I have /msged Lady Midnight with the following corrections, however, she hasn't included them. Therefore, I have to write them up myself:
The fact Serbs live in Krajina (note also that both the area described above and the western part of Bosnia are called Krajina -- one is "vojna Krajina" (rough translation from Croatian is "military land") and the other is "bosanska Krajina" (roughly, "Bosnian land")) doesn't actually interfere with the relations of Croatia and Bosnia. It's a problem for nationalists among Serbs and Croats, mainly -- the former want that land out of Croatia, and the latter want the former out of Croatia, to put it simply.
The Serbian majority during the royal dictatorship was overwhelming, actually: more than 95% court officials were Serbs, and the percentage of Serb top army officers was 99%.
Even though initially Pavelić and his Italian-imported Ustashi were accepted by the majority, soon after, most Croats realized what they got themselves into. The major political party, HSS, never really collaborated with the Pavelic government; however, they were too cowardly to directly oppose them, since the German Panzers were always around.
There was another side of the coin with reference to the forced conversion (to Catholicism). There were several Catholic priests who willingly performed fake conversions in Serb villages in Croatia during the WWII. They did it knowing that the Serbs will latently remain Orthodox, but they also knew that the Ustashi government would execute the poor people if they didn't think they were Catholics -- so they "converted" them to keep them alive. Of course, probably some of those priests' motives weren't so honest, but in the end, lives that were saved matter.
Yugoslavia included one other republic: Macedonia.
The notion of "anti-Serb policies" and "genocidal methods" applied against Serbs in Yugoslavia is blatant FUD, and it really saddens me to see that someone can be this misled. First of all, Serbs were the largest nation in Yugoslavia. It would be illogical and hardly possible for any smaller entity to bully a larger one in a political system like the one in question, wouldn't it?
Instead of Sarajevo, which is a larger city and closest to the geographical center of the country, the capital was in Belgrade, the Serbian capital. Sarajevo and Bosnia in general could have used the things being a capital provides to a city, too. Belgrade was the largest city anyway, and the second best economy-wise. Furthermore, Sarajevo embodied the whole idea of South Slav brotherhood, being a city where three different nations and three different religions lived together side by side. To place the capital in Belgrade sent a very simple message -- this is the biggest city, we are in the majority, the capital stays put. (No matter how slim the majority actually was.)
The bureaucratic machinery from the kingdom of Yugoslavia was merely converted to communism in the post-WWII Yugoslavia -- the Serbian dominance continued. This was particularly obvious in the repressive organs: police, army and secret services. Serbs had privileges when it came to employment in those. The Serbian language (or, the Serbian variant of Serbo-Croatian) was de facto standard in government use, in all of the republics.
All of the republics other than Serbia and Montenegro demanded to lessen the centralism. They had every right to demand that, because it was obvious that Belgrade was working in its own interest, not theirs. It took street demonstrations in Zagreb in 1971 and huge public pressure from the non-Serb republics in order to have Tito and the Communist party change the constitution in 1974, so that the republics become less dependent on Belgrade (even if still in a federation).
In the early 1990s, Slobodan Milošević was able to take complete control of the Yugoslav People's Army ("Jugoslavenska Narodna Armija", JNA) because the highest ranked generals were Serbs, and nationalist-supporting ones at that (Kadijević, Rašeta, Pavković). The 12% of Serbs in Croatia (only a part of which rebelled, BTW) couldn't have done all the damage in the war, were it not for the wholehearted support from the JNA.
If you want to downvote me for so much ranting, I can't stop you, but the above facts needed to be said, in the interest of truth. :|
I would appreciate that one /msgs me before casting a downvote, too, I'll be glad to correct any mistakes I may have made.
As for my opinion about a permanent peace scheme: the only solution is to get the various people to be tolerant, get them to appreciate their differences and acknowledge their similarities. This will be even harder now that Milosevic has raised hell in the 1990s and incited hatred and genocide at all sides, but we must still try.
All the other solutions, especially those that depend on external aid, are temporary and are unlikely to last for long.
Needless to mention, carefree misinterpretation of the complex historical background does nothing but obfuscate issues and obstructs progress.
Update on 2002-09-19: oh, good, more FUD to refute, this time from user Makaveli. "Objective opinions", heh, what an oxymoron :(
The first Yugoslavia was formed because Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia&Herzegovina had two choices after the disintegration of Austria-Hungary: work something out with (read: become provinces of) Austria, Hungary or Italy, or work something out (read: try something new) with Serbia and Montenegro. Mind you, Croatia et al didn't quite go to war on the wrong side because of their own desires -- they were a relatively small province of a large empire that had its own agenda. Anyway, the idea of unity with other South Slavs was obviously more appealing, given the past long lasting and not overly friendly relationships with the other aforemented countries.
The deal was quite beneficial for the Serbian side, because they got a hold of territories which are much richer than their own. Additional territory is nice, but additional tax money is nicer.
The reasons why Croats came to dislike Yugoslavia should be obvious -- their resources get spent on building up Belgrade etc, they have little or no influence on how the country is run, they were subjected to a brutal dictatorship and in the end, their political leader, Stjepan Radić gets killed by Puniša Račić in the middle of a Parliament session! Afterwards, Račić wasn't even trialled justly -- he was sentenced with "home arrest", and later even released due to the war.
None of this excuses the crimes committed by the Ustashi. They are horrendous and despicable, no doubt about that. However, not every Croat was an Ustasha, far from it. The masses weren't openly opposing the government, yes, but it's too easy to call people cowards when there's a war going on.
Openly glorifying Chetniks is something I don't get. These people were soldiers that helped the monarch repress the masses before the war, and later turned to killing everyone who wasn't Serbian. Sure, they didn't manage to get a hold of the infrastructure or a deal with the Germans, but still I can't understand how you can find a kind word for these people -- they are certainly no better than the Ustashi.
Saying that Croats had their own army in WWI is very questionable, given that they had no country or army of their own, but that they participated in the Habsburg Monarchy's army. There's a wee bit of difference between being enlisted in another entity's army and running your own.
All in all, you make it sound like the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was more like a gift from the gods to Croats (and others from Habsburg Monarchy), as it saved them from something bad. Well, they had a pretty authoritarian government before, and the first Yugoslavia eventually turned into an outright dictatorship, on January 6th, 1929 if I recall correctly. I don't see how this could ever be construed as an improvement.
(For possibly uninformed or suspicious readers: more information on this can be found in Black Hand over Europe. Even I didn't realize how bad this country really was until I read some of that.)
"Soon after" in that paragraph means a few weeks -- the time between Pavelić's arrival and Vladko Maček's home arrest. (Vladko Maček became the leader of HSS after Stjepan Radić was killed). Sure, I didn't say anything about them being actively anti-fascist -- I just said that they didn't collaborate, which they didn't. Please look up the meaning of the word collaborate in a dictionary if you don't understand what I mean.
Will continue later... or not. Makaveli seems to have come to his senses and removed most of the propaganda from his writeup. How convenient, just as I was finishing my rebuttal! And now that writeup is gone, too...