Previous posts in this discussion:
PostIbrahim Rugova and Kosovo's LDK (Alice Whealey, USA, 12/18/22 2:08 am)
Eugenio Battaglio and I agree that NATO intervention in Kosovo set up a dangerous precedent for international relations, and has been exploited by Putin to set up a buffer zone between Russia and a potential NATO member by supporting Abkhazia and South Ossetian independence, and after some reluctance, Donbas. (Although because Donbas is much more densely populated than Abkhazia and S. Ossetia, this is much harder to achieve without significant casualties.)
One correction to Eugenio's comment: Ibrahim Rugova was not part of the guerrilla group KLA/UCK. On the contrary, Rugova directed the LDK (Democratic League of Kosovo), which publicly advocated peaceful resistance to Milosevic's very foolish revocation of Kosovo's autonomy. Rugova's peaceful tactics were scorned by the violent KLA/UCK. Unfortunately, once Rugova died in 2006, ex-KLA members like Hashim Thaci got more power in Kosovo, which has exacerbated problems with organized crime in Kosovo, prevented bringing any KLA members to justice for violence against non-Albanians in Kosovo, and perpetuated ethnic tensions in the region.
JE comments: Alice, what appraisal can you give us of Kosovo as an independent state? Wikipedia reports that it has experienced solid economic growth and has applied for EU membership. However, Kosovo remains a "partially recognized" state. Several big players in the world of nations have not recognized it, including China, India, Brazil and (of course) Russia.
NATO Intervention in Bosnia, Revisited
(Eugenio Battaglia, Italy
12/19/22 3:13 AM)
I wish to thank Alice Whealey for her kind correction about Ibrahim Rugova being the leader of the LDK and not the UCK. I apologize for my confusion. There is quite a difference between the LDK and UCK. By the way, the UCK in 1998 was declared a terrorist organization by both the UN and the US State Department, but as usual if a terrorist organization can be useful to the Empire, it can at least be considered "our bastard."
In his latest post, Istvan Simon wrote that he was aware that NATO did not intervene in Bosnia. Istvan is theoretically correct, as NATO intervened through UNPROFOR, which asked for the intervention of NATO with Operation Deny Flight on 12 April 1993.
Bosnia Herzegovina at present is a pseudo-state of 15,129 square KM with a population of 3.5 million: 50.1% are Bosnian, 30.8% Serbian, 15.4% Croatian, and 3.7% others. With the dissolution of the Yugoslavian pseudo-state, born after WWI, practically every ethnic group declared its independence or union with the motherland of Croatia or Serbia, which is very understandable. An accord respecting to the requests of the people should have been the correct way to proceed.
NATO intervened on 11 April 1994, the first act of aggression out of the original spirit of NATO. I have already stated that NATO should have been disbanded in 1991 with the withdrawal of all US troops from Europe, but NATO is necessary as the armed arm of the insatiable Empire's Deep State.
In September 1995, a peace was imposed which involves a continuous occupation, now by the European mission Althea. The EU occupies a non-vital state divided according to three ethnic groups ready to explode at any moment, but the important thing is that the Empire through its lackeys can control it.
Furthermore, I would not speak of a genocide against the Tatars in Crimea, but rather of a population change. Many diverse peoples have lived in Crimea, including Genoese and Venetians. When the Ottomans arrived they used the first example of biological warfare to conquer Feodosiya (Caffa), but they were unsuccessful in 1347, and the Genoese remained there until 1475.
The small Italian community of Crimea was officially recognized by Putin on April 2015; thanks.
JE comments: "UCK" is an unfortunate acronym from the Anglophone perspective. Eugenio, why call Bosnia Herzegovina a pseudo-state? It has all the trappings of a state, period--no less viable than other new(ish) nations such as Slovakia. Am I misunderstanding something?
Greetings from Asunción, Paraguay. We are off to Buenos Aires this afternoon. Lots to report on this unique and enigmatic nation (Paraguay). One thing is certain--I will be returning.
Bosnia-Herzegovina as "Pseudo" State
(Eugenio Battaglia, Italy
12/23/22 2:08 AM)
Our esteemed editor asked for my explanation of why I called Bosnia-Herzegovina a pseudo-state (December 19th).
At present Bosnia-Herzegovina is divided into three, or more precisely four, ethnic entities. The division is among the Serbian part denominated Republika Srpska, whose leader wants a prompt reunification with Serbia, and a Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina where Muslim Bosnians and Catholic Croats temporarily live, even if separated. The real leader of the state, the international High Representative, lives in the small territory of Brcko. There is a collegial Presidency of the State with the three leaders of the main ethnic groups, all of whom hate the others.
In his latest report, the current High Representative Christian Schmidt clearly spoke of a risk of secession of the Republika Srpska, following the speech of its leader Milorad Dodik and his plan for a strong national Serbian Army. Dodik stated, "The truth is there is no agreement that Bosnia-Herzegovina can survive. Serbians and Croats are obliged to live in this state but they will not do this."
Both Croats and Serbs consider the Bosnians as the heirs of those who during the occupation of the Ottoman Empire sided with the Turks.
Remember that the SS Waffen Gebirgs Division der SS "Handschar," blessed by the Gran Mufti Amin al-Husayni of Jerusalem, enjoyed killing Serbs but had fairly good relations with the Ustasha. A the end of WWII hundreds of thousands of them, with their families and other civilians (including Italians), were brutally killed by Tito's Communists with the complicity of the Western Allies. For instance, see the Massacre of Bleiburg.
The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina started on 1 March 1992 between the Croats of the region wanting (rightly) a union with Croatia and the Bosnians wanting to control all the old administrative area.
A initial agreement was reached by the three ethnic groups on 18 March, but on 28 March the Bosnian leader Alya Iszetbegovic after meeting the US Ambassador Warren Zimmerman (receiving orders from Clinton?) reneged on the accord. Meanwhile, the US/NATO supported the Bosnians with arms and volunteers, together with the "good" Al-Qaeda and other veterans of Afghanistan against the USSR. Other Muslim countries sent money and volunteers.
On the night of 26/27, the Croats temporarily united with the Bosnians attacked the Serbs, killing 60 civilians and the war started again, as the Serbs, according to the West are ugly, bad, and friends of Russia, are also the most guilty for the war and the subsequent massacres.
Now the bridge of Mostar (Stari Most) has been rebuilt, but the temporarily federated Croats and Bosnians live separated on each side of the river Narenta and they continue to hate each other.
I believe that no other state in the world can be considered more of a pseudo-state than Bosnia-Herzegovina. The solution is very simple: a unity of local Serbs and Croats with their motherlands plus a small Bosnian state, let it be ruled by the Empire but absolutely not by the new Ottoman Empire as wished by Erdogan or other Gulf States.
JE comments: Eugenio Battaglia reminds us of how we got the term Balkanization. The original "pseudo-state" may indeed have been Yugoslavia, but it survived reasonably well for decades under Tito's iron fist. How is it that some states of great diversity (Switzerland comes to mind) thrive, while others know nothing but divisiveness and chaos? Is it a matter of government policy, or is there something definitive about national "character"?
- Bosnia-Herzegovina as "Pseudo" State (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 12/23/22 2:08 AM)