The Bosnia Tragedy and the Current Crisis in Kosovo

By Geoffrey Cook, (MMNS)

Berkeley–September 24th–Although the Kosovo confrontation is coming to a head, the two stakeholders, the (Muslim) Kosovars and the (Orthodox Christian) Serbs, are still at loggerheads. Pristina (the capital of Kosovo) has declared it will unilaterally proclaim independence on the day of the historical emancipation of Tirana – November 28th — (the political Center for their religious and ethnic brothers) in (Islamic) Albania. Despite the intensive mediation by the United Nations (U.N.) from New York (N.Y.C.) and the E.U. (European Union) in Brussels plus even the United States (U.S.A. in Washington), Serbia (Belgrade) will not budge.

As I mentioned in a previous article on this subject, I have had a great admiration for the late (from “the Croatian Catholic community”) President Josif Broz Tito who was able to keep the disparate Yugoslavia together, thereby, as a result of his policies, guaranteeing peace and general prosperity for the Muslims as well.

Tito came to power by his leadership of his ragtag guerrilla army that defeated and drove out a much better armed and organized German (Nazi) Army during the Second World War. Thus, granting the incongruent republics that made up the Balkan State of Yugoslavia would remain a united nation.

The admirable previous Yugoslavia had been carved out of the vanquished Austro-Hungarian Empire, following Vienna’s rout, leading to the fading of that realm and its break-up after the First World War. After the Second World War, Tito was able to assert his independence from the Communist block during the 1950s; thus, allowing Islamic Albania to develop their institutions, too. The post WWII Yugoslavia formed a merged fiscal system that looked Westward and Eastward.

Unfortunately, Tito was unable to find a person he could mentor to take over the reigns of government after his demise. The Former Yugoslavia is a firm lesson for such nation states as Cuba and Pakistan. Eventually, a very evil man came to clasp control in the now Serb Republic, Slobodan Milosovic. He dreamed of a greater Serbia, and he eventually sat in the docket at The Hague for large scale war crimes.

Unfortunately, he never experienced punishment, for he died in confinement during his trial on War crimes and on Human Rights violations – many of them against the followers of the teachings of Mohammed (s.a.a.w.).

Serendipitously, Tito’s granddaughter, Dr. Svetlova Broz M.D., appeared at the University in Berkeley conversing to an intimate, but lively group of people. The late President’s granddaughter’s presentation was more like a press conference than a formal talk. By profession she is a cardiologist, and when civil war broke out she decided to come home to serve her native country with her medical skills. Broz resolved to go to the former Province (now New State of) Bosnia where she witnessed the worst of the atrocities.

Svetlana was more concerned on how such inhumanity could be avoided in the future than in overly dwelling upon it now. Although she was aware that “NGOs play an ambiguous role” – many being blatantly corrupt — she decided to form an NGO herself. The role of her Org is education. She sees that “My [her] generation will not change” their attitudes either for the for the beneficial or the regretful. Thus, Dr. Broz has decided to fight with her pen, her first non-scientific book on these moral questions was well received, and the English version of her second volume was privately available to us in proofs, and, hopefully, will be available in stores and on the internet soon!

She emphasized that during the Wars many people reacted responsibly to the risk of their own lives. The Former Yugoslavia had the tradition of resistance from the Second World War. The majority of people were not malevolent, but they were placid, though, in the face of disaster. When nobody does anything, Civil Society has committed mass criminality. It is easy to be a bystander, but there is the satisfaction of being an up stander, too.

She declared that “Every Nationalism is a disease!” Courage must be encouraged because each and every one of us must be able to say “I couldn’t do anything else,” but the moral thing in the face of chaos.

Although “It seems easier to enflame people…[toward] evil…In social contexts people [will] get swept up” although the mainstream like to be no more than spectators. There was a belief that the historical situation was inviolate. She pronounced the basic Post-Modernist maxim “Everything is amorphous, and is not concrete.” How can we have a moral society when we have a desire for critical mass? Ultimately, “We require institutions.” Yet, “Our Society is turned upside down.” There were no religious figures or journalists indicted by the International Tribune, yet many of these professionals were most responsible for inciting the onlookers to torture, etc., and they are still spewing their hate freely. “All of our communities are guilty [of this]!” (In other words, she does not believe Muslims were completely blameless, but in your author’s judgment they suffered to a much greater degree than the other communities.)

The Dayton Accords only left criminals in power! “We have the support from the international community not to reform!” On the other hand during the long Communist period, the various ethnicities of the Balkans became thoroughly integrated. Even during the Wars themselves, a third of nuptial ceremonies remained intermingled. Therefore, “Who hated whom?”

There was severe brainwashing within public discourse even before the War that generated a general loathing. When violence did descend, the perpetrators came from outside the villages. Neighbors generally stuck together, and were universally non-Sectarian.

With ethnic cleansing, came economic scapegoating. Sarajevo’s financial system is at the present in tatters. Bosnia is definitely a nation in transition. Plus, the Constitution written in Dayton Ohio forced a thoroughly Capitalist system on a traditionally intermingled fiscal structure that leaned closer to the formerly “socialist” Constitution.

What does this mean to the Muslim people of Bosnia and Kosovo? Without the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s) protection, Islam is in a precarious position in the Southern Mountains! If the negotiations with Serbia over Kosovo breaks down, and it looks like it will with time running out, Serbia may make a massive military attack which would engulf most of the Southern Balkans. The NATO garrison would be easily overrun. It would quickly have to be re-enforced. A diplomatic delay would only lead to the possibility of more massacres against the Islamic population!


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