Jasmina Tešanović: 10 years after NATO bombings of Serbia

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9 Responses to “Jasmina Tešanović: 10 years after NATO bombings of Serbia”

  1. Anonymous says:

    “I think of the Albanians in Kosovo, of my friends and their fears, I think they must be worse off then us”

    Most definitely. Perhaps a bit of context is in order.

    From 1998 to 1999, Serbs forcibly expelled one million Kosovar Albanians from their homes, including 800,000 beyond Kosovo’s borders. As they had done in Bosnia earlier in the same decade, Serbs engaged in a massive, systematic campaign of murder, rape and destruction. Just look for the book A Village Destroyed for a glimpse of what took place.

    There is widespread denial in Serbia about the crimes committed by and on behalf of Serbs. Serbs protested massively against Milosevic only after he lost Kosovo (and with US funding, no less), but not against the atrocities he orchestrated.

    When there is serious reckoning in Serbia, when the myth of victimhood is dispelled, the country will be able to move forward. It’s the same reasoning that underlies calls for Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush and the rest of the neocons to be brought to justice for their crimes.

  2. Anonymous says:

    antinous?

  3. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Is someone trying to summon me?

  4. mindysan33 says:

    I always enjoy reading Jasmina’s entries here. If my Serbian was better, I’d read her blogs. One day maybe. Working on it.

    Geekman- I think there were economic reasons underlying the genocides…. Genocide is just a side effect.

    Gryzor- Not everyone in Kosova was or is happy with the independence, which is just the Ahtisaari Plan effectively, and is not really independence at all (imagine regions of the US having parallel political institutions with Mexico or Canada, for example). Go read Albin Kurti’s updates at New Kosova Report for a different point of view on the ethnic tensions and the UN/EU role in all of this:

    http://www.newkosovareport.com/Vetevendosje/

    Kurti is an Albanian democracy rights activist who was first arrested by the Serbs during the war and later by the UN for the deaths two non-violent protesters who were shot by UN GUARDS, though nothing stuck, because it was bogus nonsense that they were holding him on. It’s clear to me they were holding Albin in jail and then under house arrest to shut him up while the negotiations went ahead without him mucking up the process with his talk of “democracy” and the “people” and “independence”.

    I agree about a reckoning in Serbia @#5 but I sadly think it will not happen anytime soon. As long as Mother Russia is willing to back Serbia, and we are willing to back Kosova, nothing serious will change in either place. No really independent Kosova and no owning up in Serbia.

  5. Anonymous says:

    @5 for less ridiculous figures of the displaced of all ethnic groups see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_history_of_Kosovo

  6. mindysan33 says:

    #7 Maybe because it wasn’t all that true, Gryzor, or when it was, it was more reactionary than anything else. Don’t forget that Kosova, an area inhabited largely by Albanians in 1912, was basically occupied territory for years and years in both Yugoslavias, with Albanians and other Muslims being constantly either forced out, coaxed out or being asked or forced to convert, both in religion and by changing their name (from a Albanian one, to a Serb/Slavic one)? Tito being a Croat means little here as, A) he was a relatively committed Communist and B) because Ranković pretty much ran things (ministry of the interior, military police and the all important political police, UDBA) until he was deposed in the 60s (only because he put a microphone over Tito’s bed). Croats, Slovenes, Bosnians, etc were all alright because they were at least Slavs, and of course, Albanians were often considered barely human or Slavs who just don’t know it. I’m not going to say that no violence against Serbs occurred and it is just as horrible as crimes committed against anyone. Basically, yes everyone suffered. But there are crimes of ethinic cleansing on Serbian national hands, if you will (not that I buy much into national identity over all). But I certainly don’t believe that all Serbs are racist against Albanians. I do believe that the Serb government under MiloÅ¡ević was guilty of some pretty heinous crimes, and not many people paid for them. Karadžić wasn’t caught for ages, and I think he was given up for something (fuzzy on what else was going on with Serbia at the time… July 08 was when he popped up? Some negotiations with the EU? Anyone?). And as far as I know, Jasmina is as a much a Serb as you can get. She just doesn’t spout the party line, if you will, bless her.

    But to your original point, about how we are enforcing ethnic difference, yes, oh yes. I agree. So does Kurti. Go read his views on the parallel structures in Kosova connected to Beograd.

    #8 – Anon – I’ve found information on the Balkans, especially involving Yugoslavia and the aftermath of the wars, to be deeply problematic. I don’t know about the exact numbers cited at number 5, but I’m not sure I’d trust Wikipedia on this.

  7. gryzor says:

    @Geekman: Hahaha, good joke mate!

    @ #5 Anon: Well, I haven’t heard the 1 million figure before but I’ll take your word for it. What you fail to mention/see/understand is that for several years before that (I’ve seen US papers mentioning this in the late eighties) the Albanian Kossovars were staging attacks including murder, rape and destruction against the Serbian civilians and authorities. You don’t see that being mentioned anymore though…

    @ mindysan33: I didn’t say everyone is happy. On the contrary, I know the hell that Kossovo has become in many, many aspects. What I was saying is that, sure,t hey dismantled Serbia in the name of giving independence to minorities, but in doing so they teared away areas populated by Serbs. And when these Serbs ask for independence, or a reunion of their areas with Serbia, everybody acts shocked…

  8. gryzor says:

    I take it she talks from a Muslim side when she says, “I hope we all survive this war, the bombs: the Serbs , the Albanians”.

    Well, I won’t discuss the sadness and suffering of war, but pragmatically speaking, it’s a novelty that the Americans&Co. rushed to make someone autonomous based on _religion_. So, ok, you have Serbs, Albanians and… muslims? Wtf?

    On another note, of course Kossovo was declared autonomous based on ethnic criteria. When the Serbs asked for areas, whithin Kossovo, to join Serbia on the basis that they are populated by Serbian populations, everyone said “Gosh no, we can’t tear Kossovo apart!”.

    Rrrright.

    True, too many people suffered and for various reasons. But don’t let that take our eyes away from the real reasons behind the decisions of the Big and Mighty…

  9. GeekMan says:

    “But don’t let that take our eyes away from the real reasons behind the decisions of the Big and Mighty…”

    Genocide?

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