Commentary on Prof. Galtung’s Editorial “Balkan Integration Process in a Global Framework”
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 21 Oct 2013
- 1. Introduction:
On the15 Oct, 2012 TMS editorial titled Balkan Wars at 100: Four Roads to Good Neighborhood, Prof. Galtung argued about the integration of the Balkan. (See https://www.transcend.org/tms/2012/10/balkan-wars-at-100-four-roads-to-good-neighborhood/ ) In the present editorial (14 Oct, 2013), Balkan Integration Process in a Global Framework, he argues about the integration of the Balkan again. (See http://www.transcend.org/tms/2013/10/balkan-integration-process-in-a-global-framework/ )
In addition, the formula used in the editorial last year is used again in the editorial this year.
EQUITY X HARMONY
PEACE = —————
TRAUMA X CONFLICT
The formula cannot be changed frequently so that it is no problem that Prof. Galtung uses the same formula this year again.
Last year, I made a comment on his editorial. This year, I am making a comment on his editorial again. It was my honor to make a comment on Prof. Galtung’s editorial last year. It is my honor to make a comment on his editorial this year again supplementing some relevant background information.
Note: In this comment, “Yugoslavia” means the “Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia” (also called the “second Yugoslavia” or “Tito’s Yugoslavia”) that existed until 1991. The “Balkan” in this comment means the republics and areas that constituted the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. “Macedonia” is referred to the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.
As to the integration of the Balkan peoples, two main questions may be raised.
- First: Do the Balkan peoples wish to integrate themselves?
- Second: What would be the possible reaction of the “power outside the Balkans” (especially, the Western powers) if the Balkan peoples would work for their integration?
As to the first question, the integration can never be done if the Balkan peoples do not wish to work toward the integration. For instance, do Bosnian Muslims wish to integrate with Bosnian Serbs and Serbian Serbs, for instance? Do ethnic Albanians in Kosovo wish to integrate with Serbs, for instance?
As to the second question, if the Balkan peoples would integrate, it means the (re)emergence of a regional power in front of the Western European countries. Will the Western European countries welcome the emergence of the Balkan regional power? The answer is clear.
- 2. The Balkans Today:
For the convenience of the arguments in this comment, allow me to briefly describe (but not comprehensively) some aspects of the Balkan areas, together with some background information:
When the Roman Empire was divided into the two empires in 395, its border was almost the same border (some 40km difference) between Croatia and Serbia today. In 1059 Christian church split into two churches; Croatia became to belong to the Catholic realm – the Western Roman Empire, while Serbia became to belong to the Orthodox realm, the Eastern Roman Empire. During the 1990s, these two countries fought against each other. Western (Catholic) countries supported Croatia, while Russia, the Orthodox country, supported Serbia.
The Reality of the Border between Serbs and Croats:
Regardless of the border, however, things have not been very easy and clear. It was because relatively many ethnic Serbs (= citizens of Croatia, whose religion is Orthodox) have been living in Eastern Slavonia, Western Slavonia, outskirts of northern part of Krajina (= outskirts of Karlovac, of Kostajnica and of Sisak areas) and Krajina in Croatia, while relatively many ethnic Croats (= citizens of Serbia, whose religion is Catholic) have been living in Zemun, the outskirts of Belgrade. Besides, inside these ethnic Serb residential areas in Croatia, ethnic Croatian villages have existed. On top of that, many of them have been ethnically mixed. In the Balkans, mixed marriages are a common phenomenon. Even Croatian nationalist President Tuđman, who died of cancer in 1999, had a mixed family; his grandchild is an ethnic Serb. Furthermore, for ethnic Serbs who were born and brought up in Croatia, Serbia is a foreign country. These ethnic Serbs and Croats went to school together and have worked together in the same region. Vice versa, for ethnic Croats who were born and brought up in Serbia, Croatia is a foreign country. Things are not very easy, as mentioned above.
During the 1990s, the situations in the above mentioned Eastern Slavonia, Western Slavonia, Northern part of Krajina and Krajina became tense. These areas were designated as the UN Protection Areas; UNPA East (Eastern Slavonia), UNPA West (Western Slavonia), UNPA North (some part of Kordun and some part of Banovina) and UNPA South (Krajina). How much was the situation tense? Some UN officials working in these areas suffered from PTSD after their mission. Harsh battles were engaged in these areas upon Croatia’s independent declaration in 1991. It was before the deployment of UN Peacekeepers. Then, except UNPA East where UNTAES (= the UN Transitional Administration in Eastern Slavonia) peacefully disarmed the armed forces of the local ethnic Serbs in 1996, the Croatian Army advanced into these areas (I.e. UNPAs West, South and North) in 1995 regardless of the UN Peacekeepers’ presence and regained the areas after intensive battles. (At the time of the Croatian Army’s attack to these UNPAs, the UN Peacekeepers were instructed that they should stay out of the battle between the Croatian Army and the local ethnic Serb forces no matter what would happen to them.)
Approximately a quarter of the population of Macedonia is ethnic Albanians. Main stream ethnic Macedonians are afraid of the potential possibility of these ethnic Albanians’ uprising toward the secession from Macedonia and the merge with Kosovo (i.e. Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians) and with Albania. There is an unbelievably deep abyss between the two peoples.
Macedonia’s employment rate as of 2010 is 32.0%, the world number 2 unemployment rate, after Namibia. For their economic survival, even some (former) the Kosova Liberation Army or KLA (=UÇK, pronounced “oo-chey-kah” in Albanian) soldiers are working as waiters at their relatives’ cafés, located in all over the Balkans (and in Western Europe). One can visit their café and interview them. In addition, one of the effective ways to collect information on the KLA is to contact relevant Serbian and/or Macedonian authorities.
The KLA changed their name (“officially” disbanded) and some or many of the same members of the KLA. They are reportedly having activities as militia in the ethnic Albanian residential areas outskirts of Tetovo (Macedonia’s second largest city), such as on the foot of the Šar (Sharr) Mountains that extend to Kosovo. In other words, they changed the title of the book but, other than that, it is the same book. The Macedonian authorities are nervous about those armed activities of ethnic Albanians. The Macedonian military forces have attacked these mountain areas but also they were also attacked by the ethnic Albanian insurgents. Such incidents were rarely reported by major international mass media.
The Dayton Agreement actually divided Bosnia-Hercegovina into “three parts”, although the Agreement intended to divide B-H into two parts – “Bosnian Muslim-Bosnian Croat Federation part” and “Republika Srpska part” (= Bosnian Serbs’ entity). The three parts are the “Bosnian Muslim entity”, the “Herzegovinian ethnic Croats entity” and “Republika Srpska”. The relation between Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Serbs in Republika Srpska is cold. Herzegovina today is a de facto colony of Croatia. It is possible to regard that Croatia and Herzegovina constitute a de facto Greater Croatia. Some critics point out that the international community prohibited Serbia to create a “Greater Serbia” but the same community allowed Croatia to create a “Greater Croatia”.
An example: In Herzegovina, one can pay in the Croatian currency (Kuna) at many local shops whereas the official currency of Bosnia-Hercegovina is “KM” (= “kah emh” = “Konvertibilna Maraka”).
Another example: It is very often, if not necessarily always, that Croats from Croatia can enter into Herzegovina without any passport control. Ethnic Croats in Herzegovina consider themselves as “Croats”, not residents of “Bosnia”. They call their area,“Herzeg-Bosna”, not “Bosnia-Herzegovina”.
Knowing that the Bosnian government is eager to become a member of NATO, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Croat, NATO’s Assistant Secretary-General, responded recently by stating that the Bosnian government should satisfy the requirements of NATO first of all. Grabar-Kitarović was a Croatian Foreign Minister. It seems that she wants to keep Bosnia away from the Western inner-circle.
Serbs in Serbia:
Two things may be mentioned here.
- Frist: Many Serbs in Serbia still do not understand why the international community hates them. They are losers of the “propaganda war” during the 1990s. When the war broke out in Yugoslavia in 1991, Slovenia and Croatia sent their arguments to Western and international institutes/organizations through faxes, postal mails, television programs and more. Furthermore, they frequently held press conferences for Western journalists, while Serbia did little for that. Serbs then believed the international community would understand the truth in due course.
- Second: Serbia now is on the verge of the state bankruptcy. Serbia is experiencing a serious brain drain (= human capital flight). Overall, the brain drain is one of the common phenomena in the Balkans.
Bosnian Serbs and the propaganda against them:
A few months after the War broke out in Bosnia in 1992, the Bosnian (Muslim) government hired “Ruder Finn”, an American propaganda company which delivered exclusively Bosnian Muslims’ argument to hundreds of Western mass media daily during the War in Bosnia. In addition, Ruder Finn trained Bosnian politicians to deliver speech effectively in front of the international community, for instance. Furthermore, this propaganda company coached the Bosnian government how to effectively organize a press conference. The result was outstanding. International mass media reacted the way Ruder Finn and the Bosnian government expected. They successfully created a black and white impression among the international community: “Bosnian Muslims are victims and good guys vs. Bosnian Serbs are offenders and evil guys.” That was how news from Bosnia, reported by international mass media, was manipulated in favor of the Bosnian government during the War in Bosnia. (Note, however, pointing out of such information manipulation does not mean to justify genocides and other atrocities committed by Bosnian Serbs. Although genocides and other atrocities were committed by all three warring parties during the War in Bosnia, the size and numbers of these incidents committed by Bosnian Serbs were considered larger than those committed by other warring parties.) Meanwhile, it seemed that Bosnian Serbs did not understand the contemporary war consists not only of the military action but also of the propaganda activity.
Montenegro is the smallest (13,812 km2 or 5,019 sq. mi) and newest independent country (independent from the “State Union of Serbia-Montenegro” in 2006) in the former Yugoslavia. The population is 620,000 and GDP per capita is $11,800.
Like the Croatian coast of the Adriatic Sea, the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro is amazingly beautiful. However, this small country has been struggling for its survival due to the economic hardship as all other former Yugoslav areas and republics. Therefore, Montenegrins are selling the most beautiful part of their countries. For instance, “Sveti Stefan” is now owned by Aman Resorts. Other beautiful places along the Adriatic coast of Montenegro have reportedly been sold to foreigners.
By the way, Slobodan Milošević was a Montenegrin although he lived and worked as a Serb. Radovan Kradžić is also a Montenegrin although he has lived and worked as a Bosnian Serb. Both of them were considered as “Serbs” because of their religion, Orthodox Christianity.
In English, it is pronounced “Kosovo”. Koso”va” is the Albanian pronunciation, while “Kosovo-metohija” (pronounced “Kosovo-metohiya”) is the Serbian pronunciation. For Serbia, Kosovo is important, not only because of the historical reason but also because of the oil refinery and other natural resources in Kosovo. Ask Kosovars if they wish to integrate with Serbs. Such question is out of question for them. Which ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, who constitute more than 92% of the total population of Kosovo, forget the atrocities by Serbs in 1999 and before? These ethnic Albanians say, “We forgive what Serbs did to us, but we will never forget what they did to us.” However, the truth is that they have not forgiven Serbs yet.
Meanwhile, both their economy and politics are deteriorating. Among two million population of Kosovo, one quarter of them was receiving their pension from Serbia before Kosovo’s independence. Now, the Kosovar government must pay the pension for these people. It is a heavy burden for the government. These pensioners are in a desperate situation now. Kosovo’s GDP per capita is $6,600 – 7,400. Some of these Kosovars say, “We are aware that we are not capable to rule our country and our people by ourselves. We hope that anyone or any country except Serbs will manage Kosova and rule us.”
In Slovenia, no serious ethnic problems between ethnic Slovenians and ethnic Bosnians, for instance, have been reported. Those ethnic Bosnians in Slovenia now are those who moved to Slovenia during the 1970s and 1980s from Bosnia. Some of ethnic Bosnians in Slovenia today are the second and third generations born in Slovenia. Slovenia, gained its independence after only ten days of the struggle in 1991, is the least problematic country among the former Yugoslav republics.
- 3. The Destruction of Yugoslavia:
It should be necessary to emphasize this again in this context: It was some of the Western countries that planned to destroy Yugoslavia. The Western countries were aware that among communist/socialist countries in Europe, only Yugoslavia would survive after the collapse of the USSR because Yugoslavia was the only socialist country that was out of the umbrella of the USSR. Besides, Yugoslavia had one of the strongest military powers in Europe. If Yugoslavia would survive after the collapse of the USSR and the Eastern European countries, Yugoslavia as the only socialist country with the strong military power in Europe would stand out in front of the Western European countries. Then, Yugoslavia could be a serious threat to the Western countries. Therefore, the goal of the plan of the Western countries was to divide and rule the Balkans upon the collapse of the USSR and the Eastern blocks.
Those Western countries implemented the plan into two folds.
First, they demanded Yugoslavia pay the credit of the past thirty years immediately. The Federal government of Yugoslavia, in paying the debt, issued a huge amount of the currency which brought Yugoslavia a grave economic crisis that created a hyper-inflation, estimated more than 20,000% (officially some 2,500%) annually in 1989, for instance. People in Yugoslavia bought a piece of bread with a bunch of paper money, then. Many companies in Yugoslavia went bankrupt during that time. At that time, Yugoslavia’s foreign debt was US$18 billion. Compare: Serbia’s foreign debt in 2010 was $32.2 billion.
Second, the Western countries contacted possible future (nationalistic) leaders of each republic of Yugoslavia. By doing as such, the Western countries successfully created the ethnic tension among republics in Yugoslavia. They encouraged each republic of Yugoslavia to be independent from the Federal system, while they instructed the Federal government of Yugoslavia to maintain the federal system. Those Western countries said to these republics that Western countries respected the right of self-determination of these republics. On the contrary, the Western countries instructed to the Federal government of Yugoslavia that if the Federal government would successfully maintain the unity of the Federal system, the Western countries would provide Yugoslavia with financial assistance. Accordingly, while republics of Yugoslavia except Serbia tried to be independent from the Federal system, the Federal government was eager to maintain the Federal system.
What was that result? We, who lived at the end of the 20th Century, all witnessed the outcome of that. Alas, however, some college textbooks of international politics/relations explain that the cause of the destruction of Yugoslavia was the (traditional) ethnic problems. What the authors of these textbooks understand about the Balkans? Or did they write that way on purpose in order to lead the readers/students to the authors’ intended direction?
Milošević knew what Western countries did behind the War in the former Yugoslavia. He died mysteriously in the custody of ICTY. One of the most important witnesses who knew the truth behind the War is no more. Probably, Tuđman of Croatia and Izetvegović of Bosnia also knew the scene/truth behind the curtain of the War. Both of them also died.
As to Tuđman, prior to his movement for the independence of Croatia from the Yugoslav federal system, he visited Vatican. It was reported then that Pope John Paul II promised his support for the independence of Croatia. During the War in Croatia in 1991, Germany’s Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Foreign Minister, openly expressed his support for Croatia.
The combination of Germany, Croatia and Vatican reminds Serbs of the gonocide committed by NDH (= pronounced, “enn-day-hah”, the acronym of “Nezavisna Država Hrvatska” in Croatian, or the “Independent State of Croatia” in English), which was the “Croatian“ Nazi puppet regime that controlled the whole Croatia and the substantial part of Bosnia-Hercegovina during World War II), supported by Catholic Church, during WWII. What did Serbs think of the independence of Croatia in 1991 when they knew that Croatia’s independence movement was supported by Germany and Vatican? 
On the other hand, Croats firmely believed that Yugoslavia had actually been controlled by Serbs because the Capital of Yugoslavia was Belgrade, implying that the substantial portion of the staff members of most of the essential institutions of the federal system of Yugoslavia were Serbs.
Tito (Josip Broz) was not very popular in Croatia after WWII, although he was very popular among Serbs. Yugoslavia under Tito did not have a favorable relation with the Vatican.  The relation was overall tense. In general, he was considered as a Croat. His father was a Croat, and mother, a Slovene. Therefore, it is considered that his parents were Catholic. Tito, however, became a communist activist. Besides, during WWII he was a main member of Partisan, fighting against the Axis Powers, whereas Croatia became a Nazi’s puppet regime, NDH. In addition, Croats believe that he was connected, in one way or another, with the Bleiburg Genocide in which allegedly several thousand Croats were forced to march until death in May 1945, near the end of WWII. This was another reason why he was not very popular in Croatia. Some Croats understood that Tito was against Croats, NDH, Nazi Germany and Vatican and that he was for Serbs. When Frajo Tuđman was a General of the Yugoslav People’s Army in 1971, he attempted to carry out a coup against Tito. Tuđman intended to lead Croatia to be independent from Tito’s Yugoslavia.
Croats and the Vatican (and other Western countries) have seen some shodow of Russia behind Serbia. It is obvious that Croats are strongly afraid of Russia even today. For example, Večernj List, one of the main newspapers in Croatia, recently featured an article, “How much is our cost for the fear of Russia?” Ask any Croats, for instance, if they wish to integrate with Serbs. The answer is clear. The Vatican must have been vigilent because both Russia and Serbia are, overall, Orthodx Church countries. Meanwhile, Serbs in Serbia point out anti-Serbian sentiments. For instance, Novosti weekly newspaper recently published a special featured article, “Anti-Serbian hysteria.”
- 4. Integration of the Balkan Peoples?:
Who wants the integration of the Balkan/Balkan peoples? The Balkan peoples or the Western powers? On what level of the integration, whether it is the political level or else?
On the non-political level, the Balkan peoples are being integrated in some ways.
An example: Severina Vučković, a Serbian Croat singer, is very popular both in Croatia and in Serbia. Toše Proeski, a Macedonian singer who died of a traffic accident in 2007, is still incredibly popular almost anywhere in the Balkan. His CDs sell well. This month marks the sixth anniversary of his tragic death. Accordingly, not only Macedonian mass media but also media in other Balkan countries feature Proeski. It may be possible to say that these Balkan pop singers are integrating the Balkan pop music fans through their songs.
Another example: Many or most bakeries in the Balkans are owned by ethnic Albanians. Serbs, Croats, Montenegrins, Bosnian Muslims and Macedonians go there to buy bread daily. Most ice cream/cake cafés (= “slatiscarna”, pronounced, “slah-tiss-char-nah”; meaning the place that offers sweets) in the Balkans are also owned by ethnic Albanians. Serbs, Croats, Montenegrins, Bosnian Muslims and Macedonians go there to drink coffee and eat ice cream or cakes daily. It may be possible to say that ethnic Albanians’ bakeries and ice cream/cake cafés are integrating the Balkan peoples through their bread, ice cream and cakes.
One more example: Ivica Todorić’s Agrokor, one of the biggest supermarket chain companies in Europe, has opened Konzum supermarkets and Mercator supermarkets in most part of the former Yugoslav areas but he never opens these supermarkets outside the former Yugoslavia. He knows what the Balkan business actually is. That is his business wisdom. It may be possible to say that Todorić is integrating the Balkan consumers through his supermarket chains.
As such, through Balkan pop singers, through ethnic Albanian shops’ bread, ice cream and cakes, and through Agrokor’s supermarket chains (plus some other relevant businesses in the Balkans), the Balkan peoples are being integrated but their integration is never and will never be on the higher political level in the foreseeable future. That may be sure at least in the next several decades.
In that regard, there is a question: Given that situation, what level of integration of the Balkan is Prof. Galtung contemplating?
Besides, as mentioned above, the Western powers have tried to divide and rule the Balkan peoples. It is highly probable that the Western powers will never accept the integration of the Balkan peoples because the West knows that the integration of the Balkan peoples creates a regional power. The Western powers will surely destroy any potential seed of such integration. Let us recall again: It was the Western powers that destroyed “Yugoslavia” (= ”yugo-slav-ia”, meaning “South Slav peoples’ place/country) from the backdoor.
In that regard, there is another question: If Prof. Galtung suggests the integration of the Balkan, what is his plan to deal with the Western countries in his promotion of the Balkan integration?
As mentioned in the beginning of this comment, the Balkan is the area where the Western and Eastern Roman Empires split. The Balkan is the area where the Hapsburg Empire and the Ottoman Empire had met and clashed against each other until World War I. The Balkan is the area where the Abrahamic religions —Judaism, Orthodox, Catholic and Islam — have met and clashed over the centuries.
There are two ironies in that context.
- First: World War I began in Sarajevo where all those Abrahamic religions, and both the Hapsburg culture and the Ottoman culture, coexisted without any problem.
- Second: Regardless of World War I, all ethnic groups, cultures and religions in Sarajevo (and almost any part of the Balkan) remained coexisted. Until the commencement of the Bosnian War in 1992, Sarajevo was regarded as the inter-cultural and inter-religious center of the Balkans.
Unfortunately, the wars in the Balkans during the 1990s destroyed all that. What the wars in the Balkans during the 1990s created were permanent fear, hatred and distrust among those peoples. Since then, “South Slave peoples’ place/country” has been divided into pieces, many of which are tiny republics whose economies are now rushing toward catastrophe. Local companies, including financial institutions, and land in these republics are being sold to Western companies. Millions of peoples in the Balkan are still deeply suffering and hate each other.
The Western powers have kept the Balkan divided to this day. The Dayton Agreement is the symbolic icon for that. The Western Powers’ tacit message for the Balkan seems like this: “The Western policy of divide and rule over the Balkan makes the Balkan peaceful.”
- 5. Conclusion – the Bottom Line for the Balkan Peoples:
The Western powers have attempted to disintegrate the Balkan peoples. On the other hand, Prof. Galtung is encouraging them to integrate. Although the directions are opposite, both the Western powers and Prof. Galtung are intervening into the Balkan peoples’ decision for their future in one way or another. The main difference between the Western powers and Prof. Galtung is that the Western powers are doing as such for their own interest, while Prof. Galtung is doing so with his good will and wisdom. Nonetheless, however, both of them are outsiders, not the Balkan peoples. The Balkan peoples have their own wisdom and experience to decide what to do for their future. Let them decide by themselves what to do. They know when to integrate, when to disintegrate and when to re-integrate. Why do they need outsiders’ intervention in making their own decision?
Think the other way around: Neither the Western powers nor Prof. Galtung needs the Balkan peoples’ intervention when the Western powers or Prof. Galtung makes a decision on their own future. Both the Western powers and Prof. Galtung are wise enough for making a decision on their future. No intervention from outsiders is necessary for them. The same thing can be said of the Balkan peoples. These peoples need no outsider’s intervention in making the decision on their future.
Therefore, the bottom line, which is also the conclusion of this comment, is that the Balkan peoples’ right of self-determination should be respected as far as that right is peacefully, legitimately and democratically exercised. If they need something for their future from any outsider, provide them with some advice on how to exercise their right of self-determination peacefully, legitimately and democratically. Perhaps, that kind of advice is what they need from outsiders who have good will and wisdom.
Other than that, no intervention from outsiders may be necessary for the Balkan peoples. Let them decide what to do, whether they will stay disintegrated permanently, they will integrate soon, they will integrate someday in the far distant future but not in the foreseeable future, or what else.
 The State called “Yugoslavia” existed five times. The first one was the “Kingdom of Yugoslavia” from 1918-1943; the second one was the “Democratic Federal Yugoslavia” from 1943 – 1946; the third one was the “Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia” from 1946-1963; the fourth one was the “Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia” from 1963 – 1991; and the fifth one was the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1992- 2003. (In 2003, the fifth one was renamed as the “State Union of Serbia and Montenegro” that lasted until 2006.) In most cases, however, those Yugoslavias that existed from 1943 – 1991 are called the “second Yugoslavia” or “Tito’s Yugoslavia”. Usually, this second Yugoslavia is also referred as the “Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia”.
 On 1 May 1995, the Croatian Army attacked the UNPA West (Western Slavonia, Croatia) and regained the territory from Serbian Croats in two days. This military operation was called, “Operation Flash” in English, “Operacija Bljesak” in Croatian. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Flash ; http://www.hr/croatia/history/homeland-war/action-flash and http://armyphotos.net/croatian-artillery-opens-fire-operation-flash-1995/ . On 4 August 1995, the Croatian Army invaded the UNPAs North (the area that encompasses a part of Kordun and a part of Banovina) and South (the Krajina area) and regained these areas from ethnic Serbian Croats in one day. This military campaign was called, “Operation Storm” in English, “Operacija Oluja” in Croatian.
 The Economist Pocket World in Figures 2013 Edition, The Economist Company Ltd., London, 2012, p. 59.
 Some people claim that “the KLA does not exist”. What does it really mean? Compare: Japan, for instance, “officially” disbanded its military forces after WWII and, then, created the “Self Defense Forces” (named, the “National Police Reserve,” at the time of creation), whose “defense” (not military) budget today is No. 5th in the world. See, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures ; and http://world.time.com/2013/09/02/why-japans-first-defense-spend-hike-in-over-two-decades-isnt-going-to-buy-much/ ; and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Self-Defense_Forces . In addition, some officials who created NPR/SDF were the same officials of the Japanese military forces of WWII. Does it mean that the Japanese military forces do not exist?
 Serbia’s B92 (not major international mass media) reports this: http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2012&mm=04&dd=17&nav_id=79817 .
 For the Dayton Agreement, see http://www.ohr.int/dpa/default.asp?content_id=380 and http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/icty/dayton/daytonsum.html .
 The author witnessed it a few times.
 The author heard it from various kinds of local peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
 See ‘Bez ustavnih reformi BiH ne može u NATO’, 24 SATA newspaper, 14 October 2013, p.53, Zagreb.
 Serbia’s brain drain rate as of 2011 is 1.7 which is the world number 3rd highest. (Source: Op.cit. The Economist Pocket World, 2013, p. 62.)
 See Sensou Koukoku Dairiten (War Advertisement Agency), by Toru Takagi, published by Kodansha, Tokyo, Japan, 2005. For more about Ruder Finn, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruder_Finn and http://www.ruderfinn.com/ .
 Should Ruder Finn be convicted war crimes for its role in Bosnia against the Serbs? http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071012045313AACYUAw .
 Some ethnic Albanian Kosovars told the author.
 See, for instance, in case of Bosnia, http://rastko.rs/istorija/iii/cksavich-originsofwar.html .
 For the Yugoslav People’s Army, visit, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslav_People%27s_Army ; http://www.factualworld.com/article/Yugoslav_Peoples_Army ; http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/654682/Yugoslav-Peoples-Army ; and http://elektron.tmf.bg.ac.rs/bojan/JNA%20OOB%20new.pdf .
 Estimation by the US Embassy to (the then) Yugoslavia in 1990.
 For the inflation of Yugoslavia, see, for instance, http://www.nytimes.com/1989/02/07/business/yugoslavia-inflation-up.html ; http://www.theodora.com/wfb1989/yugoslavia/yugoslavia_economy.html ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation ; and http://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jmacro/v15y1993i3p455-481.html .
 For the economy of Yugoslavia, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_SFR_Yugoslavia ; http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/items/show/671 ; http://www.scoopweb.com/Economy_of_the_Socialist_Federal_Republic_of_Yugoslavia and http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/exhibits/collapse/essay .
 Op.cit. The Economist Pocket World 2013, p.42.
 See, for instance, http://jurist.org/dateline/2012/06/ivan-milosevic-yugoslavia-eu.php ; http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2203972?uid=3738200&uid=2133&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21102793223973 ;
 For the final days of Yugoslavia, see, for instance, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/serbia/yu-06.htm ; http://www.factualworld.com/article/Socialist_Federal_Republic_of_Yugoslavia ; and http://www.theodora.com/wfb1990/yugoslavia/yugoslavia_government.html .
 http://www.nbcnews.com/id/11777120/ns/world_news-europe/t/slobodan-milosevic-found-dead-prison-cell/#.UmFCyRBBg2w ; http://nsnbc.me/2013/03/14/death-of-president-slobodan-milosevic-in-nato-prison-remains-a-central-question-in-international-justice/ ; and http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE0D81031F937A25750C0A9609C8B63http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE0D81031F937A25750C0A9609C8B63 .
 For the relation between Croatia and Vatican, see, for instance, http://www.opendemocracy.net/alex-sakalis/most-catholic-country-in-europe-croatia-and-catholic-church ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franjo_Tu%C4%91man ; and http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1998/october/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19981012_ambassador-croatia_en.html .
 http://www.dw.de/recognizing-slovenia-croatia-brought-peace-genscher-says/a-15182463 ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Dietrich_Genscher ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Croatia%E2%80%93Germany_relations ; and http://www.nytimes.com/1991/08/26/world/new-croatia-strife-after-bonn-warning.html .
 For more about NDH or the Independent State of Croatia, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_State_of_Croatia ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_the_Independent_State_of_Croatia ; http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/202210/fascism/219386/Sexism-and-misogyny#toc219388 and/or http://desertwar.net/independent-state-of-croatia.html .
 For Vatican/Catholic and the Independent State of Croatia, see, for instance, http://paulonpius.blogspot.com/2012/01/pavelic-croatia-and-vatican.html ; http://serbianna.com/analysis/archives/1182 ; and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relations_between_the_Roman_Catholic_Church_and_the_Independent_State_of_Croatia .
 One of the reasons why ethnic Serbs in Croatia were afraid of Tuđman’s independent movement was that he provoked them to rebel against the Croatian authorities. For instance, it was the Croaitan authorities that began the War in Croatia. The Croatian authorites sent special police forces in 1990 to the Krajina area whose ethnic majority was ethnic Serbs. Till then, these Serbs had been peacefully living in the region. For more relevant information on how the War in Croatia began, see, for instance, “Tudjman’s Police Minister Admits Croatia Started the War by Attacking Serbs”, http://de-construct.net/e-zine/?p=4869 .
 The author heard that from a number of Croats, regardless of their social classes or statuses, from government officials, company executives, to common workers, to retired people. It is debatable whether a substantial number of the Federal government officials was Serbs. The point is, however, that Croats in general believed that the Federal government was managed in favor of Serbs.
 For the Bleiburg Genocide, see, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleiburg_massacre ; http://northerntruthseeker.blogspot.com/2012/09/more-hidden-history-revealed-bleiburg.html ; and http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=118870 .
 For the relation between Serbia and Russia, visit, for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia%E2%80%93Serbia_relations ; http://www.helsinki.org.rs/doc/HB-No93.pdf ; http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_04_10/Russia-and-Serbia-have-privileged-relations-Medvedev/ ; http://net.lib.byu.edu/~rdh7/wwi/comment/sovserb.htm ; and http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2011&mm=10&dd=12&nav_id=76812 .
 Večerna List, 19 October 2013, Zagreb, pp. 16 – 19.
 See ‘Antisrpska histerija,’ Novosti, 18 October 2013, Zagreb, pp.1-16.
 For example, 24 SATA newspaper, Zagreb, 19 October 2013, featured Proeski and his death. See pp.4-5 of the newspaper.
 Ivica Todorić, Croat, is one of the most successful businessmen in the Balkans. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivica_Todori%C4%87 and http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=24453640&privcapId=5491790 .
 By the Dayton Agreement, Bosnia-Herzegovina has permanently been divided. The purpose of the Dayton Agreement is not only to bring about the War in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Recall the fact that Bosnia-Herzegovina was the area in which Judaism, Orthodox Christianity and Catholic had coexisted until 1992.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 21 Oct 2013.
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