There come times in life when you just want to climb on the top of a mountain and shout: liar, liar liar! You want the world to hear you; the burden of desecrated truth weighs down heavily.
So, as I shout liars, liars, liars, this time, it’s in the direction of ICTY Trial Chamber’s recent judgment against the Six Croats of Herceg-Bosna in which the Trial Chamber ruled that they, together with Croatia’s leadership (including dr Franjo Tudjman) had participated in a joint criminal enterprise against Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) – all as part of some Greater Croatia expansion!
A great deal has been written in response to this shocking and politically carved judgment, that seems to have been cemented through efforts of channeling much hearsay and half-truths into the pen where ICTY’s “joint criminal enterprise” creation awaited fodder to give it life. It’s a part of human nature to become restless and distressed, to vent frustration and disappointment – pending an appeal to the Trial Chamber’s decision. So I’m shouting again – it takes a great deal of effort these days for truth to surface and stay there.
Ante Nazor of dnevno.hr portal has recently written a great article on the matter, which, I’m pleased to say, justifies and feeds my “liar, liar, liar” shout against the judgment and prosecution’s witnesses.
Ante Nazor writes (translation in italics):
This judgment, condemning the political and military leadership of Herceg-Bosna, and Croatia for “joint criminal enterprise” against Bosnia, shows how unconvincing ICTY’s “slogans” that guilt is individualised in its verdicts are. With this judgment it’s suggested that Croatia is responsible for aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), which is contrary to the historical facts.
Contrary to the claims made in the Trial Chamber judgment against 6 Croats of Herceg-Bosna the facts clearly show that Croatia had not committed aggression against Bosnia, nor had it conducted a “joint criminal enterprise”, but only reacted to the events that occurred in BiH, events the Croatian leadership could not ignore: firstly the Serbian aggression in April in 1992., and then the Bosniak (Muslim) – Croatian conflict in BiH, for which Croatia is not responsible, nor had it been caused by president Franjo Tudjman and defense minister Gojko Susak, but real threat of extinction of the Croats as one of the three constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina appeared in the area where they had lived for centuries.
The ICTY prosecution did not hide its triumphalism after the verdict as it enthusiastically commented for television that the “Serbian Republic and Herceg-Bosna are the same”. (Reminder: Serbian Republic within Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded on genocide including Srebrenica massacre). Then there were some non-government organisation and individuals who, after the above said ICTY judgment, said through media that the public has argued for years that president Tudjman, defence minister Susak and almost the whole of the then Croatian authorities were joint criminals “and that Croatia is founded on crimes”. (Perhaps it’s good to remind ouselves here that those organisations and individuals were and are those die-hard communists at heart who never wanted a free Croatia anyway). But none of these “righteous” ones answered the question of what would happen to the Croats in BiH had they not organised themselves and had they not received help from Croatia? Who would defend them? Bosnia and Herzegovina? Europe? USA? NATO? Yugoslav People’s Army? Given the events in Croatia in 1991 (brutal Serb aggression) and given the experience with the area Croatian villages Ravno in BiH in October 1991 (of which the Hague prosecutor had to know) the only thing that remained for Croats in BiH was to organise their defence. The ICTY prosecutor also had to know the fact that even before the burning of village Ravno in BiH, Croatian Serb forces (aka Martic’s rebel forces) with their incursion into the territory of BiH Bosnian Grahovo in June 1991 extrtacted a sincere reaction from Alija Izetbegovic in the media: “at this moment we are not able to cope with the increasingly violent internal and external aggression” and that the country cannot resist external aggression (by Serb forces).
Therefore, it is an utter nonsense from ICTY prosecution to claim that Croats in BiH did not have a reason for self-organisation, when it is known that the institutions of BiH at the time, neither Croats nor other citizens, were not able to protect themselves against Serbian armed formations. Is it not cynical that the prosecutor in any court in Europe accuses Croats in BiH for the political and territorial organisation to defend themselves against the Serbian aggression, which, at the beginning, was the main reason for the establishment of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna on 18th November 1991, in the circumstances when Europe’s arms embargo against the former Yugoslavia significantly impeded defence efforts of Croats and Bosniaks (Muslims) at the beginning of Serbian aggression?
All this and many more facts, as well as a chronology of events, were disregarded by the Hague prosecution in its effort to accuse Croatian leadership and Croatia of “joint criminal enterprise” in BiH.
Quoting excerpts from transcripts as evidence for its claim (which are generally presented in the media in Croatia), ignored the transcripts whose content is contrary to the allegations of the prosecution.
Contrary to Greater Serbia, the construction of theories about the creation of Greater Croatian is based on lies. Certainly, unlike Serbs, Croats did not attack other countries of former Yugoslavia so the ICTY prosecutor evidently went about concocting one through this court case.
For example, it was President Tudjman, whom the prosecution accuses of creating a “Greater Croatia” at the expense of BiH, who on 56th (Closed) session of the Government of Croatia on 25th November 199 (I.e. 7 days after the proclamation of the “Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna”) concluded that “in accordance with the Croatian policy and politics it builds itself upon, there cannot be any changes in the borders,” and so “Croats in BiH must ensure their interests within the state, as long as ii exists.”
He also noted that “we must be aware of the fact that the Serbian part of Bosnia and Herzegovina is fully in the hands of the Serbian government, that it is armed and in service of the Greater Serbia policy” and that “Muslims run their own politics which in fact, as far as the leadership is concerned, is on the line of maintaining Yugoslavia “.
Accordingly, looking at the politics led by President Tudjman BiH and his statesmanlike moves (no change to borders by force, the recognition of sovereignty and independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a union of the three constituent peoples, participation of Croats in BiH defence and liberation, and other facts) show that the role of Croatian President Tudjman and Serbian President Milosevic and Croatian and Serbian war in BiH, as well as the role of the Croatian Community Herceg-Bosna and the Serbian Republic, cannot be considered equal, despite the Hague prosecution’s and the domestic “lovers of justice” persistence in trying to make it so.
This is corroborated by the fact that most informed and most respected judge in the Trial Chamber which rendered the judgment previously cited Six Croats of Herceg-Bosna, Jean-Claude Antonetti, in his dissenting opinion states that President Tudjman at a meeting of the Supreme State Council 18th November 1991, when Herceg-Bosna was established, said he is not about creating a community of Herceg-Bosna, but a declaration that proves that the Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina are working to establish a community with no separation of BiH, and that “this document does not support the theory of a Greater Croatia. ”
So I reiterate: with the exception of Judge Antonetti of ICTY Trial Chamber, the prosecution and its witnesses: liars, liars, liars. The saddest thing of all, pending a court appeal in this matter, the conflict and intolerance between Croats and Bosniaks in BiH deepens by the day – all because of this abominable politically wrapped judgment. I am certain that such a scenario was planned and fueled by those who want to legitimise the entity of Serbian Republic within BiH that was created on genocide, ethnic cleansing, rape and utter horror. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Zgb)