if anybody cares
The Sunday San Francisco Chronicle printed a letter that Veran Matic, the editor-in-chief
of the Belgrade Radio B92 addressed to the leaders of the so-called International
Community. The letter was written in jail, where Milosevic's police sheltered Mr. Matic
during the NATO air raids, and while they (the police, not NATO) were closing down the
only remaining independent radio station in Belgrade.
Mr. Matic complained that the NATO humanitarian bombing will destroy what headway the
democracy movement made in Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo and that the real sufferers will
be those that were opposed to Milosevic in the first place.
If you were to watch only American TV and read only the American papers, you wouldn't know
that there are Serbs that are opposed to Milosevic's policies. The fact is from 1991.
Milosevic's party SPS never won more than one third of the votes. Milosevid was immensely
helped by the Albanians from Kosovo, who refused to vote at all. If they
decided to listen to the advice from the European Community and vote for either one of the
opposition candidates or a candidate of their own, the political situation in Serbia and
Yugoslavia could've been changed dramatically. But Milosevic's candidates won even in
those counties in Kosovo where there is only 1% of the Serbs, because the Albanians didn't
come out to vote, and those few Serbs,who mistakenly saw Milosevic as their protector,
elected a pro-Milosevic candidate into a state assembly.
So Milosevic kept his grip on power partly due to the Albanian complacency. In the long
run, though, Albanians knew what they were doing. Instead of a long democratic process,
they've chosen the quicker one: armed resistance, provocations and acts of terrorism, and
instead of an autonomy, with the little help of their friends they will have independence.
Well, somebody did.
But the Serbs that were against Milosevic, two thirds of them who did not vote for him and
his party, are being punished twice. They suffered under his regime, and now they are
being bombed, maimed, killed, or, if they're lucky, suffering indignity and depravity. To
make the maters worse, Milosevic's supporters are laughing in the face of the opposition.
Here are your friends from the West, they're saying, why don't they help you instead of
bombing you just like everybody else.
Mr. Matic's inspired letter, as was to be expected, fell on deaf ears over here. He and
the rest of the opposition to Milosevic are a part of the notorious "collateral
damage." And anyway, life is not fair, especially if you happen to be of the Serb
origin in today's world.
Even now, in his bunker, Slobo is having the last laugh.