Ah Radovan, heading for the Hague at last.
Many of us never thought we would see this day come, that the unholy trinity of the secret police, the criminals and the priests who protected you would ensure an enduring freedom until your dying day.But luckily for us, even pessimists are wrong, at least some of the time. And so finally it looks like you may be going to face some of your victims in nice room with blue chairs and cameras in a northern European city by the sea.
Having spent some time a few years back investigating your absence from the Hague, your presence or lack
The pictures of street protests coming out of Burma (Myanmar) in recent days may remind tens, if not hundreds of thousands of B92 citizens of their own experiences of trying to unseat a vicious regime back in the good old, bad old days. The more democratic elements of the current government may also recall the urban demonstration vibe - feelings of camaraderie and hope mixed with anger and fear - as rumours of the next imminent baton charge by Slobo’s doughnut boys swirled through downtown Belgrade. Many may remember how dangerous it can feel to face off against a regime which creates an
So Vojislav Kostunica has finally been given the boot. Gotov je.
Out, finished, toast, loser, failure, dud, history, has-been, yesterday's man, etc.
After staking all on "Kosovo" and losing in epic style he is leaving the building, and although the end will be more Elton John than Elvis, who can grudge this Balkan cat-lover one last tantrum before exiting stage left?
I expect more of the same-same in his swan-song: delusional self-justifying negativism coupled with vague threats, false history and lashings of primitivism.
Fans of opera and pantomime
It may be just me, but there seems to be something inherently wrong with so-called “people’s protests” which are in actual fact not organised by the people themselves, but by those working in state institutions.
Slobo used them to great effect in the late ‘80s, bussing in the confused, ignorant and fearful for the yoghurt revolution and similar managed pantomines that collapsed autonomous governments in Vojvodina and Kosovo presaging the years of misery that followed.
Then, as now, the “people’s protests” were orchestrated for internal political gain
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the photos and moving images from Arandjelovac made for a whole novel about the situation in Serbia today.
On the one hand, there was the majority, the invited audience, predominately women and men dressed in respectable clothes who would not look out of place in any other European spa town.
Sitting quietly, they waited for their visitors from Belgrade to begin their discussions, but found themselves by turns embarrassed, discomfited and downright frightened by the great unwashed who had turned up uninvited in their midst.
The reality-impaired coverage of Kosovo dominating the headlines for the past 18 months has been interrupted of late by a tangled web of accusation and insinuation which when unravelled gives a far clearer indication of the state of the Serbian body politic than delusional comparisons of Kosovo with Baltic or south China sea island chains.
At the heart of the matter is Miroslav Miskovic, a – pardon the euphemism – “Milosevic-era tycoon” long-blacklisted by the US government for his alleged involvement in cigarette smuggling and other bad behaviour during the good old, bad
Watching demonstrations is an interesting business. The movement of the crowd and the energy it projects make the heart beat faster. Then there is the collective sound the mass of people make. But the key is always in the faces. Whether the Nazi rallies of the 30s or Slobo's shows of strength in the late 80s and 90s, the mean, pinched faces tend to give away whether this is a mob you want to join, or not.
By contrast, the opposition demos of the mid to late 90s in Belgrade were filled with different kinds of faces. And different kinds of sounds. Candles, whistles, hope and songs, a feeling
As the no-new news caravan that is Kosovo continues to hog the headlines on a daily basis accompanied by much sound and fury, I’ve started a competition in which all are free to participate.
It’s a spectator sport searching for the politician, businessman, celeb, man-in-the-street etc. who invokes “Kosovo” in a blame game – as an excuse or buck-passing - for something quite unconnected in reality.
My Kosovo blame game nomination for November goes to the leader of the Party of International Law, Vojislav Kostunica, who blamed Kosovo for a report damning Serbia’s mental
To celebrate Vojislav Kostunica’s “resignation”, I thought a timeline illustrating Vojo's rhetoric vs. achievements might be in order.
2000: Vojo says that Milosevic will not be sent to the Hague tribunal.
2001: Milosevic is extradited to the Hague tribunal.
2001: Vojo says he will preserve the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
2002: The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is dissolved
2000: Vojo says that the security services will be transformed
2003 Transformed state security service lieutenant colonel Zvezdan Jovanovic murders
As the great unwashed move to round II in front of the US embassy, the good news is that it appears as if law enforcement are indeed being diligent. The bad news is for Kostunica.
For the first part, shouting offensive remarks about Albanians while crying "Kosovo is Serbia" in one breath, and support for mass murderer Ratko Mladic in the next is a general blow to the "international law" themed PR that's been doing the DSS rounds. Burning cars, attacking police, smashing traffic