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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> re: No Nazis
Geneva J. Anderson on 12 Oct 2000 07:35:07 -0000


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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> re: No Nazis


Michael Benson wrote:
>
> Serbia and the rest of the republics of the former Yugoslavia will never,
> repeat never, be able to achieve a sense of closure and go back to being
> 'normal' societies if war criminals responsible for hundreds of thousands
of
> deaths are walking freely around unpunished. Croatia is also going through
a
> society-wide upheaval as its new leadership proceeds on that basis. It's
> beyond stupid to argue anything else, in fact it verges on being
complicit.
>
I agree.  I've gotten flack from people about my recent reply to your post
which argued in favor of prosecuting Milosevic to the full extent
of the law...basically i've either been cast in a bundle with Americans and
the duplicitous West or some have pointed to the inconsistency in my
supporting an int'l system whose main emphasis is not on preventing such
crimes but rather on enabling them and then prosecuting them
post-facto.

I can easily envision any number of int'l systems better than the one we now
have...we all can..
and we should..but we in this case, we have to work with what we have.  If
Milosevic is
tried in Serbia, it's likely going to focus on economic plunder not
genocide. Is that enough?
Who decides what is enough?  That's where the tension resides.
I believe that Serbia will never heal until it gets honest with itself over
the extent of its complicity.  How will that happen?
There's a saying that some issues can't be resolved, they are just survived.
I think to survive
you have to resolve.
Following regime collapse, several of the former east regimes made various
and symbolic gestures for themselves, not in capitualtion to the West but
attempts to draw the line between past and present.  Were they effective?
That's what should be discussed by those pouding off rude mails. This type
of discussion is hopefully going to be productive.
Geneva Anderson




----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Benson" <michael.benson {AT} pristop.si>
To: <nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net>
Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2000 4:40 AM
Subject: Re: <nettime> re: No Nazis


> A relatively brief response, as real life inevitably takes over, taking
> large amounts of time...
>
> My point, in a nutshell, was not that everything can be blamed on one man,
> but that the criminalization of an entire society starts at the top with a
> lead criminal. Hartman, who is clearly a keen analyst, suggests checking
out
> "the command structures within the Serbian army" Several points:
>
> 1. There is no Serbian army, though there is a Serbian police force and
> there was a network of particularly vicious Serbian paramilitaries who
were
> at the vanguard of Serbian ethnic cleansing activities. What Hartman calls
a
> Serbian army continues to be the army of Federal Yugoslavia. It's
conscript
> based, and contains many Montenegrins, Hungarians and terrorized
> cannon-fodder ethnic Albanians.
>
> 2. As for the command structures of _that_ army, it's instructive to trace
> in detail the specific ways in which Milosevic co-opted those
structures --
> particularly since it only confirms my thesis. The JNA only gradually
became
> a tool in Milosevic's hands, as he engineered the replacement of
> independent-minded generals. The JNA's unwillingness, as recently as in
'99,
> to contemplate taking on NATO necessitated purges of the general staff.
This
> is all well documented.
>
> I remember very accurately the Serbia of 1987, as well as before, and it
> wasn't a criminalized society, nor was it particularily nationalistic. It
> existed, yes, under the soft totalitarianism of late Yugo socialism, but
it
> was _not_ a criminalized society. (Just as Weimar Germany was not a place
> where gangs of killers went around burning Jewish shops.) What it took was
> the creation of a criminal junta lead by one lead criminal dedicated to
> bringing out the worst in the nation. This does not excuse the actions of
> that nation, its just an observation.
>
> One of Milosevic's early actions -- which as I said in my not so
"elaborate"
> mail last week, was incredibly helpful to the advocates of Slovenian
> secession -- was to engineer a weekend bank heist during which most of
> five-republic old Yugoslavia's federal budget for that year was stolen by
> the Serbian republic. So on Friday, the sovereign nation of Yugoslavia had
> its annual budget safely banked, but on Monday it was all in the hands of
> Serbia. This was, I believe, in 1990, but it may have been as late as '91.
> At that point, even Slovenians who thought it was too risky to become an
> independent state threw up their hands and saw that there was no longer
any
> choice, as long as criminals were running Serbia.
>
> Now we discover that, late last week, bankers sympathetic to the
opposition
> had to crash the state bank's main computer to prevent Milosevic and his
> group from moving Serbia's financial reserves abroad. In other words, from
a
> bank heist to a bank heist, with much blood spilled in-between.
>
> This is what I meant by saying that much of what happened can be traced
back
> to one man's criminality.
>
> >though he tries to be very elaborate
>
> I try to be as clear as possible, if you can't figure out how to
understand
> things, well it's specifically your problem. But don't try to cleanse this
> or any other list of my "pollution", since you don't have that right.
>
> >it is quite dangerous: it supports that moralistic view assuming it would
> >change anything to hand someone to the war tribunal.
>
> Serbia and the rest of the republics of the former Yugoslavia will never,
> repeat never, be able to achieve a sense of closure and go back to being
> 'normal' societies if war criminals responsible for hundreds of thousands
of
> deaths are walking freely around unpunished. Croatia is also going through
a
> society-wide upheaval as its new leadership proceeds on that basis. It's
> beyond stupid to argue anything else, in fact it verges on being
complicit.
>
> Over and out,
> Michael Benson
>
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