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.
The 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.
So. It 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 Elich, 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?
-- jared israel
[Speech by Slobodan Milosevic, 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 kingdom.
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, 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 aggression.
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 case.
Unity Will Make Prosperity Possible
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 affiliation.
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
Dramatic National Divisions
After all, our entire country 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 still survive.
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 as well [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
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
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 world.
Let the memory of Kosovo heroism live forever! 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
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
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."
In fact 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
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?
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