A Moral Mystery: Serbian Self-Pity

THE PRESIDENT'S LUNCH IN BELGRADE DRAGGED ON FOR hours, into the gloomy Balkan dusk. The bruised voice across the banquet table belonged to an interpreter -- off duty for the moment -- a thin, brittle woman with black circles under her eyes. She smoked cigarettes one after another, down to the knuckle. She said she had not slept in days. Outrage burst from her mouth in agitated spurts of smoke: How could the world be so stupid? How could the media be so evil? How could everyone treat the Serbs -- the Serbs, of all people! -- so unfairly?

The air...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!