Yugoslavia – Peace, War, and Dissolution, PM Press, 2018.

he recent publishing of Noam Chomsky’s collected texts about Yugoslavia has caused a wave of outrage among the supporters of “humanitarian” military interventions on social networks. The disastrous imperialistic military interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria have showed the real face of the human-right military aggressions, proving that they have caused nothing but the complete collapse and tragedy in the life of normal, ordinary people. These intervention supporters have found their last shelter in the mythological Hollywood interpretation of the breakup of Yugoslavia, where the bad guys (the Serbs) can be stopped only by the NATO bombing. The Middle East military interventions are usually justified by the Bosnian war, and the phrase “Srebrenica: Never Again!” has become a battle cry of the American military-intelligence propaganda machine.

This is why the Chomsky’s analysis of the German and American role in triggering the wars in Croatia and Bosnia is so annoying to the imperialistic agents – the same ones who have “found” weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and lied about chemical attacks in Syria. The hypocrisy of the Western media is shown in their constant horrification by the war crimes in Yugoslavia, their repeating that NATO should have acted more aggressively in their prevention… and their silence when it comes to the imperialistic support to the militant nationalists and separatists on each side: to Alija Izetbegović – the Muslim fundamentalist who spent some time in a Yugoslav prison in the early 1980s because of his religious fanaticism – and to Franjo Tuđman – who gained the political power by using the resurrection of the Croatian WWII fascist Ustasha Movement. On the other hand, the West didn’t mind the Milošević’s Serbian nationalism but his “communism”, and he was labeled “the last communist dictator in Europe”, while the Serbian opposition leaders like Vuk Drašković and Zoran Đinđić enjoyed the constant Western support because of their transparent nationalism and anti-communism.

The Chomsky’s analysis is completely opposite to the propagandic stereotypes of the Bosnian war – stereotypes created by the “intellectuals” defending the militant humanism, e.g Bernard-Henri Levy and Marko Attila Hoare. Chomsky is not uselessly crying over the war crimes – he is speaking about the imperialistic interests which had encouraged the secessions of the former Yugoslav republics and led to the war. The Western journalists often blame the West for not intervening and preventing the Srebrenica murders, not mentioning that the Western interventions had in fact caused the war by sabotaging the peace negotiations between the belligerent nations. In fact, the Bosnian war started after the Americans had instructed the Bosnian Muslims to withdraw their Lisbon Agreement (Carrington–Cutileiro peace plan) signature and unilaterally declare the Bosnian independence. Chomsky is not the only one dealing with this subject – there are numerous other serious accusations against the US administration. I would like to mention the very precise testimonies by the Canadian ambassador to Yugoslavia James Byron Bissett and the Canadian Major-General Lewis Wharton MacKenzie – known for establishing and commanding Sector Sarajevo as part of the UN Protection Force – which can be seen here:

The book Yugoslavia – Peace, War, and Dissolution consists of three chapters. The first part is dealing with the Josip Broz’s rule, “self-managed socialism” and Yugoslav dissidents. The second part is about the late 1980s and early 1990s Yugoslav crisis. In this chapter, Chomsky is talking about the wider background of the crisis, about the breakup process and the wars in Croatia and Bosnia. The third part is dedicated to Kosovo and Metohija, the events that led to the NATO bombing, as well as the ones after it. An introduction to the book was written by Andrej Grubačić, and every chapter includes the comments by the book editor Davor Džalto. The book was published by PM Press, an independent leftist publishing house, and it can be bought on the publisher’s official website: https://secure.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=881

The whole process of Yugoslavian breakup could be really understood and seriously analysed only by a person with a serious political experience which Noam Chomsky undoubtedly had and still has. His writings are extremely valuable to everyone who wants to understand the global imperialistic geopolitical interests and the methods used for their achievement. His work is also a testimony about shameful immorality of the numerous war-supporting “intellectuals” and journalists. Hiding behind “humanitarianism”, they – together with the war machine and intelligence agents – are turning the ordinary people’s lives into hell.

Milenko Srećković, 19th May 2018

Translated by Kosta Tadić

On western terrorism

Often repeated statement about the greatest crime on European territory after WWII being committed in Srebrenica seems like being designed to hide the fact that the greatest crimes after Hitler were committed precisely by European states and countries of European descent, such as United States of America. Such crimes, of much greater proportions than the one in Srebrenica, didn’t take place on European soil, but on other continents – which, according to Eurocentric perspective, are continents populated by insignificant, lowly people, whom Europeans, for the most part of their history, haven’t even treated as human beings.

For example, Belgian King Leopold the Second was responsible for death of 10 million Africans in late XIX and early XX century in Congo, former Belgian colony: however, unlike Hitler, he remained completely unknown to the general public. Even without gas chambers, as European patent par excellence, Europe has been steeped in blood during the largest part of its history, both before and after WWII. Europeans built USA as well as Australia on a mass extinction of native populations and on shameless kidnapping of Africans so they could use them as slaves.

In recently published book “On Western Terrorism – from Hiroshima to Drone Warfare” (conversations between Noam Chomsky And Andre Vltchek, Plutobooks, 2013) Noam Chomsky uses the term “selective blindness” in order to characterize a common phenomenon that some crimes are being constantly talked about with due moral outrage, while, at the same time, others are being constantly hushed up or denied. Chomsky regards American attack on Vietnam as “the greatest crime after WWII”: however, in leading American media no one even mentioned semi-centennial of the beginning of that war in 2011. It is the same with dictatorial regimes: for the West there are those regimes which are a permanent subject to moral condemnation – but also those which are not to be talked about, but to be cooperated with.

At the moment, one of the most important problems which social movements draw attention to are drones – pilotless air-crafts designed for “precise” killing of terrorists: so precise that civilians are usually kill by it first. According to the research of English Bureau of Investigative Journalism, out of 2.600 to 3.400 Pakistanis killed by pilotless air-crafts, just 2 percent were on American list of wanted terrorists. According to Gallup’s research, 97 percent of Pakistanis are against use of drones, while 74 percent consider US a hostile force – which, for many, clearly indicates that this kind of war on terrorism doesn’t make US more popular, nor safer from future attacks at all.

Sixteen years old Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai, famous for her struggle for Pakistani women’s right to education, because of which Talibans shot her in the head, used the opportunity of meeting with American president Obama to draw his attention to pilotless air-crafts provoking anger of Pakistanis, which can only encourage their involvement in terrorist activities. Media don’t tell us whether Obama was at least a little ashamed hearing a little girl explaining him that drones primarily kill innocent civilians.

Gavrilo Princip, whether characterized as a terrorist or not, would have never been capable to stir up a war, in which millions would perish. Such wars are being started only by Empires, which also have power to create public opinion, to redraw and reinterpret history. They are those in the position to throw all the blame on poor young men who don’t like the world they live in, and therefore resort to violence in the world built on that very violence – for which those Empires in fact are to blame.

To eradicate terrorism implies, first of all, to eradicate poverty. To many people around the world all doors are closed, they have no future ahead of them whatsoever, being stuck in a dead-end situation. American war on terrorism just provokes terrorism and conflicts to such an extent that a new world war is becoming more and more likely. Dreamed up weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, torture of prisoners in Guantanamo and other secret prisons around the world, espionage actions of the National Security Agency, support for bloodthirsty Syrian rebels, chaos and genocide in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan… The list of countries completely devastated by American military interventions is getting bigger and bigger; but what should concern us the most are human casualties. In the introduction to “On Western Terrorism – from Hiroshima to drone warfare” one can also read that “between 50 and 55 million people have died across the world as a consequence of western colonialism and neo-colonialism since the end of WWII”. If anything, these numbers speak for themselves.

Milenko Srećković

Originally published in Serbian magazine Novi standard; translated to English by Vladimir Bogićević

Gavrilo Princip arrested after the assassination.
Gavrilo Princip arrested after the assassination.

Although whole epoch in the eve of the First World War was filled with many similar political assassinations, Gavrilo Princip`s shooting of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand – that took place on this day exactly one hundred years ago – is best remembered because it was a pretext for the attack on Serbia that eventually led to the start of the Great War. The mere fact that the Austrian attack on Serbia led to the military involvement of all great powers tells us that at the stake was something much bigger than only punishing Serbia for disobedience to the empire. Most of the historians agree that the attack was prepared much before than the assassination took place and that it was used as an immediate incentive but not as a real cause for the military campaign against Serbia. Germany stepped in to help Austria, and Russia stepped in to help Serbia; but colonial rearrangement and imperial pretensions were the main concerns of the conflict.

However, the approaching First World War centenary brought out many voices and even commemorations that are shifting the blame for the First World War on Serbia and Russia. This history revision to certain extent seems designed more to justify the role of international community during the violent breakdown of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the 1990`s than to reveal anything new about the events that led to the First World War.

Jürgen Habermas, famous German sociologist, philosopher, and one of the world`s leading intellectuals, recently stated for Croatian weekly Globus that former Vice Chancellor of Germany Hans-Dietrich Genscher ”made terrible mistake when he prematurely recognized the [secession of] Croatia” from the ”wonderful project” known as Yugoslavia. The idea of this ”wonderful project” that manifested itself first as a Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians in 1918 and then was renamed into Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929, has motivated the activity of the revolutionary movement Young Bosnia, whose member was Gavrilo Princip and which included primarily Serbs but also Croats and Bosnian Muslims. During his trial Princip said: “The political union of the Yugoslavs [..] was my basic idea [..] I am a Yugoslav nationalist, aiming for the unification of all Yugoslavs, and I do not care what form of state, but it must be free from Austria”.

While the new revisionist voices take for granted that Gavrilo Princip was a terrorist (for some, equal to Osama Bin Laden), in Yugoslavia he was regarded as a hero who was fighting against tyranny and social injustice. Anyhow, defining who is terrorist and who freedom fighter seems very powerful geostrategic tool for influencing outcomes of the different political and social turmoils; this method one can see to be often used in many regions of the world as it was in the Balkans intensively. For example, before the NATO bombing of Serbia and Montenegro in the 1999, USA was adding fuel to the fire in Serbian autonomous province Kosovo through providing support and training to the KLA, Kosovo Albanian armed group that was violently crashed by Serbian state (though not as violently as most of the military operations of the USA’s War on Terror). To oppose this Serbian anti-terrorist military intervention, NATO, in coordination with KLA, launched the bombing campaign under the pretext of defending Kosovo Albanians human rights. After the war it was revealed not only that many of the Serbia`s accusations against KLA were true (as opposed to never found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq), but reports of much more tremendous crimes of organ trafficking began to appear. Recent Vice News video report tells the whole story about that.

But of course that was not the first time that the defining whether one group is terrorist or not is based on the immediate interests of the imperialistic goals. Many times during the occupation of Yugoslavia, Hitler was labeling guerrilla groups that were fighting against him as ’’bandits’’. To defeat the resistance, Wehrmacht issued an order in September 1941 that called for the German Army to shoot hundred Serbs for every German soldier killed by the ”bandits”. Thousands of civilians were shot just in one day.

Hitler considered that Gavrilo Princip was of course a bandit too. For his birthday he got a special present from Sarajevo (see photo), the memorial dedicated to Gavrilo Princip that was taken away from occupied Sarajevo. Obtaining the Princip’s memorial was a symbolic compensation for the defeat of German Army in the First World War and retaliation for Serbian resistance to German imperialistic goals in the Second World War.

At this moment, new divisions in Bosnia are emerging over different interpretations of the past. The government in Sarajevo is erecting the statue of the Franz Ferdinand, while Bosnian Serbs are planning to build a monument dedicated to Gavrilo Princip in East Sarajevo and Serbian government announced building of similar monument in the fortress Kalemegdan, located in the center of Belgrade. One man`s terrorist is another man`s freedom fighter.

Milenko Srećković

Originally published on 28th June 2014.