chapter  3
40 Pages

The beginning of the end

The extreme nationalist platform which Milošević took over from the Memorandum of the Serbian Academy had its effects. But the polarization which resulted from the political activity of the Yugoslav People’s army, or rather of its leadership, was less obvious then to political observers. This was connected with the fact that relatively little information concerning the political influence of army circles reached the public. Outwardly, there was the appearance that the political leadership-until the end of 1989, primarily the party presidium and after that the state presidency-held the threads of power in its hand. That was not actually the case, according to Slovenian President Milan Kučan.1 Already, in 1987, Milošević was partly indebted for his victory at the Eighth Plenum of the Serbian party to the former Defense Minister General Ljubičić, then chair of the Serbian state presidency. The chairmen of the Yugoslav party presidium in those critical years were Boško Krunić of Vojvodina from June 1987 to June 1988 and Stipe Šuvar of Croatia from June 1988 to June 1989; both Krunić and Šuvar maintained the closest contact with the army leadership. Otherwise, or so Kučan thought, they could not have carried out the duties of their office effectively. On almost every occasion, they took into account the views of the army leadership and, where possible, complied with its wishes. This had bad results for Kosovo and constituted a permanent danger for Slovenia.