The Balkans and Their Consequences-Strategic Culture

In the days, when the USA, illegally, against all rightness, did first harm, to Serbia, a people who risked their lives, smuggling downed US Army Air corps men out of the Germans way during WW 2.

At the time, I was a first class petty officer, US Navy Seabeas.

This Lt. came by the command.
Everyone had to assemble in a big venue, and listen to this Lt. tell all about the mean ole mass murdering Serbs, the pooooooorrrr set upon Muslims, all the mass graveyards of slaughtered muslim civilians, blaw-blaw-blaw.

After it was over, I walked up to the Lt., and said to him:
Now, you and I both know only about five hundred people got killed over there last year, about half were combatants one side or the other, and about half, were people who just have the bad luck of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

So whats up with your lecture?

He looked at me, shrugged his shoulders and said:
“It’s my job!”

John C Carleton
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The Balkans and Their Consequences

Where to start with today’s Balkans… Now, or almost three decades ago, when the victorious West decided, as its strategic and ideological foe disintegrated, that it could fearlessly flout the post-WW II international order standing on the key pillars of respect for the territorial integrity of states and non-interference in their internal affairs as laid out in the UN Charter and the Helsinki Accords, and went about the bloody business of breaking up Yugoslavia (with Germany taking the lead). So, yes, the seeds of today’s intractable instability were indeed sown at the start of the last decade of the 20th century. And, despite (or, actually, because of) the West’s 30-year “crisis management,” not only has “lasting peace” not taken hold in the region – but new troubles are on the horizon.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina (B-H), still a hopeless protectorate overseen by a High Commissioner almost 24 years after the peace agreement overseen by the then “indispensable nation” at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, cannot form a central government more than eight months after the general elections of October 7, 2018. The reason? The Serb-majority “entity”, Republika Srpska (B-H is composed of two highly autonomous “entities” – Republika Srpska and the mixed Muslim-Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina), refuses to submit to the Western-backed, Bosnian Muslim-led blackmail of accepting an “Annual National Program” that would set the country firmly on the path of NATO membership. Quite simply, the Serbs in B-H, having been the target of the first ever NATO combat intervention (1994 and 1995, on the side of the Bosnian Muslim government), not only do not like the alliance but also do not want to be militarily or otherwise separated from their countrymen in Serbia proper – who, having themselves been the targets of a full-fledged, illegal (without UN Security Council approval) NATO aggression in 1999, dislike the alliance at least as much and, additionally, refuse to participate in its Drang nach Osten push against Russia, which made even the father of “containment” uncomfortable. Meanwhile, there is a growing migrant crisis in the country, increasing Islamic radicalism, and charges of Western officials directly pressuring the judiciary to bring the “proper decisions,” among other things. And yet, as has been the case since the West chose their vassals at the start of the Yugoslav crisis, it is those Russia-loving Serbs that are bearing the brunt of Western criticism and condemnation. Plus ça change…

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The Balkans and Their Consequences