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Germany recognised states (thinking esp. but not only Croatia) it had no business taking the lead in recognising, as it had no intention nor wherewithal to actually take responsibility for that action. (And no, social democratic idealists, it is not reasonable to say "ah the bad Serbs they are responsible for everything! If they hadn't attacked and yada yada yada," because you deal, in such matters, with the way things really are, and not as you think they ought to be.
Interestingly, Croatia is still full of "Hans Dietrich Genscher street".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 09:14:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is vastly overestimating the importance of recognition. At time germany pushed ahead and recognized croatia a few weeks earlier, there had been already month of civil war.

>(And no, social democratic idealists, it is not reasonable to say "ah the bad Serbs they are responsible for everything! If they hadn't attacked and yada yada yada,"<

That is the only reasonable way to see things. By the way where is your hero Milosevic now and how has Serbia pofited in he end of all his wars?

by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 05:36:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
where is your hero Milosevic now

Is that really necessary? Still Milosevic dying during his trial in a cell in de Haag should hardly be a point of pride for the interventionist side.

by generic on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 07:10:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, even if you want to give Kohl & Genscher a pass so that you can give Schröder & Scharping a pass (not to mention other Western powers or Russia), you have to at least recognise the proto-fascist streak on Franjo Tuđman's side and lay some blame there.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 02:52:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have a curious method for keeping out of debates

"you have to at least recognise the proto-fascist streak on Franjo Tuđman's side and lay some blame there."

Sure, but that is very much a cause of dissolution from inside Yugoslavia. I didn't say anything about the independence movement in  Slovenia and Croatia being a good thing. I just pointed out that is was very real thing, leading to civil war long before the recognition crisis.

"so that you can give Schröder & Scharping a pass (not to mention other Western powers or Russia)"

Is this a new theory that makes Germany the prime mover in the Kosovo war? Not the US?

by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 05:59:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, but that is very much a cause of dissolution from inside Yugoslavia. I didn't say anything about the independence movement in  Slovenia and Croatia being a good thing. I just pointed out that is was very real thing, leading to civil war long before the recognition crisis.

In other words, you can do nuance and do not really think that redstar's caricature of a supposedly SocDem view, that "the bad Serbs are responsible for everything", is "the only reasonable way to see things".  Shoot less from the hip, less confusion.

Germany the prime mover in the Kosovo war? Not the US?

Not shooting from the hip would also let you to notice nuance when reading what others wrote. That way, you could distinguish between my position and that of redstar.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 06:27:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I haven't seen much nuance from you on this topic so far. The dissolution of Yugoslavia started when Milosevic removed the autonomy of the autonomous province inside Serbia and so destroyed the balance of feral Yugoslavia.

As far as recognition was involved I looked up the timeline:

"Germany advocated quick recognition of Croatia, in order to stop ongoing violence in Serb-inhabited areas, with Helmut Kohl requesting recognition in the Bundestag on 4 September."

Recognition by the EU happened on January 15th and Germany jumped ahead and recognized on December 19th.

But at this time the croatian civil war was already under way a full half year.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_of_Croatia#General_recognition  

by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 06:45:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Again, you are debating redstar, not me. You don't need to see me invest energy into the 100th detailed debunking of this simplistic narrative to deduce a different view from my previous comments.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 07:02:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your interlocutor here claims that Milosevic started everything in 1989 when he revoked Kosovo's autonomous stature. 5I think he did the same in the Hungarian province too, but not with the same result although I think Monica Seles mentioned it as a reason to take US citizenship if memory serves).

And what was my point? That when two years later, Bonn recognises, before everyone else, Croatian and Slovenian independence, unilaterally, with no military contingency plan or negotiations with Belgrade, that this recognition very predictably would escalate into war.

And you don't need to be a Milosevic lover or a Germanophobe or whatever other insults to which some of you are on thread are prone, to recognise this.

This is what I meant by you deal with the world as it is, and not how the social democrat thinks it ought ot be. To which, again, one is either a Milosevic lover or a simplistic carcaturer of social democrats (leaving aside the fact that , predictably, your social democrat interlocutor on this subject immediately started blaming Milosevic for being...Milosevic, which in my world is called a tautology)

Seems to me that you can't call me an idiot because I point out it was naive to think Milosevic was not going to be Milosevic, and at the same time point fingers in the end at Milosevic because he was Milosevic. Because it is precisely that sort of idiocy I am criticising in the first place.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:43:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I note we have elided here to the intervention in Kosovo, seven years after what I was describing as a serious failure of EU and EU-member state foreign policy.

The Kosovo crisis is of course very much related, but I do hope you and your interlocutor here can see the nuance and the shift in focus which is undertaken, in both of your rhetoric, which is of course advantageous to the viewpoint you both seem to want to put forth (hard power bad, US hard power very bad).

Remember, my main practical point was simply that German foreign policy relating to the former Jugoslavia in 1991-1992 was irresponsible and played a significant contributing part in the escalation of the wars in Bosnia and Croatia, conflict in which US hard power, in support of diplomatic efforts culminating in Dayton peace accords which hold to this day, was eventually needed, given EU member state armed response was pathetically inadequate. I further avered that if the US has a hard time taking EU diplomacy in this part of the world (today Ukraine) the recent past, and decades of under-investment in security on the part of many EU nations (and especially Germany, which enjoys a security guarantee by the US) can help explain it.

I never of course said that I approved of Ms. Nuland's worldview or words or acts. Simply put them in context.

To this I am treated to...wait for it...accusations of US misbehaviour in the middle east, as if I think those imperial wars were justified. And why not talk about Kosovo, which happened 7 years later (and which I further mentioned, given the strengthening of Milosevic in the first Jugoslav wars in Croatia and Bosnia)? Why not keep misdirecting?

Again, I was commenting on unilateral recognition of an independent state in Europe with a very large Serbian minority, at a time when a nationalist was entrenching his power in Belgrade. It doesn't take a genius to suspect that, given what was known about Milosevic already, the man in Belgrade was not going to take such declarations lying down.

This is just how things were, and stating this does not make one a Milosevic lover, as your interlocutor has explicitly stated.

And my "caricature" of the social democratic response was simply, again, a statement about the inability to be realistic about such things, to recognise Croatia unilaterally without so much as pourparlers with Belgrade or military contigency plans in the event of the inevitable. But this somehow makes me a Germanophobe and "distraught at the state of the French left".

And the reason for this is that we are in the same place with Putin right now, and the EU have a similarly weak response. Again, I am not a Putin lover for saying this. There are times when a  military response is warranted, or at the very least a credible threat, else diplomatic pressure can be ignored, something Putin has shown time and again, and any Georgian can tell you about this.

If folks on this site are going to decry lack of nuance, I would suggest folks on this site try to employ it for themselves.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:27:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
redstar:
If folks on this site are going to decry lack of nuance, I would suggest folks on this site try to employ it for themselves.

If contributors are going to start whining about "this site", I would suggest they go try another one.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:33:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was not whining about this site. I was amused at the hypocritical whining (and casual insults) of two contributors of this site.

Nuance.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 06:09:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's an invitation to debate without the whining and the victimisation.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 06:44:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
which has been an invitation for so many previous contributors to leave.

I see.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 06:47:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No you don't.

In almost ten years, very few people have been banned or "invited to leave".

Keep up the pissy insinuations, you're going to be treated as a straightforward troll.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 07:49:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But certain "site cops" do have a way of intervening. It isn't what is said, it is the way it is said, and when the intervention is chosen.

Ad homs on being Milosevic lover? Germanophobe? Et c.? No intervention.

Call people on it? Afew to the rescue.

You may not have a practise of banning people but, let's just say, certain people do have a very strong habit of making others quite unwelcome.

It is a passive aggressive form of the same thing.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 08:57:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When you choose the sig line you have, you don't bitch about being called Germanophobic. You have chosen to make your Germanophobia patent.

Nobody called you a "Milosevic-lover", any more than anyone called you an idiot. You are just posing as a victim.

As for people who complain about how "this site" is run, I told you further up. Try another place to see if it fits your style better.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 09:30:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thumbs down for the escalation here.
by das monde on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 09:57:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]


The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 07:21:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
[ET Moderation Technology™]

As you have now decided to engage in a ratings battle, I'm warning you that any more of it will see your ratings wiped and your right to rate shut down.

 

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 09:34:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"we have elided here to the intervention in Kosovo,"

We have done nothing of that sort. Yozu wnated for whatever reason peddle pro Milosevic myth of the dissolution of Yugoslavia. One again: At the time Germany recognized Croatia (unilaterally, but only a few weeks prior to the rest of the EC) there was already a civil war in Croatia raging for half a year. A hard power devotee like you should recognize facts on the ground or not?

And you germanophobia is well known. That was perhaps one of its milder eruptions.

(hard power bad, US hard power very bad).

No. Rather: hard power has its limits. Take Bosnia:the US ended it, but how? By just freezing the frontlines - after Serbia captured the enclaves by the way. And now? Bosnia is de fato still in the same state of frozen frontlines. Is that really a success?

A common EU/USA failure of course - as so often.

And now in Ukraine, what exactly is american hard power doing?

by IM on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:40:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"pro-Milosevic" myths.

What is it with you and ad hominem?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:54:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Says the person, who thinks "huns" funny. And yes, you are peddling pro Milosevic myhts. I haven't forgotten the actual timeline. If you have, look it up again.
by IM on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:56:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At the time Germany recognized Croatia (unilaterally, but only a few weeks prior to the rest of the EC)

This is a self-serving qualifier, which might lead the careless reader to assume that the EC would have anyway recognized Croatia.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 04:19:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it would have. Recognition on january 15th was already decided.
by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 04:37:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope, Germany forced its partners' hand. From a contemporary source:

Slovenia and Croatia Get Bonn's Nod - NYTimes.com

At a fractious European Community meeting last week, Germany announced to its partners that it was planning to recognize Slovenia and Croatia, even if it had to do so alone. To preserve a semblance of unity, the 12 member countries approved a resolution authorizing recognition of new nations that meet certain conditions, including stable borders, respect for democracy, and protection of minority rights. Thousands Killed in Fighting

Several European leaders, as well as President Bush and Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar of the United Nations, had urged Germany not to proceed with plans to recognize the two republics immediately. They suggested instead that recognition be withheld until it could be granted as part of an overall peace settlement.

Both supporters and opponents of recognition say their position will help end the fighting, which has claimed thousands of lives since since Slovenia and Croatia declared independence this summer. Troops of the Serbian-dominated regular army and militias have taken over a third of Croatia's territory in their attempt to block Croatian secession.

I don't understand why you have to defend Kohl & Genscher here: they were clearly wrong in assuming that recognition will end the fighting.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 07:46:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"they were clearly wrong in assuming that recognition will end the fighting. "

Sute. But the claim here was that the recognition startedthe figfhting. Not quite the same.

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 07:50:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Munich newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, one of whose correspondents was killed this year while covering the Yugoslav conflict, today criticized the Government's action as "an empty gesture" that was "a foreign policy reaction to domestic political pressure."

Was hardly universally applauded in Geemany bachj then, too.

That said:

"Under the European Community resolution, today was the first day on which a member country could declare that Croatia or Slovenia had met the conditions for recognition. The community set Jan. 15 as the first day for formal recognition, and whether Germany has adhered to that deadline or acted too quickly was described in Bonn as a matter of interpretation. "

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 07:53:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I blame Mitterand much more than Kohl.

Germany was a foreign-policy midget, and should have been treated as such by its EU partners, who should have developed a coherent and morally defensible common position. Public pressure in Germany, based more on previous historical affinities (no, I'm not just talking about WWII) than current events, should not have been the determining factor in recognising the post-Yugoslav republics.

France, as the senior foreign-policy actor in the EU, had the largest responsibility in providing an adequate response. But here too, policy-makers  maintained their historic affinity with the Serbs, always their preferred hegemon in the Balkans (going back a long way). Mitterand apparently saw nothing wrong with the Serbs mutilating the Yugoslav federal system in order to seize power. He was such an arsehole in foreign policy.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 09:08:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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