Republican presidential candidate Donald
apologized yesterday for NATO’s 1999 bombing of Serbia:
The bombing of Serbs, who were our
allies in both world wars, was a big mistake…Serbians are very good
people. Unfortunately, the Clinton administration caused them a lot
of harm, but also throughout the Balkans, which they made a mess out
For someone who has found it difficult
to apologize for anything, even his avowed practice of sexually
assaulting women, this is pretty rich. Why would he do it?
First and foremost is that the bombing
was carried out pursuant to orders from Bill Clinton. Trump is
trying hard to run against the former president, one more clear sign
of his disdain for women. There are days Trump concentrates his fire
far more on Bill than on Hillary, or on Hillary only to claim that
she was an enabler of Bill’s affairs. Women who feel themselves
victims of their husbands’ misbehavior aren’t likely to appreciate
that, but Trump could care less.
Just as important is the Serb presence
in mid-western states, especially Ohio. Trump has been slipping in
the polls there and no doubt figures Serb voters, who have already
lined up in his favor, will appreciate his latest foray into the
Balkans. Trump seems to have an insatiable appetite for appealing to
people already slated to vote for him, rather than reaching out to
independent or undecided voters, never mind women and minorities.
All the above are abandoning him in droves. The Albanians and
Bosniaks likely to be offended by the apology are concentrated in
states already regarded as “safe”: Albanians in solidly Democratic
New York and Bosniaks in mostly Republican Missouri.
Some have suggested that the apology is
one more bit of evidence of Russian influence. It might be so. But I
think the first two explanations are more than sufficient.
No doubt this apology will be heavily
covered in the Balkans and please some people no end, while
infuriating others. But both factions should understand that it will
attract precious little attention in the United States, where the
Balkan interventions of the 1990s are largely forgotten, and no
serious effect on the outcome of the election, which if held
tomorrow has a
90% chance of deciding in favor of Hillary Clinton.
If there is to be an October surprise that affects the outcome,
other than the several we have already survived, it isn’t going to