Egg on Tim Judah’s and BBC’s faces – pursuing the truth of Franjo Tudjman

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.

Tim Judah BBC article original edition 23 April 2013

Tim Judah BBC article original edition 23 April 2013

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”.

Tim Judah BBC article edited version 26 April 2013

Tim Judah BBC article edited version 26 April 2013

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)

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Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Croatia Business Report.

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  2. Excellent work here, Ina.

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  3. The BBC is a disgrace to the media world.Even 18 years after the war,they are using the same kind of propaganda against Croatia as during the war when they served as an international mouthpiece of Slobodan Milosevic.

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    • Indeed No, the real and professional media outlet would at least apologise for the terrible attack on a person based on lies and delete from its text the part that attacks, not change it as if nothing happened. Too many other media outlets had picked up on the original text and too many have read it – hence, BBC should apologise to Franjo Tudjman (even if he is dead) and publish that apology in a prominent place where all can see. As for Tim Judah, he can serve as a mouthpiece of anyone he wants, as far as I’m concerned, but he should not do it with untruths.

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  4. From Facebook- Branko: Right, as if Stanimirovic (Vojislav Stanimirovic) or Pupy (Milorad Pupovac) are “politically credible”. One thing Judah doesn’t mention is how Tudjman prevented an all-out bloodbath by keeping political scum like Manolic (Josip Manolic) and Boljkovac (Josip Boljkovac) or the ultimate political scum, Mesic (Stjepan Mesic), close in the early ’90’s. Engaging them was a far more daring move than engaging Serbs. Judah must obviously have some Serbian ties to be spewing out platitudinal nonsense like this, it’s just too bad he’s been given such a high platform as the BBC from which to do it. Oh well, not the first or the last time we’ll see propaganda like this, but it is a good thing there’s Ina Vukic’s out there that help expose these phonies.

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  5. Robin Hud says:

    From Facebook – Robin Hud: As if what it’s shown on TV and other media in the service of deceit and treachery is true, and so there is a logic in people to believe everything that’s bad because there are no good and honorable people here to lead the country, they get born somewhere else.

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  6. It is funny how you speak about the truth all the time. I would say you analyze the process from a positivism point of view. And even, you do not speak about facts that can give another perspective from your point of view. You say that “In December 1991 the Croatian Parliament strengthened the law in relation to ethnic minorities” but what you did not say is that in the Constitutio of 1990 the goverment of Tudjman decided to eliminate the definition of serbs in Croatia like “national people” and turn into a minority. But those right to defend the serb and other minorities arrived one year later. So, Judah is right when he said that Tudjman is an authoritarian leader. Or pehaps you should comment the great efforts of Tudjman of trying to clean the name of Independent State of Croatia to use it like a legitimize the creation of Croatia like a independent country after the breakup of Yugoslavia.

    “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”

    …the rest of comment deleted by admin …

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    • Speaker, the truth referred to here was about Serbs who served in the Croatian government or parliament during the times of Tudjman and when it comes to truth there are no views about it, just facts. Of course people can interpret the facts as they wish but that does not change the facts – in this case that there were Serbs in the Croatian government under Tudjman, while initially Judah said that there were not any and later, when his lie was picked up on his article said that these Serbs were no politically credible etc.

      As to your comment on Tudjman turning Serbs in Croatia from “national people” to ethnic minorities that is in no way disrespect towards Serbs but a legal reality, demographic reality and phrase used in every independent and sovereign democratic country of the world. In Yugoslavia the main nationalities (Croats, Serbs, Slovenes, Macedonians, Bosnians) were not ethnic minorities because it was a federation formed under different national people (as you called it). When Croatia became independent, seceded from Yugoslavia all nationalities there, living in minorities became legally and constitutionally known as ethnic minorities. The same happened in Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia etc… so don’t you go and blaming Tudjman for this, Western countries and democracies have built this into their constitutions hundreds of years ago. Stick to facts not fantasies and you might then see the untruth in Judah’s article.

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    • Maslow1234 says:

      Speaker, you can congregate with Judah to your heart’s content, just don’t blame Tudjman for doing the right things all independent and democratic countries do. Aren’t Croats in Serbia an ethnic minority? Of course they are! They are that because Yugoslavia no longer exist. Don’t see you blaming Serbia’s leaders for doing that. I suggest you curl up into a corner and do a bit of study as to what Croatian Constitution was and is and be a bit more inclined towards justice as defined by democracy. Don’t come here offloading your misguided hatred. Truth, yes truth.

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      • Judah does not care about what I posted here.

        “Tudjman for doing the right things all independent and democratic countries do. Aren’t Croats in Serbia an ethnic minority? Of course they are! They are that because Yugoslavia no longer exist”

        That is not exactly. When the goverment of Tudjman created the Constitution of Croatia was in 1990 and Yugoslavia was still alive. Whereupon, I guess the legal framework was also alive, so, serbs had the right to consider themselves like national people from Croatia and not like a minority.

        “Don’t see you blaming Serbia’s leaders for doing that”

        Actually, I do not know if in the framework of Yugoslavia, croatia people in Serbia was considered or nor national people. Nevertheless, I can and I also did in some papers and conversations about the topic the attitude fo Serbian authorities from Serbia and the leaders from Serbian Republic of Krajina. Of course they overrated about their change in the status from national people to national minority and of course they did not take the right path when they did not try to negotiate with goverment of HDZ and the rather prefered to rely on Milosevic and his fellas.

        “I suggest you curl up into a corner and do a bit of study as to what Croatian Constitution was and is and be a bit more inclined towards justice as defined by democracy”

        I will take your advice. But I would say that democracy is more trying to negotiate to resolve the problems than acting unilateral even thought you have a majority to carry out your goals, in this case, independence from Yugoslavia.

        “Don’t come here offloading your misguided hatred. Truth, yes truth”

        I am not here to spread a hatred speech. I am here to debate and sharing points of view. If you think that I am here in a crusade against Croatia people, Croatia like nation-state or against Franjo Tudjman or to defend serb people, you are so wrong.

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      • Speaker: here is a quote from the Constitution of Republic of Croatia: “…the Republic of Croatia is hereby established as the national state of the Croatian people and a state of members of other nations and minorities who are its citizens: Serbs, Muslims, Slovenes, Czechs, Slovaks, Italians, Hungarians, Jews and others, who are guaranteed equality with citizens of Croatian nationality and the realization of ethnic rights in accordance with the democratic norms of the United Nations and countries of free world”.

        Modeled on free nations/countries of the world.

        As to majority of Serbs in Croatia then, the unfortunate thing was that they most likely did not want to negotiate because they did not want a Croatian state and they were (and many still are) loyal to Serbia as “mother or father” country. That’s OK in human terms just as it is OK for Croatia to assert its rights of a sovereign country.

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    • Richard Moran says:

      Speaker: “The commitments of the Croatian government to human rights surpassed those of the United States Declaration of Independence which referred to native Americans as “merciless Indian savages,” or the U.S. Constitution which specifically defined an African-American as three-fifths of a person. The Croatian Parliament further strengthened the law on December 4, 1991 by specifically granting local police, courts and governments to Serbs in those areas in which they were a majority. These documents grant 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 Kosova’ 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 http://mirror.veus.hr/myth/serbs.html

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  7. We need a robust truth commission made up of academics, lawyers, judges, clergy, civil organizations, and others from all the former republics to identify the truth and points of contention as a path to freedom from historical burdens, lies, propaganda and ultimately for responsibility and accountability. BTW I purposely left out reconciliation…b/c I don’t think there will ever be reconciliation from Serbs as long as they covet and dream of a greater serbia. Besides our history with them proves that any closeness with Serbia is a path to hell for Croatia. Let’s learn from history and move on and away from Serbia.

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    • Sunman, so true – reconciliation with Serbia would only be possible if all their wrongdoings are forgotten, eliminated from history and reality, or lumbered unto someone else.

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  8. Zezevice says:

    Ina, maybe someone should show the revised article to the Serbs that were part of the Croatian government/parliament at the time so that they can sue Tim Judah and the BBC for saying that they were not credible. Now wouldn’t that be a lesson to the BBC.

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  9. Srpska Marijana do groba says:

    Yes i am Serbian, thank you Lord!

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  10. Dalibor Zovko says:

    From Facebook – Dalibor Zovko: to je sve naručeno poput jeftina plaćena oglasa negdje uz put da odvraća pozornost lakovjernim vozačima…dohvatili se hvalospjeva Sanaderu da je poticao ulazak Srba u vladu a kao Tuđman nije “ko pijan plota”. Tuđman ih je imao u obitelji. A kroz povijest su se mnogi pravoslavci utkali u temelje Hrvatske i to je neosporno. Nikola Tesla je bio hrvat pravoslavac s genima hrvatskim iz zadarskog zaleđa. Pa nitko nije kriv našoj vladi i Jovanoviću kao ministru što nije našao za shodno poslati jednu skupinu u New York gdje su se pojavili Đoković i ostali da čovjeka slave kao Srbina na temelju lažne povijesti. BBC kao i mnoge kuće koje se bave s tim poslom idu crtama manjeg otpora. Šteta gospođo Ina što je eto netko tako daleko od izvora naše domovine dovoljno pismen i kuražan da ispisuje stvari koje bi trebale biti abeceda za našu diplomaciju! Stoga Bog Vama i vašoj obitelji dao lijepoga zdravlja a poseban pozdrav za hrvatskog viteza Antu! Još nisam upoznao niti jednog Antu a da je bio loš čovjek!

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    • Translation of Dalibor Zovko comment: It’s all by order like some cheap paid advertisement somewhere along the road in order to turn the attention away from gullible drivers … they reached for praises of Sanader that he encouraged the entry of Serbs into the government and as if Tudjman had not “like a drunkard holding onto the fence”. Tudjman had Serbs in his own family. Throughout the history many Orthodox weaved themselves into the foundations of Croatia and that is indisputable. Nikola Tesla was an Orthodox Croat with Croatian genes from Zadar’s hinterland. So no one can be blamed for the government’s and minister Jovanovic’s failure to send a group to New York where Djokovic appeared and was celebrated as a Serb on the basis of false history. BBC as other media houses who deal with such matters go along the lines of least resistance. It’s a pity, Ina, that someone so far away from our homeland is so literate and filled with courage to question things that should be the work of our diplomatic core!With that may God grant you and your family good health and I send a special greeting for the Croatian knight Ante. I have not yet met a single man named Ante who was a bad man!

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  11. Hilda Marija Foley says:

    Thank you Ina for everything you write, Croatia desperately needs your kind of commentaries – but unfortunately such would not be published in today’s Croatian newspapers.
    Sincerely,
    Hilda Marija Foley

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    • Thank you Hildra Marija Foley. I was most disappointed with reference to this article from Tim Judah is Croatian press (e.g. Vecernji List) they simply skipped that part where Judah write untruths regarding Serbs in Croatian Government during Tudjman’s time and I thought: it’s either that the journalist isn’t allowed to print comments or that he/she doesn’t know recent history nor bothers to check the facts through research. Either way it’s bad. But at the end of the day it’s not even a comment but pointing to where errors and lies are in an article. You know, many I assume in Croatia are not brave enough to speak up even if they are much cleverer than say some foreign journalist or historian or what not. People in Croatia need to come out of their shell and speak up louder – oppression they suffered under Yugoslavia has long passed and more needs to be done on healing.

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  12. What a narrow-minded … this man is to call Tudjman “authoritarian” and spread such misinformation. What, now it’s wrong to be a nationalist and put the needs of one’s own country and people first, rather than licking the ass of Yugonostalgics? Please, Mr. Judah, shut up. If anyone was authoritarian it was that criminal Tito and Milosevic – it is because of them that Croats suffered so much and saw the need for sovereignty. Why do these people care so much about Croatian “nationalism” and the supposed evils of it anyway? It’s wrong for us to want to put our best interests first, but when nationalism rears its ugly head in Western nations, it’s acceptable for it to be excused away with “it’s just a minority of idiots behaving like that”?

    Between this, and having seen idiotic Tito praise on Facebook, I am now in a really bad mood.

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  13. If Tudjman had people like Milan Djukic in his government then you’d wonder who was in opposition. According to Wikileaks he and Mesic were best buddies and often visited the US Ambassader to complain of made up atrocities that even the Ambassader thought “at least some of Djukic’s accusations appear to be exaggerations’. Later posts go on to state the officials visited villages in Western Slavonia which apparently were destroyed or where atrocities where committed only to find out that this was not the case. If Djukic is not credible it’s because he lied often to the West in order to tarnish Tudjman’s reputation…. However, the biggest spreader of such lies was Mesic!

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  14. Interesting to watch you all … each other off.

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  15. More lies from Tim Judah!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22316083
    Tim Judah has written another peace about Croatia and I have to say that it is full of more lies, misinformation, and equating victim with aggressor. He has a tendency of never identifying who the instigator and aggressor of the wars in the former Yugoslavia – i.e. the Serbs.
    In a piece about Serbian and Croatian relations, the first half of it talks about Croatian-Montenegrin relations and an apology and compensation received from Montenegro to Croatia. To me this insinuates that he is saying that Montenegrins are in fact Serbs, something that many ethnic Montenegrins would not take too kindly too.
    And regarding that compensation paid by Montenegro, at least he rightly points out that the compensation was for cows stolen but doesn’t question why there was no compensation from lives taken and historic Dubrovnik building damaged.
    With regards to Mostar, Judah says that the Croats and Bosniaks fought the Serbs but then states that the “Croats fought Bosniaks, with occasional help from the Serbs”. This strictly implies that Croats were the aggressors in this conflict and it is trying to paint Croats as equally guilty as the Serbs. The Bosniak-Croat conflict – if you can call it that as it was isolated to certain places mostly in central Bosnia whilst in other places the Bosniaks and Croats continued to work in unison – was not caused by some sort of Croat aggression in order to create a Greater Croatia (a myth that has haunted Tudjman’s memory, but really only after he died coincidentally) but a whole serious of independent causes that together created tension in certain areas of Bosnia (e.g. the appearance mujahidin, immense influx of Bosniak refugees into Croat controlled cantons, inability of Izetbegovic to defend Bosniaks and his desire not to defend Croats, the stealing of arms from the HVO by the Bosniaks, the fleeing of Muslim soldiers to ABIH with said arms).
    Judah goes on to state, “areas such as the former breakaway region of Krajina, from where Serbs fled or were ethnically cleansed in 1995”. Well there never was a region called ‘Krajina’ to begin with and evidence produced at various ICTY court proceedings, especially Gotovina et al, show that Serb leadership led the Serb exodus from Croatia. Therefore, there is no ambiguity as to how and why the Serbs left, but Judah likes to paint a different picture.
    Speaking of pictures, there is one of Stipe Mesic and Montenegrin PM Milo Djukanovic with the caption “happier times”. Happier times for which I ask? Anyone but Croats and especially not its veterans. Mesic is the single biggest traitor of the Croatian people in recent memory. His role in the opposition during the war was one of the biggest influences in prolonging international intervention in the conflict and has since helped create an unflattering myth about Tudjman and his policies. Yet, because he lay down and allowed everyone else in the region to walk all over him whilst he was in power, he is considered by Judah as being good for the Croatian people.
    In reality, Croatia and Serbia have not buried the hatchet. They were close, perhaps, at one stage. However, with Nikolic in Belgrade, whilst missing people from the war are not found, whilst treasure looted by Serbs are still not returned and whilst Chetnik ideologies still rain supreme all over Serbia the hatchet will never be buried.

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    • Thanks Felix – it seems the whole world bar Tim Judah and BBC sees through Judah’s pathetic attempts to rewrite history with his biased opinion and untruths.

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  16. Americro says:

    That Serbs were in Croatia’s government of national salvation (Opacic, Dukic) during the peak of genocidal JNA-VRSK-Chetnik aggression, seems to have flown over Judah’s head.

    As did the fact that 5% of Croatian forces during the Homeland War were Serbian.

    Its hilarious that Judah calls Tudman an “authoritarian” ruler, considering:

    a) Tudman was a wartime president of a country that was for 5 years bombed excessively and indiscriminately from 1/3 of its own territory from which over 400,000 Croatians and non-Serbs were ethnically cleansed at gunpoint and barred from ever returning to, yet he never attempted to gain nor ever wielded even a fraction of the power Churchill and Roosevelt did in their own countries during WWII;
    b) Serbian counterintelligence / questionable international NGO funded “independent journalists” (i.e. Yugoslav Communist Party members who gained fame and fortune and high positions due to their party membership, like Jelena Lovric and Drago Hedl, for instance) and newsapers in Croatia, who were publicly against ANY Croatian autonomy, let alone independence, the duration of the war and after it, without any sanction, regurgitated Milosevic’s / Martic’s genocidal anti-Croatian hate speech on a daily / weekly basis, and claimed Tudman was an authoritarian despite no Milosevic / Martic propaganda regurgitator being arrested or tried like all German propagandists were in the UK and US during and after WWII;
    c) When you have a headlines in your newspaper about how there is no media freedom (Seral Fribune), the exact opposite is true.

    All anyone has on Tudman is the UDBa-KOS-Paraga misquotes of page 418 of Bespuca (Footnote No. 493, Vojislav Prnjatovic’s quote dishonestly attributed to Tudman, “Zidov ostaje Zidov” / “A Jew remains a Jew”, which Tudman explicitly was quoting as evidence of Serb anti-Semitism); the out-of-context Dubrava speech (“Thank God my wife is neither Serbian or Jewish”) which was an obvious slap to Pavelic and Tito – two dictators – that even an autistic child can see to be a slap at both Pavelic and Tito: meaning Judah and like-minded Tudman-haters have nothing.

    Finally, Serbs were not ethnically cleansed in ANY Croatian military operation; they left in pre-planned, pre-rehearsed routes, and most of those who didn’t get away immediately asked to be escorted out by the UN that they were partying with for years, as was the case in Maslenica (which was liberating Croatian villages save 1 Serb village, from where the residents left BEFORE Maslenica began), as was with the 15,000 Serbs in W Slavonija who didn’t leave with the 14,000 Serbs from there who began to flee BEFORE Bljesak even began, and the Kordun Serbs and Kordun Corps that left under UN supervision after the Kordun Corps surrendered to Gen. Stipetic during Operation Storm. Finally, the ICTY Appeals Chamber found that NO ETHNIC CLEANSING OR DEPORTATIONS TOOK PLACE IN OPERATION STORM, meaning Judah is not just a sly manipulator, but a bold-faced liar.

    The more the dogs bark, the more obvious Tudman’s success is, and the greater his legacy becomes.

    Croatia is in NATO, and is joining the EU – the two top goals of Tudman’s vision for Croatia, behind defeating the genocidal greater Serbian fascist – Yugoslav Communist Axis on the battlefield, which he and the Croatian Army, Police and people did, are a few days from being entirely fulfilled.

    Thank you Mr. President! Neka Vam bude vijecna slava!

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