I don’t know what to think. If a man looks like Mladic, if he carries an ID with the name Mladic, if he is hiding in a house of Mladic family, where his own son, also Mladic, is visiting him, then why was the effort to locate and arrest this villain so monumental? If he hid himself under a sheet and crawled through the fields, as Ulemek-Legia claimed, I’d understand. But no – he tilted his cap and kept bees at his uncle’s farm. The master of disguise.
Although I am aware that justice has, at least partially, been done, I still don’t understand – what has been preventing the state of Serbia from locating and arresting this criminal for so long? I don’t want to ruin the moment, but don’t you feel humiliated? Don’t you feel cheated, systematically lied to for years, as if someone was pulling your leg all this time, consciously and deliberately? Maybe I’m ruining the moment of joy, but I don’t want to celebrate, I want details, I want the entire story. I am interested in responsibility and in answers to the simplest of questions – who was leading this investigation and with what means, when was Mladic located at this family address, how many locals knew, and when exactly did the state of Serbia decide to stop lying?
Better late than never, I agree, if we look at it that way. But why should we look at it that way? Who brought up the possibility that Mladic may never be arrested? Those who, allegedly, had been looking for him for years? Those who were not able to find him? Those who were not able to see him, behind the visor of his cap? No one could recognize those blue eyes, the stare of a butcher?
He has grown visibly older, they say, so he doesn’t look like himself? I too have grown visibly older in those fifteen years, and I consider myself lucky. Unlike myself and Ratko Mladic, nearly eight thousand murdered people never got a chance to grow older. Many of them did not even get a chance to grow up. For, let me remind those who rejoice at Mladic’s arrest, that there were five hundred children amongst the victims in Srebrenica. Many of those boys were shot to the back of their heads, thrown together into pits, or into the river Drina, so that their bodies are carried away by water and their remains are lost forever.
Our authorities have known all this for years, and yet, all this was not enough “to meet the political climate”, knock on the uncle’s door and kick this man’s ass out. Now that “the climate has been met” (for, as we know, climate is a thing one meets), in the eve of unprovoked and unjust elections, Boris Tadic decided to sell the family silver. We all thought it was Telekom, but no, it was only a country house address, close to Belgrade, in plain sight.
I do rejoice, can’t say I don’t. I am even receiving congratulations, pouring from abroad. And why shouldn’t I? The fact that I didn’t do anything to arrest Mladic changes nothing. The president is also receiving congratulations. And he did – exactly what?
PS. Do you remember the blonde boy, the one patted on the head by “the general”, in the video shown a million times? For years, the president’s staff have privately claimed that the boy’s skull was found only several hundred meters away. I bet that now, for the first time, they will speak about it publicly, thus sealing the validity of the presidential decision. Every head will be worth their while, this one included.
Translated by Bojana Obradovic