April 4, 2014

Thinking like a Russian about Croatia 1995 and Georgia 2008

I hadn't realized before how much the American-encouraged attack by Georgia on Russian-backed South Ossetia in 2008 looks to the Kremlin like the same playbook as the two American-planned Croat offensives against the Serb breakaway Krajina republic in Croatia in 1995. The second American-planned offensive by the Croats, Operation Storm, was the biggest land battle in Europe since 1945.

It's hard for Americans to remember all the times our side has militarily pushed around other sides. But the Russians remember, so it's worth it to recall how similar Croatia in 1995 and Georgia in 2008 look to the Kremlin.

Slavic Orthodox Serbia is a sort of mini-Russia that was at the core of a sort of mini-Soviet Union called Yugoslavia. So, Russians paid a lot of attention to what happened to Serbia in the 1990s, just as they did in 1914 when the Czar destroyed his dynasty in defense of Serbia.

Serbia is kind of a cultural outpost of Russia, the way Afghanistan is oddly like Arabia. Just as the Afghans have all the backwardness of the Arabs but without any oil, the Serbs have managed to make themselves highly unpopular without ever permanently achieving the defensive depth of the Russians.

The test run for Croatia's American-nurtured offensive capability was Operation Flash in May 1995. It was followed by the big Operation Storm in August 1995 that ethnically cleansed 150,000 or more Serbs from Croat territory. This was the largest European land battle since 1945.

I can recall an NPR war correspondent explaining at the time that US military men had been training the Croats for months in how to fight like a modern Operation Desert Storm army, so it was going to be a pushover, which it was: four days of fighting and then it was all over except for the refugees. When people say violence never solves anything, well, Operation Storm pretty much solved Croatia's problems with having a large, violent Serbian minority.

Since then, however, a lot of opacity has been dumped on American involvement in preparing the groundwork for Operation Storm. Although it was the best executed military operation in a war that generally resembled an extended gang fight, not surprisingly some Croats ran amok and committed war crimes -- not as bad as what the Serbs did, in between the two Croat offensives, to Muslim men at Srebrenica in Bosnia in July 1995, but still not nice.

Also, parts of the U.S. government didn't tell other parts what they were up to. The U.S. Ambassador to Croatia, for example, appears to have been sincerely appalled by the huge ethnic cleansing by Croatia, but he wasn't kept in the loop of planning the offensive. Or something.

There was a UN ban on arms shipments to participants in the Yugoslav wars, so with official U.S. military involvement blocked from active involvement, the Croat government hired Military Professional Resources, Inc. of Alexandria, VA, which employs retired U.S. military officials to advise countries okayed by the U.S. government. Most notably, MPRI employed General Carl Vuono, who had been U.S. Army Chief of Staff from 1987-1991 (i.e., during Desert Storm; i.e., he knows what he's doing). Supposedly, Gen. Vuono was just in Croatia in 1995 to advise the Croatian army on how to "transition to democracy" and subjects like how to fight AirLand Battle 2000 never came up. I mean, if you were a Croatian general intending to open a front 390 miles long, why would you ask one of the main architects of Operation Desert Storm for tips and pointers on how to fight Operation Storm? You'd ask him for advice on democratic transitioningness instead. And the similarity of names of the operations is just a coincidence.

MPRI, interestingly enough, was in Georgia in 2008 training Georgian commandos. But, US involvement with the Georgian Army didn't have to be limited to deep state connections: because Georgia had just been put on the first rung for admission to NATO, 1,000 U.S. troops were in Georgia conducting military exercises with Georgian troops in July 2008: the Immediate Response training exercise. Within 10 days of the American troops leaving, 10,000 Georgian troops surged across the internationally established and peacekeeper maintained line of control into South Ossetia. But the Georgian commandos failed to take out the Roki Tunnel, and the Georgian army was defeated by Russian reinforcements. (Note that neither army performed terribly well.)

So, from the Kremlin's perspective, the Georgian 2008 attack looks a lot like the Croatian 1995 attacks. A major difference in the outcome was that the Yugoslav national army didn't come to the defense of the Serb breakaway republic of Krajina in 1995 the way the Russian national army came to the defense of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia in 2008.
    

68 comments:

Awakened said...

Afghanistan was a Greek Kingdom more than 2000 years ago... Hellenism, Buddhism, Zoroastrism, Philosophy,.. ALL over.

Anonymous said...

Religion sometimes trumps HBD. Visually and genetically Russians are closer to Poles than to Serbs. Religiously they're closer to Serbs. The religious bond has produced a much better relationship. And yes, the word Krajina is related to the word Ukraine. Kray means edge, border.

Anonymous said...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/24/us-ukraine-crisis-russia-kosovo-idUSBREA2N0SC20140324

"State television reports featured footage of Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic and Milosevic, who died in 2006 while on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

"Before he died ... he said that the West is a cunning, wily beast that does nothing but eat the flesh of Slavic peoples," Alexander Prokhanov, a nationalist writer and political commentator, said on state-run Rossiya-2 television."

ATBOTL said...

One irony that you might want to look into Steve, is that on the European far right, it's the small number of real neo-Nazis who end up being allied with the US. Croatia was another example of this.

Anonymous said...

Within 10 days of the American troops leaving, 10,000 Georgian troops surged across the internationally established line of control into

Seems like an unfinished thought.

Johnycomelately said...

Interestingly Croatian generals weren't charged with war crimes as realistically the generals would revert to the defense that they were taking orders from US military personnel.

If the US personnel were charged then they would obviously have to state they were working under the directive of the CIA and then it would go all the way to the White House.

So Croatian generals were never charged as it would implicate the US.

RonMexico said...

Srebrenica is far too propagandized to use it as a reliable example. The truth doesn't fit The Narrative. Beware anything that Richard Holbrooke had his hands on. Research Nasir Oric and try convincing me that 8,000 Bosniaks were murdered by Serb Christians.

Anonymous said...

Putin has taken full advantage of the irony mentioned by ATBOTL. Practically all Russians are recent descendants of individuals who fought back the German invasion of the USSR. This includes Putin. "Our enemies are neo-fascists" is a powerful rallying cry in that part of the world. This goes beyond Galician Banderites and ultra-nationalist Croats. Some Estonians collaborated with the Germans too and some are proud of it today. Estonia treats its ethnic Russians like dirt. The US financed Banderite terrorists in the Ukraine in the late 1940s and 1950s and then again in the 2010s.

Anonymous said...

The US involvement in the breakup of Yugoslavia started at least in 1990. The 1991 Foreign Operations Appropriations Law 101-513, had this provision inserted into it:

Prohibits, six months after this Act's enactment, the expenditure of funds made available pursuant to this Act to provide assistance to Yugoslavia. Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to instruct the U.S. executive directors to international financial institutions to oppose any assistance to Yugoslavia. Exempts from such prohibition assistance to support democratic parties or movements and emergency and humanitarian assistance. Makes such prohibition inapplicable if: (1) all the individual republics of Yugoslavia have held free and fair elections and are not engaged in a pattern of human rights violations; or (2) the Secretary of State certifies that Yugoslavia is making significant strides toward complying with the Helsinki Accords and is encouraging any republic which has not held free and fair elections to do so.

In other words unless and until Yugoslavia held elections in all their constituent republics, which would inevitably lead to secession, no international financial assistance would be provided. The exception of course was that aid could be provided to 'democratic' movements which I guess was the precursor to the 'Color' revolutions later that decade.

Think if Great Britain had done this to the US in 1860 with the result being our southern region voted to leave. Would Uncle Sam have stood for that?

Uncle Sam really likes secession votes unless said secession tends to favor Russian interests, or involves US states.

RWF said...

"try convincing me that 8,000 Bosniaks were murdered by Serb Christians."

If the 7000 bodies of Bosniak civilians so far identified by the ICMP and the confessions of some of the Bosnian Serb commanders like Momir Nikolic and Dragan Obrenovic haven't convinced you, then I doubt a few comments in a blog will.

AlexT said...

I thought better of you Steve. Is it always wrong for Orthodox Slavs to defend their own interests, or only when they oppose fascists and jihadists? See Jasenovac for why the Krajina Serbs might not have been too enthusiastic about living in an independent Croatia. And see Bratunac if you want a reason for Srebrenica.

Peter Akuleyev said...

So, Russians paid a lot of attention to what happened to Serbia in the 1990s, just as they did in 1914 when the Czar destroyed his dynasty in defense of Serbia.

Steve,you keep saying this, but it's bad history. The Czar, like most Russians didn't care very much about Serbia per se. WWI, from the Russian point of view, was all about Russian control of the Black Sea. The Russian long term Imperial dream was to take Constantinople and the Bosphorus. Austria had been frustrating the Russian advance in the Balkans for decades, and Austria's annexation of Bosnia in 1908 was a signal that Austria thought the Balkans were an area where Habsburbs could still increase their influence. Russia wanted Austria out of the region, and did not want Austria taking over Serbia and potentially undermining Russia's influence in Romania and Bulgaria. Serbs and Russians are really not all that close culturally - Serbia developed as a borderland frontier culture between the West and the Ottomans and had no tradition of Westernized elites, unlike post-Petrine Russia. Serbs fought ferociously both for the Habsburgs and the Ottomans, often against other Serbs. As a nation with a long history of defeats, internecine fighting, and grudges against more powerful, more successful neighbors Serbia is culturally more like Ukraine than Russia, ironically. It is no accident that for fourty years as Yugoslavia Serbs rarely had much use for Russia, and vice-versa.

Luke Lea said...

I'd completely forgotten all that -- if I had ever been made fully aware of it in the first place. And under Clinton no less!

Anonymous said...

as another commenter notes, another odd aspect was with European extremists assisting the Croatians. Vans full of neo-nazis from Austria would drive in, fight a bit, and drive home, all without ever being harrassed or pulled over or ANYTHING. Convoys... of neo-nazis... driving to a war zone.
I was residing in Ireland at the time, and *distinctly* remember collections for "our catholic brothers in croatia".

Anonymous said...

link, re: IRA involvement in Croatia

http://www.politics.ie/forum/history/187977-ira-croatian-war-independence.html

Anonymous said...

Another wrinkle is France's involvement.

The primary croatian soldier of the Krajina battles spent his young life in the French Foreign Legion, making it to the 2eme REP (something akin to our 101rst)and then CRAP (something akin to our Delta Force).
He then does personal security for LePen (pere) afterwards.
He somewhat disapprears, bumbling about in south america. But as the Croatian War breaks out, he quickly becomes a general.
And then, totally out of dispassionate 3rd party interest, the French Foreign Legion provides all logistics for the Krajina campaign. Y'know, just because it's "right".
The Legion is notoriously opaque, but people of that time report that Croatians all seemed to desert, *with their entire kit*, during that time. Y'know, tons of Croatians going AWOL with their rifles and ammo can happen to the best of us!

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/french-soldiers-killed-in-croatia-1.775317

"peacekeeper" and "forward observer" is kinda like toMAYto and toMAHto, right?

Silver said...

"It is no accident that for fourty years as Yugoslavia Serbs rarely had much use for Russia, and vice-versa."

You're a fine one to talk about "bad history," sheesh.

"Kray means edge, border."

Close. Edge is ivica; border is granica. Kraj actually means "end," but when used to refer to land it means "region" or "area." "U tom kraju" = in that area, in those parts. Krajina translates to borderlands.

"Convoys... of neo-nazis... driving to a war zone."

I don't know if they were all neonazis though. Some surely were, since they saw a link between the new republic and the collaborationist WWII state. (The new president was something of a holocaust revisionist too.) Many others would have just been mercenaries. It was a popular conflict for Soldier of Fortune magazine readers, as I recall. There's an American Amren commenter who fought there who is a fairly amiable chap.

IHTG said...

Insert Pat Buchanan reference here.

Steve Sailer said...

Ante Gotovina

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ante_Gotovina

Anonymous said...

Interesting article, Steve.

On a slightly different note, the oft-repeated cliam heard in the UK is that the EU has somehow managed to 'maintain peace in Europe since 1945' - which is obviously untrue and absurd. This falsehood is used by EU enthusiasts as yet another lie to try to keep the UK in that dictatorship.

In fact, precipitate Geramn recognition of Slovenian independence - and as Germany does the EU is forced to follow, sparked off that whole nasty little war, (Steve Pinker, where are you?), in the first place.

It's interesting to note that EU expanionism into Ukraine - a region where it has no reason to hold sway - also precipitated the current crisis over there.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I doubt that there is really any sizeable amount of 'Slavic blood' - (by this I mean the 'real' Slavs who dwelled in ancient times around the Pripyet Marshes of Belorus), in the Serbs or other 'Yugoslavs', in the same way that I doubt that there is a great deal of actual Germanic 'Anglo-Saxon' blood in the modern English. Language cannot be used as a test of genetic affinity.
The founding myths of Serbia and England are similar. Basically, after the collapse of the Roman Empire a small band of alien conquerors forced their language and culture on a former Roman province. I wager that most Serbs are predominately pre-Slavic 'Illyrians' in ethnicity.

DJF said...

""""But the Georgian commandos failed to take out the Roki Tunnel"""

But if you want to ethnically cleanse South Ossetia you need to leave the tunnel open long enough so the refugees can escape north, the problem is the longer its was open the more likely North Ossetian's fighters and Russians will head south.

Conatus said...

The big picture for the Russians is the NATO noose the West has been tightening since the end of the cold war. Gorbachev had a gentleman's(the West's elite...gentlemen?) agreement that IF he assented to German reunification NATO would not be expanded. Gorbachev agreed and the liars in the West have expanded NATO to the borders pf Russia. The Warsaw Pact has turned into the NATO noose.
The Western elite are full of Russophobes whose default position is to probe and push the Russians
to some sort of military action. The recent Crimea hubub is a great example of our elites trying to stir the jingoism pot to get us to send Americans to fight the Russians. But i think Americans are tired of that idea and becoming more aware of the fact the US spends roughly six times more on arms than the Russians so why is Russia the threat?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

reiner Tor said...

Actually, I doubt that there is really any sizeable amount of 'Slavic blood' - (by this I mean the 'real' Slavs who dwelled in ancient times around the Pripyet Marshes of Belorus), in the Serbs or other 'Yugoslavs', in the same way that I doubt that there is a great deal of actual Germanic 'Anglo-Saxon' blood in the modern English. Language cannot be used as a test of genetic affinity.

Actually, the English have a sizable portion of Anglo-Saxon blood in their veins. I don't know much about the genetics of Serbs, though, but I rather doubt they didn't have a sizable influx of Slavic genes.

However, it's true that Russians in general are probably more closely related to Poles than to Serbs. Also, strictly genetically speaking, Serbs are ironically more closely related to Croatians and Albanians than to Russians.

I read somewhere that for example a lot of Serbs converted to Islam in Ottoman times, but unlike the situation in Bosnia, which was more isolated, Serbian Muslims mostly fled the area and found refuge either with other Muslims in the Balkan (that would mostly mean Albanians) or fled directly to Anatolia (i.e. present-day Turkey). Those Muslim Serbs who went to Albanian lands quickly intermingled with the locals through intermarriage and lost their language. On the other hand, a number of Orthodox Albanians intermingled with Serbs, and slowly assimilated into the Serbian ethnic group. The process didn't quite finish, there are still some Serb-speaking Muslims in Kosovo (I personally met one in, where else, but Switzerland), and a lot more in Serbia proper (the so-called Sandzak), as well as some Orthodox Albanians in the southern part of Albania and Macedonia, where they had less chance to assimilate.

Also Catholics and Orthodox sometimes converted to each others religion (or to Islam, or to the Bogumil heretic sect), so there was a constant flow of genes in between Serbs and Croats. Not to mention that initially both ethnic groups were created by an admixture of the same locals with the same conquering Slavic tribes, which is attested to by their languages being basically indistinguishable. (Local Croatian dialect in Herzegovina is basically the same as the local Serb and Bosniak dialect, and is somewhat different from local Croatian dialect around the Krajina, which in turn is basically indistinguishable from the local Serb dialect, etc.)

Simon in London said...

"A major difference in the outcome was that the Yugoslav national army didn't come to the defense of the Serb breakaway republic of Krajina in 1995"

What then happened to Milosevic is a good example of what happens when you try to stay on the West's good side. Serbia's failure to openly back the ethnic Serbs of Croatia and Bosnia - to have the Yugoslav/Serb army fight with them - doomed Krajina, ultimately lost Serbia its Kosovo ancestral homeland and cost Milosevic everything. The big mistake was to appear to accept the German-led international recognition of the breakaway Republics. Sending Arkan and some paramilitaries doesn't cut it, indeed just cedes the moral high ground to the enemy.

Well, I guess Putin has learned a lot from Milosevic.

Anonymous said...

as another commenter notes, another odd aspect was with European extremists assisting the Croatians. Vans full of neo-nazis from Austria would drive in, fight a bit, and drive home, all without ever being harrassed or pulled over or ANYTHING. Convoys... of neo-nazis... driving to a war zone.
I was residing in Ireland at the time, and *distinctly* remember collections for "our catholic brothers in croatia".


Inherently unreliable mercs aside, who will lay down his life for the postmodern secular hedonist pornocracy except for those who live mentally in a pre-liberal order?

pest said...

I don't know if Georgia's attack on South Ossetia reminded Russians of the Operation Storm, I know it reminded all the Serbs precisely of that. I think I commented as much at the time on your blog. You probably dismissed it as another conspiracy theory coming from a culture inclined to look for conspiracies.

Hunsdon said...

Good stuff, boss.

RonMexico said...

RWF said...
"try convincing me that 8,000 Bosniaks were murdered by Serb Christians."

If the 7000 bodies of Bosniak civilians so far identified by the ICMP and the confessions of some of the Bosnian Serb commanders like Momir Nikolic and Dragan Obrenovic haven't convinced you, then I doubt a few comments in a blog will.

4/4/14, 9:44 PM

Serb Christians, read carefully. There are plenty of eyewitness accounts of the UN role and Oric and his murderers having a hand in it. This "massacre" was trumpeted by Clinton and NATO to bolster their case for a destruction of Yugoslavia. What their ulterior motives were/are, maybe some commenters can give their opinions.

Andrew said...

I doubt that there is really any sizeable amount of 'Slavic blood' - (by this I mean the 'real' Slavs who dwelled in ancient times around the Pripyet Marshes of Belorus), in the Serbs or other 'Yugoslavs', in the same way that I doubt that there is a great deal of actual Germanic 'Anglo-Saxon' blood in the modern English.

Well, are the Germans German?

The Scandanavians cluster around the I1A Y-chromosome. Germans tend to be R1B-S21 or I2A2, with as much I1A as the English, which is relatively little. The Dutch and West Germans are far closer to the English than anything else. Where the Germans, especially Franks and Allemanians, differ from English is the additional overlay of R1B-S28, which they share in common with the Northern Italians, Swiss, and French. This could be thought of as the Galli and Belgae of Caesar's time possibly.

The Gaels or Celts if you will of the English fringe, Brittany, and Ireland are R1B-L21. They are clearly distinct from both the mainland Gauls and the Germans.

If Slavs are identified with predominance of the R1A lineage, then Slavs are Russians, East Ukrainians, Belarussians, Poles, Slovaks, Czechs, Wends/Sorbs, and Slovenes, and they are indistinguishable from the Balts in Latvia, Lithuania, and Prussia which is also the position of linguistics. The Balts gain a distinction from Slavs from the Finnish N1C1 element spilling down from Finland through Estonia. But also spilling east into the Novgorod Republic.

Serbs are in the I2A area of predominance with the Croats and Bosnians and Romanians. They are very distinct from the Illyrians. If you are looking for an ancient linkage, look to Dacia and Dalmatia. You can think of Serbo-Croats as Slavicized Romano-Dalmatians, and Romanians as re-Romanized ex-Slavicized Romano-Dacians. The other area with quite a bit of this is Galician Ukraine as a spillover out of Moldavian Romania. As to Illyrians, you should think of the area of the Byzantine Empire - Greeks, Turks, Southern Italians, Albanians, Bulgarians, Macedonians, Georgians.

CubuCoko said...

Steve, the same comparison came to my mind back in '08: Krajina, Not Kosovo. And while I also think it's unfair to call the Serbs a "violent minority" when they had every reason to oppose a Nazi revival (the same way a lot of Ukrainians who suffered in WW2 have cause to hate Banderites), or that invoking Srebrenica is appropriate in this context, or that the number of Serbs expelled from Croatia (since 1990) actually amounts to 380,000... the point is, the U.S. allied with Nazi revivalists then, and has done so again now. But noticing that is a sin, isn't it?

HA said...

So Croatian generals were never charged as it would implicate the US.

Not true. Ante Gotovina, the ex-Foreign Legion officer and the leader of the Croatian forces (whose wiki profile Steve linked to above), was charged, tried and convicted, and served for several years before finally being acquitted on appeal.

HA said...

Evelyn Waugh has an interesting segment on WWII Yugoslavia in his Sword of Honour trilogy, having served there along with Fitzroy Maclean, the British officer who played a major role in getting Tito chosen as the Allies' key-man in Yugoslavia once the Chetniks basically stopped fighting the fascists. Interestingly, Maclean was eventually awarded a medal before his death by Croatia for his support of its independence.

It is interesting that according to these posts, the Irish IRA, Churchill-affiliated Brits, the French Foreign Legion, German neofascists, and US neocons all conspired to make Croatia happen and to stick it to the Serbs. I smell delusions of grandeur.

Scheissherr said...

"Uncle Sam really likes secession votes unless said secession tends to favor Russian interests, or involves US states."

In short, the US pursues its own geopolitical interests, like any other nation. If only it would show a little more concern for its own citizens!

Anonymous said...

"transition to democracy" - indeed.

Hunsdon said...

In January of '91, I was in Zagreb for a few days, during my honeymoon. Wife 1.0 and I had read about the potential for a civil war, and it had a very Ten Days That Shook the World kind of sound to it, so after knocking about Western Europe for a month we went to Yugoslavia.

That may have been the point at which I began to doubt the dominant Western narrative about foreign affairs and the Slavic world.

At the time, the story went that the evil JNA, a wholly owned subsidiary of the evil Serbs, from evil Serbia, was crushing the tender shoots of democracy that were trying to spring up. What we saw didn't exactly comport with what we'd been told.

We arrived (by bus, from Amsterdam) at the Zagreb train station. The evil JNA seemed to be represented mostly by wide-eyed farmboy draftees. Little old ladies in the station would spit when the draftees walked by, and make hand gestures that weren't exactly "salaam a-leikum."

Revolutions are more fun when you're in a hammock a thousand miles away, so after a few days of looking around Zagreb we unassed the area for Athens.

If Yugoslavia had to dissolve, I sure wish it had gone more the way of Czechoslovakia.

Zhukov said...

The Brits and Yanks like to think we fought back the tide of Teutonic Invasion.

The Russians however know they did.

Anonymous said...

"The founding myths of Serbia and England are similar. Basically, after the collapse of the Roman Empire a small band of alien conquerors forced their language and culture on a former Roman province. I wager that most Serbs are predominately pre-Slavic 'Illyrians' in ethnicity."

I think you are a bit confused. The Slavic invasions of the 7th and 8th centuries in the Balkans by no means constituted a "small band of alien conquerors." By the 8th century their numbers were so overwhelming on the peninsula that Greeks considered Thessaloniki to be an island of Greeks (Romoi) in the middle of a sea of "sclaveni." If anything your theory is likely backwards; the local Albanians, who claim Illyrian ancestry, are possibly predominantly Slavic in ancestry.

Furthermore, the "Serbs" may have constituted a small group among a number of Slav tribes, but they did not "force" their culture on anyone. In fact, it was totally opposite. The Serbs in almost every sphere adopted byzantine culture for reasons of legitimacy. Even the "Slavic" Cyrillic alphabet is really a just Greek one and so is the grammar of old church Slavonic.

Zhukov said...

I'm pro Serb these days.

Setting up a Muslim state in the heart of Europe was criminal. The Bosnians should have been deported or transported.

Matra said...

"It is no accident that for fourty years as Yugoslavia Serbs rarely had much use for Russia, and vice-versa."

Under the half Croat half Slovene Josip Broz Tito Yugoslavia was not friendly towards Russia but I knew some Serbs in the 80s and all I can say is you don't know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

Serbia got shafted and we chose child-sex-slave smuggling, drug running terrorists over Christians. Of course it was Clinton so what do you expect?

Anonymous said...

Something on the scale of the Croatian offensives isn't really a matter of cleverly drawing arrows on maps. The units doing the fighting need to be trained to carry out the missions.

Anonymous said...

So where are the examples of the us army pushing other countries around in this article. The idea that training an allied army is pushing another nation around is so cheap and dishonest a shot as to boggle the mind.

Additionally contra the kremlin and Serbian propagandists here several Croatian commanders were tried for war crimes but the pesky absence of mass graves that for whatever reason Serbs but not Croats leave behind everywhere they go meant that they were found not guilty. Typical paleocon logic it's not fair that the non-murder I don't like got off while the murders I like got convicted.

Operation overlord reminds me of Hastings so Ike is a war criminal. Sadly that's a better argument than the argument presented here.

Of course pat Buchanan was a huge supporter of our efforts in Croatia so I guess America's interests there must have been obvious because ole Pat never nurtures an ethnic/ religious grudge no sir. What's that you say Croatians are catholic no way. I'm sure pat had no idea he was just supporting the incipient Jeffersons and Madisons in Croaria. Whats that he called Croatia the sword of Christendom while clamoring for the 7th fleet to attack Serbia and the Stalinist butcher Milosevic? I guess sometimes we do have to go abroad in search of Stalinist dragons to slay after what does Johnny Q know he's been dead forever.

Anonymous said...

"The recent Crimea hubub is a great example of our elites trying to stir the jingoism pot to get us to send Americans to fight the Russians. But i think Americans are tired of that idea "

Obama is the least neocon-friendly president America can possibly have without some sort of a revolution. Hillary and any Republican with a chance are more hawkish in the neocon direction than Obama. So in the future this period will seem like a bit of quiet before the storm.

Anonymous said...

@ 4/5/14 7:36

no delusions of grandeur required. It's all public record

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mistral

Operation Mistral was performed by the "legitimate" Croatian Army acting in concert with the HVO, the Croatian paramilitary which also included enough French nationals that they were assigned their own unit.

Co-Occuring was NATO's Operation Deliberate Force
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Deliberate_Force
which dropped 1k bombs and flew some 1500 sorties.
There is no doubt, official or otherwise, that croatian paramilitaries, led by a French trained general with very close ties to the French far right and french "foreign volunteer" nationals were being provided direct air support by NATO/France during their attacks on Serbs.

Ossulstone Hundred said...

That is the ethnogenic myth.

However the genetics of the southeast of England are indistinguishable from Holland Frisia and Schleswig Holstein.

I BELEIVE this is a population that pre dates the Romans was also reinforced during the Roman period and simply rose to the top after the Roman's disbanded.

The DNA strongly indicates a fourth branch of Germanic settlement. Archeology shows no sudden population replacement from the Bronze Age on into the 1100s in many of the sites legendarily associated with Anglo invasion. However the population in the East is Germanic and the population in the West is Celtic. Anglo-Saxon refers IMHO to the dominant geographical area of the Isles: Kent, Middlesex, Essex, Sussex Suffolk.

It's sorta where they were.

Hunsdon said...

DJF said: But if you want to ethnically cleanse South Ossetia you need to leave the tunnel open long enough so the refugees can escape north . . . .

Hunsdon said: Well, that's one way to ethnically cleanse. I mean, if you want to let them get away. After all they did to you. Just let them walk away. That's one way to ethnically cleanse. I guess. (Takes off Koba mask.)

Hunsdon said...

HA said: Not true. Ante Gotovina, the ex-Foreign Legion officer and the leader of the Croatian forces (whose wiki profile Steve linked to above), was charged, tried and convicted, and served for several years before finally being acquitted on appeal.

Hunsdon said: You may have to do a couple of years for the family, but trust me: the family will look out for you, the family won't forget that you're a stand up guy. You'll do what, maybe four, five years? Less if we can talk to a few judges.

Hunsdon said...

HA said: Evelyn Waugh has an interesting segment on WWII Yugoslavia in his Sword of Honour trilogy, having served there along with Fitzroy Maclean, the British officer who played a major role in getting Tito chosen as the Allies' key-man in Yugoslavia once the Chetniks basically stopped fighting the fascists.

Hunsdon said: Fitzroy Maclean was an interesting dude. Every couple of years I try to reread "Eastern Approaches" on general principles.

Hunsdon said...

I hadn't ever known this, but when I went to doublecheck the wiki on Fitzroy Maclean, I learned that he was one of two men who enlisted as privates in the British Army in WW2, and rose to the rank of brigadier general.

The other was Enoch Powell.

That's a pair to draw to, innit?

reiner Tor said...

HA:

the Chetniks basically stopped fighting the fascists

Interesting that in Greece the British advisors advised the Greek partisans not to attack the Germans, because they couldn't stomach the heavy German reprisals. Probably the Chetniks felt some responsibility for the civilian population, unlike the communist partisans.

reiner Tor said...

RonMexico:

try convincing me that 8,000 Bosniaks were murdered by Serb Christians

I'm not going to convince you, only mention that the opposite of the Official Narrative (namely that Serbs were innocent little girls just about to receive their First Communions) is just as false as the Official Narrative itself. Of course the Serbs murdered a lot of non-Serbs, that's what humans do at times of ethnic conflict.

My general feeling is that in the 1990s (though probably not in the 1940s) Croatians were definitely better than Serbs. Not necessarily true of Bosniaks and Albanians, and then again, it's easier to be nice when you have the whole international community supporting you, but harder if you only have a Russia descending to chaos under a drunkard president.

Silver said...

"Serbia's failure to openly back the ethnic Serbs of Croatia and Bosnia - to have the Yugoslav/Serb army fight with them - doomed Krajina, ultimately lost Serbia its Kosovo ancestral homeland and cost Milosevic everything."

Serbia considered it politically expedient to maintain the pretense that it was only local Serbian units fighting (see Crimea), but it was more or less a JNA operation, which is why Serbian territorial objectives were secured so quickly. By 1995 Serbia was an international pariah. To openly back the Serb breakaways at that point may have risked NATO invasion of Serbia proper. As for Kosovo, the Yugoslav forces were openly battling Albanian rebels - what more could Slobo have done?

Whitehall said...

During this epoch, I was getting my news mostly via NPR. Like Mark Twain wrote "If you don't listen to NPR, you are uninformed. If you do listen to NPR, you are misinformed."

Actually, I was both. I couldn't understand anything about this war!

Can anyone recommend a good history book on the war? I'd really like to understand the period better.

I do remember a colleague who was a Slovene, back in the late 80s. He hated Serbs. Seems they did his papa dirty when his dad was a draftee. The Serbs had a bit of "master race" complex, or so it seemed.

HA said...

"Probably the Chetniks felt some responsibility for the civilian population, unlike the communist partisans."

I would not dispute that (given that I said pretty much the same theing here, at 3/28/14, 7:40 AM. However, once the Chetniks gave up on Italians and Germans, they then turned their attention to killing Partisans, and in that sense, they were the doing the Nazis' work for them.

HA said...

...I also think it's unfair to call the Serbs a "violent minority" when they had every reason to oppose a Nazi revival (the same way a lot of Ukrainians who suffered in WW2 have cause to hate Banderites),...

I'm pretty familiar with what happened to Dubrovnik during that war. It's a place I'm fond of. Based on the shells that fell there (what a swell PR move that was) I think 'violent minority' pretty much sums it up. The Serbs certainly had reason to oppose a "Nazi revival", whatever you mean by that, and numerous opportunities existed in the former Yugoslavia and and in the context of the OSCE and other such bodies to satisfy those concerns peacefully. Or at least sanely. They squandered them one after another, and instead, Milosevic decided that militaristic nationalism was the way to whitewash his Communist-stooge image. Moreover, by using paramilitaries to st up mini-republics, he could pretend his own hands were clean. It worked for a while, but eventually his luck ran out and it turned into a catastrophe, and instead of perpetually blaming outsiders for their problems, the Serbs ought to look a little closer to home in assessing where their real problems lie.


Setting up a Muslim state in the heart of Europe was criminal.

Make that two, if one includes Kosovo. I'm not a fan of that outcome, but the alternative that the Bosnian leader had in mind was to create a Muslim bloc co-religionists in the republics of Serbia and Kosovo. In another few decades that Islamic bloc would have outnumbered the Serbs and would have been poised to dominate Yugoslavia in a similar way. That's one reason why the Bosniaks were reluctant to leave Yugoslavia. It may well be that two small fragile Muslim states turn out to be less of a liability for Europe than a Muslim-dominated Yugoslavia would have been.


...no delusions of grandeur required. It's all public record...

Yeah, we get it. Gotovina was ex-Foreign Legion. He rose rapidly in the ranks of a country where Serbs had previously dominated the Army, and which was therefore in short supply of skilled military professionals. So? I'm not sure why you find that so noteworthy. I think most people would consider that less sinister than a former KGB thug becoming the leader of a nuclear-equipped superpower, but that kind of thing happens, too.

HA said...

...it's easier to be nice when you have the whole international community supporting you, but harder if you only have a Russia descending to chaos under a drunkard president..

Yeah, harder still when your president is one of the only world leaders to openly support the Soviet hardliners' military coup that tried to overthrow that drunkard. But maybe that, too, was all part of some vast Germano/Celtic/Anglo/Franco/neocon conspiracy to drain international support for the Serbs.

Anonymous said...

The United States will support Israel no matter what. And it's not just our bought and paid for government. The reality is that a significant number of non-Jews identify with Israel for religious and cultural reasons, and believe them to be an island of our civilization in a sea of barbarism. I only mention this to introduce my prejudice for the Serbs.

Steve and others have pointed out many of the crimes the Serbs committed on others and that others performed on the Serbs. But in the end, I really don't care. Just like Americans will still support Israel and give her the benefit of the doubt whenever she proactively engages her neighbors, I have instinctively sided with Serbs since the troubles of the 1990s.

I was impressed that they had opposed the Ottomans, while the Bosniaks and Albanians capitulated. I was impressed that they were the only nation to liberate themselves from the Nazis without the direct intervention of the USSR or Western allies. I liked their fighting spirit, much like I like the Israelis, and felt the Serbs have been pushed around for far too long by Ottomans, Hapsburgs, Croatians and others.

So just like we will continue to support Israel when they get a little trigger happy, or look the other way when they continue to build settlements, I will side with the Serbs, especially when they are opposed by European Muhammadans.

HA said...

"Steve and others have pointed out many of the crimes the Serbs committed on others and that others performed on the Serbs. But in the end, I really don't care…I was impressed that they had opposed the Ottomans,... I was impressed that they were the only nation to liberate themselves from the Nazis without the direct intervention of the USSR or Western allies."

I give you points for your candor. But the Serbs freed themselves from the Ottomans and Nazis only by cooperating with like-minded groups around them, not by constantly picking fights with them. For instance, they had considerable help (and, at times, prodding) from the Austrians in overthrowing the Ottomans, and that was arguably far more important to their victory than anything the Russian czar sent their way. And it was the Serbs in the multi-ethnic Partisans who were on the team that beat out the Nazis, not the Serbo-nationalist Chetniks who eventually wound up fighting alongside the invaders.

Last time I checked, the Muslims in Bosnia and Albania are still there, and growing. If the Serbs are going to be on the winning side of that long battle, and it’s important to Europe that they are, now that outfits like Hamas have Bosnia in their sights as a staging ground, they should stick with strategies that actually worked. That’s something that those who claim to be fond of them should also keep in mind.

reiner Tor said...

HA:

I couldn't access your link since I seem to be over some limit, so I can only guess what coup you're referring to. I guess it's the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis, which was not a military coup to overthrow Yeltsin. It was an impeachment process, which by some chance supported the inauguration of vice-president Rutskoy, who happened to have been elected on the same ticket as Yeltsin.

It was actually president Yeltsin who unconstitutionally employed the military in a coup to overthrow the legislature, and then with his total control of the media stage a rubber stamp popular vote to narrowly support his policies and introduce a new constitution giving him a lot more power.

So if you think this was a "military coup" to overthrow Yeltsin, you are wrong. Yeltsin did not have any more legitimacy than Rutskoy or Khasbulatov and the Congress of People's Deputies, and he was the one to use force to overthrow the other side.

And of course Milosevic supported Rutskoy because Yeltsin had supported the UN sanctions against rump Yugoslavia over a year before, in 1992. So the Serbs actually had no supporters in the early 1990s.

Matt Buckalew said...

Yea he means the 1993 constitutional coup not the 1991 August Putsch. It's hard to believe that you were actually confused by to what he was referring. More likely you are feigning confusion in order to evade a particularly galling notch on Sloby's resume. However, if you are indeed so unfamiliar with Russian history as to be confused by what HA meant then most likely it is a subject that you should avoid spouting off on.

Like Pat B said when Catholic Croatia was engandangered by Sloby's militias, once a "Stalinist butcher" always a Stalinist butcher.

Anonymous said...

Like Pat B said when Catholic Croatia was engandangered by Sloby's militias...

You have convinced me. Buchanan is wrong. I will now join you, Kristol, Krauthammer, & co. I will support the propositional nation and open borders. I will support politicians who want to crush Russia and maker her a cog in a dollar denominated economy. I will ignore domestic social issues. And I will join the IDF if necessary to protect America's only true ally.

Anonymous said...

since the little people are our forever ever friends because of the insult of not being always favored by the universe and the gods, can we cut the serbs some slack, you know they did suffer at the hands of their neighbors in WW2 at tens of degrees of magnitude higher than what was meted put during the yugo wars. Wish there was nato & uncle bill helping with armaments and air war in ww2.

reiner Tor said...

Matt Buckalew:

The 1991 event was not executed primarily to overthrow Yeltsin (who at the time didn't have much power yet), but to prevent the other republics from breaking away. The leaders of this coup tried to convince Gorbachev to come back to Moscow to lead them.

However, is there any other source to support HA's statement? I'm skeptical because I've found nothing and Milosevic at the time wasn't even a leader of a country, so he could very easily avoid having to say anything on the issue.

I also don't quite understand why it should embarrass me if Milosevic supported Yanaev. It was a political mistake, but given what has happened since, it only shows he had been a friend to Russians.

Matt Buckalew said...

Reiner Tor,

I don't have proof either way that Milosevic supported the August Coup, but he was definitely the leader of Serbia at the time. That said when someone mentions hard liner Soviet Coup it is pretty clear what they are referring to. Likewise Yeltsin was indeed president at the time of the coup so it is perfectly accurate to state that the coup sought to overthrow Yeltsin.

reiner Tor said...

Matt Buckalew:

Might come as a shock to you, but people do use sloppy language in online comments, so you cannot be sure what the other guy means unless he's really unambiguous. For example, you talk about a "Soviet coup", whereas HA mentioned a "coup by Soviet hardliners" - I presume Soviet hardliners went on to exist after the USSR ceased to exist. I was a teenager in post-communist Hungary at the time, but the media coverage in Hungary in 1993 mostly talked about communists trying to regain power through a "constitutional coup" or something, and there was even talk of a Soviet restoration attempt. E.g. the TV anchor showed pictures of a ragtag militia trying to protect the parliament building from the surrounding military, and in a grave voice warned, "they might have looked like a ragtag militia in 1917, but they went on to conquer half of Europe, we might make fun of them now, but maybe in a few years time they will be on the roll again". Hence my automatic association of "a coup to remove Yeltsin" with the 1993 events. In August 1991 Yeltsin was merely a president of a constituent of the USSR, his power was limited, so I never thought of the 1991 coup as primarily designed to remove Yeltsin.

Moreover, public discourse is often just as sloppy as online comments. People regularly refer to the 1991 events as a "military coup" (HA also mentioned some "military coup"), even though it was not the military acting on its own, but the government itself and the governing party (minus the president and CPSU general secretary) that ordered the tanks to the streets. Journalists sometimes mention that the putschists attempted to remove Gorbachev, when they attempted no such thing, in fact, they tried to convince Gorby to come back to town to lead them.

So no, it was not at all clear which coup HA was referring to, because he was using sloppy language (as is normal in an online comment). And even with the most precise language it would not at all be clear what the 1991 events should be considered. A coup is where written law is broken, but that was part of normal governance throughout the history of the USSR.

Regarding Milosevic, he was the president of Serbia 1989-1997, but Serbia was only a constituent of Yugoslavia, not an independent country, so it must have been easy for Milo to avoid having to say anything regarding events in Moscow, either in 1991 or in 1993.

reiner Tor said...

Matt Buckalew:

it is perfectly accurate to state that the coup sought to overthrow Yeltsin

Just to make it clear, I'm not arguing with that, just wanted to make clear why I couldn't be sure about which coup he referred to by that.

However, having thought about that, if Milo indeed did publicly support Yanaev in 1991, this would explain why Yeltsin so easily voted against Serbia in the 1992 resolution to introduce sanctions.

Anonymous said...

Today is a happy day for Croats- the day their nation's territorial integrity was reestablished after 4 years. The Serbs had all that time to work on reintegration within Croatia but held on to their Greater Serbian pretensions and belief that wherever Serbs lived was "Serbian Land". Even when the writing was on the wall, they rejected the z4 plan offered by Zagreb which was certainly a better option than the one they chose(or Slobo chose for them- an ordered evacuation prior to op. Storm).
The Serbs are prone to mythomania and delusions of their greatness. This likely stems from the tradition of learning their history from blind illiterates wailing on a dubiously tuned string. I suppose there's a reason universities haven't yet introduced the blind guslar to teach students History 101 but who knows, maybe it's a Anglo-Teutonic plot to suppress superior Slavic educational strategies..
Btw, if you'd like to see the fruit of the Gusle Method for History,(GMH), google "Chetniks Ukraine Crimea" or even better you tube the characters speech...pure comedy