[Extract. Appeared in New Left Review I/234, March-April 1999]
The prize-winner in the contest for the greatest blunder of 1998 was a Latin American patriotic terrorist who sent a letter-bomb to a US consulate in order to protest against the Americans interfering in local politics. As a conscientious citizen, he wrote on the envelope his return address; however, he did not put enough stamps on it, so that the post office returned the letter to him. Forgetting what he put in it, he opened it and blew himself up—a perfect example of how, ultimately, a letter always arrives at its destination. And is something quite similar not happening to the Slobodan Milosevic régime with the recent NATO bombing? For years, Milosevic was sending letter-bombs to his neighbours, from the Albanians to Croatia and Bosnia, keeping himself out of the conflict while igniting fire all around Serbia—finally, his last letter returned to him. Let us hope that the result of the NATO intervention will be that Milosevic will be proclaimed the political blunderer of the year.