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Bribery Equals Democracy: The Washington Post Spins the Milosevic Extradition

Agreeing to Bush's terms has obviously done nothing to strengthen Yugoslavia's democracy as The Post claimed it would. In fact, the extradition has destroyed Yugoslavia.

In an editorial that ran Thursday entitled "The Yugoslav Model" The Washington Post framed Yugoslavia's unconstitutional extradition of Slobodan Milosevic as a "signal achievement by the Bush administration" which "demonstrated that insisting on principles of human rights can strengthen fragile democratic governments."

However, Yugoslavia's capitulation to U.S. demands is an event so destructive to the stability of Yugoslavia that it cannot possibly be summarized as forwarding democracy.

Ignoring this, The Post explains how the U.S. accomplished it's goal and what would now become of the "fragile democratic government" of Yugoslavia:

"The Bush administration made clear that U.S. support for economic reconstruction would depend on cooperation with the international criminal court. That stand forced Yugoslavia's political elite to make hard choices-and strengthened those who most favor democratic reforms helping to entrench a leadership that can lead the country toward joining the community of democratic European nations."

The "hard choices" that Yugoslavia's political elite were "forced" by the U.S. to consider was whether to forego economic aid from the U.S. or to extradite Milosevic and thereby violate the country's constitution. Those in the "democratic government who most favor democratic reforms" chose the later.

The citizen's of Yugoslavia know this weeks events have cost them dearly and on June 26 100,000 to 200,000 of them marched to president Vojislav Kostunica's office to demand he speak about the Serbian government's unconstitutional maneuvers. (Kostunica remained silent on the issue until Milosevic was at the Hague. He then denounced the extradition.) Another 30,000 to 50,000 rallied in Belgrade Thursday after the radio station B92 reported the secret transfer of Milosevic to the Hague. More demonstrations were called for Friday.

On Thursday, Jared Israel, a member of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic, wrote that "Belgrade is presently surrounded with special police forces. Roads from the rest of Serbia are Blocked. Television and Radio silenced."

The Independent of London reported Friday that "several camera men were beaten" in Belgrade's main square Thursday. The article did not say whom the men were beaten by.

Agreeing to Bush's terms has obviously done nothing to strengthen Yugoslavia's democracy as The Post claimed it would. In fact, the extradition has destroyed Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav government collapsed Friday when Yugoslavia's prime minister resigned in protest of the constitutional violation.

Bush's hard-line stance that "aid" to Yugoslavia would depend on surrendering Milosevic to the Hague "signaled" not that an egalitarian world is within reach; it signaled that foreign leaders should not oppose U.S. domination.

The editors of The Post, well aware that the U.S. position "forced" the Yugoslavia "democrats" to shamelessly violate the country's constitution painted the Bush administration's extortion of Yugoslavia as "a triumph for the cause of international justice". In doing so The Post signaled to the administration that such actions are supported by The Post and should they happen again they will not be accurately reported by The Post.

Meanwhile in Macedonia...




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