There is a much bigger picture present. Milocevic understands it. Adolph Hitler understood it. It would seem that few other people do.
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The clearest example of this is that of Hitler. Before he started exterminating Jews, there were roughly 10 million Jews in Europe, of a little over 100 million total people. That means that almost 10% of the population of Europe was Jewish. (These are very approximate estimates.) He killed about 6 million, and many other Jews emigrated from Europe for safety and survival.
It is now about two generations later. What is the percentage of the population of Europe that is now Jewish? Well under ONE percent!
Written in 1999
In this same way, Milocevic has already won in Kosovo. As he did in Bosnia. Has everyone forgotten that this conflict has persevered for 650 years already? The arrogant diplomats think that logic (and a lot of money as foreign aid incentives) will solve the situation there. Their goals are very short sighted. Yes, they may get a cease fire for a while. Or, if they fill the country with expensive UN or NATO observers, they may keep hostilities at bay for a few years. But, do they really think that they're smart enough to end 650 years of hatred and war, just by some persuasive words? They are obviously doomed to failure.
Milocevic did the TWO things necessary to guarantee Serbian domination in the region. He methodically slaughtered the men capable of fathering Albanian-Kosovo children in the future. And he is chasing out everyone else and destroying all their artifacts of their society.
In a way, the ethnic Albanians are even cooperating with him in this. Albanian men from all over the world are going back to their homeland to attempt to defend it, against vastly superior forces. This has to be a bonus for him, in even having a chance to kill ethnic Albanian men that he would never have been able to round up otherwise.
At some point, he was bound to lose or give up to the combined NATO forces. Maybe he, personally, will even be captured. In a very costly, drawn-out trial, he will probably be found guilty, and maybe executed. NATO will then try to repatriate the ethnic Albanians into Kosovo, but there will be few men present there. Years from now, when the Kosovar women get pregnant, who will be the fathers? A few pure ethnic Albanian children will result, sure. But, most of the distant future children will be of mixed blood, with a dwindling percentage of pure Kosovar Albanians present there.
Flash forward 50 years. Primarily Serbian descendants will populate Kosovo, with some mixed parentage children and an extremely few ethnic Albanians. The population there, then, will look back at their martyred hero, Milocevic, who arranged to guarantee the Serbs the permanent domination of the area that had been in dispute for 650 years. His memory will certainly be as a worshipped hero.
It's not like this is a new phenomenon. The new part of it is how focused the effort is on achieving the desired goal. And the effectiveness of the weapons used to carry it out. And the absolute attitude of the Serbians actually perpetrating the atrocities that no remorse is appropriate. They certainly believe that they are just exterminating a sub-human infestation of their land.
I ask that you consider North America 250 years ago. Native Indian tribes dominated the continent's population. As Western European peoples prospered on the East Coast, they found the need and desire to expand westward. They continually pushed the native Indians from areas they had occupied for many hundreds of years. They also exterminated a large percentage of the Native American males, since they were the ones who were the warriors who had to try to stand up to the far superior fire power of Gatling guns and high powered rifles. They had no chance. What percentage of North America's population is pure Native American now? Virtually zero, although by long keeping them on reservations, the mixing of their pure native American blood was greatly reduced for a long time. In another 50 years, there may be NO pure Native Americans still alive. Their society will only exist in history books.
That is Milocevic's goal in Kosovo, as it was in Bosnia, and as it will be in his whole area of influence. If he dies in the process of fulfilling this goal, sobeit. Whenever he is killed or executed, he will feel satisfied in knowing that he personally ensured Serbian domination for the upcoming centuries. Could that be defined as anything other than an overwhelming victory?
It is a very different mind-set than we are used to in Western thought. We tend to myopically and selfishly think in terms of the individual, especially if that individual happens to be us! It's very difficult for us to think in terms of losing close friends or dying, just for some vague benefit of the society we live in. This may turn out to be a large flaw in democratic society. We have collectively gotten so intensely focused on the individual that the society has lost some of its strength and cohesiveness as a result.
First Published on the Web: Apr 2, 1999,
C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago