Yugoslav Wars discussion

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Bombings (and no aid?) CAUSED mass killings?

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message 1: by Travelin (last edited Mar 16, 2018 08:25AM) (new)

Travelin | 6 comments I browsed a paper about the bombing campaign in Kosovo, written by Noam Chomsky of all people, in which he claims that the bombings were not predicated on, but in fact CAUSED several mass killings and mass graves.

Chomsky started life as a kind of weirdo socialist, and I've seen the video of a debate from the 1960s in which Chomsky suggests that political violence in the U.S. could be justified. Maybe he was even one of those who admired Stalin and Russia once, I don't know.

Anyway, you don't hear of bombings which awakened the same genocidal impulses in large scale bombing of WWI and WWII.

Secondly, I was curious how much aid the U.S. provided to support refugees after the bombing campaign. It appears to have been about 20 million dollars for half a million refugees from Kosovo. That would work out to $40 a person.

20 million dollars would be 1% of the amount of aid Israel receives annually.

And yet I have been told that the U.N. "gives everything for free" to the ethnic Serbs remaining in Kosovo.

This is a topic which invites rumours and propaganda, and I've never heard of Chomsky ever visiting Kosovo himself, so I'd be grateful for a chance to be corrected.


message 2: by Claire (new)

Claire Hearsay and gossip tend for superlatives, otherwise it wouldn't be worth mentioning what colour underwear Noam Chomsky was wearing when he saved the Israeli immigrants from certain doom across all the bomb shelters in Albania.

Does it not follow that many die after a bombing? It is not worthwhile to speculate on exact causes. Maybe it was from the nuclear fallout.
I have not read the same paper as you, Travelin, so what you say does not make sense to me... are you saying this article announced the bombing awakened a genocidal impulse?

Regarding your second inquiry, I put into the UN search engine Yugoslav bombing aid (anyone reading along can follow the same step here: https://search.un.org/results.php?tpl...) and I think this (https://unstats.un.org/unsd/statcom/d...) is the most recent document.
The United States is listed on the 7th page as one of the aiding nation-states, though that site does not state how much these entities have amassed together, so your statistic may hold.

The best sources for history are directly observed, so political bias can't interfere.


message 3: by Travelin (new)

Travelin | 6 comments I do not understand the comment about Israelis in Albanian bomb shelters. Was Albania being bombed?

I believe this is the Chomsky paper I saw:

https://chomsky.info/200005__/


message 4: by Bill (new)

Bill Tress | 14 comments I don't understand any of this conversation. The war was an act of stupidity. Neighbor killing neighbor after living next door to each other for decades.
Speared on by criminals like Milosevic who can be compared to Stalin and Hitler.
The UN, US, Britain, France and others even Russia had a hand in stopping the stupidity.
So why 30 plus years later do we rehash and bring Chomsky into the equation?


message 5: by Travelin (new)

Travelin | 6 comments Bill wrote: "I don't understand any of this conversation. The war was an act of stupidity. Neighbor killing neighbor after living next door to each other for decades.
Speared on by criminals like Milosevic who ..."


I sort of had the same feeling about giving too much credence to Chomsky's doubts. But I personally have always avoided Serbia because of its recent history and Chomsky's article gave me some pause to think. It used to be that a Serbian or ethnic Serbian would try to argue about their apparently one-sided treatment as villians but maybe they are forgetting too.

This Chomsky article is incredibly convoluted and boring in classic Chomsky style, but it makes the strange claim that 45 people who'd been killed by Serb forces before the bombing were some kind of minor, one-time event. I can't tell really what Chomsky was trying to achieve with his essay. Possibly he was trying to draw more attention to East Timor. Possibly he was trying to put a stop to further extra-judicial bombings by Nato.

After I posted the first question, I noticed this phrase in the heading, put there by the moderator: “Albanian terrorism/NATO aggression”. Does this suggest that our moderator agrees with Chomsky to some degree?


message 6: by Bill (last edited Mar 18, 2018 06:00PM) (new)

Bill Tress | 14 comments I don't think so Travelin. There is a lot of historical evidence that says Albanian terrorism/Nato agression was not the cause of genocide. The primary cause was Mr. Mislosevic, and, he was found guilty of his war crimes. As I said previously, there is a lot of history on this subject, I recently read an autobiography by Madeline Albright, she worked hard to get the warring factions to stop the killing and her efforts to get Milosevic to stop the genocide that he started and continued to encourage were fruitless, I suggest you give it a quick review, I considered her a witness with no agenda except to stop the killing.


message 7: by Travelin (new)

Travelin | 6 comments Bill wrote: "I don't think so Travelin. There is a lot of historical evidence that says Albanian terrorism/Nato agression was not the cause of genocide. The primary cause was Mr. Mislosevic, and, he was found g..."

Without really knowing for certain, I tend to agree with you Bill.

There's another Bill I sort of agree with. I picked up Bill Clinton's autobiography just to see what he said about the situation. He says that the British and the French (and the Germans?), among others, didn't want to intercede to make Muslims stronger. Although I've read some contradictory phrases in his essay about 9/11, it's possible Chomsky had a similar motive.


message 8: by Bill (new)

Bill Tress | 14 comments After our last discussion I went to utube and watched a BBC documentary on the war, someone can always make the case that a documentary like this is one sided, yet, the human suffering is so sad and in my way of thinking so unnecessary. Ethic cleansing for what purpose? The people of Bosnia have lived together for centuries, so what if there is muslim church on the corner or a catholic church up the street, nobodies God advocates killing only men with hate in their hearts.


message 9: by Aditya (new)

Aditya Pareek (cabinmarine) | 7 comments Milosevic did it for personal power, it's irrational to have killed your neighbors from the perspective of the individual but Geopolitics doesn't work with individuals, cultures, ethnicities,nations,fatherlands and interest of the dog eat dog variety clash inevitably.
Serbia with its medival identity had its justification and so did Croatia. The ottoman millet system, the supposed harmony of the peoples of different faith and denomination under ottoman subjugation was not something those peoples if given the choice themselves would have chosen to live by.
In hindsight as a Russophile/Slavophile I have to say that, The medival Kingdom of Serbia was not exactly undermining it's national state interests to preserve it's Byzantine/Orthodox heritage under ottoman rule either.


message 10: by Bill (new)

Bill Tress | 14 comments Very interesting comment! I will be interested in learning more about the Ottoman millet system. The Ottoman empire left Bosnia 500 years ago!? why couldn't the system of government be modified? Did Tito block change?


message 11: by Aditya (new)

Aditya Pareek (cabinmarine) | 7 comments Bill wrote: "The Ottoman empire left Bosnia 500 years ago!? why couldn't the system of government be modified? Di..."
I can't tell if you are teasing me but No, Ottomans were forced to Transfer most of Bosnia as a result of Treaty of Berlin in 1878, that's 130 years.
And Tito didn't block anything that had anything to do with Ottoman ways of Administration. He didn't setup Yugoslavia for the first time, it was setup long before he gained power it was The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later renamed Yugoslavia) which abandoned most of Ottoman traditions right off that was the point of all those Balkan Wars before WWI.
Check this book out, it will give you most of the broad stuff, that is if I haven't typed all of this out as an exercise in futility and am being made fun of simply but can't tell because sarcasm doesn't interpret easy in text. I apologise if I said anything to offend you.
The Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers 1804-1999


message 12: by Bill (last edited Mar 26, 2018 09:08AM) (new)

Bill Tress | 14 comments No Aditya, I was not being sarcastic! I sent a little time in Bosnia, Macedonia and Sarajevo, just after the bombing of the market. That bombing was murder! the only people in that market were woman selling fruit and vegetables, no military use; I just don't understand this thinking and you have shed some light on the subject. Yet,I still don't quite get it. As you point out the Ottoman have been gone a long time, people are smart enough to change things that are oppressive or just don't work, so the millet system does not explain to me why people had to kill each other. I would welcome more of your thoughts on this matter and will checkout your suggested reading.


message 13: by Bill (new)

Bill Tress | 14 comments Well Aditya, I took your advice and have acquired "The Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers 1804-1999. That's the good news, the bad news is I have to put aside everything I was reading and try and wade through this voluminous text. So, I guess we can continue this conversation in a couple of months!!!


message 14: by Aditya (new)

Aditya Pareek (cabinmarine) | 7 comments Bill wrote: "Well Aditya, I took your advice and have acquired "The Balkans: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers 1804-1999. That's the good news, the bad news is I have to put aside everything I was reading a..."

I would love to continue it once you have the basics sorted out. I am glad you distinguished yourself from the average entitled person on the web who demands to be spoon-fed info.
Happy reading.


message 15: by John (new)

John Farebrother | 11 comments Mod
I don't know the value of the aid sent to Kosovo, but in the latter half of 1998 UNHCR informed NGOs working in Kosovo that it had more money than it knew what to do with, such that practically any project submitted would be given funded. One NGO set up a stray dog project - not an unworthy endeavour, but hardly a priority during wartime. I heard it said that more money was available for projects in the Kosovo than for the whole of Africa.
Throughout 1998 there was an armed struggle between the UCK, who would launch hit and run attacks on state (Serbian) military and civilian targets, including kidnappings, and the security forces, who tended to 'cleanse' villages suspected of harbouring UCK. This typically involved ordering the inhabitants to leave before shelling the village, then searching and sometimes burning it. There were also killings. As such there were groups of displaced Albanian civilians moving around the countryside. The ethnic cleansing started after the NATO bombing campaign started on 24 March after 2,000 people had been killed, but was only systematic in western Kosovo. 800,000 Albanians left, mainly to Albania and Macedonia. When the NATO invasion started on 12 June, the Albanian refugees returned, and 200,000 Serbs and Romanies left Kosovo, mainly to Serbia and Montenegro.

I've attempted to explain this as well as the wars in Bosnia and Croatia in my memoirs The Damned Balkans: A Refugee Road Trip.


message 16: by Travelin (new)

Travelin | 6 comments I find it more than a little strange that it's not simple to find the total aid per country or per conflict. Based on the only numbers I found the last time I looked, it still sounds like severe underfunding on a per refugee and especially per person basis. I am strongly inclined to fund animal rescue groups too. If you're bombing a country, surely you expect to help the refugees and all affected? Afterall, Israel gets 1 billion dollars every year...


message 17: by Bill (new)

Bill Tress | 14 comments The Great Powers have totally mismanaged the Balkans. I don't believe that financial aid is the answer, because the funds never get to where they belong, instead they buy arms or go into Swiss bank accounts.
I believe the Great Powers missed an opportunity to do it right after the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. The US and its allies rebuilt Japan and Germany after WW 11 and I believe this type of approach would have worked well in the Balkans and it would have saved millions of lives and hopefully stopped the atrocities.
Another stupid mistake by the Allies was the use of sanctions against Serbia by doing this they created the Balkans Mafia. A lot of band aides and stupidity simply because the Great Powers just want the problems to go away!!


message 18: by John (last edited Jun 08, 2018 06:25AM) (new)

John Farebrother | 11 comments Mod
Bill wrote: "The Great Powers have totally mismanaged the Balkans. I don't believe that financial aid is the answer, because the funds never get to where they belong, instead they buy arms or go into Swiss bank..."

I couldn't have put it better myself. Despite the billions in "post-war reconstruction" spent in the Balkans, most people still can't find a proper job. As a result all the former Yugoslav countries (including those in the EU) are now undergoing an unprecedented exodus, leaving rural areas practically empty, apart from pensioners, while urban centres are losing those sectors of society that represent the only hope of renewal. For example, over the last five years more people have left Croatia each year than left during the whole war. Reliable figures are not available for Bosnia, but they are certainly higher.


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