All our bullies

Posted on February 28, 2009


picture-691These days Serbia is globally famous for young tennis stars and old war criminals. Also for a young bully, a roughneck basketball player who recently lost his temper in an American bar, and beat an American drinking buddy into a coma.Instead of being arrested and jailed in the US, where he lived, this character fled to the Serbian embassy in Washington, grabbed a fake ID and escaped to Serbia.

Safe in his homeland, he claims to be a victim of anti-Serb sentiment. He gets large support from Serbian right winged nationalists, who always rebel against big powers, unless that big power is a 300-pound athlete beating up a 135-pound American opponent. The US government asks for extradition. Serbian officials boldly refuse this, faking a show-trial in Belgrade which conveniently vaporizes into nothing.

Our young bully is on the front pages of tabloids, together with our tennis stars: his mom hugging her huge, preemptively bad tempered baby, says with tears in her eyes: my Milorad is very emotional, but he’s not guilty.

The American punching-bag has since emerged from his coma. His family demands justice — not from the assailant, but a bailout from their own government. The Serbian government admits that the suspect skipped bail, but is ready to settle that issue.

From Bush to Obama, from Condoleezza Rice to Hillary Clinton: the Americans always want the man or the money, while the Serbians are willing to be bombed again but not to give in. Once again, a dangerous impasse.

So, a couple of days ago, the new Serbian daily Borba leaks information that Hillary Clinton and the Serbian government had made a quiet settlement of one million dollars to hush up the affair. The money goes to appease the victim’s family. The Serbian get back their bully babe to play free basketball in Serbia. It’s as if nothing happened.

When the news was published, the Serbian government sent the criminal investigative police to the paper. Because a diplomatic secret has been outed! Homeland security is in danger.

The paper’s editor in chief refuses to give the name of her source. The government does not deny the news, but it wants the source to be criminalized, even as the one million dollar sports star walks free in his basketball shoes

We Serbian tax payers endlessly finance our bullies, of every kind. Some years ago the lawmaker in Serbia created a law allowing all Serbian war criminals in Hague war crime tribunal to be financed by the Serbian taxpayers. Nobody offered to subsidize the victims of those war criminals and their politics, though plenty of those victims were Serbian. A civilian initiative managed to stop that public financing, only to se the practice re-emerge today; the same low-minded pay-off system, this time as a top secret.

Yesterday in the war crime tribunal in The Hague, several Serbian leaders from Milosevic’s regime were convicted for war crimes in Kosovo. One was set free. No other modern country has had so many leading politicians in a war crime tribunal. All of them committed war crimes in our name and with our money: many of them are free in the streets of Belgrade, just like the most-wanted Ratko Mladic whose squalid deeds have become epic poems. Mladic’s genocide attack on unarmed prisoners is a heroic defense against Muslims. Our million dollar bully represents that epic of the 90s reduced to a farce.

At least our rich young sports stars can scare up the money to appease American justice these days. Now imagine the coma that the Americans must be in, to be so willing to swallow that cash.Our one-million dollar bully has become a citizen of the world.

Jasmina Tesanovic

27 February 2009