The Serbs who fought against Serbia


General Jovan Divjak

I thought I’d end this blog’s excursion to the Balkans with one of the more hopeful stories to come out of the wars in the nineties.

Discussions of those wars – including my own – tend to refer to these conflicts as though they were all about ethnicity and/or religion. Yet for many people they were about political ideology.

In particular there were a significant group of Serbs who fought in the Bosnian army. At the start of the war as many as 1 in 8 members of the Bosnian army were Serbian. The most famous of these was Jovan Divjak, the General who was deputy commander of Bosnian forces and a key figure in organising the defence of Sarajevo.

In a talk he gave at the Festival of Ideas in Bristol, the journalist Ed Vulliamy described their motivation as ‘republican.’  They rejected the regimes of Milosevic and Karadzic as fascist, and were either liberals or communists who felt a multiethnic Bosnian was the best alternative to a multiethnic Yugoslavia.

Thus even in the worst sectarian conflicts there is the option to rise above it.


3 thoughts on “The Serbs who fought against Serbia

  1. If you draft somebody at gunpoint and say you will shoot their family if you run away you probably won’t run away. The same applies to Moslems in Bosnia. Most of the combat worthy parts of the bosnia & hercegovina national army were Mujahadden flown in from Iran by the USA while US radar operatives upheld the mandatory UN sanctions. To be fair there were a few Bosnian Moslem ex-Nazis like Itzabegovic who were not armchair genociders.

      • Yes and you could have found it and much more had you chosen to look.

        In turn, have you any evidence of any Serbs volunteering for Izetbegovic’s army? Bearing in mind that our Moslem ally was a former Nazi, SS auxiliary, publicly committed to the genocide of all non-Moslems and that he was not the legal president of B&H at the time, Karadzic was, it seems improbable somebody would voluntarily support his own genocide.

        Admitedly the BBC not only censored any mention of Izetbegovic’s but called him a “moderate democrat” but that could only be accepted by somebody who believed the BBC not to be an obscene, wholly corrupt, totalitarian, Nazi propaganda organisation for which no person reaching the level of human decency as those, correctly, hung for Auschwitz, could work.

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