Bahus War Diary - A personal view

Last Laugh

As 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. Who knew?

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.

Copyright 1999 Bahus Enterprises