Saturday, December 02, 2006

Discussion on 'Race, Culture, Religion and Behaviour' and 'Present day Serbia'

This is an extension of the debates Ive been having with bganon in some of the comments sections. His statements are in red. Its fast becoming an epic discussion, and is already by far the longest blog entry, not that this is necessarily a good thing. Its so long I doubt many would read it. In any case we're up to the fourth installment.

FIRST REPLY
Nikola perhaps you could answer a question for me. A black, (or green with blue spots) person moves into a given area with his wife. Their children look the same as they do and have lived in the 'foreign' culture all their lives.The children behave as their surrounding dictate - integrated with the local culture. My question is are they less welcome or should they have less rights than somebody who came from the other side of that same country?

Firstly, you say that the children behave as their surroundings dictate, and make the presumption that they integrate with the local culture. The reality is that people can be brought up in the same geographical area, it does not necessarily mean that they will all end up the same. Look at the Pakistani ghettoes in Yorkshire and the Midlands. There are no-go areas for whites, and no go areas for Pakistanis. Do you think that the hordes of Albanians that entered Kosovo in the last century have integrated successfully? Secondly why the need to find out, are our societies not diverse or interesting enough that we need to ship foreigners in? Even if we are successful, what was the point, the diversity they brought will melt into the local culture if you are right. Unfortunately all the evidence points the opposite- they don’t integrate successfully. Mass immigration and multi-culturalism are two intertwined ideologies which offer very little or no benefit in the best possible scenario, and offer social disintegration and disaster in the worst possible scenario. Finally to answer your question, I believe in nation states. Serbia is called Serbia for a reason, and it must serve the Serbian culture and people first and foremost. So yes a non-Serb is less welcome than a Serb. Id rather welcome a Serb from the diaspora rather than a Chinese, turk, American or any other person. Just like a random Serb is less welcome in my house than a member of my own family.

Also, Im confused by which identity is more important. Are we talking about countries, are we talking about ethnic identity, colour, are we talking about local areas?

Well they are all intertwined I wouldn’t go as far as saying ones more important than the other. Im curious as to why you use the word colour. Lets be accurate here, when you say colour you mean race. Don’t lets fall into that old myth that colour is all there is to race.

If we are talking about the last point then I'm in agreement. People born in the same geographical area share the same habits - regardless of background. But if you are suggesting that somebody brought up in a local area will behave differently to others because of their colour I dont agree.
Israelis and Palestinians are virtually living on top of each other in some areas, does it look to you like they share the same habits? Claiming the dead soil we stand on induces the same habits on whoever might stand on it is to me very strange. Surely the background, which you dismiss as a non-factor, is much more crucial. And you can have two families living next door to each other, who are of different races, speak different languages, and have different religions and customs. I see it every day in the suburbs of this city I live in. Believe me the soil we stand on is irrelevant, you can step inside their homes and its like you’re in the Far east. Behaviour is much more closely correlated to culture and religion rather than geography.

As I said I studied phsychology and am aware of current expert opinion on how influencial genetic and social factors are on a person. There are 2 extremes of the scale some (mostly liberals and behaviouralist types) say that man is 100 percent socialised, they dont allow for genetic factors.The other extreme side of the scale is a 50 / 50 viewpoint (mostly those of the extreme right wing persuasion). Incidently the nazis believed that man was more than 50 percent genetic.
Perhaps you'd be a better runner if you grew up in a gheto, and decided that running was your only ticket out of there. Not that I'm saying this is true for black runners. I agree with you on this actually. What I am saying is that you have to look at things quite deeply before being certain what is causing what.
Im curious as to how you can say that there are two extreme views, one of which doesn’t allow for genetic factors at all, and the other which allows for both genetics and environmental factors. I agree the first is extreme, but why is it extreme to believe that a combination of genes and environment could influence an individual? Surely a more neutral take would be that either the 100% genetic or 100% environmental viewpoints are preposterous.
The following examples show racial genetic differences which refute the 100% social factor theory. That’s not to say that genetics is all there is to anything, but to claim the opposite, that it has no influence is just plain wrong. Reality refutes your position.

Differences in size, coordination, motor skills, bone-density, mineral composition.
"On the subject of size, it is widely know that black babies tend tobe born smaller than white babies but that black babies develop more rapidlyin coordination and motor skills.

Another interesting biological reality involves long-distance running.At the present time long-distance men’s running events are dominated byBlacks from the Elongate groups.

Many of these race differences are particularly clear in a multi-racialcountry like the United States. Compared to whites, African-Americans areborn earlier and smaller, but they mature more quickly. Their bones aredenser, and have a higher mineral content. Denser bones are found evenin fetuses before birth, and this difference in density continues throughoutlife. For this reason osteoporosis among the elderly is less common inblacks than in whites."

This article provides an insight into how some scientists are influenced by political and ideological principle rather than scientific ones:
"What Dr. Lahn told his audience was that genetic changes over the past several thousand years might be linked to brain size and intelligence. He flashed maps that showed the changes had taken hold and spread widely in Europe, Asia and the Americas, but weren’t common in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Lahn says he is moving away from the research. “It’s getting too controversial,” he says.
Dr. Lahn had touched a raw nerve in science: race and intelligence."

Cervical cancer risk may depend on race.
Evidence of differing IQ between races
Differences in hearing
Black people who carry a mutated version of a gene involved in blood clotting are six times more likely than other people to develop heart disease, say scientists.
A gene which stops some ethnic groups getting rid of an alcohol by-product may be contributing to cancer cases.
Indians 'genetically prone to heart disease'
Race, genetics, and human reproductive strategy
Race and Intelligence (book in pdf form)
Fred notes:
"The IQ of East Asians (Koreans, Chinese, Japanese) is about 106, of Eurowhites 100, "blacks" in America 85, blacks in Africa 70. He does not in the book deal with Jews, but Ashkenazi Jews average 115. The East Asians have a particular advantage in mathematics. The moment one recites the statistics, frantic counterarguments arise. Race doesn't exist or, contradictorily, isn't important. Intelligence doesn't exist, can't be defined, or can't be measured. Tests are biased. In short, anything that gives an undesired answer undergoes summary rejection. Given that races demonstrably differ in appearance, size, bodily proportions, biochemistry, brain size, and a thousand other things, is there any obvious reason why they should not vary in intelligence? In behavior?"

But both these extreme views 100 percent and 50 / 50 are dismissed by the huge amount of experts in the field who have conducted extensive experiments on the issue, some going on for many years. I wont go any further since if you are interested you can find further information on the internet on this.
Well I cant claim its 50/50 but its definitely not 100% either way, that’s for sure. Its somewhere inbetween.
Indiginous peoples. Again for me a supposition. What is an indiginous people? What date is your starting point for indiginous?
Well in some areas of the world im sure it would be very debatable as to who the indigenous people are. For the area of the globe that I care about I have no such dilemmas though. Serbs are indigenous to the Balkans (that’s not a claim to the entire region by the way), Europeans are the aboriginal population of Europe.

Are you talking about indiginous from the begininng of nationalism and nation states? Or are you talking about indiginous from since the modern age began? If you know about history and about population flow you will see that there has always been migration. People (Slavs) migrated to what we today call Serbia from what is now called Russia. Are they indiginous, or were those people that lived here before indiginous and what about their rights?
Indeed there have always been population movements, there is no hard and fast rule. But the Slavs have been in the Balkans for over a thousand years, before they came they were in parts of present-day Russia for probably thousands of years. The Serbs that entered the Balkans mixed with and absorbed the Old European populations, hence the result that we are not as Nordic as other Slavs. So its impossible to talk about the rights of those people, because they don’t exist any more.

Serbia was invaded so many times and under nearly 500 years of Turkish rule. Are the Serbian people indiginous or highly mixed after years of exposure to 'foreign' people?
Well as I have stated we are not pure Slavs, we have plenty of Dinaric blood, we mixed with the various peoples present during the times of the Byzantine empire, but Id be careful to claim that we mixed with turks. They took plenty of our blood, some of our best infact, but theres no evidence they left any. End of the day, we are what we are now, theres no point in holding up some quasi-mythological ancient Slavic identity. I think we remained intact despite all those invasions and occupations. Any Serb who would look at the Ottoman occupation and thought it made him less Serbian because his ancestors were exposed to a foreign people I would regard as a lunatic not worthy of his own state and land anyway. It made us stronger, it made us dig deeper, it made us who we are.

Thats not even going into the North American Indians debate. I would bet that most who are worried about mixing would find themselves confused by supporting the rights of indiginous peoples. They might well be arguing that they should be thrown out of their own countries!
That’s why I don’t discuss that issue, I don’t care about it, that’s for other people to worry about. My people never colonised or invaded anyone else, theres no moral obligation to accept the colonisation of my people.

I agree that there are great problems when a historic majority (note no use of the word indiginous) population is outgrown by a minority. I have written on this topic a number of times. Something needs to be done - a universal standard needs to be applied. Thanks to the concept of self determination (and Woodrow Wilson) any majority in a given area can seek that right. Before you know it their elite see that there is much greater benefit in creating their own state which they can dominate rather than be subservient to the centre.And yes this must be spoken of and not swept under the carpet as is the case now. If many years of history are to be ignored in Kosovo where the Serbs used to compose a majority and the previous minority, Kosovo Albanians, are allowed to form their own state, then that must happen elsewhere around the world, or this must be prevented from happening using other means. This is a vital question that does concern all of us and we must come up with a strategy / answer to it.
Well this is why I don’t value democracy. Democracy gives power to the majority, ie in Kosovos case, those who reproduced like bunny rabbits. In practical terms those that hate democracy the most will be the ones that gain power through it, ie the Muslims flooding into Europe. Logic dictates that any Serb that honestly believes in democracy, must also come to terms with the fact that this implies that Albanians have a right to an independent Kosovo, and he must be prepared to give up all rights to a future Serbian state if we were to become a minority. If I, as a bachelor, let a homeless couple into my house and they in time produce 10 offspring, do they have any moral right to my property? Numbers shouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference. But it is ultimately unsustainable to sustain a state if you’re national group is not a majority, that is why I reject mixed states and would deport all the Albanians. I don’t want to have to exercise my moral right to lord it over a majority of Albanians, Id rather they weren’t there in the first place. Secondly its no coincidence that the almost spiritual significance that is given to democracy comes at the same time as the West has abandoned absolute values and seeks to relativise everything. Every religion is equal, the sexes are equal, everyones opinion matters, theres no absolute morals, no absolute right or wrong, all sexualities are equal. Simply put: theres no conviction. Instead of a strong leader that stands for something substantial, we have policy by numbers. A triangle has three sides, thats absolute, you cant vote on it. Im not interested if the majority think it has 56 sides, then theyre morons. A majority can be wrong, and given the nature of the manipulation theyre invariably exposed to, theyre wrong on a fairly consistent basis. What kind of retards do they have to be to vote in the biggest hate figure in Britain for a third term?

I dont think there is anything wrong with making un-pc statements. Its ridiculous to sanitise your view and may even be counter productive - causing people to feel more frustrated and more likely to do something wrong, shall we say.And yes society has gone in this direction but if a person is smart enough (even those with extreme viewpoints) they will listen and start to realise the error of their ways. The 1990's were the high point of PC in the West but I believe the hysteria is over now.
Well I think that we are just about reaching our climax here in Britain regarding political correctness, but yes it certainly is being rejected by the silent masses.
My belief is that we are all individuals and all make our own decisions - we are responsible, not our local culture. Local habits and customs may play a part but it is the individual who decides.
I vehemently disagree. We are all responsible for our selves and our own immediate action, and make our own decisions. But those decisions are based on social influences, religion, etc An individual who carries out a suicide bombing is personally responsible for his own action. But you cannot ignore what led him to this action… a complex variety of factors. His religion and its tenets would have justified him in his own eyes, his spiritual superiors would have counselled him, his family and friends could have given him the moral support before the event. He could have been influenced by the previous actions of members of his tribe and co-religionists. Historical events relevant to his society and tribe, which had absolutely no direct influence on him, could have inspired him to carry out the attack. It is difficult to understand in this ego-centric society that people can have group loyalty but it is the reality. The Multiculturalists must understand that not everyone wants to be a loyal little citizen who cares about nothing but his personal consumption. They cant live in their ivory towers forever.

2ND REPLY
This is the debate about the present day state of Serbia:
I think we disagree again Nikola!
Not much of a suprise there then.
The concept of soverignty - do you think it exists in todays world?
I dont just mean Serbia, I'm talking about all countries. It isnt nation states that make the decisions these days, its the multinational corporations (who have bought up all political parties long before they come to power in those nation states).
I could say the same thing about democracy- does it really exist, but that wouldn’t stop you are your fellow liberals at B92 claiming its desirable.

Thus I'd say that soverignty is an illusion. (not that I'm saying its a good thing)
It certainly is an illusion- that’s my point, I would like it to be a reality. Tadic is a puppet.
Politicians are a bunch of prostitutes in any country so the Serbian case is not specific.
That’s a really positive outlook right there- akin to: all other marriages are failing, its perfectly OK that my ones failing too.
I dont think the size of the Serbian army is so important.What is important is the quality of the army and basic things like foodstuffs or conditions in it.
Well since the government clearly has no desire to protect the territorial integrity of the country of course there is no need for a large army. All we need is a few crack units which can be shipped off somewhere in the middle-east, whenever America snaps its fingers.

Its no accident that there have been so many incidents in the army recently considering how the money for the army is spent wrongly by the government.
These incidents are not about the size of the army and everything to do with, as you point out, corruption and inefficiency. And who is to blame, the ‘democratic’ government which has been in power for years.
In other words its nasa posla - the corrupt officials take the money to buy themselves flats or to pay immoral arms dealers like Dragic some ridiculous deal whilst ordinary soldiers are freezing, starving and lacking proper training.
The logical solution is to sort out the officials, not get rid of the army. And dont forget it was JSO that caused many of the problems for our elected officials post 2000, members of which murdered our elected Prime Minister.
Renegade members is no excuse for disbanding entire military formations. And Djindjic came in on the back of a Western-funded coup, not an election.
So, yes they should have been disbanded. In fact they should have been disbanded long before - Legija was parading around Belgrade 2001 /2002 in his Jeeps with his Zemun mafia buddies (with state security protection) acting as if he were God or something.
So why is it that once they put Legija in jail they didn’t appoint another leader, why shut down the entire unit? Was it inherently evil just like the Serbian people? Had it committed so many 'war crimes' it was beyond redemption?

The third REPLY:

Of course there are cases where children of immigrants dont integrate (I should add that my example was a case, I wasnt claiming that all children integrate, I do maintain that most do - although opposition from their parents can be a problem).
You’re just stating things without providing evidence. Take Kosovo, did most Albanians integrate? No, and I wouldn’t want them to, I don’t want them there.
First of all I think that langauge like 'hoardes' is unhelpful in a discussion of this type. I mean it is not relevant and actually shows that you have already made an emotional judgement and are less likely to be persuaded by facts.

Check your dictionary: Hoarde: A wandering troop or gang especially, a clan or tribe of a nomadic people migrating from place to place for the sake of pasturage, plunder, etc.; a predatory multitude. What are they if they arent a clan or tribe that migrated for pasturage and plunder with a predatory attitude? Look at our hundreds of churches and monastaries in ruin, nearly all the land in the province is theirs. Look at their attempts to expel the remaining minority of Serbs.

The Albanians that entered Kosovo are unlike most other immigrants in that their country remained on the doorstep. Thus they (or a considerable total of them) did not feel the need to integrate.Tito's Yugoslavia, as you know, afforded plenty of rights for minorities to speak and use their own language etc.
They are the immigrants that I am most concerned with, and they are a problem are they not? So retract your statement about immigrants mostly integrating. Who cares, even if it were to work all around the globe, which it clearly doesn’t, if it doesn’t work in my backyard I don’t want it.
As you also know it wasnt just the Albanians who did little mixing, the Serbs of Kosovo also kept to themselves. There are so many factors we could talk about this Kosovo topic forever. Suffice to say that I think huge mistakes were made by Communist Yugoslavia and by the corrupt local officials (Serbs and Albanians) in Kosovo that if anything reduced the chances of ordinary people having better relationships with one another.

Oh so it’s the Serbian fault, we didn’t welcome them enough. No one asked the Serbs if they wanted the borders to be opened, Tito just did it anyway. So you expect people to react positively to a policy that completely disregarded their wishes and to bond with immigrants. You keep assuming people should want cross-cultural relationships with each other. Why this implicit assumption? No wonder you’re so disappointed when it turns out to be a bad dream.

You ask me why the need to find out as if this - immigration, is some kind of organised experiment.

Then answer the question, regardless of whether it is or isn’t an experiment, why do we need to find out? It is at the very least a policy, why the need for it? Who voted for it? Don’t use your democratic principles only when it suits you.

It is not some kind of mass experiment (although of course its much easier to think of it this way). Dont you think that most of these people would rather stay at home, close to their families, in surroundings they are used to?

Most immigration is economic, the immigrants enter for material gain. Why do you expect them to be loyal to the state and fit in.

Some are persecuted in those countries yes although this is the cowardly excuse argument used in the West by liberals who dont have the guts to say what the real problem is for fear that the average man in the West wont understand:Most leave their homes because of poverty, they cant find jobs in their home countries. They hope to be employed in Western countries with a general plan of either sending money home on a regular basis or somehow legalising their status and bringing their family with them. Completely normal behaviour - just the kind of thing I (or you?) might do if we lived in some terrible situation with no hope.

I agree it completely natural on their part to desire to come and gain any possible benefits they can. That doesn’t give them a right to do it, if the host population doesn’t want them there.

The REAL problem is that the rich countries of the West are monopolising the resources. So the real solution to mass emmigration is to ensure that people of poorer countries dont have to leave the place where they were born and grew up.
I agree, so why are you supporting immigration then?

You believe in nation states? Do you also believe that nation states will last forever or that there was many years of history before nation states existed? Nation states are temporary. If they are temporary then its a little short sighted to think they are such an important feature.
That’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve said. Nation states are temporary so they are unimportant! Well everything is temporary. Name me one thing on this earth that isn’t temporary. Nation states are capable of existing for long periods, certainly there is no inherent reason why they should last less than the multi-cultural free-for-all states in the west. Infact if anything they would last for longer, they would be more stable.

I dont see a huge difference between the behaviour of Israelis and Palestinians. Quite frankly both sides have comitted serious human rights abuses and neither side has the monopoly on righteousness.

Im not talking about the violence towards each other. You stated that if people are brought up in the same geographic location they will all get on like a house on fire, and be totally the same. Since according to you, geography determines behaviour and customs more than anything else. So why are they so culturally, religiously, linguistically etc so very different to the point that they want to exterminate each other.

Let me then give you an example which you will be familiar with. First the statement, a Croatian Serb has more in common with a Croatian in Croatia than a Serb in Serbia. Likewise a Croat living in Belgrade has more in common with his fellow Belgraders than he does with the Croats in his homeland.
Well maybe you hang out with liberals that have no national consciousness. Here in England I know Serb families from Croatia that are part of the Serbian community, consider themselves Serbian, come to Serbian church, celebrate Slava, and never ever see another Croatian. Theyd laugh at you if you tried to tell them they had more in common with Croats.

I am obviously not talking about religion - provided the person is religious. I'm talking about language, behaviour and so on. I have a very good friend cleansed from the Krajina who often laments that this Serbia isnt his country, Croatia is. He keeps his Croatian accent with pride. And yes, his family were Serb nationalists who lived in Krajina for generations.
What a sad, deluded individual. My family is from Krajina, that doesn’t make me Croatian. If I had been born in Lahore, would it make me a Pakistani?

I have a Croat neighbour who speaks ekavski, doesnt go to church and actually voted for Slobodan Milosevic during the 1990's. She is completely integrated into Serbia and doesnt have any desire to return to Croatia.
So I provide the straightforward example of nigh on 2m Albanians who couldn’t care less about integration, more like extermination, and the best you can do is come up with one personal friend who is integrated. Lets base all Serbian policy on this one friend of yours, who cares about the 2m who don’t fit your theories.

On my view regarding the nature nuture debate I would ask you to read the published material available on the internet.
You’ve already asked me to do so, and I came back with a comprehensive list which refutes the possibility that all differences between people are social.

There is plenty of it and you will see why I think both views that I mentioned as being extreme. If you have a problem with all those studies and experts I'd be happy to discuss this with you but its not a case of my opinion against yours in this matter. Plenty of people know the topic far better than we do.The examples you gave are fine. I mean there are differences as I stated previously. Its obvious to anybody who ever attended school that some are more capable at one thing and some at others - regardles of how much effort one makes.
So accept then that the 100% social theory is not extreme, its just plain false.

IQ tests are subjective. I've taken a few myself, the more you take the higher your IQ gets. Lots of information out there on the flaws of IQ tests.
Im sure these experts could grasp these simple facts and adjusted their experiments accordingly. It didnt stop them drawing scientific conclusions. In any case IQ isn’t the only difference I provided.

Wait a minute Nikola you are saying that some 500 years of Turks lived on this territory and that none of them had sex (or raped) the local population? That is incredible if that is what you are saying. Nobody can take such a claim seriously.
Of course people were raped, prove it was on a large enough scale to affect the genepool. The turks let the local population largely get along without interference as long as they got their taxes, and their recruits for janissaries etc. So there is historical evidence they took some of our best blood, but where is the evidence that they contributed? Bare in mind that rape would have had to have been the ONLY possible method of mixing, because there was no mixed marriages during the occupation. The offspring of any Serbian women taken in harems would have been raised as Turks. So provide evidence of mass rape if you can.

So, of course we mixed with Turks, and Germans and Austrians and Greeks, Bulgarians and so on. Where does that fit in with the idea of what a Serb is?Where does that fit in with 'mixing'?
I really don’t understand your logic, what are you trying to say? That theres no such thing as a Serb, so we might as well carry on mixing to kingdom come. You’re clearly beyond help if you think that.

As far as the American Indians are concerned it is an important issue. I believe that unified principles should be applied.
How many time do I have to tell you, it is not an issue, because my ancestors or people never colonised them, why should I take a position on their plight. Yes it was their land, but that’s not my concern. I shouldn’t need to be able to sort out every territorial dispute on the globe just so that I can say Kosovo is Serbian.

If you are saying that one principle should be applied in the case of Serbs for example but you look the other way with US indians. Well, at best it makes Artisari's stupid opinion that Kosovo is an exception that cannot be applied elsewhere, understandable.
Ok if you really want to force a comment on this issue then here it is: It was their land, they have the moral right, they’re situation is hopeless. Happy now?

Well, I share some of your concerns with democracy. I'm not much of a fan and cant stand mindless idiots who think it is the answer to all our problems. It most patently is not - nor is the materialism that comes with it and capitalism.
Using your great observation that nation-states are temporary, why are democracies any less temporary?
But numbers in a country do make a difference. And again I'd like to ask you about the time question. Is there a date from which you think that the majority of an areas has the right to claim that as a country? Again I would say where does this leave America, Australia and Israel for example?

Serbs entered the area a long time before 1000AD. Israel shipped most of its populace into its state around 50 years ago. So not really a great comparison. Why do you ask me for hard and fast dates when there is no academic principle on this matter and you know it. If I were to give you a date it would just be whatever suited my position, which would make it easily refutable, because there would be no underlying principle.

If the Serbs had the right to do it in one period then why do Albanians not have the right to do this is another?
Ok lets assume they have the right to do it. Well then we have the right to resist, which you are patently trying to deny by claiming that Serbs should have been more accepting, that there are no inherent problems, and that it is unreasonable to want a nation-state.

So if soverignty is an illusion then it doesnt matter who is in power in Serbia or elsewhere its the values that govern the international system that dictate.So what are you advocating, we raise the white flag because resistance is futile?
Thus its a complete waste of time attacking Tadic, slightly less of a waste of time attacking Bush but to use your time wisely you would aim your fire against the system that allows (no encourages!) politicians to behave this way.
I hate the system, and I do ‘aim my fire’ against it. But that’s a flimsy reason for ignoring the traitors that are working for the system. For example I hated the British system for long before Blair came to power, doesn’t mean that he’s immune to criticism once he starts making criminal decisions for himself. And it was you that said group mentality, loyalty and responsibility didn’t really exist, it was all down to the individual. Well then Tadic should take the fire for his own treacherous acts, regardless of which bigger powers were behind them.

That is what I do - rather than fire at the easy target an individual. Thats why, by the way, its also a waste of time when I see so many Western (or Serbian) liberals attacking Milosevic. Milosevic played the international system, he pushed the rules but the majority of what he did was done by other leaders in the West and elsewhere. People should attack the system that allows individuals like him to appear - whether thats machiavelli style, democracy or Communist leadership style. And not waste time attacking the individual.
Well I don’t see you attacking the system, or proposing an alternative. All you advocate is raising our hands in the air and accepting being treated like the Wests bitch.
Its irrelevent to me whether Djindjic's election (I dont agree that it constitutes the definition of a coup) was funded by the west or not.
How is a coup inspired by the West, which has left us in the position we’re now in, irrelevant. Clearly its extremely relevant.
The SPS election campaign(s) were funded from a mixture of stolen millions and from the ordinary Serbs pocket. An even worse crime if you think about it.
That’s more irrelevant that the statement I made. The coup was more recent and is affecting us NOW. You see how you don’t treat like for like, but only look at the facts that suit you.
The problem with 'renegade members' of JSO as you put it, is that those renegade members led that formation - they werent ordinary members. They had huge power over the entire formation. And I dont even want to go into how many members of this formation were common criminals or members of the Zemun mafia.
So you don’t want politicians to be attacked, for allegations that are indisputable but its OK to attack individual soldiers, calling many of them common criminals. Provide the evidence.
Obviously you dont remember the JSO protest (some say it was an attempted coup I would not go that far)
Attempted coup, don’t make me laugh. Occupying 100m of a motorway, and only in one direction is hardly a coup. It was a protest.
when they took their weapons and stood on the streets in Belgrade. No unit has the right to do this - I would have closed them down then and there if it were up to me. But Kostunica supported their 'union' rights to protest. (Tell me what would happen in the UK if the entire SAS unit took to the streets of London armed to the teeth!)
I’ll tell you what would have happened. The SAS leaders would have been replaced, they wouldn’t have disbanded the entire unit.
When you say that Serbs are indigienous to the Balkans are you saying that Serbs predate Slavs or modern man?
What kind of a question is that. How can they predate Slavs when Serbs are Slavs. How can they predate modern man, when they are modern man. What on earth are you talking about?

Are we not then Slavs rather than Serbs? Again I ask you for a date. From what date to you use to determine whether a people are indigenous or not?
Why are you so obsessed with dates? Why is it that experts the worldover accept that aborigines are the indigenous people of Australia without any universal principle that you so desire, but Serbia needs a special date to have its claims examined.
Having done a bit more research (ie checked out the wikipedia definition) Ive found the following definition for an indigenous population:
"The term indigenous peoples has no universal, standard or fixed definition, but can be used about any ethnic group who inhabit the geographic region with which they have the earliest historical connection."
Serbs are the earliest ethnic group that can be traced to the region they now reside in, which is still intact. For example niether the Romans nor Illyrians exist anymore.
Heres what the World Bank defines as an indigenous people (not that I care about their opinion, but since you're obssessed with internationally recognised principles):
A description of Indigenous Peoples given by the World Bank (operational directive 4.20, 1991) reads as follows:
Indigenous Peoples can be identified in particular geographical areas by the presence in varying degrees of the following characteristics:

a) close attachment to ancestral territories and to the natural resources in these areas;
b) self-identification and identification by others as members of a distinct cultural group;
c) an indigenous language, often different from the national language;
d) presence of customary social and political institutions; and
e) primarily subsistence-oriented production.
Im at a bit of a loss as to why (e) is necessary, since it presumes that a group has to be organised in a certain economic way so as to be indigenous. Slightly bizarre if you ask me. But regardless Serbs tick all the boxes. And before you say Albanians fit the definition, check out (d), they dont have any historic social or political institutions.

FOURTH REPLY

Can you not just keep this debate within the confines of argument? I dont expect any more from you than I'd ask from myself.
If the remits of the debate are getting wider its because you are bringing more issues to the table, I’m only responding to what you write, point by point.
You are acting as if I have some kind of agenda because I disagree with you. That is not the case, as I said, my views are my own - not wed to some political philosophy.
Your views are not as unique as you might like them to be, the fact that you are a blogger on B92 shows you have at least some affiliation to particular strands of thought. In any case Im not criticising your views as a whole, but am attempting to isolate those ones that I disagree with and respond to them.
We all state things without providing evidence - you included.
Well then call me out on those points where you believe the evidence doesn’t back my statement. You seem to want the two of us to debate by different standards, whereby you get to criticise my views and demand various definitions and evidence, but when I provide them and ask you to back up your assertions, you cop out by saying ‘we all state things without providing the evidence’. For example I have to provide you with evidence that the Serbs are indigenous to Serbia or that they even exist as a nation (you claimed we were such a mish-mash and questioned whether the name Serb meant anything), but Im supposed to just accept you claiming that we have Turkish blood, and that immigrants just want to assimilate. Secondly you get to decide what is relevant and what is irrelevant, so you get to criticise Milosevic, but decide that its ‘irrelevant’ for me to mention that the coup that overthrew him was funded by the West.

By saying that I've made a statement that does not provide evidence means that you must provide evidence for each statement you make (which would be ridiculous). That is also my reply concerning my neighbour which you dismissed out of hand.
I’m willing to provide evidence for anything I’ve claimed, if I failed to provide any its because I took it as a given. You on the other hand are squirming at the thought of having to back up your statements. In a debate either side can be called to provide evidence on a particular factual issue which they both disagree on, that’s not in the least bit ridiculous. What would be ridiculous is the idea that either of us can state anything and it has to be taken as a given. I did not dismiss your neighbour out of hand, I accept you are telling the truth and that this is how he honestly feels. But I dismiss the significance of the views of one person, when it is clear that millions of Albanians (who are a major issue for us, not your one friend), do no think the same way your neighbour thinks. Hence his views and actions are really statistically irrelevant.

On the hoardes issue, now you will try and pretend that there is no emotion involved in the use of that langauge right? I expected more honesty rather than a PC defence.
When you question the suitability of me using a certain descriptive word (and these petty little complaints are what are widening the debate, yet you ask me to keep within the confines of the argument), I reserve the right to back up that the word I used is a perfectly adequate and an extremely accurate reflection of what I was trying to say. Instead of disputing this all you can do is claim that my defence was PC, you in fact want me to bring my emotions into this and are coaxing me to admit this and that.
And you are beginning to put words into my mouth you say 'its the Serbs fault'. Good grief, isnt it possible to debate this issue without you taking it personally? Without you assuming that I am supporting an extreme position?
You claimed that one of the reasons that Kosovo has turned out to be the disaster it now is, among other reasons, is that ‘it wasn’t just the Albanians who did little mixing, the Serbs of Kosovo also kept to themselves’. If this isn’t a clear implication that the Serbs are at least partially to blame for the current situation then I don’t know what is. It implies that had Serbs not kept to themselves, and that had they been more welcoming and mixed more, that we might not be where we are today.
Its not anybodies fault. It rarely is - these things can be explained in scientific terms, not in emotional ones. This isnt only about Serbs and Albanians, its about humankind and the way people behave in a given situation.
You see this is more PC than anything I ever said. ‘Its not anybodies fault’, of course its some bodies fault. Murder is also common to humankind it doesn’t change the fact that the culprit of an individual murder is at fault himself. You try and relegate issues to the most abstract, philosophical and meaningless statements to try and circumnavigate the evidence from everyday life which doesn’t fit in with your views. I remind you of your claim that nation-states are not worth thinking about because they are ‘temporary’. Everything is temporary!

The scientific explanation as far as I'm concerned is Tito's mistaken policies that didnt have the peoples interest at heart. He was primarily concerned with keeping tensions low in the short term (ensuring they would explode once he was gone) so he could rule with as little difficulty as possible.
Actually opening the borders to hundreds of thousands of Albanians doesn’t keep tensions any lower than they would have been without the new influxes, quite the opposite. A more scientific explanation for his policy would have been the fact that he wanted to ingratiate himself with Albanians as a stepping-stone to including Albania within Yugoslavia. I’m not even really convinced by this, but it makes more ‘scientific’ sense than shipping immigrants in to keep tensions low.

The Serbs of Kosovo were the collateral damage - just as incidently many people (of suppsedly different ethnic group) were the collateral damange of Milosevic. It was nothing personal, nothing to do with nation or nationalism and everything to do with power. Of course its so easy to persuade and manipulate people to think it was to do with nationalism but thats another story.
There is no social cohesion in Kosovo, people have split along ethnic lines, accept it. No one has to be persuaded or manipulated to see this obvious reality. Carry on blaming individuals all you want, but there are bigger factors at work.
I dont assume that people want cross cultrual relationships. Correct me if I'm wrong but are you saying that people do not want cross cultural relationships?
Hehe, trying to turn the tables eh. Since you claimed that they all want to assimilate into the host culture, you show this to be the case. In the absense of evidence it would be prudent to not hold multiculturalism as an ideal, for if you were to be wrong disaster would soon follow. Were you to be right there is very little if anything to gain. If I come up with an innovative new medicine, I must show beyond doubt it is safe, If I cant then I wouldnt be allowed to inflict this on the public. Show as much concern to the public for the state of their society as you would for the state of their medicine.

So accept then that the 100% social theory is not extreme, its just plain false.'Why should I, I never said it was true???
You claimed there were two possible theories. I have disproved the possibility of the 100% social theory so I’m asking you to withdraw your claim to the possibility of there being 2 theories. The first one is ludicrous.

This is not some game or battle between us here Nikola. I'm operating under the principle that you want to move in the direction of whatever is the truth as do I. What we are doing here, as I see it, is not trying to convert one another, but trying to inform one another. Then we go away with more information and perhaps a modified view. I'm not interested in extracting concessions I would hope that you would see some merit in arguments for yourself!
I find it difficult to believe that you are open to the truth when I present you with evidence of something and you can’t bring yourself to accept it. The 100% social theory is a fantasy and any honest seeker of the truth can see it for what it is.

Why we need to find out what exactly? I dont need to find out anything. As I said this (immigration) is not some organised social experiment (with the exception of the US I suppose in a way) as I outlined to you its a case of those with no resources desiring the same as what you and I already have.
For someone who lambastes capitalism it’s strange that you haven’t considered the possibility that immigration is used as a tool to obtain cheap labour and is sold to the natives under the guise of ‘diversity’ and ‘enrichment’. A country like Britain could quite easily control its borders, yet it chooses not to, and the result is hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants and asylum seekers.

No, I dont see anything wrong with that and I dont see that you have put forward an alternative for them - apart from to imply that we close the borders. Its quite simple if we dont want more of them to come and live in our rich countries (ok my country is not rich) then we have to pay for it.
That’s right Serbia is not rich. And even if it was, the idea that we would have to build up every third world economy or we’d have to accept immigrants is perverse. Serbia is a small country, if it governed itself and did not pillage other peoples resources, and infringe on their rights Id expect those foreigners to have the enterprise to use those resources to help themselves and to not infinge on our rights. If they cant do that, then its their problem. If we have a surplus of goods then it would be right to give to others, but being held to ransom for others problems is not a policy many would buy into.

Frankly, I'd be happy with that. The materialism in Western society is quite over the top. Prevention is always better than cure and prevention in this case - ensuring that the poor have jobs in their own countries is a better solution than dealing with them at the border (it may even be cheaper in the long term though I cant stand throwing a bone to the greedy who have no values other than their pocket). So why not empasize this point rather than the dangers of mixing?
Both points are valid. One does not exclude the other. Just because I believe that the West has pillage global resources, it doesnt mean I shouldnt highlight the dangers of immigration.
Until we provide a fundamental solution to that problem no amount of controling the border will work. Its like computer security - they will always find a way to crack. So I think, no I expect, that (thinking) people like you who have a problem with immigration to be thinking in terms of realistic solutions.
Well I believe it’s a phallacy that border control doesn’t work. The truth is that no European country even makes an effort to secure its borders. Look at the Island I live, it should be very easy to quash illegal immigration, and for that matter drug trafficking. The only entry points are airports, seaports and the channel tunnel. With the money spent on bombing and occupying Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo etc they could easily apply enough resources to shut down illegal immigration. But its not a priority, infact its seems even to be a policy to turn a blind eye. Check out this documentary on how the worlds only superpower cant be bothered to secure its own borders:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1451035544403625746
Don’t tell me its not possible till its been attempted. Ne kudi konja koga nisi jahao. Given the political will most countries could mobilise the human and technological resources to secure their borders.

I dont support immigration, as I understand it you are against immigration. I think that it is natural that people will emmigrate as long as the West monopolises resources.
You do support immigration for all intents and purpose. You claim it is inevitable and that it must be accepted until ‘solutions’ are found. The solutions are quite straightforward, advocating the status quo indefinitely equates to support of immigration.
Ok I'll rephrase that - nation states are a recent development considering how long man has populated the planet.
‘Nation state’ is a recent term, but the phenomenon that it describes- self determination for common peoples- is not at all a recent development. Nations and tribes have always sought to govern themselves and their territories along the principle that a people with common ancestors, religion, culture and language should organise themselves and have control of their own destiny. Serbs have attempted from the earliest records we have to organise themselves in this way. It is a natural instinct.
And the concept will pass into history and when it does the sky will not fall in.
That’s a major assumption right there. The concept that a common people should desire to live among their own and to govern themselves freely will never pass into history unless the worlds people are forcibly mish-mashed together.
I agree that my friend is sad that he was ethnically cleansed from Krajina, despite his best efforts. It was sad that he was in that column of a hundred thousand or more Serbs. It was sad that his so called brothers who deluded him and his parents with supposed Serb patriotism / nationalism (telling them they would never be abandoned to the Ustate) were liars.
So he gave up his Serbian identity because the leftover communist government let him down. Well if we Serbs were all that fickle, there wouldn’t be a single one left. Also you contradict yourself when you say that he feels Croatian, yet didn’t want to be ‘abandoned’ to the Croatian forces. He rejects his Serbian identity because of how he was treated by Serbs, but feels Croatian even though they expelled him.

Its also sad that he's spat upon by other Serbs like yourself today - after all he did and went through for 'the cause' only to find that nobody gives a damn.
Who’s the one using emotive language now eh. So I spat on him did I. Im just stating the obvious, I was born in England, doesn’t make me English. Likewise your friend can feel as Croatian as he wants it doesn’t make him one.
I've met members of the Serb diaspora too. If they are not sad after being ethnically cleansed I'd wonder about their sanity.
You’re putting words into my mouth, I never claimed that they weren’t sad to be cleansed from Krajina, show me where I said that. I said they would laugh at you if you called them Croatian. Big difference, check your facts.

You automatically assume some greater right than I because you see me as some liberal.
What are you talking about, which rights have I granted myself?

I do not say you have less of a right than I do because you only see the abstract whilst I live with these people day in day out. I have more refugee friends than I can count. I wish you could hear their first hand stories.
You’re assuming you have so much more experience of reality than me. I have lived in Serbia, I have interacted with all kinds of people there, so don’t be condescending about how you’re in touch with the people and I’m so buried in abstract thought.
Your points about numbers in the army, about strong leadership (Tito, Milosevic perhaps), NATO. All abstract concepts, none everyday problems faced by people - refugees and others living in Serbia today.
The state of the army is not an abstract concept. If there aren’t enough soldiers to protect the country that’s going to cause very real problems.
Well if you dont want to agree that there was plenty of mixing going on before Serbs existed or after the ethnic group came into being I dont know what to tell you. It seems extremely logical to think that an area which was so exposed to centuries of invasion and reinvasion would have a mixed ethnic population - according to your criteria of mixing. I would research this if it meant much to me but it doesnt.
You seem to have a problem with the concept of ‘burden of proof’. If you raise the supposed mongrelization of Serbs as a reason to question the existence of a Serbian nation, the oenus is on you to back up your original claim, not for me to do it for you. If you cant back something up then don’t mention it in the discussion.
I dont have any unhealthy obsessive interest in trying to undermine one or another group identity.
Strange considering that you have tried to question the existence of the Serbian people.

Can you imagine what you are saying? That you are not interested in other conflicts because they didnt cross the path of your own ethnic group?
I’m not saying that I’m not interested. I’m merely saying that the problems relevant to my people take precedence. Also I don’t have a moral obligation to sort out every problem in the world before I sort out the problem on my own doorstep. To imply that I cannot have a position on the Serbian question until I have resolved all the worlds problems is clearly ridiculous. Why should I attempt to resolve issues on the other side of the globe if I cant even agree with you on the ones that matter more to us.
So say it clearly does Israel as a recent state have a right to exist?
Here you go again widening the debate, even though you complained about how wide it was getting. You keep trying to force me to make statements about other nations in some kind of an attempt to catch me out and get me to contradict myself. But I’ll answer the question, no I don’t think Israel has an inherent moral right to exist. Not because it’s a recent state, there are many states that could be created tomorrow and would be beneficial. Any state built on such injustices, and that operates in the way Israel does, cannot have my support.

And how does this sit with your concept of multiculturalism? Dont you support the concept of ethnic / religious states?
Not at any cost and in any possible scenario, no. I support the right of every people to have self-determination, but that doesn’t mean they can set up camp wherever and however they feel like. Number one the Jews of today are a far cry from the Biblical people that occupied present day Israel. Most of them are Khazar converts. Secondly their religion is not one that I support in any way, shape or form. You cannot ask me, as a Christian, to support a state just because its a religious one. I find elements of their religion vile, including many extracts from the Talmud. You've opened a can of worms here, if you want me to start quoting Talmudic verses I can, but I think you'll agree that its not necessary.

OK if you have difficulty on this and the dates issue because you say you dont have any underlying principle. But it does sound a little odd when you say that.
Its not that I don’t have an underlying principle, in terms of dates, no one does. Not one person on the globe can give you a specific date for how long a nation has to have been in a particular place before it is regarded as indigenous. Ask an ethnologist for one and he will laugh at you. The concept of having one all-encompassing date is ridiculous.
Who said democracy was any less temporary than nation states? Again you are putting words into my mouth.
You’re right, you never said that. But Id be surprised, given that you blog for B92, if you didn’t support the idea of democracy. You’ve asked me many a question, now answer this one, do you or don’t you support democracy. If you do, then your statement about ‘temporary’ nation states is clearly hypocritical. If you don’t, have you been upfront and disclosed this fact to your readers on B92? Imagine the shock and horror if you did such a thing.
I havent advocated anything on Serbia yet. You are claiming that I am behaving like a bitch. Dont understand your point - if there is a point on this. Is it because you think I dont agree with you?
No you’re absolutely right, you haven’t advocated anything. All you have done is be negative. Heres a recap of some of your ‘constructive’ comments with the logical interpretation written below:
Thus I'd say that soverignty is an illusion
So don’t fight for it.
Politicians are a bunch of prostitutes in any country so the Serbian case is not specific.
So accept them.
Nation states are temporary. If they are temporary then its a little short sighted to think they are such an important feature.
So don’t think about them.
So, of course we mixed with Turks, and Germans and Austrians and Greeks, Bulgarians and so on. Where does that fit in with the idea of what a Serb is?
So we might as well mix even more.
If the Serbs had the right to do it in one period then why do Albanians not have the right to do this is another?
So let the Albanians walk all over us.
So if soverignty is an illusion then it doesnt matter who is in power in Serbia or elsewhere its the values that govern the international system that dictate.
So accept the values they dictate.
Thus its a complete waste of time attacking Tadic
So let him off the hook.

I said you advocate Serbia behaving like the West’s bitch because you are perpetuating the notion that the sun shines out of the West’s backside and that nothing is possible without their blessing. The Serbian nation, within the borders of a Serbian state, has experienced sovereignty as a reality for extended periods of its history, and for the periods that it was occupied it has held up that principle as one of the dreams which helped it survive. Yet you have proclaimed that it is an illusion that cannot be hoped for or achieved. No one will give you anything if you don’t demand it, no one will respect you if you don’t respect yourself. If Serbia sees itself as a protectorate of the West and lamely accept its status, thats exactly how it will remain- and deservedly so. But don’t tell me we don’t have a choice.

My 'alternative' is to try to think out solutions to problems rather than engage in the artificial debate the media (and the man in the pub) are suggesting.
You have yet to give one single solution, yet you have questioned the existence of the Serbs as a nation. Strange set of priorities don’t you think?
The assylum issue in the UK as you know is not spoken of in the terms I structured it - and I'm pleased you agreed with me to some degree. It is entirely dishonest led both by liberals (led by the Guardian, polite society and others) and conservatives (led by the daily mail, white van man etc).
Puppet to the left, puppet to the right. The debate is dishonest because they’re all singing from the same song sheet. If the conservatives are going to be the anti-immigration side of the debate then God help us. They brought them all in.
If you can only see a liberal in me from where you are I'd suggest that's because you must be sitting too far to the right to see me.
Actually estavisti said exactly the same thing to me once. My ideology doesn’t fit into the simplistic left and right idea, some of my preferred economic policies include state ownership of strategic industries, for example.
On the Serbia issue you must think the Serbian people are extremely stupid to vote for pro Western candidates just because of some foreign funding.
Stupid no, naïve yes. Its easy to believe what you want to believe, and the politicians tell the people want they know they want to hear. Dangling the promise of higher living standards once we enter the promised land that is the EU.
The reason October 5th occured wasnt the foreign factor - it was so much more than that.
The fact that Soros and others throw money at countries like Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia etc and we suddenly have a revolution on our hands, all a coincidence eh. Of course popular discontent with incumbents is used as a method of stirring the people.
The same JSO unit, supposedly patriotc, switched sides. The same crooks and football hooligans (and some nationalists) that used to support Milosevic / Draskovic, Seselj whoever, changed sides. Were they too paid by foreign money?
I never said they paid every single football hooligan, crook, and politician. But once a coup with a large amount of popular support takes place, there is a domino effect and people will cave in and join the victors- hardly surprising.

You are also ignoring the fact that there was an election since then (unless you are calling that also a coup) that voted in the current government. There will be another election this January.What will be your excuse this time for majority of Serbs voting for DS / DSS?
Well in the last election the largest one party was SRS- it was only by making a coalition of losers that DS and DSS remained in government. As if I have to make an excuse for democracy when I oppose it.

How patriotic is it really to feel contempt (be honest, it is close to contempt isnt it?) for so many Serbs who vote this way.
You’re giving value to numbers. You assume that patriotism means going with whatever the majority of your nation think. Like Ive said before if the majority are wrong I’ll never side with them. The Serbian nation is generally quite patriotic, the problem is that they are very naïve, forgiving and often trust the wrong people. Like Nikolaj said: ‘Nasa velika slabost je da se nasa velikodusnost pretvara u servilnost’ (Our biggest Achilles heel is that our open-heartedness often transforms itself into servility). A certain section of the populace trusts the false patriotism of DSS for example, Ive even known a perfectly decent patriotic woman advertising G17+ by wearing one of their shirts. People can sometimes, with all the best intentions, be wrong. That’s how I look at the majority of Serbs, I don’t feel contempt towards them, though it might suit you to think I do. That’s the unfortunate nature of democracy, it splits people along party lines, duping them into believing false promises. There is a certain section of the population that I feel contempt for though. It is those liberals and traitors that are promoting false Western values which are alien to our people. These are the type of people who believe that the Western oppression of Serbia was our own fault. They want us to believe that the West is benevolently disposed towards us, that they hold the key to our ‘living standards’, and that if we could just emulate them, with their help, we could reach the holy grail.

I, by the way, do not feel contempt for those who vote for SRS / SPS even if I will not vote this way.
That’s a stark contrast then to most of the members who frequent the B92 forum who look at them with complete disdain.
I wont bother debating JSO in depth with you because you obviously never saw with your own eyes what was going on. I'd guess that if you saw some of the injustice that I did you would have a different opinion, if only a slightly differing one. Common criminals is too kind for some of these men. Merceneries for hire is closer to the truth.
When it suits your argument you treat things in the most abstract terms, and when it doesn’t then you fall back on the personal angle. If only I had seen what you personally saw I might agree with you eh. Well how convenient for you to come up with, yet again, some personal evidence which lacks detail, is unverifiable and therefore irrefutable. None of this changes the fact that our army is being dismantled as a force capable of protecting the territorial integrity of the country. All under the pretext of ‘reorganisation’. This ‘reorganisation’, includes buying old American equipment for five times its value, under the guise of harmonising its arsenal with ‘NATO’s needs’.
If an SAS unit took to the streets with arms in the UK there would be a complete scandal. I would not be surprised if the unit was disbanded, although its not comparing the same really.
I agree its not comparing the same, but you were the one who used the SAS analogy to begin with.
On the indigenous point I'll wave the white flag - according to the standard definitions at least.
At least we can agree on something then:)

13 Comments:

Blogger Bg anon said...

Of course there are cases where children of immigrants dont integrate (I should add that my example was a case, I wasnt claiming that all children integrate, I do maintain that most do - although opposition from their parents can be a problem).

First of all I think that langauge like 'hoardes' is unhelpful in a discussion of this type. I mean it is not relevant and actually shows that you have already made an emotional judgement and are less likely to be persuaded by facts.

The Albanians that entered Kosovo are unlike most other immigrants in that their country remained on the doorstep. Thus they (or a considerable total of them) did not feel the need to integrate.
Tito's Yugoslavia, as you know, afforded plenty of rights for minorities to speak and use their own language etc.

As you also know it wasnt just the Albanians who did little mixing, the Serbs of Kosovo also kept to themselves. There are so many factors we could talk about this Kosovo topic forever. Suffice to say that I think huge mistakes were made by Communist Yugoslavia and by the corrupt local officials (Serbs and Albanians) in Kosovo that if anything reduced the chances of ordinary people having better relationships with one another.

You ask me why the need to find out as if this - immigration, is some kind of organised experiment.

It is not some kind of mass
experiment (although of course its much easier to think of it this way).
Dont you think that most of these people would rather stay at home, close to their families, in surroundings they are used to?

Some are persecuted in those countries yes although this is the cowardly excuse argument used in the West by liberals who dont have the guts to say what the real problem is for fear that the average man in the West wont understand:

Most leave their homes because of poverty, they cant find jobs in their home countries. They hope to be employed in Western countries with a general plan of either sending money home on a regular basis or somehow legalising their status and bringing their family with them. Completely normal behaviour - just the kind of thing I (or you?) might do if we lived in some terrible situation with no hope.

The REAL problem is that the rich countries of the West are monopolising the resources. So the real solution to mass emmigration is to ensure that people of poorer countries dont have to leave the place where they were born and grew up. Who speaks of this truth? Governments? No way, it costs money? Political parties are too involved with offering simplistic solutions to manipulate their supporters with. To offer real solutions we have to educate ourselves - individuals.

You believe in nation states? Do you also believe that nation states will last forever or that there was many years of history before nation states existed? Nation states are temporary. If they are temporary then its a little short sighted to think they are such an important feature.

I dont see a huge difference between the behaviour of Israelis and Palestinians. Quite frankly both sides have comitted serious human rights abuses and neither side has the monopoly on righteousness.

Let me then give you an example which you will be familiar with. First the statement, a Croatian Serb has more in common with a Croatian in Croatia than a Serb in Serbia. Likewise a Croat living in Belgrade has more in common with his fellow Belgraders than he does with the Croats in his homeland.

I am obviously not talking about religion - provided the person is religious. I'm talking about language, behaviour and so on. I have a very good friend cleansed from the Krajina who often laments that this Serbia isnt his country, Croatia is. He keeps his Croatian accent with pride. And yes, his family were Serb nationalists who lived in Krajina for generations.

I have a Croat neighbour who
speaks ekavski, doesnt go to church and actually voted for Slobodan Milosevic during the 1990's. She is completely integrated into Serbia and doesnt have any desire to return to Croatia.

On my view regarding the nature nuture debate I would ask you to read the published material available on the internet. There is plenty of it and you will see why I think both views that I mentioned as being extreme. If you have a problem with all those studies and experts I'd be happy to discuss this with you but its not a case of my opinion against yours in this matter. Plenty of people know the topic far better than we do.

The examples you gave are fine. I mean there are differences as I stated previously. Its obvious to anybody who ever attended school that some are more capable at one thing and some at others - regardles of how much effort one makes.

IQ tests are subjective. I've taken a few myself, the more you take the higher your IQ gets. Lots of information out there on the flaws of IQ tests.

Wait a minute Nikola you are saying that some 500 years of Turks lived on this territory and that none of them had sex (or raped) the local population? That is incredible if that is what you are saying. Nobody can take such a claim seriously. So, of course we mixed with Turks, and Germans and Austrians and Greeks, Bulgarians and so on. Where does that fit in with the idea of what a Serb is?
Where does that fit in with 'mixing'?

As far as the American Indians are concerned it is an important issue. I believe that unified principles should be applied. If you are saying that one principle should be applied in the case of Serbs for example but you look the other way with US indians. Well, at best it makes Artisari's stupid opinion that Kosovo is an exception that cannot be applied elsewhere, understandable.

His opinion is incomprehensible to me by the way - of course other movements will use Kosovo (independence) as an example. So of course your opinion on Serbia, for example must be applied to other countries.

Well, I share some of your concerns with democracy. I'm not much of a fan and cant stand mindless idiots who think it is the answer to all our problems. It most patently is not - nor is the materialism that comes with it and capitalism.

But numbers in a country do make a difference. And again I'd like to ask you about the time question. Is there a date from which you think that the majority of an areas has the right to claim that as a country? Again I would say where does this leave America, Australia and Israel for example?

If the Serbs had the right to do it in one period then why do Albanians not have the right to do this is another?

So if soverignty is an illusion then it doesnt matter who is in power in Serbia or elsewhere its the values that govern the international system that dictate.

Thus its a complete waste of time attacking Tadic, slightly less of a waste of time attacking Bush but to use your time wisely you would aim your fire against the system that allows (no encourages!) politicians to behave this way. That is what I do - rather than fire at the easy target an individual. Thats why, by the way, its also a waste of time when I see so many Western (or Serbian) liberals attacking Milosevic. Milosevic played the international system, he pushed the rules but the majority of what he did was done by other leaders in the West and elsewhere. People should attack the system that allows individuals like him to appear - whether thats machiavelli style, democracy or Communist leadership style. And not waste time attacking the individual.

So I would say that the problem in Serbia is not officials. It is the vaulues of those officials. You get rid of one crooked arms dealer and another one appears. They dont give a damn about how many civilians are murdered by their guns and are happy to make huge profit from it. Thats capitalism! And yet we are told that crimes of war must be punished - provided we are not American...

Its irrelevent to me whether Djindjic's election (I dont agree that it constitutes the definition of a coup) was funded by the west or not. The SPS election campaign(s) were funded from a mixture of stolen millions and from the ordinary Serbs pocket. An even worse crime if you think about it.

The problem with 'renegade members' of JSO as you put it, is that those renegade members led that formation - they werent ordinary members. They had huge power over the entire formation. And I dont even want to go into how many members of this formation were common criminals or members of the Zemun mafia.

Obviously you dont remember the JSO protest (some say it was an attempted coup I would not go that far) when they took their weapons and stood on the streets in Belgrade. No unit has the right to do this - I would have closed them down then and there if it were up to me. But Kostunica supported their 'union' rights to protest. (Tell me what would happen in the UK if the entire SAS unit took to the streets of London armed to the teeth!)

That was their warning shot at the government and I regret that action wasnt taken immediately but I think that the then DOS government were scared of an armed confrontation and what with Kostunica having taken the JSO side.

When you say that Serbs are indigienous to the Balkans are you saying that Serbs predate Slavs or modern man? Are we not then Slavs rather than Serbs? Again I ask you for a date. From what date to you use to determine whether a people are indigenous or not?

2:59 PM  
Blogger Bg anon said...

Can you not just keep this debate within the confines of argument? I dont expect any more from you than I'd ask from myself.
You are acting as if I have some kind of agenda because I disagree with you. That is not the case, as I said, my views are my own - not wed to some political philosophy.

We all state things without providing evidence - you included. By saying that I've made a statement that does not provide evidence means that you must provide evidence for each statement you make (which would be ridiculous). That is also my reply concerning my neighbour which you dismissed out of hand.

On the hoardes issue, now you will try and pretend that there is no emotion involved in the use of that langauge right? I expected more honesty rather than a PC defence.

And you are beginning to put words into my mouth you say 'its the Serbs fault'. Good grief, isnt it possible to debate this issue without you taking it personally? Without you assuming that I am supporting an extreme position?
Its not anybodies fault. It rarely is - these things can be explained in scientific terms, not in emotional ones. This isnt only about Serbs and Albanians, its about humankind and the way people behave in a given situation.

The scientific explanation as far as I'm concerned is Tito's mistaken policies that didnt have the peoples interest at heart. He was primarily concerned with keeping tensions low in the short term (ensuring they would explode once he was gone) so he could rule with as little difficulty as possible. The Serbs of Kosovo were the collateral damage - just as incidently many people (of suppsedly different ethnic group) were the collateral damange of Milosevic. It was nothing personal, nothing to do with nation or nationalism and everything to do with power. Of course its so easy to persuade and manipulate people to think it was to do with nationalism but thats another story.

I dont assume that people want cross cultrual relationships. Correct me if I'm wrong but are you saying that people do not want cross cultural relationships?

'So accept then that the 100% social theory is not extreme, its just plain false.'

Why should I, I never said it was true??? This is not some game or battle between us here Nikola. I'm operating under the principle that you want to move in the direction of whatever is the truth as do I. What we are doing here, as I see it, is not trying to convert one another, but trying to inform one another. Then we go away with more information and perhaps a modified view. I'm not interested in extracting concessions I would hope that you would see some merit in arguments for yourself!

Why we need to find out what exactly? I dont need to find out anything. As I said this (immigration) is not some organised social experiment (with the exception of the US I suppose in a way) as I outlined to you its a case of those with no resources desiring the same as what you and I already have.

No, I dont see anything wrong with that and I dont see that you have put forward an alternative for them - apart from to imply that we close the borders. Its quite simple if we dont want more of them to come and live in our rich countries (ok my country is not rich) then we have to pay for it.

Frankly, I'd be happy with that. The materialism in Western society is quite over the top. Prevention is always better than cure and prevention in this case - ensuring that the poor have jobs in their own countries is a better solution than dealing with them at the border (it may even be cheaper in the long term though I cant stand throwing a bone to the greedy who have no values other than their pocket). So why not empasize this point rather than the dangers of mixing?

Until we provide a fundamental solution to that problem no amount of controling the border will work. Its like computer security - they will always find a way to crack. So I think, no I expect, that (thinking) people like you who have a problem with immigration to be thinking in terms of realistic solutions. I dont expect that from uneducated people who may not be able to see the big picture.
I dont support immigration, as I understand it you are against immigration. I think that it is natural that people will emmigrate as long as the West monopolises resources.

Ok I'll rephrase that - nation states are a recent development considering how long man has populated the planet. And the concept will pass into history and when it does the sky will not fall in.

I agree that my friend is sad that he was ethnically cleansed from Krajina, despite his best efforts. It was sad that he was in that column of a hundred thousand or more Serbs. It was sad that his so called brothers who deluded him and his parents with supposed Serb patriotism / nationalism (telling them they would never be abandoned to the Ustate) were liars. Its also sad that he's spat upon by other Serbs like yourself today - after all he did and went through for 'the cause' only to find that nobody gives a damn. No wonder he doesnt feel happy in Serbia - your view is not uncommon on the right. And of course those liberals dont have time for him either. Well, if I have to defend him I will.

I've met members of the Serb diaspora too. If they are not sad after being ethnically cleansed I'd wonder about their sanity. If you are talking about people that emmigrated voluntarily long before the Croats threw them out they should consider themselves lucky.
And they should consider themselves lucky for not facing assylum procedure in force today as well.

I'm not at all happy about the situation in Kosovo. Why would I be happy? My girlfriend was ethnically cleansed from Pristina. She will never be allowed to return. You automatically assume some greater right than I because you see me as some liberal. I do not say you have less of a right than I do because you only see the abstract whilst I live with these people day in day out. I have more refugee friends than I can count. I wish you could hear their first hand stories.

Your points about numbers in the army, about strong leadership (Tito, Milosevic perhaps), NATO. All abstract concepts, none everyday problems faced by people - refugees and others living in Serbia today.

Well if you dont want to agree that there was plenty of mixing going on before Serbs existed or after the ethnic group came into being I dont know what to tell you. It seems extremely logical to think that an area which was so exposed to centuries of invasion and reinvasion would have a mixed ethnic population - according to your criteria of mixing. I would research this if it meant much to me but it doesnt. I dont have any unhealthy obsessive interest in trying to undermine one or another group identity. However, since you are so adamant on this I'd research the topic if I were you.

I do believe in a principled position - and not the shifting of the goalposts to suit ones argument.

Can you imagine what you are saying? That you are not interested in other conflicts because they didnt cross the path of your own ethnic group? How narrow is that? I bet you, like me, have an opinion on practically every topic to grace God's Earth. With respect, I dont believe you on this.
So say it clearly does Israel as a recent state have a right to exist? And how does this sit with your concept of multiculturalism? Dont you support the concept of ethnic / religious states?
OK if you have difficulty on this and the dates issue because you say you dont have any underlying principle. But it does sound a little odd when you say that.

Who said democracy was any less temporary than nation states? Again you are putting words into my mouth.

I havent advocated anything on Serbia yet. You are claiming that I am behaving like a bitch. Dont understand your point - if there is a point on this. Is it because you think I dont agree with you?

My 'alternative' is to try to think out solutions to problems rather than engage in the artificial debate the media (and the man in the pub) are suggesting.
The assylum issue in the UK as you know is not spoken of in the terms I structured it - and I'm pleased you agreed with me to some degree. It is entirely dishonest led both by liberals (led by the Guardian, polite society and others) and conservatives (led by the daily mail, white van man etc).

If you can only see a liberal in me from where you are I'd suggest that's because you must be sitting too far to the right to see me. I'm not interested in the dishonesty, hypocricy, false debate, close the eyes hope the problem goes away, lock them out then hope the problem goes away, hatred or do gooding. I want answers.

On the Serbia issue you must think the Serbian people are extremely stupid to vote for pro Western candidates just because of some foreign funding. The reason October 5th occured wasnt the foreign factor - it was so much more than that. The same JSO unit, supposedly patriotc, switched sides. The same crooks and football hooligans (and some nationalists) that used to support Milosevic / Draskovic, Seselj whoever, changed sides. Were they too paid by foreign money? You are also ignoring the fact that there was an election since then (unless you are calling that also a coup) that voted in the current government. There will be another election this January.

What will be your excuse this time for majority of Serbs voting for DS / DSS? How patriotic is it really to feel contempt (be honest, it is close to contempt isnt it?) for so many Serbs who vote this way. I dont understand this type of feeling when one professes such importance / love members of ones ethnic group / nation state.

I, by the way, do not feel contempt for those who vote for SRS / SPS even if I will not vote this way.

I wont bother debating JSO in depth with you because you obviously never saw with your own eyes what was going on. I'd guess that if you saw some of the injustice that I did you would have a different opinion, if only a slightly differing one. Common criminals is too kind for some of these men. Merceneries for hire is closer to the truth.
Suffice to say that it was no surprise that after this protest the same men assasinated the Prime Minister. And that those leaders of the uber patriotic JSO were not dismissed after the protest either. They were only excercising their rights to protest... :(

If an SAS unit took to the streets with arms in the UK there would be a complete scandal. I would not be surprised if the unit was disbanded, although its not comparing the same really.

The only reason the SAS might not be disbanded would be because of its long history. A recently created unit would be disbanded if they tried any such tactics. For heavens sake look at what Thatcher did to GCHQ workers when they tried to have a civilian union strike in the 1980's! Now imagine what would happen with soldiers and live ammunition. There would be uproar the like of which never has been seen in the UK.

On the indigenous point I'll wave the white flag - according to the standard definitions at least.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Estavisti said...

I don't want to get into this debate you guys are having, just a few things.

Firstly, a Serb cannot speak with a Croatian accent. What Serbs with a "Croatian accent" speak is some form or another of Serbian, depending on what part of what is currently Croatia they are from.

Secondly, you (Nikola) reject being labeled, but persist in labeling those you disagree with as liberals. Most people, myself included, would agree with this: "My ideology doesn’t fit into the simplistic left and right idea". So why label people?

Thirdly, DSS and G17+ are the only two parties I'm considering voting for - whatever you may think, they are following roughly the right course for the present situation. We cannot achieve any of our national aims if we are poor and isolated. The foundation of all power is a strong economy - with a strong economy, we can advance our interests (more children, say) and our culture much more effectively. Of course, joining the "Partnership for Peace" leaves a bad taste in the mouth, but at this stage in our development the benefits probably outweigh the disadvantages. In a few years, when we are in a stronger position, we can обесмислимо our membership.

1:36 AM  
Blogger Nikola said...

'you (Nikola) reject being labeled, but persist in labeling those you disagree with as liberals.'
I dont reject being labelled at all, I was just pointing out the inaccuracy of one particular label. To say im at the far right of the spectrum when many of my economic ideals are incompatible with the right is plain wrong.
And I dont label anyone I disagree with as a liberal, thats a really childish claim. Ive labelled one person a liberal, for reasons I can back up.
'Most people, myself included, would agree with this: "My ideology doesn’t fit into the simplistic left and right idea". So why label people?'
bganon put me in that category, I have not labelled him with left or right. I have labelled him as a liberal which I can clearly define and justify. Heres a few of the factors that brought me to that conclusion:
1.Hes a Serb who I have to convince of the existance of the Serbs as a nation.
2.He thinks differences in people could possible be 100% social
3. He uses 'colour'as interchangeable with 'race'.
4.He finds it objectionable to
criticise immigration.
5.He blogs for B92
I mean what more do you want.
I find it highly hypocritical that you can object to me saying to bganon 'you and your fellow liberals on B92' (which is my only reference to him being a liberal in the entire discussion).
Yet you say on your blog:
'If that’s the kind of democracy the “liberals” want to introduce then count me out.'-in reference to B92. And again: 'the “enlightened” “liberals” (Srbljanović et al) etc have all totally turned me off it'
Look who has labelled exactly the same people as I have as liberal!

Your contradictions are quite embarrasing:
You oppose joining the EU yet you are considering voting for a party who lists on their website as a national goal accelerated integration with the EU.
You complain on your blog: We get bombed - we get blamed. We get occupied - we’re the criminals.
Yet you consider voting for a party who lists as a national responsibility cooperation with the Hague Tribuneral.
You also complain as regards to the partnership for peace: 'We should give the diplomatic “fuck off”: thanks, but no thanks'
Yet you now claim: 'at this stage in our development the benefits probably outweigh the disadvantages.'

3:23 PM  
Blogger Bg anon said...

'Hes a Serb who I have to convince of the existance of the Serbs as a nation. '

Sorry my concept on nation is not exclusive to Serbs or Serbia it is universal. I know that concept is hard for you to understand but try.

2.He thinks differences in people could possible be 100% social

Read it again I have already said I dont believe this to be true.

3. What????

4 wrong again I said the debate surrounding immigration is dishonest. I object to both the liberal view of immigration and the conservative view. They are both based on dishonest premises.

5 Have you read my blog at B92? Its not the packaging that matters its the content.

I have no reason whatever to lie about my political views. I'm an open book on that front. Remember I dont feel the need to belong to a group because I am an indivdual. Isnt that closer to conservative philosophy. Well never mind!

7:50 PM  
Blogger Bg anon said...

Your putting words into my mouth at the end of your last response are all your own comments and nothing to do with my views.

Do I support democracy? I'm afraid its the cop out answer. We have yet to come across something better. But (although I see you havent studied political ideologies or you would have noticed the pattern by now) there are elements of anarchistic / socialistic thought mixed in with my world view. You mistakenly labled that as liberal. woops.

'In any case Im not criticising your views as a whole, but am attempting to isolate those ones that I disagree with and respond to them.'

You talk about me being negative, what do you call that. I always welcome the opportunity to find common ground with others.

'You seem to want the two of us to debate by different standards'

I cant understand why you dont agree then - as you dont follow common principles as soon as Serbia is involved.

'Secondly you get to decide what is relevant and what is irrelevant, so you get to criticise Milosevic, but decide that its ‘irrelevant’ for me to mention that the coup that overthrew him was funded by the West.'

No I just want to keep to the issues rather than get stuck on words that are emotive for you like B92 for example (I can almost see you doing an Alo Alo style 'nazi spit' - dont misinterpret that last comment by the way I think you know what I'm talking about :))

As far as the hoardes are concerned (or vermin or anything similar) defend yourself for all its worth by being politically correct. I thought you didnt like PC. I dont and I do respect honesty far more, even if I disagree strongly with somebodies view.

'it wasn’t just the Albanians who did little mixing, the Serbs of Kosovo also kept to themselves’'

Is that a fact or not Nikola? YOU are assuming that Serbs are to 'blame' for that. Those are your words not mine. I dont blame Serbs for that because it wasnt their fault. So why do you blame Serbs of Kosovo for not mixing?

'You see this is more PC than anything I ever said'
Rubbish, its an honest view. Only a fool sees everything as being somebodies fault - such a view might tend to make a person pretty unstable I might add.
There are scientific explanations for all sorts of conflicts around the world. Many factors. Truly only an idiot would go around blaming one or another group. There are reasons why people behave the way they do.

'he wanted to ingratiate himself with Albanians as a stepping-stone to including Albania within Yugoslavia.'

That was one of his plans / ideas yes. A larger Yugoslavia, a more powerful Tito. Good for him, never mind the rest of us.

'There is no social cohesion in Kosovo, people have split along ethnic lines, accept it. '
Do you think I need you to tell me this? Perhaps you'd like to explain this to my girlfriend.

'If I come up with an innovative new medicine, I must show beyond doubt it is safe'
How many times. This is not something presecribed to society - its an inevitable consequence of the rules governing the international system - capitalism. Damn it I'm breaking my liberal cover again arent I? :)

I’m asking you to withdraw your claim to the possibility of there being 2 theories

What? There are 2 theories considered as extreme. I'm supposed to close my eyes now and pretend that there are not 2 theories generally accepted by experts in the field as extreme views. Do yourself a favour give this one up, its becoming farcical.

'can’t bring yourself to accept it'

Earth to Nikola do I have to go back to show you. I accepted the link you posted. I accept differences and I dont believe that the 100 behaviourist view is correct. Sorry that isnt enough for you but you are again exaggerating.

'immigration is used as a tool to obtain cheap labour'
right, and if immigration was banned there would be no more cheap labour would there? So you care about cheap labour do you? Going to tell me about the sweatshops in India next? For somebody of the rightwing persuasion you surprise me. :)

Will answer your other points (accusations, more like) when I can

8:28 PM  
Blogger Estavisti said...

Now you're labeling my "claims" as "childish" and "embarrassing" :) I used the word "liberal" as shorthand - you might notice that I used quotation marks, indicating that I do not myself consider them liberals (they may be, but that's not what defines them).

Also, as I have said elsewhere, everyone has to compromise on some things when deciding who to vote for. It would be immature to expect me to agree with all a party's policies. Those two parties have done a lot for Serbia, and while I find plenty to criticise them for, I can recognise their positive contribution and the lack of decent alternatives on the scene.

As for the PfP, now that we've been offered membership, what are the alternatives? We should have made it clear before that we weren't interested, now that they've offered it would be detrimental to our interests to reject it. It would be a clear sign that we're just sticking two fingers up at NATO, and for what? Of course, I hate the way our army is going, but we HAVE NO CHOICE. Yes, it's shit, so deal with it.

Nikola, your problem is that pragmatism is something totally foreign to you. There are more intelligent ways of doing things than open conflict, as the 90s should have taught you. Soft power is something Serbia should learn to use much more effectively ;)

9:58 PM  
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5:19 AM  
Blogger Bg anon said...

Its quite simple if we dont want more of them to come and live in our rich countries (ok my country is not rich) then we have to pay for it.

Answer That’s right Serbia is not rich. And even if it was, the idea that we would have to build up every third world economy or we’d have to accept immigrants is perverse.

Well do rich Western states have to pay for it? Are you for the raising of taxes to this end?

'Both points are valid. One does not exclude the other. Just because I believe that the West has pillage global resources, it doesnt mean I shouldnt highlight the dangers of immigration.'

Perhaps both points are valid but the values that govern the international system (profit motive, capitalism, monopolisation of resources, call it what you will) cause people to emmigrate from their countries. This is by far the more important point. These values affect all of us, the narrow field of immigration is a tiny symptom of a much greater problem.

Well I believe it’s a phallacy that border control doesn’t work

Well yes, I suppose if we imposed a police state it might work - or perhaps drafted in the army. Its also true that we could stamp out terrorist attacks if we were all registered on some DNA / fingerprint database which were immediately available to all enforcement agencies and tourist agencies. In the absence of extreme measures we might think in terms of ensuring that people arent forced to leave their own countries in the first place.

Yes I do think that immigration is inevitable as long as the current values of the international system remain as they are. I thought you agreed with that. I dont advocate the status quo, I advocate that people are given the opportunity to remain in their own countries (as most of them want anyway). That means in my book that rich countries must pay before they try to bolt the door to keep the poor out. That doesnt BTW mean I'm a pawn in some mass experiment that you like to talk of.

'That’s a major assumption right there.'
Perhaps, but its true isnt it? Do you see the world as it is or as you would like it to be?

Forgive me for being emotive about my Croatian Serb friend but he inspires loyalty - not on the basis of his ethnic background but as an individual. He also inspires loyalty because he is rejected by others. Its the easiest thing in the world to fall back on accident of birth group belonging - it requires no effort whatever. Its quite another to earn somebodies respect for your actions. It certainly wasnt the Communists that let him down - he never expected anything from them.

As you know many families from the Krajina didnt have any time for the Communists. It was the drunken bands of Seselj and other assorted 'patriots' that were among the biggest disapointments to him and others in SAO Krajina.

When the Serbs of Krajina finally clicked that these wars were excuses for criminals to go on a mass looting rampage (and nothing to do with preserving SAO Krajina) it was too late. My friend recognised this before the others and warned those in positions of power that they were being betrayed but nobody listened.
So he resents Serbia for betrayal and he resents Croatia for conducting a war and ethnic cleansing campaign against him and his family. He belongs nowhere but is fiercely loyal to those who deserve it. He has seen it all first hand.

'I said they would laugh at you if you called them Croatian. Big difference, check your facts.'

What facts are those? What do Krajina Serbs call themselves these days? I know from my time spent in Oxford that they didnt call themselves Serbian. No, in fact the Krajina Serbs I spent time with felt quite similarly towards Serbia as my friend does - resentful.

'don’t be condescending about how you’re in touch with the people and I’m so buried in abstract thought.'

Actions speak louder than words. I choose to live in Serbia, you choose to live in England. Its a fact that you are more in touch with goings on in England than I am and the reverse is true on the Serbian point.

'If there aren’t enough soldiers to protect the country that’s going to cause very real problems.'

Right, and when there were enough soldiers in the army that really helped stop Yugoslavia breaking up didnt it? Sheer numbers did nothing. Now that there are not enough soldiers to protect the country you think Serbia will be attacked??? Ok lets wait and see but I think it wont happen. Thus it will be shown that at a time when the army was teeming with numbers it failed (both to keep peace and to maintain the countries integrity) and when it is not numerous enough it wont matter because there is no conflict.

No, the war is over. Money should be invested in quality rather than quantity of army numbers. And there are many other pressing priorities that must be paid attention to.

Really I'm not interested in trying to prove that Serbs have mixed with Turks, Austrians, Germans, Hungarians, Vlachs, Slovaks etc. And remember you are the one that sees this as mongeralisation. I dont see it that way.

'I support the right of every people to have self-determination'

You and the liberal Woodrow Wilson are in agreement here then. I am not in favour of pandering to every single group of people that invent new supposed nationalities on what has almost become an almost daily basis. I'm sick and tired of balkanisation. I didnt want Yugoslavia to break up. I think that before the right to any new nation state is even considered (I'm a realist even if I dont support the idea) any number of conditions must be completed. I dont believe more borders should be errected.

'the politicians tell the people want they know they want to hear'
too right and didnt they use that well in the Balkans when ethnic groups were abused and manipulated mercilessly and then left to sink.
It appears as if that some of us havent learnt our lesson.

Oh no the dreaded S word. God help us, it will be the three witches next right? Stir with words like treason, parasites and hanging from a lampost and mix well... :)

Soros was throwing money at the region for years before Milosevic fell. Not really 'suddenly' as you put it, is it? When he did finally fall it was because of Soros? That is simplistic, unscientific and lazy too. There were so many factors that ensured Milosevic fell and foreign money is only a small part of it. You forgot the bogeymen of OTPOR btw :)

'Well in the last election the largest one party was SRS'

But the fact remains that the so called democratic parties got more votes. Its also a fact that a candidate from one party Boris Tadic beat the Radical Party to become President - another coup, or again because of foreign money??? Oh the misled Serbian people, (if only the enlightened diaspora bothered to even vote, rather than try to make todays Serbs live up to some their standards!).

Seeing as you dont support democracy and that I've given you my view on the subject what alterntive are you suggesting?

7:39 PM  
Blogger Nikola said...

'Now you're labeling my "claims" as "childish" and "embarrassing" :)'

The reason I called your claims childish is because you said I label people who disagree with me as liberals. This is completely unsubstantiated. I have called one person a liberal once in the entire discussion, yet you extrapolate from that the simplistic accusation meant to imply that I use it as some kind of inaccurate throwaway remark. Its clear to me that you must be offended that I use the word in a negative light, since you have ‘labelled’ yourself as a liberal in the past.

'I used the word "liberal" as shorthand - you might notice that I used quotation marks, indicating that I do not myself consider them liberals (they may be, but that's not what defines them).'

I found it comical how you object to me calling someone a liberal, not because the term doesn’t describe them accurately, but because it ‘labels’ them and doesn’t ‘define’ them. I mean have the courage of your convictions Id have more respect for you if you said outright he’s not a liberal and gave a reason. But this kind of virtuous indignation is ridiculous. The grass is green. Its colour doesnt 'define' it, yet it quite accurately describes it. Has the grass been 'labelled' unfairly? You can only object to someone being described as something if it is inaccurate. I reserve the right to call someone what I choose if I think it describes them adequately, deal with it.


'Also, as I have said elsewhere, everyone has to compromise on some things when deciding who to vote for. It would be immature to expect me to agree with all a party's policies.'
Well I’ve heard of people disagreeing with taxation policy and other minor elements of a parties manifestos but voting for them anyway, but this really takes the biscuit. One of the most important, if not the most important question facing Serbia is whether it will join the EU. You are opposed yet you consider voting for a party that endorses joining. That’s incredible, you’re capable of compromising to the point of capitulation.


'As for the PfP, now that we've been offered membership, what are the alternatives? We should have made it clear before that we weren't interested, now that they've offered it would be detrimental to our interests to reject it. It would be a clear sign that we're just sticking two fingers up at NATO, and for what? Of course, I hate the way our army is going, but we HAVE NO CHOICE. Yes, it's shit, so deal with it.'

You f and blind on your blog about the partnership for peace, using all kinds of profanities and sexual induendo anyone would think it was an issue you were fairly worked up about, but now we have you telling me to ‘deal with it’. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. I made one blog entry about it (and fairly tame compared to yours) and now apparently Im so hysterical that I need advice from you (people in glass houses…) to deal with it. In practical terms this means absolutely nothing anyway, I mean Im perfectly calm about it, and it took me about 5 seconds to get over it since Ive been expecting it for the last how many years. But again I’ll criticise it all I want, Im not going to have you telling me to ‘deal with it’. Just like bganons lame reasons for not criticising people because its 'a waste of time', yet he tries to instruct me where to ‘aim my fire’. Presumably it would be of more global importance to him If I blogged on the latests happenings on the Serbian version of Big Brother. What a noble use of my time that would be.


Nikola, your problem is that pragmatism is something totally foreign to you. There are more intelligent ways of doing things than open conflict, as the 90s should have taught you. Soft power is something Serbia should learn to use much more effectively ;)
Heres another childish and simplistic claim: my way of doing things is open conflict and I have yet to discover the more intelligent methods. Well my answer is the following: If you can find one place, just one, in the entire discussion where I’ve advocated conflict, or any policy which results in it, then point it out. Presumably anyone that isn’t sucking up to the West is for all out war. Not joining the PfP or NATO is not going to lead to air strikes.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Estavisti said...

Ngh, I almost can't be bothered to reply, because this stuff is just descending into arguments about our arguments and the meaning of words, rather than the issues.

"Liberal" has such a wide meaning it is practically meaningless when unqualified. So what's the point of calling someone a liberal? You could call the Radicals (progressive) liberals with reference to their redistributive economic policies. All the major parties in Serbia are liberal, or heavily influenced by liberalism. Calling Cheda and Co. "liberal" isn't unfair, just vague and meaningless.

Unfortunately, when the West expects to be sucked up to, we must do so, at least publicly. Not joining the PfP isn't going to lead to air strikes, but we can't send negative signals when we are weak. Not joining would impede our economy's progress, which is largely dependent of the West i.e. NATO. And we can't do shit without a strong economy, no matter how much that (seemingly) annoys you. With a strong economy, we can engage in what would basically be cultural and economic imperialism, and would be prepared for the next point when hard power could be used (the next collapse of stability in Europe). If we try anything apart from sucking up right now, we'd be just like a madman in a padded room, wrapped up in a straitjacket. All that would happen is that the West would increase our medicine. Does that sound fun?

As for joining the EU, that won't happen in the next four years, so I can afford to compromise on that part of a party's program. The better we do while outside the EU, the less our population will be inclined to view the EU as a panacea for all our ills. Anyway, who would you vote for, if at all?

12:35 AM  
Blogger Bg anon said...

'found it comical how you object to me calling someone a liberal, not because the term doesn’t describe them accurately'

Which as I have already explained does not describe me accurately. You didnt bother to respond (which on its own might have been ok) but you repeated the liberal claim and
I see you've taken to desribing me in the third person. Enough.

If the way you treat me and the likes of Estavisti is anything to go by the values of CCCC are well and truly dead.

Good job.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Nikola said...

Dont worry I'll respond to you soon enough bganon, im not letting you off that lightly after all the gaffs you have made. Your comment about multiculturalism not being a policy or prescribed to society is going to be dismantled. All in good time, I dont have limitless freetime to respond to you the moment you bring something up. Also given the fact that you ignore a lot of points of mine when it suits you, whereas I answer everyone you throw at me means that invariably my replies will take longer in coming. Im also researching data so I can back up my claims, whereas you are content with quoting anonymous individuals.

10:10 PM  

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