In the October 2018 issue of the journal Kairos , there appeared an article signed by Daniel Zink « Planned Balkanizations and Modest Means of Resisting Them, » looking back at the recent closure of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in late 2017. The verdicts of this court contained » very interesting data but lost in the thousands of pages and ignored by the mainstream media which, as the author pointed out, would have should finally lead to real debates on the subject, and on the very serious facts denounced by a handful of journalists and recognized researchers .
Several months later, a reader wrote to us: « II remember reading in one of your last issues an article praising Milošević. This should be quite an astonishing fact for a Journal that fights for the psychic and physical survival of the World. Milošević has always been a very big, petty bourgeois jerk, but above all one of the greatest serial killers of the last century. Chief responsible for the genocide in Bosnia. Chiefly responsible for urbicide in Bosnia, for the destruction of the Croatian city of Vukovar, for the bombing of Dubrovnik, etc., in short for countless deaths in the Balkans. Are we automatically on the right side because we are the enemy of the west? As were other great assholes and serial killers like Sadam Hussein or Assad. But you also once praised Putin, another big jerk. He will sign his name, adding « former reader « .
The editor replied at first: « II will forward your email to the author. We have never « praised » Milošević. On this subject, I invite you to read Opinion is something to be worked on(1), about the lies about the Balkan war. Regarding Assad, none of us said he was an angel, we only tried to restore the context that led to demonize him, while the real interests come out today and the necessary lies follow with it; ditto for Putin. Sad that points of disagreement lead to not reading all the other authors you might be interested in. No matter, we will continue to search, to doubt, to question, even if it means displeasing people. »
The author will provide him with a more consequent answer: « In spite of all its finesse, the category of « very big idiot » does not allow us to grasp human personalities in their complexity. This observation is particularly valid with regard to the former Serbian and Yugoslav leader S. Milošević. »
Certainly, it seems that Milošević was responsible or co-responsible for a series of unacceptable decisions, for example those that led to serious backward steps in the relative autonomy of the Serbian provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina, as well as to serious discrimination against Albanian-speaking Kosovars (among others, their exclusion from public education)(2).
The statements of Milošević quoted in the article concerned (and carefully hushed up by the Western mainstream media) should therefore of course not be taken at face value (even if they do tell us several important things), but they do draw attention to the enormous shortcomings of Western media coverage of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, shortcomings that the rest of the article referred to highlights.
Let us add here some essential data, which help to show that, whatever his shortcomings, the denominations and comparisons that Milošević was subjected to were totally exaggerated (« Hitler « , » Butcher of the Balkans « …) and that, while its faults were put in the foreground, those of the other parties involved were generally kept silent in the West.
DIALOGUE SABOTAGED BY WESTERN « MEDIATORS
Let’s go back to the Albanian-speaking Kosovars first. The latter, in the early 1990s, very understandably, self-organized, boycotted the official elections, and then elected their own president, Ibrahim Rugova. Recall that, at this point, they are still inhabitants of a Serbian province; however, these steps are tolerated by Milošević, then president of Serbia. This tolerance can certainly be explained in large part by Rugova’s strict pacifism(3). However, would a Hitler or any other leader of this type have let these steps of the Albanians pass? Of course not. This does not mean that Milošević would have been a great progressive, but that, at the very least, he was a politician capable of some degree of dialogue or at least negotiation; and in any case, it means that he was probably much more capable of this than the current that succeeded him after the « humanitarian » interventions of NATO, namely, the current of the Serbian church and V. Koštunica — let’s remember that this church, supporting Koštunica, had condemned Milošević for all his conciliatory gestures, during the wars concerned, and then applauded the arrival in power of the said Koštunica(4).
These facts make it possible to grasp the full weight of the responsibilities of the West: on the eve of the Kosovo conflict, we had, on the one hand, in Rugova, a president who never ceased to seek dialogue (and nicknamed the Gandhi of the Balkans(5)); and, on the other hand, in Milošević we had someone who, whatever his faults, did not embody Serbian ultranationalism, but was strongly criticized by its proponents. And what did the American « mediators » do? They dismissed Rugova from the negotiations, preferring him to the KLA, a mafia organization(6), while the so-called NATO media, especially in France, defamed the same Rugova(7), while comparing Milošević to Hitler and so on.
MASSACRES ARE NOT EQUAL?
One more fact about Bosnia this time. The reader’s letter mentions the Serbian massacres in Bosnia. Take the well-known case of Srebrenica in 1995. It is very interesting to read the research of Mira Beham(8), a political scientist recognized by important media (e.g., « the media »). The latter, in fact, revealed that in 1992, in the same locality, another massacre had been committed but, in this case, by Bosnian Muslim soldiers on Serbs. 1,200 to 1,500 Serb civilians were killed and 50 of their villages burned.(9) Of course, there is a great silence in the mainstream media on this subject. This does not exonerate the crimes of the Serbs, but it does provide essential additional information. And there are many examples of the same type(10).
Whether Milošević was an ambiguous politician oscillating between Serbian communitarianism and the ideal of a multicultural Yugoslavia, or whether he was a Machiavellian strategist more or less gifted at illusion, it is in any case unacceptable to place all the responsibility for the wars concerned on him and his community, especially when this is done while concealing the very heavy Western guilt. But this is what our elites and dominant media have done, as a whole.
- Serge Halimi, Dominique Vidal, Henri Maler, Mathias Reymond, L’opinion, ça se travaille… Les médias et les «guerres justes», Agone, 2000–2014.
- Dictionnaire historique et géopolitique du XXe siècle, sous la direction de S. Cordelier, La Découverte, 2007, p.414, article « Kosovo », par Michel Roux.
- https://www.cairn.info/revue-cites-2003–2‑page-91.htm#re8no8 – site associé à la BNF.
- « Kosovo, le Bénéfice du doute », 1, France Inter, 30/05/13.
- « Mémoire du mal, tentation du Bien… », France Culture, 11/07/17.
- Beham, M., Kriegstrommeln, DTV, 1996.
- Ganser, D., Illegale Kriege, Orell Füssli, 2016, p. 167 sq. (trad. française : Les Guerres gales de l’OTAN, Demi-lune).