Serbs and Croats
By Gwydion M. Williams
One of the problems with the United Nations is that its name is a lie. It is not a union of nations but a union of sovereign states. Some of these states barely qualify as nations, some contain several nations, or represent a nation that is also partially in another state. And some of them include minority nations that may or may not have a valid right to secede.
If international law were a serious matter, then there would be some weighty international tribunal where such issues could be impartially investigated and definitely settled, with the world community enforcing and guaranteeing whatever solution had been arrived at. Actually there is such a body, the World Court, except that no one bothers very much about what it decides. The United States underlined the total powerlessness of this court when it simply ignored an unfavourable judgment made against it concerning its covert actions against Nicaragua.
Yugoslavia is breaking up, but it is not a state that can break up tidily. Slovenia is no great problem – it includes few minorities, and these seem confident enough of their future in the new state. Croatia is another matter. Their right to secede has been conceded, but it is hard to see why Serbian areas within Croatia are obliged to go with them. Neither side has actually behaved very well. Croats made no effort to calm Serbian fears, and Croat nationalists identified them with pro-Fascist Croats who had slaughtered huge numbers of Serbs during World War Two. But the Serbs are now using their superior power to grab as much as they think they can hold, as well as denying self-determination to the Albanians of Kosovo.
[Pro-Fascist Croats also killed Jews and Gypsies. Their modern leader, Franjo Tudjman, was listed as a ‘Denialist’ by Deborah Lipstadt, who famously won a libel suit against David Irving. But our ‘free’ media managed to hush this up and identify the historically anti-Nazi Serbs with Nazism.]
Sadly, the role of the European Community has not been a creditable one. The community intervened to impose a solution, without having any clear notion of what solution it should be trying to impose. The Croats were encouraged to think that they would be protected against superior Serbian power, but in the event have not been protected.
There is an urgent need to establish some forum where judgments according to international law could actually be made, without the flim-flam and indecision that has always inhibited the United Nations. But any such move would be opposed by the United States, which prefers ‘international law’ to be a glove-puppet that moves when the US so wishes, and at other times is limp and ineffective.
[I had previously criticised Serb Nationalism. But when the Croats began behaving worse, I reported the new situation.
[Enormous avoidable suffering happened because there was partisan support for Croat claims, rather than an attempt to impose a fair solution.]