Yugoslavia was different from almost every other country in the world in
its ethnic diversity. It had no majority nationality. It was a nation of minorities.
Socialist Yugoslavia had gone a long way toward uniting the nationalities while
recognizing the rights of self-determination for the different peoples of the region. It
was only during the socialist era that the Balkans were free from ethnic war.
That's because of the policies of the Yugoslav League of Communists and its leader,
Tito. According to the book "War in the Shadows" by Robert Asprey, the Communist
party's promise of equal rights for all the nationalities "appealed to a great many
unaligned people who loathed the repressive pre-war order represented by the [U.S.-backed]
government-in-exile through Mihailovic's Chetniks. The harshness of German and Italian
occupation policies further influenced the population in favor of the Partisans, who
possessed much wider support than either Western allied observers or Germans
The U.S. opposed the Communist government from the beginning and supported Chetniks in
exile for the entire Cold War period. The Cold War was really a period when the U.S.
government pursued a policy of destroying socialism in the Soviet Union as well as Eastern
Europe, including Yugoslavia. U.S. overt and covert subversion, sabotage and treachery
were more important factors in the destruction of Yugoslavia than any ethnic animosities.
The most popular Muslim leader in Bosnia is not Alija Izetbegovic. By
popular vote, Fikret Abdic was the most widely supported Muslim leader. But he was
anti-U.S. and against the breakup of Yugoslavia. He supported Muslim-Serbian-Croatian
With U.S. support, a narrow grouping around Izetbegovic forced Abdic out of the Bosnian
government, where he was part of the collective presidency. The media call Abdic the
"renegade Muslim." He led an army opposing the Izetbegovic regime that was
allied with the Bosnian Serbs. Last spring, he was captured by the Croatian Army in the