Yugoslav Wars - The Evergreen State College

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THE YUGOSLAV WARS
Dr. Zoltán Grossman
The Evergreen State College,
Olympia, Wash.
Slovenia
Croatia
Bosnia
Serbia
Montenegro Kosovo
Macedonia
Social and Territorial
Definitions of Place
Bosnian
Flag
(Bosniak/
Muslim)
• SOCIAL
Defines place as belonging
to one ethnic or racial group
(“Law of the Blood”)
Bosnia
multiethnic
state flag
• TERRITORIAL
Defines place geographically
as home for all who live there
(“Law of the Soil”)
“Ethnic cleansing” in early ‘90s
to match ethnic, state boundaries
State Identity
Ethnic Identity
Slovenian
Croatian
Bosnian
Serbian
Montenegrin
Kosovan
Macedonian
Slovene
Croat
Bosniak (Muslim)
Serb
Montenegrin
Kosovar (Albanian)
Macedonian-Slav or
Macedonian-Albanian
Croatian Serbs, Bosnian Serbs, Kosovan Serbs
Bosnian Croats, Serbian Croats, etc.
Also: Serbian Hungarians (Voivodina), Kosovan Roma,
Serbian and Montenegrin Muslims (Sanjak)
Ottoman Empire
Austro-Hungarian Empire, Serbia, Montenegro
Yugoslavia I
Yugoslavia I:
Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
Serbs, Croats, Slovenes united kingdom after WWI;
Named “Yugoslavia” (Land of South Slavs), 1932
Fascist Europe
Greater Romania
Greater Hungary
Greater Croatia
Greater Albania
Kosovo
Jasenovac,
Croatia
World War II fighters
USTASE
(Croat Nazis)
CHETNIKS
(Serb nationalists/fascists)
PARTISANS
(multiethnic Communists)
Yugoslavia II:
Social Federated Republic of Yugoslavia
Communist Josip Broz Tito
revived Yugoslavia in 1945.
Croatian who promoted
“brotherhood & unity”
Croatia,
Slovenia
(Catholic)
Serbia,
Montenegro,
Macedonia
(Orthodox)
Bosnia
(Muslim)
Kosovo
(Albanian
province
of Serbia)
Six republics of Yugoslavia, 1945-1991
Kosovo province of Serbia
Tito puts Albanian majority in charge;
Serbs have become minority but maintain historic claim
Yugoslavia in 1980s
Tito dies; replaced by
weak rotating leadership.
Economic crisis leads to
(multiethnic) worker strikes.
Republic leaders start to
use nationalist messages,
weaken Yugoslav identity
Models of ethnic harmony, 1984
Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Bosnia.
Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
By 1992, both cities were torn by ethnic uprisings,
gang rule, and troops on the streets
Theories of ethnic hatred
It’s always there; politics
can keep a “lid” on it
It’s a tool
used for
political and economic
power
Communism collapses in
Eastern Europe, 1989
Croatian and Serbian leaders
stoke ethnic hatred after 1989
Conflict among similar peoples
(Serbs vs. Muslims vs. Croats)
Same race, spoken language
Different religion,
script, “ethnic” group
Intermarried, cooperated,
1950s-80s; at war 1990s
Muslim and Serb refugees
from Sarajevo, Bosnia
Yugoslav ethnic groups before break-up
Ethnic Serbs
and Croats
for irredentism
Bosnians,
Kosovars
for secession
Use of maps
as weapons
“Greater Serbia”
Slobodan Milosevic appeals for ethnic Serb rights
at 600th anniversary of Kosovo Polje battle, 1989
Backs ethnic territoriality in Croatia & Bosnia;
also State territoriality in Kosovo,
where Serbs are a minority
Serbs and Montenegrins
“Greater Croatia”
Pres. Franjo Tudjman
Tudjman’s Bosnia
partition plan
Croats
“Greater Albania”
Kosova Liberation Army (KLA)
Albanians
Former Yugoslavia Break-up
Slovenia 1991
Croatia 1991
Bosnia 1992
Macedonia 1992
F.R. Yugoslavia 1992
(Serbia-Montenegro 2003;
Montenegro ind. 2006)
Kosovo 1999
(declared 2008)
Secession of Slovenia, 1991
Alpine republic close to
Austria; no Serb minority.
Belgrade let go after short fight.
Soldiers’ mothers stepped in.
Secession of Croatia, 1991
Historic rival to Serbia
Close to Germany.
Used WWII symbols
Large Serb minorities in
Krajina and Eastern Slavonia.
Yugoslav Army attacks eastern Croatia cities
Much of Vukovar & Osijek
in eastern Slavonia
destroyed by Serbian shelling;
Croatian scorched earth
Secession of Bosnia, 1992
Muslims, Croats
did not want to stay
in Serb-led Yugoslavia
Serbs, Croats shared
historic hatred of Muslims
Gangs form militias;
looting, confiscations
response to economic crisis
Pre-war
Bosnia
Muslims 44%
Serbs 31%
Croats 17%
Other 8%
Three-way
fight
Western recognition of independence
Led by united Germany;
Premature without
guarantee for minority
(Serb) rights.
Krajina and Bosnian Serbs
see replay of WWII;
fight for Greater Serbia
Bosnian Serb snipers
besiege Sarajevo, 1992-95
Olympic Stadium
in Sarajevo
Mostar
(Bridge)
Ottoman bridge
separated
Croat and Muslim
neighborhoods;
Croatians blew
it up in 1993.
“Ethnic cleansing”
Forced removal of
an ethnic group
Croats expelled from
Vukovar (Croatia), 1992
To make area ethnically “purer,”
increase percentage of majority in state
Serbs expelled
from Krajina
(Croatia), 1995
Albanians
expelled
from Kosovo
(Serbia), 1999
Burn This House
(Ridgeway/Mladenovic)
Ultranationalism not
“ancient hatreds” but
modern method of divide
and control
Economic reasons for ethnic
cleansing, mass looting,
seizure of homes
Minority rights within new
states must be paramount
Ethnic Cleansing
of Bosnian Muslims
Arkan’s
Serbian Tigers
(Zeljko
Raznatovic)
Srebrenica massacre, 1995
Serbs kill up to 7,000 Muslims
Dutch UN
troops
powerless
Croatian ethnic cleansing of Serbs
from Krajina, 1995
U.S. aided Croatian offensive into Krajina (borderland) and
western Bosnia to defeat Serbs, but civilians expelled
Croatian ethnic cleansing of Serbs
from Krajina, 1995
Humanitarian War?
Humanitarian
Imperialism:
Using Human Rights
to Sell War
Jean Bricmont asserts that "to call on
an army to wage a war for human
rights implies a naive belief of what
armies are and do, as well as a magical
belief in the myth of short, clean,
'surgical' wars."
Humanitarian War?
Humanitarian arguments against “barbarous customs” have always
been used to rationalize European colonial expansion. His point of
view "readily admits the barbarous nature of such customs, but
considers that our interventions do much more harm than good,
including in relation to making barbarism recede. And it points out
that there is a considerable amount of 'barbarism' in our own 'civilized'
countries, especially as they interact with others.”
Post-war
Bosnia
Separate armies,
currencies, etc.
Two governments
with contiguous territories
Central gov’t?
Refugee returns?
Nationalist parties?
Comparing
1991 and
1995
Dayton
Accord
Line
Dayton Accord (de facto Partition), 1995
Federation of
Bosnia-Hercegovina
(Croat/Muslim)
Republika Srpska
(Serb Republic)
U.S. rubberstamps
ethnic cleansing?
New republics now
“purer” than 1991
Western troops
In Bosnia
Kosovo fighting, 1998-99
Between Serbia and Kosova Liberation Army (KLA);
2,000+ killed
NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, 1999
NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, 1999
Resentment even from anti-Milosevic Serbs
after civilian targets, opposition cities bombed
Ethnic Cleansing of Kosovar Albanians, 1999
Destroyed
Kosovo village
Ethnic Cleansing of Kosovar Albanians, 1999
Kosovo refugee crisis
NATO troops
in Kosovo
Serb pocket from
Mitrovica to north;
both sides want
ethnic partition
Camp
Camp
Bondsteel
Bondsteel
KLA ethnic cleansing of
non-Albanians after NATO arrives
Serbs, Roma, Turks, Jews etc. accused
of siding with Milosevic, left in fear. Those
left behind in Albanian areas targeted by pogroms.
Kosovo now ethnically “purer” than in 1999.
Clashes in northern Serb enclave of Kosovska Mitrovica
Roma (Gypsies)
Non-territorial ethnic group traced to India;
5-7 million in Central/Eastern Europe.
Victims of Holocaust and skinheads;
Cultures threatened by settlement, internal divisions
Macedonia
Crisis
Ex-KLA fighters for Greater Albania
in NW Macedonia, and in
Presevo Valley (Serbia), 2000-01.
Full-scale war headed off by NATO.
Serbians vote out, overthrow Milosevic, 2000
Milosevic on
trial in The
Hague for
war crimes.
Croatians also
vote out
nationalists.
End of Yugoslavia, 2003
New leader
Kostunica critical of U.S. too.
Montenegro came near
independence; Kosovo
de facto independent.
West wants no more wars.
Co-equal name, 2003-06:
Serbia and Montenegro
Independence of Montenegro, 2006
Montenegro has history of
separate statehood from Serbia,
despite common heritage
Bare majority for independence
from Serbia followed by
immediate declaration
Serbia acquiesces in independence
to maintain allyship with former
Yugoslav republic
Unilateral independence of Kosovo, 2008
Prime Minister Thaci (KLA)
declares independence with
majority Albanian support
U.S. and Western EU members
recognize new “state” in Serbia’s
province (not ex-republic)
Serbia, Russia, China, Spain see
as dangerous precedent
Serbs in north threaten to secede;
could create new conflict
Ralph Peters
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