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Yugoslavia - Dismantled and Plundered

Yugoslavia - Dismantled and Plundered

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Ttile: Yugoslavia - Dismantled and Plundered
MA thesis on the disintegration of Yugoslavia.
Author: Marko Hajdinjak, MA Thesis, Central European University, 2001.

The tragic Senselessness of the War in Yugoslavia and the Myths that Concealed It.
Ttile: Yugoslavia - Dismantled and Plundered
MA thesis on the disintegration of Yugoslavia.
Author: Marko Hajdinjak, MA Thesis, Central European University, 2001.

The tragic Senselessness of the War in Yugoslavia and the Myths that Concealed It.

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Published by: Slovenian study references on Mar 30, 2009
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CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY Natioanalism Studies Program
Marko Hajdinjak 
YUGOSLAVIA - DISMANTLED AND PLUNDERED:
The Tragic Senselessness of the War in Yugoslavia andthe Myths that Concealed It
MA thesisSupervisor: Maria KovacsAcademic Year 2000-2001
 
2
CONTENTS:1.
 
Introduction _____________________________________________________ 32.
 
A Nation-building Alchemy: Making Myths, Memories and Identities _______ 102. 1.Myths and Their Role in the Nation-building _____________________ 112. 2. Memory and Identity: Construction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction 232. 2. 1.Present-shaping Past and Past-shaping Present _____________ 232. 2. 2.Collective Amnesia and Organised Oblivion _______________ 272. 2. 3.Forced Remembering _________________________________ 313.Yugoslav Destructionology: Theories of Dissolution _____________________353. 1.The Ancient Hatred of the Clash of Civilisations __________________363. 2.Elites: Manipulating, Profiteering, Staying in Power________________403. 3.Breakdown and Break-up: Siamese Twins? ______________________ 424.Bad Boys Running Wild: The Senselessness of the Yugoslav Tragedy ______ 474. 1.Why Were the Gangs Essential for Making War Possible? __________ 484. 2.The Villains: Masterminds, Petty Warlords, and Bandits ___________ 524. 2. 1.Slobodan Milosevic and his Inner Circle __________________ 524. 2. 2.Radovan Karadzic and
 Republika Srpska _________________ 
564. 2. 3.Vojislav Seselj and the Chetniks ________________________ 584. 2. 4.Zeljko Raznjatovic – Arkan ___________________________ 604. 2. 5.Franjo Tudjman and the HDZ __________________________ 614. 2. 6.Mate Boban and "Herceg-Bosna"_______________________ 644. 2. 7.Dobroslav Paraga and the HOS________________________ 654. 2. 8.Jusuf Prazina – Juka_________________________________ 664. 2. 9.Fikret Abdic and Cazinska Krajina______________________ 684. 2. 10.... And the Rest_____________________________________ 694. 3.Mafia inc.: Looting, Racketeering, Smuggling ___________________ 704. 4.War-zone -- A Free Trade Area ______________________________ 754. 5.Violent Highlanders, City-loathers, Revenge-seekers, andPatriarchal Women-haters __________________________________ 795.
 
From Myths to War and from War to Myths: The Ninth Circle of theYugoslav Hell __________________________________________________ 825. 1.Heavenly People versus Genocidal Ustashe_____________________ 845. 2.“European” Victims and “Balkan” Aggressors ___________________ 926. Conclusion _________________________________________________________ 99Bibliography _________________________________________________________ 103
 
3
1.IntroductionIn 1991 the country I was born in ceased to exist. The exceptionally violent and bloodymanner in which this happened gave many experts and even more numerous "experts" anopportunity to demonstrate their wisdom, stemming from the privilege of generals-after-the-battle, and to scientifically prove that Yugoslavia was an artificial creation and that itscollapse was inevitable. Three most common theories explaining what has happened werethe theory about "ancient hatreds" between the Yugoslav nations, the theory aboutmanipulative elites who destroyed Yugoslavia to grab power in the successor states, andthe theory about the increasing insecurity, following the total breakdown of socialistregime, which caused the outbreak of hostilities. Without harbouring any illusions that Iwill be able to present the ultimate and indisputable explanation of what "really happened"with the former Yugoslavia -- why it has collapsed and above all, why in such a violentmanner -- this thesis will attempt to sketch an alternative point of view, showing howtragically senseless Yugoslavia's collapse actually was.The Yugoslav hell was not unleashed because of some alleged "millennial nationalidentity" and consequent "historical right to full sovereignty"
1
nor because of "traditionaldiscrimination" and "genocidal terror"
2
supposedly threatening the Serbs, and even less so because Yugoslav peoples suddenly decided that they do not want to live with each other anymore. Nor was it unleashed because of nationalism. By highlighting countless episodesand events, noticed by numerous other authors, researchers and, most importantly, the UNCommission of Experts which compiled thousands of pages of material about the war, Iintend to show that the driving force behind the destruction of Yugoslavia was notnationalism, but greed (both for political power and material gains). Nationalism
is
a powerful force, which indeed fuels many wars, but its ability to ignite a war out of somecompletely intangible reason should be seriously questioned. In the case of Yugoslavia,nationalism was rather used as a mask under which a thorough criminalization of post-
 
1
"Preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia," in
Yugoslavia through Documents: From itsCreation to its Dissolution,
ed. Snezana Trifunovska. Dordrecht: M. Nijhoff, 1994, p. 251
2
As defined in the 1986 Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (
Srpska Akademija Nauka i Umetnosti,
or SANU). Memorandum was written in 1986 as a team work of a group of most prominent Serbian intellectuals. It was basically an extensive list of Serbian national grievances, interpretingthe post-1945 history as an anti-Serb conspiracy. According to the Memorandum Tito (half Croat, half Slovene) and his right hand Edvard Kardelj (a Slovene) engineered Yugoslavia according to the policy of "strong Yugoslavia, weak Serbia." For this reason, Serbs were divided among several republics, andVojvodina and Kosovo were carved out from the "Serbian historic territory." Serbia was allegedly exploited by other republics, Serbs faced discrimination all over the country, in Bosnia and in Croatia their culture was being systematically destroyed and in Kosovo, they were victims of an organised "genocide." Parts of Memorandum are quoted in Olivera Milosavljevic, "The Abuse of the Authority of Science," in
The Road toWar in Serbia: Trauma and Catharsis,
ed. Nebojsa Popov. Budapest: Central European University Press,2000, p. 279

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