Regardless of the fact that BBC (with Tim Judah’s help?) changed the wording in the relevant part of Tim Judah’s article “Croatia: From isolation to EU Membership” there is still egg on Judah’s and BBC’s faces.
You simply cannot cover-up the fact that you’ve written lies by qualifying them – or adding adjectives and other embellishments – in the second edition of the same article. The fact that you have published lies still remains – particularly in the case when your original lies reached many people. You are much better off apologising (in a prominent place) for the lies published in the first instance. But, sadly, it would seem that an apology regarding lies published about Franjo Tudjman (23 April 2013) by Judah and BBC would be unbearable for them (?), even if it is the right thing to do; the only thing to do in order to save face and, in order to correct the wrong done.
Indeed, if an apology followed for publishing lies, the public might question the veracity of anything else Tim Judah or BBC might have published about Franjo Tudjman (?).
In the article by Tim Judah published on 23 April 2013, Judah wrote:
“Mr Sanader also brought Serbs into his government, something unimaginable in the Tudjman years.”
I complained to the BBC that this did not reflect the truth and that, in fact, there were Serbs in the Croatian government and parliament etc during the times of Tudjman; I gave a couple of examples.
On the 26 April 2013 Tim Judah/BBC change the above sentence to:
“Mr Sanader also brought Serbs with political credibility and clout into his government, something unimaginable in the Tudjman years”.
The facts are that during the times of Franjo Tudjman there were several Serbs either in the Croatian government, in the parliament, or serving as special advisers to Franjo Tudjman. They include the following persons: Srecko Bijelic, Milan Djukic, Zivko Juzbasic and Djordje Pribicevic.
We can, therefore, conclude that these Croatian Serbs have no political credibility or clout as far as Judah and BBC are concerned!
How pathetic is this!
For the sake of avoiding admission of having told a lie about Tudjman, Tim Judah now takes it upon himself to tell the world that Serbs in Croatian Government during the times of Tudjman were not “politically credible” Serbs, without offering the list of politically credible ones! The problem here is also in this: given the times of Tudjman years, who were the politically credible Serbs in Croatia? Whose politics did they subscribe to? Serbia’s or Croatia’s?
So, I ask myself: who among the Croatian Serbs should have been in the Croatian government, parliament, etc. during the times of Tudjman, while Serb aggression (which included rebel Croatian Serbs) lasted over Croatia?
Should that have been someone from the Serb rebel forces? A Serb nationalist? Would Judah and BBC be happy with that? Would they then stop calling Tudjman a nationalist, as if nationalism is some kind of plague nations should steer away from – all the while nationalism is revered as the highest form of patriotism in their own countries?
It is to be noted that, in the same article, Judah, writes: “Tudjman was not just a nationalist but an authoritarian leader. By the time of his death in 1999 the country was internationally isolated. With the exception of the leaders of a few neighbouring countries, the president of Turkey was the only foreign statesman to show up to his funeral”.
With writers such as Judah in this article, no wonder Croatia was seen as some as internationally isolated and no wonder so few international leaders were at his funeral! But never mind – there were many Croatians at his funeral, and that is what makes his funeral a grand affair, for his people loved him. That is what matters the most – with the people who loved him, Tudjman created the independent Croatia, which commenced then its path to EU membership, albeit at that stage EU membership was only a dream, an aspiration.
But let’s hope truth will surface sooner or later and the world will see that Franjo Tudjman and the Croatian governments of his time were committed to human rights and the rights of ethnic minorities. In December 1991 the Croatian Parliament strengthened the law in relation to ethnic minorities, granting local police, courts and governments to Serbs in those areas in which they were a majority.
These granted Serbs and other national minorities full protection of human rights, guaranteed proportional representation in government, the right to self-government, and protection from any attempts of forced assimilation. It further encouraged individuals and organizations to appeal to international bodies to secure these protections.
“Ironically, Serbs in Croatia have never needed these provisions. It was the Croatians, Bosnians and Kosovo’ s Albanian majority who would appeal to the European Community, the United Nations, the International League for Human Rights, Helsinki Watch, Amnesty International and other international bodies for protection from the Serbian minority and the Serbian controlled Army”. (C. Michael McAdams: Croatia – Myth & Reality)
At the end of the day Tim Judah told a lie and BBC published it and then covered it up two or three days later as if nothing had happened of that sort! To my knowledge, no professionally credible person or organization would do that and expect that the world will go on as if nothing happened. There is after all political and professional credibility associated with that. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)