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Was Serbia yet another victim?
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1.       vineyards
1954 posts
 21 Mar 2011 Mon 06:28 am

There has been an ongoing discussion between me and a Serbian member (Slavica). We exchanged a few messages about this in the past and the matter has been hanging in the balance since then.

According to what we were taught in school, Bosnians were the good Slavs who opted for Islam as a community and gained our ancestors hearts. There has always been a good rapport between us and them. As fellow Muslims, they are entitled to our vote automatically whenever there is a conflict we side with them since the Serbs are considered as the bad guys whom we fought several times in history. Our history books were (in my school days) boastful of our great victories against the Serbs. This provides an excellent framework for a hostile regard of the Serbs complete with stereotypes and partiality. I would expect the story on the other end to be more or less the same. We share what is called a Balkan spirit with the Serbians. This so-called Balkan spirit has all the tones of fascistic and nationalistic feelings, a keen awareness of one´s ethnic roots, religious identity and an acute hatred for other Balkan nations.

Ironically, despite these sharp polarities of ethnicity and religion there is little difference in the way their cultures and perspectives about life. Having been raised in patriarchal families, they bow down to authority easily and get easily out of control when agitated or provoked. They are usually childish in their demeanors, you could find persons seriously defending Hitler or advocating a foolish opinion like why it is actually benign to butcher certain folks etc. Knowing my own culture, I know the other cultures too. Though most of this is essentially remains as the word of mouth, it does sound quite irritating to those who don´t know the culture.

Being the natural allies of the Bosnians we have always supported their story. The world was on our side at that particular moment. Yet, we might have missed certain points when we were focused on the sufferings of the Bosnians.

Would you tell us how you felt and what attrocities did you witness durin that dark episode in the Balkans. You don´t have to prove anything, just tell us about the pieces of truth that have never got through to us.




2.       Daydreamer
3743 posts
 21 Mar 2011 Mon 09:51 am

Not surprisingly, I consider Serbs biggest victims of the war. They got left out by everyone, Muslims of course backed up Muslims, irrespective of whether they were right or not and non Muslims proved again that religion doesn´t matter to them like it does to Muslims and used Serbia as a scapegoat and experimental field for military procedures. My country was one fighting against Serbs, a policy I disagree with completely.

I was amused reading about "good Slavs" who wanted to take Islam peacefully. The Ottomans were famous for their peaceful Islamisation lol I´m sure janissaries were volounteers as well lol

I´ll take the liberty to paste what Slavica wrote in another thread

I don´t claim Serbs are completely innocent, but I DO claim Serbs are victims too, in this war and through the history. Anyway, with no intention to turn this topic to discussion of „Serbian question“, I will gladly answer your questions, appreciating your interest to hear explanation from „the other side“ and out of wide spread stereotypes. My English is not so good to allow me to completely express my opinion, so I will ask you, and everyone else interested and patient enough to read this article – its parts about Kosovo and Bosnia. There are facts that explain all your questions. But in short: Serbia was not bombed because of Bosnia, but because of Kosovo, and conflict between Serbs and Albanians about Kosovo reaches deep in history and no one is able to say „who started first“. Anyway, in newer history, Kosovo became officially attached to Serbia, where Albanian minority became mayority in the province, struggling to achieve independence. Similar things happen in Basque Spain, Catholic Northern Ireland, Kurdish Turkey, where rebellious forces, similar to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA),  engage governments and provoke retaliation. Of course, Serbia, as any sovereign country, fought against such kind of separatism. But, independent Kosovo conformed to the West – this time it was not oil in question, but military presence at Balkans  - Serbia denied the stationing of NATO troops in sovereign Serbian territory. So, international forces supported rebellions and attacked Yugoslavia citing „atrocities against Albanians“ as the reason. The result was:  physical and economic destruction of Yugoslavia; the Serbs lost authority in Kosovo; ethnic cleansing of a Serb population, going to even trafficking in organs taken from murdered Serbs! – and brand new US military camp Bondsteel, described by human rights envoy of the Council of Europe as a "smaller version of Guantanamo"!


Now let alone everything that happened to „bad Serbian people, who got what deserved“. Let´s see what have got Albanian people who was supposed to be „protected“: they were directly exposed to the terror of Serbian forces, since the mass exodus  of Albanians from Kosovo did not start until the NATO bombings of Kosovo, in which many Kosovars were killed; their infrastructure was destructed, their territory bombed with missiles filled with depleted uranium, with all its consequences to human health for (hundreds of) years. Is it what had to happen, in situation when negotiations were still possible? 


One thing that I want to highlight – and this is similar with what Vineyards said in his post - besides of punishing Serbs, there are more results of the Yugoslavia war that should be considered: „testing of weapons in all types of conditions that caused death and destruction, an acceptance that strong nations may attack weaker nations with the pretext of unfair treatment of their minorities, revival of war as a solution to problems, renewal of an arms race, the loss of sovereignty, and the uncomfortable feeling that no matter where you are in the world, if you don´t agree with a specified policy you can become the target of a guided missile.“

3.       armegon
1872 posts
 21 Mar 2011 Mon 11:30 am

How will we know what you know or you dont know? I think, other than Bosnian war in near past, the period between 1877-78 Ottoman Russian war and till 1941 should be taken into account well...

Quoting vineyards

 just tell us about the pieces of truth that have never got through to us.






4.       vineyards
1954 posts
 21 Mar 2011 Mon 06:41 pm

Daydreamer, the European campaigns of the Ottoman Empire came at a time when great conquests were the rule of the game if one wanted to exist as an empire. You either swallow others or get swallowed by others. For example, Russia declared war against Ottomans many times using the smallest excuse. The idea was to capture Istanbul and reach the warm seas. They couldn´t do this since the conjuncture did not permit. Turks campaigns in Europe could be considered as the reverse engineering of the famous and glorious crusades which are now remembered as heroic tales in the folklores of participating countries. What the Ottomans did was restructuring the East to overcome and reverse European brutality. Istanbul witnessed one of the greatest pillages and destruction at the hands of the crusaders who hated the Orthodox Byzantines of the time. The famous Hagia Sophia was robbed and pillaged as well. In fact, that was the biggest catostrophy that 1500 year old structure ever experienced.

Anatolia was like an otobahn for the crusaders who murdered the inhabitants, robbed their property and overthrew local lords. Turkish presence in Europe is largely a result of the hatred caused by the crusades. 

Janissaries are often exagerated, they are a very small part of the Ottoman army. Since their history is a bit turbulant and since they are essentially the kids captured from the Europeans, everybody thinks they were the main Ottoman power. During the campaigns in the Balkans, the army needed more fighters and they employed bashibozouks who are mainly legionnaires who were not paid any salary. Their main income was the bounties they would get from the pillages they get involved in. That being the mode of working, these people began tormenting locals and created problems for both their employers and the locals whose safety is jeopardized even after the end of the war. That is why they are called bashibozouks which literally means uncontrollable. They were often executed or severely punished at the end of a war. They are also usually local slav outlaws who did not want to miss the opportunity of making a fortune at wartime. There were also Janissary dayis who turned themselves into despots. They were like local sheriffs.   




Edited (3/21/2011) by vineyards

5.       Daydreamer
3743 posts
 22 Mar 2011 Tue 11:54 am

Thank you for presenting the Turkish side of history I haven´t expected anything else but stories of heroism and courtship

I however suspect Orthodox are not so happy to have lost Bizantium to Ottomans. When you lose a pearl it doesn´t matter who the thief is.

I just think it´s not right to come up with moral justifications of a brutal fact: empires are empires because they conquer, kill, loot, take slaves, rape etc. The Ottoman was no different. They reached out for Europe, they failed, just like the Europeans failed reaching for the Middle East or Eastern territories like Russia. 

But, let us not go off topic on the Serbian subject, I´d love to hear what else Slavica (or any other Serbian member) has to say to spoil the twisted image of poor Muslim Bosniaks and murderous Serbs, as they´re portrayed not only in the Muslim societies but also in Europe

6.       vineyards
1954 posts
 24 Mar 2011 Thu 03:14 pm

Where is Slavica?

7.       gokuyum
5049 posts
 24 Mar 2011 Thu 05:48 pm

Most sad thing is yesterday´s victims become today´s monsters. I say this generally. There are many examples. You can´t find a completely innocent country in the world

slavica, si++ and Elisabeth liked this message
8.       slavica
814 posts
 26 Mar 2011 Sat 11:47 pm


Quoting vineyards

Where is Slavica?


Waiting for her fourth grandchild


Sorry, I was never in politics very much, and nowadays I´m completely out... Besides, I don´t feel strong, eloquent and qualified enough to fight against bad reputation of my people, so carefully built by media. Vineyards, Daydreamer, I´m far far behind you in knowledge of politics and debates skills, don´t expect from me to explain what much wiser of me couldn´t explain - that all sides in ex-Yugoslavian war were victims, victims one from another, and all together victims of world policeman who used their historical confrontations to turn strong Yugoslavia to couple of small, weak and obedient countries. I´m sure that, whatever I say, there will always be someone to say that Serbs were at least a bit guiltier than others, which I don´t admit.


Brutal aggression to Libya just reminded me to the hardest period of my life and I said what I had to say about that - there´s no humanity in this world, just interest...


I´m sorry if I disappointed you

9.       barba_mama
1629 posts
 27 Mar 2011 Sun 01:16 am

There are no winners in war, only victims.

slavica liked this message
10.       slavica
814 posts
 27 Mar 2011 Sun 06:30 pm

By the way, the purpose of my post in another thread (Lybia and the no-fly zone) was not to mark Serbs as victims of NATO aggression, but on the contrary, to mark as victims those whom they were "protecting". My point was that in the same way they will "protect" Libian people from Gaddafi.


I´ve just read that Libyan rebels took operational control of two key cities, Ras Lanuf and al-Brega. They said they are ready to start exporting oil in less than a week...

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