Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation" by Silber and Little [13]

[Apologies for dragging this out so long. Graduate school is eating up much of my attention span, and I've been having computer problems on top of that. In the interests of keeping this moving, I'm probably going to stick to bare-bones summaries from now on.]

Chapter 19: "We Are the Winners" The London Conference May-December 1992

This short chapter recaps the events of the aforementioned conference, at which strong Western rhetoric aimed at rump Yugoslavia was (as Milosevic understood even prior to landing in London) not to be coupled with any meaningful, decisive action. As would be the pattern for the next two and a half years, the international community would issue threats which seemed substantive on paper, but were empty in practice.

This chapter also marks the end of the abbreviated political career of Milan Panic, the California resident who briefly returned to his homeland to serve a few months as Prime Minister in an ultimately doomed attempt to rescue Serbia from Milosevic's rule. And finally, Lord Carrington was replaced by Lord David Owen.

The most important and meaningful result of this otherwise rather useless conference was the the Bosnian Serb leadership began to emerge from under Milosevic's protective cover; and this worked quite well for Milosevic, who cleverly began distancing himself from his compatriots across the Drina.

Chapter 20: The Hottest Corner The Fall of Srebrenica and UN Safe Areas April 1993

This chapter details events which are well-known to anyone who hasn't swallowed the revisionist lie that the Srebrenica genocide of 1995 was actually a retaliation for unprovoked attacks on Serb villages which just happened to be near a large concentration of Muslims. This context for what happened at Srebrenica two years later is not essential to understand that what did happen was, in fact, genocide, but it does put that crime in context; furthermore, it explains how the bizarre Bosnian war phenomena of "safe areas" came to be.

2 comments:

Owen said...

There is something very odd about Morillon's intervention at Srebrenica. I've read different explanations of what happened. I'm still confused why he should make such a forceful commitment that it bumped the UN into adopting the first safe areas resolution. If it was just to extricate himself from the enclave it seems rather an extravagant gesture, so much so that for it to have been an ad hoc response seems unlikely.

Owen said...

Kirk, it's notable how relatively little substantial and sustained criticism Silber and Little have received for their account of the death of Yugoslavia whereas Johnstone's, through which you ploughed your way so self-sacrificingly on our behalf has never ceased to be controversial. The test of time has not brought Johnstone's analysis wider acclaim as the outstanding work her supporters claim it to be.