Managing Director of Programs
Contradictory commentaries on Angelina Jolie’s movie In the Land of Blood and Honey stimulated me to watch the movie. It was already clear that Bosnian Muslims liked the movie and Great-Serbian nationalists loathed it, but I was particularly intrigued by the infection of the small-Herzegovinians, who detested the movie in imitation of the Great-Serbs. I was impressed by the movie. Angelina Jolie sends an alarming message using the language of film in her astonishing, clear, concise, distinctly female, personal and direct way. Within the framework of the Great-Serbian war monstrosity, Angelina weaves a complex drama about two human beings thrown by destiny into Eros and Thanatos – love and death. I admire the courageous moral impulse of Angelina Jolie, who felt called to Bosnia to research and warn that the Great-Serbian ideology and movement are one of the most dangerous evils in our contemporary world, and to open the eyes of the world so that we no longer overlook it, but stop it. Beautiful Angelina shocks the Chetnik rapist project, replacing its archetype of Eve the sinner with the prototype of self-aware Blessed Mary.
Great-Serbian ideology was the strongest totalitarian project in the Balkans, germinating from national awakenings in the first half of 19th century. Pan-Serbism, imitating pan-Russianism, transformed itself into Serbian imperialism with Serbian Orthodoxy as its ideological basis. Great-Serbianism swallowed all hope of Yugoslav cooperation and provoked defensive liberation movements in the downtrodden peoples. The culmination of Great-Serbianism was the Chetnik movement in World War II which so deeply absorbed racism and elaborated methods of genocide and ethnic cleansing that it could have been a model to Nazism and Stalinism. Without understanding the Great-Serbian context it is impossible to understand the Croatian Ustasha movement, or the Nazi and Communist concentration camps and execution places Jasenovac and Bleiburg, or the rise and fall of Yugoslavia, or the emergence of Wahhabis in Bosnia, or any social phenomenon among the nations of the Balkans. In the end Yugoslavia fell apart because of liberation wars against Great-Serbianism, but Great Serbian ideology was not defeated. Even today, Great-Serbianism continues to strangle Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, and minorities in Serbia and especially Serbs trying to get rid of it and to build Serbia as a normal state integrated in Europe.
It is an incontestable and proven fact that Great-Serbians were completely ready for genocide against Muslims, Croats and Albanians, that this genocide was done through massive ethnic cleansing, and that Republika Srpska is the monstrous result of this crime and remains a knife at the throat not only of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but also of Croatia. A political solution to Bosnia-Herzegovina is impossible, nor will Croatia, Montenegro or Kosovo ever live in peace, without the de-fascization of Great-Serbianism. Angelina Jolie understands this and expresses it in the final scene, when a Serb stung by conscience recognizes: I am a war criminal!
The Great-Serbian ideal is still the most influential Serbian political project and Serbian contemporary politics hypocritically will not give it up. The Chetnik movement is being rehabilitated, Republika Srpska celebrates the war criminals Karadzic and Mladic as its founders, president Dodik and those around him are proud of being their disciples. This can be understood among Serbs, but the fascination with Great-Serbian idea among the political Herzegovinians is bewildering. It is a consequence of frustration, and turns into a frenzy of imitation infecting the entire Croatian society. Tudjman’s fascination with Milosevic and Boban’s with Karadzic continues in the current president Josipovic’s fascination with Tadic. President Josipovic initiated some fine peace initiatives, but then he allowed himself to be misused by Tadic as a Great-Serbian marionette. Now he is floundering and, not finding any exit, is dragging along the entire new Croatian government. Instead of being a European brake to Great-Serbianism, instead of compelling Serbian society to radical de-fascization, instead of repeating to all the European hypocrites that Republika Srpska is a genocidal product (as all moral Serbs have recognized), instead of recognizing that Croatian refugees will never return to live in that Chetnik creation and that Bosnian-Herzegovinian society will never be stable while Republika Srpska exists, instead of maintaining ceaseless accusations and using all means possible to block the Great-Serbian project, Croatian politics inclines to the insanity of the political Herzegovinians and assists the Great-Serbian project as it infiltrates the European Community.
The prophetic mission of faith in society consists of uncompromising resistance to evil through the strength of God’s support, especially when that society is characterized by defeatist identification and fascination with evil. It is sad, but also encouraging, when the prophetic mission of an actress unmasks the betrayal of Church dignitaries such as bishop Komarica and similar false and bribable prophets.
Friar Ivo Markovic
Peacemaker in Action