The West and conflicts in and around Yugoslavia: Some axioms

By Johan Galtung

Presumably written in 2000

[1]  Europe is divided since 1054 (forerunner 395) and 1095 into three parts: Roman-Germanic/Catholic-Protestant (+USA = the West); Slavic-Orthodox and Turko-Muslim.  Romania, Greece: ambiguous.

General archetype: Slavic/Orthodox, and Turko/Muslim, are evil.

[2]  Faultlines intersect in Sarajevo/BiH; cut Pristina/Skopje.

[3]  Parties are nations with claims on land with dualism of discourses as bondage versus independence.  Living together only under foreign rule (Habsburg/Ottoman; Nazi; Tito; NATO). 

[4]  If not, there is a tendency toward “ethnic cleansing”, mostly by expelling/escaping, sometimes by killing (like Israel in Palestine). Brutal, with medieval roots (like in Ulster).

[5]  When a conflict turns violent pieces may be up for grabs by outsiders.

[6]  In addition: Austria/Germany’s chance to win WWI and WWII.

[7]  In addition: Yugoslav disintegration used by the EU to make a joint foreign policy and by NATO to make a New World Order serving its future survival.

[8]  Yugoslavia turned violent because of old national claims, their instrumentalization, and intervention by big powers.

[9]  It is in the interest of big veto powers that “local” conflicts turn violent because it legitimizes their own interventions.  A Rugova spoils the occasion and merits no support, wait till “time is ripe”. Metaphor: vultures circling over ground battle.

[10]  By historical logic the Catholic part of Yugoslavia would go to the West/EU; Russia would presumably play a role in the Orthodox parts (Serbia, Montenegro, half of Macedonia). Russia failed, and nothing for China; both turned against the process.

[11] Problem: what is in it for USA?

Solution: Picking up the Muslims the USA for additional reasons:

– having killed too many Arabs/Muslims in the Gulf war (310.000);
– the Muslim market worldwide is enormous, the Arab market isn’t;
– walking into the shoes of the old Ottoman Empire (via the Turkish military/Israel alliance, bases in Baku, etc., like walking into the shoes of the Spanish empire one century ago.

[12]  Problem: the Catholic/Muslim faultline in BiH, which set Germany/BND and USA/CIA on collision course having trained them. Solution: the Croat-Bosniak “federation” package in BiH.

[13]  Problem: The “Muslims are terrorist” and bent on world domination, the Crusades are still on, etc. Solution:  No Muslim state on European soil; BiH has to be reconstituted by packaging the Croat-Bosniak federation with Republika Srpska.  Dayton. Use of uti possidetis, no precedent.

[14]  BiH uninteresting for the USA strategically (land-locked, no oil passage); the Albanian/Macdeonian/Kosovo complex is highly attractive (ports in Vlora/Dürres; UCK can be supported and can expel Serbs, Macedonia can be bought). Thus Rambouillet “negotiations”.

[15]  Overarching problem: Nothing solved. More trauma. More revenge.

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