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SERBIAN TERRORIST GROUP “MLADA BOSNA” ET AL

February 25, 2008
PHOTO: Serbs set an American flag on fire during a mass protest rally against Kosovo’s declaration of independence in Belgrade, Serbia, Feb. 21, 2008.

Serbian Terror Attack on the U.S. Embassy

The attack on and subsequent burning of the U.S. embassy (and other embassies in Belgrade) by masked Serb hooligans is a terrorist act. If, for example, Albanians attacked the U.S. Embassy in Pristina, then the media would call them “terrorists”. But when Serbian terrorists attack and burn down embassies, they are called rioters, mobs, thugs, protesters… In fact, they are not rioters, mobs, thugs, and protesters – they are Serbian terrorists.

A 21 year-old Serbian terrorist, identified by B92 as Zoran Vujovic, who stormed the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade with the help of the group died in the fire.

Vujovic’s charred body was recovered from the embassy and identified by his father, Milan Vujovic, who recognized some of the personal belongings that were recovered, including his son’s gold chain. The DNA analysis later confirmed this.

Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica had said earlier the terrorist attacks on foreign institutions, such as embassies and companies, in Serbia was the result of the diplomatic recognition of the new Kosovar state by the US and many European Union countries.

The biggest Serbian newspaper, Novosti, in an article published on Sunday justified the Serbian terror attacks on the US embassy in Belgrade, quote:

“Nobody has the right to equate the built up anger of the people with hooliganism. The US embassy was set on fire. It was not set on fire by Serb nationalists, as some media have reported, it was set on fire by Americanism and contemporary fascism.”

Serbian terrorist group: bomb attacks

Serbian terrorist organization “Mlada Bosna,” or “Young Bosnia” (same name as Gavrilo Princip’s group that assasinated Archduke Franz Ferninand in Sarajevo and started WWI) recently took responsibility for several bomb attacks, including bomb attack on Mercator mall in Belgrade and EU mission HQ in Mitrovica.

Several newspapers and magazines in Serbia also received e-mails from a group calling itself Mlada Bosna, or Young Bosnia, claiming responsibility for a string of terrorist attacks with hand-grenades since Kosovo’s independence declaration.

The group’s name echoes that of the organization that included the Bosnian Serb terrorist Gavrilo Princip, who in 1914 killed Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, triggering World War I in which over 40 million casualties resulted, including approximately 20 million military and civilian deaths.

Amnesty International has voiced concerns about the physical safety of Natasa Kandic – one of most respected human rights activists in Europe and the director of the Belgrade’s Humanitarian Law Center.

An interview with Borko Ilic – vice president of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) – in the daily Kurir, was headlined “Traitor” (referring to Natasa Kandic’s recognition of Kosovo’s independence).

Another article in the daily Vecernje novosti was headlined ‘Natasa Kandic, the woman who does not exist’, implying that as a non-person, her elimination would be without consequences. Other human rights activists also have concerns for their security. Serbian terrorist group “Mlada Bosna” is suspected of being involved in recent anonymous threats against the Serbian human rights activist Natasa Kandic.

Uttering Terrorist Threats Against Kosovo Albanians

Just over a week ago, the head of the Serb Orthodox Church in Kosovo, Bishop Artemije, has denounced the Serbian armed forces for doing nothing and called for a new war, quote:

“Serbia should buy state-of-the-art weapons from Russia and other countries and call on Russia to send volunteers and establish a military presence in Serbia.”

In his latest piece titled “It’s Time for Us to Show our Teeth” published in ultra-nationalist Serbian newspapers “Glas Javnosti”, Serbia’s self-proclaimed “terrorism expert,” discredited Srebrenica genocide denier, and former identity theft criminal Dr Darko Trifunovic (biography) uttered terrorist threats by calling for Kosovo Albanian civilians to be bombed, quote:

“As soon as Pristina declares independence… Belgrade must order tanks to attack Kosovo, including the artillery bombings of the Province until Kosovo is returned under sovereignity of Serbia…”

It All Started in Kosovo

In 1389, in the famous Battle of Kosovo a coalition of armies including Serbs, Albanians, Bosnians and Hungarians, led by the Serbian prince Lazar Hrebljanovic was defeated by the Ottoman Turks, who finally took control of the territory in 1455.

Serbs consider Kosovo their religious and cultural heartland, just as they consider other parts of former Yugoslavia to be “theirs” for various reasons (depending on who you ask). The original inhabitants of Kosovo were not Serbs, but Illyrians – ancestors of today’s Albanians. Depending on who’s counting, Kosovo is 90% to 95% ethnic Albanian.

In 1989, Slobodan Milosevic gave an infamous speech in front of one million galvanized Serbs at the place where Serbs suffered a historic defeat from the Turkish army in 1389. In his speech, he openly threatened war in an open manner with any one of the Yugoslav nations if Serbian domination became endangered, quote:

“Six centuries later, now, we are being again engaged in battles and are facing battles. They are not armed battles, although such things cannot be excluded yet.”

Milosevic’s speech was just one of many attempts by Serbia to exert its domination over other peoples in Former Yugoslavia.

As Lisa Van Dusen of Edmonton Sun explains, quote:

“That day, the final of weeks of 600th anniversary celebrations, Milosevic extolled the importance of Kosovo to the Serbian national psyche, lay the groundwork for stripping Kosovo of its administrative autonomy and hinted darkly at an armed battle to come…. Throughout 1998, Serb police and Yugoslav army forces played a game of ethnic cleansing beat the clock on the ground while Milosevic himself paid lip service to international negotiators, including U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke and Secretary of State Madeline Albright, who were backed up by the threat of NATO airstrikes as early as September 1998. By the time the bombing started in March 1999, hundreds of thousands of Kosovars were already homeless and fleeing to Albania with the clothes on their backs; on foot, by donkey cart, in cars and still being bombed on their way out by Yugoslav war planes.”

In the ensuing battles against the neighbours, Serbia lost four wars in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo. Serbs sought to ethnically cleanse Kosovo of Albanians three times: In the 1911-12 Balkan Wars after they seized it from the Ottoman Empire; in 1945; and in the 1990s. This brutal record, and persecution of Albanian Kosovars in the post-Tito era, invalidates any legitimate claims Serbia has to Kosovo.

Under the leadership of Slobodan Milosevic, Serbs became international pariahs intoxicated them with Nazi-style bogus historical mythology, primitive nationalism, and anti-Muslim racism. According to Eric Margolis of Edmonton Sun, quote:

“In 1999, while Europe watched impotently, Milosevic’s forces killed 13,000 Kosovar Albanians, blew up mosques, gang-raped Muslim women, burned Albanian villages and drove one million Albanian Kosovars into frigid winter fields where they would have died of exposure without outside help. The U.S. saved the Kosovars by launching a short air war on the Serbs. Outraged Serbs claimed they were victims of an American-German conspiracy. Kosovo was their historical medieval heartland, they insisted. Serbia’s very soul. But by 2008, Kosovo’s population was two million Albanians and only 60,000-80,000 Serbs and gypsies, mostly in the Mitrovica enclave. About 100,000 more Kosovo Serbs had moved to Serbia.”

It All Ended in Kosovo

Kosovo has been a centuries-long inspiration for radical Serbian nationalism, Serbian Orthodox Christian religious extremism, and irrational anti-Muslim fanaticism. The loss of Kosovo represents a major blow to the Serbian propaganda and psychology of self-inflicted victimhood of mythical proportions.

Kosovo joins five former republics that have withdrawn from Belgrade’s reign since 1991. The secession of the province, which is 90 per cent ethnic Albanian, marks the latest and the final chapter in the bloody dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. What follows is a lasting peace and prosperity for all, but most importantly for Albanians who suffered greatly under the Serbian terrorist dictatorship.

Kosovo will never be part of Serbia, again.

  1. Sheila Musaji
    February 26, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Media coverage of Belgrade Embassy attack an example of selective religious identification

    Over the past decade it has become increasingly common to see a selective religious identification used in the media.

    In August 2002 , Robert Jay Goldstein was arrested near his home in St. Petersburg, Florida. In his possession were 40 weapons, 30 explosive devices, a list of 50 mosques and a detailed plan to bomb an Islamic school. None of the news reports about this incident refer to the religion or motivations of the criminal although he is Jewish and the targets were Muslims. Judging by the headlines and stories in the media, religion seemed to have nothing to do with this.

    In 2006, two British National Party members Robert Cottage and David Jackson (not Muslims) were were arrested with an array of bomb-making components and weapons. A rocket launcher was found, though some reports indicate more than one, as was a biological suit and chemicals that could be used to make bombs. Cottage and Jackson’s religion was never mentioned, and in fact the incident received little press.

    In January of 2008, Alex Shevchenko was arraigned for a hate crime tied to the assault and eventual death of Satender Singh in July of 2007 in Sacramento, California. None of the news reports of this incident in which a man was killed because the perpetrators thought he was gay include the religion of the perpetrators or religious dimensions of this crime. In January of 2008, the Christian Science Monitor published an article “Christian extremism raises alarm” that finally did raise these issues and pointed out that within the Slavic community that Mr. Shevchenko belongs to there is a group called the Watchmen on the Walls that is fomenting religious extremism in this community.

    This week when about 150,000 Serbian rioters attacked UN police at a bridge, and then first stormed and then set fire to the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade leading to at least one death and 150 injuries there were thousands of articles in the media.

    What you don’t see in any of those headlines or articles is the word “Christian” – they are simply violent protestors, criminals, thugs, mobs. Spend some time going through the thousands of articles online and it will be difficult to find any that raise the religious issue. I found only one. Foreign Policy did publish an article “Does the West Have an Orthodox Problem?” raising the religious issue.

    “The scenes on CNN today of Serbian political and religious leaders holding candles at a vigil to protest Kosovo’s independence, as well as the rogue protesters setting fire to the U.S. embassy in Belgrade, bring to mind Graham Fuller’s January/February FP cover story, “A World Without Islam.” In the piece, Fuller cautions Islam’s critics not to assume that a Middle East dominated by Orthodox Christianity would be any more accepting of Western influence than today’s Middle East. With Serbian Christians now fighting to retain what they they view as their religious homeland, maybe he was on to something.

    […] “Whatever you think of Fuller’s characterization, it certainly seems noteworthy that the United States and the EU are about to go the mat with Russia for a Muslim country at the expense of a Christian one. If the rift between an increasingly religious Russia and the West continues to grow, can it be long until the op-eds start appearing on “The Orthodox Threat” or “The Failure of Political Orthodoxy”? “Orthofascism” doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it?” (see Islamofascists?)

    The ridiculous claim that all terrorists and extremists are Muslim ignores history and the media headlines that selectively identify the religious identification of both perpetrators and victims reinforce this impression. When you repeat something enough times people come to accept it as a fact.

    There is a pattern here. There is a seeming double standard in identifying one act as particular to a religion, and not another caused me to do a little searching on the web, and I found many articles that did not include the religious dimension of many terrorist activities: Irish Terror, The Troubles , Bosnia: Report On Massacre At Srebrenica Condemns Dutch Military ‘Errors’, Don Hill, King David Hotel Bombing(1946) , Basque Terrorism in Spain, Wikipedia has an entry on the Qibya Massacre by Israeli troops – and the Kafr Qasim Massacre by the Israel border police (why no mention of their religion?), and the Sabra and Shatila massacres which refer to the perpetrators as Maronite Christian Militias and to possible Israeli culpability. An article on the Lavon Affair including the Operation Susannah bombings in Egypt refers to this as carried out by the Israeli’s. (Do the Israeli’s have a religion?) Serbs are sentenced for filming the murder of Bosnian Muslims. (not Christian Serbs) White extremists in Britain use terror videos to threaten British Muslims. (do the extremists have a religion?) God’s Army carries out terrorist actions in Burma. (not Christian terrorist group God’s Army)

    Why Irish and not Christian Terror – although both parties are Christian (Catholic and Protestant) – why Basque Terrorism when the Basques are solidly Catholic? Why Israeli and not Jewish, although Israel is a Jewish State? Why are the Tamil Tiger suicide bombers not referred to as Hindu suicide bombers? The Tamil Tigers lead the world in the number of suicide bombings, and yet the mantra is repeated over and over that all terrorists are Muslims. Why do Israel, the U.S., Britain, France, China, India, and Russia have nuclear bombs, but Pakistan has an “Islamic bomb”?

    When there have been criminals in the U.S. who have murdered innocents, only if they are Muslim is their religion mentioned in the headlines.

    Most people reading only the headlines will assume that only Islam has a problem with religious extremists, that only Muslims are violent and Christians are non-violent, and that it is Islam itself that is the problem.

    This is an issue that needs to be dealt with – What was the religious affiliation of: – Those who enslaved and murdered the Native Americans; – Those who colonized most of what is now the “Third World”; – Those who dropped the atomic bomb; – Those who developed and participated in the political systems of Naziism and Fascism; – Those who carried out the Rwandan genocide?; – Those who participated in torture at Abu Ghraib; – Those who carried out ethnic cleansing against the Bosnian Muslims; – Those who were responsible for the death of millions in Germany’s death camps? If the answer to any of these questions had been Islam then the criminals would have been identified as “Islamic” ……. This demonizing of the “other” and oversimplification of genuine issues that need to be resolved does a disservice to all of us, and in the current political climate also isolates traditional mainstream Muslims who otherwise might be able to serve as a bridge between cultures.

    There are groups within the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities that are trying to incite and create an all-out war between Islam and “the West.” Such a war would bring misery upon the peoples of all nations. All of us must do everything possible to denounce and resist the efforts of those who would destroy us.

    This problem of selective religious identification is only one aspect of the greater problem. But it is one that we need to deal with if we are going to enable ourselves to look at the real issues and find solutions. We need to challenge the stereotypes, recognize propaganda, and foster genuine dialogue.

  2. Alan Jakšić
    March 7, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Daniel, you’re only showing some of the truth – not the whole truth, some of it. And I’m not asking you to represent the International Red Cross on your blog, but I am rather appalled by the selectiveness applied in the above article.

    You add Bishop Artemije and his “state-of-the-art weapons” comment into the same article with the original “Mlada Bosna” (which you blame for WW1 and not Austria that actually attacked Serbia) and the new “Mlada Bosna”. And by doing so, you lead the reader on to have the impression that these people somehow work and have worked in concert with one another. Also, you connect the historical narratives of 1914 to those of 1989 and later, as if they came from one the same period, disregarding the vast differences in the circumstances of each era.

    You dared to write – and claim as fact! – that the people who burnt the embassies in Belgrade were “not rioters, mobs, thugs, and protesters” but actual “Serbian terrorists”, and yet offered NO evidence whatsoever that the people who committed those offences were indeed members of some actual terrorist organisation, such as the new “Mlada Bosna” you mention in the article – merely suggesting that they were based on the group’s own recent admissions. And worst of all, you branded the only fatality of the entire arson, a young Serb whose own family fled from Kosovo, a “terrorist”. That is despicable.

    You wrote, “Serbs consider Kosovo their religious and cultural heartland, just as they consider other parts of former Yugoslavia to be “theirs” for various reasons (depending on who you ask).” Why is “theirs” written in inverted commas? Aren’t the Serbs of Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo allowed to call Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo their land? As you can guess, I think Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks and Albanians are allowed to live wherever they want in the Balkans and the wider world, without weirdoes like Karadzic and similar to him telling them not to or offering them “humane resettlement”.

    Where you write that, “The original inhabitants of Kosovo were not Serbs, but Illyrians – ancestors of today’s Albanians”, you give the impression that Serbs have less rights to such a land, because the Illyrians who lived in modern-day Kosovo are the ancestors of Albanians. Of course, there is only so much one can write in a given article. Many Serbs have ancestors who were born and lived in Kosovo centuries ago, who migrated north and west during periods of turmoil and war, which were many and not their fault. And as for the Illyrians, it’s safe to say that Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks and Albanians are descended from them in some way!

    And finally, “The secession of the province, which is 90 per cent ethnic Albanian, marks the latest and the final chapter in the bloody dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. What follows is a lasting peace and prosperity for all…” Tell that to the Kosovo Serbs in their enclaves.

    Alan.

  3. Daniel
    March 11, 2008 at 6:01 am

    Quote: “…appalled by the selectiveness applied in the above article.”

    I consider above article to be a summary of major points many fail to acknowledge. As I said, had Albanians burned the U.S. Embassy in Pristina, they would be labeled as terrorists. But when a group of Serb thugs (who do not represent Serbs at large) attack and burn the U.S. Embassy, they are branded as rioters. That’s the selectiveness applied to Muslims on a daily basis.

    Quote: “…you connect the historical narratives of 1914 to those of 1989 and later, as if they came from one the same period, disregarding the vast differences in the circumstances of each era.”

    I was doing everything in a point form. Those are some of the major events which cost millions of lives. Serb terrorist Gavrilo Princip caused World War I. How many people died in World War I? Do the math.

    Quote: “You dared to write – and claim as fact! – that the people who burnt the embassies in Belgrade were… terrorists.”

    Yes, they are terrorists. Most precisely, they are Serbian terrorists. Why are you offended by the term “Serbian terrorists?” You have nothing to do with these violent people and you should not be offended. I consider you to be a nice guy.

    Quote: “..NO evidence whatsoever that the people who committed those offences were indeed members of some actual terrorist organisation.”

    You don’t have to belong to a terrorist organization to be a terrorist.

    Quote: “you branded the only fatality of the entire arson, a young Serb whose own family fled from Kosovo, a ‘terrorist’. That is despicable.”

    Despicable, or not despicable – he is a terrorist. He is certainly not a victim. He had no business in vandalizing the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade. If he was a victim, why did he attack U.S. Embassy and what was he doing there late night? Remember, he was never Embassy’s employee; he had no business in being there in the first place.

    Quote: “Aren’t the Serbs of Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo allowed to call Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo their land?”

    Yes they are, but they are not allowed to ethnically cleanse me from my home so they could create Greater Serbia. Bosnia is my land, too.

    Quote: “…you give the impression that Serbs have less rights to such a land.”

    Serbs have as much right to Kosovo as Albanians, but remember: 92% of Kosovo’s population is Albanian, and I don’t see 92% of people being willingly forced to live under Belgrade’s rules.

    Quote: “‘What follows is a lasting peace and prosperity for all…’ Tell that to the Kosovo Serbs in their enclaves.”

    Belgrade should tell them to stop isolating themselves and to accept reality, just as we accepted the reality of Republika Srpska.

  4. Owen
    March 11, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Sheila, you pick up on a genuine problem. The media does often use labels in a sometimes dangerously careless way. But your sweeping generalisations and ignorance of history undermine your case. Media carelessness and media propaganda are two separate issues, it doesn’t help to confuse them. Painting a black and white picture of the Western press while ignoring the values of the press in the Islamic world is hardly conducive to a respect for your objectivity. And you simply turn your back on the central issue of why a religious label may be used in a political context, which is particularly relevant when Islamist activities are being reported.

    You obviously have made no serious study of, to take just one example, media coverage of the conflict in Northern Ireland. It is only in recent years and in particular since the commencement of a genuine political process that the media has been reasonably consistent in referring to Nationalists and Unionists/Loyalists rather than Catholics and Protestants. The communities were easily identifiable by their religious affiliations and it took decades before a more aware analysis started to prevail in the media. At the same time the media were not entirely to blame. The communities themselves bore some share of responsibility – particularly when religion moved into the social and political spheres, for example in the separation of education, the division of the communities was religious-based as well as political.

    Ever since the burning of The Satanic Verses Islamist political activity has revolved around religious issues. And I distinguish between Islamism and the ordinary political activities of Muslims living within and as part of their local community. Islamism is used to refer to a political platform in which political change is bound up with the imposition of formal religious values. When that platform uses terrorist methods in pursuit of moral and religious goals – and justifies the use of those methods by religious argument – it is legitimate to use the expression Islamist terrorism.

    That is not necessarily the case in other terrorist activities carried out by individuals and groups, including members of religious communities, in furtherance of their political, religious, racialist, or other viewpoint.

    The religiously motivated attacks on abortion clinics in the US and associated killings were identified as such (although condemned by many Christians as anti-religious). I think you may have a case for arguing that Goldstein and Shevchenko may have had religious motivation for their crimes, I don’t know enough about them to comment.

    However Cottage and Jackson don’t seem to have been driven by religious motives. They were racists and fascists impelled by a vision of social apocalypse but their attitude towards local Muslims appeared to have been fuelled by a hatred of immigrants and change generally rather than by their own religious beliefs. They were planning to assassinate Tony Blair, a well-known Christian.

    In spite of the malevolent contribution the Serb Orthodox Church has made to the cause of religious hatred in the Western Balkans, the riots in Belgrade even though supported by people like Bishop Artemije were very much a nationalist phenomenon. It would have been misleading to have labelled those involved as Orthodox terrorists rather than Serb/ian nationalist terrorists.

    It doesn’t seem to me to be unreasonable to refer to the imposition of Islamic values by force as Islamofascism and in the same way I don’t see why the term Orthofascism shouldn’t be used in similar circumstances. I don’t understand your comment that it doesn’t have the same ring. When fascists link their political philosophy with a religious one or vice versa, let’s call a spade a spade. Serb Orthodox priests blessing Scorpion units on their way to take part in the massacre at Srebrenica is an example of Orthofascism in just the same way as Mohammed Siddique Khan expounding his religious beliefs before blowing up innocent passengers on the Underground is an example of Islamofascism.

    Yes, we do need to challenge the stereotypes, recognize propaganda, and foster genuine dialogue. “The ridiculous claim that all terrorists and extremists are Muslim” is ridiculous, as you say. But your own selectivity with the facts is equally ridiculous and suggests an unwillingness to reciognise propaganda for what it is.

  5. Alan Jakšić
    March 12, 2008 at 2:40 am

    Daniel,

    “That’s the selectiveness applied to Muslims on a daily basis.”

    I guess that’s a problem a lot of Muslims face in America. In Britain, such Albanians would not be branded terrorists on the basis of being Muslim; they would only be branded terrorists if they really were members of a terrorist organisation, be it a religious one or not.

    “You don’t have to belong to a terrorist organization to be a terrorist.”

    I see that you have a looser definition of what a terrorist is. I would use other words like “vandalist” (that’s quite an intimidating word). Or perhaps the verb “terrorise”, which ties in neatly with “intimidation”. But OK.

    “Serb terrorist Gavrilo Princip caused World War I. How many people died in World War I? Do the math.”

    Gavrilo Princip didn’t cause the war; it was Austria that attacked Serbia in response to the assassination he committed in Sarajevo. And Princip can’t be held responsible for the actions of Germany’s army, Austria’s army which inflicted great casualties upon Serbia’s population, or Britain’s and France’s armies in Belgium against Germany’s, let alone the huge casualties inflicted by and sustained on all sides.

    Besides, the Austro-Hungarian empire ruled over many Slavic nations that wanted to be free from it. Gavrilo Princip represented that desire. And although WWI could easily have not taken place, you can’t blame him for other countries choosing to side with Austria or Serbia (the reason why it became an international conflict).

    “Why are you offended by the term “Serbian terrorists?” You have nothing to do with these violent people and you should not be offended. I consider you to be a nice guy.”

    I’m glad that you think I’m a nice guy. And to tell you the truth, I’m glad that none of them are my relatives. But I am offended by the term “Serbian terrorist”, because I treat the Serbian name with good deal of reverence, ascribing positive ideals to it. Unfortunately, the name has been blackened in recent years, from left, right and centre, I know. But still, I don’t like seeing it beside negative words like that.

    Personally, I prefer to refer to such individuals as “Serbian nationalists” since we’re dealing with Serbian nationalism, also “extreme” or “ultra-nationalists” or “Radicals”. I don’t want to identify myself with them and I prefer to distance myself from them politically.

    “Belgrade should tell them to stop isolating themselves and to accept reality…”

    Kosovo Serbs don’t trust the Albanian leadership in Priština. I talk about this issue on my blog, and I’ve replied to your comments there :-).

    Alan.

  6. Owen
    March 14, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Alan, setting fire to buildings is arson. People get trapped and killed. Torching buildings was the hallmark of ethnic cleansing in the Western Balkans from one end of the 1990s to the other. Arson as a political act is terrorism.

    We don’t know the circumstances in which Zoran Vujovic died. He seems to have been inside the building with a friend whose actions caused something to happen which trapped and killed him – I don’t know more than that. But they were in that burning building because they were with a group – apparently disorganised hooligans but acting with the tacit complicity of the Belgrade police – carrying out a terrorist action.

    The authorities only took action after the event. The strong suggestion is that they at least provided a window of opportunity. It’s not unreasonable for Dan to refer to Serbian terrorism in this context. We have to reserve judgment on Zoran Vujovic since we don’t know precisely how come he was in the building – he has to have the benefit of the doubt. But he was there in the context of an act of terrorism being carried out by a group of Serb nationalists with the connivance of the Serbian authorities.

    As far as Kosova is concerned, you’re right, the minorities have to be respected – they should not suffer as a group because some of them were parties to crime and still collude with the former oppressors. The Kosovan government will be judged by how well they have learned the lesson of their own community’s ordeal. But the moment of Kosovan independence is surely the moment when Greater Serbia’s victims are entitled to express joy and relief. That’s little enough compensation for what they’ve endured. http://www.newkosovareport.com/20080312733/Views-and-Analysis/A-humiliation-telegram-to-a-Collapsing-Republic.htmlorna Vuk

    You mustn’t allow Serbia’s own Serb victims to be overlooked, or the role of others in infliting death and misery on the people of former Yugoslavia. But you don’t help their cause by defending the actions of Kostunica and his friends.

  7. Owen
    March 14, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Alan, I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m trying to pick a fight with you – just an argument! Gavrilo Princip was a sad young man whose group was used by Dimitrijevic / Apis to further the aim of the Serbian military to provoke a confrontation with Austro-Hungary – as far as I understand in order to create conflict that would secure Russian backing for their expansionist intentions.

    Yes, Europe was a tinderbox and it seems that a full-scale war was eventually going to break out happen anyway, but it was Serbian nationalists who deliberately brought the building down on everyone inside it.

  8. Alan Jakšić
    March 14, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    No problem Owen.

    I’m not trying to defend the actions of arsonists, I only questioned the use of the term “terrorist” in the case of the attacks on the embassies. And as for Koštunica, I think he should only be held responsible for what he is actually responsible for. And there is much that he is blamed for politically and otherwise.

    All the best,

    Alan.

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