Croatia: “Chinese Whispers” fail – now let’s unveil the full truth of Serb aggression

Milorad Pupovac 1993 copy

Had the ICTY Appeal Chamber on 16 November 2012 not acquitted Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac of war crimes they were charged with in relation to August 1995, all the atrocities committed in Croatia prior to August 1995 would fade into forgetfulness and insignificance. The world would always refer to August 1995 as the most significant marker for Croatia’s Homeland War.

When in 2001 the ICTY Prosecutors prepared their initial indictments in relation to Croatian “Operation Storm” they focused their attention on ensuring that this military operation – which liberated Serb-occupied Croatian territory – stands as symbol which would equate the victim with the aggressor. Croatian army  was to be found to have been as brutal as the Serb aggressor. No doubt in my mind about that. The Prosecutors pranced around appearing to know everything there was to know about crimes supposedly perpetrated by Croatia’s war-leadership and army. Such atrocious turn of events would surely not have captured as an enormous media and other mileage throughout the world as it had, had the ICTY Prosecution not had “helping hands” from both Croatian and Serbian politicians, most of whom held high positions in the former communist Yugoslavia.

The “Chinese whispers” thus started and spread by ICTY Prosecution failed to cement the intended vilification and criminalisation of Croatia’s defense efforts in the face of Serb aggressor. Nevertheless, a great deal of damage to Croatia’s reputation has been done and misinformation circulates; it will take a long time to clear them. Perhaps the lies and misinformation will never be cleared given that the game of “Chinese whispers” has the capacity of creating myths that stick around for ages despite the fact that the game actually fails to reap the desired result.

That being the case it is now the time to pick up on the truth and deal with what really happened in Croatia before August 1995. A small but potent example of some of those happenings can be found in an article published in Hrvatski List on 27 December 2012, written by Ivica Marijacic.

The article claims that a long-time member of Croatian Parliament representing Serb minority, Milorad Pupovac, secretly supported the Serb armed rebellion against Croatia during 1990’s.

The leader of Serbian minority Milorad Pupovac used to go to his village Ceranje Donje near Benkovci, which the Chetniks held under control and expelled all Croatians from it during the war years. It’s not clear how he was able to do that but it’s assumed that he had help from members of UNPROFOR forces who were there and kept the line of separation (A photograph, reportedly taken in 1993, has been discovered that evidences his visits to his village during the war)… Pupovac supported, or had nothing against, armed rebellion of the local Serbs against the Republic of Croatia in which his two brothers actively participated. Serbs were the ethnic majority in the village of Ceranje Donje but some Croatian families also lived there; their houses were and still are next door to Milorad Pupovac family home.  The Croatian families suffered abuse by the local Serbs and Milorad Pupovac’s family did not lift a finger to protect them…

Indeed, the article in Hrvatski List goes on to say that Milorad Pupovac’s brothers Vojislav and Mladen were very active as members of the armed Serb rebel forces. Mladen was reportedly the extreme one and served as First Class Corporal under the notorious Captain Dragan (Dragan Vasiljkovic a.k.a. Daniel Snedden). While Milorad Pupovac cannot be held responsible for his brothers’ actions he did nothing to stop the abuse and expulsions of Croatians from his village nor did he stop the destruction through bombings of their homes. The article goes on to say that witnesses have stated that Milorad Pupovac did encourage Serb rebels not to give up their armed rebellion.

A question, or two, must be asked: How can such a deeply compromised person serve in any Parliament? What chance of proper reconciliation between Serbs and Croatians can there be when such a deeply compromised person serves in Croatian Parliament?

This article sent shivers down my spine. I remembered helping as a Croatian speaking Psychologist the Australian ABC TV crew film the documentary “A Coward’s War” (1995) which interviewed the utterly traumatised and abused survivors of genocidal Serb brutality in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The issue that stuck to my mind like superglue was the fact that most of the survivors were brutalised, tortured, sent to Serb concentration camps (initially in 1991 into concentration camps within Serbia, e.g. Begejci) by their neighbours/Serb civilians (who had armed themselves later). It is these and similar bestialities which occurred between 1991 and August 1995 that should take a prominent place in the documenting of history of that war, not Operation Storm. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Comments

  1. Thanks, Ina for uncovering the many layers of lies and deceit. Croatia must not give up its lawsuit against Serbia. Croatia should continue it’s lawsuit against Serbia and vigorously pursue individual Serbian war crimes both domestically and internationally; there is money in the state budget for this if it is prioritized – the long term benefit this righteous action will yield benefits beyond just legal victories; it will be the catalyst to a new national pride and energy that will inspire new confidence in everything we do as a nation. Also, Croatia should mount a vigorous defense of the ICTY acquittal of our Generals and Operation Storm during the UN debate on the ICTY in 2013. What an absurdity that Serbia should defend itself so strongly when they are so guilty, yet the victim Croatia stays silent. Let’s make 2013 a year of pride and vigorous defense of Croatia.

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    • I agree Sunman, I too think Croatia should address the UN – what a great day that would be. The lawsuit at ICJ against Serbia must also continue as well as pursuits against all individual crimes. There is no other way towards a more complete peace and towards a stop to relentless lies that keep coming.

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  2. Mario Budak says:

    Ina, thank you for your tireless contribution towards Croatian freedom. It is Croatian patriots, like yourself, who are responsible that Croatia is almost free. We must be the only nation, where people can sit in the parlament and work against their own country. It is very difficult to understand that behaviour. But, I think it is because, we Croatians have very short memory. The other side has been playing the two fronts in the second world war, and they played the same game in the last Homeland war. This way, they are always on the winning side, regardless who wins. They are smart and each and everyone of them know what their objective is. We Croatians are begining to wake up, at a snail’s pace. Our (Croatian) problem is not what the opponents are doing, rather, the entire problem is what we Croatians are doing to ourselves. We have so many individuals at every level, who are ready to betray their country, its people, and themselves, for few silver coins. That is the sickness in our nation that needs urgent remedy, if we’re to progress and become a truly free and indipendent country, that respects every one of its citizens.
    Amercan philosopher and historian Will Durrant left us a recepie for success, against the costant ‘Lies and Propaganda’ in the daily media, back in the 1925-1930, in his book ‘Adventures in Genius’ , when he uttered the following words: “In school we teach you how to read and write, press does the rest”.
    We as a nation have never learned that lesson, perhaps that is another piece of the puzzle. Your articles are like a breath of fresh air, because they are always based on the truth, and nothing but the truth. Once again, thank you.
    Happy New Year to you, your family and your readers.

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    • Thank you Mario Budak and you are so right. Let’s hope that the courage to practice true democracy will spread throughout Croatia soon, which would mean that anyone in a high position including parliamentary representatives would simply resign their position or be booted out at the first sign of wrongdoing or moral corruption etc. And as far as much of the media is concerned much of it needs a severe overhaul or see itself down the waste-tube. Progress has been made on many fronts but not enough. Happy new Year to you too.

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  3. E žalost, i takvi nam danas sjede u našem Hrvatskom saboru….

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  4. How can things be changed, as the real patriotic , educated and academic Croats are mostly emigrants…the so called other half have gained from pretence of National identity.

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    • Lots of educated. clever etc people there too – just need to create opportunities to prove themselves and that is the problem I think. The economic dump doesn’t create much room for opportunities and what one gets is a lot of patriotic feelings expressed etc, which also i normal anywhere when many need to fret for economic existence and future.

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  5. I’m really very baffled after reading about Pupovac and his destructive anti-Croatian actions. I scratch my head wondering how this man exists in Parliament? I could never imagine this would happen in Canada or the US where a person in politics had ties to the enemy…this is confusing to me.

    I often wonder if Croatia will start to trend in the right direction? Unemployment is high…my sister and my niece both travel great distances to work (my sister has to go to Italy for 6 weeks at a time then back to Slavonija for a month…then repeat).

    When we look at the current situation of the government and add in the very left wing slant, I just wonder how Croatia will progress and prosper. As of right now I just don’t see things clearly and the turmoil is overflowing into sport…the HNS don’t play in Split, the politics are dividing the country and the ex-YU and even Serb presence is really taking a stronghold on the citizens.

    I’m worried, I just can’t believe we are backwards after fighting for freedom!

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    • Croatia has the law of guaranteeing ethnic minorities’ seats in parliament, domingo, and Pup[ovac was elected by Serbs in Croatia mostly I should imagine. He acts as though Croatia is not the country Croatian Serbs live in. The situation is awful, I agree

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      • I read your another one of your article’s today and felt somewhat ill after realizing the affiliations Pupovac’s family had to the real enemy. I don’t say this intending that Serbs are the enemy, but many were and did collaborate to overtake portions of Croatia…his bother’s were involved and as you had mentioned, it doesn’t necessarily implicate him, but it should raise a red flag and immediately eliminate him as a person in Croatia’s parliament…should it not?

        I’m so glad I found your page, I think Branko from ZG mentioned you to me several months ago, you’re brilliant!

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      • Yes, Pupovac is one of those minority representatives in parliament who’d like the minority to be counted as majority in Croatia and loyal to Belgrade more than Zagreb. His war loyalties were certainly not those for independent Croatia. The man is repulsive

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