The Dismantling of Yugoslavia

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DonnyBGood
The Dismantling of Yugoslavia

 

DonnyBGood

The entire issue of Monthly Review is devoted to the single topic of Yugoslavia's demise and the atrocious media spin given in support of NATO's war crimes there.

Unfortunately it is not yet posted but this article essay mini treatise documents the way the West exploited - indeed caused - ethnic violence in the name of humanitarian goals.

It is stunning to hear ironic citations of prominent Canadians like Michael Inatieff who say that any attempt to point out that more Serbs were "ethnically cleansed" than Bosnian Muslims is "rewriting history".

The fact is that Serbia now has the largest and most ethnically diverse number of refugees. How could this be the authors ask if what the west was saying about Mislosevic was true?

What is compelling about the article is not only the clinical exposure of the sea of lies and slander propagated by the Western allies but also the revelations of media denial of Western war crimes and the genocidal actions of its agents in the destruction of the communist state.

Just about everyone in the elite of the West is condemned on the facts alone. The UN security council, the European Union, The United States, Britain all looked to murder Serbs by the thousands to 'justify' this last kick at the Cold War can.

It is compelling reading because it demonstrates how war shapes of public opinion, and provides Orwellian "justification" for rogue criminal states like the USA.

Americans must question why their government is evil and why it cynically uses them to further its own evil ends...

The thesis is that the bombing and war and the propaganda engine that won public opinion for it in reality created the entire concept of territorial wars as being "good thing" if the cause was "just"... leading to Iraq, Afghanistan and who knows, Iran?

The idea here is the essential modus operandi of representative democracy. That is, if you can convince people of an idea, however ill-informed, then it is "true". It was the "on" switch for Nato's genocidal bombing program.

The essay is one of those tomes that leaves cold comfort for those who believe that there is something to the idea of "civilization" as we know it.

[ 06 November 2007: Message edited by: DonnyBGood ]

Webgear

Can you provide a link?

DonnyBGood

[url=http://ttp://www.monthlyreview.org/humanitarianimperialism.htm]Try here for starters...[/url]

[ 06 November 2007: Message edited by: DonnyBGood ]

Brian White

I worked with bosnian refugees in ireland and in germany. In germany there were many many refugees in the streets before it was even officially a war.
It really happened.
In early 1990's london, croats told me it was already civil war.
What next? Denying the holocost?

quote:

Originally posted by DonnyBGood:
[b]The entire issue of Monthly Review is devoted to the single topic of Yugoslavia's demise and the atrocious media spin given in support of NATO's war crimes there.

Unfortunately it is not yet posted but this article essay mini treatise documents the way the West exploited - indeed caused - ethnic violence in the name of humanitarian goals.

It is stunning to hear ironic citations of prominent Canadians like Michael Inatieff who say that any attempt to point out that more Serbs were "ethnically cleansed" than Bosnian Muslims is "rewriting history".

The fact is that Serbia now has the largest and most ethnically diverse number of refugees. How could this be the authors ask if what the west was saying about Mislosevic was true?

What is compelling about the article is not only the clinical exposure of the sea of lies and slander propagated by the Western allies but also the revelations of media denial of Western war crimes and the genocidal actions of its agents in the destruction of the communist state.

Just about everyone in the elite of the West is condemned on the facts alone. The UN security council, the European Union, The United States, Britain all looked to murder Serbs by the thousands to 'justify' this last kick at the Cold War can.

It is compelling reading because it demonstrates how war shapes of public opinion, and provides Orwellian "justification" for rogue criminal states like the USA.

Americans must question why their government is evil and why it cynically uses them to further its own evil ends...

The thesis is that the bombing and war and the propaganda engine that won public opinion for it in reality created the entire concept of territorial wars as being "good thing" if the cause was "just"... leading to Iraq, Afghanistan and who knows, Iran?

The idea here is the essential modus operandi of representative democracy. That is, if you can convince people of an idea, however ill-informed, then it is "true". It was the "on" switch for Nato's genocidal bombing program.

The essay is one of those tomes that leaves cold comfort for those who believe that there is something to the idea of "civilization" as we know it.

[ 06 November 2007: Message edited by: DonnyBGood ][/b]


happydays

Our small Community took in several refugees from of Croatian and Bosnian decent. All good
people with little good to say of the serbs.

I suppose displaced Serbians would have little good to say about the Croatian and Bosnians

[ 06 November 2007: Message edited by: happydays ]

BetterRed

quote:


Originally posted by Brian White:
[b]I worked with bosnian refugees in ireland and in germany. In germany there were many many refugees in the streets before it was even officially a war.
It really happened.
In early 1990's london, croats told me it was already civil war.
What next? Denying the holocost?
[/b]

He did no such thing, Brian.
I dont think he said that Serbs were completely innocent or that there were no war crimes commited.

I met displaced Serbs also. One of them was my friend, who was especially enraged during the glorious "freedum" NATO barrage on Yugoslavia(1999). He told me that more than 100 of his relatives were killed in Bosnia.

I think that DonnyBgood was talking about the demonization of Serbia until its defeat in 1999.He's not only talking about 1991-95 wars but also about the 1999 Kosovo adventure.
Serbia did not commit genocide in Bosnia, e.g Srebrenica. Its true There were serb volunteers and paramilitary among the Bosnian serbs. But, there were also Croat volunteers and para's to match them. There were Muslims killed by Croats in Mostar for example.

The Kosovo war was an an act of poorly disguised imperial aggresion. Brit magazine Socialist review made a fine point in 1999 (as the bombs rained down), that US was funneling huge military aid and weapons sales to Turkey, its valued NATO ally. Where did most of these funds go?
Same place where they go today: crushing Kurdish militants, i.e similar to what Milosevic did in Kosovo(although Turks are looking more bloodthirsty and jingoistic toward minorities).

SInce we're talking about books:
I recommend Michael Parenti's book To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia

[url=http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/1859847765]Michael Parenti on amazon[/url]

drgoodword

The left's easy manipulation by the War Party in largely supporting the demonization of Serb in the late 20th century Balkan conflict is shameful.

As a Serb, I have my biases, but it never ceases to amaze me how the same tactics used to politicly facilitate the Afghan and Iraqi invasions were so successful in garnering support for bombing Serbia amongst progressives, who should have known much, much better.

DrConway

quote:


Originally posted by BetterRed:
[b]I think that DonnyBgood was talking about the demonization of Serbia until its defeat in 1999.He's not only talking about 1991-95 wars but also about the 1999 Kosovo adventure.
Serbia did not commit genocide in Bosnia, e.g Srebrenica. Its true There were serb volunteers and paramilitary among the Bosnian serbs. But, there were also Croat volunteers and para's to match them. There were Muslims killed by Croats in Mostar for example.[/b]

Mm-hmm. I remember noticing the media practically ignoring the Croatian and Bosnian complicity in their own war atrocities, and focussing just on the Serbs.

It is true, however, that Serbs have attempted to be the hegemonic group in Yugoslavia for a long time, and even during Tito's time, there were occasional tensions, and Milosevic's intentions of attaining Serb superiority were actually established in the 1980s, if I may trust my memory on some reading I did about Yugoslavia's political situation then.

DonnyBGood

quote:


It is true, however, that Serbs have attempted to be the hegemonic group in Yugoslavia for a long time, and even during Tito's time, there were occasional tensions, and Milosevic's intentions of attaining Serb superiority were actually established in the 1980s, if I may trust my memory on some reading I did about Yugoslavia's political situation then.

Well, according to the article this perception is false.

The Serbs were primarily interested in preserving the Yugoslavian state. What happened was the smaller, wealthier factions, wanted to break away . But according to law they lacked the legal status to do it so they simply did it anyway. The US then funded these provinces and provided weapons. Serbia responded in efforts to maintain national sovereignty. This was then characterized as "ethnic violence". The authors, Edward Herman and David Peterson, state that what was going on in Yugoslavia in the 90's was a civil war, not genocide. For example, the true genocide of WWII in the same region resulted in some 600,00 deaths.

When NATO took sides and began bombing Serbian Bosnia it sparked a flight of the population into areas already deranged with the blood lust of war. It fueled ethnic hatred.

This simple fact was denied by the Western media.

I guess the distinction between the atrocities of war and genocide is somewhat lost on me.But apparently it was significant to the legal proceedings that followed.

The evil thing about it was that the West would present bogus figures about genocide - for example Srebrencia. The evidence supporting this was unconvincing and the figures were inflated. "But so what?", I ask as I am reading the piece 7000 dead is not as many as 4000 but that doesn't make it any "less genocidal".

But there was a response to this called Operation Storm that resulted in 250,000 displaced Serbs, 1000 dead civilians, including women and children. This is contrasted with the Srebrencia were women and children were bussed to safety.

They argue that there was gross asymmetry in reporting which fueled the violence and justification of violence.

But the root cause of the war was that the rich regions of Croatia and Slovenia wanted secede because they paid half of the nations taxes.

They wanted a "tax break" and the US was willing to bankroll the program no matter what the price in death and destruction all in the name of humanity.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

One of the factors that makes it hard for some of us to have much sympathy for the Serbian leaders' position is that they never seemed to be interested in anything remotely resembling negotiation or compromise.

Why couldn't the Serbs ever have said "We're willing to work with the other nationalities involved to make Yugoslavia be the kind of place it was meant to be-a federation in which all nationalities are equal and in which the boundaries between nationalities break down and we eventually start dealing with each other simply as human beings"?

Why did their position always seemingly have to be "all non-Serbs must live in subordination to us or we'll kill them"?

Finally, how would not intervening have made anything any less brutal?

Fidel

It’s as if the Nazis won the war, and then NATO put the people who led the resistance against Nazi invasion on trial for war crimes.

DonnyBGood

quote:


One of the factors that makes it hard for some of us to have much sympathy for the Serbian leaders' position is that they never seemed to be interested in anything remotely resembling negotiation or compromise.

Again this perception is false according to the authors. The Serbs actively promoted a pluralistic "greater Serbia" and cautioned against the dangers of ethnically based conflict. The authors argue that the Serbian government was inept in dealing with the escalating problems but was was not causing them.

Here is part of a review of one of the many alternate views of the Serbs:

Fools' Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions (Paperback)
by Diana Johnstone

quote:

Since the whole story propagated by Western reporting relies on the assumption that Serbs are highly abnormal, Johnstone has no problem in taking the overtly racist accusations against them apart. And, of course, once you succeed in taking away the devil away from moralising Western governments, their many NGOs and the mainstream media, the real agendas soon become exposed. Is one to really believe that US-NATO intervened against Serbia on behalf of "peace" and "human rights" or even to "stop genocide" or to build the largest US military base outside the USA, Camp Bondsteel in the Nato occupied Serbian province of Kosovo? Much of that has meanwhile also become clearer to many on the left, except that many still shy away from Yugoslavia, subconsciously embarrassed at having bought the storyline on Bosnia years earlier.

Which leads to the next question about warring and democracy. Why is it so important to believe in these stark polarities of good and evil? And shouldn't we be extremely circumspect when the same international powers were unconcerned about the Rwanda genocide that occurred at the same time?

[ 08 November 2007: Message edited by: DonnyBGood ]

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

So Donny, tell us...

If the US and the West and the human rights movement had just stayed out of it as far as Yugoslavia was concerned, how would anything be BETTER?

Is there any reason we should NOT assume that, had there been no outside intervention, Milosevic would have ruled Yugoslavia as a racist tyrant with no viable opposition until the day he died?

My own interest in this issue, fyi, has always been focused on the siege of Sarajevo.
You aren't really going to claim that THAT didn't happen, are you?

Would you at least agree, Donny, that there was no justification whatsoever for the Bosnian Serbs and the Serbian Serbs doing everything in their power to starve and bomb to death the one city in Yugoslavia where all the ethnic communities lived together in peace and basically in equality?

I agree that the bombings associated with Kosovo were wrong. But what are you saying should have been done?

Could anybody justify Serbia's insistence on preventing the independence of an area where almost no Serbs lived anymore, just because there was a massacre in the 15th Century?

Do you honestly think we should just have trusted the Serbs to be benevolent rulers?

[ 09 November 2007: Message edited by: Ken Burch ]

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Ken Burch:
[b]

If the US and the West and the human rights movement had just stayed out of it as far as Yugoslavia was concerned, how would anything be BETTER?[/b]


Since Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the U.S. military has bombed something on the order of 21 countries. Which of them is better off or even more democratic for it, Ken?

Yugoslavians once lived in peace and a fair bit of prosperity until neoLiberal dogma for globalization began emanating from the U.S. This is what Canadian Michel Chossudovsky had to say about the events leading up to NATO bombing of a sovereign country.

quote:

[url=http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/62/022.html]Multiethnic, socialist Yugoslavia[/url] was once a regional industrial power and economic success. In the two decades before 1980, annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaged 6.1 percent, medical care was free, the literacy was 91 percent, and life expectancy was 72 years (11). But after a decade of Western economic ministrations and five years of disintegration, war, boycott, and embargo, the economies of the former Yugoslavia are prostrate, their industrial sectors dismantled.

Yugoslavia's implosion was partially due to US machinations. Despite Belgrade's non-alignment and its extensive trading relations with the European Community and the US, the Reagan administration targeted the Yugoslav economy in a "Secret Sensitive" 1984 National Security Decision Directive (NSDD 133), "Us Policy towards Yugoslavia." A censored version declassified in 1990 elaborated on NSDD 64 on Eastern Europe, issued in 1982. The latter advocated "expanded efforts to promote a 'quiet revolution' to overthrow Communist governments and parties," while reintegrating the countries of Eastern Europe into a market-oriented economy


And he goes on to reveal the beginnings of "ethnic strife" in the former Yugoslavia. There seems to be a lot of renewed ethnic tensions around the world, especially in natural resource rich countries coveted by the cabal of transnational corporations pushing for an ideology that was proven to fail in several well-known international experiments conducted under near laboratory conditions in the last century. Is that a wild coincidence, Ken? Are people in general really that sinister toward one another and require NATO bombing in the end to straighten things out for them? Or do they just need a little push sometimes?

[ 09 November 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]

DonnyBGood

Here is a citation from Wikipedia on the ssiege of Sarajevo:

quote:

The president of the Serb Citizens Council, Dr. Mirko Pejanović (a wartime member of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency, and the 2007-2011 Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Sarajevo), stated:

Nobody, not even Bukejlović, can change or cover up the truth for the sake of current political needs. In Sarajevo, during the four year siege carried out by Karadћić's military forces and the SDS, there were deaths of Sarayevians of all ethnicities. The people were both suffering and dying from hunger, cold, they were being killed by mortar shells... among the 12,000 killed Sarayevians recorded in the war, at least one fourth were members of the Serb nation or had Serb ethnic ancestry. Thus, we can not talk of an extermination or genocide of Serbs, but of a responsibility of the SDS and Karadћić's military forces for the overall extermination of Sarajevo and Sarayevians, and within that of the Serb people.


What the authors are saying is that these horrors visited on all sides were attributed solely to the Serbs in an effort to commit further war crimes.

But you can see the rational of the NATO generals. It is the typical approach to "modern war". Kill the civilian population that supports the offending army. Would there not have been am alternative to that?

UN forces were implicated in the Srebrenica massacres because the offered asylum to Muslims if they surrendered their weapons then refused to return them when the Serbian army approached. In a very real sense it was the UN, not the Serbian, that created this "death camp".

Read more here:

[url=http://ttp://srebrenicamassacregenocidemassgraves.wordpress.com/]Srebren...

[ 09 November 2007: Message edited by: DonnyBGood ]

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Fidel, I didn't write any of the posts I made in my thread as a defender of US intervention per se.

The question of Yugoslavia has haunted me for years.

The problem I have with a complete non-interventionist position in Yugoslavia remains this:

Had no one from outside intervened at all, had no one spoken out about the crime visited upon Sarajevo(and, btw, there were Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats fighting in defense of Bosnia AGAINST Milosevic and his lackeys Karadzic and Mladic) wouldn't everything, bad as it is now, have been far worse? How could any developments have ended up being more humane?

Was not Milosevic the worst possible leader? And would leaving him in power not have guaranteed that Yugoslavia would have remained a police state forever?

I agree that neoliberalism played a terrible role, but nationalism on all sides, it seemed to me, was a purely negative force as well.

How would leaving Milosevic unchallenged have improved anything is the question I have no answer for at present.

DonnyBGood

This is a good question. Exactly what is the appropriate action of the international community when nations are committing genocide?

Well what is the international community doing about Darfur?

What did it do at the same time in Rwanda under Clinton's watch?

These failures led to the notion that illegal wars of aggression were justified if they were led by NATO and the US. The media faithfully reported casualties supporting the war propaganda. It is as old as history. Why should we be shocked that it happened?

The League of Nations failed because of similar problems. The UN was already there and could have provided a buffer zone between the warring factions of the civil war if properly equipped and more importantly mandated to take the necessary steps.

But simply realizing that something had to have been done does not mean that what was done was better. Nothing would have been better than what was actually done. There would have been a bloody civil war and massacres possibly but nothing like what happened.

Cueball Cueball's picture

In fact there was a negotiated settlement which Madelein Albright encouraged the Bosniaks to reject even after they had already accepted. And it is not even necessarily true that there would have been a civil war of the kind you describe, had the US not supported Tudjmans Croatian governement through State Department licensed corporate military contractors.


quote:

In 1995, [b]during a U. N. embargo on arms sales to Croatia, Bosnia- Herzegovina and Yugoslavia,[/b] MPRI persuaded the State Department to grant it a license to train Croatia's military, pledging that it would teach only leadership skills, budgeting and military ethics.

When the Croatian military, in a highly effective offensive called Operation Storm, captured the Serb-held Krajina enclave later that year, there were suspicions that MPRI instructors must have been directly involved. The operation played a key role in reversing the tide of war against the Serbs and, consistent with American policy, in bringing both sides to the negotiating table. [b]But the same Croatian military was subsequently implicated in uprooting more than 150,000 Serbs from their homes. [/b]

The company denies that its employees played any direct role in the Croatian army's sudden transformation into an effective fighting force.


[url=http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/peacekpg/training/pmc.htm]US Companies Hired to Train Foreign Armies [/url]

quote:

Originally posted by Ken Burch:
[b]So Donny, tell us...

If the US and the West and the human rights movement had just stayed out of it as far as Yugoslavia was concerned, how would anything be BETTER?[/b]


Why don't you answer the opposite. What good did it do? Did it prevent the Croatians from ethnically cleansing the Serbs? Did it prevent the Serb and the Croats from trying to carve of Bosnia. Did it prevent the Serbs from ethnically cleansing the Bosniaks at Srebrencia? Did it turn Bosnia into a credible undevided society with managable inter-ethnic relations? Is there any evidence that Serbia is more democratic now than it was in 1992, after all there were numerous elections between 1992 and 2000, all of them a little crooked, but are they less crooked now?

Any answers?

Show for me, that if left to their own devices that the Balkan peoples that made up the Yugoslav Republic would not have figured out some means of resolving their difficulties, as they had been doing repeatedly since the foundation of Yugoslavia, even in the midst of two world wars.

I really hate this "something had to be done", line, as if we "do something" it will automatically have a positive effect. When a cat runs out into a road, and then observes a speeding oncoming car, and the dashes back across the road directly into the path of the car, it is "doing something" for sure, but wether or not that is the right thing is up for debate.

[ 09 November 2007: Message edited by: Cueball ]

DonnyBGood

Cueball, very well put and to the point

By looking at the outcomes as opposed to the propoganda about Nato's so-called progressive aims you see clearly what bunkum they were,

Thank you.

Brian White

Yeah, I guess it would have been better to turn a blind eye like in burma or east africa.
They stopped milosovic because ordinary europeans like me were sickened by several years of murder and mayhem in southern europe. And I was in germany at the time, there were illegal refugees everywhere begging on the streets. (The legal ones got housing, the illegals begged for what they could get on the streets).
By all means read your books. Do you think ethnic cleansing was a myth too?
What was it in one town? Several thousand young men taken away and dumped in holes in the ground?
Lets all play pretend.

DonnyBGood

You are completely in the thrall of war mongering. The point is not that the Serbian military was innocent by any means. The point is that they were aided and abetted by Nato and then prosecuted for it!

Your touristic impressions are valid on some level but believe the material I've read tells a truer story than your impressions of the matter do.

Fidel

But Brian, apparently there were significant numbers of Afghan refugees who fled to countries like Germany and western nations in general after 1992. NATO countries basically turned their backs on that particular carnage in the same politically expedient way in which they ignored Croat atrocities to focus on Serb ones in the 90's. Was there noticable concern in Germany for Afghan refugees then?

Cueball Cueball's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Brian White:
[b]Yeah, I guess it would have been better to turn a blind eye like in burma or east africa.
They stopped milosovic because ordinary europeans like me were sickened by several years of murder and mayhem in southern europe. And I was in germany at the time, there were illegal refugees everywhere begging on the streets. (The legal ones got housing, the illegals begged for what they could get on the streets).
By all means read your books. Do you think ethnic cleansing was a myth too?
What was it in one town? Several thousand young men taken away and dumped in holes in the ground?
Lets all play pretend.[/b]

Sounds like Germany was not taking its responsibilities as refuge for displaced persons very seriously.

Brian White

Germany was full of refugees. And there are limits. And living in Canada you have absolutely no idea how many there were. I worked in a little town called weisenheim am sand and the town had a little refugee complex. These complexes were scattered throughout germany.
And I talked to people. And I worked with bosnians in germany and in ireland.
Anybody who knows anything knows that Russia was backing serbia and that is what delayed humanitarian action for so long. Greece was also backing serbia a bit. Something about macedonia.
Remember why nato went in? Public pressure. To protect the kosovo muslims who were being driven out of their homes.
Yugoslavia was destroyed because milosovic was a racist nut from the hitler mould. He did have opposition in serbia but a faceful of bullets or other similar punishment for an opposition leader is discouraging for followers.


quote:

Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]But Brian, apparently there were significant numbers of Afghan refugees who fled to countries like Germany and western nations in general after 1992. NATO countries basically turned their backs on that particular carnage in the same politically expedient way in which they ignored Croat atrocities to focus on Serb ones in the 90's. Was there noticable concern in Germany for Afghan refugees then?[/b]

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Brian White:
[b]And I talked to people. And I worked with bosnians in germany and in ireland.
Anybody who knows anything knows that Russia was backing serbia and that is what delayed humanitarian action for so long. Greece was also backing serbia a bit.[/b]

Brian, did you hear anyone talk about Iranian Republican Guardsmen training and fighting with Bosnians and Americans against Serbs? By what I've read, the U.S. military funelled weapons to the IRGC through Croatia.

quote:

[b]Remember why nato went in? Public pressure. To protect the kosovo muslims who were being driven out of their homes. Yugoslavia was destroyed because milosovic was a racist nut from the hitler mould.[/b]

By what I've read, Milosovic was winning his trial before he was murdered. I think news journalists had him pegged for living in a multi-million dollar home therefore they had the goods on him. The press tends to play up the Russian news journalists suspected of being murdered on Putin's call. But certain people have been dropping like flies here in the west for several years of this Bush regime and prior. Bush is a war criminal you know. Both of them. And I have no respect for Clinton either. Both of them.

Cueball Cueball's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Brian White:
[b]Germany was full of refugees. And there are limits. And living in Canada you have absolutely no idea how many there were. I worked in a little town called weisenheim am sand and the town had a little refugee complex. These complexes were scattered throughout germany.
And I talked to people. And I worked with bosnians in germany and in ireland.
Anybody who knows anything knows that Russia was backing serbia and that is what delayed humanitarian action for so long. Greece was also backing serbia a bit. Something about macedonia.
Remember why nato went in? Public pressure. To protect the kosovo muslims who were being driven out of their homes.
Yugoslavia was destroyed because milosovic was a racist nut from the hitler mould. He did have opposition in serbia but a faceful of bullets or other similar punishment for an opposition leader is discouraging for followers.

[/b]


That's more like it is. "Public preassure," like Ostlander rouse!

What a bunch of BS Tudjman and Milosovic were having cocktails with each other and making plans on how to cut up Bosnia up until the war broke out. Your bias is totally obvious, Milosovic is "Hitler" and Tudjman and all the other ethnic nationalists don't even feature in your narrative.

What you don't seem to get is that it was all the ethnic nationalists, against Yugoslavia, as in the federated state, including Milosovic.

[ 10 November 2007: Message edited by: Cueball ]

DrConway

Regardless of the diametrically opposed POVs of the mainstream narrative of Milosevic's culpability in starting the Yugoslavian civil war, and the minority POVs as enumerated by Cueball and DonnyBGood, can we agree that the media's presentation of this conflict has been very noticeably and almost heavy-handedly one-sided?

At the very least, it can be asserted that reporters on this conflict believe that Canadians and Americans are too stupid to understand the reality of civil war being a very messy business when there are multiple sides in the conflict.

[ 10 November 2007: Message edited by: DrConway ]

Brian White

Nato bombings were to stop the attack on kosovo.
It had nothing to do with croatia or bosnia. That was all over at that stage.
Remember?
Guess not.
There was major disquiet about all the disappeared young muslem men but no bodys, no proof.
When Milosovic destroyed yugoslavia, he had no land to give his buddys. So the plan was to throw out people he didn't like (due to their race) and take their land to give his generals to build nice homes and country estates.
There were too many to kill and hide so he forced them out of their homes and tried to drive them all over the border.
Remember now?
Sure, there was bad on all sides (all wars have bad on all sides) but the driving force behind it has been milosovic from day 1 because he very quickly grabbed control of the army. (Which was huge and well trained) and used it as a tool for starting a greater serbia empire.
I have nothing against serbs. Milosovic was a carasmatic bad man. That type springs up everywhere and trys to grab power.

Fidel

So it had nothing to do with cold war maneuvering? It was all about Milosovic?

DonnyBGood

Milosevic was accused of being a war criminal in order to bolster the NATO propaganda machine. This process developed a relationship between the American and world media and NATO that fostered a new approach to shaping public opinion to further Washington's military objectives in eastern Europe.

The authors cite certain speeches that were supposed to have been incitements to ethnic violence and others ignored where Milosevic warned about ethnic violence. They further state that during the entire trial the prosecution did not produce one utterance either by way of witness or document where he spoke disparagingly of the other nationalities in Yugoslavia.

Yet by contrast the Croatian President spoke of eliminating the Serbian nation. This was seen as entirely reasonable. (!) Alija Izetbegovic republished his 1970 Islamic Declaration in the 1990 presidential campaign which was pure fundamentalist intolerance - and the US supported this.

More damningly for the left was that David Rieff, a policy analyst, (and son of Susan Sontag - but not referenced in the article) adopted the Bosnian Muslim cause citing its "tolerance".
[img]eek.gif" border="0[/img] [img]confused.gif" border="0[/img]

The authors argue that in Serbia today there is greater ethnic diversity than now exists in the "breakaway states". They argue that it was the breakaway states that were ethnically intolerant and nationalistic. These efforts were supported by Nato.

This is the "new" methodology - support religious extremism in the Muslim world then brand them all terrorists and take the other side.

The results were catastrophic for the entire region and all the nationalities and far from stopping the problem NATO made it worse.

The authors are very keen on correcting the flawed historical perception.

[ 12 November 2007: Message edited by: DonnyBGood ]

DrConway

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/11/12/pavic-croatia.html]Ontario trucker faces extradition for war crimes in Croatia[/url]

quote:

Goran Pavic, 42, faces extradition back to the Balkan country he left more than 10 years ago. He is accused of crimes against civilians between October 1991 and April 1992, when Croatian prosecutors allege he was a member of the Serb paramilitary force that occupied the eastern town of Sotin.

Members of the unit were charged in 2006 by Croatian authorities with "assassinations, beatings, intimidation and incarcerations" for the atrocities in Sotin with the goal of ethnic cleansing. At least 35 residents from the village are still unaccounted for years after the siege, and other members in Pavic's unit are still wanted by police.


DonnyBGood

This is how insidious war is. There is no doubt that the Serb forces committed atrocities and that officers of the Serb military committed war crimes.

In Croatia the tendency has been to prosecute Serb war criminals only.

See Amnesty International on the matter:

[url=http://web.amnesty.org/report2005/hrv-summary-eng]Croation Judiciary biased[/url]

Now imagine what the dynamics were on the ground. You are a Serb who knows that if the Croatians catch you you will be killed with impunity are you likely to behave humanely?

More telling is the fact that the newspapers continually publish news items that demonstrate the bias. And of course our clever 20,000-post bloggers faithfully reproduces them here as evidence of something.

The authors demonstrate that the most accurate findings recognized on the deaths in Bosnia was 100,000 on all sides. The mainstream media completely ignored these findings because they didn't fit the script.

Their numbers are supported here:

[url=http://www.aim.org/media_monitor/A3205_0_2_0_C/]Accuracy in the media[/url]

So what is it when you use the example of one persons to condemn an entire nationality?

I think readers should remember that Dr C also supported the War in Iraq which used the same techniques of disinformation.

[ 12 November 2007: Message edited by: DonnyBGood ]

DrConway

*snicker*

Supported the war in Iraq?

HEE HEE HEE HA HA HA HO HO HO

Oh... you were serious?

*enters the next room again and roars with laughter, shaking the walls down*.

Cueball Cueball's picture

I think there is a direct link between the Nato operations in the former Yugoslavia, and what is going on today. For one thing the war in Afghanistan is being prosecuted by NATO, which first asserted its right to prosecute pro-active wars during the Yugoslav crisis. As for Iraq, what is NATO, other than a coalition of the willing?

Fidel

[b]US And German Influence/ Croatian Genocide Of Krajina Serbs[/b]

DonnyBGood

This video is amazing Fidel!

Imagine Nazis still alive and well in Croatia!

[img]mad.gif" border="0[/img] [img]frown.gif" border="0[/img]

DrConway

Yes, I know that the Ustashe was revived etc. However there's no [i]official[/i] proof that the Croatian government at the time aided and abetted their existence.

Erik Redburn

quote:


Originally posted by DonnyBGood:
[b]
So what is it when you use the example of one persons to condemn an entire nationality?

I think readers should remember that Dr C also supported the War in Iraq which used the same techniques of disinformation.
[/b]


This is a perfect illustration of why radical politics is in such sad shape nowadays.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Some of the articles mentioned in the opening post are now available online.

[url=http://monthlyreview.org/1007herman-peterson1.htm]The Dismantling of Yugoslavia: A Study in Inhumanitarian Intervention[/url]

Rikardo

Brian:

The official reason NATO bombed Yugoslavia was because Belgrade would not accept the Rambouillet accord which would have allowed NATO occupation of all of ex-Yugoslavia AND independance/separation of Kosovo within three years. After the 11 weeks of bombing Belgrade and the West accepted what could have been agreed to before the bombing.

DonnyBGood

I think the important issue for NATO was establishing - or re-establishing - the notion of gunboat diplomacy. Or perhaps not even that. They wanted a justification for their existence. The US was being frustrated by the UN and in turn simply subverted it, then blamed it for failing to act.
UN troops were ill equipped to defend the peace or act as a buffer zone and denied reinforcements by a US dominated security council, I believe.

The authors state that this was the beginning of the "New World Order" where the Neo Liberal Capitalism envigorated its milttary arm with a new rationale and methodology. These wars are not fought for anything other than global "crowd control".

Water hoses and truncheons are for hippies this is the real stuff - bombs and mass murder - to keep the unruly in line, but also lies and exageration and the exploitation and prolonging of conflict. the "War in Iraq" is now older then the 2nd world war and yet the real military issues were solved in the first few weeks...

And what do we see there? A civil war - just like Yugoslavia.

KyleToronto

I shake my head in bewilderment when people bring up western conspiracies regarding the break up of former Yugoslavia.

Such people often omit the true timeline which includes AT A MINIMUM, the mid-1980s (eg the agitation for greater autonomy for Kosovo and the subsequent elimination of much of that autonomy by Milosevic and his lackies in the late-1980s).

Does anyone not remember James Baker (US foreign secretary), George Bush Sr and most western leaders declaring that they supported a unitary Yugoslavia even after the vast majority of Slovenian and Croatian citizens had voted to seceed from Yugoslavia? No - of course not, it wouldn't fit into "the Plan".

When the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences declared in 1986 that "but for the NDH era, Serbs in Croatia have never been as threatened as they are today" - this at a time when nobody in the world was complaining about discrimination against Serbs and nobody could find any such evidence (indeed in former SR Croatia Serbs were over-represented in the bureaucracy and police), what type of message was being sent to non-Serbs in Yugoslavia.

Or when Milosevic encouraged "rallies of the people" - the rebirth of Serbian nationalist rallies throughout the late 1980s. Or when Milosevic mentioned in Gazimestan, Kosovo in 1989 during the Kosovo battle commemoration (eg before big bad Croats went on a so-called fascist option of independence to kowtow to western capitalists) that "we are engaged in battles though not bloodshed but that cannot be excluded yet" - why does that not register with the conspiracy theorists?

Yes ALL groups suffered in this war - and it was terrible. But popular opinion in Croatia was quite muted after the suppression of the Croatian spring in 1971 (Croatia's version of the Prague Spring when Croatian reform communists were swept out of power). Milosevic's antics provided the push for Croats to seriously reconsider their place in Yugoslavia - well actually first the Slovenes, then the Croats.

Why no mention of the ethnic cleansing of PROTESTANT Slovaks in Ilok, Croatia by Serbian irregular forces and the JNA in 1991? Because that doesn't fit into the conspiracy theory that the evil Croat Catholics were rebuilding a clero-fascist state? Or Hungarian Catholics and Protestants in Baranja, Croatia in 1991? Or ethnic Italians in the Pakrac area of Croatia or ethnic Czechs in Daruvar? Again this doesn't fit into the conspiracy theory!

Was Tudjman a saint? Of course not! He was a nationalist but nobody can deny that the original focus was on decentralization of the country, not outright separatism in 1990. And what happened in the meantime?

JNA removed arms of the territorial defence units of Croatia.
JNA supplied arms to Serbian irregular units in Croatia.
Milosevic stole 1.7 billion in assets from the central Yugoslav bank.
Milosevic took over the governments of Vojvodina and Kosovo and in defiance of the majorities on the ground in those regions (thereby gaining 4 votes of 8 in the Yugoslav federation - with Montenegro of course) and blocked the natural succession of Stipe Mesic as president of Yugoslavia (each republic and autonomous region had a one-year term and the only time this was questioned was when it was Croatia's turn).

Do you really think unity was possible after this? As for western interests, funny that US government officials had shares in Yugoslav enterprises based in Belgrade - sort of explains the pro-Yugoslav mantra expoused (remember that the US was one of the last western countries to recognize Croatia and Slovenia - April 1992, this is after the genocide in Vukovar and after most of Europe recognized their independence).

Why is it never mentioned that Jovan Raskovic, Serbian leader in Croatia was offered a cabinet position in government in 1990? Why is it not mentioned that the leaders of the Serbian Orthodox Church refused to attend the opening of the Croatian parliament in 1990 (though they had been invited).

Someone above mentioned that Tudjman said he wanted to exterminated the Serbian nation in Croatia - no such thing.

The only thing that was done was changing the reference of the Croatian constitution which once said "Croatia is the home of the Croatian nation and Serbian nation" to "Croatia is the home of the Croatian nation and national minorities including Serbs, Italians, Czechs, Slovaks, etc" - a boogeyman for sure for crazies but not evidence that the Ustase were returning to Croatia. In fact the Croatian constitution stated that the foundation of Croatia is the PARTIZAN movement (read the constitution of Croatia but then again, that doesn't fit in with the conspiracy theory).

Did Serbs rightfully have concerns regarding Croatian sovereignty? Of course - their collective experience in 1941-1945 meant that they rightfully were skeptical. But this does not justify blocking roads and access to towns a mere six weeks after the opening of parliament in 1990. Or refusing positions within the Croatian government (all under the orders of Milosevic).

Speaking as a Croat whose family was sent to die in Dachau, I am sympathetic to ALL those who suffered but the public campaign of fear in the Serbian population of Croatia was manipulated in Belgrade (eg superimposing pictures of Tudjman with the Ustase in Jasenovac, for instance or media labelling of Ivica Racan, Croatian Communist leader as an Ustasa - this a guy that was born in a German workcamp in which his dad was killed!)

An independent analysis of the causes of this conflict is in order but so-called "academics" such as Parenti and others who fail to take into account the complete historiography of the conflict are doing a disservice to the public.

As for the situation today, HDZ (Tudjman's old party governs in a coalition with the Serbian political party) - this Serbian party beat out another Serbian party in 2003 - eg the Serbian community has different political options competing for their vote.

Serbs and Croats are being prosecuted for war crimes in Croatia and Serbs and Croats are being released as well. The judicial process in Croatia is light years ahead of Serbia and Bosnia in this regard (though progress is being made there as well).

And in 2007, HDZ might very well be toppled by the Social Democrats (who governed in 2000-2003). In Serbia, the current government's strongest opposition is a party which has not dropped its support for "Greater Serbia".

Say what you want about the conflicts, the fact is that since 1981, the autonomy given to Albanians was largely removed, the automony to Vojovdina (53% Serbian, but historically nobody was in the majority, with a large Hungarian minority) was largely removed, there were wars in Slovenia (marginal amount of Serbs), in Croatia (even in areas with relatively few Serbs like Eastern Slavonia, Slunj, Dubrovnik, etc), in Bosnia, in Kosovo - it can't just be a western conspiracy.

My friends, I don't place the blame on an entire nation - Serbs and Croats were victimized by nationalism but the primary cause of the chaos that resulted was Slobodan Milosevic. Even if you think that Tudjman, Kucan, Izetbegovic were "just as bad", these guys would not have had a large public following had Milosevic not scared the daylights out of the smaller nations within Yugoslavia.

I also blame Tito - this is the guy who had prison camps on islands for all dissidents - whether genuine Liberals or reformed Communists - he is the guy that threw out reformists in Croatia and Serbia in the 1970s. He is the guy under which true democratic development was frozen, allowing hatred to fester underneath - never to be addressed appropriately.

To all Serbs and others who lost their loved ones in the war, I express my deepest sympathies and hope that your return to Croatia will occur. Progress has been made (about 1/3 or so have returned) but more progress needs to occur.

Cheers and peace!

Tom Vouloumanos

KyleToronto, I can sympathize with your emotional feelings on this subject given your tie to Yugoslavia. Civil wars are horrible events even when there is no ethno religious aspect to them. In my experience, the Greek civil war (within the same ethno-religious group) is difficult to speak about to those who's families were obliterated by the Left or by the Right in any rational way. It is difficult to analyse external influences and power plays in order to make the necessary assesments so that we may democratize how great power is used without being called an apologist for one side or another.

I read your post, yet, I respectfully disagree with your overall assesment (not every word you uttered). I won't go into detail but I have written on this subject in very substantial detail over the last couple of years on this board. Nevertheless, my point of views on the subject can be summarized by the 5 part article [url=http://www.dominionpaper.ca/media_analysis/2006/03/17/milosevic_.html]that appeared on Rabble and was posted by the Dominion regarding the break-up of Yugoslavia[/url] as well as the works of Chomsky, Edward Herman and Diane Johnstone on the subject.

I will not get into a debate on each point, I think I have done plenty of that before, and I think that anyone intersted in this story needs to look carefully at some of the very thoughtful works that have been produced and especially, in my view, works by [url=http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-2765553072882910702&q=chomsky+se... and [url=http://www.srebrenica-report.com/politics.htm]Herman[/url] who have been doing this for a very, very long time on a variety of topics (I provided two links regarding these authors but [url=http://www.zmag.org/balkanwatch/balkanwatch.htm]Znet[/url] is also an excellent web source of their articles).

Having said that, I take issue with the term conspiracy theorist. I think this is the intellectual equivalent of a curse word. I believe that Yugoslavia is the example par excellence of corporate media manipulation and the record on this is astonishing (if one meticulously pursues the subject). Looking into this and bringing inconsistencies up point by point, one is usually attacked as a Milosevic Supporter, an Orthodox Chauvinist, a Unreconstructed Communist or a Conspiracy Theorist.

For us, the important story out of the Balkans is our responsibility as western progressives. This is where our focus should be. We should focus on the skewed information provided to us by the corporate media. Our role isn't to make devils or saints out of any of the peoples of Yugoslavia but to look into our own institutions and see how our consent in committing our own war crime (the barbaric bombings of 1999) was manufactured. This for us should be the focus becuase it is our crime. Now, I agree that not everyone who agreed with the Media's daily story on Yugoslavia agreed with the Bombings but the Media's participation (as in Iraq and now Iran) was essential.

I think studying the Yugoslavia story and how the media manipulated western opinion on the topic is the funamental prevailing lesson for us. Yugoslavia (Milosevic/Genocide) is no different than Iraq (WMD) Iran (Nuclear weapons)and Venezuela (the dictator). All these stories are backed by corporate media to support the interersts of Western powers (read the US and its European satelites). I think that the record speaks for itself and there is nothing conspiratorial about it, great powers act as they have always acted in history. Our job as progressives is to expose this and democratize our institutions.

KyleToronto

Tom, I have read your link before - one thing that strikes me again is the total absence of the pre-1989 actions of Milosevic. How do the Parentis of the world explain Lovas, Vukovar, Ilok, etc? How do they account for the disarming of Croatian forces in 1990 and the re-arming of Serbian irregulars in 1991?

Exactly how did a corporatist agenda serve to destroy Yugoslavia? Part of this theory states that Yugoslavia was the sole example of a successful socialist/mixed market system? But the truth is that Yugoslavia was spending beyond its means by the mid 1970s and the communist party did nothing to address this (go look at the transcripts of communist party sessions in the late 70s).

In addition, one of the articles makes mention of Jasenovac - a terrible crime indeed, but not a camp where 700,000 died. Listed in the death list for Jasenovac are 23 people from our village - they died in Dachau or were killed by local nazi forces - but not in NDH (our region was not even part of NDH during the war and yet I have tracked 5,000 names from our region who supposedly were killed there - and this is a region that to this day has no rail link to Croatia and in those days didn't even have a proper road link to transport so many people in that direction).

I take exception with your equating of Milosevic and genocide with the WMD fiasco.

In Vukovar in 1991, the battle cry recorded by BBC as Croatian civilians were marched out of Vukovar (many of whom were slaughtered) was "Slobo, give us salad...we have meat as we are slaughtering the Croats!"

Where did they get these arms from? JNA? Who was in charge of JNA? Allies of Milosevic!

There are transcripts of Milosevic and Karadzic discussing when it is best to bombard Sarajevo (no not today, as negotiations are continuing, etc).

I have no problem with looking at media manipulation - it's just that the people who focus on this point as if to wash away Milosevic's role in the conflict neither know nor care to understand the precise timelines of events.

Croatian Serb leaders like Babic and Martic did not act out on their own - they were guided through links with Milosevic.

Those banding around the country in mass mobs in the late 80s were guided by Milosevic.

I find it interesting that there are those who condemn nationalism but blindly accept Milosevic's version of events. Listen to the Gazimestan speech - listen to the original carefully - if his speech was as innocent as the apologists make it, then why is the crowd shouting "Too bad Obilic didn't have Slobo"....and other warmongering chants.

In my view, western capitalists had already invested in Yugoslavia, much of it in Serbia - they had little to gain by a country spliting apart and heading towards war.

That's why, and I say it again.....look at the timeline and what the leaders were saying re: supporting the integrity of Yugoslavia - this was a line universally supported until around October 1991 as Croatia was already embroiled in war for four months. This is where most "conspiracy theorists" fail in their argument. Sure the US warned Milosevic on having elections - Milosevic was dead set against free elections, leading to the famous walkout by Slovenes in the communist party in 1990.

As someone who travelled there in 1989, it was the silly things, hearing Milosevic complain about the "Alpe-Adria" tourist region (which was an association of Croatia, Slovenia and parts of Italy and Austria) as the re-incarnation of "Austria-Hungarian hegemony against the Serbs". These things were widely reported in the paper. It was the calling of Racan an Ustasa! It was the constant attacking of the "separatist Albanians, disloyal Slovenes, fascist Hungarians, Ustase Croats and Islamic Terrorists Bosnians" etc.

In my view Milosevic is the founder of the Republics of Croatia, Slovenia, BiH, Macedonia, Montenegro and the soon to be new country or entity of Kosovo/Kosove. I doubt separatism would have been more than a expat dream had Milosevic not stoked those fires.

And no amount of "media distortion" in the west could change that.

As for an emotional reaction, I think my emotions are in check, thank you very much.

Tom Vouloumanos

Ok, there are many things being thrown around, and once again we must now dwelve into the details of events. So now in order to have a discussion or debate I think we should disect these events.

My concern is media manipulation.

The postulate: The Media manipulated (either by omission or exageration) events that occured in Yugoslavia so as to demonize the Serbs in general and Milosevic so as to provide a premise to bomb the last remnants of Yugoslavia.

The opposite opinion is the one held by the mainstream media and by western society in general. The above postulate is the dissenting view.

The evidence:

1- the 1989 Gazimestan speech you refer to is known in the western psyche as the battle cry of Serb nationalism where Milosevic lead his clarion call for an ethnically pure greater Serbia. The speech is never fully quoted in the Media. Parts are selected but not the whole speech.

[url=http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Gazimestan_speech]Here is the speech in its entirety. [/url]

This does not seem to me to be an ethno-nationalist speech. Especially this part (but the whole speech should be read):

quote:

Serbia has never had only Serbs living in it. Today, more than in the past, members of other peoples and nationalities also live in it. This is not a disadvantage for Serbia. I am truly convinced that it is its advantage. National composition of almost all countries in the world today, particularly developed ones, has also been changing in this direction. Citizens of different nationalities, religions, and races have been living together more and more frequently and more and more successfully.

Socialism in particular, being a progressive and just democratic society, should not allow people to be divided in the national and religious respect. The only differences one can and should allow in socialism are between hard working people and idlers and between honest people and dishonest people. Therefore, all people in Serbia who live from their own work, honestly, respecting other people and other nations, are in their own republic.

Dramatic National Divisions

After all, our entire country should be set up on the basis of such principles. Yugoslavia is a multinational community and it can survive only under the conditions of full equality for all nations that live in it.

The crisis that hit Yugoslavia has brought about national divisions, but also social, cultural, religious and many other less important ones. Among all these divisions, nationalist ones have shown themselves to be the most dramatic. Resolving them will make it easier to remove other divisions and mitigate the consequences they have created.

For as long as multinational communities have existed, their weak point has always been the relations between different nations. The threat is that the question of one nation being endangered by the others can be posed one day -- and this can then start a wave of suspicions, accusations, and intolerance, a wave that invariably grows and is difficult to stop. This threat has been hanging like a sword over our heads all the time. Internal and external enemies of multi-national communities are aware of this and therefore they organize their activity against multinational societies mostly by fomenting national conflicts.


How does this become a hate speech for Greater Serbia as the media purported?

The question:

Has the Media misrepresented the Gazimestan speech? If so, why?

2 - The Bosnian Death Camps. The picture of the thin emaciated Muslim man behind barbed wire was circulates around the world in 1995 proving the existence of Nazi-like Serb death camps. This is the well known picture:
[img]http://verdade.no.sapo.pt/199810/the_picture.gif[/img]

Yet, Thomas Deichman, a leading expert in photo-manipulation showed that Mr. Fikret Alic, the man in the picture was outside the fence and the ITN news crew was inside an enclosure filming a refugee camp. [url=http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=1414268834929197154&q=bosnian+dea... is the English version of a Serbian documentary on this story[/url]

Question:

Did the Media exagerate the picture of Fikret Alic, making us believe he was a prisoner inside an enclosure, other than a refugee, making us believe that he was starving other than having a congenital deformation? If so, why?

3- The case of Krajina (Dalmatia).

Noam Chomsky [url=http://www.chomsky.info/articles/200005--.htm]writes in this piece: [/url]

quote:

Other consequences are of little concern in the West, including the devastation of the civilian economy of Serbia by military operations that severely violate the laws of war. Though the matter was brought to the War Crimes Tribunal long ago, it is hard to imagine that it will be seriously addressed. For similar reasons, there is little likelihood that the Tribunal will pay attention to its 150-page “Indictment Operation Storm: A Prima Facie Case,” reviewing the war crimes committed by Croatian forces that drove some 200,000 Serbs from Krajina in August 1995 with crucial U.S. involvement that elicited “almost total lack of interest in the U.S. press and in the U.S. Congress,” New York Times Balkans correspondent David Binder observes.


[url=http://www.doublestandards.org/krajina.htm]Gregory Elich presents the details of this story here.[/url]

Question:

Has the ethnic cleansing of 200,000 Serbs from Ktajina in 1995 been largely ignored by the Media? If so, why?

Like I said my focus is on western manipulation on key stories. I bring up the infamous Gazimestan speech, the Bosnian Death Camp Photo and the Krajina case.

Is the initial postulate: That the Media manipulated (either by omission or exageration) events that occured in Yugoslavia so as to demonize the Serbs in general and Milosevic so as to provide a premise to bomb the last remnants of Yugoslavia stand in light of the three examples?

ps: With regards to the emotions issues, this was not meant as an insult or a judgment of any kind but a recognition that it is difficult for anyone who has relatives that have been victimized and/or killed within a tragedy to discuss the politics surrounding that tragedy while completely seperating themselves from their emotional involvement. In essence I was saying that no matter my argument it in no way is intended to show any disrespect to you, your family or relatives. That is all and I believe this issue needs no further discussion.

KyleToronto

Tom,

Have you listened to the speech in its original Serbian? Have you seen the video? The Gazimestan event was billed as a Yugoslav event and therefore you had the parliamentary reps there but the net effect of the speech, especially when you hear the hoars when "armed battles cannot be excluded yet" - you do not hear the hoars for the ethnic sharing because it was not sincere (and the crowd certainly didn't support that brotherhood and unity concept). Just like Hitler when he made some very nice speeches about social and economic justice - i mean who is kidding whom?

Contrast Gazimestan to the elimination of autonomy for Kosovo and Vojvodina - why no mention of this? Surely Milosevic, the lover of minorities would have been against that, right?

And why the demonization of Racan by Belgrade TV when Milosevic controlled the press with an iron fist?

Death camps - interesting you should mention this - yeah i've heard that this guy was on the opposite side of the face (according to how the barbed wire is supposedly placed). Funny thing about barbed wire - it doesn't really matter how you lay it out - it still works to prevent people from leaving. Their existence occurred and people did witness them - some of those who wrote of their existence and took photos are still alive. I know of people who were in Omarska so don't tell me it didn't happpen.

Exodus of Krajina

I've certainly read about it in mainstream press but then again what happened mere days before? SREBRENICA - you know that place that Serbs for years said no one was killed and now we acknowledge at least a couple of thousand slaughtered. And what else happened, oh yes, Serbian forces from Krajina invading Bihas and threatening the western Muslim enclave a la Srebrenica. Again look at the timelines here instead of retreating to propaganda. The Serbs were not interested in any negotiations at that point and unfortunately this meant invasion to save Bihac. Serbs gave Croats a reason to reclaim its territory.

As for the exodus and war crimes that were committed, I am truly sorry. But just as we don't really mourn the loss of the German community in the Sudeten, the world community had little sympathy for the exodus of Serbs. Is that right, probably not. But war is war and those perceived as supporting ethnic cleansing (eg Slunj, Kijevo, Vukovar, Ilok, Baranja, and other areas that had a non-Serb majority) cannot claim innocence and support without acknowledging the many crimes committed by their side in 1991.

As for media manipulation, how about the fabricated stories that Croats killed 41 children in Vukovar (ultimately held to be untrue and made up by a Serbian photographer but not before the story made headlines around the world) or the so-called fascist bombing of the Jewish centre in Zagreb which looked more like a communist plot designed to turn opinion against Croatia. Or the fake Jewish-Serbian friendship society or the "claim" that Ankica Klempuh was a Croatian jew killed by Croats when in fact she was a Croatian Catholic killed by Serbs!

Media manipulation was practiced quite effectively by Milosevic.

Why did Milosevic actively opposed free democratic elections? That's the reason for the Slovene communist walkout in January 1990 - but I guess that doesn't fit the theory of Milosevic the good guy!

Tom Vouloumanos

Again these debates go all over the place, so I will limit myself (for now, I will address the Srebrenica issue later) to the three media issues that were raised.

The postulate I made above was that the western mainstream media demonized the Serbs in general and Milosevic to justify its 1999 bombing.

I brought up three points:

1- The Gazimestan Speech;
2- the thin man in the Bosnian death camp;
3- Krajina

On point 1:

I underlined the fact that nowhere in the speech was there a nationalist racist narrative. In fact it was the opposite, more like a Titoist speech. You brought up Hitler's speeches and said that Hitler talked about social and economic progress and compared it to the Milosevic speech. But your point does not stand, because Hitler made very open anti-semitic, racist and ethno-chauvinist speeches. He was always throughout his whole life open about his racial superiority ideology. Milosevic's speech did not include such statements. In fact, to me it seems more of a speech for a smaller Tito-lite Yugoslavia than a Greater Serbia. In terms of the context, the Gazimestan speech was made during a very important date in the Serbian National psyche, the fall of the Serb kingdom to the Ottoman Turks. If you read the speech closely, you see that it doesn't harp on that event and it concentrates more on the multi-ethnic nature of Serbia and Yugoslavia (i.e. Serbia-Montenegro). Yet, the media ignored this completely. As for the crowds, well it is difficult to say what was going on in people's heads and how they were interpreting the words of a non-nationalist speech. Yes, there was nationalism on a nationalist Holiday, but the point I am trying to make is that the Media mis-represented the Gazimestan speech. As for the language of the speech. I have heard the speech in its original form, but I could not understand it since I do not speak nor understand Serbo-Croation or any derivative dialect thereof. I have limited myself to the english translation. Unless it is a fraudulent one.

The Media had said that Milosevic gave a nationalistic hate-filled speech. Yet, the speech was never really quoted. I believe that the evidence shows that the media misrepresented the Milosevic speech. The question is why?

As for contrasting the speech with taking autonomy away from the regions of Vojvodina and Kosovo-Metohjia. I don't see the speech having to do anything with that but you bring up an important point. Yet, again this should be put in the context that: (a) it was in Serbia's constitutional power to do so and (b) that the reasons Milosevic gave was that seperatist forces we using this autonomy to further break up the last remnants of Yugoslavia. You speak of a timeline, in fact problem in Kosovo were going on during the 80's as well, but the Media reported them differently, before Washington's attitude changed. [url=http://members.tripod.com/~sarant_2/ksm.html]Here is a list of articles before Kosovo bacame famous. These articles are mostly from western sources. [/url] These articles at least give some weight to Belgrade's fears of seperatist groups who wanted to break Kosovo off Yugoslavia and make a larger Albanian state. So for all of this to have balance, we should look at the whole context. By looking at the context of the speech, again it does not seem by any stretch of the imagination to be a nationalist fascistic speech а la Hitler, quite the opposite. So I think it is clear that the Media did misrepresent it.

2- The thin man outside the barbed wire.

The fence in fact that you mention was an open one, made mostly of chicken wire, and partially only around one small abandoned electrical supply or power station. The refugee camp (if you look through the video I posted) had no fences anywhere else. The ITN crew walked into that small abandoned enclosure and filmed though the fence, for effect they shot Fikret Alic who had his shirt off (it was August) and who had a congenital deformation of the rib-cage which made him have the appearance of starving man. A great Holocaust like picture, in fact many European papers ran that story with old pictures of Nazi victims side by side. The point the media was making was clear. Thomas Deichman, the leading expert of photographic manipulation, was the first to uncover the fraud. The media lied, by filming from an open chicken wire fence, an open space refugee camp and then claiming it was a death camp. Why?

3- Krajina

You mention that one must understand and put this "exodus" into context. The Serbs were criminals having committed so many attrocities that it is unfortunate but understable. I think this hits the nail on the head. By dehumanizing a group of people (in this case Serbs so that the term Serb = genocide much like Arab Muslim = terrorist) we are more forgiving about commiting crimes against them. This is the point I am making, that the Serbs were demonized so as to prepare the west for the bombing of 1999. Krajina was not an "exodus" per se, it was a classic ethnic cleansing, actually the largest during the Yugoslav conflict and it was under the eyes of Nato (some like Elich say with the aid of Nato). This is what is not reported, it was called an exodus, an evacuation, it was not reported as a classic text-book well orchestrated ethnic cleansing of 200,000 people since it was under the gaze of Nato and it did not fit the narrative of the evil Serbs.

So on these three points we see a media manipulation by exageration and omission. There is a plethora of these example surrounding Yugoslavia (three here have been selected).

Again, I am concentrating this debate on the Western media's maipulation of informaiton coming out of the Yugoslav conflict, not on what Serb TV said etc. My concern is the media and the power structure in the part of the world I may have an influence in. So, my postulate that in these three cases that the media misrepresented reality, I believe stands. But why?

We can theorize for hours on this and rehash all kinds of history. But let us focus on what the powers that me actually said.

[url=http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=8244]In the previously linked article, Edward S. Herman reports:[/url]

quote:

In a recent development of interest, on a visit to the dying Alija Izetbegovic, Bernard Kouchner asked him about the Bosnian Serb concentration camps, whereupon Izetbegovic, surprisingly, admitted that these claims had been inflated with the aim of getting NATO to bomb the Serbs. [17] This important confession has not been mentioned in the U.S. or British mainstream media.

17. Bernard Kouchner, Les Guerriers de la Paix (Paris: Grasset, 2004), pp. 372-4.

[url=http://www.irinnews.org/InDepthMain.aspx?InDepthId=7&ReportId=59462]In this interview, Noam Chomsky reveals: [/url]

quote:

It is sometimes suggested that the NATO bombing of Kosovo was for humanitarian reasons. That is utterly fallacious. Take a look at the first Milosevic indictment which is for crimes in Kosovo. All but one of the crimes was after the NATO bombing. The NATO bombing was undertaken on the assumption that it would lead to an escalation of atrocities, which it did. It was not a pleasant place before, but by international standards it was not that terrible, unfortunately. The atrocities were fairly evenly split. The British parliamentary inquiry determined that until January most of the atrocities were attributable to the KLA guerrillas coming over the border to kill Serbs, trying to elicit a repsonse. And we know from the OECD reports that nothing much changed in the following months.

On Kosovo, we now have an authoritative statement from the highest level of the Clinton Administration: Strobe Talbot, who was Clinton’s lead negotiator during Kosovo and the head of the joint State Department-Pentagon mission dealing with diplomacy. He recently wrote the introduction to a book by his director of communications, John Norris. In it, Talbot says that for those who want to understand the Clinton administration thinking on Kosovo, this book gives you the answers. [b]Norris says that the motive for the bombing of Serbia in 1999 was not humanitarian concerns. It was because Serbia was refusing to enact the socio-economic reforms that the US wanted. Those are the reasons given by the highest level of the Clinton administration. It was not humanitarian in intent. We know what the rate of atrocities was after the bombing. The idea that it was humanitarian intervention is very self-serving propaganda.[/b]


This is from the highest levels of the Clinton administration. They admit to it.

Now wouldn't they have to demonize the people they want to bomb? One would think so.

Now this does not mean that Serbs are exempt and innocent, the main thrust, actually the only point I am making is that the media served the Clinton administration's goals which the actual administration admits to.

DonnyBGood

I know very little about these horrible times in Eastern Europe but I think the point of this piece is not only to correct the perception and undo the propaganda but to underscore something that is ongoing right here in Canada.

Are the same techniques being used in the Afghanistan war? What are Canada's real interests there? We have plenty of oil and our corporations do not have the span of the US military industrial complex. The only real use for the war is to aid political parties of the right wing. Wars are created to make domestic politics.

I was reading an article in an old magazine called Vision, the 1973 edition, by Carl Sagan. The topic was the Mariner exploration of Mars and the issue of "canals" and life there.

He laments the lack of funding for expeditions to Titan (one of Saturn's moons). He underscores the disproportion of military spending by pointing out that the cost on such an expedition would be equal to the cost of a single jet fighter shot down over Vietnam "last week".

Is it not reasonable to assume that by not constantly pumping billions into armaments these terrible civil wars would not happen or be lessened in their scope and effect?

Are there not better things civilization can do?

[ 22 November 2007: Message edited by: DonnyBGood ]

happydays

Ah, forget it

[ 21 November 2007: Message edited by: happydays ]

DrConway

An interesting note regarding the claims of "inflated numbers" at Jasenovac:

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasenovac_concentration_camp]This link[/url] (Wikipedia, but you can check the references yourself) cites a number of different analyses of the death counts and the majority hit 500,000 or so.

I actually find it interesting that the effective equivalent of Holocaust denial is being practiced by Croatians who claim that the calculated death counts are far too high. We would rightly excoriate anyone claiming that only 500,000 Jews died instead of 5 to 7 million.

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