Democracy at work?
March 31, 2004 12:57 PM   Subscribe

Washington cuts Serbia Aid, due to Serbian intransigence in cooperating with the Hague war crimes tribunal to extradite key war crimes suspects. Recently, the Serbian Parliament passed a controversial bill which gives taxpayers money to war crimes suspects for "legal and other expenses". In December Serbia elected a new parliament with nationalist sympathies. Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has said extraditing war crimes suspects to The Hague is not one of his government's priorities. Is this the kind of democracy the US wanted?
posted by knapah (4 comments total)
hmm, it sounds a bit troll-like on reflection.

oh well, discuss.
posted by knapah at 1:08 PM on March 31, 2004

This the kind of democracy the US wanted?

Democracy is too important to be left to the people. Why not let the US Supreme Court decide who should be in charge of Serbia? It works for the US...
posted by Slothrup at 1:38 PM on March 31, 2004

The whole thing is a farce:
a. Serbia doesn't have Mladic.
b. The US was never worried about "democracy" in Serbia. That's why it backed a pro-western Mafia in both Serbia and Montenegro who have replaced the Milosevic apparatus with their own. Let me remind you that Zoran Djindjic, the late Serbian PM was murdered under circumstances that could only be described as "gang related". Meanwhile, it is common knowledge that the other shining beacon of democracy in Montenegro is the head of the Djuganovic clan (yes they have clans over there) widely rumored to be the people behind cigarette smuggling in the Eastern Mediterranean
c. Meanwhile in liberated Kosovo the KLA has turned the province into the main supply center of heroin in Europe, as well as a center of trafficking in women - and all sorts of criminal activities. Oh, all that while steadily forcing and bullying the remaining Serb population into leaving, thus perpetrating one of the the most effective ethnic cleansing operations in the former Yugoslavia, under NATO jurisdiction, which is pretty much sitting there doing nothing but watch the Albanian Kosovars burn churches, monasteries and kill Serbs and Peacekeepers.
d. Among all this, Yugoslavia was promised by both the US and the EU that if it gave up Milosevic (who is reasonably expected to be acquitted of all charges in the Hague after a spectacularly unimpressive case for the prosecution), cash would flow, the NATO-devastated infrastructure would be rebuilt, and generally prosperity would return. They are seeing very, very little and Serbia and Montenegro (but especially Serbia) has seen living conditions deteriorate for a majority of its citizens.
e. Kostunica, while far from ideal, seems like the only realistic choice for Serbia right now. He's honest, has no connection to the mob, and has not grown rich from Western bribes. His only problem is that he really doesn't seem that clever.
f. The alternative to Kostunica is Seselj, a rabid nationalist, in the same far reaches of wingnuttery as Zhirinovsky and Sharon. He did spectacularly well in the last elections forcing the "democratic" parties to a partnership with Milosevic's Socialist party in order to avoid a Seselj nightmare scenario. If Seselj does get elected all bets are off....
h. So like the man said: extraditing war crimes suspects to The Hague is not one of his government's priorities. He wants to try them at home.
g. An extra fact: Serbia has around three quarters of a million refugees (in a population of 10.5 million) to support, while being one of the poorest countries in Europe.

So Powell wants to cut off aid? Because of Mladic? Are we serious? I hope the EU doesn't make the same mistake... The region has been destabilized enough already to last us a few more decades...
So you see, democracy has nothing to do with this sad, sad mess...
posted by talos at 4:37 PM on March 31, 2004

talos...thanks for those, I'm still working through the links. Great info!
posted by dejah420 at 8:58 PM on March 31, 2004

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