DEYAN RANKO BRASHICH was born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, and is an Op-Ed columnist for Connecticut's Litchfield County Times.  He writes the monthly Letter From America column for Romania’s Scrisul Romanesc, a literary magazine and is a Contributing Editor for  The Country and Abroad, another literary/art magazine where he authors the Dispatch from Abroad column. He is a frequent contributor to Pecat, the Belgrade, Serbia weekly news magazine and Britić, a magazine published in the United Kingdom. He resides in New York City and Washington, Connecticut.




A version of the article was published as the Featured Op Ed Article: “ ‘Inat’ The Tie That Binds”, Britić, The British Serb Magazine, Sunday, June 29, 2014

Spite: Petty ill will or hatred with the disposition to irritate, annoy, or thwart; a desire to hurt, annoy, or offend someone. Merriam-Webster & Oxford Dictionaries

Inat” is the Serbo-Croat word that is best translated into as “spite”, but in the lexicon of ex-Yugoslavia it is not just a noun but a mindset that best describes the relationship between the now independent republics. A perfect example of the Yugoslav “inat” phenomenon was recently featured in the pages of The New York Times.

Some years after the United Nations was established the reconstituted Yugoslavia, then a communist regime, purchased a luxurious, definitely not a proletarian apartment at 730 Park Avenue in New York City to house its Ambassador to the United Nations. The 14 room duplex, housed in a luxury apartment building built in 1929, is “considered one of the most prestigious addresses on the Upper East Side, 730 Park [being] at the peak of the avenue below 79th Street”.  The apartment next door that once belonged to Mike Wallace, the trailblazing broadcast journalist [CBS’ 60 Minutes], sold for $20 million while a 12 room duplex penthouse went for $39 million, both in 2012.

In 1992, as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was breaking up, her last Ambassador to the United Nations Darko Silovic, a Croat, walked out of the apartment without bothering to turn out the lights or secure its future maintenance. For reasons unexplained he delivered the apartment’s keys to Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the UN Secretary General. The ultimate “fuck you” gesture to the old SFRY and the other five constituent republics. Since then the apartment has remained unoccupied, unattended, uncared for and deteriorating, falling into disrepair. 

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There are three standards when applying the rule of law to illegal, unlawful or criminal acts. The first is the standard applicable to private persons, say Edward Snowdon now accused of leaking classified NSA documents or Daniel Ellsberg once accused but never prosecuted for the publication of the secret Defense Department study on the folly of the Vietnam War. The second is for government officials, either elected or appointed, who are held to a higher standard due to the trust that is commensurate with the power that has been vested in them. The third is reserved for nation states.

The first rule is not constant; it changes from individual to individual depending on circumstance - today’s traitor is tomorrow’s hero. The third, the one for nation states is compromised by the fact that military or economic might makes right. It is the second, the rule of law controlling the actions of government officials, either elected or appointed, that has been dealt crippling blows.

Last week the Obama administration brokered a deal with the Taliban exchanging five Guantanamo detainees for an American prisoner of war. I am not going to argue the pro and cons of the exchange. That is a foreign affairs policy question which is exclusively within the province of the Executive branch.  What I am going to do is simply point out that the President has broken the law, apparently with impunity.

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When you move a home or office you come across all sort of things. This week I came across newspaper clips from January, 2013 that reported a tempest in a teacup caused by Marš na Drinu which prompts this column because nothing annoys me more than hypocrisy and double standards.

You may remember that at a concert given for the United Nations’ General Assembly, Viva Vox, a Serbian choir, performed as an encore Marš na Drinu, the a capella version. Marš na Drinu was composed to commemorate the heroism of Serbs forces during the First World War at the Battle of Ćer, the first Allied victory of the war in 1914. “At the conclusion … Secretary General Ki-moon and other senior officials rose in a standing ovation…” [New York Times, January 18, 2013].

This performance in tribute to sacrifice and heroism apparently irked some participants in the recent wars in ex-Yugoslavia. A number of “Bosnian survivor organizations protested the playing of the song and Mr. Ban’s reaction”. The Secretary General, ignoring historical fact apologized: “We sincerely regret that people were offended by this song” said he. What bullshit!

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SCRISUL ROMANESC Fundatia - Editura


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           

Scrisul Romanesc Fundatia – Editura [Craiova, Romania May 1, 2014] announces the publication of Contrary Views, Columns from the Litchfield County Times 2003 – 2013, by Deyan Ranko Brashich.

Contrary Views is a collection of columns published in the Op Ed pages of Connecticut’s Litchfield County Times. Brashich writes of America as “George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, a ‘musical kaleidoscope of America, of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our blues, our metropolitan madness’ and Woody Guthrie’s hymns to it, This Land is Your Land and Roll on Columbia, Roll On”. Brashich dissects America’s obsession with political sex scandals, the hypocrisy of state sponsored gambling, forgery of million dollar art works by renowned auction galleries, the excesses of the museum industry and the art world. He does not shy away from criticizing government and the establishment for abuse and overreach and for allowing domestic and economic policies to bring despair and pain to America. His columns depict America as it is, warts and all.                                                                          

“Many are mystified by America’s favorite sports, politics and baseball. Europeans just can’t grasp the fundamentals and rules that govern the games. They fail to perceive the ballet like beauty of baseball’s well executed double play; “Tinker to Evers to Chance” doesn’t ring a bell. American politics are elusive and incomprehensible to the uninitiated. It takes a native … to explain American politics.” Brashich then uses Gore Vidal’s novel Washington D.C., as a political template to explain politics, American style.

Deyan Ranko Brashich, an attorney born Belgrade, ex-Yugoslavia, is an Op Ed columnist for The Litchfield County Times and other newspapers. He writes a monthly column for Scrisul Romanesc, the Romanian literary magazine and is a Contributing Editor for The Country and Abroad, a literary/art magazine. He is a frequent contributor to Pecat, the Belgrade, Serbia news weekly and Britić, a magazine published in the United Kingdom. A long time Washington, Litchfield County, Connecticut resident, he now resides in New York City. An expanded biography, contact and blog for “Contrary View” is at

SCRISUL ROMANESC PUBLISHING is part of the Foundation that publishes the Romanian literary magazines Scrisul Romanesc founded in 1927. It publishes works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and essays and has pioneered bi-lingual publication in English and Romanian of works deemed of interest and literary merit. A high resolution photograph of the cover follows.  







May 16, 2014 will mark the 2nd anniversary of General Ratko Mladić’s ongoing trial to be followed by the 3rd anniversary of his arrest and transfer to The Hague on June 3, 2014. 

The true hallmarks of justice are a fair and speedy trial before an impartial judge by a jury of one’s peers. Well you ain’t going to get that in The Hague.

At the end of World War II the Allies settled scores and meted out justice. They did so “without undue delay”. The Nuremberg Trials took less than 1 year [November, 1945-October, 1946]. An additional set of war crimes trials, 12 to be exact [“The High Command Trial”, “The Krupp Trial”, “The IG Farben Trial”, “The Einsatzgruppen Trial” etc.] took less than 3 years ending in April, 1949.

By comparison the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the ICTY, established on May 25, 1993 by Security Council Resolution 827 will mark its 21st year on this month. The ICTY has only judges, some of dubious impartiality, and it surely ain’t got no juries.  

 Mladić was arrested and the media made him the world’s Monster

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