“Our negroes, our enemies”

Serbian writer Vladimir Arsenijevic has written a perfect little piece on Serbs and Albanians. If you have trouble understanding why everyone is being so unreasonable about this Kosovo thing, here’s a place to start.

Some excerpts and commentary below the fold.

Arsenijevic is an award-winning novelist. He’s 42 years old, so he spent about half of his adult life in Milosevic’s Serbia. I haven’t read his stuff, but I hear it’s good… if any of you have, I’d be interested to hear comments.

Anyway. Arsenijevic on the Albanians:

Anything that the rest of us in former Yugoslavia claimed to know about the Albanians was put together from a hodgepodge of offensive cliches. They were generally referred to derisively as the Siptari or the shiptars. If we didn’t hate them openly, it was only because we did not consider them worthy of our hatred. Even at the best of times there was never any dialogue between “them” and “us.”

The Kosovo Albanians were for us just a bunch of primitive, at most sometimes comical golliwogs, our Uncle Toms. In other words, they were our negroes.

It’s true. Up until around 1990, the image of Albanians for Serbs — indeed, for all Yugoslavs — was of backwards, simple primitives. The positive image of Albanians (insofar as there was one) was of docile workers in crappy jobs: the guys selling chestnuts in the snow, picking up the garbage, sweeping the streets. The negative images started with mockery and descended rapidly into overt racism of the ugliest sort: Albanians were dirty, diseased, willfully ignorant, and also violent, dangerous, and unable to control their sexuality.

So it was easy to segue from “vaguely amusing primitives” on down:

Yet just as the existence of the despised Albanians scarcely penetrated the consciousness of the average Yugoslav of the Tito era, so the casual cultural racism of that time seems, from today’s perspective, rather harmless compared with the violent, murderous hatred of the “shiptars” that seized the Serbs following the death of Tito and after the first wave of “unrest” in Kosovo at the end of the twentieth century. This resentment became particularly intense throughout the phase of burgeoning nationalism in all the republics, during the brutal tyranny perpetrated by Slobodan Milosevic, who set out to ruthlessly tear apart the common state. During the 1990s politicians and the media also began using the colloquial and derogatory term “shiptars,” a label that increasingly stuck to make them the object of our paranoia. More and more often people began to speak of them as though the only reason they existed was to crush and annihilate “us Serbs”.

This is still true. An astounding lot of Serbs — especially outside of Belgrade — believe the Albanians are driven purely by malice, an inveterate hatred of Christianity and Serbs.

One of the legends that did the rounds in Milosevic’s version of the news was a historical myth that went roughly like this: “Once there were far fewer Albanians than Serbs in Kosovo. But over the years (by means of a miracle that has never been fully explained! V.A.) they came to Kosovo across the Albanian border and just settled here in our country, before our very eyes, without so much as a ‘by your leave’.”

This goes beyond being a “legend”; for a while it was the formal position of the Serbian state. In the late 1990s, the Serbian Radical Party advanced a proposal to review the papers and citizenship of all Albanians, and expel those who couldn’t prove descent from residents of Kosovo before 1941.

It’s still hardwired into Serbia’s thinking today. A majority of Serbs believe that Kosovo was majority Serb before World War Two, even though Royalist Yugoslav censuses showed otherwise. The story — which is widely, almost universally believed — is that large numbers of Serbs were ethnically cleansed from Kosovo during or immediately after the war, and replaced by Albanians moving in from Albania. (Why Albanians would want to leave Albania for Kosovo is never made clear.)

Determined to settle scores with these “shiptars” once and for all, our President Milosevic conceived a fantastic plan. In his murky empire of evil, poverty, ethnic hatred and hyperinflation, the army and the police aided by the mass media were to be allowed to discriminate against and humiliate the Kosovo Albanians without incurring sanctions. The Albanians would be able to be arbitrarily dismissed or arrested, their property plundered, their families and villages destroyed. Absolved of any responsibility and encouraged by popular support, the president for many years painstakingly put his plan into action, bringing violence and destruction first to Kosovo and then to the whole territory of Yugoslavia. Following the Dayton Agreement in December 1995 there was a brief ceasefire, but in 1999 the spiral of violence finally led Milosevic back to where it had all started, back to Kosovo.

It’s pretty rare to find a Serb voice acknowledging what happened in the 1990s in Kosovo. As Arsenijevic says, Kosovo was turned into a place where Albanians had no rights. Tens of thousands were fired from their jobs; the Albanian-language university was closed, and high school systems rearranged to push out Albanian kids; Albanian language TV and papers were shut down. Albanians lost access to everything from clean water to basic medical care. Those who protested were beaten, arrested, or simply disappeared; an Albanian had no recourse whatsoever against the government.

It was an explicitly racist apartheid regime. Surprisingly few people realize this. So kudos to Arsenijevic for standing up and saying so.

At this point someone is going to point out that Albanian-dominated Kosovo is not exactly a model of racial harmony either. That’s right. The Albanians are not interested in treating the Serb minority fairly (Or their Roma minority either). It’s sad, because the Serbs of Kosovo were relatively reluctant to dump on their neighbors; they knew they’d have to live with them. The most vicious discrimination and the most brutal crimes were directed from outside the province. A great many of the Serbs of Kosovo are innocent victims who took little or no part in the oppression of their neighbors.

Depressing? He’s just getting started:

A few years ago the Serbian media reported for months on end on mass graves whose dead had been identified by forensic experts as Kosovo Albanians. One of the most horrific images was that of a refrigerated lorry out of which murdered Kosovo Albanian women, children and old people were disposed in Lake Perucac, near the mouth of the river Derventa. On our screens we saw half-decayed, clothed corpses being pulled out of the water, we heard the shocking confession of the driver, who had been told to transport the dead out of Kosovo in order to cover up the crime. At the time a Belgrade television station broadcast an interview with a man bathing untroubled in this beautiful lake from whose green waters the corpses had just been pulled. When the reporter asked whether this bothered him the simpleton stood there shaking his head as the water dripped off him. Blinking innocently and smiling laconically, he looked at the camera and said without turning a hair: “To be honest, I don’t believe all that,” and dived defiantly back into the water…

Denial is one of the central new Serbian qualities. It is so new that we don’t even have a proper word for it, and those who realize what is happening simply use the English word instead. Denial.

Hm. There’s no word for “denial” in Serbian? My Serbian has gotten pretty rusty… but maybe he’s right. Can anyone confirm this?

Anyway. That image of the man diving into the lake is dismal enough, but that’s not the end of it.

One of the things that struck me about Serbia, living there in the early 2000s, was how cosmopolitan people of a certain age were. There were lots of people in their late 30s and 40s who spoke perfect English, French or German; who had lived for years in Sweden or Holland, gone to school in Hamburg or Chicago, hitch-hiked from Belgrade to London. One kept meeting people who had been habitues of, say, the Edinburgh Fringe or the San Diego Comic Convention.

But when you looked more closely, you saw a sharp generation gap. The 35-50 age group was very cosmopolitan, but the 18-30 group was exactly the opposite. They were naive. Few had travelled abroad. A lot fewer spoke foreign languages. And a lot of them bought into the most vicious bigotry without a second thought:

But what can one expect from a generation that has been raised amid war and destruction, fed with a policy of overt hatred, and that can’t get a visa to become acquainted with other countries and cultures? Unfortunately, probably not very much. Our young people have begun to hate again, without inhibitions, with a frivolous delight. Surveys of school students are enough to make your hair stand on end – and they confirm the impression one gains from everyday life. More than 30 percent of the pupils at Serbian middle schools believe that one “should neither become friends with Albanians nor visit them.” Almost a third of young people believe that the Chinese – the only relatively large group of foreigners in our country – should have their residence permits removed, even if they obey the law. Every third teenage boy and every second teenage girl is looking down on homosexuals and people infected with HIV.

The thought of the ghastly success with which contemporary Serbian society has deformed the thoughts and emotions of young people makes one shudder.

It’s true.

I like Serbia a lot. I lived there for years, and would go back tomorrow. But sometimes it’s hard to be positive. Anyway. If you’ve read this far, click on the link and read the whole thing.

Me? I’m going to start looking for Arsenijevic in translation.

31 thoughts on ““Our negroes, our enemies”

  1. There’s a perfectly good word for denial, “poricanje.” But I sort of see what he’s getting at, there’s no common shorthand to express someone’s “in denial.”

    Sounds like you lived in Belgrade? Small-town Serbia is not very cosmopolitan at all, in my (limited) experience.

  2. My first though upon reading this was that it sounds a lot like Turkey – a place where there’s a small intellectual ‘elite’ and a more nationalist greater public with a lack of historical knowledge.

    Then I realized that “hey, actually it sounds a lot like the US”.

    Funny, huh (or sad, I’m not sure).

  3. An interesting article — although I’m certain that the title of “absolute outsiders” in Yugoslavia belongs, and will continues to belong in perpetuity, to the Roma. (As you’ve also pointed out in previous posts.) Albanians at least have status; Roma are as good as invisible.

    Regarding “denial”: I was also shocked at some of the sentiments I heard in Serbia. Sensitive, kind, and intelligent young students will suddenly rattle off the most crazy and paranoid theories imaginable, like blaming CNN for faking all the atrocity footage or imagining that there is a massive conspiracy among all western countries to destroy Serbia forever. A recent documentary about Kosovo by Slovenian television seemed to confirm this, with officials insisting that the only atrocities in Kosovo were Albanian ones. It’s depressing, especially in a country that is otherwise so friendly and open.

  4. to understand Serbian denial and propaganda please read
    ” Under the holy lime tree”
    By Dr. Sabrina P. Ramet

  5. Yes, a lot of Serbs do have frightfully bad thoughts about (Kosovo) Albanians. However, at least there’s some kind of reason for it: there’s a long history of animosity (but also of cooperation, though less well known) and the ongoing conflict over Kosovo. No wonder Albanians and Serbs hate each other.

    However, my point above (comment no. 2) is that these kind of prejudices are apparent in a lot of countries, even outside the Balkans/Eastern Europe/Middle East. As a cosmopolitan European I’m always surprised by the conspiracy theories an level of ignorance abounding even in the higher levels of US society. Two recent examples:

    According to the NYT a third of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was personally responsible for the WTC attacks. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/17/us/politics/17web-elder.html#

    Of course there’s the usual US right wing conpiracy theory about the UN/EU trying to take over the country (black helicopters and all that, you know). http://fistfulofeuros.net/afoe/the-european-union/the-eu-nightmare-of-the-right

    So, while Serb conspiracy theories about Albanians may be wrong and destructive, at least there’s an understandable reason for them to exist (I’m not saying they’re right, just that I understand where they’re coming from).

  6. Interestingly, although Byford’s fascinating paper doesn’t cover it, there’s another point to the idea of “neocortical war”. Tyrants are well-known to delegitimise opponents by claiming that they are mad, and to demonise them by claiming they are foreign agents. This idea seems to combine the best of both insults.

  7. The analysis is very similar to what Julie Mertus wrote in her book, Kosovo: How Myths and Truths Started a War. The huge difference, of course, is the author.

    As a side issue, how many other nations have the whole “antemurale Christianitatis” thing going? Poland I knew about, and a little Googling shows that it’s a key concept for Croatia, too, and obviously as described above Serbia. Who else?

  8. Fascinating and depressing in equal measure. It sounds as though the popular Serbian view of Kosovar Albanians is to some extent analogous to the view many English used to have of the Irish.

    One thing strikes me as curious, though. I speak neither Serb(o-Croat)ian nor Albanian. But “Shiptar” sounds to me rather like what I’d expect the Albanians’ own name for themselves to sound like, modulated through Serbian ears/mouths. In other words, precisely not like (for example) the Russians referring to people from the Caucasus as “black-arses”; in western terms using a minority people’s own name for itself might seem almost an excess of political correctness. How then did “shiptar” become a pejorative?

  9. “In other words, precisely not like (for example) the Russians referring to people from the Caucasus as “black-arses”; in western terms using a minority people’s own name for itself might seem almost an excess of political correctness. How then did “shiptar” become a pejorative?”

    I’ve always thought of it as an in-group/out-group thing. I’d take a GLBT friend calling me “queer” in stride, but if someone who I iether knew to be homophobic or didn’t know at all did the same …

  10. Somewhat parallel: in the US, blacks are allowed to refer to themselves as “niggers” (mostly it’s a defiant claiming of an insult as a in-group badge of membership, but sometimes an insult suggesting conformity to the old stereotypes of a lazy and ignorant person), but not whites or others.

  11. I lived as a small child in Belgrade from 1958-63, and we had a couple of Albanian gardener/handymen, one of whom at least had never seen a car until he came out of the mountains. As far as we (diplomats’ children) were concerned, “shiptar” as simply the name of their nationality. We knew croats, serbs, russians, gypsies and “shiptars”. The prejudices against them might as well have come out of the tap water. They were simply what everyone knew.

  12. Thank you for this interesting post, Douglas.

    “I speak neither Serb(o-Croat)ian nor Albanian. But “Shiptar” sounds to me rather like what I’d expect the Albanians’ own name for themselves to sound like, modulated through Serbian ears/mouths.”

    I had the same thought. My English-Albanian dictionary (written by Ramazan Hysa) gives “shqiptar” as translation for “Albanian”. And the country itself is called Shqiperia.

    Also, I would be interested to know how Albanians feel about religion. As a philatelist, collecting Albanian stamps and covers (an excellent primer into any country’s recent history), I noticed in 1999 and 2004 Albania issued stamps and sheets honouring Christian icons. And there are of course real-life “icons” Mother Teresa and Gjergi Kastrioti. They even honoured George Bush (because of his recent visit) with stamps and sheets, showing a clear break with their past foreign policy.

  13. Guy, there’s a saying that “the religion of Albanians is Albania”.

    On paper, Albania is something like 70% Muslim, 20% Catholic, 10% Orthodox. In practice, Albanians are not particularly religious, and all three groups get along pretty well. In Kosovo, Christmas services at the Catholic church are always crowded to overflowing; most of the attendees are not from the small Kosovo Catholic community, but are just turning out to be with friends. In Tirana, the local churches rang their bells for the election of Pope Benedict a couple of years back, and nobody thought anything of it.

    Kosovo is culturally somewhat conservative — no kissing in public, type of thing — but it feels more like a “everyone here is just a few years out of the village” thing than a religious imposition. Shkoder and Tirana are much less so:girls there wear the “hooker chic” outfits that are common throughout the Balkans, there’s a fair amount of PDA, and the general look-and-feel is altogether secular.

    Both Kosovar and Albanian Albanians are two-fisted ingesters of alcohol, and there are more pork dishes on sale than can be explained by the presence of the Christian minority and foreigners. In fact, “devout Muslim”, in an Albanian context, means “doesn’t eat pork” and (AFAICT) not a lot more.

    Broadly speaking, Albanians don’t worry overmuch about religion, and don’t ever hassle fellow Albanians about it.

    Of course, when it comes to non-Albanians, that’s something else again. As witness the attacks on Serb churches and religious institutions after 1999.

    George Bush: although he doesn’t enjoy the demigod status granted to the divine Clinton, he’s still the President of America. And Albanians love America; the universal perception is that Europe has consistently abandoned Albanians, both in Albania and in Kosovo, while the US has stepped up. You can argue whether that’s so, but it’s how Albanians see it.

    Recent history has hardly dented this; Albania is one of the few countries where Americans are still as popular as they ever were.

    Doug M.

  14. Thanks for the clarifications, Doug.

    It is very interesting, coming back to philately, to see a state officially honouring Stalin, then Mao and now indeed the US. There is even a sheet showing Mount Rushmore (1999) and various US icons. At the same time Albania has issued, and continues to do so, stamps related to Europe and NATO.

    I hope to one day visit this absolutely fascinating region and, most of all, I hope they manage to sort things out and prosper. The region, and its culture and history, has been in the dark for too long, notably Albania. And it would be a shame, I think, to forever associate the Balkans solely with the, arguably still very recent, atrocities and wars.

  15. Doug, about “antemurale Christianitatis”, how about Spain (the whole reconquista thing).

  16. Oh, Spain, good thought!

    France and Charles Martel, too, at one point I suppose. Though I think it must play a bigger role in Spanish historical consciousness.

    I spend so much time looking at the eastern border that it’s too easy to forget the southern one.

  17. When one brands oneself as civilization’s conquering arm against the horde and the infidel, that brand begins to fade when the conquering is over.

    But when one brands oneself as civilization’s last defense against the horde and the infidel, begin beaten utterly only confirms the brand.

  18. Although the “antemurale Christianitatis” was first a Balkan anti-Turk thing I wonder if it could be applied to say Poland in its relationship vs Russia?

    The whole discussion just goes to show how deeply the Ottoman/Turkish period has affected the Balkans. It’s as if European colonialism in Africa lasted 400 years and not 100 years.

  19. Eh. The Turks in the Balkans were rough sometimes, but there’s no remote comparison to, say, Leopold’s Congo.

    Also, the first couple of centuries were more good than bad — the Ottomans brought peace and prosperity, back in the day. And the old Empire was race-neutral; Greeks, Serbs and Albanians could become generals, ministers, and grand viziers.

    Things went bad when the Empire started to decay, but that came later.

    Doug M.

  20. Doug,

    Of course there are a world of differences between 19 and 20 th century European colonialism and the Ottoman period in the Balkans. At the same time, Leopold’s Congo is the worst example of colonialism, not a typical example. British India or Dutch Indonesia are other examples.

    Wether the Ottomans were relatively bad or good at the time is a separate discussion. What I was referring to was the fact that in both cases, Ottoman Balkans and European colonialism, it left lasting scars on the regions and countries which emerged. There’s a parallel between Serbian hatred of Albanians (and vice versa) and say Tutsis and Hutus or Malays and ethnic Chinese. Sure, these people might have come into conflict with each other without colonialism, but there’s no doubt that it added to the conflict and hatred.

    Finally, it’s always sad and unproductive when neighbours hate and don’t communicate with each other. The best way to get over it is usually for both to feel confident and secure and be able to overlook historical grievances by having something else (hopefully positive) to focus on.

    In the Serbs and Albanians conflict I think it would be best to split Kosovo between the two, build a wall, move any populations and historical buildings that end up on the wrong side and then let both sides focus on developing themselves for a while instead of focusing on battling each other. Sure, some Serbs will resent ‘loosing’ most of Kosovo and some Albanians will resent not getting all of Kosovo, but it’s reasonable to expect that most will be able to accept this compromise. In the end, maybe, just maybe, the benefits from cooperation will enable people on both sides to see that the benefits from cooperation outweigh the potential reward from violence.

    However, award Kosovo all to one side (as the Russians and the US are both suggesting, though to different sides) will surely perpetuate the conflict. Where talking about another Alsace here…

  21. Insight, the Poles use the phrase in relation to the Turks and Tartars. Most famously for Jan III Sobieski, who lifted the Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683. The Commonwealth also had a long border in its south and east that stretched into areas contested with the Ottomans and various khanates, themselves often (iirc) supported by the Porte. And while the Russians eventually joined the Germans as enemies of choice (Sweden was in there for a while, too, but eventually dropped out of the running in favor of social democracy, slow films and ABBA), I don’t think that they were regarded as heathen in the same way Turks and Tartars were.

  22. In the Poles vs Russians context I was thinking more of attitudes today, with the Poles today designating the Russians as heathens (or maybe its w. Europe which is becoming the designated ‘heathen’ in conservative circles in Poland…).

  23. Actually, (and I am surprised you guys don’t know this) Albanians have this “antemurale Christianitatis” going on too. The whole Albanian identity is built around Scanderbag and his resistance to the Turks. And the Mother Teresa cult just builds on it.

    And Albanians will always point out that “we are the reason why Turks never occupied Italy” and “we defended Europe for more than 25 years”. (when you think about it the Italy thing does make some sense).

  24. Especially the Serb /Greek views Muslim as = Turk loving. Ironic considering that Albanians–Muslim and Christian alike–in total probably fought against Turks much more despite not having a state and being divided in a gazillion spheres of influence. The Serbs brag about their loss to the Turks–completely forgetting their role in crushing other nations’ fight against the Ottoman rule in the coming centuries. Serbs, until pushed by Russians who wanted a Mediterranean port, were vassals and good ones too. Their Church was also treated very well and told them to stay quiet, much like the Greek Church. Their main hero, Kralj Marko is a vassal…who kills the ‘wild’ and outlaw, Musa the Albanian who challenged Sultan’s rule. Lazar’s daughter was given to the Sultan to seal the partnership.
    So, it isn’t black and white and “black” might actually be “white” 😉

    ‘Albanians’ fought with the Turks and against the Turks, just as we fought with the Russians and against them in the Turko-Russian wars and Stradioti we Albanian merc knights fighting all over Europe . Mostly it was over gun rights, desire to be left alone in day to day matters, taxes and later over our refusal to ‘Ottomanize,’ but they did happen. Albanian ‘Muslims’ rose against the Sultan and many essentially had their ‘Kingdoms.’ On top of my head I can think of Ali Pasha of Tepelen, Mehemet Ali of Egypt and Bushatliu in the North. The Greek revolution–helped by Russia, France and England–started when Turkey attacked Ali Pasha who pushed his luck ;). 20,000 troops were busy for over a year fighting him, when they could have fought the Greeks (and the ‘Arvanites’ of Albanian descent who led the revolution.)

    1900’s Catholic Ency: “It was an Albanian who led the Greeks in the War of Independence, and again an Albanian who commanded the Turkish troops sent to quell the rebellion. The Kings of Naples kept an Albanian regiment styled the Royal Macedonian, and the famous resistance of Silistria in 1854 is due to dogged Albanian bravery”

    On the other hand, the ‘Albanians’ from Egypt (Mehemet Ali’s dynasty) were sent to crush the rebellion. The ‘Greek’ revolution was actually called an “Albanian affair” and even Albanians serving under Turkish army offered to switch side at Arta and Tripolliza. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9D02E5DE1531E233A25753C3A9619C946096D6CF (PDF file from 1911)

    After 1880’s, when we knew that Turkey wasn’t helping us defend from Serbs /Greek territorial claims (Serbs wanted 1/2 of TODAY’S Albania too, Greeks the other half) we rose, Muslim and Christians, from Kosovo to Southern Albania. Of course I did not mention Skenderbeu, who won 13 battles (13+0=13) more than Lazar, and under whose flag ‘Muslim’ Albanians fought the Serbs in 1990’s and of course it is still flown despite the new Kosovo flag.

    There was no ‘Albania’ and clearly no one policy, just as with all the rest of the world. Even in 1389, Serbs were fighting Serbs in the Kosovo battle. People and local rulers did what they had to do over 500 years. For example, Serbs brag that they ‘kept the faith’ but fought with other Christians on behalf of the Sultan. Does that count ;)?

  25. Not every one think like this person! I, who lived there, in Yugoslavia, and have really bad experience with Albanian living in Kossovo (because they are all from Albania), can not say that in Yugoslavia existed any negative thinking about Albanian.

    Yes – that many in comic, satirical TV program, or in humor, portraied Albanian like less intelligent, but it was because most of them was uneducated, and most of them refused to learn and talk Serbian language, and that resulted in some “cliche” about nation.

    From other hands, culture, tradition, and “way of life” from Albanian, was so different that other people simply can not understand it.

    After – when separatist, exiled persons, drug trafficers, and other – start to made some kind of independence, start violence, start to kill and rape old people from non albanian nationality – Serbian/Yugoslavian Army made action.

    Someone here made comment that majority have right for independence – but same person forgott that albanian are and was MINORITY in Serbia!!!!!

    And next – they (Albanian) have own “mother country” – it is independent Albania, where all who don’t like and participate in Serbia – can live without problem to “mother” country.

    Just to mention that when was Yugoslavia and president Tito, same Albanian was so happy to live in Serbia, because ALL citizen of Yugoslavia, donated by cash, donated by working, donated by economically and build one modern place to live – when all that finished, Albanian population was left without this “goods” and unable to find solution other than violence.

    I personally think, that this kind of separation can not be accepted, and will not be recognized in UN, fact that around 55 countries accepted and recognized Kossovo independence – is just picture of USA controlled countries – nothing else.

  26. so many lies but I’ll start here:

    And next – they (Albanian) have own “mother country” – it is independent Albania, where all who don’t like and participate in Serbia – can live without problem to “mother” country.

    You do have your mother country as well, Russia. Go back there. You came as slaves (you were known as Servs /Servia until 1900’s) to fight the Avars and never left. Go now to mother Russia. Albanians are natives and you have been the biggest troublemakers since Russia started to use you for its agenda.

    After – when separatist, exiled persons, drug trafficers, and other – start to made some kind of independence, start violence, start to kill and rape old people from non albanian nationality – Serbian/Yugoslavian Army made action.

    Insults coming from a nation that glorifies soldiers who raped children in front of their parents and brought back the concentration camps in Europe are kinda funny, but what you said is a lie. Crime in Kosova was LOWER than anywhere in Yugo, and do not take my word for it:

    http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=rape%20kosovo%20sanu&um=1&sa=N&tab=wp
    “None of the rape stories was ever substantiated.”

    “While Serbs suffered from a variety of factors in Kosovo, the charges of mass rape, systematic annihilation of Serb sacral heritage, and genocide were pure [guess what?]”

    “For example, despite the claims that Serbian women were being systematically
    raped in Kosovo, Kosovo actually had the lowest level of rape of any of the…”

    Why do Serb nationalists have lying as a second religion?

    Yes – that many in comic, satirical TV program, or in humor, portraied Albanian like less intelligent, but it was because most of them was uneducated, and most of them refused to learn and talk Serbian language, and that resulted in some “cliche” about nation.

    It’s OK, we’ll be fine with education. Russia opened colleges for its offspring when we couldn’t even learn our language thanks to Serbs and Turks.

    Apparently it hasn’t done you much, you’re getting smaller and are a third world economy. Both Croatia and Slovenia wipe the floor with you. Albania will do so as well in 5 years.
    This deprivation of education thing backfired on Serbs as well: stayed at home and had plenty of babies, something that is still going on while are losing 30,000 a year.

  27. Same way – like Your comment (Albo) we can say for Albanian – to simply say go to Roman Empire!

    You intentionally hide my word that Albanian have own “mother” country – it is Albania, and in UN is clearly written that minority, living out from mother country don’t have right for independence.

    Yes – Albanian are natives – I agree with You, but JUST ON ALBANIAN SOIL! And You again intentionally forgotted that Serbian people was that accepted all Albanian refugee from Albania! You know well what E. Hodza think about his own nation – and Serbian help them well – You wish to tell me that it is regard for helping?

    Saying that crime in Kossovo are lower than in Yugoslavia is correct, because when was Yugoslavia, in Kossovo Authonomy was order, and existed very great respect for law, respect for woman, respect for elders, respect for parents, today it is opposite!

    Regarding education, that is fine possible for You personally – but ask ALL population today, if they have better education before self-independence or today, I will say that all answer will be negative.

    I, personally, I’m not Serb, for Your info – in Yugoslavia, and today in Serbia, not all people are Serbian nationality, and will agree with You that Serbian are in big trouble regarding natality, but is is just because economy, and no one want to made lot of children and see them going hungry – it is main reason for not doing, like You say “plenty” of babies.

    In the end – I will ask just one favor from You – if You don’t lived in Yugoslavia, don’t talk nonsense, it is not fair!

  28. Gentlemen,

    This is a moderated forum. You can talk freely here, but please keep it polite.

    Doug M.

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