The book Global Research - Selected Articles, by Vladislav B.

Sotirovic, is a very
interesting book indeed. The author is no doubt extremely well informed as to
various crucial aspects regarding mostly social realities of the Balkans that are
often completely or almost completely ignored by both Western European masses
and its intellectual, academic circles (and a fortiori, of course, by the super-selfcentered North-American public).
This ignorance was vastly used and abused, with extremely noxious warmongering political purposes, mostly during the 1990’s, a period that saw the
disintegration of Yugoslavia, accompanied by both NATO’s intervention is BosniaHerzegovina, and after that, concluding the decade (and indeed the century and the
millennium), the alliance’s bombardment of the by-then merely “residual”
Yugoslavia, an operation supported by the monument of manipulative political
marketeering that was the omnipresent eulogy of the so-called “humanitarian
wars”, essentially the propagandistic preparation for NATO’s own Drang nach
Osten. The fact that the war-of-aggression and its endless list of villainies
(destruction of bridges, hospitals and schools banally presented as acceptable
“collateral damage”, silencing of opposition via physical annihilation of the official
TV studies of the country suffering the bombardments, depleted uranium included
in the weapons-menu, Mafiosi-style thuggish threats being made regarding third
party entities, including the infamous case of China’s embassy, etc.) could be so
easily sold to the public in Western societies was, dare I say, especially an indicator
of how far Western collective self-centeredness and self-righteousness had gone,
and how much those societies were/are under the spell of completely out-ofcontrol logic of sheer hubris, where even the most absurd of lies could/can, if
properly embellished by able market-Vaseline, be inoculated into the mentalities
of populaces reduced by TV overdoses to extraordinary levels of mass-stupidity.
The chronological sequence leading to “9/11” and the subsequent invasions of
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Afghanistan and Iraq (and from there to present times) was already fully on its
way during the “Spring-time for NATO” of 1999.
Reading articles by Vladislav Sotirovic may fortunately contribute for the
formation of an efficacious antidote to this degradation. The various texts compiled
in this book abundantly reveal both his great level of erudition regarding
numberless particularities of the Balkan situation (I am having in mind specially
his description of the situation of Vlach minorities in various countries) and the
seriousness and broad scope of his concerns and frame of mind: consider, for
instance, his comments on the Russian national interest; his comparisons of
secessionist movements in the Balkans with other situations in the Caucasus and
the case of Crimea; but also his study on Belgium and various other comments
regarding, for instance, Italy and Spain; and finally his meditations on processes of
“invention of tradition” now under way in states like Croatia and BosniaHerzegovina.
Some of the questions suggested imply larger discussion, obviously going beyond
the scope of the articles, and indeed the book. But it is only fair to say that the
readings are generally thought-provocative, even when parallelisms are advanced,
or differences emboldened, that one might feel tempted to dispute. Naturally,
Sotirovic is particularly sensible to problems regarding the ethnic-cleansing of
which the Serbians were victims in NATO’s Kosovo; and he is completely right in
underlining the utterly high level of complicity of Western powers with extremely
aggressive forms of Muslim fundamentalism underway in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Kosovo and elsewhere, both previously to Yugoslavia’s dissolution and after that.
But a larger discussion on the topic of “fundamentalism” and its relations with
politics is probably required here. And another theme worth broader discussion is
the very issue of recognition of ethnic minorities’ rights: as a matter of fact, the
idea seems to me largely defensible that it was Yugoslavia’s almost obsessive
concern for this subject that has à la longue dictated its dissolution, no doubt
supported from outside in the name of Kleinstaaterei-playing, but also somehow
prepared/facilitated by internal obsessions with ethnic minorities.
This group of aspects, regarding which the book seems to me somewhat
incomplete, does not however diminish its merit. These are, recognizably,
extremely vast themes, and we all have to consider them with more attention and

Rua Miguel Lupi, n.º 20 – Gab. 213 – 1249-078 Lisboa (Portugal) Tel. (+351) 213 925 938
Fax (+351) 213 925 940 – Secção de Sociologia e-mail: jgraça@iseg.ulisboa..pt
Site: www.iseg.ulisboa.pt

further in-depth. At any rate, reading these articles by Vladislav Sotirovic may be
an extremely useful contribute to that.
For all the reasons presented above I strongly recommend the publication of the
book, although also suggesting its global revision by someone being a nativespeaker of English, regarding the idiomatic quality and correctness of the text.

Lisbon, 17th of January 2016

João Carlos Graça
(Professor of ISEG, University of Lisbon)

Rua Miguel Lupi, n.º 20 – Gab. 213 – 1249-078 Lisboa (Portugal) Tel. (+351) 213 925 938
Fax (+351) 213 925 940 – Secção de Sociologia e-mail: jgraça@iseg.ulisboa..pt
Site: www.iseg.ulisboa.pt

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