Europe map 1914 capitals: The End of the American Century

Twenty years after Dayton, five years after Holbrooke died when his aorta tore open during a meeting in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s office, a woman in Sarajevo named Aida began to experience insomnia. Though she had lived through the entire siege, she never counted herself among the hundreds of thousands of Bosnians with post-traumatic stress disorder, but now, two decades after the war, she lay awake night after night, unable to take her eyes off the American presidential campaign on TV. Something about the people at Donald Trump’s rallies was deeply familiar to Aida—their clothes, their faces, their teeth, the men’s mustaches, the women’s hair and makeup, the illogic of their grievances, their rage, their need for an enemy. She knew these people, and as she watched them her heartbeat raced, her breathing turned rapid and shallow. She began having flashbacks, not to the war but to the years just before it, when things once unacceptable even to think suddenly became commonplace to say, until every boundary of decency was erased. Moments in the American campaign brought up uncanny counterparts from those years in the Balkans. Late one night, during the Republican National Convention, Aida suddenly heard the voices of 1 million Serbs in the streets of Belgrade shouting for the head of a Kosovar leader—“Arrest Vllasi! Arrest Vllasi!”—while Milošević cupped his ear and goaded them: “I can’t hear you!” In Cleveland they were chanting “Lock her up! Lock her up!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *