Saturday, March 11, 2006
No Great Loss
I’m not sayin’ we should break out the bubbly. I’m not sayin’ this is precisely a moment to celebrate. I am sayin’ that he won’t be much missed.
Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslav leader, who was branded “the butcher of the Balkans” and was on trial for war crimes after orchestrating a decade of bloodshed during the breakup of his country, was found dead Saturday in his prison cell. He was 64.
He was accused of orchestrating a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing against non-Serbs during the collapse of the Yugoslav federation in an attempt to link Serbia with Serb-dominated areas of Croatia and Bosnia to create a new Greater Serbia.
Milosevic had spent much of the time granted to him by the U.N. court for his defense dealing with allegations of atrocities in Kosovo that took up just one-third of his indictment. He also faced charges of genocide in Bosnia for allegedly overseeing the slaughter of 8,000 Muslims from the eastern enclave of Srebrenica - the worst massacre on European soil since World War II.
Apparently he died of natural causes; this is one of those times where more, ahem, unnatural causes might have been more appropriate.