Defeating "Greater Serbia," Building Greater Milosevic
For those that hate one another are not the problem in this world. They always resemble one another. Enemies are always the same, or become so with time, for they could not be enemies otherwise.
-- Milorad Pavic1
The violent disintegration of Yugoslavia caught the international powers by surprise and unprepared to deal with the crisis that followed. America was still celebrating its victory over Iraq, televised to an entire nation eager to erase forever the shadow of defeat in Vietnam over two decades earlier. The European Community (and since 1991, the European Union -- EU) was celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall and making plans for greater integration. At the same time, the Soviet Union was showing increasing signs of disintegration and was in the midst of an identity crisis, which would plague Gorbachev's successor throughout the Yugoslav tragedy. As the situation in Yugoslavia deteriorated and warning bells rang louder, most world leaders took little notice of this faraway place of which they knew little.
In most sports, dance, joke telling, and perhaps even in love, timing is everything. In Yugoslavia's demise timing was critical. As complex array of critical political, social and economic problems -- combined with populist politics, fueled by nationalist aspirations and a lack of preparedness on the part of global powers -- mixed and set off an explosion which rocked the foundations of international institutions and created fissures in the Western alliance. Early on, the European and American governments abdicated any constructive role