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Miki Jacevic on Preventing Genocide, Part 1

Dublin Core

Title

Miki Jacevic on Preventing Genocide, Part 1

Subject

Genocide -- Prevention.
Genocide -- Intervention.

Description

Oral history video clip featuring Miki Jacevic, a survivor of the Yugoslav War. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.

Creator

Media Entertainment, Inc.

Source

Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library,
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.

Publisher

Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.

Date

1999-11-05

Contributor

Jacevic, Miki

Relation

G36-00030
Tape number: 4143A

Format

video / mp4

Language

English

Type

Oral History

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Nelson, Jane

Interviewee

Jacevic, Miki

Transcription

Well, the question of ending the genocide from the worldly perspective, I think, has been the highlight question for the politics of the twentieth century: for the nations, for the countries, for all the good people who realize even in their small living rooms all over the world, when you watch something that’s going on in Kosovo, all of us are asking, “Why is this happening, and what can we do to stop this, to prevent this?” In a sense, I believe we have been put to test in the Kosovo situation, because it is the first time—and I myself am having daily struggles with this, because I promote and preserve nonviolence, so in a sense I would go to the final, utmost chances not to use any military might and any military action. At the same time, what I do highly appreciate about what was going on in Kosovo, it is that the international community for the first time in history came together and said to a dictatorial leader who tried to exercise genocidal violence, “We will not put up with this. We will send our airplanes to destroy your country unless you stop this.” And it worked. Ultimately, it worked. And again, we can argue about the ethical principles of that and all the wonderful religious principles of life and work can do for us in these kinds of situations. But I sure as hell know that people on the ground in Pristina, when that bombing started in March, were very appreciative that there was somebody out there trying to prevent and stop it. The fact was, unfortunately, it didn’t really stop it. We did have almost 1 million people expelled from the country because of the fact that the air campaign was not necessarily the best methodology. So in a sense, yes, there are many arguments about how it happened, the timing of particular actions and all that stuff. As a principle, though, I think it’s an important precedent that we have to now look into in any situation in which there is a dictatorship, of a very nationalist, bigotry-based government that is trying to use whatever kind of act of physical or emotional or any kind of violence expressed on a particular group of people, in which the world came together—mostly it was Western leaders. Yes, it would have been much better if it had been the United Nations action instead of NATO coming together; and yes, wouldn’t it be much better that it was the whole European coalition instead of the United States taking the lead. And all of those things I totally respect, and I agree. At the same time, I do want to say that for somebody who has lived through a situation of genocidal war, it was a positive sign that the world—I guess I probably did project it on Sarajevo, in the fact that the same thing, if it had happened in May of 1992 instead of September of 1995, when the first NATO airplanes flew over Bosnia, that I sure would have liked to see 250,000 human lives spared and saved, and many, many, many families not being destroyed, and cities and all the property and everything. So in a sense, yes, if it’s the ultimate way, I think one way of ending the genocide is taking decisive—if need be, military—action in the situations in which the world is witnessing genocide. So that’s kind of on a very abrupt, final endpoint.

Original Format

Beta tape

Duration

4:04

Citation

Media Entertainment, Inc., “Miki Jacevic on Preventing Genocide, Part 1,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed October 19, 2019, http://exhibits.lib.usf.edu/items/show/550.