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Author Topic: "Arkan" the Serb  (Read 1463 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 15, 2005, 04:04:54 PM »

Dear friends.

I was invited to visit a SSPX parish because of some French Catholic priests that I met, I saw something curious in that parish but I didn't pay much atention until last week when I went there again and it surprised me to see a picture of Arkan, a Serb 1990's war-lord inside their church!

I think he's regarded as a hero or something like that but why? He wasn't even Roman-Catholic (and he's not so loved by the Orthodox either because he was a cruel person).

Do you know why?

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SouthSerb99
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2005, 10:07:12 PM »

Arkan... hmm... this one is very difficult for me, because I'm not entirely sure I believe everything written of him, on the other hand, a very close personal friend of mine, knew him probably more intimately than almost all (other than his wife and immediate family).

On the one hand, he had a past as a bank robber and thug, as well as his own personal militia (who many claim were responsible for "Serbian attrocities" in the Balkans). on the other, he was a great defender of his people.

I do know (for certain) that Arkan was a terrible sinner (as most of us are), but at the same time, his biggest sin may have been that of nationalism.  Arkan was undoubtedly a Serbian nationalist who organized and assembled people to fight and protect Serbs and Serbian lands.  Take Bosnia for example, prior to the breakout of "hostilities", Serbs lived on more the 2/3 of the land in Bosnia.  The media played the story as though Serbs had "occupied" 2/3 of Bosnia, when in fact they had been living on that land and thus protecting it from being taken over.  Ultimately, Serbs lost a lot of land in Bosnia, once there was "peace".  Arkan's boys joined the fight, in defense of their Serbian brothers. 

Now, I'm not trying to be an apologist for him, just giving some balance.  Case in point, Arkan was the owner of a prominent soccer team in Serbia (called Obilic) and he was married to one of our more famous singers (Ceca).  On the other hand, there is no doubt he was personally abusive in his private life.

To some Serbs, he'll always be a hero.

Maybe they had his picture as a counter-weight to "Bishop" Stepinac.  Wink
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2005, 07:02:32 PM »

i don't mean to be ignorant or insensitive. but i am kind of looking for some validation on joining a Serbian church. My parish is under the Serbian Patriarchate but there are no Serbian parishioners. The thought of tying myself to the historical situation is shaky. I didn't even pay much attention to the issue until the husband of a bosnian friend of many years suggested i not mention that i'm entering the Serbian Orthodox church. My question, quite obviously, is inarticulate and scattered, but i'm wondering if anyone might have some words of wisdom aside from telling me what the muslims did or supporting subtlely validating Serbian nationalism. again, i'm in the middle of the united states and thus relatively ignorant to these issues, i apologize in advance if what i've said is offensive to anyone.
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2005, 07:18:41 PM »

i don't mean to be ignorant or insensitive. but i am kind of looking for some validation on joining a Serbian church. My parish is under the Serbian Patriarchate but there are no Serbian parishioners. The thought of tying myself to the historical situation is shaky. I didn't even pay much attention to the issue until the husband of a bosnian friend of many years suggested i not mention that i'm entering the Serbian Orthodox church. My question, quite obviously, is inarticulate and scattered, but i'm wondering if anyone might have some words of wisdom aside from telling me what the muslims did or supporting subtlely validating Serbian nationalism. again, i'm in the middle of the united states and thus relatively ignorant to these issues, i apologize in advance if what i've said is offensive to anyone.

Heaven forbid you align yourself with Church that, indirectly at the very least least, supports the noble cause of defending Western Civilization against the Jihads of Islam.
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SouthSerb99
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2005, 10:37:09 PM »

i don't mean to be ignorant or insensitive. but i am kind of looking for some validation on joining a Serbian church. My parish is under the Serbian Patriarchate but there are no Serbian parishioners. The thought of tying myself to the historical situation is shaky. I didn't even pay much attention to the issue until the husband of a bosnian friend of many years suggested i not mention that i'm entering the Serbian Orthodox church. My question, quite obviously, is inarticulate and scattered, but i'm wondering if anyone might have some words of wisdom aside from telling me what the muslims did or supporting subtlely validating Serbian nationalism. again, i'm in the middle of the united states and thus relatively ignorant to these issues, i apologize in advance if what i've said is offensive to anyone.

Well, technically you would not be joining a "Serbian Church" but rather a "Serbian Orthodox Church".  One of several sister Churches that comprise the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

I'm not sure I entirely understand your question, but I would be more than happy to answer any questions which might be making you apprehensive.  To start with I can assure you that NO God loving Serb barbecues and eats the young of Muslims or Catholic Croats.  Wink

Further, I can assure you that the Serbian Orthodox Church has been one of the biggest victims in this fiasco that has played itself out in the former Yugoslavia.  I'll be happy discuss all of this with you.  Maybe I can dispell some of the "things" planted by this "Bosnian" (whatever that means).
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2005, 09:17:35 PM »

i started by apologizing for my ignorance, so a helpful or concerned response would have been more fitting than the first reply of assumption.

also, nothing was 'planted' by my friend. from what little i understand of this conflict Milosevic and his Serbs are the ones that have and are being tried for war crimes. Such as instituting camps to, ever so graciously, implant the infidels with the Serbian seed.  My friend simply suggested that I not make it a topic of conversation, as his wife became a refugee due to the self-confessed 'God loving Serbs.'  I don't expect that the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kansas City, Missouri is connected to the atrocities, i do however have some apprehention about tying myself with this historical event.

perhaps my inquiry would have been better placed in the 'prayer forum' where posters typically have an attitude of compassion as opposed to defense.

again, i'm sorry for my offense and am in no way politically siding against the country or church.  this is solely a personal concern and would not be so arrogant as to suggest that i know the conflict in any sort of entirety.

p.s. it is a warm embrace to know very little of the church, very few Orthodox, be a catechumen, and have a significant portion of my interactions to be re-education siding history toward the orthodox, expectations of me to do more with no sort of guidance, and  pointless hostilities minimized to my protestant background.     
I believe that the Orthodox church in fact is the church Christ designed for us, and my expectations should not be too high, but it's disappointing none the less when you've felt like you were finished searching.  Perhaps this doesn't belong in this response, but it's all tying together quite haphazardly.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2005, 09:25:24 PM by kansas city » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2005, 03:50:56 AM »

Without adding to the political discussions here, the only thing I can say is that from most of the Americans I work with who were previously in Kosovo they all seem to feel that the Christian Serbs got shafted by us there because they have personally seen the things we read about like peacekeepers in uniform having to secure Christians and armed police protecting worshippers.  Our Romanian allies here in Iraq also say they could not understand the US's stand on supporting the Kosovo quagmire and bombing Serbia.  Again, this is not a political statement just mentioning what I have heard from others I work with.
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2005, 05:06:07 PM »

The breakup of Yugoslavia due to the meddling and malignant interference of the Western powers resulted in many unhappy and terrible events. When I went to India I got a much better and more balanced picture than was possible when reading the European papers.

It has not just been Serbs who were brought before the International Tribunal at The Hague. During the conflict Muslims paid Serbs to shell the Croats and there were other times when a different party paid a second party to shell the third.

The Serbian patriarchate has stood against the nationalism and atrocities and a number of clergy and monastics have courageously sheltered Albanians only later to find themselves then attacked by Albanian nationalists.

In your journey you surely are seeking a local church in which to be with the 'two or three gathered together in My Name'. If that be a Serbian church, Glory to God.

For Christians the late Metropolitan Philaret of New York characterised nationalism as narrow and excluding whereas patriotrism is a love of one's country which includes. Only the latter is compatible with Christ's message.

But beware of the images you will see in Western written and broadcast media and government propaganda. There has long been a demonisation of the Serbs. Certainly in was like a breath of fresh air to read more balanced accounts at the time in the Indian press.
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SouthSerb99
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2005, 08:45:40 PM »

i started by apologizing for my ignorance, so a helpful or concerned response would have been more fitting than the first reply of assumption.

I'm not sure if your response was directed at me, but if it was, I assure you I was not trying to be offensive.  I really was trying to keep the subject "light" (but probably failed miserably).

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also, nothing was 'planted' by my friend. from what little i understand of this conflict Milosevic and his Serbs are the ones that have and are being tried for war crimes.

This quote couldn't have been said to a better person because I've worked on several matters at the Hague for Serbs who are being unlawfully held there.  Yes, I said unlawfully.  Without getting into pages and pages of legal reasons of why the ICTY is de facto illegal, suffice it to say, I've yet to meet an "objective" legal scholar who hasn't criticized this "Kangaroo Court".  Two small example (if I may)...   1)  When the prosecution opened there case against Slobo, their opening statement lasted 2 1/2 days.  Milosevic was limited to 3 hours.  Limiting a pro se defendant's opening is pretty egregious, but not the worst thing to happen... 2) Cross examination... probably this greatest fundamental right afforded to a defendant when on trial.  The opportunity to continuosly question your accuser or a witness on his behalf about claims they have made.  A right, nearly absolute (especially for a pro se defendant).  However, Milosevic has been constantly told to "wrap it up", "hurry along" and that "he is finished because the Court says so".  The ICTY is not even trying to give the illusion that it is an independent judiciary looking to find the truth.  An absolute joke.

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Such as instituting camps to, ever so graciously, implant the infidels with the Serbian seed.

This is special.  I read a news article when this hogwash was going around, it was from a British reporter and it went something like this... when I was in London, I was told 100,000 Bosnian Muslim women had been raped around Sarajevo, when I got to within 500km of Sarajevo, my guide told me that the number was actually 10,000.  When I got to within 50 miles of Sarajevo, the number was reduced to 1,000 rapes.  As I got to within 5 miles of the city, the number was noce again reduced to 100 rape victims and as I arrived in the city to interview these 100 women, I only found one women who told us about being raped.

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My friend simply suggested that I not make it a topic of conversation, as his wife became a refugee due to the self-confessed 'God loving Serbs.'

I guess having two (2) great-grandfathers hacked to pieces in Kosovo would be my compelling story to tell you there is a little more to the story you were told.  Also, I find it interesting that your friends wife lived to tell about running from the "God loving Serbs".   Let me ask you, did she seek refuge with the 10's of thousands of Islamic Mujahadeen's which were imported to Bosnia at the request of Islamic fundamentalist leader Alija Izetbegovic?  Was she safe amidst those trained by Osama Bin Laden and his network around the world?

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again, i'm sorry for my offense and am in no way politically siding against the country or church.  this is solely a personal concern and would not be so arrogant as to suggest that i know the conflict in any sort of entirety.

You have nothing to be sorry about, but I assure you, just based on your last post, you have a very distorted view of what really transpired in the former Yugoslavia.

Look at this article here http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0902-02.htm

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p.s. it is a warm embrace to know very little of the church, very few Orthodox, be a catechumen, and have a significant portion of my interactions to be re-education siding history toward the orthodox, expectations of me to do more with no sort of guidance, and  pointless hostilities minimized to my protestant background.     
I believe that the Orthodox church in fact is the church Christ designed for us, and my expectations should not be too high, but it's disappointing none the less when you've felt like you were finished searching.  Perhaps this doesn't belong in this response, but it's all tying together quite haphazardly.

I think we're not understanding each other.  As I said before, if you want more info on the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, I'll be happy to provide it, I'm really not being hostile, I just truly believe you've been misled.
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2005, 10:44:42 PM »

like i said, i am quite uninformed; and like i said, i'm disconnected, the information available to me is quite a bit further than 'five miles from Sarajevo.' 

more importantly. i made it clear that i wasn't voicing my personal opinion of who's right and wrong and to what degree.  i was expressing my caution to be tied to all of this that i know so little about, and that sentiment could not have been more affirmed than by everyone's responses.  you can tell me how grey everything is all day long, but if you think that somehow eases my, what were, slight hesitations then you are quite wrong.  these Serbian Orthodox responding so outspokenly do not in any way give me the impression that saying the "Serbian Orthodox church" is so distinctly different than saying the "Serbian church."

it's also interesting to receive assumed conclusions about a friend you know nothing about.  how do you imagine that it helped, to attempt to link her to Bin Laden and the mujahideen?  if you had any intention of actually helping me or appearing supportive then that was a disappointing step.  to be completely honest i hate islam quite a bit, to a quite complicated degree.  however being born a muslim does not, in my book, suggest that you are a terrorist or somehow supportive of terrorism.  i think that's actually pretty gross. thanks anyway to everyone.

forgive me, for saying so much about things i know little about; also for offending anyone personally.

p.s. StephenG, thank you for actually mentioning the Serbian patriarchate and providing something actually helpful and the closest thing i've gotten to support.
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2005, 08:08:58 AM »

more importantly. i made it clear that i wasn't voicing my personal opinion of who's right and wrong and to what degree.  i was expressing my caution to be tied to all of this that i know so little about, and that sentiment could not have been more affirmed than by everyone's responses.  you can tell me how grey everything is all day long, but if you think that somehow eases my, what were, slight hesitations then you are quite wrong.  these Serbian Orthodox responding so outspokenly do not in any way give me the impression that saying the "Serbian Orthodox church" is so distinctly different than saying the "Serbian church."

I'm not even sure what you are saying, but I have the feeling you are not as benign as you would have me believe.

Quote
it's also interesting to receive assumed conclusions about a friend you know nothing about.  how do you imagine that it helped, to attempt to link her to Bin Laden and the mujahideen?  if you had any intention of actually helping me or appearing supportive then that was a disappointing step.  to be completely honest i hate islam quite a bit, to a quite complicated degree.  however being born a muslim does not, in my book, suggest that you are a terrorist or somehow supportive of terrorism.  i think that's actually pretty gross. thanks anyway to everyone.

You gave an example of a "refugee" friend, I gave an example of 10's of thousands of imported Mujahadin, what is the problem?

Quote
p.s. StephenG, thank you for actually mentioning the Serbian patriarchate and providing something actually helpful and the closest thing i've gotten to support.

I still have NO idea what answers you are looking for.
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2005, 01:12:03 PM »

I suspect, but may be wrong, that our questioner is seeking after The Truth but like many the Deceiver puts a stone before him or a distraction; in this case the  question about Arkan and all that goes with it.

I also believe Arkan and all the terrible events can be a distraction, a justification I you like, for failing to heed Christ's invitation to follow Him. And even in the field there are tares among the wheat, but this should not distract or become a justification.

If the questions of others are troublesome because you do not have all the answers, is it needful that you do?

As to the question of the terrible events I only found a report in todays The Independent, a respected British broadsheet newspaper, headlined

UN PROSECUTOR SPARKS FURTY WITH CLAIM VATICAN IS HIDING ALLEGED WAR CRIMINAL

The UN's chief war crimes prosecutor, Ms Carla Del Ponte, is alleging that General Ante Gotovina - who is wanted on charges of the killing of 150 Serbs and the driving out of 150,000 Serbs from in Krajina in 1995. General Gotovina, a hero to many Croats is alleged by Ms Del Ponte to be hiding in a Croatian Franciscan friary and she claims the Vatican are not being helpful in providing information to secure his arrest and subsequent production at the The Hague International Tribunal.

As I have previously written the terrible events surrounding the breakup of Yugoslavia have left many in all three major communities with cases to answer, and the meddling Western powers, who will, of course, never face any tribunal (on earth). Yugoslavia was a country were religious observance was strongly discouraged and many of the leaders that emerged post the breakup were old party bosses. To identify many of these too closely with believers might be the stuff of newspapers but I suspect not a reflection of their true belief, save as a tribal totem.

The patriarchate, monasteries like Decani and clergy and bishops have condemned the outrageous crimes against people regardless of who carries it out and who is targetted. This is the path of a Christian. The biggest singly culprit in all this were the Western powers who deliberately set about a policy of dismantling Yugoslavia. This does not excuse the actions of some but the picture we have in the West is far from being either balanced or fair.

I think SouthSerb99 has offered to give information to better understand the situation there, should you so wish. If you were to take that offer up, it may give you answers to some of the questions others may throw at you. But overcoming the successful propaganda put out against the Serbs is something very difficult indeed. And most just simply do want details but simply to know who are the bad guys. And for too many it is very sadly the Serbs.

Truly have the disciples of Joself Goebbels been busy.
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« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2005, 06:30:38 PM »

SouthSerb, 'you're not as benign as you seem?'  What are you even talking about?  More Al Taqiyah accusations?  About 80% of what i have learned about the war i've learned since my first response, from outside, western, liberal sources.  Like I said, what can i go on besides whats available to me. BY NO MEANS should you have the impression that i am somehow siding against the Serbs, you, or the Orthodox church in any sort of way.  My original and continued question and concern is regarding connecting myself with a group who did a lot of wrong. I'm not even addressing how i feel about the conflict.  Dont start reading too much into my statements or questions.  Help me, be supportive and I'll have more of a foundation and knowledge to help me get over these distractions or stumbling blocks or whatever else.  help me help me help me.  I'm not trying to piss anyone off, i'm not trying to come across as some threat, i just sincerely would very much like some solid assistance in this. 

Thanks, and I'm sorry.
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