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The results from the Croatian presidential election are in, and Ivo Josipovich is the winner.

This represents a victory for Croatia's Social Democrats, and -- 20 years after Croatia's independence -- a chance for Croatia to rid itself of some of its demons.

Croatia achieved independence in 1990, upon the breakup of the Republic of Yugoslavia which then included the modern nations of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosova, Montenegro, and Macedonia. Yugoslavia had been welded together out of a variety of diverse nations formerly under Austrian, Hungarian, and Turkish rule; first as a monarchy, then (after World War II) as a Communist republic.

After the death of Yugoslavia's dictator Josip Broz (Tito), each of Yugoslav's regions began to assume more and more power for itself.  With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the East bloc dominos, it was only a matter of months before Yugoslavia was destined to break apart.

Croatia was at this time led by the "Croatian Democratic Union", a right-wing nationalist party, under strongman Franjo Tudjman.  Tudjman was a kind of autocrat; he respected the forms of democracy, but his dominance of Croatia's politics during most of his life was total.  He introduced privatization into Croatia's hitherto Communist economy, but this abetted corruption, which largely benefited Tudjman's friends and relatives.  Tudjman also developed into an apologist for the fascist Croatian state which had existed in World War II.

Worse still, Tudjman was complicit in the developing war which enveloped central Yugoslavia in the years after the split.  While his counterpart Miloshevich in Serbia was oppressing and "ethnically cleansing" non-Serbs, Tudjman was performing "ethnic cleansing" on Serbs in eastern Croatia.  He also conspired with Miloshevich to carve up Bosnia between the two states, resulting in a three-cornered Croat-Serb-Bosniac war, which resulted in genocidal massacres of the Bosnians.

In short, Tudjman's crimes differed from Miloshevich's in degree rather than kind -- and that largely due to a lack of opportunity.

Since Tudjman's death in 1999, Croatia has been to a large extent living under his shadow.  Croatia's President has been Tudjman associate Stjepan "Stipe" Mesich, who however moved in a more moderate direction.

The current elections fall end the end of Mesich's two five-year terms.  With a full field of candidates, no candidate won an outright majority in the first round, which took place on December 27, 2009.  The third-place finisher was Andrija Hebrang, candidate of Tudjman's right-wing party; the second place was taken by Milan Bandich, independent mayor of Zagreb; and first place, with over 32% of the vote, was Ivo Josipovich, candidate of the Social Democratic Party.

In the runoff, Bandich -- himself formerly a member of the SDP -- ran to the right of Josipovich, characterizing himself as the Catholic candidate against the agnostic Josipovich.  In the final days, the campaign became ugly, with mud-slinging from both sides.  Bandich characterized himself as a workers' candidate; Josipovich, a musician and composer, was seen as more intellectual.

Nonetheless, in the actual results, Josipovich has won with over 60% of the vote -- considerably better than predicted. Croatia has now for the first time elected someone not associated with the Tudjman clique, and has a chance to proceed in a less nationalistic, more European direction with its history.

Originally posted to WIds on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 06:32 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  which one was Republican...? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Thank you for the update. eom. (6+ / 0-)

    After all is said and done, a lot more is said than done.

    by Brahman Colorado on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 06:49:09 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the update (8+ / 0-)

    Hope that a new government can bring improvements to the lives of the Croatian people.

    That is a beautiful part of the world, especially the Adriatic islands.

  •  Great and Useful Update (9+ / 0-)

    How many Americans could even find Croatia on a map?

    It's great that we have created our own information society here, because the US media is hopeless on international news.

    "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

    by greendem on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 07:12:28 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the current information (5+ / 0-)

    as well as for the history.

    We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.

    by DParker on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 07:25:23 PM PST

  •  Didn't we do some (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WIds, Morague, sberel

    War and nation building in Croatia?  Oh yeah, Clinton did it and it turned out to pretty successful.  Amazing...  A Democratic President that used military force and performed Nation building in a way that makes the Neo-con efforts look like they were planned by a brain damaged, 3 year old chimp.

    Dick Cheney proves that the difference between stupid and evil is about 15 IQ points.

    by Ken in Tex on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 07:27:59 PM PST

    •  Uh, no Clinton did not. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sberel

      The US did not do any nation building in Croatia, unless you call standing idly by while Croatia invaded Serbian Krajina and ethnically cleansed it of Serbs "nation building".  I suppose it is nation building under the historical definition of "nation building" whereby one builds one's own nation or assists another in the building of its nation by conquering and occupying the territory of others, usually its nearest neighbors.

      What Clinton did do was to recognize Croatia when it declared its independence from Yugoslavia.  What he didn't do is act to prevent the ethnic cleansing of Serbs by Croats from Krajina.  He did not lift a finger when Croatia invaded Serbian Krajina and created the greatest refugee crisis of the Yugoslavian civil war.  Clinton did nothing when 200,000 Serbs were forced from their homes, farms and businesses and made to flee for their lives.  He said not a single word when 14,000 Serbs were killed and their property confiscated.  To this day the refugees from Krajina live scattered across Serbia, the EU and the US unable to return to their homes, nor have they been compensated for the loss of their property.  Croatia was allowed to enter the EU without ever having to make restitution to the Serbs who lost everything they owned when Croatia invaded their homeland.  Tudjman, unlike Milosevic, was never sent to the Hague for his war crimes.  For the Serbian victims of Croatian "nation building" there will never be justice.

      The US did not participate in any war in Croatia unless you are willing to concede that a substantial portion of what is today Bosnia was historically Croatia.  Clinton did "nation building" in Bosnia.  He helped an ethnic minority carve a nation out of territory that had previously been part of Croatia and part of Serbia.  Other than that, Clinton did not send our military to Croatia.  He reserved that for Serbia, where he again aided an ethnic minority in carving out a nation from territory that had historically been a part of Serbia, knowing full well that Kosovo was too small to remain an independent country and that it would only be a matter of time before Albania would realize its dream of adding Kosovo to its territory.  Clinton was all too willing to change the map of Europe at the expense of Serbia in the cause of "nation building" to create Muslim nations on European soil.  Why he would do this?  That is what I would like to know.

      "I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth." - Molly Ivins

      by Involuntary Exile on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 07:34:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kosovo too small? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ken in Tex

        Kosovo's population is 2.0 million.  The Republic of Macedonia's population is 2.2 million.  Montenegro has about 672,000 people who carried out a divorce with Serbia in 2006.

        If Hoxha had a dream of a Greater Albania, the successors are not particularly eager to unite.  Albania wants to get into NATO and the EU very badly, and antagonizing Russia by annexing Kosovar Albanians would postpone this.  That half of Albanians who are Tosk probably do not want a Gheg-majority Greater Albania (and Kosovars are Gheg).  The forced meeting of Kosovar Albanians and Albanian Albanians during the Kosovo war did not go nearly as well as the NATO propaganda claimed:  Albanians gouged and robbed Kosovars;  Kosovars were considered snooty.  

        One funny thing in the Balkans is how an occupation can create self-described nationalities.  A bunch of Vlachs occupied by the Serbs became Serbs, then when the Turks came in some of them "turned Turk" and now call themselves Bosniaks.  (Muslims in Kosovo who claim Orthodox heritage are also called Bosniaks, if only because being a Muslim Serb can be very uncomfortable.)  Serbian and Yugoslav occupation of the Vardar helped create a Macedonian nationality that speaks a language very close to Bulgarian and whose existence does not delight the Greeks, who have their own Macedonia that is Greek.  Conversely, the Serbs who managed to fight off the Turks (or at least keep them at arm's length) became Montenegrins.  

        So, it looks like Albania will join Serbia and Bulgaria in calving off nations.  The Serbs calved off Montenegro, the Bulgarians calved off Macedonia and the Albanians are calving off the Kosovars.  

        2009: Year of the Donkey. Let's not screw it up.

        by Yamaneko2 on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 11:37:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Speaking as someone of Montenegrin heritage (0+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          Hidden by:
          Ken in Tex

          who was in country just a short time back, I can tell you for a fact that the average Montenegrin considers herself/himself to be Serb in both ethnicity and religion. The term Montenegrin describes them as residents of the state of Montenegro as Nebraskan describes me as a resident of Nebraska.  Furthermore, at least half the citizens of Montenegro (and probably more) did not want to disband the confederation with Serbia. The corrupt government of Montenegro pushed for the divorce, but friends and family in Bar tell me the outcome of the referendum that severed the union with Serbia was rigged by the Djukanovic government.

          The people of Montenegro are proud of their past, as am I.  Their country, the country of my forefathers, was ruled as a true theocracy from 1697 until 1832 by the Petrovic-Njegos Serbian Orthodox Prince-Bishops. Petar II Petrovic-Njegos abolished the theocracy in 1832 because he preferred writing Serbian poetry to being an Orthodox priest.  He is considered to be the greatest poet in the Serbian language.

          I cannot speak with authority on Macedonia, but I can say that friends and family in Montenegro claim a significant proportion the population of northern Macedonia consider themselves to be ethnically and religiously Serbian and speak a Serbian dialect.  I am told in some parts of northern Macedonia Serbs are the majority ethnic group.  It is my further understanding (from friends and family) that a significant number of Serbs who were driven from their homes in Kosovo ended up in Macedonia because they had family there.  Friends and family in Montenegro claim that it was Macedonian and Kosovar Serbs who prevented ethnic Albanian terrorists from wresting a portion of northwestern Macedonia away and annexing it to Kosovo.  Of course, NATO and the former Clinton government have their own stories to tell which do not comport with what I was told by people who live in the region.

          "I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth." - Molly Ivins

          by Involuntary Exile on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:16:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The strange bit... (0+ / 0-)

            The strange thing is that Montenegro and Serbia both wrote declarations of independence from each other, Montenegro on July 3 and Serbia on July 5.  

            Macedonian and Serbian are, at least according to Serbs posting text in Macedonian at the old Cyber Yugoslavia, mutually comprehensible.  The differences between them are probably less substantial than those that confuse Americans and Brits, or maybe even between Maine and Mississippi.  Montenegrin has three letters that do not appear in Serbian nor have Romanized equivalents in the Latin script used to write Serbian and Croatian, but is so close to Serbian that, as you said:

            Petar II Petrovic-Njegos abolished the theocracy in 1832 because he preferred writing  Montenegrin poetry to being an Orthodox priest.  He is considered to be the greatest poet in the Serbian language.

            He's also considered a tremendous poet in Montenegrin, though at the time his poetry was written most Montenegrins said that they spoke Serbian.  "A language is a dialect with an army."  

            2009: Year of the Donkey. Let's not screw it up.

            by Yamaneko2 on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 12:19:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Ummm, yeah... (0+ / 0-)

        Clinton was all too willing to change the map of Europe at the expense of Serbia in the cause of "nation building" to create Muslim nations on European soil.  Why he would do this?  That is what I would like to know.

        Yeah, Serbia is the vicim here.  I think I smell a troll.

        Dick Cheney proves that the difference between stupid and evil is about 15 IQ points.

        by Ken in Tex on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 02:33:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am a lifelong Democrat and (1+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          blueness
          Hidden by:
          Ken in Tex

          a Macedonian Serb X East Prussian hybrid.  As such, I abhor Bill Clinton's actions and inactions in the former Yugoslavia.  Furthermore, there is a good deal more to the story of what truly went down in Yugoslavia than was fed to the American public.  There were villains on all sides, not just the Serbian side.  Rape and murder was perpetrated by the Croatians, Bosniaks, Kosovar, Albanians and the Serbs.  It was not one-sided as you have been led to believe.

          "I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth." - Molly Ivins

          by Involuntary Exile on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 03:28:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That should read "Montenegrin Serb" (1+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            blueness
            Hidden by:
            Ken in Tex

            not Macedonian Serb.  My father's grandfather's family came from the coastal region of Montenegro north of Budva.  His grandmother was descended from the Petrovics in the Cetinje area.  We currently have family in Bar.

            "I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth." - Molly Ivins

            by Involuntary Exile on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:01:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Further personal information: (1+ / 1-)
              Recommended by:
              blueness
              Hidden by:
              Ken in Tex

              Our family slava is St. George.  One of my sisters was named for the last Queen of Montenegro while my other sister and I were named for two of the queen's daughters. One of my brothers is named for our patron saint while the other is named for the last king of Serbia.  I think that pretty well sums it up.

              "I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth." - Molly Ivins

              by Involuntary Exile on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:10:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Can you explain your comment about (0+ / 0-)

            creating Muslim nations on European Soil?

            Clinton was all too willing to change the map of Europe at the expense of Serbia in the cause of "nation building" to create Muslim nations on European soil.  Why he would do this?  That is what I would like to know.

            This comment makes you seem like a nationalist apologist for mass murder and war crimes, and a bigot.  So, if you have some explaination for it, I'd be interested in hearing it.  If not, then I'm gonna have to assume that you are exactly what you sound like.

            Dick Cheney proves that the difference between stupid and evil is about 15 IQ points.

            by Ken in Tex on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 08:03:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I owe you no explanation and you have committed (0+ / 0-)

              several instances of ratings abuse simply in retaliation for a comment you do not understand or agree with.  You are a bully.  If this diary had been about Israel and Palestine, Meteor Blades would have swooped in by now and told you that what you have done is contrary to community standards.  Remove your hide ratings.  They are unwarranted even if I were a bigot, which I assure you I am not.  Check my comments in diaries about I/P.  I am decidedly pro-Palestinian because I am decidedly opposed to the forced relocation of any population from its rightful property.  Creating refugees and placing populations under permanent occupation always results in injustice and resentment and pushes continuing conflict underground only to reemerge more violently in the future.

              Though I owe you no explanation I will tell you that my question was sincere.  I would like to know why Bill Clinton wanted to create a Muslim nation in Europe where one did not exist.  His actions will continue to cause political problems for generations to come for the very same reasons that Israel and Palestine continue to be fraught with problems, not because in both cases one of the groups is Muslim, but because you cannot force people from their homes, businesses and property without creating tremendous resentment that will persist long beyond a single lifetime.  You cannot bomb people, kill innocent civilians, destroy people's livelihoods, force formerly middle class people into poverty - all of which the US did under Bill Clinton - without creating tremendous resentment, especially when the civilian population has to live with the destruction every day, when they have to rebuild, practically with their bare hands, the destroyed infrastructure that they worked fifty years to build, when they have to live with the shrapnel from the bombs and missiles imbedded in the walls of their houses and in the trees in their gardens, when they have to live in cramped apartments with relatives rather than in the homes and on the farms their families owned for 500 years, when they have their most sacred sites destroyed, when they have to visit their loved ones in cemeteries instead of their homes.

              This is the plight of people who were made refugees and whose relatives were killed in Krajina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, across Serbia and, to a lesser extent, Montenegro. Who in the US knows, beside those with relatives there, that a preponderance of the refugees and a majority of the wounded and dead are Serbs?  The news we have been fed is as one-sided against the Serbs as it is the Palestinians.  The good does not exist solely on one side and all the evil on the other.  Good and evil coexist on all sides, but the men in power, for their own political aims, work their mischief by convincing their people that God is on one side - their side - and the devil is on the other.  Bill Clinton was as guilty of this as Franjo Tudjman, Alija Izetbegovic, Slobodan Milosevic, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.  I hope there is a hell so they all can rot in it, along with Yasir Arafat and Ariel Sharon.

              Why did the Clinton administration make war against Serbia?  What was gained? Kosovo has been and will continue to be a training camp and transfer point for Muslim terrorists who want to make jihad with the West.   When peacekeepers leave terror and ethnic cleansing - of non-Muslims - will return.  There will never be real peace there unless one calls the completion of ethnic cleansing peace. Nor will there be peace in Bosnia when peacekeepers withdraw from there.  It has been fifteen years now and Bosnia-Herzegovina still has not reformed its constitution.  Even now fundamentalists are calling for the institution of Sharia law in Bosnia, aided and funded by the Saudis. While the majority has been thus far successful in beating back the fundamentalist incursion on their rights, it is only a matter of time before trouble breaks out again and we witness groups like Al-Qaeda committing acts of terror in Bosnia as they are in Pakistan.

              All of this could have been avoided if only the US and Europe had worked to hold the old Yugoslavia together a little longer as a loose federation of secular states instead of aiding its disintegration along religious lines.  Muslims, Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Jews and the Roma had lived side by side for generations.  There was no reason they could not have continued to do so if only the US and Europe had attempted to reign in Franjo Tudjman and Alija Izetbegovic along with Slobodan Milosevic, and had put forth even a little effort to hold Yugoslavia together awhile longer while nurturing secular pro-western, pro-democracy political groups.  By recognizing the nationalist aspirations of Croats and Bosniaks the US and EU simply fanned the flames of nationalism in Serbia. And now that Humpty-Dumpty has been pushed off the wall, he cannot be put back together again.  The Balkans will remain a problem well beyond my lifetime and yours.

              I blame Bill Clinton for this.  It is my opinion that he could have chosen another course of action that could have ensured peace in the region.  Why did he choose instead to set a course that would ensure conflict in the region for generations to come?

              "I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth." - Molly Ivins

              by Involuntary Exile on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 09:38:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow, for someone that (0+ / 0-)

                apparently just joined this site a few days ago, with only a few comments and no diaries, you seem to know an awfull lot about ratings abuse, other long time posters and community standards here.  In addition to a troll, a racist, nationalist, and war crime appologist, you also seem to be a sock puppet for someone that has probably been booted from the site one or more times in the past.

                Your signature name is a bit of a give away.

                A real class act.

                Dick Cheney proves that the difference between stupid and evil is about 15 IQ points.

                by Ken in Tex on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 09:25:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I joined in 2007, idiot. Check my UID number (0+ / 0-)

                  Just because I don't comment every day or write diaries doesn't mean I haven't been a member.  You may have nothing better to do with your time than write meaningless drivel but I don't.  I only comment when my comments will add to the conversation, not just to "hear myself talk" or get mojo.

                  For your information, my signature has to do with leaving my beloved Chicago for the sake of my husband whose business is in Nebraska and cannot be moved.  It also has to do with having been a refugee from Communist eastern Europe.  My mother escaped, risking life and limb, dodging bullets, as the Russians were stringing the last lengths of razor wire on the East German border.  My father survived nearly four years as a prisoner of the Nazis in Sandbostel Stalag X-B.  Ninety percent of the prisoners in Sandbostel died.  My father survived because he was sent as slave labor to a local farm and was lucky enough to be assigned to a very, very good man who risked his own life to feed my father from his table.  My father never returned to his home country because it was taken over by the Communists before he could return.  Both he and my mother were officially designated as stateless refugees, and as such were given passage to the US where they forged a life from nothing.

                  That is who I am.  I know who you are.  I've seen plenty of your type before.  You are a bully.  You are a false accuser.  You are an ignorant lout who likes to spout off about things you know nothing of.

                  You owe me an apology, jerk.

                  "I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth." - Molly Ivins

                  by Involuntary Exile on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 10:52:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Try expanding your search parameters, fool. (0+ / 0-)

                  Or don't you know how to use the search function?

                  I've made 1690 comments going back to early 2007, and not one was ever hide-rated before you.

                  You have violated community standards.  The rules for troll rating are spelled out by Hunter in this diary dated Jan.1, 2008, which you clearly never bothered to read.

                  You have violated this instruction:

                  To Troll Rate something has exactly one meaning. When you Troll Rate something, as a trusted user, you are stating that the comment should be made invisible to all site users.  You're saying that the comment is so bad -- so disruptive or damaging to the community -- that it isn't worth even a debate, but should be deleted from the discussion as being simply inflammatory, simply off-topic, or simply a lie.

                  Remember that, because that is the only use of the troll rating. It is an editorial vote to delete a comment from the conversation.

                  Conversely, there is one particular reason troll ratings should never be used: to express disagreement with a poster's opinion.

                  Remove your hide-ratings you bully.

                  "I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth." - Molly Ivins

                  by Involuntary Exile on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 04:02:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Great update and very important info (7+ / 0-)

    After the shooting stopped, the Western media just sort of forgot about the Balkans. However, this election will have huge ramifications for Croatia.

    From Al Jazeera

    Josipovic is expected to support the government's push to join the EU and has promised to back the drive by Jadranka Kosor, the prime minister, to implement reforms and fight corruption, as required by Brussels to complete EU accession talks this year.

    But his win also gives a boost to his opposition Social Democrats party and sets up a possible showdown with the government over how to battle corruption and revive the economy.

    The EU generally promises prosperity to new, poor members. Wealth tends to suppress violent urges. This is great news for the long-term stability in the region.

    Fox "News" lies 120 percent of the time.

    by Casual Wednesday on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 07:34:17 PM PST

  •  very good (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WIds, Morague, sberel

    Piece by piece, the mess from the Yugoslav breakup is sorting out and settling.  Croatia will be admitted into the EU fairly soon, with Macedonia and Montenegro next.  And the other ex-Yugoslav countries by 2020 or 2025.

  •  This is great to hear, however: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Morague, sberel, historys mysteries

    Here is what the diarist has to say about "Yugoslavia":

    Yugoslavia had been welded together out of a variety of diverse nations formerly under Austrian, Hungarian, and Turkish rule; first as a monarchy, then (after World War II) as a Communist republic.

    I would like to offer some historical corrections:

    While Austrian, Hungarian and Turkish rule is accurate, I think it is important to put this into historical perspective; let us begin with "Yugoslavia" Circa 1900-1908.

    In 1900, the "Ausgleich" between Austria and Hungary had been in force since 1867. True, the Kingdom of Hungary administered most of what is now Croatia, most of Slovenia, what had been Dalmatia, and other provinces, including parts of modern-day Burgenland, which is now in rump-Austria. In 1908, the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary annexed the duchy of Bosnia, and took control of the the formerly Turkish Sanjak which separated Serbia from Montenegro. Regicide, war, and bad borders drawn by the victors ensued, as well as the fall of the House of Hapsburg.

    After the fall of Socialist "Yugoslavia", a very similar war--waged by Serbs--took up where the First World War left off.

    Shall we, at long last, let this wonderful group of rump-nations at peace? This is good news to hear, but please, don't mention Tito if you don't want to mention--in detail--what came before.

    I have had it with "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back". I ask, "What is to be Done?" I answer, "We need a 'Spark'!"

    by commonmass on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 07:59:49 PM PST

    •  Serbia was a fully autonomous state by 1856 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sberel, Involuntary Exile, commonmass

      The Serbs first gained a degree of independence 1n 1815 and by the middle of the 19th century had gained full autonomy from the Ottoman Empire as a western protectorate. Remember World War I started with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by the Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip which resulted in demands against the Kingdom of Serbia by the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria). Serbia was allied with Triple Entente (Britain, France, Russia). Hence WWI.

      Let the pastors, rabbis and mullahs mutter their mumbo-jumbo in private and leave the rest of us alone.

      by detler on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 08:39:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am well versed in the history of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sberel, historys mysteries

        the Dual Monarchy.

        And, it is not as simple as you state it, with all due respect.

        That being said, I'm not sticking up for the Habsburgs, either. However, it was a nasty act to murder Franz Ferdinand. If you'll investigate, you'll find that he was fairly interested in creating a kind of federal state in the Habsburg Empire (with universal suffrage regardless of ethnicity, which is something Franz Josef used to scare the Hungarians with) and later, towards the end of WWI, Kaiser Karl of Austria-Hungary tried to use to make a separate peace.

        What killed the Archduke, and what killed Kaiserin Elizabeth ("Sisi") was a kind of proto-terrorism which has become a model ever since.

        I have had it with "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back". I ask, "What is to be Done?" I answer, "We need a 'Spark'!"

        by commonmass on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 08:53:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am of Croatian ancestry... (0+ / 0-)

    And I soon I will be learning the language at a local learning college.  I want to re-connect with that side of the family, and I am very seriously looking at travelling there, perhaps finding some place nice to buy on the Adriatic, and living there.

    It's strange, but that side of my life is pulling at me to go live and experience life their way.  The Australian/English side just doesn't seem to have as much of a hold.

    Or perhaps I am just looking for something new :)

    Thank you for the update!

    Oh no! Aliens! Bio-duplication! Nude conspiracies! Oh my god, Lyndon Larouche was right!

    by TDP on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 04:58:31 AM PST

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