ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

A Pompous Ass.

with 16 comments

Coming back after a few days away is refreshing, if only to see how others view matters.

I particularly appreciated Owen’s comment in this thread, as it seems to sum things up nicely:

“Owen 24/01/2011 at 15:25

What a pompous ass David Gibbs comes across as.

I asked him three questions, not unreasonable questions, in order to try and determine the substance of his position in relation to Srebrenica.

But he doesn’t choose to clarify.

Nor does he choose to deal with the criticism of his observation that the origins of the genocidal massacre at Srebrenica lay in the raids conducted by the defenders of the besieged enclave and not in the Strategic Objectives of the Bosnian Serb Assembly.

A historian so picky and choosy that he reserves the favour of his disclosing his position to the followers of Louis Proyect is hardly demonstrating a determined commitment to the public justification of his opinions.

When it comes to defending his take on historical events in the public forum the tenured professor has a lesson or two to learn from Marko Hoare’s robust willingness to face the music.” [My emphasis.]

I should remind readers that Dr. Hoare has produced another wide ranging critique, First Check Their Sources 3: The myth that ‘Germany encouraged Croatia to secede from Yugoslavia’.

16 Responses

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  1. Does anyone agree with me that, given the different languages, religions etc, that Yugoslavia was never really viable as a democratic country and that some kind of break-up was inevitable?

    It seems to me to make perfect sense, for instance, that Slovenia is an independent nation.

    Rory Gallivan

    25/01/2011 at 13:29

  2. “Does anyone agree with me that, given the different languages, religions etc, that Yugoslavia was never really viable as a democratic country and that some kind of break-up was inevitable?

    It seems to me to make perfect sense, for instance, that Slovenia is an independent nation.”

    Perhaps, Croatia, Bosnia, Monenegro and Serbia maybe had a better chance of forming a lasting nation without Slovenia or FYROM. The 1918-41 Kingdom system of abolishing the nations and replacing them with regions that did not corispond to any ethnic or religious bountries may have worked if it had been alowed to. Switzerland, Germany and Italy or even the UK have worked as democracies after all, but then Czechoslovakia didn’t.

    Asteri

    25/01/2011 at 14:53

  3. ‘Abolishing the nations’ sounds like a rather extreme form of social engineering.

    Rory Gallivan

    25/01/2011 at 18:05

  4. well, the only nations that were abolished to form it were Montenegro and Serbia, prior to forming Yugoslavia the parts of the country that were part of Austria-Hungary formed a short lived nation. Slovenia had never existed befor 1918 and had no status in the Empire, Croatia and Bosnia hadn’t existed as independent nations for centuries.

    Asteri

    25/01/2011 at 19:56

  5. What you are suggesting seems to be a recipe for a centralised state similar to the one that existed in the inter-war period. I can’t imagine that it would function properly as a democratic country.

    Rory Gallivan

    25/01/2011 at 22:36

  6. The 1929-1941 regions or “Banovinas” were autonomous, and plenty of countries are centralised and democratic, not that i’m infavour of centralised government, people do argue that centalised states are more democratic but thats another issue.

    Asteri

    25/01/2011 at 23:41

  7. The ‘Banovinas’ had no real basis in history, quite similar to the ‘cantons’ in Bosnia’s Muslim-Croat Federation, in fact. Hence they were opposed by the Croats and Muslims and seen as an instrument of centralisation.

    I fail to such a system would help to make Yugoslavia minus Macedonia and Slovenia a happy democratic country.

    Of course many centralised states are democratic (Slovenia for example), but not any I can think of that contain three different ethnicities, all of whom vote along ethnic lines.

    Rory Gallivan

    26/01/2011 at 00:13

  8. Sorry, I meant to say, ‘I fail to see how such as system…’

    Rory Gallivan

    26/01/2011 at 00:39

  9. “The ‘Banovinas’ had no real basis in history, quite similar to the ‘cantons’ in Bosnia’s Muslim-Croat Federation, in fact. Hence they were opposed by the Croats and Muslims and seen as an instrument of centralisation.”

    The Muslims (at least the SDA voting ones) wanted centralisation in Bosnia which is exactly what led to the war in the first place, they have since demanded that Bosnian be re-centralised apolishing all the entities. As for the Croats, some starting to call for a separate Croat entity.

    “Of course many centralised states are democratic (Slovenia for example), but not any I can think of that contain three different ethnicities, all of whom vote along ethnic lines.”

    Belgium was kind of centralised untill the late 1980s, the UK the most centralised country in Europe untill 1999, though ethnic politics only gained popular support after the autonomy acts. Yugoslavia did not have any national political parties apart from the Communist Party, though Bosnia does have more multi ethnic parties than ethnic ones, only the SDPBH had much support.

    Asteri

    26/01/2011 at 00:52

  10. The point I am making is that I do not think that Yugoslavia was viable as a democratic country, with or without Macedonia and Slovenia, so it would have been absurd for the West to unbendingly support its continued existence. Taking this view does not necessarily lead to support for a centralised Bosnia.

    It seems to me that a centralised Belgium would not be very democratic, given the situation there today.

    As for Britain, (in the mainland, anyway) most people vote for parties that are not ethnically based, so centralisation is not the impediment to democracy that it would be in your Yugoslavia minus Slovenia and Macedonia.

    Rory Gallivan

    26/01/2011 at 01:34

  11. The Scottish, Welsh or even English nationalism seem to be on the rise, that’s a least a product of de-centralisation. I was not saying a Yugoslavia with out Slovenia or FYROM would of worked for sure, I’m just saying it may have, had things been different. As for democracy, well Tito did say it would lead to ethnic parties that would have destroyed the state. One image that always stuck in my mind was of a portrait of a splendid looking Tito and his wife being knocked off a wall by the force of a shell in Sarajevo and smashing on the floor, it was a tragic metaphor for the death of his nation.

    Asteri

    26/01/2011 at 02:05

  12. OK, given your flexibility, do you accept that it would have been absurd for countries such as Germany to unbendingly support the continued existence of Yugoslavia?

    Rory Gallivan

    26/01/2011 at 11:20

  13. […] A Pompous Ass. […]

  14. “OK, given your flexibility, do you accept that it would have been absurd for countries such as Germany to unbendingly support the continued existence of Yugoslavia?”

    In the begining Germany seemed only interested in supporting Slovenia and Croatia and wasn’t bothered by the other republics. The EEC set up a commission and announced there should be to recognision’s before the commission’s findings had been applied, Germany recognised anyway.

    Rather than just excepting that the game was up for Yugoslavia there should of been no recognisions or support for the break up until there was an agreement on boundaries even creating new borders, self determination, autonomy for minorities, military withdrawl and an overall agreement on the status of the new nations, this would have been the responsible thing to do as was done in Czechoslovakia, but it didn’t happen, the rest is history.

    Asteri

    26/01/2011 at 16:50

  15. You overlook the intransigence of ‘Serboslavia’

    iko

    27/01/2011 at 11:21

  16. ‘Serboslavia’ was nothing but a myth put about by Zagreb, the Yugoslav Federation was never dominated by Serbs.

    Asteri

    27/01/2011 at 14:08


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