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YWS 9/12

Yugoslav Daily Survey Directory

From: (D.D. Chukurov)







The question heard more and more often is what are the objectives of the brutal NATO show of force in Bosnia and who is the real culprit of the latest massacre in Sarajevo. Near the Markale market in the Muslim part of Sarajevo a mortar shell explosion killed 37, and wounded more that 80 people. Immediately after the incident, the commander of the Bosnian Serb army General Ratko Mladic suggested to UNPROFOR commander for Bosnia Rupert Smith that a mixed commission be set up to determine the truth about the explosion, but that was rejected. Muslim government leaders and their military leaders did not hesitate to declare the Serbs as the culprits, and conditioned their further participation in the peace talks by urgent sir strikes on Bosnian Serb forces by the NATO pact. Three hours after the incident an artillery attack was launched from Igman Mountain, where the rapid reaction forces are situated, and from the Muslim Sarajevo suburb of Hrasnica, on the Serb suburbs of Ilidja, Vrelo Bosne and Blazuj, killing one woman and wounding 47 civilians, including 15 children and two priests. Only several hours after the incident on the Markale market, UNPROFOR spokesman Aleksandar Ivanko accused Serbs for the massacre, although the results of the investigation could not have been conclusive at the time, but not a single official in the world condemend in any form the attack on the Serb suburbs. It is indicative that the results of UNPROFOR'S investigation of the attack on Markale market charging the Serbs were announced unusually quickly, without all the ballistics which in such cases take days, even months. The commander of the Russian peacekeepers in Sarajevo, colonel Andrej Demurenko, said publicly he was doubtful about the results of the investigation, pointing out that it is practically impossible to hit by mortar a 9-meter wide street from a distance of 3 to 4 kilometers. The objectivity of the investigation is also brought into question by the fact that two shells that didn't explode were not inspected by the Russian representative in UNPROFOR. On the basis of the results of such an investigation and without a decision by the U.N. Security Council, massive NATO air strikes were launched on Bosnian Serb positions in conjunction with the Muslim and the U.N. Fast Reaction Forces, causing immense suffering of the civilian population and widespread material destruction. It is clear that such actions are brutal, unbalanced acts of violence and a grave violation of international humanitarian law, and that the U.N. and NATO have openly sided with one of the parties to the conflict. The question that remains is who is the real culprit of the crime in Sarajevo. Who had to gain politically from such a massacre. The question is why a conclusive investigation had not been carried out, and why were nato forces ready to carry out massive air strikes on Bosnian Serb forces only 30 hours after the incident. Another grave question is why the immense suffering and exodus of the Serbian people from Krajina (around 250,000 have been expelled, and their houses and properties are systematically torched and destroyed by the Croatian army) had not been met by an adequate condemnation by the international community. Do the Sarajevo massacre and NATO and U.N. actions represent an attempt to draw the attention of the international community from Croatian crimes and its Fascist policy? Was the brutal NATO action intended to create panic among Bosnian Serbs so that they would start fleeing to Yugoslavia, as after the Croatian aggression on Krajina? There are many questions and doubts, and very few answers. ("Tanjug's Daily Bulletin", Belgrade, September 6, 1995)


Judging from the crimes committed against the Serbs, the modern generation of Croat soldiers does not fall behind the one of World War II, but it must be noted that a large portion of the 'achievements' of the modern generation carried out with the aid of hard drugs - heroin and cocain. Ten or so of these new Croatian 'heroes' were now patients of Europe's largest drug rehabilitation center in the Italian town of San Patrignano, near Rimini. All are between 20 and 30 years of age, brought up in Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, but they come with blood on their hands and with a blurred mind, directly from the battlefronts in Slavonia, Krajina, Bosnia... They make up just a fraction of the large contingent of Croatian army who have been injected courage - to be able to bear their own crimes - directly into the veins. The monthly "Il Giornale di San Patrignano" in its September edition offers their stories and the reporters acknowledge that they were unable to convey to the readers all the horrors they heard. 'The drugs were prescribed by military strategists and doctors as a means to help you forget and enable you to go forward - to new victories. Heroin was administered to us twice daily, in the morning and evening, half a gram,' said 29-year-old Davor. 'Previously, I never used to take drugs, but I could not even think that I would have to kill friends, even from school. Drugs were prescribed to those weaker and to those selected for the most cruel and savage tasks. In my company alone, there were some twenty soldiers who regularly took drugs,' he said. 'Drugs were necessary so we could face combat, forget the faces and the weeping of the terrorized children near the dead bodies of their parents, and not to vomit out our own guts at the sight of carved-up people,' Davor said. 'Prior to the military actions, we were regularly supplied, but in the course of longer missions on the front when the supply was late in coming, we had to find our own heroin. After two days of abstaining, the crisis begins strongly to choke and it becomes unbearable. Split (a city on the Adriatic coast) is full of drugs. It comes from Albania, Turkey and Macedonia. One gram costs 150 German marks, but if you don't have the money, you have a Kalashnikov. A barrel put on the side of the head softens the most hardened dope-peddlers,' concludes partially 'censored' Davor. Ante (23) began keeping company with drugs long before the knife and rifle. He had many problems while he was in the para-military forces (HOS) of the Croatian Party of Rights of Ante Paraga, which, as he claims, did not look on drug-takers kindly. 'I was forced to hide my punctured veins. I killed and robbed the dead, to exchange the money, valuables and weapons for drugs. When I joined the regular army, my troubles came to an end. Drugs are legalized there, furthermore they were prescribed there.' 'Alcohol and medication for the nerves, which were abundant, were insufficient stimuli. To tear down and burn settlements, cut the throats of children and the elderly, cold bloodedly shoot in the back of the head, the strongest of drugs are needed. A solid dose of cocain or heroin is an ideal means. You carry out any order without question or complaints, you are prepared to do anything just to receive your daily dose,' says Ante. The stories of Miroslav, Nino, Denis, Katarina, Zoran, Gorjana, Sarcevic... are all very similar. The difference was just in the places and the details of the committed massacres. All of them have now, at the recommendation of their 'spiritual sheperds' - several Catholic priests from Herzegovina region and Zagreb, exchanged their battle fatigues of Croatian army with the white robes of the center at San Patrignano. Psychologists, doctors and pedagogues at San Patrignano claim they would be able to pull them out of the embrace of the 'black monkeys and white mice', but the images of the bestialities would remain throughout their lives. For some in the blood, for some on the conscience. (Tanjug Press Agency, Belgrade, September 6, 1995)


PROFESSOR DR MASSAYUKI IVATA, CHIBA UNIVERSITY: CHILDREN LOOT, TOO People from the train milling all around Knin; from shops and apartments they took everything they could (by Toma Dzadzic)

Like last year, Dr. Massayuki Ivata, Professor of Economics at the School of Law and Economics of the Chiba University near Tokyo, called on us to subscribe for the NIN. And like last year, we began our conversation about the events in the former Yugoslavia spontaneously. Professor Ivata is an exceptional collocutor as he studied the separate road to socialism over here three decades ago, on which he wrote a number of books, while for years now he has visited the most interesting places in the territories of all three warring parties unperturbed. He has already published two papers on the Yugoslav crisis: last year's article called "The Multi-National War in Yugoslavia" and the book called "Yugoslavia - An Encounter of Histories and Competing Civilizations". Accordingly, Professor Ivata is an invaluable eyewitness of Yugoslav changes as he is trying to discern their root-causes. To begin with though, an easy question. What impressed you most, Professor Ivata, in this crisis area this year? My journey to Knin by train already on the second day after the re-opening of the Split-Knin railway line. The line was re- opened on 15 August and on 16 August I was on the train teeming with passengers who set off on the journey without any luggage at all. It is interesting that on all stations from Split people only got on the train. Nobody got off before Drnis, when almost two thirds of passengers left the train. After Drnis all the way to Knin, I even had a seat on the half-empty train. Could you see anything interesting along the way? Only that all rubble from Split to Drnis was old, perhaps a year or two. From Drnis towards Knin the rubble was by and large new. I saw little rubble in Knin. I climbed the Knin fortress, but from above I noticed only few partially damaged buildings. However, countless shop and apartment windows were broken in downtown Knin. Everything on the ground or first floor made of glass was broken, while inside everything was smashed, drawers lay on the floor, wardrobes were open and everything was scattered around...Passengers from the train were milling about town, taking everything they could carry out of broken shop and apartment windows. Under their arms women carried large bundles of dresses and other clothes, but also irons, mixers. From shops they also took out unpacked boxes full of chocolate, biscuits, alcohol, small appliances...Inside, the buildings resembled the buildings in Kobe after the big quake: no piece of furniture was in its place. But, while in Kobe furniture was only in disarray, most of it in Knin was taken away. Was there no Croatian police? Oh, yes, there was, but very few in number. They, too, just walked about peaceably. I overheard one of them say to those people only: "Don't touch anything!". He continued his walk, while they continued their "job". The police did not prevent you from photographing it all? It is interesting, but Croatian policemen did not stop me from photographing, just as the Serbs did not prevent me from photographing burnt Muslim houses and mosques in Krajinas last year. I would say that both Serbs and Croats are open societies. Open also for looting? In fact, it is not looting at all. I would rather say that it is the so called post-bellum natural right to take abandoned things in search of new owners. For, these were broken down shops and apartments which they could enter unperturbed. And most of the looting was done by poor people for rich people would not take clothes, shoes or irons and mixers. After all, many other Croats from Split, Zagreb, Germany or America came over to Knin. They did not touch anything. They only filmed or photographed. They had come to celebrate what was for them the liberation of Knin. Did you meet Serbs in Knin as well? The houses were looted only in the main and adjacent streets. As I walked uphill, I came across children who were playing in front of some buildings. I asked them if those were their homes. They said that they weren't, that they were Serbs' homes. Children also looted - bicycles. I am not sure, but I think that I met Serbs in Knin on 16 August only as I walked uphill towards the Knin fortress. An elderly man stood in front of a house, while a woman and her dog were in the garden. When a Croatian woman from Zagreb in whose company I was tried to talk to the old woman, she said nothing. She only entered the house and locked the door. I asked the man for the road to the fortress. He answered briefly and went into the house immediately. I suppose they were Serbs or else they would have spoken to the Croatian woman. And the Croatian woman, otherwise from Zagreb, an intellectual, was visibly disappointed. She felt as a foreigner, although she was a refugee from Eastern Slavonia herself. Did anybody else work in Knin beside looters? Nobody and nothing worked in Knin. No shop, no cafe...When I saw two men in dungarees hard at work tossing bread in sacks in a bakery, I thought it was the only thing being done in the town. I peeped inside and, startled, they cringed, but soon after they continued their work. I said it was perhaps normal work, but my Croatian friend said: "It's looting after all!" Or else they would have made an effort to sort out the mass in the bakery. Only a kiosk at the Railway Station was really working in Knin. But as far as I could notice, only I did some shopping over there. All others took all they needed from abandoned shops and houses. Including soft drinks. I was surprised to see that, later on, people loaded all those stolen things on the train. Everything was jammed full. In a compartment full of things, for instance, there were three to four passengers, sitting together. I asked them if the things belonged to them and whether all seats were occupied. They answered that they were not and that I could sit wherever I pleased. Only at Drnis did the train get filled up with passengers for Split, but they had no luggage at all. Obviously, they had travelled only to see Drnis where they would possibly live. They were Croatian refugees, inquiring about waterwells, quality of land, size of barns, counting cattle from the train. Almost all passengers with luggage got off the train along the way from Drnis. Only those who had travelled to celebrate the victory or assess where they could settle returned to Split. How do you, Professor, see the exodus of an entire people from the western, larger part of the Republic of Serbian Krajina? The only thing I did not understand in Yugoslavia was that the Serbs left their ancestral homes so quickly. Before, they would always say: "We are defending our ancestral homes" or "We shall defend our ancestral homes even to the last man!" And now they left those ancestral homes of theirs so quickly. Do you have any explanation whatsoever why Yugoslavia disintegrated in the first place and in such a tragic way? It is just what I am writing about in my newest book. Two civilizations exist in Europe: Orthodox and Catholic/ Protestant. As is known, the western Catholic/Protestant civilization cradled modern social sciences and the modern way of thinking. It cradled Marxism, capitalism, liberalism, socialism, democracy...The European Orthodox civilization did not cradle it, but did make use of it all, just as the Japanese civilization did. Looking back, it was unfortunate, as well as inevitable for a time, that the Eastern European Orthodox civilization was dominated by and large by Marxism, Leninism, communism, socialism. The Western European Catholic/Protestant civilization has been dominated by capitalism, liberalism, democracy, also products of its civilization. Accordingly, the people in Eastern Europe and the Balkans did not see the world through their own eyes, but through the prism of an alien, borrowed way of thinking. Instead of "borrowed", one would rather say that the Marxist way of thinking was imposed hereabouts by force, because hardly anybody accepted it sincerely... Yes, it was both a borrowed and imposed Weltanschauung. When this competition of social systems ended in the defeat of the Eastern ideology which in fact was the (borrowed and imposed) Western ideology, the people in Eastern Europe (Serbs, Russians) began then to speak in their innate, traditional way of thinking. And that Weltanschauung is different from the traditional worldviews of the Slovenes and Croats who belong to the Western Catholic/Protestant civilization. Therefore, people not only in Western Europe, but also in America and Japan, understood easier what Slovenes and Croats were speaking and what their interest was than they understood the Serbs. But the Serbs said the same things like the Slovenes and Croats - they spoke about the right to secession. Why was it difficult for the West to understand ? This is only the superficial, smaller part of the thinking. As a whole, the West understood the Croatian way of thinking. Even the Japanese intellectuals understood the Croats and the Slovenes more easily since they too have been educated by way of modern social sciences and the modern way of thinking which are the products of the Western civilization to which the Croats and the Slovenes belong. What is at stake, the failure to understand the Serbian way of thinking or, which is more probable, the feeling of belonging to the same confession? Japan does not belong to the Catholic/Protestant confession, yet the Croatian Weltanschauung is closer to it nevertheless. But, if Japan were at loggerheads with a country belonging to the Catholic/Protestant civilization, Western intellectuals would then have more understanding for Japan's adversaries. Accordingly, the Serbs are the European Japanese since the world does not understand them in the same way? Exactly! How do you explain then that in the case of the Yugoslav crisis the Western Catholic/Protestant civilization has more understanding for the Islamic civilization, for Bosnian Muslims? As a matter of fact, they do not understand the Muslim civilization at all; they only manipulate it. But, I consider that the experience derived from the confrontation between the Catholic/Protestant and the Orthodox civilizations can serve the other civilizations which do not belong to the Catholic/Protestant civilization and, by the same token, to the Japanese civilization. Do you have any inkling, Professor Ivata, as to any solution of these tragic conflicts which continue to persist in the former Yugoslavia? I think that some other, new, common social ideas and a new way of thinking should be created in the future. But, it is a long and slow process which may last one hundred years. What should the Serbs do in the meantime? To put it simply: the Western world understands both communism and Leninism, since they are the products of its civilization, but precisely because it understands them, because it knows them, it is against them, no matter that they are the products of modern social science. And what else? That what is happening to you is the destiny of you Serbs and you have to bear it. For, there are about 800 million Catholics in the world and all of them are with the Croats, against the Serbs. Not even the best information propaganda would help you. The only thing you Serbs could do is to try to draw some benefit from the loss that you are suffering. Last year, Professor Ivata said for NIN that a loss might be a gain. This year, however, he says that one should not think about a gain but about making the loss smaller. ("NIN", Belgrade, Septenber 1, 1995)



I want to know who decided that the war in former Yugoslavia was only being fought by one group of people, why deaths caused by the Serbs are always referred to as massacres or "ethnic cleansing", while deaths of the Serbs, if they are mentioned, at all, are "casualties" (West Vows To Bomb Sense Into Serbs The Australian 1/9). I read Helen Trinca's report about the NATO air strikes but, try as I might, even with the bombing (or "air blitz") of 90 Bosnian Serb targets around Sarajevo, I read nothing of people being killed. It was reported that France had argued for a more restrained response, using artillery, but the American Congress, obviously with the benefit of CNN briefings, decided that persistent Serbian atrocities warranted this devastatingly brutal approach. I wonder if any of them have bothered to read the Amnesty International reports which indicate that atrocities have been reported from all sides in this war. One of the worst single war atrocities in recent years was the fire-bombing by American forces of ten thousand retreating Iraqi troops at the end of the Gulf war. This hardly rated a mention in the Australian media. Was anybody put on trial for these war crimes? It is always much easier to believe the media reports which, like the old cowboy and Indian movies, decide who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. This will help us to believe that bombing one side in a three sided war is not only fully justified but somehow is the solution to the violence. Apart from the former Yugoslavia, there are many other major internal wars being fought around the world. If we follow the US model perhaps we should choose a goodie and baddie in each one and bomb the others out of existence or into submission. I believe all of the warring parties must be brought to the table Serbia has had more access to arms and military equipment. The international arms traders who are the only real beneficiaries of these bloodbaths must be made responsible for their actions in fuelling this war. It must be realised that there are some things more import ant than free trade when it comes to the business of killing. ("The Australian", Sydney, September 5, 1995)

* Greens Senator for West Australia, Parliament House, Canberra


There were 10 prisoners in the Knin secondary school, the one on the left badly beaten, red welts around the mouth and eyes, the one on the far right starved and weedy in the wreckage of a Krajina Serb army uniform, a pathetic thin beard around his jaw. Yes, they told us, they had enough cigarettes, enough food. But they would like a shower. They lived in one tiny room, mattresses on the floor, a burly Croatian policeman at the door. One of the European human-rights workers backed out of the cell."This isn't prison," she hissed. "This is a stable for animals". Yet of all the Serb soldiers who remained behind when their colleagues ran away before Croatia's "Operation Storm" a month ago, these were the lucky ones. Upstairs, an even larger Croatian policeman was collecting photographs, snapshots from Serb houses before they were burned, groups of Krajina Serb soldiers and militiamen sitting on benches for their portraits back in the days when Knin was the capital of the farthest reach of "Greater Serbia". The Croatian policeman did not have time to hide the photographs before we walked into his office. One showed an Orthodox funeral with militia guards, another a gang of plump Serb milicija in their sinister grey uniforms, yet another a bunch of slightly drunken soldiers, the camera capturing their stupid smiles some time between 1992 and August this year. Above one of their heads the policeman had inscribed an arrow in biro. Found him yet, I asked? "No, not yet," and the policeman tried to smile, his cheeks rising but his mouth unmoved. It didn't take much to work out what was happening in the Knin secondary school. The Croatian security police riffled through the snapshots, trotted downstairs to the pathetic creatures in the windowless room and asked them - with or with- out a little persuasion - to identify the faces in the pictures. "That's how they ransack the Serb houses," a United Nations officer told me later. "They go for family photographs, any documents in Latin script - because they can't read Cyrillic - and then they burn the house down." But lucky those prisoners in the Knin secondary school undoubtedly are; and a visit to the Knin city cemetery shows the extent of their good fortune. Almost a hundred crosses, erected by the Croatians, show the alleged number of corpses interred there since the Croatian army captured Krajina. But UN officials suspect that the bodies may be buried three deep - that at least 300 people, many of them civilians - have been placed there. Most of the crosses hear the legend "NN" for "No Name". A mobile digger stood ominously at the site, next to a newly scooped mass grave. For whom, we wondered? Officers of the European Commission Monitoring Mission (ECMM) have equally grave doubts about the official figure of 524 supposed fatalities in all Krajina over the past month. "According to the (Croatian) authorities, 228 people had been buried in mass graves in five locations by 11 August", one of their official reports stated last week. "Of 102 civilians and 126 military personnel, only 57 were apparently identifiable. (Croatian) authorities have tried that fingerprints and photographic records have been kept of all the unidentified bodies..." The suspicions of the European monitors have increased in recent weeks, as their report makes clear. "Granic (a Croatian official) stated on 24 August that of all the 524 victims from Operation Storm, only 24 civilians had been identified, when in SS (UN Sector South) alone there were 33 identified civilian corpses on 11 August. The figures are either extremely inaccurate or there are mass graves unaccounted for. It can only be presumed that the corpses observed over the last week are merely the tip of the iceberg." If any observers remain unconvinced by this devastating assessment, they have only to read the report of the UN human- rights team, led by Petr Soucek, which wrote to the organisation's humanitarian-affairs officer from south-western Krajina on 30 August. "In Gracac gravesite we saw 81 graves (crosses)," his report said. "Only a few crosses bore a name of the soldiers. There were 22 more crosses than on 18 August when the site had been visited last time. In Korenica grave site, we found 21 crosses... with no names". Then the report takes on a chilling tone. "In the Czech battalion area located in Korenica, I was informed by the Operations officer that on Sunday 5 August, 21 Serb civilians had been seen... chased by Croatian soldiers along the Czech battalion base. Later on, soldiers had heard inhuman screaming and then shooting. It might be just a coincidence between those 21 civilians and the 21 graves with no names on them!" Nor is here any end to the Croatian depredations in formerly Serb Krajina. Over the weekend, Croatian troops burned 98 percent of the houses in five more deserted Serb villages in the Cetine valley, once home to around 1,800 Serbs. The graffiti on a wall which I saw in the gutted village of Kistanje, west of Knin, summed up the emotions of the victorious Croatian army whose supposed discipline has been widely praised in Croatia and abroad. "Ovo ste trazili" it said. "You were asking for it". ("Independent", London, September 5, 1995)

- I speak for no one and no one speaks for me --

D. D. Chukurov
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