Friday, March 28, 2008

'Skanderbeg was a Serb' - or how Serb national ideology constructed the image of the Albanian as an enemy

Thanks to my friend Kae who made me aware of this article by Olivera Milosavljevic.
A great article although it makes me sick because is quite nauseating. It shows once more that Slobodan Milosevic who is blamed for everything is not but just a very small piece in all of this madness. It is Serbian people and its elite who caries this disease for not just a short period but at least 200 years of modern history. It is well know that is goes further in time, since their immigration to the Balkans
Wanting to make our national hero The Great Skanderbeg a Serbian it is delusional history and shows that they do not know any boundary in their malady. I’m sure that this way of thinking creates the climate where root of genocidal mentality grows.

Here is a insert from the article
The Albanians are today unquestionably considered the greatest ‘enemies’ of the Serbs. Although this may be ascribed to political events and the distasteful portrayal of Albanians in the Serbian media, it is nevertheless necessary to look deeper into the reasons for the disdain with which they have been treated by Serbian writers and politicians.
Serbian intellectuals today write about Albanians mainly within the framework of a stereotype about their ingrained hatred of - and desire to destroy - the Serbs, which is said to originate from their very nature, characterised by primitivism and banditry. Earlier authors, meanwhile, sought also to prove the Albanians’ alleged incapacity for autonomous state existence, which they likewise derived from their nature. In their view, the Albanian ‘tribes’ neither needed a state nor were capable of becoming a nation. So such authors saw the solution, in line with Serbia’s own state-political programme, in terms of a benevolent colonisation which, by including the Albanians and their lands into the Serbian state, would prepare them for civilised existence. Contemporary writings about the Albanians commonly include such stereotypes, repeated over and over again during the past one hundred years: that they are not a nation, and that their lack of civilisation precludes them from establishing an independent state. From this derives the assertion that Skanderbeg was a Serb.
Albanians hate Serbs
For the full articicle please click Here


Kae said...

Exploring further the origins of the Serb "exception", Olga Popović Obradović has published
"The roots of anti-modern political culture in Serbia"
on the website of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia:

Vincent Jappi said...
Open letter on genocide

Author: Fifty-five international academics, human-rights activists and intellectuals
Uploaded: Friday, 04 April, 2008
A public call for 'the full and uncensored minutes of the meetings of the Supreme Defence Council' of Serbia to 'be made public, so that the role of the Serbian state in the genocide in Bosnia and Hercegovina can be assessed objectively'
Open letter to the presidents of the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the Republic of Serbia

A year ago, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued its verdict in the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina versus Serbia, acquitting Serbia of direct involvement in genocide in Bosnia. We, members of the international academic community, believe that this decision - reached without a review of all the available evidence – amounts to a miscarriage of justice and a betrayal of the principle that international criminal law should act to prevent and punish the crime of genocide.
The ICJ refused to subpoena Serbia to hand over the uncensored minutes of the meetings of the Supreme Defence Council of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The application of the Bosnian team with this request was denied. ICJ judges also decided not to ask the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to disclose these documents.
The importance of these transcripts in proving the intent of the Republic of Serbia to carry out genocide against the Muslim population of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992-1995 became apparent in the case of the former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic at the ICTY. Judges in the Milosevic case had those minutes at their disposal when they found there was enough evidence to convict Milosevic on genocide charges in Bosnia and Herzegovina - not only at Srebrenica in 1995, but in relation to crimes carried out since 1992. In a procedural ruling in that case of 16 June 2004, the Trial Chamber concluded that
“there is sufficient evidence that genocide was committed in Brcko, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Srebrenica, Bijeljina, Kljuc and Bosanski Novi”.
It goes on to state that it
“could be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was a participant in the joint criminal enterprise” which had “the aim and intention” to destroy a part of the Bosnian Muslims as a group.”
This being the case, it is reasonable to surmise that, had the uncensored minutes of the meetings of the Supreme Defence Council been put before the ICJ, the verdict might have gone differently and Serbia might have been found responsible of genocide. The fact that the Court decided not to ask for these minutes leads us to believe that the Court’s conduct of the case, as well as its verdict, was influenced by political considerations.
According to the ICJ’s verdict, Bosnian Serb perpetrators were nowhere guilty of genocide except at Srebrenica. Yet this has already been called into question by the European Court of Human Rights, which on 12 July 2007 upheld the conviction for genocide of the Bosnian Serb paramilitary leader Nikola Jorgic by the German courts. Jorgic was convicted in Germany of having carried out genocide in the Doboj region in 1992, in one of a series of massacres that the ICJ claimed was not genocidal.
However, the ICJ is not the only United Nations’ court that failed to uphold the principles of international law. The ICTY judges granted Serbia’s request that the minutes of the Supreme Defence Council be submitted in a censored version, allegedly because Serbia’s ‘national security’ was at stake. This would be equivalent to the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg agreeing to withhold key evidence against the Nazi leaders out of respect for Germany’s ‘national security’. The ICTY’s concession to Serbia was the result of a political agreement reached by the Tribunal with the Serbian government, and is therefore evidence again that the international courts have allowed politics to interfere with the legal process.
As representatives of the academic community, human rights activists and intellectuals from all over the world, we demand that the international public be told the whole truth. We therefore request that the full and uncensored minutes of the meetings of the Supreme Defence Council be made public, so that the role of the Serbian state in the genocide in Bosnia and Hercegovina can be assessed objectively.

1. Dr Marko Attila Hoare, Senior Research Fellow at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Kingston University; author of ‘The History of Bosnia: From the Middle Ages to the Present Day’ and ‘Genocide and Resistance in Hitler’s Bosnia’
2. Edina Becirevic, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Criminal Justice Science, University of Sarajevo; author of ‘International Criminal Court: Between Ideals and Reality’
3. Sonja Biserko, Head of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, wrote and edited several books about the Serbian nationalism, among them ‘Bosnia- Herzegovina the Core of the Greater Serbia Project’
4. Dr Robert Donia, Research Associate at the University of Michigan's Center for Russian and East European Studies, author of ‘Sarajevo: A Biography’.
5. Dr Noel Malcolm, Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, University of Oxford, author of ‘Bosnia: A short history’ and ‘Kosovo: A short history’
6. Professor Norman Cigar, Research Fellow with the Marine Corps University, Quantico, Virginia, author of ‘Genocide in Bosnia’
7. Diego Arria, Ambassador, former Chairman of the UN Security Council
8. Sylvie Matton, French writer and publicist, author of ‘Srebrenica: Un genocide annonce’
9. Professor Tom Gallagher, professor, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK, author of ‘The Balkans after the Cold War’, ‘The Balkans in the New Millennium’, ‘The Balkans, 1789-1989’
10. Branka Magas, historian, author of 'The Destruction of Yugoslavia'; editor of ‘The War in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina’
11. Quintin Hoare, Director of the Bosnian Institute
12. Maja Petrovic-Steger, Fellow of Peterhouse College, Cambridge and of the Department of Social Anthropology at Cambridge University.
13. Dr Smail Cekic, Direktor of the Institute for the Research of Crimes Against Humanity and International Law, author of ‘The aggression against the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina’
14. Una Barac, BA (Hons) Dip Arch RIBA, London
15. Dr Mirsad Abazovic, Professor, Faculty of Criminal Justice Science, University of Sarajevo
16. Jasmin Ahic, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Criminal Justice Science, University of Sarajevo
17. Dr Susan M. Blaustein, Columbia University
18. Dr James Lyon, senior adviser to the International Crisis Group
19. Latinka Perovic, historian, Belgrade, author of many books on Serbian history, most recently ‘Between anarchy and autocracy: Serbian society at the turn of the centuries (XIX-XXI)’
20. Biljana Kovacevic-Vuco, Direktor of YUCOM (Committee of Human Rights), Belgrade
21. Jasmina Besirevic Regan, Dean of Trumbull College of Yale University
22. Sabrina P. Ramet, Professor of Political Science, The Norwegian University of Science & Technology,Trondheim, Norway, author of ‘The Three Yugoslavias’
23. Dr Ronald A. Roberts, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Kingston University, author of ‘Just War: Psychology and Terrorism’
24. Ed Vulliamy, Senior International Correspondent, The Observer newspaper, London, author of ‘Seasons in Hell: Understanding Bosnia’s War’
25. Jens -Martin Eriksen, writer, Denmark
26. Florian Bieber, Lecturer in East European Politics, University of Kent, author of ‘Post war Bosnia’ and ‘Understanding the war in Kosovo’
27. Peter Lodenius, journalist Ny Tid, Denmark
28. Aida Alic, journalist, BIRN - Justice Report
29. Aida Kokic, University of Sarajevo
30. Mirza Kokic, University of Sarajevo
31. Zrinka Bralo, Executive Director of the Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum in London
32. Majda Becirevic, The Open University, UK
33. Adisa Mehic, lawyer, Sarajevo
34. Jasminka Dedic, MA, Peace Institute, Ljubljana
35. Carole Hodge, author of the book ‘The Serb Lobby in the United Kingdom’
36. Hariz Halilovich, Lecturer at the School of Anthropology, Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Melbourne
37. Velma Saric, Institute for the Research of Crimes against Humanity and International Law
38. Vlado Azinovic, senior editor, South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Prague, CZ
39. Bianca Jagger, human rights activist
40. Reverend Professor Nicholas Sagovsky, MA, PhD, the Canon Theologian at Westminster Abbey and author on many books on theology, ecumenism and social justice
41. Dr. Rory J. Conces, Department of Philosophy and Religion, University of Nebraska at Omaha USA
42. Edin Veladžić, Historian, University of Sarajevo
43. Karl F. Bahm, Associate Professor of European History, The University of Wisconsin - Superior, USA
44. Ioannis Armakolas, Adjunct lecturer, University of the Aegean, Greece
45. Dr.Srdja Pavlovic. Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of History and Classics
University of Alberta, Canada
46. Professor Persephone Zeri, Panteion University of Athens, Greece
47. Anna Di Lellio, Graduate Program in International Affairs, The New School, New York Visiting Professor
48. Tammy Smith, Assistant Professor of Sociology, SUNY Stony Brook
49. Maria Papadopoulou, journalist, Athens –Greece
50. Prof. Dr. Ludwig Steindorff, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Osteuropäische Geschichte, Historisches Seminar
51. Gorana Ognjenovic, Chief editor, Dictum The Critical Viewm (
52. Ozren Zunec, Professor of Sociology, University of Zagreb
53. Dunja Melčić, historian, philosopher, Zagreb
54. Tone Bringa, autor of ‘Being Muslim the Bosnian Way’

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Vincent Jappi said...

The Helsinki Committee for human rights in Serbia has just published its report for the year 2007
Serbia 2007

Acrobat PDF (3.99mb) >>>

YET ANOTER WASTED YEAR - Helsinki Committee's Annual Report for 2007 -

The nature of political changes in Serbia in October 2000 and later, in December 2003 (after the assassination of Premier Zoran Djindjic), could not have secured a consensus on the basis tenets of the modern world, human rights included, that should make the foundation of the Serbian society.
This is reflected in public discourse and predominant arguments about "threatened Serbhood" and a "world conspiracy" against the Serbs because of their dedication to justice.
In this context, denial of any responsibility for crimes and massive violation of human rights is nothing but a natural outcome Serbian elites' strategy for preventing a social dialogue on the recent past, says the 2007 annual report by the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia.
By accepting (though unwillingly and incompletely) international law - that will significantly motivate the protection of human rights in the long run - Serbia got a legal framework necessary for the advocacy of the human rights idea.
Yet, Serbia has failed to fully cooperate with the Hague Tribunal in 2007, like in preceding years. Moreover, cooperation almost came to a standstill, while the extradition of Ratko Mladic and other three fugitives was taken off the public agenda. Speculation in the media about Ratko Mladic's whereabouts and former Prosecutor Carla del Ponte's blind belief in the possibility to convince the Serbian Premier to extradite Mladic have trivialized and marginalized this crucial topic.

According to the 2007 report, in the shade of the Kosovo status settlement, conformity and national homogenization, uniform values, and the identification of the nation and religious allegiance are being advocated through the media and from the parliamentary rostrum. In parallel with the rhetorical defense of Kosovo, the media blame "domestic traitors" for the overall situation and the loss of Kosovo, thus turning them into scapegoats.

In its latest annual report titled "Serbia in 2007 - Self-Isolation: Reality and Goal" the Helsinki Committee underscores that the year 2007 was yet another wasted year for Serbia in the search for an identity and a vision.
For, nationalism has remained its predominant political option without a credible alternative. The Serbian political class and elites have not given up territorial pretensions even though the settlement of the Kosovo status had marked the final stage of ex-Yugoslavia's disintegration.
Serbia has been unable to become a functional and modern state, since the national issue (territorial expansion) has always been prioritized at the detriment of civic values, citizens' sovereignty and participative democracy.

On over 500 pages, the Committee's report for the year 2007 broaches the topics grouped in the following chapters:

"Elite and Alternative," "Socioeconomic Processes," "Transformation of State Power Structures," "Religious Communities," "Constitutional and Legal Framework," "Regional Challenges," "Education," "The Media Scene," "National Minorities," "Serbia and the Hague Tribunal," "Redefining Foreign Policy Course," "Kosovo's Independence" and "Serbia and Neighbors."

Looking back at the year 2007, the Helsinki Committee emphasizes that statements that Serbia can only be a partner of the EU "as a whole" put into question its commitment to European integration. Accusations against the US and NATO of plotting Serbia's disintegration and creating "a false state," resistance to the EU mission in Kosovo, the withdrawal of ambassadors from the states that have recognized Kosovo, praise for the police after the scandalous rally in Belgrade and failure to strongly condemn the violence and looting have led to a dangerous polarization of society and cannot but make minority communities and liberal citizens feel uneasy.

In the Helsinki Committee's view, the new government should, therefore:

- Resume the level of diplomatic relations with the world that used to be in place before Kosovo's independence declaration;

- As soon as possible stabilize the political climate so as to restore trust of foreign investors and banks;

- Immediately resume SAA negotiations with the EU so as to open access to the EU funds necessary for the country's economic and social renewal;

- Finalize the privatization of public companies as soon as possible;

- Pursue policies that motivate small and medium-size enterprises;

- Fully cooperate with the ICTY and extradite all the indictees hiding in Serbia;

- Reform the educational system in accordance with the Bologna Declaration and the spirit of the times - this is imperative for building human resources for structural changes in the society and economy;

- Create a positive climate for opening of a social debate about Milosevic's legacy so as to take stock of the two-decade failed policy and create conditions for the discussion of alternative options for Serbia's future;

- Curb the unchecked dominance of political parties and enable a professionalization of the state administration and all governmental agencies and institutions;

- Create an atmosphere propitious to the concept of human rights and develop a policy of equal opportunities for minorities' inclusion into political, social and economic life;

- Secure sensibility of governmental agencies for socially vulnerable groups of population such as children, elderly people, persons with disabilities, etc.

The 2007 annual report, circulated both in Serbian and English, was published thanks to the assistance of the Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights. The report is available at .
Hard copies can be obtained at the Committee's office - Rige od Fere St. # 20/V.

Belgrade, June 2, 2007

Vincent Jappi said...

Michael Totten has published a series of reports on





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