Letters to the Editor


Articles Published on Swans Regarding the War in Yugoslavia and its Aftermath

Dear editor, I've meant to write you for a while to commend Swans for its honest and serious analysis on the Balkans over the past two years and to share some of my observations on the Balkan powder keg we sometimes hear about, after living in Argolidas, Greece, for several years in my retirement, and especially its application by our American and even European television news presenters as they went on to explain, over the past several years, why they thought the federation of the six republics of Yugoslavia fragmented.

First of all, after I first arrived here, I eventually became quite surprised to learn that, especially with regard to any such powder keg, the overwhelming number of people here are really not any different than, say, the people of Norway, or anywhere else for that matter. So, what we have here is a possible reason offered by said news presenters to explain, in simple terms, what happened to federal Yugoslavia. The television news presenters will also say that it was only Marshal Tito who previously held Yugoslavia together, although federal Yugoslavia was actually created eighty years ago, immediately after World War I, long before Marshal Tito came along.

After the USSR was more or less replaced by the Russian Federation, there were, in fact, a number of countries in Europe that were urged to join the Partnership for Peace. Several countries then said no. For example, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, and Austria said no. On the other hand, in the Balkans, Romania and Bulgaria said yes. In the Balkans, only federal Yugoslavia said no. They say that the big fish eat the little fish, and so, I eventually learned that if your country is located in the Balkans, then your country is one of the little fish. This means that since Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, and Austria are located in a more privileged part of Europe, if they say no, they will be treated in a more dignified manner. Otherwise, it's best to say yes.

Over the past hundred years or so, the story of the powder keg in the Balkans could probably be traced back to the days of Emperor Franz Josef of the Christian Austro-Hungarian Empire, and its border with the Islamic Ottoman Empire, a border which ran through the middle of the Balkans. Each of these two empires consisted of any number of nationalities, each with their own land. So, if one empire wanted to shift the border against the next empire, the thing that has always been done is to send in trained, professional provocateurs. Nowadays, such people are sometimes known as state-sponsored terrorists. In order to understand what provocateurs do, it pays to consider what has been happening in Algeria for the past several years. They come at night, they invade small villages, they have knives, and old people and even little children are not spared. After this is done for a while by what used to be known in Europe as the big Powers, then you have a powder keg.

Even as recently as 1938 and 1939, Germany sent in provocateurs into western Czechoslovakia and western Poland. Then, after Czech and Polish villagers suffered brutal deaths, the Czech and Polish local villagers and local police did commit brutalities and brutal crackdowns against the minority German villagers. These were areas that Germany lost as reparations after World War I.

With regard to all six republics that had comprised federal Yugoslavia throughout almost all of the twentieth century, we always heard the television news presenters refer to declarations of independence. This phrase can remind one of the thirteen colonies. The news presenters never said unlawful secessions, because that phrase would remind us of, with due respect to, South Carolina in 1861. Nor did the television news presenters ever tell us where the billions of dollars came from for the secessionists and the provocateurs, oftentimes outside, Islamist provocateurs. Ultimately, what all of this means is that when the news presenters talk about the alleged powder keg in the Balkans, they are, in fact, practicing racism.


Dimitri Diamant

Articles Published on Swans Regarding the War in Yugoslavia and its Aftermath
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Published January 14, 2002
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