Milosevic’s regime may meet the fate it deserves

It’s nice to finally see a bully get what he deserves. After terrorizing his people and overseeing war crimes that tore apart his country and horrified the world, Slobodan Milosevic’s 13-year reign seems to be coming to an end.

Milosevic isn’t going down without a fight. Rather than acknowledge defeat in the very elections he called, Milosevic is demanding a runoff for Oct. 8 against the obvious winner, Vojislav Kostunica of the Democratic Opposition party.

This time the people of Yugoslavia are standing up to the bully like neighborhood kids sick and tired of being picked on. One can hardly help but be excited to see democracy at work. More than 200,000 people packed Belgrade’s Central Square Wednesday night in support of Kostunica and to denounce the current government’s declaration of a runoff election. Thousands of others rallied in smaller towns. Waving signs and shouting, "He’s finished," people throughout the country proved the elections weren’t nearly as close as Milosevic’s Socialist Party would like everyone to believe.

It’s encouraging to hear the people say they will continue the rallies until Milosevic steps down. Any sign of relenting or compromise would be just the foothold Milosevic needs to buy time to rig the proposed election in his favor — or worse. Kostunica has said the only way Milosevic can keep power is by repression, but that he can’t even count on that anymore. Still, who wants to give him a chance?

The people of the former Yugoslavia have a tremendous amount of work ahead. First, they must focus on getting rid of Milosevic. Their resolve must be so strong that the tyrant and his followers can’t possibly misunderstand the message. That alone will be a monumental task.

But the real work is yet to come. As one wise 25-year-old medical student told a reporter during the rally, "I believe he’s finished, because of the people here. We hope he’ll go. But he won’t go so easily. Things here can’t change that fast, even if he does go."

We have only to look at the former Soviet Union to see how the excitement and passion of democracy can quickly fade when reality sets in. What a challenge it must be to establish a brand new government and country in these times. Yugoslavia’s chances of a successful transition and rebuilding will be much greater if the people apply passion along with the understanding that democracy takes constant adjustments.

But first, back to the basics. Milosevic must go. He should be smart enough to accept the very generous offer of leaving the country in exchange for avoiding a trial on war crime charges. That kind of offer is called mercy — something Milosevic wouldn’t know anything about.


FROM Talkback

WHERE Story LIKE ‘../Stories/00/9/29/13012601.cfm’

AND Dateverified LIKE ‘verified’

ORDER BY Dateposted

Talk back

Talk to us

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Wednesday, Feb. 8

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

The Snohomish County Auditor's Office is one of many locations where primary election ballots can be dropped off on Tuesday. (Sue Misao / The Herald) 20180806
Editorial: Voting’s a duty, but should it be mandatory?

Legislation to require voter registration and voting needs more discussion among the public, first.

Back bill to allow more accessory dwelling units in neighborhoods

We are all well aware of the unaffordable housing costs for many… Continue reading

Strong schools imporant to city; vote yes on Marysville levy

As a concerned parent of three and citizen of Marysville, I ask… Continue reading

What about the Herald carriers who lost their jobs?

In all the pros and cons about The Herald’s switch to U.S.… Continue reading

Comment: When robots come for your job, they’ll fire you first

AI is taking the human out of human resources by evaluating performance and recommending whom to cut.

Comment: It’s not federal debt’s $’s but %’s we should worry about

Focus on our ability to pay off debt through a balanced budget. The percentages are concerning.

Herald columnist Julie Muhlstein received this card, by mail at her Everett home, from the Texas-based neo-Nazi organization Patriot Front.  The mail came in June, a month after Muhlstein wrote about the group's fliers being posted at Everett Community College and in her neighborhood.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)

(Dan Bates / The Herald)
Editorial: Treat violent extremism as the disease it is

The state Attorney General urges a commission to study a public health response to domestic terrorism.

Photo Courtesy The Boeing Co.
On September 30, 1968, the first 747-100 rolled out of Boeing's Everett factory.
Editorial: What Boeing workers built beyond the 747

More than 50 years of building jets leaves an economic and cultural legacy for the city and county.

Most Read