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A Profile of Slobodan Miloevi Author(s): Aleksa Djilas Source: Foreign Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 3 (Summer, 1993), pp.

81-96 Published by: Council on Foreign Relations Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20045624 . Accessed: 04/03/2011 08:02
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A Slobodan




Aleksa Djilas
BANALITY TRIUMPHANT of speeches and interviews of Slobodan in Belgrade. His of Serbia, was published the president Milosevic, narrow intellectual horizons and limited vocabulary were obvious; the chapter titles, in their arrogant and hollow "simplicity," were rem In 1989 A collection

iniscent ofMao Zedong's Red Book. ("The difficulties are neither

nor insurmountable"; should not be a "The difficulties unexpected reason to demobilize, but to mobilize ourselves"; "The future will still be beautiful, and it is not far away"; etc.) use of sentences and his Milosevic's dry, overcompressed frequent use of military vocab the ritual formulas made his style mechanical; a battle, war) gave the prose rigid and belliger ulary (mobilization, to text in harmony ent tone. This ponderous be very much seemed on the book's cover. He appears with the author's large photograph robot-like. stiff, inhibited, hierarchical?almost Yet the book was an instant success. A Serbian reading public that itself discerning had been seduced by a simplistic, almost considered a na?ve book, whose author seemed incapable of presenting genuine a crude propa vision of political and social life. To understand why gandistic

tract became

a national


is to begin
Center Yugoslav

to understand

a Fellow of the Russian Djilas, is the author of The Contested University, Communist Revolution, 1919-1953.

Research Country:

at Harvard Unity and








Milosevic why a former

supporters campaigning inTrstenik, Serbia, December i??2. communist

party apparatchik has been able to gain the of Serbs across Yugoslavia. support and adulation of millions One secret of the books success was that it addressed in a loud and clear voice the problem of Kosovo, which was of greatest importance to the Serbs. Since the late 1960s Serbs had been emigrating from this Albanian predominately province in the republic of Serbia; between and 300,000 had left by the mid-1980s, 200,000 many forced out by


extremists. Many Serbs believed that the ruling communist to had done little very party stop this exodus. constitution had They also resented the fact that the 1974Yugoslav as well as Serbias other largely separated Kosovo, province, own repre from Serbia. Kosovo and had their Vojvodina, Vojvodina sentatives in the federal, state and party bodies, where most of the

time they voted against Serbia. The two provinces also had the power to veto any Since the other five changes in the Serbian constitution. and republics (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro over had their Macedonia) territories, Serbia sovereignty complete believed that it had been singled out for unfair treatment under the constitution. Yugoslav [82] FOREIGN AFFAIRS Volume72No.3

Milosevic A Profile of Slobodan

in Kosovo, Serbia authorities the 1980s the communist Through that interethnic relations in and Yugoslavia publicly acknowledged Kosovo were in a critical state, but they would not allow any free and and poli open debate about them and avoided all pronouncements emotions. stir Serbian cies that might up on the scene. He had been pres in 1987 Milosevic Then appeared ident of the Serbian party for only a little over a year when he began mass rallies, and give speeches and interviews, fearlessly to attend a great excite powerful nationalist passions. Immediately generally noncommunist and even anticom number of Serbs?communist, to pro not to gather around him, determined munist?started only tect the Serbian minority in Kosovo, but to suppress the Albanians was soon citizens. Milosevic into second-class and turn them as a national leader. A but mostly partly orchestrated acknowledged cult began to develop around him, accompanied spontaneous by suit able songs and jingles: Slobodan, they call you freedom, are loved you by big and small. So long as Slobo walks the land,

thepeople will not be in thrall.1

in post-commu had learned the secret of demagoguery as communism had nist Europe. Far from transcending nationalism, seen as a a dis it eagerly. Once functionary of taught, he embraced credited regime, he was now the voice of Serbian nationalism. As a a Slobodan Milosevic result, by mid-1988 enjoyed popularity greater than any Serbian political figure in this century Milosevic

THE COMMUNIST Nothing inMilosevic's


he could ever ascend was born in 1941 to such heights of power and popular approval. He a town in Serbia that had a at the time of in Pozarevac, population early life suggested
1Qyoted from Slavoljub Djukic, Kako sedogodio vodja: borbeza vlast u Srbijiposlejosipa Broza, Belgrad: Filip Visnjic, 1992, p. 265.Djukic's book is themost comprehensive study to date ofMilosevic's rise to power.



-Summer 1993


Aleksa Djilas
about 20,000. He is ofMontenegrin descent; to this day his brother as his declares Slobodan's father studied nationality Montenegrin. Eastern Orthodox and Russian and Serbo-Croatian theology taught at a local high school. His mother was also a language and literature a dedicated and in addition communist activist. A schoolteacher, she brought up her children alone after strict, self-possessed woman, her husband left her when Slobodan was still in elementary school. Slobodan was an excellent pupil, and teachers considered him seri ous and reliable. He wore a to school, a carefully pressed dark suit white shirt and a tie, avoided sports and spent little time with friends. He published in the school magazine articles and poems and was

While politically active.

in high school, this prim lonermet Mirjana

communist fam

his future wife. She came from a leading Markovic, a true believer. ily in Serbia and is still today Milosevic's father committed suicide

in 1962, when Slobodan was a student at did the same. university. Eleven years later his mother him (Her brother, a general, had also taken his own life.) Milosevic self appears to have always been confident and assured, and the hope commit that one day he might of his opponents ful conjectures suicide as well have no foundation. became a close In his first year at the Faculty of Law, Milosevic aworker turned student who was five years friend of Ivan Stambolic, his senior and embarked on a promising political career. In the ensu mentor. they Together ing years Stambolic would become Milosevic's climbed toward the summits of power in Serbia, Slobodan always just one step behind Ivan. Those whether business. bank, as a young communist knew Milosevic functionary, are or him his remember opponents, supporters they today who a director

as friendly, reliable and dynamic. He had a long spell in theworld of

He was commuting standing business first of a factory and then of a leading out and New York. Without between Belgrade acumen he was still a credible manager. He had a

at home in the and felt very much special talent for organization, was order from his subor party machine. He orderly and demanded a dinates. He was also firm believer inTitoist Yugoslav communism, to idealism or illusions. have been without though his loyalty appears





A Profile of Slobodan Milosevic

He as the to rule and only right way simply accepted communism rather than as a set of ideas and ideals, and showed a realpoli manage, tiker's keen appreciation it could be of what power was and where found. The roots of the Milosevic phenomenon communists are to be found in Serbia. These in the

when Marshal Josip Tito politically expelled purge of the early 1970s,
the market forces in the strengthening and allowing greater freedom of economy Yugoslav speech. They the party should withdraw believed from the realm of arts and cul ture and should promote young and able to people leading positions. a To those democratic dissidents who wanted European-style parlia a market economy, were and these efforts half mentary democracy no one slow and inconsistent. hearted, cautious, Still, excessively could dispute the fact that after the liberals' dismissal the political sit uation in Serbia deteriorated: political repression increased, as did the over the economy. party's hold in the party and "Moral-political suitability," that is, membership as in pre adherence toMarxism-Leninism, dogmatic again became, for any career in business, liberal times, a necessary requirement the or education. media Dissidents called moral-political suitability meant since in it that careerists and doc selection," practice "negative rose to career trinaires the top. Milosevic, who made his in the 1970s, was both a a successful practitioner of this negative selec product and

all leading reform-minded in favor of liberals were


those with from the Serbian strong personalities Eliminating the opposition, should one man attempt to party greatly weakened once Tito was gone. While both the liberals and doctri grab power naire communists had fought against Serbian nationalism, the liber so als had done with greater and deeper conviction. intelligence was not too weak to resist When the party finally lost its faith, it only not but could it. By extin nationalism, prevent itself from embracing all the creative forces within the League of Communists of guishing someone to had like Milosevic seize Serbia, Tito paved the way for a a monument to In is Tito's policies. sense, Milosevic power.



-Summer 1993


Aleksa Djilas

was a consistent in 1980, Milosevic and of Tito's legacy. Especially among the seemingly convinced defender older cadres "little Slobo" had a reputation for being an uncompro in 1984 his old friend Stambolic became communist. When mising of Serbia, he appointed the president of the League of Communists as the head of the Milosevic very party committee?a Belgrade was center then the because of democratic important post Belgrade dissent inYugoslavia, and the party considered After tito's it full of "anticommunist geois mies. liberals," Bourgeois "bour reactionaries," "nationalists" and other ene liberalism



reinvigorated the party by forcing it to


directly challenged the of nationalism. power and was there party's monopoly But "great Serbian fore the most dangerous. a was considered threat too, since it easily excited pop nationalism" ular emotions and because any tolerance shown by the party angered the non-Serbian communist

in the Albanians leaders, especially ones as well. and Croatian Kosovo, but the Slovenian were soon the way Milosevic pleased with Party conservatives

policed this hotbed of opposition. He frequently attacked dissident

and pun intellectuals, firmly opposed all demands for liberalization, of Serbian nationalism. He also resisted any ished any manifestation attempt by reformers to cut the excessive time devoted in schools and to the teaching of Marxism, universities promoted dogmatic profes sors at the publication of books and Belgrade University, prevented authors. by politically proscribed as chief of the In January 1986 Milosevic Stambolic succeeded of Serbia. He became Stambolic Serbian party when president a kind of younger seemed to everyone a staunch party conservative, to of Russia's Yegor Ligachev, ready fight in Yugoslavia who aspired to be Gorbachevs. those By were to communists and Croatian then the Slovenian beginning a than one candidate, elections with more introduce intra-party elections. No one dared hope for such major step toward multiparty a few years later, there would be free changes in Serbia, though only dom of speech and the press in Serbia, as well as free elections. By energetic communists version and more





Milosevic A Profile of Slobodan

of Serbian the standard-bearer the party would become national idol. the worshiped and Milosevic s in Kosovo was Milosevic sympathy for the plight of the Serbs asmany amonster only interested in power, genuine. He is not simply this point nationalism him. Yet other leading communists of his opponents characterize were also interested in resolving the Kosovo problem. The difference was that Milosevic the fear of the found the strength to overcome so characteristic of any entrenched bureaucrat. Above masses, all, he the power of fear and knew how to succeeded because he understood transformed it for his own purposes. Milosevic fundamentally Serbian politics. It of Kosovo Serbs developed The mass movement spontaneously. was not though it could easily have become openly anticommunist, so. Milosevic overcame his caution and started sup only gradually was to do the first leading communist nonetheless porting it, but he so. media and the party ma With the help of the party-controlled soon dominated in the process the movement, chinery, he discovering masses was to lead them. to that the best way escape the wrath of the Serbian nation It was an act of political cannibalism. The opponent, and its spirit permeated the eater. Milosevic alism, was devoured the party by forcing it to embrace nationalism. reinvigorated use

THE POLITICS OF FEAR to its East compared its economy was more counterparts: European, Asian and Caribbean more its cultural policies tolerant. Yugoslavs could market-oriented, travel freely to theWest. But itwas still a system based on fear. To In the it often meant the loss of a job or imprisonment. challenge as in other East the press in Yugoslavia, 1980s, however, European became intellectuals bolder countries, grew increasingly iconoclastic; in demanding respect for human rights, and the public was less will to put up with the of its party lead ing privileges and incompetence ers. The power of party committees was being eroded, and the party was bureaucracy frightened. Titoist had been moderate communism



Summer 1993


Aleksa Djilas
Milosevics issues ("this has to be energetic way of dealing with so a not is it done, problem") and old-style party rhetoric encouraged was also not afraid to dismantle the cadres. Milosevic the typical forms of rule by party committee and police. He realized that the sheer spectacle of hundreds of thousands of people on pub lic squares, waving flags and shouting slogans, could overpower any was that would and believe that this freedom. While many opposition Tito s communism tried to silence its opponents with fear, Milosevic to allowed his adversaries that speak freely. He had discovered nationalist propaganda could control and manipulate the masses even cut off. The media did not have to if information was not completely so as be censored the major television network and the largest long were under his control. And this he had accomplished newspaper by over the cadres in he realized that winning leading positions. Finally, most intellectuals would be reluctant to oppose a leader who appeared to be fighting for national goals. seems to have allied himself Milosevic permanently with the pol itics of fear. He thrives on it and is always on the lookout for the hos one of the causes of tility and conflict that produce it. This is deeper con civil war: Milosevic the Yugoslav counted on war, the ultimate iswhy he refused to dition of fear, to unite Serbs around him. That look for political solutions to the persecution of Serbs in Croatia after came to power in 1990, and to the erosion of Franjo Tudjman May in the Serbs' position after the Muslim leader Bosnia-Herzegovina, became its president in November 1990. Milosevic Alija Izetbegovic the Serbs' increased sense of insecurity and was only too welcomed a war in which to they would have only him glad plunge them into for protection. his power in 1987-88 neither the Milosevic consolidated were afraid of him. nor the ordinary people Everyone, intelligentsia kind of fear that once somehow knew that the including Milosevic, of existed under Tito could not be restored. Yet among the minority a Serbian intellectuals who were trying to resist Serbian nationalism, s new kind of fear to that Milosevic foreboding began spread?a poli to cies would disaster. lead When communist





A Profile of Slobodan Milosevic


mass demonstra seemingly effortless mastery of to has rarely appeared in public tions, since his rise power Milosevic or on television. He not have does oratorical or actually exceptional In spite



histrionic skills and knows that his political talent shines brightest in
a "chamber small meetings. He is definitely and is often politician' described as the quintessential apparatchik.2 But while undoubtedly a communist he lacks the product of the Yugoslav political machine, to routine that a true man of the apparat should docility and devotion con rather, a leader of some revolutionary possess. He resembles, in secret, surrounded by mystery, and is perma spiracy who works and dismissing of the central members nently busy appointing committee. Milosevic's chief preoc Indeed, the selection of cadres is the main criterion for promotion is loyalty to him, cupation. While one moves he also often function to another to avoid people from too their accumulating much power. Finally, he rarely attacks his his own party or outside it. Like opponents directly, either within Stalin and Tito, he has his men for that.

At the beginning of 1988, just after Milosevic had consolidated his

power, the Belgrade youth paper Mladost published a

piled list of the hundred most prominent political figures in Serbia.

of 1993, only a handful of them remained By the beginning had disposed of the others as they grew either too Milosevic or too But he was not completely ungrateful. compromised.3 most of them important and lucrative positions outside to in business, and they continued support him. mostly Milosevic's in power. assertive He gave




ruthlessness and skill inwinning intra-party battles by was most obvious when he eliminated from using disposable proxies ever the presidency his old friend Ivan Stambolic. Without directly won over Milosevic Stambolic's cadres for attacking him, secretly himself and launched a media campaign against his closest political
2The phrase "chamber politician" was applied toMilosevic by the political philoso pher Ljubomir Tadic in "Krajbrutalne nepravde," Borba, Feb. vj, 1993. 3Or in a few cases because they tried to appropriate for themselves his manner of speaking and gesticulating. Milosevic loathes people who in thisway imitate him, as for mer Serbian Prime Minister Radoman Bozovic discovered to his chagrin.



-Summer 1993


Aleksa Djilas
nation 23, 1987, the whole ally and personal friend. On September a live television broadcast of the famous watched mesmerized Eighth of the of Central Committee the of Communists of Meeting League were s pro communists Serbia. Many Stambolic leading criticizing a of member the collective party presidency of t?g?, Dragisa Pavlovic, Serbia and the leader of the Belgrade communists. But through were attacked for Stambolic's Pavlovic, policies being insufficiently not for resolute in protecting Tito's and Serbian legacy defending interests, especially in Kosovo. After more than 20 hours of debate, Pavlovic resigned from the collective presidency, and Stambolic was left in no doubt that the leaders were against him. Soon after majority of Serbian communist tell his friend Ivan: "I am sorry, but your posi ward Slobodan would tion as the president of Serbia has become untenable." In December national of the collective presidency Stambolic asked the members of Serbia to vote him out of office; in the of Serbia elect 1989 May parliament as edMilosevic president.4 after Stambolic's Five months fall, his 24-year-old daughter died to attend the funeral. He arrived in a car crash. Milosevic decided and pale, and the two former friends embraced. (Mrs. upset even not shake Milosevic's extended would however, Stambolic, the media, But controlled by Milosevic, its brutal continued hand.) and spiteful campaign against Stambolic. is characteristic Milosevic's avoidance of direct confrontation of all his political activities. He has never, for example, openly acted against anyone who attacks him. Nor has he ever publicly attacked or insult or Croats or Bosnian Muslims in his speeches, and only ed Albanians as incitements a few of his remarks could be considered to war.

WINNING Finding political the battles cadres was

OVER THE ARMY party ready to fight over than winning his the

in the communist easier for Milosevic

4Ivan Stambolic's full title was "President of the Presidency of the Socialist Republic "President of the Presidency of the League of of Serbia" and Slobodan Milosevic's,
Communists of Serbia."





Milosevic A Profile of Slobodan

officer corps helped?the Yugoslav People's Army. But circumstances was about 65 percent Serbian, and the Serbian majority grew as toward secession and their officers left Slovenia and Croatia moved also and Croatian the army. Slovenian anti-army pronouncements drove the army to look for a protector, and Serbia seemed the obvi ous choice. The anti-Serbian policies of President Franjo Tudjman's Croatian reminded many Serbian officers, government especially and mas those who were themselves from Croatia, of the persecution sacres of Serbs fascists during the Second World War. by Croatian it was a formidable task to transform the Yugoslav Nonetheless, arm of Serbian nationalism. into the fighting The People's Army saw itself as the protector of and not of any army, which Yugoslavia in the principle of "brotherhood and unity" national group, believed

(proclaimed during the Second World War

and was

by communist-led

communism. Partisans), permeated with Titoist moment From the he became the head of the Belgrade

nists in 1984,Milosevic
meant to

had deliberately adopted a political style

to the military. He insisted on a combative spirit and appeal a readiness to make sacrifices. Statements to appealing pride and dig a nity struck deep chord both among officers and among the mili taristic Serbs in the population. After he dominated 1987, when Serbian politics, the newspapers and television under his control

defended the army from often justified criticisms by Slovenia and

Croatia for authoritarianism and overspending. The language they was taken directly from Tito's rhetoric, which helped to reassure used the officers. The antidemocratic and reactionary of all army was the most exam communist institutions. (It unofficially Yugoslav approved, for coup d'?tat against Soviet President Mikhail ple, the attempted inAugust Gorbachev 1991.) The army was impressed by the slowness was to the with which Serbia under Milosevic's leadership responding and in other parts of Yugoslavia. It was changes in Eastern Europe not until renamed of the League 1990 that Milosevic July Communists months of Serbia?calling it the Socialist

not until December 1990 that Serbia held its first free elections, eight
after Slovenia

Party of Serbia?and

and seven months


after Croatia.

Summer 1993


Aleksa Djilas
armed forces are now formally commanded by Dobrica Cosic, the president of Yugoslavia (which now consists only of Serbia and but Milosevic has controlled them since the Yugoslav Montenegro), civil war broke out in 1991. By now he has consolidated his power over the armed forces by retiring about one hundred generals and admi rals, though never, of course, openly. He has asked for no resignations The

nor in anyway directly involved himself with themilitary.



have been so surprised by the outbreak not inevitable, of the Yugoslav civil war. While it was never very as remote either. the various national groups of Yugoslavia, Among in Central and Eastern Europe, those of other countries among nationalism has been the most powerful ideology since the middle of the nineteenth power or century. It has no rival either in mobilizing in its capacity to inspire self-sacrifice. Its essence is a pseudo-roman tic and mythologizing whose corollary is the demand ethnocentrism, a centralized within and militarily for ethnic homogeneity powerful world should not

The main the

carrier of nationalism

in Central

and Eastern

The eighteenth-century Enlightenment intelligentsia. those parts of Europe only in diluted form and was never fully accept classes. In addition, the ed by the relatively small, educated middle it still is today. main employer of the intelligentsia was the state?as institutions Finally, the absence of deeply rooted liberal democratic of a genuinely pluralist polit allowed little room for the development to make the less ical culture. All these factors combined intelligentsia was in theWest, and always ready to liberal and rationalist than it at the altar of "national sacrifice its liberal democratic aspirations war emotions were no more powerful nationalist interest." Pre-civil and Eastern in Yugoslavia than in many other countries of Central more inter were territorially Europe, but because Yugoslavia's groups mixed and because there was no general agreement on where the bor ders between them should be drawn, once the secessions began the chances for a peaceful solution were minimal.

is Europe reached





Milosevic A Profile of Slobodan

Serbian nationalism, omized by Milosevic, in the authoritarianism and exclusivism epit to of is very similar the Croatian nationalism

combined with Muslim and the nationalism radi Franjo Tudjman President All three of calism Alija Izetbegovic. Bosnia-Herzegovina's to the destruction of Yugoslavia. But Serbian have contributed does have some distinguishing traits. First among them nationalism is historical nihilism. The Serbs, more than any other nation of the are fully convinced former Yugoslavia, that history has treated them

unfairly. They feel that because they had the

in the two world wars they largest casualties credit for the creation of deserve special in 1918 and for its resurrection in Yugoslavia non their 1945. Yet instead of being grateful,


has allied


fellow Yugoslavs



himself permanently with the politics of fear.

against them from the beginning, undermining Yugoslav unity, often at the Serbs' expense. Serbs firmly believe that the ultimate goal of was to create separate states, in two other groups Yugoslavia's always the Serbs would become (Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina) persecuted national minorities. This nihilistic view, that history has never rewarded the Serbs for of which

their noble idealism, but instead has punished them with humiliation
and suffering, tional factors The has been combined with the conviction have also that interna conspired to in the contemporary creators world

deprive the Serbs of their legitimate rights.

were the of this bitter national ideology most was a intellectuals. influential among them Cosic, By far the read novelist, dissident and now president of widely prominent It is impossible to know if the intelligentsia realized how Yugoslavia. once much self-pity, anger and hatred its ideas would generate they now reached the Serbian masses. Many intellectuals that complain their views were distorted by Milosevic's and oppor irresponsible foremost

tunistic media. Yet it is clear that an ideology with such a dark vision
and the contemporary world could only lead to ruthless and

of history

cynical policies. The disintegration of Yugoslavia would have been amajor histor ical shock for the Serbs even under the best of circumstances, and


Aleksa Djilas
they would have had every right to be concerned with the welfare of their kin in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. But with amore ratio nal, self-critical and tolerant national ideology, they might have tried to solve their national question rather through peaceful negotiation

than by grabbing landwith military force.

a very careful and generally patient politician, Milosevic Although is ready to take risks. He therefore boldly seized the opportunity and for himself and his party the nationalist appropriated ideology that an had assiduously the Serbian intelligentsia developed. Essentially

ideological eclectic and a political opportunist, he had no difficulty

his political stripes from communism to nationalism and


adapting his political style to fit the image of a national leader.He

and conspicuously he self-confident; appeared robust and masculine a hid his vanity and self-importance under facade of modesty and austerity. This exaggerated pretense of Roman gravitas worked well

with the Serbs only because the intelligentsia had previously imbued
them with

intense nationalism,

and they were




Although Milosevic

is still the politician with the largest follow

won with relative ease the last elections inDecember ing in Serbia (he national leader.5 By 1992), he is no longer a generally accepted December it obvious 1990 the results of the first free elections made March that he was already losing popularity, and in 1991mass demon in Belgrade strations showed that many his rule. His opposed on to influence today is largely based the inability of the opposition find an effective leader and unite around him. Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia also has the advantage of having inherited all the pos sessions and political machinery of the communist party, so it is both than its rivals. richer and better organized is narrowing. The intellectuals have aban doned him, along with the students. They have both been alienated of any attempts to by his obsession with personal power, obstruction Milosevic's social base
5There elections were, were serious accusations however, a fraud. While it is undoubtedly both true in and the West Yugoslavia numerous that there were that irregular the

future research will have to establish whether ities, in particular with ballot-counting, they decisively altered the outcome of the elections.





A Profile of Slobodan Milosevic

reforms into Serbia's political and economic sys genuine war. and above the all and duration of the civil tem, by brutality long The workers are also dissatisfied with Milosevic's demands that they the spiral decline of their wages for the sake of Serbian disregard In general, the younger and better educated patriotism. city-dwellers are from while the the coun and Milosevic, away moving pensioners introduce

tryside still support him. Paradoxically, Milosevic

has been helped by the international

on trade, air traffic and cultural embargo exchange that the United on on Nations Serbia and Montenegro) (that is, imposed Yugoslavia inMay 1992. Even those Serbs free of nationalist passions felt that to the theWestern rec crisis lacked balance?it approach Yugoslav a in after it had ognized Bosnia-Herzegovina April 1992, just month declared its independence, without for the rights any consideration of Serbs there and, once the war started, respon disregarded Muslim

sibility for the crisis and the fact that fully one-third of Bosnia
Herzegovina army Milosevic was conquered by the regular troops of the Croatian

in the politicians world?Warren to the last American ambassador Zimmermann, as described him "the slickest con man in the Balkans." Yugoslavia, who careful estimates of the intentions, Milosevic, always made interests and power of both his opponents and his allies, has appar the entire international Yet ently underestimated community. can be trusted, not because he has a sudden Milosevic undergone a sincere conversion and become of peace, but simply champion because he is scared. now realizes that acumen and bru Milosevic despite his political tal methods, he has failed to unite all Serbs into one state, since the international is refusing to recognize any changes by community of borders between Serbia and Croatia and between Serbia and force He is also aware that Serbs in Bosnia Bosnia-Herzegovina. will Herzegovina former Yugoslav been his faithful not be allowed republic that of this keep almost two-thirds is they have conquered. Milosevic the Serbian masses
-Summer 1993

is now

one of the most



afraid for his power and perhaps also for his life.That fear,which had
ally in manipulating

and inwin



Aleksa Djilas
ning him. over party cadres and the Yugoslav army, has now turned against

an is now ready to make gen Essentially opportunist, Milosevic too late for that. In uine compromises. But itmaybe spite of his sup an for the Vance-Owens peace plan, port overwhelming majority of Bosnian Serbs totally oppose it?as the mid-May referendum clear the division of Bosnia ly showed. The Vance-Owen plan proposes into ten units and gives Serbs considerable in autonomy Herzegovina those units where they would be in the majority. Yet it also demands that Serbs return toMuslims almost half of the territory they now as a unified state with a control and preserves Bosnia-Herzegovina multiethnic government. as much to want to Bosnian Serbs are undoubtedly greedy keep as not the main reason for their obsti territory possible. But this is and Croats in any form of a nacy. The fear of living with Muslims common reason. And state is a much more this fear, for important which Milosevic bears great responsibility, is proving stronger than as either Milosevic's of Serbia, or his threats to cut authority president all transport, aid, from Serbia into except for food and medical

a in Serbia extremists increasingly consider Milosevic Serbs who have been against him are traitor, and yet the numerous not coming over to his side. The world is skeptical of his newly found as role and will expect many more proofs of his peaceful peacemaker intentions before it readmits Serbia into the international communi man so not most The who had united Serbs around him ty. long ago now lost control of that fear the ruthless of fear has by exploitation and is increasingly alone. @ Nationalist