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An overview of Balkan and the fear of future wars

by SteelLady Fri Mar 27th, 2009 at 10:16:05 AM EST

I am writing this because I am afraid that there will be another Balkan war. I believe that because, since I survived the last war, I have seen it begin and I know what do think and feel both parties. I want to show some things that I see that are most dangerous because they ignite these wars and leave wrong ideas in minds of people that than are passed to future generations. But first, I will tell you some things about politics on Balkan. As always, those who are in politics just want power. It is their primary goal, above interests of their nations. Several decades ago, Tito was a very powerful man. He had the idea of a one economically powerful country which is independent from everybody not involved in the blocks politics producing everything internally. He would be on top of that. His birthday was celebrated by various nations every year on the big stadium in a spectacle very similar to the one of opening of the Olympic Games.

[editor's note, by Migeru] Fold inserted

In order to keep the country strong and united, it was forbidden to say of which nation you are. If you would say what is your nationality and you wouldn't be a member of Tito's party, you would disappear. If you realized on time that you were being foolish saying what you shouldn't then you would better escape to Argentina, Chile or US without writing to anybody home because if you would write, Udba would find you and you would disappear abroad also. The biggest offence and the most fearful phrase among kids was not 'You hate God' or 'Your mother will die' but 'You do not love Tito'. Yugoslavia was very corrupt. All those who were in administration, judges, doctors or everybody who would work in any position to do some kind of favor to people would receive bribes. It was a topic of humoristic series and jokes and nobody intended to do anything about it, it was the style of life. The country would feed you and tell you what you should think.  If you would shut up and never ever say anything that had a political note, would not object to bribery, you would live ok, because the country took care of you, even if you did not want to work. The only crime was to say which nationality you are, even if you really did not have any further 'intentions'. In history that was thought there existed only fascists and partisans. Croats were fascists because they had a military regime of NDH during the WWII and did a massacre of Serbs in Jasenovac and it was one argument more to 'clean' bad guys which said they are Croats because they did genocide over Serbs so now everybody has to shut up about which nation they were. Partisans= Yugoslavs were heroes that now rule the country, they did not have any flaws and the name of Bleiburg where partisans with Chetniks massacred a lot of Ustashe and other Croats could not be mentioned. The number of victims at Jasenovac was thus inflated so that any partisans' crimes, that people knew about and would not be allowed to say, would be neglected in compare to tremendous genocides of those Croat nationalists. The language was artificially made uniform in the Novi Sad agreement (source: wikipedia)  favorizing Serbian language. Croatian-origin Tito was created an icon ruling from Serbia where the whole empire was centralized, gathering the money from all republics and paying first the luxury of communist 'big sharks' there and then deciding how to distribute it all over the country.

After several decades of that system, the power of Yougoslavia was weakening. First Tito died and all politicians left there would want to be the new Tito but they were not strong enough and did not have the arguments because Yugoslavia's economy was going downhill. Not producing enough, the country had to take more and more external credits to give to people to support the way of life as they were used to because the whole system was based on economy that was not sustainable, inflation was raging, people were complaining, politicians losing power. Some republics inside Yugoslavia wanted reforms saying that the global politics is not working well because some sectors that could be developed more need the local attention. It led to confrontations and it started the rupture of the country and eventually led to the independence of its republics. In them, old-new leaders emerged, who once were fighting again the nationalism, now were the first to flag with it. And no, they were not nationalists at all. They were opportunists, just like Tito, but without economic power, they used nationalism as the only thing they could take to unite at least the people inside their republics and make themselves as leaders. Croatia needed a nationalist who would carry out its independence while Slobodan Milosevic, the president of Serbia at that time, certainly would loose his power in '90. if he didn't ignite the Serbian nationalism and the war. How else, after breaking down and cutting sources from Croatia and Bosnia they would be able to maintain what they built in Belgrade? The most income of Serbia was coming from the mines in Kosovo, but they already had some problems down there. But they need a motive for the common people to go to another country to war. The answer is hatred. The whole media converted to one House of lies. People were already used to passively assimilate the public truth in communism. So they started informing about 'harrasment of Serbs in Pakrac' saying that Ustache (Croats) killed even their orthodox priest (the same priest appeared later alive on Croatian television saying that nothing happened to him), saying that Croats slaughtered 41-43 babies in Vukovar that was the only thing they had to retrieve later.

(The guy was describing in detail how they were slaughtering Serb children while they were showing the dead family of Croatian nurse killed by their bomb.) The same way saying that Serbian babies were thrown to lions by Muslims in Bosnia, inventing or inflating Serbian victims everywhere. That created fear and rage among people who felt that they had to go to the war to defend their naked lives and to revenge their nationals. And they still do! At the same time, they were exposing Seselj in media

saying notorious things about killing Croats by his Chetniks and claiming that Croatian territory is Serbia while people were heartedly approving and laughing.  

That media politics never stopped and it is hard for young people to grow up in Serbia without being convinced that the whole world is against them, that everybody outside lies to about all those facts. Even today, they continue that politics of multiple inflation of victims. NATO bombings for them is the proof that they shouldn't believe any information that comes from outside because US, the representative of that world bombed them. For them it is not true that that bombing produced 400-500 victims but, at least 2 thousands as their version of wikipedia says (see the line: `У бомбардовању је погунуло око 2.000 цивила' in the Serbian wikipedia)  while in the rest of their media they claim there were 3.5 to 8 thousands. Everybody who has seen the real war and those videos of NATO bombings knows that it is obviously impossible. But that brain washing is so strong and then those inflated numbers are used later in statistics to prove how the whole world is racist and unfair to them. This planted so much hatred in Serbian people and those past events so much bitterness in Croats and Muslims that seeing all that I get the impression that it would be almost impossible to avoid more wars in the future. There were real crimes against Serbs but this outrageous inflation together with testimonials of those who were really struck by it leads to belief that they are entitled to do whatever and that any actions they did are justified. If people believe that they are being treated unfair, discriminated, killed and put in danger they will fight against that and never stop. Any sanction or action is not enough if the media war is not over!

Why don't you love Tito?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 29th, 2009 at 04:57:43 AM EST
Then this news item isn't going to help: Spain to withdraw Kosovo troops. Evidently, the Spanish defense minister has declared "mission accomplished" and plans to bring the troops home. She does this without prior discussion with other NATO members.

This speaks volumes on the weakness of collective security.

"It Can't Be Just About Us"
--Frank Schnittger, ETian Extraordinaire

by papicek (papi_cek_at_hotmail_dot_com) on Sun Mar 29th, 2009 at 12:47:43 PM EST
You mean... she does this without getting the prior approval of Washington. Maybe that's telling of waning US influence in world affairs.
by vladimir on Sun Mar 29th, 2009 at 01:43:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain does not support the independence of Kosovo so they do not want to have their troops there. I do not believe that the independence of Kosovo is a good idea and I am not sure why Croatia recognised it.
by SteelLady on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 09:02:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not sure why Croatia recognised it
Well, to spite Serbia, clearly.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 09:08:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably to spite Serbia... And it is very false since they founded Serb friend clubs in Croatian government.

Looks like Croatia is getting its revenge this way for the war suffering and previous events. Serbia was always saying that Serbian and Croatian is the same. And actually it was made same after imposing rules from Serbia. So now Croatia gave as the present to Serbia a lot of documentation they need but in Croatian, knowing that no way Serbia  will work in that 'same' language but it will translate it again.

by SteelLady on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 09:39:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Serb friend clubs in Croatian government
Are you referring to a parliamentary caucus?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 09:43:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, they do not have anything to do with political parties inside the parliament or with nationalities. This is just the initiative to make peace with Serbia and those who are willing can enter the club of friends od Serbs. They become members independent of their parties and from what I have read, they come from all different parties.
by SteelLady on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 09:51:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, that fits the meaning of "caucus" in the US. Apart from the party/ideological caucuses there are others...

Congressional caucus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Among the most visible caucuses are those composed of members sharing the same race or ethnic group.

The Congressional Black Caucus for African-Americans has included members of both chambers, but the election of Barack Obama as President had left no black Senators, making the CBC exclusively Representatives. Roland Burris is currently (2009) the only black senator in the caucus. There are two Hispanics caucuses: The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, for Hispanic Democrats, and the Congressional Hispanic Conference, for Hispanic Republicans. Congressional Republicans formerly belonged to the Hispanic Caucus but later split off to form the Hispanic Conference. The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus is for Asian American and Pacific Islander American members, however it is not exclusive to such members.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 09:54:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, sorry I read only till party/ideological conferences...
by SteelLady on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 10:01:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain does not support the independence of Kosovo
This is correct. Though it is not a disinterested position (Spain has its own separatism to deal with) it is a consistent position (Spain also opposes unilateral secession of South Ossetia from Georgia - whereas Russia, Serbia and most NATO countries take an inconsistent position in supporting unilateral secession in one case and opposing it in the other).


This speaks volumes on the weakness of collective security.
Another place where the current Spanish government has been at odds with NATO and has unilaterally pulled troops out was Iraq in 2004. There seems to be more support for the Afghanistan mission.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 09:24:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]

European Tribune - Comments - European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 25. March

Aluvión de críticas al Gobierno por la salida de Kosovo · ELPAÍS.comShower of criticism to the Government on Kosovo exit - ElPaís.com
Todos los grupos utilizan el debate sobre la cumbre europea para arremeter contra el Ejecutivo.- A continuación volverán a preguntar a Zapatero por la retirada de las tropas en la sesión de controlAll [parliamentary] groups use the debate on the European [Union] Summit to charge against the Government.- They will follow up by asking Zapatero again about the troop withdrawal in the [weekly] control session.
Todos los grupos han aprovechado el debate en el pleno del Congreso sobre la última cumbre europea para lanzar sobre el presidente del Gobierno, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, un intenso chorreo de críticas sobre el anuncio de retirada de Kosovo y las posteriores vacilaciones y rectificaciones.All [parliamentary] groups have taken advantag of the [Spanish] Congress' plenary debate on the latest European [Union] Summit to launch an intense shower of criticism on PM Zapatero for the announcement of a troop withdrawal from Kosovo and the later indecisions and rectifications.

This is a case in which every party agrees on the principle, but what is being criticised is the form of the announcement and the subsequent dithering. Some small left-wing parties voiced concerns about the intensity of the criticism received from NATO.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 09:08:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, I have to comment on my diary. My Croat friend read it and says that I said something that is not completely true. That not all who were pointing out their nationality were killed, just those who were considered more extreme. He said that, normally they would be put to jail for about 10 years and that his uncle, who got drunk and coursed Tito got 'only' 3 months of prison
by SteelLady on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 08:52:53 AM EST

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