The legacy of Baroness Margaret Thatcher: Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Baroness Margaret Thatcher at Ovcara massacre site, Vukovar, September 1998

2012 Oscars handed Meryl Streep her third leading prize for her brilliant performance as Margaret Thatcher in the movie The Iron Lady. If it was not for Streep’s phenomenal portrayal of Margaret Thatcher as a vulnerable woman, the movie would be classified as boring while historically weak, if not inaccurate. It reeks of emptiness – significant events that created the character of the longest serving British Prime Minister – and a woman at that – and those that she participated in retirement, are missing. It is a great pity for Thatcher’s legacy for human rights, fight against Communism and Socialism and national pride, among others, are second to none on the world’s stage of politics.

Newsclip- 6 February 1992:

It is paradoxical that one of Thatcher’s earliest advisors – in the era that catapulted her into the office of Prime Minister in 1970’s – was a fanatical Communist, Sir Alfred Sherman. Thatcher got rid of Sherman from her inner-circle of advisers in 1982.

From 1993 Sir Alfred Sherman served as policy advisor to self –proclaimed Serb government in Pale (Self-proclaimed Serbian Republic in Bosnia and Herzegovina) of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic – both indicted in 1995 for war crimes, both evaded arrest for years hiding in Serbia and currently on trial at the ICTY in the Hague. Sherman had operated from an apartment next door to Karadzic’s office and his advice would have spilled into encouragement, no doubt.

“In 1993 a BBC reporter who had been able to visit the Serb nationalist leader Radovan Karadzic’s forces in Bosnia was surprised when they boasted to him of the ‘British Lord’ who was giving their leader advice. On enquiry he discovered that the ‘Lord’ was but a Knight, Sir Alf no less. At a meeting in the House of Commons the following year organised by the newly-formed and badly misnamed Committee for Peace in the Balkans, and chaired by Alice Mahon, Labour MP, someone (I forget if it was me) mentioned this connection between a right-wing Tory and the Chetnik ethnic cleansing genius. Who should pop up to confirm it but Sir Alf himself, who declared ‘I am an adviser to Dr.Radovan Karadzic, and I am proud to be an adviser to Radovan Karadzic!’

Thatcher continued with her support for the plight of former Yugoslav states of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina for independence well into her retirement.

In 1993 she accused Prime Minister John Major and his government for lacking resolve in the Serbian aggression in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We cannot just let things go on like this,” she said. “It is evil. If these governments are not moved by those pictures of death and suffering, if they are not moved by the position of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Europe, 2 million refugees, mass graves being found in Croatia, then they should be.”

I can with pride affirm: Ja sam Zagrebcanka” (I am a Zagreb woman), she said in her speech in Zagreb, Croatia, in September 1998. “President Tudjman rightly understood that there could be no future for Croatia within a Yugoslavia that had become a prison with brutal Serb jailers. The democrats from other parties then cast aside their differences and rallied round their country’s defence. Above all, the Croatian people, young and old, showed a heroism at which I could only marvel. You faced the armed might of the fourth largest army in Europe. You were repeatedly deceived and betrayed. You were deprived of the means to protect your dear ones, your houses, your churches, your land. You were even slandered — accused, as in Vukovar, of the atrocities your enemies themselves committed. But you persevered. You grew steadily stronger. And you triumphed”.

It’s a shame the film The Iron Lady has little of interest to say about either the woman, or the period of British and the world history she shaped and attempted to shape. Had she had her way, had she been listened to, then massacres of thousands would not have occurred in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990’s. Certainly, the Communists and pro-Communists had well infiltrated the corridors of “Western” powers and political maneuvering that enabled the Serb terror to continue – culminating in Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 men and boys in 1995. Ina Vukic, Prof.(Zgb); B.A.,M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Comments

  1. Communists live in a fantasy land that would be ridiculous if it were not so dangerous. God bless Lady Thatcher. Too bad her contemporaries are so weak…what I am trying to say is too bad they are so stupid.

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  2. Ina

    This is a great blog – keep up the excellent work you are doing!

    Stipe Simat

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