Saturday, March 11, 2006

Slobodan Milosevic is dead. Apparantly of natural causes. It's hard to feel much of anything, isn't it?The man spent the last couple years of his life in prison, it's true, but it was--compared to most prisons around the world--a pretty cushy existence.

Now he's died before his trial was ever complete. His 'legacy' is somewhat less assured now--there is no chance that his tombstone will read "Convicted War Criminal." I fear it will be just a little bit harder to achieve real justice in the former Yugoslavia. It will also be a little bit easier for hardline nationalists in Serbia to continue dodging responsibility for the actions of the Milosevic regime. This isn't just bad news for non-Serbs in the areas ravaged by the wars of the 1990's. This is bad news for Serbia, as well. The full and honest accounting of the past that Serbian society needs will be a little easier to put off now that there is no threat that Milosevic will be held fully accountable for his actions.

So when I hear that Milosevic is dead, I mourn--but not for the man. Not for the bullying, braying sociopath who led his own country to ruin and decimated both Croatia and Bosnia in the process--I have no tears and no sympathy for such a man.

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