Monday, March 11, 2013

Invictus

The morning of March 11, 2006, Slobodan Milošević, former president of Serbia and Yugoslavia, was found dead in his cell at the Scheveningen detention facility near The Hague.  It was the second death in Scheveningen in a week; on March 5, Milan Babić, once a leader of the Serbs in what is today Croatia, had allegedly committed suicide while waiting to testify in another trial. Babić had plea-bargained with the ICTY, the Hague Inquisition, and received a sentence of “only” 13 years.

Slobodan Milošević (1941-2006)
In the West, Milošević was blamed for everything that had happened in the Balkans over the prior 15 years; not only has it been politically correct to hate him, but dangerous for one’s political credentials not to. News of his death prompted an outpouring of vitriol in the mainstream media, a race to see who could malign the man more. In producing this stream of abuse, they were guided by the assumption that all the charges against Milošević had been proven, if not in the court of law, then in the “court of public opinion” – in which they, of course, had been the judge, jury, and executioner.

Malicious Myths

One representative example is this editorial from the Washington Post:
“Ethnic and sectarian rivalry was real in a cobbled-together state, but few people expected, much less wanted, a civil war. Mr. Milosevic, a Communist Party apparatchik in Serbia, deliberately and methodically nursed this latent tension from a flicker to a conflagration and used it to consolidate a criminal regime in Belgrade. He bombarded Serbs with lies and hateful demagoguery about their supposed victimization at the hands of Croats, Bosnian Muslims, and Kosovo Albanians, and he convinced them that the only solution was a Greater Serbia created through war and ethnic cleansing. …

“More than is generally recognized, at least in his own country, he was personally responsible for the most destructive conflict, and most terrible atrocities, recorded in Europe since World War II. There were other protagonists and other criminals, some of them Croatian, Bosnian, and Albanian. But without Mr. Milosevic the Yugoslav wars wouldn’t have happened.”
Just about everything here is wrong. Worse yet, it accuses Milošević of things his enemies were doing. For one thing, he never called for war. His 1989 speech in Kosovo, often said to be a call for conflict, actually called for coexistence. That is why it is never actually quoted, only paraphrased, and wrongly.

By describing the very real atrocities of Croats, Muslims, and Albanians allied with Hitler as the fruit of Milošević's malicious imagination, the Post simply engaged in Holocaust denial. The claim that Milošević desired and pursued a “Greater Serbia” was likewise pure propaganda. As for his “personal responsibility”… well, the Hague Inquisition had spent years trying to prove it, with thousands of investigators, paid experts, and Imperial troops at its call, and managed to produce… nothing.

The House of Cards

Milošević rose to power in the late 1980s against the crumbling backdrop of the post-Tito Yugoslavia. The original Yugoslav kingdom, established in 1918, was destroyed by a 1941 Nazi invasion. Parts of it were annexed by Axis powers, a territory designated “Serbia” was occupied by the Germans, while an “Independent State of Croatia” run by a fascist Ustasha regime encompassed present-day Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. While the Serb-led royalist resistance (Chetniks) fought the Axis occupation, the Communist resistance (Partisans) saw the war as an opportunity for revolution. Having secured Allied support, the Communist leader Tito took over the country in 1945, banned the monarchy, and re-forged Yugoslavia as a Communist federation.

Tito's velvet dictatorship provided a high standard of living through foreign debt, and his diplomacy balanced Yugoslavia between the Soviet bloc and the West. Instead of promoting a Yugoslav identity, however, Tito exploited ethnic rivalries to secure his power. Expressions of ethnic identity were allowed only if they served the Party agenda. The horrific atrocities of WW2 were selectively suppressed or trumped up, in an effort to establish moral equivalence between all non-Communist factions, to the point of equating the Serb royalists with the murderous Ustasha.

In 1974, the ailing Tito signed off on a new Constitution transferring more power to the republics and  making Yugoslavia a de facto confederacy. So great was his personal power, though, that after his death in 1980, the Party was unable to choose a successor. For the next decade, Yugoslavia would be ruled by committee - and it showed. Decades of mismanagement, debt, and corruption came to a head in the 1980s, with all Yugoslavs becoming increasingly frustrated. Serbia in particular suffered from a peculiar arrangement under which its two provinces, Vojvodina and Kosovo - the only such entities in Yugoslavia - had veto power over Serbian laws. Adding to the troubles was an Albanian rebellion in Kosovo, which began in 1981, and by 1987 required the deployment of federal riot police.

Heretic

His given name, Slobodan, means “a free man”. His surname, Milošević, is derived from an ancestor named Miloš, most likely after the knight who killed the Turkish sultan Murat at the 1389 Battle of Kosovo, forever remembered in song. Yet for most of his life Milošević had been an ordinary apparatchik, a banker who spent time in the United States and dutifully followed Serbia's Communist leader Ivan Stambolić. Then, in 1987, Stambolić sent him to Kosovo, to calm down the agitated Serbs protesting Albanian repression. When the overwhelmingly Albanian police started clubbing the Serbs gathered to air their grievances, Milošević bellowed, “No one is allowed to beat you!”

Disgusted by the cowardice and ineptitude of the Serbian Communist leadership, Milošević went back to Belgrade and began cleaning house. By the end of 1987, most of the old guard had been purged, including his former patron Stambolić. The following year, Milošević  launched a program of reforms, purging the provincial leaderships as well and amending Serbia's constitution to bring it in line with other Yugoslav republics. He became a hero to millions of Serbs, repressed for decades through politics of guilt.

Milošević's reforms alarmed the leadership of other republics, which benefited from Yugoslavia's schizophrenic setup. It was the purged Communists, however, who led the attacks on him. To them, he was a dangerous heretic for daring to challenge Tito's dogma of “Serbian bourgeois nationalism” as the greatest threat to Yugoslavia. Reinventing themselves as democrats, they began demonizing Milošević as someone who “abolished autonomy” of the provinces, and even accused him of harboring a desire for “Greater Serbia”- an Austro-Hungarian canard conjured prior to 1914 to justify Vienna's planned war of conquest. This invective fell on receptive ears in the rest of Yugoslavia, as the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany created a historical opportunity to revise the outcome of WW2.

Yugoslavia's End

Official History paints the dismemberment of Yugoslavia as a response of Slovenians, Croats, “Bosnians ”(Muslims), Albanians and Macedonians to Milošević's “nationalism.” To believe this, however, one would have to deny actual history - from Communism, via both world wars, all the way back to the Ottoman conquest.

There is no question some Yugoslav republics profited much more than others from Tito's arrangement. Though the leader of Slovenia, for example, was a Communist official, he had no trouble reinventing himself as a democrat and denouncing “Serbian Communist oppression”, once he received German and Austrian support. Franjo Tuđman, elected president of Croatia in 1990, harbored sympathies for the Ustasha and engaged in open Holocaust denial. Alija Izetbegović, an unrepentant political Islamist who emerged as the leader of Muslims in Bosnia, had been jailed in the 1980s for a manifesto written in 1971 that called for “Islamic revolution” throughout the world. Albanians have claimed Kosovo and other lands since 1878, and sought their union with Albania proper ever since its founding in 1912. They allied with Germany and Austria for that purpose in WW1, and again in WW2.

To secure independence, the separatists all claimed to be victims of “aggression” by the Federal Army and/or Serbia. Slovenia had pioneered that approach in June 1991, when the Yugoslav Army sent lightly armed recruits to secure border crossings. When Tuđman'a government tried to assert control over Serb-inhabited territories, their residents rebelled, calling on the Yugoslav Army to protect the country's constitutional order. Tuđman's militia, armed from Germany, responded by attacking Army garrisons while claiming “aggression from Serbia”.

In April 1992, when Izetbegović's government declared independence and Bosnia slid into full-scale civil war, the claim of “Serbian aggression” was used once again, to the point of outright falsifying the history of WW2 and the Holocaust. But the greatest absurdity was NATO's claim, in March 1999, that Milošević was the “aggressor” in Kosovo, when NATO itself had launched a textbook case of aggression against Serbia.

Yet Milošević never disputed the right of Croats, Slovenes, Bosnian Muslims or Macedonians to leave Yugoslavia; he supported the right of two million Serbs living in Croatia and Bosnia (the “Transdrina Serbs”, for lack of a better term) to stay. Milošević was the driving force behind the creation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in April 1992, a union of Serbia and Montenegro that implicitly recognized the secession of all other republics. The EU used the Soviet precedent to argue that Yugoslavia had ceased to exist; but while Yeltsin's Russia was recognized as the legal heir of the USSR, the FR Yugoslavia was denied that right.

Milošević wanted to negotiate Yugoslavia's future, and even invited the European Community to mediate - to the Serbs' detriment, as it turned out. Tuđman (“There would not have been a war had Croatia not wanted it.” ) and Izetbegović (“For a sovereign Bosnia, I would sacrifice peace.”) chose otherwise.

It wasn't Milošević who “started four wars”, but his enemies, backed by the West.

Peacemaker

Throughout the 1991-95 conflict, the West acted as if Milošević were the true power behind the Transdrina Serbs. From April 1992 to 1996, Serbia was under a crippling UN blockade, imposed as punishment for the massacre of a breadline in Sarajevo, blamed on the Bosnian Serbs. Milošević got no credit from the West when he set up a blockade on the Drina in 1994, after the Bosnian Serb leadership refused an unfavorable peace; nor for standing by while U.S.-backed Croatian forces ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands of Serbs from zones officially under UN protection.

At that point, however, he must have realized that the policy of protecting Serbia by not becoming officially involved in Bosnia and Croatia not only hadn't worked, but came close to jeopardizing the very survival of the Transdrina Serbs. For four years they had kept the numerically superior Muslim and Croat forces at bay, but now NATO had stepped in with a bombing campaign (“Operation Deliberate Force”) backing the combined Croat-Muslim offensive.

Washington also had the (U.S.-sponsored) ICTY accuse the Bosnian Serb leaders of war crimes, deliberately making it so Milošević was the only politician who could go to the Dayton peace conference and represent Serb interests. Those who hatched this plan later probably wished they hadn't.

Dayton was not a typical peace conference, but rather one where the U.S. “mediators” represented Croat and Muslim interests - often getting frustrated by Muslim and Croat delegations, in fact - in talks with Milošević. In his memoirs, U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke proudly described how he tried to cheat Milošević in Dayton, and only regretted getting caught. Yet Milošević managed to secure a good deal for at least some Transdrina Serbs, which endures to this day in spite of efforts by the U.S. and the Bosnian Muslims to dismantle the Dayton order. Holbrooke himself credited Milošević with saving the talks, after Izetbegović almost wrecked them. Milošević's claim to the mantle of “Balkans peacemaker” may sound pretentious, but it was actually earned.

Three years later, however, it was the very same Holbrooke spearheading Washington’s effort to force Milošević into a war over Kosovo, where the terrorist “Kosovo Liberation Army” was fighting for secession with Washington’s support.

Betrayed and Demonized

Holbrooke later claimed Milošević had broken every deal he’d signed. That is a lie. It was Holbrooke’s employer who has done so, from Dayton to Kumanovo. Washington was responsible for the 1999 Rambouillet “agreement” – a travesty of diplomacy not seen since the 1914 Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Belgrade. The Empire accused Milošević of starting the 1999 war over Kosovo by “negotiating in bad faith,” but it is hard to imagine diplomacy in worse faith than the “peace effort” in Rambouillet, the frame job in Račak, and the subsequent naked aggression disguised as “humanitarian intervention.”

In May 1999, Milošević was charged with war crimes by the ICTY, a move that “coincided” with the crisis of morale in NATO headquarters, as Serbia refused to surrender and images of NATO’s civilian victims became increasingly available to the Western public. NATO's media cheerleaders used the indictment to further demonize Milošević, routinely comparing him to Hitler and the Serbs in general to Nazis. He had become the Emmanuel Goldstein of the new world order, bellyfelt as evil.

Fall and Rise

Though NATO later claimed it that Milošević had capitulated in June 1999, this was not the case. Where Rambouillet would have allowed a purely NATO occupation of Kosovo and guaranteed separation within three years - not to mention the Annex B, giving NATO free reign in Serbia itself - the armistice signed at Kumanovo put NATO on a UN leash, kept it out of the rest of Serbia, and retained sovereignty over Kosovo on paper. Though NATO violated it almost right away, the very fact that there was an armistice after 78 days, instead of a surrender after a week as envisioned in Washington, was a victory. Moreover, damage to the Yugoslav military from the bombing was minimal.

Having failed to oust Milošević by force, the Empire changed tactics. Washington bought the government of Montenegro, and set it on course for separation. In Serbia, the NED cobbled together, trained and funded a coalition of opposition parties. Milošević tried to warn the public about what was coming, but his warning fell on deaf ears. The propaganda had taken its toll. On October 5, 2000, the mob organized by the “Democratic Opposition of Serbia” sacked the federal parliament, stormed the state TV and claimed election fraud. Ballots documenting the alleged DOS victory conveniently perished in the fires set by protesters. This would later become a pattern for “color revolutions” elsewhere.

Unwilling to plunge the country into civil war, Milošević stepped down as president of Yugoslavia. The DOS soon established a new government, under the leadership of Zoran Đinđić. In April 2001, Đinđić had Milošević arrested; in June, he broke half a dozen Serbian and Yugoslav laws and handed Milošević over to the ICTY.

At The Hague, however, there was no trace of the once-accommodating, compromising Milošević. That man had probably perished in 1999, with the first NATO bombs. Instead, the inquisitors faced a proud and defiant man, who threw the accusations back into their faces and insisted not only on his innocence, but on the illegitimacy of the ICTY and the culpability of NATO and Washington for the bloodshed in Yugoslavia. The prosecutors took over two years to present their “kitchen sink” indictment, charging him for war crimes in Croatia and Kosovo and genocide (!) in Bosnia. Milošević systematically demolished their witnesses in cross-examinations and successfully challenged their “evidence,” despite the hostility of the judges, who would often cut him off. In September 2004, Milošević began his defense, after defeating the efforts of the “tribunal” to impose counsel on him without consent.

But the trial had taken a toll on his health, and he would complain of high blood pressure, headaches, and heart problems. Prosecutors and the media derisively claimed he was “faking it.” In February 2006, the “Tribunal” refused his request for medical treatment at a Russian hospital, despite Moscow’s guarantees that he would return. Three days after he wrote to the Russian government, claiming he was being poisoned, Milošević was found dead in his cell.

A Free Man

Although the Western media had already declared him Hitler Reborn, Slobodan Milošević was never convicted of any crime, in any court, even the kangaroo “tribunal” in The Hague. His show trial was officially adjourned on Mach 14, 2006, without reaching a verdict.

At the time of his death, Milošević was a prisoner. Unlike the quisling regime installed in his country, however, he refused to accept his captivity and fought against it any way he could. Rather than save his body by denouncing the country and people that turned on him, he saved his soul by defending them. Whatever one may think of the way he lived or governed, in his final four years he stood alone against the Empire, embodied in the Inquisition: an overwhelming force seeking to dominate all of humanity, willing and able to twist history, facts, and logic into a sinister fiction. Milošević did not have to resist it; he chose to. For years, the greatest coercive force in the world tried to break him, and failed.

He died true to his name.

23 comments:

kukla said...

Thank you Nebojsa. The day Milosevic died I feared that all hope of the truth ever coming out was lost. It would have been so much easier to fight the lies if he were still here. How amazing he was. He showed them all up as the liars and cowards they are. Who could have guessed that inside this banker, so-called bureaucrat apparatchik there dwelt a hero. Thank you again for bringing his story back today. What a loss.

Albert said...

I think Milosevic's time as president was not necessarily that great. His greatness lies in the way he exposed the dirty meddling of the international community in general and the bias of the Hague tribunal in particular during his trial.

Meezer said...

With all due respect Nebosjsa, Invictus is hardly a term many Serbs would use with Slobo.

Traitor, Coward, Sellout, Judas are just a few things that come immediately to mind.

In addition, he was punked & defeated time & time again by the West, so again, Invictus?? No way.

In the end when he was caged like an animal it was then he decided to "fight". Too little, too late for Slobo & unfortunately, the Serbian people.



Asteri said...

I think a more critical analysis of his life is in order, putting aside, for now, that he abandoned the Krajina Serbs, let Serbia fall to the western forces and didn’t come down hard enough on Djukanovic once his treachery became evident. I think the time spent in the Hague salvaged his reputation. I would go as far to say that if he were alive he would be the one advocating EU membership.
One observation I’d like to make is about his western detractors. We all know the accusations of “ethno-fascist,” “Serbian Hitler” and “phony socialist” but the last one is interesting, what do they mean by this? It’s rather self-indicating. Milosevic was a socialist in the exact mould of any west European ‘socialist.’ He faithfully followed their example on economic issues and his party was every bit as ‘socialist’ as they were.* No wonder SPS is trying to join Socialist International – that is exactly where it belongs.
To think, so much time and energy when into defaming the likes of Nikolic and Dacic, doing anything to prevent them being elected and yet, they are the ones to have capitulated to the west the most and at considerable speed, outdoing the previous “pro-European” government.

Gray Falcon said...

Good points all. Let me address them in turn.

Albert, spot on. But I do think people give him too little credit for Dayton and Kumanovo.

Which leads me to Meezer. Traitor? What does one call the people that replaced him, then? Calling him a Judas might make sense if the Serbs in Serbia - who hate him the most and the loudest - actually gave a damn about anyone but themselves. But they care even less for the Serbs of Krajina, Srpska (or the rest of Bosnia), or Kosovo, or Montenegro, or wherever it is they don't live. Forgive me if I don't think too highly of their judgment, given the gallery of "leaders" they've had since 2000.
And it is eminently unfair to call someone a "coward" for actually resisting the Empire by himself, and succeeding half the time (Dayton, Kumanovo). Again, how would you describe the "leaders" after him, then? With all due respect, I think some soul-searching is in order.

Asteri, he was indeed a socialist. While I consider that wrong, I'm also cognizant that very few people back then weren't socialists of some kind. Just about everyone in Serbia still is. I've tried writing about economic philosophy before, but that' a bit like discussing tie choices with a gushing neck wound. Priorities, and all that.

I chose "invictus" because of the original Latin, "undefeated," primarily because of Milosevic's conduct at the ICTY. They could kill him, but they could not vanquish him. I wish more Serbs would understand the distinction, and learn from it.

Zman said...

it depends what you define socialism.. Milosevic was NOT hostile to honest businessmen. My parents worked for small business and they never faced any problems. Milosevic was half socialist and half capitalist; I guess that's the best way to describe him. The problem today in Serbia is the total domination of the allocation of resources by the IMF and foreign creditors and the corrupt leaders in the country who have gotten the country in massive debt, fraudulent privatizations(more like theft), crazy bureaucracy and rules and regulations that benefit the western heavily subsidized companies and make it impossible for new startups in Serbia and plus MASSIVE inflation, total devaluation of currency(something the US can relate now with the dollar being killed by the fed). I guess people can add more to that. The crooks that run the country have a deliberate policy of keeping it poor.

Ognjen said...

A very good article, Nebojsa, and I very much appreciate it. It is a really good overview, and one which I will be forwarding to many of my foreign friends who do not have an in-depth background knowledge on the topic but are interested in learning more after hearing about it from me.

Meezer said...

With all due respect Nebosjsa, as a leader of men in combat, I know cowardice when I see it.

Slobo & all that have followed him are cowards & traitors.

To say "it is eminently unfair to call someone a "coward" for actually resisting the Empire by himself" misses the larger important points:

What about the times prior to him being put in a cage?

You know, the many times with all the capitulations to the Empire? Those were all acts of cowardice my friends.

So we are supposed to glorify him for finally trying to do something right after being put in a cage & to totally ignore the many acts of cowardice committed prior to his caging????

There is a saying that goes:

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

When faced with bumbling, but lethal adversaries, Slobo had no clue in how to deal with them from the start & up to the end when they murdered him.

He should have realized a lot sooner than he did that they were out to destroy him & all
the Serbs, regardless of where they lived, from DAY 1.

It is better to die fighting while leading your military & people in battle against invaders than to be murdered like a caged animal in a NATO jail.







Gray Falcon said...

Zman, that's why "socialist" is a more appropriate characterization of Milosevic's regime than "communist."

Ognjen, I am glad you're finding this useful. Feel free to circulate it.

Meezer, while I don't disagree with you, I am very cautious about the should-haves. It is very easy to judge in hindsight.

Let's give him credit where credit is due, keeping in mind that all the Serb leaders that followed have not only managed not to do better, but actually pissed away the things Milosevic did manage to secure from the Empire, such as Kosovo's status under UNSCR1244. Not to mention the current campaign to dismantle Dayton.

Zman said...

if you really think about it had milosevic sent the army to help the serbians in bosnia and Kosovo NATO would have just bombed us even harder, claiming that Milosevic was commiting "agression".. same as kosovo. same maybe doing what he did was the best option.

Gray Falcon said...

The Empire asserted itself gradually. In 1992, an overt military intervention outside the UN was inconceivable. But bit by bit, by 1999, it became "the new normal."
My thinking is that he tried appeasing the beast as long as he could, and started fighting back in earnest the moment he realized appeasement was futile.
Even if he was late in realizing that (as Meezer argues, not entirely without merit), at least he did realize it. All too many Serbs still don't.

Meezer said...

Nebosjsa,

I understand being cautious about the should haves & judging in hindsight.

However, I could be wrong but I don't think Slobo was living in cave or spider hole somewhere without getting any news local or international when the breakup of the SFRY began.

He was branded the next Hitler (& the "evil Serbs are Nazi's & must be stopped, etc.,") from the get go. Where I come, those are fighting words. It shouldn't take years to figure out that they want to take you out.

Zman,

The JNA was stationed through out the country. They were the ones being attacked. Ever hear of Ejup Ganic & his exploits???

With regards to the SFRY & the JNA:

In 1969, Marshal Tito put in a law which called for a nation-in-arms strategy for defending the nation.

This entailed compulsory participation in civilian defense organizations, militias, and reserve and paramilitary forces, as well as rapid mobilization. The goal of Tito's strategy was to make any intervention prohibitively protracted and costly

The JNA, the citizen militias, etc., was to be involved in various forms of resistance in case of attack, defending each factory, village, school, housing complex, etc.,

So knowing & having all of this in place Slobo chickened out. Some leader, eh???

Btw,
It was no secret back then nor is it a secret now that the US public, as well as, it's NATO members public are very squeamish about taking any heavy casualties.
















kukla said...

William told me that long ago he heard a radio dramatization of the historical event in which the English ordered the Acadian French to leave Canada, and as we know they ended up in Louisiana. The French tried to negotiate with the English authority and one of them pleaded, "Please sir, don't talk to him. He has no authority to speak for the people -- I have the authority. We've been here for generations; we'll be loyal. Just let us stay where we are, in our own place." The British authority was adamant: "You have to go." One by one the other Frenchmen kept trying to convince the British that he himself was the only one who should negotiate. It took them time to realise that negotiation wouldn't help. Always in history, the defeated tried to negotiate in order to lighten their fate. People like Milosevic, like Father Sava, tried to negotiate to the last moment because there was no other solution in view. There is a Polish saying, "The drowning one will grab at an open razor to save himself." Those people who negotiated lost causes are not traitors; they are as good as they can be. Especially when they finally understand their mistake.
Nikole

James said...

In 1969, Marshal Tito put in a law which called for a nation-in-arms strategy for defending the nation.

This entailed compulsory participation in civilian defense organizations, militias, and reserve and paramilitary forces, as well as rapid mobilization. The goal of Tito's strategy was to make any intervention prohibitively protracted and costly


Tito did not even expect Yugoslavia to continue to exist after his death. I found it in an old encyclopedia on him and Yugoslavia from the early 1970's. It was a blunt statement in a detailed entry on Yugoslavia.

He made changes to the Yugoslav constitution in 1974 which helped set it up for the break-up. Those TO (territorial defense) units were to be used to by the republics to break up and off from Yugoslavia. I believe Tito and the communists knew that and they strengthened the republics and non-Serbs and weakened Serbia gradually.

Also, under Tito and his government, they were dismantling and moving industries started in Serbia to Slovenia and Croatia, and heavy industries to Bosnia (this was done in the 50's &/or 60's). The claim was that they were being moved west in case of an attack from the east (Soviets), but perhaps along with that excuse (or disguised by that excuse) was more of to weaken Serbia or make the other republics (non-Serbs) stronger.

Also, it should be pointed out that it was the Serbian army leadership which wanted to stop the NATO bombing or at least they were in full agreement with Serbia. They were willing and waited to fight a NATO invasion but it didn't come - instead Serbia was being pulverized and they all felt that it couldn't take much more.

There were heating plants, electric plants, power grids, etc. that needed to be repaired before the winter.

If NATO bombing had continued through the summer, there wouldn't have been time to repair the heating plants and people would have died massively of hypothermia in the apartments. You can't burn wood and coal to keep many of those places warm.

Milosevic and his government of 1999 and 2000 should also be praised for the ENORMOUS REBUILDING they got done in only 16 months: bridges, heating plants, factories, apartments, schools, etc.

Actually, even before NATO stopped bombing, they were, underground, starting to build segments for the bridge repairs. This came to a screeching halt with the DOS.

It was also the Milosevic government, which in 2000, signed the free-trade agreement with Russia which could have really helped Serbia and been exploited IF the DOS wasn't brought to power so soon after that.

So Serbia was never able to take advantage of that before it was taken over by the puppets. It was also the Milosevic government which managed to mostly repair the Zastava car manufacturing plant after it was bombed by NATO. Of course the new government sold that to the Italians who were interested in it mainly due to that free trade agreement implemented under Milosevic.

I think Milosevic thought the Russians would eventually help to some degree or try to put a stop to it, or even some good people or politicians in the U.S. would take sway. I guess he was someone naively optimistic if so.

Meezer said...

James et al,

There is an old saying here in the US:

"Sometimes you make your own hell"

That is what happened to Slobo & the Serbian people.

All of the squandered opportunities, bone headed mistakes, appeasement/cowardice/treason, etc., of the early 90's (at a time where militarily, tactically, strategically & many circumstances were in favor of the Serbs) only emboldened our enemies.

This of course led to the events of 99, 00 (& today.) In the Empires twisted minds, the Serbs have & will always capitulate no matter how outrageous & vile the Western demands are. Why, mainly because of TERRIBLE "leaders"

Do you think any leader of Israel would sit back & do absolutely nothing while fellow Jews are being murdered & ethnically cleansed AGAIN by fascists right next door???

Yet, a Serbian "leader" did sit back & did absolutely nothing.

Now compare that to another Serbian leader:

"You, O comrades and brothers, lords and nobles, soldiers and vojvodas—great and small. You yourselves are witnesses and observers of that great goodness God has given us in this life... But if the sword, if wounds, or if the darkness of death comes to us, we accept it sweetly for Christ and for the godliness of our homeland. It is better to die in battle than to live in shame. Better it is for us to accept death from the sword in battle than to offer our shoulders to the enemy. We have lived a long time for the world; in the end we seek to accept the martyr's struggle and to live forever in heaven. We call ourselves Christian soldiers, martyrs for godliness to be recorded in the Book of Life. We do not spare our bodies in fighting in order that we may accept the holy wreathes from that One who judges all accomplishments. Sufferings beget glory and labours lead to peace"














Unknown said...

@Meezer:
"....This of course led to the events of 99, 00 (& today.) In the Empires twisted minds, the Serbs have & will always capitulate no matter how outrageous & vile the Western demands are. Why, mainly because of TERRIBLE "leaders"...."

You, Sir, I think are quite wrong on many counts, least of all is not your argument about the "TERRIBLE "leaders"".

Jimmy Carter said, famously, that he would give the American people as good a government as they deserve(d). And he did. His presidency was on many counts a manifest failure. He did launch one major neocolonial enterprise, that the West is indebted to, and now uses against Russia, former Yugoslavia and any other place that does not toe the line - "the human rights" "concept."

Terrible leaders lead terrible people. Philippines Marcos is accused of being, and may have been corrupt. But he was repeatedly elected. Corrupt people do not mind corrupt leaders. Milosevic was elected repeatedly! Serbian people did not deem him terrible. Last election he not only he could have, but most likely he DID win, and then got overthrown.

You Serbs are, essentially, fickle culture, as Mr. Milosevic found out.

I find Mr. Milosevich's pronouncements on the West's and NATO's attacks on Yugoslavia nothing short of prophetic.

For you to complain that Milosevic did not fight enough is a little self-serving. Those that replaced him (Kostunica, - to a lesser extent Djindjich - Tadic, and Nikolic) are falling all over each other trying to please the West and assure them how they will not defend Kosovo. In the light of this to find fault with Milosevich not fighting enough, I think, is absurd.

Mr. Malic is correct about the Serbs from Serbia: they are the last ones to cast the stone.

Gray Falcon said...

I wouldn't call the Serbs fickle as much as deliberately confused into not knowing the difference between what's good for them and what's fatal.

I read something wise the other day: "people get the government they are willing to tolerate." The Empire focused on shifting the blame for everything that was wrong in Serbia onto Milosevic, and by October 2000, conned enough Serbs into no longer tolerating him.

How long the Serbs will tolerate the present cabal of quislings, however, is anybody's guess. I have a feeling it won't be for much longer.

Meezer said...

@unknown

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but not your own facts.

It is a fact that:

At the beginning of the break up of the SFRY, the Serbs had many advantages: More territory, more manpower, more tanks, more artillery, more helicopters, more aircraft, basically more of EVERYTHING except 1 major thing, a competent head of state that was willing to fight for his people.

Despite favorable circumstances, military superiority, etc., Slobo squandered, appeased, etc.,all of it away.

Slobo chose NOT to fight. That is a FACT.


You conveniently ignore the FACT that Slobo did absolutely NOTHING when hundreds of thousands of fellow Serbs were being murdered & ethnically cleansed. (Some of those ethnically cleansed happen to be relatives & friends of mine.)

Again, Slobo Chose NOT to fight.

A now familiar pattern now continued by the all quislings in power.

Slobo was a terrible leader.

ALL the Quislings after him are worse.

Just because all the quislings after Slobo are worse, doesn't change the FACT that every last one of them from Slobo on down are terrible.

I would agree with Nebojsa that the quislings days are numbered.

Btw, The Serbs don't have a monopoly on terrible leaders:

Bush 41, Clinton, George W Bush, Obama









Dad Longworth said...

@Meezer

Let us agree that that not just I but nobody is entitled to their own facts.

You, evidently have a set of YOUR own facts regarding Yugoslavia, Serbia, and Mr. Milosevic.

Manpower, arms, land mass etc., you bring up are "your" facts.

When the war broke out Mr. Milosevic was President of the Republic of Serbia, one of six republics of SFR of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia President was Stipe Mesic, Prime Minister Ante Narkovic, Defense Minister Veljko Kadijevic, Foreign Minister Vladimir Velebit, all either Croats or married into Croatian families.

Mr. Milosevic's powers at the time were limited to the Republic of Serbia.

Mr. Milosevic was elected President of Yugoslavia way after Croatia and Slovenia were recognised as independent countries.

From all that you said it seems to have a tenuous grasp, at best, on the relationship of nationalities, republics, and functions of the State and republics (territories) of Yugoslavia, when the war broke out.

Meezer said...

Dad Longworth,


Have you ever heard of the Republika Srpska Krajina?

The Serbs there controlled 33% of disputed territory in Croatia

Where did all their aircraft, helicopters, artillery, tanks, weapons, supplies "technical help" etc., come from???


Have you ever heard of Republika Srpska?

The Serbs & their Muslim allies there controlled over 70& of disputed territory in Bosnia.

Where did all their aircraft, helicopters, artillery, tanks, weapons, supplies "technical help" etc., come from???




So to recap:

The Serbs controlled:

33% of Croatia

70%+ of Bosnia

100& of Serbia

100% of Montenegro

That's a pretty big land mass with a lot of manpower, arms, etc.,








Zman said...

if milosevic had fought to defend krajina and republika srpska, NATO would have bombed and slaughtered over god knows how many serbs. I'm thinking now he did the right thing, even though I hated him for it in the 90. I have more respect for Milosevic than I ever did back in the 90s.. you can't ignore the fact that everything he said and predicted in his last speech warning what would happen if Djindjic and his gang took over came true.

James said...

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia: The 20th Anniversary of an Illegal Court http://www.globalresearch.ca/international-criminal-tribunal-for-the-former-yugoslavia-the-20th-anniversary-of-an-illegal-court/5336597

David Stein said...

The Yugoslav army leadership was against the capitulation in 1999. The KLA was soundly defeated (the troups sent from Albania were annihilated on the border), the army controlled Kosovo and Metohija, and the loses were light.


Milosevic and the Serbian government hoped that Serbia would get diplomatic help from Russia, but Chernomyrdin reduced those hopes to dust.

In his last book, Jelena Guskova reveals the inner workings of the negotiations, with the help of two insiders: gen. Leonid Ivashov and Zivadin Jovanovic. She confirms what has been rumored 15 years ago: that Ahtisaari and Chernomyrdin had threatened that Belgrade would be razed to the ground.