This comment was chosen by Mod KL from the post “Bosnian-Muslim witness confirms that the Markale Massacre was a false flag”.  The moderator believes this comment may raise some very passionate opinions and responses, but believes the comment gives a succinct overview of the Bosnian issue and a brief history of the region.

Comment by Uncle Bob 1


Check out the maps I posted in a reply to Martin. They might help you understand that (especially the one on pre-Ottoman dialects).The history of those peoples is very complicated. So I’ll try to make it as simple as I can.

Just before the Slavic tribes came to the area there had been a huge plague break out. Much of the population had died or fled. Law and order broke down throughout the area. Various Slavic tribes started to move in. Along with them were ones we know as Croats and Serbs. They were all brother Slavs,and mixing was simple and common.The other peoples there fled to the high areas,or to the coastal regions. Those were the last areas (over centuries) to be made Slavic speaking (and thinking).The Northern areas came under the rule of the Roman Catholic Church. While the Southern areas became Orthodox. That didn’t really mean much until the great Schism in the 1000’s broke Christianity in Europe apart. In those days,your religion counted more than language or ethnicity did.And so “basically” those Slavs there (and the newly made Slavs from the older peoples) that became Catholic also became Croats. While those that became Orthodox also became Serbs.

Only in a few mixed areas (especially Bosnia) was that more difficult. It was easy in the border regions to slip from one faith to the other. And it took centuries to harden them into one or the other faiths.Bosnia was the prime example of such a “borderland” back then.Parts of it were ruled at various times by either Orthodox or Catholic rulers.And the churches never really paid much attention to their flocks there. When the Ottomans conquered the region they found it easier there than other places in “Yugoslavia” to make converts to Islam. Bosnians as a whole weren’t attached firmly to one faith or the other. So many of the great Lords (to keep their lands and lives) converted to Islam in larger numbers than elsewhere. While many of the peasants, having no churchmen around anyway. Didn’t see that much of a difference between Christianity and Islam (in those days remember), and also converted more than in other places.While of course most people didn’t convert. The numbers were still huge. Which is why we see so many Muslims in that region today.

During the Ottoman rule and the wars that came with it, many thousands of “Orthodox Slavs” (now considered and considering themselves as Serbs) fled into Bosnia. And even huge numbers into the Croat lands. Many Croats had fled from those areas,or been enslaved and taken to Turkey, or been killed. So the Croatian Lords and their Austrian rulers encouraged the migration of Serbs to those lands.They even promised they could practice their Orthodox faith there if they came. And gave them control of large lands on the border of Ottoman ruled territory as a “soldier militia” land. By the time the wars died down and the Ottomans were driven from the Balkans over 1/4 of Croatia’s population was considered Serbian. Especially those huge borderlands I mentioned. Which were vastly Serb. Today after the monstrous ethnic cleansing of those lands less than 5% of the people are Serb. During much of the early days of nationalism the Croat and Serb elite and upper classes (rightly) considered themselves as one people and wanted to unify together. Later some “ultra nationalists” changed and wanted to divide themselves under the old way of religion, into Croats and Serbs. The problem with that was obvious.

What about the “Muslims” and the huge Serb minorities in the areas the Croats thought of as Croatia. Both groups of Croat and Serb nationalists at that time considered the Muslims as “their people”.They didn’t think how the Muslims viewed themselves mattered much. And both groups considered the Serbs in Croatia as “their people”. The Croats thinking was to convert them,drive them out,or kill them. While the Serbs thinking was they and their lands should be included in Serbia. During WWI the Serbs didn’t take advantage of the chance to unite those areas with Serbia.But instead listed to the “Yugoslav unity” argument. And after being asked by the Croats and Slovenes to unify with them, did so. They messed it up though. By not realizing that “unifying” isn’t the same as being ruled by Serbs. It meant an equal partnership. Which there never was before WW2. Had the Serbs wanted a “Greater Serbia” it would have been better to just annex the Serb populated areas and walked away.But instead they tried the “have your cake and eat it do” idea. And it was a disaster. During WW2 it was a “heyday” for the extreme Croatian nationalist (nazi) Ustase followers. Hitler let them have a state of their own (after he destroyed Yugoslavia). Let them annex Bosnia to that state.And they went into an orgy of blood.Killing,or converting,or forcing to fled,hundreds of thousands of Serbs in that “enlarged Croat state”.They were so horribly cruel as to “shock” the SS. Not a group known for being shocked over cruelty themselves.

The major group in “Yugoslavia” that though of themselves as still one nation were the Communists (remember Communist ideology doesn’t consider national identity as important,class identity comes first.). After a lot of infighting (along with fighting the nazis and fascist Italians),the Communists came to power. And what to do about the “nationalities” problem? Well they picked the worse of all choices. But to be fair,they just copied the USSR policy. And at that time it wasn’t thought it was also a bad choice.Only after the fall of the USSR was it shown “why” it was the wrong choice. Which since Yugoslavia fell first. The Soviets should have seen from that what was coming and prevented it,but they didn’t. After Tito died,the “house that he built” started to show giant cracks. In his days they had avoided making changes to increase unity in the country. And after him it just went from bad to worse.When the “republics” started to breakaway (encouraged greatly by the West) ultra-nationalism “again” came to the front in those countries. And we all know the rest of the story.

The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world