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March 11, 2006
By: Roxanne Cooper

THE BUTCHER OF THE BALKANS.... According to a report that just hit the wires, Slobodan Milosevic has died of natural causes in his jail cell. He was 64. And probably won't be missed.

Roxanne Cooper 9:18 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (40)

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About damn time.

In fact, at this point, this damned person is doubtless understanding the meaning of damnation.

There are few people who are contemporary who are clearly and obviously evil. Milosevich was one. He used the power of nationalist sentiment and prejudice to advance himself and his wife politically. In doing so, he was personally responsible for the deaths of at least, conservatively, 100,000 people, possible 250,000.

There are few people that I would cheerfully and eagerly have shot. He is one, Karadzich another,
and the entire group of Serbonazis which ran that terrible war of genocidal agression.

Posted by: POed Lib on March 11, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Anybody else notice that this is the second death there in just about a week? This past week sometime, another guy allegedly hung himself. Is this really a coincidence?

Posted by: castor on March 11, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

He might be missed by his wife and 2 kids.


Inconsiderate asshole.

Posted by: ernie on March 11, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

In alot of countries, getting your head bashed in by other inmates is "natural causes."

Posted by: MountainDan on March 11, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

FYI, my comment was directed at Milosevic, not Cooper. Sorry for any confusion.

Posted by: ernie on March 11, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Tough call. It might have been nice to see full, due-process justice done, i.e. conviction and sentencing. On the other hand, it's not like he died in the full enjoyment of the fruits of his crimes. No one can think that dying in your jail cell is an *enviable* way to go out.

I am bothered by the other death earlier this week, though--foul play would make him a victim.

And the worst outcome here would be for him to be treated as a martyr by Serb nationalists.

Posted by: Tad Brennan on March 11, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

In alot of countries, getting your head bashed in by other inmates is "natural causes."
Posted by: MountainDan

Well, I know I personally didn't shed any tears when this happened to Jeffery Dahmler.

Good riddance.

Posted by: CFShep on March 11, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, remember the good old days when the United States exercised leadership, built international coalitions to address problems, and actually solved them with some success?

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on March 11, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Excellent.

Let's remind people what a real vidtory over a dictator looks like, a la Bill Clinton.

Posted by: HeavyJ on March 11, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Let's also remind people of all the Thuglikans who carried water for Milosevic, who were paid to spread pro-Serb propaganda, and who opposed the US-led NATO air attack for being an unnecessary use of US troops in an open-ended conflict that didn't concern the US.

You know, the same Thuglikans who wet their pants over Commander Codpiece's vanity war in Iraq.

Posted by: CaseyL on March 11, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

In alot of countries, getting your head bashed in by other inmates is "natural causes."


Yeah, like in the United States for instance.

Posted by: Ten in Tenn on March 11, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

"He might be missed by his wife and 2 kids."

Mira, Marko, and Marija Milosevic. There's a family with clean hands. A proper tribunal would have put them all on the dock.

Posted by: bruce from chicago on March 11, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

As a half-Albanian (though not Kosovar), I can't say I'm shedding any tears over this.

Posted by: ctm on March 11, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

This news makes me sorry.

That evil bastard didn't suffer nearly enough. I'd hoped he'd live many more years of pain and disgrace in some hellhole prison.

Posted by: Emily on March 11, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

may that motherfucker burn for eternity.

Posted by: greggy on March 11, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

And thus to all tyrants.

Posted by: TomStewart on March 11, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

I shed no tear but there is plenty of blame to go around on all sides in the Balkans.

Posted by: Dave on March 11, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

I must reading too many conspiracy theories. The first thing I thought of when I read this, which included a reference to Milosveic requesting testimony from former President Clinton at his trial, was that CIA wetwork may have been involved in the death.

Not necessarily requested by Clinton, but, by someone in the Organization.
!
Okay, I really need to lay off the caffine!

Posted by: Ha Nguyen on March 11, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Fifty years from now, we may have a slightly different opinion of Mr. Milosevic. He had the vision to realize that an Islamic republic in the middle of Europe is not very compatible with western civilization. Bosnia is a totally artificial country that should have been divided between Serbia and Croatia.

Posted by: sf on March 11, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

"remember the good old days when the United States exercised leadership, built international coalitions to address problems, and actually solved them with some success?"

"Let's remind people what a real victory over a dictator looks like, a la Bill Clinton."

I seem to remember a Kosovo war with: no UN authority (NATO, an already existing defensive organization, was used by the US as a coalition of convenience); questionable aims (intervention in a civil war where no one was the good guy); inflated data to justify and rally the public in support of the war (the pre war 100,000 - 500,000 dead turned out to be less than 5,000); a trigger happy administration that never served (Albright: "What's the use of having the world's best military when you don't get to use them?"); miltary and political errors (bombing the Chinese embassy, civilians and infrastructure, and targetting television journalists); severe unforeseen problems afterwards (the refugee crisis caused by hundreds of thousands of Serbs and others fleeing); and no quick long term resolution (UN troops remain and ethnic violence continues to flair including in 2004 where scores died and peacekeepers were targeted). Plus Milosevic was left in power (he was overthrown and turned in by his own people a few years later).

So I think what you meant to say was, such military adventure is fine if there's a Democratic President in charge, not so fine if it's a Republican.

Posted by: scouser on March 11, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

As opposed to a war which continues to rage three years later? I'm amazed at the people who can compare the Balkans to Iraq by pointing out that there are still UN troops in the Balkans. It's almost as dishonest as pointing out that there are still US troops in Germany, decades after the war.

In addition, Milosevic was turned in after a democratic revolution, heavily aided and abetted by the US/NATO countries. The equivalent here would be if Iran's mullah government had been overturned in favor of a democracy, rather than strengthened. And if there was an actual decent government in Iraq, rather than an impending theocracy.

Posted by: Barry on March 11, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

I find it hard to condemn Milosevic in quite such harsh terms since his main "crime" was to stoke up serbian natioanlistic pride in order to achieve his own personal political aims.


When he went to Kosovo in 1989 it was a province in rebellion and the minority Serb population was suffering a certain amount of persecution. OK not as much as he made out, but that is the way politicians work. Look for comparison at the way GW Bush has ridden the threat of Arab terrorism, which in terms of actual damage done and deaths caused is of fairly minimal importance, and tell me that you can't see him standing up and saying patriotically, hand on heart that "I won't let them do this to you any more."


The first of real part of the war in the Balkans took place over the secession of Croatia from the Yugoslav federation when the mostly Serbian inhabitants of the Krajina region of Croatia, a substantial part of the territory, decided that they didn't really want to secede but to remain part of Yugoslavia. Milosevic stood up for "his people." Would Bill Clinton not have done the same in similar circumstances.


Later that decade we went to war to oppose ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, on this occasion we not only allowed it but look back now and call that a positive achievement.


What happened in Srebrenica was undoubtedly genocide but the chain of command and level of responsibility has proved very hard for the courts of the Hague to untangle. Not only has no smoking gun emerged, but there seems to be very little linking Milosevic to the actions of the people on the ground. There is arguably a clearer line of command from Bush's "The gloves are off" to the actions of the guards in Abu Ghraib than there is from Milosevic to the soldiers responsible for the killing.


His only real crime was that of being a demagogue when his nation needed a statesman. That's the way democracy works. Men like Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill are unfortunately the exception rather than the rule.

Posted by: JJB on March 11, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

"I shed no tear but there is plenty of blame to go around on all sides in the Balkans."

Oh yeah, punk? I take it you're a Serbian lover?

Posted by: ctm on March 11, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah, punk? I take it you're a Serbian lover?

Is that what you think he is saying? By that method, if you are an American you are guilty of 100 times as much bloodshed as the Serbs.

I agree with him. There was mass murder by all parties. The stronger party committed more mass murder -- just as the US is doing.

Nothing to do with "loving Serbs" , but rather being aware of the massacres committed by the Croatians and Muslims in the Balkans.

Love the "punk" cokmment though, a sure sign of someone with no facts and just swayed by emotions.

Posted by: Vman on March 11, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

"The first of real part of the war in the Balkans took place over the secession of Croatia from the Yugoslav federation when the mostly Serbian inhabitants of the Krajina region of Croatia, a substantial part of the territory, decided that they didn't really want to secede but to remain part of Yugoslavia. Milosevic stood up for "his people." Would Bill Clinton not have done the same in similar circumstances."

Any political leader would have. Essentially these people where about to be placed under a regime of former Nazis.

Posted by: oggle on March 11, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

What can I say?


Ding Ding! Milosevic, Milosevic is dead
Ding Dong Milosevic is dead
Wake Up! Kosovo, praise to Allah,
Wake Up! Milosivec is dead. He's gone where Serbs go
Below - below - below, Bosnio, let's chant from the minaret
Ding Dong Merry ho, see ya latter Macedonio
Milosivec is dead.

Posted by: Matt on March 11, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

'scouser' posted:

"I seem to remember a Kosovo war with: no UN authority (NATO, an already existing defensive organization, was used by the US as a coalition of convenience)"

NATO does not require permission from the UN to enforce it's own treaty.

.

"questionable aims (intervention in a civil war where no one was the good guy)"

It was not a "civil war", by definition, as Kosovo’s independence was written into the Yugoslavian constitution.

.

"inflated data to justify and rally the public in support of the war (the pre war 100,000 - 500,000 dead turned out to be less than 5,000)"

False.

As is well documented by a NATO map here:

http://www.nato.int/pictures/1999/990329/b990329e.jpg

The ethnic cleansing was well within those numbers before March 29th, just days after the air campaign began.

.

"a trigger happy administration that never served (Albright: 'What's the use of having the world's best military when you don't get to use them?')"

Not a single American soldier was killed in combat.

.

"miltary and political errors (bombing the Chinese embassy"

CIA screw-up.

.

"So I think what you meant to say was, such military adventure is fine if there's a Democratic President in charge, not so fine if it's a Republican."

What "military adventure" ? It was a smashing success.
.

Posted by: VJ on March 11, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

"He might be missed by his wife and 2 kids."

And Ramsey Clark.

I wouldn't compare this with the death of Dahmer. Dahmer was a sad, pitiable man. Milosevic appears to have taken great, defiant glee in the shit he stirred up.

Posted by: spoonmaker on March 11, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Was he writing a book about Bush's early years?

Posted by: R.L. on March 11, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

The fact was the war in the former Yugoslavia was a civil war, one in which the Serbs performed poorly in terms of winning international opinion and support.

The only reason western powers got involved was because it was in the the interest of their political leaders to do so. ALL SIDES were guilty of war crimes. People forget the

And the true death toll in Bosnia was NOT a quarter million. Two reports, one from the International Tribunal in the Hague, and another from a government funded Bosnian Muslim run statistics institute in Sarajevo, both put the death toll at around 100,000, only about 60 percent being Bosnian Muslims (though not all deaths were at Serb hands, remember, for those of you who are historically illiterate, that there was an internal Bosnian Muslim civil war that was extremely bloody (Fikhrit vs. Izetbegovic), a Croat-Serb vs. Muslim phase to the war, and finally, the Serb vs. Croat-Muslim phase.

In 1992 Serbs argued nationality trumps borders, and expressed their desire to remain part of Yugoslavia, going so far as to hold a plebiscite in November 1991 in which they voted overwhelming to do so. The same argument being used now to support independence for Kosovo, namely that nationality trumps historic borders, is the same one Bosnian Serbs used to keep from being part of an independent Bosnia.

To Serbs, the Bosnian war was a civil war they fought to remain part of what was then known as Yugoslavia, now Serbia-Montenegro. Just as the countrys Muslims and Croats did not want to be controlled by a Serb-dominated Yugoslavia once Slovenia and Croatia broke away, so too they say did Serbs not wish to be controlled by a Muslim-dominated government in Sarajevo. When the United Nations recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent country, one week after a technically unconstitutional national referendum in which the Serbs did not participate, Bosnias Serb politicians walked out of parliament and the war began.

If Milosevic is in hell, he's there with Franjo Tudjman, Alija Izetbegovic, and their counterpart in Kosovo.

Posted by: Rob on March 11, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

The fact was the war in the former Yugoslavia was a civil war, one in which the Serbs performed poorly in terms of winning international opinion and support.

uh yeah, the whole genocide thing does tend to make it hard to win opinion and support.

Posted by: haha on March 11, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

uh yeah, the whole genocide thing does tend to make it hard to win opinion and support.

Only someone ignorant of the Balkans would say that. Some 400,000 Serbs (US estimates) were murded by the Kosovo Albanians and the Croats who sided with the Nazis, what a generation before?

Seems the biggest genocide was against the Serbs.

Really it was a continuation of the same civil strife that has occured for decades.

Good riddence to one more of the actors, but blaming one entire people is just racist.

Posted by: IanMD on March 11, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

He won't be missed? Not by me, but perhaps by others:

http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/homepage/hp3-11-06c.jpg

Posted by: Bah Humbug on March 11, 2006 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

No actually, IanMD, blaming it on a people who were for the most part willing to follow Milosovic into the bloody ethnic cleansing of the Bosnian war, seems perfectly appropriate. Whatever happened to the Serbs 50 years prior couldn't possibly justify what they did in the '90s.

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on March 11, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

'Rob' posted:

"The fact was the war in the former Yugoslavia was a civil war…"

Nope.

Check your definition.

.

"The same argument being used now to support independence for Kosovo, namely that nationality trumps historic borders, is the same one Bosnian Serbs used to keep from being part of an independent Bosnia."

A false Straw Man argument.
.

Posted by: VJ on March 11, 2006 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

VJ, What happend in Yugoslavia actually fits exactly into the defintion of a civil war in every way.

The concensus in academia in the 1980's for exampe was that if the communist regime fell the Croatians, Bosnian Moslems and Kosovars would resume killing Serbs and the Serbs would respond. Seems that is exactyy what happend.

The cause of the Yugoslav civil wars was the precipitious recongition the states as indiependent countries without considering the huge minorities.

Posted by: caleb on March 12, 2006 at 6:45 AM | PERMALINK

Blaming all the Serbs for Milosevic is the same as blaming all Israeli's for Sharon's crimes (which were bigger, broader and more bloody).

There are brutal demogogues everywhere. We've got them here in America!

Posted by: Marcus on March 12, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

To further emphasize how difficult it is to distinguish between good and evil in the various Yugoslavian conflicts, consider the recent testimony of Eve-Ann Prentice, a British journalist who spent much time in Yugoslavia during the nineties. The fullest account is on Milosevic's own web page at http://www.slobodan-milosevic.org/news/smorg020306.htm about three quarters of the way down:


"The most explosive part of her testimony dealt with an interview that she scheduled with Alija Izetbegovic in November 1994. While she was waiting in Izetbegovic's foyer both she, and a journalist from Der Speigel, saw Osama bin Laden being escorted into Izetbegovic’s office. Yes *that* Osama bin Laden -- the same Osama bin Laden who masterminded the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


Needless to say this evidence did not sit well with the tribunal. Mr. Nice immediately objected and Judge Robinson cut off the testimony immediately declaring it “irrelevant.”


Milosevic tried to explain that the involvement of Islamic terrorists with the highest level of the Bosnian Muslim government shows that the Bosnian Serbs were fighting a war for self-preservation, not a war for some made-up “greater Serbia” conspiracy. Unfortunately the Judges wouldn’t have any of it so he was forced to move on."


The more independent IPWR confirms most of the other testimony on that page but omits the meeting with Osama. see http://www.iwpr.net/?p=tri&s=f&o=259362&apc_state=henh


The whole matter is discussed at length here http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/cgi-bin/newsviews.cgi/The%20Balkans/2006/02/21/Bin_Laden_Tapes_and
and here http://www.balkanalysis.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=624


But if Izetbegovic is against Milosevic then that makes him a good guy. So if Osama Bin Laden is his ally then he must be a good guy too. Or if Osama is the bad guy then Izetbegovic must be bad too. So then Milosevic really was a good guy then. After all you're either for us or against us.


You go figure.

Posted by: Jason on March 12, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

'caleb' posted:

"What happend in Yugoslavia actually fits exactly into the defintion of a civil war in every way."

No, by definition, a "civil war" is "A war between factions or regions of the same country".

At the time, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia. etc. were recognized by the United Nations as independent nations. A conflict between independent nations is, by definition, NOT a civil war.
.

Posted by: VJ on March 13, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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