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Another Can Of Worms

Can Of WormsCan Of Worms

I expect that this blog will open a can of worms. I expect you all to write nasty responses and tell me what a bad person I am and how wrong I am and that I should leave Serbia immediately. But really, who cares? Chill out. :-)

Serbia just had an election. Has anything changed? Here are a few thoughts that I jotted down as I visited the different party campaign headquarters Sunday night.

Electoral combinations

The Serbian election result is anything but clear. There is a significant chance that a government may not be formed within the 90 day statutory limit, thereby triggering new elections. If a government is formed it may be a minority government with a Premier from the DS (possibly Djelic) in coalition with G17+ and LDP, with support from DSS. It appears that Kostunica will participate in a majority government with DS only if he is named Premier, and then only without the participation of the LDP. It is quite probable that the minority parties will go into coalition with whoever forms a government. At present the parties are just beginning to assess their initial positions and post-election results and rumours are running rampant. One important point of interest: for the first time ever the DS did poorly in their traditional stronghold of Belgrade, with more people voting for the Radicals than for the DS. Does anyone in the DS realise how serious this is?

Ramifications for Kosovo

If a government is not formed it will be due to a convergence of various interests. First, there are enormous ideological differences between DS and DSS. Second, no one really wants to be in power when Kosovo is lost. Third, by not forming a government Serbia will be unable to send an authorized negotiating team to participate in the final four rounds of negotiations on Kosovo. Some assume this would force the international community to delay the start of negotiations until such time as Serbia can put together a government, which could conceivably be delayed until late July or August. Belgrade would hope that Albanian frustration at the delay would lead to violence, thereby weakening Pristina’s bargaining position.

There is strong international pressure on the parties to form a government, which is resulting in an awkward Catch 22. The International Community (IC) wants Serbia to form a government so that the IC can move forward with Kosovo status, while the Serbian parties want the IC to move forward with Kosovo status so that they can form a government.

The “Democratic Block”

The term “democratic” block is a misnomer and creates an inaccurate representation of political life, as all the parties are “democratic” to one degree or another. There are in fact two blocks in Serbian politics. The first is comprised of pro-western parties that favour liberal democracy. The second is anti-western parties that favour a paternalistic authoritarian Russian-style of “democracy”. The first block is comprised of DS, G17+ and LDP. The second block is made up of DSS, SRS and SPS.

In the previous parliament the anti-western block held 71 % of the parliamentary seats. In the current parliament that number has dropped to 66 %. Although an encouraging trend, it means that whoever forms a government will have to find parliamentary support from this block, which means that reforms could be stalled. It also means that the price of this support is continued obstruction of the ICTY and a lack of cooperation on other issues ranging from Kosovo to Bosnia. On the internal political scene it is uncertain how this will affect the reform process, although it could make things difficult.

Many people ask what the difference is between the DSS and the SRS. As nearly as I can tell, the only significant ideological difference is that while the SRS still claims Croatia and Bosnia for a Greater Serbia, the DSS wants only Bosnia and has dropped Croatia from the list. In all other respects they appear to be ideologically and philosophically identical. It seems that there are only two reasons that they are not joined together as one party. First is Seselj’s personality. Second is snobbishness: the SRS is comprised primarily of the lumpenproletariat and refugees, while the DSS is primarily pseudo-intellectuals and middle class. Although both think alike, they wouldn’t be caught dead at the same parties or slavas. In other words, the main difference between the SRS and the DSS is one of social class distinction.

Best Party After-Party

What’s a political party without a good after-party? After visiting the various campaign headquarters Sunday night, I decided that the best two parties – as judged by their parties – were the SRS and LDP. Inside the SRS headquarters in Zemun there was lots of really good food, rakija (I don’t drink) and roast pig. Although the atmosphere was rather serious and sombre, almost like a funeral home. But there were lots of roaring drunk people outside on the main street of Zemun, as well as trumpeters on the Trg in front of the SRS headquarters and on the main street. The LDP party was also really good, held in the Dom Omladine. Everybody was exceedingly happy and there was lots of good cheer. At the end I would have to say that the LDP party was the best. The DS party seemed to be too self-absorbed and they seemed to be oblivious to the fact that Tadic really screwed up the campaign and got at least 6% less then he should have, and that the DS had lost Belgrade for the first time in history. The other parties seemed rather dull and stiff.

Very sad indeed

How sad it is when people use post-election parties to glorify political party they support and possibly finance? And all this on the blog visited only by supportes of that party (with the exceptions few and far between). Luckily, Mr Lyon's investment didn't pay off so a bit of saddness is acceptable.


Who is going to have the best After-Party is the only mistery of this elections and in serbian politics in general. Everything else was rather predictable. No one has interest to win and to take responsibilities. They are just bying the time as always, it is so obvious. So called Democratic Block is divided by mean not perchance.

Serbia is an unhappy

Serbia is an unhappy place!
It is like the colors on the flag: red-the reminder of the past, blue-sadness, white-depressing. A lot of countries have it. All events pre- during- post the elections: cheering, spitting at each other, skinheads, the morning after, you name it...The same groups of people and the outcomes that will lead to nowhere...Why? Just because...


keeping this window open for more than 30 minutes, I realise that the only thing that remains to say is

the can has already been opened
your blog has nothing to do with it


Thanks for the comprehensive and true DSS/SRS comparison! Great!

I could sign this :o)

James Lyon: ... At the end I would have to say that the LDP party was the best ...

This is true

This is all true. Many people in Serbia realize this, but we have to keep a little hope that it will be better. Could you also give some good advice how to make the things better?

Good analysis, Mr. Lyon

I agree with you on all points, especially DSS-SRS. Well said.

James, how does it look

when you were at the HQ of SRS? You just went there? What was their reaction? Happy? Surprised nicely? Drinking together with crossed hands :) Please, share with us this exceptional experience ;)

Almost perfect description


Would you also compare SRS to LDP directly ?
Do they have some common grounds at all or are they in complete contrast ? (just curious)

Unfortunately pretty shallow

Unfortunately pretty shallow analyses by Mr Lion...
Do You really not understand results of elections or You are just pretending?
Let's be little more realistic, as Mr Karl Bilt was in his comment today.
There are more than 500 000 refugees at the moment in Serbia, people who are desperately voting for SRS and partly DSS...looking for somekind of depresive satisfaction...I hope You may guess why is that so.
At the same time Serbia is preparing to become the first country in history which will lose a part of it's land because of fight with rebels who wanted their brand new country on the teritory of Serbia.
And after all prodemocratic block won the elections but it is not good enough for You?
I bet You would be more excited If SRS won so You may describe all Serbs as people who are eating pork and roaring (as lions) on the streets...
I have to dissapoint You but there are people like Djelic, Tadic, Dinkic...and I hope they will be able to make good things for all of us who want to move forward.

Reasonable & feasible?

If a government is formed it may be a minority government with a Premier from the DS (possibly Djelic) in coalition with G17+ and LDP, with support from DSS.

Could you (or anyone else reading this Blog) imagine the DS and the G17+ people (lots of potential ministers) to give up one or two offices for the LDP Coalition's sake? Without any particular reason?
Imagine Velja Ilic to raise his Capital hand in the Parliament only, instead continuing to be the Capital Investment Minister?
Imagine Dinkic continuing as the Finance Minister, but Supervised by PM Bozidar Djelic on daily (weeekly) basis, not to mention Djelic's choice for the Central Bank Management?
Just imagine the DSS MPs voting for LDPs draft law on repealing financial support to the SPC from the revenue?

Such a miniority government could last no longer than summer, which is the statutory deadline (30+90+60 days) for new parliamentary election to be held, in case of failure to form a government according to the yesterday's election output. Including "Catch 22" reason, of course.

Your second option seems to be more viable (DS-DSS/NS-G17+) with Kostunica as new/old PM, but this might include many trilateral (material) compromises, full 90-day consultation limit, and, before "fruitful outcome", desirable "Catch 22" sudden openning (soft approach, if possible).

Other bargaining outcomes are possible too, including new (midsummer) election.

I completely agree with your

I completely agree with your depiction of the bifurcation of the political spectrum in Serbia.

The success of the SRS in this election can probably mean only that their voters (some of whom have switched from SPS to SRS) will never change their minds; their number will decrease only as they die.

The time ahead seems precarious for Serbia.


still no comment on DS’s lost elections in belgrade? not anywhere on the b92 blog?


that was a rather good analysis I must admit. One point though: the social class distinction between the DSS and the SRS is more important and has far more political weight than you are prepared to admit. It's stopping the DSS from going to bed with the radicals and hence throwing Serbia into complete chaos. If push comes to shove, some of those pseudo-intellectuals will swing towards the DSS grass roots, which is the DS and not the radicals, while others will obviously spill over to the SRS, giving them even more votes. Which is why Europe and the US are trying as hard as they can to keep DSS inside a single democratic bloc, although it does leave a bitter taste.

DS loss in Belgrade

My guess is that DS lost votes in Belgrade to LDP and G17, not to the Radicals, who have a stable electorate that has not increased nor decreased over the years.

A breakdown of the vote by region could show if I'm right or wrong,

The Radicals recieving 100,000 votes more than they did last time is also due to the fact that the total turnout was higher than in earlier elections.

The entrance of LDP on the scene is probably the most significant event of these elections, along with the exit of SPO
The most probable coalition being DSS - G17 - DS (the sequence might also reflect the relations within the coalitions, G17 being a mediator between the two) + the minority parties

In addition to this the rest of the parliament could look like

[SRS]-SPS->(DSS-G17-DS){-LDP-Minority parties

G17 and LDP might be more inclined to cooperate with DS, while DSS could use SPS (maybe parts of SRS on some issues) from time to time to keep executive power within the coalition in check.

I guess the results are not too bad after all, if the core parties in this projection produce an arrangement.

Great James, especially

Great James, especially this:

only significant ideological difference is that while the SRS still claims Croatia and Bosnia for a Greater Serbia, the DSS wants only Bosnia and has dropped Croatia from the list.

How long must we wait

...for the SPS supporters to die of old age?

...for Belgrade's un/underemployed 20-somethings living with their parents to stop saying "ja bih za DS/G17/LDP, ali mrzi me da idem da glasam"?

...for the refugee Serb victims to take those pictures of Sloba and Ratko off their walls?

...(heaven forbid) for a victorious Šešelj to come back from The Hague, vindicated and transformed from Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader?

I have no intention of going back to England to live, but I fear I might have to (be forced by Radicals to) leave my beloved Serbia some day soon. Šmrc!

Fear not Mark,

We'll have many more beers together in this God-forsaken land, especially after we've won the league title.

Marko man,

dont be worry. Fuck radicals.

9 februara, u domu omladine je koncert elektricnog orgazma.
Nemoj da propustis.

where to sign

geart statment about DSS / SRS differences!
just tell me where to sign...

Spot on...

...when it comes to the results analysis, I especially agree with putting DSS and SRS in the same bag.

agree with everything

agree with everything said.

indeed it is taking too long for some minds to change or die of old age

After this

After this elections DS, G17, LSV, GSS, and SDU look quite pleased with their achievements. DSS and NS neither lost nor benefited too much, while it seems that SPO and LDP fell short far away from their expectations.

everything you write is wrong.... or propaganda based

james: you are consistently wrong. you write about a serbia you want... rather than the serbia you see. lets clear up the errors:

1. there is great deal of difference between DS and DSS. DSS is not run by a politician. he will complete his duty and then retire. DS is run by a softie who will cave in.

2. in another interview you stated that russia will be bought off. the PM did not state what he stated just to be bought off. what hubris. yet another example of serious western disrespect toward moscow. your words and actions toward moscow the past 8 years has created the bear you now dread. moscow is choosing kosovo to re-establish itself in europe b/c it's winnable. you are in for serious wake up call.

3. unilateral declarations of independence will have disastrous effects. expect the following fairly predictable events: exodus of serbs from south kosovo to north of the ibar; counter declaration north of the ibar leading to de-facto partition; prolonged legal challenge; spotty recognition; total and complete isolation (diplomatic, economic, political, cultural, and social); precedent... with the first effects felt in bosnia).

4. of the above, the economic isolation will be most damaging for kosovo. one look at a map shows where the roads, railways, and river point... and where they "ain't." an economically viable kosovo with a belligerant serbia at its borders is a non-starter. and re-orienting thrufare to the west via creation of roadways and rails thru albania is also a non-starter... the markets they need to sell to are in the other direction .. not thru albania. do you really think serbia will be humiliated by losing kosovo against its will... and then be nice to it?

one more thing...

it was not tadic who screwed up... it was you and your embassy that screwed tadic. you provided silly support to LDP and he took away tadic's 6%.

finally, if i were kostunica i wold call polt in for a dressing down... with his transparent efforts at trying to influence the election. and then i would call in b92 and ask why did they publish a fake story about a bomb under cedo's car?

when are you gonna stoptrying to make a circle a squre.

yankee go home!

but totally wrong thing

I voted in December 2003 for DS. I voted for Mr. Tadic for president too. But that was my last vote for them. Meanwhile they screwed up and they are lost my vote. So I changed my mind about DS and that was not Mr. Lion or american embassy guilt as you claim. For all this time silence from DS for everythig was happening is the main reason and lack of any political action. I'm happy that I'm not one of 920000 people which vote could be brought to DSS. I hope that this will not happen and this time DS will have strong will to get PM place like it deserves.

Mr Blagoje, your mind is twisted by dark side of force. So you are not able to see real picture. That's why you can't understand what Cheda speaks. You are exclusive, so yankee don't go home, stay with us. As long you need or want.

You are WELCOME here.

Democratic block

Democratic block is just a term that – as you rightly point out used for - pro-western parties that favor liberal democracy. There is reason for this I think ... Having experience of living in Serbia can you imagine that majority of people would understand and able to repeat “pro-western parties that favor liberal democracy”? I have to admit that I think if that is the case LDP would have 100% of votes on the elctions. “Democratic block” is simply term that political parties use to identify themselves (as I said it has some historical significance as well) to the potential voters as:

- parties that were struggling against Milosevic
- would bring Serbia to European Union
- would attract US funding

Otherwise what I found very strange and unnecessary is this introduction from the beginning of your blog:

I expect that this blog will open a can of worms. I expect you all to write nasty responses and tell me what a bad person I am and how wrong I am and that I should leave Serbia immediately.

What I think, and would like to believe that a lot of other people think as well – is that you are right and anyway, never apologize for what you think. It’s a hard lesson that we learned in Serbia during Milosevic time. There is nothing offending in what you wrote. For me its very interesting to read such a good simple analyses of the situation by foreigner ... not wanting to sound nationalistic and to offend you ... I was director of one big American non-government organization in Belgrade for couple of years during Milosevic regime and had lots of contacts with Americans in Belgrade working for governmental and non-governmental organizations and ... oh how I would have liked to work with people like you who understand.

It also saved me a lot of time trying to explain these things to my husband who is foreigner and always has a lot of questions!:)

*ko mi te uzme iz moje dushe kosovo*

i would really like the kosovo to stay in serbia and then that kosovo albanian parties make a coalition( with the seats in the coalition similar to their distribution in the kosovo parliament), with 1,5 million votes have the strongest fraction in parliament and ask for the mandate to build the serbian goverment. if serbia asks for kosovo to remain part of serbia it would be only fair that kosovo albanians have a say in serbian elections and politics.

What a bad person you are.

I expect that this blog will open a can of worms. I expect you all to write nasty responses and tell me what a bad person I am and how wrong I am and that I should leave Serbia immediately. But really, who cares? Chill out. :-)

What a bad person you are. You are so wrong and you should leave Serbia immediately.


Dzimi, mogao bi ti i bolje, samo da se potrudis

Ovaj g. Lajon mi je bas simpatican zato sto izgleda dobrocudno i sedi tolike godine u Srbiji. Neko drugi bi odavno pobegao. Dzimi se izgleda iskreno interesuje za nase prilike i probleme.

Utoliko vise pada u oci povrsnost ovog gore teskta. (Ili je mozda svaki blog povrsan, po definiciji?) G. Lajon nam prica ono sto i vrapci znaju vec n godina, n>1: Da je SRS bio i da ce biti jaka opozicija, a vlada ce opet da nam bude klimava koalicija. Rupa na saksiji!

Pravo pitanje je zasto je to tako. A jos interesantnije pod-pitanje je koliku ulogu u odrzavanju ovakvog stanja ima tzv Medjunarodna Zajednica (MZ).

G. Lajon sasvim neoriginalno zanemaruje ova pitanja. Steta, posto je u dobroj situaciji da se njima pozabavi, buduci da je poreklom iz MZ, a zatim vec n godina sedi u Srbiji, n>1.

Umesto toga, on nam implicira (opet) kako mi Srbi ne valjamo jer smo, eto opet, propustili priliku da se popravimo iz predmeta Demokratija. Oni (MZ) su suva vrlina, a mi smo beznadezni ponavljaci.

Dosta vise Dzimi, zaista nije originalno. Ne smeta mi da sedis u Srbiji, ali, brate, kazi nesto novo.

I probaj rakiju.


i could agree with everything you said, particularly everything ...

...the only thing which boders me a bit is your huge interpunction on DS who had a "less" votes than SRS in Belgrade !? is it so hard to imagine to whom 70% of their Belgrade votes went ? for me not at all ... 70% is almost 100 000 of DS "traditional" voters who elected LDP ! this is a fact Mr. Lyon, you and others could believe it or not but me it makes preaty excited in some really strange way ...

PS small suggestion; if u really want that your posts have some more pith and substance u should give a try to answer the question people live it here, like this for example ...

This is true
dmilos (23 Januar, 2007 - 00:07)

This is all true. Many people in Serbia realize this, but we have to keep a little hope that it will be better. Could you also give some good advice how to make the things better?

Worm's here

One important point of interest: for the first time ever the DS did poorly in their traditional stronghold of Belgrade, with more people voting for the Radicals than for the DS.

1. 492.822 votes for Democratic Party and it's "children" (successor parties since 1990).

2. 265.614 votes for Radicals.

You can freely add Socialist votes to the Radicals, if you want and you'll still be wrong.

Many people ask what the difference is between the DSS and the SRS.

DSS is recognised as democratic party by being member of European Peoples Party. What they dream about - I don't care.

I don't like conservatives of any kind, but I can't say they are not democrats.

'One important point of

'One important point of interest: for the first time ever the DS did poorly in their traditional stronghold of Belgrade, with more people voting for the Radicals than for the DS. Does anyone in the DS realise how serious this is?'

The reverse argument could be issued in the direction of LDP supporters not only in Belgrade but in Vojvodina also where DS lost thousands of voters. Did LDP voters realise that they would make SRS look even stronger?!! But frankly, who cares? Thats not an important issue even if it appears symbolic.

If you know the recent political history of Serbia then you also know how almost all of the supposed 'democratic' parties came from the democratic block. Therefore less votes in Belgrade or Vojvodina is not unexpected in the context of the creation of the new LDP. No doubt at the next election when LDP are up to 12 percent and DS down to 18 people will point out that DS no longer hold a majority in any area of the country.


When have we started to use English in this Blog? So, we are now assuming remarkably high level of education of our little Blog society. So far it was occasionally used by our southern neighbors who wanted to express themselves, but find it quite difficult to choose the correct case among those seven that we have. Even the gay from that place on Adriatic Cost, that used to work in Belgrade, writes to us in Serbian (probably to be able to irritate wider population).

Now we look like those dressed up peasants from New Jersey, trying to enter “54”. Because of that I did not even bother to read the text.

Yes, I’ve done it also in English, otherwise some of you smart guys would have “clear explanation” for my comment.

Cak i homo sa Jadrana, koji je radio u Beogradu, pise na srpskom

Gospodin Lyon dobro govori srpski. Cak sta vise, odlicno! Slusala sam ga u jednom Utisku nedelje. Ni ja ne razumem zasto pise na engleskom. Valjda svi automatski odreagujemo pa pisemo na engleskom. Vazno je komentarisati i reagovati na nepravdu, kako u politici, tako i u zivotu u kome se delimo na crne i bele, i u kome zavirivanje u tudj donji ves postaje svakodnevna stvar. Ovo nije comment na komentar.


I don't get it Mr Lyon, do you truly believe in stuff you wrote, or something else is behind your story.
It's unbelievable that someone who is politicaly educated can put DSS in same "bag" with SRS and SPS. Did you read their political programmes? Did you try to learn something about political history of 90-ies in Serbia before you came here? I would like to know grounds on which you base yor claim? Personal feelings, chit-chat with LDP members or objective assesment? They share same view on "hard russian democracy" ?! What's that? Does it mean that USA has "soft democracy"?
DSS has far more resemblance with DS, after all they have same roots, they parted from each other when DS, I repeat, DS didn't want to form alliance with members of joined oposition in '92. My opinion is that LDP very much looks like SRS, they both share extreme ideology, hate in their speeches and lack of tolerance towards their political opponents.
Your statement that DS has lost Belgrade is incorrect, and unfortunately it shows your supperficial view on the parties in Serbia. Check the results of the last parlamentary elections in 2003, DSS was first in Belgrade, SRS second and DS third. So, one can say that DS has improved their position in Belgrade.
Sorry for my spelling errors,
Best wishes, Nikola

SRS = DSS indeed

Both SRS and DSS are nationalist, just different versions for different social classes.

LDP is not extreme. What is extreme is the fact that SRS gets 28% of the votes. In normal societies parties with LDP views would get 20-30% of the votes while SRS like parties would get 2-10%.

The whole political picture of Serbia is extreme and not LDP, or SRS for that matter.

DSS is a necessary evil in the coalition government, while a natural alignment of ideologically like parties would be DS, G17, LDP, while DSS and SRS would go together, weather you like it or not.

Why did Kostunica never clearly state that he would not go into coalition with SRS?

SRS should be marginalized and a persona non grata in any talks, coalitions, ect. It is a ver very negative movement, similar to Hizbolah in Lebanon.

i beg to differ

there most certainly is bias in his statements. nearly every word uttered from his mouth is calculated to promote a certain geo-strategic worldview.

do you not think that labelling the DSS (kostunica) the same as SRS (the radicals) is not intended to impugn the man who brought down milosevic without U.S. support?

guys like lyon are nothing but attack dogs sent to character assasinate anyone who differs in opinion. in this case... kostunica (who's democratic credentials are exceedingly clear and have never been in question). every capital of every single european country will confirm this and disagree with what lyon says.

guys like lyon do this to scare the typical serb into supporting western preferred candidates. the typical method used is to frighten common serbs by saying: "we will lose both the EU and Kosovo."

the problem for lyon is that kostunica can't be bought (unlike his beloved ceda) and kostnica won't cave (unlike tadic). the main reason is b/c kostunica is not politician and could hardly care less for a political career. he simply wants to save the unionand go about his way when its all done.

kostunica's kosovo stand is sound. it is legally based in international law. he has done a masterful job in swaying an increasing amount of countries to his side and PM Putin has been particularly clear (3x already)... and this has made the proponents of independence frustrated.

my wife is not serbian and i too need to explain to her the the subtler forms of "joint criminal enterprise" practiced by the ICG and James.

I repeat - Yankee Go Home! A democratic Europe has no room for an American superpower out of control.

Mr. Kostunica's democratic credentials

guys like lyon are nothing but attack dogs sent to character assasinate anyone who differs in opinion. in this case... kostunica (who's democratic credentials are exceedingly clear and have never been in question). every capital of every single european country will confirm this and disagree with what lyon says.

Maybe some European capitals will confirm that, but they do not live in Serbia like Mr. Lyon; and I also presume that you do not live here either.
What Mr. Lyon is saying has no reason of being orchestrated by anybody because it is perfectly self-evident to every politically-conscious and rational citizen of Serbia.
I happen to share Mr. Lyon's sentiment and I am a citizen of Serbia who works for no international organization nor has come here indoctrinated by the "western perspective". It is simply a matter of rational thinking and analytical reasoning. The same cannot be said about your post above because it is grounded in conspiracy theories and dogmatic belief.
I failed to recognize among your arguments anything that is a real challenge to anything that Mr. Lyon has said. Moreover, the crux of your argument is an endeavor to discredit Mr. Lyon as a person, not his arguments.
I assume that when you spoke about Mr. Kostunica's democratic credentials, you had in mind his most recent display of democratic predilection embodied in his forming a coalition with Milosevic-era thugs and Master of Science Velimir Ilic.

i'm not convinced

Lyon lives in serbia to establish the work of an organization with a certain geo-strategic agenda. i don't think that you can argue with that basic fact.

He is employed by that organization and earns a salary to help achieve that agenda. There is nothing conspiratorial about that statement of fact.

Neither is their anything conspiratorial in the statement that the ICG has a decidely anti-Serbian agenda.

As for discrediting this American attack dog... Lyon does it to himself without my help. He compared Kostunica with the SRS and he needs to be called on it. His mouth often gets in the way of his brains.

And actually... when I spoke of democratic credentials, I was speaking of Kostunica's fundamental role in taking down Slobodan Milosevic.

I too am a citizen of Serbia and happen to be born and raised in Belgrade but am currently employed in New York City, but am back home routinely.

My comments stand (and there are many like me happy to show him the door).


Kostunica was a necessary

Kostunica was a necessary evil in order to get the nationalist votes on the side of DOS to bring Milosevic down.
Same Kostunica is the one that fought Djindjic and his government, and nudged his assasination.

I will be very happy when you leave Serbia :]

How can you insult citizens of Serbia? You are guest in this country and therefore should show some respect. How can you say that 1 150 000 of Serbs are lumpenproletariat, who learned you manners? When you come to somebodies home it`s custom to respect the host (haven`t your parents taught you that?). If you have a problem with words, or expressing yourself in a civilized way, try reading a little, get some education... I could say that only idiots from UK votes for Blair, or that half apes vote for Bushand it`s ok to say it here, but i would never dare to say it in their country, because i`m only a guest in their house. So pack your bags and leave, no one invited you here anyway, or show some respect if you plan to stay. And try to use your brain a little (instead of insulting citizens of Serbia) maybe then you`ll get to the point of things. I`ll donate the money for your one way ticket out of Serbia if you have financial problems. Sorry for my bad English i hope you get the point



How can you insult citizens of Serbia? You are guest in this country and therefore should show some respect. How can you say that 1 150 000 of Serbs are lumpenproletariat, who learned you manners? When you come to somebodies home it`s custom to respect the host (haven`t your parents taught you that?). If you have a problem with words, or expressing yourself in a civilized way, try reading a little, get some education

Meni je malo nerazumljiv ovaj tvoj nastup. Nerazumljiv jer je dvojak – zameraš čoveku što misli i govori to što misli i govori, a potom i činjenicu što misli i govori sa pozicije stranca u Srbiji. Da li treba da zaključimo kako je dobar samo onaj stranac koji ili ćuti kao zaliven ili pak priča ono što nam uhu prija? A pošto u Srbiji ima par miliona ušiju (ili monitora, kako kome drago) kako im svima ugoditi?

O lumpenproletarijatu – rekao bih da tebi zapravo treba malo političke edukacije čim u istu kategoriju svrstavaš ovo sa jedne i majmune i idiote sa druge strane. Lumpenproletarijat (iako uistinu pežorativan) je izraz jednak ”pauperizovanom sloju” ili ”tranzicionim gubitnicima”. Ne vidim ništa preterano uvredljivo u njemu, više služi za opis no za uvredu. No, 100 ljudi 100 ćudi.

O uvredi – tokom upravo završene predizborne kampanje stranke i pojedinici u Srbiji su jedni na druge sasuli takve reke blata i uvreda (nazivali su se ubicama, narkomanima, mafijašima, ratnim zločincima i čime sve ne, a pominjale su se i uže i šire familije, kriminalni dosijei i mnogo šta drugo) da ”lumpenproletarijat” deluje kao bezazlena šala. Opet, ako se neko u tome prepozna, razumem da se može osećati uvređenim, ali ne razumem onda kako ga ne pogađaju ovi neuporedivo otrovniji izlivi mržnje već pomenuti.

Da ne ostane usamljen – ja o glasačima SRS mislim mnogo gore od njega. To su, kako ja vidim, frustrirani paćenici koji odbijaju da se probude iz iluzije kako je za brisanje svih poraza, poniženja i katastrofa iz 90–tih dovoljno da jednog nedeljnog prepodneva glasaju i na vlast u Srbiji dovedu extremne političare. Ovo je razmišljanje glupavo do imbecilnosti. Da li sam upravo uvredio ”građane Srbije”?

Na kraju – ako je čovek na samom početku svog teksta predvideo da će dobiti gomilu poruka gde mu se kaže da napusti Srbiju (ovo, znajući nas, usitinu i nije bilo teško predvideti) zašto si baš morao da upadneš u kliše?


Sta kao glasaci radikala

Sta kao glasaci radikala nisu raspadnuti, neobrazovani, zadrti, nacionalisticki proleterijat? pogledajte oko sebe!

Take money and (don't) run

James Lyon has to be congratulated! He is a well paid propagandist despite being a very poor one. But his bosses are, fortunately, well known for being shallow and lacking comprehension of the world they (seek to) control. So James is safe. Kudos to him for having what must be one of the best jobs in the world.

I can't beleve

that all you people are still wasting time making all those predictions, kombinations.....about the thing wich is NOT important at the first place. Is it realy important who's asse is going to take wich chare when nothing is going to change. Common people!!! GROW UP!!!

Ostajte ovdje, g. Lion

Ah... Gospodin Lion obozava da baca koske braci Srbima i gleda ih poput pasa kako se medjusobno kidaju i gloze, dele na ove i one, fine i ne-fine, demokrate i nedemokrate... Ja njega gledam kao na svojevrsni barometar polozaja i snage Srbije... Dokle god Srbija bude poslednja rupa na svirali, nju ce pohoditi shoder-lista eksperata i analiticara. Kad Srbija bude nesto znacila, iz ICC-a ce nam poslati nekog boljeg... Ovako, g. Lion i Srbija su u patoloskoj korelaciji... I nemojte se ljutiti na g. Liona i mrzeti ga... Ni njemu nije lako sto je delegiran vec godinama u ovoj vukojebini...

Next time Mr. Lion, try some rakija... You can end up being labeled as treated alcoholic, which is worse than being tagged as disturbing factor in otherwise idyllic Serbia (Denial is not just a river in Africa...).

Quote:only significant

only significant ideological difference is that while the SRS still claims Croatia and Bosnia for a Greater Serbia, the DSS wants only Bosnia and has dropped Croatia from the list.

Funny, because the DSS have for the past 12 years openly supported the Dayton Accord [which the SRS have, in turn, openly opposed]. What's more, they are the only party that has repeatedly reiterated their support for the Accord. The Accord states that BiH is an independent state made up of two entities. So unless there's a secret & vast right-wing conspiracy to annex BiH without anyone outside the DSS' Glavni odbor knowing about it, your analysis doesn't hold.

You are either misinformed (unlikely) or malicious (very likely).

As for the LDP being in the Vlada and the DSS supporting such a gov't -- that's beyond wishful thinking.

The new gov't will be made up of the DS (64), the DSS (47) and G17 (19).

Actually, Yankee stay here,

Actually, Yankee stay here, you blend in real swell. You even manage to eat piggies with Toma Grobar's ilk with no tummy trouble afterwards, just like any hungry local hack.

Yeah, yawn, right, the cup is three-quarters empty, the Radicals rule the roost in Belgrade. Tadić screwed up by almost doubling the party's vote. Righto.

Smarter people around here have done the math for you here, so no need to repeat anything. Do it again yourself, when you feel a tad less cranky than usual. Perhaps you should give it a swig once in a while as someone said.

Koštunjavi may not be my cuppa tea, far from it, but unlike your porkchompin' buddies, he can be reasoned with and dealt with. Even the nutty Velja ain't their league.

Far from perfect, the elections went quite OK. Serbia will manage. So will you. Cheers!

Sad but true...

James you tottaly wright.Combinations,democrates,radicals,blocs,party..."normal life"?You are speaking exactly what "some" people do not want to see...
I suggest to every citizen of this "country"
to look in a mirror and ask himself "Who I am and what I want?".If answer is "Over all I am citizen of planet Earth from south-east of Europe and I want life human worth" and if that answer is given by more than 50% of population,that would be sign that we are ready.
Don't go James,we need people like you here.
Thank you.


Деар мр Лион, аз ју ноу, ви аре вери интелиџент пипл. Енд ви кноу вај ју ар хир. Мани, мај мејт, из д тхинг дет кипинг ју дер, ај мин, хир ин Сербиа. Ју ар џаст ситинг дер, дуинг нотинг енд коментинг фор биг амаунт оф мани( $,€, етц.).
Бај д веј, сори фор д линго ај јуз, бат д уставна повеља сез дет д кирилик из д бејзик алфабет јузд ин хир.

Доћи ћеш ти Богу на истину!


Good morning

Good morning everybody!!!!!
Dobro jutro!!!!
Today is a new day!!
Danas je novi dan!!

For me here, over the Ocean,
kao i za vas sa druge strane!!!!!



ovo nije blog...

...nego čist pamflet.
ako uporedite sa ostalim blogovima, gde autori (ili kako se to već kaže) konstantno učestvuju u raspravi, g. lyon se uopšte ne oglašava.
svima nam je jasno zašto je on ovde. pa sve da amerika ima i najbolje namere prema srbiji, to teško može da dokaže, jer se nije pokazala u najboljem svetlu gde god je intervenisala u svetu. ili bi g. lyon mogao da mi navede neki primer kojim bi me demantovao?
i uopšte ne sumnjam da bi usa podržala i radikale, da im se učini da im je to u bilo kakvom interesu... setite se slobodana miloševića, uostalom.
na žalost, mi moramo da vodimo računa o geopolitici, ali zašto moramo da slušamo gluposti kao što je

anti-western block

neverovatno je licemerno ovako nazivati bilo koga. pa nisu oni antizapadni blok, oni su antiljudski blok, s tim što g. lyonu i njegovom poslodavcu to uopšte nije bitno- dok god neko nije protiv njih, taj im odgovara. vrlo je moguće da će ga/ih podržavati bez obzira na njegovo pravo lice... dobar članak je bio u vremenu o ovom upokojenom turkmenistancu, a tu su i razne alkaide i slično...
u stvari sam se javio potpuno zaprepašćen ljudima koji se oduševljavaju mišljenjima ljudi koja su dirigovana i tendenciozna, pa o čemu god ona bila (mislim na političke teme)



svima nam je jasno zašto je on ovde

Priznaću da meni nije jasno. Zašto je on ovde?


pa sve da amerika ima i najbolje namere prema srbiji, to teško može da dokaže, jer se nije pokazala u najboljem svetlu gde god je intervenisala u svetu. ili bi g. lyon mogao da mi navede neki primer kojim bi me demantovao?

Za njega ne znam, ali ja mogu. Solidna većina Evropljana, posebno onih zapadnih, će se složiti da su američke intervencije u dva svetska rata donele samo dobro. Isto bi mogli da kažu i stanovnici Južne Koreje ili Kuvajta, a i oni na jugu Vijetnama, da se taj rat kojim slučajem drugačije završio. Gubitnici u tim ratovima se verovatno neće složiti i smatraće američke intervencije pogubnim, ali tako je to sa gubitnicima uvek i svugde. Zapravo, tako je i sa nama – većina Srba smatra američke intervencije na Balkanu 90-tih kao štetne i pogrešne, ali cijenim da većina Albanaca ili Hrvata ili Muslimana ne misli tako, dapače. Ne bismo mislili ni mi (nismo mi nacija visokih moralnih principa kakvima sebe volimo da zamišljamo), da su kojim slučajem Ameri bili na našoj, a ne na strani naših protivnika. Mnogo smo isti.


na žalost, mi moramo da vodimo računa o geopolitici, ali zašto moramo da slušamo gluposti kao što je

Ne razumem ko te tera da slušaš bilo šta – klini na sledeći blog i nema više sadržaja koji te iritira?


u stvari sam se javio potpuno zaprepašćen ljudima koji se oduševljavaju mišljenjima ljudi koja su dirigovana i tendenciozna, pa o čemu god ona bila (mislim na političke teme)

Kako tačno prepoznaješ mišljenja koja su ”dirigovana i tendenciozna”? Kako praviš razliku između takvih i sasvim uobičajenih ličnih mišljenja kakve svako od nas ima? Evo, ja mogu da kažem kako se slažem sa recimo 90% onogo što je napisano u njegovom tekstu. Za neke detalje izneo bih čak i oštrije procene. Da li je i moje mišljenje, skoro identično njegovom, takođe ”dirigovano i tendenciozno” i ako jeste, ko mi ga diriguje i sa kakvim tendencijama mislim to što mislim?


To criticize Lyon's

To criticize Lyon's comparison of SRS&DSS is hypocritical without doing the same with the analogy that is so mainstream in Serbian political discourse (for the sake of an argument, let’s assume the discourse actually exists) today, SRS&LDP. In that context, one realizes how much the former actually makes sense and latter is just ridiculous. I do agree, James should be interacting with the rest of us who obviously have too much time on our hands to get all hot and bothered about this posting and comments that followed, but let us also not forget that detailed analysis is not what blogging is all about.

And I can’t help it here, but if anyone thinks that Kostunica “brought down Milosevic without” any “US support,” they are mistaken. And I emphasize here any. I guess some people feel better by scapegoating James Lyon, because that is the only way to vent out their anti-western tendencies. That is why so many people send their children to study in Russia, North Korea, Belarus…and not the West, no?

I do not have to agree with everything James Lyon says, but the fact that he has spent so many years in the region, unlike myself, obliges me to respect his opinion. I would argue, having heard him speak my own language, that he speaks it much better than some people in the current government. Let's not forget that James started with his Balkan obsession before the wars in 1990s and has remained here even after Balkans stopped being "sexy."

Lastly, Blagoje, I think I understand the connotation, but calling him a Yankee is wrong and you really should know better. He is a Bruin.

Really Ks-Ks?

I am a DS voter and anything but anti-western. However, it's just as cynical to say the DSS equates to a more intellectual version of the SRS. Rubbish. Indeed, how did Kostunica win the October 5 ballot against Milosevic? Where did all those votes come from? Disillusioned Radicals and Socialists mate. Both the SRS and the SPS were dead and buried on October 5. Where did those votes go in the meantime to reduce Kostunica to a mere 16 percent? Back to the Radicals. Why? Because Kostunica wasn't nationalist enough for them. The fact he never said he wouldn't pact with the SRS is less important than the fact he never did pact with them.
Yes, his efforts to have it both ways and be a "moderate patriot" or a "liberal conservative" (in both cases one excludes the other) are nothing short of grotesque for the public eye. Has it ever occurred to you or the ingenious Mr. Lyon that he never actually had much of a choice between a rock and a hard place, given the composition of his October 5 support? The key reason he beat Milosevic is that he was widely seen as a patriot as well as a reformist. All his predecessors failed because they were either just reformist and pro-western or intent on proving they are bigger lunatics than Milosevic himself (Seselj). Such is the composition of the Serbian electorate and even though I don't like it any more than you do, it's hardly surprising given our hard legacy and blood-drenched history, both recent and not so recent.
If it makes you feel any better and for what my opinion is worth, I think Kostunica has nonetheless reached the end of the road. Under intense western pressure, he will now have to make a choice and either unreservedly support the democratic bloc or suffer the consequences of his unenviable position if he opts for the no longer tenable course of going to bed with both halves of a hopelessly divided Serbia. I think he has already hinted which way he is likely to go.
Kind regards.

Great point Red Devil

This must be what Lyon means when he says lucid and logical conversation! I especially agree with your assessment of Kostunica's trajectory.

On the other hand Ks Ks,

a number of present DSS voters are quite certainly much closer to the Radicals than they are to the democratic bloc. They are the pseudo-intellectuals James is talking about it and the social chip on their shoulders is only thing stopping them from putting their vote where their heart is. Cheers mate.

Yankee? Bruin?

Several people have noted that I don't respond to other bloggers entries. I don't mean to be rude, but I am really busy and often don't have the spare time, seeing as how I often working 16 and 18 hour days. I also don't have the time to spend polemicising with people who simply want to release their nationalist frustrations and spout a propaganda line. I am always willing to engage in genuine conversations with others, whether they agree with me or not, provided they are able to engage in lucid, logical conversations based on fact. And provided that I have the time. :-)

Now, as for being a Yankee...I was born in Boston, which makes me a legitimate New England Yankee, something I am extremely proud of. New england Yankees are known for being hard-working, thrifty and having lots of common sense. A Bruin? Well, I got my Ph.D. in Balkan history from UCLA, so I am a Bruin also. But don't forget that I also went to BYU, so "GO COUGARS"!

Fight On!

I should have said, that to me you will always be a Bruin.
Btw, great game this year at the Rose Bowl. USC just didn't show up. But this is not what your blog is about.

Go ahead,

go ahead, just rub it in....

The Bruins will rise again. I hope.

the people weary of you


Typical response. It is a common rhetorical device to impugn the integrity of others when you cannot adequately respond to them.

The people weary of you.

Take that as a signal.

You have over extended your welcome.

You enter a period of diminishing returns.

Time to write the final report back to headquarters, collect the check, and pack your bags.

Serbia now enters a period of economic ascendancy to dominate this silly little region you have manufactured.

Go Home.

Do you need anger management?

The fact that you and others like you are so angry at me and want me to leave so badly indicate that I am not in a period of diminishing returns. To the contrary, I am as effective, if not more so, than ever. Otherwise you would simply leave me alone and feel no need to respond to what I write.

Have I over-extended my welcome? Given the number of positive responses to this blog, I would say that there are some people who value what I do. It is for those good people who have not lost faith in liberal democracy and who want to see their country move forward and not remain mired in a medieval vision of the world that I do what I do.

Your rudeness and insistence that I leave have simply strengthened my resolve to stay even longer, just out of spite (iz inata). :-) As long as there are people like you, there will be work for people like me. :-) After all, when fascism is eradicated, then I won't have anything to fight anymore. "Smrt fašizmu, liberalna demokratija narodu!!!"

have you no decency sir? at long last have you left no decency?

stop scaring the people and i will stop picking on you.

serbia stands before a bright economic future. tell the people the truth. stop intimidating them. stop taking away their self-respect. stop depriving them of hope. have you no decency sir? at long last have you left no sense of decency?

there is nothing fascist in my remarks. the economic cat is out of the bag. your ability to drive the agenda diminishes with each dollar invested. admit it.

cold, sober economics drives the agenda henceforth. not silly NGO's with foreign addresses accountable to no one. the only accountability from now on is to the investor.

i'll check my old newsreels... i think broz uttered those same exact words when he too ran out of options.

good luck at your next engagement. make sure to send postcards.

A sada, iz inata...

Give me your address and I'll send you a postcard....from Serbia.

How am I scaring the people? Your comments sound far more frightening and threatening than mine do.

And why do you worship the god of materialism and assume that money is the answer to everything? Not everything is in money.
And there have been many countries that have enjoyed an economic recovery after coming out of a war, only to later find that the ideologies that drove their body politic led them back into conflict. The philosophy you espouse sounds strikingly similar to dialectic materialism. Are you yet another of those former communists who is now a newly converted nationalist?

I think the reasons behind

I think the reasons behind his relentless requests that you leave Serbia should be sought elsewhere. Obviously, DSS has finally found someone who both shares their malicious rhetoric and speaks English very well. This broadening of horizons is encouraging.

Having noted that the gentleman in question lives outside of Serbia, I can only guess that he currently resides in the USA; therefore, I suggest that you, Mr. Lyon, ask him to leave your country after his disrespectful stance towards it and its conservative politicians.

I wonder if it is desirable for me to also leave Serbia, since, although I am a Serb, I completely share Mr. Lyon's opinion. In fact, I think Mr. Lyon was too soft on DSS, probably out of courtesy.

And I don't think that his beliefs contain refuse of dialectic materialism, because, if he was aware of marxist critique, he would surely see through Kustunica's use of ideology at the expense of the Serbian people.

A friend of mine has shrewdly labeled Mr. Kostunica as a "dinner-table Mussolini".

about the future

serbia stands before a bright economic future.

Are we going to chack our property before that bright future or not?

So, you think that anyone

who comes to Serbia from abroad should only praise it? No criticism, no honest opinion? Wow.

Why don't you find someone like this:

Now, there is a true friend!

e, sad me podseti..

Mesecima se "devedeset i neke...." po medijima i drugde vodao John Kennedy (paz` sad !): - KANDIDAT za engleski parlament (koji je naravno izgubio izbore za pomenuti..), ali se oko i od njega pravila apologetska priča u službi tkz. "probijanja istine ", o tome kako je dobro što imamo takav autoritet "na našoj strani". Moraću da vidim gde je ta osoba ovih Šifera znam...


to je onaj sto je bio pljunuti SPS kadar Percevic, samo na engleskom? Kandidat(?) - hm, pa i Seceroski je bio kandidat za presednika Srbije.


I know somebody mentioned this before, but the comparison between DSS and SRS is absolutely fantastic! Just the other day I've been discussing this issue in detail with my friends. They all share the same opinion.


It's the easy way out to make this equation. You can divide Serbia into two neat halves and maintain the 'two tribes logic' until the end of time (Relax, says Frankie), and deny the possibility that even the hard line nationalist can have some common values with you, if given the slightest chance to express them.

Yes there are those hopeless cases on both ends, but as in every country they make up 5% of the electorate. I believe the rest are just people up to their necks in problems who are groping for any straw of salvation that is offered to them, and the spin doctors and interest group campaigners know this very well, so people identify with concepts such as proud Serbia, glorious history, cradle of nationhood, lustration, radical reforms, etc,etc. with a very slight idea of what they mean.

DSS might still be that chance to build a government that the majority can accept as partially representing their interests (which is the essence of a democratic election), if it enters the Cabinet structured according to a formula I laid out in an earlier comment.

You cannot find common ground if you keep deepening the divide within it. But as I said, its always easier to identify with a group (we are liberals, they are stinking, hairy, murderous nationalists), than to try finding what you have in common individually with people around you and start building on that.

Fantastic thoughts tnosugar,

except that they reflect an almost ideal society rather than a ravaged, post-conflict one where even the slightest differences among people descend into acrimonious conflicts, so far-reaching that they leave like-minded individuals within the democratic bloc and even brothers on non-speaking terms. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?


of course DSS is the best chance. the problem for lyon is that DSS operates outside his influence. it is disobedient. hence the attack. hence the ongoing scare tactics upon the average citizen (instead of reassurance for the average citizen). search the record for any written reassurance by the oracle of lyon. you will not find it. it does not exist. he is quite simply a diplomatic assassin who's intention is to divide... or weaken to obedience. do not kid yourself.

he needs to be called on it.

it is a truly an american concept that believes it can change the course of rivers. and in fact it temporarily can... but the rivers always revert back to their natural course. homeostasis requires sustained effort to overcome... but washington sinks and will soon depart.

the cat is out of the bag. serbia now enters a period of economic ascendancy. there will be no more sanctions. no more threats. no more imposition of will.

ironically, what national interest was unable to attain will be achieved thru cold, calculated, impartial economics that will thoroughly exploit this the region of weak, economically dependent entities with no prospect of sustained viability that they have made.

their next orchestrated step will be to decry the economic direction of the country. expect to encounter media describing the poverty of the country and how the have's have more... and the have not's have less. unfortunately this is necesssary for development. but fortunately the hardest part has taken place.

when he leaves (soon), all the little gains he prides himself on will sink in the sand in which they are built... and it will be as if he and they were never here.


it's voters like you who give DSS a bad name and their opponents a very good excuse to put them in the same bracket with the radicals. And they don't belong there, I honestly believe that the DSS is much closer to the party I voted for, the DS.

As much as I disagree with some points made by James and agree with a few of yours, you have no right to tell James he's overstayed his welcome here. Serbia is not your private property.

right you are!!!

Serbia is not your private property

thank God for that!

Sadly, Snezana,

I must say I keep getting whiplashed by exactly the same kind of intolerance by many bloggers who identify themselves as LDP supporters. And so the vicious circle just keeps getting bigger. I really would appreciate a bit more tolerance although I know how hard it is to generate among angry people in a post-conflict society. Cheers.

caught up

inside the international language talking about national stuff...
I consider myself angry for numerous reasons, I dare not start to note, and I, quite often find myself unable to understand others.
As you noticed, these people who are attacking James, are doing so in such a way that our CNN footage overwhelms me with originality, if you know what I mean.
Telling someone, or better to say, feeling that you are the one to tell someone to bug off from your Godforsaken country serves as a constant remainder that something has gone terribly wrong here, that we are incapable of making valid judgments, because our mind is clouded with sheer hate...and some of us have felt that hate, and some of us are so sick that we forget that hate breeds hate, and that's the example of how a vicious circle is a never-ending story.

Snezana, we share

the same grief and bitter memories of a youth ripped away from us by cold-blooded maniacs, the same pain and anguish of knowing it could have been a different life filled with joy and happiness that we see whenever we travel away from our godforsaken country. Our decency is what makes us better than those who still lament over "lost national pride".

tnosugar, what exactly

do people groping for and end to Serbia's international isolation and the opportunity to travel freely have in common with those intent on advocating xenophobia to their last breath?
Except that both lots are Serbian?

An Apple a Day...

I also don't have the time to spend polemicising with people who simply want to release their nationalist frustrations and spout a propaganda line.

It takes one to know one...

I am always willing to engage in genuine conversations with others, whether they agree with me or not, provided they are able to engage in lucid, logical conversations based on fact.

It takes two to tango, James...

Great analysis

I really appreciated the comparison you made between DSS & Radicals. I have been propagating that idea for years now. There is only one difference I would like to add to your comparison. SRS is lot more proactive and productive. DSS is quite passive and slow paced political organization, where decisions are made slowly, and they are put into practice even slower. SRS, on the other hand, is working like a military organization, where decisions are made by 3 people and then orders are given from the top to be executed. In that sense DSS is a better party for Serbia, because they are less destructive per time unit… (this sounds like physics theory)

If they were one and the

If they were one and the same, having just one of the parties would've been plenty enough.

If they were one and the same (or even similar), Koshtunitsa would've made a pact with them 3, 7, 10 or 15 years ago.

DSS = SRS is the most asinine reasoning ever. No basis in fact, whatsoever. Who cares about the facts - (skewed) perception is everything, right?


Please Blagoje, join us!! We need a guy like you acting as spokesperson... /

Whoa, wait a minute

If you hire him, then its only fair that you give me a percentage of his salary for introducing him to you. After all, if I am to survive in the world after Blagoje throws me out of Serbia, I will need something to live on.

This is EMBARRASSING!!!!!!!!!

As far as I know you're well paid - Euro 4000 per Month. For your exile, I suggest Republika Srpska :) hehehe

i promise to take an 'anger management class'

look as much as i'd like to spar... i can't commit to a long distance relationship. i just walked in; have a big presentation tommorrow morning; you're probably sleeping anyway; and if we get into an "inat" contest it's not really fair b/c i'm a serb :)

my sincere apologies for the lack of civility in my earlier commentaries. they were over the top. i promise not to do it again.

so let's just agree to disagree. i promise to take an 'anger management class' and to chill out if you take a 'sensitivity class.' you might find wider receptivity if you 'accentuate the positive' from time to time instead of beating up on these people (who happen to be doing the best they can). the corrupt spirit which drove the former body politic has already been purged. it need not now an exorcist.

to the lunov guys.... poise yourselves. opportunity arrives at your doorstep very soon! perhaps james would consider an equity position -- he knows the territory!

PS: for the armchair psycho-analysts. i'm not a communist, but rather a capitalist (having left long before the present chaos). my parents were peasants and i did not vote for dss... but rather ds. and i have a classically liberal education from an esteemed university.

cheers to all!

I wonder how many of the

I wonder how many of the sycophants parading here have read the following take on Serbia:

This is what I call objective. A few quotes:

Many Western diplomats and politicians have tried to depict the election as a decisive confrontation between the dark forces of Balkan primitivism and ‘pro-European’ enlightenment. The reality in Serbia itself was more prosaic, with much of the election being fought around economic questions and technocratic promises of fighting corruption.


It was in 1999 that NATO launched what many still consider to be a ‘good war’ over Kosovo. NATO leaders America and Britain claimed to be intervening to liberate Kosovo from Serb domination. The continuing wrangling over territory in the region, and the West’s ongoing role in shaping politics there, suggests that this ‘good war’ did little to herald a new era of freedom and democracy.


This most recent round of Western intervention is only the latest attempt in the six years since the overthrow of Milošević in October 2000 to pressure Serbian citizens into doing what the EU and the UN want. The promises of ‘European integration’ sound more hollow each time.


[...] Serbia presents too many opportunities to cover up the failures of Western policy in the region, and to bolster the West’s moral authority by claiming the mantle of defending human rights and prosecuting war crimes.


[What Solana really means is that] what counts as democracy is what the EU decides is democratic, and the democrats are those who are anointed by the international community, regardless of who actually receives the votes.


[...] the real threat of instability emanates not from Serbia, but from the petty rivalries and intrigues of the major powers as they bicker over the fate of the region’s peoples.

Mr Lyon...

zaista je tuzno koliko vi podcenjujete narod medju kojim zivite.

To se samo moze shavtiti kao odraz vase (ne)kulture ili, sto sam pre sklon da poverujem, da vi jednostavno nemate limite kada je posao u pitanju. Stara dobra USA skola - za novac koji dobijate spremni ste sve da uradite. Mi Srbi za takve imamo posebno ime, ali ajde da se ne vredjamo...

Vecina ljudi kojima se vasa beseda ne svidja nikada, kao u ostalom i ja, nisu glasali sa SRS/SPS/DSS niti ce to raditi. Oni niti su sovinisti niti nacionalisti. Samo umeju da citaju izmedju redova, sto u vasem slucaju nije narocito ni tesko. Tuzno je sve to Mr Lyon...

just don't understand...

...why am I who was ten when the war began, responsible to deliver Mladic. And others, more then half of us normal people. Such idiotic requirements were never been imposed even to Germany! It was MOSSAD who took out all those bastards in Argentina (perhaps Mladic is there?). And how to do it before we clean out the DB? And how to clean the DB if more and more people are just pissed off with the treatment we get from the forces that influence the future of this country? So you get non-voters and ppl suporting SRS from "inat".

We do not bear the responsibility for atrocities that happened (I mean myself and all the others who brought down Milosljevitlj and the crooks nesting in illegaly claimed property in once beautiful Zemun). And, we are the majority. I find especially disguisting when some western idiot politician tries place the guilt for genocide and murders commited by war criminals on the people who fought with the bastards who raped this country. Like "... Serbia needs to confront the truth..."?
Which truth?

Enough of this rant

Sve je, bre, predvidjeno za

Sve je, bre, predvidjeno za sledecih 30-40 godina, kao sto je bilo predvidjeno posle WW2. Imadosmo Tita, pa posle Tita jos jednog Tita, pa kada je i taj "Tito"otisao imamo jos jednog koji ide Titovim stopama, ne bas sasvim kao prvi Tito, ali...

It all had been predictet for the next 30-40 years, just as it was after the WW2. We had Tito No1, And after him we had another Tito, and when that one was gone,we'll got another one, maybe not quite like the first Tito but...

As an ex SFOR soldier and

As an ex SFOR soldier and spending my early 20s wandering somewhat bewilderedly through the Balkan quagmire. I now find myself living in Croatia.It seems that Serbia is living in denial of basic facts.The situation now faced by this small nation is completly self inflicted. While all ex Yugoslav nations face there own problems just as any nation has there own problems. Serbia seems unable to except the fact that it is a defeated country and must act accordingly while i sympathise with those who were to young to be responsible for the actions of former leaders. The fact remains that it is there problem now. The fact that there is still polictical parties within Serbia still claiming BiH and Hrvatska as greater Serbia it would be funny were it not so tragic that this belief is still there Serbia will not find stability and the path forwards until it takes the leap of faith and recognises that the past is dead there will never be a greater Serbia and plays the cards she has now. Kosovo is gone everyday it slips a little more from the grasp of Serbia. Serbia spent a long time ignoring and actively defying the international community and now seems suprised at the lack of sympathy it receives the fact is nobody in the west cares nobody really cared during the war for that matter. So Serbia has 2 choices it can play the game and remember God is always on the side of the big guns or it can continue as it is now and become even more of a forgotten central european backwater Europes equivalent of the American deep south.

I am little sick to my

I am little sick to my stomach when the republics of former Yugoslavia are compared. You cannot convince me that in Croatia everything is hunky-dory, while Serbia sinks in its own pool of sh..t. These analogies are making the separation grater than intended. I agree with the fact that the residue of the former regimes are still up and going, but not only in Serbia. The international community looked at this problem differently. So, they should give Serbia a brake and try to be objective. And one more thing, Tito made sure that only one republic of former Yugoslavia had two autonomous provinces. Once a problem, always a problem. Sorry.

I hope you understand

I hope you understand comparison of the former Republics is all that anyone can do. Having been here as an outsider during the height of the conflict and having been in Slovenia that as we all know is an EU member state and Croatia which is a candidate member and lets face it is guaranteed a place already (wether the Croats like it or not). The political process here is forward looking by no means perfect but i can say that about my parent nation. Serbia seems to me very much in the same frame of mind as the United Kingdom post 2nd world war. Mourning and beating its chest over an empire lost. Slovenia and Croatia have marched ahead and dramatically improved there standard of living and this has been acheived by a more forward looking and dare we say it more acceptable policies to the wider world. As long as Serbia continues to give an outward impression of an aggressive territorially ambitious state then it will find itself short of friends in the world. I cant disagree with you Serbia should be given a break. But politics is a game and as long as there are those who see there are gains to be made by appealing to the part of the electorate of Serbia who cannot see past the end of there nose and offer them hope of an age that is passed forever then things can never change.
There is a feeling of desperation from most of the answers in this blog. That people are trapped within an ever shrinking state and that the world is working hard to keep the Serbs down. The reality is Serbia and its people need to do the running the world does not owe Serbia anything and is not going to come asking for favours anytime soon.

C'mon man, give me a break.

C'mon man, give me a break. Serbia needs to confront..., Serbia needs to blah, blah... Smart people know what Serbia needs and she needs good sex! Erm, sorry, Freud came in here. The real question is what Serbia doesn't need! She, my "surrounding" friends, doesn't need democracy. Come on, the future of the country is placed in hand of imbeciles who vote for radicals and naive who vote for DSS. Serbia can't afford to elect another idiot the way USA can afford it. So we need a king, a tsar, a dictator, a general, a Somebody! Mr. Personality.

A new Tsar or a Dictator in

A new Tsar or a Dictator in Serbia? What a gift for the west. There is nothing western leaders love more than an isolated dictator.I can almost hear the F16s and Eurofighters warming there engines. The sound bites they would invent for a new Serbian war lord. CNN journalists would be salavating like hungry dogs for the latest war pornography, young women in target tshirts on bridges interesting news footage of Jonny foreigner having his city blasted to hell with sexy expensive missiles and not have to worry about ground troops as there is no oil there. Family fun veiwing on the evening news for couch generals who never left there own country and passes the time before who wants to be a millionaire comes on TV.

A personality would be good for Serbia. But he would have to be a bloody good one. Nobody knows what Serbia needs better than the Serbs. They were brave enough to stand up to the world. Its themselves they seem to have trouble confronting. The world is still out there waiting. A little humility and repentance and the door will open. A little honesty from politicians(i cant believe i wrote that either).But I would not hold my breath. Balkan blood will not allow that. Right or wrong you will stand your ground and anyway its way to much fun being a martyr with the rest of the world picking on poor Serbia. Then wonder why the visa queue is so long for entry to Anglo Saxon lands. Maybe Germany if your kinky that way