After the Flood: Literature on the Context, Causes and Course of the Yugoslav War: Reflections and Refractions

Review by: James Gow The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 75, No. 3 (Jul., 1997), pp. 446-484 Published by: the Modern Humanities Research Association and University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4212415 . Accessed: 10/04/2012 14:44
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SEER, Vol. No.3,7ulYI997 75,

Review

Articles

After the Flood: Literatureon the Context, Causes and Course of the YugoslavWar ReflectionsAnd Refractions
JAMES GOW

FEWevents in history can have provoked such activity as the violent break-up of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav War of Dissolution was surely discussed and analysed more than any other conflict in history had been while it was still under and on a variety of levels. The Yugoslav war consumed way enormous resources time, energy, manpower, finance, diplomatic and military attention, and simply newspaper inches and armchair debate. Even more strikingly,few events can have been so extensively discussedon the basis of limited, or partial, knowledge or understanding of what was going on. This applied not only to those with a lay or personal interest, but also, much of the time, to those with expertise and, even, to those who were actively engaged with the conflict. This was, to a considerable extent, a function of the complexity of actors, issues and incidents which shaped the war. It was no surprise, therefore, that the Yugoslav war, along with its other flourishingsets of activity, should have elicited a vast number of books regardingYugoslavia;nor that those responsible for the books would not be able to deal with the subject in a way which was comprehensive and completely accurate this was virtually impossible. The purpose of the present study is to examine some of the literature which emerged while the Yugoslavwar was under way in the context of the war itself.' There can be little doubt that every volume published during the war had some relevance to what was happening, whether by intention or audience interpretation. Where a subject with so many facets to it is so widely discussed, any book which relates to that subject will be seen, in some way or another, as the basis for comment on the war. This is because one of the most important characteristics of the war was its contested character. It was variously typified as, interalia, ethnic, nationalist, historic, religious, genocidal or aggressive. While each of these elements could be associated with the war in some way,
James Gow is Reader at the Departmentof WarStudies,King's College, London. ' A list of the texts surveyedappearsat the end of this article.This list is by no means an exhaustivereviewof literatureon mattersYugoslavduringthe yearsof war. It is, rather,an attemptto capturethe characterof that literatureand the issueswhich encompassit.

447 none was defining.The realnatureof the wardoes not feature: was a it clashof stateprojects, willbe outlinedbelow. as Therearevarious'tests'whichcan be appliedto literature produced whilethe warwas underway. One of theseis the way in whichit deals with the issueof the natureof the war.Anotheris the way in whichit to contributes theunderstanding of historyand,through both historical discussion,of recent developments. Finally,there is a more general measureof thesebooks.This is the degreeto which (in spiteof almost inevitable flaws)theyadd to ourunderstanding Yugoslavia's of demise: in some casesbecausetheyfill gapsin the previousliterature; others in becausethey presentgood overallsurveys; yet othersbecausethey in providepeculiarinformation insight. or Overall, the virtue of surveyinga good selectionof the literature producedin the courseof the war is to help identifythe salientissues which emergein discussion mattersYugoslav formerYugoslav, of and as well as the lacunaewhich remainto be filledin the decadesahead. Whatis clearis thatnot onlywas the Yugoslav hideouslycomplex war in its detailand in the varietyof issuesit raised,but comprehension of it wasmademoredifficult thewelterof competing by narratives seeking to explainit. In reality,much aboutthe war was far more simpleand than the obfuscatory straightforward and confusingpatternof rival narrativessuggested.As I shall argue, observersperhapstoo often followedthe exampleof othersratherthan verifying and analysis fact for themselves, whichled to a perpetuation at leastpartly,mistaken of, ideas. In doing so, they added to the confusion (perhaps even on intentionally, Qccasion). succession perpetuated The of mistakes and competing interpretations meantthatsometimes observers werefocusing on certaintrees, ratherthan the wood; at other times they were on focusing thewoodandmissing crucial particularly trees;andoverall, they were seeing both trees and woods, rather than being able to synthesize forestof detailand issuewhichwas theYugoslav the war.
THE YUGOSLAV WAR

From Past: Shadow Histogy the Ripples the of There should be little doubt that the Yugoslavwar increased the salienceof good historicalresearchand writingon Yugoslavia's past, because of the generalneed to enhance understanding what was of happeningin the present. There was also an ever greaterneed for reliable books based on good, solid research, as a result of the competition betweendifferent SouthSlavsto presentdifferent versions of history. Yugoslaviabecame a prison of nations for Croats and Slovenes,which, accordingto some, were forced into the Yugoslav stateby the greatpowersat the end of WorldWarI. This ignoredthe factthatthe Yugoslav idea itselfhad originated with Croatintellectuals in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.Also of importancein the Slovene

448

JAMES GOW

and Croatian decision to opt for Yugoslavia was the protection to be gained, by joining with Serbia, from Italian plans to annex territories promised to Rome by the Allies under the Secret Treaty of London in
I9I5.

Conversely, for the Serbs, Yugoslavia came to be seen as a means of cutting Serbia down to size, while robbing Serbia of its full statehood. This disregarded reality. The creation of Yugoslavia was a framework for the accomplishment of the Serbian goal of incorporating all Serbs in one state. Moreover, a major factor in the failure of the first Yugoslaviawas that it was little more than an administrativeextension of the Serbian state which had existed before World War I. The nonSerbs in Yugoslavia were generally not content and struggled to find their place. In the second Yugoslavia, the federation of six republics and two provinces created by the Communists after World War II, Serbian statehood was maintained within the federation, with Serbia the largest of the six republics. However, its formal sovereignty was compromised, in Serbian eyes at least, by the strengthening of the autonomy of the two provinces within Serbia, Vojvodina and Kosovo (the latter with its majority Albanian population). This was seen as evidence that Yugoslavia was an anti-Serbian conspiracy, designed to cut Serbia down to size, a notion advanced by the 'Memorandum' of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts which was unofficially circulated in the mid-i98os. While there was undoubtedly a question about the nature of Serbian statehood, this was not the anti-Serbian issue it was judged to be. Yet it was one of the key elements in the emergence of Serbian nationalism in the second half of the I 99os. The rise of nationalistpolitics in Serbia and throughout the Yugoslav federation raised questions about aspects of South Slav history. One important part of this was the growing denunciation ofJosip Broz Tito, the Communist leader of the wartime Partisan movement and undisputed leader of Yugoslavia until his death in I980. Tito had been the linchpin of the system: everything in it had been associated with him. Communist Yugoslavia was, as it was so often casually labelled, Tito's Yugoslavia. As the Yugoslav federation began to be questioned and dissolved in the late i980s, Tito's reputation was also challenged and destroyed. Indeed, as much as Tito was responsible for the creation and maintenance of the Communist federation, he may also be seen to have been responsible for its demise. The framework which was created under his auspices could not, ultimately, survive without his presence. Instead, it became the vehicle for the dissolution of the federation, as the Communist-run republics accrued power and sought to forge their own paths. One of the nuggets to emerge from new work on Yugoslav

book'stitleis morerevealing its nature the of than the name of its subject.2 A secondbiography Tito. of Whilethe book is a unavoidably politicalhistory(asis any biography a majorpolitical of its figure).Large parts of West's supposedbiography contain only sporadic references to the author's subject. is that the book is solid in makingits ownjudgementsratherthan followingthe lead of others.not even as patriotsfightingthe foreigninvader.if not more.The book'sappearance war duringthe Yugoslav and its reliablenarrativereinforcethe sense of Tito's status in the Yugoslavcontext. This is a tribute to Ridley as an established biographer. The author.but as the defenders the Serbsin theNDH' (p. This is especiallyso regarding WorldWar II and its aftermath. West'smain concernat this stageseemsto be to denouncehis principal targets. These seemed to convey premonitory mourningfor the socialistYugoslav federation had created:'There he is no Yugoslavia.who reportscomments the ageing leader in 1978.but whetherit wouldbe seen more as pro-Titoistor pro-Croatianis not clear. and the RomanCatholicChurch. As such.the Ustasha regime in Croatia the Croats who supportedit.Richard West. This isjust one of the smallpieceswhichRidley'sweightybookadds to our understanding Tito and Tito'sYugoslavia. look to the acknowledgements charge the book with and bias.contributed numberof articlesto newspapers the earlypart a in of the war which seemedto displaySerbiansympathies the regarding conflict. the of Alojzije Stepinac.As a biography. The book does not ignore Tito's flaws his vanity and his autocraticrule nor the realitythat thesequalitiescreateda moreliveableformof Communist state for the Yugoslavpeoples.especially Archbishop Zagreb.Jasper Ridley quotesone of Tito's wartimeaides. . One curiousassertion madein thebookis thatTito soughtto conceal Ustashacrimesduringthe warbecause'thePartisan armyhad come to power not as agents of revolution. In his major biographyof Tito. 409). strength as a biography is whichemploys interviews personal withmanyof Tito'ssurviving and colleagues othersignificant in figures the Yugoslav system. Any bias theremightbe would not be pro-Serbian. I wouldjudge. which appearedaroundthe sametime of as Ridley's. SvetozarVukmanovic made to him by Tempo. Thereis no partyanymore'(p. 2 IO). The reason for this.has a completely different character.THE YUGOSLAV WAR 449 historyis evidencethat Tito was himselfaware of this. it is spiced with adverse comments about the Croats and the role of the Roman Catholic Church in Yugoslavia. of Whileit is mistaken dismissthe degreeto whichfightingthe foreign to 2 It is not explicitwhat drew Ridley'sattentionto Tito as a subject. as well as at the global level.TitoandtheRiseandFallof rugoslavia in is part a biographyof Tito.and becauseof this it is likelythat some will find fault. a personal account of Yugoslav history. but it is equally.

Serbs from these areas were the core of the movement and. there is no logic apparent behind his assertion. this would be reason not to shroud Ustasha crimes. it was common to see Tito's image branded. This was the case in peace marches in Sarajevo on the eve of war and. he makes the valid judgement that FitzroyMacLean (head ofthe BritishSpecial Operations Executive [SOE] mission to Yugoslavia) 'played only a minor role in Tito's rise to power. was important to the Partisan victory. about Tito. at least. it is not incorrect to conclude (in a more limited way than West does) that in the darkest hours of Tito's movement. carried his picture above their heads and sang . While recognizing that there is something to West's characterization of the situation. It would seem -more obvious to conclude that. as West points out. peculiarly strong in Britainbecause of linkswith the region in WorldWar II. what happened although it is probably more pertinent to observe that one of the problems which endured through Tito's Yugoslaviawas the association of Croatian nationalism with the Ustasha. where children. In the end. A proper accounting of Ustasha (and other) crimes would have done much to prevent an implicit collective guilt just as the Nuremburg trials assisted in rehabilitating Germany after the Nazi period. which was the key to the survival and growth of the Partisan movement among Serbs from Croatia and north-westernBosnia. but he played that role honourably and correctly' (p.In particular. the biography has considerable merit. As the horror of war descended on Bosnia in I99I and 1992 (and as an uncertain future faced Macedonia). as it was driven in retreat into a pocket around Bihac in the winter of I94 I-42. until after the middle of I943. to some extent. this is implicitly a comment on Tito's strengthsas a wartime and a political leader. West's final paragraphs reveal (as do other parts of the book) his feel for aspects of Yugoslav history and culture.West addressesthe debates. Indeed. Where West has time for Tito himself. according to British intelligence assessments at the time. combined with the Partisans' commitment to taking armed action. it was the Ustasha terror. as his discussion veers away from Tito himself to the issue of British support. 336). making it hard for Croats to be comfortable with their identity. in Mostar. this is. but. because such a substantial portion of the Partisan army was composed of Serbs. probably unborn when Tito died. but to investigate them thoroughly and to publicize them. West is largely non-committal.450 JAMES GOW invader. comprised three quarters of the Partisan army. They also touch on the continuing importance of Tito after his death and the death of the federation with which he was identified. the Partisansand Britishsupportfor the Partisansratherthan their Serbian nationalist Chetnik opponents (who received support until 1943). There is a well-balanced and measured chapter on reassessments ofTito's reputation.

I 949). Despite being written long after the event. Lindsay does far more than this. FranklinLindsay. as well as British accounts by some of those who served there. an old Partisansong. an operative by of the Office of Strategic Services [OSS] which performed the same kind of liaison role with resistance movements as the British SOE. I980). Lees's revisionist i 980s book. for Lindsay is not afraidto make a distinction between his memory and the record: he refers to a strong personal recollection of a conversation about the disappearance of a Partisan intelligence officer who was. Lindsay points out in his bibliographical comments that Lees. The Rape of Serbia. but also on solid research in British and US archives thirty and forty years after the event.in that it is not based purely on memoirs.charged that a Communist conspiracy within British intelligence was responsible for the decision to switch support from the Chetniks of Draza Mihailovic to Tito and the Partisans. The Lees position is succinctly dealt with in a splendid addition to the literature on World War II. Lindsay admits. (Lees himself was attached to the Chetniks. Most of Lindsay's mission was in Slovenia. and that it was made on the basis of assessing who was winning the war anyway and assisting the overall Allied cause by killing more Germans.) The weight of academic and expert opinion tends to support the traditional view that the decision was Prime Minister Winston Churchill's. The war in Yugoslavia and the British role in it are among the bestcovered topics in the canon of study on Yugoslavia. Basil Davison and (from a radically different perspective) Michael Lees. said to have defected to the Germans a line which was later changed. but.THE YUGOSLAV WAR 45I 'Tito je nas i mi smo titovi' (Tito is ours and we are Tito's). and others who follow his line. according to Lindsay's memory. it may exceed its excellent predecessors. Indeed. It also differs in that it is written by an American and brings a slightly different tone and perspective. the book is written with the vividness of the moment and the author still calls upon his memory. such as Milovan Djilas's splendid Wartime (London. In some ways. with a separate movement until I 944 the period when Lindsay was dropped there and commonly given less attention. in a book that is worthy of comparison with that of Djilas and the comic-book adventure of MacLean's Eastern Approaches (London. if any at all.Lindsay's book differs from the others mentioned. with Yugoslav accounts. William Deakin. with the exception of Lees (ironically). there is an admirable honesty in the book on this front. 373). Beacons theNight: Withthe OSS and in Tito'sPartisans Wartime in rugoslavia. in most accounts of World War II. however. 'I . 'overlook the considerable documentation conflicting with that view' (p. such as MacLean. a part of the Yugoslavwar which was to some extent apart from the rest.

Understanding this way of working was a vital element absent from virtually all literature on the Yugoslav war in the i 99Os. or refute my memory of the event' (p. UNPROFOR. Both MacKenzie and Lindsay took the same approach: 'Atthis point. Lindsay also indicates the degree to which presenting a broad front for example. what his mission was or where it was. in a sense. SOE and OSS were replaced by troops under United Nations and other auspices. constantly reported tales of this kindsuch as that of the first Chief of Staff at the UN's Sarajevo Command. I said to hell with it' (p. It is hard not to make associations between details such as these and the conflict of the I99os. The UN force in Bosnia. for all his admiration for the Partisans'good qualities. even though this manner of operation was wholly consistent with the planning. What this meant was creating a supportive underground environment in which the Partisanswould be able to operate successfully. Lindsay's account of liaison officers being kept under house arrest also parallels UN personnel being taken hostage in the I99Os. Similarly. He cites the case of the British Special Funds Officer who cabled him to ask why he was requesting German Reichsmarks and asked if Lindsay would not rather have Italian lire. who famously complained of ringing the UN in New York to find that he was speaking to an official who had no idea who he was. or takeover. An even more important way in which this might be the case is the author's revealing account of the way the Communist-led Partisans paved the way for action. General Lewis MacKenzie (a Canadian). Lindsay was operating on the territoryof the Third Reich. 98). was certainly not a dupe. This was followed with a supplement as to the specific categories for the expenditure. Among the many remarkable strengths of a brilliantbook (too many to recount here) is its ability to see the Partisans for what they were. where. preparation and execution of the Serbian campaign in Bosnia and Hercegovina: a varied propaganda campaign. as well as to see the idiocy of petty officialdom on the author's own side. He cites discussions with Ales Bebler. one of the most prominent members of the Slovene elite. in new areas. i i o).452 JAMES GOW have since found no messages to confirm. Bebler described how the Partisanswould take at least six months to 'prepare the people politically' before sending armed units into an area (p. I 85). having a Roman Catholic priest in the ranks was important for winning over peasant support. Lindsay. the preparation by the Security Service and Radovan Karadzic's Serbian Democratic Party . although there was no deliberate humiliation. It is a further virtue of Lindsay's account that it permits association with the Yugoslavwar of the I 99os. which would have made the reason for his request self-evident to most people.

The . The essentialdifference with the past concernedthe practiceof ethnic cleansingas the strategic purposeof the war.But. i o). io). the relevantpassagesin Franklin Lindsay'sexcellentwork couldbe the seed for one of the important research topicsfor students in the future:a comparisonof methods and approachesduringthe 1940S and the I 990S. The purposeof Kennan'sintroduction to drawlinksbetweenthe is character past eventsand the war of the I 990S. Prepared by an international this commission. were accompanied by stories in West European and American newspapers grossatrocities.there were. murder.as in the i 990s.the possibility drawingparallelsbetweenthe past and the future was a process which had already begun in the I99os. The essenceof this of comparison that rape.the architect of US ColdWarpolicyin thewakeof WorldWarII. of this culminated in the declaration autonomous of regionsandthena separate republic. Greece. Againthe comparison by withwhat was goingon in the i ggoswasobvious.torture.or of different all elements.the of 'similarity all of this with what is happeningtoday is inescapable' (p. Kennan points to the structure of semi-autonomous armed groupsperpetrating crimes and links this to the I99OS paramilitary formations by the likes of ZeljkoRaznjatovic led Arkanand Vojislav Seselj. in Kennan'sreferenceto the events recountedin the reportof the International Commission. exceptionof the the Ustasha period in Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina)had featuredthesegrossatrocities more as a contingency war. Regarding the armed bands of 19 1 2-13.] it was certainly toleratedand winkedat. One example of this was the re-issuing of the momentous Carnegie Endowmentreporton the two Balkanwarsof I912-13... In this way. The warscoveredby the Carnegiereportand otherwars at othertimes (with.conduct and consequencesof the Balkanwars (involving Serbia.THE YUGOSLAV WAR 453 of CrisisHeadquarters shadowlocal governments and ready to take over on the appointedday.as well as in otherpartsof the world. sometimes [.arsonand waris inducedmass migrationwere featuresin both periods. they were featuresin other conflictsbeforeand afterthis in the region.mutilation. of The resonance the eventsdepictedin of the reportwas the reasonfor its re-publication aftereightyyearsand also for the new introduction writtenby GeorgeKennan.But. actuallyencouraged them'(p. which. Forall the obviouscomparisons withthe pastwhichwarranted close attention.TurkeyandAlbania). volumeset out to exploreandexplain the causes. the Commission reports if 'thebehaviour question not ordered the regular that in was by commanders . and the use of an apparentcoalition. they were the war's purpose. of Certainly.crucialdisconnections with the past.In fact.with of the Serbian campaign of the I99os. however.so as to maximizesupport.Bulgaria.

For the most part it is a straightforward interweaving detail. in If manybetraythe signsof publisher pressure get something to finished before it was too late. was a clear of understanding the Serbiancampaign. doing so.such as Omarska which formedpart of a systematic and bureaucratized campaignto accomplishthe ethnic cleansingof non-Serbs. and in publishingKennan's introduction. In the i99Os.some of which were also death camps.What was not achieved by Kennan. This does not diminishwhat is an extremely valuablecontribution to literatureon war in the region.unusual for a term with limited usage in the field of .This is the criticaldifference. campsare only mentionedon one pagein the Carnegiereport andthenas prisonerof-warcamps (p. 'militarylegitimacy' (p. there was an extensive networkof Serbianconcentration camps.attention was drawn to significanthistoric parallels. as far as I couldtell. the AccountingforRiseand oftherugoslav Fall State Following onsetof warin the formerYugoslavia. and the seriousstudentof the rise and fall of Yugoslavia not be able to will ignorethem. numberof books the a beganto appearwhichwere eitherspecifically intendedas accountsof the collapseand conflictin theirown right. published I993. but it does signal the problemsof gaininga true and full understanding what was happeningin the of war. 220).its nature and its purpose. i8i) .or to add suchaccountsto whatwere. or the Carnegie Endowmentin this context.for example.evenwheretheyarelimitedor partial. First in this is a solidand generally reliableaccountof politicsin the Yugoslav federationin the I99Os.454 JAMES GOW strategicpurpose of ethnic cleansingwas to remove all potentially hostile elementsfrom the territorywhich was to be includedin the Serbiannew state project to forge new borderswith land prised fromCroatiaand Bosniaand Hercegovina. The CarnegieEndowment an performed amazingtaskin preparing the originalreportand providedan important In pointof comparison. Perhaps firstbookto includethe actualbreak-up the Yugoslav the of federation LenardJ. Cohen happens to use a term.Cohen'sBroken was Bonds. would seem.bookson Yugoslavia already preparation. however. betweenthe it broadlysimilarcharacterof war in the past (and also of Croat and Muslimactionsin the I99oS. It is notable.in manycases.that. these volumes all have some value. althoughthereare curiousconceptualflurries: of for example. wheretherewas also someuse of camps) and the Yugoslavwar of dissolution:the systematicnature of the Serbiancampaignsetsit apart. althoughit is noted that conditionswere not good in the campsand that sometimes individuals wereheldwho were probably civilian.

it was but one turn along the way. they should alwaysbe checkedagainstother sources.By missing these declarations let altogether. Gettingthis part of what happenedin Bosniarightis criticalto an of understanding the war for which thesedeclarations were preparing the ground. alonediscussing theirnature. In fact. that does not mean this is a poor book. which camein response severalmorepurposeful to stepstakenby the Bosnian Serbs.it wasnot trueto say.Forexample.somethingpossibly testified by its havinggone into a secondedition.in a literalsense. Recordingand understanding signifithe cance of thesedeclarations.I 992. I 3 ). as with every other book certainlythose which cover contemporary events the readershouldnevertakethingscompletely at face value. an onus on the author to get crucial and contentious as matters rightas possible.THE YUGOSLAV WAR 455 civil-military relations in the sameway as I had.on a par with the Croats.to the statusof 'Serbsand othernationalities'.3 can be difficult captureall the detail It to completelyand accurately. A farmorecriticalomission madeby manyas eventsrushedby in the I 990S wasthevitalprocess whichtheBosnianSerbs(following by the model of the Croatian Serbs) declared a series of 'Serbian Autonomous Regions' in September i 99 I. Legitimacy the and Milita?y: rugoslav The Crisis.relations did take a turn for the worse. He has writtena numberof similarbooks on ames Gow. that the I990 Croatianconstitution'no longer explicitly mentionedthe Serbs'(p. Broken Bondsis a good and accessiblebook .it seems. as does Cohen. . none the less. It means that. havingread my own work. 236). adopted in the parliament. to On the other hand.Cohen sees the adoptionof the 'Platform' (whichhe doesnot name)as an eventwhichmadeethnicrelations 'take a turnfor the worse'(p. especiallywhen preparinga text on such complicatedpolitical developmentsalmost as they were happening. The author collects wars. London and New York. vitalto any completeaccount is of what happened in Bosnia and Hercegovina. another of the earliervolumes to appear is among the poorest:* Edgar O'Ballance'sCivil Warin Croatia. without.Although. orchestrated the SerbianStateSecurity by Service(preparations completelyin line with the type of activityAle-s Beblersharedwith Franklin Lindsay).Cohenfollows an erroneous whichseesthe 'Platform the Sovereignty Bosnia line on of and Hercegovina'. as the act which provokedthe Bosnian Serbs rather than as a reaction to Serbian agitationand provocation. There is. following preparatory moves the previousApril.whatmadethe offence to the Serbs particularly clear was that they had been downgraded from a 'people'.But althoughthis crucialelementis overlooked leads and to partialmisjudgement.

which wouldgive the readersomesenseof an overallview to complement the considerable detail. London.after a little backgroundreading.Slovenia. as Series Consultant. which was writtenin by associationwith the televisionseriesof the same name.the Macedonian was Jiro) Gligorov (p. as well as fromthe efforts of the productionteams which researched and put the documentary series together.4The sourcesincludeextensive researchinterviews with nearlyall the mainprotagonists the drama in of Yugoslavia's demise. the Serbian nationalistleader was Vojislav (not Voslav)Ses'elj 77).Where it leaves to something be desiredis in termsof an overallshape.456 JAMES GOW otherareasof conflict. and GojkoSu-sak.or theme. had therebeen more emphasison interpretation.it remainsusefulfor anyoneawareof its potential errors.not Alexei(p.given its chronological organization. I26). and to sew them togetherin a text whichis made up of 'bitsand pieces'. For example.Although bookis not what (p.Simple misspellings not the end of it: for example. of Death greater however. as it can (on a hit-and-miss basis)prove to be a useful reservoirof snippets of information.played a key role in this processby facilitatinglinks in Belgrade. 4 The filmed research interviews for the series and other materials are deposited at the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives at King's College. the book is a pacily written account of the events as they emergedfrom the mouths of the actors themselves.His methodhere appearsto have been to take newspaperclippings. a guide for anyone seekingto understand it would appearto be somethingaboutthe war . (p.) a large To extent. .where she was workingfor the Financial Times. Thus the book benefitsenormously from the millionsof poundsand dollarsinvestedin it. automatically repeatedfrom its sources. An immensely reservoir information. the Russian foreign minister in I 99 I was Andrei President Kiro (not Kozyrev. This does not represent all the research work carried out. journalistor writerat large. producedby Brian LappingAssociatesfor the BBC. or already quite knowledgeable regardinggeneral mattersand detail. however. are the adoptedthe Tolaras its currency 86). These resourceswere vast by the standards any normalauthor.It passesthe in 'Serbian Autonomous Regions'test but not as well as it mighthave.not Croatia. (It should be noted that Laura Silber. not Gotko Susko (p. given the calibreof the authorsand the resourceswhich were availableto them. LukaBebic. I 27). It containsmore fascinating detailthan any othervolumeon the break-upof Yugoslavia fromthe rise of SlobodanMilo-sevic I987 to the war in Bosnia.is The of rugoslavia Laura Silber and Allan Little. 84) were Croatian defence ministers. not Babic.It is also riddledwith errorsof detail.whether of academic.

34-35). Mestrovic). professional and legal consequences' (pp. Regarding Serbian propaganda outside Serbia. veryuseful. The last sentence to the twelvepoint official document which outlines the framework is gruesome: 'Failure to adhere to the above instructions will result in appropriate working. it includes. The Malesic volume also contains a very useful contribution by Vlatko Cvrtila on Croatian attitudes to the UN force in the country ('The Peace Operation and UNPROFOR: Croatian Media Reactions and Public Opinion').again it is worth recallingthe account by Franklin A of Lindsay theway the Communists operated. The surprisingthing about this chapter is that. Richard Paterson and Alison Preston (eds).if slim volume. Cvrtila identifies the way in which initial goodwill and support for the UN force among the Croatian public and press when it was first deployed was transformed into distrust and antipathy -with the media leading the change of opinion. I 996. having expended considerable energy on putting together material. a chapter by Sandra Basic ('The Media Landscape'). London. as others have pointed out. Croatian journalists (in a time of war and threat to their homeland) felt that their own propagandistic approach was a 'kind of professional and civic obligation'. in a chapter entitled 'Serbia's War Lobby: Diaspora Groups and Western Elites'. p. further illuminates theseprocesses issuesduringthe warin Croatia and duringI 99 I. especially that by Daniel Kofman on Israel'srelationshipwith Serbia. 72. Blitz concludes that this Lobby was not. 7he Roleof theMassMediain theSerbian Croatian Conflict.with. . 228).In the contextof a collapsing Communistfederation. what was true for Croatia was true for Serbia as well . in fact. 'ControllingNational Attitudes:War and Peace in Croatian TV News' in James Gow. on the whole. it probably played a role in fostering confusion about what was happening in former Yugoslavia (p. among other things. in which the framework for Croatian media reporting is detailed. very successfulat winning prominent supporters. Editedby Marjan Division Male'sicof theDefenceStudies at Ljubljana University. he supposes with reason. the crucial difference that. Brad Blitz contributes a fascinating study of Serbian lobby groups in the West in This Time We Knew: Western Responses the Genocide Bosnia (edited by to in Thomas Cushman and Stjepan G. Even so. This volume includes other interesting contributions. This is important material not only for those interested in the war and media 5 Hrvoje Turkovic.THE YUGOSLAV WAR 457 The Deathof Yugoslavia documentaryseries was one of the major mediaaccomplishments duringa warwheremediaissuesand possible manipulation becameprominent themes. Bosniaby Television. Of course.

althoughit inevitably missessomecrucialdetail(forinstance.Among the most vocal critics of Westernpolicy.especiallyin Serbia.becausehis his mission elsewhere. althoughit would surelystrengthen position. to which'couldnot failto win thepropaganda war'. Bennettconcludes pointingto by the way years of propaganda. In doing so. 'mediarelationswere a shambles'(p.directlywritten is and easily absorbedof the accountsto date on Yugoslaviaand its collapse. Therewas no pressservicefor the 700 Western journalists lookingfor stories(this was a completecontrastwith the situationin Sloveniain June and July). that His Europe's Backyard TheWar theBalkans an exampleof this War: in is type of criticism. vigorouslyand with rancourto damn international failure. anyway. on the issueof the EC conference EC recognition independence and of for Sloveniaand Croatia).After severalhistoricalchapters. The sensethat comparisons with the Nazi era werevalid. writtenlargelywithout notes (revealinghis backgroundas a journalist). therewas alwaysenoughdoubtin Western discourse to keeparmedactionat bay.458 JAMES GOW and propaganda. alsofor those engagedin shapingand managing but peace-support operations. This samepoint is made by Christopher Bennett.until 1995.This was certainly case while the warwas in Croatia. points out that and who Causes. which. As it was.Almondbegins to deal with the I99os. he missesdetailon the originsof the Serbiancampaignin Bosnia during I99I. I62).Belgrade winningso long as it did not lose the propaganda war.particularly of the UK. (p.in Yugoslavia's BloodyCollapse: Course Consequences. led many critics in the West to charge their governmentswith appeasement. perhapsthe most balanced. resultedin selffulfilling prophecies and he rightlyalludesto possiblecomparisons betweenBelgrade's approachto Croatiaand Bosniaand that of Nazi to Germany Czechoslovakia. Basic'schapterpoints out the utter incompetenceof the Croatian in authorities media management duringthe war in I99I. according Bennett. either case. This only abettedSerbia.most of all that of the UK government. Crucially. and by postured and washedtheir hands of the problemin regularsuccession' ix). ratherlike a guerrilla was war. This is clearfromthe recognition he was 'boundto offendforeign that ministers diplomats' judgingthemto have 'laboured. has been MarkAlmond. becauseit would almostcertainlyhave needed concertedexternalaction againstSerbianforcesfor them to lose.especially the following siegesof Vukovar Dubrovnik Croatiaand thenthe and in horrors of Bosnia. lies That missionis straightforwardly. Bennett'sbook.but the In perhapsless so once the warwas in Bosniaand Hercegovina.in a sense does not matter. Judgingfromdiscussions with officials who dismissed bookbecause the .

however. I997.7 among other things one of the doyens of European integration studies. Paper 270. continuing political commitment by major governments. because of this. revealsan understanding the problems of which would not offendforeignministersand officialsbut might still suggestthose aspects of failurefor which they could be expectedto acknowledgeresponsibility. London. and for which. I It is strikingthat. 26). for the most part -as one would expect of the Council on Foreign Relations . they do not succumb to easy gloom. in EC handling of the crisis during i99i). Abe and Toni Chayes. for example. offer an understanding of the conditions which nurtured that failure.John (a. does he identify the characteristic cause of that failure . but stick to identifying some of the big missions to be fulfilled by the international community. as well as to important moments. however. it is vigorously written and. is a fine overview of the international response. Ullman's own contribution. Understanding the will of governments and publics in Europe and the 6 This argumentis made byjames Gow in Triumph the of Lack Will: of International Diplomacy andtheYugoslav War. It does not. TheWorld rugoslavia's and Wars is filled with contributions by major figures: aside from a decidedly weak and (seemingly)lazy contribution on the EC and Yugoslaviafrom Stanley Hoffmann. nor of the efforts actually made (indicated by a lack of references to official documents or to interviews with those involved. to the meaning of the war for the international system. . was edited by Richard H. a. One aspirationin that volume is to provide an account which. noting that the core of that response was that no Western state perceived itself as having sufficient interest to make it possible to frame effective policy (p. 'The Wars in Yugoslavia and the International System after the Cold War'. Hoffinannmakesconstantreferenceto the work of an adviserto the Bosnian Serb presidencyand erstwhileofficialspokesmanfor the Bosnian Serbs. in a relativelyshortpiece.k.the absence of political will. Omer) Zametica. most vitally. this is what it did.a. 1992. Ullman is not optimistic about the prospects for the peace agreed at Dayton and signed in Paris at the end of I995. among other things. there is no comprehension of the real points at which.Jovan. Consequently. even more so. To their great credit.THE YUGOSLAV WAR 459 of its tone. Unlike many similar condemnations. correct about the international failure. TheYugoslav Adelphi Corflict.6 An outstanding contribution to discussion of international involvement in the Yugoslavwar and. Nor.k.a. spell out what some of those requirements were at the onset of peace implementation needs which would be present for years to come. seeing that the needs of civilian implementation are so great that they are unlikely to be met. in their chapter After the End'. the priests of international diplomacy could be held responsible for their failure. Ullman for the Council on Foreign Relations in the US.London and New York. in essence.this is an excellent volume. in those parts of the book dealing with international efforts.

in accusing the EC of being 'inconsistent'(p. sovereign rights exercised through the federation reverted to the republics. especially (and understandably)from her time in Zagreb.). in the case of disputes over borders where the federation ceased to work. the principle of utiposseditisjuris applied the state keeps its territoryin the absence of political agreement to the contrary. this is a question Richard Sobel more or lessjust poses. in her view. but there are with the consequence that there is important elements omitted potential misinterpretation. in part. even though she makes reference to the memoirs of General Veljko Kadijevic in which that strategy is outlined (pp. I could not find a mention of the declaration of the Serbian Autonomous an essential part of the Serbian State Security Provinces in Bosnia Service and JNA strategy to control and dismember Bosnia and Hercegovina. This is based. Unfortunately. that. that. in the case of the federation's ceasing to function. applied to each of the six Yugoslav republics equally. at the end of his absorbing study of attitudes in Europe and the US during the war ('US and European Attitudes toward Intervention in the Former Yugoslavia:Mourir pourla Bosnie?'). in this context. its conference in The Hague. and EC recognition of the independence of the Yugoslav republics. chaired by Lord Carrington. The logic of the EC position was that. This is a particularlythorny and sensitive area. 454n. as it had been advised by the EC Conference Advisory Commission headed by the President of the French Constitutional Court. The international dimension of the war is also dealt with in Susan Woodward's mammoth BalkanTragedy.460 JAMES GOW US is vital for gauging how far commitment to peace implementation might extend. The book oozes detail. Similarly. and in part on her background as an academic researching political economy in connection with Yugoslavia. but. Robert Badinter. Some (for example. Crucial detail is missing again in her discussion of the EC. Woodward fails to realize that the essential point about the EC approach was precisely its consistency: that the constitutionally defined states founded on the sovereignty of the people were the federating elements. a book which cannot fail to In impress. then the principle of the right to independence. Lord Owen) have suggested that the EC was mistaken precisely because it was consistent and applied . Woodwardblends international elements with an understanding of economic and political dynamics which.Woodward seems to doubt that there was a strategy already in place in the summer of i 99I. on her time as head of the UN's crisis analysis unit in Zagreb. seem to have driven the dissolution of the Yugoslavfederation. or free association. rather than answers. 214). 258. if the Yugoslav federation was in a process of dissolution.

Not even here is there mention of the EuropeanCouncil meeting on 6 October I99 I at which it was decided. to Where Crnobrnjaand others perhaps disappoint. Crnobrnja's analysisoften reveals a and Yugoslav sensibility is readable.leavesit caughtuncertainly betweenthe two.not being mentioned.the importanceof 4 and 6 Octoberis missed. recognition: 320-23. to continuetheir workin the lightof the rightof the republics independence. is not what it might be. might to formerly Yugoslav have been expectedto presenta good analysistakinginto accountEC is decisions. While it is a mistaketo thinkthat the EC couldhave been otherthan consistentin applyingits policy.ostensibly linguist. the greatest satisfaction biggestsurprise and probablycomes from Vieet mort la de a rougoslavie PaulGarde. and . Gardehas managedto write what is surely one of the best books to appear on former Yugoslavia. beyond creatingconditionsfor other things to happen. It is a brave effort to combine socio-economic with an accountof international analysisof dissolution policy. ambassador the EC. following Milo'sevic's concedingthe principleon 4 October.the EC recognitionof Bosniais dated on 6 April. yet not complete. anothercommon mistake. I996. in the end.Overall. MihailoCrnobrnja. in and London and New York. where thereis evidenceof human agency throughorchestration planning. the same day as the US granted pp.In termsof content. 8 Woodward givesa muchbetteraccountof the same thesisin 'The WestandInternational Organisations' David A.of course. there are some errorsof detail.8 to It is nevertheless important an volumewhichdemands be read. None the less. but in fact was on 7 April.but it is appropriate where much good workis diminished somewhatby falseperception. wherethe authormighthave been expected to bring his insight and experienceto bear.for example.Inevitably.although as a studyof Yugoslavia its break-up hasprovedpopularenough and it to appear in a second edition. although the emphasis on socio-economic and internationaleconomic factorsstill fails to convince. Dyker and Ivan Vejvoda(eds). Moreover.Instead.this is a book strongon detail. to my mind. 4I9). rugoslavia After. these views do indicatethat Woodand ward's judgementis awryon independence recognition. seemsinvidious to raisepointsof thiskindwhena bookof this scopeis in question.7he Yugoslav Drama weakon theseissues.but fewerthan in many othercases (forexample.which.the handling of the EC and the EC Conference. there is no sense that it was Serbianagreementto the principleof independencewithin borders at The Hague on 4 October which to shapedthe EC decisionthereafter approachmattersin the light of to It the rightof the republics (eventual) independence.now Professor by Emeritus at the Universityof Provence.THE YUGOSLAV WAR 46I the same approachto Bosniaand Hercegovinaas it did to Slovenia.and.

it wouldhavebeen outdated.too. He rightly concludesthat the French 'statist'traditionwas a very important factorin shapingattitudesto the problemsof the Yugoslav federation.it is a pity that there is not a chance to cover the war in Bosniain the sameway thereis an afterword coveringMarch I992 to the end of December 1993.even then. These are pages which anyonewith an interestin the Yugoslavwar shouldkeepto handas a convenient reference reminder.or forcingthem to leave. a few close observers the outsideworld. in a section on the character of the war (pp. one of the book'sstrengths that it demonstrated is clearly how nearlyall the inhumanities which would become familiarto the worldduringthe warin Bosniawerealreadypresentduringthe warin into Croatia.9 also stressesthe degreeto which therewas confusion He generally about Yugoslaviaand what was happening. 325-30).Indeed.Croatia. in With modesty. This depictsthe role of the Yugoslav People'sArmyand paramilitary groups. Rather.in one of the most valuableand important partsof the book.462 JAMES GOW It revealsdeep and comprehensive understanding gainedoverforty years. by whichtime. especially regarding war in. such as EC monitors. This was compounded poor and ignorant by journalism Gardecitesthe case of TV news in October i99I announcingthat the Yugoslavdefence 9 I came to this conclusion myself before discoveringGarde'sbook. but also noted the crucialelement in the Frenchapproachwas the 'policy of difference': Gow. and Vieet mortde la Yougoslaviea blend of subject area and lands. Triumph see of the Lack Will(see note 6 above).nor a secondhand synthesis. reflecting author's the background. at best. looking.of events during the war in Croatia. obviouslywrittenonce the dilatorypublishershad finally begun to get things moving on the text and had decided it needed some updating. Garde also steps confidentlyinto the international scene. As it is.particularly.the patternof their attacksand their methods.Gardedoes not offerhis own eye-witness account. As well as a substantialand well-judgedaccount of the South Slavs and the Albanians.but hadyet to be synthesized a comprehensive interpretation by more than.had the essential virtueof the bookin the firstplacenot been as strong.The same would happen on a greater scaleandwiththe addedcomponent concentration of campsin Bosnia. includingmurderingnon-Serbs. is managingto keep controlof both withoutlosingits way. of . In additionto this 'feel' for what Yugoslavia was.chapter7. he madeby observer justifiably quotesat greatlengthfromreports teams. and completely razing Croat villages. at Mosttimehereis devotedto France. he has also producedone of the most thoroughand compellingaccountsof the the periodof break-up. it still took them until I996 to get the bookout. the positionof certainkey 'spectators'.

Despitedoubtson thisinterpretation. the But.asidefroman unnecessary (andincorrect. I62). Croatia was in limbo between declared independence and international official recognition). Yugoslavia.Althoughthereare other strongessaysin thisvolume . is Personal Accounts: Memoirs Records theYugoslav and of War If Garde'sinterpretation unusuallyreliable. thereis a supplement Paul Shoup('The BosnianCrisisin I992') in by Beyond edited by Sabrina Petra Ramet and Ljubisa S. it had been the Croatiandefenceminster.what bringsthis into is focusis the rangeof competing interpretations incomplete and pictures .Its weakness that. make this a valuable if introduction. to a close observerof policy. Adamovic. in in reality.LukaBebic (at that time. onlyto thosewho readFrench.It refersto the fact that he does not overlookwhat.this seemsa little hopeful. Forthe detailon Bosniawhichdoes not appearin Garde'saccount. 432).whereShoup'sworkis useful. by I996.THE YUGOSLAV WAR 463 ministerGeneralVeljkoKadijevichad resigned. cheapjibe that the Americans lands. Gardestatessomething that the separationof which is true.especially thoseby Rameton Slovenia and Macedonia it is Shoup'spiece which is of most interest. and this is said not only regarding Bosnia. althoughhe registers proclamation the Serbian is the of AutonomousRegions in one sentence and footnote. part of his originaltext. werenot engagedbecausetherewasno oil in theYugoslav that is Garde's perspective deep. terms of US policy and the existenceof oil). The discussionin the book of Germany and other in countriesis sound. he rightlyraisesthe possibility Montenegro's of independence well. in fact. arguingthat it would be better(andeasier)for it to happensoonerratherthanlater. as astutelydubbingit a restiveally (p.as is clearfromhis discussion to of the debatein the parliamenton Bosniansovereignty subsequent and Serbianactionswhichhe regardsas a reactionto that debate(p.but.wherethe warwas obviously underwaywhilehe still was writing. had become Serbia'sremainingrelationships with Kosovo As and Montenegro.it will not be easy and couldwell be bloody. and is. in alliance with strong detail and analysis.a diversecompendium variablequality.Whenever it comes. pieceis valuableforits detail. 409).Thismeansthathe understands the end of his book is not the end of the story. Gardeis convincedthatthe French positionwould and underhave been differentif there had been betterinformation standingaboutthe war. This type of understanding.Garde's essential.In his afterword. he does not attribute propersignificance them. obviously went throughproblems beforeits eventualpublication I995.In an edited volume which began life in I988.when. but not often acknowledged: Kosovo and Serbia is inevitable(p.the contribution of by Shoupon Bosniais notablefor its detail.

'0 thesewere bad increasingly timing. on the fringes of the NATO summit. it is a book infusedwith passion. The frustrations being officiallyengagedas part of the internaof in tionaldiplomatic involvement the formerYugoslavia evidentin are a numberof personalaccountsproduced.if hypothetical." Henri Wijnaendts was Dutch ambassador Paris. Triumph the of Lack Will.464 JAMES GOW One of the moststriking features the Yugoslav drawnelsewhere. See Gow. which emergesfrom a seriesof bookswrittenby those with hands-on in war. essential clearto all.the bookis a good sourceof detail. bad judgement. on 8 November 199I. 10 . beingitsspecialrepresentaof tive to Yugoslavia.such as HenriWijnaendts's L'Engrenage. (anaspiration giventhe numberof different issuesto be settled).but morethanthat. while The Netherlandshad the presidency theEuropean of Community.writtenby a diplomatwho poses serious. Those involvement the international handlingof the Yugoslav that there could not be greaterpolicy engagedwere often frustrated commitmenton the part of governmentswithin the international were The characteristics diplomatic of dereliction community. As I have arguedelsewhere. Wijnaendts practicallythe only authorto note is both the 4 Octobermeetingof the EC Conferenceand the 6 October meeting of the European Council.He also notes the EC meetingin Rome. of " The francophonestyle 'Henry Wynaendts'appearson the cover of the book. althoughthiswas to be accomplished a globalsettlement whichwas alwaysunlikely. a lack of politicalwill. but would reinstatethese for those republicswhich co-operatedwith the EC Conference which would continuein the light of theirrightto independence(althoughWijnaendts himselfdoes not give all of this detail). I use the originalDutch form here.as eventsin 1995 wereeventually prove. an absence of unity and. questionsconcerningwhat the international community mighthavedone(including possibility sendingtroops the of to Bosniabeforethe Serbiancampaign seriously was underway)better to managethe war. of war of was the contestbetweenvariousinterpretations events:to have the correct wouldbe to havedecisive interpretation impacton international that is the picture policy. underpinning with regardto the everything else.but to was also given the task in I99I.Certainly.Overall. at which the EuropeanCouncil announcedthat it would impose sanctionson theYugoslav federation withdrawing by preferential arrangements. but he omits to mention its significance:it was decided that the EC's work would henceforth proceed in the light of the right to independenceof those republics in seekingit. particularly use of force: force was necessaryif there were to be any chance of to success.manyperhaps(wrongly) thought.

This is testimony his to a offering fairandbalancedreadingof events. presence. though.basedon the author's positionas the last US ambassador to Belgrade as the capital of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.Based on notes.I have no doubt that if Milosevic's parentshad committedsuicidebeforehis birthratherthan after. and hurriedly collatedby his researchassistant recast. presumably. otherwise. he wrotein as his last messageto Washington ambassador: as 'Historians argue can about the role of the individualin history.Whatever the mistakesand guilt of others. but.is a there is a strong personal strong book.He was there throughoutthe period of dissolutionuntil shortlyinto the Bosnianphase of the war. WarrenZimmermann's book has a weak title. afterhe had left this position). but for the scholarthere is is considerableinterestin Owen's account. to His bookis a diaryrecord.in extracts edited. UnlikeDavid Owen's. international Yugoslav or affairs. and of Zimmermann's easily the better book. based on his time as EU Conference Former on specialenvoyand co-chairof the International Yugoslaviabetween 1993 and 1995 (althoughhe takes the account throughto the Dayton talksat the end of I995.the book is a synthetic of interpretation the break-up Yugoslavia. Zimmermann absolutelyno doubt has who bearsthe responsibility Yugoslavia's for destruction. is a of It book where momentsof honestyadd to the strengthof the volume. judgementwhichcan onlyhavebeen reinforced withtime. Jovic was a close associateof SlobodanMilosevicin the late I980s and early I99Os when he was Serbianrepresentative the Yugoslavfederalcollectivepresidency. Milosevic. As with Owen's Odyssey.morethan anyoneelse. i 86).THE YUGOSLAV WAR 465 memoirsof value are David (Lord)Owen's Two furtherdiplomatic BalkanOdyssey Warren Zimmermann'sOrigins a Catastrophe. This maywellbe one of thefactors which leadshim to saythathe had perhapsgiventheYugoslav People's Army 'thebenefitof the doubtfor too long' (p. documentsand cableswrittenat the time. I would not be writinga cable about the death of Yugoslavia.interweaving analysis his of Yugoslaveventswith materialon US policy. Fairness and balance shouldnot be takento meanmoralequivalence. NorbertBoth.the book lacks an overall coherence. This is a (p. it is alsofullof information.It is full of Owen himself andhisthoughts.but stillfullof enough and 15 . but detailandobservation made in particular which are a resourcefor the studentof situations.asidefromthe author's presence. Zimmermann seemsto havebeen attachedto the Yugoslav idea (ashis concluding commentsregarding practical the benefitsof restoring links in the futurewould suggest). Jovic.despite his seeing clearlymany of the fissures withinthefederation.with minor modification. is its gravedigger' 25I). the Perhaps mostsignificant entrantin the fieldof personalaccounts is Poslednji SFRJ by Borisav dani .

withoutdatingit. but a book on raspada.466 JAMES GOW detail to make it essentialto any studentof the Yugoslav federation's disintegration (and to necessitateits withdrawal from sale in Serbia soon afterpublication.Althoughthere is less detail than in theJovic book .There must. following In retirement.pointed to 12 was originally deputy commander of UNPROFOR in Croatia.arguing(undeniably) theJNA createdthe backbone the that of BosnianSerb military.Anotherexample. on 2 IOctober I 989. however. The two ministers then gave instructionsto the headsof theirsecurity to services identifythe sourcesof the to challenges constitutional order.not in Serbiaand Montenegro. But.'2in newspaperinterviews.be some suspicion that there was more to it than stated: doing what the counterintelligenceserviceshad been doing anyway could not be said to constitute muchof an 'actionplan'.while soldiersfrom Serbiaand Montenegro shouldbe transferred of Bosniaand Hercegovina.therewerea numberof othersenior top militarypersonnelwho wrote interestingbooks on their experience withthe UN forcein formerYugoslavia. minister interior (and a formerarmygeneral)and GeneralVeljkoKadijevic(thehead of the army)to discussan 'actionplan'to counterthosewho were 'destroying the constitutional order'(p.as to well as offering important detail which makes all the difference to understanding some parts of what happened. For example.JovicmetwithPetarGracanin.He describesa two-phasecampaignplan. 63). Materialof this kindis essential a clearinterpretation warandbreak-up.Whether 'actionplan'had other the featuresis not mentioned.and there is quite a lot of old-stylerhetoric this book is indispensable any attemptto understand war. to the As well as theJNA's general. Yugoslavia's and break-up theJNA'srole in it. before Morimlon becomingcommandingofficerin Bosniawhen it was decidedto extendthe force there. out All this was in anticipation being labelledan occupyingforcein Bosnia of once its independence internationally was recognized.was the decision discussedbyJovic and Milo'sevic and instructed Kadijevic 5 Decemberi 99 I to reorganize armyso to on the as to ensurethatpersonnel fromBosniaand Hercegovina wereserving there. . includessnippetswhich can be a good guide to research fillin gapswherejovic does not give a completepicture. I 995. Especially significant is the way Kadijevicexplainsthe decisionto try to createnew borders throughthe use of armedforce and some of the preparations that for campaign. the generalconfirms Jovic'sstatement troopexchanges on betweenJNAunitsin Bosniaand Serbia. General Philippe Morillon. the second of which nevermaterialized. to of A similarlysignificantcontributionis Kadijevic'sown version of events. a timewhenMilo'sevic at andJovicappeared to It have differences).withlessneed of explanation. Moje vidjenje This is not a diary.

including a small but salient moment which raises questions for scholars. The reader is almost referentially informed that. reflecting the split deployment of the battalion.another account of Britishtroops in Bosnia appearedvirtuallyas samizdat. But Bugojno was. the of war including outbreak the Croat-Muslim in springI993. of their tour in Bosnia. in some ways. was written by Colonel Bob Stewart (to whom Morillon pays tribute). WhereasStewart'sbook appearedcourtesyof a majorpublishing house. was. A complement to Morillon's book.Morillon's bookwasprobably firstplacein the which the presenceof US militarypersonnelin Bosniawas identified (pp. Althoughsome in Pariswere in that revelations a responsible disappointed therewere no titillating and soberbook. prior to the arrival of the Welsh troops. I68. One part concerns Bugojno. the other the Gorazde 'safe area'.territory. which still had relevance while they were there. 'OP3 [Observation Post 3] was maintained until I554 hrs when the BiH troops advanced to the position'.it wasof realvalueforthe studentof the warin Bosnia andremains Indeed. It is a book of two halves. The 'ball' was in Gorazde. HarperCollins.reflecting thedegreeto whichtheauthor unavoidably was affected emotionally by whathe witnessed. the former was the site of Muslim-Croat fighting in central Bosnia. however. 92). if captured. detailto be foundby informed readers for example.captures the excitement of a dangerous situation and of accomplishingwhat many thought was a mission impossible. againsta of background politicaluncertainty.an engrossing accountof how British troopscame to be deployedand the missionthey undertook. would . It is also. sayingthat he had personally discussed role Belgrade's and the presenceof its troopsin Bosniawith the Serbian Thiswasjustthekindof detailmanywerelooking president. I86). in the face of a Bosnian Serb assault on the enclave. a 'Cinderella' deployment (p. only hours before the onset of NATO air strikes. however. the account given is. written and published by the First Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers. of Broken is a sensitive Lives in accountof awfulsuffering Bosnia. Whereas the latter involved a mainly Muslim population under Bosnian Serb siege. Although the binding and paper quality is not impressive.THE YUGOSLAV WAR 467 for s Milo"sevicresponsibility the war. White is Dragon an account. Given that this was critical military high ground which. in the words of Major Roddy Porter. whereJonathon Riley's account of the battalion's extraction without loss from Gorazde through Bosnian Serb. commander the firstbattalionof Britishtroopsto be sentto Bosnia. for when his book Croire oser et appeared.a veritablemine of It useful informationabout life with the UN force in Bosnia and the situation in the country. This book offers seeds for interesting further research.therewasalways so.

Theirlow-key seemlikelyto allowit. In composing this book. basedon the author's as a warjournalist(he was due to fly fromSloveniawhenthe outbreak he It of war made this impossible). in iershaveproducedan excellentdocument.including insightsinto the Yugoslav in judgesthatthe southern he its strategy the war (although mistakenly tip of Croatiawas of 'negligibleimportance' it was vital to naval military). operating outside "official" governmental channels' whose work in Bosnia.mainly to basedon contributions in Croatia. coffeeis which is particularly energetic. had if whatmighthave transpired the Bosnianarmy'sarrival not been questionswhich will prompt so timelyis one of the many fascinating (which interestin the future. cannot avoid being passionateand advocatory.It is a personal account of becoming a war war and journalist of the issueswitnessing can raise.as well as textwhichis sometimes various newspapers. arrangements thanitspublication attention Anotheraspectof worthyworkin relativelyobscurepublicationis reflectedin two personalaccountsby Paul Harris. in the author's view.The bookcontains observations theway in whichthosewho have on sensibleand sensitive beenwitnesses theYugoslav to war. written virtually at ground level.468 JAMES GOW have allowedthe BosnianSerbsto overwhelmthe town of Gorazde.whichare morewidelyavailable. exceed those of their governments. deserves be like publications. This book is partlya tributeto 'the smallcharitiesand private individuals and organisations. was likely to affect governments.as wellas havingsharedexperience with victimsin war. Cgy table format and filled with photographsof scenes from former Yugoslavlands. which will be the starting points for . one of the manygroupswhichhave duringthe war and one sought to bring relief to formerYugoslavia Bosnia.The book itself. experience Else's is happenstance Somebody Wars. It is also a challenge to political leaders who were judged to have done 'their own electorate a profound and quite immoral disservice' (p. 13). It will be records such as Harris's and that of the Welch Fusiliers. nor text. containsphotographs took.The firstof these. worthwhile in themselves-but because the proceeds from the projectsin Bosniaas part of the purchasego towardsreconstruction aid workof Edinburgh DirectAid. Harris knew that neither pictures. Even if they cannot spell 'Srebrenica' FirstBattalion RoyalWelchFusilconsistently appearsas 'Srbrenica').both for thoseinterested and issuesregarding operations forthosewithan peace-support current more deserves for publication eye to questions thefuture. These range from burnt-outhouses and corpsesto life scenesof ordinary people tryingtheirbest to get on with ordinary in hard times. whichconveythe character and These are interesting readablereports fair People'sArmyand of the war. basesin Montenegro theYugoslav for to Dragon. White The secondof Harris's Thisis not so muchforits contents.

The book's significance to be the firstclearlywrittenfromthe perspective an is of historically accomplished to the state evenif the ramifications end of Yugoslavia'sdeath continue.Break-upwas a catalystto new researchand writing or to the opportunityto present materialwhich might havebeen overlooked. indeed. previously was alwaysa difficultcountry. is an impressive It workwhich.has providedthe in first historyof Yugoslavia from its beginningto its end.Jugoslav?ja. in spiteof all the bookslooking also at Yugoslavia's collapse.That was what made it Yugoslavia interesting many who studiedit. sparkedan explosion of publishingon aspects of Yugoslav history. it contains as perhapsthe mostcomprehensive bibliography anybookon Yugoslaof via (although even herethereare one or two important omissions.it becamerelevantto producebookson subjects which. mix experiment.in the country's of peoplesandlands. a Joze Pirjevec. The incidence of war and dissolution. to all intent and purpose.for an attemptto writea historywhichwould look at Yugoslavia an historical as phenomenonwith a beginningand an end.'the the in creation. Suddenly. it is an importantasset for the studentof Yugoslavia. suddenly In it becameclearthatthe focus on Yugoslavia's compositeand innovativeglobalcharacter had been at the expense of sufficientattentionto some of its component parts. Slovenebornand working Italy.were not otherwiseaddressed. such . Filling Gaps: the Has No Writing J4fhere One Written Before Boldly The events of the I99OS revealed major gaps in the literatureon Yugoslavia important was. therewas suddenlya need to fill the gaps. In the absence of any significantliterature(with a partial exception for Serbia and Croatia)on the peoples and states which formedYugoslavia. andmoredeliberately the initiatives Communist in of and organization leadership. Its reputation for was as a realm of bothby chance.developmentand dissolution Karadjordjevic's Tito's of and Yugoslavia'.THE YUGOSLAV WAR 469 future researchersat least as much as those of more senior and prominentfigures.Therewas suddenly a gap.oughtto appear in an English-language version.as what had been stateswithin Yugoslavia became statesin the international system.politicsand societywhichwere 'new'. I9I8-I992 is a valiant attempt to encapsulate historyof Yugoslavia.if possible. the wordsof its subtitle.issuesand storiesto be researched regardingthe Yugoslavwar.Both typesof book are usefuland what they reveal most of all is the numberof areas.Evenin its originalItalianor Slovene. itsbitterdisintegration. aspectsof whatYugoslavia No doubtthe absenceof much literature thesemissingissuescould also be taken on as contributing the initialfailuresto graspwhat was happeningas to the Yugoslav federation disintegrated.

was when the EuropeanCouncil announcedits decisionson the recognition independence-seeking of Yugoslav states).as is referenceto the post-independenceperiod in general . It will undoubtedly seem to some that thereis a Slovenebias to the content of the book. for example. Sloveniaprovedto be the lid on Pandora's Box.as well as benefitingfrom a fairlystable and prosperous economy. and it is strangenot to extendthe book. but not as principalactors Pirjevec(correctly.or Zagreb-Sarajevo-Belgrade axes versions whichmeanthatMacedonia Sloveniaareincluded and for form'ssake. some errors. but rarely (if ever) seen as central. Yetit was relatively unchartedterritoryin the literatureon Yugoslavia mentioned.two minor ones on the last page:the BadinterCommission deliveredits opinions to the EuropeanCouncil on i i January. Instead.Croats the and Slovenesin the event of a Serb-Sloveneconflict'(p. Slovenia was thz least of problematic the formerYugoslavstatesas it gainedindependence. in particular. 27 AprilI992.one of the first gaps that needed to be filled as the statesincubatedby Tito's Yugoslavfederal system began their independent lives. 380). Sharing cultural homogeneity and a common overall political orientation. . but with the of as declaration the FederalRepublicof Yugoslavia a newjoint state and on by Serbia Montenegro.the Sloveneswere able to step onto the international stage with some comfort. as in everybook.Unfortunately.on the and in developments movements the late i 980s whichled to Slovenia's independence.1993). This is precisely whathappened eightyyearslater. in fact. editedbyJill Benderlyand Evan Kraft. State. as the author suggests. is alsobecause by It his interpretation Yugoslavia somewhatat odds with historiesof of is Yugoslavia producedwhile it still existed and with politicalanalyses writtenin the processof its dissolution.even Independent Slovenia. therefore. its focus is more on the past and. important this aspectof Slovenia's developmentis missing from the literature. This is partly because the author is ethnically Sloveneandso biaswillbe presumed somereaders. Knowledge and of understanding Sloveniawas.470 JAMES GOW Partisan Politics the in Formation asJill Irvine'sTheCroat National Question: oftheYugoslav Socialist Boulder.fails in this respect(although there are chapterson Slovenia'seconomic and financialposition).in this case.CO and Oxford.of course.not I 5 Januaryas Pirjevec states (that.perhapsby only one sentence. Whereemphasis conventionis ally put on the Serbian-Croatian. He quotes a Britishdiplomatwho in a cable in I9I9 perceptively 'predicted collapseof the Kingdomof Serbs. to note that the definitive end of Yugoslaviacame not with the 15 January EC decisions. it seemsto me) sees the key relationship being that betweenSlovenia as and Serbia. Thereare.

The same was true for post-1945 Communist Yugoslavia until the end. The title of Poulton's book is important. as Tomaz Mastnak shows in another contribution to the volume ('From Social Movements to National Sovereignty'). This is supplemented by Poulton's own research on minorities in the contemporary period (The Balkans: Minorities States Conflict. as with Slovenia. edn. he points out. 'Even the most ardent Slovene autonomists supported federalism.THE YUGOSLAV WAR 47I It is curious how far this focus requires authors contributing to an edited volume to make reference to Yugoslavia as a whole and to its parts. Like Slovenia. London. A major part of the problem is that there are three . for an introductory book which would give readers some sense of where Macedonia came from and where it was going. Vodopivec argues that. With the dissolution of the Yugoslav federation. 'The Macedonians'. I984] and Richard Crampton's A ShortHistogyof ModernBulgaria [Cambridge. The volume itself largely draws together material which exists in other books on wider subjects (Ivo Banac's TheNationalQuestion Yugoslavia in [London and Ithaca. Whereas and in 2nd a straightforwardtitle. I993). 32). This is a useful introduction especially in the absence of anything similar. although Slovenia was always different and often had complaints about Yugoslavia. for example. NY. Hugh Poulton achieved this to a considerableextent in Who the Are Macedonians?. Along the way he makes the critical point that Slovenia's independence was 'not a cause of Yugoslav disintegration. which benefited from the single author's integrated approach. Poulton poses the key question from before the beginning: who are the Macedonians? This immediately tells the reader that there must obviously be some dispute. where an historical confluence of political and cultural trends in Slovenia came into conflict with counter trends in other parts of the Yugoslav federation around i987-88. in contrast with Independent Slovenia. questions about Macedonia and the Macedonians re-emerged. I987] feature strongly here). while addressing the I920S and I930S (p. Such reference is inevitable in a piece such as that by Peter Vodopivec ('Seven Decades of Unconfronted Incongruities: The Slovenes and Yugoslavia'). or uncertainty. they did not advocate withdrawal from Yugoslavia'. contemporary Macedonia was also uncharted territory. and in their criticisms of centralism and Serbian Yugoslavism. about what constitutes a 'Macedonian'. could have been used. 24). which presents an overview of Slovenia within Yugoslavia over the latter's seventy-year existence. traditionallythere was no movement for Slovene independence. There was a need. but rather a result of it' (p. although there was work on it both as a subject of Hellenic ancient history and as a bone of contention in the late nineteenth century and the first five decades of the twentieth century.

the Covering periodfromancienttimesto independence demonand strating of awareness the variouswaysin whichland and peopleshave been affectedin history. Bosniahad cometo be engulfed an appalling by war. was in the unresolved statusof territories with a mixedpopulation covetedby a set of bordering states (p. The Macedonian question. The evolutionof this identityinteractedwith politicalattitudesin neighbouring territories. This was writtenin a hurrywith an implicit politicalagenda:Serbianmilitaryaction in Bosnia.The core is of thatquestionis madeclearin thebookas the authoranalyses way the in which parts of what would become Serbia. Greece and Bulgaria established independencefrom the TurkishEmpireduringthe nineteenth century.continuedto make it of relevant. which impededits full entry onto the international stagebecauseofthe name'Macedonia'. Reference to the Macedonianstateis one use of the label 'Macedonian'.Poultonalsoexplainsthe growthof a national consciousness among the ethnic Macedonians. Finally. If the appearanceof Slovenia and Macedonia as independent internationalactors promptedthe appearanceof books on subjects hitherto untouched.partlycausedfromwithinandpartlyforcedon it fromoutside. Although international diplomaticeffortsmanagedto ease relationsbetween the two countries the courseof the I 99os. Poulton'sbook.knownas Macedonians. in itself.as Macedoniabecameindependent immediately into and ran politicalconflictwith Greece.had problems. leaving geographicMacedonia.supplemented by propagandathat it did not really exist and was a fabricationof Communist Yugoslavia whichcouldonlysurvive thatcontext.In thiscontext.the bookwhichhad the greatest impactis Noel Malcolm's A Bosnia: Short History.'Macedonian' refer to ethnicity to the can Slavmajority withinthe state. 47). thenBosnia's emergence the international on stage demandedwork that would explain the countryand its historyand how.providesfine guidancethroughthe complexities Maceof donian meaning.472 JAMES GOW possible answersto the question -which.added in . in independence. as an object of general desire.-The ghost of that question. This interaction a functionof 'theMacedonianQuestion'.as Poultonperfectly definesit. indicateswhy Macedonia has traditionally. it can also but referto a geographical partsof Greece. both broadly and narrowlydefined.transmuted throughthe warsand politicaldevelopments the twentiethcentury. the nameissuewasnot removedin and one of thelatestmanifestations a century-old of questioncontinued to reverberate.The newlyindependent statein the I 990S is onlyone part of this region.Bulgaria regionincorporating andAlbania. while it would have benefitedfrom a little more detail on structures and formalpolitics in contemporary Macedonia.

giventhat the collectivefederalpresidencyhad not agreed to take emergency measures. Malcolm keepshisfocustightlyon BosniaandHercegovina. the reader is told that 'the Bosnian Serbs had set up "Autonomous Regions" in May I99I' (p. the treating imperial andYugoslav embraceonlyas muchas he needsto.so as to dispelany idea thatBosniawas an historical fictionand that the war therewas a spontaneous eruptionwhich was ineluctablewhen the countrywas so patentlya fabrication.THE YUGOSLAV WAR 473 to the apparentapproachof the international communityto the war (an approachwhich the authorjustly criticizes.his focuson Bosniameansless attentionto detailon specific non-Bosnian features for example. balkedat the idea of actingin whathe saw as an unconstitutional way. has momentarylapses when it comes to detail. In his account of attemptsto get a state of emergency declared throughoutthe Yugoslavterritoriesin March I99I. we shouldrecallFranklin accountof the Communists' Lindsay's wartimeapproachinvolvingat least six months'preparation step-by-step and action.vis-a-vistheBosnianconstitution although the Muslimsrejectedthis (the 'Serbian'prefixto them was certainly The furtherstep of declaringthe autonomousregions questionable).legality 13 SeeJovic. wasunderthreat. May was only the beginningof the processby which suchregionswouldbe declared in Septemberand November. I I.Milo-sevic quickly for arranged the Serbianparliament rejectthejovic resignation to and 13 he wasreinstated.)It is important to see the progression fromMayto September becausewhathappened in the May agreements 'associations on municipalities' arguably was a legallypermissible step. It was a fall-back position.(Once more. In fact. Indeed. The book. .In fact.despite colludingin the plan. 224).In fact. Poslednji pp. Because the state of emergencywas not imposed. For example. Bosnia'shistoryis drawnin thoroughand convincingdetail. Drawingon an outstanding in varietyof materials a varietyof languages(and ably supported othersencouraging by his project). 286-3 dani. Of course. despitea generallyclear and convincinganalysisof the war in Bosnia. The purposeof Malcolm'sbook is to put Bosniaon the intellectual and academicmap. GeneralKadijevic.but is excessiveand meant that Bosnia'svery existence simplisticin his admonishment). (andlatera 'SerbianRepublic') were not legal acts.he doesjust that. 232). his resignation part of a plan workedout with the was Yugoslav armyin vWhich resignation his in wouldcreatethe conditions which the armycould takeover.he is grievously the markin off that had and suggesting BorisavJovic scruples wasopposedto Milosevic at any stage (p. he says thatJovic refusedto implement will Milosevic's on this matter.

It reliesmoreon Histogy providing an accessibleoverview of Bosnian history derived from experience. and de Overall.thattheyexercisewhat to seemsto me to be poorjudgementon the outbreak the war.So.It is disappointing. That international was recognition the pretextfor war may be the case (as.like everyoneelse (withthe possibleexceptionof Bora Jovic). in his acknowledgements.It is equallycuriousandunfair.are not beyondflawsin theirwork. community were the proximate cause of the war in Bosnia' (p. greatbenefithe derivedfromthe workof Fine. Both Malcolm'sand Donia and Fine'sversionsof Bosnianhistory introducediscussionof its peoples. it all added up to the same thing: the Serbian Security Service and JNA-abetted plan to dismember Bosnia and Hercegovina. at least. . although by no meansgenerally detrimental the book.however. for all that it repeatssome mistaken judgements heldin commonwisdom.it is conceivable that a similarpurposelies behind Bob Donia andJohn Fine'sBosnia and A Tradition Hercegovina: Thereis a sense.theseweresparks amidwellprepared tinder.however. The authors. country(bothhad published Noel Malcolmpays tributeto the Indeed. indeed. the book also stemsfrom the authors'long-termworkon the bookson aspectsof historyrelatedto it). 234). thensay they that. thereby and effectively servinga cultural politicalpurpose. bothcases. In manyways. Donia and Fine offera more immediately readableintroduction Bosnian to history. although. perhaps.that. this is a book which.as yet.provides excellentintroduction Bosnian an to history. accuracy. But to arguethatit was the causeis as mistaken claimingthatWorldWarI as was caused by the assassinationof ArchdukeFranz Ferdinandin In Sarajevo. This it does adeptly. was giventhat.in part Betrayed. Those peoples also represented areas of relative ignorance where books have begun to appear.when one of its realerrors to place its vain was hopeson negotiations compromisefaute mieux.The book does not depend on its immediateresearchand in A scholarship the way thatBosnia: Short does. Having of told theiraudienceaboutJNAand Serbianpreparations.notwithstanding 'theactionsof the international this.whateverthe manyfailings the EC and of its efforts. in the end. therehas been no real attention paid to the Croatsof 14 Noel Malcolm might suggestthis.theremighthave been a case for deferring recognitionat that stage in order better to preparefor Bosnia'sindependence).to charge that it did not understandthe importanceof in compromise Bosnia. 14 If Noel Malcolm'sbook was clearlywrittento fill a gap.474 JAMES GOW in the contextwas a mootpoint. I suspecthe would acceptthe academicimperativeof accuracy. althoughgiven his assiduousscholarliness elsewhere in the book.

she argues. BosnianMuslimidentitycannotfullybe understood with referenceto Islam only. 'German people'.either as practicalreligionor as culturalheritage. even 'Yugoslav people'). it could also be used to refer to a collective group .The first of these -what does the termnacija mean? is answered the Bringa in volume. she writes (p.THE YUGOSLAV WAR 475 Bosniaand Hercegovina. albeitthat the crucialpartsof the workappearto be derivedfromCorneliaSorabji'sI989 PhD thesis'Muslim Identityand IslamicFaithin Sarajevo' insufficiently attributed Bringa.As the by Bringabookputsit: Islam is the main distinguishing factor between the Muslimsand their Bosnian-Hercegovinian compatriots themainconstitutive and factor. (pp 230-31) This characterization begs three questions. The Bringa book also has something to add on the second question arising from the definition of the Bosnian Muslims . such. The termwas used in conjunction with and in contrast to the word narod.The greatestattentionhas been focusedon the Muslimsin the country. Nac#ja 'referredspecificallyto what I term ethnoreligious identity and community'. This means a focus on ethno-national identityanditsunderstanding shared thevarious was by Bosniancommunities. the term narod was to refer more generally to 'people' or to the people of a state ('French people'. Slovenes associated with one of the republics (as opposed to the ethno-national group wherever it was found).but how did the Muslimsfit in? And was 'muslim' religious a ratherthanan ethnicterm? The answerto this last questionis providedby Tone Bringain the conclusionto what strikes non-anthropologist an excellentpiece the as of anthropology. in the Yugoslav context. such as the census. for everyday purposes.one which connects with the first and its distinction between nacjaand narod. Serbsand Croatsin Bosniacouldbe identified with their kin in titular republics.however. but has to be consideredin terms of a specific Bosnian dimensionwhich for Bosnian Muslimshas implied sharing a and history a locality withBosnians othernon-Islamic of religious traditions. However. Croats.This is explicableboth in termsof their positionas victimsin the war of the I 990S and in termsof the way in whichSerbs.Islamis the keyto understanding Muslimidentity in Bosnia.in self-ascription collective of As nacija identities. its mixture of peoples was even less understood. what on a day-to-day basis would be dubbed the nac#a would be translated into the official narodcategory of Serb.Yet.Serbs. 22). How . Bosnia was not well known or understoodbefore the Serbianassaultput it firmly on the world map. In line with this. as the author points out.For official purposes.Croatsand othershave debatedtheiridentity(in an echo 'whoarethe Bosnian of HughPoulton's If question: Muslims?'). Croat or Muslim.

The bottom line is that there must be an open verdict no version of exactly who the BosnianMuslimswere before they were BosnianMuslims'has been able to advanceconclusivegeographicor claimson today'sBosnianMuslims the exclusionof all ethnographic to othercounterclaims' 2 I). (p. that the Muslimswere originallySerbianOrthodoxor Roman Catholic South Slavswho convertedto IslamunderTurkish occupation.with the formerrepresenting more 'Islamic'view and the latterholding out for a a traditionalapproach.divisions thiskindbeganto emerge. These are arguments which Malcolmand Donia and Fine also address.will the traditional Muslimidentitybe able to survive when its experiencesare not ones shared with Serbs and Croats? Will its Islamiccomponentbecomemore enhanced?Clearly.Indeed.What is the fate for the BosnianMuslimsin a countrywhere ethnic cleansinghas largelyresultedin ethnic separation? In this situation. Balkan p. if the element of 'sharedexperience'is removed fromMuslimidentityin Bosnia.it was not until the late I960s that Muslimswere formallytreatedas a narod thatis. there is a risk that. Owen. in the throughout warin Bosnia.476 JAMES GOW to did the Muslimscome to be there?There are two dimensions this: how the Muslimscame to be classedas a narod how they came to and be there at all.based on sharingand multicultural multiconfessional and bases. p. 7). The final question raised by the Bringa book's definitionof the BosnianMuslimsis the most difficult: emphasisis placed not only on Islamictradition a definingelement.This statusforthe Muslims recognizedfor the firsttime in the I 971 census. on the relationshipbetween PresidentAlija Izetbegovic and his then Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic. (p. in however. .with the labelnarod beginningto be usedofficially I 968.but alsoan 'impliedsharing' as of historyand locality.'5 of 15 See.respectively. Althoughthe issue of attributing the Muslimsthe to crucial legal and political status of narod was discussedintensively duringWorldWar II and at the time of the Communistfederation's in being formed.Formalrecognition of this status began to come earlier in the CommunistParty itself. extremist. a state-forming was people. for example.All come to broadlythe same conclusionas FrancineFriedmanin her excellentanalysis who the BosnianMuslimsare and how they came of to the 'sorrypass'of theirsituationin the I 990S (TheBosnian Muslims. Friedman's book also looks at the deeperpart of the question:how did the Muslimscome to be there in order to become a narod? The emergenceof the Slav Muslinm populationin Bosniais a contentious issuebetweenSerb and Croathistorians who argue. 334 (citingthe Sarajevodaily Oslobodjenje).as well as less prominently the yearsthat followed. ideological Islamic movement Bosnia.then the prospectmightbe for a more radicalized. Odyssey. as Francine Friedman Bosnian pointsout in 7The Muslims 159).

'its traditionalcharacteras a Yugoslaviain miniaturehas for disappeared good' (p.) to As far as the BosnianSerbsare concerned. Whateverthe precise outcome for Bosnia. I35). as it mightat least have attempted. maybe increased. He recognizes clauseherethatSerbsno longerconstitute single by the subordinate the largestgroupin Bosnia(theyhave not been for some decades). most numerous 'the of which. I32). dealingwith the issue of these declarations and the preparations for .by arguingabout a countrycomposedof threemain communities. to suggestthat these try were defensiveactions. It does for not even. Batakovic's position is not neutral. Nor can it be assumedthat the more extreme elementsin charge of political-military instrumentsin the country were truly representative all the people:therecouldbe an underlying of desirefor reconciliation restoredrelationsamongordinary and people. then the ideologicallyextremist in BosnianSerbswillfeel themselves vindicated havingtakenmeasures to 'protect'themselves. I 34).It is a bookwhich is deeplysympathetic the BosnianSerbposition.which to seeks.Yet he seeksto implythattheyremainthemainpopulation groupin Bosnia a suggestion which is intendedto reinforcethe sensethat they are the mostpowerful important the country's and of communities. Of course.THE YUGOSLAV WAR 477 Whether conditions be thereforpreservation resurrection the or will of thatkey elementin traditional BosnianMuslimidentitywill depend on the attitudes the Croatsand Serbsin Bosnia.If the BosnianMuslims fulfilling prophecies playan important generallybecome more ideologicallyIslamicizedbecause traditional links vital to their identity are cut.at leastuntilrecently. therewere alwaysareas But in Bosniawhereintercommunal broken relations were not completely to by the war in Sarajevo. (This.to take the past as present. someextent.Neitherthe Bosnian of Croatsnorthe BosnianSerbswouldseemdisposed sharedexistence. This proposition consistentwith thejudgeis in ment of Dusan Batakovic's Serbs Bosnia Hercegovina.with whatever consequences. then concernsabout the conservationof traditionalBosnian Muslim identity.and in centraland northern Bosnia.it seemslikelythat selfwill role. however.shouldnot be assumed be the case.which The and of he suggeststhat it was the Islamiccharacterof Izetbegovic's politics and other Muslim actions which 'reinforcedthe belief among the BosnianSerbsthattherewasindeedno guarantee theirsurvival of and prosperity'(p. to on most readings.it is not surprising to that the book omits any referenceto the declarations autonomous of regionsand the preparations war in I99I and early I992.constitutes Serbs'(p.of course. As an accountsympathetic the BosnianSerbs. If this is so.by implication.As in earliercases discussedabove. he argues.althoughhis small book is certainly writtenin a balancedand thoughtful manner.at least superficially.

writtenprimarilyto allow the generalto give his versionof the BosnianSerb militaryreversesin the summer and autumnof I995. is takenfurther. there is an attempt to portrayMladic as a humaneand caringwarrior. These portionsof the book offerusefulmaterialon the courseof the war. of Althoughthe generalmakesthe stockdismissal the Tribunalas an 'illegallyfounded[ . Janjictellsus. in itselfreflectsthe general's weakenedposition. Janjic quotesMladic'sself-assessment: 'I have alwaysdemonstrated humanitytowardsenemy soldiers. The futureof the BosnianMuslims mightbe definedby the futureof theirfate. thereis another truthwhich clearlycastsMladicin the role of war criminal. being mainlyon the Serbsand Bosniahistorically).as well as outstanding general.This is the mostimportant bookyet to appearon the Yugoslav war.the the generalwho did so muchto determine of commander the BosnianSerb army(andbeforethat extraordinary of the scourgeof Croatia.as commander the Knin Corpsthere).the most detailedand cautious accountof GeneralMladic's'humane'treatmentof his enemiesand his role in 'savingthousands'of civilians:it depicts accuratelyand . but with their leadersand their foreign patrons. withMladicexplaining he wasnot at warwiththe that Muslim and Croat peoples.whichis Bosnian Serbin orientation (andwhichonlydealswiththe I 990S briefly towards this the end.478 JAMES GOW armed action and takeoverwhich went with them is vital to any of understanding thewar. That truth is nowherebetter presentedthan in Srebrenica..Even to afterthe end of the war. the truthis that he 'savedthousands of Muslimand Croatcivilians' i i).RatkoMladic.I would even go so far as to say I prevented conflictspreading' i i). 235). however. but the authorand his subjectalso seem to have one eye on The Hague.Mladicwas notedfor declaiming againstthe Muslims.the prospects Bosniaandfor the BosnianMuslims mightnot be encouraging. This the (p. providing. However. Jan by WillemHonig and NorbertBoth (formerly researchassistant Lord to Owen)..Althoughthe general is accused of destroyingvillages and 'even of genocide'.especiallywith regardto the Yugoslav war.Janjic'sbook. (p.Evenin a booksuchas this. 9-I o).Over the years. In thiscontext.while attempting managehis imagein the with whicharethebasisforthelatter's interviews journalistJovanJanjic 'Islamwants Ratko he for Srpski general Mladic. where the InternationalCriminalTribunalfor the former Yugoslaviaissued indictmentsagainst the general for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Bosnia and Hercegovina.] quasi-political' courtwhose authorityhe does not recognize (p. is an absenceforwhichtherecan be no satisfactory explanation. stillhadwarnings Europe: to spreadinto Europeand the Westwill come to see how it growslike for mushrooms afterthe rain'(pp.among other things. In a worldof competingtruths.

he suggests. become in precedents another'.WhenMladic oversawthe decantingof the Muslimmen fromSrebrenica. who was also executive directorof the new Carnegie Endowment International on Commission the Balkans. a process to work For overall. of betweenfiveand eightthousand Muslimmen afterthe fall of Srebrenica. For Bosnia.thenMladic'sself-professed mustbe of an utterly humanity different order. of that everythingwould be 'done accordingto my orders'(p.ColonelTom Karremans. Washington. in his chapter 'Nouvelledonne dans les Balkans'. much of in dependedon implementation thepeace agreement struck Dayton andsignedin Paris. told the he commander the Dutch troopsthere. But even this runsagainstthe grainof his own earlier perceptivecomment that 'solutionsproposed in one case.RadovanKaradzic. devoted to assessingthe post-Dayton prospects peace and the impactof Daytonon the region. Regardingthe agreementon internaldivisionitself.offersonly a little hope.Rupnikquotes Haris Silajdzic who resigned as Prime Minister of Bosnia and HercegovinaafterDayton:if nothingis done to preservethe external bordersof Bosniaand to dissolvethe internalones.Les has Balkans: la Paysage apres bataille.THE YUGOSLAV WAR 479 vividlytheelimination. The successful prosecution warcrimessuspects of emergedas one of the crucial tasks for peace-implementation. but alsoin the widerworld. I2).DC. pointing out that the whole region should not 'be seen throughthe prism of Bosnia'(p.indeed for the formerYugoslavstatesas a whole. The implicationhere is that the effective internal partitionof Bosnia agreed at Dayton (and any furtherimplications either for integrationor disintegration) have an impact in other places -Kosovo and Macedoniaamong the formerYugoslav lands. Unfinished Report the Peace: of International Commissionthe on Balkans. 39). the peace created 16 CarnegieEndowment with a Forewordby Leo Tindemans.if the thoroughly researched HonigandBothversionof the truth is accepted. I996.'6 editeda volume. inJuly 1995. JacquesRupnik.Prime among these would be the apprehensionof Mladic and the Bosnian Serb political leaderduringthewar.declaredas a 'safearea'by the UnitedNations.The tone for of the book is generally gloomy.which.there would have to be milestonesof success. Withoutmovement on the apprehension the mostprominent criminals. Rupnik himself. chances of war the of the difficult peace processesbreaking down wouldgreatlyincrease. With survivors Mladicat each of the sitesto whichthe men were identifying taken. Muslimenclavein eastern a Bosnia. I78). . was but anotherof the vacantareasfor researchand writing. The peace that followedDayton and Pariswas precarious. a factoroverlooked was at Dayton (p.

like all similaragreements. the longevityof any givensolution and will depend on the sincerityand will of the signingparties(internaland to external) implement them. that it was all too easyto see whatmightbe wrong. Vejvodastrikes wisenote: a The ceasefireis precarious. to But cynicismleads up a blind alley. he we says.andthe possibility otherissuesmightemergeelsewhere. precarious process. With unresolvedissues involving Serbia. The construction of peace. There was no velvet divorce.worthquotingextensively. where he sees the Bosnianstate tendingto become more and more Islamic and that thereis nothingwhich givesgroundsto supposethat Dayton will 'allowthe emergenceof a stablepoliticalarrangement Bosnia' in (p.strewn withas manypitfalls the countryside withlandmines."7 dismaltheme takenup by Xavier Bourgarel a chapterdevotedto in Bosnia ('Bosnie-Hercogovinie: disparitionou recomposition'). It is. Throughoutthe Yugoslav war. ].Therewasnevera shortage critics from of one perspective another who couldidentifywhatwaswrongin a or situation. the unjust andunrealistic manyof the peopleaffected.' in Dyker and Vejvoda[eds]. rugoslavia andAfter). Few things. For to there would have to be belief that there would be peace and justice. I believe. as is Peace requiredtime and limitedexpectations. The Dayton agreementhas stopped the killing. a compromise which all partieshave adheredin an attemptto savewhat to theycan of whattheyhaveleft [. painstaking.The Daytonagreement whatexistsandthe is playersinvolvedhave to workwith it. well as the demands and weaknessesof the as agreement. This is its greatest achievement. outcomeof the talksreprehensible. is.criticallyimportantin the short term. one of the most difficultthingswas alwaysto see waysahead.480 JAMES GOW This is a might be only a pause before an even more bloody war. . shouldbe'.and 'perhaps. But. There can only be more or less bad solutions.There were few who ever saw that which was positiveand that which had potential. . it also required But momentumto be maintained. it and is no use expectinga good outcomeaftera violentseparation.among them the apprehension war criminalsand the even of harderquestionof returning refugees.had the symbolicresonanceto 17 See p. I 3. momentum be maintained.afteridentifying complexity the and contradictions. Montenegroand Kosovo..no peacefulpartingof the waysbetweenthe formerYugoslav republics. 59). is easy It 'It to be cynicaland pessimistic about the Dayton peace agreement'.. .This is a point takenup eloquentlyby Ivan Vejvodain an essaythat shouldbe readby all ('ByWayof Conclusion to Avoid the Extremesof Suffering. throughan infinityof smallstepsat the everydayas well as at the macropolitical level will be a long. This is a paraphrase the Frenchtranslation Silajdzic's of of wordswhich were originallydeliveredin Englishat HarvardUniversity.

war crimes. guarantee calmer. the in future of peace and justice in the region. Mistakes important and omissions commonin the literature and are both inevitableand understandable. the war came from within former a of Yugoslavia.it shouldbe possible By to see that the war was a clash of state projectsin a transitional situation. political responsibility.perspectives. around this core. character the war.it willbe takenas correct. NATO success. where a mistake is repeated from one author to another. One of the most important featuresaboutthe Yugoslav war and the life and death of Yugoslavia priorto the war was the contestit generatedbetween differentnarratives. political and criminalindividualresponsibility the context of the war. piecing togetherthe detailsof what actuallyhappened. historical watersin the future?' Narratives therugoslav Discourse. Thereis a dangerforthe non-expert reader (or even the expert reader who happens to have missed something)that. as well as the big issuesthateveryonewantsto dealwith -EC recognition. for the firsttime. the In long term.theYugoslav generated wealthof newliterature. as far as possible.So. . and. Yet. there remain a set of uncertainties and unreliablenarratives.Hope was necessary whatwouldcontinueto be a dismalsituation sometime to come. Perhaps pointof optimism for one was that the Yugoslavs had.however.there would be no alternative to in lengthypatience. on and into War: Research Writing the Twenty-first Centugy As we haveseen.and ethnicityand nationalism therewill be a practically infinitenumberof smaller scaletopicsto quarry. now.THE YUGO SLAV WAR 48 I assistthe peace process.debate and research infinitum.Otherwise. Therewillbe muchto discuss. approaches narratives meantthat it was necessaryto read and. check everything.UN failure. But few of these texts was close to being self-standing. This is as true of would-be objectiveexternalanalysesas it is of the accountsof those actively in committed politicaldiscourse. one of the importanttasksfor scholarswill be to separate differentaspectsof the narrativetide and to create an interpretation whichis completein all respects. of the role of international actorsindividually and collectively.in which strategicplanningand executionadded the term ethnic cleansingto the international lexicon. fought a war that was entirelytheirown affair. war a all of which had some merit and contributedto understanding the events. arms embargoesand sanctions. The and varietyof themes. most fundamentally. and for the first time. ad Salientissuesemergefromthisanalysis literature dissolved of on and war-torn These includethe strategic Yugoslavia. given the complexnatureof the and subject theperiodin question.as Vejvodanotesrhetorically: the fact that 'Is this time.

A. Harris.95. This Time We Knew: Western to in Responses Genocide Bosnia. I 995. $18. Price unknown. Tauris. Dyker. I64 pP. Edinburgh. CO and Oxford. Friedman. ?I3.Westview Press.50 (paperback).I. I 996. xv + 272 pp. 464 pp. XVi + 288 pp. Cohen. $50. CO and Oxford. XXii + 262 pp. Mihailo.00. I 44 pp. Mark. Fayard.95: $49. xi + 3I8 pp. Robert J.1995. Price unknown. Bringa. I996. ?9. Price unknown.thesebeganwith the samegeneralquestions. London and New York. Broken Bonds:TheDisintegration rugoslavia.95.. and Fine. there were so or many aspectsof the crisisthat a healthycrop of books and doctoral whenarchivesare openedin the 2020s.For aspirant judgedthan others. Crnobrnja. ?i6. I994. NJ.I992.50. BOOKS UNDER REVIEW Almond. B.99 (paperback).. ?IO. Paul. Paul. Thomas and Mestrovic. ?55. SpaBooks. London and New York.95 Garde. some better PhD thesesgalore.95. ?9. I996. Cushman.?9. Hurst and Co.50.?I5. Francine. XVi + 299 pp. TheBosnianMuslims: Denial of a Nation. as thesesshouldbe anticipated well as beforeand beyond. xiv + 304 pP. Europe's War: 7he War in the Balkans. 2nd edition: Boulder.Heinemann.95.Indeed. Longman. Westview Press. 1996. I995. I995. Batakovic. I994.50 (paperback). Donia. Ivan (eds). Dusan T. Somebody Else's War: FrontlineReports from the Balkan Wars. Tone.00. The Serbsof Bosnia and Hercegovina: Histo7yand Politics. Evan (eds). David A. $20. Stjepan. TheYugoslav Drama. there was little chance of avoiding the pattern of erroneous receivedunderstanding repeatedmistakes. xviii + 386 pp.95 (paperback). Harris. New York and London. Cy Bosnia. ?37. Yugoslavia After:A Studyin and Fragmentation. ?13. I48 pp. Vieet mortde la rougoslavie. Princeton. Christopher. Bennett. Paris. ?34.50.00. LenardJ. Hurst and Co. CO and Oxford. vii + 4I2 pp. Boulder. and Causes. rugoslavia's Bloody Collapse: Course Consequences.Stevenage. thereis alreadya to wealthof materialavailableand an imperative get what happened as rightas possible. Macmillan.Canongate. . Movements. London. Independent Slovenia: Origins. of Boulder. xi + 268 pp. I996. ?'4.It also engendered but the mostpart. London.95 (paperback). $I7. Benderly. Paul.New York University Press. Princeton University Press. destruction first. I991-I992. Prospects. Bosnia and Hercegovina: Tradition A Betrayed. DespairandRebirth. Backyard London. London. xxiii + 28I pp. 1993. I994 xv + 43I pp.Forthe end of the I99os. Dialogue. Paris.482 JAMES GOW The Yugoslavwar prompteda profusionof studies. John V. I 996. BeingMuslimtheBosnianWay:Identity Community a Central and in Bosnian Village. Jill and Kraft. it was history and painful the detail of particularaspects of Yugoslavia's Withoutthat detail which were and wouldbe important. and Vejvoda.

xiv + 340 PP. 1995. The World rugoslavia's and Wars. Edgar. Janjic. Price unknown. I995. XX+ 204 PP. Economics Culture a Shattered and in Community. 202 pp. Styrelsen for Psykologiskat Forsvar. Bromley. Laura and Little. Richard. Brussels. I993.Editions Complexe. Jacques.99 Malesic. xxxiii + 383 pp. ?20.95 (paperback). I64. Ii 6 pp. Macmillan.95. Civil Warin Yugoslavia. Westview Press. iv + 413 pp. DC. Council on Foreign Relations. . New York. Stanford. Price unknown. Harmondsworth.00. ?I 7. Ljubjlana. T7he Other Balkan Wars: I9I3 Carnegie A Endowment in Enquiry Retrospect. TheRoleofMassMediain theSerbian-Croatian Rapport Conflict. Malcolm. I 995. 1993. 1993. Boulder. Hugh. Noel.95.50 (paperback). x + 502 pp. Penguin and BBC Worldwide. Beyondrugoslavia: Politics. i996. London. Jan Willem and Both. Croire ose'r. ?I9.THE YUGO SLAV WAR 483 Honig. General Philippe. I996. rugoslavia. I996. I 995. Borisav. 230 pp.. A Ridley. Poslednji SFRJ:Izvodiiz dnevnika. Ljubisa S. ?9. (ed. 2I3 pp. Owen. Ramet. 46I pp. Colonel Bob. Grasset. Jovan. xii + 436 pp. Regimental HQ Wrexham. Price unknown. Mo Are the Macedonians? Hurst and Co. ?6. F. Rupnik.I9I8-I992: Nastanek. CO. xxii + 394 pp. Ullman.Jasper. Poulton. ter Karadjojevizceve razvoj razpad in Titovejugoslavie. 1994. Gallago. I994.00. 400 pP. 1993. CarnegieEndowment. xxvii + 400 pp. Tito: Biography. David. Stockholm. Pirjevec. I996. Marjan. Zalozba Lipa.00.99 (paperback). Jovic. Novi Sad. BalkanOdyssgy. raspada:Vojska drzave. Stewart. ?20. Allan. I36 pp. I96 pp.?7. San Francisco. Ist Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers. Richard H.). O'Ballance.Joze. Price unknown. Harmondsworth. Sabrina Petra and Adamovich. X + 226 pp. Jugoslav#ja. Kennan. Norbert. 243 pp. Price unknown. XVii + 2 I 8 pp ?I 2.London and New York. I995. Tito and the Rise and Fall of Yugoslavia. CA. $ I 6. London. Paris. WhiteDragon:7he Royal Welch Fusiliersin Bosnia. I994.99 (paperback).Politika. Lindsay. dani Politika. Price unknown. ?37. Kadijevic. Revised edition: I996.Washington. General Veljko. The Death of rugoslavia. London. ?17 50. 487 pp. Sinclair-Stevenson. I993 I66 pp. ?20. I 995. Bosnia: A Short Histo7y.00. CA and Oxford. et Morillon. I993. Witha New Introduction Reflections thePresent and on Introduction by George Conflict. Price unknown. London. 495 pp. Les Balkans:Paysageapresla bataille.Beacons the in Night:WiththeOSSandTito'sPartisans Wartime in Stanford University Press. London. SrpskigeneralRatkoMladic. Moje vidjenje bez Belgrade. HarperCollins. Victor Gollancz. Srebrenica: Recordof a War Crime. Penguin. BrokenLives:A PersonalView of the Bosnian Conflict. Price unknown. Silber. I995. 1994. Belgrade. Franklin. London. West. Matica Srpska. Constable. Price unknown. Price unknown.

juillet i99i-aOut I992. Paris. DC. Price unknown. L'Engrenage: Chroniques Yougoslaves. Woodward. . Wynaendts. Balkan Tragedy: Brookings Institution. De Noel. Zimmermann.75 (paperback). Warren. Origins a Catastrophe: of rugoslavia Its Destroyers and America's Ambassador Last Tells WhatHappened Why.484 JAMES GOW Chaosand DisillusionAfter the Cold War. xiii + 269 pp. Price unknown. Henry. 1I4. Susan. Washington.Times Books. I 993. New and York. I 95 pp. i996. I995 ix + 536 pp.

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