Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Some thoughts on the war...

I just wanted to write down some of my thoughts from this weekend. It was kind of surreal going to Olja's old house and seeing where she played as a child ("here we had a basketball hoop") and yet it was completely in ruins... I have seen other destroyed houses - but this time it was different - you see she is not a poor Muslim refugee who fled from the agressive Serbs. She is a Serb who fled from the Muslim and Croat forces at the end of the war. This part of the story in the war doesn't get told very often. Near the end of the war, the Serbs were pushed back and the Croatians and Muslims pushed through quite far. This is sometimes given as was one of the reasons the war came to an end - as the Serbs realised they might lose if they carried on... However, what doesn't get told is the countless refugees (Serbian) who fled and who lost everything because for whatever reason the Muslim and Croat forces destroyed their homes as they came through. This was systematic destruction of EVERYTHING in the way...

My point is that people who blame the Serbs for everything bad that happened in the war have missed the fact that there are also many Serbian victims. Ok, some argue that the Serbs did more damage and the Muslims and Croats were only taking revenge - but that still doesn't condone the wanton destruction that happened in those months. Every side had a hand in war crimes and the icky things that went on here... And it was just made clearer to me this weekend, seeing the destroyed houses on the Serb side.

2 comments:

LeAnne said...

Good insight... war and it's atermath are quite icky for everyone involved...

Kirk Johnson said...

Well, certainly the coverage of the war was oversimplified, and yes--'icky' things happen to everybody in war.

I wish discussion of the war in Bosnia could get past the racist logic of collective guilt, which pits one ethnic group against another and frankly clouds the waters.

I hope you are aware that, while bad things were commited by individuals on all sides, and individuals on all sides suffered, the war was very much planned, prepared for, instigated by, and carried out by the Milosevic regime and his ultra-nationalist Serb proxies in Croatia and Serbia. This is the truth. It is also true that many Serbs did not want war, and that some Serbs suffered horrible atrocities during the war. But there's more to the story than a body count.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...