Croatia – Freedom’s Triumph Yet To Rise!

Croatia’s Homeland War Memorial Cemetery in Vukovar
Photo: Damir Plavsic

This weekend of 5th August 2018, like the same date days of past 23 years – as Croatia commemorates the 23rd Anniversary of military operation Storm, Victory Day, War Veterans’ Day and Homeland Gratitude Day – is sure to ruffle up many media pro-Serbian and pro-communist Yugoslavia feathers, dredging up persistently false Serb claims that 200,000 Serbs were forcefully deported from Croatia immediately after the successful military operation Storm, which liberated a large portion of Croatia from Serb occupation (self-proclaimed Serbian Republic of Krajina). The truth is that the leadership of the self-proclaimed Serbian Republic of Krajina had on 4th August 1995, as Croatian Operation Storm began, officially issued an evacuation order to Serbs in Croatia! Their own guilty conscience was behind it all, no doubt about that.

During this skilful military operation, Storm, protective of all civilian life including Serb, the Serb-occupied Croatian territory was brought back into the Croatian legal order, except for Eastern Slavonija, which was peacefully re-integrated later, in 1998. ‘Operacija Oluja’ (Storm) and ‘Operacija Bljesak’ (Flash), which was carried out in May 1995, were the critical military operations leading to the end of the bloody and brutal war of Serb aggression against Croatia.

Depending on the political spectrum people are in, the Official celebration of this Croatian national holiday, which happens every year in the Dalmatian hinterland town of Knin (the main site of events that occurred during ‘Operation Storm’) provokes passionate reactions from and has various meanings for different people, while Serbia mounts at the same time a day of mourning! The official memory of this military operation refers, as it should, primarily to the victory of the Croatian Army and its success in bringing back the occupied territories under Croatian rule. The narrative adopted by Serbs for their day of mourning rests upon false claims that Serbs were evicted from Croatia! Not even the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia finding (2012 in the case of Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac) that there was no forceful deportation of Serbs from Croatia at the time has made any difference to this preposterous, scandalous claim.

Serbs order their own evacuation from Croatia, 4 August 1995

On Wednesday 1 August 2018 Serbia’s president Aleksandar Vucic said to media that “unlike the hysteria that occurs in Croatia during the anniversary of Operation Storm, Serbs will mark our sorrow and tragedy and the calamity of our people in dignity…” Notwithstanding regretful cases of true civilian casualties in war (and in Srebian aggression against Croatia not all Serb civilians were true civilians, for it was the local civilians that often engaged in the killing, in the persecution and torture of Croat neighbours even before military aggression started), what kind of “dignity” can be attached to attempts to murder a nation, aggression, ethnic cleansing, rape, plunder…is only known to Serbs it seems. Those that support their deranged logic and narrative certainly, to my knowledge, have never questioned this!

In Croatia, commemorative culture regarding the 1990’s Homeland War has proved to be a platform for politicians to continue nation-building narratives and strengthen national identity. The associated and real sacrifice, real suffering, the real struggles against the mighty military of former Yugoslavia coupled with rebel Serb civilians who eventually formed military might of their own in order to stop Croatia seceding from communist Yugoslavia make Operation Storm all the more heroic for the independence of Croatia.

However, the former communist destructive forces, the so-called antifascists, persist as main barriers to and killjoys of true independence, which, if given a thorough chance, should have by now lustrated active communist heritage out of Croatian democracy. Hence, in Croatia, there also exist oppositional counter-narratives that challenge the truth narrative and are expressed through counter-commemorations and aggression-denial memorialisation organised by Serbia and the local Serb population in Croatia, and supported by a number of pro-communist Yugoslavia Croats! This year a youth association who pursued the line that Croatia should apologise for its Operation Storm mounted one of such deranged initiatives. In other words, the misguided, but politically maliciously wired youth thinks that one should apologise for defending ones home and life from peril and brutal onslaught! Regretfully, the need to preserve own life and pursue freedom from communist oppression that forced Croatia to defend itself seems to have been forgotten by such sections with the Croatian society.

Croatians have nothing to apologise for when it comes to Operation Storm and every other military operation carried out in defence of the country! And on celebrating the liberation from local Serb separatists and their brutal allies from Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbia, one can with objective confidence say that Serbs are bitter and sorry that Operation Storm was a success, and for the failure of their plans for ‘Greater Serbia’.

Looking back at least since year 2000, when the former communists won government in Croatia, annual commemoration of Operation Storm victory have consistently been contaminated with implants of alleged war crimes by Croats during and after the military operation, with attempts and confabulations to criminalise Croatia’s Homeland War, with the agenda to equate the aggressor with the victim! During the period of Ivica Racan’s coalition government, from 2000 until 2003 (with Stjepan Mesic as the country’s president), the prime minister and most ministers avoided Knin commemorations, from fear of pro-West (democracy) policies gaining increasingly firmer ground in the development of Croatia as a free nation; free from communist Yugoslavia. Their main weapon, it would seem, was the fact that “antifascism” was, undeservingly, built into the Croatian Constitution as one of the foundations of the modern Croatian state, ignoring the Homeland War (the War of Independence) as its true and greatest foundation. The “antifascism” weaved into the Constitution was and is, in fact, the murderous and oppressive communism of Yugoslavia, not the antifascism the West has known in its midst! In 2004, the new HDZ government set the precedent that all of the top Croatian politicians (president, prime minister, and speaker of the parliament) should attend the commemoration in Knin, emphasising the importance of this date and place in the national consciousness. Even though the HDZ under Ivo Sanader had taken notable steps at reaching out to Croatian Serbs, including coalitions with the Independent Democratic Serbian Party (SDSS – Samostalna demokratska srpska stranka), the victorious tone of the Victory Day commemorations invariably antagonised the country’s ethnic Serbs. By 2005 commemorations, it was clear that the pursuits to criminalise Croatia’s Homeland War via sending Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac to ICTY had indeed, in eyes of many, albeit unjustified, diminished the value of Operation Storm victory and several contested versions of that past had gained prominence as did antagonism within the Croatian society itself; part of which society are Serbs in whose interest it is to downplay the Serb aggression against Croats. The scenario continues to today, in one way or another someone somewhere attempts to inject the glorious and well-deserved victory of the Croatian military forces with poison – for political gain, undoubtedly!

In all that rather long while more than 1,700 mass graves of Croatian victims of communist WWII and post-WWI crimes in Croatia have been uncovered. The antagonism created around Operation Storm and Croatian Homeland War in general has helped and continues to aid the agenda that opposes prosecution, condemnation of communist crimes. If because of nothing else then because of that communist agenda the commemorations of Croatia’s 1990’s Homeland War need to escalate in their brilliance and shine – this freedom’s triumph must be complete. The completeness of freedom lies in determined pursuits to deliver justice to victims of communist Yugoslavia crimes.

New communist crimes mass grave site in Zagreb – July/August 2018

On Wednesday 1 August 2018 more mass graves of victims of communist crimes were unearthed, this time right in the middle of Zagreb, Savska Street! The human remains of at least 25 victims of criminal communist purges were found in two mass graves and one individual grave, located in a park in the Zagreb neighbourhood of Vrbik. Initial screening of the ground, using specially-trained dogs and geo radars, began after officials received information from the public that victims from World War II or the post-war period could be found there. Due to the large size of the area, the complexity and volume of work needed several phases of the investigation are planned.

This repeated horrific finding hasn’t been reported much in the mainstream media that seeks to cover-up or justify communist crimes. This latest mass grave finding occurred at the same time when former communists and Serbs are busy throwing vitriol at Operation Storm, still doing their corrupt utmost to deny the Croatian nation a deserved basking in the glory of Homeland War victory.

Croatia, indeed, must re-examine the nature of its commitment to freedom achieved with Homeland War. It must conclude that commitment to the freedom is, in fact, the strengthening of its national conscience and morality. In the context of Croatia’s peoples overwhelming resolve in 1990 to secede from communist Yugoslavia it is utterly immoral to protect any part of that Yugoslavia and especially its crimes against humanity.

Deliberate murder of innocent people and the oppression were wrong and remain wrong. Croatia must refuse to ignore or in any way appease the Serb aggression and the brutality of evil men and former communist regime. It must escalate condemnation and prosecution of communist crimes. It must clear these dark remnants of history that stifle freedom and progress.

To that end, happy Victory Day – Croatia! Ina Vukic.

Comments

  1. Congratulations on your national holiday. In spite of the affirmations against you, for you to be a day of the Croatian Pride because they recovered what belongs to them to blood and fire. A feeling that can not be forgotten because the love of the country is carried inside and that is what counts, not what others say. Happy Holidays and HEALTH for a long life in CROATIA.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Ace News Desk.

    Like

  3. Happy Holiday Ina and Celebrating our Veterans and Freedom should never be forgotten may God Bless Croatia, their People Now and Forevermore Amen 🙏

    Like

  4. Congrats to Croatia. We won, but have regained our dignity and or truth. Pupovac a member of the ruling HDZ government is in Serbia mourning Serbia’s loss, and not celebrating praising Croatia’s righteous victory – that’s messed up. Vucic compared Croatia’s Storm to Hilter’s Nazis! No response to put in in his place and not allow lies and misinformation to infect our glorious, righteous, legitimate and clean victory. His lies should not be tolerated, but Croatia will – how hard is it to draw a line of steel on such behaviour?? Vucic should be barred from Croatia, our ambassador recalled, EU negotiations ceased at least for Croatia, his word and actions condemned on the world stage from official Croatia – UN/EU etc., and we should consider a human rights lawsuit against him for hate speech and slander. Enough is enough…well at least for normal people and countries, but Croatia is clearly not normal. Why are we still debating and tolerating BS about Storm, about Serbia’s lies and misinformation, Serbia’s war mongering and destabilizing strategy???

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Sunman, order needs to come when it comes to relations with Serbia! I guess we will see if the Croatian leadership has learned anything by Vucic’s latest lies and verbal aggression towards Croatia

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      • Let’s hope so. After a check of statements by Croatian officials they can’t even name Serbia as the aggressor. Plenkovic said it was Milosevic’s Greater Serbia Regime that committed the aggression. WTF, who was Milosevic elected by? Who was he representing? Who were the willing participants? And isn’t the current government elected by the Serbian people pursuing the same policy without Milosevic? Greater Serbia has been policy, an ideology of Serbia’s before, during and after Milosevic. No wonder there has been no catharsis in Serbia because they have never been accused of aggression, only Milosevic and his regime were guilty of this. If we the victims of this aggression tolerate lies and misinformation and deception what can we expect of the ordinary Serb who is daily fed lies and propaganda? Pathetic situation. Why do Croats suffer such a situation? I fear that unless the truth is stood up for there will be another war simply because you have many people believing the lies of Serbia. For the sake of peace and prosperity Serbia must be confronted with the truth publicly and continually.

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    • Agree, Sunman, it was the people not the leader that bore most of the guilt – from wicked rebel civilians to members of armed forces…

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  5. Freedom always triumph .

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It was great to see the Israeli’s honouring Croatia’s victory. Fascist Vucic cannot accept that Croatia is a country that is moving forward slowly but surely and the jealousy towards Croatia from Serbia is incredible. We Croats couldn’t care less what Serbia is doing but they can’t resist the temptation to insult us daily with their lies. Even the Israeli’s have seen through their wicked ways. May other countries be invited to OLUJA celebrations in the future. Possibly graduates from West Point Academy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hopefully, OTPOR, Srbia’s bitterness and sheer deceitfulness will eat its own steam away and then it will face the truth of its own wickedness…Croatia should hold its head up high at all times!

      Like

  7. liz milano says:

    What do you all know about WWII and sheer hatred ? What do you know about the continued hatred which lives on in 2018? Do you know who Perkovic is? Then, and only then, give us your comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Splithead says:

    Sunman, Otpor and Liz I agree totally with your comments It’s obvious their is a critical structural floor within Croatia. Communists and Cetniks have joined forces to destroy Croatia from within, driving the remaining population to leave the country through lack of opportunity to earn a living.

    Are you aware their are Cetniks in the Croatian army today?

    I say Croatians cannot wait until the next elections are scheduled by HDZ and Co, they need new elections now!

    There are no parties in power to the right or centre of the political spectrum. The politicians are either communists,left,opportunists or criminals. They have no moral compass.

    The latest events, in news reports not in the main stream media, demonstrate the urgency and the need to act.

    Like

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