patible programs and philosophies, tornsubmit to a real test of their electoralrnstrength. He was strongly urged to do sornby many friends and polihcal allies. Kostunicarndid not heed their advice, andrnsome of his supporters now claim thatrnthis was a fatal mistake. Other DOS partiesrnwaited for this decision with markedrnnervousness, as it was obvious that onlyrntwo of them—Kostunica’s own DSS andrnDjindjic’s DS —had any chance ofrnpolling more than the five percent of thernvote needed to enter parliament. But hernchose to keep the coalition alive, apprehensivernthat the collapse of DOS wouldrnhinder Serbia’s long-delayed reintegrationrninto international institutions andrnjeopardize the shaky federation.rnIn the December election, the heterogeneousrnDOS list scored an overwhelmingrnvictory. It won, however, only becausernit was presented under Kostunica’srnname. The entire “pro-Western” wing ofrnDOS finally found itself propelled intornreal power. Djindjic duly named a cabinetrnthat included a corrupt ex-secret policemanrn(interior minister Dusan Mihailovic);rna long-time Milosevic ally whornhad changed sides in 1997 (former BelgradernMayor Nebojsa Covic); a proponentrnof American-style school reformrn(Educafion Minister Gaso Knezevic); arnlocal ally of “philanthropist” GeorgernSoros (Information Minister Zarko Korac);rnand an outspoken proponent of ThernHague Tribunal and all its works (JusticernMinister Vladan Batic). Kostunica’srnDSS received only the uninfluentialrnministry of educafion.rnAs soon as the election was over, thernsecond phase of Kostimica’s demise wasrnunder way (December 23, 2000, throughrnJune 28, 2001). Once Djindjic took controlrnof the Serbian police and the state securityrnservice, it was suddenly OK to defyrnKostunica, to present him with faits accomplis,rneven to be rude to him. In November,rnwhile visifing Greece, Kostunicarnwas simply told that the DOS had agreedrnto make Milan Profic Yugoslavia’s ambassadorrnto the United States. Profic hadrnmade his mark during a visit to the UnitedrnStates in November 1999 by declaringrnon PBS that Milosevic was the only realrnculprit in the NATO bombing of Yugoslaviarnand by averring his commitmentrnto The Hague Tribunal. At that time, hernwas rewarded for his efforts with a heftyrnAmerican grant, and the desire of thernU.S. government to see him sent tornWashington clinched his appointment.rnOnce Kostunica was forced to swallowrnthis bitter pill, a host of lesser diplomaticrnposts went to various Protic look-alikes.rnForeign minister Svilanovic, while feigningrnrespect for Kostimica, went to Washingtonrnin the first week of January to payrntribute to outgoing Secretary of StaternMadeleine Albright for “all that she hadrndone to promote democracy in Yugoslavia.”rnWhen she gloated about thisrnin the American press, Svilanovic was invitedrnto issue a denial. He refused. Hisrnlike-minded, NGO-approved “cadres”rnnow represent Yugoslavia not only inrnWashington but in Paris, Vienna (in thernperson of the former editor-in-chief of thernCommunist Party’s official newspaper),rnBudapest, Ljubljana, Prague, Sofia, andrnOttawa.rnKostunica’s resistance to the drift wasrnincreasingly confined to rhetoric. Hisrnrancorous January 25 meeting in Belgradernwith Garla Del Ponte, the chiefrnprosecutor of The Hague Tribunal, canrnnow be seen as his last hurrah. Duringrnher stay, Del Ponte shrewdly reached outrnto Djindjic, who promptly made statementsrnabout “no price being too high forrnrejoining Evirope.” The rest of the DOS,rneager to be recognized by the West, startedrnclamoring for “full compliance” withrnthe Tribunal. By early March, the limitsrnof Kostunica’s ability to resist werernreached, and he declared that “the internationalrncommunity, whatever that termrnmeans, seems to regret that Milosevic isrngone” and that the U.S.-imposed deadlinernfor Milosevic’s arrest (March 31) andrnthe West’s single-minded insistence onrnsubmission to The Hague were incompatiblernwith the ideals of democracy andrnlegality that he was trying to defend.rnKostunica’s appeals were ignored.rnWhile visiting Washington in the lastrnweek of March, Djindjic was encouragedrnto proceed under his own steam, whichrnhe did by arresfing Milosevic in the earlyrnhours of April 1. Responding to the pressurernfrom Washington (you arrest Slobo,rnwe give you a little money; you deliverrnhim to The Hague, we give you somernmore), he strengthened the hand of thosernbureaucrats within the State Departmentrnwho sought to continue Glinton’s flawedrnBalkan policy. By the fime a weakenedrnKostunica came to Washington (May 9),rnit was far too late. The mind of the administrationrnhad already been made up:rnOnly full compliance with The Haguernwould do.rnThe second phase of Kostunica’srndemise culminated in Milosevic’s extradition,rnwhich took place on the hallowedrnday of Serbia’s martyrs (June 28). It wasrnentirely Djindjic’s doing and was justifiedrnby another externally imposed deadline:rnthe so-called donors’ conference tornrefinance a portion of Yugoslavia’s externalrndebt. The extiadition was certainly illegal,rnand probably marked an end ofrnKostunica as an effective leader. First,rnthe Yugoslav government paved the wayrnfor Milosevic’s extradition by bypassingrnthe parliament and effectively overrulingrnthe constitution by decree. When thernconstitutional court ordered a temporaryrninjunction against extradition whilernMilosevic appealed the federal administration’srndecree, Djindjic simply used thernSerbian police to grab the former leaderrnfrom his cell and pack him off to a NATOrnbase in Bosnia. This was tantamoimtrnto a cold-blooded coup d’etat. Kostunica’srnclaim that he did not know what wasrngoing to happen means either that he isrnnow utterly powerless or that he chosernnot to know. Either way, he loses—as arnlegalist, as a politician, and as a nationalrnleader.rnThe third phase started on June 28.rnWe don’t know when it will end, but werncan calculate its consequences: “Democracy”rnhas been discredited in Serbia.rnThe enthusiasm and idealism of the popularrnuprising of last October are being replacedrnby pervasive cynicism. The preferencesrnof the “international community”rnare known, and they are embodiedrnin Zoran Djindjic. He can now proceedrnto “privatize” the remnants of thernimpoverished country’s economy (that is,rnto divide the spoils between himself andrnhis cronies), to take over the Army, and —rnperhaps—to allow a powerless, increasinglyrnirrelevant Vojislav Kostunica tornlinger on at his cavernous Palace of thernFederation.rnWhat will be left of Kostunica whenrnthe dust settles? He has surrendered evenrnthe option of irredentist resentment overrnMilosevic’s fate. Should he move forwardrninto more compromise, get stuckrnon this one issue (as though there werernnot other things to be done), or leave politicsrnaltogether? The optimists may sayrnthat we can roll up the map of Serbia becausernwe shall not need it again for 20rnyears. That could be Kostimica’s hope,rntoo: “We are your prisoners; now, pleasernforget us and go away.” Logic and honestyrndo not go together, however. Let usrnhope he understands he should sfill remainrnhonest. If he stays in office chieflyrn”to prevent something worse,” he cannot.rn40/CHRONICLESrnrnrn