The race for victim status in Bosnia-Herzegovina appears to be over. The Serbs, as the main aggressors and initial perpetrators of “ethnic cleansing” hardly qualify. The international press has obviously decided that the Croats do not qualify either, despite the fact that the Bosnian Croats have lost considerable territory to the Moslems since the break-up of their alliance. Continue reading
The end of communism in Yugoslavia has brought the return of nationalism and a host of new problems steeped in ethnic roots, said Tomislav Sunic, a Croatian who now teaches in Juniata College.
As a result, he believes, “representative democracy…as attractive and functional a model as it may be in the relatively homogeneous societies of the West, has, in the fractured Yugoslavian state, little chance of success. Continue reading
In his interesting piece, “Misreading Yugoslavia” (July 8), Dejan Kovacevic, emphasizes the ethnic roots of the Yugoslav crisis but seems oblivious to huge ideological differences between the Yugoslav republics.
Communist-dominated Serbia and Montenegro are the two republics that are least interested in large-scale market reforms for fear of losing control over the federal bureaucracy and army. Continue reading
One must agree with Georges Sorel that political myths have a long and durable life. For 74 years the Yugoslav state drew its legitimacy from the spirit of Versailles and Yalta, as well as from the Serb-inspired pan-Slavic mythology. By carefully manipulating the history of their constituent peoples while glorifying their own, Yugoslav leaders managed to convince the world that Yugoslavia was a “model multiethnic state.” Many global-minded pundits in the West followed suit and made a nice career preaching the virtues of the Yugoslav multi-ethnic pot. By tirelessly vaunting the Yugoslav model, scores of starry-eyed Western academics gave, both pedagogically and psychologically, additional legitimacy to artificial Yugoslavia. Continue reading
Your recent article “Soviets gain the upper hand in Yugoslav politics?” (Sept. 28) suggests naively that the crackdown on dissidents in Belgrade is due to the invisible hand of the Soviet Union, although no proofs of Soviet involvement were given by the article.
American media portray Yugoslavia as “a liberal Communist country.” Although Amnesty International, based in London, has clearly established that in recent years the human rights violation in Yugoslavia is the worst in East Europe. Continue reading
Amidst breathtaking changes in Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia appears as a cadaver that simply refuses to rot away. Not long ago the Yugoslav communists could claim to be the first initiators of their self-styled perestroika, and their maverick self-managing communism engendered considerable awe in many Western well-wishers. Today, however, Yugoslav institutions are turning into anachronisms, and Yugoslavia’s ill-conceived federalism has pushed its six constituent republics to the brink of civil war. Continue reading
To the Editor:
News reports reflecting the Bush Administration position may lead some to the conclusion that the unity of Yugoslavia needs to be preserved at all costs. Several arguments speak to the contrary. Continue reading
To the Editor:
I read rather belatedly the delightful article by the Yugoslav expatriate Mihajlov [September 1986,] in which he successfully exposes the myth of Titoist Yugoslavia as a form of political charade. He is right in observing that it is now Yugoslavia’s turn to face increasing economic chaos and the complete erosion of federal authority. Continue reading
Since 1980, the year of President Tito’s death, Yugoslavia has been edging toward a political, economic and ideological crisis. Until last year, the Communist League had been able to achieve a semblance of stability by repeatedly reassuring its disgruntled citizens that “next year it will be better.” But the ongoing deterioration of the Yugoslav economy and the continuing ethnic ferment has finally made the party hard-liners realize that the survival of the country depends on urgent political and economic overhaul. Continue reading
I have read with interest Jeffrey T. Kuhner’s Dec. 26 Op-Ed column on Croatia and its difficult road to democracy, “Not yet Bush of the Balkans.” Mr. Kuhner is right in critically assessing the pervasive Balkanesque cronyism and corruption in Croatian politics. Yet he briefly and only sketchily mentions the large-scale massacres and removal of thousands of Croat civilians and competent professionals by the former Yugoslav communist security apparatus, which is still partially alive in Croatia. Continue reading