Cultural Revolutions

End of an Era

Slobodan Milosevic's delivery to a NATO airbase in Tuzla marks the end of an era—but which one? It appears to conclude the period in which the Serbian people tried to find leaders who would not accept that their national interests should be defined either by a socialist Yugoslavia or by the great powers. Their willingness to elect Vojislav Kostunica probably depended on the notion that he was more of a patriot than his predecessor and that he would keep his promise not to accept the jurisdiction of a foreign court created as an instrument of propaganda by Serbia's enemies. Zoran Djindjic might have been unelectable. But even he was not an overt anti-nationalist, and it was possible to imagine that the foreign policy of the victorious coalition would combine Kostunica's patriotism with Djindjic's pragmatism. It could have produced a stable policy—based on legal self-respect and technical cooperation with The Hague War Grimes Tribunal (ICTY)—which most of Europe would accept because Europe is more interested in stability' and democracy than in the project of Serb submission prescribed by Zagreb and Washington. We now know that this has not happened. Serbia could not have experienced a more humiliating surrender to IGTY than to watch its ministers defy their constitutional court on their high holy day, Vidovdan (St. Vitus Day). The people did not vote for it; the law did not permit it; and the highest court—whatever...

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