the exterminating the Serbs. The erstwhile pogrom of Jews, communists, Slavs and Gypsies, required a wide territory for retaliation. The forces were to be deployed from the North Sea to Morocco, from the British Isles to Ulan Bator. It required a log of arms, armies and time. In 1999, new Fascism focused on little Serbia, with a tendency of singling out several streets with maternity hospitals. Has anyone in the world - white, yellow of dark-skinned - failed to understand that message? I doubt it. That is why I believe in rebellion, resistance, protest. Because that message is not addressed only to one people that it will be exterminate, if it disobeys. The message in universal and it is addressed to all those who have the courage to rebel, to think differently, to live as they themselves choose, to believe tha every nation in the world is equally worthy and important and that all have the same right to freedom and development..

I am not going to mention those countries and peoples that have already been defeated. Particularly not since those defeats are not final. As long as those nations are alive, like people, they have a chance to get up, to get angry, to stand up to tyranny and to conquer it.

But, let me mention those that still consider themselves free. Today, it is Serbia. But, Spain, France, Italy... and entire Europe, no matter how powerful it was before and how loyal it is now, will follow suit. Exactly because of its loyalty. Than the Middle and Far East. That magnificent continent. And others after that. And the entire world at last. This time, the crusade against the world will not be stopped by the Moscow winter, the lack of arms or unrealistic prospects - the obstacles over which all conquerors of the world stumbled over, from Attila the Hun to Hitler.

The only obstacle that can stand in the way of this crusade can be reason. The reason of the mankind, because this time mankind is the ultimate goal.

This Party and this country are sending a message to the mankind that it has the most powerful, so far unbeatable and honourable weapons at that - reason. the only weapons that can protect the world, human kind, not only from total colonization that is the works but from the possible end that it will hardly be able to be avoided should it continue to embrace gullible hopes and tragic illusion that evil is something that happens to others and that they will be spared.

The bombing of Serbia was ended by agreement between the Yugoslav State and the representatives of the international community whereby the representatives of the United Nations were deployed in Kosovo with a view to reinstating peace, order and normal life for all those living there. Serbia accepted with faith that agreement and the guarantees of the United Nations. But there is no peace, even less order and no trace of normal life there. Albanian terrorism has been legalized and monitored by the UN representatives. Most of Serbs have left Kosovo with only few remaining to live there as living monuments reminding the world that it idly watches by the extermination of one people, the people which is at the present moment the most courageous people in the world. Despite countless statements, protests, outrage and disapproval coming from the North and South, from the East and even from the West, the children in Kosovska Mitrovica have no guarantees for life. For the time being, their guarantees for life ramain only their country and the people living in it.

There is no other way anyway.

That is why this shameful mission of the so called international community in Kosovo and Metohija which in all areas suffered a total fiasco, should be ended as soon as possible and the authorities of our country, should resume full authority over that sovereign part of our territory.

On the other hand, we are fully capable of guaranteeing peace and security, freedom and equality to the citizens of Kosovo and Metohija without any outside assistance. The fact that this State throughout all the ten years of greatest crises and pressures, the only one that fully maintained its multi-national character and has not discriminate against anyone, most convincingly and undoubtedly confirms that it is true.

Despite all the blows that Serbia suffered from the world, the sanctions and violence, turning the blind eye on the plight of its small and peace-loving people and expectations that the evil looming over it will somehow be resolved of its own accord, that the tyrants will get tired of tormenting the same victim and look for the other one elsewhere, namely, despite all those blows, Serbia and us living here, do not wish evil to anyone, we do not seek to repay this bloody debt to anyone and we still tend to believe, as Christians of leftists, who knows, that justice and good will prevail. But, our own experience as well as the experiences of others have taught us that the good and justice do not happen of their own accord, it takes enormous, and with the passage of time, increasingly organized efforts to defeat evil - hatred among nations and violence between them.

Even more so today, when danger of global violence is certain, what we need is an organized resistance to violence on a global scale. Small Serbia and people in it have demonstrated that resistance is possible. Applied at a broader level, it was organized primarily as a moral and political rebellion against tyranny, hegemony, monopolism, generating hatred, fear and new forms of violence and revenge against champions of freedom among nations and people, such a resistance would stop the escalation of modern time inquisition. Uranium bombs, computer manipulations, drug-addicted young assassins and bribed of blackmailed domestic thugs, promoted to the allies of the new world order, these are the instruments of inquisition which have surpassed, in ther cruelty and cynicism, all previous forms of revengeful violence committed against the mankind in the past.

Throughout its history, the mankind was faced with different dogmas - from common-sense stubbornness, including religious, national, ideological, political, economic and professional dogmas. I do not know what new name could be given to this new dogma. Its danger lies in the fact that it is of planetary proportions, that it excludes all other dogmas and any other thought that is outside its own system of thought. Its essence is in the message addressed to all - you either live according to one rule or you do not live at all.

We, gathered here in this hall and from this country believe in the forces of resistance. And the power of reason. We are here for the time and people who have power, knowledge and courage to stand in the way by joining efforts to oppose hatred and violence against nations and people.

Favouring the idea that it is necessary to jointly resist evil, the Socialist Party of Serbia in its own country advocates that all proponents of progress come together. All political and patriotic task. Exposed to all pressures that can be applied to people by other people - outside physical, economic, financial, media, political, psychological and environmental and faced, unfortunately. with the support of these pressures from the inside, Serbia has only one way to survive - that all its citizens, all tis people stay together, as they did at the height of the war. Because these vast pressures represent the continuation of the war, which shows its other equally ugly and hideous face.

Different ideas on the concept of the State and society that parties differ about should wait for better and more peaceful times.

At the moment, country defends itself from the evil looming over it and the left and the right should stand together, the religious ones and atheists, those educated and those who are not, the old and the young, those who did not get along well or love each other, those who did not talk to each other, those who think that they have forever and definitely parted ways. Those who have one thing in common - the love of their country. And that they feel obliged to defend it from the colonial status where foreign armies will march in, whose economy will be in the function of development of other countries, whose culture will be ruined, whose past will be wiped out and who will be ruled by those bribed or blackmailed hoodlums whom every nation has even at the best of times, but evil times is particular.

The Socialist Party of Serbia has offered an example in terms of uniting and linking patriotic parties and people by the idea on setting up both republican and federal governments in several mandates as the Government of National unity, composed of the representatives of several leftist and several rightist parties. It also gave an example by constantly seeking common language with all political factors in the country, even with those who were in this decade were more than its political adversaries. The Socialist Party of Serbia still considers that all war and other games should be forgotten in the face of the fact that the country is fighting a battle for freedom and independence, that it is in the period of reconstruction and that a period of further development and reforms lies ahead. Common language can be found with everybody, except with those who do not speak their mother language, the language of this people and this country, but the language of force which frightened them and disgraced them in order to put under the flag of their fear and subjugation, the entire unfrightened and upright people. The only unburied hatchets, figuratively speaking, will be those in the hands where their rich patrons placed them, obliging them to cut with those hatchets disobedient heads of a proud people. Those rich patrons do not mind at all spilling someone else s blood which we have been able to see for ourselves last year. Why indeed should they continue to bloody their own hands when they have at their disposal domestic toadies and cowards willing to do their bloody job for them, loyally and cheaply.

Actually, we in Serbia do not have opposition. We have a group of bribed weaklings and blackmailed profiteers and thieves, who take advantage of the times when a lot of people experience hardships, and use substantial financial resources funneled from abroad, manipulate the substantial financial resources funneled from abroad, manipulate the feelings and needs of a certain number of people, often very young ones, not mentioning the reasons why it is so hard, lying that the difficulties cannot be overcome unless they bough their heads and backs before the force that subjugated the entire world, except this tiny poor land between the Drina and the Timok, of no civilizational relevance, and the only thing we do is lose time to defend a lost cause. And representing themselves as the proponents of modern ideology from which the categories of freedom, independence and sovereignty have been excluded. All these values should, from their point of view, be placed int the museum of antiquities. Still, what they are not telling to their listeners is that the museum of antiquities where the nations should place their sovereignty, freedom and independence, was built by those who treasure their own sovereignty, freedom and independence as the highest values, among other things, by seeking to bury those belonging to others.

There are several big city centres on Serbia, including Belgrade where the representatives of new colonialism, the proponents of interests of big powers - colonizers, are in power. I purposefully do not say that they belong to the right, because they do not have any political orientation. I do not say that they are opposition, as they often say here, because they are not. First of all, they are not opposition when they are in power. Secondly, the opposition can be a party or a group of parties whose concept opposes the concept of the ruling party concerning the organization of economy, culture, society and State. So far those two concepts have not even encountered let alone been opposed to each other. The only thing that encountered and collided are patriotism and treason.

In the towns where the local governments were set up as branch offices of some western Governments, those western Governments that took part in the bombing of Serbia, because they failed to make the entire Serbia their branch office, the authorities in those towns are blamed of being incompetent to carry out their duties and of not caring for the daily lives of their citizens. And that is true. But, is not the greatest sin of these local authorities that these cities no longer have public transport, or that it is too expensive, and that is slowly dying as one of the key elements of the modern city life, or the fact that the streets have not been cleaned, that the building facades are pealing off, that the corruption is rampant and that city centres increasingly look, socially and spiritually, like derelict suburbs. Not underestimating the importance of the degenerative phenomena and processes, I want to say the truth - they have not done evil to this people because they became the present-day janissaries. Because of the fact that after several centuries again we have local Turk converts. For those outside our country and those who are not familiar with our history, local Turk converts are the Serbs who during five centuries of slavery under the Turks. We believed that janissaries and converst were definitely a thing of the past. Perhaps the restoration of slavery would restore the janissaries. You never know. But we were not expecting such a surprise. There is still not slavery, but janissaries are here. I doubt that the present day janissaries will have the same fate as those in the past. Those from the past have chosen treason having suffered the hardships of slavery. This is not to justify janissaries, but it is at leas an explanation. For the new janissaries, there is not even an explanation. They hurried to kowtow and kiss the hands of the conquerors who just conceived some designs concerning their home land.

This Congress which we are holding 10 years after the establishment of the Socialist Party of Serbia has a task not only to deal with the Party, but with the State which has been headed by this Party for a full decade. To evaluate the decade and to anticipate the moves it considers are in the interest of the Party and the country.

As for the Party itself, for ten years now, it is the greatest and strongest political party in Serbia and Yugoslavia, and probably on the Balkan peninsula. This is a fact, but the mere identification of this fact is in bad taste and may sound boastful if it is not followed by adequate political and moral responsibility. In that respect, the responsibility in the first place has to be related to the readiness, good will and particularly the consciousness of the Socialist Party of Serbia on the historical and essential need to bring closer all leftist, progressive and patriotic parties and people as well as on the natural obligation that it be the initiator of this gathering, in view of its size and political weight.

As for our country, it has to survive on several parallel and complementary fronts. It has to fight for its freedom and independence and stop fighting for them. It has to be reconstructed and developed in a quick, organized, modern and humane way. For such development concept we have the knowledge. For its realization, we have the unity of the people, creative energy of educated, hard-working and young people of our country and a great wish to live in a free, peaceful and progressive country, respecting all nations and all peace-loving and progressive people. And respecting ourselves. In the past, in the present and in the future.

I wish peace to our country.

I wish success to our Party in any good cause it espouses for its country and its citizens.

I wish success to our party in its efforts to strengthen the alliance among the leftists, to gather progressive people and preserve the unity of all patriotic forces in our country.

I wish to you, dear delegates, personal happiness and to your families, success in your professional life and party obligations you have assumed.

I wish that the new leadership of the Socialist Party of Serbia do their utmost, so that before the next Congress the Party may grow bigger and stronger, above all, for the sake of our country, but also for its own sake.