Lighten Up, Francis

The trouble started, Mr. Rivers said, when a group of Norwegian soldiers on peacekeeping duty in Kosovo came upon the song in 2002 and decided to make a rock video of it.

The video is a tour de force. (Clever of moi, huh?)
Turns out the song was written by an American to protest the ‘nonchalance’ of U.S. involvement in the Balkans. Who knew? I thought it was brilliant commentary on UN/NATO ineptitude. No matter. The Serbs have a problem with it, since it calls them ‘bad guys’.

“Such things only help the Serbian side to prove that there is no security in Kosovo, no respect for human rights and no multiethnicity,” Agence France-Presse quoted the adviser, Slobodan Samardzic, as saying.
“The president was very shocked to learn about this,” said Vuk Jeremic, the senior foreign policy adviser to President Boris Tadic of Serbia. Mr. Tadic was especially upset because the soldiers came from Norway, a country with a strong record for peace initiatives and conflict resolution, Mr. Jeremic said in an interview.
The video showed that four years after the collapse of Slobodan Milosevic’s autocratic government in Serbia, the nation’s image abroad is still sullied. “This is what boys from Norway think about Serbs,” he said.

Not to let the insensitive Norwegian bastards off alone, they find a poor national Guardsman who caused trouble too.

The Norwegians’ video is not the only case of cultural insensitivity by NATO troops in Kosovo. In July, Express, a Kosovo Albanian newspaper, republished an interview by an American soldier with his hometown newspaper. In it the soldier, Sgt. Robbie Nelson, from the 635th Armor unit of the Kansas National Guard, compared local farming methods to turn-of-19th-century America. The article caused some amusement and some anger.

Sigh. For the record, all these indicted Serbian War Criminals seem to indicate pretty conclusively that they were, in fact, the bad guys. So, fl@ck ’em. And according to this 2004 Serbian government veggie .pdf, what they are touting as progress would seem to bolster the Sgt.’s assessment of the state of Serbian agriculture. So, again, fl@ck ’em. Let’s all make luscious summer tomato sammiches and watch the video. (I think that one hunky Norwegian looks like the lead singer for A-HA…gah-rrrowllll!)

6 Responses to “Lighten Up, Francis”

  1. Mr. Bingley says:

    Don’t they know that tomaters are fruit?
    They are mid-19th century.

  2. John says:

    Whan I was in that part of the world nigh on a decade ago, they were still plowing with horses in a lot of places. Other methods were not quite as far behind, but still backwards. After a decade of strife, I can’t imagine that agriculture took leaps forward. The Serbs always were little gits. The country that started the decline of the European West with the First World War should just learn to STFU.

  3. John says:

    Oh yeah, if you really want to piss a Serb off, tell him that he speaks Croatian, but uses the wrong alphabet. That wounds deeply because it’s mostly true – Serbian speech proabably differs less from Croatian speech than the speech of an Altana native differes from that of a native of the Bronx. Although I’d say that the Cyrillic alphabet is better suited to Slavic languages than the Latin, I’d never admit it to a Serb.

  4. Mr. Bingley says:

    Serbs To Fight Unceasingly?

  5. Dave J says:

    “The Serbs always were little gits.”
    Definitely not going to disagree with that.
    “Although I’d say that the Cyrillic alphabet is better suited to Slavic languages than the Latin, I’d never admit it to a Serb.”
    Me either, John. My mom’s father’s family is Croatian, after all. 😉

  6. (Oh crap! I forgot that last name of yours!)

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