Friday, October 23, 2015

"Nothing is ever normal with Serbs"

Yesterday, a defense witness in a case against a Bosnian Serb (a Serb who lives in Bosnia) was found dead in his hotel room. The Bosnian Serb named Ratko Mladic was a general during the Bosnian War who now faces eleven charges at The Hague, most notably for the unspeakable massacre at Srebrenica in which he led the persecution of 7,000 Bosniaks and Croats to carry-out "ethnic cleansing." The deceased, a forensic expert named Dusan Dunjic, was supposed to testify in Mladic's defense. He testified as a defense expert in a Hague trial in 2013 during which he claimed there was good reason to believe that many killed at Srebrenica were victims of shootings. When this aired on the news, one of the Serbs with whom I'm living said, "Of course this happened. Nothing is ever normal with Serbs." Though a generalization, that statement sometimes rings true, especially as I try to wrap my mind around the past few decades in Balkan history and current politics. My hosts regarded the news report unhappily, but unsurprised; certain that the play was, as they have been conditioned to expect, very foul.

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