Montenegro Weighs Independence - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-20-2006, 03:02 PM   #1
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 8,876
Local Time: 11:31 PM
Montenegro Weighs Independence

May 18, 2006
Prepared by: Lee Hudson Teslik


Montenegro has set a May 21 referendum on final independence from Serbia. Opinion surveys show a majority intending to vote for separation, but independence is no sure thing. Under EU-brokered regulations, a 55 percent majority will be needed to move ahead with secession, and polls show the pro-separatists' margin in a “gray zone,” between 50 and 55 percent (Serbianna). Milo Djukanovic, Montenegro's pro-independence prime minister, has said that he will move ahead toward secession even with just a simple majority. The possible outcomes of this scenario are analyzed in this new CFR Background Q&A.

Should the vote succeed, however, tiny Montenegro, often overlooked in a tumultuous neighborhood, could open a final phase in the crumbling of the former Yugoslavia. All that remains of the federation is a two-country union, officially named "Serbia and Montenegro," which encompasses Kosovo, the ethnic Albanian-dominated province that is also seeking national sovereignty. A number of experts now predict a Kosovar solution in the near future, though most do not believe Montenegro's elections will have much of an effect on that process. A December 2005 report by the International Crisis Group emphasizes that the results of Montenegro's referendum should have no bearing on Kosovo's campaign for independence. Serbs, at least, seem markedly pessimistic about their prospects of retaining control, particularly in Montenegro; in a recent survey by the Balkan news agency DTT-net, 56 percent say they believe Montenegro would gain independence.

The position of the European Union remains unclear. It was the EU, after all, that negotiated the 55 percent target for the referendum (EU Observer), when a simple majority would have almost guaranteed the vote's success. Some experts say the EU may have set the bar high because it didn't want to see the referendum pass (the rationale being that independence—or, at least, independence now—would create instability in the Balkans). But experts say it's more likely the EU set a high target to stave off the threat of boycott by Montenegro's large ethnic Serb minority. The United States, for its part, has remained more or less mum on the issue; this 2005 Special Report by CFR Senior Fellow William Nash argues for a more active approach.

Another question is whether an independent Montenegro would stand a better chance of admittance into the EU. Many Montenegrins consider themselves handcuffed to a country which has burned its European bridges (Deutsche Welle) by failing to arrest and hand over a number of war criminals, including Ratko Mladic. Separatists argue that independence would "dramatically increase" Montenegro's chances of admittance (RFE/RL). As this analysis from England's Daily Telegraph points out, the recent spat over Mladic has almost certainly strengthened the hand of Montenegro's pro-separation forces.

Montenegro was last independent in 1918 under King Nikola


http://www.cfr.org/publication/10716...ependence.html
__________________

__________________
STING2 is offline  
Old 05-20-2006, 03:43 PM   #2
Blue Crack Addict
 
verte76's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: hoping for changes
Posts: 23,331
Local Time: 11:31 PM
I'll be happy if Montenegro votes to separate from Serbia. Yugoslavia was nothing but a bunch of different Slavic countries forged together by a dictatorship. The dictator is gone, let the countries go their separate ways.
__________________

__________________
verte76 is offline  
Old 05-20-2006, 05:19 PM   #3
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 8,876
Local Time: 11:31 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
I'll be happy if Montenegro votes to separate from Serbia. Yugoslavia was nothing but a bunch of different Slavic countries forged together by a dictatorship. The dictator is gone, let the countries go their separate ways.
Many say this will not have any impact on potential independence for Kosovo, but I'm not so sure about that. I think it might be inevitable that some time in the future, Kosovo will become an independent state.
__________________
STING2 is offline  
Old 05-20-2006, 07:39 PM   #4
Blue Crack Addict
 
verte76's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: hoping for changes
Posts: 23,331
Local Time: 11:31 PM
Personally I'd be happy to see Kosovo as an independent state.
__________________
verte76 is offline  
Old 05-20-2006, 07:50 PM   #5
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 06:31 PM
Take a look at the former Yugoslavia, because it's the future of Iraq, sooner or later.

I'll understand if Montenegro votes to break away, because it's population is dwarfed by the Serbian population. It can really never be an equal partnership.

Melon
__________________
melon is offline  
Old 05-20-2006, 07:59 PM   #6
Blue Crack Addict
 
deep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: A far distance down.
Posts: 28,501
Local Time: 03:31 PM
melon, beat me to it

Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
Yugoslavia was nothing but a bunch of different Slavic countries forged together by a dictatorship. The dictator is gone, let the countries go their separate ways.
any similarities to Iraq?
__________________
deep is offline  
Old 05-20-2006, 10:05 PM   #7
Refugee
 
ImOuttaControl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Duluth, MN
Posts: 1,340
Local Time: 05:31 PM
My geography students aren't gonna like hearing this They have a damned hard time remembering the former Yugoslavia countries (I tell them it's because they're being lazy and not studying hard enough)
__________________
ImOuttaControl is offline  
Old 05-21-2006, 12:15 AM   #8
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 8,876
Local Time: 11:31 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Take a look at the former Yugoslavia, because it's the future of Iraq, sooner or later.

I'll understand if Montenegro votes to break away, because it's population is dwarfed by the Serbian population. It can really never be an equal partnership.

Melon
Take a look at Bosnia where the vast majority of the fighting and sectarian violence took place. Bosnia is still a country today with three different ethnic groups. Despite everything that happened in the early 1990s, with nearly 10% of the population being massacred in 4 years, the country is still together and has a standard of living better than China. If Bosnia can succeed as a state, Iraq will succeed as well.

As for the other states of the former Yugoslavia where fighting and sectarian violence were at a minimum(the exception being Kosovo and perhaps Croatia in 1991 and 1995), they will all eventually be members of the European Union as well as members of NATO. Slovenia has already made this step. The divisions of the 1990s will eventually became meaningless.
__________________
STING2 is offline  
Old 05-21-2006, 12:27 AM   #9
Blue Crack Addict
 
anitram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 16,296
Local Time: 06:31 PM
Bosnia is full of jihadists. Maybe if people were paying some attention, they'd start shitting their pants over what's going on over there. You've got hundreds of fundamentalists from Yemen, Saudi and so on infiltrating there. Everyone in the region knows it and nobody is doing anything about it.

And Bosnia is not a successful state, it exists essentially in a 2 state paradigm and the ethnic groups don't mix.

Eventually Bosnia will split up as well, it's just a matter of time.
__________________
anitram is offline  
Old 05-21-2006, 01:06 AM   #10
Refugee
 
4U2Play's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,791
Local Time: 04:31 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
The divisions of the 1990s will eventually became meaningless.
This is a very good point.

I think it's ironic that these tiny Balkan groups all want their own little countries so they can get away from their bloodthirsty neighbors, but then all of them want to join the EU so they can all become united under one currency, one foreign policy, one economic policy, etc.

It's perfectly understandable, given their hatred of each other there, suppressed by 45 years of Communist totalitarianism, but it's amazingly short-sighted and impractical.

Just ask Slovakia if splitting from Czech was such a great move.

Montenegran independence is a romantic notion, but foolhardy in the larger scheme of things.

As for Iraq: Everything I have read, and every Iraqi here in California that I have spoken to about this say that Iraq will never split up because Iraqis are far too nationalistic, despite what al-Queda and Iran and Kurdish nationalists are trying to foment.

The current blood-letting is simply revenge attacks by Shia militia groups against Sunnis for the years of terrorism the Sunnis perpetrated on the Shia civilian population with little or no resistance. These killings will probably continue for many years, to one degree or another (like in Sri Lanka, Colombia, Palestine, and many other nations in Africa), but I don't predict that it will eventually cause Iraq to break apart.

In fact, current trends suggest that Iraq is solidifying, based on newly forged goverment agreements on power-sharing, though this could always unravel down the road, naturally.

A fractured Iraq is in nobody's interest, except for maybe the Kurds, but even they would be better suited to remain as the autonomous region they have been over the past 15 years, simply because an independent Kurdish nation would instantly have three very hostile neighbors on its borders (Iraq, Turkey and Iran), and few allies willing to protect them if push came to shove (remember how long it took the Europeans to finally get around to asking the Americans to please intervene in the killing fields next door in Bosnia and Kosovo).

Geopolitics are ever-changing, but at the moment, a unified Iraq still seems like something that all the major players want to maintain.
__________________
4U2Play is offline  
Old 05-21-2006, 01:12 AM   #11
Blue Crack Addict
 
anitram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 16,296
Local Time: 06:31 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by 4U2Play

I think it's ironic that these tiny Balkan groups all want their own little countries so they can get away from their bloodthirsty neighbors, but then all of them want to join the EU so they can all become united under one currency, one foreign policy, one economic policy, etc.

That's just such a naive, simplistic view of the situation there.

First of all, there is really no future for a country within greater European borders without the context of the EU, so joining the EU is an inevitability.

Second, the drive towards independence began before the neighbours got "bloodthirsty" and it isn't simply because of ethnic strife but economic inequalities between the republics for the 50 years prior (ie. the 'western' republics which were wealthy and bringing in most of the foreign currency through diaspora investment and EC tourism had no benefits from it since Belgrade was siphoning all the funds for themselves). It only became bloodthirsty after Slovenia and Croatia declared their intent to leave the federation.

It's convenient to sit there and just say, these people hated each other all along, but the answers are always much more complicated than that.

As for Montenegro, they should have left SCG a long time ago. They did get off very easily in the strife by looking like a neutral third party, but let us ask ourselves where the Serbs bombed Dubrovnik from and it becomes clear that while the Serbs got all the blame for it (righfully so), they had a very willing and able partner assisting them in these crimes.
__________________
anitram is offline  
Old 05-21-2006, 02:16 AM   #12
Refugee
 
4U2Play's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,791
Local Time: 04:31 PM
antiram,

Your passion is noted, but most of your points are invalid.

Firstly, the word "bloodthirsty" can be either taken literally or euphemistically. "Bloodthirsty" can mean people that like to kill, and it can mean those that are predatory or thieving, ie "bloodthirsty lawyers". You used both definitions to make your points, but failed to recognize or consider my intent in its usage.

Please learn to read things in context and realize that certain words have more than one meaning.


1. Joining the EU is not inevitable. Switzerland and Norway aren't members, but their economies seem to be doing just fine.

Furthermore, the UK is not all in, and recent votes in France and Holland against an EU constitution does not portend a positive outlook for a united Europe at the moment. However, we do agree that all these new little nation states are desperate to join the EU (for the reasons you stated), which makes their wars and votes for independence nothing more than exercises in romantic nationalism.

Also, how do you explain Slovakia's peaceful split from the now Czech Republic? Granted, Klaus and the others put Meciar in a box with their either/or proposition, but even after everyone told the Slovaks it would be an economic disaster for them, they did it anyway, and now look where they are, especially compared to the C.R.

Economic independence is not the main reason for these national independence movements. Ask any Kurd, Palestinian, Tamil or Kashmiri.

Yes, Belgrade treated the rest of Yugoslavia unfairly (kind of like how California gets ripped off by Washington), but to believe that "economic inequalities" drove the independence movements shows a basic lack of knowledge about the peoples and cultures that exist there.


2. Please read a history book about the Balkans. Even recent ones about Croatian behavior during WW2, or Muslim (Ottoman Turkish) behavior for hundreds of years leading up to WW1. An excellent one to start with is "Balkan Ghosts" by Robert D. Kaplan, the great Atlantic magazine writer.

You will soon discover that the Balkan region has a very long history of ethnic and religious hatreds dating back centuries, with each group living in fear of the next group, and each group demonizing the other. This cannot be ignored when examining the reasons why the Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croats, Kosovar Albanians, Slovenians and Slovaks sought independence as soon as the Communist yoke began to crumble.

The neighbors there have been "bloodthirsty" for hundreds of years, not only just since 1991, after the declarations of independence were unilaterally recognized by Genscher, with great loss of life as a result.

The independence movements were the direct result of aggressive Serb nationalism, not Belgrade economic decisions.

Serbia's neighbors got scared when Milosevic started preaching about a "Greater Serbia". Economic considerations might have played some part in these various decisions to declare independence, but I would argue that desire for decentralization and democracy (ie. to get away from your "bloodthirsty" neighbor, Milosevic), and the ideas of "owning" your own country and recovering lost imperial glory were far more powerful incentives

Remember, Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims wanted independence from Belgrade, but not Bosnian Serbs. If Belgrade economic pressure was the reason for those independence movements, why didn't the Bosnian Serbs side with their fellow Bosnians?

Why did Zagreb support the brutal Bosnian Croat militias (the so-called "Ustashi") during the Bosnian civil war? To get away from economic unfairness by Belgrade?

Ethnic and religious solidarity play important roles in Balkan socieities, whether you want to believe it or not.

When I first got to Belgrade in 1992, I couldn't believe some of the vile, bigoted statements coming from the mouths of the people I met there, even from the university students. I thought the Serbs were some of the worst people I had ever met. As I continued my travels, however, I soon found out that many, many people in that region, from Turkey and Greece to Romania and Bulgaria harbor deep, historical ethnic hatreds for one another. This may be news to you, and perhaps a bit uncomfortable, but it is true.

Remember how Milosevic rallied Serbia to fight his civil war in Kosovo by invoking memories of the Serbian defeat at the Battle of Kosovo Polje in 1389. Ignore Balkan history at your peril.

It's convenient to sit there and take a Marxist view on everything, but the answers are much more complicated than that.

Your points about Montenegro are scattered and make no sense.
__________________
4U2Play is offline  
Old 05-21-2006, 05:35 AM   #13
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 8,876
Local Time: 11:31 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
Bosnia is full of jihadists. Maybe if people were paying some attention, they'd start shitting their pants over what's going on over there. You've got hundreds of fundamentalists from Yemen, Saudi and so on infiltrating there. Everyone in the region knows it and nobody is doing anything about it.

And Bosnia is not a successful state, it exists essentially in a 2 state paradigm and the ethnic groups don't mix.

Eventually Bosnia will split up as well, it's just a matter of time.
Jihadists go to fight where there is war. Bosnian war has been over for 10 years now, I doubt there is some massive influx of jihadists into Bosnia, they are all flocking to Iraq if anywhere. Even if there is some type of a muslim extremist presense, it has done nothing to upset the incredible stability that has been present in Bosnia for the past 10 years. How many Jihadists attended the U2 POPMART concert there in September 1997? To go from the slaughter that Bosnia went through to 4 boys from Dublin and Lemon setting up shop in the stadium that was turned into a grave yard during the war, in such a small space of time was incredible!

People said Bosnia was the United States next Vietnam and the country would never work. The critics have been proven wrong. The Bosnians and the Croats do mix and its only a matter of time before the Serbs will mix with the rest of society there as well. The country has prospered over the past 10 years, the war was a waste and most people on both sides realize that. There is no benefit for anyone to return to the time from 1992-1995. People don't want to give up the way of life they now have, which they would certainly lose if fighting were to start again.

Northern Ireland has proved that it is possible for two sides with centuries of conflict between them to move beyond, just in the space of a couple of decades. Catholics and Protestants mix all the time in Northern Ireland, both at work and play.

Bosnia has a surprisingly high standard of living for a country that saw so much devestation in the early 1990s. Europe is only going to become more integrated as time goes on, and new generations are not going to have the same pressures and lack of opportunity that previous generations were trapped in.
__________________
STING2 is offline  
Old 05-21-2006, 10:16 AM   #14
Blue Crack Addict
 
verte76's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: hoping for changes
Posts: 23,331
Local Time: 11:31 PM
I hope the Kurds don't separate. That wouldn't be good for them. This is Turkey's worst nightmare, and one reason why they opposed the Iraq war.
__________________
verte76 is offline  
Old 05-21-2006, 01:42 PM   #15
Acrobat
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: belgrade
Posts: 369
Local Time: 12:31 AM
Bombing Dubrovnik is something that both Serbia and Montenegro should be blamed.Remember that at that time Milosevic had very strong political,military and finance support from Montenegro.Whatever he did,whatever decisions did he make , Montenegro was his support.They did try to play the "neutral third party" as anitram said, but facts are facts.At that time , did you hear any Montenegro official that raised his voice against it? I didn't.
__________________

__________________
roy keane is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com