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Respected abroad: surprising Serbian elections yield another ally

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By See-Dubya  •  May 13, 2008 06:54 PM

Take a look at this fellow before Putin gets to him and the dioxin scars set in.

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No, it’s not Vincent D’onofrio; that’s Serbia’s president, Boris Tadic.

The pro-Western coalition’s surprisingly strong showing came just three months after protesters outraged by Kosovo’s Feb. 17 independence declaration set fire to part of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade.

That anger had stoked expectations of an electoral backlash and a Radical victory that would have squelched Serbia’s efforts to prepare for eventual EU membership. The Radicals had vowed to steer the country away from the West and toward Russia, and openly defy international demands for the arrest of Gen. Ratko Mladic and other fugitive war crimes suspects.

Some of you may remember some other recent unpleasantness involving that Mladic jerkwad and the Serbians in the 1990’s. Well, despite all that, they’re throwing in with the West against Pooty-poot.

We’re justifiably focused on the events of the day, especially the great war we’re involved in and our upcoming election. But there are a thousand little things like this going on all over the world every week that barely get discussed. (Dozens of them flash across my monitor every day, and usually their significance is yet too obscure for a blog post or I just don’t know enough to say anything useful.*)

Some things, though, you hear about and think, that matters. Granted, there’s a human temptation to see patterns in these events where there may be none, but I agree with Publius Pundit’s Kim Ziegfield that this is another important little pixel in an encouraging picture of the world turning away from Soviet tyranny:

It’s one breathtaking defeat after another for the failed KGB regime of Vladimir Putin. First NATO moves decisively towards missile defense and admission of Ukraine and Georgia (both countries have recently repudiated ties with Russia in national elections), and now Russia can’t even hold on to its “little brother” Serbia. At home and abroad, Putin’s policies bring only misery and humiliation to the people of Russia, the same neo-Soviet bitterness with which they are already well acquainted.

It’s also a victory over ethnic nationalism in a place that has suffered grievously because of it. That element is still there, and they are the ones pushing alliance with Putin’s neo-Soviet empire. That makes this victory a two-fer.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. Who would voluntarily ally their country’s future with Russia’s grim crime-ridden oligarchy? But it is a surprise nonetheless, and a welcome one. And though this isn’t much more than a hunch, I think looking back in twenty or thirty years we might say it’s an important one.

My post on the NATO conferences that Kim mentioned is here.

*Yes, smart alecks, occasionally that does stop me. Occasionally.
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{Post by See-Dubya. Edited slightly to change “President-elect” to “President“.}

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