NEWS

The Destiny of A Torn Country
By: Andreas R.,Norwegian Exchange Student, Westgate CVI, Thunder Bay,ON

Yugoslavia

The West is now counting on the Yugoslavian opposition leader Vojislav Kostunica, a 56 year old silent professor of law without any particular experience within politics. 13 years ago, the same countries counted on Slobodan Milosevic, a jurist with banking experience from Wall Street.

A lot have happened since then. The Balkans have been shaken by several devastating wars, the last one started with NATOís bombing of Serbia. Slobodan Milosevic isnít the man that is going to save this dying, socialistic piece of hard land, as it was called in the late 80s. Itís up to Kostunica to pick up the pieces of Yugoslavia ó a Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic was supposed to save.

Nationalistic dreams Kostunica didnít run for president as the Westís man or NATOís man. He ran as Milosevicís political enemy. He is constantly proclaiming his hatred to USA, NATO and the Kosovo war. He feels that Yugoslavia has suffered enough and that sanctions held against the country need to be dropped. These sanctions have only contributed to tighten Sloboís grip of the Yugoslavian society, says Kostunica. But in contrast to Milosevic, Kostunica wants to lead Yugoslavia back to Europe, back to the international society. He is concerned with getting back into business with the big European countries. But he knows that they have one crucial demand : Slobo has got to go.

The normalization wonít begin as long as Milosevic has the final word in Belgrad.

No delivery Slobo and his destiny can turn out to be Kostunicaís biggest problem when and if he takes over. Kostunica is, of course, against the NATO-controlled occupation of Kosovo, anything else would be political suicide in a country where NATO and USA is being used as swears/foul language. He has also said several times that he doesnít approve of UNís Criminal of Wars-Court in Haag, which he feels is being used as political tool.

Therefore, thereís no way that they will deliver Slobo, or any of the other Criminal of War-charged Serbian leaders, to the court. There is a rumour going on in Belgrad that representatives of Kostunica have been in contact with Milosevicís people to discuss what will happen to him and his family if he should resign. The rumours also says that theyíve been in contact with certain Western countries to try to come to an agreement that will guarantee Sloboís safety.

It is impossible to say if this rumour is true or not though. But considering the prestige the Western countries have put into the Serbia-Kosovo problem, it is highly doubtful that such an agreement will be made.

Balkan politics But in international politics anything is possible, especially if the Balkan is involved. Remember that itís only been 5 years since Milosevic, who today is one of the worldís biggest crooks, was one of the parts that signed the peace agreement for Bosnia in Dayton, USA.

During the war in Bosnia, Kostunica was seen several times with the Bosnian-Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic, who is Criminal of War-charged. They know each other personally. But the professor of law have never had anything to do with the terrible things Karadzic have done.

Kostunica is married to another professor of law and he is without any children. Friends of his say heís lazy and that he lacks charisma. But he has succeeded in gathering the opposition, most likely because of the things he havenít done. It is being said that Kostunica is the only Serbian leader who hasnít been sitting in Slobodan Milosevicís couch.

And thatís enough for the West. It cannot really get any worse than what it has been like under Milosevic. That is why any change in Belgrad will be for the better.

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