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" if Germany's recognition of Croatia's and Slovenia1s unilateral declaration of independence should count as starting the war"

uttermost nonsense. remember the timeline.

The destruction of Yugoslavia was started by Milosevic in Kososvo in 1989.

by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 05:40:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could you leave me out of your debate with redstar?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 03:10:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
why?
by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 05:53:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because you look as if you can't recognise a counterfactual.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 06:17:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is abuse, not argument.
by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 06:32:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is abuse? In the comment I protested, you quoted the counterfactual part of my argument which paraphrased what redstar claimed, and commented it as if it were a factual claim of my own.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 06:34:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"As for who started or not, if Germany's recognition of Croatia's and Slovenia1s unilateral declaration of independence should count as starting the war,"

So it shouldn't?

And the dissolution wars of Yugoslavia did start in Yugoslavia by its inhabitants?

by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 06:52:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You've got it. Now, can we progress the second part of my argument towards redstar?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 07:04:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not the right person here. My impression of american hard power gaining positive results for american policy in the last, say forty years isn't that high. To much had "we had to destroy the city to save it" results. The one big success - dissolution of the eastern block - is very much the result of soft power.

This whole discussion - The EU this, the US that creates a false dichotomy anyway. Apart from Iraq most foreign policy is a common enterprise anyway.    

by IM on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 07:50:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US doesn't do foreign policy - the US does domestic policy in foreigns way.

The primary aim of US domestic policy is Wall St profit.

If that means starting a war of fifteen or subverting popular democracies around the world, that's considered business as normal.

This makes the US seem more like a military failure than it actually is. The US does not use military force to maintain its empire. It uses military force as an excuse for domestic military profit, and as a misdirection from less overt forms of political manipulation.

The primary difference between the US and the Soviet Union is that the US mastered two very important arts - overt international lifestyle propaganda, used to define imperial values as self-determining high-status markers, and covert indirect repression.

The USSR never understood the value of either. Putin doesn't seem to have learned that lesson. He's still doing the 'You know we have nukes and soliders, so you'd better take us seriously' thing in the Ukraine.

It may work there, for a while, but - unless those nukes are used - it may dent US hegemony, but it won't destroy it.

China is the only country which has more military leverage and longer experience of building empire through careful status management and media control. Post-communist China isn't there yet, but it has certainly has the potential to win a narrative war against the US.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 08:19:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess Putin is aware of the power of the Western propaganda, that being the reason he does not even try to compete there. He does not particularly resist the painted image of himself, and relies on "reality based" measures to hold onto what he can. And surely, Putin is opportunistic with the freedom from appearances.

The US-led indirect repression has increased risks with worse global economy and energy resource limits in sight (as Greece exemplifies). Russia and China might just reasonably expect to wait for the "reality" to hit harder.

by das monde on Sun Feb 15th, 2015 at 10:07:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eh. Do you remember RT exists? I'd rather say this is one of the cases where he doesn't particularly object to the picture painted.

Similar to ISIS in some  ways. They're propaganda strategy is to show everyone what badass motherfuckers they are and how the West is shitting its collective pants. The NATO strategy is to show what terrible murderers they are and building up hysteria to get more funding and make those surveillance, torture and bombed wedding scandals go away. Which is the same strategy minus the coarse language.

by generic on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 04:24:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't come across RT that often. Is it really addressed in any measure towards a dialogue recognizable to "convertible" Westerners?

All this ISIS, Putin, Hebdo, North Korea circus is to make otherwise smart people keep  wondering what is happening.

by das monde on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 04:38:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
das monde:
Is it really addressed in any measure towards a dialogue recognizable to "convertible" Westerners?

Yes, precisely. In English, German, and French.

Putin personally supervised a shake-up of Russian communications with the rest of the world. RIA Novosti in English (rather a good news agency) was merged with Voice of Russia to make the surprising Sputnik News. Russia Today in English was boosted with more means, now more languages.

das monde:

the power of the Western propaganda, that being the reason he does not even try to compete there.

He is most definitely trying to compete, and with some success.

das monde:

Putin is opportunistic with the freedom from appearances.

Really?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:17:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For the international stage, I expected some participation in the Western media, adressing damning implications, a more complete narrative. But apparently I am clueless about what appeals to fellow (?!) human brains, or how to do mass propaganda.
by das monde on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 06:08:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, one way to appeal to human brains is to plant stories which are picked up by other media and enthusiastic conspiracy theorists and thus get read by people critical of their governments but uncritical of their alternative news sources, to which you gave us an involuntary demonstration.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 07:47:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If that is so massively significant... The advantage for Russia is that it does not need much deliberte effort to appeal to quite a few kinds of analytical, unorthodox, certain justice or truth seeking brains - if only because the West is consistently leaving vast vacuum here and there. In that particular case of "involuntary demonstration", you don't need TASS or BBC to have a heretic question about the ATC records - still undisclosed (apart from a few bits) and not under discussion.
by das monde on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:52:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, yes, we know your conspiracy theories don't require evidence, or even plausible stories from creditable third parties.

Troll-rated for promulgation of MH 17 troof.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Feb 18th, 2015 at 12:59:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All I am telling for that tangent (brought up by DoDo) is that the offical troof theory does require that existing (and often decisive) evidence to be brought up to the public. That is an interesting fact... But let me just get away from this - troll rate what you want with your undisputable authority.
by das monde on Wed Feb 18th, 2015 at 02:26:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What I highlighted is your selective propaganda blindness, which is quite on-topic regarding your claim that Russia supposedly doesn't do effective propaganda. The subject of the linked example is immaterial, your treatment of information is. Someone who can't be bothered to distinguish who in a story is a "single anonymous source", "Interfax", and "BBC", and can't distinguish between a fact-checked article and live-blogging, shouldn't kid himself about having an analytical mind. The right word is "paranoid".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Feb 18th, 2015 at 01:10:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So you are telling, the Kremlin issued that isolated "propaganda" bit of TASS info, and then never tried anything better? That absent propaganda from Russia is what I am talking about in this thread.

Leonard Cohen sings:
   There is a crack in everything
   That's how the light gets in.

I had some education in crack sensing in the last Soviet years. That TASS/BBC blip -- a deviation from the eventual presented makeup - is what I recognize as a crack. That's all.

by das monde on Thu Feb 19th, 2015 at 03:09:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My impression of american hard power gaining positive results for american policy in the last, say forty years isn't that high.

Then we are actually in agreement!

This sub-thread was started by redstar with the premise that a successful foreign policy needs military power, claiming the Kohl government's independence recognitions as evidence. Be it due to passion for controversy or a bout of Germanophobia to externalise his justified despair over the state of the French Left, he couldn't refrain from stating it with a distracting hyperbole that spun the narrative of pro-Serbia apologists even further (Kohl and Genscher's move quite arguably only aggravated the conflict, but that's a far cry from starting it). However, the greater problem of his argument was that recent examples of imperial foreign policy backed with military power weren't exactly successful. Redstar tried to explain this away by denying US agency in the conflict in Kosovo, although the support for the KLA was a quite significant move (aggravating the situation much more than the independence recognitions): it not only led to the escalation of rebel and Serb police/military violence before and especially during NATO's bombing campaign, but virtually ensured that independent Kosovo become the mafia state it is now. (And yes, the Kosovo conflict didn't begin with the US support for the KLA, either.)

Apart from Iraq most foreign policy is a common enterprise anyway.

But with increasing disagreements and running-apart strategies, see Ukraine again.

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

by DoDo on Sun Feb 15th, 2015 at 07:03:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...recent examples of imperial foreign policy backed with military power weren't exactly successful...
...the support for the KLA... virtually ensured that independent Kosovo become the mafia state...

On the other hand, one can argue that Kosovo as a mafia state is a foreign policy success for the USA.

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

by DoDo on Sun Feb 15th, 2015 at 07:16:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
O come on. Russia has a South Ossetia too. That is only fair!
by IM on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:28:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IM:
To much had "we had to destroy the city to save it" results. The one big success - dissolution of the eastern block - is very much the result of soft power.

Couldn't agree more. This is why I think it was folly to push Ukraine to the brink. The only way to imagine that February 2014 would stand was if Russia respected the distinction between soft and hard power. Russia may be trying, even with some success, to do soft power, but it never bought the 'military power is obsolete' or that it is 'uncivilized', etc.

The only sensible approach was to have left Yanukovich in power and not to have gotten involved in November '13. But that would imply that foreign policy is based on national interests. Here I agree with TBG. I think it is, but only in the sense that national interests, so far as they extend to the nation and people as a whole, have been hijacked and conflated with the interests of the elite wealth extraction crowd to whom the importance of maintaining their control over the domestic population far exceeds any other concern. This is true about the USA, Great Britain, Germany and France if in differing degrees.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 12:18:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This concern with appearances has led easily to a 'politics begins at the border' approach to foreign policy issues, where they become important mostly for the way they can be used to manipulate the population. In the USA this  goes back to the 'who lost China' nonsense which was instrumental in JFK's initial steps in Vietnam and, especially, in LBJ's escalation. I hated it then and hate it now.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 12:25:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because the history books generally would say two years later, 1991, declaration of independence of Slovenia and Croatia.

Saying 1989 is a political statement, one I may or may not agree with, relating to actions Milosevic took relative to an internal Serbian matter on the statute of Kosovo. A political statement, not a statement of fact. Otherwise, why stop at 1989? We can go to 1981...that wasn't even Milosevic...or again, why stop there, we can go back to the famous 11th century or whatever that Serbian nationalists are always on about.

Again, you present a political statement as a fact.

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

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 04:49:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No political in history books or, heaven beware, us nationalism either?

"The history books" - charming.

The destruction of the self-government of Kossovo was a fact and I watched it back then in real time. It was a internal yugoslavian matter, destroying the balance of Yugoslavia.

by IM on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 05:07:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean the same balance that produced even more severe repression in Kosovo in the early 1980's when Milosevic was still in law school or whatever?

Tito died in 1980. What followed was predictable, and predicted. Except maybe to those perpetually and irresponsibly naive, which is my cheif criticism here.

Of course, this makes me a Milosevic lover. In the same way, I suppose, that AJP Taylor is called a Hitler lover by some equally naive people.

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

by r------ on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 06:40:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you both miss the 80ies destruction of the Yugoslav economy with IMF and "reforms" and all. Though that was the US, so I am not at all sure were this fits into your discussion.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Feb 16th, 2015 at 02:56:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tito died in 1980. What followed was predictable, and predicted.

But in  this case the famous "recognition§ had no influence on events anyway.

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:05:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Redstar is not wrong in pointing out that in suppressing Kosovo, you could go back at least to the bloody repression of the 1981 protests in Kosovo: the elimination of intra-Serbian autonomy doesn't suffice as the start of war or even the start of dissolution. (The Gazimestan speech, on the other hand, came close to a declaration of war, or at least a declaration of intransigent fightr for self-interest against the other Yugoslav republics.) You should have noted instead that, even if 1991 be the starting date, the Ten-Day War was months before Germany's recognition.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 07:54:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That speech and the suppression of the independent administration started the dissolution and the civil wars. That was obvious even back then.

"You should have noted instead that, even if 1991 be the starting date, the Ten-Day War was months before Germany's recognition."

Why? I didn't caim teh war started with recognition. The facts are obvious after all.

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 07:58:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That speech and the suppression of the independent administration started the dissolution and the civil wars.

That's a way too cavalier summary of the events between March 1989 and June 1991. To make that claim, there would have to been near-continuous civil war during that period, but even the (not yet fighting) paramilitaries appeared in late 1990 only and hostilities started in March 1991.

Why?

Because it would have been a valid argument against redstar's position, obviously. 1989 as the starting date of the civil war is most definitely not standard history,  but you don't need that to disprove redstar.

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

by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:17:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"1989 as the starting date of the civil war is most definitely not standard history,"

Oh come on. That is as close to standard history as it is going to get.

What is your interpretation? That the dissolution of Yugoslaiva started in Slovenia and serb politics had nothing to do with it?

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:21:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actualaly it was feared in Slovenia that an "anti-bureaucratic revolution, that is Milosevic takeover could happen there too.
by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:25:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As in here:

proto civil war in december 19889

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rally_of_Truth

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:27:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope, standard history says 1991:

Yugoslav Wars - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Yugoslav Wars were ethnic conflicts fought from 1991 to 2001 on the territory of former Yugoslavia.

Every civil war obviously has non-immediate causes and background, and how far back in time you follow those depends on the historian. I note that by referencing the "anti-bureaucratic revolution" in another comment, you already followed it back to 1986.

If you are curious about my personal interpretation of the events, I think even with the bad preconditions – the loss of Tito as a symbolic connecting figure (a Croat fighting WWII with mostly Serb supporters), existing nationalist movements reaching into the top ranks, and a federal make-up giving structure to rather than mitigating conflict –, for the total escalation, the specific ambitions and style of power of the leaders was crucial. Above all Milo's tendency to attempt to grab more power with an ever firmer grip but losing even more of it slipping through his fingers: a more intelligent supreme leader wannabe would have realised that it's not good to have everyone against him at the same time. But several others bear responsibility for not attempting to wait longer and play for Milo's eventual overthrow and further the escalation one way or another, above all Tuđman, with his de-Serbification campaign and his little deal with Milo regarding Bosnia (March 1991!). Among foreign meddlers, in addition to the IMF, the USA, Germany and Russia, I could mention Hungary's first democratically elected government which secretly sent a large cache of arms to Tuđman's government in late 1990.

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

by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 09:23:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there a HD Genscher Strasse in your neighbourhood too?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:34:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"This was followed by the mass replacement of opposing communist leaders in the provinces, called the "anti-bureaucratic revolution". Many Albanians were killed in March 1989 when demonstrations against the new constitution were violently suppressed by Serbian security forces. By June 1989, the atmosphere in Kosovo was calm but tense"

Thta was the timeline. Babbling about early 1980s, there after all no civil war was staretd, is irrelevant in that context.

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:01:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The situation in June 1989 was exactly like after the bloody clampdown in 1981: repression successful. The civil war started well after, for which you needed the conflict with the other republics. It doesn't help your position to dismiss arguments as "babbling".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:06:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No it wasn't. the other republics couldn't accept the take over of the votes of the provinces by Serbia, leading to dissolution. I see no hidden german hand here, do you?

And yes, deflecting form the situation in 1989/1990/1991 by talking about the eraly eighties isn't much of an argument

A situation starting to develop in mid 1989 was not caused by something happening in december 1991.

by IM on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:10:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The 1981 events were triggered by Kosovan demands for statehood, something hardly irrelevant to the subsequent elimination of autonomy. For Milo's power grab within Yugosavia, the takeover of his supporters in the republic of Montenegro is just as relevant than the two autonomy regions (the first of which fell in 1988 already in the Yogurt Revolution). I don't understand what you mean by the other republics "not accepting" the takeovers: they took active part in the Presidency until March 1991 at least.

I still don't get why you're so hung up on March 1989 when June 1991 already destroys redstar's argument.

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

by DoDo on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 08:35:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...in the EU - you need to go back to pre - unification Germany EU logic.

Once you go there you understand.

Timing is everything.

I suppose, in a more perfect world, Gysi is chancellor and Redstar not only isn't Germanophobe, but is busy learning German and sick of the ball - less french among whom he has lived for years.

But hey, you go to war with the Germany you have,  not the one you wished you have.

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

by r------ on Tue Feb 17th, 2015 at 09:00:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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