Friday, December 15, 2006

"Fools' Crusade" Chapter Three [11]



This post is going to be somewhat anti-climatic, I'm afraid. There really isn't much to say, despite the cliffhanger ending of my last post. I'll keep it short.

Essentially, Johnstone diagnoses the threat that the unwieldy federal/republic system presented to central control and order; she fails miserably when she goes on to claim that the primary culprit in the dismemberment of Yugoslavia was selfish behavior induced by this system.

It is true that national, democratic elections at the Federal level were needed; however, none were provided by the existing constitution. Even here, one might be inclined to concede Johnstone's point--she seems to be describing a tragic process by which the republics were set off against each other by a fundamentally flawed system. However, this comment betrays an important blind spot in her analysis:

"Under these circumstances, secession of the various republics did not signify a democratic revolt against a dictatorial centralized regime, so much as the acceleration of a process well underway in the final years of Tito's system."

This dismissal of a "centralized regime" flies in the face of what we know about the dying years of the Yugoslav system; the actions of the Federal government in Belgrade and of the JNA were far from peripheral to events in the late 1980s and early 1990s.


Not much of a 'payoff' I realize; my analysis of this section isn't my best moment on this project so far, I fear. The final two paragraph of this section set up part two of Chapter Three. I will tackle them in my next post.


Shaina said...

Let me guess, next she's gonna tackle the great Germanic-Croatian-US conspiracy to topple socialist Yugoslavia? ;-)

Kirk Johnson said...

First she's gotta demonize Slovenia. ;)

Shaina said...

Ah, that should be fun. ;-)

Anonymous said...

She forgot to mention crimes of Yugoslav communist/socialist government, beatings of Albanians in Kosovo and Bosniaks in Sanjak area where Bosniaks form majority (in some parts) etc. Clear case of partisann politics. Her book is another master-piece of Srebrenica genocide denial.