Thursday, April 27, 2006

Volen Siderov

Today Volen Siderov will lead a rally in Sofia to protest the planned creation of US military bases in Bulgaria. So it is a good day to write a post about this unpleasant man.
I have no information about the pre-1989 biography of Volen Siderov, except what the paper Starshel wrote - that he was a photographer working for the militia (i.e. the communist police) in the town of Vratza. So nobody seems to know why after 1989 Siderov was appointed as an editor of the anticommunist newspaper Demokratsia ("Democracy") and later became Editor-in-chief.
Later Siderov was fired from the paper (which, by the way, exists no more) and stopped pretending to be a democrat. He started a show called Ataka ("Attack") on the cable channel Scat TV. I have had an occasional glance of his show. It is based on primitive hate of The Others - the Jews, the Gypsies, the Turks, the Americans and so on - blaming all Bulgaria's problems on them. Of course there is plenty of nationalistic talk, waiving the Bulgarian flag etc. (Unlike some other countries, e.g. USA, in Bulgaria good people don't have the habit to waive the national flag and show their patriotic feelings in public.)
During last year's election campaign, Siderov suddenly formed a political party naming it Ataka after his show. Its program followed the same pseudo-patriotic and hate-mongering pattern. In his public appearances, Siderov showed much similarity to Hitler, most likely due to careful watching of Hitler's videotapes and deliberate imitation. He used very efficiently the murder of a Bulgarian professor by Gypsies (mentioned in my previous post). His party organized rallies in the district where the murder occurred and elsewhere and promised law and order to the Bulgarians.
Days before the elections, my friend traveled in a taxi. The driver said he would vote for Ataka because he was fed up with the Gypsies. My friend asked, "If Ataka wins, do you imagine they will make the Gypsies disappear?" After some thinking, the driver replied, "You are right." But few were asking questions, and Ataka emerged after the elections as the No. 4 political force, performing better than any of the anticommunist parties. Some commentators, trying to exonerate the pro-Ataka voters, said this was a legitimate protest vote. But Starshel again offered the best comment. It was titled The headless voter (reminiscent to Mayne Reid's novel The Headless Horseman) and said that voters deserve much blame when they voluntarily choose to be headless people instead of citizens.
In the Parliament, Ataka continued with the hate talk and nothing else. However, several weeks ago an incident made headlines. I'll copy some text from the blog An Englishman in Bulgaria (http://bulgarbrit.blogspot.com/):
"It all started when the glorious fuhrer, Volen Siderov, was involved in a minor car crash. He was quick to make the most of it, claiming that it was a failed assassination attempt. However, after some police investigation a more plausible story emerged. Pavel Chernev, the Ataka deputy leader, was travelling with Siderov when their car hit another. Chernev got out of the vehicle and proceeded to beat up the driver of the other vehicle. This was the story until Chernev changed it - claiming that Siderov persuaded him to take the blame when it was really Siderov's driver that carried out the assault. Siderov apparently wanted to protect the driver, who was already on probation for other crimes. Chernev was allegedly paid to be the fall guy, according to nationalist MP Mitko Dimitrov. "Chernev had no money at the end of last week, but now he seems to be quite rich," he told reporters. I don't know why Chernev changed his story, but Volen Siderov is still sticking to his claim that it is all a vast conspiracy to discredit him and his party. Personally, I think he is doing a good job of this himself. "
I wish to add that the driver of the other car was a student taking his 84-year old sick grandfather to the hospital. Siderov's companion not only beat the student and reportedly the old man too, but perforated the tires of their car to prevent their eventual "escape". The boy was studying in Britain and, being out of touch with Bulgarian political life, was quite shocked. He thought he was in the hands of bandits or possibly roque cops, who in Bulgaria are sometimes difficult to distinguish from bandits.
Kurt Vonnegut once wrote that we become what we pretend to be and therefore we must be careful what we pretend to be. Siderov imitated the madman Hitler so keenly that started to behave like a madman himself. I hope this story will bring about his political demise, but one should not be too optimistic about the Bulgarian reality - here almost everything is possible.

6 comments:

The thinkin' man said...

dearest maya,

in my ongoing effort to mobilize the people against ignorance i would greatly appreciate it if you would visit my blog at counterataka.blogspot.com and give some feedback. thanks and have a wonderful day.

programmer craig said...

Good to see you blogging, Maya... I've bookmarked you, though I don't seem to be spending much time on blogs anymore.

PS-Followed you over here from Highlander's :)

Nasko said...

dearest ignoramuses, Volen is a real democrat who loves his country more than all of you haters combined! The thinking man should go to Kardjaly and try to get a job there without being a member of the turkish ethnic nationalist party (DPS) or without speaking Turkish!
Do you not love your country? Do you not feel that Bulgaria is being ruled by foreign entities: Stanishev (russian communist), Simeon (german capitalist) and Dogan (a Turk interested in taking over half of our country).
Please be careful what you classify as hate speech as yours is more hateful than Volen's. Can I ask you a simple question: What have you done for your country ever? You only know how to criticize (80% of bulgarians) and not to be creative and build something meaningful for the glory of God and country.
Everyone has a right to an opinion. If Dogan is one of the leaders of Bulgaria and he can say whatever he wants without being criticized, why shouldn't we let a real Bulgarian like Volen answer him? Since the rest of us are "raia i mursha" and we always bring down and betray the bolder ones among us(think Stambolov, Levski...).
Because of small minds such as yours, Bulgaria is where it is now. Instead of arguing to split the "banitza", why don't we find ways to make it bigger for everyone?
God Bless Bulgaria and all real Orthodox Christians that still live there...

Maya M said...

Nasko, what is uploaded in the Web by me shows well enough what I have done for my country. So you can answer your question yourself. However, I have no way to see what YOU have done for the country.
And I wish to ask what Volen Siderov actually does to solve the DPS and the Gypsy problems. All I hear from him is empty talk, tailored for Bulgarians with IQ in the range 70-85.

Anonymous said...

Yes Volen Siderov is extreme and I don't justify him for expressing his rudeness towards Gypsies, Turks, or any other ethnicity. However, the man is clearly trying to save the country from being manipulated by foreigners who have a different agenda. It is evident that Dogan has a big say in Bulgarian politics and so does Stanishev. Our country is run by people who are not even Bulgarian and who clearly don't defend the ordinary Bulagrian citizen's interest. The Bulgarian nation needs to wake up and realize other people are taking over our country. I have nothing against Islam at all, but why are so many mosques being built in Kurdjali? It almost looks like a little Kosovo down there. The last thing Bulgaria needs is for this region to break away. Volen Siderov expresses nationalism, something we as Bulgarians all need. Without an identity we will fall under the influence of others. We should preserve the rich history we have and promote it. We should not forget who we are. Of course we should integrate other minorities in our own society but we certainly should not let them run our government and country. I admit Siderov is on the extreme side but I admire his desire to keep our national identity, something that no one seems to be doing.

Maya M said...

Anonymous, I understand and respect your feelings and have some of them myself, but I disagree with you. Unlike you, I am not sure at all in Siderov's good intentions. But even if he has them, the result of his actions is harm. I agree that Bulgarians need nationalism, but Siderov is discrediting Bulgarian nationalism. People now don't dare to express even a bit of nationalism because of fear that the audience will lump them together with Siderov. Moreover, one of the factors for the unfortunate stability of the current Bulgarian government is the presence of Ataka party in the opposition. I mean, if other opposition parties act without Ataka, they are too weak, and if they act with Ataka, they discredit themselves.
About the non-Bulgarians ruling Bulgaria - two of the three (Stanishev and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) were elected by ethnic Bulgarians. We elect them ourselves and then wonder why they don't work in our interest! (The "we" is formal of course, I haven't voted for them and I guess you haven't either.)
DPS and Dogan can be easily defanged by adopting majoritary rep (majoritarna sistema).
I don't think Kardjali is going to break away, but if it does, it will be due to the fact that Bulgaria becomes less and less suitable for human habitation. After I have recently considered emigration myself, I cannot blame people for the wish to break away from Bulgaria.