By William Markiewicz
Milosevic faces arrest soon, Serb officials say
Last month the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) won a resounding victory in parliamentary elections, all but eliminating the socialists from the government. Now, DOS leaders say, they expect to order the arrest of Milosevic within two months.
The real question is what the charges against him will be.
Extradition may be difficult. The international tribunal remains deeply unpopular among most Serbs, including Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica, who has often criticized it as a kangaroo court. But Kostunica and other DOS leaders also recognize that their success depends on foreign aid to their economically devastated country.
But the government could seek to put Milosevic away quickly for a more mundane transgression--fraud. In 1999 he allegedly made false statements on government documents to secure property on Belgrade's most expensive street, a crime punishable by as many as three years in prison.
How far can cynicism go and be completely dismissed by public opinion, as is common now? In antiquity, worshippers sacrificed virgins to their gods. Today's gods want Milosevic's head, and their worshippers, for a plate of lentils, prepare to deliver. With or without evidence, Milosevic will be condemned and the notion of "Serbian guilt" will not be forgotten. Like "assimilated Jews" who escape the collective stigma attached to Judaism, countless young Serbs may escape Serbdom toward some ill-defined pan-Europeanism. New nationalities are appearing in the Balkans: Kosovar, Macedonian, Bosnian, and soon perhaps, Montenegrin, Voivodin, and Sandjak, while the old, authentic, proud Serbian one is pushed to shrink and be diluted.Back to the index of the Vagabond