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, Britić, a magazine published in the United Kingdom and Passport, a lifestyle quarterly. He resides in New York City and Washington, Connecticut.




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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This column is a purely personal view of events as I had no dog in that fight [the disintegration of ex-Yugoslavia]. The only allegiance I had in the events was to Bosco Radonjic, a long standing friend and client. See “Requiem for a Don”. The attorney/client privilege was extinguished upon his death on March 11, 2011.

I am moving offices next week. This is called downsizing these days and you throw out a lot of outdated stuff, old computer keyboards, dead mice, floppy disks that can no longer be read and cables that connect devices that time has passed by. There is also a lot of shit to shred, years of income tax returns no longer relevant, the statute of limitations has run, old cases settled long ago when I came across a thin blue file folder simply entitled “Carter”.

The blue file folder stood out like a sore thumb among the many tan legal folders I used practicing law. I opened it. It held but seven pieces of paper all dated September/October, 1994, almost twenty years ago, but these flimsy pieces of paper triggered memories.

History records that former President Jimmy Carter as a private citizen traveled to Sarajevo, Bosnia & Hercegovina in December, 1994 in an effort to bring peace and an end to the Bosnian War. The Carter Center notes that “[following extensive discussions with the White House and UN officials, and after a briefing at The Carter Center by representatives of the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the US State Department, President Carter sought approval from President Clinton to travel to Bosnia Herzegovina. His trip was approved, and the Clinton administration made arrangements for the Carter Center party to be transported by military plane from Germany to Zagreb, Croatia, and then by UN plane to Sarajevo.” Carter was “successful in brokering terms that resulted in a four month cease-fire agreement and a pledge to resume peace talks.”

What prompted Jimmy Carter to travel to Bosnia?

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