A weekly information sheet, produced, published, and distributed in its entirety by Dubravko Kakarigi, P.O.Box 1742, Tallahassee, Florida 32302, tel. 904/877-0620, with lots of help and support by Mr. Jim Peterson, especially as an amanuensis. Thank you Jim.
|July 25, 1992||Number 7|
What's happening in Yugoslavia
Part 5. — My view
Everyone in this crazy war in Yugoslavia, the lands of the Southern Slavs and other non-slavic peoples, feels that they are right, they are the ones with the right cause, they are the ones who are left out and have to fight for justice and their inalienable rights. All sides can claim something, usually deeply rooted in history, which makes their actions justified.
However, as long as we call upon distant history to justify aggressive behavior, we can not find justice for the living. History comes to us in the form of someone's writing or legends or stories told from generation to generation. Invariably, we can never find out what really happened, but rather are forced to believe one or another theory of what happened.
I propose that justice be sought based on the memories of living generations and without projections. The past should be studied in order to learn about a possible, not a certain, course of future events. Ultimately, it is living people who create their own history and seek justice and the realization of their human rights for themselves and the future, not past generations. It's too late for them.
Case in point: Bosnia-Hercegovina. This land has been independent in the past. It has also been under so many foreign rulers that it is hard to even list them all. Croatian kings once ruled there, Serbian too, then also the Romans, Franks, Hungarians, French, Turks, Austrians came and ruled. The point is that in all these changes, the people did not change very much. During the rule of the Austrians, for example, they did not settle here, they just ruled the land. Likewise with the others. Now both some Croats and some Serbs claim their "historical rights" to it, or parts of it. Give it up!
In addition, throughout its tumultuous past, a new national identities developed in B-H, one way or another — the Bosnians and the Muslims. Even though nowhere in the world do we find the muslim nationality, we find it in B-H. And it is probably a fortunate situation, because by espousing the Bosnian or the Muslim nationality, the rest of the world predators must rest their case. Give it up!
The majority of people of B-H want their independent country today and the challenge is not to find out why they are not justified in doing so but rather how everyone can live with it and find their own future within it. All borders in the world are artificial, so one more will not hurt as long as all people within those borders have an equal opportunity to prosper. Give it up!
We see a similar situation in Macedonia. Once the tight grip of Yugoslavia loosened, everyone around Macedonia put in motion their own claim procedures. Give it up!
Let there be Macedonia, and Kosovo, and B-H, and everyone else who wants their statehood. Even if the rest of the world sees this process of parcelization in some parts of the world as negative and against the "natural" processes of unification that prevail elsewhere, we have to recognize that nations need to feel the objectification of their nationhood in the form of statehood before they can voluntarily join with others.
Given that, the number one priority should be to stop the immense suffering of millions of people in the lands of Southern Slavs (and other non-slavic peoples). Stop the war! This is the goal for which the world community must aim. Once the war is stopped, people can then sit down and allow the give-and-take process to facilitate a more just arrangement of life for all.
The question is, how can the war be stopped? It must be clear to all of us that the war in the Balkans is not the case of some internal "warring factions" fighting for power, we are seeing an insurrection/aggression, orchestrated and supported from Serbia, against the legitimate governments of countries which have been internationally recognized. Both countries have their own defense forces. However, the forces of insurrection/aggression have the upper hand in the fire power with which they continue the crime of terrorizing the innocent population.
The recognition of Croatia and B-H by the world community endorses their right to independence and self-government. I fail to see the significance in the recognition of a country if we are not ready to help her defend her sovereignty. In addition to helping the people survive we must help them liberate themselves.
The only way to end this war is, if the violators do not stop on their own, make the legitimate defense forces of the two states capable of defending their countries and eventually make the perpetrators give up the violence. Give it up!
This will not be without pain. Just like the birth of a baby is full of pain for both the mother and the baby, but unstoppable, the birth of a new state is painful and unstoppable. The world has already welcomed the new states by recognizing them. Now it must also find courage to stand together with and defend the helpless new baby-states unless they are meant to be just another casualty of our insensitivity, ignorance, and indifference. Help the newborn, we have all been helpless once and would not have survived without the nourishment, protection, and guidance of our family.
Following is the essence of the friendship and cooperation agreement between Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina signed on Tuesday between the Presidents of the two states.
Cease-fire is supposed to come into effect tonight at 6:00 pm local time. Fighting still rages throughout B-H and some parts of Croatia. Slavonska Posavina (in Eastern Croatia, along the B-H border) is constantly harassed by shelling from B-H. Doboj region in North Central B-H received over 4,500 shells in last few days. In B-H Travnik, Bihac, Zavidovici, Livno, Gradacac, and especially Gorazde heavily taxed.
300th day of war in Dubrovnik. No news from occupied regions south of town. [Next issue of Hrvatski Glasnik will discuss situation in Dubrovnik.]
Yugoslavia's Prime Minister comes to Sarajevo and talks of peace.
Monday, 7/20 — CNN reports Sarajevo airport closed and then opened today.
Croatian radio reports 15 die in Sarajevo 100 wounded since the cease-fire. Another 4,000 shells fall on Doboj, 2,500 on Bihac (4 die). Croatia had a quiet day today!
Out of 109 municipalities, B-H Government claims full control over 50, 11 partially controlled, rest under occupation.
Fighting reported throughout B-H especially along the West-East line from the Serbian controlled regions of NW B-H and central Croatia through the Northern regions of B-H. Evidently, the aggressor still tries to establish a land corridor toward Serbia.
Tuesday, 7/21 — Sarajevo airport open then closed and opened again today. Damage to the airport facilities reported.
CBS reports on a marriage between Mirjana, a Serb, and Damir, a Croat in Sarajevo today. Their theme song is: "The more I think the less I understand." Could you agree more?
Croatia and B-H entered into a military cooperation agreement stipulating that if the peace efforts do not succeed, they will jointly expel Serbs from the territories. (See a related story above.)
Serbian irregulars opened heavy artillery fire on the forests around Visegrad (Eastern Bosnia) yesterday where 8,000 refugees from other parts of Bosnia were taking shelter. Three people were killed in the attack. In the past two days 55 people have been wounded in the area.
Wednesday, 7/22 — UN Secretary General rejects the Security Council's recommendation to send additional UN observers to supervise heavy artillery in B-H.
Citizens of Gorazde produce a petition to replace Lord Carrington from presiding over EC's peace conference on Yugoslavia since "he is biased in Serbia's favor."
Thursday, 7/23 — 5 people die, 30 are wounded as a mortar grenade slams into a soup kitchen in Sarajevo. CNN camerawomen Margaret Moth receives heavy head and neck injuries from a sniper fire. Mark Dulmage is slightly injured too. Fighting rages in Northern Bosnia, especially around Gradacac. 30 people die, 161 are wounded in B-H today.
The UNPROFOR convoy is stopped 10 km from reaching Gorazde. Saudi Arabian plane delivers aid to B-H and returns safely to Jeddah.
Germany agrees to send 6 trains to pick up refugees from Croatia.
Friday, 7/24 — The refugee problem in Croatia is reaching gigantic proportions. Croatian government continues to plead for international help. 9,000 refugees from NW Bosnia reach town of Karlovac today.
No casualties in Sarajevo today! Reports of ethnic cleansing continue in various areas of B-H.
On a Personal Note
Since July 14th I have not been able to contact Mira (my dear friend in Dobrinja). I call and her telephone is quiet. I am very worried. On Friday I called her parents on island of Brac, they didn't know anything. Then, I called our mutual childhood friend in Dubrovnik, Stanka. Stanka's mother answered to tell me that Stanka had been wounded by a shell, lost several fingers on her hand, received leg wounds, and was recuperating on an island near Dubrovnik. She also said that no one had heard anything of Mira. It is becoming very difficult for me. I cry a lot. I am also angry, damn it!