The Mind of Milosevic

Green Bay to Bosnia LogoSlobodan Milosevic is 51 years old, married, with two children. His wife is a Marxist theoretician. He’s been a lawyer, banker and politician. He has a history of disturbed familial relations (both of his parents, as well as an uncle, committed suicide). He is diabetic (probably insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus). He has no close friends and avoids public appearances.

Milosevic, the Leader

Slobodan MilosevicAn American diplomat who has dealt with Milosevic for years says he’s “devoid of human sentiment.” When he speaks, whether to associates or to a crowd, he is stoic, at times sullen. He has never visited his soldiers in the field, nor does he extend sympathy to the families of the fallen.

Milosevic enjoys his greatest support among rural villagers (those who have the most to gain from an increase in territory, i.e. farmland).

According to one of his generals in Bosnia, Milosevic gave his army the mission of “the biological survival of the Serbian people.” Note: Taken in these terms it’s not difficult to see why the Serbs are not prone to a negotiated settlement. If we, as Americans, believed we were going to be exterminated, we too would refuse to give in.

Cosic & Seselj

Dobrica Cosic, novelist and longtime Serbian ultra-nationalist, was selected by Milosevic to be the new Yugoslavian president in June, 1992.

A previous Cosic paper was called, by Mike Harpke of UW Madison, “nothing more than a thinly veiled blue-print for ethnic cleansing.”

Srdja Popovic once had the chance to ask Cosic about his first impressions of Milosevic. “the only word I could get from him,” says Popovic, “was ‘fascinating.’ It was as if Cosic, the intellectual and artist, had become spellbound by Milosevic, the practitioner, a man who possessed both the will and the means to actually implement the ideas that Cosic held so close to his heart.”

Vojislav Seselj, leader of the Serb radical party, admitted to Der Spiegel his desire to reduce Croatia “to as much as one can see from the tower of the cathedral in Zagreb. If this is not enough for the Croats, then we will take everything.” Serb militants in Kosovo have called for Seselj, who now advocates “ethnic cleansing” inside Serbia itself (There was a paramilitary attack on a train outsied Belgrade in Spring’93) to be named defense minister so he can “declare open war” on ethnic Albanians. It is to Seselj that Milosevic points when he cautions his detractors of the “dark, conservative forces” gathering within the country.

Depression, Schizophrenia, Sociopathy & Narcissism

Milosevic possibly suffers from depression (suicide tends to run in families). He also has the characteristics of several personality disorders.

Aspects of schizophrenia are reflected by his restricted range of emotional experience and expression (his cold, aloof manner); his preference for “loner status” (no friends or confidants); and his self-absorbed, at times absent-minded demeanor (“disconnected from reality”).

Because Milosevic is able to sustain consistent work behavior and does not act impulsively (associates and adversaries alike describe him as shrewd and calculating), sociopathy can probably be ruled out. However, his aggressive behavior, if by proxy; his lack of remorse regarding the deliberate injury of others; his failure to respect lawful behavior, honor obligations and agreements; and his consistent disregard of the truth for personal gain reflect aspects of this disorder.

Finally, Milosevic’s extreme reaction to criticism and rejection (when demonstrators protest), his lack of empathy, his avoidance of interpersonal contact, his exploitative use of relationships and his preoccupation with power allreflect aspects of narcissism. Brief reactive psychosis and major depression are possible complications.

One former associate says he expects Milosevic to leave power one day with a bullet in his head, “probably by his own hand.”


Negotiations will not work because Milosevic wants war. He wants war because he needs war to stay in power. As Bosnian vice president Ejup Janic puts it: “Milosevic is riding a bicycle he can only stop now by crashing.”


American Spectator 
April, 1993

Index The Mind of Milosevic Victory With Bitter Aftermath