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Thread: Yugoslavia

  1. #1 Yugoslavia 
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    Did Yugoslavia fall apart because Croatia started a civil war and people felt they can't be in a middle of war now (Bosnians,Macedonians and others) so they left the union.


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    Staima.

    Are you asking a question or making a statement?


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    Both.
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    In terms of the actual break up of Yugoslavia, there was a kind of inevitability that would happen when the Soviet Union collapsed. Effectively you had 8 countries being held together under one banner, now whilst this didn't really matter under the yoke of the Soviet overlords, everyone was to scared of Moscow to rebel, when the USSR fell so did that sense of fear and control over them, that was holding everything together, to fall with it.

    Whether or not you might agree, history records that the Serbs share the greater burden of responsibility in the subsequent wars over territory in Bosnia. Though it's hard to believe that the Croats could have been entirely blameless themselves. Without regard to accusations of warcrimes, one of the main reasons cited for the wars were the Serbian desire for idea of a 'Greater Serbia', the idea is for the creation of a Serbian land which would have incorporated all regions of traditional significance to the Serbian nation, and regions outside of Serbia that are populated mostly by Serbs. This Greater Serbia is said to have included claims to territories of modern day Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia.
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    Yugoslavia was a created as a product of WW I. The post WW II country was held together by Tito (not the Soviet Union). After his death, the various non-Serbs resented the attempt by the Serbs to completely dominate the country, resulting in successions, starting with Slovenia.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathman View Post
    Yugoslavia was a created as a product of WW I. The post WW II country was held together by Tito (not the Soviet Union).
    Tito was propped up by the Soviet Union, that's why the country came apart with Soviet Union's fall. If it had just been down to Tito the country would have broken up in 1980.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathman View Post
    Yugoslavia was a created as a product of WW I. The post WW II country was held together by Tito (not the Soviet Union). After his death, the various non-Serbs resented the attempt by the Serbs to completely dominate the country, resulting in successions, starting with Slovenia.
    \


    And of course the seceding parties all wanted to take their lands with them. And of course, the lands they claim as "their lands" always happen to have the best resources on them, like if the country has any valuable resources or farmlands.

    That's why I say everything but economics is bullocks in war. People will cry "national identity" while they're busy counting the dollars that particular identity is worth, and then if they find another identity that's worth more money, then suddenly they're claiming that one instead.

    That's one reason why we could never divide up Iraq into its ethnic partitions without expecting another bloody civil war. Each ethnic faction will naturally claim it's the one that "rightly" owns the oil fields.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mathman View Post
    Yugoslavia was a created as a product of WW I. The post WW II country was held together by Tito (not the Soviet Union).
    Tito was propped up by the Soviet Union, that's why the country came apart with Soviet Union's fall. If it had just been down to Tito the country would have broken up in 1980.
    Tito

    Tito was quite independent of the USSR.
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    Years before Tito's death those who knew the country predicted that it would fall apart once he was no longer there to provide a unifying force and vision. Naturally that was not going to occur instantly. In other words Chris, I'm with mathman on this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Years before Tito's death those who knew the country predicted that it would fall apart once he was no longer there to provide a unifying force and vision. Naturally that was not going to occur instantly. In other words Chris, I'm with mathman on this.
    Perhaps I would find it easier to accept the idea that Tito was solely responsible for holding Yugoslavia together if the break up of Yugoslavia had happened within 2,3,4 or even 5 years after his death, but it didn't, it happened 11 years later. Also at the same time as the rest of the Eastern Bloc was coming to an end. I would find it somewhat amazing if Yugoslavia was the only East European Country not to be affected by the collapse of Soviet Union and breakup of the Eastern Bloc. Also the timing would have had to have been a major coincidence, given that it took place after the fall of the Berlin Wall at a time when Moscow was going through a period of great reform and wasn't actively taking a heavy handed approach to keep communist states in line.

    I would certainly not dispute that Tito had a stong effect on stabilizing the country whilst he was alive, but again in fairness most of the Eastern Bloc countries weren't allowed the same freedoms as Yugoslavia, though most accept this was because Tito stood up to Stalin as attested to in famous Tito Stalin Split from 1948 to 1955, it should also be noted that later on Tito was able to play off the USSR and the United Stated to garner political and financial support from both, will helped him maintain control.

    After Tito's death in 1980, there was a period of unrest and uncertainty in which political and ethnic tensions began to rise, however this in of itself was not enough to breakup Yugoslavia, indeed even with the emergence of Slobodan Milosevic, who had turned to nationalism and religious hatred to gain power, Yugoslavia held together. Milosevic began by inflaming long standing tensions between Serbs and Muslims in the independent provence of Kosovo. Orthodox Christian Serbs in Kosovo were in the minority and claimed they were being mistreated by the Albanian Muslim majority. The Serbian backed political unrest in Kosovo eventually led to its loss of independence and domination by Milosevic. Then the changes and reforms that led to the fall of Soviet Union provided the catalyst to give rise to the ethnic discontent so that In June of 1991 Slovenia and Croatia both declared their independence from Yugoslavia which in turn quickly resulted in civil war. The national army of Yugoslavia, now made up of Serbs controlled by Milosevic, stormed into Slovenia but failed to subdue the separatists there and thus withdrew after only ten days of fighting.

    Now whilst I certainly wouldn't suggest that the collapse of communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union were the only reasons for the implosion of Yugoslavia and the subsequent civil wars, what I would say is that for all the ethnic tensions and political ranglings that had built up it was these events that had a significant influence on how thing played out and the timings of such, though it should also be noted for reference that NATO also played it's part in the breakup of yugoslavia, though that is quite controversial and with many differing viewpoints on just exactly what the role was that they played.

    As non of us are infallible John I would be more than happy to look at any evidence you may have which supports a different conclusion and reevaluate my own assessment.


    References:

    Books:


    The fall of Yugoslavia: The third Balkan War, Misha Glenny, 1994
    The death of Yugoslavia, Laura Silber, Allan Little, 1996
    Europe's Backyard War: The War In The Balkans, Mark Almond, 1994
    Croatia Between Aggression and Peace: Zvonimir Baletic, Josip Esterajher, Milan
    Jajcinovic, Mladen Klemencic, Andjelko Milardovic, Gorazd
    Nikic, Fran Visnar, 1994 (PDF) file
    The Breakup of Yugoslavia and the War in Bosnia, Carole Rogel, 1998

    Websites:

    http://www.dtic.mil/bosnia/
    NATO - Homepage
    Last edited by Ascended; December 6th, 2012 at 08:50 AM. Reason: missed a word out
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    Orthodox Christian Serbs in Kosovo were in the minority and claimed they were being mistreated by the Albanian Muslim majority.
    Isn't it always the Muslims? Always taking any multi-ethnic or tolerant policy you try to implement and stretching it to the very edge of its plausible limits.
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    I would certainly not dispute that Tito had a stong effect on stabilizing the country whilst he was alive, but again in fairness most of the Eastern Bloc countries weren't allowed the same freedoms as Yugoslavia
    Yugoslavia was not officially part of Eastern block at all.It was neither member of Warsaw pact or Comecon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Years before Tito's death those who knew the country predicted that it would fall apart once he was no longer there to provide a unifying force and vision. Naturally that was not going to occur instantly. In other words Chris, I'm with mathman on this.
    Agree
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    I would certainly not dispute that Tito had a stong effect on stabilizing the country whilst he was alive, but again in fairness most of the Eastern Bloc countries weren't allowed the same freedoms as Yugoslavia
    Yugoslavia was not officially part of Eastern block at all.It was neither member of Warsaw pact or Comecon.
    Yes, that is correct Yugoslavia participated in only twenty-one of the thirty-two key Comecon institutions as if it were a full member, it also wasn't ever officially part of the Eastern Bloc or the Warsaw Pact either, but was indeed extremely driven by socialist communism ideology even to the point of being seen as more left wing than Russia itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Years before Tito's death those who knew the country predicted that it would fall apart once he was no longer there to provide a unifying force and vision. Naturally that was not going to occur instantly. In other words Chris, I'm with mathman on this.
    Agree
    Well guys I seem to be in the minority with this one and am more than willing to reconsider my position as stated earlier, however I don't think it's asking to much for at least one of you to cite some evidence as a basis on which I can reconsider, I would imagine I'm probarbly not the only reader interested in how you came to your conclusions, especially one that might imply the breakup of Yugoslavia wasn't at all influenced by the collapse of the Soviet Union. So come on guys lets have a proper examination of some evidence here.
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    Last edited by Stanley514; September 6th, 2017 at 10:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    Yugoslavia participated in only twenty-one of the thirty-two key Comecon institutions as if it were a full member
    Could you a give link about it?Wikipedia mentions Yugoslavia had only observer statut and was not a full member of
    Comecon.
    Comecon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Hi Stanley, interesting questions which I've haven't got time to fully address now, probarbly tomorow to give the full answers, the quick answer to your first question is as follows, btw don't always rely on wiki, try and find more reliable sources, as it seems wiki is quite inadequate in some areas.

    Extract:
    There were 3 kinds of relationships – besides the 10 full memberships – with the Comecon:


    • Yugoslavia was the only country considered to have associate member status. On the basis of the 1964 agreement, Yugoslavia participated in twenty- one of the thirty-two key Comecon institutions as if it were a full member.
    • Finland, Iraq, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Mozambique had a nonsocialist cooperant status with Comecon. Because the governments of these countries were not empowered to conclude agreements in the name of private companies, the governments did not take part in Comecon operations. They were represented in Comecon by commissions made up of members of the government and the business community. The commissions were empowered to sign various "framework" agreements with Comecon's Joint Commission on Cooperation.
    • After 1957 Comecon allowed certain countries with communist or pro-Soviet governments to attend sessions as observers. In November 1986, delegations from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Laos, Nicaragua, and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) attended the 42d Council Session as observers.

    Extract from: Comecon - Slider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    Yugoslavia participated in only twenty-one of the thirty-two key Comecon institutions as if it were a full member
    Could you a give link about it?Wikipedia mentions Yugoslavia had only observer statut and was not a full member of
    Comecon.
    Comecon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    but was indeed extremely driven by socialist communism ideology even to the point of being seen as more left wing than Russia itself.
    I do not know what do you mean as ``leftist``.Yogoslavian economy was quite different from USSR.

    ``Despite their common origins, the economy of socialist Yugoslavia was much different from the economies of the Soviet Union and other Eastern European communist countries, especially after the Yugoslav-Soviet break-up of 1948. Though ultimately owned by the state, Yugoslav companies were collectively managed by the employees themselves, much like in the Israeli kibbutz and the anarchist industrial cooperatives of Spanish Catalonia. The occupation and liberation struggle in World War II left Yugoslavia's infrastructure devastated. Even the most developed parts of the country were largely rural, and the little industry the country had was largely damaged or destroyed.
    With the exception of a recession in the mid-1960s, the country's economy prospered formidably[citation needed]. Unemployment was low and the education level of the work force steadily increased. Due to Yugoslavia's neutrality and its leading role in the Non-Aligned Movement, Yugoslav companies exported to both Western and Eastern markets. Yugoslav companies carried out construction of numerous major infrastructural and industrial projects in Africa, Europe and Asia.``
    Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    To put things into perspective it needs to be remembered that Yugoslavia was very much a communist country. Whilst we can say yes there was a strong sense of nationalism attached it was at heart communist. Now this is important in helping to actually understand the role that Yugoslavia played, also it should be noted that whilst Yugoslavia did indeed try to assert it's independence, remember it was Partisans who had freed yugoslavia not the Red Army, it still had the entire might of the Soviet Union sitting on it's doorstep trying exert it's own influence. So in reality Yugoslavia was walking a tight rope on just how far they could really break away from Moscow. At the end of the second world war Stalin had ensured it was communist leaders that were installed through out Eastern Europe. So despite it's somewhat unusual status when compared to the Eastern Bloc states Yugoslavia did find it necessary to participate within Comecon.

    The changes sweeping through the rest of Eastern Europe in particular Poland and Hungry, but eventually also East Germany and Czechoslovakia put a huge strain on Yugoslavia's political system, this created tensions and impatience within their system, as they saw their neighbours make their first steps towards democratization. As a result the system had lost its earlier resilience and had become, in fact, quite fragile. There was a growing sense that it was breathing it's last breath. But really this was just the straw that broke the camels back as the expression goes. Because by then soaring inflation had taken over the country, with levels at between 800 - 1000% life was proving harder for all Yugoslavians. Also many had simply stopped going to meetings, local committees stopped functioning and closed down, members returned their party cards and the party's influence shrank. Then there had been the question of the Serbian annexation of Kosovo, which had ramped up the Serb - Albanain tensions.

    At the end of the second world war the Yugoslav people mobilized a large a partisan army to repel the occupying forces. The partisan resistance was organized and led by Josip Broz Tito and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. Following their victory over the German occupiers, the people of Yugoslavia refused to re-establish the rule of monarchy under the exiled King Peter. The Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia was founded and Tito was elected president of the nation shortly thereafter. In 1948 Yugoslavia was the most orthodox of all the new socialist countries in Europe. Indeed to look at the letters written back and forth between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia in 1948, you can see that the Yugoslav Communists insisted that they were not following their own road to socialism. But Later they would say they were. The 1946 Yugoslavia constitution was a carbon copy of the Soviet constitution of 1936. By 1948, Yugoslavia had moved farther on the path of collectivization of agriculture than any other Eastern European socialist state. They were virtually alone among socialist states at being almost totally collectivized in this sector, Yugoslavia also established a more firm dictatorship of the proletariat against collaborators, and bourgeois forces than most, if not all, other new socialist countries. They tried hardest root out bourgeois influence from the country.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    The changes sweeping through the rest of Eastern Europe in particular Poland and Hungry, but eventually also East Germany and Czechoslovakia put a huge strain on Yugoslavia's political system, this created tensions and impatience within their system, as they saw their neighbours make their first steps towards democratization. As a result the system had lost its earlier resilience and had become, in fact, quite fragile. There was a growing sense that it was breathing it's last breath. But really this was just the straw that broke the camels back as the expression goes. Because by then soaring inflation had taken over the country, with levels at between 800 - 1000% life was proving harder for all Yugoslavians. Also many had simply stopped going to meetings, local committees stopped functioning and closed down, members returned their party cards and the party's influence shrank. Then there had been the question of the Serbian annexation of Kosovo, which had ramped up the Serb - Albanain tensions.

    The question is: had Tito not died, do you think he could have held the country together in spite of these effects?

    Clearly his people would have been getting increasingly discontent as they saw other soviet block countries gaining freedoms, regardless of him being able or not able to continue keeping their economy afloat. I guess in that sense perhaps the fall of the USSR would have made it impossible for him to succeed at holding things together?

    On the other hand,the USSR had an advantage over most of the world powers that still exist today in that it was not afraid to commit wholesale genocide. I don't think the Muslim Albanians would have given local Serbs a hard time if they faced a threat like the USSR, which could put them all on trains headed to the Siberian Gulag. The lack of a credible threat to their Islamic Fundamentalism probably emboldened them somewhat, to the point where they figured they could get away with treating the nearby ethnicities as their inferiors.
    Last edited by kojax; December 16th, 2012 at 03:01 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    The changes sweeping through the rest of Eastern Europe in particular Poland and Hungry, but eventually also East Germany and Czechoslovakia put a huge strain on Yugoslavia's political system, this created tensions and impatience within their system, as they saw their neighbours make their first steps towards democratization. As a result the system had lost its earlier resilience and had become, in fact, quite fragile. There was a growing sense that it was breathing it's last breath. But really this was just the straw that broke the camels back as the expression goes. Because by then soaring inflation had taken over the country, with levels at between 800 - 1000% life was proving harder for all Yugoslavians. Also many had simply stopped going to meetings, local committees stopped functioning and closed down, members returned their party cards and the party's influence shrank. Then there had been the question of the Serbian annexation of Kosovo, which had ramped up the Serb - Albanain tensions.

    The question is: had Tito not died, do you think he could have held the country together in spite of these effects?

    Clearly his people would have been getting increasingly discontent as they saw other soviet block countries gaining freedoms, regardless of him being able or not able to continue keeping their economy afloat. I guess in that sense perhaps the fall of the USSR would have made it impossible for him to succeed at holding things together?

    On the other hand,the USSR had an advantage over most of the world powers that still exist today in that it was not afraid to commit wholesale genocide. I don't think the Muslim Albanians would have given local Serbs a hard time if they faced a threat like the USSR, which could put them all on trains headed to the Siberian Gulag. The lack of a credible threat to their Islamic Fundamentalism probably emboldened them somewhat, to the point where they figured they could get away with treating the nearby ethnicities as their inferiors.
    I think the problem with trying to work out whether Tito could have still held Yugoslavia together in spite of all the internal pressures and democratization sweeping across Eastern Europe is just impossible to tell, my feeling is that no one could have turned back those winds of change, but the truth is we'll simply never know.
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    Yeah. Without teeth, hardly anyone fears the dog's bark, even the bark of an iron overlord like Tito. The end of the Soviet Union was the end of his free pass to use totalitarian measures to suppress ethnic uprisings. No more attacking whole groups for the actions of "a few bad apples". At a minimum he would face sanctions if he marched an army into Albanian territory to conduct a mass arrest (or any of the other possible options that might have worked to prevent what came later, except those non-existent rosy options the West would expect him to employ.)
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