prewettjw - 06:51pm Apr 17, 1997 EST (#30

Very courageous article. You're sure gonna catch a lot of flack from Roman Catholics. Perhaps some day more critical attention will be paid to the inordinate degree of influence the Roman Catholic religious institution has over the United States government [and many other governments]. WBW, John

New York Times on the Web Forums A.M. Rosenthal: The Rebirth of Croatian Fascism Share your thoughts on recent articles by columnist A.M. Rosenthal. Go to Rosenthal's Op-Ed about the rebirth of Croatian Fascism.

kosovo - 09:51am Apr 19, 1997 EST (#45

Doctor13: All that you have written has been established and verified but it does not matter. No one in the world cares about what has happened to the Serbs and or about the inordinately asymetrical structure of blame for the most recent conflict. Croatia has won. "All is fair in love and war" and the Croats and Muslims were the superior strategists because they understood the value of a PR offensive and were prepared years before war started in 1991.

It is time for the Serbs to look to the future and establish democracy in the former Yugoslavia. Let the Croats and the Muslims experiment with and wallow in their ethnically pure utopias. The former Yugoslavia is still multiethnic and can be a more substantial vessel for democracy in the Balkans. It's time for the Serbs to put down the history books, nobody reads history anymore these days, and work on getting rid of Milosevic.

aponine - 12:59pm Apr 19, 1997 EST (#46

kosovo 4/19/97 9:51am The hypocrisy in your post is astounding! "All is fair in love and war," was quite ok when the Serbs were engaged in ethnic cleansing. Now that the tables have turned the former cutthroats are howling. As for Muslim and Croatian "ethnically pure utopias": What a laugh! You Serbs are the ones who engineered that Frankenstein, and now it's coming back to haunt you. Pine away as you will on these posts and in your drunkhouses--the whole world knows what really went down. As for Rosenthal: He has his own agenda and it has nothing to do with any real sympathy for Serbs. If there hadn't been Middle Eastern money flowing in to help the Muslims, he'd keep quiet.

lenagaga - 06:54pm Apr 19, 1997 EST (#47

aponine, at least you were right and sincere with the following:

"If there hadn't been Middle Eastern money flowing in to help the Muslims,..."

If it hadn't been for petro-dollars pouring from the oil rich Muslim countries, the journalists in the democratic Western countries wouldn't have forgotten that Croatian and Bosnian Muslim Ustashes were the most brutal butchers whose brutality terrified Germans and Italians.

Have a look at the picture which tells more than many would like to hear:

kosovo - 07:31pm Apr 19, 1997 EST (#48

Aponine: There was nothing OK about the ethnic cleansing that the Serbs perpetrated in Bosnia. I never said so and you know it. If the Serbs were smart they would have cleared out as soon as Croatia and B-H were recognized as states. By fighting, the Serbs simply delayed the inevitable. If the Serbs would have remained quiescent in Croatia and B-H, then 1941 would have repeated itself. As for ethnic cleansing, the first group of people to be cleansed in the recent wars were 41,000 Serbs from Croatia in 1991. By the way, is the reference to "drunkhouses" an allusion to sljivovic? I am not kidding with this question since I not sure what you mean? Your comment about Rosenthal's agenda, however, may be on the button and is possibly quite insightful. Perhaps Mr. Rosenthal should jump in here on this point and clear it up. Let me ask you this, now that the "tables have been turned" as you say, does this make you happy? What I mean by this question it horrible for Croats and Muslims to suffer being driven from their homes but it is somehow morally correct when it happens to Serbs? Be honest about this. I happen to think it is criminal no matter who it happens to. Otherwise, I could use your "turning the tables logic" and say the Serbs were simply trying to get even for 1941-43, which for some individuals I am sure was true. There has got to be some common ground on this for all of us or history will repeat itself.

avoice - 07:34pm Apr 19, 1997 EST (#49

It's a little early in history to decide who won the most recent Balkan war. Because I am neither a Serb or Croat, I do not have either the energy nor interest to cross wits with someone like Doc13 here who obviously has a lot invested in the discussion. From my point of view, the latest war is just one in a series and not the last. Croatia in now an independent state for the first time in a long time, or maybe ever--I forget the details of its complicated history. Serbia is an independent state, which for some reason hangs on to being called Yugoslavia as if that made any sense any more. Bosnia is an independent state in name but totters on the verge of disintegration. My personal view is to divide Bosnia between Serbia and Croatia and have done with it.

aponine - 12:37am Apr 20, 1997 EST (#50

lenagaga 4/19/97 6:54pm Let me get this straight: If it hadn't been for Saudi Arabian and Iranian financing, there would have been no propaganda machine to feed the West its information about the Bosnian war? If that's the fairy tale making the rounds then you folks are more steeped in fiction than originally thought.

kosovo 4/19/97 7:31pm Did not mean to imply that you endorsed ethnic cleansing of any type. But your post makes it sound like the Serbs are and have been absolute victims from the start.

Basically they acted no differently from any other peoples in similar circumstances. Sadly enough it's just human nature. There was territory and power to be gained and the war was started because Serbs figured they would win it.

So no, I'm not justifying ethnic cleansing in the reverse. There is some satisfaction to see perpetrators get their a**ses kicked however. A similar feeling, I'm sure, to what Europeans and Americans felt when Germany was pillaged at the end of WW II.

As for the Ustashes: Who the hell wasn't/isn't a barbarian in war? American WW II pilots distributed bomb-filled dolls in Germany for little children to find. That's pretty brutal. When it comes to killing, how does one atrocity outweigh another?

kosovo - 08:46am Apr 20, 1997 EST (#51

Aponine: You are right about human nature, and when it comes to ethnic and civil wars it's always the worst--Rawanda or for that matter the areas along the Mason-Dixon line during the civil war in the U.S. My feeling is that the Balkans need a dose of Alzheimer's to forget history and start over with a blank slate. But ethnic identity is often dependent on the perception of the "other" so the cycle will just continue.

avoice - 02:45pm Apr 21, 1997 EST (#52

Aponine, there is a right way and a wrong way to commit genocide. Take the Italians for instance, through sheer incompetence and a general distaste for mass murder they were by the standards of WWII rather benign in the number of people they killed. The Croats, on the other hand, used the German invasion to settle up a lot of old scores with the Serbs (some really really old), and were much more "into it" than just going a long with it. The Serbs have a very legitimate point about the Croats malefactions during WWII. But the accusation of their being fascists of a kind with the Germans is off the central point. You don't have to be a fascist to commit a genocide. It's not a necessary condition. How many card carrying fascists do we see in Ruwanda?

fedup - 04:07pm Apr 21, 1997 EST (#53

This Forum has started to take on a rational tone. What's going on here?

fedup - 04:09pm Apr 21, 1997 EST (#54

BTW, Fedup=Aponine at her pathetic workplace.

kosmarin - 04:09pm Apr 21, 1997 EST (#55

TO NYT AND TO ROSENTHAL: It is, to say the least, unfair of Rosenthal to write such a big article against all of Croatia, and it is unfair of NYT to give him (and itself) so much space for such obviously unfair propaganda scribbling. The Fascists he (NYT) writes about exist, but they do NOT nearly represent all of Croatia (as you would tendentiously like it to appear and thus try to harm Croatian interests now) - they represent a small fraction! How representative of Croatia they are? Just look at any ELECTION results! Fascists keep getting less than 4% of the votes! So, Rosenthal is either stupid or writing/filling out somebody's anti-Croatian prescription order! His writing stinks! Also, the article appeared just in time to annoy Pope and the Catholic church (Pope's visit to Sarajevo) by connecting Fascism with Catholicism - an old idiotic theme! A sneaky way to avoid saying/reporting something nice on Pope John Paul II.

prewettjw - 04:19am Apr 22, 1997 EST (#56

Re: kosmarin's claim that "..... Rosenthal's ... writing stinks!" partly due to Rosenthal " ... connecting Fascism with Catholicism - an old idiotic theme!"

When Hitler invaded Russia, would Kosmarin have us believe that the papacy/Vatican was neutral ? At it's inception, and during the cold war, would Kosmarin have us believe the papacy/Vatican was neutral ? Regarding the war between the Croats and Serbs, would Kosmarin have us believe the papacy/Vatican has been or possibly could be neutral ?

avoice - 01:33pm Apr 22, 1997 EST (#57

I didn't get the sense that Rosenthal is anti-Catholic. The sense I got is that he is against anyone who has ever harmed Jews. Of course that includes innumerable church-going, god-fearing Christians of all stripes and colors. Rosenthal seems to be more concerned with the forty thousand Jews that the Croat fasicists murdered than the many many more Serbs they murdered. And this may be a natural thing for him. Murder is worse when it strikes closer to home. It's like picking up a paper some morning at breakfast. "Honey, hey look, the Hutus have murdered another 10,000 Tutsis...please pass the butter." Anyone other than a Serbian or Croat or Bosnian, who wants to take up sides with one of these people against the other, is going to end up stupidly on the side of a lot of killers no matter which side he ends up on. If you are a Serbian or Croat or Bosnian, you're caught up in this whether you like it or not, unless you just opt out, change your name and pretend you're Italian or something.

prewettjw - 08:17pm Apr 22, 1997 EST (#58

Re: avoice- "I didn't get the sense that Rosenthal is anti-Catholic."

In light of its track record, I consider it reasonable to be anti-organized religion in general, and "anti-Catholic" in particular. aponine - 11:06pm Apr 22, 1997 EST (#59

prewettjw 4/22/97 8:17pm In light of that wierd, bible-laden vatican piece you emailed to my workplace the other day, I must say that I can't figure you out. Are you Rosenthal's grand defender, or does the word vatican do something for your neurons? Catholics, just like the Serbs and Croats, are no better or worse than anyone else.

prewettjw - 04:59am Apr 23, 1997 EST (#60 aponine - 11:06pm Apr 22, 1997

Do try to stay on topic. I'm not the topic.

"The Rebirth of Croatian Fascism" is the topic.

"Croatian Fascism" is another name for the Ustashe. The Ustashe was and is explicitly and exclusively [rabidly] Roman Catholic.

I took issue with the person who contended it "idiotic" to connect Catholicism with Fascism. In light of past and present facts, it is "wierd" that anyone would fail to see the obvious connection of Roman Catholicism with the Fascism in general, and with the Croation Ustashe in particular.

pribichevich - 02:35pm Apr 23, 1997 EST (#61

My oh my, so many experts!! I feel so inadequate! I will attempt to put in my two cents....

I am the grandson of the first Secretary of Interior of Yugoslavia(Svetozar Pribicevic) and the son of a WWII Time-Life war correspondent (Stoyan Pribicevic) who was with Tito in Drvar in May 1944 covering the Partisans and who was eventually captured by the Germans only to escape his own execution.Before the war he wrote a book on Yugoslavia("World Without End") and after the war he published many articles on the region.After his death in 1976 his second book("Macedonia-its land and people")was published.

It is with deep sadness that I read most of these messages. My sister and I were brought up as children of a Yugoslav-not a Serb or Croat.We spent several summer vacations there.-visting relatives in Belgrade,Novi Sad,Zagreb and the Dalmatian coast.My family knew no borders.We knew of Ustashe/Chetniks etc.but saw above all that.

This war has made me realize that we are in the minority.Many people in this discussion and the ones left in the region have been raised to hate-and will undoubtedly raise their children to do the same.

Thank god my father didn't.And thank god he's not around to see this mess.

avoice - 08:48pm Apr 23, 1997 EST (#62

The last was a sad post to me. First of all it's clear that the writer is overwhelmed by the sense that he is out of step with the rest of his countrymen. And he is. I think I can account for this by saying he probably grew up during the times when a sincere effort was being made in Yugolsavia to obliterate the past hatreds of the various nationalities that made it up. While Yugoslavia was a communist state, ostensibly internationalist and atheistic, the old hatreds were subsumed by the ideolgy of the Communist State as well as the presence of Tito. Ordinarily I would never recommend communism tp any people for all of its well-known malefactions, but in this one case, I think that the Communist State was what preserved Yugoslavia and this and only this. For Yugoslavia communism of the kind that Tito introduced was good--certainly better than what they got later.

avoice - 08:58pm Apr 23, 1997 EST (#63)

The guy who thinks that Roman Catholicism should be equated with fascism is confused. The Roman Catholic Church is the most communist of all organization I know. Internally it is almost purely communist, far more than even the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Whether individual Catholics were fascists is another question altogether. That's true, they were. But so were Lutherans and and many other Protestants and so were many atheists--I don't recall too many pictures of Hitler going to mass on Sunday. I'll bet there were some Eastern Orthodox believers who were fascists too. The Croat Ustashe were fascists too and they were Catholics because I think almost all Croats are Catholics. But on the other hand, most Peruvians are Catholics too, and they haven't had any problems with the Serbs or Bosnians that I know of. My feeling is that there is more than just plain religion in question here.

doctor13 - 10:42pm Apr 23, 1997 EST (#64

I suggest you read the "Unholy Trinity: The Vatican, The Nazis, and Soviet Intelligence," by Mark Aarons and John Loftus. "How the Vatican's Nazi networks betrayed Western intelligence to the Soviets." It is the story of the Vatican's underground Nazi smuggling networks, code-named "Operation Ratline." The first hints of the existence of the Vatican's Ratlines emerged in America. The authors write, "Most of those running the Ratline had very shady pasts of their own. They were not part of some exotic SS 'brotherhood'. In fact, nearly all the personnel running the smuggling network were Croatian Catholic priests."