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tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  16:57:00  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In this thread Gorgo made the following statement on the involvement on "the West" in Yugoslavia:
quote:
originally by Gorgo:Like Yugoslavia and other countries, the West does not like "Third World"countries on independent paths using their own resources to improve the lives of their citizens and they're working to tear the country apart just as they did Yugoslavia. They were close to "first-world" status before the sanctions, and they'll never get there now.


I replied with the following:
quote:
originally by me:Forgive me for my ignorance, but how does the West impede the different fractions of Yugoslavia going "on independent paths using their own resources to improve the lives of their citizens". How was Yugoslavia teired apart by outside intervention?

Do you actually know anything about the history of Yugoslavia?


To which Gorgo replied:
quote:
originally by Gorgo:
Probably not enough. If you wanted to start a thread stating some kind of position with facts to back up what you say, I might consider replying, although I have no time these days, and less starting next week.

Suffice it to say that what I have seen that supports the demonization of the Serbs beyond the other participants is rumor and propaganda, and there is good reason to at least strongly suspect what I've stated here and in other places about Clinton's crimes.

I can only refer you to Diana Johnstone, Michael Parenti and Ed Herman on the subject, and stay away from Frontpagemag.org and others who applaud the crimes of the U.S. with no basis in fact.


I started this thread to unravel this. There are several things to address here as I see it:
- Did Western countries try to counteract the independence of the different Yugoslavian republics?
- Did Western countries impede these countries in improving the lives of their citizens with their own resources?
- Is the "demonization of the serbs" above other groups justified?
- Where the actions of the Clinton administration justified?

I do not know enough of this situation at present, but will try to delve into the complicated history of the split of Yugoslavia to try to answer these questions. Let me first state a number of positions I have regarding this at present:
- "Western countries" and "US" are not synonymous terms. Lately it seems to me, on American message boards, that posters get more and more used to using these terms as being synonymous and quite frankly, I'm getting sick and tired of it. At least in the case of European situations, but also in many other cases, the USA and European countries follow different paths. One thing they have in common, namely that they try to influence other countries to their benefit wherever possible. I see that as no strange thing, nor as something bad in and of itself. That is politics, and politics is for a large part to get as much benefit for your own country as possible. I know of no country that does not try to have as much influence as possible.

- America's actions in Yugoslavia, especially during the Clinton administration, was particularly restricted. The US did not become involved untill after much pressurizing from other countries. Mainly, they tried to get Europe to solve it first, but as often in Europe, the non-uniformity of the European community restricted effective decision making.

- I have no idea how actions by the Western countries effected the economy of Yugoslavia. From what I remember of that time (which is not much, given that I was 11 when most relevant parts started), much of the actions were taken to try to force action from a Yugoslavian government which was bugged down into internal strive due to the internal frictions between the countries in the Yugoslavian Federation.

- No crimes were committed by Western nations. Given the ethnic violence, outside intervention was needed in the manner of peace-keeping missions. Whether this intervention was effective is a different matter.

- Especially in the final stages of the Yugoslavian war, the Serbian communities were unjustly singled out in the popular media when playing the blame-game. Crimes by other communities, like the muslim communities, were possibly underreported. In the Netherlands at least this had to do with the failure of Dutchbat and the subsequent disappearance of hundreds of muslim men from the enclave Screbrenica.

To try and answer the questions above, I will try to draw up a timeline of the events and the involvement of other nations in these events. I will start by researching the situation in Yugoslavia in 1980, when it's then "president for all time" Tito died. In the next weeks I will try to go over the history of the Yugoslavian war in subsequent posts.

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-

Edited by - tomk80 on 01/18/2007 16:57:52

tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  17:50:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yugoslavia at the time of Tito's death

After WWII, the communist party quickly gained hold of all branches of government. Tito quickly gained power, and under the guise of the persecution of war criminals and collaborators political opposition was stiffled. Tito's government had problems aligning itself with both the Western Nations as well as the USSR. It tried to form close ties with other nations that had problems aligning themselves with either Western capitalism or Eastern communism. Yugoslavia was officially called the "Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia". It consisted of 6 republics (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia) and 2 autonomous regions (Kosovo and Vojvodina, both located within Serbia). There were regular uprisings and calls for more independence from the different regions, but Tito managed to quell all these uprisings in various ways.

Political structure
The last political reforms during Tito's reign happened in 1974, following an Croation uprising over the division of funds provided by the world bank and disagreements of new ammendments on the Yugoslavian constitution. It gave rise to a new constitution (one of the largest and most elaborate constitutions in the world with 406 (!) original articles). It partly revised the extreme decentralization in the Yugoslavian government at that time. State presidency contained 9 members, one for each seperate republic or autonomous region and one for the president of the League of Communists. This last seat was officially taken by Tito, but he gradually withdrew from domestic making and barely took part of it anymore by 1976. His power became very apparant at that time, as he always functioned as a final arbiter with the many deadlocks that occurred between the liberal and obstructionist groups in the government.

Economy
Until 1972 a market socialism experiment had run, which had left the Yugoslavian economy crippled with the highest inflation of Europe at 34%. Guest worker programs slowed down this inflation by pumping hard currency into Yugoslavia from countries like Germany. The economy was revised from top to bottom in 1974 and 1976, giving more control to the workers over management, banks and social services. However, by 1979 the economy was practically bankrupt, partially due to increasing petroleum prices. Foreign loans became inaccessible, inflation continued to climb and the pace of development needed to be slowed and the system adjusted to stop further decline.


So that was the situation by 1980, the year of Tito's death. A country that had many deadlocks in internal decision making, where the deadlocks were not decided due to the death of Tito, who always functioned as a final arbiter. Tito also was the driving force in preventing and quelling ethnic tenions, with noone to replace him. Furthermore, the economy was bankrupt and further economic reforms needed. A number of the reforms in 1974 and '76 were a step in the right direction however.

Any objections so far?

Sources used:
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+yu0128)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslavia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialist_Federal_Republic_of_Yugoslavia
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/yugotimeline1.html

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  18:00:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I did not say that the U.S. tried to impede the splitting of Yugoslavia. I said that the U.S. helped others in the West who worked very hard to split Yugoslavia. Whether Clinton himself knew that he was working to impoverish Yugoslavians is immaterial. Clinton is not the government. Presidents make decisions based on what people tell them. It could be Clinton did not mean to commit crimes, but it is illegal to attack other countries. Being the leader of U.S. military, and this would not have happened without the U.S. military, he is a criminal, whether he was well-intentioned or not.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  18:06:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo

I did not say that the U.S. tried to impede the splitting of Yugoslavia. I said that the U.S. helped others in the West who worked very hard to split Yugoslavia. Whether Clinton himself knew that he was working to impoverish Yugoslavians is immaterial. Clinton is not the government. Presidents make decisions based on what people tell them. It could be Clinton did not mean to commit crimes, but it is illegal to attack other countries. Being the leader of U.S. military, and this would not have happened without the U.S. military, he is a criminal, whether he was well-intentioned or not.


Do you have any objections against my analysis of the situation in Yugoslavia in 1980. Yugoslavia by that time had already had a number of crises and uprisings of regional groups. I can find no evidence of European countries encouraging these uprisings at that time. If you have any, feel free to provide. If you want me to elaborate on the uprisings before 1980, I will happily do so.

edited to add: We have also yet to establish that the US committed any crimes. You say that 'attacking another country is a crime', but this is an extemely simplistic analysis of the international and regional situation at that time. In my honest opinion, so simplistic that it is laughable. It completely ignores that the US did not intervene until after many warcrimes were already documented in the Yugoslavian regions and after European intervention in the region failed to quell the regional unrests and failed to put a stop to the continuous ethnic violence in the region. Basically, it completely ignores what was happening there at the time.

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-
Edited by - tomk80 on 01/18/2007 18:12:43
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  18:21:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good for you, Tom! I've wanted to take on what I thought were incorrect notions put forth by Gorgo for a long time, but simply didn't have the patience or scholarly skills to do so.

Indeed, there is not one "Western interest," generally speaking. I get just as upset being conflated with the Euros as you do being conflated with the Americans. Not out of dislike for Europe, but out of a sense of accuracy: Separate nations always have their own interests.

That having been said as a general principle, however, there are outside forces that tend to bring "Western" interests together. The biggest one at present is jihadist portion of Islam, due to the conflation of everyone in the "West" as enemies in the minds of those fanatics. So there is a natural tendency for Europe and America to work together on this issue.

Plus, there is the "outside force" of just plain unacceptable politics of semi-fascism and "ethnic" cleaning, as was seen in the Balkans. While one might put up with a great deal of screaming and shouting by feuding next-door neighbors, once they start murdering each other, it's time to call the cops, or even intervene directly.

I look forward to the information you find, Tom, as well as Gorgo's response. (I suspect he'll respond, though he's likely to be the only one weighing in with the "criminal Clinton" argument.)

[Edited for spelling, and to use better-chosen words: "backward neighbors" changed to "feuding next-door neighbors."]


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 01/19/2007 05:42:37
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  18:59:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Basically, it completely ignores what was happening there at the time.



Your idea that somehow adding one more pointless crime to a group of others makes things right is something that I'm not laughing at.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  19:01:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Indeed. I have been looking at the sources for Gorgo's claims, but all I can find in that direction as of yet are sources that are either extreme left or Serbian nationalist sources. Neither of whom I have any reason to consider accurate. That is part of the reason why I am doing this. I am wondering what the more objective sources state about the conflict. Another reason is that in the Netherlands, the Screbrenica debacle has continued to have consequences into last year. Time flies when you're having fun, but that is more then 10 years from the original fall of the enclave, which is a long time.

The regional unrests are interesting too. Until tonight, I always had the notion that the ethnic unrests were ancient. I have found out that they were mainly stemming from the rise of nationalism after the 1900's though. Learned something there, although I didn't think it relevant yet.

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-
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tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  19:03:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gorgo

quote:
Basically, it completely ignores what was happening there at the time.



Your idea that somehow adding one more pointless crime to a group of others makes things right is something that I'm not laughing at.


You really think that if ethnic cleansing is happening somewhere, other countries need to stand by and do nothing?

But I take it from your non-response on the other points that you agree with my initial analysis of the 1980 situation in Yugoslavia?

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-
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Original_Intent
SFN Regular

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  19:40:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Original_Intent a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tomk80

The regional unrests are interesting too. Until tonight, I always had the notion that the ethnic unrests were ancient. I have found out that they were mainly stemming from the rise of nationalism after the 1900's though. Learned something there, although I didn't think it relevant yet.



I'll trade you...... I want a link to more information on this, as I don't fully buy it.

In return, I present this to help you with your timeline (which I am eagerly awating)...

Peace
Joe
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2007 :  00:21:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the future, please take any non-response to mean I don't have time to respond. Please do more reading on the subject.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2007 :  02:12:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Original_Intent

quote:
Originally posted by tomk80

The regional unrests are interesting too. Until tonight, I always had the notion that the ethnic unrests were ancient. I have found out that they were mainly stemming from the rise of nationalism after the 1900's though. Learned something there, although I didn't think it relevant yet.



I'll trade you...... I want a link to more information on this, as I don't fully buy it.

In return, I present this to help you with your timeline (which I am eagerly awating)...

Peace
Joe



Nice link. Thanks!

Regarding the ethnic violence issue, this is the link where I got my information from.

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-
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tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2007 :  03:58:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So far no objections, continuing.

1980 to 1990: Post-Tito years and increasing strife

Tito's death began a new chapter in Yugoslavian history. However, many of the trends of the 70's continued. In the early years of the '80s there was much rhetoric in reform, but due to the conflicting interests of the different republics, nothing much happened. Further amandments to the constitution in 1981 consolidated the government's rotational structure set in place in the 1970's. The government presidency rotated between the 8 republics in this set-up and the presidency for life was eliminated. In 1982 the Twelfth Party Congress was held, which was hoped to provide strong, new directions for policy. For the rest, the Congress again got bogged down in regional strife. With Tito gone as final arbiter and nobody to replace him, there was no way to settle dispute. I will use a subsequent post to elaborate on the different regions as well as on other factors influencing the collapse of Yugoslavian federation. For now, it is enough to understand that there was a tension between those who wanted to centralize the government of the federation, and those who wanted the member-republics to have as much autonomy as possible. Following the congress a working group was instated to analyze the government and come with a conclusion. It's report (issued three years later) was so convoluted that both sides of the argument declared victory.

In 1982 the sense of economic hardship was so strong that the Federal Assembly passed austerity measures to temporarily curb spending and control inflation. In 1983 the Krajgher Commission Report was issued. This was a report that served as an official blueprint for economic reform. Although this report recognized the importance of free market in theory, this would mean giving up state-level control of many economic decisions. Hence, the implementation of the reforms met strong institutional resistance. By the end of 1983, many of the short-term austerity measures were relaxed. Economic reform was no longer enacted.

In 1984 Serbia demanded of the autonomous regions Kosovo and Vojvodina
(both provinces of Servia) to recind it's autonomy. This was met with angry dissent from these provinces.

In 1986, following the Thirteenth Party Congress, the conclusions of the Krajgher report were restated and actively acted upon. A large number of austerity measures were enacted and the need for reform was officially recognized. Furthermore, the advocates of a strong, central government gained wide support. A new statute was written which transferred the election of members of the party's Central Committee from the republics to the LCY Congress (the national communist party). It further gave the National Party the right to curb deviation from the central line by the republican parties. In the following election, only 38 of the 165-member Central Committee were re-elected.

In 1987 constitutional amendments were proposed that sought to reduce the obstructive power of the decentralized governments. The main impetus of these proposals was Serbia's drive to regain control of it's provinces and thus get equal footing with the other republics. Several forms of economic reform were also proposed. After 22 months of heavy debating, the amendments were accepted. They were seen as the run-on to a new constitution to be written in the early 1990s. Especially Serbia was a fervent proponent for this, to try and consolodate the regained power over their provinces.

Following the freezing of wages and closing of unproductive plants, 1987 saw a large number of strikes all over the federation. For the next two years the government wavered between implementing hardline austerity measures and attempts at reconciliation (for example by replacing impopular officials). In 1988 the Prime Minister Branko Mikulic was forced to resign due to these strikes. In 1989 his successor Ante Markovic faced similar difficulties.

In 1990 Markovic made moves towards a market economy. Furthermore, he announced that the government would start functioning independently from the LCY, which gained strong popular support. He also announced to be ready for multiparty elections. More importantly, he was part of a new group of leaders in the government, not part of the old Tito-government.

From now on events are moving fast and are harder to unravel. Anyone any objections or corrections until now? If not, my next post will detail the reasons for the internal struggles in the republic.

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2007 :  04:40:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So far you've said that the evil spawn of Satan, Tito, imposed his evil socialism on the crazy factions of Yugoslavia, who only wanted to kill each other, and it finally failed as all evil plans do, while the elite of the West, always eager to help those in need, tried to help, but the crazy Easterners just weren't able to peacefully run their own country. So, it took the good, but reluctant, Bill Clinton to bomb them back to Satan. Of course, bombing their homes and their infrastructure would have helped normal people, but these were crazy easterners, and well, you know how them crazy Balkans folks are. They don't know how to do anything but slaughter each other, especially those Serbs, who've taken over as the spawn of Satan, trying to impose that evil socialism.

Do I about have it? Nothing about the IMF, nothing about the NED, nothing about the Germans. A plain and simple story that everyone knows. Milosevic was like Hitler slaughtering people by the millions in concentration camps, and now the people of Yugoslavia finally have the separate nations they want without fear of being touched by someone of another "nationality."

I can see why you think anything else would be laughable and that people who don't agree with you are stupid. It's true. Such a complete story.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2007 :  05:32:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That seems an entirely flippant response, Gorgo, for someone like yourself who is concerned about these issues.

Tom has gone to considerable effort to research these issues, even as you suggested he should. But instead of responding in kind, you just lash out sarcastically. If you care to have your ideas treated seriously, could you please try taking a deep breath, and respond in the same respectful spirit that Tom has shown you?

I was looking forward to a real debate, so I could learn something, but your response was not helpful. You can still correct that anytime, however. Please!





Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2007 :  06:27:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:


I was looking forward to a real debate, so I could learn something, but your response was not helpful. You can still correct that anytime, however. Please!


I said very clearly that I may or may not respond, as I don't have much time. After this week, I will have no time. I don't find it easy to take anyone seriously who says that someone else's responses are "laughable." The standard Skepticfriends response to that is "fuck you asshole" but I refrained from that. I never promised debate. Not sure how to debate someone that knows everything even if I did have time.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2007 :  06:31:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gorgo, if you have anything constructive to add, please do so. If not, just shut up. As I said, I would go into some of the financial relationships either. I never said anything about Tito being evil, I have yet to say anything about Milosevic etc. So at this point your reponse just doesn't make any sense at all.

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-
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