[Marxism] More appalling Ustashe-Tudjman lovin' from Green Left (was Re: Serbophobia, inc., )

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at theplanet.net.au
Wed Nov 14 08:25:12 MST 2007

> -----Original Message-----
> From: marxism-bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu [mailto:marxism-
> bounces at lists.econ.utah.edu] On Behalf Of Louis Proyect
> Sent: Wednesday, 14 November 2007 1:42 PM
> To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
> Subject: Re: [Marxism] More appalling Ustashe-Tudjman lovin' from
> Green Left (was Re: Serbophobia, inc., )
> You have to be kidding. *You* are the people with the inflammatory
> attack on the left. Michael Karadjis writes, "Therefore, what is
> required is a thorough survey of the numbers killed, not merely an
> Irvingesque 'body count' methodology."
> Irvingesque. We know what that means. Like David Irving. As in
> genocide
> denial. As in "revisionist". You people basically are comparing Edward
> Herman and his "co-thinkers" LIKE ME to neo-Nazis. 

Oh I'm devastated. I'm outraged about Herman spitting on the graves of
8000 massacre victims, and you're outraged by how I express my outrage.
Maybe that makes us even.

Never mind that you're mud-throwing at me and the DSP about 'Ustashe',
'pro-Tudjman' etc is based on nothing but slander, as Nick Fredman has
shown, and as I extensively quoted, and where I express my unreserved
condemnation for Tudjman's crime in Krajina, whereas my Irving comment
refers to real apologetics for Chetnik war crimes in Srebrenica.

I'm not sure if 'Ustashe' is worse than 'Irving' or not, but as for your
"LIKE ME" bit, since I referred to a "body-count methodology", I wasn't
aware you were so glued to that method. Sure, I know you're a dedicated
war crimes denier and apologist, but that isn't the point. I thought
your methodology tended more to be things like evasion, abuse, picking
on some small point, ignoring the most important aspects of someone's
arguments, finding a word in one line and then posting some article from
some year which takes on that micro-point etc, rather than having any
particular bent towards body-count methodology. Let's look at this
imaginary situation of an imperialist hack polemicising on Iraq:

"The left-wing media has gone all out claiming that over a million
people have been killed since our servicemen and women began their
humanitarian work in Iraq. This is based on spurious "surveys" which
they latch onto as if it were all true. While no doubt many have been
killed in the crossfire, mostly armed insurgents that died in battles,
the Iraq Body Count project has only turned up between 71,000 and 78,000

Irvingesque? That's for sure.

 > This is a totally bogus argument. Tudjman was a secessionist. He
> wanted
> to break away from Yugoslavia in the same way that Robert E. Lee
> wanted
> to break away from the United States. Like many Eastern European
> government heads, the implosion of the USSR was an incentive to break
> away from a social system that they thought was impeding progress--ie,
> personal enrichment. 

What silliness. All the bourgeois elites wanted to move towards
capitalism, including both in Serbia and Croatia. Secession or no
secession was a different issue. The Yugoslav federal government and the
Milosevic Serbian government had led the way. Tudjman just wanted his
own version. Just as Ukraine wanted its own version, rather than be
ruled by Yeltsin.

> It was the secessionist moves of Croatia that led
> to the Serbs in Krajina attempting their own secessionist bid against
> Croatia. 

Let's get the timeline right. In early 1989, Milosevic demolished the
Yugoslav constitution by demolishing Kosova's high level autonomy, which
was central to the 1974 constitution. His nationalist movement also
overthrew the governments in Montenegro and Vojvodina, so that his
Serbian nationalist, anti-Yugoslav movement now had 4 of 8 votes in the
federation, bringing about constitutional deadlock. In October 1989,
Serbia declared economic sanctions against fellow republic Slovenia. In
March 1990, Tudjman was elected. Croatia and Slovenia put forward a plan
to convert Yugoslavia into a confederation, seeing as the federal order
had been destroyed and replaced by a Serb-dominated central state, the
antithesis of what Yugoslavia was for 40 years. The EU and especially US
strongly opposed this plan, in fact advocated further recentralization.
Article 72 of the Republic of Serbia's 1990 Constitution states: 'The
Republic of Serbia organizes and secures the sovereignty, independence
and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia, and its
international status and relations with other states and international
bodies', as well as 'the defence and security of the Republic of
Serbia'. Article 83 of the same constitution states that the 'President
of the Republic of Serbia is the supreme commander of armed forces in
peace and war'. In accordance with this, Article 135 paragraph 2 of the
constitution removes Serbia from Yugoslavia's legal system: Yugoslavia's
laws no longer apply to it. This article envisages Serbia's right to
'respect' the federal laws only when 'this is in its own interest'. 

In March 1991, the "Serbian Republic of Krajina" held a referendum to
declare *independence* from Croatia. In June 1991, Croatia held its own
independence referendum. 

> Interestingly enough, the DSP justifies Croatia's
> secessionism
> but views Krajinan independence as a move that invited military
> intervention from Zagreb. What governs this logic? 

You ought to learn to read, unless this is just you're usual
disingenuousness. I wrote:

"Why did Croatia invade the Krajina and expel 150,000 Serbs? Because it
was Croatian territory, that had been seized by the Serbian armed forces
in 1991, brutally "cleansed" of its Croat population, and taken over as
the so-called "Republika Srpska Krajina". Obviously at some point
Croatia was going to attempt to retake its territory. Of course, as


"the way Tudjman's reactionary regime retook the Krajina, with a massive
military attack, launching hundreds of missiles directly into the
Krajina capital Knin, was a method that guaranteed the expulsion of the
Serb population. Furthermore, it is also very clear that many people who
stayed behind, mostly old people, were murdered by Croatian troops, as

"Unreservedly condemn", understand yet Proyect?


"Firstly, the Krajina itself, the furthest part of Croatia from Serbia,
was the only part that could actually CLAIM THE RIGHT TO SELF
DETERMINATION, as the only of the three regions with a SERB MAJORITY.
Yet even there Serbs were a majority of only 69 percent - much smaller
than the majority status of Albanians in Kosova - and the far-right SDS
(Serb Democratic Party) leaders ethnically cleansed the Croat minority
of 60-70,000 people from the Krajina."

I think that's clear enough so far, isn't it?

But then I guess what you don't like is when I then point out that the
other two regions that were conquered by the Serboslav army in its
rampage in 1991 and became part of this "Serb Republic," Eastern and
Western Slavonia, were *overwhelmingly Croat* in population, East
Slavonia with 14% Serbs, which included Vukovar, with an absolute Croat
majority, yet it was here that the great bulk of the war actually took
place, including the 3-month siege and destruction of Vukovar, and so I
guess you don't like the implication that the "Serb republic" did not
have the right to these territories, and their self-determination had
been violated, and that the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of
Croats in 1991 from one third of Croatia was a massive crime, and,
heaven help us, that these people have a right to return to their homes!
You must have hated that. 

And I guess what you really hated was when I pointed out that if we
condemn Tudjman's retaking of Krajina in 1995 and the expulsion of the
150,000 Serbs there (as I "unreservedly" did), that:

"then surely we should also condemn the initial ethnic cleansing of the
Croats from the Krajina and the other two regions - East and West
Slavonia - that were torn out of Croatia in 1991 and called a "Serb

> adaptation
> to Croatian nationalism. Apparently, the DSP comrades began working
> with
> a small Croatian radical group in 1983 and became won to their
> ideology.
> I think they would have been been better off maintaining a more
> independent and critical stance.   

What silliness. Our work with a small group of confused Croatian
leftists who were in conflict, often bloody, with the Ustashe, was
irrelevant to our later stance. Especially since you talk about Mandel
having a go at the SWP over that - I can't remember anything about that
or the content of the criticism, but what I do know is that 8 years
later, in 1991, the Mandelite FI adopted pretty much the same position
as we did, and through the war in Bosnia, and in Kosova in 1999, ie, in
latter case, condemning NATO while still supporting Albanian

Which brings me to your oddball comment that on "this issue", we are
part of the "decent left" with something called "Harry's Place", someone
called "Oliver Kamm" (who are they and what is their importance, they
seem to be names only important to your little blogworld). Actually, our
overall view, minus nuance here and there, is rather common, outside
some little faction of cyberleftworld who continually reference each
other. These for example don't seem too different from our view:

Alan Thornett (ISG, Respect):

Edward Said:



Francis Boyle:


Socialist Resistance:


Irish Republican Socialist Network:

Just for a few starters.

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