Sunday, 2 May 2010

A letter to The Guardian - Jerry Blaskovich

The Guardian
119 Garrington Road
London, England EC1R- 3ER
November 13, 1991

To: the Editor

Derek Brown's recent article, "Serbian Schizophrenia" extensively quoted Dr. Kosutic. What was surprising is that he did so without a hint of skepticism to guide the reader Kosutic laments that the Serbs were victims of imperialism during this century. Serbia, an independent kingdom before World War I, was cobbled together with other Balkan states, including Croatia, into a new state after the war. President Wilson and the other "founding fathers" of this newly formed kingdom envisioned a highly centralized state. But the Serbs instead imposed a tyrannical rule upon all non-Serbs--favoring terrorist methods to support their position, such as the assassination of Croatian delegates in the Yugoslav parliament in Belgrade. Yugoslavia, in essence, was a government in which the Serbs were the imperialists—all non-Serbs suffered ethnic discrimination.

Kosutic also lamented that the Serbs were victims of communism. Yet it was the Serbs who controlled the newly emerged communist Yugoslavia after World War II. The only true statement by Kosutic was that the communist regime "slapped down ethnic rivalry" but he failed to mention that its supervision was controlled by the Serbs and almost invariably was directed against the Croats.

Brown is asking the readers to join him in singing Kosutic's lament for the downtrodden Serbs. But asking us to accept such a manipulated view of history suggests that Brown believes his readers, like animals from the taxidermist's hand, only look alive. But we readers are alive and aware that Amnesty International cites Yugoslavia and the Serbian actions as one of the worse offenders in the civilized world. We know that most historians agree that Serbian nationalism was directly responsible for World War I. We also see daily that Serbian actions have caused countless deaths in Croatia, made 250,000 Croatians displaced persons, destroyed 210 Catholic Churches and 160 historical building—almost one-quarter of which were designated by UNESCO as cultural monuments. Serbs are besieging the city of Dubrovnik even as I write. These are actions of aggressors and imperialists.

Brown and Kosutic declare that Western democracies have portrayed the Serbs as villains. United States policy--as distinct from the perceptions the media has given the American public--have always been the biggest supporters of the Serbs. Although for 40 years the United States government has championed human rights, self-determination efforts, and the containment of communism; our government has abandoned these positions in Yugoslavia. While the understanding what borders mean is changing radically with the advent of the European Common Market and firm lines between states become fuzzy, only in selected places are borders sacrosanct. James A. Baker III has declared that this Yugoslavia must have firm borders. The civil and human rights of Croats and Slovenes must matter little to the Bush administration, who are firm supporters of the Serbs. With such unfailing support from the U.S., why are the Serbs schizophrenic?


(c) Jerry Blaskovich. Published here by permission from the author
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