2008-02-23

Sve crnja hronika

Blic reports that according "an unnamed source close to the investigation," police believe that they may have identified the person who died in the violence that followed the calls to violence by high-ranking officials on Thursday night. They have run a name, but considering that the person has a family, I will not until the conclusion is certain. The speculation is attached to an article suggesting that the absence of police to control the violence was deliberate.

Update: It now seems more or less certain that the victim was Zoran Vujović, a 21-year old student resident in Novi Sad.

10 comments:

Daniel (Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor) said...

The victims is a Serb terrorist from Kosovo who came to burn the United States Embassy.

Eric Gordy said...

I hope this is not the way you think of your fellow humans habitually, Daniel.

Owen said...

Eric, this young man's death is sad and we don't know the full circumstances. Nevertheless it's not unreasonable for Daniel to make that comment. Maybe the young man had drunk too much and was doubly intoxicated with poisonous rhetoric. But the limited amount of information available suggests that he was an arsonist participating in an an act of political violence. Whatever your circumstances and personal history, if you set buildings on fire, you're playing games with people's lives. I'm sorry Zoran Vujovic lost his life, but what about the life of anyone else who might have been left in the building? (I speak as someone who was once left behind in an evacuated building, fortunately without serious consequences.)

Eric Gordy said...

Do you really see a terrorist there? The arson happened because there was a political decision that the police should permit it. I see a young person (undoubtedly, who had foolish ideas and made stupid choices, but this does not distinguish him from a lot of young people and old ones too) who came, with heavy institutional encouragement, to politicians who he thought would offer him some support and maybe some inspiration, and then got killed by the people who told him they would protect him.

I know he is not the only victim by a longshot. Like all of the rest of the victims, it is just a horrid, pointless waste -- for which nobody will ever be held responsible.

Owen said...

I'm sorry, someone is responsible for actually lighting a fire, whoever else may allow it to happen. If you are involved in setting light to a building you take responsibility for what happens as a result.

Sadly in this case Vujovic died. But would you be quite so sanguine about his involvement if he'd got out alive and someone else - someone disabled maybe or even simply incapacitated by smoke - had been trapped upstairs and been killed? Or are you saying that in Serbia they don't teach children that fire kills?

Torching buildings is an act of terrorism that's been used only too widely in FRY. Are you saying that the only people culpable are those who give orders?

Eric Gordy said...

Owen, the hypothetical situations you are proposing are all equally awful. What is it about the nonsense claims of any politicians that makes them worth anybody's life? We don't disagree on the point that arson is both a crime and a hugely irresponsible and stupid act.

As to who is culpable: I don't think that I would go so far as to say that the people giving orders are the only ones culpable (here civil law is different from the law of war!). But I do think that one of the worst features of the ugly political violence over all of the last several years has been the way it is orchestrated by people who have the knowledge and capacity to prevent it, the responsibility to take care of the people who trust them, and the ability to avoid any consequences for themselves.

Owen said...

Sorry, my response was rather inflammatory, so to speak. But my point was that people seem to think setting buildings on fire is a legitimate form of demonstration. Fire kills people and even if you're just a hooligan you should be considered capable of knowing that. And in the context it's also an act with resonance. Certainly condemn the orchestrators but individuals can't escape responsibility.

Anonymous said...

The man is a refugee from Kosovo who had to leave there at age 12. His great grandmother stayed behind and was drowned in her bathtub by Albanians the summer of 1999. Those Albanian terrorists are likely living free with their ill-gotten real estate gains today in Kosovo.

Further her husband committed suicide 2 years later due to being depressed over her death.

His parents lost their home and business when NATO and the KLA took over.

Many Serbs and Roma were burned to death when NATO bombed Serb homes and apartments and when the KLA systematically burned 10s of thousands of homes under NATO supervision. The U.S. sponsored the KLA and stood back as Serb property was torched and stolen and as Serbs and Roma were kidnapped, tortured and killed.

Why doesn't the U.S. just close down its embassy and leave Serbs alone? They only do a great net harm, constantly violate the rights of Serbia and Serbs and promote anti-Serb activities.

Eric Gordy said...

It's very convenient to be able to call people "terrorists." In your mind, for a moment, it relieves you of having to think about human beings. Nothing changes in the world around your mind, though.

Owen said...

Taking part in the politically motivated setting on fire of a building in which people could be trapped is still participating in an act of terrorism.

I find it hard to accept the suggestion that the act of making fire is nothing more than an imaginative construct, simply part of "the world around my mind". But we obviously can't agree so we'll have to leave it at that.