Just started (and finished) "To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia" by Michael Parenti.
It is a 215 page account of the "roots" of the Yugoslav disintegration and the bloodshed that followed. I try to read about as much as I can on the subject and found this book to be quite interesting.
First thing about Michael Parenti... it becomes obviously clear he is a fervent anti-globalist, anti-global corporation etc...
Having said that, don't assume that Parenti is a lock step "liberal" (I hate labels, but I'll use it here). Parenti spends almost the entire book criticizing Clinton, Half-Bright and Wesley Clark and almost every international leader that had something to do with the dismantling of Yugoslavia. At times, he is also critical of Germany and the Vatican, however, these are only underlying themes in support of his main thesis.
That is to say, the thrust of Parenti's argument is based on the fact that Yugoslavia was forced into such dire economic conditions (by a multitude of western forces), that the end result was bloodshed along ethnic lines. He argues that because the IMF, World Bank and various other groups undermined the Yugoslav economy, the country became ripe for bloodshed as each ethnic group struggled to get their respective piece of the pie.
He ridicules (by way of countless example), how the "western media" lacked any semblance of credibility (or neutrality) and presented stories without ANY facts. His book is NOT a blanket defense of Serbs and the government in Belgrade. He definitely lays blame upon Serbians when he thinks it lies with them, however, he presents a very compelling case against "the western powers".
The book rarely discusses the Orthodox Church, but does briefly mention the hundreds of Churches destroyed in Kosovo. To me, one of the most interesting parts of the book (which has been well known to most of us in the Serbian community for years) is where he writes of the phony PR campaign waged against the Serbs. He quotes from James Harf (the director for NYC PR firm Ruder & Finn) with regards to demonizing the Serbs:
"That was a tremendous coup. When the Jewish organizations entered the game on the side of the [Muslim] Bosnians, we could promptly equate the Serbs with the Nazis in the public mind. Nobody understood what was happening in Yugoslavia... By a single move we were able to present a simple story of good guys and bad guys which would hereafter play itself... Almost immediately there was a clear change of language in the press, with use of words with high emotional content such as "ethnic cleansing" and "concentration camps," which evoke images of Nazi Germany and the gas chambers of Auschwitz".
Harf followed this quote with:
"Our work is not to verify information... Our work is to accelerate the circulation of information favorable to us... We are professionals. We had a job to do and we did it. We are not paid to moralize".
In the final analysis, I do not completely agree with Parenti's central theme, I do think this is an excellent book, that is quite balanced and accurate. I would recommend highly to anyone interested.