continuing to degrade Serbia. Onlyrnafter Montenegro, Sanjak, andrnVojvodina are gone, or given somernextraordinary autonomous statusrn. . . equal to independence, Serbia’srnimpoverished rump may be finallyrndeemed ripe for a new Gauleiter.rnBut even then this is not certain,rnbecause the leaders of the West likernto deal with Milosevic; he is so predictable.rnIndeed, in the aftermath of the U.S.-rnled war against the Serbs, with Kosovo occupiedrnby NATO and duly cleansed of itsrnremaining Serbs and other non-Albanians,rnit would be naive to assume that thernBalkan crisis is finally over. Dr. Kostunicarnwarns that Washington’s policy is anrnalmost knee-jerk reaction: “to continuernslicing the Serbian salami, contrary tornlaw, morality, history, reason, and rationalrnU.S. interests.”rnThe overwhelming perception amongrnthe people of Serbia—opponents of thernregime included—of a fundamental anti-rnSerb bias in U.S. policy enables Milosevicrnto linger on in power in spite of thernseemingly endless stream of disasters andrndefeats the nation has endured underrnhim. The opposition is notoriously divided,rnbut its leaders agree that NATO’srnbombing of civilian targets last spring wasrnan outrage. Ironically, they are asked byrn”the West” to shed such views and quietlyrnaccept the bombing as justified beforerntheir democratic bona fides will be accepted.rnTheir reluctance to sign a statementrnto this effect meant that they werernnot welcome at a recent EuropeanrnUnion summit in Luxembourg—whichrnwas misreported as their “boycott” of thernmeeting.rnAnd so Milosevic stays, and sanctionsrnstay. He needs them to survive, and theyrnstay because he stays in power. As SimonrnJenkins of the Times of London noted afterrna visit to Serbia:rnAs in Iraq, sanctions make thernrulers rich and everyone else, thernprofessionals, the merchants andrnthe workers, poor. They polluternthe political economy and degradernpublic order. The Marxist in Mr.rnCook seems to think sanctions encouragernthe workers to rise up in revolt.rnThey do the opposite. Theyrnincreasingly offer Mr. Milosevic anrnexcuse for extra-constitutional action.rnI could not find a single personrnin Yugoslavia who regardedrnsanctions as anything but counterproductive.rnBy collectively castigating the Serbsrnbecause of Milosevic and thus enablingrnhim to remain in power, the U.S. administrationrnensures that Serbia will confinuernits descent into misery. Serbia is beingrndeliberately reduced to the level of weaknessrnof the other Balkan actors in an unsubriernexercise oi divide et impera. Butrnthis bizarre scenario should not continuernunchallenged. Of course it is wrong torndemonize, ostracize, and starve a nationrnbecause of its rulers, even if they are everyrnbit as bad as we are told Mr. Milosevic is.rnBut besides being morally bankrupt, thisrnpolicy is strategically irrational, and atrnodds with any sober definition of Americanrninterests in southeast Europe.rnA new order in the Balkans that openlyrnsatisfies the aspirations of virtually allrnethnic groups in the former Yugoslavia —rnat the expense of some nine millionrnSerbs—is inherently unstable. The Serbsrnmay soon be forced to burn a pinch ofrnincense at the altar of the New WorldrnOrder, but they are unlikely to accept thernbrutal pax Americana in their lands forever.rnIf they are given no stake in the ensuingrnorder of things, their lingering revanchistrnire will ensure another bout ofrnbloodletting in the Balkans long after thisrnabysmal presidency is relegated to thernlocker of America’s bad memories.rnSrdja Trifkovic is the executive director ofrnthe Lord Byron Foundation for BalkanrnStudies.rnLetter From Venicernby Andrei NavrozovrnThe Values of Unreal EstaternI must write something about the manrnfrom Los Angeles who has come to stay,rnwhich is awkward for two reasons. Onernproblem is that bashing the Ugly Americanrnis a cliche of European journalism,rnonly slightly less ugly than the idea thatrnEurope—the United States of Europe,rnideally—ought to emulate the UnitedrnStates in every particular. Here I hastenrnto assure the reader that what follows isrnnot an attempt at generalization: I’m surernPat Buchanan, for instance, isn’t in thernleast like my guest, nor were Emerson,rnEmily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot… Who elsernis there? The other problem is that I amrnabout to vent my spleen, which, inevitably,rnwill sound monstrously inhospitable.rnAll I can say, by way of apology,rnis that I have been pushed to the limit.rnLet me start at the beginning. Therernwas a time when the very landscape ofrnthe United States —Manhattan’s skyscrapers,rnenormous cars with tail fins,rnwriters drunk on bourbon, aircraft carriersrnthat ruled the waves—intimidated thernEuropean visitor, forcing him into arnspasm of revaluation: Wliat was he, for allrnhis descent from some Norman swordsman,rnwho was this tweedy, balding, hesitantrninsect in the path of the ChryslerrnBuilding? But the world moved on,rnMoscow began making its submarines ofrnseamless titanium. Hong Kong built itsrnshare of skyscrapers. Obviously, the stockrnprices of internet companies are no substituternfor a landscape, nor is Kosovo forrnKorea.rnThe tables have turned. Hugh Grantrnis a matinee idol. Intellechially and spiritually,rnit is Europe —its surviving beauty,rnits superior serenity, its continued existencern—which is now deeply insulting tornmy American guest. And, if I had recognizedrnthis beforehand as his Achilles’rnheel, and set out to offend him deliberately,rnI could not have picked a betterrnplace than Venice, and our apartmentrnover the Grand Canal, in the palazzornwhere Byron lived.rnThe American is rich, you see. Hernowns a house in Beverly Hills fromrnwhose windows you can see the scene ofrnthe Manson murders. Tour buses passrnby, touting celebrity: “There’s Barbra’srnhouse over there!” Naturally, he has arnkeen sense of his place in the upper tierrnof the American social pyramid. Andrnhere he is, with his monogrammed luggagernfrom T. Anthony in New York, deliveredrnby motorboat into our palazzo’srncavernous androne with a wellhead ofrnwhite marble in the middle. He has nornidea who Byron is (“Byron who?” he asks,rnand I cannot answer him because I presumernhe has never heard of anybodyrncalled Lord, nobody who is white Irnmean). He does not suspect that hisrnmatching set of luggage is actually madernin Vicenza. He has never learned to eatrnspaghetti without a knife. But he has eyesrnand by his own admission he knows arnthing or two about real estate, and this isrn36/CHRONICLESrnrnrn