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Old 02-22-2008, 02:33 PM
 
Location: South Bay Native
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lionking View Post
ok do I have this right?Croatia,Bosnia and Serbia ARE 3 DIFFERENT TERRITORIES that use to be Yugoslavia.

Bosnia is mainly Muslim.
Serbia is Christian
Croatia is Christian

The Bosnians fought the Serbs right?Who was the Croats siding with in the war in the 90's?Or was it 3 sides fighting each other?

And then 2 Christian Serbs and Croats still hate each other over WW2 anyway?


Yugoslavia was a country manufactured at the turn of the last century. It was a bad idea to begin with.

Serbians are typically Orthodox Christian, Croats are typically Catholic.

Pretty much all of former Yugoslavia "fought the Serbs" because the Serbs were the oppressors under Yugoslavia/Tito's rule and beyond. The resentment between Serbs and Croats goes back farther than WW2.

In the 90s, the fighting was for independence from Yugoslavia - Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians wanted to end their relationship/servitude with Serb-controlled Yugo. (Montenegro was like a Mini-Me of Serbia, if that makes sense to you).

All parties involved in this have horror stories about mistreatment, murder, etc. My own family was forced to flee their homes and many were killed, tortured, and suffered unimaginable fates. I was actually living there when all of this started, and my family owns vacation property in the village where the first Serb-led ethnic cleansing began. It is horrific what they did to those young men - Croats, Hungarians, etc. So much hatred must be harbored by a people who can commit such horrible things on people they were living next door to peacefully up until the day they received their war cry from their leaders.
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Turn right at the stop sign
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While much of the hatred between all of these groups is centuries old, a good deal of it can be traced to what took place during World War II.

When a combined force of German, Italian, Hungarian, and Bulgarian troops invaded and conquered Yugoslavia in 1941, the country was immediately parceled out amongst all of the players. The Germans created the "Independant State of Croatia" a fascist puppet regime ruled by an already existing fascist organization known as the "Ustachi". The Germans also occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina, parts of Serbia and Slovenia.

The Ustachi were more then happy to assist the Germans with rounding up Jews and Gypsies. And while they were at it, they settled long standing scores against the Serbs that they felt had dominated and oppressed Croatians. Concentration camps were set up and operated by the Croatians, most notably Jasenovac, where an estimated 200,000 Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, and other anti-fascists were killed.

The Bosnians, also no friends of the Serbs, were recruited by the Germans and Croatians to fight against the mainly Serbian anti-fascist, communist partisans led by Joseph Tito. The "Hanjar" or "Handschar" Division of the Waffen SS was created and it's ranks were filled with Bosnian Muslims. They fought against the partisans, committed atrocities against Serb civilians within Croatia, helped round up Jews, and also took on security and police duties in Hungary. An estimated 20,000 Bosnian Muslims served in the SS during the war.

When the war ended and Tito took power, he basically broke the country back down into six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Slovenia with the autonomous provinces of Kosova and Vojvodina. All would take their orders from the federal capital in Belgrade. During his rule the long standing hatreds and independent, nationalist urges of all the groups was held in check. After his death in 1980, the country held together but with the collapse of communism throughout Eastern Europe in 1989-1990, the stage was set for it to all come apart.

Serbia, under the leadership of Slobadan Milosevic sought to regain much of the power and dominance they once held. Other republics, such as Croatia and Slovenia, wished to remain autonomous from any type of Serb control. The situation deteriorated further as the various republics declared their independence. Eventually, civil war broke out as the various players attempted to hold onto or gain territory they felt was rightfully theirs. After NATO intervention, the Dayton Agreement, and finally the collapse of the Milosevic government, most of the republics successfully completed their moves to independence in 2003.

And now here we are again, talking about the Balkans, in this case Kosovo. Should be very entertaining to see how this all plays out.
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Whiteville Tennessee
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I believe trouble in the Balkans, an asassination of prince Ferdinand and his wife, sparked WW1. i dont think Russia is in a position right now to start WW111 to help Serbia retain Kosovo.
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Old 02-23-2008, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Upstate NY
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The asassination was just the spark that exploded into WWI. Never underestimate your enemy and don't be naive enough to think the Russians are militarily weak or our friends ... they aren't, friend. Lou
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:22 PM
 
1,763 posts, read 5,573,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loujr View Post
Never underestimate your enemy and don't be naive enough to think the Russians are militarily weak or our friends ... they aren't, friend. Lou
Good point Lou - While we focus on the "Arab" threat, Russia is quietly rebuilding their strength with lots of oil money and Putin "know-how."

I doubt they'll be able to reverse Kosovo's independence, they sure could make trouble in the years ahead.
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:32 AM
 
Location: Turn right at the stop sign
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Prior to the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914, the Austro-Hungarian empire had been struggling to both consolidate it's control over the Balkans and also stamp out the nationalist movements within other regions of it's empire.

Since the assassination was carried out by a member of the Black Hand, a Serbian nationalist group, the Austro-Hungarian government saw this as a good opportunity to bring Serbia under the heel of the empire. Implying that the Serbian government was directly involved in the assassination, they sent an ultimatum to Serbia, the demands of which would have effectively ended Serbia's independence. The presumption was that Serbia would reject the ultimatum and free the Austro-Hungarians to launch a limited war against Serbia, and take it over.

Serbia itself had long standing ties with Russia, a sort of common bond due to their shared Slavic heritage. The belief was that while they had ties, including a protection treaty, Russia would not go to war over Serbia. Still, Austria-Hungary turned to it's ally, Germany, to make sure that if Russia did declare war against Austria-Hungary, Germany would come to their aid. Germany both agreed and encouraged Austria-Hungary to take military action against Serbia.

Of course, Serbia did not give in to Austria-Hungary's demands, so Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Russia, still stinging from their defeat in the war with the Japan in 1905, saw war with Austria-Hungary as a good thing. It was believed that not only would Russia's lost prestige be restored and it's role as a world power returned, but that the ever brewing revolution could be postponed or even forgotten amid the nationalist fervor that always accompanies a war. So, by the terms of it's treaty with Serbia, Russia began to mobilize it's armies to go to war against the Austro-Hungarian empire, though Russia did not issue a war declaration at that point.

Germany viewed Russia's actions as a declaration of war against their ally, Austria-Hungary, so they declared war against Russia. France, allied to Russia through a treaty, was forced to go to war against Germany and Austria-Hungary. Germany in turn invaded France, using neutral Belgium as a shortcut. Great Britain, loosely allied to France, actually entered the war under the terms of a military assistance treaty they had signed with Belgium some 75 years earlier. And that is how a world war was born.

Now, 94 years later, one of the last remnants of the so-called "Balkan Tinderbox" is back in the news. Serbia views Kosovo as part of it's territory, even though it's population is 92% ethnic Albanian. Russia is again acting out it's role of Serbian protector. Perhaps they see this event as a chance to reverse their long decline as a world power, much as the Tsar's government did in 1914.

In any event, I doubt that the result will be a global war over Kosovo's independance. I just find it amazing though that an area of the world which seemed so insignificant both then and now, has the ability to generate problems that have potential, far reaching consequences internationally.
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Old 02-24-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyT View Post
I just find it amazing though that an area of the world which seemed so insignificant both then and now, has the ability to generate problems that have potential, far reaching consequences internationally.
Interesting point Tony. [Israel/Palestine may also fall into that category...]

Last edited by Merlander; 02-24-2008 at 05:20 PM..
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
295 posts, read 781,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Im not a stupid person,but it really is confusing to me.With Kosovo gaining independance I was trying to understand just who and what everbody is?

What is Kosovo?
What is Croatia?
What is Serbia?
Who are the KLA?
Who are the Serbs?
Who are the Bosnians?

Who is fighting who and what religion are each of them?

Yugoslavia use to be a combined country right?

Seriously,it's confusing to me.

What does Albania have to do with it?
I grew up in Yugoslavia, still living here, and I believe am familiar with most of its issues (sometimes am quite subjective though). Post-Yugoslav crisis is so complicated that I really think only we locals can understand it completely.
As already said, the Balkans is among the most complicated regions in the world due to its really complex mixture of different ethnicities and religions.

What is Kosovo?
A new state and the key US ally in the region. Historically Kosovo is very important to Serbs (their oldest churches are there), but today Albanians comprise 90% of its population.
Kosovo is populated with non-Slavic Albanians, predominantly Muslims. They speak Albanian language, a very specific one, and totally different from surrounding languages. Very pro-USA nation.

What is Croatia?
Croatia is populated with Croats, Slavic people who are all devoted Catholics, we have strong historical ties with Austria and Central European Habsburg empire. Croatia is very pro-German. We hated Yugoslavia, and Croats played a major role in dismantling it.

What is Serbia?
Serbia is the land of Serbs, Slavic people who are devoted Eastern Orthodox Christians (just like Russians, for example). Serbia is very pro-Russian (currently this country is very anti-Western, but that is the consequence of the current Kosovo situation). They loved Yugoslavia cause they dominated it.

Who are the KLA?
Kosovo (Albanians) Liberation Army. They fought Serb army as rebels in the last decade; today most of its members are part of regular Kosovo military forces (that are practically controlled by US Army).

Who are the Serbs?
A Slavic nation living in Serbia and in some surrounding countries. Historically Serbs formed their religion/identity in Kosovo (that’s why losing it so painful for them).

Who are the Bosnians?
Gee, where to start. Bosnians are people living in Bosnia. Bosnians should NOT be confused with BosniaKs.
Bosnia Herzegovina (that’s its full name) is populated with 3 ethnicities:

BosniaK: Slavic nation, but Muslim by religion. Up until 10 years ago they called themselves simply Muslims, but then they started to use this name Bosniak. They make 40-45% of population of the country. During the war they fought borth, Serbs and Croats (though conflicts with Serbs were fiercer).
Serbs: Slavic nation, Eastern Orthodox by religion, they make 40-45% of population of the country. During the war they fought both, Bosniaks and Croats (though conflicts with Bosniaks were fiercer).
Croats: Slavic nation, Catholics by religion, they make 10-15% of population of the country. During the war they fought both, Bosniaks and Serbs.

Yes, during the war in Bosnia Herzegovina, all 3 nations fought each other. The situation in Bosnia Herzegovina is not resolved yet. Serbs openly want to secede and join Serbia, Croats secretly want to secede and join Croatia, BosniaK (Muslims) want to keep it and dominate it.

What does Albania have to do with it?
Albania is a country very close to Kosovo cause both are populated with ethnic Albanians. Unlike all above nations, Albania was NOT a part of Yugoslavia; they were a separate communist country.



Bonus: a few things from previous posters I think are not correct.

“Croatians speak Serbo-Croatian”
No, we speak Croatian, almost the same as Serbian but still a separate language.


“Orthodox Church is a Catholic church”
No, in fact they are very different, among other things Catholics have the Pope in Vatican as the prior, Orthodox don’t.

“Concentration camps were set up and operated by the Croatians, most notably Jasenovac, where an estimated 200,000 Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, and other anti-fascists were killed”
This number is highly exaggerated, the official numbers of victims is 72.193 (59.376 Jasenovac camp, 12.790 Stara Gradiska camp): 40 251 Serbs, 14 750 Roma, 11 723 Jews, 3583 Croats, 1063 Bosnians Muslims, 233 Slovenes, 99 Slovaks, 99 Czechs, 55 Ukraineans, 26 Montenegrin, 20 Hungarians, 13 Italians, 6 Russians, 6 Germans, 4 Poles and 262 unknown.
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
17,700 posts, read 36,845,925 times
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I am constantly astounded as to how Tito kept the lid on that place for as long as he did ... well, I know HOW he did it. But it's still amazing.

If anyone is watching Michael Palin's New Europe series on Travel channel, it's fascinating. He's going through the Balkans and giving bits and pieces of the history that goes along with it. Good stuff.
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:45 PM
 
37 posts, read 160,299 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrapin2212 View Post
So the Bosnian Muslims are also a Slavic ethnicity and not an Islamic one? I usually associate Islamic ethnicities as Arabics, Persians, Turks, Pakistnais, etc.
Slavic = a certain ethnicity
Islamic = a religion

Is that that hard to understand and keep apart? How about people from Malaysia or Indonesia. They are Asian and muslim.
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