Completely delicate things, wash them cold

No way around it, soon enough Nebojsa Pavkovic will be arrested and extradited to the Hague. Interior minister Dragan Jocic held a most uninformative press conference at which he confirmed there was an arrest warrant, but said little else except to claim that the situation was "completely delicate." Mr Pavkovic has only succeeded in hiding as long as nobody was looking for him, and has otherwise failed to launch a referendum over his fate or otherwise to animate people in his support, since only he seems to share in the image of great importance he tries so hard to project. Expect him and Sreten Lukic, whose competely delicate medical condition also does not inspire widespread concern, to settle into their new homes in Scheveningen in the next several days.

Update: It would seem that a support rally for Pavkovic attracted "dozens" of people to listen to the newest prose stylings of necrophile Kosta Cavoski. That some of the war criminals might get some public sympathy in Serbia is not inconceivable (recall how Vladimir Lazarevic was feted) but Mr Pavkovic, aside from being a violator of international humanitarian law, is also an incompetent, a philanderer, a thief, a publicity hound, a spletkaros and a twit. Not designed for public sympathy.

Update2: Off goes Lukic.


Anonymous said...

Despite Kostunica's claims about the threats to stability that would allegedly be triggered by arrests of Hague indictees, it's hard to imagine that many of these "heroes of the nation" really have much of a public following. A couple among the baker's dozen or so of indictees still at large -- such as Karadzic and Mladic, whose visages still sell T-shirts and calendars -- could conceivably bring crowds into the streets in the (alas as yet unlikely) event the government acts to arrest them.

But odds are most of the rest will soon find a congenial home the UN tribunal's detention unit at Scheveningen, in the reassuring company of others who actually care about them and their exploits (and where the amenities include extras unknown in domestic prisons, such as satellite TV and holiday jagnjetina feasts).

On the other hand, how would you account for the fact that someone like Vojislav Seselj, who does not strike one as a charismatic personality nor as someone who makes much rational sense, still manages to attract such a substantial percentage of voters in Serbia?


Eric Gordy said...

My goodness, Andras, I wonder about this too. At one point it seemed like the Radicals were being saved by the regency of Mr Nikolic, who might think the same as Mr Seselj but has the capacity to behave decently. But it seems like the decent behavior was just a trick he learned with great pain for the 2004 election campaign and quickly forgot.
I think that the interview that Vukasin Pavlovic gave for today's Danas (www.danas.co.yu) gets it about right. There is a general dissatisfaction among the people on the "losing side" of transition which no left party has managed to articulate, so the only option available is the radicalism of SRS. What is a lot less clear to me is how to get past this point, since existing left parties are either wholly discredited (SRS and JUL, which were never left parties anyway) or represent only an urban elite fraction (SDU and SDP). That is to say, it is pretty clear why people are using SRS as a protest vote, but it is a lot less clear how to disrupt that pattern.