CHAPTER FOUR: THE MAKING OF EMPIRES
WHY "SERBIA MUST DIE"
After a few sentences detailing a "vehement press campaign" that supposedly turned the German public against the Serbs (considering that she only quotes a handful of print journalists and their--admittedly widely circulated--magazines, she must consider Germans either particularly easy to dupe or primed and ready to hate at a moments notice), Johnstone embarks on a critique of German involvement in the Yugoslav wars (yes, the entire chapter--one out of five in the whole book--is just on Germany) that is, if nothing else, novel--she ignores chronology altogether.
Others have already noted that Johnstone and others have blamed German recognition of Slovenia and Croatia for igniting a war which was already, at that point, in the works. What I mean is something more brazen--she skips around from decade to decade, pulling quotes from the Nazi period and from the time of Bismark, all to illustrate the true nature of German foreign policy in the 1990s. And what's more, she apparently means for the reader to take this seriously.
She moves back and forth from era to era shamelessly, such as in this quote:
"Nineteen months after German reunification, and for the first time since Hitler's defeat in 1945, the German media resounded with condemnation of an entire ethnic group reminiscent of the pre-war propaganda against the Jews."
In her version of reality, Germans had striven to mend fences with the victims of Nazi aggression, but this "stopped short when it came to the Serbs."
The quote "Serbia must die" was, as she openly admits, from 1914. To her, this is relevant because Germany in 1991 was following down a well-worn historic path, once again going on an aggressive campaign to punish and/or eliminate the troublesome nation of Serbia.
This section is only a little over two pages long; a full page of which is taken up with a detailed description of Nazi reprisal killing policy in occupied Serbia during WW II. This section contains more hard figures and data than entire previous chapters had, when applied to the Muslim and Croat communities. Other than wallowing in war porn, the only possible point of this section might be to illustrate Serb fears of German interference. Which is not what she discusses in the next section.
And that, honestly, is all there is to this section--the German press vilified Serbia in 1991; Nazis did bad things in Serbia in 1941. This is the foundation on which Johnstone will build her thesis.