Note: No maps in electronic version
___________________________________________________________________________ ‘It is imperatively necessary to include in the national programme a special point on the right of nations to self-determination, including the right to secede’.
'Concerning The National Question In Yugoslavia', 'Works', Volume 7; Moscow; 1954; p.75

    Defence of the old AEastern Bloc" & Yugoslavia, equates Acommunism" with Arevisionism". Some comrades, intending to defend Acommunist policies", fall into this trap. They support Serbian revanchist forces, RADOVAN KARADZICH, leader of the Serbian Democratic party; and SLOBODAN MILOSOVICH; President of Serbia. They agree with Louise Popovich [See North Star Compass : December 1994; Vol 3 No 5; pp 9-10] and the Canadian Serb Council (CSC) and Steve Milosevic, who, adopt a Great Serb expansionist line. These people adopt the guise Afreedom to allow the Serbs of Bosnia their Anational autonomy".
    But this line differs from Stalin’s line on the national question. Support for GREAT SERB CHAUVINISM, (supposedly to AMaintain boundaries of socialist Yugoslavia"); supports Titoite revisionism. Marxist-Leninists accept the Cominform view of Tito: AAn individual economy.. Inevitably gives birth to capitalism.. The liquidation of the last and most numerous exploiting class, the kulaks (Rural capitalists- Ed), is possible only on the basis of mass collectivisation of agriculture. The Information Bureau comes to the unanimous conclusion that the leaders of the Yugoslav Communist Party.. Have taken the way of transition to positions of nationalism.. Such a nationalistic conception can lead to the lowering of Yugoslavia to the usual bourgeois republic and to a loss of Yugoslav independence to the imperialist countries."
Communist Information Bureau : Resolution on Yugoslav Communist Party (July 1948), in Keesings Contemporary Archives, Volume 7; p. 9,381.
    Khrushchev and Tito were fellow revisionists. Yugoslavia’s break-up into its component parts therefore is not automatically Aanti-communist". It is no accident that vicious anti-Communists, the ACANADIAN SERB COUNCIL" (CSC); support a revanchist Serbia.
    1. Is there any entity as a separate Bosnia; or is Bosnia part of ASerbia"?
    2. Did Tito adopt Marxist-Leninism in economic policy or National Policy?
    3. What does imperialism want as Yugoslavia disintegrates? ABosnia enjoyed its own medieval state and was a separateand legally defined provincial entity during its 400 years under Ottoman rule. It also maintained its own special status both under Austrian rule and as part of Yugoslavia. As an integral territory, including Hercogovina, Bosnia has had more durable and widely recognised borders throughout the centuries than either Serbia or Croatia."
‘Bosnia-Herzogovina. A Tradition betrayed.’ R.J. Donia and J.V.A. Fine, Jr. New York, 1994; p. 7.
    Historical sources agree that Bosnia-Hercogovina formed a stable, and clearly identified state. We rebut charges laid by the CSC. These include :     Who on earth would think that Kissinger's background, allow him authority to establish or refute Bosnia as a State?! BOSNIA-HERCOGOVINA IS A NATION. Popovich and Milosevic can only overcome logic and historical facts, with demagoguery and provocation [such as using epithets as "Fundamentalism"] : ‘To fight to escape the rule of an Islamic fundamental despot like Izatbegovic in a country that belongs to you (for 13 centuries) and was taken away by the fiat of foreigners - is the natural reaction of any people (ie. the Serbs).. for national survival.’
(Popovich; Ibid; p.10 NSC).
    But, as late as February 12 1993, The Bosnian Cabinet consisted of 9 Muslims, 6 Serbs, and 5 Croats. A truly multi-ethnic cabinet, far from being a AMuslim Fundamentalist" Jihad centre! Facts are simply discarded by Popovich and Milosevic.     Situated at a major intersection of Asia and Europe, the Balkans saw many cultural and racial cross-fertilisations. A Apure" Serb or a Apure Bosnian" or a Apure Croat" is meaningless. Marxist-Leninists, do not in any case, consider racial divides of primary importance in defining a nation.
    Nonetheless, the earliest known inhabitants of the Balkans were the Illyrians. Today, their direct linguistic descendants are found only in Albania. But they were once spread over the Balkans. The Roman Empire subjugated most of these tribes by AD 9. Gold and silver was mined by the Romans in Eastern Bosnia. In the wake of the Romans came Christian missions (See later).
    As Rome faltered, other waves of migrants came - Goths, Asiatic Huns, Avars and the Slavs. The Slavs, originally from Scandinavia, became dominant, settling in Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia and Montengro in the late 6th and early 7th Centuries. They came from a single Slavic confederation - the Slaveni; in small tribal units. It is true that: AThe Slaveni- were all one people.. the Bosnians come from the same Slavic base as today's Serbs and Croats."
(R.J.Donia and Fine J.V.A. Ibid; p. 14.)
    But the Balkan melting pot defies simplicity; the Croats and Serbs themselves were originally Iranians; a second wave of Slav invaders (Donia and Fine Ibid; p. 14; N.Malcolm :’A Short History of Bosnia’; London; 1994; p.7). During the early Middle Ages, Bosnia was often under foreign rule, of various states : Serbia (briefly under Caslav till 960 AD); Croatia (under Kresmir II till 997 AD); and Bulgaria (Briefly under Samuel); Byzantium (After it swallowed Bulgaria in 1018), and at various times Hungary. But in a sea of shifting allegiances, even the oldest established Balkan power, the Byzantine Empire had only precarious control over Bosnia.
    Serb-ruled territories in modern Hercegovina and Montengro and south-west Serbia were gathered by a Grand Zupan, under a princedom by the mid 9th Century. Croatia was gathered together under King Tomislav. After his death, his territories, including North and Western Bosnia; were taken over by Serbs under allegiance to the Byzantine empire.
    Bosnia as a distinct and separate entity was recognised however. As early as 958 AD, Byzantine EMPEROR CONSTANTINE PORPHYROGENITUS, noted a ‘territory of Bosnia’ (N.Malcolm; Ibid, p.10). Even though, it was then under Serb rule. Bosnia then fell to the Croats for about 50 years.
    In 1019 EMPEROR BASIL II (AThe Bulgar Slayer"), forced Serb and Croat allegiance to Byzantium. Now Serbs and Croats, ruled as Governors over Bosnia, under Byzantine authority. In South Serbia, Serbian King Bodin defied the Byzantines a little, but Bodin's empire broke up in 1101. For Serbia, ambitions now shifted East to Raska. Croatia was taken over by Hungary, whose King in 1102 was crowned King of Croatia. Croatias relationship with Hungary (subjugation and or alliance) continued till 1918.
    The Byzantine EMPEROR MANUEL COMNENUS, who warred against Bosnia, now referred to Bosnia's distinctness. In 1180 Emperor Commenus' secretary, chronicler KINNAMOS wrote: ‘Bosnia does not obey the grand zupan of the Serbs; it is a neighbouring people with its own customs and government.’ (Malcolm, Ibid, p.11.). After Commenus died, in 1180, Bosnia stood alone: ASince it was no longer ruled by Byzantine Empire or by Croatia, was able to stand, for the first time as a more or less independent state." (Malcolm, Ibid, p.11.)     Neither Serbia and Croatia had had adequate time to establish a Aserious claim nor to acquire their loyalty"; (Donia and Fine; Ibid; p.16.) By the 12th Century, BAN KULIN (1180-1204) established Bosnia as a prosperous and independent region, and the merchants of Ragusa developed trade. The title Ban was now: ARegularly held by Bosnia's rulers (where independent or under foreign overlordship) from.. Kulin in 1180.. until 1377, when Ban Tvrtko assumed the title of king". (Donia and Fine; Ibid; p.15)     After Kulin died in 1204, the Hungarian empire tried to control it, taking advantage of religious divisions such as Bogomilism (See below). By 1254 onwards, HUNGARIAN SUZERAINTY divided Bosnia into two : UPPER AND LOWER BOSNIA. Lower Bosnia remained under the Bosnian Bans. Upper Bosnia under Hungarian control, was joined to part of North Serbia, forming the Duchy of Macva and Bosnia - an outpost against Bulgaria and Serbia. Vassal Princes of the SUBIC family (a Bosnian family - Milosevic alleges that the Subics were Serb. This is just one of many biased factual errors.) took control in 1299, for Hungary. A native uprising in 1322 removed the Subics.
    Now the Bogomil Ban, STEVEN KOTROMANIC, maintained and expanded Bosnia using shifting alliances. He captured HUM (or Hlum; later Herzogovina) from Serbians : AFrom 1168 to 1326 Hum was separate from Bosnia under members of the Serbian royal family, the Nemajic dynasty. Thus this region was under Serbian rule for an extensive periods of time... After the death of King Milutin of Serbia in 1321, disorders followed among the Serbs of Serbia. As a result Kotromanic was able to conquer Hum in 1326. Here.. most of the population was Orthodox. The Ban did not interfere with Orthodox institutions."
(Donia and Fine Ibid; p.19-20)
    Hum had been contested by Hungary. Therefore Kotromanic ensured the neutrality of the papacy and the Hungarian King, by renouncing the Bosnian Church, adopting the Roman Catholic faith in 1340. His state was not attacked by the great Serbian King STEVEN DUSAN.
    Milosevic alleges that Kotromanic was a Serb. This is typical nonsense.
    Milosevic bases this upon the title that Kotromanic took, stemming from an old intermarriage with the Serbian Nemanjics. The Nemanjics became extinct, leaving Kotromanic claim to Serbia's throne, exercised by the conquest of Hum. But Kotromanic also stormed Croatia, but no one calls Kotromanic a Croat! Ban Kulin's sister married the ruler of Hum, neither was he a Serb. These marriage alliances were typical, and made even religious divides irrelevant: ARulers and nobles (Unlike their contemporaries in.. Europe and Serbia and Croatia) were indifferent to religious issues. They intermarried and formed alliances across denominational lines when it suited their world aims, they changed faiths easily."
(Donia and Fine Ibid; p.26).
    To draw any relevance from such dynastic marriages, for today - is fatuous. The facts are these : AAs a result of (taking Hum).. And the extinction in Serbia in 1371 of the Nemanjic dynasty, to which Tvrtko belonged (for his grandfather had married the daughter of Serbias King Stefan Dragutin Nemanjic) Tvrtko claimed the Serbian kingship. He was crowned King of Serbia and Bosnia in 1377 at the Serbian Orthodox Monastery of Milesevo on the recently conquered Lim.. the rulers of Bosnia instead of being Bans, were Kings and bore this double title even though they held very little Serbian territory. Tvrtko then participated in a civil war over the Hungarian Throne, which drew into the fray on one side or the other many Croatian nobles... Tvrtko succeeded in acquiring considerable Croatian territory, including several Dalmatian cites. By 1390 Tvrtko had added ACroatia and Dalmatia" to his royal title."
(Donia and Fine Ibid; p.29-30).
    Kotromanic achieved significant prosperity for Bosnia : AUnder Kotromanic Bosnia mines were opened (especially lead and silver, paving the way for Bosnias economic development and increasing its commercial contacts."
(Donia and Fine Ibid; p.21).
    Following Kotromanics death, his nephew TVRTKO, a minor took the throne, tempting the Hungarians to invade Hum. By 1370, Tvrtko had expelled the Hungarians; by 1347 he recovered Hum and annexed part of Dalmatia. After Serbian Steven Dusan's death, the Serbian knez (prince), LAZAR ceded to Tvrtko, a large tract of Bosnia in exchange for a military alliance. This tract included the principality of Trabunja and the coast to Kotor. (SEE MAP below). Further territorial power continued to accumulate: B) TURKISH CONQUEST 1463     Before Tvrtko died in 1391, he attempted to seal an alliance with Serbia against Turkey. This proved futile at the Battle of Kosovo (1389). After his death, a disputed succession and disputes in the kingdom, ensured that the Turks and Venetians controlled Bosnia between them. Three nobles Hrovje Vukcic, Sandal Hranic and Stephen Vukcic divided up Bosnia.
    Stephen, taking over Hum, asserted independence from the Bosnians. He dropped the title of Vojvoda in 1448, taking the title of Herceg (Duke) of Hum and the Coast. He then changed it to Herceg of St.Sava. In its German form the title was AHerzog" - hence "Herzogovina" or Hercegovina.
    Much is made by Milosevic of the "fact" that Stephen was a "Serb". Actually, St.Sava belonged to Lazar of Serbia, who ceded territory to Tvrtko, including the coast from Ragusa to Kotor. This contained the Monastery of Milesevo; which contained the relics of St.Sava. Indeed, Sava was one of the most sacred figures in the Serbian Orthodox Church. (N.Malcolm ; Ibid.; p. 19.)
    Thus St.Sava was a Aspoil of war". But why did Stephen Vukic wish to shift allegiance away from the king; and why did the Serb cede land? The first because of battles between the Bosnian "nobles" and the "overlord noble" the King. For his ends, Vukic wished to ally with Serb ruler George Brankovic: AWho as a semi-independent vassal of the Turks was still warring against the Bosnian king for control over the Srebrenica region of Eastern Bosnia". (N.Malcolm ; Ibid.; p. 22)     The many shifting alliances and wars of conquests created a changing power structure. These enabled outside interested parties to insinuate themselves into the fray. These were initially the OTTOMANS AND THE HUNGARIAN: AIn the 15th Century feuds between king and noble became commonplace, More and more frequently the expanding Ottoman Turks involved themselves.. As did the Hungarians, occasionally allied with the rulers of Serbia. As a result on occasion, a frequently victorious Hungary assigned territory on the Bosnian side of the Drina to the Serbian ruler (especially the rich silver mine of Srebrenica); when Srebrenica was lost, the Bosnians refused to recognise Serbian possession of it and many clashes occurred between Serbia and Bosnia over it. Ethnic differences played no part in any of this warfare.A (Donia and Fine; Ibid; p. 30-31.) (Editors's bolding).     By 1392 all Serb Orthodox lands; bar the Bosnian-ruled Hum had:     The Turks became ever more and more a fact of life. Raids gave way to formal occupation of the Balkans. The Turks fostered one Bosnian noble (the illegitimate son of Tvrtko called TVRTKO II) and the Hungarians another - OSTOJA. Hungary reasserted a short rule over Bosnia, but lost to Turkey in battle. Ostoja remained in power, beholden to the Turks. On his death the Turks supported Tvrtko II into power, who promptly then shifted to the Hungarians. But the balance of forces was again shifted.
    Under MOHAMMED II (the Conqueror), Constantinople was captured from the Byzantines 1435. Despite pleas for help from King Steven Thomas of Bosnia to the Pope, and the Venetians, the Ottoman invasion took Bosnia in 1463. From Bosnia, the Turks invaded Hungary and further West. But by 1683, after the failed assault on Vienna in 1683, the Turks were forced to the defensive.     Marxist-Leninists do not accept arguments of religion to establish a nationhood. But there are some fallacies in Milosevic's arguments based on religion. This require a short religious journey. Following the Romans there were two centres of Christianity. Both East and West Churches took root in Bosnia, but in different parts. This was a matter of geographic chance: AFrom the 9th Century Christian missions from Rome and Constantinople pushed into the Balkans; Rome won Croatia and most of Dalmatia, while Constantinople succeeded in Bulgaria, Macedonia and eventually most of Serbia. Bosnia lying in between.. Due to its mountainous terrain and poor communications .. Was.. A no-man's land between East and West.’ Donia and Fine; Ibid; p.17)     When the split or Schism between Orthodox and Catholic Churches came in the 11th century, territory was already divided: ABosnia more superficially worked up by the missions along with Albania, did not end up permanently locked into either Churchs camp, remained receptive to switches of faith’. (Donia and Fine; Ibid; p.17).     With the convenient "conversions" of the Bans, by the 10th Century, most Bosnians were nominally under Roman Churches. But:     As well as these Churches, the BOGOMIL Heretical belief spread. The Paternes or Bogomils thought that the material world was the Devil's world and that rigid ascetism was the only escape from the Devil. They rejected the Old Testament, the incarnation, the Cross, the sacraments and the whole Christian Church organisation. They formed a ABOSNIAN CHURCH.’ Comments H.C.Darby: ABogomilism became the faith not only of the common people but of many landowners and nobles as well. Kulin himself formally abandoned the Roman Church in order to become a Bogomil, but he was forced to recant later under pressure form the papacy and from Hungary (1203). Despite this the Bogomil heresy continued to spread throughout the land’.
(Darby et al; Ibid; p. 59.
Milosevic claims that claims to a separate Bosnia rest on a false religious history: AHistorical revisionists or those seeking even the most tenuous link to the past interpret the Bogomils as a 'Bosnian Church’ and by extension, as legitimization of the Muslim claim to Bosnia.. there is no evidence to suggest that they would have represented a significant proportion of the population.’ (Milosevic; Ibid; p.23).     But this is not the basis for the AMuslim claim" to Bosnia. Milosevic is trying to set up a straw man, to Afurther prove" the identity of Serbia and Bosnia. So Milosevic aims at a dead target, and cites Fred Singleton Fred Singleton:’A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples’; Cambridge University Press, 1985): AIt has been suggested that the rapid increase in the Muslim population during this period (Turkish conquest to 1530) cannot be attributed to the mass conversion of Bogomils as the greatest numbers were recorded in the areas where Bogomils were fewer in number especially in the towns." (Milosevic; Ibid.; p 23.)     A previous incorrect scholarship did ascribe a key role to the Bogomils. But Milosevic is only partially right. How so? By following Singleton, he is firstly right to deny that the Muslim conversions were purely due to an alienated Bogomil Church, a Church clearly separate from either Western Roman Catholic influence; or from the Serbian Orthodox Church. Reliable data cited by Malcolm, also refutes the size and significance of the Bogomil Church in either providing the numbers of Muslim conversions claimed by some (Malcolm Ibid; p. 27-42).; or indeed with even a significant size by the time of the Turkish Invasion. (Malcolm Ibid; p. 27-42). But Milosevic avoids two questions: AThus Bosnia presents us with the curious phenomenon of an aristocratic caste, Slav by race, yet Mohammedan by religion. Hence the country affords a striking contrast to Serbia. There the Mohammedans were never anything more than a foreign colony of Turks; here the Mohammedans were native Slavs, men of the same race as the Christian, whom they despised." (Miller W: ‘Essays on the Latin Orient’; Cambridge 1921; p. 494. Cited by Darby; Ibid; p. 64.’     Why did many Bosnians convert? One reason, was that there was not a single Church monopoly as in Serbia. This allowed the peasant and serfs to be more cavalier with formal religion. Evidence shows that the peasants of Bosnia had no scruple about moving from Church to Mosque and back again. Bans changed religion at political convenience. Later the Ottomans were also tolerant. AThe Christians were left free to organise their communal affairs and their private laws as they pleased." (p. 65 Darby Ibid).     In addition there were migrations into Bosnia from the retreat of the Turkish forces after their defeat at Vienna. Also slaves taken in battle were converted.
    Furthermore, there were obvious and significant advantages to being a Muslim under the Ottoman rule. These included escape from the traditional discriminatory laws of the kanun-i raya. These restricted non-Muslims from such things as riding horses, carrying weapons, or wearing certain clothes. More substantially was a bar in law suits. Christian testimony was not taken in court.
    Finally there were tax exemptions, like the cizye or hrac, an annual graduated poll-tax, though Muslims paid zakat alms-tax. But the conversions were slow and extended over a long time:     The existence of this church in Bosnia is used, to further argue Serbia's identity with Bosnia. However, on closer examination some unusual features would defeat even this argument. Firstly, only after the Ottoman state was the Orthodox Church significantly established in Bosnia: AIn terms of Church organisation, the Serbian Orthodox Church remains virtually invisible on the territory of modern Bosnia proper in the pre-Ottoman period. After the arrival of the Turk.. The picture begins to change. From the 1480s on, Orthodox priests and believers are mentioned in many parts of Bosnia where they were not mentioned before". (Malcolm; Ibid; p. 71.)     In part explanation, was the Ottoman policy to people depopulated lands with VLACHS. Who were Vlachs? Malcolm confesses, that this is "one of the most vexed questions in Balkan history". ( Malcolm, Ibid; p. 73.). Malcolm traces them to shepherds and herdsmen who practised transhumance. The word "Vlach" itself was used by early Slavs for people who spoke Latin; hence "Wallachian" or AWalloon". Similarities with Illyrian, or Albanian, suggest that the Vlachs are a remnant of Latinised Illyrians. They probably survived Slav invaders who took over pastoralism, forcing them to transhumance. From North Albania, the Vlachs had moved to Hercegovina. They entered the Orthodox Church.
    But this is not a mere debating point. The Vlachs were taxed uniquely in the Ottoman tax registers (the defters), allowing them to be traced in the Ottoman times. It seems that the Vlachs brought the Orthodox presence to Bosnia... and not the Serbs. As Malcolm comments: AThe one component of the Bosnian population.. With a large and identifiable non-Slav ancestry is the Bosnian Serbs". (Malcolm, Ibid; p. 81).     Marxist-Leninists know that neither tribes nor racial groups, nor Churches do not define nations and are untroubled by these "revelations". Their view is: AWhat is a nation? A nation is primarily a community, a definite community of people. This community is not racial, nor.. tribal." (Stalin JV: Works; Moscow; 1946; Vol 2; ‘Marxism and the National Question’ 1913; p. 303.     But for Great Serbs, this is a central and important point! This is why the Canadian Serb Council hits at the religious issues selectively,     The Ottoman colonial apparatus extracted manpower for an army; and loot or money to pay them. The military was either a regular paid army (JANISSARIES); or a salaried cavalry (SAPHIS OF THE PORTE); or an irregular army raised from the peasantry. These were Muslim armies; though Christian mercenaries (VOJNUK) could be assembled.
    A boy tribute (DEVSIRME; "collection") enabled the Empire to obtain hostages of boys from villages under suzerainty. These boys were taken to Istanbul, converted to Islam and trained according to their skills to be either janissaries, or personal servants of the Sultan; or officials. Successful ones (eg Bosnia Serb SOKOLLU dynasty in Istanbul) protected their Bosnian family.
    The Ottomans imposed the TIMAR, military-feudal system. It consisted of a TIMARIOT, ready to serve with arms and horses, whose tenure depended upon military service. But the land remained the property of the Sultan. The Timariot's heirs had no rights to inherit it. The peasants (either Christian or Muslim) worked the lands, paying a tithe in kind, of between one tenth and one quarter of produce. They also laboured and paid other dues to Timariots, though they were better off than other European peasants. The Timariot: "Had no further legal interest in his peasants beyond the requirement that they pay their tithe and other dues and obey him when he acted as a functionary of the state: he had no judicial powers of the sort practised in manorial courts in Western Europe." (Malcolm; Ibid; p. 48).     The Ottoman Empire was however weakening. After failing to capture Vienna, the Austrians took back Hungary from the Ottomans between 1684-7. The HAPSBURG-OTTOMAN WARS continued through the 17th Century. Finally, the Austrian Emperor invaded Bosnia, the first time in 1688. The TREATY OF KARLOWITZ (Sremski Karlovci) in 1699 ceded the whole of Transylvania and Hungary, greater part of Slavonia and Croatia to Austria; and Dalmatia was largely "given" to the Venetians.
    In Bosnia itself, increasingly tax revolts would break out. Nonetheless the Ottoman held on. In 1788 the Austrians entered Bosnia. But Austria was forced by other European powers to give up its Bosnia hand Serbian gains. The other powers were wary of the Austrian (Joseph II) alliance with Russia (Catherine The Great). They preferred that the weak Sultan grant the Austrian Emperor status as "Protector" of the Christians under Ottoman rule.
    But the Muslims in Bosnia became increasingly resistant to Istanbul rule. This coupled with a general revolt in the Balkans led to an increasing alienation to the Ottomans, especially in Sarajevo and Mostar.
    In 1877 Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire. In 1878 they almost entered Istanbul, and set terms at the Treaty of San Stefano, that were very favourable to themselves. In the Balkans it created an expanded Bulgaria as a Russian client state. This ignored Austrian interests. At the subsequent Congress of Berlin in 1878, the great powers struck this down. They declared Bulgaria would be cut in size; and that Bosnia-Hercegovina would be occupied by Austria-Hungary.
    The Bosnian Orthodox and Muslims united in joint opposition to this. The But the Austrians took the country. Note this impressive combination of the Muslims and the Bosnian Serbs, against the views of such as Milosevic.     But being a landowner and feudal regime, the Austrian occupation failed to undertake Land Reform. This accorded with refusal to enact Democratic Revolution. This led to serious friction between Christians and Muslim. For Muslims were: AThe vast majority of landowners with Kmets ("sharecroppers"); however there were many more Muslim "Free peasants" than Muslim "Landowners". Free peasants were not burdened by obligatory payments to a landlords were the kmets. There were more free peasants than Kmets, but over half the free peasants were Muslim. Of the Kmets, 74% were Serbian Orthodox, 21% Catholic, and only 5% were Muslim". (Donia and Fine Ibid, p. 79).     Instead of tackling this, diversions were fostered. the Finance Minister Benjamin von Kallay, promoted religious education, and BOSNJASTVO (BOSNIANIAM). The latter aimed to dilute Serb and Croat nationalism, which were developing. But contrary to the Austrian intent, the religious hierarchy became springboards for political parties.
    Reforms were introduced under pressure. In 1903, when Kallay died, under Istvan von Burian, parties were legalised. In 1908, Austria-Hungary formally annexed Bosnia-Hercegovina, instead of merely Aoccupied it for the European powers". To defuse controversy, the Government introduced a Constitution, and a parliament. Elections were based on a narrow franchise, with representation by ethnicity.
    The Bosnian Serb ruling class organised themselves into the Serbian National Organisation (SNO). They raised the programme for a Greater Serbia, arguing that the Bosnian Muslims were Serbs by nationality who had embraced Islam. They were supported by the Serbian peasantry, but did not fulfill the peasant hopes. SNO entered into coalition with the leading Muslim Landlords in Parliament and reneged on agrarian reforms.
    The Bosnian Croat ruling class organised the Croatian National Union (CNO). They also, insisted that Bosnia-Hercegovina did not belong to Muslims. Only they insisted that it belonged to the Croats, that the Muslims were really Croats. Again however, they saw that they could never achieve a majority in Bosnia and sought coalition with the Bosnian Muslim landlord party; again, they avoided peasant based demands. In this situation the Bosnian Muslims knew they could play both the Serbs against the Croats. The political representatives of the ruling class of the Bosnian Muslims were aware that:

AWithout including the Muslims neither Serbs nor Croats could assert a credible claim to a demographic majority in Bosnia. Without including Muslims, each of these groups.. Resorted to more tenuous historical or geopolitical arguments.. each side in fact needed the Bosnian Muslims."
In fact this co-existence, by necessity, held until 1992:
AThis was the central reality.. Until 1992, when extremists in both the Serbian and Croatian camps prevailed.. Then no one wanted the Muslims..(until then-ed) The Muslims..(had -ed) Quested for a durable stable political alignment and support for multinational .. entities that would protect their interests’. (Donia and Fine; Ibid; p. 104).

    The Muslim National Organisation, (MNO) represented primarily, the interests of the Muslim landlords. The MNO first allied with the SNO but then after a Serb instigated peasant revolt; sided with the CNU. However, the Bosnian parliament, was destined to be stormy.
    In 1914, Bosnian Serbs were specially repressed, because of Austrian concerns about the neighbouring independent nationalist Serbia. They linked up with the Serbs inside occupied Bosnia. As before the Muslims were a force who having achieved a separate identity, would sometimes side with Croats and sometimes with the Serbs. Accordingly, the Serbs organised with the Croats for a common South Slav state. The formation of MLADA BOSNA (Young Bosnia) heralded the organised terrorist Serb faction.     Serb nationalists in Bosnia organised resistance to the Austrians. In 1912, Montenegro and Serbia united to declare war on Turkey, leading to victory over Turkey in the First Balkan War. The Serbs and Montenegrans were aided by Bulgaria and Greece. The Serbs now initiated forced conversions of Muslims in the Albanian and Bulgarian villages. The victory had created a Montengro and Serbia on Bosnias border, free of Turkey.
    War was now feasible with Austria-Hungary. Martial law in Bosnia was followed by the Treaty of London, on 30 May 1913. However this was followed by the Second Balkan war in which the allies fought amongst themselves. The subsequent visit to Bosnia by the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary provided an opportunity for Mlada Bosna who assassinated the Arch Duke. This rapidly became the pretext for a international war. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and then Russia declared war on Austria, and soon Germany entered, and THE FIRST WORLD WAR began. Amid the pathetic response of the world's social democratic parties, only the ZIMMERWALD LEFT took a proletarian internationalist line. Led by Lenin they refused war credits.
    By 1918, the Habsburg empire was destroyed with the defeat of Austria-Hungary and Germany. The end of the war left the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes with differing views. Some hoped that a united land of the South Slavs, or Yugoslavia would be a Aconstitutional democratic and parliamentary monarchy" with rights for all, under the Serbian Karadjordevic dynasty. (Donia and Fine; Ibid, p. 120-21).
    The above view was in the CORFU DECLARATION OF JULY 1917, convened by the YUGOSLAV COMMITTEE but received differing interpretations from the participants. Croats and Slovenes, saw this state as a partnership of equals. The Serbs thought otherwise. The Muslims of Bosnia acquiesced, though for the landowners this acquiescence was involuntary, prompted by rural unrest. Bosnia was forced to "invite" Serbia to quell disorder. During this, Serb "excess" took place. This "excess" included the murders of 1000 Muslim men; pillage of 270 villages and various other "excess" acts. This created a Montengro and Serbia on Bosnia's border, free of Turkey. But there were peasant uprisings in the rest of the Balkans also, including Croatia.
    On December 1, 1918 PRINCE REGENT ALEXANDER on behalf of his father KING PETER I declared the creation of YUGOSLAVIA, AKINGDOM OF SERBS, CROATS, AND SLOVENES". In November 1920 state wide elections were held.
    In Bosnia, the Muslims were led by AYugoslav Muslim Democracy" led by MEHMED SAPHO. This party represented the landed owners and the Muslim petit bourgeoisie. Many Muslims wanted a federal state. Sapho argued for Bosnia to be an autonomous unit to preserve its identity within Yugoslavia. The Bosnian Croats led by JOSIP SUNARIC also argued similarly for Croatia. Various Serbian supremacists wanted a more overtly Serbian dominated state, such as Serbian minister STEJAN PROTIC; and the paper Srpsak Zora (ASerbian Dawn").
    The elections saw Sapo's party winning nearly all Muslim votes. Sapho was then courted by other parties as nearly 24 seats in Bosnia and 6 Muslim seats in Macedonia, tipped the voting balance. Sapho managed to retain the structure of Bosnia identity. The Croats in Bosnia over followed the CROATIAN BOSNIAN PARTY led by STJEPAN RADIC who argued for radical land reform. This party represented the interests of the urban petit bourgeoisie and the middle peasantry.
    The COMMUNIST PARTY OF YUGOSLAVIA and now come into being. It represented the interests of the small working class, and the landless peasantry. It did well becoming the 3rd largest party in the Constituent Assembly with 58 seats. But it withdrew from the Assembly and then was banned.
    The new assembly in large part solved the immediate Agrarian Question by transferring land, with Government compensation to Muslim landowners; to serfs. Serfdom was essentially ended, over 150,000 peasant families receiving one million hectares of land.
    Croatian unrest resulted in repeated battles with the Serb dominated Assembly. After Radic and 3 others were shot in Parliament on June 20th 1928, Radic died. On January 6th, 1929, the King suspended Parliament and annulled the Constitution and proclaimed himself the sole authority. Instead of a kingdom of several nations, it was renamed ATHE KINGDOM OF YUGOSLAVIA".
    In September 1931 a rather less free Parliament was established. Under ALEXANDER'S DICTATORSHIP, Bosnia was for the first time in centuries deprived of recognition. The rest of the country was also divided and Royal appointments promoted Serbs. Croat revenge culminated in Alexander's assassination in October 1934. This was organised by the USTASHA (insurrectionists) - fascists linked to Italian fascists & BENITO MUSSOLINI.
    Power passed to Prince Paul, Alexanders cousin. New elections in May 1935, saw Muslims win seats in Bosnia. In the government led, first by Prime Minister, MILAN STOJADINOVIC, and then DRAGIS CVETKOVIC, the Croats held the foreign ministry portfolio. Links were firmly established with NAZI GERMANY. Only the Communists demonstrated against the pro-German links.
    Between November 1940 and March 1941, ADOLF HITLER forced the TRIPARTITE PACT between Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria with the German and Italian governments. He then issued an ultimatum to Yugoslavia. On March 25 1941, Cvetkovic and foreign minister ALEKSANDR CINCAR-MARKOVIC capitulated and signed the Tripartite Pact with Hitler. Sections of the military led a coup on March 26th 1941 and forced Prince Paul to flee. The Bosnian Muslim and the Croatian Peasant party leaders joined the broad coalition of pro-Yugoslav anti-fascist Government.     JOSIP BROZ TITO had been leader of the party since 1937; recommended expressly by GEORGII DIMITROV. Its membership at the time of the invasion was 12,000. But resistance only began after Hitler's attack on Russia in June 1941. The Partisans raised the slogan: "Bratstvo i jedinstvoA (Brotherhood and unity). They asserted that in contrast to the Serb led monarchist Yugoslavia all nations of Yugoslavia were distinct and would be treated equally. We will see if this happened. G) SECOND WORLD WAR : VARIOUS ASSORTED FASCISTS - ANTE PAVLIC & STEVAN MOLJEVIC & DRAZA MIHAILOVIC     To support Serbian ‘rights’ to Bosnia-Hercegovina, Popovich alleges that the Serbs are numerically in the majority. To bolster this, Popovich alleges an ethnic based campaign has taken place, in order to reduce Serb numbers. Popovich makes the claim ‘pungent’, smearing it with the flavour of Fascism: ‘Orthodox Serbs were the majority in Bosnia-Hercegovina before the Serb decimation at the hand of the Croat ‘Ustashi’ and the Muslim supporters of Hitler in World War II, and still populate more than half of Bosnia-Hercegovina before the current fighting began.’ Popovich; Ibid; NSC, 1994; Vol 3 no 5; p.10).     Popovich must attempt a fascist smear, since most decent people are rightly repulsed by the ‘ethnic cleansing’, or, - let us call it what it is - fascism - used against the Bosnian Muslims. But again let us revert to facts.
    The USTASA Government (10 April 1941) of the 'POGLAVNIK' (FUHRER) ANTE PAVELIC was aimed both against the Serbs and Muslims of Bosnia, but was especially ferocious against Serbs. The Serbs consequently, and initially, only in self-defence attacked both Croats and Muslims. But, then the Serbs joined in droves the CETNIKS of DRAZA MIHAILOVIC, Quisling collaborators with the Germans and Italian fascists. Mihailovic a Serb of high military rank, in the beginning had resisted the German invasion. However he became more interested in fighting the Partisans, and became an overt collaborator with the Germans.
    Amongst the Cetniks were the rabid Serb Nationalists, led by STEVAN MOLJEVIC, who articulated a most dangerous Serb chauvinism. Moljevic's memorandum of June 1941, 'HOMOGENEOUS SERBIA', explained that the 'fundamental duty' of Serbs, was to create a homogenous Serbia. What did this mean? No more, no less than ‘ethnic-cleansing-fascism’. To DRAGISA VASIC, in February 1942, Moljevic wrote that Serbian land should be extended all the way to Dalmatia and that then should follow: AThe cleansing (ciscenje) of the land of all non-Serb elements. The only thing to do would be to send the offenders on their way: Croats to Croatia, and Muslims to Turkey or Albania.’ (Malcolm, Ibid, p.178)     Today, Moljevic's heirs have followed his advice.
    But perhaps DRAZA MIKHAILOVIC was different? According to the CSC and Milosevic, Mihailovich organized: AThe first.. resistance against the Nazis.. In Serbia.. And fought for a post war Yugoslavia in which Serbia would keep its central role. Tito by contrast was a Communist whose goal was to create a Soviet style Yugoslavia.. In any event a significant portion of the resistance fighters in both movements were Serbs.. Mihailovich like the Resistance leaders in much of the rest of Europe during the war, espoused "existentialist realism" postponing a general uprising to the end of the war." (Rocks and Rattlesnakes; Ibid; p. 18).     What "existentialist realism" boils down to, in non-exisentential but ordinary reality, was capitulationism and defeatism. As BRIGADIER FITZROY MACLEAN , secret agent to Yugoslavia and personal emissary of Winston Churchill reported: AThe Partisans fought the Germans, while the Chetniks "either helped the Germans or do nothing". (Richard West: ‘Tito and the Rise and Fall of Yugoslavia’; London; 1994; p.168.     In fact Aexistentialist realism" also means Great Serb Ethnic Cleansing. In a letter to his senior officers dated 20 DECEMBER 1941 MIHAILOVIC LISTED THE AIMS OF THE CHETNIKS: A2. To create a great Yugoslavia and inside it a great Serbia, ethnically pure inside the boundaries of Serbia Montengro, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Srem, Banat, and Backa.
3. The struggle to include in our national life all the unliberated Slav territories under the Italians and the Germans (Trieste, Goriza, Istria and Koruska) as in Bulgaria and Northern Albania, with Shkoder (Scutari).
4. The cleansing from state territory of all national minorities and non-national elements.
5. To create a direct common border between Serbia and Montengro.. And the cleansing of the Sandjak from Muslim inhabitants, and of Bosnia from Muslim and Croat inhabitants." (From R.West Ibid.; p. 118).
    So - deja vu. The Serb Chauvinist programme of AEthnic cleansing" is not a A1990's thing". What else can one say of the Candian Serb Council's judgements on this period? Only that Milosevic is wrong about one other thing. Tito was no Communist as we explore shortly.
    Meanwhile, continued Croatian Ustasha and Serb attacks on Muslims led them to their own collaboration with fascists. They formed the infamous 13th Muslim SS Division, 'HANDZAR'. But Muslims soon grew disillusioned with the fascists, and joined Tito's Partisans in droves; forming first the 8th Regional (Muslim) Brigade under OSMAN KARABEGOVIC; and then the Partisan 16th Muslim Brigade. As Noel Malcolm poignantly says : ‘Muslims had fought on all sides - Ustasha, German, Cetnik, Partisan and had been killed by all sides.’ (Malcolm; Ibid, p. 192.)     THE SAME IS TRUE OF CROATS AND SERBS. ONLY A COMMUNIST POLICY TO THE NATIONAL QUESTION OFFERS A NON-SECTARIAN POLICY.
    In the context of the fighting during the Second World War, the record of Tito should be made explicitly clear. It is certainly true that the Partisans led by Tito were at times in the forefront of anti-German struggle. This was the main reason why Churchills forces, well informed by Maclean and by their ULTRA messages (decoded German intelligence reports), switched their support from Mihailovic to Tito. It was the closeness of Churchill's British forces and Tito, that first led Stalin to suspect that Tito was not a true Communist.
    However Tito was not nearly as resolute as later claimed in the hero worship of revisionist Yugoslavia. Stalin suspected during the war that Tito was not resolute in his anti-fascism. At one stage Tito, even made a truce with the Germans. This was after the battle of Gornji Vakuf in March 1943. Tito had just been surrounded by the Germans, Italians and the Chetniks of Mihailovic. Nonetheless, a truce with the Germans? As the Russians cabled when they got wind of this: AIs it possible that you who were an example to all enslaved Europe-you who until now have shown such heroism-will cease the struggle against the worst enemy of mankind and of your people? (Cited By Milovan Djilas; ‘Wartime’; New York;1977; p.220.)     As a recent biographer of Tito points out : AThe Yugoslav Archives show.. Tito wrote the commandant of the 6th Bosnian Brigade, telling him to continue attacking the Chetniks but to avoid fighting the Germans on the way to the Sandjak. Similar orders were sent to the 1st Bosnian Corps and the 1st Proletarian Brigades." (‘Tito Rise and the Fall of Yugoslavia;’West; Ibid; p. 149; Also see pp. 148-154.     Only when the Germans broke the truce, did the Tito Partisans resume fighting.     Now let us examine the vexed issue of the relative numbers of the Serbs versus Croats versus Muslim in Bosnia. The facts are contrary to both Popovich, and the viciously anti-communist CSC. By the late 16th century to the early 17th Century the majority of the population was clearly Muslim. Reliable and un-biased reports to the Vatican, including that of the priest and apostolic visitor Peter Masarechi in 1642 testify:     As Catholics and Eastern Orthodox members willingly embraced the prosperity of the Ottomans, this majority grew. Yet later, as the Empire crumbled, refugee Muslims from Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia and Hungary raised the majority further.
    Did the Muslims see themselves as ‘Turks?’ The answer is clearly no. They had specific words for the Turks, who were termed ether Osmanli or Turkus.
    Data from later censuses confirm that the Muslims think of themselves as being non-Croats and non-Serbs; but that previously, they had not thought of themselves as Anon-Yugoslav’. In other words they wished to be part of the federation. AIn the 1948 Census the Muslims had three options: they could call themselves Muslim Serbs, Muslim Croats, or 'Muslim nationally undeclared'.. 72,000 declared themselves as Serbs and 25,000 as Croats, but 778,000 registered as undeclared. The next census in 1953 produced a similar result. This time people were allowed to register as Yugoslav, nationally undeclared.’ (Cited Malcolm Ibid, p.197-8).     In fact the people refused to be pigeon holed as one or another, if they could be part of a genuine Federation with full rights. However, under escalating tensions from 1967 onwards, Tito announced that Muslims constituted a nation). This anti-Marxist-Leninist "concession" was designed to counter Serb ambition within Tito’s Yugoslavia (See below). "Now the communities would vote en bloc. After Tito’s death of course under further Serb pressure, 'ethnic identification’ would be even more intense. In December 1990, democratic elections were held in Bosnia; the proportions of seats allocated were 41% Muslim, 35% Serb; 20% Croat. These figures accord with population figures for the same groups - being 44%, 31% and 17% respectively. (Poulton, H; ‘The Balkans: Minorities and States In Conflict’, London, 1990; p.44.     Following the rabid ‘ethnic-cleansing-fascism’ and raping and pillaging, and mass graves as in Srebrenica, one can only guess whether they still remain in the majority.
    In 1941, the Communist Party of Albania (CPA led by ENVER HOXHA) established links with the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY led by JOSIP BROZ TITO). Relations between Yugoslavia and Albania were ‘embittered’, from previous attempts to swallow Albania encouraged by imperialism:     Since the CPY was fighting fascism, the CPA and Hoxha tried to link. But the CPY was to push the agenda of swallowing Albania. The first indication of this came from the CPY attempts to Atake over" the CPA. They claimed to have "set up" the CPA, whereas, the CPA formed itself (On 8th-14th November 1941. This was before the CPA approached the CPY in July 1942. Now Aadvisers’, came with "commands" from Tito. Also there was a denigration of the ‘the October Revolution stereotype’ (‘The Titoites’; Hoxha; Ibid; p.47.). The CPY also fostered sectarian attitudes to the bourgeois nationalists ABALLI KOMBETAR", saying : ‘Your stand to the Balli Kombetar is incorrect.’ (Titoites Ibid; p.64) Hoxha pointed to the successful United National Liberation Front, warning: ‘Your interference in our affairs is out of place and your tone is unacceptable.’ (‘The Titoites’; Hoxha; Ibid; p.137).     But, the Yugoslavs continued to foster CPA sectarianism by Liri Gega and Mehmet Shehu. The Yugoslavs also tried to subordinate Albanian questions to the CPY staff, AAs you might say.. Balkan staff’.(‘The Titoites’; Hoxha; Ibid; p53; & pp57-61). But ALL sister Balkan parties (Albania, Greece and Bulgaria) rejected this attempt to place all Balkan parties under CPY control, as ludicrous in anti-fascist war conditions.
    On the eve of liberating the entire country, the Berat 2nd Plenum of the CC of the CPA was held, on November 23rd. Disrupting Yugoslav revisionists had two objectives.
    Firstly, to sabotage the national democratic revolution; to prevent transition from its first democratic stage to the second socialist stage. The CPY, reversed "advice" and NOW wanted the ANational Democratic Front’ to include the Balli, on the verge of the victory of the National Democratic Revolution!
    The Second objective was to remove Hoxha. CPY delegate Stojnic's advised : ‘You cannot go ahead without.. the Yugoslavia now.. created.. The perspective of Yugoslavia is the perspective of the Balkans and of Europe.. you speak very little about us.. in the future you should speak more about Yugoslavia and Tito.’ (‘The Titoites’; Hoxha; Ibid; p.214-215).     This demanded alliance with the Western Great powers : ‘The great Allies.. should all be looked on in the same way, by the new state.’ ‘How’, asked Hoxha. ‘By putting the Soviet Union on the same footing with the other two?’ ‘Yes,’ Stojnic explained; ‘..a true state makes no differentiation. In an unofficial way.. through party channels the Soviet Union can be considered as the main and most natural ally, but not through state channels, US and Britain are always allies, their present policy is positive & in our own interest.’ (‘The Titoites’; Hoxha; Ibid; p.220.).     But Hohxa maintained an independent CPA, facing it with : ‘The question of state power.. is the central question for the party.. we must strengthen the councils and purge them of alien elements.’ (‘The Titoites’; Hoxha; Ibid; p.218).     Despite CPY treason, after liberating Tirana, the Albanian army pursed Hitler's forces into Yugoslavia, & helped liberate Montengro, Sandjak, and Bosnia. How was this rewarded by the CPY?
    The post-war relationship was tense. The CPA refused the demand of the CPY to deploy Yugoslav troops in Albania. Tito's biographer V.Dedijer confirmed a nasty intent of the CPY: ‘As early as.. 1945.. Mosa Pijade demanded that the new chancellery of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Belgrade should have not 6, but 7 cabinets. According to the Titoites, the 7th Cabinet was for the ‘Yugoslav Republic of Albania.’ (Rijeka 1981; Titoites, p.231)     Tito and Kardelj's strategy to take over the CPA depended upon a deceitful confusion of the Astage of revolution". They argued : ‘Since the stage of the bourgeois democratic revolution has still not been completed, we shall delay the transition to the second stage of the proletarian revolution’, ‘the road of transition from the former to the latter stage is the road of reforms’; that the ‘national liberation councils are organs of bourgeois democratic revolution.’ (Hoxha; ‘Titoites; Ibid; p. 240).     The line of Tito's agents in the CPA was : ‘Comrades Tito, Kardelj and Djilas.. advise us not to skip the stages.’ The CPY even tried to pressure the CPA to accept the ex-King Zog's treaties made with imperialism. But in 1946, Hoxha insisted on an open 5th Plenum for the 1st Congress of the CPA. Suddenly Tito urgently requested Hoxha to come to Belgrade in July 1946.
    Here Hohxa asked for credit to develop agriculture and industry. But Tito insisted on a ‘BALKAN FEDERATION’, by which Tito could 'annex the whole Balkans' (Hoxha; ‘Titoites; Ibid; p. 240). Hohxa refused, but pressure continued. STALIN foiled this manoeuvre. Hoxha said: ‘In 1948, (CPY elements pressured me saying)": ‘The Balkan Federation is being formed between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria!’. We wrote to the CPY.. we never received any reply. Stalin.. divined Tito's expansionist plans drew Dimitrov's attention to them and at the beginning of 1948 Dimitrov declared publicly that he had been wrong in his views about the Federation of Yugoslavia with Bulgaria.’ (Hoxha; ‘Titoites; Ibid; p. 287-88).
        Tito's Aid aimed to "colonialise" Albania: ‘In the first year after Liberation we had trade relations only with Yugoslavia.. the trade was virtually one-way and in our disfavour. We gave more than we received, we gave good products and received rubbish. We expropriated the big merchants of their property and sold the fabric to the Yugoslavs at prices which they set, while the razor blades and minor things of this type which they sold us cost us the earth. We imported grain from them because we were short of it, some leather and iron plough shares and these they sold to us at their internal prices which were very high. We sold them olives, cheese, olive-oil.. when we did not have enough of them for ourselves.’ (Hoxha; ‘Titoites; Ibid; p.302).     The Albanians wished to make their state Socialist: AWe knew that the fundamental factor for the socialist transformation of the country was the internal factor; we knew that the external.. factor would be the USSR of Stalin, in the first place, but.. when we had still not established the necessary direct link with the Soviet State, we turned with open hearts to our neighbouring friends the CPY.’ (Hoxha; ‘Titoites; Ibid; p. 302). But the CPY had different idea, revolving around a semi-colonial basis for Albania in relation to Yugoslavia : ‘The CPY said ‘This is not the time for transformations of a socialist character’.. Our ‘friends’ greatly hindered and misdirected us also on.. Land Reform (saying) don't ‘fall out’ with the former landowners, they told us take a bit of their land (even ‘advised’ to pay for it with money) and to leave them a good part of the land, which.. represented areas ten or 20 times larger than those of the ‘poor’.. For industry.. (they) advised : ‘Later, we shall see what can be done with mines and oil, but for the time being record what you have, supply us with raw materials and we shall supply you with ample finished products’.. ‘Agriculture - that is what you should go in for as the backward agrarian country you are!’ (Hoxha; ‘Titoites; Ibid; p. 304-5).     Some credits were arranged via Joint Stock Companies and were signed on November 27th, 1947. But increasingly the Yugoslavs violated even this agreement by: distorting the customs union to benefit Yugoslavia; operating joint companies with no funds; setting prices unilaterally; not setting up factories in Albania; complaining that Albania did not fulfil obligation; despite these being dependent upon un-sent Yugoslav equipment; demanding parity between the 2 countries; etc.
    Naturally therefore Albania tried to obtain aid from the Soviets. Yugoslavia tried to prevent USSR equipment coming to Albania: ‘Albania is like a clock, it cannot work with all kinds of tools, Some may be better, others may be worse, but whatever they are they must be of one brand! Not some Yugoslav and some of another production. Since a Yugoslav foundation has been laid in your country, everything that will be built upon it must be Yugoslav alone.’ (Hoxha; ‘Titoites; Ibid; p. 349-50).     An ‘Ultimatum’ in November 1947 demanded AUnion": ‘The CC of the CPY insisted.. The backward Albanian economy is not capable of developing independently.. our CC thinks that Yugoslav aid will be greater when we bring about an economic union between our countries!. (Hoxha; ‘Titoites; Ibid; p. 360).     There was an urgency to Yugoslav demands to conclude agreement to have a unitary state between Albania and Yugoslavia. Why? The CPY was aware that the CPSU(B), was about to expose Yugoslav revisionism. The Yugoslavs wished to commit Albania to unification in one state, before this occurred.
BUT THE CC OF THE CPSU(B) EXPOSED YUGOSLAV REVISIONISM ON MARCH 27TH, 1948. There is no doubt that this intervention of Stalin and the CPSU(B), had enormous significance in helping safeguard Albanian socialism. Stalin had been aware for some time of the improper conduct of the Yugoslavs towards the fledgling state of Albania, and assisted Albania's struggle:     The 3rd International was dissolved on the 10 June 1943. However, in October 1947, the Communist parties of nine European countries (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, The Soviet Union and Yugoslavia) set up, at a secret conference in September held in Szklarska Poreba, the "Information Bureau of the Communist Parties", COMINFORM. There is no doubt that Stalin was responsible for this.
    There is no doubt also that Stalin and Zhdanov accorded the Yugoslavs a prime role in the First Congress. They did this, to ensure that the Cominform would have latitude to criticise the CPY. Therefore the CPY was given a leading role in exposing the French and Italian parties for their Apeaceful parliamentarianism". If the CPY now faced fraternal criticism at the 2nd Congress, & would accept it, errors would be corrected. If they rejected it, this would expose them as traitors. On 18 March 1948, the Yugoslav government was notified that: AThat the Government of the USSR had decided immediately to withdraw all military advisers and instructors." (Correspondence between the CC CPSU(B) and The CC CPY; Belgrade; 1948; hereafter Correspondence; p.21.)     On the grounds that:     All USSR civilian specialists were recalled on 19 March 1948. There followed a mutually critical correspondence between the two parties, between March and June 1948. The CPSU CC proposed on the 4th May therefore that:     But Tito and Kardelj rejected this out of hand on 17 May 1948: AWe are not able to accede to the suggestion that this matter be decided by the Cominform." (Correspondence Ibid; p. 65).     The CC CPSU replied on the 22 May 1948:     At the Second Conference in June 1948, the CPY did not attend. Criticism was led by the French and Italian parties. The CPY was expelled with FOUR MAJOR CRITICISMS. AAn undignified policy of defaming Soviet military experts and discrediting the Soviet Union has been carried out in Yugoslavia. A special regime was instituted for Soviet civilian experts in Yugoslavia. A special regime was instituted for Soviet civilian experts in Yugoslavia, where they were kept under surveillance of Yugoslav state security organs and were continually followed. The representative of the CPSU(B) in the Information Bureau, Comrade Yudin, and a number of official representatives of the Soviet Union in Yugoslavia, were followed and kept under observation by Yugoslav state security organs.
All these and similar facts show that the leaders of the CPY have taken a stand unworthy of Communists and have begun to identify the foreign policy of the USSR with the foreign policy of the imperialists. Precisely because of this anti-Soviet stand, slanderous propaganda about the "degeneration" of the CPSU(B), about "the degeneration of the USSR" and so on, borrowed from the arsenal of counter-revolutionary Trotskyism, is current with the Central committee if the CPY.. The Yugoslav leaders think that by making concessions they can curry favour with the imperialist states.. In this they proceed tactically from the well-known bourgeois-nationalist thesis that "capitalist states are a lesser danger to the independence of Yugoslavia that the Soviet Union".Such a nationalist policy can only lead toYugoslavia’s degeneration into an ordinary bourgeois republic, to the loss of its independence and to its transformation into a colony of imperialist countries.(Resolution of Information Burea of the Communist Parties(June 1948), In ‘The Soviet-Yugoslav Dispute: Text of the Political Correspondence’; London 1948; p. 62, 69, 70. Hereafter ‘Resolution’).
    This is exactly the path that Yugoslavia subsequently took. The predictions of the Cominform were accurate. Secondly the CPY was based not on the working class but on the peasantry, and neglected the rural socialist struggle: AIn home policy the leaders of the CPY are departing from the position of the working class and bare breaking with the Marxist theory of classes and class struggle. And they deny that there is a growth of capitalist elements in their countryside. This denial is the direct result of the opportunist tenet that the class struggle does not become sharper during the period of the transition from capitalism to socialism, as Marxism-Leninism teaches, but dies down as was affirmed by opportunists of the Bukharin type, who propagated the theory of the peaceful growing over of capitalism into socialism..
In the conditions prevailing in Yugoslavia where individual peasant farming predominates, where the land is not nationalised, where there is private property in land, and where land can be bought and sold, where much of the land is in the hands of the kulaks, and where hired labour is employed - in such conditions there can be no question of.. Glossing over the class struggle and of reconciling class contradictions without by so doing disarming the Party..
The leaders of the CPY by affirming that the peasantry is the "most stable foundation of the Yugoslav state" are departing from the Marxist-Leninist path and are taking the path of a populist kulak party. Lenin taught that the proletariat, as the "only class" in contemporary society which is revolutionary to the end.. Must be the leader in the struggle.. Of all working people and the exploited against the oppressors and exploiters." (Resolution; Ibid; p. 62).
    Thirdly the leaders of the party dissolved the Party into the multi-class People's Front. This was called the leading force in society: AAccording to the theory of Marxism-Leninism, the Party is the main guiding and leading force in the country.. The highest form of organisation and the most important weapon of the working class.
    In Yugoslavia however, the People's Front and not the Communist Party is considered to be the main leading force in the country. The Yugoslav leaders belittle the role of the CP and actually dissolved the party in the non-party People's Front, which is composed of the most varied class elements (workers, peasants engaged in individual farming, kulaks, traders, small manufacturers, bourgeois intelligentsia, etc); as well as mixed political groups, which include certain bourgeois parties..
    The fact that in Yugoslavia it is only the People's Front which figures in the political arena, while the Party and its organisations do not appear openly before the public in its own name, not only belittles the role of the Party in the political life of the country, but also undermines the Party as an independent political force..
    This policy.. Threatens the very existence of the Communist Party, and ultimately carries with it the danger of the degeneration of the People's Republic of Yugoslavia." (Resolution; Ibid; p. 64).
    Finally and fourthly, the CPY was not operating on the basis of democratic centralism and had rejected the fraternal criticism of the Cominform: AThe bureaucratic regime created inside the Party by its leaders is disastrous for life and development of the CPY. There is no inner-party democracy, no elections, and no criticism and self-criticism in the Party.. The majority of the CC of the CPY is composed of co-opted and not of elected members. The CPY is actually in a position of semi-legality. Party meetings are either not held at all or meet in secret- a fact which can only undermine the influence of the Party among the masses. This type of organisation of the CPY cannot be described as anything but a sectarian-bureaucratic organisation. It leads to the liquidation of the Party as an active self-acting organisation..
    The most elementary rights of the members in the CPY are suppressed.. slightest criticism of incorrect measures in the Party is brutally repressed.. Such a disgraceful purely Turkish terrorist regime cannot be tolerated.. Criticism made by the CC of the CPSU(B) and other Communist Parties of the CC CPY.. Rendered fraternal assistance to the CPY.. However instead of honestly accepting this criticism and taking the Bolshevik path. of correcting these mistakes, the leaders of the CPY, suffering from boundless ambition, arrogance and conceit, met this criticism with belligerence and hostility." (Resolution; Ibid; p. 64-5).
    Thus the Titoites and the CPY were expelled from the Cominform. Only after Stalin's death; and after Khrushchev's leadership, was the CPY again treated as a Afraternal" party.     YET, was Tito a Communist and was post-war Yugoslavia a socialist state? Once in power, Tito and the CPY did not move towards socialism to ensure working class and peasant power in the post war State. After the expulsion from the Cominform, there was no need for a "disguised" revisionism. Things became even more blatantly revisionist. Tito now set out for Anew" socialist roads. Along the way, they butchered all the Cominformists at the concentration camp of Goli Otok. They turned to the USA imperialists for aid. US imperialism assisted the local merchants and industrialists. The kulak was favoured and: AForms and means were found for the redistribution of the land, under which the old kulaks were re-established without.. Great upheaval... capitalist measures were adopted.. Such as the breaking up of the machine and tractor stations and the sale of their equipment to the rich peasantry which could afford to buy them and the imposition of heavy taxes on the peasants. The State Farms.. were transformed into capitalist enterprises in which foreign capital also was invested."(Enver Hoxha: ‘Yugoslav-Self Administration’, a Capitalist Theory and Practice’; 1978; Selected Works; Vol V; Tirana 1985; p.279).     The Titoites dismantled the limited centralised planning that had been first initiated. Titoite economics is associated with the term ASELF-MANAGEMENT". What did this amount to as practised in Tito's Yugoslavia? It was explained in detail by Tito's comrade-in-arms EDUARD KARDELJ. ENVER HOXHA subjected this to scrutiny. For Marx and Engels a central State structure, that is controlled by the workers was critical to establish socialism. This was expressed even in the most basic text AThe Communist Manifesto", cited by Hoxha to contrast with Tito's views: AThe proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest by degrees all capital from the bourgeoisie to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the proletariat organised as the ruling class." (Marx and Engels: ‘Manifesto of the Communist Party’; 1848; Collected Works Vol 6; p.504; Moscow; 1976).     Lenin similarly stated that: AAny justification whether direct or indirect of the ownership of the workers of an individual factory or an individual profession over their individual production, or any justification of their right to tone down or hinder the orders from general State power, is a very gross distortion of the fundamental principles if Soviet power and complete renunciation of socialism." (V.I.Lenin ‘On Democratisation and the Socialist Character of the Soviet Power’; Cited Hoxha; ‘Self Administration’; Ibid; p.284).     In contrast to these views, Tito in June 1950, presented his law on Self administration to the People's assembly : AFrom now on State property in the means of production, factories, mines, railroads will gradually go over to the highest form of socialist ownership; State ownership is the lowest form of socialist ownership, not the highest form.. Among the most characteristic acts of a socialist country is the transfer of factories and other economic enterprises from the hands of the State into the hands of the workers, for them too manage.. Because in this manner the slogan of the action of the working class - "Factories to the Workers" - will be realised". (Factories to the Workers), Prishtina 1951, pp 37. Cited Hoxha; ‘Yugoslav Self Administration’ Ibid; p.285).     Entirely consistent with Tito, E.KARDELJ said: AOur society is compelled to act in this manner, since it has decided on self-government and the self-governing socialisation of the State - owned property, and against the perpetuation of the State owned form of the socialist relations of production". (From Kardelj: ‘Directions of Socialist Self Administration’; 1977; p.66; Cited Hoxha; Ibid; p. 286).+     As expected then private property existed in an open form and was admitted by Kardelj. In fact special laws were issued to encourage the private economy, the Yugoslav Constitution saying: APrivate owners have the same socio-economic position, the same rights as the working people in the socio-economic organisations.’ (Cited Hoxha; Ibid; p. 287.)     As Hoxha comments: ASmall private property reigns supreme in the Yugoslav agriculture and occupies nearly 90 per cent of the arable land. Nine million haa. Of land belong to the private sector, whereas over 10% or 1.15 million ha. Belong to the monopoly capitalist or the so-called Asocial" sector. Over 5 million peasants in Yugoslavia are engaged on working privately owned land.. In Yugoslavia ownership of 10-25 ha. Of land as private property is permitted. But the Yugoslav law which permits the buying and selling, renting and mortgaging of land, the buying and selling of agricultural machinery, and hired labour in agriculture has also created the possibilities for the bourgeois class of the countryside, the kulaks, to add to their land, means of work, and implements, tractors and trucks at the expense of the poor peasants, and consequently to step up and intensify their capitalist exploitation." (Cited Hoxha; Ibid; p. 287-289).     In fact relations with the USA ensured that Yugoslavia would be a client state of the USA. Therefore the same Afreedom of the market" held sway in Yugoslavia: "The free exchange of labour through the production of commodities and the free self-governing market at the present level of the socio-economic development, is a condition for self-government.. This market is free in the sense that the self-governing organisations of labour freely and with the minimum administrative intervention enter into relations of the free exchange of labour. The suspension of such freedom is bound to lead to the regeneration of the state property monopoly of the State apparatus." Says Kardelj. (Cited Hoxha; Ibid; p. 298).     This is clearly nothing more than Reaganism and Thatcherism and Clintonism and Chretiensism- it is capitalist! The external debt of Yugoslavia was the proof that the Titoites had sold the many nationalities that live in Yugoslavia to the highest bidder-Capital! D) NATIONAL POLICY - THE CASE OF KOSOVA     The events of the 1992 Serb invasion and massacres in Bosnia and Croatia cannot be understood in isolation. They arise from failing to implement a socialist national policy in Yugoslavia. Bosnian massacres were heralded by Serb aggression in Kosova. Before even that, regional disparity indicated chauvinism.
    The "unequal" development of non-Serb areas of Yugoslavia, began under Tito. Kosova, for instance, is extremely backward as compared to the rest of Yugoslavia. The same applied to Bosnia: ‘Relative to the rest of Yugoslavia, Bosnia stagnated and declined during the 1950s and the 1960s with its per capita social product falling from 79% of the Yugoslavia average in 1953, to 75% in 1957 and 69% in 1965. In 1961 much of Bosnia was officially declared an under-developed region.. By the early 1970's Bosnia had the highest infant mortality rate of any part of Yugoslavia except Kosova; the highest illiteracy rate (except Kosova again); the highest proportion of people whose only education was three years of primary school (except Kosova); and the smallest proportion of people living in towns (except Kosova).’ (Malcolm, Ibid, p.202).     As Hoxha indicated, the AGreat Powers’ had constantly interfered with Albania and the Balkans (See above). In 1913, the London Conference of Ambassadors of the imperialists, formally partitioned Albania. Despite large scale protests and armed opposition, the North-Eastern part- Kosova and other Albanian inhabited regions was annexed to the Kingdoms of Serbia and Montengro. This was perpetuated after the War: AThe Peace Conference of Versailles in 1919, ignoring the just demands of the Albanian people reconfirmed the partitioning of the Albanian territories.. And left them to the Serbian-Croatian-Slovenian Kingdom which it created.’(The Status of Republic For Kosova Is A Just Demand’; ‘Zeri i popullit’; May 17th, 1981 In: ‘About The Events in Kosova’; Tirana 1981; p.45).     As seen Kosova was Albanian territory, annexed by Yugoslavia, yet overwhelmingly peopled with ethnic Albanians. In the Second World War, the demagogic bourgeois Albanian nationalists, the Balli Kombetar issued calls to ‘liberate Kosova from Yugoslavia’. But the CPA correctly called for "unrelenting war against fascists and collaborator" arguing: ‘Only.. (this) will lead to solution of our national problems, an integral part of which is the putting right of historical injustices. For this our Communist party is fighting and the CPY likewise is leading the peoples of its country on the same course.’ (Hoxha; ‘Titoites’; Ibid; p.78).     Kosova was then occupied by the Fascists. Balli demagogues claimed that this ‘represented a liberation’ from Serbs. This was a principled correct stand of the CPA. Either the CPA or the CPY could have led the Kosovan struggle. But the CPY demanded that Kosova and other Albanian regions of Yugoslavia be placed under CPY leadership. But Tito promised that immediately after the war, this population should decide its own future on the basis of the Leninist principle of the right of self-determination. The PLA: AAgreed to make a concession..this was not the time to explain.. Kosova etc.. the main thing was to arouse peoples in.. war against the fascist occupation. Later, when communists were in power..then everything would be decided .. according to the will of the peoples themselves.’ (Hoxha; ‘Titoites’; Ibid; p.79-84).     During the war, the CPA showed the Kosova people, that struggle they must - against fascism. This line persisted, despite serious and false Yugoslav charges of ‘Great Albanian chauvinism’ (Hoxha; ‘Titoites’; Ibid; p.97-116). But the CPY continually exposed its’ aggrandizing motives. The IST CONFERENCE OF THE NATIONAL LIBERATION COUNCIL FOR KOSOVA AND METOHIA, was held in Bujan December 31st, 1943 to January 2nd 1944. This Conference under CPY leadership for Kosova proclaimed:     But Tito erased this from the written resolutions. (Hoxha; ‘Titoites’; Ibid; p.121). Then after the CPA lit anti-fascist resistance in Kosova, Albanian partisans of the CPA battled to liberate Kosova. Tito, now ordered CPA and Kosovans, to pursue the Nazis into the North. This allowed Tito to occupy Kosovo. But following revolt by the Kosovans, Tito then engineered the despatch of the CPA partisans, to leave Kosova undefended. Thus was Kosova taken into Tito’s Yugoslavia: ‘Enter Kosova, without meeting resistance of Albanian insurgent forces. Kosova was liberated by forces of the CPA army and Kosovans. Tito eliminated the national liberation councils that had been set up and launched unrestrained mass terror against the Albanians. These unprecedented reprisals of the Titoites quite rightly caused a great popular revolt which put ‘New Yugoslavia’ in doubt.. the patriotic people of Kosova demanded the return of the Albanian patriots.. Tito.. was obliged to agree..the partisans returned.. after this Tito planned new manoeuvres.. It was necessary for him that CPA forces should finally withdraw from Kosova and return to Albania.. But how? The direct withdrawal of our forces from Kosova .. would create unpleasant and grave scenes for the Titoites. The people of Kosova might rise in revolt again.. Tito staged the ‘need to pursue reactionary bands towards the South, towards Greece.’, and for this he sought the aid of those forces of ours. We .. ordered our divisions to act. After they reached the Southern most borders of Macedonia our forces were told there ‘was no further need’ for them to stay in Yugoslavia. The border was crossed in the zone of Korca and Prespa, far from the eyes of the people of Kosova. Tito and Rankovic were left free.. with their barbarous methods against the martyred Kosova.’ (Hoxha; ‘Titoites’; Ibid; p.212-4).     Contrary to Tito’s promises during the war, Kosova was annexed to the Republic of Serbia. It was not even granted Aautonomous status". Later ALEXSANDR RANKOVIC at the extraordinary meeting of the Anti-Fascist Convention of Serbia in April 1945 stated that the annexation: AIs the best answer to those who trumpet about the danger of the partitioning of the Serbian territory, who make the accusation that the Nation Liberation War will weaken the Serbs in the interests of the Croats and the others." ("Borba’, April 8th, 1945 Cited "About Events in Kosova’ Ibid; p. 53.)     The people of Kosova were not satisfied. In 1968 they once again raised the issue and demanded status as a republic. In October 1968, during discussion on the amendments to the Yugoslav Constitution, the people of Kosova demanded once more Republic status. Tito refused a petition on this question. The result was massive demonstrations in November 1968. The Kosovans demanded equal status for Albania as for Serbian and the establishment of an Albanian university, and the right of self-determination. The Yugoslavs were forced to grant a bilingual status, a national flag, and the University of Prishtina. But republic status was rejected.
    The issue is not forgotten of course. In 1981, March 11- 26th, the people erupted again, with the same demand-Republic status. Not even secession mind, but republic status! They were brutally suppressed, hundreds killed and wounded.
IT MUST BE CONCLUDED THAT TITO DID NOT FOLLOW A SOCIALIST PATH IN YUGOSLAVIA     However rabid Serbian nationalism was to some extent reined in, for two reasons.
    Firstly as a Croat Tito was not likely to give in to Serbian demands completely.
    Secondly, Tito certainly realised that full Serbian unrestrained power would de-stabilise the state. ANDRIJA HEBRANG, a Marxist-Leninist insisted in 1948 that there was unfair Serb led Afixing’ of republic boundaries. Hebrang was purged, but Tito restrained the worst Serb 'excess’.
    But despite some resistance, the Serbs controlled the army and large parts of the country that were separate nations. Such as Kosova. The chief advocate of Great Serb Ambition was ALEKSANDR RANKOVIC. A Triumvirate had been formed by Tito with Rankovic and Kardelj. By 1966, Tito moved against Rankovic, who was: "Divisive.. and planning to use the Security Forces to establish his personal power. Some of his rivals discovered that Rankovic had planted electronic bugging devices in Tito’s residence. At the CC Plenum on Brioni in July 1966, Rankovic was obliged to resign his Party offices and his post as Vice-President.’ (R.West Ibid; p. 296).     But Croatian nationalism, fuelled by Serbian dominance in the state of Yugoslavia erupted into life. The Ustasha movement was revived and FRANJO TUDJMAN was to join it. The MATICA HRVASTKA (Croat Queen Bee) movement called for recognition of Croatian as a separate language. Immediately a counter demand was raised for the teaching of Serb alone to the children of 700,000 Serbs in Croatia. Now both the Serbs and the Croats claimed the Muslim population of Bosnia as Aethnically’ belonging to them alone.


    Thus instead of adopting a Marxist-Leninist view, that Bosnia - heterogenous and ethnically complex itself formed a regional nation, he adopted the worst chauvinist position possible in order to restrain the Croat and Serbian nationalists. Ultimately this strategy would be doomed.


    Yugoslavia rapidly faced the consequences of hocking itself to the imperialist powers:

"In 1983 the Government staved off bankruptcy by virtually placing itself in the hands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and ceding control of debts and credits. By the middle of 1984, inflation stood at 62 %, the standard of living had fallen by 30%.. The unemployed made up 15% of the work-force.’ (R.West Ibid; p. 336).


    In the midst of these tensions, crisis was bound to come. After Tito’s death, the Serbs initiated a general scramble for power took place. Initially after Tito’s death, the Presidency was by Constitution rotated on May 15th between the 8 remaining Presidency members of the republics and autonomous regions. But by 1988 increasing pressures exploded the latent disagreements. What were the pressures? A failed economic system : "By 1988 a total of 400,000 workers participated in over 1,700 strikes, and Yugoslavia’s inflation rate continued to rise.. Inflation (was) running at 346% in March 1989.’ (Donia and Fine; Ibid; p. 202-203).     ANTE MARKOVIC former president of Croatia took the last position of federal prime minister. He managed to reduce inflation to single digits and both the army and Presidency of 8 supported him. But Serbian SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC lit the flames of nationalism and made his position untenable.
    Milosevic had been an executive of Tehnogas an energy firm and then was president of a large Belgrade bank. He became Party chair of the Serbian Communists in 1986.
    Milosevic became President of the Serbian republic in 1987 by displacing his mentor. Even before his accession to power, a campaign against the non-Serbs had begun. A sign was the 1986 Memorandum of the Serbian Academy of Sciences signed by DOBRICA COSIS. Cosis had been previously removed from the Serbian party central committee, on grounds of nationalism in 1968. He was later to glorify the Cetniks in a 1985 novel, and stated that: ‘The Question of the integrity of the Serbian people and its culture in the whole of Yugoslavia poses itself as a crucial question for that people's survival an development.’ (Grmek M, Gjidara M, Simac N, Le Nettoyage Ethnique: Documents Historicques Sur Une Ideologie Serbe’ Paris, 1993; pp 256-265. Cite Malcolm Ibid; p. 207).     Milosevic fanned these sentiments through control of the daily APolitika’. The leaders of the autonomous province of Vojvodina were forced to yield to Milosevic supporters in 1988. Milosevic now revoked the political autonomy of Kosova and Vojvodina and Montengro. Brutal repressions now took place in Kosova, where massive demonstrations physically resisted the Serb army, and many Kosovan Albanians were killed.
    The crushing of Kosovan aspirations in March 1989, was the declaration of intent against non-Serb Yugoslavia. The LEAGUE OF COMMUNISTS OF YUGOSLAVIA , or the LCY (The CPY had changed its name following the expulsion from the Cominform) held its 14th Extraordinary Party Congress in January 1990, but failed to obtain agreement to re-establish Federation. Milosevic controlled 4 of 8 votes in the Presidency. Now the Slovenes boycotted proceedings of the LCY. The LCY now dissolved. Multi-party elections were set for 1990. Rapidly the army, which had always been dominated by the Serbs took sides with Milosevic: ‘The majority of officers in the Yugoslav National Army are Serbs’. (Economist Intelligence Unit:'Country Report: Yugoslavia' No 1, 1991; p.5.).   "The YPA leadership supported Serbia’s efforts to amend its constitution to provide for secession yet it opposed nearly identical proposals in Slovenia and other republics.’ (Donia and Fine; Ibid; p. 209.)     GENERAL RATKO MLADIC at this point, made arms freely available to the Serbs of Krajina encouraging them to declare autonomy from Croatia.
    Multi party elections took place in 1990, in each of the 6 Yugoslav republics. By 1990 the authority of the central Federal Government was over. The Presidents of the 6 republics held summits over December 1990 to June 1991.
    Milosevic elected for Serbia, demanded annexation of Serb inhabited Croatian and Bosnian; if these republics demanded independence. Izatbegovich, elected for Bosnia tried to seek a peaceful Federal solution. Meanwhile the war would begin in Croatia. Tjudman elected in Croatia fuelled Serbian ambition by open anti-Serb discrimination, firing thousands of Serbs from jobs, and displaying the Ustasha fascist 'Sahovnica’ flag.
    On March 16th, 1991 Serbs of Krajina declared separation from Croatia. Clashes rapidly escalated. The Serbian army moved in to support the Serbs in the summer of 1991. Croatia was over run by Serbia.
    By 1992, the Serbs were ready to chase down Bosnia. After the Serbs achieved had their war aims against the Croats; they deigned to ‘allow a UN cease fire’. Now safe on the Croat flank, they attacked the Bosnians with the Yugoslav Army. After the Bosnian Referendum of February March 1992: ‘99.4% of those voting opted for full independence’ (Keesings Record Of World Events' Volume 37; p.38,832.)     By mid-1992, the Serbs had occupied 70% of the Bosnian territory. ONLY THEN, did the UN send a so called Peace Keeping Force into Bosnia. Then the supposed ‘Peace Plans’ (The London Conference 1992; Lord Carrington's interventions; the Vance-Owen 'Peace Plan’ of January 1993; Cmder.M.Rose's missions etc).     The Europeans agreed to support Serbian hegemonic aspirations and irredentionist ambition, to have their feet in the gateway to the Middle East. The USA imperialists wished to maintain an alliance with Turkey, as a part of their ‘New Order’, in the Middle East. This explains the back and forth of the recent postures of imperialisms.     We are of course not surprised that Milosevic of the Canadian Serb Council, does not raise this issue. But this point is also not raised by Popovich, a correspondent published in North Star Compass! This omission is more surprising, as it comes from someone professing to be a Communist. But how can Popovich's stance, square with the statements of Lenin and Stalin?
    Lenin proposed the following, which became the final wording of the document of the Zimmerwald International Socialist Conference in September 1915: ‘The right of self-determination of nations must be the indestructible principle in the system of national relations between peoples’. (Zimmerwald Manifesto, signed by and included in V.I.Lenin:'Collected Works', Volume 18; London; 1930; p.475).     OR Lenin again: ‘The right of self-determination means.. the right to independence in a political sense, the right to be free, political secession’. (V.I.Lenin:'The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations To Self-Determination', 1916, 'Selected Works', Volume 5; London; 1935; p. 270)     Or how about J.V.Stalin? Ironically, it is when he is talking of Yugoslavia he had this to say: ‘It is imperatively necessary to include in the national programme a special point on the right of nations to self-determination, including the right to secede’. (J.V.Stalin :'Concerning The National Question In Yugoslavia', In 'Works', Volume 7; Moscow; 1954; p.75).     How relevant to Communists of North Star Compass, are the attitudes of Lenin and Stalin to national self-determination? Lenin took the work by J.V.Stalin on The National Question as a useful starting point. We can do no worse.     A nation is not dependent upon religion, nor upon a racial mixture. What constitutes then a nation? "A nation is a historically constituted, stable community of people formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture.’ (J.V.Stalin "Works" Moscow; 1956; Vol 2; "Marxism and the National Question"; p. 307).     On this definition we have already seen that Bosnia constitutes a separate nation. Incidentally one further clarification on the criterion of language, is needed. Although effectively the population of Bosnia Hercegovina, speaks either Croat or Serbian, this does not mean anything regarding nationhood. Stalin refers to the Norwegians and the Danes who (Stalin Ibid: p.308): "speak one language, but they do not constitute a single nation owing to the absence of the other characteristics.’ A common language is one of the characteristic features of nation. This, of course, does not mean that different nations always and everywhere speak different languages, or that all who speak one language necessarily constitute one nation. A common language for every nation, but not necessary different languages for different nations!.. Englishmen and Americas speak one language, but they do not constitute one nation. The same is true of the Norwegian and the Danes, the English and the Irish.’ (Stalin Ibid: p.308):     In national oppression, it is the workers who suffer more than bourgeoisie: "Restriction of freedom of movement, disfranchisement, repression of language, closing of schools, and other forms of persecution affect the workers no less, if not more, than the bourgeoisie. Such a state of affairs can only serve to retard the free development of the intellectual forces of the proletariat of subject nations. One cannot speak seriously of a full development of the intellectual faculties of the Tartar or Jewish worker if he is not allowed to use his native language at meetings and lectures, and if his schools are closed down.’ (Stalin Ibid: p.304).     But another reason exists why the national liberation struggle must be supported. This is that the national struggle is diversionary and obscures the real struggle - for socialism. "The policy of nationalist persecution is dangerous to the cause of the proletariat .. It diverts the attention of large strata from social questions, question of the class struggle, to national questions, question ‘common’ to the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. And this creates a favourable soil for lying propaganda about ‘harmony of interests’, for glossing over the class interests of the proletariat and for the intellectual enslavement of the workers. This creates a serious obstacle to the cause of using the workers of all nationalities’. (Stalin Ibid: p.320-21).     And linked to this, moreover, "nationalism’ allows a policy of ‘divide and rule’, again diverting from the main struggle: "The "system’ of oppression to a "system" of inciting nations against each other to a "system" of massacres and pogroms.. Of course the latter system s not everywhere and always possible, but where it is possible- in the absence of elementary civil rights-it frequently assumes horrifying proportions and threatens to drown the cause of unity of the workers in blood and tears. The Caucasus and the South Russia furnish numerous examples. ‘Divide and rule’- such is the purpose of the policy of incitement. And where such policy succeeds, it is a tremendous evil for the proletariat and a serious obstacle to the cause of uniting the workers of all the nationalities in the state.’ (Stalin Ibid: p.321).     Well this is all very well, but what does this mean?: "The right of self-determination means that a nation may arrange its life in the way it wishes. It has the right to arrange its life on the basis of autonomy. It has the right to enter into federal relations with other nations. It has the right to complete secession. Nations are sovereign, and all nations have equal rights.’ (Stalin Ibid: p.321).     Obviously the Marxist-Leninist will not necessarily support all claims to nationhood if they obstruct the working peoples. For instance resurrection of "beys and mullahs’ influence in Transcaucasia would not have been in the best interests of the "toiling strata. The answer that is best for the workers and toilers depends upon the precise historical situation and must be carefully assessed on the precise facts’: "A nation has the right to arrange its life on autonomous lines It even the has the right to secede. But this does not mean that it should do so under all circumstances, that autonomy or separation, will everywhere and always be advantageous for a nation; ie. For its majority, ie for the toiling strata. The Transcacausian Tartars as a nation may assemble , let us say, in their Diet and succumbed to the influence of their beys and mullahs, decide to restore the old order of things and to secede from the state. According to the meaning of the clause on self-determination they are fully entitled to do so. But will this be in the interest of the toiling strata of the Tartar nation? Can Marxists look on indifferently when the beys and mullahs assume the leadership of the masses in the solution of the national question?.. Should not Marxist come forward with a definite plan for the solution of the question, a plan which would be most advantageous for the Tartar masses?.. But what solution would be most compatible with the interests of the toiling masses? Autonomy, federation or separation? All these are problems the solution of which will depend on the concrete historical conditions in which the given nation finds itself.. Conditions like everything else change, and a decision which is correct at one particular time may prove to be entirely unsuitable at another.’ (Stalin Ibid: p.324). BUT THERE ARE DIFFERENT MINORITIES IN THE SAME GEOGRAPHICAL REGION OF BOSNIA. THIS IS A SPECIAL TYPE OF NATIONAL PROBLEM

    What can be said about these situations? This pertains in Bosnia today. This also pertained in Stalin’s times in several parts of the European world. These included TRANSCAUCASIA. As a precondition to solve the problems of these areas, Stalin insisted that:

"The complete democratisation of the country is the basis and condition for the solution of the national question.’ (Stalin Ibid: p.373).     Having said that, Stalin recognised that there was a possibility that independence and secession was "necessary’ for some parts. However, he then considered the possibility that for some parts "regional autonomy’ was preferable: "The only correct solution is regional autonomy, autonomy for such crystallised units as Poland, Lithuania, the Ukraine, the Caucasus etc. The advantage of regional autonomy consists first of all in the fact that it does not deal with a fiction bereft of territory, but with a definite population inhabiting a definite territory. Next it does not divide people according to nations, it does not strengthen national barriers; on the contrary it breaks down these barriers and unites the population in such a manner as to open the way for division of a different kind, division according to classes... Of course, not one of these regions constitutes a compact homogeneous nation, for each is interspersed with national minorities. Such are the Jews in Poland, the Letts in Lithuania, the Russians in the Caucasus, the Poles in the Ukraine, and so on. It may be feared therefore that the minorities will be oppressed by the national majorities. But there will be grounds for fear only if the old order continues to prevail in the country. Give the country complete democracy and all grounds for fear will vanish.’ (Stalin Ibid: p.376).

"What the minorities want is not an artificial union but real rights in the localities they inhabit. What can such a union give them without complete democratisation? On the other hand, what need is there for a national union when there is complete democratisation? What is that particularly agitates a national minority? A minority is discontented not because there is not national union but because it does not enjoy the right to use its native language. Permit it to use its native language and the discontent will pass of itself. A minority is discontented not because there is no artificial union but because it does not possess it own schools. Give it its own schools and all grounds for discontent will disappear.. A minority is discontented not because there is not national union, but because it does not enjoy liberty of conscience (religious liberty), liberty of movement, etc. Give it those liberties and it will cease to be discontented. Thus equal rights of nation in all forms (language, schools, etc) is an essential element in the solution of the national question.. Complete democratisation of the country is required.’ (Stalin Ibid: p.375-77).

      She further alleges that:     And that UN embargo plays a pro-Muslim role: ‘If Izatbegovic hopes that the Serbs will be broken by the UN embargo.. force them to accept - an unfair, humiliating, undignified, dictatorial and unconditional ‘peace’ with Muslims.’ (North Star Compass; Ibid; p. 10).     Neither allegation is supported by facts. Facts show the contrary. As to the hysteria of Steve Milosevic and the Canadian Serb Council (CSC) in the pamphlet, ‘Rocks and Rattlesnakes’ what can be calmly said? The key historical pretences of this scurrilous rag, are examined textually above in our reply. But then, the author of this mythology, goes on to labouriously assert that there were no rapes of Bosnian Muslim women by Serbian militia and soldiers; and that the massacres of the Bosnian were really perpetrated by the Bosnians themselves.
    According to the CSC, these were reported by ‘hysterical media’ citing various notable men and women including one Professor Marsha Hewitt. One technique of the CSC is to use ‘famous people’ to buttress their distorted views. Thus Kissinger! Thus the seamless transition in a sleight of hand, that covers the passage from the AUN Commission of Experts headed by Professor M.Cherif Bassiouni in Geneva’ p.13, to the views of the CSC.
    We do not need in detail to refute the flimsy CSC allegations. When even basic history is misrepresented by Milosevic, it is unnecessary to deal with these tawdry misrepresentations. Readers unaware of the facts, are referred to the avalanche of well researched accurate TV and book reports. Further testimony from the Dutch soldiers to the UN forces in Bosnia is becoming available also. We will cite only one source in this section, the 1993 Pulitzer winning A Witness To Genocide’, by Roy Gutman, New York. The two pictures on the next page, are drawn from his book, and the captions tell the story. Finally on these ‘allegations’ by the SCS, let the dialogue of women in Tuzla speak: ‘We want the world to know about our truth. All mothers. All women,’ said Senada, 17, who wrote a statement by hand and gave it to the chief gynaecologist at Tuzla Hospital.. Dr Melika Kreitmayer, leader of the gynaecological team that examined 25 out of the 40 victims from Brezov Polje, said she and her colleagues are convinced that the object of the rapes was to ‘humiliate Muslim women to insult them, to destroy their persons and to cause shock.. These women were not raped because it was the male instinct. They were raped because it was the goal of the war.. Someone had an order to rape the girls.’ Kreitmayer is of Muslim origin.. Her team includes a Serb and a Slovene doctor (who did not) object to these assertions. ‘We are shocked by what we have heard,’ commented her Serb Colleague Dr. Nenad Trifovic.’ (Cited Gutman R; Ibid; p.69) .


    Behind the anguished hand wringing, most bourgeois press in Europe, aided Serb chauvinists by NOT exposing historical facts. THESE FACTS ARE:
    Firstly - the machinations of Serb chauvinists inside former Yugoslavia; and
    Secondly - the machinations of foreign imperialism, allowing Serb chauvinists to achieve a Greater Serbia, unrestricted by a deliberately toothless UN.
    It is true that there has been a purely verbal condemnation of Serbian viciousness. This is liberal democracy, cry, but do not expose the real causes for the killing. And above all, do not stop the killing; and do not expose the fake diplomacy of the UN!
    Upon the facts surrounding Serb chauvinists led by SLOBODAN MILOSOVIC, the bourgeois press is strikingly silent. Where was the alleged ‘Press Serbophobia’ when Milosovic sent in the troops to Kosova to suppress the very strong movement for national autonomy there? Scant mention in the bourgeois press. Yet here, Milosovic first revealed, his Great Serb Nationalism.
    Marxists-Leninists know that the bourgeois press is only a propaganda vehicle for the bourgeois imperialists.     It became rapidly clear that the policy of the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) was to terrorise the Bosnian populace: "The aims of the SDS are to take over as much of the territory of Bosnia-Hercegovina as possible by military action and terror. It was launched in the summer of 1990 and is closely linked to Slobodan Milosevich’s Socialist Party of Serbia.. Their strategy has been to help local militias ga control of a maximum amount of this territory and then to call in the UN and other international force to separate the two sides and finally for the "ethnically cleansed’ populations to vote to join the new Yugoslavia.’ (Economist Intelligence Unit:’Country Report: Yugoslavia Republics’ no. 2, 1992; pp 10; 12).     In March 1992, Serb leaders proclaimed a ‘Serbian republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina’; and in April 1992 a new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia consisting only of Serbia and Macedonia was proclaimed. Finally in September 1992, the Parliament of the self-proclaimed "Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina’.. declared itself in ‘favour of union with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY).’ (Keesings Record of World events Vol 38; pp39-103.)
    By September 1992, the Croatians - first the victims of Serbia - now joined Serbia to prey upon Bosnia: "Croatia was interested in negotiating a carve-up of Bosnia-Hercegovina with Serbia’. (Economist Intell Unit: Yugoslavia Republics No. 2; 1992;p. 13).     In October 1992, the Croatian occupation forces in Bosnia proclaimed the "Croatian community of Herceg-Bosne’, with Mate Boban as President. (Kessing’s Record of World Events’, Vol 38; pp. 39, 149).
    The United Nations Security Council in January 1992, approved the sending of UN "PeaceKeeping Forces’ UN-PROFOR to Yugoslavia. By September 1992 a Permanent Conference on Yugoslaviahad opened in Geneva co-chaired by LORD OWEN FOR THE EEC and CYRUS VANCE FOR THE UN. (Keesing’s Vol 38; p. 39, 102).

    Ever since the war of aggression launched by the USA over Kuwait, the USA had been the dominant imperialist nation. But inter-imperialist competition is intensifying as the world’s markets become fewer and the productive capacity continues to rise. Furthermore, the difficulty in Arestoring’ balance by either a policy of monetarism or by a policy of inflation led recovery, intensifies the world wide capitalist crisis. (See Alliance 3 for details). Economic war fare was marked between the great imperialist powers by the giant trading blocks they formed.

    After the temporary success of the USA in the Middle East, the European powers tried to regain the initiative. Following the absorption of the former East German state, the ‘locomotive’ of the EEC - WEST GERMANY was temporarily burdened. The EEC has now overcome these problems. The East European market is a major opportunity for new markets, since under Soviet revisionism following the death of Stalin, these countries were significantly exploited as colonies and not developed.
    In addition, the USA has a key ally in the Middle East, TURKEY. The Turkish Government has been heavily reliant upon USA imperialism, and was useful in consolidating the USA presence in the Middle East. Turkey was vocal in insisting on protection for Bosnia:     Thus when divisions between the EEC and the USA became evident, they were bound to be reflected in the UN actions- should we say inaction? - in Bosnia. Inaction over manifest attacks on the Bosnian Muslims; inaction over the evident imbalance of arms between the two sides: "EEC Ministers agreed that the UN arms embargo against Bosnia should not be lifted,’ ("Guardian’, 25 January 1993; p. 8.)     Despite a general agreement that: "The arms embargo ..hinders Bosnia while doing little to cut the arms available to the Serbs and the Croats.’ (‘Guardian’, 10 February 1993; p. 18.)     What did the Vance-Owen Plan amount to? It amounted to partition of Bosnia, exactly what the Serbs had demanded : "The Vance-Owen blueprint divided Bosnia into nine semi-autonomous provinces with weak central government, leaves the Serbs controlling half of the republic, and requires a huge increase in the UN peacekeeping presence’.. Although the Geneva documents acknowledge the primacy of Bosnian sovereignty, few analysts here see it as leading anywhere but to the gradual partition of the republic. Diplomats draw an analogy with the Croatian peace plan devised by Mr. Vance.. A year on one-third of Croatia is still controlled by gangs of thugs licensed in Belgrade.’ (Guardian’, 18 January 1993; p.8.)     Naturally the Serbs were glad but even so, they wished for more. The Bosnians knew this was a ‘Victory for the aggressor’, as HARIS SILAJDZICH foreign minister of Bosnia, put it. (Guardian 15 January 1993; p. 10). The EEC propaganda favoured the Serbs despite their viciousness. The best of the press - minority - tried to portray a more accurate picture. Thus the liberal leaning, but still minority press, the Guardian of Britain said: ‘Although RADOVAN KARADZICH (leader of the semi-fascist "Serbian Democratic Party of Bosnia-Hercegovina’ is admitted to be.. A proven liar and murderer.. The BBC depicts him as a poet and religious thinker and interviews him daily.’ (Guardian’, 17 December 1992; p. 17.).     As acknowledged by all, except the wilfully blind Canadian Serb Council, the "plan of ethnic cleansing’ consisted of ‘Kill the men and rape the women-repeatedly (Observer 21 February 1993; p.53); the UN defended the practice so called of setting up of ‘Safe Zones.’ But even the UN Special envoy on human rights in former Yugoslavia TADEUSZ MASOWIECKI stated to the UN assembly a fear that: "Setting up safe zones means accepting the policy of "ethnic cleansing’ has to yield to the need to save human lives.’ (Guardian’ 28 November 1992; p. 11) OWEN AND THE EEC WERE CONFRONTED WITH TWO PROBLEMS, THE OPPOSITION OF THE USA AND THE BOSNIAN REFUSAL TO BE QUIET.

    They therefore found their own stooges in Bosnia:

"Mr.Abdic’s willingness to cooperate with the Serbs caught the attention of Mr. David Owen the EEC’s peace mediator for Bosnia. At the time Mr. Owen was pushing Mr. Izatbegovic to agree to the latest of his plans to chop up Bosnia along ethnic lines. TO put pressure on Mr. Izatbegovich, he began promoting Mr.Abdic as a leader of Adissidents’ who were willing to settle the conflict. This was tantamount to an Owen orchestrated coup, and Mr. Abdic well aware of this fact, cheerfully played along.’ (Charles Lane, from The New Republic; Reprinted Globe and Mail, Toronto Dec 16th, 1994; p.A19.)     But this led to counter moves from Bosnian president Izatbegovich provoking further factionalisation and arming: "Mr Izatbegovic fearing that other regional Muslim leaders might follow Mr. Abdic’s example, engineered the Bosnian Parliament’s rejection of Mr. Owen’s plan and moved to isolate Mr. Abdic politically. Mr. Abdic countered politically by declaring himself president of "autonomous’ Bihac and signed peace treaties with Mr. Karadadic with the Croats.. And began arming a militia in including deserters from the 5th Corps’. (Globe and Mail, 16.12.94. P.A 19).


    As the inter-imperialist contradictions grow trade wars become more intense. For instance: "The US Commerce Department.. Called for the imposition of duties on nearly 1 Billion pounds sterling in steel exports from the EC and 12 other countries, including Japan and South Korea. They come on top of duties applied to the same steel products in November.. The threat of a transatlantic trade grew... as pressure mounted for the EC to retaliate against the US decision to slap hefty duties on steel imports.’ ("Guardian’, 29 January 1993; p. 17.)     As these differences grew, the USA reasserted its authority in the Balkans. They proposed to modify the Vance-Owen plan with "Vance-Owen Mark 2’. The main difference was that it would seat a US envoy ( Reginald Bartholomew US ambassador to the NATO) at the table. (Guardian, 11 February 1993; p.1). This would have allowed some concessions to Bosnia, in the form of some withdrawal of previous concessions made to Serbs and Croats under Mark 1: "The Clinton administration is moving toward support for a modified version of the Vance-Owen plan for Bosnia, officials in Washington and Munich indicated yesterday.. It will seek to reinforce provisions in the existing plan to safeguard Bosnia..’ (‘Guardian’, 8 February 1993; p. 7).     Clearly because Serbia would reject these moves, the USA threatened the Serb leaders in particular with an INTERNATIONAL WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL: "Lawrence Eagleburger, the US Secretary of State told a meeting of the Yugoslavia peace conference that an international war crimes tribunal must be set up to prosecute those deemed guilty of mass atrocities.. His list included President Milosevic, Radovan Karadzich, and General Ratko Mladich. But the co-chairmen of the Geneva Conference on the former Yugoslavia, Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen, made clear that Mr. Eagleburger’s warnings would not affect the standing of Mr. Milosevich, Mr.Karadzich or Gen. Mladich as negotiating partners in the peace talks.’ (Guardian 17 Dec; 1992; p. 1.).     The USA threatened that NATO would take steps to implement this unilaterally without awaiting agreement from Serbia and Croatia. They also threatened direct intervention on 12 February 1993.
    BUT DESPITE THE WISH OF THE US TO BLOCK THE EEC, THE USA WAS FORCED TO TEMPORARILY AGREE TO VANCE-OWEN MARK 1. WHAT CHANGED? "Boris Yeltsin.. Had let it be known that he might be unable to control his people’s pan-Slavic feelings if the West intervened directly agin the Serbs.’ (Observer; 14 February 1993; p. 13).     Thirdly the EC pressure combined with the NATO reluctance to be used by the US combined to force tactical retreat. The process was summarised in an interview with LORD CARRINGTON, former British Tory Foreign Secretary and head of NATO. "For 12 months between 1991 and 1992 Lord Carrington and Jose Cutiliero of Portugal tried on behalf of the European Union to broker a peace. They failed. With American cries of ASell-out!’ echoing ever more insistently.. Christian Tyler said : "Many commentators especially in the US say Europe is secretly on the sides of the Serbia.. "The Balkans are the Balkans, as we know from old Bismarck’s remark’.’ (Financial Times, Weekend; 1.1.95).     More time was needed by which the UN manoeuvres on behalf of EEC imperialism could be exposed as being a Pro-Serb support with the facade of UN "Peacekeeping’. USA pressure kept up to force concessions.
    President Clinton had to ensure the support of the Republicans, who would not sanction troop losses of the USA. By critiquing the EEC and the UN ineffectual stances, the USA gained ground. The Serbs who refused to stop at their 70% of grabbed Bosnian land, aided the USA manoeuvres by their blatant viciousness.
    The USA having now got the Amoral superiority’ forced the EEC to accede. Under this pressure, the Croats and the Bosnians agreed, to form a front against further Serb aggression. The economic blockades were made to bite against Serbia more effectively than before: ‘The Serbs in Krajina and Bosnia were still struggling to cope with the cutoff of aid from the regime of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade. Thanks to the support of the US, Bosnia and Croatia were once again allies, ending the Bosnian army’s crippling struggles with the Croats and opening the way for new arms shipments through Croatia from Iran and elsewhere. US support for ending the arms embargo against Bosnia gave the Bosnians an incentive to demonstrate their improving progress on the battlefield... In October the 5th Corps staged a dramatic breakout from Bihac, driving the Bosnian Serbs from 250 square kilometres of adjacent territory- which it should be noted would have belonged to them under most international peace plans.. Bosnian Haris Silajdzic recently demanded air strikes by NATO against the Serbs and blamed the UN for a pending massacre in Bihac.’ (P.A 19; Globe and Mail; 16.12.94).     Mladic was always a man of Milosevic. But he was forced to fight more by himself rather than with Milosevic and Belgrade’s assistance. But he relied on the manifest spinelessness of the UN, under effectively, EEC commands. Once more, the UN obstructed a concerted move against the Serbs, ensuring Serbs further opportunity: "Ratko Mladic made two audacious decisions: To make up for lost artillery positions on the Grabez plateau, he attacked Bihac.. in open defiance of the UN’s NATO enforced no-fly zone. He broke the UN rule against staging actions from Serb-held areas of Croatia attacking Velika Kladusa with the help of Mr.Abdic’s Muslim army. Having.. failed to anticipate that UN flaccidity would enable General Mladic to make such a pincer moreover, the 5th Corps lost the ground it had just won.. One again general Mladic and the Serbs have won by calling the international community’s bluff. This along with the Mr. Owen’s ill-conceived Abdic gambit constitutes the heart of the outside world’s culpability in the destruction of Bihac.’ (Globe & Mail; 16.12.94). WHO IS THIS GENERAL RATKO MILADIC SERB ARMY COMMANDER?

    Still drawing a pension from the former Yugoslav army, he is a total opportunist and vicious bully:

"As soon as the Serbo-Croat war broke out in 1991, Lt-Col Mladic was transferred appointed corps commander in Knin which would be in the heart of the Serb armed rebellion against Croat independence.. The "loyal’ communist officer who once vowed never to remove the red star from his cap, underwent a transformation, wearing the uniform of the Serbian royalist generals from the first world war.’ (Financial Times; Weekend pages; p.11; Dec 31-Jan 1, 1995). What was at stake in 1994 - early 1995? Only the 70% of Bosnia, that had been seized by Serbs: "We’ll never hand over land for which Serb Blood has been spilled,’he pledged .. Explaining his refusal to meet international demands to roll back current Serb holdings from 70 to 49 % of Bosnia.’ (Financial Times; Dec 31-Jan 1, 1995, p. 11, Weekend FT. A COSY RELATIONSHIP - THE UN AND MLADIC - CASE OF THE YELLOW ROSE

    Contrary to the assertions of the CSC and Popovich, apologists for Serb aggression, the UN has consistently favoured the Serbs and turned a blind eye to their inhumane treatment of Bosnians. The relationship between the UN and Mladic shows only too clearly the entire "cosy relationship’ between a veneer of a peacekeeping force - the UN, and the Serb aggressors. The case of SIR MICHAEL ROSE is revealing.
    Mladic alternately bullied and charmed the only too willingly supine UN Commanders. The much feted Michael Rose, was only feted in Europe and Serbia. On his departure, clearly Mladic thought Rose had done a good job as he gave him a painting:

"One US publication called him the ‘Yellow Rose’. Another condemned him as the reincarnation of Neville Chamberlain. And even Britain’s own Daily Mail called him the ‘hocolate soldier’. .. Certainly no body in Bosnian-held Sarajevo waved goodbye.. ’No one will shed tears or even shake his hand,’ Bosnian Vice-President EJUP GANIC said before his departure... From the Bosnian Serbs however, there was a presentation - by Bosnian Serb Commander Ratko Mladic, who has been named as a war criminal by the US State Department- of a painting depicting the brave and steely eyed Rose protecting a Bosnian Serb peasant’ (Toronto Star; Sunday February 19, C5.)     How did Rose react on the ground? "Only weeks after he arrived in January 1994, he was subjected to a baptism by fire with the infamous Sarajevo market massacre which killed 68 people on Feb 6th.. Rose demanded the Bosnia Serbs withdraw their heavy weapons from around the city or face.. NATO air strikes.. The Bosnian Serbs listened.. Worried they backed off.. But Serb Commander Mladic was fuming. In April.. He launched an all-out offensive on Goradze a UN declared safe area in Eastern reaches of Bosnia.’He (Rose) just didn’t want to believe it was happening and he didn’t get the political support from his masters in the UN’, said Macdonald. ‘He made a dreadful hash of his year,’ British Labour Party MP Callum Macdonald said last week.’I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.’ (Toronto Sunday Star; February 19th, 1995; p.C5.)     Recent revelations that the Dutch commander Lt. Col Ton Karremans, Dutch commander in Srebrenica refused to intervene in the Srbrenica massacres in July 1995 show that the Mladic effect was not confined to one UN commander. There are even pictures of Karremans drinking with Mladic. (New York Times; 8 October 1995; p.4).     Thus there was direct sabotage of USA and NATO attempts.
    In other words, Rose to pacify and mollify the Serbs: "Rose threw in the towel, he never committed himself again and he never confronted the Serbs again’ said Macdonald.     As Rose ruefully commented: "Peacekeepers cannot deliver political solutions.. That is for the political leaders of the country and for the international community. We’ve done our bit.. It is now up to the politicians to take their people back to peace.’ (Toronto Star; Sunday; February 19th).     On the ground Rose was craven towards the blatant Serb provocations. The USA made clear its opinion of him: "General Rose.. Stayed.. Despite a whispering campaign against him in Washington, and endless abuse from Moslem politicians.. The UN has seen hundreds of its men detained by the Bosnian Serbs promoting even the most sympathetic observers to wonder how long the UN mission can last.’ (Financial Times; Weekend pages; p. 1; Dec 31- Jan 1, 1995).     Despite all the delays from the EEC and the UN, the USA continued to insist on concessions to Bosnia: "Bosnian Serbs said they would sign an ambitious cease fire pact today, but the Muslim-led government called in a top UN official to bridge a last-minute difference. The signing ceremony will take place tomorrow.. The agreement for a 4 month cessation of hostilities will be signed by Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and Serb Army commander General Ratko Mladic on one side and by British Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Rose on the other.. The UN commander in Bosnia said after the meeting Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic that it was now up to the Muslim leaders to get the peace process rolling.. ‘The ball is in their court not in ours any more,’ Gen Rose said. The Serb intention to sign the accord follows a statement by the Bosnian Government that UN special envoy Yakushi Akasi was needed to settle some differences... The Serbs sent us a very weak document and we are trying to add language that would strengthen the agreement and make it something more than a cease-fire, which we already have,’ the Bosnian government official said.’The Serbs are trying to go straight from a cease-fire to Geneva for peace talks. We want the UN to help us get a real cessation of hospitalities with demilitarization of Sarajevo, routes in and out of the city and monitoring of orders.’ Globe and Mail, Toronto, Dec 31, 1994.).     The Serbs were reluctant to engage in major negotiation: "The Serbs are believed to favour a simple agreement with few changes from the interim cease-fire already signed. As the dominant military force, the Serbs do not want to surrender any advantages in preliminary talks that might give them leverage in final peace negotiations.’ (Globe and Mail; December 31, 1994. P. A10.)     The USA continued to exert pressure for concessions from Serbs: "For months Britain, France and Russia have urged the United States not to try and redress the arms balance in Bosnia, arguing that to lift the arms embargo on the heavily outgunned country would lead to only more senseless bloodshed.. The immediate casualty of the US decision to stop enforcing the embargo is accord between the Contact Group’s countries that drew up the last summer’s peace plan’. (Sunday Independent 13.12.8).     The entry of Russia complicated the situation further: "In Russia voices raise threats.. Der Speigel .. Reported elements in the Russian military have smuggled 4,000 railway wagons of weapons to the Bosnian Serbs.. 'The short terms danger is that the Europeans will withdraw their peace-keepers; in the long term Washington and Moscow may find themselves fighting a proxy Balkan war. And what of the NATO alliance whose ships excluding now, America’s- blockade the Adriatic and whose planes- including America’s- patrol Bosnian skies?’ (Sunday Independent 13.12.94. P. 15).     The Serbs continued to obstruct a meaningful cease fire. But now they were militarily vulnerable for the first real time. The previous terms of arms blockade, favourable to them, did not any longer apply. The USA ensured the silence of Belgrade, and the NATO strikes were now being felt :     In the 5 member CONTACT GROUP (USA, Germany, Russia, Britain and France) that was set up, the USA pressure finally had to succeed. The power of NATO was used to intimidate the other members of the Contact Group.
    Furthermore, the blatant viciousness of the Serb aggression, had led to public demands for some veneer of resistance. The USA "muscled in’ and would take the fruits of the EEC policy in the former Yugoslavia, becoming itself the beneficiary of a divided Bosnia. Bosnia - partitioned between a slightly lesser, but still Greater Serbia, and a Croat-Muslim part. This was essentially just another version of the Owen-Vance (and later the Owen-Stollenberg) plan. It only differed in that the USA would be the "controller’ with now, another foot in the Mediterranean.
    By May 1995, the USA had decided on its strategy. It would insist upon serious NATO air strikes as a "cheap’ way of enforcing its will. This would free it from committing ground troops, and allow it to take the diplomatic credit for imposing peace. This "peace’ would rest on imperialist re-drawing of the map. It would use the old and tested imperialist method of divide and rule, and would impose a partitioned Bosnia.
    This strategy accorded with the US Senate and the Republicans gave their blessing to the Democrat President Clinton to a jointly agreed USA solution. The Serbs naturally assisted by providing fresh outrages.
    THE FIRST MAJOR NATO BOMBINGS ON MAY 25 AND MAY 26 served to stimulate fresh Serb provocations. They seized UN hostages. This led to even more hesitancy on the UN part. The Bosnian Muslims were forced to drive food convoys over the: "Lethally dangerous Mount Igman route into Sarajevo because the UN blue helmets judged it too risky’. (Financial Times; June 17th; p. 10).     To the continued Serbian intransigence, the USA responded with three tactics: ‘Senior Western military figures acknowledge that the Bosnian army has improved greatly as a fighting force.. And has managed to get its hands on some heavier artillery. Some of the heavy weapons have been captured from the Serbs.. More has been smuggled in by countries sympathetic ... Mr. Mats Berdal (UN expert) sees the latest Bosnian offensive as Aan attempt to get the Serbs to respond in their customary manner’.. Which could stoke demands the USA congress for firmer intervention to "punish the guilty’.’ (Financial Times; June 17th; p. 10).

2. To use further air strikes by NATO:
"The new strategy come from Washington .. To use air power not as a response to Bosnian Serbs attacks but as a softening-up strategy to win concessions at the negotiating table; otherwise known as ‘bomb-and-talk’ or ‘Vietnam revisited.’ (Guardian September 7th; 1995; p.9).

3. They divided Milosevic from the more determined Bosnian Serbs:

"The coup de grace came from Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, who despite repeated promises of assistance, declined to help his ethnic cousins when they most needed it. Having thrown over communism, nationalism, and the dream of a Greater Serbia, Milosevic eventually decided to hang his political future on cooperation with the West.’ (Newsweek; 11 September 1995; p. 12).

‘Observers in Belgrade said the NATO bombardment has shifted the balance of power in Yugoslavia putting pressure on the entire Serb camp and bringing home to Mr.Milosevic and Mr.Karadzic .. Their need for each other.. Mr Karadzic gave Mr. Milosevic the authority to negotiate on his behalf." (Financial Times; Sep 1; 1995; p. 2).

    On August 30 th 1994 further air strikes were launched. Mladic’s response was bellicose, and he threatened the UN GENERAL JANVIER to back down. The French UN commander was willing to do so. But as the Independent commented, the USA and NATO were not: "At first it seemed Gen Mladic had the measure of his man: Gen Janvier.. Recommended an end to the NATO bombing campaign. But he did not count on the fury of .. The US envoy Richard Holbrooke, and Willy Claes Secretary-General of NATO who urged a renewal of the air campaign.. The response.. Mr.Claes announced.. It was ‘not sufficient..The US ambassador to NATO called it ‘garbage’.’ (Independent 4th September; 1995; p.8).     As air strikes by NATO continued in September 1995, the aims of the USA, led by MR. RICHARD HOLBROOKE , THE USA PEACE ENVOY TO BOSNIA, were made clear. As Holbrooke said: "The fundamental negotiating goal is very clear: a single Bosnian state within its current borders, with a Serbian entity within it - a Bosnian Serb entity - and the Muslim-Croat Federation.’ (The Guardian, September 1; p. 1.)     The intent was a partition exactly as had been proposed by imperialism initially: "Bosnia would be split in two. The Serbs would get 49% of the territory; the Croatian-Muslims would get 51%. But the Serbs would also gain a wider land connecting Banja Luka to Serbia proper, as well as access to the sea.’ (Newsweek; 4 September, 1995; p. 11).     The Serbians had previously refused, thinking their now familiar bravado would carry them even further. The USA was saying ‘This and no more’.
    The Croatians were content. As analysts pointed out, the USA saw an opportunity to use the Croats to settle the problem. The US diplomat in Zagreb, Peter Galbraith being very pro-Croatian, a solution was simplest to achieve by using Croatia (Globe and Mail; September 16th; 1995; p. A10). Indeed the map that Franjo Tudjman had drawn on a dinner napkin in May 1995, was the new likely reality. (See Frontispiece p.ii, compare to map 1995 frontiers established by Serbian invasion).
    Their legitimate striving for a multi-ethnic nationhood was once more destroyed. Instead of a secular and democratic state, there will be now a resurgence of religious illusions. The dangers for ALL the working class - whether Bosnian, Serbian or Croatian - of these areas have increased not decreased. Those who supported the violent nationalist outbursts against the principles of Marxism-Leninism have created some very serious problems. As Paul Koring pointed out: "A combination of US air strikes and pragmatic diplomacy may finally force an end to the Bosnian war, but the dependant and predominantly Muslim state that seems likely to emerge bears scant resemblance to the sophisticated multi-ethnic society that was the dream .. After more than 40 months of war, Bosnia has been transformed. Massive ethnic cleansing and forced migrations have created three distinct statelets. Each has its own government, army, police force, educational system, and, increasingly religion.’ (Globe and Mail; September 16, 1995; p. A10).     Again the Bosnians were left to hang on un-delivered imperialist promises: "The Americans are to blame for convincing the Muslim-dominated Bosnian government that they could always get a better deal than previous plans set forth. Now the Muslims may prove to be the most reluctant of the parties.’ (Newsweek; September 4 1995; p.12).

"Yet international actors the US especially also bear another kind of responsibility. By appearing to do more for the Muslim-led Bosnian Government than it actually was, the US government encouraged the Sarajevo to launch an ill-considered and ultimately disastrous military campaign.. Yet after so many past promises of outside help had proved false, how could Bosnian leaders have gambled so much so recklessly on them this time?’ (Globe & Mail; 16.12.94).

    AS THE BOSNIANS WERE ALLOWED A LITTLE MILITARY MOVEMENT, A COMPLEX "SAVE OF FACE’ WAS BEING ALLOWED KARADAZIC: "Right now Radovan Karadazic is being offered a military way out of a conundrum: to sacrifice land militarily that he can’t possibly sacrifice politically,’ said a UN official.’ Sunday Independent 13.12.94. P.15.


    Of course the contradictions continue. The war of trade, and war by proxy will sooner, or later erupt into another inter-imperialist war. This continued resistance to the USA, has been recently manifested in three ways that have some bearing on Bosnia.     The USA continues to use the threat of the War Crimes Tribunal to ensure compliance from a still reluctant EEC: "An international war crimes tribunal the first since World War II is gathering evidence against those who committed atrocities in Bosnia, especially the murders, rapists and torturers who carried out the Serbs genocidal policy of ethnic cleansing against Muslims. The US is to demand prosecution of these criminals and oppose amnesty. Other UN members, among them Britain and France seem to regard the war-cries inquiry as an impediment to peace. Washington firmly contests that view, saying, ‘Unless those responsible, are held accountable, there can be no lasting peace and reconciliation in Bosnia.. To choke off meaningful investigations, Britain, France and other UN members have quietly tried to limit financial support. Of the $28 million for the tribunal less than 2% was originally budgeted for the critical work of tracking down witnesses, obtaining and translating their accounts, exhuming mass graves and conducting post-mortems and providing medical and forensic expertise. The US has contributed an additional $13 million including 2 dozen officials directly to the investigative work and should press the UN to invest most of its money there.’ (New York Times; Editorial page; 4/1/95).     Attempts are being made to exculpate the Serbs, on grounds that ‘All are equally blameworthy’. This is contestable. As the New York Times says: "Responsibility for the crimes is not evenly shared on all sides of the conflict as some UN members suggest. As the Clinton Administration notes, the term "Ethnic cleansing’ was developed precisely to describe the Bosnian Serbs explicit method, backed by Belgrade of creating a ethically ‘pure’Greater Serbia. In contrast the Bosnian Government supports a multi-ethnic state and where there have been violations by its local commanders, it has renounced them. Britain and France also favour lifting UN sanctions against Serbia if peace accord is signed. The US properly opposes any easing of sanctions if Serbia obstructs the war-crimes tribunal. It would be wrong to expunge these atrocities from the record of history.’ (New York Times; Editorial page; 4/1/95).

    2. Destabilising the status of NATO

    As an attempt once more to gain the upper hand by the EEC, secrets of the NATO Secretary-General head WILLIE CLAES were leaked enabling his resignation over charges of corruption, dating back to allegations from the late 1980's. These revolve around bribes to his party in Belgium, in exchange for military contracts (Financial Times; October 16, 1995, p. 2).
    The struggle over NATO of course remains a key issue, especially with the negotiations over the involvement of Russia in the new force to be sent to Bosnia. The Russian involvement has been welcomed by the USA partly in order to restrain the Serbs more easily; partly as part of the overall strategy of ensuring that Russia remains a market for the USA and not for the EEC.
    The USA is not blind to the EEC intent. As USA Secretary of State for Defence Mr. William Perry said: "I believe that US security is inextricably linked with European security, and we know.. That when the USA turns its back on European instability, in the long run it is forced to return at a much greater price.’ (Financial Times October 18th, 1995; p. 6).

3. Raising a Force That Could be independent of NATO and the USA.

    The French atomic nuclear testing in the South Pacific has the clear intent of serving notice. The intention is to continue to raise a separate and independent nuclear force capability, from that of the USA. The French have stated that their findings from the testing will be available to the EEC forces.     At the time of writing, the final agreement is still unclear.
    It is true, that it is the USA who has brokered this cease-fire, and that the USA will succeed in the partition of Bosnia. This is what the imperialists had all wanted from the beginning. However the current cessation of hostilities is a respite from the rapacities of Serbia. An imperialist and partitioned Apeace’ here of course, is only temporary. Inter-imperialist wars will continue to find fertile ground in a bitterly mauled Balkans.     Only this will transcend the narrow nationalism. It was through this narrow nationalism that the working classes of Serbia and Croatia were deluded into launching a war of aggression against Bosnia. By doing this they have unwittingly participated in the shoring up of narrow bourgeois nationalist views in both Serbia and Croatia; but also in Bosnia. There is only one way forward.     To achieve this recognition, a new Marxist-Leninist party free of all revisionist trends is needed urgently in former Yugoslavia.     BOOKS REFERENCES

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