Monday, September 18, 2006

Articles: Serbia and the RS

Two brand new articles on the ever complex status of Kosovo and the RS.

From Rueters: Analysis: Serbs invoke Bosnia breakup to keep Kosovo

From B92: Expected Effect of the Serbia-RS agreement

From B92: RS was promised a referendum?


Katja said...

Sacirbey can't really be trusted, he's been declared eligiable for extradition to BiH to be tried for embezzlement of government funds.
He could have some serious ulterior motives...
just sayin'

Owen said...

During the Bosnian war Sacirbey worked hard as spokesman for the Bosnian government on UK television - he seemed to be the only one who was fast-footed enough to keep up with the devious Serb/ian spokespeople and UK govt representatives he was appearing with.

However it was Haris Silajdzic I used to pay attention to - his reaction of sometimes almost speechless disbelief at the mendacious rubbish that he was being confronted with matched my own and for me reinforced the credibility of what he was saying.

Bg anon said...

I agree with katja Sacirbey cant be trusted although on these specific allegations who's to say what the truth of the matter is. Nothing surprises me. Personally speaking I have doubts about 'ic's' that shorten their surnames to sound less foreign in the US too. Somehow I dont think that Sacirbegovic is at all enthusiastic to return to Bosnia.

Owen the Serbian representatives were hardly devious - people like that Arsic idiot, the Serbian information centre, failed politicians like that Kennedy who flirted with Karadzic. They were pretty much a joke, nowhere near clever enough to be called devious. And I truly cant think of one Serb who was fast footed.
The Sacirbey / Silajdzic 'team' were though - very media savvy.

I remember a comment from a leader of a well known Bosnian from Tuzla who was in London on Silajdzic in the mid 90's. He said 'he's ok but we are trying to Europeanise him'.

On a different point I was surprised to read that the Dayton agreement allows Bosnian Croat and Serbs in Bosnia to vote in Croatia and Serbia resectively. I think I realised that the Bosnian Croats had the right to vote in Croatia but sort of forgot about it.

What is that all about? Talk about not even giving Bosnia a chance to survive as a nation state. And when you think about it this is pretty much in line with Sacirbey's claims on RS.

Owen said...

Well, I'm sorry, the people like Trifkovic and Gasic certainly were devious and misleading and people who should have known better gave them an awful lot more airtime and respect than they should have had.

Their standard tactic was to churn out the rubbish thick and fast in a pesudo-authoritative tone of voice which left anyone else appearing with them looking for where to begin answering them. I don't know how they got such favourable treatment except as part of the BBC's dubious "evenhandedness".

I certainly wasn't referring to Kennedy as the British govt. representative, there were a lot of people a lot higher and more officially "neutral" involved in putting acorss the government position. Kennedy was just a cowboy out on the margins as far as I know and a bit of an embarrassment to the Tories when his dealings with Karadzic came out.

It was the official line that all were supposed to be equally to blame that kept putting the Bosnian representatives at a disadvantage. The Major govet. wanted to close an awkward situation down with the minimum of fuss and Milosevic was the man they were counting on to provide them with a stable solution to the bit of local difficulty.

One of the reasons I remain so angry about what happened is that I am ashamed to say that for quite a while in the early days I let myself be conned by the argument that Britain was acting even-handedly in seeking to find a reasonable solution to the problems of a vicious civil war.

Katja said...

I think regardless of the merits of the allegations he's been given motivation and therefore I don't trust him, and yeah messing with your family name that way isn't a point in his favor, even if it seems petty to bring that up. He was a fairly good spokesman, I'll grant, but he's motivated now.
I think it's important for any nation to be one nation. I think allowing partition has led to bad stuff all kinds of places, not just BiH. Can anyone say 'Northern Ireland'? Can everyone say 'India-Pakistan-Banladesh'? what about Cyprus?
Partition of lands that belong together for historicla reasons isn't a good thing.
People accede to it after long awful wars and then live to regret it later.

Owen said...

Katja, I agree with you completely, if Sacirbey has been too clever, he has got to be answerable for his actions. But people have a number of reasons for modifying their names. A number of my friends have family names that they or their parents or grand-parents have modified - Irish, Polish, German Jewish, etc.

Bg anon said...

Owen, Gasic and even Gavrilovic had next to zero influence on the government or the voting public in the UK. Trifkovic lives in the US so wasnt much part of that story.

If we are talking about influence in the US the certainly Trifkovic did wield influence - again in right wing circles. In other words not somebody that appeals to the majority of good-willed people. For some of the alarm bells start ringing almost immediately.

None of them had a shred of influence upon me and to be frank I'm pretty certain they didnt influence you either. They were transparent nationalists not devious. Somebody devious sounds reasonable to the general public, does not appear odious from the start, doesnt have a thick accent or gives the sense that he is promoting a nationalist ideology.

And I certainly dont agree that you should remove them from the airwaves - although that may have helped the 'Serb' cause. One should respect the public enough to let them decide. They did decide not to believe was Gasic, Arsic and company were trying to sell. Their 'product' of course was almost impossible to sell but they were very bad salesmen anyway.

I do agree with you much more on the point concerning the majority view in British politics. There was a sort of concensus for a while until Labour changed tack. I wouldnt call it the official line because I think pretty early on the media decided to sympathise with one side more than the other -which is reasonable imo.

You can hardly be held responsible for supporting a view which at the time you thought would cause less civilian casualties. It doesnt make you to blame. One is only ever responsible (IMO) if you ever supported the killing of civilians either in a fit of anger or by wanting to settle scores. I have never wanted civilians dead but freely admit to wanting Slobodan Milosevic dead, I even had fantasies on how I'd do it. Or I would picture him and Franjo with me as referee in a boxing much. I'd let the two of them beat each others brains out and force them to continue - to spare ordinary people from their crap.

You probably disagree but I still believe that too much emotion is best kept out when 'following' a conflict. It has a nasty residual habit of causing one to do or feel something one should really be ashamed of.

Katja I agree that partition isnt generally a good thing. Then again I'm much more of a unifier than a divider.. We once had a country...

Owen said...

The BBC must have been paying Trifkovic a packet in travel expenses if they were flying him in every time he appeared on programmes like Newsnight.

The point is that for some while Trifkovic, and then Gasic who took over from him, were given loads of airtime, on BBC radio and TV in particular but also elsewhere, to put across the Serb case. I'm sorry, I remember it, I saw them and heard them and I became increasingly irritated by the ineffectual way BBC presenters dealt with them.

Trifkovic came across to me as an obsessive intellectual utterly committed to his own academic construct, which in this case appeared to be a political-historical analysis that had never been subjected to peer review, while Gasic spoke with the conviction and sincerity of a used-car salesman who can spot a dozy presenter on his forecourt at a hundred paces. I missed out on Arsic I'm afraid.

For some reason they were rarely challenged or cross-examined in an informed way, which may reflect the ability of BBC news and current affairs production managers to ignore the input of the Corporation's staff on the ground.