Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It Is Nothing New

The nationalist ideology provided an answer. It defined the Serbs according to a historical legend, based part on fact, part on fiction. Not only did the nationalist ideology reach back 600 years to tales of the defeat of Serbia by the Ottoman forces at the battle of Kosovo Polje, it also encompassed the more factual and more recent tragedies suffered by Serbs during World War Two at the hands of Croatian pro-Nazi Ustashe.
By the early Nineties, an extremist element of rising Croatian nationalism fed the flames of fear, especially in Serb majority regions of Croatia, by rehabilitating Ustashe symbols. The new Serbian identity became one in opposition to the "other" - Croats (collapsed into Ustashe) and Muslims (collapsed into "Turks").

Milosevic's propaganda campaign was based on the same techniques as used by Adolf Hitler, with the added power of television.

"Nazi propaganda had shown that myths bind the masses together tightly. Indeed, it was through myths and, therefore, the appeal to the forces of the unconscious, to fear and terror, the instinct of power and the lost community that the propaganda orchestrated by Goebbels had succeeded in winning over the Germans and melding them into a compact mass,"
"The Serbian regime would use a similar technique. To weld the population together, official propaganda drew on the sources of the Serbian mystique, that of a people who were the mistreated victims and martyrs of history and that of Greater Serbia, indissolubly linked to the Orthodox religion."

The fundamental principles of propaganda, highlighted by de la Brosse, are: keep it simple; project one's own faults onto the enemy; use the news to one's own advantage through exaggeration, distortion and omission; repeat the message endlessly; rely on myths and history; and create a national consensus.
Serbian television and radio's repetitive use of pejorative descriptions, such as "Ustashe hordes", "Vatican fascists", "Mujahedin fighters", "fundamentalist warriors of Jihad", and "Albanian terrorists", quickly became part of common usage.
Unverified stories, presented as fact, were turned into common knowledge - for example, that Bosnian Muslims were feeding Serb children to animals in the Sarajevo zoo. In these stories, friends and neighbors, fellow countrymen and women were turned into "the other", lacking humanizing or individual characteristics


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

NICE! Not to be redundant but this is exactly what Serbs and their supporters are doing today!