Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Serbia condemns Kosovo plan

by vbo Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 06:33:16 AM EST


Serbia condemns Kosovo plan
3.2.2007. 11:07:55

http://www.worldnewsaustralia.com.au/region.php?id=134520&region=3

UN envoy, Martti Ahtisaari, proposed the Kosovo breakaway plan. (Getty)
The United Nations has unveiled its long-awaited plan for Kosovo, raising hopes of independence among ethnic Albanians but drawing condemnation from Serbia.

UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari's plan for the southern Serbian province, which has been under UN administration for almost eight years, avoided the word "independence" while promising a multi-ethnic, self governing democracy.

Serbian President Boris Tadic slammed it as a de facto grant of independence, while Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu welcomed it for the same reason.

The plan said Kosovo would be a self-governing, multi-ethnic democracy with full respect for the rule of law and human rights.

"Kosovo shall be a multi-ethnic society, governing itself democratically and with full respect for the rule of law," said the envoy's proposal.

It also stressed conformity with "the highest level of internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms ... which promotes the peaceful and prosperous existence of all its inhabitants."

The plan called for Kosovo to be allowed its "own, distinct, national symbols, including a flag, seal and anthem."

Tadic bluntly rejected the UN's vision for the disputed province, seen as the cradle of Serbian culture and religion and a lightning rod of nationalist sentiment in the former Yugoslav republic.

"Ahtisaari's plan paves the way for the independence of Kosovo. I told Mr Ahtisaari that neither Serbia nor I, as its president, will ever accept the independence of Kosovo," he said.

Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica refused to even meet Ahtissari when he presented his plan in Belgrade.

"Martti Ahtisaari has had no mandate to deal with the state status of Serbia and to encroach on its sovereignty and territorial integrity," Kostunica said.

But Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority welcomed the plan as a major step toward realising their dream of an independent state.

President Sejdiu said his negotiation team was "deeply convinced" that the proposal would end with the independent state demanded by the province's majority community.

Diplomats and independent observers were also united in their conviction that Kosovo was on the road to full statehoood, regardless of Belgrade's strident opposition.

Observers believe the word "independence" was intentionally omitted to encourage new negotiations between the Serbian and Kosovo Albanian leadership.

This was expected to give the West more time to convince Serbia and its traditional Slav ally Russia of the merits of the settlement, particularly the rights it offers to Kosovo's estimated 100,000 Serbs, about 10 percent of the territory's population.

The tiny, landlocked province has been run by a UN mission (UNMIK) since the end of a 1998-1999 war between Serbian security forces and ethnic Albanian separatist guerillas.

The conflict was ended by a 78-day NATO bombing campaign which led to an ongoing peacekeeping mission. The two main ethnic communities remain bitterly divided, with most Serbs living in isolated enclaves.

Tensions most recently came to a head in March, 2004 when ethnic Albanian mobs rampaged through Serb enclaves, forcing thousands to flee their homes and razing historic Serbian Orthodox churches.

In Belgrade, Ahtisaari refused to discuss the issue of independence and urged both sides to return to the negotiating table.

He said there was still room for further compromise before he submitted his final proposal to the UN Security Council next month.

After Belgrade, Ahtisaari arrived in Pristina where security was tight amid fears that details of his proposal could spark inter-ethnic clashes.

Ahtisaari told reporters there that he was "not terribly optimistic" about the chances of a compromise being reached through talks, which he hoped would take place in Vienna from February 13.

"I will be very clear on the final status when I submit the proposal to the Security Council. There will be a clear definition of a status," he told reporters.

The United States welcomed the "fair and balanced" proposals put forward in the Ahtisaari plan, while the EU urged political leaders on both sides of the ethnic divide to give dialogue another chance.

"It is a blueprint for a stable, prosperous and multi-ethnic Kosovo," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

The German presidency of the EU said it "firmly supports" Ahtisaari's intention of holding additional talks and urged both sides to approach them "in a serious manner and without reservations."

The final proposal is expected to reach the UN Security Council after being submitted to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, possibly by the end of March.
---------

As I previously said there will be no one in Serbia to sign "agreement" (this word really makes me laugh) on giving up Kosovo.
I am really curious if anybody in EU really thought that you can FORCE Serbs to simply give up on Kosovo. Obviously Americans think they can force anybody to do what ever they want but it lately looks like their fantasy ALL OVER THE WORLD.
What do you think will happen now?
Do you think Russians will come up with veto on Ahtisaari's list of USA wishes when it comes to UN? To be honest I don't think so. I never ever put too much hope on the Russian card. UN as such is USA service anyway and when it from time to time fails to give instant support to USA it is simply ignored. For the real situation on the field UN proclaimed "independence" really does not mean much. We all know what real independence means. Kosovo is occupied Serbian territory and will continue to be just that for decades...Even when NATO is not going to need military bases there but will have to have military presence to support "independence" that they proclaimed.  
How do you think Serbia will be punished (yet and) in addition to punishment it had to endure for almost two decades now?
When do you think someone will come with anything that even remotely looks like a solution for Balkan ex-YU countries? Something like more fair redefinition of all borders in this area?
What difference do you think will make internationally this proclamation of Kosovo "independence"? Do you agree for your country to recognize Kosovo as independent state?
If you agree what your arguments are for not allowing Serbs and Croats too to break from Muslims in Bosnia and make their independent state and would you support their peaceful move toward independence (referendum , proclamation of independence etc.)?


Display:
http://www.b92.net/eng/

Serbia's caretaker prime minister, Vojislav Koštunica, has urged parties trying to form a governing coalition after an inconclusive January election to take a hard line on relations with any state that recognises the independence of Kosovo.
---
"The seceding province's debt servicing to international financial institutions and Paris and London club creditors would cost it between 50 and 100 million euros per year, UN officials say."

"Serbia currently foots most of these bills and might continue doing so to shore up its sovereignty claims", the report says, adding that the Serbian National Bank claims Kosovo's inherited share of Serbia's total external debt is currently at 7 percent.
---
 The prime minister emphasized that in his view UN special Kosovo envoy Martti Ahtisaari had no mandate to deal with Serbia's state status or to "meddle in its sovereignty and territorial integrity, dividing the territory of the Republic of Serbia and altering its internationally recognised borders", the statement read.

"Ahtisaari was given the mandate only to deal with the status of Kosovo, and it is obvious that with his proposal he has overstepped the framework of that mandate", Koštunica further stated.

Koštunica believes Ahtisaari's proposal violates the UN Charter and principles of international law, rendering that proposal "illegitimate".
----
WASHINGTON -- Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow and Washington are in deep disagreement over Kosovo, Reuters reports.
..."A variant to impose what is unacceptable to any of the parties does not suit us," Lavrov said, according to Itar-Tass.
-----------
BELGRADE -- "I told Ahtisaari that Serbia and I, as its president, will never accept Kosovo's independence", president Tadić said.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 07:14:18 AM EST
More quotes:
http://www.beta.co.yu/default.asp?m=,new&j=en&h=English,en

Key provisions of the proposal grant Kosovo the right to negotiate and conclude international agreements, seek membership in international organizations, and have its own national symbols, including a flag, seal and anthem. In addition, ethnic and religious communities will enjoy special rights.
---
It also states that:

  • Kosovo shall adopt a constitution that shall prescribe the legal and institutional mechanisms for the protection, promotion, and enforcement of human rights of all persons in Kosovo.

  • Kosovo shall have no territorial claims against, and shall seek no union with, any state or part of any state.

  • The international community shall supervise, monitor and have all necessary powers to ensure effective and efficient implementation of this settlement.

  • Kosovo and Serbia shall, in accordance with domestic and international norms and standards, take all measures necessary to determine and provide information regarding the identities, whereabouts, and fate of missing persons.

  • Municipalities in Kosovo shall have the right to inter-municipal and cross-border cooperation on matters of mutual interest in the exercise of their responsibilities.

  • The Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo, SOC, including its clergy and their affiliates, activities and property shall be afforded additional security and other protection for the full enjoyment of its rights, privileges and immunities, as set forth in Annex V of this settlement.

  • Immovable and movable property of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or the Republic of Serbia located within the territory of Kosovo at the time of this settlement shall pass to Kosovo.

  • A new professional and multi-ethnic Kosovo Security Force, KSF, shall be established, and shall develop a lightly armed component capable of specified security functions, in accordance with Annex VIII of this settlement.

  • An International Steering Group, ISG, comprising key international stakeholders shall appoint an International Civilian Representative, ICR, and will seek U.N. Security Council endorsement of the appointment. The ICR and the EU Special Representative, EUSR, appointed by the Council of the European Union, shall be the same person.

  • NATO shall establish an International Military Presence, IMP, to support implementation of this settlement, as set forth in Annex XI of this settlement.
----
Inependance , my ass.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 07:27:11 AM EST
Kosovo is occupied Serbian territory and will continue to be just that for decades...

<...>

What difference do you think will make internationally this proclamation of Kosovo "independence"? Do you agree for your country to recognize Kosovo as independent state?

Since you've got all the answers, vbo, why are you asking us questions?

I respect your feelings and your right to take sides, but this diary is a bitter rant. I'm sorry, but I'm not recommending it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 07:49:11 AM EST
I am not asking you to recommend my diary. I simply do not care to be recommended, to be honest! I am asking you what do you think about situation??? I asked specific questions and hope to get answers. When I ask for same rights for Serbs (and Croats for that matter) in Bosnia ...I am ranting? How is that?
At the same time I am telling how I feel about it. You don't need to necessarily agree with me. I am not even asking for sympathy. I ask for arguments...facts! Do you have any?
Most important I want to know in case  you do not agree with me what are your arguments/facts and where you see LEGAL base for what you recommend in this complicated situation. Or you think it's as simple as occupying forces of Serbian land see it??? Take from Serbs - give it to Albanians! Everything is simple if one choose to see it so...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 08:22:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is, vbo, that Serbia had a horrible leader in Milosevic, and the UN and international community is now extracting a pound of flesh from you. I guess these are the wages of crossing the US. I do think there are elements of unfairness when self-determination is applied inconsistently, and I do think that the Kosovo mess was once avoidable (at Ramboullet) but now that it happened and the two peoples have a great difficulty living together, the West is seeking the most expedient means possible. I can't help but think that this is all payback for war in Bosnia. Let's face it, that's what this is ALL about.

My only concern is that when everyone loses interest in this region in 20 years that the enmity will still be there, and we're just gearing up for another war, which is the history of the province in any case. Serbia will definitely have a longer memory than Ahtasaari. This needs to be addressed. I think also that were it not for the Kosovo War, which I think was the fault of the US, this problem would have been much much easier to solve.

Don't look for consistency from the international community. It's more about self-interest.

by Upstate NY on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 09:41:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quote;
The problem is, vbo, that Serbia had a horrible leader in Milosevic,
---
I can't agree more...Now tell me how would you like for USA to be judged by its horrible leader GW Bush? And for ever...and what if world simply forget anything else about USA but his governing?  

Quote;
I can't help but think that this is all payback for war in Bosnia. Let's face it, that's what this is ALL about.
---
I agree. It's revenge.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 11:42:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe we will be judged for Bush. I'm sure we're already taking hits because of him.
by Upstate NY on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 01:08:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed.

Of course, the America Bush represents has created arguably far more death of innocents and long-lasting damage in a volatile part of the world than Milosevic ever could have dreamed of.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 03:57:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But that's the way it always is.

In any case, Milosevic was no wilting flower. I'm sure his imagination contained more than the 80,000 or so he succeeded in killing.

He is definitely up in Bush and Saddam Hussein's league.

by Upstate NY on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 04:55:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, the genocide he and his proxies really did carry out was not the one that the US and Nato punished. The wrong Serbs ultimately were punished.

And now, Kosovo is a prime entrepot for transhipping illicit drugs, prostitution and illegal economic migrants from Southwestern and Central Asia into the EU all the while Nato and the UN are ultimately responsible for it's "protectorate". A protectorate which largley involves de facto protection of organized crime on behalf of the international community, and to the direct detriment of the EU. No wonder Ahtisaari wants to wash his hands of this.

Moral of the story to Europeans everywhere: Beware of Americans (whether they call themselves "center-left" and play saxophone, or whether they are more transparently fascist like the present regime in Washington) bearing gifts.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 05:09:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, Europeans can hardly blame any man with a saxophone for diplomatic decisions which led to the 1990s Yugoslavia fiasco.
by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 01:03:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In many ways, the break-up of Yugoslavia was a dream come true for American diplomacy - a crisis in the heart of Europe, which would be the source of instability for the foreseeable future and which divided EU member states in more ways than one.

It's no secret, for instance, that the Greeks, and this includes the Greek popular sentiment as well, sided with the Serbs. Greek irregulars were reported to have participated in Bosnia massacres, and flip over to Greek attitudes on "FYROM" (what a laugh that name) and Kosovo, and you'll see it would have been very hard for the EU to have a united front in this story, regardless of the facts (which, it turns out, were as dispensible in Western capitals as in those of the balkans), even if the core of the EU were as one.

Add to this the deep divisiveness of Germany's unilateral decision to prematurely recognize Croatia and Slovenia's independance - at loggerheads with France, the UK and George HW Bush's US- and thereby guarantee a bloodbath. When Germany recognized Tudjman's Croatia, and this beyond the historical precedence dating from WW2, it guaranteed that every Yugoslav Republic, in violent fashion, would also become independent.

Why necessarily violent? Look at the ethnic map (the sort of map, I might add, the Germans innovated themselves) of the area, and read the press accounts of the ethnic fervor at the time in the region. Hell, even little ol' me saw it first hand, witnessing more than one fight at the kiosk between folks buying Croatian-language papers and those buying Serb-language papers.

Kohl has a lot of blood in his hands. But this might not worry him much given all the money he tucked away as well.

"Understandably" then, the EU was hardly in a position to lead on this. Which is just the way one might well imagine a US government to like things. Keeps Europe weak, and accentuates their inability to build an independent and coherent foreign policy backed by a credible and independant military force (which only France today, really, has).

And if shepherded correctly, the resulting mess can be assured to be a gift that keeps on giving instability and rancor to Europeans for generations to follow.

Which is exactly what Kosovo is now.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 11:02:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's too much thinking for Clinton on this, really. He messed up Kosovo, but Europe messed up earlier. Consider that the US called Germany's recognition a mistake, and the US held off from recognizing the ex-Yugo's as long as possible.

As for Greece, there are stories that a handful of irregulars made it into Yugo, but so did Poles and Czechs on the Croatian side, Al-Qaeda in Bosnia, etc. And though sentiment in Greece was definitely against Kosovo, this wasn't the case in Bosnia, while all along the US and NATO were using Greek territory to execute the expeditions into Kosovo. They were coming up through Salonika.

I wrote about Greece and Macedonia somewhere else in this thread, but I believe in general, the Greeks took the same approach they always do. Anti-US in public opinion during the Kosovo campaign, while the gov't fell in line and did everything that NATO and the US asked.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 11:18:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're joking, right?

The first Bush admin may have got it right on Croatia initially (though its motivations are at best unclear on the matter) but when it came to Bosnia, the Americans were positively a destabilizing force.

The EU, seeing the possibility of war in Croatia spreading further, perhaps engulfing the whole of Yugoslavia, and also seeing that after Kohl mistakenly recognized Croatia and Slovenia, Bosnia and Macedonia would likely soon follow, brokered a key deal. The Bosniaques, as well as the Bosnian Serbs and Croatians, all agreed to a hard federal deal, three fully autonomous regions with a nominal seat of state at Sarajevo.

I remember hearing this plan (Lisbon accords) as creating something along the lines of Switzerland, and it is true, this part of the world looks fairly similar to the alpine federal republic (though true also the women are prettier in Bosnia than in Switzerland).

Guess which country got Alija Izetbegovic to back out of the deal and push for more - a lot more?

You guessed it. The US.

And we all know the results - disasterous for Izetbegovic's community in particular, and Bosnia (and all of Yugoslavia really) in general.

But not disasterous to the US really. A cheap way to get one of those trifectas another US president was fond of talking about: maintain instability on the doorstep to Europe, score points with an Islamic world whose oil was not indispensable, and look like you were pushing forth those "great" Wilsonian ideals of "freedom" and "self-determiniation," ideals of course best put into action a continent or two away.

So it is a bit cheeky to assert that the US did its best to avoid bloodshed in the former Yugoslavia, its noble intentions to recognize no one misunderstood.

I think Americans, and in particular, the American left, would do well to look beyond the rhetoric of their various governments and politicos and stop assuming that its intentions are pure, even regarding a Europe whose political weakness is in American strategic interests. And this was true when Clinton was president every bit as much as when either Bush was in there.

The only thing which has changed is that the increasing weakness of the American position has made its universalist rhetoric all the more threadbare, transparent, Brezhnevian.


The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 12:06:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
FYI, UpstateNY has posted extensive criticism of the US diplomacy in Bosnia under Albright and Rubin in other threads.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 12:22:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dang, I gotta know about this choir stuff before I start preaching to it.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 01:58:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You need to go back and reread. That was James Baker that scuppered the peace accords. I thought we were talking about Clinton, here.

Seriously, Clinton wasn't even in office until 1993. Those accords were signed in early 1992.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 02:47:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm refering to the first Bush administration wheh talking about German recognition of Slovenia and of Croatia, as well as the torpedoing of the Lisbon accords (which the US embassador Zimmerman pulled off, not Baker - Baker's handiwork was the Vance-Owens plan, which came later, when the hostilities - which the US helped start - had already begun). I'm sorry if my language is unclear above as to who gets the blame in terms of the administration in question, but I do think I refered to the first Bush administation when speaking of Lisbon, not Clinton.

It was Izitbegovic's rejection of Lisbon which ultimately started the war in Bosnia. And it was ambassador Zimmerman who directly got that to happen, getting the Islamic radical and fascist Izitbegovic to torpedo Lisbon by withdrawing support the latter had initially extended. Americans are quite comfortable working with right-wing autocrats, and they found one in Sarajevo.

Of course, this wasn't the only mess Clinton inherited from the previous administration, much as the US president in 2009 will inherit messes. Messes are what America is good at creating, and given the hollowing out of America's productive capacity, it may now be its biggest export.

But it would be a mistake to say Clinton's foreign policy did any better or cleaned up any of these messes his predecessor had left for him. And, in Kosovo, he added arguably an even bigger mess, one the UN and the EU will be stuck with for some time to come.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 04:09:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But it would be a mistake to say Clinton's foreign policy did any better or cleaned up any of these messes his predecessor had left for him. And, in Kosovo, he added arguably an even bigger mess, one the UN and the EU will be stuck with for some time to come

You're kidding, right? Bosnia is much, much better. I'd say that Kosovo is too (economic basket case where the ten percent minority is being screwed by the ninety percent majority beats the reverse). And if you're going to call the Izetbegovic  a fascist and religious radical, then you should do the same for all the leaders -Serb, Croat or Bosniak. Do you think we shouldn't have dealt with any of them? America didn't create this mess anymore than Germany or France did. Eventually they cleaned it up.

Your comments on the motivations behind US Yugo policy in the nineties are also completely off base. I had a reasonably close view as I was working at a DC foreign policy think tank in the mid nineties. The main reason for the hostility towards Serbia was outrage over its war crimes, not any sort of Machiavellian realpolitik. It was the advocates of the latter in fact who wanted the US to not play any role in the post Yugo wars.

by MarekNYC on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 04:25:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No illusions about any of the parties, especially Tudjman, but I single Izitbegovic out here for the simple reason that he usually gets kid-glove treatment, which given his Nazi-sympathizing past (the sort that gets Western European leaders ostracized) is sort of ironic. (Not to mention he was tragically out of step with the people he purported to represent.)

Bosnia may be much much better today, but this doesn't necessarily mean anything; I certainly wouldn't expect a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument from you on the subject, if anything, Clinton's great achievement is that he happened to be in power when the carnage finally ran its course. And the fact of the matter is that there is relative peace there thanks in no small part due to peacekeepers, with the Dayton accords not being all that dissimilar to the Lisbon accords which the US had done so much to undermine.

I am curious your take on what US motivations were, given you worked in a DC think-tank at the time, when the first Bush administration helped nix that accord. At the time, the Serbs had not engaged in any war crimes in Bosnia yet, and what was happening in Croatia at the time was quite ambiguous, and a two-way street, so this context of outrage at Serbian atrocities you give is somewhat misplaced. Those atrocities did take place, but the US had already acted to help start the hostilities by then.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 05:07:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Speaking from my memory, the beginning of the open war in Croatia was not at all (at least seen as) ambiguous, because it involved a large-scale JNA offensive, inclusive shelling of major cities, with ensuing David-and-Goliath image. But with hindsight, the tit-for-tat violence and massacres and ethnic cleansing went on before, during and after on both sides.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 05:24:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No illusions about any of the parties, especially Tudjman, but I single Izitbegovic out here for the simple reason that he usually gets kid-glove treatment, which given his Nazi-sympathizing past (the sort that gets Western European leaders ostracized) is sort of ironic.

Nothing ironic about it. Past Nazi sympathes are trumped by being the leader of the group which was the greatest victim and which committed the least atrocities. Before operation Storm on the other hand the Serbs were the perpetrators of by far the greatest number of war crimes and victims of the least. And if we're talking about past sympathies Tudjman was an anti-fascist Partisan during WWII.

In any case how far do you want to take the 'past sympathies' argument. You're French, right? As is well known Mitterrand had fascist sympathies in his youth, less well known is the fact that Chirac had OAS ones. A large percentage of left wing leaders in Europe were radical left sympathizers at some time - depending on their age and taste Stalin or Mao or Trotsky. Who do you prefer - Jospin the ex-Trotskyist or Tony Blair? Does Chirac's viciously colonialist early views make him as noxious as Bush in the present context? The anti-war left tends to prize Senator Byrd and hate Senator Lieberman. The former was a KKK organizer and later a diehard supporter of Jim Crow in his early Senate career, the latter was a Freedom Rider.

I am curious your take on what US motivations were, given you worked in a DC think-tank at the time, when the first Bush administration helped nix that accord. At the time, the Serbs had not engaged in any war crimes in Bosnia yet, and what was happening in Croatia at the time was quite ambiguous, and a two-way street, so this context of outrage at Serbian atrocities you give is somewhat misplaced. Those atrocities did take place, but the US had already acted to help start the hostilities by then.

I was in college during the early nineties, my think tank time was in the mid nineties, so no special insight on the Bush I admin.  However, by my time in DC the main force pushing against support for the Bosnians, and advocating a hands off policy were the Bush I alums and the right wing of the Republican congressional party along with some of the old guard Dem establishment e.g. Christopher and some old guard leftists. On the other side was a very mixed bag of people - younger left-liberals, most hawkish dems, and a handful of Repubs (particularly Dole). Lots of moral outrage going on, Rwanda added fuel to the fire among many in the left-liberal group who saw it as an outrageous moral disaster and worried that Bosnia would be a more slow motion version.

by MarekNYC on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 05:46:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well again a bit of context and timeline issues here. When Ambassador Zimmerman got Izitbegovic to withdraw support for the Lisbon accords, it was in the winter of '01-'02. No Serbian atrocities yet, at least not in Bosnia, and those that occured in Croatia were accompanied by acts, by Croatians, of similar .

At the time, there was a cease-fire in the war for the Croatian seccession, a war where hindsight shows us there were really no clear good guys, whatever we might have thought at the time. It was in fact the cease-fire which largely held, up to the point when Milosevic gave up the Krajina serbs.

So if Lisbon had held, arguably the war would have not occured in Bosnia. And what's more, the Krajina campaign in '95, also a terrible bloodshed, would also not have happened. (And in fact the Dayton accords are not terribly dissimilar to the EU-brokered Lisbon accords from 1995 although far less favorable the former to Bosniaques.)

Really then the central question comes down to why the US Ambassador to Yugoslavia at the time did his very best to get the Bosniaque leader to pull out of the accord. This is the key element of what was to follow, and American policy objectives very much pivoted on this.

What follows is largely irrelevant in fact, much of it pure end-game, with lots of innocent lives lost in the process.

No arguments from me about either Mitterand or Chirac, certainly not the latter, though it is really hard to measure any person in Europe on the basis of what they might have more or less passively done during the war. This being said, very few Nazi officers, or as is the case with Izitbegovic, people who actively recruited others to work with the Nazis, got very far without having their reputations besmirched, and rightfully so. So we see a Bousquet or a Waldheim suffer for their past. Not so Izitbegovic, and I hope I can be excused for wondering why this is the case.

As for having been on the left sympathizers of Trotsky or others, I certainly have a bit more sympathy for these than for fascist sympathizers - quite simply, I know what side I'm on. (And so does Tony Blair - and it's not my side.)

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 06:25:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No arguments from me about either Mitterand or Chirac, certainly not the latter, though it is really hard to measure any person in Europe on the basis of what they might have more or less passively done during the war. This being said, very few Nazi officers, or as is the case with Izitbegovic, people who actively recruited others to work with the Nazis, got very far without having their reputations besmirched, and rightfully so.

Besmirched when? Postwar West Germany was riddled with ex-Nazis. The second most powerful man under Adenauer was the guy who wrote the Nuremberg Laws. One of Adenauer's ministers wasn't only a Nazi but a major war criminal and ex participant in the Beer Hall putsch, many others were ex party members. The German army was created by ex Wehrmacht officers with the guy who directed anti-partisan operations in Eastern Europe playing a major role. In France most senior civil servants backed Vichy, and not just out of opportunism.  Few were purged after the war (basically only those who hadn't switched sides) French historians avoided that unpleasant fact before the eighties - in fact the government and most historians sought to suppress it e.g. the reaction to Paxton's groundbreaking study that came out in the early seventies or Ophuls' Le Chagrin et la pitie.

As for having been on the left sympathizers of Trotsky or others, I certainly have a bit more sympathy for these than for fascist sympathizers - quite simply, I know what side I'm on. (And so does Tony Blair - and it's not my side.)

Ex-sympathizers of totalitarian leftism may be on my side now, but current ones aren't. I think we went over this re: Pinochet and Castro - given that I view those two as equivalent you can imagine what I think of liking Mao. As I've explained in the past I have more sympathy for Communists sixty or eighty years ago than I do for fascists of that time. I don't for any espoused any variant of communism in the past few decades. For me democracy and political freedom trump economic justice. Blair limits his violent revolutionary dreams to foreign countries, communists want that plus the same at home, so in the abstract Blair's a lesser evil, though able to do far more harm in reality due to his greater power.

by MarekNYC on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 06:58:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, even if it took until the sixties and some help from East German propaganda, I think the reputations of Globke, Oberländer & co were besmirched. But tainted top officials in France (and Italy) is another matter.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 08:49:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with most everything you wrote but this one is a subject of debate.

Tudjman' past is multi-colored, and it includes an Ustashe stint. The partisan side came later.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 10:16:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
!?!?!? When was that? There wasn't much time for it between his school time and joining the Partisans right in the summer of 1941. Maybe you confused his later history revisionism with his past?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 09:09:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a biohistory on Tudjman that I have to consult. Unfortunately, it's in my office. And today I am working from home, thankfully. I'll get back to you.
by Upstate NY on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 11:11:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quote:
Eventually they cleaned it up.
---
You call this clean?
Tell me exactly WHAT is better in Bosnia or Kosovo...comparing to say Serbia  ...Bare in mind that it's almost 16 years ago when it was "worse"... My Muslim   friend (actually few of them) has been there few months ago and they were astonished with how poor people are and how miserably they live. They went through Serbia (Belgrade) and said that Belgrade is New York comparing to Sarajevo. Not to mention smaller cities like Zenica for example.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 09:02:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First off, as for American "messes," I don't think you're using the right terminology. America engages what a good empire should engage in, "Divide and Conquer." People seem to forget that this is an actual viable strategy for a country.

But also think that America's boogeyman status in Europe and the world is often too easy an excuse for Europeans. Actually, especially for Europeans since so often American and European interests overlap, and when that happens you hear nary a peep from the continent. Iraq is different, the US and the UK decided to go it alone, mainly. And certainly, the arrows of blame travel over water. But even in Iraq, you have to recognize that certain countries in Europe had massive interests in trade and infrastructure build out, including deals in currency denomination.

Maybe I'm just cynical.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 05:13:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Come on UNY, M was the milk of human kindness.<Snarkus Maximus>

"When the abyss stares at me, it wets its pants." Brian Hopkins
by EricC on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 07:13:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As is World number ONE war criminal GW Bush! 700 000 dead in Iraq ILEGAL WAR and counting...
Let's cut of USA and divide it to the pieces!


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 09:10:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quote:
Kosovo is occupied Serbian territory and will continue to be just that for decades...
---
How am I wrong on this one? Serbian forces (police and Army) DO NOT CONTROLE KOSOVO all though it's in internationally recognized borders of Serbia. What is it if not occupation? Also Serbian institutions and companies are not able to work on Kosovo territories...Serbs are NOT represented in any way...and first of all they are not safe in any way...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 08:33:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't say you were wrong in what you just quoted - I said: since you know everything, why are you asking us questions?

You assume everyone is against you and you demand arguments and facts. But your tone is so aggressive - if you want a discussion, try another way.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 09:59:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hardly ever use ratings on here but afew deserves at the best a '2' - for his hypocritical and rather nasty post.

A lot of people who start their diaries/threads on here seem have got all the answers too, to begin with Jerome who knows what to do with each and every drop of oil, especially Russian oil. I'm really looking forward to reading another afew's reprimand directed at them.

I respect your feelings blah blah but 'm not recommending it = i don't want anybody to read what you've written on here. Try Mills&Boons novels then - they are full of lovely British ladies and nice gorgeous gentlemen who never go bitter.

Vbo's thread  definitely doesn't need your recommendation - it's one of the most lively diaries for ages. I don't know much on this so read it with interest.

Oh, and have you ever heard about any sympathy towards people who lost their country (and basically got nothing instead - not everybody is as lucky as Russians who got their beloved Russia instead of ugly bastardy USSR)?

by lana on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 03:32:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I said is neither hypocritical nor nasty. I respect vbo's feelings but don't like her diary. I did not say no one should read it, nor that it needed my recommendation to get read. I said I didn't recommend it, and it's my right to say that.

Given the number of insulting, trollish, ethnic-superiority comments you have made in the past, lana, I guess you know all about how ratings should work. So rate me any way you like.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 03:42:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bearing in mind that the first diary i've run into on this site had been devoted to a lively discussion if the words Slavonic/Slavic derive from Slave - with  a happy rasist collective answer 'But of course!' (and the British voices weren't the weakest ones in that mocking chorus), I guess you as a British do know better about ethnic superiority, after all, the UK is a long-living example of ethnic equality

And i never care how i am rated, especially if i am troll-rated by local trolls

by lana on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 04:19:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it is "slave" that is derived from "slav". You can deny this as much as you want, but that doesn't make the the latin etymology any less correct.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 05:02:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Vikings and Ottoman Turks caused it all.

The slavish thing, of course.

"When the abyss stares at me, it wets its pants." Brian Hopkins

by EricC on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 07:21:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ottoman Turks? They didn't even exist back then.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 09:11:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I will keep puting some quotes here for your information  anyway :

http://www.blic.co.yu/

Agreement with USA needed

Moscow is aware that its vision of solution for Kosovo is unacceptable so the final decision of Russia regarding Kosovo status will depend on the agreement with USA about other problems, states Moscow daily 'Nezavisimaya Gazeta'.

---
vbo:
Like we did not expect this...They all threat small nation like change (coins)...
----

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 08:48:30 AM EST
I don't personally like the Ahtisaari plan. I'm not at all sure what is gained by forcing the issue at this moment.

My own view is that we are now at a point where the whole "breakup of Yugoslavia" is the result of existing real tensions, plus several miscalculations by various parties, plus several malicious actions by various more parties over a long period of years.

I won't start a flamewar by trying to assign blame, because that's not really my point here.

The point is, it's a big mess and to me, it's about taking "least worst" options forward.

For me, one of the "least worst" options is to keep fudging the Kosovo question. Attempting a resolution doesn't feel like a useful action at this time.

The strength of vbo's feelings are clear and I think they represent well the feelings of many Serbs. At the same time, the feelings of many Kosovar Albanians are equally strong.

I don't think it is peacefully possible to go back to how things were (Kosovo as just another part of Serbia) but I don't either think there is much to be gained from grinding Serbia's face in the notion of full Kosovo independence at this time.

(Even if I think that it is likely that some form of independent government in Kosovo, as in Scotland and many other places is now quite unavoidable in the long term.)

Thus, my own, ignorant view is to keep fudging it. Keep it all "unresolved" and work on the prosperity and general stability of the region. If you can get to the point where Serbia and Kosovo are coming up for EU membership, complete with Schengen etc. maybe you can take the sting out of "home rule for Kosovo" at that time.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 09:22:06 AM EST
The flip argument is that the region has turned into an economic basket case and that its lack of independence is what prevents it from ever inching toward the EU. Personally I don't buy this argument, given the state of the current Kosovo Albanian leadership.

But I do concur with you that the best option is the least execrable way forward.

I always shake my head when people opt for war over diplomatic agreements. Because the aftermath of war makes it impossible to negotiate on terms which do not cause resentment in the losing side. I think the Serbs would have been better served hanging low in Bosnia and Croatia. There would have been international condemnation for poor treatment of Serb minorities in Bosnia and the Krajina. However, given the way they took up arms, Serbs were destined to lose any sympathy in the Western Press, and so they played it wrong. If you're going to take up arms, wether in self defense, or as a preemptive attempt to secure territory, or even in a counterinsurgent crackdown as in Kosovo, you better make sure your actions are validated by the US and other countries.

Jutice is a mutually agreed upon concept, not an ideological one to be applied independently. I think the US if finding that out today in other parts of the world.

by Upstate NY on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 09:49:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you're going to take up arms, wether in self defense, or as a preemptive attempt to secure territory

I note that the initial offensive of the Krajina Serb paramilitaries was more than that, it was also an attack on neighbouring ethnic-Croatian-majority areas, going up to 50 kilometres outward, and attacking definitely non-military targets. Otherwise, I agree with the general tenor of your comment.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 02:02:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that Vukovar was a Serb disgrace, but the issue of who attacked first is both controversial and perhaps somewhat irrelevant since clearly they were ready to go at it. From the Serb side, they point to the highly inflammatory and discriminatory racial purity law that went into effect soon after Croatia's declaration of independence. There were also smaller skirmishes before the Serbs moved the military guns in and destroyed much of Western Slavonia.

The Serbs couldn't see how they were being baited. Both in the Krajina and in Kosovo, they were being practically encouraged to begin their military onslaughts. They gave others the pretext to move Serbs off those lands. That seems to be how it works.

Bosnia, on the other hand, was completely different since the Serbs went overboard and not only cleansed a huge number of Muslims, but also they did so in a clear attempt to redraw the boundaries of the country.

by Upstate NY on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 03:33:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that Vukovar was a Serb disgrace

I haven't just meant Vukovar and Western Slavonia. In fact I was thinking of the Zadar area (which I know more closely), which for the most part didn't end up as permanent land-taking but one big push followed by a pullback from 90% of the overran territory. But there were longer-term expansionary forays also in the Karlovac area.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 03:46:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with you. Premature solution at the expense of Serbs only will recreate future tensions in this region.
I don't know much about Balkans and its wars and cannot take any side. vbo thinks that Russia will not help vetoing Ahtisaari plan. But I would not say so. Of course Russia will takes decision keeping in myind broader picture of her relations with the West, interests of Abkhazs, Ossetians and only then she will consider what think in Belgrade.
Don't take it too close to heart - Russia in XIX century had waged lenghty expensive bloody wars on behalf of various Balkan nations against Ottoman Turkey - without any benefits, all profits  and contracts went to Berlin, Paris and London who were economically stronger than Russia. Even supposedly pro Russian Yugoslav leader Mr Milosevic was known not to consult Moscow on any major decisions in numerous conflicts he waged and was playing with the West (secret deals, ceasfires etc) playing big powers against each other till the West have united against him and overthrew his regime.
by FarEasterner on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 09:51:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kosovo :

Albanians: 88%
Serbs: 7%
Turks: 1%
Others: 4%

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosovo

Serbias's claim to Kosovo which was lost to the Turks 1459 is ridiculous today. The population of Kosovo doesn't want to belong to Serbia. That's the primary thing, the only thing that should count.

Get over it.

by oldfrog on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 12:49:44 PM EST
If you cut up Serbia so easily, what about cutting up Kosovo?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 01:56:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If we are here, what about the Serb Krajinas that declared themselves independent of Croatia? With local majority support? Did you support their existence? Would you have told Croats to "get over it"?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 02:12:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the RSK wasn't sustainable and more a war product than anything else. Today's Kosovo has become historically Albanian, when and where can be disputed, but it is a fact. If Montenegro can become independent, why can't Kosovo become it ? For pure nationalistic ideology, probably.

Kosovo will probably join Albania, and in 30 years from now all those small republics will be member of the EU, with their flags and their stamps, but trade with eachother through open borders.

Serbia's fight is anachronistic as much as Greece's standpoints about Macedonia.

by oldfrog on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 03:03:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you mean by "unsustainable"? That without international backing, it was desitned to be ethnically cleansed by a US-supported Croatian Army?

What do you mean by war product -- aint's the present Kosovo a war product?

Ain't it an undeniable fact that the Krajinas have become historically Serb, and that even earlier than Kosovo became Albanian-majority?

Let's not dvelve into the intricacies of the Montenegrin question here, I have done that in a diary back then.

You are very optimistic about all those small peaceful EU-member states, an optimism exposing ignorance of Balkans history. Borders have been re-drawn there several times in the past 150 years, but the grievances have led to new wars again and again.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 03:22:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Krajina means border. It's marshland. It has been scarcely populated by diverse ethnic groups during history to maintain outposts.

It collapsed of itself when the Serbs moved out after the war. There are no viable claims today.

by oldfrog on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 07:50:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Moved out?

I think that's a craven way to put it, unless you're unaware of how it happened.

Hundreds of thousands were ethnically cleansed from that region in Operation Storm which was run by Agim Ceku, the current PM of Kosovo. Many were killed, raped, murdered, thousands.

You call that moving out?

There are war criminals who are being sought today because of that offensive.

by Upstate NY on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 01:10:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Krajina means border.

So what?

It's marshland.

No, it's not. Take a look at a map if you don't believe someone who was there.

It has been scarcely populated by diverse ethnic groups during history to maintain outposts.

So what? That was centuries ago anyway.

It collapsed of itself when the Serbs moved out after the war.

No, the Serbs didn't 'move out' miraculously, they (about 400,000 of them) were ethnic cleansed in a grand plan, and Croatian militaries are sitting in Belgrade or sought after for plotting & executing that. And after the fighting troops came intel units who marked houses "Srbe" with white chalk or paint, and after them explosives units who blew up each so that they won't have much incentives to return. I have been there shortly after, I have seen the empty remains of villages , I have seen wall ruins in Croatian-majority villages and towns with the "Srbe" marking still visible, and I have talked to Croatian acquaintainces who have witnessed it.

Your dismissive tone combined with your uninformedness makes me sick.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 06:17:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and Croatian militaries are sitting in Belgrade

I meant Hague.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 09:13:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And sadly it was accepted as a fait accompli by the outside world, or maybe worse inspite of a few more recent trials.
by observer393 on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 11:26:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't condone ethnic cleansing and I don't mean that the Croats are without blame far from that. But to paint the Serbs as "victims" is ridiculous.

I just checked some facts on wikipedia, thus my post

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Serbian_Krajina
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milan_Babi%C4%87

Nobody thought at that time that the "republic" had a reason to historically exist, except of course the Serb nationalists.

Around August 1991, the leadership of the Serbian Krajina, and that of Serbia, allegedly agreed to embark on what war crimes prosecutors would later describe as a "joint criminal enterprise"[1][2] . This consisted of permanently and forcibly removing the non-Serb population of Krajina in order to make them part of a new Serb-dominated state. The leaders are documented to have included Milan Babic, and other Krajina Serb figures such as Milan Martic, the Serbian militia leader Vojislav Šešelj and Yugoslav Army commanders including General Ratko Mladic, who was at the time the commander of JNA forces in Croatia.

According to testimony given by Babic in his subsequent war crimes trial, during the summer of 1991 the Serbian secret police--under Miloševic's command--set up "a parallel structure of state security and the police of Krajina and units commanded by the state security of Serbia". Shadowy groups of paramilitaries with names such as the "Vukovi sa Vucjaka" ("Wolves from Vucjak") and the "Beli Orlovi" ("White Eagles"), funded by the Serbian secret police, were also a key component of this structure.

A wider-scale war was launched in August 1991. Over the following months, a large area of territory, amounting to a third of Croatia, was seized by the Serbs. The non-Serbian population suffered heavily, fleeing or evicted with numerous slaying, leading to ethnic cleansing. The Serbs nonetheless, continued their land grabbing and killing sprees. The bulk of the fighting occurred between August and December 1991, during which time approximately 80,000 Croats and Muslims were expelled (and some were killed). Many more died and or were deplaced in fighting in eastern Slavonia (this territory along the Croatian/Serbian border is not part of the Krajina, and it was the JNA that was the principal actor in that part of the conflict). The score by then, in the undeclared war against Croatia, was 2,200 Croats killed, 140,000 refugees, razed villages, shelled towns, destroyed cultural monuments, churches, hospitals, old people's homes, kindergartens. TV transmitters were also destroyed, cameramen and journalists of the Croatian Radio and Television were killed.

Map of the territory held by the RSK, circa 1992-1995On December 19, 1991, the SAO Krajina proclaimed itself the Republic of Serbian Krajina. On February 26, 1992, the SAO Western Slavonia and SAO Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem were added to the RSK, which initially had only encompassed the territories within the SAO Krajina. The RSK occupied an area of some 17,028 km² at its greatest extent. Croatia then was just beginning to form an army, their main defenders, local police, were overpowered by the JNA military supported Krajina Serbs. The RSK was located entirely inland, but they soon started advancing deeper into Croatian territory, expelling or killing Croatians as they went, and burning towns and villages. They shelled the Croatian coastal town of Zadar, killing over 80 people in nearby areas and damaging the Maslenica bridge that connected north and south Croatia. They also tried to overtake Šibenik, but the defenders successfully saved the city from the JNA, but not before Chetniks bombed the main theater. The city of Vukovar, however, was completely devastated by Chetnik attacks. Vukovar eventually fell; the town that had for months warded off Serb attack and destroyed its elite units. 2,000 defenders of Vukovar and civilians were killed, 800 went missing and 42,000 were forced into exile. The wounded were taken from Vukovar Hospital to Ovcara near Vukovar where they were executed.

who are you defending here, DoDo ? the poor Serbs ?

What I know of the only supporter of the "Republic of Serbian Krajina Government" in Exile is Vladimir Zhirinovsky...

then if some Croatian war criminals end up at the Hague, I have nothing against it.

The original post was to compare self determination in Kosovo and Krajina. My point was that Kosovo can be considered so much culturally different today from Serbia that an independence can be considered as possible and could even be ratified by the UN.

Krajina was nothing but a phantasmagoria
in some Serb nationalists expansion dreams. Even the current Serbian government see it this way today.

I might have been dismissive, but hardly uninformed.

by oldfrog on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 11:31:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is WHY Serbs took action NOT to stay in INDEPENDANT Croatia after you recognized it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Serbian_Krajina

Between 1939-1941, in an attempt to resolve the Croat-Serb political and social antagonism in the first Yugoslavia, an autonomous Banovina of Croatia was created incorporating (amongst other territories) much of the former Military Frontier as well as parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1941, the axis powers invaded Yugoslavia and in the aftermath the Independent State of Croatia (which included whole of today's Bosnia and Herzegovina and parts of Serbia (Srem) as well) was declared. The Ustasha (who were allegedly behind the assassination of the Serbian king of Yugoslavia were installed by the Germans as rulers of the new country and promptly pursued a genocidal policy of persecution of Serbs, Jews and Croats (from opposition groups) leading to hundreds of thousands being killed.
---
And  Oldfrog do not talk about things that you don't understand. There is a whole generation of Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia that never had a chance to know their granddads.

---
Quotes:
...TV transmitters were also destroyed; cameramen and journalists of the Croatian Radio and Television were killed.
---
Well this one is NATO specialty as we all can remember it!
Or is it tactic from any military book?

Quote:
and damaging the Maslenica bridge that connected north and south Croatia.
---
Wait...this also looks like NATO tactic in Serbia. Are Serbian bridges excluded somehow?

Quote:
...the city of Vukovar, however, was completely devastated by Chetnik attacks.
---
This whole quote of yours is DEFINITELY biased and there for should be disqualified because if someone calls JNA "chetniks" that person either do not know what he is talking about or is malicious.
---
Quote:
I might have been dismissive, but hardly uninformed.
---
You are bad informed and also malicious.

Quote:
The original post was to compare self determination in Kosovo and Krajina. My point was that Kosovo can be considered so much culturally different today from Serbia that independence can be considered as possible and could even be ratified by the UN.
---
Self determination is self determination and it should be allowed to anyone who does not WANT to live in specific state ...Right? Or not? It's definitely not up to you to determine what are circumstances in which it should be allowed to one group of people and not to another one.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 12:45:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The "Serbs" attacked Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo in a plan to implement a Great Serbia, when Tito's Yugoslavia collapsed. It has to be blamed on some elements in Serbia and not on the Serbian people in itself. All countries have bad leaders sometimes, Milosevic was the Serbian Hitler.


Yugoslavia's collapse became inevitable by the start of 1991, with the federal institutions completely deadlocked between pro- and anti-Milošević forces. The indictment against Milošević alleges that in a televised address on 16 March 1991 Milošević declared that Yugoslavia was finished and that Serbia would no longer be bound by decisions of the Federal Presidency.[7] This allegation was shown to be false when a transcript of the speech was exhibited at the Milošević trial on 25 January 2006.[8]

In June 1991, Slovenia and Croatia seceded from the federation, followed by the republics of Macedonia (September 1991) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (March 1992). The Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) sought unsuccessfully to prevent Slovenia's secession by the use of force; however, Slovenia's Ten-Day War ended in a disastrous defeat for the federal forces.

Demands for a greater autonomy for nations had been proposed since 1989, and Milošević had been an early opponent of such moves. Part of the reason why demands for Slovene independence were growing was the continuing authoritarian rule in Serbia. Milošević tried to organise a "Meeting of Truth" in the Slovene capital, Ljubljana, to discuss the Kosovo situation, but this proposal was rejected by Kučan. Milošević later moved towards a more pragmatic policy. He had little opposition to Slovenia leaving the country. Kučan recalled, "Milošević had said to me that we should reach some agreement on Slovenia's desire to leave Yugoslavia. He said that he would not stop us, and that the others didn't understand what the whole thing was about anyway. But he said that he cannot let Croatia go, because Croatia was bound to Serbia by blood."[9]

At this point, Milošević supported the claims of Serb populations in other states to stay in Yugoslavia, based on the ostensible premise that the large Serbian populations in Croatia (580,000) and Bosnia (1.36 million) should have the right to stay in Yugoslavia as they desired, arguing that the Yugoslav Constitution gave the right of self-determination to nations (Serbs, Croats, etc as a whole), not republics (Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, etc). His agreement with Slovenia was based on the self-determination of peoples; as Slovenia was ethnically homogeneous, he had little opposition to the country leaving.

Croatia's Serbs began campaigning for greater autonomy within Croatia from as early as 1990 after the election of the Croatian nationalist Franjo Tudjman, with Milošević's full support. From the day of Croatia's independence on June 25, 1991 until early 1992 when Croatian independence was recognised by the high profile world states, Croatia was facing resistance from the Yugoslav National Army (JNA). Following their withdrawal from Croatia in 1992 came the emergence of Serb dissidents from within Croatia's borders who engaged in a war against the Croatian government with support from Milošević. The first leader of Serbs in Croatia, Milan Babić, has stated that Milošević was responsible for this and his successor Goran Hadžić publicly bragged about how he was "the extended hand of Slobodan Milošević".

War crimes prosecutors subsequently characterised the creation of the separatist Republic of Serbian Krajina as a "joint criminal enterprise" whose goal was "the forcible removal of the majority of the Croat and other non-Serb population from the approximately one-third of the territory of the Republic of Croatia that he planned to become part of a new Serb-dominated state."[7] At the trial of Milan Babić, the ICTY found that the Serbian government was directly involved in the Croatian Serb rebellion, providing supplies, weapons, money and leadership.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slobodan_Milo%C5%A1evi%C4%87

for you not adopting the Serbian nationalist standpoint is to be uninformed and malicious.

It is true that war crimes have been committed by all parts. But it is also true that the biggest ones in THIS war have been committed by the Serbs and that the Serbs, because in control of the Army and for pure ideological reasons started the war.

They are paying for that today. Exactly as the Germans did after WWII. At least they accepted their defeat.

by oldfrog on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 01:29:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I said before your sources are biased and I do not take it seriously. Your posts are screaming " All Serbs are "chetniks" (and I am not going to even start to explain what this means in post WWII communist YU) - hang them all". By that parity all Croats and Muslims are Ustashe and Nazis so they actually should be all executed straight after WWII.
I do not think I have anything more to say to you.

Results of this "madness of independence" on Balkan that USA and EU created will show up in the future. I may not be alive but those of you who will I hope will remember my words


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 02:59:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oldfrog, you need to do a lot more reading on this one. The first thing that the Croats did when they declared independence is pass a law that declared non-Croats as a secondary citizens, effectively stripping them of their citizenship within the newly consituted Croatia, as well as tossing them out of their jobs. This was before the violence started. As well, there were violent forays of Croat militia into the Krajina before the Serb military moved in and did the dirty deeds you cite in your post.

It's ironic that you would cite Kosovo Albanians as being in the right for taking up arms because of Serb discrimination, but that same right isn't given to Krajina Serbs. For me, both the Krajina Serbs and the Kosovars could have found better methods for securing their human rights, but at the very least you have to be consistent.

Especially when you consider that the leader of Croatia at the time, Tudjman, had a very questionable fascist background, and the history of the region less than 50 years earlier when the Croats tried to achieve independence was filled with the mass murder and genocide of hundreds of tholusands of Serbs and Jews. Against that backdrop, the institution of a discriminatory law against Krajina Serbs was plenty of ammunition to conjure up memories of the past.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 01:17:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That Tudjman was an a-hole is not question about. I am not defending him. The Croats are not without blame in that story, neither are the Bosnians ("muslims") either. The Kosovars KLA was a CIA creation (using some rogue local elements too). So be it.

But fact remain that it was Milosevic's nationalism that created most of the havoc in the region. After Tito's death the unsolved problems were not solved by negotiation, and the GREATEST responsability falls on the Serbian nationalists, based on nationalistic fantasies from the historian Karadic that everybody that spoke serbocroatisk was an ethnic Serb. Milosevic wanted even to include parts of Hungary and Bulgaria in the Greater Serbia and join it in a union with Greece...

Had someone else been in charge maybe the old Yugoslavia had split into independent nations without major conflicts. But history often doesn't work the easy way.

I think I am consistent. I see a big difference between a geographical unit with a vast majority (88%) of one very different ethnical group with a completely different language (Kosovo) - and enclaves (12% of the population) of people within another community speaking the same language but using a different alphabet. I never said that the Kosovars had "the right to take to arms", I said that their historical situation was different from the Krajina Serbs.

In a way the Milosevic claims reminds of the Zionist claims on Palestine. But using some verses about a more or less unverified "treason" in a poem written 100 years after a major defeat (as only source) to define the craddle of a nation, is even more preposterous than the Zionist claim.  

by oldfrog on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 03:00:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That Tudjman was an a-hole is not question about. I am not defending him.

You are defending him when you defend the way the RSK was ended.

Milosevic's nationalism that created most of the havoc in the region

What does that have to do with the dispute at hand? (BTW, some might say that by mismanaging the diplomacy vs. both Milo and Tudjman and the war against the latter, the great powers trump even Milo in damage caused.)

I see a big difference between a geographical unit with a vast majority (88%) of one very different ethnical group with a completely different language (Kosovo) - and enclaves (12% of the population) of people within another community speaking the same language but using a different alphabet.

No, you are not consistent. You could call ethnic-Albanian areas within Serbia (in and outside Kosovo) 12% ethnic enclaves, too. Ditto the Croatian enclaves that existed in Western Krajina before the war. And Serb vs. Croatian went further than alphabet, for example it also included religion. (BTW, nationalists on both sides today prefer to treat "Serbo-Croatian" as a Yugoslav fiction and define the two dominant dialects as separate languages.)

In a way the Milosevic claims reminds of the Zionist claims on Palestine

You are reducing the Kosovo conudrum to Milo and his speech at Kosovo Polje. But the wrangle for Kosovo goes on at least since 1876, when Serbian majority ended, with changing luck.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 07:02:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. I am not defending the way Krajina was ended, I just said the entity as a "nation" was pure nationalistic land conquest. The Serbs seized the old "military border" and while they were at it, big parts of Dalmatia. Reminds of the zionist annexation of the Golan heights. Today "Krajina's right to exist" is ONLY defended by Zihrinovsky and the Serb nationalists. Not even the current Serbian government support it.

  2. of course Milosevic had nothing to do with the whole story. All this is a pure invention of the evil West. By the way the Serbs have never been understood either... where did I heard that one before... The fact that the West war against Kosovo caused unnecessary suffering on the Serbian population, cannot be compared with pure conscious war crimes, like Srebenica and alike.

  3. There is a big difference in a demand of sovereignty from 12% of the population of a country and 88% in the long term. Besides Serbo-Croatian is a recognized and taught language. The fact that one part prefer to use cyrillic to latin spelling, doesn't change the meaning of the words, no more than in regional differences that can be found in any language.

  4. I am not reducing anything. Milo's speech was only the expression of a nationalistic myth that existed long before him. All this fall into the category "Macedonia is Greek before Alexander once lived there" or "Palestine is Jewish because once there was a temple in Jerusalem".  

  5. the pattern of the Jugoslavian wars is very clear. The Serb nationalism considered the country as its property with the exception of Slovenia (which they even tried to annex in the beginning, just in case). If Milo had succeeded in Kosovo by lack of reply from the West, Macedonia was on the list, as a compensation for lost Bosnia etc... The fact that the "others" weren't models of virtue in their replies doesn't change that. Russia tried the same war of conquest at the split of the old USSR. They didn't succeed because they were too weak and their army dysfunctional to the difference from the JNA. Same old story.
by oldfrog on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 09:26:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're losing me, man. What in the world does Jerusalem and Alexander have to do with anything? I don't get you. Are you saying there were no Jews in Jerusalem during the Ottoman period? I don't even understand the Alexander Greek part, so I can't speak to that.
by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 11:29:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only that tripped you up? What about that geographic nonsense right at the beginning, about "seizing" the "old military border" and "big parts of Dalmatia"? I mean, Marek posted the ethnic distribution map, you find the map of the military border on the web, it's half of Croatia minus Dalmatia, and almost cutting Croatia in three at the Novi Grad inland sea and South of Karlovac...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 05:13:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I try to enter into interlocution and try to be generous, ignore the stuff I don't understand in order to at least establish some rapport with fellow posters, but then at times I hear a fuse short-circuit and my brain just frazzles. It's hard to pinpoint why and how it happens.
by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 05:15:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I make historical comparisons because I find those stories of "historical right" to land often preposterous.

The Palestinian question is complicated but historians are quite agreeing that the Jewish civilisation (which was only a part of today's Palestine, including Lebanon and parts of Jordan) collapsed with the destruction of the temple. There were some pockets left but the local population turned in its majority to a Greco-Roman lifestyle with later on a Christian (Byzantine) religion and were later converted to Islam. The fact that some hundred families stayed there and kept practicing Judaism is a poor justification for coming back 1900 years after and tell the locals : this is ours, move.

For Macedonia see :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macedonia_naming_dispute


Extreme Macedonian nationalists, who are concerned with demonstrating the continuity between ancient and modern Macedonians, deny that they are Slavs and claim to be the direct descendants of Alexander the Great and the ancient Macedonians. The more moderate [ethnic] Macedonian position, generally adopted by better educated Macedonians and publicly endorsed by Kiro Gligorov, the first president of the newly independent Republic of Macedonia, is that modern Macedonians have no relation to Alexander the Great, but are a Slavic people whose ancestors arrived in Macedonia in the sixth century AD. Proponents of both the extreme and the moderate Macedonian positions stress that the ancient Macedonians were a distinct non-Greek people.[36]
by oldfrog on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 05:14:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From all my reading, it's quite clear that there were significant numbers of Jews in and around Jerusalem in the 18th and 19th century. Much more than the number of families you talk about, not to mention the fact that the Jews who "left" the Levant 1900 years ago were the victims of constant pogroms and expulsions in Europe, often dispossessed, so a return to Jerusalem can just as easily be described as a place to call home for once.

I'd say both Greeks and Macedonians are pretty silly in looking back into that history beyond, say, 1940. That's where the problem begins. Any argument as to racial purity descending from the ancients is patently absurd, as though the ancients were pure themselves. I don't side with Macedonians who argue that the ancients were not Greek (especially since I seem to remember willing Greeks joining Alexander and perpetuating Greek language and culture [and mayhem] in Asia), and I don't side with Greeks who see direct descent from the ancients along bloodlines. The language seems more or less direct, but really little else.

The answers to the Greek-Macedonian problem all lie in the Greek Civil War, the construction of Yugoslavia's southernmost province, and the historical reaction of the peoples living there to these two events.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 05:23:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Milo had aucceeded at what in Kosovo? What was his aim? I don't get it. Kosovo was already Serbian. What do you think he was trying to do there?

Not to mention the fact that the Macedonian gov't at the time was not entirely in opposition with the Serbs. the stories of the Macedonian border guards and their relations with Serb military as they were looking over the humanitarian camps speak volumes as to the mutually shared anxiety over Albanian self-determination both in Kosovo and Macedonia.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 11:32:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Milo had succeeded expelling the "Kosovar Albanians" to Albania. The goals of the Serbs nationalists were to only tolerate ethnic minorities in the territories they considered as theirs.

You can bet that he would have done the same in Macedonia. The Macedonians are the dominating slavic ethnic group so it wouldn't have been a problem. This explains why Macedonia stayed out of the war.

by oldfrog on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 05:30:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You seem to be under the misconception that Operation Horseshoe was a real Serbian plot. It wasn't. It was made up by German intelligence. If Milosevic had a plan to ethnically cleanse Kosovo, you might want to explain to me why he agreed to remove all Serbian military and police out of kosovo. I believe Milosevic rather liked the idea of NATO and UNMIK coming in the tramp down violence against the Serb minority, because it meant he wouldn't have to do it.

Macedonia, at this time, was quite friendly to the Serbs. Like the Serbs, they were very worried about Albanian irredentism.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 10:23:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quote:
I think I am consistent. I see a big difference between a geographical unit with a vast majority (88%) of one very different ethnical group with a completely different language (Kosovo) - and enclaves (12% of the population) of people within another community speaking the same language but using a different alphabet. I never said that the Kosovars had "the right to take to arms", I said that their historical situation was different from the Krajina Serbs.
---
Your math knowledge is not better then your Geography! Now when you are talking about Serbs they are 12 % of population - of Croatia and when you talk about Albanians they are 88% of Kosovo - Now what that would be as a percentage of Serbian population? That's what I call mean and malicious. You obviously had been through western school of propaganda.

And c'mon you keep talking about Milosevic's and Serbian nationalism ...like others were anything else but rotten nationalists. Tudjman and Izetbegovic what a heck you want to imply here that they were cosmopolitans and democrats? Give us a break!

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 07:39:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All the Milosevic stuff we've already talked about. I was only writing about your rendition of what happened in the Krajina.

By the way, do you have a link for Milosevic grabbing parts of Hungary and Bulgaria, and sharing them with Greece? Because I've read extensively on the Balkans in the 1990s, and I've never ever come across anything that even remotely hinted of such an idea.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 11:25:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He is confusing Slobo with Šešelj. The latter dreamed of a Greater Serbia including all areas where Serbs have lived in one age or another.  From the time of the Ottoman invasions, a lot of Serbs fled up along the Danube and the Tisza rivers (some even up to the area of Buda/Pest, to present-day tourist town Szentendre), and thus settled in Southern Hungary. But this population was decimated when that area was depopulated during the two worst periods of the Habsburg-Ottoman wars, and later there was assimilation and migration to newly formed Serbia.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 05:01:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not confusing with anybody. Milosevic and Karadzic did made an attempt 1992 to create a confederation with Greece at least twice. That they supported Seselj on that is another story.

The Greek didn't respond to that because they didn't really trusted Milo. But it didn't stop them to send volunteers to the massacre of Srebrenica and to sabotage NATO by spying for the Serbs.

Besides Bulgaria made clear for Milosevic that any claims on Macedonia would result in intervention.

Google a little on the question and you'll find that the wikipedia sources aren't so "biased"...

http://www.aimpress.ch/dyn/trae/archive/data/199402/40227-006-trae-beo.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbian-Greek_Friendship
http://www.serbia-hellas.f2g.net/articles/confederation.html
http://www.tamu.edu/upress/BOOKS/2002/michas.htm

by oldfrog on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 07:50:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a lot of misinformation there. I can tell you in no uncertain ters with 100% veracity that the claim that Greece did not aid NATO in its wars in Bosnia and Kosovo is 100% wrong. the entire war machine and logistical effort was launched through Salonika, while the air effort came from Italy. There was even famous incidents in which the American soldiers did a mock military landing on a beach outside Salonika which shocked the Greeks. Greeks also served in Bosnian and Kosovo UN forces.

Wikipedia has once again failed you, I'm afraid.

The Greeks didn't respond to an offer of a union with Serbia and Bosnia not because they didn't trust Milosevic, but because the idea was batshit crazy.

Not to mention the history of Serbia and Macedonia and Greece is vexed, when you consider that Serbia and Croatia were largely responsible for arming and supporting the Communist Slav-dominated faction of the Greek Civil War.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 10:38:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I just indicate that Greece was contacted by Milosevic and that forces (and opinion) in Greece were "pro Serbian" during the war. That they participated in UN forces doesn't change anything. The Russians did too and were even more vocal than the Greeks. It was part of the deal to show that "friendly forces" joined a common endeavour.

The wikipedia articles are interesting because they mostly indicate a set of events and I don't take them for an absolute truth. As I said before if you google independently you'll find plenty of sources that corroborate what's written in Wikipedia.

BTW I found the following facts on KFOR's page :

 Between March 1998 and March 1999, before NATO governments decided upon military action, over 2000 people were killed as a result of the Serb government's policies in Kosovo.

  During the summer of 1998, a quarter of a million Kosovar Albanians were forced from their homes as their houses, villages and crops were destroyed.

  In January 1999, evidence was discovered, by a United Nations humanitarian team, of the massacre of over 40 people in the village of Racak.

  By the beginning of April 1999, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimated that the campaign of ethnic cleansing had resulted in 226,000 refugees in Albania, 125,000 in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1), and 33,000 in Montenegro.

  Assistance given by NATO forces to alleviate the refugee situation included providing equipment and building camps to house 50,000 refugees in Albania; assistance in expanding camps in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1); providing medical support and undertaking emergency surgery on the victims of shootings by Serb forces; transporting refugees to safety; and providing transport for humanitarian aid and supplies.

  By the end of May 1999, over 230,000 refugees had arrived in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1), over 430,000 in Albania and some 64,000 in Montenegro. Approximately 21,500 had reached Bosnia and over 61,000 had been evacuated to other countries. Within Kosovo itself, an estimated 580,000 people had been rendered homeless.

  It is estimated that by the end of May, 1.5 million people, i.e. 90% of the population of Kosovo, had been expelled from their homes. Some 225,000 Kosovar men were believed to be missing. At least 5000 Kosvars had been executed.

 http://www.nato.int/kfor/kfor/facts.htm

there are two possibilities : either KFOR/UN are lying or they aren't. If they don't, which I believe, one can wonder why the Kosovars want independence...

Regarding Krajina it's true that around 200 000 Serbs were expelled. But the difference from Kosovo is that Krajina was never a historically defined entity like Kosovo. The creation of the Republic was only a way to stop an independent Croatia. It didn't work. Even Milosevic in the end understood that the war criminal Babic wasn't sustainable... But the initial folly of the enterprise was paid by the Serbs, betrayed by Serbs. I don't understand why it is so difficult to see the difference with Kosovo.

by oldfrog on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 12:50:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are the King of crappy sources.

First, you just told me I'll google to find sources that will corroborate wikipedia, when I just corrected you and told you wikipedia was wrong. The whole NATO campaign in Bosnia and Kosovo was launched THROUGH Salonika. Second, in Bosnia, Greek public opinion was against the Serbs. In Kosovo, it was pro-Serb.

Then you list 2000 dead in Kosovo in 1999. Well, many among those 2000 killed are Serbs. Surely you realize the KLA was taking potshots at Serb civilians, in order to trigger the crackdown.

Just Google Operation Horseshoe and you'll be enlightened.

As for Racak, Der Spiegel and Le Figaro have a different story, because there were French camera crews that whole day in Racak, and what they captured was a KLA-Serb police gunfight. The forensic team that later did a study used paraffin tests to determine that gunpowder residue was on the finger of the corpses, and that the shells in the ditch didn't correspond to the wounds. Funny, but an old American favorite, William Walker was right there at the scene. You should try Googling him, and add the word Nicaragua.

225,000 Kosovar men missing eh? Man, where do you get this crap?

And now you're arguing that the difference between Krajina and Kosovo was a matter of more established borders. Sure, if you care more for arbitrary scribbles on a map than you do for people, I guess that makes sense.

by Upstate NY on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 01:09:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
a longer post as an answer to your request got lost (stupid automatic cache cleaning).

To make it short a lot of material can be found on wikipedia is you look for Greater Serbia, Serbian Nationalism, Serbian-Greek friendship, Karadzic (both).

If you google those terms you'll find plenty of independent corroborating articles, try for example serbian-greek confederation. The implication of Bulgaria (through Macedonia) is quite clear too.

Reading this stuff, a pattern emerges. Serbian nationalism is based on ressentment since they got screwed by the Turks. There is a feeling that they are the historical victims of all other Balkanic peoples.
Serbian historians then invent more or less credible claims of what Serbia is or should be. Some wrote that Croatians are (were) a "serbian tribe" for example.
Then different leaders have tried more or less pragmatically to implement new borders for what they consider "their" territory. That's why a parallell with the Jewish question is interesting : victims of a conspiracy, stolen land, get back what's ours. The problem is that the neighbours (even the slavic ones) don't share that view, specially when it becomes too hegemonic, even if they can feel sympathy like Greece.

this sums it up pretty well :


Nowadays Serbian nationalism has been seen in a very controversial light by many scholars around the world. While generally non-Serb former Yugoslavians, Western World mass media and scholars and pro-Atlanticist forces see the Serbian nationalism in general and the radical Greater-Serbia idealists in particular as the main responsible for the scourge of Yugoslav Wars (mainly the massive cruelties in Bosnian and Kosovo Wars), for many in Serbia, in Bosnian Serb Republic, in Slavic-Orthodox countries like Serbia's traditional ally Russia and anti-American, anti-Atlanticist and pro-Eurasianist circles, the Serbian nationalism should be seen in a positive light since it was responsible for liberating the Serbs from the Atheist-Communist Yugoslav yoke and for keeping Serb people togheter and united in times of hardship and aggression from Neo-Fascists, Muslim terrorists and NATO armies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serbian_nationalism

And I still don't understand the fuss about Krajina/Kosovo. Because it's not comparable. Milosevic created both problems : the first one by exciting Croatian nationalism and taking as a pretext to seize territory far superior to the "coverage" of a 12% ethnic group (at that time Croatia didn't have an independent army), creating a "state" that lasted 5 years and resulting in the exodus of the Serbs living there; the second one by denying the rights that 88% of the population had under Tito in Kosovo, thus triggering a second war. And practically losing the territory.

Of course there were independentists in both cases. But as the Hague protocols showed, Milosevic wasn't interested in PEACEFULLY settling the legal claims of autodetermination from the former Yugoslavian Republics
. He was interested in settling a big "ethnic clean" Serbia by force, no matter what the others thought. Hell he had the JNA with him, the others had nothings.

It's true that in the end both the Serbs in Kosovo and Krajina became the victims. But it was a self-fullfilling prophecy.

Unless the Serbs get rid of their old demons, they will be in 100 years from now still be discussing how the Great Milosevic was "betrayed" by the Western Powers conspiring against the Orthodox Church (who has a big part of guilt in all this). This kind of attitude produces mostly new disasters, Palestine today is a living symbol of it.

by oldfrog on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 07:31:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quote:
Of course there were independentists in both cases. But as the Hague protocols showed, Milosevic wasn't interested in PEACEFULLY settling the legal claims of autodetermination from the former Yugoslavian Republics
. He was interested in settling a big "ethnic clean" Serbia by force, no matter what the others thought. Hell he had the JNA with him, the others had nothings.
----
This I call simply bullshit! It even does not serve for term "pervert  propaganda...Simply bullshit!

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 09:49:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are just wrong man. You say Milosevic wasn't interested in the peaceful resolution of Kosovo and Krajina, and yet he made a trade with bosnian terriotry for Krajina, and in Kosovo he agreed to all NATO's terms at Rambouillet. Seriously, how wrong can you be?

Yeah, he was horrific on Bosnia and deserved everything coming to him, as were the Serbs, but you're trying to justify Krajina/Kosovo. It's just mind-boggling.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 10:50:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
check the timeline of the wars.

Milosevic traded when he was forced to it at gunpoint.

Do you mean that he accepted the deal at Rambouillet but still got bombed ?

what I know of he refused...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosovo_War

by oldfrog on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 11:47:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, he accepted the deal at Rambouillet. Read my post in this thread that details what happened at theat sordid affair, and then read Appendix B of the final Ramb proposal.
by Upstate NY on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 01:10:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
who are you defending here, DoDo ? the poor Serbs ?

"Poor Serbs"? Oldfrog, don't you recognise that your entire line of argument is racist? You are excusing ethnic cleansing of civilians by armed groups from another ethnic with the reverse ethnic cleansing of civilians by armed groups from the first ethnic, applying collective guilt in the process, as well as justifying eye for an eye.

Your quote also ignores that at the same time as the Croatian Serb militias and JSA ethnic cleansed about 45% of the population of the areas under their control (the bulk of it in Eastern Slavonia), the Croatian military and paramilitaries and police were ethnic cleansing or expropiating about half of the ethnic Serb population of Croatia, which was living outside of the RSK.

You should get off the good guy/bad guy cartoon routine, especially if talking about groups of people rather than individuals.

The original post was to compare self determination in Kosovo and Krajina.

Indeed. Now, after NATO 'took over', the KLA ethnic cleansed most Serbs and Gypsies from the area, in fact, about the same amount of people ethnic cleansed by the RSK. Do you think the proper way to deal with this is to ethnic cleanse 100% of Kosovo Albanians (like the Croatian army did with the population of the RSK), or what?

My point was that Kosovo can be considered so much culturally different today from Serbia

Well, indeed, after the ethnic cleansing by the Serb paramilitaries and the JSA, the RSK was also so much culturally different from Serbia. What is your point? That the results of ethnic cleansing should be respected in one case and corrected by reverse ethnic cleansing in the other?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 05:55:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
see post above. You are presenting the Serbs as victims of when in reality they were the only victims of their own jingoism. It doesn't excuse the local ethnic cleansings from other parts of Jugoslavia. But presenting the most aggressive part, sitting on the BIGGEST MILITARY MEANS of the region as only "defending themselves" when in reality there was a clear plan of creating a "Greater Serbia" by force, is rewriting history.

Greater Serbia map proposed by the leader of Serbian Radical Party, Vojislav Šešelj, in late 1980s


The modern elaboration of Serbs' grievances and allegation of inequality in Yugoslavia was to be developed in the Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, a paper not officially publicized at the time of its appearance, 1986, but which was the single most important document to set into motion the pan-Serbian movement of the late 1980s which led to Slobodan Miloševic's rise to power and subsequent Yugoslav wars. The authors of the Memorandum included the most influential Serbian intellectuals- among them: Pavle Ivic, Antonije Isakovic, Dušan Kanazir, Mihailo Markovic, Miloš Macura, Dejan Medakovic, Miroslav Pantic, Nikola Pantic, Ljubiša Rakic, Radovan Samardzic, Miomir Vukobratovic, Vasilije Krestic, Ivan Maksimovic, Kosta Mihailovic, Stojan Čelic and Nikola Čobelic. Christopher Bennett (Yugoslavia's Bloody Collapse) characterized the memorandum as "an elaborate, if crude, conspiracy theory."

The memorandum alleged systematic discrimination against Serbs and Serbia culminating with the allegation that the Serbs of Kosovo were being subjected to genocide. According to Bennett, despite most of these claims being obviously absurd, the memorandum was merely one of several similar polemics published at the time.

The "Memorandum"'s central theses are:

  • Yugoslavia is a Croatian-Slovene hegemony
  • Serbs are, in Yugoslavia, oppressed as a nation. This oppression is especially brutal in Serbian province Kosovo and in Croatia, where their status is "the worst ever as far as recorded history goes"
  • Serbia is economically exploited, being subjected to the political-economical mechanisms that drain much of her wealth and redistribute it to Slovenia, Croatia and Kosovo
  • borders between Yugoslav republics are arbitrary, drawn by dominant Croatian and Slovene communists (motivated, supposedly, by anti-Serbian animus) and their Serbian political lapdogs

All of the "Memorandum"'s verifiable claims have been refuted (for instance, the portions on the economy part by Croatian economist and academician Jakov Sirotković; the ideological-cultural portions by Croatian historian and polymath Miroslav Brandt), but to no avail, since the main arguments of the "Memorandum" were not intended to convince, but to inflame. This is especially visible since the authors have issued the "official" version after the collapse in wars in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1995. They claimed that the course of events "had corroborated" their contentions and did not question a single assumption they had made.

The Memorandum's defenders claims go as follows: far from calling for a breakup of Yugoslavia on Greater Serbian lines claimed to be in favor of Yugoslavia. It's support for Yugoslavia was however conditional on fundamental changes to end what the Memorandum argued was the discrimination against Serbia which they alleged was inbuilt into Yugoslavia and the Yugoslav constitution as it existed. The chief of these changes was abolition of the autonomy of Kosovo and Vojvodina two provinces which were almost equal to other republics yet were nominally part of the republic of Serbia. According to Norman Cigar (Genocide in Bosnia p24), because the changes were unlikely to be accepted passively, the implementation of the Memorandum's program would only be possible by force.

With the rise to power of Slobodan Milošević the Memorandum's discourse became mainstream in Serbia. According to Bennett, Miloševic used a rigid control of the media to organize a propaganda campaign in which the thesis that Serbs were the victims and the need for reajust Yugoslavia to redress the alleged bias against Serbia. This then was then followed by Miloševic's anti-bureaucratic revolution in which the Regional governments of Vojvodina and Kosovo along with the Republican government of Montenegro, were overthrown which gave Milošević the dominating position of 4 votes out of 8 in Yugoslavia's collective presidency.

Miloševic had achieved such a dominant position for Serbia because, according to Bennett the old communist authorities had failed to stand up to him. This changed first when the Slovenian communist leadership felt it had to respond to the concerns of the civil society opposition. Then in 1990 free elections brought opposition parties to power in Croatia and Slovenia.

By this point several opposition parties in Serbia were openly calling for a Greater Serbia, rejecting the then existing boundaries of the Republics as the artificial creation of Tito's partisans. These included both Vuk Draškovic's SNO (Cigar p35) and Šešelj's Serbian Radical Party. Slobodan Miloševic and his Socialist Party of Serbia now however posed as defenders of Yugoslavia claiming that the recent changes had rectified most of the anti-Serb bias that the Memorandum had alleged. However, they together with the groups calling for a Greater Serbia insisted on the demand for "all Serbs in one state". For Miloševic Yugoslavia could be that one state but the threat was that should Yugoslavia break up then Serbia under Miloševic would carve out a greater Serbia. (James Gow: Triumph of the Lack of Will p. 19).


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Serbia


The Yugoslav civil wars were initiated by the breakdown in federal institutions, in an attempt by the Socialist Republic of Serbia under the leadership of Slobodan Milosevic to change the hitherto power structures and centralise power in hands of Serbia. The act was consistent with the Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, which saw the Serbs' status in Yugoslavia as inferior and argued for a reorganisation of the Yugoslav state (including borders). Realising that their autonomy could no longer be facilitated through the Yugoslav state, the moves by Serbia initiated the secession of the two northernmost republics of the former Yugoslavia - Slovenia and Croatia.

The first of these conflicts, known as the Ten-Day War or the War in Slovenia, was initiated by the secession of Slovenia from the federation on 25 June 1991. The federal government ordered the federal Yugoslav People's Army to secure border crossings in Slovenia. Slovenian police and Territorial Defense blockaded barracks and roads, leading to standoffs and limited skirmishes around the republic. After several dozen deaths, the war was stopped through negotiation at Brioni on 9 July 1991, when Slovenia and Croatia agreed to a three-month moratorium on secession. The Federal army completely withdrew from Slovenia by 26 October 1991.

The second in this series of conflicts, the Croatian War of Independence, occurred when rebel Serbs started to take control over some parts of Croatia. Yugoslav People's Army pretended[citation needed] to mediate between rebel Serbs and Croatian government forces, before completely taking the Serbian side. Croatia had to form its military from scratch[citation needed] and was further hindered by the arms embargo which didn't hurt the Serbs who had almost the entire equipment of Yugoslav People's Army on their disposal. Many Croatian towns were attacked and civilian targets were more common[citation needed] than military ones. The destruction of Vukovar and the killings of captured soldiers and inhabitants by Serbian forces are the heaviest[citation needed] atrocities of this war. The shelling of Dubrovnik by Montenegroan forces (part of the Serbian army) is among better-known atrocities. In January 1992, the Vance peace plan proclaimed UN controlled (UNPA) zones for Serbs and brought an end to major military operations, though sporadic artillery attacks on Croatian cities and occasional intrusions of Croatian forces into UNPA zones continued until 1995.

In 1992, the conflict engulfed Bosnia. It was a three-way conflict between local Muslims, Serbs, and Croats, primarily differing in their traditional religion: Islam, Christian Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, respectively. It was by far the bloodiest and most widely covered of the Yugoslav wars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslav_wars

those little reminders above are mainstream history. Surely can different points and episodes be discuted. But presenting things the way you do is nothing but historical revisionism. And calling me a racist won't change that.

by oldfrog on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 10:03:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm afraid that wikipedia doesn't really count as a reliable source on issues like this. I have no idea what does.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 10:07:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, the virtual round of the Yugoslav War goes on in at least the English and German Wikipedias complete with falsification of census numbers.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 10:22:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Marianne has had a good number of articles on the subject, and in particular on Kosovo, what it has become under the "protectorate," what did and did not happen at the hands of the Serbian army there before and during the Nato bombing, and what was done to Serb residents of Kosovo since.

Unfortunately, the hard-hitting ones are print only, maybe I'll see if I have the best one - Kahn in Pristina himself - laying around and maybe xlate it.

A few months after the Nato campaign in Kosovo, a CBC journalist (CBC generally being, along with RTE, pretty reliably good, unlike most other English-language sources) who had covered it and had done a series of particularly poignant pieces on an Albanian Kosovar woman who was joining the uck to avenge her sister's murder at the hands of Serbs went back to do the sort of proper follow up Western journalism likes to think of itself as the central part of the deontology of the trade. What she found was not what she expected:

Her series from Kosovo culminated in the short film, The Truth About Rajmonda A KLA Soldier Lies for the Cause, an investigation into why a central figure in the series persistently lied about her personal history. The film was broadcast in at least a dozen countries and nominated for a Gemini award in Canada. It is used internationally as a case study of war and propaganda in leading universities.

Turns out that Rajmonda's sister, far from having been murdered by Serbs, was alive and well and proud of her sister for having duped so many Westerners. I saw this show when it aired, it was aired on The National, Canada's top-rated television news program, as part of the Magazine, the 20-minute in-depth news slot aired after Peter Mansbridge finishes reading off the news.

Funny thing is, even though the program was nominated for a Gemini (Canadian grammy), and the profile of what the Albanians did prior to the Nato campaign is, as the quote above indicated, often cited in journalism school about how the press is used in propaganda, you'll not see the transcripts of the show anywhere on the cbc's site, though you will find it elsewhere on the web.

<snark> Hard to figure why that would be. </snark> Mustn't fit the narrative we've all been accustomed to seeing.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 10:42:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This sort of gaming of the situation is always to be expected. Happened in Kuwait in 1991, happened in Bosnia at the Market Marcale massacre in 1994, it happened in Karbala with the Kurds in 1988 (I'm not saying the Kurds weren't gassed, but the story on it and its true perpetrators was fixed beforehand, and no the perpetrators of the true gassing were not Kurds).
by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 11:42:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are a racist. You keep on applying collective guilt and justifying eye for an eye. You just equated all Serbs with Šešelj.

I won't debate further against such intrasigent idiocy.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 10:11:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The "Memorandum"'s central theses are:
  • Yugoslavia is a Croatian-Slovene hegemony
  • Serbs are, in Yugoslavia, oppressed as a nation. This oppression is especially brutal in Serbian province Kosovo and in Croatia, where their status is "the worst ever as far as recorded history goes"
  • Serbia is economically exploited, being subjected to the political-economical mechanisms that drain much of her wealth and redistribute it to Slovenia, Croatia and Kosovo
  • borders between Yugoslav republics are arbitrary, drawn by dominant Croatian and Slovene communists (motivated, supposedly, by anti-Serbian animus) and their Serbian political lapdogs
As far as I can tell, this is a mirror image of the opinions Croats held about Yugoslavia: a Serb hegemony, set up by the evil Communist Tito ("But wasn't Tito a Croat?" "Yes, but he was a Communist.")

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 10:21:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Again, you haven't addressed the fact that during the break-up of Yugoslavia, no one addressed the rights of Serb minorities in Croatia, as well as Serb desires for self-determination in Bosnia. This was an astounding position to take, and not only in hindsight, when you consider that the Yugo army was dominated by Serbs.

Everyone here condemns Serbian behavior in both Croatia and Bosnia, but that doesn't change the fact that the diplomatic debacles began before there was any mode of Serbian violence. In other words, Serbian violence was the illegitimate response to a European policy which disregarded the rights of Serbian minorities.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 11:38:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dodo, thanks for all this information, first-hand even.

This diary -- and even more so the thread of comments -- should be front-paged.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 03:20:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, but I feel there is too much bad blood in this thread to warrant it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 07:04:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you mean a "war product?" That's the part I don't understand. Those Serbs in the Krajina were imported by the Austrian-Hungarian empire to create a buffer with the Ottomans. The Krajina Serbs date their existence in that region back for four centuries, so I fail to see how it's a war product.

Secondly, this new constitution of kosovo's expressly forbids it joining Albania, probably because of Albanian designs on Greek territory (Chameria) and on Macedonian territory.

Your reasoning: "Today's Kosovo has become historically Albanian, when and where can be disputed, but it is a fact. If Montenegro can become independent, why can't Kosovo become it ?"

This seems a bit dangerous if it is applied to the Serbs in Mitrovica, the Serbs in Bosnia, the Albanians in Macedonia, the Kurds in Turkey, etc. These are contested lands, obviously. Phony ideas about self-determination are what caused the horrors of 1990s Yugoslavia.

As for Macedonia and Greece, I agree that greece will have to give up the ghost soon, but I still think they have a right to press as long as Macedonia still claims Greek macedonia and the city of Salonika for itself. Many of the Macedonians I meet always mention to me their family's roots in Greece. They were expelled/cleansed after WW2 and the Greek civil war and there are very definite irredentist tendencies there. After all, this was only 55 years ago we're talking about.

by Upstate NY on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 03:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Those Serbs in the Krajina were imported by the Austrian-Hungarian empire to create a buffer with the Ottomans.

Minor nitpick: the Kingdom of Hungary when it still existed already started the process (that was 550 years ago), but it was long finished when the Habsburg Empire transformed into the Austrian-Hungarian dual empire (1867), a time when the Ottoman provinces next to the border weren't much of a threat but in state of internal disintegration.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 04:03:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quote:
Kosovo will probably join Albania, and in 30 years from now all those small republics will be member of the EU, with their flags and their stamps, but trade with eachother through open borders.
----------
This is exactly why we can't have any faith in Albanians...and the world shouldn't have faith  too.
Those dreams about all of us in EU ...living happily ever after are just that - dreams. It was possible if EU decided to take us all as Yugoslavia prior to wars. But it was against "their interest" I guess.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 02:11:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
we can't have any faith in Albanians

Which Albanians? Please don't be so generalising. (Could also tell it to oldfrog.)

Personally I have my doubts about Kosovo joining Albania. Greater Albania nationalists might dream about that, but when it comes to having power, leaders will prefer being the top dog in their small fiefdoms to being local officer in one backward province of a larger country in most cases. People, too, might prefer local autonomy. And one shouldn't forget that as nice the images of national unity might be, when two parts of that nation have lived in reative isolation for generations, there bound to be cultural differences that will make themselves noticeable.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 06:24:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I personally do not trust Albanian leaders generally. Kosovo Albanians of course always had "silent" support from Albanian governments. On the other hand I don't really make a big difference between situation where they join Albania (and I am certain they will at some point ASP) and Kosovo as independent state. From Serbian prospective diplomatically and strategically of course there is a difference but practically there is not. It will not be our territory in both cases.
Frankly I do not understand why Great Albania (an Islamic state) is more desirable for USA and EU then Great Serbia (Christian state). Strictly from geo-political point of view. I am not a racist and as a religious  person I admire all the other religions so do not get me wrong on this one...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 09:22:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I personally do not trust Albanian leaders

My argument didn't hinge on trust, but on the politicians' self-interest. (And I don't trust politicians in general, whatever their ethnic/nationality/religion.) I'd like if you responded to that.

Kosovo Albanians of course always had "silent" support from Albanian governments

This is the view from Serbia, not fact. In reality, there have been conflicts between forces in Kosovo and in Albania, for example during the last Albanian civil war, even accusations from the Albanian side of armed Kosovarian interference.

as a religious  person I admire all the other religions

And what about us infidels, who make up maybe a third of the EU? (Or the non-Christian salad-bar theists who make up another third?) :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 09:40:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Albanians are very famous to cherish solidarity...their internal system works on it...that's how they were able to buy Serbian land all though they are generally very poor and undeveloped as we know on Kosovo but they managed to be highest bidders for land of those Serbians who sensed that it's time to leave for Serbia.
I wouldn't bet on their clashes with Albanians from Albania. They are also famous to harshly punish those who are not loyal to their mutual policy and task. As much as small leaders would like to be "little kings" on Kosovo more then apparatchiks for Tirana it simply is not an option.
And for you "infidels" I of course admire your choice too. But I wouldn't bet on your numbers in EU. Of course those of you raised under communism in East Europe added great numbers to this group.
What ever people chose to believe/not believe in is OK with me!


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 10:03:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Albanians are very famous to cherish solidarity...

That's a cultural tradition, followed to different extent by different individuals. If we consider the actions and motives of political leaders, it is of little use. I don't think for example that the sex trafficking conducted by some ex-KLA-commanders has much to do with traditions of solidarity.

Regarding the land-buying, which BTW sounds more like a Serbian nationalist theory of the reasons for Yugoslav-era and Milo-era loss than the results of sociological research, that's not necessarily because of solidarity. Given that Albanians outnumbered all others by 1:5 around the eighties, the smaller richest segment of a poorer ethnic must have outnumbered the larger richest segment of the minority, and many of the latter probably wanted to move to Belgrade anyway and thus not pursue land purchase.

harshly punish those who are not loyal to their mutual policy and task

All Albanians, Albanian Albanians, Kosovo Albanians, KLA member Albanians, Albanians of some wing or clique within the KLA? I'd say what you say applies primarily to the second-last, and then to the last. I think the Socialist circles and the Sigurimi mafia, the power base of President Berisha and the KLA can be considered separate (sometimes rival, sometimes cooperating) power bases.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 08:36:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK. I know what you mean but I don't think you are familiar with this kind of solidarity. Others have it too especially when they are in foreign land. Not Serbs. My point was that Serbs who left Kosovo during pre-Milosevic time WERE pressed in many ways (not always violent ways all though violent ways too) to leave. Definitely one of the "best" working ways was to make them do not feel safe and then to make a really good offer for their real estates. It definitely was tempting because they would get really good money for some God forgotten piece of land and some old house...the kind of money that they couldn't get if they were living in the centre of Belgrade. Now how humble people as most of Albanians of Kosovo were can pay that kind of money if not through "solidarity". It's not fairytale. Those Serbs then had enough money to buy for example even two properties of the same real value in Serbia and to feel safe. Isn't that tempting? I personally know few of those families that suddenly became wealthy and they came from Kosovo selling their land. That of course made Serbs from Serbia very angry.
On a different note I have to tell you that you keep mentioning Milo as Milosevic and that's a mistake. Milo was (and still is - very adaptable, ha-ha) Montenegro leader Milo Djukanovic. We never called Milosevic Milo but Sloba (His first name was Slobodan which by the way mean "free"  ...man).
For second part of your statement someone  mentioned here that at some point other Albanian leaders even wanted to kill Rugova. That kind of harsh punishment I meant. They may disagree and fight about how to come to the task but they have to work as they are told to achieve it...not much of the democracy there. This comes from their culture I suppose. All though Serbs are not that much different in it. Milosevic tried to assassinate (and sometimes succeeded) opponents. All though with him it was very often about money not that much ideals, ha-ha.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 09:13:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Serbs who left Kosovo during pre-Milosevic time WERE pressed in many ways (not always violent ways all though violent ways too) to leave

OK, and I knew that. For the violent part, there were the 1981 xenophobic riots, and the small-scale KLA-precursor terror group that grew out of the nationalist student movements.

Now how humble people as most of Albanians of Kosovo were can pay that kind of money if not through "solidarity".

My point was just: it wasn't "most of Albanians" who bought land but probably the richer part of it. (Include drug traffickers if you want, after all, the later KLA emerged from a drug-trafficker--ultranationalist nexus.)

you keep mentioning Milo as Milosevic and that's a mistake

Thanks for the explanation of usage in Serbian. He was frequently called Milo abroad, though. (Also "Slobo", which I guess is wrong too?) But I'll try to avoid it from now on.

They may disagree and fight about how to come to the task but they have to work as they are told to achieve it...

If they wanted to assassinate Rugova, then Rugova was obviously not working as told. Meanwhile, in Albania proper, there are government troops and post-1997 private militias that can take up with the KLA (and each other), so it's a more complicated situation if someone wants to tell someone else what to do.

with him it was very often about money not that much ideals, ha-ha

Given the immersion of the KLA in organized crime and the two main Albanian political groups' connections to it, that's also true for assassinations in Kosovo or Albania. In the latter, some Berisha partisans claimed that the 1997 riots were orchestrated/channeled by Sigurimi circles who saw the government disturbing their 'business'.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 10:06:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Slobo - is how Bosnian and Croatian Serbs are calling him (or some of other Serbian names for example they would say Savo but Serbs from Serbia would say Sava etc). So it's not wrong but is a kind of sign/mark who is actually talking.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 10:50:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting. Could you give examples of words where Croatian (if you are familiar with it), Western Serbian and Serbian Serbian all differ? (And that in the same word; I do remember as much that Serbian and Croatian also differ in using words different even in their stems for certain common things.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 05:19:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah we were told in school (during communism) that our language is Serbo-Croatian. There was not mentioning of "Bosnian / boshnjaks" language at the time. In reality it looked to me as same language. I mean Serbian and Croatian, only different dialect (as there are few on those areas). Quite opposite Slovenian and Macedonian all though similar are much different. They are different to me as much as Bulgarian Polish and Czechoslovakian. I can understand what they are talking about but not precisely. As for Russian it is similar too and all though I can understand them but only just.
There are a lot of different words or ways we pronounce in Serbian and Croatian but still it's the same language as much as British and American English is.
It is ridiculous nowadays what they are making with languages of ex-YU. I wouldn't be surprised if they invented "Montenegrin" language now. Croats went to hilarious action to even CHANGE their language by making new artificial words just to make it different from Serbian. It really is amusing and even Croats are entertained with it.
Radovan Karadzic had similar stupid idea. He wanted Bosnian Serbs to suddenly speak dialect used in Serbia. There is no end to people stupidity...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 10:22:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh indeed.

As an interesting point, in the 1991 census in Croatia, the number of people choosing "Croatian" as mother tongue was a few percent more than those choosing "Croatian" as ethnic identity; while those choosing "Serbocroatian" and "Serbian" were roughly two to one, and their numbers were a few percents more than those choosing the "Serbian" ethnic identity (but less than "Serbian"+"Yugoslav").

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 08:29:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The US especially and the EU have a few worries about Islam mostly because of their unfortunate foreign policies. Being nice to a small group of Muslims actually in Europe is an attempt to impress the larger Muslim world. Of ocurse it will not work. Then of course Serbia is a Christian state but it is an orthodox Christian state and not a Roman Catholic one so it does not receive the same level of respect that Say Roman Catholic Croatia does. It also makes it easier for the US and EU to give a bunch of its land away with no consultation. I dont doubt that the EU will also let Roman Catholic Croatia in far sooner that Serbia even though Croatia stands accused of countless cwar crimes and has to the best of my knowledge never faced up to or apologised for the excesses of the Ustashe in the second world war that at times even the SS reportedly found horrifying.
Then again some may call me cynical.
 
by observer393 on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 11:38:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is maybe little known that in much of Eastern Europe and Greece, your view is widely held. This is perhaps why also many of these countries still have decent relationships with Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East. because friendships and alliances cut not so much between religions, but fault lines within those relgiions, and ancient hatreds. That's why Israel can get along with Turkey, and Turkey backed Albania and Bosnia, which was united with the Western Euro countries (excepting, perhaps France, which has always had a relationship with Yugoslavia) and the US. Meanwhile, Serbia, Greece, Syria, Lebanon, and even Iran to a degree tend to stick together.

I was very curious to see the lack of press in many Arab papers about the plight of Muslims in the Ex-Yugo, while in Israel was also vexed. you had genocide, but you also had terrorist Muslim militias, not to mention Israel's historical experience in Serbia. The whole situation made for intersting bedfellows, and it point again to the powerful marriage of religion and nationalism. We tend to talk about religion too much. it's when religion becomes nationalized that we have problems.

Ironically enough, Robert Kaplan, a neo-con who convinced Clinton of the ancient ethnic hatreds in the Balkans, has written about the Catholic/Protestant--Muslim--Orthodox divide in the region, and he notes that it seems very real to him.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 11:52:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All though religion is of great importance in political matters,  it's really not only about religion but more about experiences. For example Bulgarians are also orthodox Christians but we fought so many wars between us that we hardly have a bond.No offence...
Religion is really dangerous when it is exploited for political reasons and it very often is.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 10:38:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, a bit of history. Kosovo wasn't 'ost to the Turks' in 1459, the Kingdom of Serbia lost a battle on the territory of Kosovo. Later on, all of the Kingdom of Serbia was eaten by the Ottoman Empire. The ethnic-Albanian majority on the area of modern Kosovo is relatively recent, some claim it came only during WWII.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 02:07:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The ethnic-Albanian majority on the area of modern Kosovo is relatively recent, some claim it came only during WWII.

In WWII? Who claims that? According to the census of 1921, conducted by a Serb dominated government, the population of Kosovo was 75% Muslim. By language it was approximately 30% Serb. I don't see how one could spin those numbers into a Serb majority.  

 

by MarekNYC on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 02:32:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't have a source handy, but there is a claim that WWII-time Nazi puppet state Greater Albania implemented ethnic cleansing and settlement. Possibilities are (1) the claim is very exaggerated, (2) Serbia conducted its own push for changing the ethnic balance between the two world wars, (3) 25% in 1921 were Sandžak Muslims, e.g. Muslim Serbs.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 02:45:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If in 1921 25% were Serb speaking Muslims then the claim of a Serb majority becomes even more tenuous since that would leave approximately 5% as Serbs. Unless we're arguing that anyone who spoke any of the non-Slovenian, non Macedonian, Slav dialects was a Serb. Of course that would mean that the overwhelming majority in Croatia and virtually everyone in Bosnia was Serb.
by MarekNYC on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 02:50:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
? I can't follow your reasoning at all.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 02:52:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well you certainly have seen some data here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_history_of_Kosovo
While with Bosnian Muslims it's not easy to distinguish who is who ( for outsiders) because they speak Serbian /Croatian only and their names are very often same as Serbian/Croatian with Albanians it's different story. They of course speak Albanian (and all though they used to learn Serbian at school one can always recognize them through their dialect except if they lived elsewhere in Serbia).And their names are not Slavic, so it's easy. Then again in Sandzak you have again Muslims of Serbian origin and language. If one cares to do it it's not hard to differentiation course Albanians are majority now on Kosovo but how is the story going with some USA parts where English is not even language in use anymore? End even closer to home Europe is soooo troubled that ethnic principle is not even considered to be used...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 02:45:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
D'oh, Wikipedia! Thanks for the link, from it appears that Serbs (who, just like the Albanians, were both Muslims and Christians) were an overall majority but city-concentrated up until the 1876 uprising and the ensuing refugee stream into the Vojvodina, and Albanians ever since.

Sidenote, I also found the origin of the claim that Albanians were a minority pre-WWII: apparently during the last census (1939), many Albanians were forced to declare themselves as Turks.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 06:51:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I found a good graph that shows ethnic rather than religious identity, and it appears the answer is a combination of all three of my possibilities:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 02:55:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From what I know, the populations were moved well after the 20s. It was a see-saw affair of "polite" "population exchange" almost decade by decade until the 1970s when the Albanian majority was cemented. Kosovo was depopulated of much of its Albanian population because of their support for the Nazis. At that point, and for several years, many Serb refugees moved in.

That province/country has been vexed for a very very long time.

by Upstate NY on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 03:41:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, of course, this is the product of war. Those numbers are after the fact, no?

I mean, you are encouraging ethnic cleansing by making such arguments. The idea seems to be, if we remove you from within the boundaries we want, we'll have an overwhelming amount of authority to claim independence.

You simply can't do it this way, I'm afraid, because you still have 150,000 Kosovo Serbs living in Serbia proper right now, and sooner or later they'll gain a political voice.

by Upstate NY on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 03:38:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you go by this logic how is that then with Serbs in Republika Serpska who DOES NOT WANT to live in Bosnia and those now refugees from KRAJINA -Croatia who never wanted to stay in Croatia and both were majority in those areas? If they were agreed to break free it never would be a war there...even with Milosevic as a disgrace leader. But it never was considered by west at all.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 06:45:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem for the Serbs claiming this is three fold. The first is that they sought to tear off chunks of Bosnia and Croatia in the name of their co-ethnics beyond their boundaries. The second is that when they did so they tried to take much larger amounts of territory than would have made sense even under that principle - in Croatia IIRC they ended up occupying some 30% of the country's territory even though they only made up 12% of the population. In Bosnia where they made up about a third of the population they took over some seventy percent of the territory. Finally, there's the way the Serbs conducted themselves in the ethnic wars of the nineties.

At this point this kind of diary makes me think of neo-con complaints about Iranian interference in Iraq: There's some truth to it but also a hell of a lot of chutzpah in the complaints. In any case at this point your talk of never giving up Kosovo has a strong ring of 'Nem, nem, soha!' Ask Dodo how that worked out.

by MarekNYC on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 02:42:10 PM EST
in Croatia IIRC they ended up occupying some 30% of the country's territory even though they only made up 12% of the population

That's a wrong argument in a good line of arguments. Since the Croatian Serbs had no large cities like Zagreb and Karlovac, the density of their territory was less. It is true that there was territorial expansion, even if not two- or three-fold just maybe 15%.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 02:51:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Since the Croatian Serbs had no large cities like Zagreb and Karlovac, the density of their territory was less.

Well, a pretty large number lived in Zagreb, but in any case you then get the problem of how you decide boundaries in situations like that. Take a look at the demographic map from the 1981 census. Depnding on how you draw the lines you can get your 15% or you can get very different one even taking into account population densities. Take only those parts that are fifty percent plus and then figure out how you deal with patchwork nature of a good part of the territory. It's a longstanding problem.

I'm most familiar with the arguments relating to the post WWI division of Upper Silesia where it was an utter mess - the vote was a decisive majority for the Germans but the countryside voted Polish and the Poles objected to the inclusion of absentee ballots from Upper Silesians living elsewhere in Germany. The area got divided with about a third going to Poland, but that included the bulk of the valuable industrial area - where the cities had a German majority but the surrounding countryside was overwhelmingly Polish. (This isn't even getting into the complex identities and allegiances of the inhabitants who often couldn't be simply classified as German or Polish)

by MarekNYC on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 03:29:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the Serb Krajinas included no quarters of Zagreb, while they took up refugees, so the population density argument stands. On the other hand, yes I omitted that part, there was ethnic cleansing of Croatians within areas of ethnic-Serb majority. Also, I probably remembered something about the Western part of the Krajinas only, there was more significant land-taking and ethnic cleaning in Slavonia. I remember discussing that here on ET, I'll try to find it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 04:18:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, it was a discussion with you about the exact same point. (For ethnic composition I linked the very same graph back then as you now, but apparently on another site that pulled it down since.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 04:25:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Take a look at that map. You  have three Serb majority areas - inland from northern Dalmatia, then another bit off of northwestern Bosnia connected to the first by a narrow Serb majority strip between two Croat majority areas, and a third somewhat patchwork one jutting out northwards a bit east of the second. I can easily imagine a 'fair' map giving them their one eighth of the territory in disconnected islands. The Serb argument, in its own way equally 'fair'  (minus Slavonia) consolidates Serb minority areas with the Serb majority ones to form the largest possible cohesive area with a clear Serb majority. Do that in reverse and you get still another 'fair' argument leaving no Serb area at all.
by MarekNYC on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 04:32:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can easily imagine a 'fair' map giving them their one eighth of the territory

One eigth? Aren't you taking the sea between the islands into your estamate? From color statistics of the image, it appears closer to one fifth or one fourth to me.

consolidates Serb minority areas with the Serb majority ones to form the largest possible cohesive area with a clear Serb majority

Check the other map in the linked old comment of mine. You'll see that it wasn't the largest possible area: the Central Slavonian areas, a North-South strip West of Karlovac and some smaller areas were outside (and cleansed too BTW), not to mention ethnic Serbs in Zagreb.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 05:16:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One eigth? Aren't you taking the sea between the islands into your estamate? From color statistics of the image, it appears closer to one fifth or one fourth to me.

Nope. Take that patchwork area in between the central and southwestern part of Krajina and cut it out, slice away the archipelago area of the eastern part, give none of Slavonia. Explain to me how that is any less (or more) 'fair' than a Krajina double that size. All I'm trying to say is that with the type of distribution you had in Croatia one can apply similar, reasonable principles and end up with very different maps.

by MarekNYC on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 07:52:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even after several re-readings, I am not sure what you have meant above. But I try to anticipate a clarification with some points and data.

  • I did the map image weighting again, this time, after editing it: I reduced color depth, then erased the map key and texts, as well as shipping channels and city names, then overdrew gaps, and filled up the outside with red. Substracting its area I got 132,850 pixels for all of Croatia. The 50%-plus areas (with a little underestimation due to city names) are around 26,250 pixels, hence 19.9%, one fifth. The RSK had an area of 17,028 km² out of 56,542 km² for all of Croatia, e.g. 30.1%, so altogether a 50% 'expansion' (more in Slavonian areas less in Krajina proper).

  • Another way to approach the question is to compare original pre-ethnic-cleansing population numbers. On the area of the later RSK, the 1991 census found 470,000 people (only a little over half of them ethnic Serbs, but two-thirds in Krajina proper), which compares to the 581,663 ethnic Serbs in all Croatia (to which an undeterminable fraction of the 106,041 who later dropped their 'Yugoslav' self-identification should be added). By taking up about 110,000 Serb refugees from Croatia and somewhat less from elsewhere in ex-Yugoslavia (the bulk of outside-RSK ethnic Serbs in Croatia fled elsewhere), the RSK population was 430,000 (note that in a sad irony about the priorities of the Croatian Reconquista, the largest group of Serbs living in Croatia today are those in Eastern Slavonia).

  • I wouldn't use the word 'fair' for any partition, and you should know that. But it is certainly wrong to claim that the RSK regime achieved maximum demands (unlike Tudjman's army). I submit one could argue more strongly that the aim was there, at least during the initial JSA-supported offensive. I suppose this is relativised by the fact that the offensives were first tactically aimed at disrupting traffic routes, but I don't know if Hague found more concrete evidence about goals during the trials.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 09:39:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks for the work. It actually is about what I guessed with eyeball estimate. The way I arrived at the one eighth estimate was to do the reverse of what I imagined you were doing with your estimate that Krajina was only about fifteen percent larger than what one would expect. Parts of the Serb majority areas were in patchwork form. I assumed you were allocating those and the minimum other parts necessary for a single at least a somewhat coherent single entity to the Serbs. I allocated them to the Croats.

As for Serb refugees - I'm not sure about the relevance to this question. We don't know how Croatia would have developed if the folks in Knin and elsewhere hadn't started seeking to break away by force as Croatian independence emerged.  Think of the Meciar period in Slovakia in alliance with the SNS. Not nice people. Openly celebrating the pro-Nazi government during WWII, lots of ugly rhetoric and occasionally taking measures against them, but no real violence. Or the discriminatory measures against Russians in Estonia and Latvia - no ethnic cleansing and slowly getting rolled back under EU pressure. Tudjman's subsequent brutal ethnic cleansing may well not have happened without the very ugly war (ugly on both sides). I'm thus not sure about your objection to my statement that the Croatian Serbs sought the maximum amount of territory that included a clear Serb majority - it sounds like your research just confirmed it.

FWIW In the abstract I feel that the best solution to this kind of situation is a strong non-territorial autonomy along Austro-Marxist grounds rather than territorial partition.

by MarekNYC on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 11:33:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with your reading of the Serb minorities situation in Croatia. They definitely took the wrong approach. It was up to the EU to pressure the croats to axe their newly-minted discriminatory laws, not up to the Serbs to take up arms.

That being said, it doesn't absolve the EU of the ability to easily predict the reaction of Serbs in that region.

And some people, like Cyrus Vance and David Owen, did predict it.

You mix all this in a cauldron: Croatian nationhood for the first time since the Middle Ages, new discriminatory laws against minorities, memories of WW2 and the death camps, no Western attempt to have that history exposed and commemorated, a Yugo military dominated by Serbs, ethnic militias on the ground already sharpening knives.

What do you get?

So while I agree the Serbs made a huge mistake, if you re-run all these events in a simulation again and again, I'd bet the Serbs would make that mistake 99 out of 100 times.

by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 11:58:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
your estimate that Krajina was only about fifteen percent larger than what one would expect

(For the record, I later withdrew that as something I remembered about Western Krajina, not the entire RSK.)

As for Serb refugees - I'm not sure about the relevance to this question

If borders are created by population transfer/ethnic cleansing from patchwork areas on both sides, the populations moving across the border are relevant to the 'balancedness' (not fairness, because in my view there is no fairness in ethnic selection and re-settlement) of the border. In the Croatia/RSK case, it's an ambiguous situation, e.g. the area of the RSK contained less homes than could have housing all refugees from rest-Croatia, but refugees from rest-Croatia actually choosing the RSK were less than non-Serbs ethnic-cleansed by the regime.

We don't know how Croatia would have developed if the folks in Knin and elsewhere hadn't started seeking to break away by force as Croatian independence emerged.

I'd say the situation was a lot worse than under Mečiar on both sides even before the SAOs switched from autonomy demand to independence demand: there were paramilitaries strolling around, and self-declared authorities. (I was still in Germany when TV news showed the villagers who dug up WWII-time weapons and patrolled their villages, and while some Westerners might have seen just some Balkans people fiery as usual, I felt something is very not okay.) Then came restrictive citizenship laws from the Croatian nationalist side and a Serb-only referendum from the SAOs side.

I'm thus not sure about your objection to my statement that the Croatian Serbs sought the maximum amount of territory that included a clear Serb majority

There is a difference between sought and got, I read you to argue for the latter.

FWIW In the abstract I feel that the best solution to this kind of situation is a strong non-territorial autonomy along Austro-Marxist grounds rather than territorial partition.

Thanks for making that clear.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 05:57:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aren't we confusing military advances with political plans here?

Don't forget, the Vance-Owen plan--agreed to by Milosevic long before the Bosnian War, and scuppered only by James Baker-- gave the Serbs 49% of the territory. I think that was Milosevic's political goal. Which is very different from the military advances. Oddly enough, the Dayton Plan's internal borders for Bosnia look very much like the Vance-Owen plan. Amazing that 100,000 had to die for that.

It was clear that Milosevic himself cut loose the Krajina Serbs when he made these political deals.

by Upstate NY on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 03:53:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To be perfectly honest I never will forgive Milosevic and his ilk for ruining Serbian LEGITIMATE wish to unite...We fought a lot in history to accomplish this task and we practically accomplished it through Yugoslavia but also yes you are right greed made us "chow more that we can swallow" and same happened in this wars. To make it clear I never was for "military solution" and even if we couldn't avoid it I certainly never liked "style" how Milosevic's forces and Mladic's forces in Bosnia waged those wars. At the time when they faced criticism they would say that it's all about "military strategy" and better positioning for negotiations after the war. I did not buy that and still to this day I agree that ALL war crimes should be punished ...Serbian at the first place but also those that other committed. But it has nothing to do with practical and as just as can be solutions. Independence of Kosovo is not that. Serbs are not going to sign it and will wait for some better times. Serbs are patient. And they are used to suffering (unfortunately) . 500 years they waited to see Ottomans go...Germans waited for 50 years to take back East Germany...It's either going to be redefinition of Balkan borders or new wars at the first chance...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 01:57:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The plan said Kosovo would be a self-governing, multi-ethnic democracy with full respect for the rule of law and human rights.

I guess I don't see a problem with this.

Forgive me for being not up to speed on the issue, but has a vote been held among the Kosovar (sp?) people, and have they voted in favor of self-governance?  If so, I think they should be supported, particularly if they do intend to be a "multi-ethnic democracy".  The one grave concern I do have with Balkanization (what was it called before the Balkan republics did it?) is the breakdown along ethnic and or religious lines (which is why I am also apprehensive about partitioning Iraq).  I mean, eventually we all need to learn how to get along.  I guess what I am saying is that self-governance is a right, but not implicitly a solution to anything.  

The world is getting smaller and Europe in particular is moving in the direction of trans-national governance.  So I guess I am ok with more "Balkanization" so long as these indep. nations are not defined by their intolerance and also agree to respect the others' sovereignty and work with each other.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 03:31:30 PM EST
particularly if they do intend to be a "multi-ethnic democracy"

Well, that's the point! As things stand, we have a multi-ethnic democracy with most of the two largest minority ethnics (Serbs and Gypsies) chased from the territory.

What's more, as I asked oldfrog without getting a reply, if Serbia can be broken up, why not Kosovo? What about an independence referendum (after repatriation of the chased-away) at county level? Or at town level?

I mean, eventually we all need to learn how to get along.

Yes, but in a place where that failed again and again for 150 years, this is a rather difficult task, yet some people in the distance seem to take it rather lightly.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 03:53:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think everything else in my comment addressed those concerns. :)

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 03:58:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It will be taken lightly. You watch. People really don't care. They have better things to do than babysit Serbs in Kosovo. When international opinion and media is against you, good luck, because you'll always hear the refrain, "It's your own damn fault." You'll be tilting at windmills.

To paraphrase Bernard Kouchner in his very first speech as head of UNMIK: The people of Kosovo are angry, and deservedly so, and it's just human nature that they're taking their anger out on the oppressors (who ironically enough weren't the Kosovo Serbs themselves but the Serb military which rolled out unscathed and unbroken).

by Upstate NY on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 04:00:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's more, as I asked oldfrog without getting a reply, if Serbia can be broken up, why not Kosovo? What about an independence referendum (after repatriation of the chased-away) at county level? Or at town level?

In theory that's fine. In practice it then reopens the borders of Macedonia and Serbia proper. Plus what do you do with ethnic islands?

by MarekNYC on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 04:19:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Marek, you completely misunderstand me. I am not proposing better solutions, I am showing that the logic of territorial sovereignity doesn't stop with the territorial units oldfrog and poemless were considering.

And to point out that this is not a theoretical concern, on the other side of the present border of Kosovo, there have been militant movements to break off a few dozen Albanian-majority villages from Serbia proper, while some representatives of the Serbs remaining in Kosovo have argued for partition of Kosovo.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 04:31:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree, but that's just it: There is no perfect solution, or even anything close to one, only a number of very flawed possibilities. In my opinion a steady move from protectorate to de facto sovereignty to de jure Kosovo independence  with the de facto partitioning off of the Serb area in and around Mitrovica is the least bad idea given the circumstances.
by MarekNYC on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 04:37:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd say many Serbs would agree with you, but you can't propose that to Albanians because of the mineral wealth in the Serb pockets. Then there's Macedonia to consider, and also the Sanjak province of Serbia near Bosnia, the Bosnian Serbs themselves, not to mention some ethnic Hungarians in the north of Serbia.

Frankly, Yugoslavia for many years was a model state much admired all over the world. It had multiethnic harmony, and it probably only needed one more generation to get past the horrific events of World War 2.

Self-determination for each group seemed like an oh so liberal thing to seek in 1991, but now the talk is of joining the EU, and adopting its multi-ethnic ethos. There is a supreme irony in this somewhere. Maybe the EU is about something other than just, all getting along with one another.

by Upstate NY on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 04:58:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well indeed, if you are thinking in a decade or so, but on an even longer timespan, the flaws of any partitioning solution could lead to another war and another redrawing of maps according to another least or not least flawed solution.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 05:22:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well indeed, if you are thinking in a decade or so, but on an even longer timespan, the flaws of any partitioning solution could lead to another war and another redrawing of maps according to another least or not least flawed solution.

Or not. Somehow the Hungarians aren't starting wars with Romania or Slovakia, nor are the Poles with Ukraine, Belarus, or Lithuania. Given that we could end up with another war in the 'longer timespan', the only thing that makes sense is to try to implement what looks like the best solution right now.  

by MarekNYC on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 05:29:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who'll play the role of the Soviet Union for 40 years?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 05:32:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO and/or the EU.
by MarekNYC on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 05:32:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean, imposition of permanent military occupation and puppet governments, with an opressive secret service?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 05:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And that of the "friendly" communist puppet governments?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 05:33:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They don't have to be puppets, just have the minimum bit of rationality to understand that going to war against both their ethnic enemies and EU/NATO is suicidal. And with time the desire for reversing the new status quo will fade.
by MarekNYC on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 05:35:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By local standards, I'd say there is a fair chance of that minimum bit of rationality to go amiss. Regarding the effect of time, I agree, but I am thinking two generations' time, and am not sure either NATO or EU would be willing to pay the bill for pressure-keeping occupation troops for so long.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 05:40:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quote:
I agree, but I am thinking two generations' time, and am not sure either NATO or EU would be willing to pay the bill for pressure-keeping occupation troops for so long.
---
You are sooo right! Things are moving much faster nowadays. What once was 40-50 years is at least half time now.
 @ Marec NYC - I am sure that Eastern Europeans (and I am talking for my self too) that were born and raised under SSSR rule,  can tell you how "status quo" seemed  irreversible for all of us. Click ...and who would say that we'll see what we witnessed in our life time...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 03:30:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quote:
And with time the desire for reversing the new status quo will fade.
---
You definitely do not know Serbs...or Albanians for that matter.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 03:19:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The concern, quite frankly, is that no one in Kosovo or some of the other countries around there pays any lip service to multi-ethnic issues. I think the province's recent history post-1999 has borne that out.

I think it would have been possible for Kosovo to exist inside Serbia PRIOR to 1999, and prior to the war. War leads to such hard feelings, understandably. As well, an extremist element on the Albanian side also demanded freedom, whereas the Democratic and moderate side represented before the war by Ibrahim Rugova simply asked for human rights and self-governance.

The two people's weren't exactly pitted against one another in a blood feud until the mishandling of diplomacy in early 1999, and until the weapons cache of post-Ponzi-scheme Albania found itself in the hands of the KLA.

by Upstate NY on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 03:57:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're forgetting why Rugova's way didn't pan out - the Serbs consistently refused to accept it. That led to an increasing minority of Albanians deciding that violence was the better method. In another of today's diaries the question is raised whether violence is an effective method for an oppressed group to achieve its aims. In hindsight the answer in Kosovo is clearly yes.
by MarekNYC on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 04:16:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't buy this. First off, the Serbs at Rambouillet DID accept a non-violent solution that gave Rugova everything he wanted. Secondly, the Albanian armed struggle succeeded in allowing what was a viciously violent terrorist group, the KLA, to take over the governance of the province. And I think this is for the worst. And I'm not talking about the Serbs' interests here either. I think the KLA is worse for the Kosovo Albanians.

First, the KLA got all its weapons in 1998 when the ponzi scheme in Albania collapsed, and the munitions warehouses were raided. They began shooting up Serb policemen and civilians, and for this they were on the US State Dept's website, branded as terrorists. It wasn't until the Serbs launched a counter-insurgent crackdown that the Serbs engaged the KLA in violent skirmishes. During this time, the KLA was grabbing power by executing Kosovo Albanian moderates. Rugova himself was under threat, and frequently moved throughout Pristina to avoid the KLA. At Rambouillet, Rugova wasn't even at the table, as the KLA's Hasim Thaci took over. If Rugova had been, a deal would have been signed, and there would have been peace in the province, with Rugova "getting his way."

So, was it weapons that brought the KLA to prominence? At the expense of Democratic actors like Rugova? Or was it the fact that Albright and the US were intent on punishing the Serbs for Bosnia. Were it not for Bosnia, the KLA insurgents would have faced the Serb military. When the Serbs acquiesced to a non-violent solution in Kosovo at Ramby, Hasim Thaci (then KLA head) rejected it. A red-faced Albright took him outside, and they agreed to an extra provision which made the deal impossible for the Serbs, the ceding of control of Serbia proper. This had to be done to explain the initial Albanian rejection of Albright's terms.

If you look at the Kosovo War closely, you'll see that military force of NATO combined with fighting by the KLA did literally nothing to damage the Serb military. The Serb military had camouflaged themselves well, and as we know now, air wars do very little damage to militaries. They are highly effective against civilians. When the Serb army rolled out, their entire battery was 96% intact, and this was a huge source of controversy within NATO. In the end (1999), the deal that Ahtasaari and Putin made with Milosevic looked very much like the deal the Serbs had agreed to at Rambouillet. NATO and the US really gave in, and declared that they had won the war, precisely because Clinton could not countenance sending in ground troops. Clinton was shocked, in fact, that the Serbs held out for months, as he had been assured otherwise.

This is why the current goings on are interesting. In 1999, before the war, the Serbs had already agreed to cede the province to Albanian governance under UN and NATO protection. After the war, what did the Albanians gain? This is what the current issue is all about, and this is precisely why Serbia is rejecting independence right now. I do see echoes of Iraq because Kosovo became an economic basket case, because of the high crime and drugs, and the Serbs frequently jibed that the Albanians were ungovernable. Many Serbs in fact saw no point in trying to govern the province. I think Rugova was much more capable of making into a viable entity, unlike the KLA leaders.

My basic point is that, without the US itching for a fight against the Serbs, taking up arms gets the KLA nowhere. Isn't this the lesson that Serbs themselves learned in the Krajina and Bosnia? How did taking up arms benefit their demands for self-determination?

by Upstate NY on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 04:53:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I share with you this description but the are other implications regarding the KLA, specially the backing of the CIA.

But I think that "the Serbs" are not united in their response regarding Kosovo. It's obvious that they don't want a "rogue" state at their southern border, it will take time before Albania and Kosovo become decent democratic nations. But I don't know why the Serbs should be so bothered by that since they won't have to enforce law and order there. They should be more interested in getting the EU money and fencing the Albanians off. So nationalism must be great part of the problem.

Regarding Kosovo I see it more as a bigger entity with separate ethnical, cultural, religious and linguistical features compared to the "slavic" world's small minorities here and there. Thus the demand for independance seems to me more valid.

by oldfrog on Sun Feb 4th, 2007 at 08:23:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's about the mineral wealth in the region surrounding Mitrovica.
by Upstate NY on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 01:14:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding Kosovo I see it more as a bigger entity with separate ethnical, cultural, religious and linguistical features compared to the "slavic" world's small minorities here and there.

What do you mean by entity, and what do you mean by the "small minorities" of the ""slavic" world"?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 09:52:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quote:
Regarding Kosovo I see it more as a bigger entity with separate ethnical, cultural, religious and linguistical features compared to the "slavic" world's small minorities here and there. Thus the demand for independance seems to me more valid.
---

What a bloody nonsense you are talking here..."slavic worlds minorities here and there"? Have you even remote knowledge of who are Slavs?
Where did you learn your geography? Really I don't know why I am wasting time with you...

Quote:
Regarding Kosovo I see it more as a bigger entity with separate ethnical, cultural, religious and linguistical features
---
What are you bloody talking about? 3.1 million Albanians in Albania and say 1.5 million on Kosovo. And you compare this to Slavs?

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 03:58:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Quote:
You're forgetting why Rugova's way didn't pan out - the Serbs consistently refused to accept it.
---
Rugova's plan did not work because it was the same plan for independence of Kosovo just that he thought it should be done peacefully and Serbs couldn't agree with the plan. The other reason why it did not work is that more robust Albanian leaders did not want to do it peacefully and they started to get USA on their side for aggressive way to accomplish it. Not that USA ever had any preferences there. If Milosevic gave them what they want they would gladly support him even if he is slaughtering Albanians...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 09:04:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quote:

The plan said Kosovo would be a self-governing, multi-ethnic democracy with full respect for the rule of law and human rights.

I guess I don't see a problem with this.
---
C'mon! Give me a brake, please. We have a say "Paper is enduring anything" meaning this of course is false assumption as the whole independence is false. If there were good intentions there Serbs would not be ethnically cleansed from Kosovo and they wouldn't need to be guarded by force if they move around "free" Kosovo. Or others for that matter (Roma people etc.)
Serbs also have same little phrase in their constitution so why not trust them that they will be as polite?
Independence with (NATO) foreign forces to protect it and EU and USA to pay for your debts and salaries and pensions...Where the heck you see STATE there? Ah I forgot, its USA specialty "nation building" Give me a name of ONE nation they actually built! Do not batter to write those vassals who after USA military pick up their "toys" and go can't last one week.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 03:03:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I actually wanted to put this here :
----------
Quote:

The plan said Kosovo would be a self-governing, multi-ethnic democracy with full respect for the rule of law and human rights.

I guess I don't see a problem with this.
---
C'mon! Give me a brake, please. We have a say "Paper is enduring anything" meaning this of course is false assumption as the whole independence is false. If there were good intentions there Serbs would not be ethnically cleansed from Kosovo and they wouldn't need to be guarded by force if they move around "free" Kosovo. Or others for that matter (Roma people etc.)
Serbs also have same little phrase in their constitution so why not trust them that they will be as polite?
Independence with (NATO) foreign forces to protect it and EU and USA to pay for your debts and salaries and pensions...Where the heck you see STATE there? Ah I forgot, its USA specialty "nation building" Give me a name of ONE nation they actually built! Do not batter to write those vassals who after USA military pick up their "toys" and go can't last one week.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 03:08:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Upss...sorry it keeps coming down here..

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 03:10:10 AM EST
Thank you guys for at least trying to understand situation ...all tho I know this kind of thinking and understanding things is not how you were trained to function. It's much easier to have everything served by your media, "military experts", "social experts" and of course your leaders and not to really be involved even mentally with "savages" (Balkanians).

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 09:31:03 AM EST
I think what you say more applies to Westerners in general (and what you had to confront personally in NZ or Australia or watching/reading English-language mass media) than readers of European Tribune, who are generally more sceptical of what they are served by the media, what's more, outside the UK aren't necessarily bound by a media with the same biases, and some here aren't even Westerners.

I may not have said things the way afew said to you, but I too think that even if there is magnitudes more emotion involved for you than any others here, and from some you get infuriating comments like "get over it", you could be less defensive and more expectant of counter-arguments.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 09:48:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I understand that this is a topic that touches you deeply and personally, but insulting everyone here - not exactly a crowd deeply enslaved by the western media when we can get access to a more nuanced view - isn't helpful.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 09:55:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK. You are right! I may overstep some borders of goodwill that mostly (but not always) is a background for communication on ET.
I am frustrated with situation and am grieving for what my people have to go through. Hard times are in front of them...I only wanted to give you a glimpse of the picture so that you can at least understand why they are "stubborn" and why they will suffer proudly. Their actions may look  totally stupid from your (EU) prospective. I sense kind of reaction from westerners as someone already said it here:
"Kosovo is lost for Serbs, give up and look to EU to get some money and improve your standard of life".
Do not get me wrong but that exactly is the difference between your way of thinking and ours. While money and standard of life is important for Serbs (as for anybody) it is not priority for us. There is much more in life then that.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 09:23:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Their actions may look  totally stupid from your (EU) prospective.

A lot of EU member states (even EU-15, e.g. Germany) have a loss of national-emotionally important areas in their not too distant history, so some can relate to Serbian national feelings better than that -- where of course the difference is time.

Marek told that I should tell about something to you. Indeed that "Nem nem soha!", meaning "No no never!", as an answer to whether border changes are accepted, was the rallying cry of Hungarian nationalists after WWI. While some might have been content with small revisions, the people dominating the government wanted the entire area of the historical Kingdom of Hungary back, but at least historically-emotionally important Transsylvania and Slovakia, despite ethnic Romanian resp. Slovakian majority there. But both peaceful (Vienna decisions) and bloody (chiefly in Vojvodina) expansions just before and during WWII were followed by crushing defeat, borders back to original, and revenge on and suppression of ethnic-Hungarian minorities in the munched-at states. So I'd say leaving free rein to emotions and anger in such a situation can be stupid in a self-destructive way.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 07:23:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We Serbs had great Empire too. Dusan's Empire:

http://www.rusjournal.com/forbes.html

Quote:

During Stephen Dusan's reign the political centre of Serbia, which had for many years gradually tended to shift southwards towards Macedonia, was at Skoplje (Üsküb in Turkish), which he made his capital. Stephen Dusan's empire extended from the Adriatic in the west to the river Maritsa in the east, from the Save and Danube in the north to the Aegean; it included all the modern kingdoms of Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, and most of Greece, Dalmatia as far north as the river Cetina, as well as the fertile Morava valley, with Nish and Belgrade--the whole eastern part of Serbia, which had for long been under either Bulgar or Magyar control. It did not include the cities of Salonika or Ragusa, nor any considerable part of the modern kingdom of Bulgaria, nor Bosnia, Croatia, North Dalmatia, nor Slavonia (between the Save and Drave), ethnologically all purely Serb lands. From the point of view of nationality, therefore, its boundaries were far from ideal.

---
We are not claiming all the land we once had...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 10:57:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
History is made very quickly these days, and no one weeps for the losers. It's best not to find yourselves on the wrong side of that line, I should think. people should try to preserve a memory for the old Yugoslavia, the good aspects of it anyway, and think to ways to reinstall mutli-ethnic relations.
by Upstate NY on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 12:02:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What about other nations who held once vast empires? What about Mongolians who can claim space from Pacific ocean to Adriatic sea they controlled longer than Mr Stefan Dusan?
by FarEasterner on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 01:20:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not a precise analogy. The area of the historical Kingdom of Hungary resurfaced more or less unchanged in the Hungary half of Austria-Hungary. But some Hungarian kings also had empires, for example one Anjou king in the 14th century even conquered Double Sicily, another became "Holy Roman Emperor of the German nation" in the 15th century.  Or, to view another aspect, while ethnic-Albanian majority in Kosovo is 130 years old today, ethnic-Romanian majority in Transsylvania was about 150-170 years old at the end of WWI.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 06:25:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was not analogy...Just kind of joking...;)

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 11:05:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Overall it was interesting discussion that was kept mostly in civilised manner for such controversial topic. There is no simple solution and I think XIX century nationalism is responsible for many ills of modern world. Internet and diffusion of knowledge (even through Wikipedia) give us glimpse of hope that one day we will overgrow old fashioned nation state concept and will return to individualist values with no visas and passports to cross the artificial borders.
by FarEasterner on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 02:16:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yours is indeed the vision and the project. Which makes the downfall of Yugoslavia particularly perplexing. Maybe it was just us outsiders who were very appreciative of the makeup of the former Yugo. Peter Handke's writings are a total lament for that downfall. I was taught by professors in the US who all praised Yugoslavia. I traveled their in the 80s, and got to experience a multiethnic society that rivalled most in Western Europe.
by Upstate NY on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 05:03:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quote:
...hope that one day we will overgrow old fashioned nation state concept and will return to individualist values with no visas and passports to cross the artificial borders.
---
Be careful what you wish for. It may become truth even in our life time with "globalization ". If it makes a profit they will make "no borders" world...Thing is we are going to run around the world like crazy looking for a job...ha-ha.
Individual values are most important. But they are "individual" and primarily built in family and as a result of personality. All though it is quite easy to manipulate people (and especially in mass-media times as ours) especially when institution of family is ruined by putting consumerism first and then everything else.
Nationalism is well, healthy and alive all over the world. If you care to see it!
I personally hate all kinds of flags...  

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Feb 5th, 2007 at 09:34:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now here some interesting stuff  seen from another side:

http://www.srpska-mreza.com/nwo/colonizing.html

While Western soldiers make headlines as peace enforcers, an army of international bankers, lawyers, and creditors continues its economic conquest of the Balkans.

... The strategic interests of Germany and the US in laying the groundwork for the disintegration of Yugoslavia go unmentioned, as does the role of external creditors and international financial institutions.

... But through their domination of the global financial system, the Western powers, in pursuit of national and collective strategic interests, helped bring the Yugoslav economy to its knees and stirred its simmering ethnic and social conflicts. Now it is the turn of Yugoslavia's war-ravaged successor states to feel the tender mercies of the international financial community.

... Neocolonial Bosnia
Resting on the Dayton accords, which created a Bosnian "constitution," the US and the European Union have installed a full-fledged colonial administration in Bosnia. At its head is their appointed High Representative, Carl Bildt, a former Swedish prime minister and European Union representative in Bosnian peace negotiations (3). Bildt has full executive powers in all civilian matters, with the right to overrule the governments of both the Bosnian Federation and the Republika Srpska (Serbian Bosnia). It make the point crystal clear, the accords spell out that "The High Representative is the final authority in theater regarding interpretation of the agreements."(4) He will work with the multinational military implementation force (IFOR) Military High Command as well as creditors and donors.
... The new constitution hands the reins of economic policy over to the Bretton Woods institutions and the London based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The IMF is empowered to appoint the first governor of the Bosnian Central Bank, who, like the High Representative, "shall not be a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina or a neighboring State."(7)

Etc. some interesting stuff here...so go and read...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 01:20:08 AM EST
And a lot more here if you want to hear the other (probably also biased in some way) side of arguments...I have not time to read it right now but will later

http://www.srpska-mreza.com/nwo/index.html

I have found prediction (news) that what's going to happen is that Resolution 1244 will be withdrawn so that UN can finish its mission and that will be all considering UN. Obvious perfidy as western politicians are , this does not give a chance to Russia to put veto ...there will be nothing to put veto on cause there will be any talk of independence at all. This suits Russia too. Another resolution or whatever that gives mandate to EU to take governance of Kosovo colony also will not have implicit "independence" word but it's not going to mention Serbia at all so it's de facto recognition. Russia can put veto on that one asking for Serbia mentioning but I (and almost no one) should bet on it. They are making deal on it as we speak and will be paid.
Then immediately after that Albanians in Pristina will declare independence. USA will be first country to recognize them and of course to give signal to all their colonies and vassals to do the same. EU will follow as whole EU, not every country separately. This will spare most of Serbia's neighbors embarrassment.
Now you've done it and you'll have it.
We have a say "It was born; now you need to rock it" .Good luck!
I don't agree with Kostunica that Serbia should cut diplomatic ties with all the countries that recognize Kosovo. Nop. I would declare Kosovo occupied Serbian territory and would still exploit EU feelings of "guilt" and take all I can from them. When the time comes we'll take this occupation proclamation out of the closet and act. I don't see why we can't be dishonest having in mind what a bunch of crooks are EU and USA politicians.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Tue Feb 6th, 2007 at 03:40:29 AM EST
I went to wikipedia. I think I was wrong. I'm not going to bother consulting the book, which I read now well over a decade ago, and really I haven't thought of Tudjman in that long a period. So my memory on his background is bad. That, and I may be confusing him with someone who rose to prominence in Croatia, and yet has such a background.

Wikipedia on Tudjman is a hoot, I must say. An apologia for the man.

The last time I read anything on Croatian history, it was a thinly veiled novel, Kaputt, by Curzio Malaparte, a pseudonym for one of Mussolini's relations, Kurt Erich Suckert, an Italian who doubled as a reporter in Croatia during WW2. This is why I love the Balkans. Sometimes you really have to read a work of fiction to get a sense of the place.

by Upstate NY on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 11:21:01 AM EST
Here BBC about Tudjman :
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/294990.stm

His ultra-nationalist Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) Party secured nearly two-thirds of the seats in the Croatian parliament.

Unlike Serbia's President Slobodan Milosevic, Mr Tudjman managed to promote his equally rampant nationalism without attracting widespread condemnation.

et, in reality, his domestic policy saw the closing down of newspapers or television programmes that offended him and the manipulation of the electoral process.

Tudjman and Milosevic together
Tudjman with Milosevic whom he often outmanoeuvred
His rule saw the concentration of power in the hands of a small oligarchy including members of his own family.

His refusal to endorse the Serbs' traditional place in the Croat constitution inflamed Serb opinion in Croatia, resulting in many Serbs being purged from their jobs in the police, security forces, the media and factories.

The stunning victory of Croatian forces in the Krajina triggered a huge exodus of civilians, yet was hardly condemned by the West.

 Mr Tudjman's role in neighbouring Bosnia was ambiguous. The fragile partnership between Muslims and Croats had collapsed into open conflict in Mostar and a scribbled map discovered at a banquet in London clearly showed that Mr Tudjman did not envisage a Bosnian state.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Wed Feb 7th, 2007 at 11:38:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]