The Struggle in YugoslaviaEditor: Slobodan Milosevic's...


December 27, 1991

The Struggle in Yugoslavia

Editor: Slobodan Milosevic's article, ''It is unacceptable to Annul Yugoslavia,'' (Dec. 11) contained many factual inaccuracies and misinterpretations about the Croatian-Serbian conflict which greatly misrepresent the circumstances surrounding this struggle to your readership.

Firstly, Milosevic is trying to vindicate war in Yugoslavia with the proposal that a Serbian minority in Croatia is endangered. An endangered German minority in Sudeti was the guise that Hitler used to initiate the occupation of Czechoslovakia in World War II. Milosevic forgot to mention the problem of the Albanian ''minority'' in the Serbian region of Kosovo (a ''minority'' of 92 percent of the population in Kosovo, more than 300,000 were imprisoned between 1981-1991. It would be interesting to hear what Milosevic's explanation is for the brutal attack of the federal army on Slovenia where the Serbian minority consists of less than 1 percent of the population. Today, in the parts of Croatia which have been occupied by the federal army, Croatians who did not flee must wear a white armband. This should remind one of the emblems that the Jewish population had to wear during the Holocaust. Why, Mr. Milosevic, is this occurring ?

Second, the bloody conflict didn't begin when Croatian military attacked Serbian villages. The armed fighting began when Serbian insurgents, backed by the Yugoslav army, massacred 12 Croatian policemen in the village of Borovo Selo in May 1991.

Third, Milosevic is using the term ''unilateral declaration of secession by Croatia and Slovenia.'' This is not correct because all Yugoslav republics except Serbia and Montenegro declared secession.

Fourth, Milosevic statements about World War II are completely inaccurate. Serbia did not fight alongside America against Nazis. The fact is that the territory of Serbia during World War II was a puppet state which had Gen. Milian Nedic as president. He reported to Hitler in 1941 that Belgrade was the first Jewish-free city in Europe. The majority of Serbs joined the so called ''chetniks'' who never fought against the Germans but killed hundreds of thousands of Croatians, Slavic Muslims and Jews. In Croatia there was a puppet state, too, but the core of resistance in Yugoslavia was in Croatia. The partisan leader Tito was Croatian and 36 out of 80 partisan brigades in Yugoslavia were Croatian. This is well documented in many histories of World War II, including the Churchill memoirs.

Despite what Milosevic stated, the Serbian minority in Croatia has the same rights as Croats. Milosevic is not concerned with rights, but instead is preoccupied with how to preserve the ruling position of the Communist leadership in Serbia and in the army. Milosevic, the last Communist leader in the last communistic fort, Serbia, faced with the demise of the power, took advantage of the strong ''federal'' army and resorted to war.

Today, thousands of Croatian civilians have been killed, more than half a million Croats are refugees, hundreds of villages and towns have been and are being leveled and the cultural legacy of an ancient civilization is being destroyed, only because Croatians want to utilize their right of self determination.

# Branimir Catipovic.



Editor: A couple of weeks ago I was stopped at a red light in Towson. Next to my car was a young motorcyclist on one of those sleek, high-tech machines that look like they could go 180 miles per hour (and probably do). He was a nice looking young man and, I assumed, a student at Towson State.

I rolled down my window and complimented him on his nice looking bike. He thanked me. This interaction was possible, of course, because this is Maryland, home nf nonexistent helmet laws. Quickly, I blurted out that a helmet had saved my life once, when, at 16 years of age, I was involved in an unavoidable accident where a driver had not seen me. The young motorcyclist told me he usually wore a helmet but occasionally submitted to go without due to a combination of Maryland law and laziness. He smiled and thanked me again.

The light turned green and as he accelerated by me I saw his Virginia tag. Virginia, my home until a few months ago, has strict helmet laws, lucky for me. I know that kid would have a helmet on if he were home.

I continue to cringe when I see motorcyclists without helmets here in Maryland (and this seems to be the rule rather than the exception). I just hope that young man continues to enjoy ''the land of pleasant living.''

Don Vovakes.


No 'Messman' He

Editor: Your Dec. 4 article in reference to assignment of black servicemen in World War II is incorrect in its statement that: "The Navy took blacks only as messmen."

I served in the Navy during World War II and was assigned first to the Naval Training Station at Great Lakes, Ill., where I was an interviewer dealing with incoming black servicemen prior to their PTC assignment into various units of the service, depending upon their training and experience.

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