Doćiću ti, aman, preko zraaaakaaaa!!!
Hehe! That was a bit of a sing song!
Well today's the day - though I'm writing this in the early morning - when I'll be going to the homeland. Oh! I haven't been there last year, and I wish I was. I will get to see my grandmother. Like I said in my post from the 17th of this month, she's old and she wants to see us, me and my mum, her daughter. Hopefully, I will get access to a computer in my hometown and I will be able to relate you how it will have gone!
Politically speaking, Serbia's president Boris Tadić has apologised to Croatia for crimes committed against Croats by Serbs. He made this landmark apology on a TV interview on Croatian Radio-Television.
Reactions vary between both Serbs and Croats amongst themselves. Among Serbs, there are those who see it as an honorable gesture and are proud of him for doing so and others who condemn it, citing Serbian victimhood. While among Croats, there are those who welcome the apology and those who are cynical and rejective.
Me personally. Initially, I was not happy about the Serbian president apologising to Croatia, since I don't believe in the concept of collective guilt. I oppose it because it offends me and many others of various nationalities who oppose war crimes and the ideology and/or ideologies that make it possible for them to be committed. I read through very negative comments from some Croats* about it on forum.hr (in the cynical and rejective vein mentioned above). But having seen the numerous positive comments coming from Serbs themselves* on the B92 site, I am rather uplifted.
His goodwill gesture does show how much responsiblity he is willing to take on, given his position as head of state, and I do believe that he is genuine in what he says.
Here is what he said:
I extend my apologies to all the citizens of Croatia who suffered because of what the members of my nation have done, for which I take responsibility," Tadić said in an interview with the Croatian state television.
* Both links are in Serbo-Croatian.
Monday, 25 June 2007
Doćiću ti, aman, preko zraaaakaaaa!!!
Monday, 18 June 2007
Anarchists, why does my blog entry look like this on Anarchoblogs (see pic below, if you can)? IE, with no spaces between the paragraphs and all that html that doesn't work.
Help me out!
And why does the secondary link (where it says "A Future Trip and a Review of the Past" to the right of "Balkan Anarchist" at the top of this screenshot) as you can see have this weird ass link that leads you to a dead end (http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4839047975110064239&postID=8280532764457828922, though this link does work when you click on it on this page)?
Sunday, 17 June 2007
As you may know if you have read this post by me from the end of May, I'll be going to my country Croatia soon.
(If you don't where that is, look here)
I was last there two years ago with both my parents and I liked being there, a lot; I have good memories of being there. I spent my time there between the small towns of Gračac in Lika (pronounce: "Gra-Chats", and you'll need Unicode or some Central European encoding to properly view one of the letters) and Kistanje in North Dalmatia ("Kiss-Tan-Yeah", and yes, Dalmatia is where those Dalmatian dogs come from, except you won't really find them in the Dalmatian hinterland, which is where Kistanje is).
This year I'll be going to Gračac with my mother and we'll be spending time with my grandmother, her mother, in a nearby village. She's very old - she turned 87 recently this month! - and she wants to see us. Last year, 2006, I didn't go down there and I wish I did. We'll be checking out our house in the town and from what I have been told, we'll have to do some cleaning up in there, which'll probably be fun! We will also be visiting Kistanje where my aunt and uncle live, and I hope to meet more of their neighbours there.
Now let's talk business - I mean, Politics. Sorry…! :-D
For those of you who don't know or who may have heard, Croatia was once part of a country called Yugoslavia (learn here). The once well-respected federation that it was broke up and in a couple of its federal units lead to appalling warfare, costing many many lives and resulting in huge material destruction, particularly in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina (that's one country, though divided politically).
The war in my country was characterised by the fighting between the short-lived Republika Srpska Krajina supported by Belgrade militarily and politically, against the newly independent Croatia lead by Franjo Tuđman (I know I'm using Wikipedia a lot!). The nationalist leaders of the Croatian Serbs founded their para-state with its capital in Knin - which is, by the way, near Kistanje! The para-state mostly fell by August of 1995, when the Croatian Army retook the largest portion of the territory including the above-mentioned capital. This operation was called Operation 'Storm' or in Serbo-Croatian Operacija 'Oluja', which lead to a great humanitarian catastrophe in which the Serbian population there - including many of my own relatives - fled those areas across Bosnia to Serbia.
Many of my relatives have returned at least to visit. A few of my relatives have returned to live, and they include my maternal grandmother whom I mentioned above, and from my father's side my aunt and uncle in Kistanje. Many of my relatives from my father's side still live in Serbia today, while a few of them live in Montenegro. Some of them have recently visited Croatia, which I'm very happy about and makes me a bit emotional thinking about it! Unfortunately, some of them still haven't been there since 1995, and that's depressing. But perhaps they will some time in the future. :-)
As you can see Anarchists, the war in Croatia was based on rival Ethnic Nationalisms, and also on conflicting Statism, though Statism, as a concept, is not mentioned in discourse. Nationalism, being a dominant force now as it was then in my part of the world, unfortunately, is much more noticeable and noticed. The war in Bosnia was also based - at least with two sides of the three or four-sided conflicted - on Ethnic Nationalisms. Serbia as part of the smaller Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which it was part of with Montenegro - or rather the late president Slobodan Milošević in Belgrade was involved, as I have said above, in the wars in both Croatia (they call it the "Homeland War" there, or Domovinski Rat) and in Bosnia. This is one reason why the medias in both countries to this day claim they were fighting against "aggression". Mind you, Croatia itself was also involved in the war in Bosnia, but that's another story - well, all linked, of course.
The results of these two wars were: in Croatia, around 15,000, while in Bosnia, over a hundred thousand dead people (both civilian and armed); hundreds of thousands to over a million displaced people (Croatia and Bosnia, respectively); and in both countries, billions upon billions in money of material damage.
Many people were victims of numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity. The worst atrocity to have occurred was in Eastern Bosnia in and around a town called Srebrenica, in which around 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men were murdered in cold blood by forces under the command of Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladić (this crime has been recognised as a Genocide).
There is still to this day widespread devastation caused by the fighting throughout Bosnia in particular, but also in many areas of Croatia. For instance, Vukovar. The devastation of that city can still be seen today. My own hometown of Gračac, the last time I was there, only had a small number of destroyed houses, along with two devastated factories with shattered windows and what looked like a bombed out coach in front of one of them. Hopefully, I will make some pictures soon.
This was a brief history of the wars and description the current situation in Croatia and Bosnia. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will get back to you.
All the best! Sve najbolje!
Thursday, 14 June 2007
Yep, the Balkan Anarchist is one of many anarchists now! Make a visit to Anarchoblogs and you will see a link to this blog of mine on the alphabetical right hand side "Anarchist Blogers" list (only one "g"!).
With regards to who I am, my name's Alan. I come from the Balkans - hence, Balkan Anarchist. I hope to bring the Balkans and Anarchism together here in this blog, and you'll be able to read a bit more about me and about my views in this earlier post (it's a delightful read!).
I must give thanks to Evan, who notified me earlier on via email about the addition of my blog to the list. And finally, for all of you visitors to Anarchoblogs, just come along to my blog here and feel free to leave comments anywhere in this blog, ask questions, and impart your own unique views of the world through your anarchistic prisms or any other prism you choose to look through!
All the best to you, my fellow Anarchists!