Croatia: Looking To Turn Right At Elections

 

Dr. sc. Ante Nazor Photo source: povijest.net

Dr. sc. Ante Nazor
Photo source: povijest.net

Croatia votes today September 11 for its new government and one hopes that the majority of voters will, as they put pen to paper, behold the priceless value for Croatian independence, freedom from communist oppression and democracy the 1990’s Homeland War has and must always have.

The past many months have seen constant false accusations against Croatia that attempt to convince the world that there is revisionism and turning to WWII type of nationalism and WWII Ustasha politics. These allegations have been coming from all sides – domestic and foreign left-leaning press, especially. At times it has felt as if the resulting political divisions within Croatia were set-up to cause dangerous outbursts and violence in the streets (much like the racist ones presently going on for example in the US associated with the presidential race or in the UK associated with the Brexit vote). Furthermore, the resulting dangerous divisions in Croatia these false accusations of revived nationalism don’t even try to hide the left political field’s ugly media manipulation, the preferential employment of politically desirable persons in public administration, secret services special war, lies, historical falsifications, the ongoing attempts to attribute equal guilt to the aggressor and the victim for the 1990’s war where Serbs and Serbia were the aggressor.

 

The best result for Croatian immediate future would be if the centre-right or conservative political camps win government outright or with majority. This is undoubtedly so because the future government would have the ability and enough power to address the false allegations of revived nationalism against Croatia and hopefully “shut the gob” of its enemies and get on with the job of improving the economy and standards of living as well as democratic life of citizens.
The desperation of the Left – former communists- to win government, undoubtedly in order to pursue its vilification of Croatian Homeland war and the degradation of its veterans, is visible in the Social Democrats’ leader Zoran Milanovic saying last week that his grandfather was a Croatian ultra-nationalist Ustasha during WWII! Oh dear, does he really think Croatian voters are that naïve so as to warm up to the idea of voting “left” just because there may have been as Ustasha in a communist’s family tree? I don’t think Milanovic used this announcement regarding his grandfather for a good cause for Croatia – it was planted to further build on false allegations that in Croatia there is revival of WWII brand of nationalism.

 

In a recent interview Dr Ante Nazor, Head of the Croatian Memorial Document Archives of the Homeland War in Zagreb, addressed these issues and possible sources of false allegations against Croatia obviously designed to cause deep and violent divisions among the Croatian people. “As a scientist I do not divide people or their actions as being ‘left’ or ‘right’ politically oriented, but as those who follow scientific methodology and those who do not, and whether we are dealing here with the activities of ‘UDBA’ (communist Yugoslavia secret police) or “Kosovo-type” of structures or whether the motives for turning the public attention away from the economy to topics from history that are of a different nature, seem to me less important than the fact that these topics in the media are present in a most unscientific manner,” said Dr Nazor and continued: “Therefore, at a time when the media in Croatia is overwhelmed with warnings that Croatia may face a renewal of ‘nationalism’, which is often unjustly equated to chauvinism, and at this time when certain domestic and foreign public interest groups are trying to convince people that ‘fascismisation’ and ‘ustasheisation’ is at work in Croatia’s society, despite the fact that that no political party in Croatia whose program is based on Nazi or fascist ideology or racial laws would pass the required electoral threshold at elections, it’s interesting here to note Anne Applebaum’s observation (in the Fall and Rise of the Communists), published in late 1994, that ‘in Central Europe the greatest danger to democracy and stability does not come nor has it ever come from new or old nationalist right (…) but from the old left, the remains of communist parties that have remained better organised and financed than any new right-wing party might be.’ She notes that ‘the West should be interested in the Central European right and healthy nationalist movements, because they are defending tradition, order, order, law and family values,’ but these are often replaced by ‘patriotism – a natural occurrence there where there was effective occupation – with dangerous militarism, and that rational patriotism can now create a state of mind which is equally important, along with the respect of legality, for the development of democracy as are peaceful borders and parliamentary elections’. The readers may judge for themselves how this observation applies to the Croatian society of the 1990s to the present.”

 

It does not matter what we call this occurrence of false allegations against Croatia but it does matter that ever since the first parliamentary elections in 1990 in Croatia, which saw Croatia’s overwhelming will to secede fro communist Yugoslavia, the Croatian and international media space have been riddled continuously with incorrect or incomplete information, with lies and half-truths, in order to discredit Croatia’s Homeland War; in order to protect the legacy of communist Yugoslavia’s “brotherhood and unity” as something that should not have been torn apart and in order to justify Serbia’s brutal attacks and genocide against Croats who wanted freedom and democracy.
Part of these ‘activitists’ persistently seeks that the War be represented as a ‘civil war’, which is contrary to the facts,” said dr Nazor, “this was a war of conquest in order to achieve the overall objective of the Greater Serbia policy – ‘that all Serbs live in one state’, as the then Serbian leadership headed by Slobodan Milosevic tried to achieve merger with Serbia of substantial parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Those who speak of ‘civil war’, not only avoid mentioning the responsibility of Serbia for war, but ignore the fact that the war was fought for the sake of merging parts of Croatian territory of Serbia, and not because of the change of government in Croatia…”

 

Dr Ante Nazor reminds us that the Homeland War is and should be the strongest foundation upon which Croatia’s future should be built. It was a war that was fought on Croatian sovereign territory by all those who stood against the Greater Serbia aggressor by defending their homes and Homeland; it was a war that was a Homeland War, a war of defense and a war of liberation, said Dr Nazor.

I trust Croatia’s voters will remember this as they vote today and in that reject the false allegations and divisions former communists are fueling every day. Good luck Croatia with the voting and if the left side wins it will mean much more work is required to right the wrongs. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Comments

  1. Fingers crossed today that this election finally brings about the majority Government that can quieten the communists for good and put true history firmly in the minds of the voters.
    Centre right or Conservative majorities would be perfect or maybe a coalition of the two if there is not a substantial majority, though this scenario is not ideal with the communists peck-pecking at people and reputations all the time.
    No old Communists voted in at all would be great.
    xxx Massive Hugs Ina xxx

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  2. Stevie10703 says:

    Unfortunately, if the far left loses, they will be like rabid animals backed into a corner. They will dig into their bag of dirt and use a complicit media to spread their venom…if they lose we will hear how about “fascism” and “racism” and how Croatia is taking a step back. The far left of Croatia loves power but not Croatia.

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    • So true, but if there is a majority government with conservatives, without depending on coalitions, then perhaps it’ll be more organised to fight the dirt the left slings, Stevie. We’ll know soon

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  3. “The best result for Croatian immediate future would be if the centre-right or conservative political camps win government outright or with majority. This is undoubtedly so because the future government would have the ability and enough power to address the false allegations of revived nationalism against Croatia and hopefully “shut the gob” of its enemies and get on with the job of improving the economy and standards of living as well as democratic life of citizens.” Really? The most compelling reason to vote for HDZ (aka the centre-right) this time around is to disprove HDZ nationalism and to finally get on with the job of improving the economy and democracy in Croatia????? They are going to do the job now? after how many majority govt.s they have won? If HDZ can be branded nationalistic than someone has muddled their definitions, as HDZ are as unnationalistic under Plenkovic as they have ever been since their inception. The debate(?) between Plenkovic/Milanovic pointedly marked that the two leaders were more in agreement than in discord, thereby no delineation was made between the two parties in order to give voters a reason to choose one over the other. If in this election of 2016 HDZ won their 9th majority government of the last 14 elections since independence, how would this time around result in a better future for Croatia’s citizens? The definition of insanity is repeating the same errant behaviour over and over and expecting a different result.
    “Croatia votes today September 11 for its new government and one hopes that the majority of voters will, as they put pen to paper, behold the priceless value for Croatian independence, freedom from communist oppression and democracy the 1990’s Homeland War has and must always have”. If past results are any predictor of future behaviour; which I believe is totally a logical supposition; than Croatia and its people will be nowhere near freeing themselves of former communist oppression or truly valuing the Homeland War, no matter which of the two SDP( centre left) or HDZ(centre right) wins majority. Why should this be any different from any other previous administrations where either of these parties won majority governments and the resulting consequences were poor and even debilitating for the country? What would make any voter have full confidence that the HDZ option would, this time, actually follow through on election promises of more jobs, economic growth and a better future? That HDZ would actually protect the rights of veterans and the inviolability of the Homeland War? HDZ have miserably failed over the last 25 years to lead the country out of the quagmire of 50 years of communism to the point that today the differences between the two major viers for govt. -HDZ or SDP are pretty blurry and equally unappealing, in fact, one would be hard pressed to cite any major policy differences between the two. Other than the obvious pre-election flurry of flag waving and measured patriotic language designed to appeal somewhat to the “right”, HDZ cannot seriously be accused of “turning to WWII type of nationalism and WWII Ustasha politics”. It is illogical to cry “USTASA” against a political party which was founded and led by Franjo Tudjman ,a former Partisan Communist and a party whose ranks were swelled upon inception with thousands of “former” communists fleeing the communist sinking ship of the 1990’s. It is illogical to cry “USTASA” against a party which while under the leadership of Tudjman, ensconced in the country’s most sacred document, the Croatian Constitution, the role of AVNOJ and ZAVNOJ as a precursor to the modern Croatian state and totally abrogated the NDH (1941-1945). In the 1990’s, with the fall of communism worldwide, “former” communists, yugonostalgics, “antifascists”, greater-Serbia activists and chetniks were all in the same business. It was to their political benefit to blacken and disenfranchise Croatian nationalists and Croatian desire for independence in the court of public opinion and what better way than to fling such epithets as “fascists”, “ustase”, “extremists”, etc. as the communists/partisans/antifascists had done during the previous 50 years. This mythological version of history in the former Yugoslavia lent itself splendidly to this task even if it simply had very little, if any, basis in truth. But, that was 25 years ago! How have we progressed in our view of our collective history since then? By all accounts, not too much. Not one former communist has ever been found guilty in a Croatian court of law for crimes committed during or since WWII and yet the Croatian countryside is full of mass graves that speak to their guilt.
    It is illogical to cry “USTASA” against a party that is totally unwilling to LUSTRATE not only itself but Croatia as a whole so that in the very least those communist apparatchiks that held power under Tito et al would never be able to hold public office again. It is illogical to denounce as nationalistic, those who do everything in word and deed to disprove the accusation.
    This type of rhetoric is totally familiar to Croatians and Croatian politics – nothing new, but what is puzzling is why anyone would actually believe that SDP or HDZ are on opposite sides of the right vs. left political chasm and why it would be beneficial for either party to continue the make believe and pretend to be at odds on this issue. What is puzzling is why anyone would believe HDZ’s treatment vis a vis Croatian branitelji of the Homeland War would be any different than their treatment of Croatian branitelji of WWII. When we are no further today than we were 25 years ago in terms of reconciling our WWII open wounds, while no political option is even pretending to investigate that issue, we will have no new hopes or new opportunities to build our country on solid foundations. Our future is dependent on our willingness to seek the truth and of the truth there can only be one version.
    So voters, open your eyes. The myth that HDZ = Croatia is false. There are other options other than the big two who may offer you a more appealing alternative and whose candidates have no communist ghosts in their closets and no ideological axes to grind. Explore the options, and vote for the man/woman and your judgement as to his/her abilities and desire to meet those goals set out in their programs
    Unfortunately,however, it wouldn’t be surprising to find that voter turnout to these elections has declined yet again -another signal as to voter disillusionment and the perceived lack of viable options in Croatian democracy today – a democracy which has suffered under the binary governance of revolving door politics. Quite the legacy SDP and HDZ have left in their wakes – these yesterday’s communists in the guise of today’s democratic nationalists. Isn’t it time to turn the page?

    Za Dom Spremni!

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    • Much stands what you say Velebit, however the fact that there has been increasing allegations of revived WWII -style nationalism in Croatia, if we can use that term and probably can as many relate to it easily, and therefore a stronger political force – and numbers can define force – would have a stronger impact to decide “enough is enough” and start peeling off the mud thrown against the centre-right HDZ, veterans etc…Things are looking pretty good election results wise so far for them but it seems a majority outright will not be the result…

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  4. Nationalism in itself is not bad – but your fear that there are instigators that want to discredit and disrupt what is good through civil unrest, then you should applaud, because that means the allusive shadows think Croatia is a potential problem to their agenda. Don’t fall prey the way we have, division is the tool.

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  5. Really interesting!

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