Croatia: Bonjour Tristesse

Ethnic cleansing of Croatians of Vukovar 1991  Photo:

Ethnic cleansing of Croatians of Vukovar 1991 Photo:

What tragic consequences await the people led by governments which, in their hunger to fit into international halls of applause, look away from their people to abide to what others who are beyond borders say, rather than looking in to put their own nation first, may perhaps prove to be nothing less than what Françoise Sagan immortalised in his classic novel underpinned by lack of moral fiber that eventually destroys the main characters’ life.

One may go so far and say that governments of Croatia since Franjo Tudjman’s death (1999) have been more concerned with what “must” be done (that which foreigners want) in order to pursue membership in the European Union and what unreformed Communists cooked up in order to thwart full freedom from communist mindset, than furthering the noble cause of democracy and sovereignty for which the people had suffered terribly.

Achieving full and meaningful sovereignty in essence requires resolve and determined assertion of rights to self-determination. Croatian people had asserted the foundations for those rights through defending their life and property from Serb aggressor. But terrible wounds of war and pain remained while the governments that paraded over the people through the past two decades appear to have done very little, if anything, to heal the wounds through instilling and building pride for the cause so many had died in defending. It is more than apparent that the governments embarked on shattering rather than truly furthering the pride that sovereignty brings. This, one may safely conclude, is one of the sad consequences of the circumstances when the majority of people wanted out of Communist totalitarian system but many of its powerful leaders still remained loyal to the communist creed based on the control of the powerful and the powerlessness of people whose daily lives that creed affects.

Franjo Tudjman warned everyone of these dangers even as early as 30 May 1990, in his speech at the Inaugural assembly of the Croatian Parliament:

“… According to my personal persuasion, the first and the most important task of the new democratic government in Croatia should be the creation of all spiritual, material and legal preconditions for the sense of legal civil and national security of all its citizens, for peace and trust among them. Not only the big scriptwriters from the opposing and especially hegemonic Unitarian and dogmatic camps, but also all those people who are tied to the past and who are confused by democratic movements and traditions to which they are not accustomed, do and will do everything in order to obstruct the realization of our goals, to inhibit and compromise the introduction of the rule of law system, order, work and morality. Luckily for us, and them as well, they must quickly come to understand the general internal and international circumstances, especially the omnipresent unavoidable collapse of the real Socialist system render their scenarios as futile historic anachronisms. That, of course, does not mean that we can afford to underestimate the dangers from different forms of threats, blackmail and even provocation which come our way almost daily from anti-Croatian and anti-democratic lairs and headquarters. On the contrary, that has to motivate us even more to jointly, all of us, and each individually, do everything so that reason, freedom and progress conquer passions, the rage of darkness and backwardness...”

The former president Stjepan Mesic surfaces as the apparent and active main engineer and driver that pursued in multitudes of ways (covert and overt) in the spread of confusion about the Homeland War and the defence of Croatian right to self-determination. He opened this road of confusion and bitterness in the late 1990’s by spreading hatred and lies against Franjo Tudjman and inciting suspicion into the cause of defending Croatian independence by “announcing”, fraudulently, to the world that Tudjman really wanted part of Bosnia and Herzegovina for Croatia. Mesic had totally and intentionally omitted the fact that Croatians of Croatia, in solidarity with the threatened and attacked Croatians of Bosnia and Herzegovina did the just and universally moral and correct thing by rushing in to help those in need. Then, when he finally realized his dream and became the president of Croatia in 2000, Mesic started purging from the corridors of power the brave Croatian Generals who had dedicated their lives to the defense of Croatian self-determination in the Homeland War.

Along came multitudes of foreign and domestic demands for reconciliation between Croats and Serbs of Croatia but those demands rarely, if at all, considered the rights of Croatian people – indeed, the rights of Croatian victims, as priority, were almost ignored. The whole world seemed to buzz with criticisms regarding the slowness of reconciliation between the Croats and the Serbs; regarding the slow pace of Serbs returning to Croatia after they had fled from it in 1995. Hardly anyone mentioned the slowness of return to their homes of hundreds of thousands of Croats and Muslims who were ethnically cleansed from their homes. Hardly anyone batted an eyelid to the sad fact that more than 2000 Croatian war veterans had committed suicide from despair; hardly anyone said: hey, wait a minute, it’s all good to worry about the Serbs who fled Croatian after they’d reaped havoc and destruction there, but how about the Croats who sustained the horrid injuries and damage from that havoc and destruction! Hardly any of these foreign or domestic political power brokers said: Stop! Let’s first heal the wounds, let’s first deal firmly with all crime committed, let’s not forget the many thousands of women raped by the very Serb men who are allowed to walk the same streets as their victims – freely!

Let’s put Croatia first! No one said, but everyone should have!

That was the intention of Franjo Tudjman and the 94% of voting citizens who had elected democracy and sovereignty, self-determination, in 1990. But that intention fell into the water as power-hungry politicians paraded across Europe, to and from Croatia, neglecting severely the needs of the victims who suffered horribly in order for Croatia to realize it’s dream, its intention to set up and live democracy. Confusion about the righteousness of the pursuit of self-determination and democracy reached boiling points when the trend to equalize the aggressor with the victim began gaining ground throughout the years of Stjepan Mesic’s presidency over Croatia.

And now many are surprised why many Croatians are protesting against the introduction of Cyrillic in Vukovar area. Indeed, many outside of Croatia will say that the protests signify intolerance of Serb minority in Croatia; denial of human rights Serbs have… WRONG! Croatians have rights also and their rights as victims are a priority. There is no country in the civilized world where a government would allow the language of a murderous and raping aggressor to be used on official signage in the places where still-suffering victims walk.  Only the misguided and the rotten, the morally corrupt would allow such deepening and such prolongation of torture of victims.

How can one have Serbian Cyrillic on street signs where so many rapists walk the same streets as their victims! How can one have Serbian Cyrillic on street signs where there are still over 1,700 missing people from the times of Serb aggression!

After the Vukovar protest against Cyrillic signage, the protests are spreading further and the government still doesn’t listen to the people. There is loud talk in the corridors of power proposing that Constitutional law must be applied regarding ethnic minority rights to own language on official signage but that perhaps, given the widespread protests, Cyrillic signage could be excluded from war memorials such as the Ovcara massacre one!

Can you believe this degradation of human dignity!

One simply cannot isolate grief and suffering into small pockets when it affected the whole area!

How hard can it be to realize that the controversial Constitution law was made under Stjepan Mesic’s presidency and under Ivica Racan’s government – in 2002?! Both of these men: communist die-hard, anti Croatian independence from Yugoslavia.

How hard can it be for the government to temporarily place a moratorium over the introduction of Cyrillic in Vukovar, as the parliamentary opposition led by Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ proposes! How hard can it be for the government to bring about a temporary law of inapplicability of the parts of the Constitutional law that relates to ethnic minority language on official signage, as the Croatian Party of Rights “Dr Ante Starcevic” propose! How hard can it be for the government to be effective in reviewing a Constitutional law that evidently and strongly brings unrest and upheaval among its people!

While, in regards to the protests against Cyrillic in Vukovar, President Ivo Josipovic stated a few days ago that if there is no will to respect a Constitutional law then that law must be changed. What a pity that the government appears not to have heard this statement, which was widely publicised in Croatia and beyond. But still, if he is true to his words then Josipovic could easily make a move to have the law that is causing so much unrest in Croatia, changed. There are certainly many, many ways of respecting the ethnic minorities’ rights in daily lives, without having to erect bilingual or trilingual or multilingual official signage on streets and buildings. “Western” democracies have, one can safely say, perfected this through access to interpreters, translators, translations of public service brochures into applicable ethnic minority languages, subsidising ethnic language classes, subsidising ethnically or culturally specific nursing homes or retirement complexes … and the list goes on. But signage in official spots – streets, government buildings, etc. – stay in the official language of the country.

Sadly, it would seem that the Croatian government lacks the moral fiber similar to the one, which those who have read Françoise Sagan’s novel “Bonjour Tristesse” encountered. In the case of Croatia today, of Croatia of the past two decades, that lack of moral fiber has to do with the neglect of Croatian people and the neglect in asserting and strengthening their hard-won struggle for self-determination; that lack of moral fiber has to do with psychological and political warfare against the Croatian patriots by the die-hard Communists. But, thankfully, Croatians are largely intelligent and good people and it would not surprise me if the government, by pursuing the hard rule of existing laws, without utilizing the freedom it has to change laws in order to achieve its majority people’s needs, will drive itself into political suicide. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. Michael Silovic says:

    Reading this article reminds me of things I say on a daily basis to everyone and anyone who wants to listen. Some day’s I say it with force and some day’s I am so restrained from my true feelings because in anger I know that it will not be published. Until we have these ( insert here what you like to call them since mine wont be published ) removed from office I fear that they will do so much damage that it will not be able to be reversed.I believe it is time for all of us to support people to run for public office that will put Croatia First. Who they truly are would be a real question of their own truthfulness.Reading through the constitution I am trying to figure out what we need to do to have a recall to remove our Prime Minister from office as quickly as possible since he stated he will not change the constitution and ignore the will of the people.He has proven he is a traitor of our people and it’s will by his words and actions. No traitor of our country and it’s people deserve to be in our goverment and a recall would be the preferred method over ungodly covert acts that may occur to remove them if they do not change the constitution. I would love nothing more then both the President and Prime Minister to publicly reverse their commitment to the Cyrillic language and to admit to a Croatian First Policy.

    • Zeljko Ranogajec says:

      Yep Michael – I’ve inserted a word or two where your brackets are! Feeling is mutual! And many times over, I’m certain.

      Let’s help Milanovic’s government commit political suicide; let’s get rid of Josipovic if he has no balls to set the change of Constitutional law in motion. They are all there to mold the laws according to need and if laws are wrong then they must be righted.

  2. Master James says:

    Sadness all over there it seems when it comes to hypocrisy coming out of EU officials. A few days ago Peter Spano spokesman for the European Enlargement Commissioner, when asked to comment on the rising opposition to the possibility of installing Cyrillic signs in Vukovar, said : We do not comment on details in relation to the events in Vukovar. We only want to remind about two European Union principles: the rule of law which means that the laws should be respected and the government should ensure the enforcement of laws. The other principle is reconciliation and protection of minorities. These principles are an integral part of the values embraced by the EU,
    THIS IS THE SAME PETER SPANO who comes from Slovakia where the treatment of Hungarian ethnic minority has been and is simply awful. national regimes have discriminated against local ethnic Hungarians, depriving them of the right to use their native language for official business; taking step to reduce the use of Hungarian as a language of instruction in local schools, and, in the Slovak case, removing Hungarian street signs from villages populated entirely by Hungarians, replacing them with Slovak-language signs. Slovak authorities even went so far to pass a law requiring that Hungarian woman marrying a Hungarian man add the suffix “-ova” to her name, as is the custom among Slovaks.

    So what’s a person from a country with such appalling record in dealing with rights of ethnic minorities doing by shoving into the world’s face the words of reconciliation when his own country (in which one assumes he has a fair amount of clout)!?

    Yes to rule of law but only the law that is fair to the vulnerable and Croatians are vulnerable in the face of terror that still flutters before their eyes. No Cyrillic in Vukovar street signs, buildings … not anywhere in Croatia. The law must be changed.

  3. Tomislav Marinic says:

    The Croatian government hides behind the facade of “law must be applied”! How cold, how brutal. The government yet again is the chef in the political kitchen that tries to cook up Croatians as intolerant towards Serbs. What hogwash! But then again, the pigs like hogwash, so the only thing that remains is that people show once again that they do not accept those who sell their souls so cheaply, so fraudulently.

  4. In a democracy laws are made, amended … to deal with issues and problems that arise in the community. Here is a big problem and a big issue – if people’s representatives in the parliament sit on their ears then it’s time to act.

  5. The EU is full of individuals who come from different countries, many of which have sown more terror than one can poke a stick at. So, it’s easy for them to talk about Croatia, to demand this and that from Croatia – that way they don’t have to face their own demons.

  6. Most Croatians can live alongside Serbs without a problem, but this is torture imposed upon Croatians. Furthermore, it’s a ploy to paint Croatians intolerant.

  7. Barbara S says:

    The war veterans committee of Vukovar has lodged a request with Croatian government to put the introduction of Cyrillic in Vukovar on hold while investigations into the census of 2011, which bumped up falsely the numbers of Serbs living in Vukovar. They claim that multitudes of Serbs who had left Croatia and live abroad had registered themselves as living in Vukovar. The tricks that corrupt people play are all too visible.

    I, for one, AM holding my breath because I want that investigation to occur. That investigation or claim made in favor of it should be a good enough reason for the government to suspend the application of law which talks about percentages of ethnic minority and applicability of bilingualism.

    • Miso Sorbel says:

      Barbara S – corruption and fraud is everywhere, inherited from the ways wheels turned in Yugoslavia. Does not surprise me at all that census figures are wrong. Same deal as for the electoral roll. Plenty supposed “good will” and proposals to change this BUT it seems Croatia lacks the resolve to do anything about it. A false positive suits many politicians and it’s down to the people to change that – hopefully we’ll see people getting more and more organized in helping democracy grow.

  8. Nikola Szabo says:

    Ruza Tomasic: Cyrillic in Vukovar means guns, tanks, murder
    ’War wounds have not yet healed, and it is not time for Cyrillic.’

  9. Nikola Szabo says:

    Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Tomislav Karamarko once again on Tuesday called for a moratorium on the introduction of the Cyrillic alphabet as an official alphabet in Vukovar, even though he admitted that the HDZ had voted both in the national parliament and Vukovar city council for the constitutional provision stipulating that minorities be guaranteed dual-alphabet signs. However, he said, last year the party leadership had been changed and he did not wish to interpret the opinion of HDZ’s previous leaders.

    • Michael Silovic says:

      I supported Tomislav Karamarko because of his commitment to a Croatia First Policy. I am disappointed however in his weak use of words in defense of his parties past leadership. I understand party loyalty but I would have preferred that his statement been more pointed by stating his party had been wrong in the past on this issue , that he disagrees with it and now we see that mistakes were made that need to be corrected. I do hope that in the future if he were to involve himself in an issue that he stands firmly on his position and be able to correct his parties past and present flaws more forcefully. A true leader is not afraid to stand and voice on principle for the people first and party loyalty second.

  10. I believe that we, decent and honest Serbs, should be ashamed of what was done in the name of Serbdom during the ’90s and condemn it all unequivocally! And it’s wrong that most Serb war crimes suspects have yet to be apprehended; it should not stay like that any longer. However, it’s one thing to seek justice for serious offenses that were committed in wartime, and a completely different thing to deny every sign of another culture and language in peace time, just because some despicable members of that community did something horrible to you or a loved one. And that’s what the Serb political propaganda are trying to push: that Croatia is denying the Serb’s their culture. Please – visit any place where Serbs live in Croatia you’ll hear Serbian music, buy newspapers or magazines in Cyrillic, find Serbian schools, buy Serbian food…

    Keep going Croatia – change the laws that upset the majority. That is democracy.

  11. Marina Soldo says:

    Vukovar – is a symbol of Croatian culture – it must stay that way and all other cultures can fit in gently, in private homes in community clubs, at festivals …

  12. Imported from Facebook comments:
    In a way, there is a reason to be thankful that this issue has come to attention now as it has awoken the Croatian nation to be as passionate again about the real meaning of their Independence that has been hard fought for !

  13. Slaven Bijok says:

    And just look at the photograph at the start of this article! Now compare it one you will find searching the net of Serbs fleeing Croatia in 1995, when they lost their violent bid to create little Serbia in Croatia! The Serbs exited willingly and by order to evacuate that came from Belgrade in cars, with trucks, U-Hauls, wagons … You won’t find a Croatian tank chasing them out of Croatia

  14. Where are the Croatians of ‘means’ who have the financial resources, intellectual capital and moral national consciousness to create a new Croatia? The Croatia people are amazing and have proven themselves throughout history. Sadly the same cannot be said of our leaders. Koockeldoodledo to the leaders of Croatia.

    • Yes Sunman the leaders need a huge wake-up call. There was recently write-ups in Croatia media that a second “Storm” is due and coming. This was around the rift between the Church and the government on issues various, especially sex education in schools. But, somehow that view I think expressed what’s brewing inside the people and certainly the announced introduction of Cyrillic in Vukovar has thrust lightning into the storm clouds. After 20 harsh years it’s time to take inventory of things done to further democracy and Croatian sovereignty and change what needs to be changed.

  15. Vladimir Orsag says:

    Many readers in Croatia are confused with the current political developments simply because they do not read relevant books. If they do they would be aware that this events are well planed since 1776. According to that plan initiated in Germany we are going the same way. Therefore, it would be beneficial to read Jeremy Lee’s book, What will we tell our children.

    • There is a “good” political reason, Vladimir Orsag, why the leaders in Croatia keep saying the war is over, let’s move on to the future. They do not want history remembered by the nation as a whole and that is so wrong, because no one can move on without knowing, acknowledging and reconciling the past – that is a fact of human nature. Great suggestion about the book.

      • What happens if the past is never reconciled to the satisfaction of a sizeable group? Do we never move on? My teenage kids have little interest in reconciliation, I see the same in their friends. They feel no need to move on, they are already “on”.

      • Good to know about the young moving on Pavao. By reconciliation I meant the truth of it all no matter how bad or good. Croatia is one of several countries that during WWII was faced with two even three political/defence? forces (if we count Home Guards as a separate entity which it was for most of it) but the crimes committed by Partisans (Communists) have never been brought to justice in the real and official sense. That fact remains to cause a great deal of disquiet and problems as far as national memory is concerned and remains to cause all sorts of difficulties. Reconciling the past means acknowledging the truth, not necessarily accepting it, for there will always be individuals who do not accept it but for the most the mere knowledge that it has been set right as a matter of record would enough. If one looks at nations of the world that have a terrible and criminal history in their say colonization, crimes committed etc, one comes across apologies to people that wrong was done to: e.g. to Jews, to native people such as Aborigines, Red Indians, African tribes etc – but have you ever heard the Communists in Croatia apologising for crimes against innocent people? I have not.

  16. “…but have you ever heard the Communists in Croatia apologising for crimes against innocent people? I have not.” I agree with your statement Ina – you and I and I would dare say millions of people have been waiting since 1990 and those first re-awakenings of Croatian consciousness – waiting for some sort of apology/explanation/justification/acknowledgement of guilt for crimes committed by the Partisan Communists. Has any one of Tito’s former henchmen/comrades ever publicly acknowledged that they were fighting on the wrong side in World War II? Did they ever publicly acknowledge that they as Croatians were fighting against an internationally recogized Independent State of Croatia and defacto therefore they were taking up arms and fighting against their own people? Like it or not – that is what the Croatian Communists/Partisans did – they joined forces with Serbs and Chetniks and waged war on that country and its people. How things would have been different for us as a country if only we would have remained a cohesive nation throughout the war- then even with the defeat of Germany we could have potentially retained our historic/ethnic boundaries-and kept Bosnia and Hercegovina under our wing – we could have saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Croatians killed both during the war and after it – Bleiburg, Way of the Cross, and the casualties of 45 years of tortures/persecutions/imprisonments and liquidations of countless Croatians by Tito’s UDBA – the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Croatians out of Yugoslavia and perhaps, if we had remained a nation state we would have avoided this last war with Serbia and all the loss of lives that it cost us. To be betrayed by an enemy is to be expected, but when you are betrayed by your own-it is a bitter pill to swallow. Yes, Tito was Croatian,apparently, but he never claimed to be other than what he was – a Communist/Socialist.He believed in a Yugoslav state and he brutally ruled with an iron fist to impose his will. He never admitted to any guilt or wrongdoing because, afterall who would expect that of a dictator?But as for Tito’s compatriots(Tudjman et al) who lived to see the crumbling of Communist regimes throughout Europe -the writing was clearly on the wall. So, miraculously overnight hardline Communists/Socialists became hardline Democrats/Nationalists! Did Tudjman ever admit to any wrongdoing or accept responsibility for his part ?No. So the question is WHY NOT? Did he feel any remorse?Did he ever explain why he was so devoted to Tito and the Communist cause that he would kill his own people to achieve Yugoslavia? When did he, if ever, see the error of his ways?When he became President,why was there no purge of Communists from power in Croatia?Why was the symbol of our country for thousands of years – our sacred flag – drastically changed, as was our national anthem? Why is there still a Marshall Tito Square in Zagreb in 2013? Why are mass graves still uninvestigated from WWII? And the list goes on and on. As much as it appears that its open season on Mesic – he and his ilk are a dime a dozen – you can find them everywhere because they are everywhere! Tudjman and his HDZ were elected into office and given a clear majority twice – ample enough time to make some serious changes to the political landscape if the will was there, but it wasn’t. He could have tried to fuse the rift between us as Croatians via a Truth and Reconciliation model to at least acknowledge publicly that wrongs were committed and where possible, bring justice,but he didn’t.If he had taken responsibility for his part, then perhaps his comrades would have followed his example and done the same(ie.Mesic, Manolic, Boljkovac).If he, as the first elected President of Croatia, had even attempted in anyway to see both sides of the conflict in WWII than that would elevate him in my regard, but he didn’t. What was his legacy? What will he be remembered for? Will he be remembered for his good deeds or for his ommissions?Time will tell and truth will out. Bog i Hrvati!

    • From personal and others’ experiences Velebit, it is a fact that to survive in Yugoslavia to any humanly decent level you either shut up and put up or you joined the Party or you fled. As far as Tudjman is concerned the history will mark his legacy as including successful attempt to unite all Croatian people: children of Ustashi, children of Partisans and children of Home Guards in an effort to create an independent Croatia. He had succeeded in this but many forces were against him or his intentions and those that were in that camp were there at all times but began hacking harder as early as 1992. So, all the recipes for the creation of true democracy away from communist totalitarian in Tudjmans speeches and documents slowly were ignored and eroded by die-hard communists with which he was surrounded. At the same time he had to lead this transition out of communism amidst a terrible war and for the four years and a bit more he lived after 1995 there just was no time to make significant changes, let’s not forget that in those last 4 years of his life he was faced with horrible reality of defending that which Mesic, Manolic, Degoricija, Boljkovac etc were attacking. HDZ after his death proved to be pathetic in furthering democracy just as were all other SDP governments etc. All that one could say may be a natural process and debris in the path out of communism. But, after 20 years Croatia must be ready to clean its house properly, acknowledge the terrible past of all sides and turn a new leaf where democracy thrives.

      • Yes, Ina, I agree that HDZ of the 1990’s was successful in gathering Croatians from the far left to the far right of the political spectrum and uniting them under one banner – if you will remember, in 1990 HDZ emerged as one of the stronger political parties for that very reason – they recruited/accepted membership from any and all, no matter what their political leaning was. Quickly, however, the obvious difficulty with such a mish-mash of ideologies became evident. How does an entity maintain cohesion when faced with such diametrically opposed orthodoxies?How do you set forth a political agenda, party policy,the basic tenets of your party platform in such an atmosphere? The only great surprise was that HDZ lasted for as long as it did before it imploded. Obviously, such an arrangement could not succeed in the long term without some serious housekeeping being done from the outset. When Tudjman’s mandate was strongest, was when he should have put forth his vision of Croatia – if indeed he did have a nationalistic/sovereignist agenda at all.It seems to me that he was more a victim of his circumstances rather than an active player/strategist/militarist (for all his accolades as Tito’s youngest JNA General). He was never decisive when it came to our sovereignty (remember after the referendum he floated the idea of some kind of federation of former Yugoslav states?) He was never decisive when it came to Bosnia & Hercegovina or Eastern Slavonia/Vukovar. When he was at his most powerful,when he had all of the Croatian people behind him,was when he could have culled the Communists out of HDZ -he did not, because it was to his advantage to keep them there.The Communists never let go of the reigns of power, they just changed their political membership cards from Communist to HDZ – like wolves in sheeps clothing.No wonder the Croatian people are wary of politicians and their parties and all of their promises- they have found that very little has substantively changed -corruption begets corruption. Bog i Hrvati!

      • Regarding Tudjman and ideologies and his decisiveness and his visions I suggest you go to and read his speeches – there perhaps you will find that which sums up both in simplest of ways. Yes he spoke of some sort of federation in the beginning, but still spoke of democracy as opposed to communist, once Serb aggression came in 1991 that variation fell into the water. But, regardless the federation floated as an idea and not as a path to take. You speak of need to cull communists out from his ranks, well I believe that at that time such a thing would be impossible given that just about most leaders etc had been members of communist party before – however he did seek that those who had not reformed away from communism do so. A good leader in those circumstances gives people the chance to change their political orientation because, after all, they are Croatian too and 94% percent voted in 1990 to secede from Communist Yugoslavia. It is unfair to blame a person for what goes on behind his/her back unbeknownst to him/her. You will remember that it was beginning to April of 1994 when Tudjman was faced with realising what had Mesic and Manolic etc been doing behind his back, trying to create circumstances for coup – Tudjman demonstraqted decisiveness then, but imagine the damage done in the background and then after. There was a push by Mesic et al to criminalise the Homeland War – the war people fought to defend freedom 94 % had voted for.

  17. The entire charade in Vukovar was done to create a reaction and paint Croatians as “intolerant.”

    It has, unfortunately, been achieved.

    QUOTE:”Yes, Ina, I agree that HDZ of the 1990′s was successful in gathering Croatians from the far left to the far right of the political spectrum and uniting them under one banner – if you will remember, in 1990 HDZ emerged as one of the stronger political parties for that very reason – they recruited/accepted membership from any and all, no matter what their political leaning was.” ENDQUOTE

    Sure, it happens everywhere in normal states. The two main US parties, and three main Canadian parties, for instance, are very broad tents.

    It also happens in abnormal states / fantasy states.

    Take the colonial creation B&H for instance. The Islamists, the Bosniak ultranationalists, and the AVNOJ BiH Socialist Nationalists (with their Tito Zombie bretherin in Croatia as well) were in an alliance with the neo-Ustasha fringe in B&H against the overwhelming B&H Croatian voting majority during the war, and still are with Budmir, whose party and agenda are not supported by the overwhelming majority of Croats in B&H today either.

    Marriages of convenience are common in politics.

    The difference is that Tudman controlled / managed the “former” Communist scum to achieve independence / territorial integrity, and left all the people needed / could use in their hands, while Paraga and certain others were managed by the cabal of JNA aggressors against Croatia and KOS operatives and Islamists (and to a man, war criminals who ordered the ethnic cleansing and murders of Croats) that Izetbegovic surrounded himself with (Delic, Hadzihasanovic, Cengic, Kubura, Halilovic, etc.).

    Unfortunately, having a big political tent something the conservative right in Croatia hasn’t grasped, which is why they argue over, and form new parties over, syntax, and useless issues such as which color of the Grb is the “real” Grb (that both were used at various times in Croatian history, long before WWII, escapes them, and the Yugoslav ultranationalist socialist left), and other pointless issues that have no relation to job creation, national economic/defense/intelligence strategy, re-tying Croatia with Central Europe economically, or anything of any relevance.

    Which is unfortunately why Croats still have to choose between discredited thieving cleptocratic Yugoslav ultrantionalist socialist SDP and thieving cleptocratic de-Tudmanized HDZ.

    QUOTE: “Quickly, however, the obvious difficulty with such a mish-mash of ideologies became evident. How does an entity maintain cohesion when faced with such diametrically opposed orthodoxies?How do you set forth a political agenda, party policy,the basic tenets of your party platform in such an atmosphere? The only great surprise was that HDZ lasted for as long as it did before it imploded. Obviously, such an arrangement could not succeed in the long term without some serious housekeeping being done from the outset.” ENDQUOTE

    By that you mean lustrating all members and or apologists of all WWII totalitarian regimes (SRP and then HSP under the documented traitor Dobroslav Paraga;

    It would have been great, but during the war it was inopportune. When Croatian media began floating the idea seriously in the early 1990s, (SH)Amnesty International was screaming bloody murder and comparing Tudman’s “regime” to Nazi Germany.

    Back then, (SH)Amnesty’s power to influence policy against Croatia was far greater than it is today.

    The irony is that while Tudman had every right to purge former regime elements, and WWII regime / post war regime crime apologists, they both accused him, along with the parade of sham humanitarian groups – who never investigated the systematic rape of Croatian / non-Serb women in Vukovar nor the massive attrocities nor the gunpoint ethnic cleansing nor the daily excessive and indiscriminate shelling of civilians in Croatian hamlets, villages, towns and cities – on front pages of newspapers and even on state TV, of having a “dictatorship.”

    Many still do it today, referencing the contradictory hearsay and conjecture they sprayed into their used toilette paper articles and tabloid rag front pages.

    Tudman understood the Yugoslav structure well, and knew that for Croatia to achieve its objectives, it would have to keep its friends close, and enemies closer. Tudman used them for the useful Communist Yugoslav monkeys for the backwards, spare-toothed, unshowered Balkan primitives that they were and remain.

    When did Tudman purge Mesic & Manolic: when they were no longer useful. Croatia achieved the Washington Agreement, the VRS line was collapsing bit by bit into the HVO’s hands on its way to Glamoc / Grahovo to closer in on Knin, as Operation Storm was already in the works for months by that point and useful idiots Manolic and Mesic didn’t have a clue – which is why Mesic, like Paraga, claimed when it was ongoing in August 1995 that it was all part of the non-existent Karadjordjevo “agreement” that never took place / that was followed by 5 years of war and total Serb defeat at the hands of the HV, HVO and Tudman at the head of both with Susak and Gotovina.

    Two of the most senior people in Croatia’s government 1990-1994 had no idea that Operation Storm was planned when every batalion commander from Stolac to Vinkovci did.

    I’m sorry, but I just can’t see how its Tudman’s fault for Croatians voting for Mesic & Co. in 2000 instead of Budisa after Tudman’s death.

    Tudman was not God / could not affect outcomes in the afterlife.

    It was up to the Croatian people to vote in a normal, democratic successor to Tudman. Croatians failed their first (and to date, only Croatian president), the Croatian military and police fallen, the civilian fallen, and themselves in January 2000. It is Croatian voters fault, not Tudman’s, for the sorry state of affairs today.

    QUOTE: “When Tudjman’s mandate was strongest, was when he should have put forth his vision of Croatia – if indeed he did have a nationalistic/sovereignist agenda at all.It seems to me that he was more a victim of his circumstances rather than an active player/strategist/militarist (for all his accolades as Tito’s youngest JNA General).”

    So, Tudman was such a poor, inactive player / strategist / military leader that Croatia under him merely a) Fought the JNA to a stand-still despite the immoral and criminally insane UN arms embargo and forced the Serbs to go to Plan B and abandon what should have been easily achievable K-K-V line if one looks at international support for Milosevic (entire UNSC, all major world powers, liberal media in W as well as anti-Catholic media elements in the English speaking world against Croatian independence and, in the case of the UK, ND, France, Russia and China, hysterically behind Milosevic and the consolidation of his war gains) b) Achieved international recognition c) Achieved a close, strategic intelligence / military relationship with the US d) Destroyed the “Krajina” and took back Vukovar without firing a shot, with 70,000 Serbian ultranationalists leaving in anticipation of reintegration and after reintegration e) Enabled the biological survival of Croats in B&H, who were the victims of both greater Serbian and greater Bosniak / Islamist / SRBiH AVNOJ nationalist-socialist aggression and left a de facto HRHB with very de jure rights for Croats within B&H as per the Washington and Dayton Accords f) Left Croatia with the strongest and most battlefield successful military / police / intelligence apparatus in the region?

    He was that inactive of a player and that unsuccessful that he had to be indicted posthumously, twice, to attempt to overturn his legacy, and the people’s love for him?

    QUOTE: “He was never decisive when it came to our sovereignty (remember after the referendum he floated the idea of some kind of federation of former Yugoslav states?) He was never decisive when it came to Bosnia & Hercegovina or Eastern Slavonia/Vukovar.”

    How was he not decisive in the colonial creation (B&H) or in Eastern Slavonia / Vukovar?

    Please, I really would like to know how he was undecisive considering the external political pressure / internal threats.

    Croatia under Tudman’s leadership achieved every single strategic objective / imperative it had, with the exception of absorption of HRHB into Croatia – HRHB was a defacto reality until Tudman’s death and the “de-Tudmanization” (de-Croatization) process carried out by the bearded regime and the “big Catholic” Sanader.

    QUOTE: “When he was at his most powerful,when he had all of the Croatian people behind him,was when he could have culled the Communists out of HDZ -he did not, because it was to his advantage to keep them there.”ENDQUOTE

    So Tudman used the useful idiots up to his advantage to achieve all of Croatia’s strategic goals (liberate occupied territory – via force as in Maslenica, Bljesak and Storm, or without firing a shot like in Vukovar thanks to Maslenica, Blijesak and Storm).

    Was Tudman to actually believe that Croatians were so stupid and lazy that they would vote for that lying, contemptuous, bearded alcoholic degenerate UDBa sleeper (who Tudman kept closer than his friends and kicked to the curb when the time was ripe) Stipe Mesic, twice?

    Tudman left Croatia and Croatians territorial integrity, de facto HRHB (for Croatia to survive, it needs to have strategic depth), the region’s strongest, most efficient military (ever), and intelligence establishment that by the time of Tudman’s knew what Milosevic was eating and pooping and when and recording every single conversation of his, leaving Croatia 9 bn USD in debt (after a war that cost in damage, not even rebuilding costs, 27.1 bn USD, or the cost of arming under the embargo) – with rebuilding funds and highway funds already in the bank waiting for disbursement.

    QUOTE: “The Communists never let go of the reigns of power, they just changed their political membership cards from Communist to HDZ – like wolves in sheeps clothing.No wonder the Croatian people are wary of politicians and their parties and all of their promises- they have found that very little has substantively changed -corruption begets corruption. Bog i Hrvati!” ENDQUOTE

    Tudman was an obvious student of Sun Tsu, who understood the big picture.

    Croats really need to look at the big picture.

    Please, every reader of this blog should read Sun Tsu.

  18. In terms of the “federation” idea: sometimes you have to say some things just to say you said them, especially in international politics.

    This is a given.

    Tudman’s / HDZ’s / Croatia’s stated goal was EU (ECC) and NATO entry.

    The “federation” non-idea was lipservice and a fait accompli, as Tudman knew that it would be rejected by Milosevic / Serbia / Serbian media and Serbia, not Croatia, would look bad to the objective observers, which it did and still does.

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