Saturday, March 11, 2006


Noted in passing: The strange CNN obit for Milosevic

Slobodan Milosevic is not the sort of person that will be much mourned. Although demonized by the American press beyond his actual misdeeds, there is little doubt that he committed grave crimes against humanity. Still, it is jarring to read a CNN obituary that is written so unabashedly as propaganda that it cannot find the space to note the cause of death or to state that the cause is unknown. The man was only 64 years old. Did he commit suicide? Had he been in any way abused? Is it possible he was murdered? Probably no to all of the above. Losing power is very hard on control freaks and it often ends in early death. But when it comes down to it, how many modern world leaders could be accused of crimes as serious as those of Milosevic? I can think of one closer to home whose biography is not any more wholesome than that of Milosevic. And, it should be noted that as many allegations as were leveled against Milosevic, and despite the cooperation of the new Serb government, it proved very difficult to make a case against the man. While one may think that's because he was so clever, I think it reflects a more shameful reality: that he represented rather than led Serb attitudes about neighboring ethnic groups as well as a widespread acceptance of brutality that Western nations would like to pretend they don't share.
It is telling that Milosevic's biggest supporters in the US included Arianna Huffington (who as a Greek Orthodox Christian is not fond of Turks or Muslims of any sort, which is understandable given the centuries-long animosity between Turks and Greeks) and, more ominously, Neo-Confederate religio-racist white-supremacist outfits such as The League of The South. (Not coincidentally, these groups also hated Bill Clinton tooth and nail, so it was no stretch for them to align themselves with one of his enemies.)
I'm assuming that Milosevic's death had something to do with heart disease. His trial was adjourned several times because of his high blood pressure and concerns that he might have a heart attack.

My kneejerk reaction upon hearing the news, however, was, "What did he know about the Bushes?"
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