Croatia: Natasha Srdoc’s H-21 Party nest anti-corruption crusaders reveal ugly side to consider

Sasa Radovic Photo: Novi List

Corruption in Croatia is an intolerable reality that had spread its roots deeply within the society from the days of communist Yugoslavia. The former government’s minister of internal affairs Tomislav Karamarko (newly elected President of Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ) had waged a decisive and firm war against corruption.

Charles Crawford, a former UK diplomat who spent decades serving in or dealing with communist and post-communist Europe was quick to jump on the anti-Croatian lynch mob bandwagon that, in the midst of widespread corruption allegations in Croatia, failed to sit back and afford Croatian authorities the trust they should be afforded. Crawford wasted no time in calling Croatia a tyrannical state when he should have waited to see what develops. I wonder if he would call UK a tyrannical state if a candidate at parliamentary elections was arrested on suspicions of having committed some crime? In November 2011, he wrote:

“Sasha (Sasa Radovic) is now a political prisoner of a tyrannical state …

In an independent initiative, Denis Latin, anchor of Croatia’s state-run television and one of the most respected journalists in Croatia and Southeast Europe has joined well-known public figures in a signed letter calling for the release of Sasha. 

Over the last four months, over 20 political party candidates of H21, supporters and volunteers have been harassed, intimidated, lost business contracts and had visits by Croatia’s ‘financial police’.

 The Adriatic Institute for Public Policy and Hrvatska 21 call for the immediate release of Aleksandar Saša Radović and encourage Western leaders from strong rule of law nations to join this effort in calling for Croatia to uphold the rule of law and establish an independent judiciary”. 

Crawford wrote soon after Sasa Radovic was arrested in Croatia having, according to news and media reports, been caught in flagrante delicto receiving blackmail money. Radovic had reportedly been blackmailing General Ivan Cermak (acquitted of war crimes charges in the Hague, April 2011) for months. According to media reports the blackmail consisted of Radovic extorting money (one million Euros) from Cermak: Cermak pays the money to Radovic and Radovic will stop publically accusing Cermak of war profiteering!

Sasa Radovic, an activist and writer (one of his books on corruption and war-profiteering was “Tko je jamio, je jamio” / “Who grabbed, grabbed”) has been described as having in his book accused Cermak of amassing enormous wealth from selling petrol for Serbian tanks during the 1990’s war in Bosnia. Radovic had reportedly also been a member of a group of Croatian civil activists (including journalist Domagoj Margetic, and writer Darko Petricic) pushing for a Different Croatia, seeking that many politicians, government officials, president … leave their positions before “they do more damage”.

Reportedly, Radovic was also involved in the organising of a series of rallies (2008/2009…) under the banner “You tighten your belts, you thieving gang” that aimed to bring down the government and called out against criminals and war criminals.

Whether as author, whether as public speaker …Sasa Radovic, it seems, had been seen as a relentless anti-corruption activist, not shying away from naming persons who were, according to him, corrupt, regardless of the credibility of evidence he may or may not have had.

In 2011 he became a candidate for December 2011 general parliamentary elections for Croatia 21 Century Party. President of this Party is Natasha Srdoc, head of The Adriatic Institute for Public Policy in Croatia. Srdoc has received many accolades in “Western” media as the person who is a staunch anti-corruption fighter and whose resolve in this could significantly help bring Croatia out of the dark corridors of widespread corruption. She has been dubbed Croatia’s “Iron Lady” by some.

When Radovic was arrested in November 2011, Srdoc, though, had no time for respecting the justice process in Croatia – she charged forth defending Radovic and called his arrest a political arrest in the days before general elections. She wasted no time informing the international scene of her “plight”. Charles Crawford (former UK Diplomat) was one of many to jump on Srdoc’s bandwagon carrying a lynch mob against Croatian justice and authorities. Srdoc, it seems, had no time to sit back and wait; to allow Croatian police and criminal processing avenues to do their job.

Srdoc is the first to criticize Croatian justice system as being unjust, biased and non-independent and yet here she was doing exactly the thing she says she’s fighting against.

Also, instead of seeking that Radovic step down as candidate for her Party in 2011 general elections once he was arrested on suspicions of blackmail and extortion she dug her heels in and tagged him a political prisoner of Croatia. It’s a given that one must be presumed innocent until proven guilty, but to call an arrest for blackmail and extortion at election times a political arrest is wrong because it means that due process in processing allegations of criminal offences is ignored, purposefully I believe. Srdoc did wrong here and that, to my opinion, strips heaps off her credibility as an anti-corruption fighter, as a fighter for independence in judiciary …

Even during times of parliamentary general elections processing criminal charges and allegations must take priority over politics. But not in Srdoc’s world it seems?

Vecernji List news portal reports that at the court hearing (May 23, 2012) for blackmail against Radovic seceretly taped Radovic’s telephone conversations reveal evidence of blackmail (Radovic was arrested in November 2011 as he was receiving blackmail money after this phone conversation). It is claimed that in these phone conversations Radovic sought to extort (via middle-man Tomislav Micic, former employee of Security Intelligence Service) half million Euro from Cermak  – in return Radovic would stop the printing of his new book in which he reportedly names Cermak, again, for war profiteering. Also, Radovic reportedly sought that Cermak withdraws the defamation proceedings against him. Radovic has not presented his defence in this matter but it is expected that he may attempt to turn the tables against Cermak.

Natasha Srdoc’s H-21 Party website  boasts: “Adriatic Institute’s leaders have made a profound impact in changing the climate of public opinion in addressing Croatia’s criminal capitalism, unreformed judiciary, widespread corruption, absence of media freedom and an economy at risk through domestic and international high-level events”.

It would seem to me that Natasha Srdoc and some of her political associates (including Sasa Radovic) have captured the attention of international, and domestic media simply because they speak loudly in blanket statements (often speaking in general terms without evidencing specifics) against Croatian corruption and judiciary, creating a picture of Croatia that is as black as black can be.

Srdoc, instead of taking the route of positive change in influencing “climate of public opinion” by praising the positive changes and progress made in processing corruption cases in Croatia, decided to bang on and on about corruption as if nothing has changed.

There are many in the world who, for whatever reason, don’t like to see positive things about Croatia and latch on hungrily at anyone or anything that might feed their disliking of Croatia.

But things are not so black in Croatia as Srdoc and her associates would like us to believe; there are many positive changes and progress made. One must behold those while keeping a keen eye on those things that still need to be changed.

Perhaps another positive change will arise if Sasa Radovic, Natasha Srdoc’s H-21 Party  “leadership colleague”, is found guilty of blackmail and extortion. This would not be your “ordinary” run-of-the-mill blackmail and extortion case, this case announces an alarming  possibility that leaders (anti-corruption crusaders) such as Radovic may have devised a wicked, wicked plan: Shout loudly about corruption so that persons implicated or named (perhaps even without water-tight evidence) in your shouting get to pay you lots of money to stop!

Well, well, well – if it turns out that Radovic did extort and blackmail, could this be a novel avenue (a road less travelled) of extortion devised or perfected within the corridors of the very Croatian institute and political party that prides itself on anti-corruption, anti-organised crime?

If Radovic is found innocent then the allegations that he was a political prisoner may be proven as correct, and grave concerns about Croatia’s democracy and rule of law will indeed become justified, if that turns out to be the case, in this case.  Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Comments

  1. This is a HDZ hatchet job by close supporters of Croatia’s HDZ criminal enterprise founded by Franjo Tudjman. Croatia’s politically influenced judiciary and police have been criticized by the EU.

    This blog is slanderous and the author deserves to face the courts for libel – perhaps in Australia or the UK where strict libel laws are upheld.

    Readers should take into account reports about Croatia:
    Croatia the next Greece
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/26/croatia-the-next-greece/

    BBC: “Croatia – Democracy is Suspect”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9667000/9667372.stm

    HDZ’s new poster boy Karamarko is a known criminal in Croatia and the Balkans with links to organized crime. Just look into the Albanian mafia contacts. Croatia is the Balkan region’s soggy bottom and it is unfortunate that Croatian citizens have suffered so much under the ex-communists of HDZ and SDP for the past two decades. Kuhner is right – Croatia is the next Greece. This is a humanitarian tragedy!

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    • When will Croatia be free of people like M.Z. above! They are the idiots that keep lingering on and on probably to make money. They accuse everyone of crime who comments on public issue or figures, heck no one is good enough four them. MZ mentions Jeffrey Kuhner – don’t you dare even speak of him as you do not deserve to be mentioned in the same company as Kuhner – Kuhner is a gentleman, a professional and never accuses people he does not know without evidence.
      We are yet to see evidence of crimes supposedly committed by Karamarko … stop hiding behind a false name MZ, get your evidence in order and serve it to a solicitor who will help you mount a case …that way you would do much good to Croatia, simply pointing fingers is just not good enough

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      • Brankec says:

        John, don’t worry. MZ is neither Croatian nor does he live in Croatia or speak Croatian. But he does belong to some rich lobby groups that spent millions of dollars prior to the last parliamentary elections here in Croatia to try and get elected and yes, they subsequently pulled off about a fifth of a percent of the popular vote, which didn’t quite reach the same percent of popularity as such political “giants” as the Zagorje party or the “colossal” Women’s Socialist Party. Their gestapo-like scare tactics that they used to try and attract voters to their side were, and still are, recognized and rejected by voters because that is how “voting” went after 1945 and before 1990. Obviously Croatians just felt that they did not want to be strong-armed like in the communist days and voted for other options.

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  2. Sebastijan says:

    Anything BBC says about Croatia is highly suspect, so don’t even go there. Croatia is not the only country to be next Greece, perhaps Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland will get there first.

    Of Course Croatia has a long way to go to develop better democracy, it came out of Communism for crying out loud! But people like MZ above are not the ones who will help thuds. MZ and people like him/her always go on attack of people (like the whole country) if someone writes the truth.
    Perhaps M.Z. should brush up on what libel is before threatening the author of the post. The way I read this post it’s a report on what other media etc have written and opinion. The author does not go about accusing anyone in definite terms but rather says “If” Radovic is found guilty (author used Vecernji List court report) etc “reportedly” etc while MZ calls the whole of HDZ criminal just as others he defends calls the whole of Croatia criminal. Surely there are good people in HDZ and in Croatia! But then anyone using initials as their name to make comments is suspect anyway

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  3. Michael Silovic says:

    M.Z . reading your comments you sound like an angry Serb! Forgive me if I am wrong! Your comments stating Karamarko is a known criminal in Croatia and the Balkans with links to organized crime, Just look into the Albanian mafia contacts is very slanderous and if you have proof of such you need to come forward to the authorities with this proof or you are indeed slandering someone who the Croatians choose to be their leader.If you do not like Tommi then just say so and why but do not slander someone with out proof.In many new developing countries there are times that politicians have to deal with unsavory people for various reasons. You see this in Afghanistan and Pakistan as an example by their leaders.This does not make them criminal. I do not take lightly anyone degrading my motherland. Croatia does have it’s problems as do many countries in the Balkans and in the Eu. Sadly when any country comes out of communism you will have people who do certain things to benefit them more so then their own country through corruption.Even in countries with long term notable democracies have corruption that we witness to this day. We all hope that those involved in corruption practices are brought before the courts with due process whether it be in Croatia or any other country. Further your comments , Croatia’s politically influenced judiciary and police have been criticized by the EU does not matter to Croats. The EU is like tits on a bull. Totally useless! The EU is not to be trusted and if you look at the history of those countries that are part of the EU I am sure you will see corruption on every level as well. I only pray that we do not align ourselves to closely with the Eu or the United States. With regards to your comments , Croatia’s HDZ criminal enterprise founded by Franjo Tudjman I find very offensive. Our president has not been found guilty of any criminal charges or able to defend any libel slanderous comments against him but I am sure his family is available to look at any proof that you may have that accuse him of such action as being a criminal. To many Croats and myself He is our President Franjo Tudjman and hero for moving our country away from communism and into independence. This action alone deserves respect for our president and all Croats. On the last subject regarding the author of this website. As an individual who is versed in international law I have read many of her articles and can say that there are no issues of libel that I can see. If you correctly read what is written you will see that those above have correctly stated the key words (If) ( reportedly) etc are words that do not directly call into question ones culpability. If you disagree with her articles or comments that to is ok because she will afford you the right to discuss them and share with us all of your thoughts and concerns. In fact on this site you will get more honesty and opinions here then you would on any of the papers you have quoted which I considered to be nothing more then gossip rags.

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    • Thank you Michael. Indeed I have never been in the business of slandering or defaming persons as I believe in the truth, often hard to live down though. H-21 Century is a political party in Croatia, a public institution and any issues to do with it are of public interest and public must be made aware. That is the democracy at work. If some from the public do not like the truth then they have other options to act instead of attacking people without proof and even the whole country. Such has unfortunately been a way many operate from former communist Yugoslavia. Way back, in communist Yugoslavia, if one pointed to a Commie of having done wrong that Commie would not address his/her wrong but straight away point a finger and accuse that person of a crime or wrong doing without any proof. Commies used to say “Attack is the best form of defence”, well it may have been under communism but not in democracy, Croatia will need a few years more to get rid of such unbecoming behaviour.

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  4. M.Z. is a sick individual who knows not what it means to have freedom of expression and speech. What’s more is that he is clearly incapable of identifying a well-researched blog when he sees it. I regularly follow this blog and although I don’t always agree with it, I would never think to say that it isn’t founded upon sound facts.

    As for Natasa Srdoc, all I can say is beware. It doesn’t take much more than a visit to her institute’s testimonials and a quick lookup of the people who work for her to see that she isn’t too trustworthy herself. I commend the initiative to draw attention to the corruption levels in Croatia, but just because she’s anti-corruption doesn’t necessarily mean she’s pro-Croatia. I find her goals for the Croatian economy to be MUCH to similar to what the USA wants them to be. That is to say that the blueprint of what she advocates might as well have directly been photocopied from Washington, without adequate consideration of the vast differences between the USA and Croatia. On a personal level, I have had some encounters with her and those working for her that can only be described as anything but democratic. I strongly suggest you do much more research into her.

    To adress what the xenophobe said in his first comment, I’d be weary of Karamarko as well. Not because of his affiliations with the big scary Tudman party (if you consider it a criminal enterprise, then consider be a mob enthusiast) but because he played a leading role when it came to enabling Mesic. And I might add, Karamarko was head of intelligence in Croatia at the time Gotovina was located… just saying.

    Otherwise, Ina your blogs are always a good read and an accurate reflection of the voice of many in this country. Keep it up.

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    • Thank you Ana. Point taken regarding Karamarko, however Mesic was going to win whether Karamarko headed his election campaign or not, believe me I know and the air Mesic had prepared in Croatia for his win started in 1992 or 1993. It was not a hard election campaign to lead because Mesic had creeped under lots of skin in Croatia and his quick wit and jokes won him lots of “female” votes. Croatians cannot blame Karamarko for Mesic’s electoral win, Mesic won because Croatians voted for him. Cannot make Karamarko a scapegoat for something many want to forget and wish they didn’t do: vote for Mesic as President of Croatia. I spent years warning Croatian public about Mesic and his sus ways to say the least. As head of the inellingence, a public service position I might add, Karamarko would have been responsible to do his job. He could have resigned, I guess, and went on unemployment lines. I do see a strength in Karamarko others do not show, but let’s wait and see. If I am proved wrong, I will be the first to say, ooops, I was wrong. I did not vote in his election as I’m not a delegate of HDZ, I merely read from the past and present needs.

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      • truthbefree says:

        Well, from the comments above, those that take offense to opinions regarding Croatia, should consider that criticism is a necessary part of a burgeoning and developing democracy is that’s what Croats really want. What I find irksome, is the tone of “isolationism” or incredibly “nationalistic” rhetoric, regardless of the comments made on this blog. It seems that everyone on this blog agrees on one thing only, that everyone mentioned, leaders, both deceased and living: ie. Tudman, Karamarko, Natasha and others with political clout or influence are not infallible, no past or present leaders are. But Croatia is not yet a democracy, it has no tradition or history in democracy so I believe the steps are going to be very slow. In country years, you can say Croatia is still learning how to walk, it’s still a baby. I’m referring to its present situation and not its overall history. Croatia, in my opinion needs help in development in many areas. One is obviously, the fight against systemic corruption, a totally revamped and independent judicial system, and a political structure that allows new and younger people to bring their ideas forward about their vision for Croatia’s future. The problem is that I have not yet seen any political force with clear ideas and actions that demonstrate that capability. Croatia just might have to wait a generation or two for it to be influenced by the outside world. After all, countries like people, must work and cooperate in order to foster good relations. It doesn’t come by disrespect and force. The world has definitely seen enough violence in the balkans when Yugoslavia splintered into republics we have today. So I do agree, that Croatia has a long way to go, but its people have to be prepared for what’s ahead, and the only word that comes to mind is CHANGE. And change can be a scary proposition for Croats, just read some comments on this blog and the fear is apparent. No to EU, No to USA, and mind your own business attitude is a flaw conjured up by people who live in the past. But that’s about to come to an end with the influence of the outside world coming into Croatia, that’s a fact. To expect Croats to do it alone? Not very realistic.

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      • Thank you truthbefree but I do believe that you have read the significance of some posts on this blog. First of all as matter of justice and fairness one cannot allow a person/leader to call “all Croatia” corrupt because many in it are. With regards to input by outsiders eg USA, UK into Croatia’s development no one is saying it shouldn’t happen but it should happen as advice that Croatia can or does not have to take. What’s happening or what has happened in Croatia is that many decision makers felt relatively incompetent or intimidated by influx of foreign “dogooders” (especially where it meant money could be earned for consultancies), none it seems went about assisting Croatia to use her own resources (people resources) and there are many clever Croatians around. Mind your own business is not a flaw of people who live in the past its a virtue of those who see the results of the past and who need time to regain trust in those from the past who hadn’t delivered the goods, so to speak. Croatia does need more changes and improvements but the best will come when it starts trusting the know-how of its own and uses the foreign advice as sounding board etc. and some learning. Foreign opinion or advice have often been received as “gospel” in Croatia and no people are infallible, not even the foreign ones who assert themselves as advice givers or gurus in some field or other.

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  5. truthbefree says:

    Ina, I appreciate your comment but would have to disagree with your premise and conclusions. Croatia is no different than any other country that is in the throes of transition from a Communist country to a more democratic nation of “laws”. It’s not virtuous to admit that you have little experience with actual nation building and sorry, but Croats sold INA and PLIVA and every other national company of importance. Why? The Croatians who will make a difference in Croatia are those that spent years in other countries and continents figuring it out on their own, and members of your own diaspora did come back and they were robbed by Croatians when they tried to invest or set up businesses in Croatia. The know how you are talking about will never come from inside Croatia because those that never left only know what they were taught at home or school, which is insufficient for the task ahead. Croatia has had 20 years to show the world its know how, which turned out to be “don’t know how”. You see the fundamental problem with Croatia is simple. Grow up as a nation and take responsibility for the direction you want your nation to take. But don’t deny every foreigner with an opinion about Croatia his or her opinion. As much as I disagree with your statements, I still respect your right to express them. That’s democracy, and democracy only works when all people are valued in a society. That is the timeline of evolution for a society, inclusion of others, and not just Croats for Croatia. And one of the comments suggested not aligning too closely with the EU? Hello, Croatia a member on July 1, 2013. I think you’re aligned already. I hope Croatia is ready for the changes, because they will come, fast an furious. I say this because I think Croatia is a diamond that needs to be shared with the world. It’s time for that, change and progress are good things. Don’t be so fearful, mistakes will happen regardless, but move forward. It will happen with or without people’s approval. Cheers.

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    • Agree with you partially only Truthbefree. With regards to foreigners giving advice and getting paid for consultancies that’s all fine but to the point if that consultancies does not result in Croatia’s self sufficiency on the main on the issue then that foreign consultancy must be questioned. Croatia is all about SELF DETERMINATION and it needs more courage and trust in its own people. Sorry but people that have graduated from a University in Croatia (including myself) have done great things in other countries where they work. And I can tell you that Croatian politicians DID know how to build a new state in the early days it’s only when things started going wrong politically when detudjmanisation started around 1993 that things started going wrong. Lots of people from diaspora were brought into Croatia apparently as professionals and no one in Croatia bothered to really check what they had achieved outside Croatia in the field needed. And many came there not through Tudjman’s lines but through his political opponents who were high up in Cro politics.
      I
      m not fearful of mistakes nor advice but I do loathe the cockiness and conceitedness of some foreign “professionals” who patronise Croatia and put down its knowledge base. Many foreigners that “want to teach Croatia” haven’;t done such a crash hot job in their own countries. So what I’m saying: yes get foreign advice BUT think hard before you take it or reject it. Croatia need much more belief in itself.

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  6. Michael Silovic says:

    truthbefree, I understand what you are saying and agree with you 100%. Ina has clarified the position very well. I never personally claimed that we should not accept in put from the USA or the EU. I do not believe that we need to copy the same things that those countries have because you can see what is happening to them now. There are other countries that fair much better such as Switzerland and we can surely use some of what they got.I am a nationalist. I make no apology for this and I do not believe that Croatia should even hesitate for a moment in having a nationalist policy.As you must have read the column i attached of what is happening in Israel with them coming close to losing their identity. I do not like the fact the Croatia is closing chapters as they did to rush into the EU and follow their so called laws.Croats need to decide as a people what laws they choose to live under and yes democracy does take time and comes in many different forms.I would rather be a nationalist country and slow to create a democracy of our own with our own laws even if it takes longer to achieve the democracy we want. Poland has come a long way in its own right and has kept its own currency. Perhaps rather then copying the USA and the EU we should mix both Switzerland and Poland together into our democracy.

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    • Agree, Croats can seek advice from others but decide for itself whether it wants to take that advice or not. Just because someone comes from a “developed” country it does not mean they know best. Croatia needs more self-determination in not letting others patronise it and belittle its own knowledge and know-how.

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  7. Michael Silovic says:

    truthbefree you comment: And one of the comments suggested not aligning too closely with the EU? Hello, Croatia a member on July 1, 2013. I think you’re aligned already. yes we are aligned sadly but that doesn’t mean a whole bunch. We can do like the serbs and just yes them to death and do what we need to.This is why I say align to closely. Let me even be clearer in my views. America is falling apart.( same as England , France etc) Their democracy is in shambles and has been since 911.America is becoming a fascist country, it’s one of the most racists countries in the world as we know it today,it’s people are losing their constitutional rights on a daily basis with violation of the constitution happening very quickly. The American military is practicing urban warfare in our streets everyday,This is not because they need to practice for other countries we may want to invade because most countries we invade do not have similar infrastructure. This is being done to intimidate people and practice for martial law. ( control and manipulation ) Our legal system and laws have become so draconian that we have approximate 180 million people involved in our legal system of justice. this does not include civil or other courts. 4 million are currently in prison ! Americas population is about 400 million estimate. We have , helicopters and spy drones flying over homes in suburban america, cameras on just about every street corner some that even catch you running red lights that they charge you $100.00 for. Every time you are stopped by the traffic police they search you and your car. Dare you go to the airport you get a free prostrate massage! Our government now has the right to incarcerate people and hold them indefinitely with out explaining why and our government also has the right to assassinate their own people. Have you looked at the human rights record of america lately? So you see sometimes just because a country is supposed to be known for its democracy doesn’t mean that that type of democracy will work every where else nor should the people of those countries have to live by such laws of democracy. I could go on but I think you got my jest. But on one other issue briefly, america is starting to become a nationalist country as well. Good thing your not Mexican or an Arab you would find out real quick how nationalist we are becoming. Croats deserve better then this type of democracy. I would start on the Eu but I think you get my point.

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  8. truthbefree says:

    According to the responses my comments received, I have no issues with people loving their country, but that’s not what I am talking about here, and of course, there are many roads to take towards self determination, but wait a minute, every comment takes offense to some type of constructive criticism. And I’m sure I’ll be long past when the “falling part” of the US or England happens. Rule of Law is optimal and although it can be said that policies have changed since 9-11, albeit reactionary ones. Considering that the US has a black President where blacks constitute only 10% of the population sends a message that most Americans don’t care what color you are or what religion you practice. America is an experiment that has taken people from all over the world and by far has been the most successful nation to exist on the planet. But if you would like examples of what true democracy and true freedom is, it doesn’t and did not start with Tudman, sorry to disappoint some folks, but Tudman is a poor example of a truly democratic leader. He often dressed in his white military uniform just as Tito did back in Yugoslav days, right? Gays and Lesbians are threatened when organizing marches in Split, right? HDZ banned protesting in Markov trg, no? So with that record of not recognizing “others” who are different from you and believe different than you, it seems clear that the fear of integration in Croatia is at an all time high. So before, pointing the finger towards others for giving advice or constructive criticism I suggest that you first address the issues that really plague your country. Independent now for 17 years in a battle that cost many lives, it’s time to develop a real strategy of progressive thinking and integration into a larger world perspective, otherwise Croatia will never be able to take advantage of the wonderful resources it possesses. Why is that? Corruption is rampant in Croatia, and yes, in other countries as well, but the proportions in Croatia have been established for 70 years and I don’t think Communism helped much in transforming people’s lives. As I said earlier, I appreciate people’s comments on this forum although I disagree with the perspectives and very subjective views and conclusions that are drawn. Croatia does not have much time left to organize its policy of self determination, so when folks say Croatians need time to gain confidence and trust in themselves, I agree with that, but I don’t think that will happen for two generations to finally appreciate what they have to offer to the rest of the world, and regardless of political views without economic freedom to expand and to grow without government manipulation (by the way, all governments manipulate) Croatia’s future is not that secure. Switzerland is a real nice place, but there model is a Swiss model. My challenge is for someone to tell me exactly what the Croatian model is, because I don’t think they even know what direction to move in. They rushed into the EU (thanks to HDZ and Kosor) and thought that would be the magic pill? Well sadly, it won’t and I think Croatia’s social development has been stunted and bad habits die hard. For most “outsiders”, Croatia resembles both politically and socially, a newer Yugoslavia with different flags, that’s it. Otherwise, it hasn’t really changed because people have not. People determine the soul of a nation. I hope Croats and Croatia find there’s one day. It would be sad if they let this historic moment in history pass them by silently in the night. I wish all Croats and Croatia the best of luck now and in the future. Cheers.

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    • All good, agree Croatia has a long way to go to get rid of corruption and much more. But, I don’t see what wearing a white suit (as Tudjman did) has to do with democracy except that it’s good someone can wear what they please. Split’s residents’ appalling opinions about Gay pride has nothing to do with government except I guess with anti-discrimination laws. If individuals have personal views etc that are negative then tolerance needs to be educated – intolerance is not a Croatian problem but everywhere really. HDZ or former government did ban rallying in St Mark’s square but I believe this didn’t last long & the right to rally at that small & tight square in front of gov offices was reinstated I believe within a month. So, there’s proof that democracy is working. Yes we’ve been saying there needs to be much work done in Croatia to get rid of behaviours and ways ingrained during 50+ yrs of communist/socialist “ethics”. Croatia’s current model is to fall into EU standards, I think. Thank you

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  9. truthbefree says:

    Just a quick correction, the estimated population of the USA is 264 million and not 400 million, off by 136 million people. And I don’t know exactly what you mean when you say, “yes them to death like the serbs”? Do you mean lie and cheat? That’s not very Swiss of you, is it? So considering that you don’t think very highly of Serbs, but would act as you say they act makes for a very large looming contradiction in your argument. But regardless, I do wish Croatia a successful transition into whichever alliance it sees fit and has already chosen, which is a fact, the EU is your alliance, and NATO as well. And as for Arabs and Mexicans? Are muslims, gays, serbs, or any other minority in your nationalist policy given the same rights as majority Croats? Or is it more selective in who deserves first class citizenry or second class citizenry? Equal rights in a nation of “laws” is the foundation of a democracy so if you are telling me that minorities do not have the same fundamental rights in your society, then I would make the argument that Croatia is not yet a democracy, but hopefully sooner than later, it will open up to new ideas and progressive thinking which is the evolution of an organized state that protects the rights of all no matter how different they might be. That’s the test, not all nations achieve a perfect record to this standard, but it is definitely something to reach for just for humanity’s sake. Cheers.

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    • Michael Silovic says:

      truthbefree, As of May 14, 2012, the United States has a total resident population of 313,544,041 I estimated around 400 million people because many do not sign on the consensus such as myself. You are correct that I do not think very highly of serbs. Why would I? This is no means that I hate all serbs but I do despise it’s former government and am hesitant with their new government. This does not mean that I hate all serb people as their were many i am sure that did not want war either but had no choice.

      Your comments:And as for Arabs and Mexicans? Are muslims, gays, serbs, or any other minority in your nationalist policy given the same rights as majority Croats? Or is it more selective in who deserves first class citizenry or second class citizenry?
      My answer is simple if you are not Croatian then you are second class other then that all people are afforded the same rights.And sadly it has to be this way because if it is not we will lose our identity very quickly.I am a nationalist and demand a Croatia First Policy that put Croats ahead of anyone else and I make no apology for this.

      Your other comment: Equal rights in a nation of “laws” is the foundation of a democracy so if you are telling me that minorities do not have the same fundamental rights in your society,then I would make the argument that Croatia is not yet a democracy,

      I have to disagree with you because then you believe that America is not a democracy because what you described exists in America today and always has.I see it everyday of my life. Are you led to believe by the American government that all people are equal? Of course but that’s not reality.

      As for your comment about our first black president. That was nothing more then people having a choice of worse and worse.And as you can see by the way America is going it is really worse.

      On one last comment by you:What I find irksome, is the tone of “isolationism” or incredibly “nationalistic” rhetoric,

      I have never advocated Croatia to be an isolationist country. I do not believe that Croatia needs to be a puppet state of the EU or the USA and needs to determine its own course of history and democracy. Incredibly nationalist yes that I am guilty of and I make no apologies for this if it is the the only way to protect our identity and heritage. Do you think I would like to see all the lives lost of our brothers and sisters defending our freedom and homeland just to loose everything in such a short period of time? I would prefer my own death then to idly watch Croatia lose its identity and heritage.

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  10. Great opinions. Keep it up. Croatia has many advantages and also many ‘millstones’ around its neck. Croatia is small country in a strategic geo-political position. It cannot be American because it is not a land of immigrants. It is not France or Germany or the UK all large powerful nations with extraordinary resources and power. It’s not even a middle power like Canada. It must be sovereign and nationalistic. It must be friends and allies with all nations. It must define a Croatian model using free enterprise as a guiding force, not a blinding force. Moreover it must begin a process of national reconciliation. It must shift the tide of demographic annihilation and begin to populate itself before it is too late.

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  11. This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!
    ! Finally I’ve found something which helped me. Thanks a lot!

    Like

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  1. […] I wrote about Natasha Srdoc’s H-21 Party candidate (at last year’s elections in Croatia) Sasa Radovic and the criminal proceedings before a court in Zagreb against him for […]

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