Morbid war tourism on parade: The site of the Knin Rebellion
Where's Martha Stewart when you need her? Oh yeah... sorry...
In case, like me untill recently, you dont have the foggiest fucking idea as to how the latest of the wars in the Balkans started, here's some background reading.
The picture above is of the first Croatian police station to be taken over by Serb forces, on August 17, 1990. The fun part of the story associated with this site, and the one you dont get unless you read the in depth books or happen to be traveling with someone who works for the defense counsel for Milosovitch, involves lots of alcohol.
This is really not surprising given that much of the society in the region seems to involve lots of alcohol. This is not a slur on the people, the areas natural barren beauty makes it seem totally natural to be putting down vodka before noon. Given their history, I also hesitate to tell them they have a lot to stay sober for. But even in Slovenia, where the GDP is quite respectable, they still dont have a problem with puttin back a little liquor. As a for instance, I will site the old lady I saw taking a quick refresher shot of Jagermeister (straight from the bottle of course) before going into a cave in southern Slovenia.
But back to the war. It seems that the Serb forces that created some of those partially repared bullet holes you see above did quickly take over the police station. They then proceeded to celebrate. They apparently celebrated so prodigiously that the next day when the croation forces arrived to take back their station they found the entire bunch passed out or so hung over they couldnt even put up a fight.
The slighly humorous side of the normally tragic Knin story continues when the ISSI posse rolled through town a few weeks ago. It seems that the police frown on randomn tourists documenting their history of war, and decided to detain us to run a "quick check". We would've gotten away clean if not for the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia worker we had with us. His photo came up on file, so we had a nice time explaining what the fuck an ICTY is to the one officer with enough broken english to communicate with us. After we had them pretty convinced we were'nt arms dealers or Serbian special forces looking to plan a new assault, they were nice enough to send us off just in time to watch five randomn guys (I mean just got up from their morning beer at the nearest cafe randomn) and a crane in the middle of the road attempting to position a fully stocked street side kiosk. I'm just glad I'd learned enough from the culture by then to have a flask of vodka on hand.
Beautiful country though...