Saturday, March 11, 2006

Slobodan Milosevic is dead

Slobodan Milosevic has been found dead in his cell in the Hague. He was a great man, and deserves to be mourned like the death of Martin Luther King or Ghandi would be mourned today.

According to the current media ‘obituaries’, Slobodan Milosevic was a nationalist who caused the destruction of Yugoslavia for his own cynical aims: the creation of a Greater Serbia and solidifying of his dictatorial position. This is sheer nonsense.

Slobodan Milosevic was a committed socialist and Yugoslav. He wanted a Yugoslavia where every nation, every republic, would be equal and free in a federal state. He believed, as every single one of his speeches makes absolutely clear, in national equality. Nationality and ‘race’ mattered not one bit to him: as he said on 25 April 1987, ““We neither wish nor can we classify people into Serbs and Albanians”. In the 1980s he and his wife, Mira Markovic, even prodded their daughter together with a young Belgrade ethnic Turk, who they hoped to be their future son-in-law.

In Serbia while he was in power policies of national equality were consistently implemented. This explains why some of his top allies and colleagues, who are also bizarrely accused of being part of his criminal conspiracies to cleanse non-Serbs, were non-Serbs – Frenki Simatovic, leading intelligence chief in Serbia, was a Croat, Mihalj Kertes, Milosevic’s key ally in Vojvodina who later became his Interior Minister, was a Hungarian, as was Geza Farkas, the man he appointed chief of military intelligence in May 1999, when NATO attacked.

Milosevic, and his allies and colleagues, did everything they could to prevent the destruction of Yugoslavia. The cause of the break-up was not Milosevic, who strove for Yugoslavia’s preservation, but the nationalists and separatists in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia. They have themselves admitted this fact openly. Stipe Mesic, current Croatian president and the last President of Yugoslavia, for example, told the Croatian Assembly in December 1991 that “My task is done. Yugoslavia is no more”. Mesic later explained on a TV discussion with other key separatist figures in November 1995 how he completed his task: "I wanted to convey the idea of the break-up of Yugoslavia to those who had the greatest influence on its fate, to Genscher and the Pope. In fact, I had three meetings with Genscher. He enabled a contact with the Holy See. The Pope and Genscher agreed with the total break-up of SFRY."

Franjo Tudjman, Croatia’s nationalist president, has been just as explicit about the real cause of the war in Croatia. He said openly at a rally in Ban Jelacic Square on 24 May 1992 that "There would have been no war had not Croatia wanted it. But we thought that it was only by war that we could win the independence of Croatia. That's why we had a policy of negotiations behind which we were setting up military units. Had this not been so, we would not have reached our goal."

Likewise, Bosnian Muslim nationalist leader Alija Izetbegovic announced openly in spring 1991 that “I would sacrifice peace for a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina. But for that peace I would not sacrifice sovereignty” – which is exactly what he did a year later, illegally declaring Bosnia independence despite Serb opposition.

Milosevic did everything he could to prevent war erupting in Croatia and Bosnia, and, once it had erupted, to bring those conflicts to an end. The view of his role in the West is practically the opposite of the reality.

Neither was Slobodan Milosevic a dictator. In the late 1980s, as he rose to power, Western ambassadors saw him as a Balkan Gorbachev, as he advocated the most wide-ranging free market economic and democratic reforms that Yugoslavia had ever seen. His time as a banker in New York had obviously had an effect on his political views, and he looked back on those years fondly, keeping a photo of himself with Rockefeller on his bedside table (the evil Commie!). In 1989-90 he then introduced multi-party democracy in Serbia as Communism and Socialism – even the highly liberal form that existed in Yugoslavia – crumbled across the globe.

The people in power in Serbia today were the ‘opposition’ of the 1990s, and characterise Milosevic as a dictator. This claim is a lie that the ‘opposition’ branded around due to their failure to win elections. Whereas Slobodan Milosevic ran on a ticket of social democracy and opposition to nationalism in Serbia’s multi-party elections of December 1990, current Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic ran a nationalist and extremist campaign. The Serbian electorate rejected Draskovic’s visions of bloodshed, and so he attempted to overthrow the government by provoking riots.

Whereas Milosevic urged peace in Croatia, Draskovic urged the Serbian government to cease its non-involvement, create its own Serb army, and declare war on the Croatian nation as a whole. Whereas Milosevic’s government arrested illegal paramilitaries, Draskovic organised them, in allies with various criminals and ex-criminals, and sent them off to commit atrocities in Croatia.

And yet now, absurdly, we have to listen to the Western media condemn Milosevic as a warmongering nationalist, and ask Draskovic for his opinion (righteous condemnation) of the evil man.

Milosevic’s death is a tragedy. It is also directly the result of the persecution that the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia carried out against him. The Tribunal constantly denied him the medical treatment he needed, and overruled his doctors’ advice that he needed rest. Most recently, his doctors had declared that he needed at least six weeks of rest, and treatment in a Moscow medical facility. Russia and Milosevic himself assured the court that he would return. But the court refused the recommendation, denying him even the recommended six weeks rest. So, assuming his death was of natural causes, these causes were not that ‘natural’ after all.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The June 1989 Gazimestan nationalist celebration myth - busted!

The regularly repeated myth that 'The 28 June 1989 celebration in Gazimestan of the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo was nationalist', has now been busted. Click here to read the about the real nature of this celebration.

For the rest of the 'Destruction of Yugoslavia: Myth and Fact' page, click here.

For my recently posted page of excerts from speeches of Milosevic, showing his consistent and stringent opposition to nationalism, click here, and here for my recent post showing much-demonised General Ratko Mladic's opposition to ethnic cleansing.