Yugoslavia's Ethnic Tug of War
Thank you for the sensible editorial "U-Turn Needed in Yugoslavia," May 15. It is undisputed that the relationship between the different republics would have to somehow be redefined in some way after Tito's death. The two Serbian republics have called for a tight centrally ruled federation in which they would have even more power. The other republics have all democratically opted for a looser confederation. The Serbian and Montenegrin governments, Marxist and chauvinistically Serbian, have thwarted the other republics' peaceful bids for independence. They have done this through constitutional subversion (the overthrow of Kosovo's and Voivodina's representative governments) and economic chicanery (the boycotting of Slovenia's and later other republics' goods when they refused to send their young men to enforce the police state that Serbia established in Kosovo, the illegal printing of money, and the expropr i
ation of Croatian-owned gas stations). The Serbian and Montenegrin governments have also spread lies and fomented violence and bloodshed directed at the other republics they wish to dominate.
If it is in the interest of the United States and other nations that a civil war in Yugoslavia be prevented, they must push quickly and forcefully to ensure that Serbian hardliners are put in their place.
Josip Martin, Cambridge, Mass.
The contention that "a loose confederation scares ethnic Serbs in Croatia who feel they will be treated unfairly in a new political arrangement" is certainly an example of the communist propaganda of hard-core Marxist Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. The ethnic Serbs in Croatia have formed their own party and have stated their intention of supporting Croatia's sovereignty and territorial integrity regardless of the Yugoslav outcome, and to build their future in Croatia in coexistence.
It is the communist Serbs who fear they will lose their undeserved positions (not their lives). At this time, only communists are enjoying the benefits of superior employment in Yugoslavia in the universities, government, etc. Most Marxist Serbs are not as highly qualified as the democratic Croatians. They are also enjoying the benefits of Croatian homes and not paying a legitimate rental fee. I know a widow in Croatia who is forced to rent her duplex for six dollars a month to communist Serbs when the r
ent for this beautiful duplex would be at least $450 per month! Croatians do not want to harm anyone, they only desire democracy.
The reason "Croatians already suspect, with some reason, that the Army's sympathies tend toward the upstart Serbs" is that the Marxist Serbs control the Yugoslav Army! Democratic Croatians are unarmed against the Communist Serbian tanks and heavy artillery. America must not turn its back on the democratic Croatian people as it has Kosovo and the Baltic States!
Sandra Novak, Post Falls, Ind.