Disintegration Yugoslavia Essay

In a climate of growing economic crisis it was a measure guaranteed to exacerbate ethnic tensions and give succor to centrifugal and separatist forces within SFRY.

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November 1991 is a month and year that will forever live in infamy when it comes to one of the most grievous crimes committed under the rubric of Western foreign policy, as it was on this month in this year that the break-up and destruction of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) was set in train.

The Arbitration Commission of the Peace Conference on Yugoslavia was a body set up in 1991 by the Council of Ministers of the European Economic Community (EEC) in response to the conflict that had broken out between separatists in Slovenia and Croatia and the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) earlier that year.

Fuelling the economic growth enjoyed by Yugoslavia during the ‘60s and ‘70s was its decision to borrow heavily from the West in order to invest in industry and the production of both export and consumer goods.

This rendered the Yugoslav economy vulnerable to the fluctuations of global capitalism.

The most devastating provision of the law stipulated that only the forces within Yugoslavia deemed democratic by Washington would now receive loans from the US.

Various right-wing factions in each of the six republics benefited directly from this provision and became the recipients of US largesse.From that moment on Yugoslavia’s fate was sealed, though it would take a protracted and bloody civil war before it was finally consigned to history, ending a multiethnic state founded on the principle of international brotherhood and solidarity that had emerged from the ashes of a central European continent devastated by the 1936-45 war against fascism.The Western depiction of the break-up of Yugoslavia would have us believe that it was down to the inherent barbarity and cruelty of the Serbs, the largest ethnic group in the former SFRY, in attempting to suppress the legitimate right of the other constituent Yugoslav peoples – Slovenes, Croats, Kosovan Albanians, etc. In this narrative the Serbs – a people who numbered among the most of any single ethnic group killed by the Nazis and their collaborators in the Second World War – were summarily and disgracefully demonized to an extent unparalleled in the postwar period.NATO’s relevancy and continued purpose was affirmed with its role in the break-up of Yugoslavia, the last socialist state and economy left in the heart of Europe, which for obvious reasons could not be allowed to survive.Its descent into the ugly swamp of ethnic conflict came as a result of economic crisis, creating a political crisis that was exploited by the West in the interests of securing new markets and sources of raw materials in service to western neoliberalism.During the trial of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic’s in The Hague evidence of genocide against his government was never produced.Yet the former Serb leader was only personally exonerated in March of this year in a five-volume ruling of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the prosecution of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić.Determined to break up the last socialist country in Europe, they threatened to institute an economic blockade unless the Yugoslav government agreed to hold separate elections in each of its six republics.The passing of the US Foreign Operations Appropriations law 101-513 in 1991 contained a section relating specifically to Yugoslavia, stipulating that all loans, aid and credits would be cut off within six months unless elections were held.It lasted for the next eight years until a three-month NATO air war unleashed against the Serbs, who had refused to acquiesce in the break-up of the federal republic, brought it to an end.As Tariq Ali observed at the time, “American strategists, desperate to retain NATO as their battering-ram in new Europe, maneuvered Europe into a war in order to prove that NATO had a permanent function, that it was the ultimate arbiter and could act alone, presenting the rest of the world with a fait accompli.” Atrocities were committed by all sides in the conflict, yet it was the Serbs who carried the can.

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