View Single Post
Old 03-07-2006, 21:13   #8
freddie freddie is offline
Sad Little Monkey
freddie's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Slovenia
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,736

Send a message via AIM to freddie Send a message via MSN to freddie Send a message via Yahoo to freddie
Originally Posted by haku
WWI was ignited by a Pan-Slavic movement which wanted to unite all Southern Slavs in one state, and the war that broke out between Austro-Hungary and Serbia extended to the whole continent because of the alliance system that forced Germany and the Ottoman Empire to support Austro-Hungary and France, the British Empire and Russia to support Serbia.
70 years later, when Yougoslav people decided to put an end to that unifed Southern Slavic state that the Pan-Slavic movement wanted so much 70 years earlier, that old "alliance system" woke up from its grave immediately.
Germany and Austria immediately supported and recognized the independance of Slovenia and Croatia. (The Pan-Germanic ideology has always been in favor of devided Slavic people, it is much safer to be surrounded by 20 small weakened Slavic states then by one big powerful Pan-Slavic state, and there's always been this dream of reaching the Mediterranean coast in Northern Adriatic, something much easier to do if you only have a couple of small countries in your way.)
On the other hand, France, the UK, and Russia did not welcome the break-up of Yugoslavia and supported Serbia and its idea of maintaining a unified Southern Slavic state. (The Entente had aways supported the idea of a Pan-Slavic state which was seen as a stabilizing element in the Balkans and a counter force to the Germanic central powers, the break-up of Yugoslavia was also seen as "delayed victory" for the central powers and the military of the three Entente countries have taken it as a personal blow 70 years later. After all, the creation of a Southern Slavic state was one of the goals of WWI and considered a victory for the Entente, the break-up of Yugoslavia anihilated that victory 70 years later, something the military never take lightly.)
The bottom line is that when Yugoslavia broke up, all the actors of WWI immediatlely fell back to their old alliance system and military logic, and if the EU had not existed, i am convinced that the Yugoslav conflict would have expanded beyond its borders. The EU neutralized all that and prevented any direct (and conflicting) involvement of EU members in the Yugoslav civil war, containing and preventing the war from spreading.
I don't quite agree with this. Historians and scholars in general aren't united in one theory what was the actual cause for WW1, but I support the idea that Gavrilo Princip's assaination of Franz Ferdinand and slavic tendencies in general were just a good excuse for Austro-Hungary and Germany to start the war. The itch was theer for a long time. They just needed a good moment to scrach it with a reasonable cover-story. The truth is... even south slavic countries did merge into a pan-slavic states, the slavs back then had no tendency to expand beyond the boders of Slovenia in the north (as it happens Serbia as the main player wasn't very interested in northern territories - even after WW2, which resulted in us losing a large chunk of Carinthian Slovenia (including cities like Klagenfurt (Celovec) to Austrians) not to mention the loses of cities of Goricia (Gorica) and Trieste (Trst) to Italians. Serbians just wanted a nice Belgrade-centralized slavic state which they eventually got, nothing else. And Austro-Hungarian empire as well as Germany knew this damn well. The assasination was surely just the thing they were looking for to start an all-out assault. Imo it was born out of germanic tendencies for domination over the whole Euro territory, not out of their fear of a Pan-Slavic state.

Socialist Federal Republic Yugoslavia breaking up is a whole different story, though. Sure Germans and Austrians expressed support, while France and the US were very reluctant to do so (I think US embassador to Yugoslavia Warren Zimmerman was the most vocal of the lot back then saying we can't even DREAM of independance, while the French president at the time Miterrand a bit less so). However - despite those differences there's no way in hell all this could escalate into a full-fledged world war or even continental war. Sure Germany gave us support, but would they fight for us as well? Like hell they would. Even if they weren't limited by the EU. They did have interests in independance of Slavic republics in the region but it wasn't important enough to get into an armed conflict with other EU members over it. The same way as it's not worth for France to get into an armed conflict with the UK on their clearly opposite stances on the war in Iraq.
I actually thing that the war in Yugoslavia (especially armed conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia) showed a huge break-down of all international organizations which should prevent regional bloodshed that occured. It wasn't EUs proudest moment to let genocide and systematic rape practices being executed right at Europe's doorstep. The same could be said for teh US and UN (as well as it's grossly ineffective General Assembly and Security Council). Years passed while tens of thousands of people died and all international community did was watch it occur. Imo the Balkan crisis actually shows the fundimental flaw in EUs politics which should be corrected in the future: it's just too neutral when something really threatening occurs. You can't negotiate with dictators. That goes for both Milošević and Tuđman. That's a lesson that goes back to 1939 even.

Originally Posted by PowerPuff Grrl
Is that why nobody did anything with the Bosnian genocide? Because any European intervention would have escalated into something bigger?
Nah, it's like I said above. Europe has a strong urge to try and mediate stuff ever since WW2. Which is not the smart thing to do when dealing with certain types to totalitarians.
freddie | t.E.A.m. [ ]

Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

Last edited by freddie; 03-07-2006 at 22:05.
  Reply With Quote