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Thread: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

  1. #1
    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Warning: Offensive language.

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    Yugoslavia revisited. A recent thread made me read about that dreadful war in Yugoslavia again.

    I have a thousand thoughts about it but no other subject for this thread than the question: what happened in Yugoslavia? Why wasn't it stopped?


    The picture above is graffiti from UN troops stationed in Bosnia. More pictures in this blog. It makes me very angry.


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    Some people grew up with the Vietnam War on their televison every night. This was decisive for their view of the world for the rest of their lives. A current generation are spending their formative years with Iraq dominating the internet.

    Me, I grew up with the War in Yugoslavia dominating the news. I was too young to understand all the intricacies and shades of grey of it. Yet old enough to be frustrated about the incapability of the West in the face of the barbarity of it all. Being young and idealistic, it was decisive for several of my long held beliefs, some of which the regular Backroom visitor will be familiar with: Democracy in Europe at all costs. Human rights as the first responsibility of the state. America brings peace in the face of incompetent Europeans. American is a force of good. National sovereignity ends were tyranny begins. Human rights override sovereignity. Bernard-Henri Lévy is always right. Etcetera.

    I still feel personally frustrated about the war and the inability to stop it. Ethnic strife, barbarity and genocide. This is how Europe ended its dark twentieth century.
    Last edited by Banquo's Ghost; 12-22-2008 at 18:56. Reason: Spoiler tags because of language
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Reminds me of the good old times, seen better
    Last edited by Fragony; 12-22-2008 at 20:01.

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    Camel Lord Senior Member Capture The Flag Champion Martok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    I fully sympathize, Louis. I was in high school during the Yugoslavia War, and I remember fuming that the West just sat there and did nothing while Serbs slaughtered Bosnians and Croats. (Only later did I find out that the reverse was happening as well.) To this day, it still shames me -- and boggles my mind -- how little we did to stop the killing.
    "MTW is not a game, it's a way of life." -- drone

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    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    I hope you realize that doing more to stop the killing would have resulted in more killing.


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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Martok View Post
    it still shames me -- and boggles my mind -- how little we did to stop the killing.
    But how much you did to encourage it...

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir View Post
    I hope you realize that doing more to stop the killing would have resulted in more killing.
    Just like in WW2, eh?
    Also reminds me of Africa, not all that much is done to stop the suffering there, but then maybe it's a bit more complicated, countries being former colonies etc.


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    Senior Member Senior Member naut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Even if the UN could have done anything, would it have really, actually done anything to save lives?
    #Hillary4prism

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    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re : Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Martok
    To this day, it still shames me -- and boggles my mind -- how little we did to stop the killing.
    Aye, same here. There must've been more we could've done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    But how much you did to encourage it...
    How so?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir
    I hope you realize that doing more to stop the killing would have resulted in more killing.
    Howz dat?
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    Camel Lord Senior Member Capture The Flag Champion Martok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    But how much you did to encourage it...
    I second Louis' question: Huh?
    "MTW is not a game, it's a way of life." -- drone

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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Gentlemen:

    I believe that Sarmatian is suggesting that Western European and US efforts in the former Yugoslavia had a distinctly anti-Serb tone to them, which he may believe created encouragement for Croats, Muslims and others who were committing acts of violence against Serbs.

    I'd suspect that pursuing that line too far will bring us into a classic chicken/egg discussion of the causes of the conflict.


    Louis:

    While crass, soldiers stationed in foreign areas have been doing that sort of thing for millenia. The life of the doughboy/poilus/GI/Thin Red Lineman is largely comprised of boredom, boring food, and the absence of female company interspersed with brief periods of stress and terror. This is NOT a regimen designed to promote cultural sensitivity. I'd be surprised if the lad who penned the nasty slur about Bosnian women would have turned down an offer of "companionship" from same if the opportunity materialized. How much misogyny is simply the product of frustration?

    Besides, how does the Netherlands staff their armed forces? Are they volunteers carefully screened or does the larger society loathe its own military and thereby contribute to the military serving as a dumping ground? I don't know enough to be sure on all points.
    Last edited by Seamus Fermanagh; 12-23-2008 at 05:45.
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    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    I believe that Sarmatian is suggesting that Western European and US efforts in the former Yugoslavia had a distinctly anti-Serb tone to them, which he may believe created encouragement for Croats, Muslims and others who were committing acts of violence against Serbs.”
    I agree. And it was what was broadcasted or printed…

    The description (except for the smell) would apply better for the girl for Shumadia, mind you.
    The Bosnian girls I met (Croat, Serb or Muslim) were in the most beautiful girls I ever see. And I travelled a lot.

    For the smell, after 2 or 3 weeks in the local conditions (no water, fire wood, cold temperatures, no real possibility of washing clothes etc) you can’t even imagine what it was…
    Louis, by the way, Srebrenica was quite well fed –comparing other populations in the country- , except the Serbian hostages of course... UNWFP and UNHCR did provide a lot to the town, but with a military garrison (Bosnian Army) outnumbering their attacking opponents…

    Even if the UN could have done anything, would it have really, actually done anything to save lives?”
    Er, kind of what the Russian did to Georgia: first shelling start military operations….
    - Understanding of the situation
    - Stop to believe our own propaganda
    - Not falling in the ultra - nationalist trap
    - Stick to our own value (multi ethnicity, religious tolerance etc) and stop to help and support Nazi and Religious Extremist…
    - A more balance approach…

    To be continued…
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire.

    "I've been in few famous last stands, lad, and they're butcher shops. That's what Blouse's leading you into, mark my words. What'll you lot do then? We've had a few scuffles, but that's not war. Think you'll be man enough to stand, when the metal meets the meat?"
    "You did, sarge", said Polly." You said you were in few last stands."
    "Yeah, lad. But I was holding the metal"
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  12. #12
    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    People want to kill each other for such great reasons as it's sanctioned by God.

    "Please stop" - "No"
    "It's wrong" - "No it isn't"
    "We'll send in troops" - "And?"
    "OK, unless you stop killing them, we'll kill you" - "Aaaaah, now you speak my language!"

    As Seamus Fermanagh points out, the soldiers don't want to be there, away from their families surrounded by simmering resentment and if they are Believers away from the "important" wars elsewhere to keep two lots of madmen from killing each other, and the onliy gratitude they get is occasional bombs or other attacks.

    Until they don't want to kill each other it's going to continue. The Ottomans managed to stop them by the same tried and tested methods we're employing - the threat of overwhelming and indisciminate force.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    The way I see it, NATO went and stopped the killings but they were very late. It was more about when they should've intervened rather than how much more they should've done. This was actually one of the fastest wars as soon as the American planes started to do something.
    Last edited by Shaka_Khan; 12-23-2008 at 12:20.
    Wooooo!!!

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    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    “People want to kill each other for such great reasons as it's sanctioned by God.”:
    Doesn’t apply for Yugoslavia. Most of them grown up during Tito and were Atheist. Even now, Churches and Mosques are almost empty.
    These wars were nationalist, not religious. The problem was nothing really makes the difference between a Croat, a Serb and a Muslim (nationality invented by Tito to gain the leadership of the “non-aligned” countries) except religion. They speak the same language, have the same ethnic background, same culture. Listen to the same music, eat the same food BUT they are Catholic, Orthodox or Muslim.

    “Until they don't want to kill each other it's going to continue. The Ottomans managed to stop them by the same tried and tested methods we're employing - the threat of overwhelming and indiscriminate force.”
    What? The Ottoman Empire wasn’t the best ever Empire, but one thing it didn’t was the use of indiscriminate force. The use of force was in fact quite discriminated. The wall of skulls in Nis was counter balanced by the fact you could integrate in the local administration (by conversion). Some Serbs did well and even got high position within the Ottoman Empire. So, we are here far from what you assume…

    In general, too much half-lies or half-truth, distorted the field realities. In History like on events, when you start to believe in your opinions and mix-up these with facts you are sure to make mistakes.
    Even today, you will still have newspapers referring to the “systematic” rape campaign that even The Hague doesn’t dare to refer to.
    Even today, some will refer to the number of victims from the initial allegation even if bodies were never found, and in fact even proved wrong in some cases…
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire.

    "I've been in few famous last stands, lad, and they're butcher shops. That's what Blouse's leading you into, mark my words. What'll you lot do then? We've had a few scuffles, but that's not war. Think you'll be man enough to stand, when the metal meets the meat?"
    "You did, sarge", said Polly." You said you were in few last stands."
    "Yeah, lad. But I was holding the metal"
    Sergeant Major Jackrum 10th Light Foot Infantery Regiment "Inns-and-Out"

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Force is rarely needed if people belive that it is a possibility. Even in a despotic regiemes most deaths happen when it falls.

    Are some Serbs Muslim? I was not aware of this.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by rory_20_uk View Post
    Are some Serbs Muslim? I was not aware of this.
    Know a few muslims from Serbia, oddly enough rabidly pro-russian

    lol louis I took a look at the offensive graffiti. Yeah really terrible give me a break. And screw sebrenica really. Be a nice ally and give air-support like you are supposed to.
    Last edited by Fragony; 12-23-2008 at 14:13.

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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Gentlemen:
    I believe that Sarmatian is suggesting that Western European and US efforts in the former Yugoslavia had a distinctly anti-Serb tone to them, which he may believe created encouragement for Croats, Muslims and others who were committing acts of violence against Serbs.

    I'd suspect that pursuing that line too far will bring us into a classic chicken/egg discussion of the causes of the conflict.
    Only partly. At first I didn't want to reply but I will. We don't get many good discussions about global politics and that is really my thing. Actually what I'm trying to say is that break-up of Yugoslavia was a specific goal of US foreign policy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Martok View Post
    I second Louis' question: Huh?
    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat View Post
    Aye, same here. There must've been more we could've done.

    How so?

    Howz dat?
    It is a complicated issue which demands a long explanation and goes back to the creation of Yugoslavia, but we'll skip that rather long part and focus on more recent events that start from the end of WW2. Anyone interested in pre WW1 story, I suggest this text.

    WARNING: Very long post.

    Communist Yugoslavia was created in the aftermath of WW2. Contrary to all other European communist countries, communism party in Yugoslavia wasn't brought to power by Soviet Union. During WW2, two main resistance groups formed - royalist chetniks and communist partisans. At first, western nation supported chetniks, while communist got little or no help from SU, mainly because they had their hands full. In time, it was clear that communists are doing much more damage to the Nazis, while chetniks weren't shy of allying with the Nazis in order to defeat to communists at times. Truth be told, chetniks were sympatethic to the allies but they were limiting themselves to procuring information to the allies and rescuing an occasional pilot, but most of the time they were content to sit out till the end of the war and prepare for the struggle for power after the war and were even ready to waste much of their resources against the communists. Communists on the other hand were doing much more, like sabotage or even engaging in full scale battles against the Nazis. So, even though under agreement between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill that Yugoslavia and Greece after the war go into the western sphere of influence, western leaders decided to support the communists. It was a major shift, as royalist Yugoslav government was in UK in exile and was enjoying full British support until that moment. So, after the war, chetniks were left with no international support and communist state was created, with Tito as president for life. That Yugoslavia had different basis then the pre-war one. Instead of a single unitary state ruled by the Serbian dynasty where Serbs held almost all power (more then 2/3 of the positions of political importance were held by Serbs, around 90% of the officers in the army were Serbs etc...), Tito created almost an exact opposite - a federal country formed by the six constituent republics. The borders of the republics were carefully drawn to divide Serbs into different republics and limit their influence. Furthermore, Serbia was divided even more, as two autonomous provinces were created in its territory. Although not constituent parts, those two provinces had much say on the federal level. Basically, although Serbs made between 40-45% of the population they only held 1/8 of the power. Tito carefully cleansed the highest position of Serbs either by exiling them or outright murdering them (Slobodan Penezic and Aleksandar Rankovic). That impractical and very uneven distribution of power was kept mostly through the charismatic personality of Tito. Of course, all nationalistic factions were further silenced by unprecedented economic development (6-14% steady GDP growth for almost three decades), and also by social, cultural and scientific development.

    Although Tito had cordial relations with SU during the war, it was clear that his vision of communism didn't involve SU. Importance of that position was immediately realized in the west. Suddenly, you have a very large communist country (in European terms), with relatively large army that's actually opposing Soviet Union. It could be used as a buffer state, in propaganda etc... So the west immediately offered support to Yugoslavia, economic and military. Soviets were warned, as stated by Soviet ambassador in the US Anatoly Dobrinin in his book ""In Confidence - Moscow’s Ambassador to America’s Six Cold War Presidents." that any attack on Yugoslavia would have "disasterous consequences".

    Several decades after the WW2 were relatively quiet. At first Soviets tried to pressure Yugoslavia into joining by economic blockade but eventually gave up after seeing it was pointless. Backed by the west, the country had the strength to resist it. There were still pro-Russian people and factions, especially in the eastern part of the country (Montengro, Serbia, Macedonia and to a smaller extent, Bosnia) but they didn't dare act publicly. After that, it was pretty much peaceful, country was in its "golden age". Nationalism was limited to extremist groups, mostly quieted by the excellent economic situation and Tito's charismatic personality and, in very rare case, Tito's hard fist. But in the seventies, first cracks began to appear. Mismanagement, waste and inefficiency, coupled with oil crisis shook the economy strongly. Three republics were net gains on the budget (Slovenia, Serbia and Croatian) while the other three (Bosnia, Montenegro and Macedonia) were drains. In the effect of the crisis, Slovenia and Croatia were more and more reluctant to give away their money to develop those republics. Serbia much less so, mostly because of emotional reasons as Serbs tended to identify more with Macedonians, Bosnians and Montenegrins. Slovenia and Croatia were even more reluctant since they've seen it as giving money to Belgrade to invest it (as Belgrade was the federal capital).

    Now we're in the last years of the seventies. Tito's deteriorating health meant that he was pretty much out of politics but he was still a very powerful symbolic presence. In 1979, it was clear that it was only a matter of time before he dies. So, on the 17th of January 1980, Carter's administration hold an important meeting to decide what would the position of the US be in the case of Tito's death. Their biggest fear was the possible Soviet invasion. In the meeting it was decided that a show of strong support was needed, and American carrier sailed into the Adriatic. It was also discussed possiblity of sending AWACS' to Yugoslavia. But, some time after Carter's administration gets a CIA foreign policy report, in which it is stated that Yugoslavia is in a big economic mess, that crisis is likely and the joint presidency of 8 people (1 from each republic and 1 from each autonomous province) is ineffective and that the people were disillusion by them. Also it was stated that Soviet invasion isn't the primary concern. There already were pro-russian factions and people in Yugoslavia (a decent chunk of the command cadre was educated in the Soviet Union) and Soviet could exert their influence without an actual invasion. The conclusion was that Yugoslavia could simply switch allegiances and a country with the biggest standing army in Europe (294,000), very technologically advanced (not quite up to NATO or Soviet standards but first world army by all standards) could now become a Soviet ally. Even if left alone (not pressured by US, Soviets or China) there's a chance that the country would disintegrate by itself. So, instead a reliable ally and stable country, there was now unreliable ally and unstable country. Most of this was stated by William Mondale (Carter's vice-president) later in an interview to a Serbian newspaper (in Serbian, sorry).

    That is when the major shift in western (mostly American) policy towards Yugoslavia happens. Instead of supporting the country, it was decided that it was much more safe to break it up into easily-controlled statelets. Slovenia and Croatia would naturally lean toward the west and Macedonians and Montenegrins were too few to influence anything without guidance from Serbia. Bosnian muslim weren't too fond of either, but they were few and without a strong national identity could be easily manipulated. The only obstacle were Serbs. After Tito's death, Serbs pushed for more influence in Yugoslavia, not really satisfied with 1/8 of power when they make almost half of the population or the admnistrative internal division of the country that left them divided in several republics.

    Now we're at the end of the eighties. Tito is long dead, joint presidency isn't working, economy is still stagnating, even moving backwards in some ways. In the wake of all that, nationalism is strengthening. Last ditch effort to preserve Yugoslavia came from Ante Markovic, a Bosnian Croat who became a prime minister. He tried to rally the people and engage a very complex and bold program of economic reforms. On paper, his efforts were supported by the west, but in reality there was no support. Western support instead went to nationalistic leaders Franjo Tudjman, Alija Izetbegovic and even Slobodan Milosevic, who was the least nationalistic/fundamentalistic of the trio.

    After Ante Markovic, it was clear that conflict is almost imminent. Slovenes and Croats were encouraged by the west, Serbs by the fact that they were most numerous and Bosnian Muslim by both the west and various fundamentalistic Islamic organizations in the world. Officially, western nations were neutral, only concerned about human lives and human rights. Also, officially they considered the borders of the Republics sancrosanct. That was the excuse for not supporting any change of borders (which was proved bollox less then decade later with Kosovo).

    Serbs were demonised on purpose in the media. As you yourself have stated, Martok, at the time you thought how Serbs were killing innocent Bosnians and only later you found out it was common practice by all sides. At the same time, Americans helped Croats to plan the Operation Storm (Oluja), which purpose was ethnic cleansing of around 300,000 Serbs from Croatia, providing intelligence, funds and weapons. The American support was confirmed by at least 10 Croatian generals + some of the closest advisors of late president Tudjman. One Croation general (Vero, I forgot the first name) even explained in detail how it worked. They never worked directly with the Pentagon, but through a middleman, which was a military consulting company founded by retired American generals. He even said the name of the company (it starts with an M, I forgot it unfortunately). But that "private" company had access to military satellites, Awacs planes and many other things not really available to private companies. United States also encourage Izetbegovic to reject the deal for division of Bosnia, accepted by the Serbs, very similar to Dayton Agreement, effectivelly prolonging the war in Bosnia until 1995. At the same time, Serbia was placed under economic sanctions. Officially, Croatia was also under an embargo (although only military, not total like Serbia) but US still delivered weapons, as confirmed by Clinton.

    One sided story of Srebrenica massacre, where blatantly inflated numbers of people killed were used to further demonize Serbs and legitimize any action against them. All victims were portrayed as innocent civilians while in reality they raided the countryside, killing and pillaging for three years and after that returning and hiding behind the UN troops there. Don't tell me it wasn't known, it was known. It was known by the UN troops stationed there and many other international observers, like our friend and fellow Orgah Brenus who was in Bosnia at the time.

    Just by using common sense and logic, you have to see that something was not right there. It's impossible that western countries didn't know what was happening. And yet they only spoke about Serbian crimes and how Serbs were the "bad guys" in all that mess.

    It was further proven when only 4 years after Dayton agreement, western leaders decided that borders were not sancrosanct and that the right of self-determination was the chief democratic principle when it came to Kosovo. To justify further action against Serbia, Racak hoax was created, much to the same effect that Srebrenica massacre story had. Three separate expert teams performed the autopsies on 40 allegedly massacred civilians, from Serbia, Belarus and Finland. Both Serbian and Belarus team said that there isn't enough evidence to support massacre theory. Their findings were dismissed as biased so the Finnish team was called, headed by Helena Ranta. That team also stated there wasn't enough evidence but the report was ignored, instead all media attention was given to Helena Ranta stating the her opinion is that it was probably a massacre (her team didn't back her up). Very, very weak argument. But, a couple of months ago, even Helena Ranta admitted that she did it in under pressure from the head of the Finnish Foreign Ministry’s political section at the time, Pertti Torstila, who now holds the position of Secretary of State and William Walker (the head of the OSCE), who at one point: "broke a pencil in two and threw the pieces at her when she was not willing to use sufficiently strong language about the Serbs."

    I could go on with examples but I think you get the point. When I put all this into perspective, I can not conclude anything else except that break up of Yugoslavia and reducing influence and power of Serbia was a goal of American foreign policy throughout those years. Instead of a single, unified state now we have 6 statelets (7 if you count Kosovo) reduced to economic dependency and Nato soldiers and bases throughout the territory of former Yugoslavia.

    Of course, this doesn't mean that various internal factors weren't involved but foreign factors were dominant. There are three major factors for the break-up of Yugoslavia:
    1) Foreign influence
    2) economic situation
    3) nationalism
    and in that order.

    I'd like to present internet sources for every sentence I've written but it's impossible. Most of it comes from years of research, involving newspapers, expert reports, talking with people who witnessed much of the horror, talking with refugees, watching documentarias. and a lot of common sense on how global politics works...

    P.S. This is actually a short version but I have feeling even this will bore to death most of you.

  18. #18
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Sarmatian:

    Interesting Post -- and a good read. Some points of contradiction (though not completely so as you will observe).

    The Breakup of Yugoslavia was never a specific goal of U.S. foreign policy -- but a lot of crud happens as a byproduct of our efforts even when unintended.

    Most of our Cold War efforts regarding Yugoslavia were to keep Tito separate from the Warsaw Pact (the defensive situation was tough enough without having to defend Venice as well as Germany). The Carter administration never liked Tito as Tito was not a human rights champion, so it did little aside from confirm that Yugoslavia would not fall into the Soviet sphere of influence.

    Reagan and company did even less. To the VERY limited extent that they payed any attention to Yugoslavia, it was to confirm that the various competing voices/leaders were not pro-Soviet. I dont think there was any specific effort to break up Yugoslavia so much as a concerted LACK of any real effort in the region whatsoever. As you suggest, a lot of lip service was paid to the idea of a central government, but little real support was profferred.

    Following the break-up of the Soviet Union, many in the West assumed that all the real problems were now over and that we could all enjoy a "peace dividend." Thus, serious effort to help Yugoslavia nip its own problems in the bud were ignored. After all, with the CCCP breaking apart, there was much sentiment that it was just a process of watching groups separate and establish their own countries. The only people worried were cartographers.

    Obviously, the West was pretty much asleep at the switch. Both Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the troubles in Bosnia-Hercegovina started during this time-frame. Assuming that "the" war was over led to some poor efforts in dealing with the aftermath. As you will no doubt be thinking, the USA's problems AFTER "mission accomplished" in Iraq in 2003 indicate that we are prone to this class of mistake.

    Serbia ended up with the "bad guy" label because it was convenient. Why?

    1. Bad PR work by the Serbs. The timing and scope of Serb efforts seemed to suggest they were the aggressors -- though in all probability it just spoke to the fact that they were more organized. Picking a "this is the start point of the conflict" moment in the Balkans is, to say the least, difficult.

    2. Underdog status for the Bosnian muslims. They had fewer heavy weapons and less armor, thus allowing the media to portray them as David fighting Goliath. This always sells papers, so that' how it was played in the media -- and since David was the good guy, the Serbs got the black hats. Actually, all of the hats should have been varying shades of gray, but that's too complex for a 2 minute "report from the front" on CNN so.....

    3. Political convenience elsewhere. Though this will never be openly acknowledged, it is my belief (admittedly lacking hard evidence) that it was convenient to foreign policy under the Clinton administration to tacitly support the Muslim cause in the former Yugoslavia -- and thus help to cement the impression that the USA was not simply the partner of Israel but a benign Great Power truly seeking to broker peace in the Middle East. Again, Yugoslavia is being used as a tool to achieve objectives elsewhere, with little real attention paid to the particulars of the dominant local issues save as a means to some other end.


    So, I would disagree with you that breaking up Yugoslavia was a specific goal for the West. I'd suggest, as a counterpoint, that there was far more of a LACK of effort and attention than anything else. I acknowledge that saying such may be an even worse assessment than yours -- your view seems to imply that we're actively trying to accomplish goals, whereas mine casts us as stumbling along blindly.

    I'd also re-rank your points of influence, placing nationalism above the others (while acknowledging that all 3 are indeed sources of influence).

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  19. #19
    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Sarmatian is too kind.
    Facts are: In 1991, Croatian Army was inexistent. In 1995, Croatian Army is able to launch a massive offensive with planes, helicopters and tanks, provided by the Germans (from the East Germany left over and material they know to use due the communist past of Croatia) and paid by the USA (probably just advanced money), this against all the UN resolution of a blockade on weapons for all Former Yugoslavia.
    January 1993:
    Maslenica: Action (in Bosnia) of the Croatian army in the valley of Livno, against towns of Glamoć and Bosansko Grahovo. Escape of the Serb populations of Ravni Kotari (several thousands).
    May 1993: HVO (Bosnia): Ethnic cleaning of the Moslem villages close to Vitez.
    May 1, 1995 Blitz Operation: 2000 - 3000 soldiers of the regular army supported by the Special Forces of the ministry for the Interior and the heavy combat tanks and air raids: in 32 hours, they reduce the Western Slavonia after intensive bombardment in the area of Okučani. No opposition of the Serb army of Krajina.
    The Serb population (12.000 - 15.000) flees towards Bosnia, Yugoslavia and Vukovar.
    As Srebrenica, it was an UNPA, United Nation Protected Area.

    At the end of June 1995, the Croats heliported heavy artillery on the Mount Dinara (15 km as the crow flies of Knin). Denied Fly didn’t apply to the Croats apparently. However, 4 Yugoslav Galeb were shot down by a patrol of F16 few days later

    On August 4, 1995, the NATO war planes bombed the Serb communication systems.

    August 4, 1995 to August 8, 1995 Operation Storm (Oluje): 90% of the Serb population (+ 200.000) flee during the offensive from Knin and Glina
    The American Ambassador Galbraith told to President Tudjman that the United States would have tolerated a military action against Krajina which produced combat `short and clean'.
    The German Minister for the Foreign Affairs Klaus Kinkel declared: Croatia must do what must be done.

    So, it was more than an indirect help. Worst, or better, 2 days before the Croatian Offensive, Milosevic withdraw all the Yugoslav Officers serving in the Krajina Army, leaving the troops without command and communication. I know that all Serbian Krajina radar stations were also bomb by the NATO forces because one of my friends was serving in this kind of unit.

    I think that Milosevic and Tudjman agreed on this. Plan was Serbian Population from Croatia would be transported to Kosovo. It didn’t work on Milosevic's side because when the refugees realised where they were transported they just left the trains. It did work on Tudjman side: Croatia is ethnically clean.

    Brenus who was in Bosnia at the time”: Of course it was known. I learned about Oric’s actions on the surrounding villages just after the first Serbian Offensive, the one which was stopped by Gal. Morillon.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire.

    "I've been in few famous last stands, lad, and they're butcher shops. That's what Blouse's leading you into, mark my words. What'll you lot do then? We've had a few scuffles, but that's not war. Think you'll be man enough to stand, when the metal meets the meat?"
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    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Bad PR work by the Serbs. The timing and scope of Serb efforts seemed to suggest they were the aggressors -- though in all probability it just spoke to the fact that they were more organized. Picking a "this is the start point of the conflict" moment in the Balkans is, to say the least, difficult.”
    Bad PR indeed. A friend of mine, director of a photographer company sent 2 of his staff, one in Sarajevo, one in Zagreb and himself went in Krajina Bosnia. In the Muslim and Croatian sides, they got no problems, were help in any ways, in fact were shown the result of Serbian atrocities etc… In Krajina, he got arrested because he had 2 cameras instead of one, questioned by the police because he took pictures of the refugees. It was not bad PR it was plain STUPIDITY.

    It not so difficult to pick the start of open hostility:
    The Slovenian forces shot down an helicopters full of bread en route to provide food to the besieged JNA garrison. According to the French Military Attaché who was there it was a full premeditated murder in front of all the international TV camera.
    Slovenia is now part of the EU.
    For Croatia, first rockets were launched by Ante Paravac on the village of Borovo Selo in May 1991. The media will come in Vukovar only in November.

    The media arrived 6 months after the start, so the picked after the first blood… And, yes, at this moment, the Serbs were in full gear to revenge their dead.

    and since David was the good guy”: True, it is a good PR this one. Because in fact, the good guy was Goliath defending the land of his ancestors against invaders claiming his land as theirs on the name of their god…

    but that's too complex for a 2 minute "report from the front" on CNN so
    Er, I could accept this, but it was blatant lies… It wasn’t only simplifications, it was lies. I was on the field described by the journalists and sometime I was wondering if we were in the same country and war…
    Pictures were false or distorted, reports exaggerated, facts ignored when not against the Serbs, lies spread over.
    Who remember the fight between Fickret Abdic (Muslim) and Izetbegovic (Muslim)? Who remember the Declaration of the Islamic Republic of Bosnia by Izetbegovic? Who remember the war between Croats and Bosnian Muslim? Nobody. Because it wasn’t broadcasted. It wasn’t reported.

    I do agree on your third point. I will add the good opportunity to embarrass EU construction. Germany, France and UK didn’t have the same point of view…
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire.

    "I've been in few famous last stands, lad, and they're butcher shops. That's what Blouse's leading you into, mark my words. What'll you lot do then? We've had a few scuffles, but that's not war. Think you'll be man enough to stand, when the metal meets the meat?"
    "You did, sarge", said Polly." You said you were in few last stands."
    "Yeah, lad. But I was holding the metal"
    Sergeant Major Jackrum 10th Light Foot Infantery Regiment "Inns-and-Out"

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    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re : Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Louis:

    While crass, soldiers stationed in foreign areas have been doing that sort of thing for millenia. The life of the doughboy/poilus/GI/Thin Red Lineman is largely comprised of boredom, boring food, and the absence of female company interspersed with brief periods of stress and terror. This is NOT a regimen designed to promote cultural sensitivity.
    I've fallen for it again! Banquo explained to me some time ago as well that those whose life consists of eating mud interspersed with throwing sticks and rocks over to the other camp may not share all my cultivated manners. What can I say? I am a prissy princess, given more to studying the exact manner of using a silk napkin to wipe off creamy caramel dripping from a puffy profiterole. I cry when a cuddly kitten gets a mean thorn in his his little pawny pawn.


    Nevertheless, the complete disrespect the graffiti shows for the people the makers were supposed to protect is shocking. And, such is my convinction, quite telling. And not irrelevant to the choices that were made eventually. Who would risk life and limbs over a few smelly Bosnian beasts? A racist graffiti 'joke' over smelly men and hairy women is only made when people will laugh at it, when the maker knows that people will 'get it'. The army leadership either failed in maintaining necessary standards for Peacekeeping mission - that is, at the very least respect the people you are protecting - or shared to some extent the racism and disrespect for the locals. There is more to these drawings then coarsity. Graffiti that relates in intimate detail how bored soldiers, deprived of female companionship, are going to do the local women and in which pornographic manner, would be inconsequential.
    But these drawings are neither random vulgarities nor inconsequential. They are a foretelling, a foreshadowing of the terrible end of the UN peacekeeping mission. A moral bankruptcy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Brenus
    To be continued…
    This thread is but a ploy to get you to share the next chapter of your book.

    Shéhérazade's husband in 1001 Nights didn't have to work as hard as I do to get from one chapter to the next...


    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian
    I could go on with examples but I think you get the point. When I put all this into perspective, I can not conclude anything else except that break up of Yugoslavia and reducing influence and power of Serbia was a goal of American foreign policy throughout those years. Instead of a single, unified state now we have 6 statelets (7 if you count Kosovo) reduced to economic dependency and Nato soldiers and bases throughout the territory of former Yugoslavia.
    I would say that you are reversing cause and effect. There was no Western / American masterplan to split Yugoslavia. To put it unfriendly: Yugoslavia was not considered important enough for that. Diminishing the might of Serbia was not a political goal of the US. The NATO and UN bases are the result of a wish to protect and stabilise former Yugoslavia, not the end result of premiditated master plan for control. It is lingering Serbian nationalistic propaganda, reinforced by Western decisions later during the wars, when the Serbians took the brunt of Western policies based on Western annoyance and frustration.

    There was little foreign agitation pre-break-up. But there were genocides, etnic cleansings and rampant nationalism thoughout former Yugoslavia. In response to this, foreign interventions took place. Some unfortunate, some unfair, and some long overdue.
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  22. #22
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re : Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat View Post
    Nevertheless, the complete disrespect the graffiti shows for the people the makers were supposed to protect is shocking. And, such is my convinction, quite telling. And not irrelevant to the choices that were made eventually. Who would risk life and limbs over a few smelly Bosnian beasts? A racist graffiti 'joke' over smelly men and hairy women is only made when people will laugh at it, when the maker knows that people will 'get it'. The army leadership either failed in maintaining necessary standards for Peacekeeping mission - that is, at the very least respect the people you are protecting - or shared to some extent the racism and disrespect for the locals. There is more to these drawings then coarsity. Graffiti that relates in intimate detail how bored soldiers, deprived of female companionship, are going to do the local women and in which pornographic manner, would be inconsequential.
    But these drawings are neither random vulgarities nor inconsequential. They are a foretelling, a foreshadowing of the terrible end of the UN peacekeeping mission. A moral bankruptcy.
    Well, you and I are in agreement as to the role of leadership on this. ANYTHING that dehumanizes the group you are trying to protect is likely to be counterproductive to a protection mission. If US troops have such sentiments on peace-keeping missions, I suspect our leadership cadre would be a bit more assiduous in showing that -- officially at least -- such attitudes will not be countenanced. It's simply not professional. Dutch leadership should have done that much, at least, or opted out of the mission.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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  23. #23
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    One racist grifitti. What you see there is a menu, and some completely random stuff, the type of things you see in public toilets. I have no idea what gives this blogger the idea that there was acces to porn (and if so so what), nothing on these pictures suggest that.
    Last edited by Fragony; 12-24-2008 at 09:10.

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re : Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Well, you and I are in agreement as to the role of leadership on this. ANYTHING that dehumanizes the group you are trying to protect is likely to be counterproductive to a protection mission. If US troops have such sentiments on peace-keeping missions, I suspect our leadership cadre would be a bit more assiduous in showing that -- officially at least -- such attitudes will not be countenanced. It's simply not professional. Dutch leadership should have done that much, at least, or opted out of the mission.
    I completely agree, such things should not be tolerated at all, I'd even say the leadership should make some soldiers remove that from the walls.


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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re : Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    I completely agree, such things should not be tolerated at all, I'd even say the leadership should make some soldiers remove that from the walls.
    first picture, that would be a menu, and unlike the bloggers claim porn isn't served.
    second picture, eh nothing at all?
    third, not nice but seen worse on the doors of the restroom at my university.
    Fourth, you can read, it's from a movie.
    5th, what's the bloody problem???
    6th, same
    7th, not nice, but again common geez.
    8th, 9th, 10th, ehhh, am I missing something significant?
    11th, a poem about growing up.
    2 more wth is wrong with this.
    After that a timetable. I guess the blogger wants me to say schedule.
    After that, what are really talking about? XXX PICTURES it says sex-bar omg.
    And then finally the doomsday-picture that started it all.
    Last edited by Fragony; 12-24-2008 at 15:17.

  26. #26
    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Sarmatian:

    Interesting Post -- and a good read.
    You mean, like all my posts :D

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    The Breakup of Yugoslavia was never a specific goal of U.S. foreign policy -- but a lot of crud happens as a byproduct of our efforts even when unintended.
    I may have used the wrong wording. I don't think that there was a full-fledged plan to breakup Yugoslavia. It wasn't really about Yugoslavia, it was about Nato-Soviet sphere of influence. If you look at the map of Europe at the time, Nato countries completely blocked Soviets to the Mediterranean. But, with Yugoslavia in SU or at least in their sphere of influence, Soviets get major ports in the Adriatic and thus access to the Mediterranean, which would have had a major effect on defense plan. Turkey and Greece were reliable, Yugoslavia wasn't. After Tito's death there was no guarantee what Yugoslavia would do. So, the goal was spreading NATO/US/Western influence (however you want to call it) and limiting Soviet/Russian influence. Breaking up Yugoslavia was done because of that. I'm not saying that it's all about foreign influence. After all, if the country was united and stable that would hardly be possible. But the country was on the edge of a cliff, it just needed a push. West provided that push fully knowingly its consequences, not by mistake.

    It is also important to look at a broader perspective. Looking at Bosnia alone isn't enough. Bosnia and the entire breakup of Yugoslavia was a bit hectic and fast and at first glance it may appear that at all happened so fast that no one could influence the outcome. But if we look at it in conjunction with Kosovo in 1998-1999 it is much easier to notice a pattern. Kosovo is much more a clear case. There was no ethnic cleansing there, no mass murders, no genocide. There were human right violations but nothing that would warrant a full scale attack. I think this is common knowledge now, so there is no need for additional links. And yet, someone took the trouble to stage the massacre in Racak, then to hold peace deals where the main point was to make demands so great the Serbia must refuse. And everything supposedly in the name of stopping ethnic cleansing and human right violations. After the war, there were hundreds of time bigger ethnic cleansing and human rights violations, this time right in the front of thousands of Nato soldiers. Nothing was done to prevent it and in 2008 Kosovo was welcomed as a democratic nation. For me that pretty much rules out ethnic cleansing, human rights violations and similar excuses. So, in the manner of Sherlock Holmes, when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth, I can not come to a different conclusion based on these facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Merry Christmas to you, whether you celebrate it on the 25th or on the 6th of next.
    It's on the 6th, but it's the intent that counts here, the date is not important ;). Thank you. Likewise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat View Post
    I would say that you are reversing cause and effect. There was no Western / American masterplan to split Yugoslavia. To put it unfriendly: Yugoslavia was not considered important enough for that. Diminishing the might of Serbia was not a political goal of the US. The NATO and UN bases are the result of a wish to protect and stabilise former Yugoslavia, not the end result of premiditated master plan for control. It is lingering Serbian nationalistic propaganda, reinforced by Western decisions later during the wars, when the Serbians took the brunt of Western policies based on Western annoyance and frustration.

    There was little foreign agitation pre-break-up. But there were genocides, etnic cleansings and rampant nationalism thoughout former Yugoslavia. In response to this, foreign interventions took place. Some unfortunate, some unfair, and some long overdue.
    For reply on the first part of the post, look at my reply to Seamus.

    Considering lingering propaganda, look below.

    It's always hard to accept these things. Believe me I know. Unlike Brenus, you didn't see it all with your own eyes and I'm fully aware that several posts can't change your opinion that's been forming for years under constant stream of wrong information. Not just yours, anyone would act the same. I had to deal with the fact the my side isn't always the good side, and it wasn't easy thing to overcome, especially when you''re bombarded from all side with info that says it is. It's a hard and slow process but there's progress. If I had written that exact same post in 1999 or 2000 on a forum where most members are from western Europe or North America, I would have been laughed at, called a rabid nationalist, barbarian, troll, spammer, idiot, retard or in most cases totally ignored as one of those things, maybe even get banned from the forum. Now there's a discussion at least. It took time but finally some people have freed their mind enough not to outright dismiss the other point of view. Yeah, it is unfortunate, unfair and long overdue but I'm glad that it is happening, however small the change is...

    Merry Christmas, mon ami...
    Last edited by Sarmatian; 12-24-2008 at 19:50.

  27. #27
    German Enthusiast Member Alexanderofmacedon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    But how much you did to encourage it...
    Right. I think it boils down to how much interference would help the U.S. Usually how things go, though.


  28. #28
    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re : Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    [...]what's the bloody problem???
    You could also ask what's the bloody point of smearing nonsense on other peoples' walls?

    Provocation.

    And provocation is not the bloody point of their bloody mission and if they can't bloody behave themselves they can bloody remove their own bloody smearings from other bloody peoples' bloody walls!

    Clear enough?


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  29. #29
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re : Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post
    You could also ask what's the bloody point of smearing nonsense on other peoples' walls?

    Provocation.

    And provocation is not the bloody point of their bloody mission and if they can't bloody behave themselves they can bloody remove their own bloody smearings from other bloody peoples' bloody walls!

    Clear enough?
    Not nearly, it's just some silly grafitti I find what this blogger tries to implicate rather disgusting. Of course they can't remove it they were too busy running remember.

  30. #30
    Sovereign Oppressor Member TIE Fighter Shooter Champion, Turkey Shoot Champion, Juggler Champion Kralizec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bosnian Girl! Yugoslavia revisited

    While people of Srebrenica were starving, Dutch U.N. 'peacekeepers' enjoyed T-bone Steaks, Spare Ribs, Schnitzels (see the 'Dutchbat Menu' above) and XXX-rated porn, as you will see from disgusting Dutch graffiti below
    Next time, we'll order our troops to subsist on the local (lack of) diet. And we'll make sure that the nearby civilians have ample amounts of porn as well

    Armed forces are usually not hotbeds of political correctness. Do any of you seriously think that there has ever been any prolonged mission abroad, regardless of the nation supplying troops, where troops hadn't chalked up the walls of the barracks or some debris outside? This blogger obviously has an axe to grind, and if anything it's surprising that he only managed to find and post two or three examples of grafiti that are actually racist towards the local population.

    Speaking of axes to grind, everybody here knows that the Dutch armed forces up during Srebrenica. The whole episode is shameful enough without resorting to paint Dutch troops as racists under the guise of starting a discussion about the war in general.
    Last edited by Banquo's Ghost; 12-27-2008 at 14:37.

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