A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘former yugoslavia

[LINK] “Serb-Croat Enmity Flares as Refugee Crisis Rekindles Anxiety”

leave a comment »

Bloomberg reports on the breakdown in Serbian-Croatian relations over border controls imposed on account of the refugee crisis.

Croatia, an EU member, on Wednesday banned Serb vehicles from entering except those with perishable goods. In retaliation, Serbia blocked imports of Croat products. Croatia also accused Serbia of having directed migrants to its territory since Hungary erected a razor-wire fence to stop the influx. The government in Belgrade rejected the allegation, saying it can’t influence the refugees’ route.

“In order to avoid a further escalation of the new situation Brussels should mediate and civil society organizations in both countries must help,” said Gordana Delic, the director of the Balkan Trust for Democracy. “I believe the situation between Croatia and Serbia has not gone that far yet, that it would be impossible to restore the good neighborly relations”.

Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said his nation “can’t handle such a huge inflow” and urged Serbia to take the “completely reasonable” steps of setting up registration centers and directing some of the refugee toward Hungary.

EU policy chief Federica Mogherini and Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn are in close contact with Zagreb and Belgrade “to try and help them to find a solution together in order to restore trade flows as soon as possible,” Mina Andreeva, a spokeswoman for the 28-nation bloc’s executive, the European Commission, told reporters in Brussels on Thursday. Any trade restrictions must be “proportional, non-discriminatory and limited in time,” she said.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 25, 2015 at 7:38 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that Toronto has been ranked as the most liveable city in the world by the Economist.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about the allure of learning something difficult.
  • Centauri Dreams describes circumbinary planet Kepler-453b.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to an attempt to date the Gliese 504 system, reports on a new definition for planets, and suggests that the abundances of biologically necessary material on planetary surfaces and atmospheres is quite variable.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the latest on the war in the Donbas.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas is trying to crowdfund the last four courses he needs for his doctoral degree.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that it has moved to www.joemygod.com.
  • Language Hat considers the third wave of Russian emigration to the United States.
  • Language Log displays a decorative Japanese dialogue written in romaji, Roman script.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes who Tea Partiers think should benefit from bankruptcy.
  • Marginal Revolution notes Singapore spends little on education as a proportion of its GDP, a consequence of its very low birth rate.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that Uber does work better than traditional taxis in the outer boroughs of New York City.
  • Strange Maps considers fire maps of old.
  • Torontoist looks at the story of Toronto’s first parks commissioner, John Chambers.
  • Towleroad quotes George Takei’s explanation why Star Trek did not feature gay characters and looks at a Swiss Catholic bishop facing jail time for inciting anti-gay violence.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy considers if the lessons of ancient Greek democracy are relevant for us post-moderns.
  • Window on Eurasia notes divisions on the Russian left over Crimea, suggests China is benefitting from Russia’s new dependence, notes that the United States did not recognize the Donbas in the Cold War, and quotes a Ukrainian writer who suggests that the Serb republics in the former Yugoslavia show the likely future of the Donbas states.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly considers what it takes to be a credible journalist.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the study of planets orbiting brown dwarfs.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper considering if Sedna was captured from another star.
  • The Dragon’s Tales wonders if orbital probes can detect volcanism on Venus.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ Alex Harrowell points out that the wealthier Africa becomes the larger a source of migrants it will be.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money uses Magic Mike to study the repression of female desire.
  • Marginal Revolution reports a study of Scandinavia.
  • pollotenchegg maps economic growth over 2004-2014. The east did worse–the Donbas much worse–than the west.
  • Spacing Toronto looks at abandoned rail lines and hidden streets in Toronto.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at problems in Dagestan, suggests Russian fondness for Soviet symbols without beign aware of Soviet ideology will be a problem, and suggests that the Krajina will be a model for the Donbas republics.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Centauri Dreams notes how the New Horizons probe is maneuvering into mapping orbits of Ceres.
  • Crooked Timber examines the decline of inter-generational mobility and class mobility.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze reports on Jupiter analog HIP 11915b.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes Russian claims in the Arctic and links to a comparison of Chinese and American statements on perceived threats.
  • Language Hat reports on a project hoping to map the diffusion of ideas over time.
  • Language Log reports on the use of the term “mother” in comparative linguistics.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the fragility of Greek foreign trade and examines economic dysfunction in Greece and the former Yugoslavia.
  • Registan links to a report of an exile from Kyrgyzstan in Ukraine.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how the Russian state has not found Western partners willing to partition Ukraine, unlike Stalin’s Soviet Union re: Nazi Germany.

[LINK] “Reporting Srebrenica: Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil”

Transitions Online hosts an article by one Antonela Riha looking at how the Serbian mass media chose not to cover the massacres following the fall of Srebrenica, and why.

[B]y merely browsing the most influential dailies and weeklies, such as Politika, Vecernje Novosti, Politika Ekspres, Nasa Borba, NIN, Vreme, Duga, and Intervju, as well as news programs (Dnevnik) produced by TV Belgrade, it becomes clear that the majority of media in Serbia did not pose any questions or investigate the events in the war regions. For them, Srebrenica was merely another episode of the war in which victims were taken for granted and were no longer counted.

Serbian public broadcaster RTS took literally what Milosevic said about being interested only in achieving a “just peace” and having nothing to do with the Serbs across the Drina River. The most popular TV show of the most powerful media house, TV Belgrade Evening News at 7:30 (Dnevnik), did not include a single video from Srebrenica or any other war zone until 30 July.

On 11 July 11, TV Belgrade commenced its news program with a report on the visit of Prime Minister Mirko Marjanovic to some harvesters. It was only on the following day that TV Belgrade viewers would learn that something was going on some 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Serbian border: in the 11th minute of the news they could hear Yasushi Akashi, special UN envoy to Bosnia and Herzegovina, saying the UN was not going to intervene in Srebrenica, and UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali saying UN peacekeepers were not going to retreat from Bosnia.

For days, several minute-long packages were broadcast in the middle of the news, with international officials announcing various peace solutions and a conference of the major outside powers leading the negotiations, with images of EU envoy Carl Bildt, Akashi, and another UN envoy, Thorvald Stoltenberg, sharing the settee with Milosevic. There were no sound bites from any of the players, with only statements being read to viewers.

Nor was there a single statement from or footage of a Bosnian Serb official, either soldier or civilian. The only frame showing Srebrenica that was broadcast during those 20 days was a video playing in the background of a TV comment by Tatjana Lenard on 23 July that featured the landscape of the town and UN vehicles, which could have been filmed at any time.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 24, 2015 at 9:50 pm

[LINK] “Serbia’s choice: EU membership or eastern promises?”

Srdja Pavlović’s March Open Democracy essay looks at the continuing internal conflicts in Serbia over the country’s orientation.

In an interview for CNN in August 2014, the Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, reiterated that his country “supports and respects the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and Crimea as a part of Ukraine.” He added that at the same time, however, Serbia “did not” impose sanctions against Russia. The Serbian political elite, however, has quickly learned that the time of non-alignment and neutrality belongs to yester-years. Serbia has been reminded time and again by its Western partners of the need to make a choice, and of the fact that the New Cold War reality demands unwavering loyalty. It is also worth noting that Serbia became a member of the Partnership for Peace at the 2006 NATO Summit in Riga.

On the other hand, the government in Moscow is sending a clear message that it does not look benevolently upon Serbia’s EU aspirations. In an interview for the Serbian State Television, the Russian General Leonid Ivashov stated that Serbia in the EU and NATO would be “a catastrophe”. It is reasonable to assume that the pressure from Moscow would only increase over time.

Within the ruling party there seem to be dissonant voices on the issue of choosing between EU and Russia. The President of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolić, disagrees with the prime minister about their country’s EU and NATO integration, and favours stronger ties with Russia. Nikolić’s attempt to maintain close relations with Moscow is informed by his understanding of history and the political usability of the memory of the recent confrontation with NATO, as well as the ideology of nationalism to which he wholeheartedly subscribes. He is supported in that by the entire right-wing political block that currently commands the loyalty of a sizable portion of the electorate. President Nikolić is also aided in its pro-Russian stance by the high ranking clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Some analysts, however, interpret his dissent as a tactical maneuver that portrays Prime Minister Vučić as a reform-oriented centrist determined to see Serbia become a part of the EU, and as a politician who is facing stiff opposition. The prime minister, long known as a hot-bloodied nationalist, indeed appears eager to project the image of himself as Serbia’s last chance for salvation and a victim of historical circumstances. Vučić believing in his messianic role notwithstanding, the reality is that criticisms of his policies are few and far between. His standing as the most popular politician in Serbia was built on the perception of his determined fight against deeply rooted corruption even though the results of such struggle are yet to manifest themselves in earnest. Many in Serbia say that Aleksandar Vučić had promised a lot but delivered precious little.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Centauri Dreams explores Pluto and its worlds.
  • Crooked Timber considers the question of how to organize vast quantities of data.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to two papers on exoplanet habitability, noting that the composition of exoplanets influences their habitability and suggests exomoons need to be relatively massive to be habitable.
  • Geocurrents notes the inequalities of Chile.
  • Joe. My. God. notes an article about New York City gay nightclub The Saint.
  • Language Hat links to a site on American English.
  • Language Log suggests that the Cantonese language is being squeezed out of education in Hong Kong.
  • Languages of the World notes a free online course on language revival.
  • Peter Watts of No Moods, Ads, or Cutesy Fucking Icons examines the flaws of a paper on a proto-Borg collective of rats.
  • Spacing Toronto looks at the Toronto connection to a notorious late 19th century American serial killer.
  • Towleroad notes a study suggesting that people with undetectable levels of HIV can’t transmit the virus.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the issues of compliance with lawful orders.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi likes the ASIS Chromebook flip.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the connection between the wars of Yugoslavia and eastern Ukraine, looks at Buryat-Cossack conflict, and notes disabled Russian veterans of the Ukrainian war.

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 470 other followers