Little by little, let's hope more journalists will come to understand the underlying causes for the war
Thanks for this very good article. I am pleased to see several articles lately which mention that "the state was founded in 1918 as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes". It gives people a little more food for thought, some who probably never heard of Croatia before the war, to realize that it was a separate nation and did not come out of the blue in 1990. When writing to the press, I always mentioned that original name for Yugoslavia. Glad to see it finally "sunk in"! Little by little, let's hope more journalists will come to understand the underlying causes for the war.
From today's London Financial Times: www.ft.com
Published: January 31 2003 4:00 | Last Updated: January 31 2003 4:00
Unmourned and unloved, Yugoslavia is passing into history. The state founded in 1918 as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes on the ruins of the Habsburg empire is this week finally being abolished. The parliamentary deputies of Serbia and Montenegro, its last two constituent republics, are establishing a modest new union called Serbia and Montenegro.
In place of Yugoslavia will be five countries - Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, and Macedonia. There could yet be more if divided Bosnia splits or the ethnic Albanians of UN-administered Kosovo win independence from Serbia.
As an attempt to impose order on warring nationalities, Yugoslavia has failed. It lasted as long as it did only through the late President Tito's unique combination of manipulation and brute force. It collapsed into war under Slobodan Milosevic, his Serbian nationalist successor. But even Solomon in his wisdom would have struggled to stop the inter-ethnic strife.
The post-Yugoslav states face difficult political issues, not least the final status of Kosovo. Even the future of Serbia and Montenegro is unclear, given the strength of pro-independence forces in Montenegro.
The best hope is that disputes can be settled without further violence and that, having established their independent identities, the new states learn to co-operate, especially in economic affairs. If they make progress, they have been promised eventual European Union membership. At that point, the borders over which so much blood has been spilt may finally cease to matter so much. Older people might then draw parallels with the peaceful heyday of Yugoslavia. But they would be wrong because the federation was not based on the consent of its people. The great hope of the Balkans is that the new EU-oriented order will be.