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There are many interesting items in today's Danas. The mystery over whether Ratko Mladić has been arrested already, is in the process of being arrested, is about to be arrested, or is practicing variations of the alchemy of producing the voluntarity of a surrender has got to the point that -- the "deadline" is shifting again, this time apparently to 5 April. April, like all of the months that have passed to date, will also come and go. Continuing to match the speed of the Serbian government is ICTY. When the Milošević trial began in (yes!) February 2002, one of the questions raised was whether a conviction for genocide in that trial might have an influence over the suit pending before the International Court of Justice in which the government of Bosnia-Hercegovina charged the government of the federal Republic of Yugoslavia (which existed at the time) for genocide. Only now is it clear how big the assumption behind the question was: that a verdict would be given in one trial before one was due in the other. Arguments before ICJ begin tomorrow, and arguments before ICTY may end at some point in the future. In the meantime, a pro-indictee demonstration hosted by SRS in Belgrade is being described by BBC as a "mass pro-Mladić rally." I say bringing at most 10,000 people to Belgrade (because they aren't from there) is a sign that SRS has access to fewer buses than SPS used to have.


Anonymous said...

Actually, more buses. SPS hit its low point sometime in 2003, when they couldn't get more than a thousand, maybe a couple of thousand demonstrators to show up. That won't even fill Trg Republika.

They had to play taped applause from loudspeakers. It was really kinda sad.

Speaker: Blah blah Narod blah.
Crowd: clap clap
[DJ hits switch]

Except that it echoed weirdly around the square and was just really obvious and lame.

I've heard they picked up again in the last couple of years -- more buses, as you say.

But it wouldn't surprise me to hear that half those people were from Belgrade. Yeah, BG never cared much for Slobo and his friends. But the Mladic issue may have traction beyond the fairly narrow poor/backwards/dickhead in black t-shirt/SRS nationalist idiot who's forgotten nothing and learned nothing/goon on payroll of Karic brothers demographic.

Various people have put a lot of effort into portraying Mladic as a simple honest soldier. With some success. Even people who realize at one level that there were no good soldiers in that war, still want to believe otherwise. This makes Mladic broadly appealing in a way that, say, Karadzic is not.

Doug M.

Anonymous said...

On the international court Bosnia, Serbia issue could you Eric or TK write a little on your own view?

Eric Gordy said...

I'll try to write something on the ICJ case soon, as soon as I can steal a little time.

But Doug -- do you remember the fantastic newspaper photo from SM's election rally in Berane, where they multiplied the size of the audience through the magic of cut and paste? I have a copy of that somewhere, showing one person appearing at five places in the crowd.