Sarajevo Serbs Unveil Monument to Gavrilo Princip, The Assassin Who Triggered WWI
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com:
- Sarajevo Serbs unveil monument to Gavrilo Princip, who triggered World War I.
- What could trigger another world war?
- The West African Ebola outbreak is now the worst in history.
Sarajevo Serbs unveil monument to Gavrilo Princip, who triggered World War I
Bosnian actor Jovan Mojsilovic poses in front of monument honoring Gavrilo Princip at ceremony on Saturday (AP)
World War I should be a forgotten event, with its 16 million deaths a symbol of a
time when people weren't nearly as smart and sophisticated as we are
today, and so did many stupid things.
That may be the attitude in America, but it's certainly not in the
Balkans, where a monument to Gavrilo Princip was unveiled on Saturday
in East Sarajevo by Nebojsa Radmanovic, the Serb leader in the
government of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Austria-Hungary had occupied Bosnia since 1878, and Princip was the
one of seven members of the group Mlada Bosna (Young Bosnia) that
wanted independence from Austria-Hungary.
Exactly one hundred years ago, on June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip shot
and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian
empire, and his pregnant wife, Sophie.
At Saturday's ceremony, Radmanovic said that Princip was a hero to the
"Today, we have Gavrilo in East Sarajevo, a
revolutionary, a man who to us, is one century of hope. We
remember the Young Bosnia members and Gavrilo Princip proudly. ...
There were also centenary commemorations of the start of World War I
in the other half of Sarajevo, but the Muslims and Croats in those
commemorations do not consider Princip or any Serb to be a hero.
Fresh in their minds are the memories of the Bosnian war in 1992-95,
when 100,000 people died and Sarajevo suffered a 1,425 day siege by
Serb forces. To them, Princip is just a terrorist who killed a
politician and a pregnant woman, and brought a flourishing epoch to
Gavrilo Princip’s shot was a shot for freedom. His shot was a
prelude to what some Europeans had prepared for years, and Serbs
finished the war as winners. We remember Mlada Bosna and Gavrilo
Princip with pride."
From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the 1990s Bosnian war
came at the expected time. World War I ended in 1917, and new crisis
wars begin when the survivors of the previous crisis disappear. By
the 1990s, none of those survivors were left, and the region collapsed
into one of the bloodiest and most vicious wars in the post-WW II era.
According to one historical summary of the war:
"It was during this initial wave of Bosnian Serb
ethnic cleansing — orchestrated by Radovan Karadzi and his
generals — that the world began to hear tales as horrifying as
anything you can imagine. Militia units would enter a town and
indiscriminately kill anyone they saw — civilian men, women, and
children. Pregnant women mortally wounded by gunfire were left to
die in the street. Fleeing residents crawled on their stomachs for
hours to reach cover, even as their family and friends were shot
and blown up right next to them. Soldiers rounded up families,
then forced parents to watch as they slit the throats of their
children — and then the parents were killed, too. Dozens of people
would be lined up along a bridge to have their throats slit, one
at a time, so that their lifeless bodies would plunge into the
river below. (Villagers downstream would see corpses float past,
and know their time was coming soon.) While in past conflicts
houses of worship had been considered off-limits, now Karadzi's
forces actively targeted mosques and Catholic churches. Perhaps
most despicable was the establishment of so-called “rape camps” —
concentration camps where mostly Bosniak [Bosnian Muslim] women
were imprisoned and systematically raped by Serb soldiers. Many
were intentionally impregnated and held captive until they had
come to term (too late for an abortion), when they were released
to bear and raise a child forced upon them by their hated
enemy. These are the stories that turned “Balkans” into a dirty
The Bosnian Serb aggressors were intentionally gruesome and
violent. Leaders roused their foot soldiers with hate-filled
propaganda (claiming, for example, that the Bosniaks were intent
on creating a fundamentalist Islamic state that would do even
worse to its Serb residents), then instructed them to carry out
unthinkable atrocities. For the people who carried out these
attacks, the war represented a cathartic opportunity to exact
vengeance for decades-old perceived injustices. Everyday Serbs —
who, for centuries, have been steeped in messages about how they
have been the victims of their neighbors — saw this as an
opportunity to finally make a stand. But their superiors had even
more dastardly motives. They sought not only to remove people from 'their' land, but to do so in such a heinous way to ensure that
the various groups could never again tolerate living
From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Bosnia and
Yugoslavia were on a "World War I" timeline, meaning that their
crisis wars occurred around the time of WWI, and then repeated 60 to 80
years later. The Iran/Iraq war (1980-88) and the Syria/Lebanon war
(1976-1982) are other examples of wars on the WWI timeline, and
these wars were full of similar atrocities.
Americans and Westerners in general think that they're more civilized and immune to these atrocities, but nothing could be further from the
truth. Western countries, for the most part are on the "World War II
timeline." These same kinds of atrocities occurred in WWII, and if these wars recur years after the end of WWII, Westerners will be subject to the same kinds of atrocities.
inSerbia (Belgrade) and B92 (Belgrade) and Understanding Yugoslavia
What could trigger another world war?
Consider the following events of the last 15 years:
These are all modern day examples of situations that are similar to
the Austria-Hungary occupation and annexation of Bosnia in the late
1800s. In all these modern day examples, there were many actions that
took place very quickly -- within a few hours or a day or two. If a
situation were going out of control, there would be no time for quiet
contemplation or debates in the defunct United Nations Security
- When the events of September 11, 2001, occurred, President
George W Bush declared war on Afghanistan within 24 hours. America
won that war very quickly, and no one intervened on the side of
Afghanistan. If, say, China or Pakistan or Russia had intervened to
support Afghanistan, then there might have been a new world war.
- In 2006, when two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped near the border
with Lebanon, Israel panicked and launched a war with Hezbollah within
four hours, with no plan and no objectives. No other country came to
the defense of Hezbollah. If, say, Iran or Syria had entered the war
on the side of Hezbollah, then it might have spiraled into a regional
and world war.
- In 2008, Russia invaded Georgia and annexed the provinces in the
sovereign territory of Georgia: South Ossetia and Abkhazia. No
country came to the defense of Georgia. More recently, no country has
come to the defense of Ukraine, when Russia annexed Crimea.
- China has annexed properties belonging to the Philippines and
Vietnam in the South China Sea, and no country has come to the
latter's defense. Furthermore, China has repeatedly threatened
military action against Taiwan, and the Senkaku island governed by
Japan. If the U.S. intervenes in any of these situations, then the
result will spiral into war.
There have been many renewed debates recently about the causes of
World War I. One of the most frequently mentioned causes is the
"blank check" that Germany provided to Austria. Germany promised
unconditional support to Austria in its invasion of Serbia. That
brought Germany into the war. France also issued a kind of "blank
check" to Russia, promising support against Austria, and that brought
Russia into the war.
America has issued many "blank checks" to many countries. After World
War II, America signed a large number of mutual defense treaties with
other countries. These include agreements with Japan, South Korea,
Israel, Taiwan, the Philippines, the ANZUS agreement with Australia
and New Zealand, a special treaty with Iceland, and the NATO agreement
with all of Europe.
A mutual defense treaty is arguably not the same as a "blank check,"
but it's close enough so that a misstep or miscalculation on the
part of any country could start a world war.
In 1914, it took the action of just one young man to trigger 16
million deaths. The fighting ranged from Gallipoli and the
Dardanelles Campaign — where Newfoundlanders fought and died alongside
Indians, Australians and New Zealanders — to the Balkans, the killing
fields of the Western Front, the waters off Argentina, and in the
Pacific where the Imperial Japanese Navy fought on the same side as
Britain and France, grabbing German colonies and outposts in China and
The Japanese sent warships to the Mediterranean and off the coast of
South Africa, and were involved with Canadian, Czech and British
troops in the Siberian Intervention against Communist Russia, during
the last days of war and for several months thereafter.
One of the ironies of The Great War was that Gavrilo Princip's
assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, was
opportunistic. The driver of Ferdinand's vehicle took a wrong turn,
and the wrong turn brought Ferdinand into shooting range of Princip.
If the driver had not taken that wrong turn, then something else would
have had to trigger The Great War, and Gavrilo Princip would not have
a monument dedicated to him.
That shows how easy it is for a misstep or miscalculation to lead
and National Post (Toronto)
West African Ebola outbreak is now the worst in history
According to the latest figures from the World Health Organization
(WHO), there have been more than 635 cases of Ebola across Guinea,
Liberia and Sierra Leona, with at least 399 deaths. Those figures are
substantially higher than when I wrote about this four days ago. Ebola can spread rapidly through a
population because it's spread by touch, especially with the bodily
fluids of a person who is infected, but has not yet shown symptoms.
WHO officials are now saying there is a real danger that it could
spread to neighboring countries, such as the Ivory Coast and Guinea
Bissau. There's no danger of a worldwide epidemic, since Ebola is
only spread through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected
person, as opposed to a virus that can spread through the air.
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Gavrilo Princip, Mlada Bosna, Young Bosnia,
Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Austria-Hungary, Bosnia,
Nebojsa Radmanovic, Jovan Mojsilovic,
Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Russia, Israel, Hezbollah, Iran, Syria,
Lebanon, Georgia, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Ukraine, Crimea,
Philippines, Vietnam, South China Sea, Taiwan, Japan, Senkaku,
Ebola, World Health Organization, WHO, Guinea,
Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau
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