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It is impossible for a society
to engage in genocide unless the population is won to racism because racism
is not inborn, not natural. For racism to take root, the culture and the
political leadership have to support racism in deeds -- and also in words.
We are told this has happened
in Serbia. We are told that Slobodan Milosevich and other Serbian leaders
have indoctrinated the Serbian people in hatred for non-Serbs, especially
ethnic Albanians in Kosovo province. We are told that Milosevich launched
this racist campaign in a speech at Kosovo Field in 1989.
charge against Milosevich - that he preaches race hate - is significant
because it supports the charge against the Serbian people - that they have
been won to racism and therefore practice genocide. Because many
Americans believe these charges they are disposed to believe there must
be some truth to the avalanche of pro-war propaganda demonizing the Serbs.
is important to know exactly what Milosevich said in his speech at Kosovo
Field. Yet nowhere do any of those who attack Milosevich's speech quote
his words. Why not?
Greg Ehlich, a political analyst/investigator,
has unearthed a U.S. government transcript of the Kosovo Field speech.
Please read it and ask: is it a racist diatribe, reminiscent of Hitler?
Or is it something quite different, something really quite different indeed?
Speech by Slobodan Milosevic
Kosovo, 28 June, 1989
It was delivered to 1 million people
at the central celebration marking the 600th anniversary of the Battle
of Kosovo, held at Gazimestan on 28 June, 1989
Compiled by the National Technical
Information Service of the Department of Commerce of the U.S.
By the force of social circumstances
this great 600th anniversary of the
Battle of Kosovo is taking place in a year in which Serbia, after many
years, after many decades, has regained its state, national, and spiritual
integrity. Therefore, it is not difficult for us to answer today the old
question: how are we going to face Milos [Milos Obilic, legendary hero
of the Battle of Kosovo]. Through the play of history and life, it seems
as if Serbia has, precisely in this year, in 1989, regained its state and
its dignity and thus has celebrated an event of the distant past which
has a great historical and symbolic significance for its future.
Serbian Character -- Liberational
Today, it is difficult to
say what is the historical truth about the Battle of Kosovo and what is
legend. Today this is no longer important. Oppressed by pain and filled
with hope, the people used to remember and to forget, as, after all, all
people in the world do, and it was ashamed of treachery and glorified heroism.
Therefore it is difficult to say today whether the Battle of Kosovo was
a defeat or a victory for the Serbian people, whether thanks to it we fell
into slavery or we survived in this slavery. The answers to those questions
will be constantly sought by science and the people. What has been certain
through all the centuries until our time today is that disharmony struck
Kosovo 600 years ago. If we lost the battle, then this was not only the
result of social superiority and the armed advantage of the Ottoman Empire
but also of the tragic disunity in the leadership of the Serbian state
at that time. In that distant 1389, the Ottoman Empire was not only stronger
than that of the Serbs but it was also more fortunate than the Serbian
The lack of unity and betrayal
in Kosovo will continue to follow the Serbian people like an evil fate
through the whole of its history. Even in the last war [WWII], this lack
of unity and betrayal led the Serbian people and Serbia into agony, the
consequences of which in the historical and moral sense exceeded fascist
Even later, when a socialist
Yugoslavia was set up, in this new state the Serbian leadership remained
divided, prone to compromise to the detriment of its own people. The concessions
that many Serbian leaders made at the expense of their people could not
be accepted historically and ethically by any nation in the world, especially
because the Serbs have never in the whole of their history conquered and
exploited others. Their national and historical being has been liberational
throughout the whole of history and through two world wars, as it is today.
They liberated themselves and when they could they also helped others to
liberate themselves. The fact that in this region they are a major nation
is not a Serbian sin or shame; this is an advantage which they have not
used against others, but I must say that here, in this big, legendary field
of Kosovo, the Serbs have not used the advantage of being great for their
own benefit either.
Thanks to their leaders and
politicians and their vassal mentality they felt guilty before themselves
and others. This situation lasted for decades, it lasted for years and
here we are now at the field of Kosovo to say that this is no longer the
Unity Will Make Prosperity
Disunity among Serb officials
made Serbia lag behind and their inferiority humiliated Serbia. Therefore,
no place in Serbia is better suited for saying this than the field of Kosovo
and no place in Serbia is better suited than the field of Kosovo for saying
that unity in Serbia will bring prosperity to the Serbian people in Serbia
and each one of its citizens, irrespective of his national or religious
Serbia of today is united
and equal to other republics and prepared to do everything to improve its
financial and social position and that of all its citizens. If there is
unity, cooperation, and seriousness, it will succeed in doing so. This
is why the optimism that is now present in Serbia to a considerable extent
regarding the future days is realistic, also because it is based on freedom,
which makes it possible for all people to express their positive, creative
and humane abilities aimed at furthering social and personal life.
Serbia has never had only
Serbs living in it. Today, more than in the past, members of other peoples
and nationalities also live in it. This is not a disadvantage for Serbia.
I am truly convinced that it is its advantage. National composition of
almost all countries in the world today, particularly developed ones, has
also been changing in this direction. Citizens of different nationalities,
religions, and races have been living together more and more frequently
and more and more successfully.
Socialism in particular, being
a progressive and just democratic society, should not allow people to be
divided in the national and religious respect. The only differences one
can and should allow in socialism are between hard working people and idlers
and between honest people and dishonest people. Therefore, all people in
Serbia who live from their own work, honestly, respecting other people
and other nations, are in their own republic.
Dramatic National Divisions
After all, our entire country
[of Yugoslavia] should be set up on the basis of such principles. Yugoslavia
is a multinational community and it can survive only under the conditions
of full equality for all nations that live in it.
The crisis that hit Yugoslavia
has brought about national divisions, but also social, cultural, religious
and many other less important ones. Among all these divisions, nationalist
ones have shown themselves to be the most dramatic. Resolving them will
make it easier to remove other divisions and mitigate the consequences
they have created.
For as long as multinational
communities have existed, their weak point has always been the relations
between different nations. The threat is that the question of one nation
being endangered by the others can be posed one day -- and this can then
start a wave of suspicions, accusations, and intolerance, a wave that invariably
grows and is difficult to stop. This threat has been hanging like a sword
over our heads all the time. Internal and external enemies of multi-national
communities are aware of this and therefore they organize their activity
against multinational societies mostly by fomenting national conflicts.
At this moment, we in Yugoslavia are behaving as if we have never had such
an experience and as if in our recent and distant past we have never experienced
the worst tragedy of national conflicts that a society can experience and
Equal and harmonious relations
among Yugoslav peoples are a necessary condition for the existence of Yugoslavia
and for it to find its way out of the crisis and, in particular, they are
a necessary condition for its economic and social prosperity. In this respect
Yugoslavia does not stand out from the social milieu of the contemporary,
particularly the developed, world. This world is more and more marked by
national tolerance, national cooperation, and even national equality. The
modern economic and technological, as well as political and cultural development,
has guided various peoples toward each other, has made them interdependent
and increasingly has made them equal toward each other [medjusobno ravnopravni].
Equal and united people can above all become a part of the civilization
toward which mankind is moving. If we cannot be at the head of the column
leading to such a civilization, there is certainly no need for us to be
at is tail.
At the time when this famous
historical battle was fought in Kosovo, the people were looking at the
stars, expecting aid from them. Now, 6 centuries later, they are looking
at the stars again, waiting to conquer them. On the first occasion, they
could allow themselves to be disunited and to have hatred and treason because
they lived in smaller, weakly interlinked worlds. Now, as people on this
planet, they cannot conquer even their own planet if they are not united,
let alone other planets, unless they live in mutual harmony and solidarity.
Therefore, words devoted to
unity, solidarity, and cooperation among people have no greater significance
anywhere on the soil of our motherland than they have here in the field
of Kosovo, which is a symbol of disunity and treason.
In the memory of the Serbian
people, this disunity was decisive in causing the loss of the battle and
in bringing about the fate which Serbia suffered for a full 6 centuries.
Even if it were not so, from
a historical point of view, it remains certain that the people regarded
disunity as its greatest disaster. Therefore it is the obligation of the
people to remove disunity, so that they may protect themselves from defeats,
failures, and stagnation in the future.
Unity brings Back Dignity
This year, the Serbian people
became aware of the necessity of their mutual harmony as the indispensable
condition for their present life and further development.
I am convinced that this awareness
of harmony and unity will make it possible for Serbia not only to function
as a state but to function as a successful state. Therefore I think that
it makes sense to say this here in Kosovo, where that disunity once upon
a time tragically pushed back Serbia for centuries and endangered it, and
where renewed unity may advance it and may return dignity to it. Such an
awareness about mutual relations constitutes an elementary necessity for
Yugoslavia, too, for its fate is in the joined hands of all its peoples.
The Kosovo heroism has been
inspiring our creativity for 6 centuries, and has been feeding our pride
and does not allow us to forget that at one time we were an army great,
brave, and proud, one of the few that remained undefeated when losing.
Six centuries later, now,
we are being again engaged in battles and are facing battles. They are
not armed battles, although such things cannot be excluded yet. However,
regardless of what kind of battles they are, they cannot be won without
resolve, bravery, and sacrifice, without the noble qualities that were
present here in the field of Kosovo in the days past. Our chief battle
now concerns implementing the economic, political, cultural, and general
social prosperity, finding a quicker and more successful approach to a
civilization in which people will live in the 21st century. For this battle,
we certainly need heroism, of course of a somewhat different kind, but
that courage without which nothing serious and great can be achieved remains
unchanged and remains urgently necessary.
Six centuries ago, Serbia
heroically defended itself in the field of Kosovo, but it also defended
Europe. Serbia was at that time the bastion that defended the European
culture, religion, and European society in general. Therefore today it
appears not only unjust but even unhistorical and completely absurd to
talk about Serbia's belonging to Europe. Serbia has been a part of Europe
incessantly, now just as much as it was in the past, of course, in its
own way, but in a way that in the historical sense never deprived it of
dignity. In this spirit we now endeavor to build a society, rich and democratic,
and thus to contribute to the prosperity of this beautiful country, this
unjustly suffering country, but also to contribute to the efforts of all
the progressive people of our age that they make for a better and happier
Let the memory of Kosovo heroism
Long live Serbia!
Long live Yugoslavia!
Long live peace and brotherhood among peoples!
This speech came at the culmination
of a struggle in which millions of Serbs, Gypsies, Hungarians, Jews, Turks
and other ethnic groups opposed the racist policies of the secessionist
movement among Kosovo Albanians. For years the fascistic secessionists
had dominated Kosovo; their persecution of other ethnic groups, especially
Serbs and Romas ("Gypsies") is well documented; so is the multi-ethnic
character of the mass movement against that persecution.
What is so amazing about Milosevich's
speech is he does not use the occasion of addressing a MILLION people in
Kosovo to advance a narrow ethnic agenda. He does not at any point attack
ethnic Albanians. Instead he calls for reconciliation and mutual respect,
citing the presence of different ethnic groups as Serbia's strength. Of
course the speech does celebrate the existence of Serbia as a nation. But
don't ALL national leaders celebrate the existence of their nations? The
important point is he celebrates it as a multi-ethnic entity and that he
never calls for attacks on non-Serbian territory. Indeed, his point about
the Kosovo Field battle of 1389 is that the Serbian army was morally superior
and therefore victorious even in defeat, a rather sophisticated if melancholy
viewpoint definitely over the head of the one-time Rhodes Scholar who is
now Hustler-in-Chief of our own poor (though all-powerful) country.
By the way, if you know someone
you'd like me to add to the list of people to whom I send documents and
analyses please send the email address to JaredI@aol.com. Thanks.
PS Below is a
letter I just sent the Independent, a British paper:
In his May 3 letter Stuart
Russell presents NATO's claims of massive Serbian atrocities as proven
and asserts government complicity because "We have yet to hear any
mention of Milosevic condemning, or even distancing himself from the atrocities."
Milosevich told UPI on April
30th: "We are not angels. Nor are we the devils you have made us out
to be. Our regular forces are highly disciplined. The paramilitary irregular
forces are a different story. Bad things happened... We have arrested those
irregular self-appointed leaders. Some have already been tried and sentenced
to 20 years in prison."
Proving innocence is harder
than charging guilt. But consider: NATO and the media have been exposed
over 50 times lying and fabricating evidence (E.g., Jamie Rubin said on
3/30 that Pristina Stadium was being used to intern tens of thousands;
but when Agence France Presse reported the stadium had been unused in weeks,
Rubin simply denied having made the charge; NATO presented a tape of a
pilot bombing a refugee caravan only later to explain it was AN EXAMPLE
of such a tape (?!), Agence France Presse reported (4/24) an Amsterdam
reconnaissance expert's finding that NATO had doctored "mass grave"
pictures, etc., etc.) If the prosecution is caught systematically lying
and creating evidence, shouldn't it be the one on trial?
[ Professor Francisco Gil-White:
"Media misrepresentation of Milosevic's words" ]
attack on Yugoslavia ]
The truth belongs
to us all.
free to download, copy and redistribute.
Placed on srpska-mreza.com: April 20, 1999