Slobo Has the Last Laugh

File this one under "European ineptitude." Slobodan Milosevic, the alleged Serbian war criminal who was responsible for deaths of tens of thousands in the ethnic cleansing of Yugoslavia back in the 1990s, has died in his prison cell, apparently of natural causes. He was 64.

The reason I wrote "alleged Serbian war criminal" is that despite the fact that his war crimes trial began in 2002, it STILL had not reached a conclusion. This is typical European efficiency. More than three years on, and Milosevic was still just running out the clock with delaying tactics. Despite the fact that he allegedly was responsible for numerous war crimes, the worst sentence the Europeans could have given him was life in prison. Well, he got it. But unfortunately, they never got the conviction, and now it's kind of a moot point.

Compare the European dithering with the Nuremberg trials at the end of World War II. It took just under 11 months to try 24 Nazi leaders. But then, that trial was held by the victorious Allies (the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and honorary member France), rather than the European Union. The judges didn't put up with any foolishness, and we were willing to hang the bastards.

I suspect that Saddam Hussein plans to continue to conduct his defense on the Milosevic model. After all, unlike Slobo, the death penalty actually is an option in his case, since his own people are trying him rather than a bunch of spineless Eurocrats.

Correction: Milosevic was being tried by the United Nations, not the European Union. The trial was taking place in the Hague, which is the capital of the E.U., which is what confused me. And let's face it, when it comes to fecklessness, there's nobody (and I mean NOBODY) more feckless than the United Nations. If the U.N. was running Saddam's trial, he'd undoubtedly die of old age in prison before they finished it.