Yugo, psychiatry, and war

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Thu Sep 28 07:54:08 MDT 1995

>From Chris B. London:

I am conscious of the problem of cross-posting to this
marxism list if  done in an inconsiderate way, but I am
forwarding the attached comments from the moderator of the
peace conference on the apc networks

 Conference "zamir.chat" <zamir-chat-l at igc.apc.org>

 Ivo Skoric" <iskoric at igc.apc.org>

for two reasons that add new material to the debate,

1) it illuminates the existence of a group of psychiatrists involved in
aggressive Serb nationalism. This is an issue that has of course
troubled me a lot.

2) Without claiming to be a marxist analysis, it has some very
important points about how the nature of war has changed
with changes in the means of production of war.

> Hi! I am doing a research paper on the Balkan War. I would like to ask a
> few questions.
> I would like to know your opinions of the Serbian leader Radovian Karadzic.

I hope you watched "Serbian Epics", a one hour satire about Karadzic
taped by a Polish director during the war in Bosnia for Human Rights
Watch film festival. Film tells you a lot. Karadzic is a
psychiatrist. Leader of Serbs in Croatia in the beginning of war was
also a psychiatrist. You know why Serb rebels always need a
psychiatrist as a leader? Because they are all nuts. Because they all
act like if they were released from a mental institution, anyway.
There is of course a more satanic real reason. The psychological war
was planned by Milosevic team years in advance, and psychiatrists
willing to participate were commissioned. Top commander of
Milosevic's army in Serbia, a little known Vuk Obradovic, is a
psychology phd. His doctoral thesis was about how did nationalist
feelings may affect the soldier's morale. Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia
were prepared, their behaviour was intentionally "modified" to hate
and kill. As expected that behaviour modification instantly mirrored
on the other side (among Croats and Bosnians) which made the war
possible. Media, politicians, psy-op specialists and intelligence
crowd have been fighting in Yugoslavia since Tito's death in 1980.
Nobody in the world seemed to notice that the war was going on there
long before 1991?! Rape of women, massacres, burned villages - they
are all part of the psychological destruction of the enemy. Radovan
Karadzic, a Fullbright scholar and a Columbia University graduate,
should be tried for breaking his doctor's oath at least. Still, he
may escape as Mengele did.
But this is a really long story.

> I would also appreciate your opinion of whether you think the war is just
> or not.

No war is just.Modern warfare is more and more unjust, too. Centuries
ago fighters would agree to meet in the field and solve things in
hand to hand combat. Civilians would accept the rule of the winners.
Their villages and their lives would mostly be spared. As human kind
developed and became more civilized we understood that infrastructure
(meaning towns and villages that produce food, weapons, clothes and
women that produce new soldiers) is way more important factor in any
war than what actually happens in any given battle. Today wars are
not won by better fighters but by countries who may produce more
bullets, more accurate guns and deliver them both succesfully to the
battlefield. For the same reason any army today rather kills
civilians than to engage in a fight with another military. It is an
alout war of military of one side against civilians of another side.
Accordingly the percentage of civilian victims in the overall victims
count grew exponentially since the World Word I: WW II, Korea,
Vietnam, Aphganistan, Bosnia... In Bosnia and Croatia actually armies
rarely - almost never - clashed. Mostly they destroyed and ethnically
cleansed the towns and villages of the other side. Also, with the
development of our technology we acquired weapons that eneble us to
kill without seeing the consequences, therefore cutting us off from
the unpleasant feedback that would naturally result from the act of
mass murder. The U.N. should banish use of all firearms in the war.
Heh, if we regulate so many other things, why the wars are not
regulated? Geneva conventions are merely a smoke-screen that mostly
prohibit use of weapons that nobody - even Saddam Hussein - had the
guts to use, because they are uncontrollable and may backlash against
those who use them.

> And I would also like to know which side you personally support.

I always supported Croatian-Bosnian side in this war. Because the war
is clearly orchestrated by one evil fascist political option from
Serbia. It is sad that that option received support from the West in
the beginning. West hoped that Milosevic would do his coup swiftly
and without much ado. Only when daily CNN reports turned it in the
bloody quagmire, the powers turned their backs on Milosevic. Not
completely, though. He is still a main peace broker there. He started
the fire and now he offered to help to put it away. Taking sides are
made more difficult because both Croatia and Bosnia got  governments
modeled in their authoritarian ways upon Serbian government. So, one
may ask - why did their people fought if they got what they would
eventually get if they did not secede. And, of course, not all Serbs
are war criminals.

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