Posts Tagged ‘Milosevic’

Split, Croatia, Spring 2011

The Promenade at the Port of Split

Twilight. The city of Split is alive in its urban sprawl, but closer to the Adriatic Sea is the ancient part of the city where the palace of Diocletian still stands, the retirement home of the Roman General-turned-Emperor, he who was so wonderfully talented at killing Christians. The palace stands, but between it and the port is the promenade – a Disneyification of Dalmatia – palm trees, large pedestrian walk ways, huge wind turbines, all greeting the influx of cruise ships and the carrion they carry on.

The light is dim on the table where two men shovel slices of pizza into their feed holes. An attractive cocktail waitress brings them two dark and perplexing Croatian beers. Before she is gone, the German economist makes reference to her posterior, “My friend, in your travels in this country, you make notice of the architecture, you make notice of the genocide, but pay special courtesy to the women. Built finer than any specimen this side of Brazil, the Croatian woman is. She has double-jointed hips, the proof is in the gait and may only be captured by your eye.”

Temple of Jupitor, Old Split

The German’s guest is an American, who relishes another slice of divine pizza. The American had subsisted off of pizza for much of his foray into the Balkans, bringing to mind a darker time from younger days in Chicago – hiding in abandoned subway stations and Bohemian cemeteries – but these dark thoughts are quickly scattered to the Adriatic breeze as another double-jointed Croat beauty saunter-swivel-saunter-swiveled past.

“To resume our discussion.” Jojo, the German, spoke while wiping pizza grease from his own face. “Milosevic was not murdered. There was no conspiracy. This scheisskopf (Milosevic) he takes the leprosy pills not because he is leper, because they will cancel his heart medication. He intends to die, but die in way the blame goes to the Establishment. Suicide as it looks like murder, ja? He wishes for the Croats and the Bosniaks and the Hague peoples to take blame for the cowardice he has.”

“Milosevic killed himself?” Jojo’s guest inquired, a look of incredulity upon his furrowed brow. “Wasn’t he too proud?”

“Proud? Ha!” Jojo laughed. “What do you know of pride? It is pride that drives the self-inflicted wound. Milosevic was too proud, which is why he could not take his failure. Pride is why his orthodox priest father killed himself in 1962 and his socialist bitch mother killed herself in 1972. The conspiracy is between Milosevic and whoever gave him the leprosy drug.”

The American who gazed at the promenade pizza vendor contemplating another slice was the conspiracy theorist, Vic Neverman. Neverman wore an Italian brimmed hat with a military jacket and plenty of facial hair. His eyes and dark features came from his ancient Kashmiri ancestors who roamed west, always west, with the Roma into Persia and Eurasia, fornicating and mixing blood along the way. The Nevermen were Gypsy mutts, men of the world, men of all countries, men of no country. A little over a century ago, they found their way to America. Some settled, one continues to wander.

Nostalgia for the Dictator Tito

“Milosevic was a villain of Croatia as Mladic is still an enemy today.” (NOTE: since the publishing of this post, Mladic was captured in Serbia and will be tried for crimes against humanity) Vic said. “The villainy label I can understand. What is perplexing is the Croatian hero worship for Tito and Stepinac.”

Jojo shrugged at Vic’s comment. “Tito was last great Yugoslav ruler. He kept peace between the Federation of Southern Slav. Tyrants are needed to rule dysfunctional society. Americans remove Hussein and now Iraq is not country, it is tribal. The Balkans too… The Communists ruled with brutality. Tito was a tyrant and keeps peace. What happen before Tito: Catholics killing Orthodox killing Muslim killing Christian. What happen after Tito: Catholics killing Orthodox killing Muslim, you see…” Jojo finished his beer and waved over the double-jointed waitress to order more beer along with pear brandy. “Tito represented strength and order. Without Tito, Yugoslavia is hell.

“And Stepinac? I know the Archbishop is practically a saint and a favorite of John Paul II, but the douchebag was a Nazi. How can he still be considered a hero?”

“Here in the land of the Great Schism, everyone has their own history.” Jojo said over his new shady, ominous, beer. “If you talk to the Catholic Croats, they will tell you Stepinac’s fascist Ustase friends were responsible for the deaths of 60,000 Orthodox Serbs at the Jesenovac concentration camp.”

Archbishop Stepinac, Nazi Sympathizer?

Vic was confused. The Croats loved their local Archbishop, why would they actually admit such atrocities from his association with the Nazi affiliated Ustase?

Jojo continued, “The Croats say only 60,000 when the Serbs say Stepinac is responsible for the deaths of 700,000 Serbs, at least 20,000 Jews, and 30,000 Gypsies.”

Vic Neverman nodded his understanding. Earlier in the week he had been in Zagreb at the cathedral that hosted the Stepinac museum. It was there an overly attentive nun provided book upon book of glorious Stepinac undertakings. The nun spoke of the Croat’s life, about his martyrdom – a death at Tito’s order (debatable), and his beatification by Pope JP2 in 1960 for the role Stepinac served in the Cold War. She did not mention how the Yugoslavian government tried and imprisoned Stepinac as a war criminal for backing the Nazi puppet government and their concentration camps.

In the nun’s presence, it had not taken Vic long before he found a book quoting the statement he had long known Stepinac for (paraphrased here): “there are the commies, there are the capitalists, and there is the Vatican; only one will emerge and lead the New World Order.” This speech given by Stepinac is often raved about in conspiracy theory circles as proof that there is a NWO and that the Pope is trying to take over the world. Vic Neverman brought this up to Jojo over spilt beer on this Split promenade, “if the New World Order exists today, who is pulling the strings, the Communists, the Capitalists, or the Vatican?”

Jojo rolled his eyes, “None of the above. Communism is failed idealism, Capitalism was just the method of the Establishment at the time. The Vatican has their spies throughout the third word under the guise of mission work where they tell tribal peoples to not use condoms in order to spread their diseases. Their influence ends there. You conspiracy theorists are no less than a crazy cult person. You believe in crazy things because it makes more sense than chaos, yet it be chaos that is champion. Ja?”

Vic shifted uncomfortably in his chair, “So you are saying things like JFK’s assassination and 9/11 and…”

“Tragic.” Jojo cut in. “Yes, but grand conspiracy? Nein. You are familiar with the Great War, the so-call ‘War to End All War’?”

Neverman Caffeinating in Split

“The First World War.” Vic nodded.

“The bullet to start all wars to end all wars begins with a masterful conspiracy and done so by a nationalist movement of Serbs.”

“The Black Hand.”

Ja, the Black Hand wished to recreate the 15th century Greater Serbia, much like Milosevic attempted of late. On the day of the assassination, Serb and Bosniak conspirators were waiting along the Sarajevo route for the Austro-Hungarian overlord Franz Ferdinand’s convertible – imagine JFK’s Dallas fifty years earlier. Most of the assassins failed to act and one attempted to throw a grenade, but his bomb merely bounced off the car and killed many others. The grenadier took cyanide and failed at that too, only inducing vomiting, allowing himself to be captured and beaten.

Alles klar, Archduke Franz took notice of the violence, yet he still goes to deliver his speech with the mayor of Sarajevo, making fun of this attempted bombing. He decides after his speech he is going to visit the wounded at the hospital. His driver makes wrong turn, goes down the wrong alley, and when reversing the car stalls. These things happened in 1914, cars not so trusty then. This wrong turn stall occurs right before a deli and out of this deli happens to be walking Gavrilo Princip, one of the failed assassins from earlier in the day. Serendipitous is the word, ja? Princip shoots and kills Franz and his duchess. Months of intense conspiratorial organization leads no where, but simple chance creates the opportunity to kill the man to start the Great War.

“This is your great conspiracy. You say JFK is too big to die from one lone nothing, but I say it takes one bullet to kill a man. Especially in the Balkans, death comes very easily here.”