#415747

Anonymous

@Ljiljan – It's not fair to hold a whole nation guilty for atrocities commited by some sick individuals. However, I see nothing wrong with Nikolic apologizing even if I think it may not be genuine and more for political posturing. Somebody should speak on behalf of the Serbs even if a lot of Serbs may not agree with his actions. The number of 8,000 or 9,000 isn't substantiated either. It would be absurd to deny the murder of people but it would only be right to look at the evidence and make accusations for victims based on how many have been actually proven to be killed and not some 'estimate.' Estimates have a chronic history of being manipulated in order to emphasize guilt upon a particular nation or group often for political reasons and I think its an insult to any victim to politicize their tragedy. We Croats know too well how grossly inflated numbers of victims can be used as a political tool. We should leave these practices in the past especially since we can take a more forensic approach today. I don't believe Serbs are inherently bad people but most Serbs have a 'version' of history they adhere to and they don't look at things the same way we do. Most Serbs I've talked to believe that Srebrenica was an act of self-defense and that the only victims were armed soldiers who were already massacring Serbs in the countryside. Actually there is an element of truth to that as ABiH soldiers were operating against Serb civilians in the area ( I think there is enough evidence for that) but the people the Serb forces massacred were mostly unarmed civilians with maybe a handful of actual soldiers which is a detail they wish not to admit. The only way we can help the Serbs get over the Srebrenica complex is to NOT impart blame on their entire nation for the act of some bloodthirsty monsters who happen to wear the Serbian insignia. I can see why the Serbs would view Nikolic , the president of Serbia ( not RS) , apologizing as an insult because it implies that all Serbs are collectively guilty for Srebrenica and it will only make them dig deeper in their trenches and further away from common understanding of the truth. If any political leader should apologize it should be the Bosnian Serb leaders who had power within RS during the war.

@ Slavija & Shao  – The topic is Srebrenica. If you want to discuss the issue of 'Krajina' then that's a whole other subject that has other threads dedicated to it. Switching the focus to 'Krajina' and Jasenovac or whatever else to blame Croats (again) totally misses the point of the Srebrenica discussion. We had nothing to do with Srebrenica. The so-called 'genocide' of Krajina is highly debatable and certainly didn't start in 95. The genocide started in 91 when Serbian forces were already killing non Serbs ( mostly Croats) and expelling the rest from their so called Krajina and I think ethnic cleansing would be a more accurate word than genocide. I don't really see how Croats can be completely to blame for the evacuation of Krajina when it was Serbian orders that commanded the people of Krajina to leave and not a Croatian ultimatium. There's even printed evidence of the orders from Serb commanders all the way from Belgrade telling the Krajina Serbs to leave. Just because Croats weren't sad to see you leave doesn't mean that we made you leave. In fact , we offered Krajina Serbs a considerable amount of autonomy with the Z4 plans even after all the destruction that statelet caused our country. It was Serbian leaders from Belgrade that convinced the Krajina Serb leadership to refuse any peaceful coexistence within Croatia and the Krajina Serbs responded ( again) militarily instead of diplomaticaly.

There was a huge flaw in logic with the mentality of the Krajina Serbs. It must be stated that both Croats and Serbs were influenced by propaganda against one and other. A lot of Serbs still honestly thought the year was 1941 and not half a century past and they honestly believed they were dealing with NDH and not the Republic of Croatia,  they simply could not make a distinction because of both Croatian and Serbian propaganda. Serbs believed Croats had no interest in democracy and minority rights and Tudjman did not help the situation because he never earnestly appealed to the Serbs for understanding and treated them less important than they actually were. Serbs may be a minority in Croatia but they have a far greater impact than other minorities who only number a few thousand compared to several hundred thousand. It was illogical and shortsided of Tudjman to think he could merely treat the Serbs as any other minority and his ignoring of Serbs' constitute status within Croatia helped enchance already bad animosity. But the rest of it is on the Serb leaders of Croatia. They responded with force and not diplomacy which set the course to 1995. Another reason was more practical. A disproportionatly high amount of Serbs in Croatia had well paying government jobs in Yugoslavia ( SR Croatia). They had pensions , power , and influence and living standards for Serbs in Croatia surpassed conditions for Serbs in most other parts of Yugoslavia. They respesented 40% to 60% of SR Croatia politically ( It varied but was always very high proportion) when they only constituted 12% of the total population. They may have not had an autonomous state in Croatia like Albanians did in Serbia but they really didn't need one since they were so influential in communist Croatia.  Add to that the disporportionate officer corps being overwhelmingly Serb in the JNA and no wonder why so many Krajina Serbs I know today yearn for the days of Yugoslavia. They had relatively nice lives.  You can obviously see how a democratic Croatia would jeapordize all that.  But we are by no means innocent either. We retaliated mercilessly and let our own extremists dictate our policies only making the option of peace even more difficult to obtain. We were not a doormat like the Bosniaks which were largely defenseless and naively believed in the objectivity of the JNA. Though we also lacked weapons we prepared for conflict because we knew it was unavoidable. We began to smuggle in weapons ( even shared them with the Bosniaks when their own government couldn't defend them) and we fought back from the very beginning. I listened to some of Seselj's transcripts and even he didn't calculate this. Most of the Serb JNA leaders and their commanders in Belgrade thought Zagreb would be occupied by the Army in 2 weeks and rebellion squashed in both Slovenia and Croatia. They miscalculated and ignited a prolonged war. Anyway , I enjoy this topic not because of what happened but because I think mutual understanding helps reconstuct good relations :).