As the bloody battles of recent days have shown, Serbia will win. It will outgun and carve up Croatia. Then it will let Slovenia, which has pretty much wrested independence, go free. And the severed rump of Croatia. And very likely Macedonia, whose people voted for independence last Sunday. And then the Serbs will be the unchallenged majority in a country consisting of the current Yugoslav republics of Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina, along with the provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina. And then what will the triumphant Slobodan Milosevic and his Serbian nation have? Hatred, poverty, strife, possible war, no allies, no respect, the contempt of Europe.
What a hollow victory the Serbian leaders driving the Yugoslav government and army will have bought themselves. Their game will be up. The Serbian people will see that the aggression against Croatia was a ruse to distract from the Communists' (now Socialists') authoritarian incompetence to improve their lives. Yugoslavia will have alienated its people best equipped for economic growth -- those in republics seeking independence -- and deprived itself of any chance of aid or even sympathy from elsewhere.
Serbian-dominated Yugoslavia will also have set up the likelihood of international tension or conflict: with Albania over the rights of the majority in Kosovo, with Hungary over minority rights in Vojvodina, with Austria and Germany over its treatment of Croatia, with Turkey and Arab countries over the Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina.