Milosevic Wins

December 21, 1993

Slobodan Milosevic's Socialists made incremental gains in the Serbian parliamentary elections to about half the seats. It was neither triumph nor setback. And the opposition did not really oppose the aggression that has been successful in establishing the outlines of Serbian national achievement -- all Serbs in one state -- to which most Serbs instinctively aspire.

But it doesn't matter. Mr. Milosevic, an authoritarian president, never needed parliamentary majorities. The more significant election for Yugoslavia's future was Russia's, where Russian nationalism, as a caricature of the worst features of Serbian nationalism writ large, made such gains and showed such sympathy for Mr. Milosevic's policy that the likelihood of any Western nation getting in the way of Serb aggression greatly receded.

Muslims, Croats, Albanians and others have learned they cannot depend on the U.S. or Europe to protect them. Now they know they cannot count on an indignant and gravely impoverished Serb electorate to do so, either.

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