Milosevic: Vital and crucial Balkan issues

by “Diodoros”

(“To Vima”, July 1, 2001)

[…] Serbia has at last surrendered Slobodan Milosevic to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. I have heard and read accusations about his having been “sold out” by his fellow-countrymen in exchange for money, international economic aid. Those who, just a few months ago hailed him as “the Balkan Bismarck” who would have liberated and united Serbian territories, now say he should be tried in his own country.

But what could he be tried for in Belgrade? Is there a penal code in any country anywhere that covers war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and ethnic cleansing? Even if the enlightened Milosevic regime had had the foresight to pass such legislation against itself so that he could be put on trial some day, these crimes did not happen only in Yugoslavia; they happened in Bosnia and in Croatia too. They are international crimes, accountable only to an international court […].

As for the economic aid bound up with his surrender and trial, it will only be a pittance when compared with the destruction which his policies wreaked on his country — but it will be the first contribution Milosevic the “patriot” and “nationalist” has ever made to the country. But in reality, he was neither patriot nor nationalist. He was a true communist before he became an even truer nationalist. He could just as well have become a Buddhist, an anarchist or a vegetarian, if it had meant staying in power. Nothing else mattered to him.

If, then, his few supporters do not succeed in creating great unrest, and Yugoslavia manages to regain its balance, it will restore balance to the whole region. Let Milosevic’s mistakes be a lesson to the leaders of the Albanians and the Makedoncis. Then this “European tinder box” will see better times. Let’s be optimistic, Dear Diary […].


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