March 12, 2003

An Aside from Serbia

Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic was assassinated today in Belgrade. It has nothing to do with Iraq, but I wanted to comment briefly anyway. On the BBC today he was eulogized as the best hope for reform in Serbia, and I’m sure that will be the tone of most of the media stories about him. He was the westerners’ favorite because he spoke in their language. Many Serbian politicians, even democratic ones, still harbor a lot of resentment against the west for supporting the Muslims in the Bosnia war and for the 78-day bombing campaign in Serbia. Djindjic was pro-west until the end. This also made him unpopular in Serbia, and he was successful in politics not because people liked him but because he was a shrewd political operator. Most people suspected that he was involved in the mafia, and also distrusted him because he had cooperated with Slobodan Milosevic in the past. It was fashionable among my friends to hate him.

That said, I suspect just about everyone in Serbia is mourning today. It was a shock for me to see that he was killed, and it’s truly sad news for a country that I called home for two years. There are a lot of reactionary idiots in Serbia and he fought hard against them, and for all his faults he was still the leader of the people who wanted to bring Serbia into the west. The people of Serbia have suffered a lot, and this will only add to the suffering. My condolences, Serbia.

March 12, 2003 in Serbia | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack