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)