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Milosevic gained backers in a succession of closed-door party meetings as allies in television and in key newspapers tailored their coverage to his advantage. With police help, demonstrators were marshaled and sent strategically to chant ''Slobo, Slobo. He was emerging from the apparatchik's bland cocoon and was acquiring charisma.

Rural-urban differences and the break-up of Yugoslavia

With official help, as well as spontaneity, Milosevic cults were forming, intoning jingles and songs, among them one that played on his first name, which incorporates the stem of the Slavic word for freedom. Among the newspaper articles attacking the men Mr. Milosevic had so suddenly turned against were several written under pseudonyms by his wife, Mirjana Markovic, a professor of Marxist sociology at the University of Belgrade who was more of an ideological purist than he.

They had met in high school in Pozarevac, a provincial town of some 20, where Mr. Milosevic was born in His father had hoped to become a Serbian Orthodox priest but never completed his seminary work and earned his living as a teacher of Russian and Serbo-Croatian.

While Slobodan and his older brother, Borislav, now Ambassador to Moscow, were in grade school, their father left for his native Montenegro. The boys were raised by their mother, a teacher and dedicated Communist activist.

The Butcher of Bosnia - BBC Newsnight

As a youth, Mr. Milosevic was a pudgy loner who shunned sports and wrote poetry. Today, he is often described in Serbian profiles as reclusive and moody, still with few friends, though in public appearances and interviews he can be as effusive and glad-handing as a door-to-door salesman. In , while he was in college, his father committed suicide. His mother killed herself 11 years later. An uncle, his mother's brother, who had been a general, also took his own life.

The Fragmentation of Yugoslavia: Nationalism and War in the Balkans

Mirjana Markovic was similarly steeped in a sense of family tragedy. When she was an infant, her mother, a member of Tito's partisan resistance during the war, was captured and tortured by the Gestapo. After her release, the mother was killed by partisans who believed she had given up her comrades under interrogation. Markovic has spent much time trying to clear her mother's name. After the war, her father became a member of the Communist political elite and left his daughter in the care of her grandparents. She has long been her husband's close political partner, and she mobilized support for him at the Central Committee meeting in September , where by pushing the nationalist themes he raised in Pristina he virtually drove his mentor, Mr.


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Stambolic, from Serbia's top party post. Ruefully, Mr. Stambolic would later observe: ''When somebody looks at your back for 25 years, it is understandable that he gets the desire to put a knife in it at some point. Many people warned me, but I did not acknowledge it. Stambolic may have been the first major figure to have been betrayed by Mr.

Linguists say most Balkan languages are the same. And nationalists are mad about it

Milosevic, but he was hardly the last. The list of allies he jettisoned in the last 12 years is quite long, including Dobrica Cosic, the Serbian nationalist novelist whom he chose to serve as President, and Milan Panic, the pharmaceutical magnate from California who was lured to be Prime Minister for a while.

Among those discarded have been politicians from left and right and military leaders inside and outside Serbia who at various times rallied to Mr. Milosevic's failed but alluring call for a Greater Serbia. Meanwhile, the new Croat nationalism has grown to rival Serbian and the two continued to hold the whole region hostage to their mutual hostility. In the end, Kosovo Albanians have succeeded to expel almost all Serbs from the land where once was Serb medieval empire.

Like most other post-Yugoslav states, the new state of Kosovo is largely a failure. The neighboring miniature Balkan states of Montenegro and Macedonia are in no better shape the latter living 30 years without an official internationally recognized name and under threat of partition into a Slavic and Albanian state. The very same nationalist ideology emphasizing the cult of the nation-state, which gave birth to post-Yugoslav ethno-clerical regimes, crippled them from the beginning.

The post-Yugoslav dwarfs have become client states and semi-colonial domains of the great powers reviving imperial appetites in the Balkan such as Russia, Turkey and Germany. Economic sovereignty was never established: natural and economic resources have been quickly sold out to foreign banks and largely foreign private capital. Serbia and Croatia, the two principal Balkan nationalist bullies, have national institutes for history and linguistics, national pilgrimage centers, national cathedrals and national churches paid by the state but no single large national commercial bank.

Furthermore, the cult of the state as the most sacred goal for which nationalist movements mobilized people to war, became a costly burden on new societies and economies threatening to bankrupt them. While economies struggled and political corruption spread — history, myth, religion and linguistics have become priority topics in public discourse.

To make the nationalist establishment even angrier, the former Yugoslavia seemed to have continued life. The post-Yugoslav nationalism was strikingly religious. As ethnic leaders showed off the official religiosity, new churches and mosques have mushroomed across the region. According to the new national identities, all Serbs are presumed to be Christians of Greek Orthodox tradition, members of the Serbian Orthodox Church and unwavering believers in its mythical interpretations of history.

Likewise, Islam for Bosnian Muslims was both religion and nationality.


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  • Most importantly, the Bosniaks had to believe that the Ottoman rule in the Balkans was blessing of a superior civilization rather than brutal imperial conquest. Clerical elites are handsomely paid by the state. Religious instruction in public schools becomes de facto mandatory. Religious authorities take special spiritual and ideological care of the members of police and military forces preparing them for holy wars and cleansing of alien faiths and cultures.

    School classes in earlier best-integrated ethnically mixed communities of Bosnia-Herzegovina have been segregated along ethnoreligious lines. Religious institutions influenced educational and cultural policies and state-run media. Nationalist mythmaking substituted for objective historiography. The ethnoreligious hatred which poisoned multiethnic Yugoslavia has never subsided. The clerical elites that used to incite hate before and during the war, never confessed to the crimes committed by members of their own group and never initiated interfaith and interethnic reconciliation, even of a purely ritual character.

    Historically the most successful European nationalisms have been those which integrated and united smaller states, autonomous regions and diverse regional cultures and peoples to successfully create large nation-states.

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    Thus for example, if Germany after the Peace of Westphalia did not unite several hundred small German states into the large German nation, Europe would have today looked like Central America, the Middle East or the Balkans. Book Description Palgrave Macmillan, New Book. Shipped from UK. Established seller since Seller Inventory LQ Delivered from our UK warehouse in 4 to 14 business days. Second Edition. Seller Inventory Seller Inventory LIE Never used! This item is printed on demand. Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.

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