Love is more than Octavia and Felicia can tell

Whoever says crime doesn't pay needs to review the stats. A pompezni sendoff and a shiny new Czech automobile wasn't enough to smooth the path of Vladimir Lazarević to his retirement home on the North Sea. He also got a budget outlay of around a half million Euros. The government is now defending itself by saying it hasn't actually cut the check. A peek at the readers' comments section of the B92 site gives a variety of reactions, among them the delightfully phonetic "Čizs krajst."

Update: Finance minister Mladjan Dinkić is claiming that a clerical error is in question, and that the appropriation was meant to be not just for Mr Lazarević but for all of the ICTY detainees the government is paying off. Even if his claim is true, the thesis stands.

Corporate identity

Eleven British soldiers have been charged under the statute (whatever that means) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with war crimes in Iraq and are to stand trial in Britain. Sky News, which I've started watching during the London bombing inquiry because they reported rumors and speculations much more quickly than the BBC, which still often behaves as the moutpiece of Her Majesty's Government, carried the news this morning accompanied by pictures of, you guessed it, the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, or ICTY, also in The Hague. To complete the confusion, The Hague is also host to the International Court of Justice, or ICJ; if I remember correctly, Boris Tadić referred to the ICJ when he should have mentioned the ICTY in remarks to the press he made last week.

If the president of a country that has a lot of business with the ICTY and the ICJ can't keep them apart, what are we mere mortals to do? The least they could do is, as a matter of urgency, to move two of the three to, say, Cork and Riga, if it has to be in Europe at all. Any other suggestions?


Super special guest post! Maniac Shop on the Exit festival! Nowhere but East Ethnia!

Note: Thanks to Maniac Shop for the update. If anyone wants an English translation, look at the comments.



maniacforeastethnia maniacforeastethnia

Ovogodisnji EXIT je, kao uoastalom i svi prethodni, bio po svemu NAJ. Najveci broj izvodjaca, navjise bina, najvise posetilaca, najludji provod. Od 7. do 10. jula masa muzicara uveseljavala je masu ljudi koja je, usput, popila i masu piva. Sve u svemu bilo je odlicno. Niceg nije nedostajalo, pa ni kise. Bili su tu i BBC Radio 1 koji je prenosio koncerte, i MTV-ovci koji su nastavili sa snimanjem filma o festivalu. Sto ova multikulturalna humanitarna manifestacija svakako zasluzuje, buduci da vec neko vreme vazi za jedan od 4 najvaznija muzicka festivala u Evropi, barem po izjavama ovih iz BBC-a (a sta oni pa znaju). Na sajtu festivala www.exitfest.org se nalaze spiskovi svih grupa i pojedinaca koji su nastupali, a od zvucnijih imena treba pomenuti Ian Brown, Garbage, Underworld, Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim, White Stripes.

maniacforeastethnia maniacforeastethnia

Humanitarna (ili humanisticka) crta cele stvari je ove godine trebala da bude ostvarena gestom odavanja pocasti zrtvama genocida u Srebrenici, prekidom programa na par minuta, u ponoc, 10. jula. Barem je tako bilo najavljeno od strane organizatora festivala. Ubrzo je usledila reakcija (a koga drugog) radikala, trenutno na vlasti u Novom Sadu, gradu koji omogućuje postojanje EXIT-a, uz izjavu njihovog zamenika prvog coveka Tome Nikolica da, kao, ako se to desi, sledeceg EXIT-a nece biti. Kao, nije u redu jednu takvu manifestaciju, gde se mladi druze, zabavljaju i igraju, tako bezocno zloupotrebljavati i odavanjem poste zrtvama Srebrenice ispolitizovati celu stvar!? Yea, right...davanje pomena pobijenima u ratu je politizacija. Nije pomoglo ni to sto se odustalo od prvobitne namere da se pomenu SVA stratista, na svim stranama, i izjava zamenila pesmom koju bi otpevala Eni Lenox, organizatori su ustuknuli i i stvar je propala. Radikali bi se mogli naci i sledece godine na vlasti, i tako...

maniacforeastethnia zeleni covek

Ali ako ostavimo po strani izopacene radikalske umove, ostaje porazavajuca cinjenica, koja se lako moze utvrditi posmatranjem javnog mnjenja u Srbiji, i kojom su se, verujem, vodili i organizatori festivala kada su se povukli iz konfrontacije sa pretnjama, da svest u vecine Srba nije spremna na katarzu.
Ko zna, mozda na EXIT 10 cujemo pesmu Lenoxove ili neku ljudsku rec. Ako ga bude bilo.

Written by http://maniac.blog.hr



Sentences for political murders

After a sentencing earlier this month for another another attempted murder of Vuk Drašković, today several members of the so-called «Unit for Special Operations» (JSO), together with former State Security chief Radomir Marković, were sentenced for another attempted murder of Drašković and the kidnapping and murder of Ivan Stambolić. Four members of JSO (including Milorad Ulemek) got maximum sentences of 40 years, while Radomir Marković got just 15. The JSO members were also required to return (to whom?) the money they were paid for their participation.

Slobodan Milošević and Nebojša Pavković were also named in the indictment, but spared trial because they were occupied elsewhere. This may be a logical move or may be, together with Marković's comparatively light sentence, taken as a sign that it still pays better to be a ranking member of a conspiracy than one of its employees.

Thanks to AR for the photos:

Milorad Ulemek takes a moment to wonder about the optometric services available in prison

Slobodan Milošević and Ivan Stambolić, in the days before Milošević had the power to order murders

Tracing the new quasilegal rhetoric

If it is true that the discussion in Serbia about Srebrenica—marginal and wholly instrumental participants left aside—has moved from dispute over the facts to dispute over whether the facts can be characterised as «genocide» or not, this needs to be explained. Some possible hypotheses:

1) The criminals know that they are losing both the legal and political terrain on which they have been claiming their heroism and innocence. So now they are using distance and surrogates to try to bargain over the verdict in advance.

2) In the preparation to make a public recognition of genocide as well, the familiar old faces are being trotted out for a last round of denial before their well-earned return to obscurity.

3) The issue is not about events but responsibility, namely the effort of the members of the criminal conspiracy to present their own responsibility as somebody else's, reducing the question of recognition to one of fear of consequences (On this point see the quasilegal reflections of the by no means uninterested party Ratko Marković on whether the criminal conspiracy in which he participated was a «regime» or a «state» in today's Večernje novosti.)

What makes the third possibility seem more likely is that it can be fully explained by events that are already known, and it does not require making predictions about events in the future.


The beauty of blogging

The beauty of blogging is that it allows you to rant on without necessarily advancing our knowledge. Debating Holocaust deniers, for example, is such an exercise in futility since nobody serious can disagree about the key facts. That doesn't keep fools like Major General (ret.) Lewis MacKenzie -- who was nowhere near Bosnia in the summer of 1995 -- to declare that the massacre in the UN safe haven "was not a black and white event in which the Serbs were solely to blame." (He's right on that one -- I'd also blame the Dutch.) He doubts that more than a few thousand were murdered (which presumably would make it somehowe okay). He blames the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica for provoking the attack. He claims Naser Oric (whose name he misspells twice) was responsible for as many killed Serbs outside Srebrenica as the Bosnian Serbs were for killed Muslims inside the town. And he concludes, with admirable intellectual coherence, that the massacres couldn't possibly have been genocide because the Serbs let the kids and the women get away.

MacKenzie, of course, is a notorious revisionist who has been paid by Serb lobby groups for his fine work promoting their viewpoint. But I'm afraid that his views carry a certain weight with people on the far left who'd rather sacrifice a few thousand Muslims than allow any course of action that might result in an increase in U.S. power, or who compulsively dispute everything that is "fed" us by the "corporate" or "mainstream" media.

What I don't understand is how a fine paper like the Globe and Mail can give space to such lunatics. (By the way, it seems like you need a subscription to access the MacKenzie op-ed, but in a service to mankind another balanced news source has reproduced the piece on their website.)