Mon Mar 13 17:36:14 CET 2006

Scrabble, Whiskey, and Milosevic


In Japan, at my dads place. Japan in winter isn't as cold,
if you count the actual degrees outside, but in effect its
much colder here since the houses aren't built to withstand
cold in the same way. When here I wear a fleece pullover at
all times, and slippers on my feet as well.

We just played the traditional game of Scrabble. Very
nice. Now Im sitting here in the living room with a small
whiskey and a cigarette, enjoying myself immensely.

This time around, the jet lag isn't at all as bad as it can
be sometimes. At around midday I get a little messed up and I
need to take a small nap, but otherwise Im quite

Functional enough to actually read the newspaper- saw that
Slobodan Milosevic died Saturday. The was news enough to ruin
my good mood. It aggrevates me to think that he got away from
justice. He deserved to be removed from the ranks of humanity,
exposed to the world as the beast he really was. His crimes
against humanity- leading an army of killers and rapists
against defenceless human beings. The massacre of
Sebrenica. Using artillery (!) against Sarajevo, a city of
civilians. Dumping human bodies in unmarked mass graves,
making it harder for the survivors to deal with the pain. He
dealt out pain and misery on one hand and on the other
systematically lied to the world community. His crimes belong
to the class of biblical antagonists and his punishment should
have been something in the same order.

He shouldn't have gotten away with two hundred thousand
murders (in Bosnia alone!). He shouldn't have gotten away with
turning an entire generation of young men into bloodthirsty
rapist-killers. The surviving victims will now never get the
justice that they deserve so much.

We made the mistake of giving him the luxury of defending
himself. Big mistake. Populist authoritarian leaders are all
exceptionally good demagogues and schemers, skilled at turning
truth on its head to suit their needs. When he was extradited
to the Hague in June 2001, the large part of the Serb people
didn't know that he was responsible for their collective
misery. They didn't know why the word 'serb' had become a
synonym for murderer or rapist. By giving him the possibility
of defending himself, we also gave him the one thing he needed
to be remembered as a martyr- freedom of speech. With this
freedom he reinforced what was common knowledge among Serbs,
today many of them are still convinced (unable to believe)
that they have been set up by a global conspiracy. 

This mess will probably never be untangled.