The only true value of the current Serbian government is pathological deference to Imperial power exercised under the guise of extreme pragmatism, defeatist fatalism and supposed aversion to conflict. Appropriately, it has long been expected the government in Belgrade will act as an agent of Empire in Serbia. Wednesday, however, the government went even beyond that.
Monday evening the Kosovo Albanian government in Priština moved its paramilitary police to occupy the two crossings on the border between occupied Kosovo and the rest of Serbia in the solidly Serb populated north of the province. This was done days after the KLA-staffed government in Priština declared goods from unoccupied Serbia would no longer be allowed in Kosovo. The ban on imports coupled with control of borders by the government in Priština would enforce a stranglehold on the Serbs in the north, with a view to subdue them, or force them out.
When this happened the first reaction of the Serbian authorities was to categorically rule out coming to the aid of the imperiled Serbs in the north of Kosovo. (They were more concerned to prevent any rallies in their support from being staged in Belgrade.) The people there, however, have long learned not to look to the government, but to rely on themselves. Within hours they had the roads leading to the crossings blocked by setting up makeshift roadblocks and standing vigil, thus blockading the Kosovo Albanian police at the border posts.
NATO first claimed the action of the government in Priština had not been coordinated with it, then quickly saw to it that it was. When the Serb response forced the evacuation of the paramilitary police, NATO decided to ferry in regular police from Priština to take their place. Reacting to this turn of events, Wednesday local Serb youths chased away police from one of the border posts and set fire to it.
On this occasion, however, the Serbian government found uncharacteristic courage to issue a strongly worded attack — against the Serbs! President Tadić labeled the young adults who had demolished the border post "hooligans" and other government officials took to denouncing them as "extremists". (International media followed suit styling them "hard-line Serbian nationalist".)