During Donald Trump’s first NATO summit as POTUS, he unceremoniously shoved Montenegrin Prime Minister Duško Marković out of the way as he walked up to the front of a NATO group photo. While the anti-Trump mainstream media are predictably losing their rag over the incident, there is more than meet the eye.
Many in Montenegro are actually on Trump’s side in this instance. This is something that will shock many of Trump’s liberal US critics, many of whom cheered on the NATO bombing of Montenegro in 1999. The rest would probably be hard pressed to find Montenegro on a map.
Here’s why Marković deserved to be shoved.
1. Montenegro is the only NATO member to be bombed by NATO
Along with Serbia, Montenegro was the final Yugoslav republic to hold fast in the face of foreign funded sectarian war and illegal foreign aggression in the 1990s.
Among the hundreds of civilians killed in NATO’s 1999 war crime, several dozen were in Montenegro.
NATO has never apologised nor atoned for this atrocity which has created a crisis of Serbian refugees from the Serbian Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. This very real refugee crisis remains totally unresolved.
The people of the small Republic of Montenegro consider Serbs to be a fraternal people. Both share the same history, the same Orthodox Christian faith and many even share friends and family.
Many have alleged that the 2006 referendum to split from Serbia was less than democratic. Some have said it was rigged.
Marković brought his country into a NATO alliance that most of his countrymen resent. Many can remember the horrors of the very recent NATO war on Montenegro.
2. Marković is undemocratic
Montenegrins protested for months due to the fact that the government would not grant the people a democratic referendum on NATO membership. The government would have likely lost and that’s why Marković didn’t want to give the people a say.
3. Militarily speaking Montenegro is irrelevant
With a population of 625,883 and falling and the smallest military of any NATO state, Montenegro’s membership of NATO will be costly (and Trump wants even more financial contributions) and useless.
With NATO dominated by America, there is little that Montenegro’s small force could materially and practically offer to the alliance in the event of further war.
As of 2015 the entire military of Montenegro has less than 2,000 men. The New York National Guard alone has 16,000.
The motives for joining NATO are therefore entirely political and deep down Marković knows this.
4. Marković shoved is REAL friends out of the way
By joining NATO, Marković has made it so that a traditional Serbian ally is now helping complete the process of surrounding Serbia with hostile NATO and EU states.
Serbia is now landlocked and what is more, because Montenegro is in NATO, Serbia no longer has sea access via a friendly, fraternal nation.
Marković’s shove to Serbia is far more meaningful than the one Donald Trump gave to him.
5. Marković should get used to being shoved around
If nations far larger than Montenegro are shoved around by NATO, I can think of no better metaphor for baptism into the obsolete NATO club than being physically pushed around than the leader of the only NATO member which really counts.
Turkey, the NATO country with the second largest army, can just about afford to do what it wants, virtually no others can or dare try.
There will be a lot more shoving to come, in all of its many guises.
This piece of course is a criticism of Marković the man and the politician but not of his nation. Marković betrayed the history, traditions, culture needs and democratic desires of his people. That is why many Montenegrins would happily do much more than shove Marković if they got the chance.