The Vomit Principle in Serbia’s Political Spin

 

The “Vomit Principle” in modern marketing trends hasn’t eluded Serbia’s politicians. The vomit principle is a political tactic that wilfully disgusts people in order to grab their attention. When it comes to Serbia’s denial of its horrendous crimes in its pursuits of a Greater Serbia, stretching into Croatian territory and the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1990’s, then it has almost perfected the “art” of the “Vomit Principle”.  Serbia’s politicians, whether in Serbia (for example Aleksandar Vucic, Ana Brnabic, Ivica Dacic) or in Croatia (for example Milorad Pupovac, Boris Milosevic) or in Bosnia and Herzegovina (for example Milorad Dodik) are sticking to their marketing message, sprouting their their passively-aggressive slogans and genocide denials ad nauseam. You’d think they’d get sick of saying the same thing at every turn. And if by any chance, you are asking why I’m putting Serbs from Serbia, Serbs from Croatia and Serbs from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the same cauldron here it’s because both Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina had ethnic Serbs living there who emerged as rebel Serbs (rebelling against the states’ secession from communist Yugoslavia), mounted terror against non-Serbs in those two countries, and were joined in that fight by Serbia with its deadly viciousness. If Croatia’s minority government had the courage and prudence to side with the Croatian Serbs that fought with Croatians against Serb aggression (and there was a significant number of them) we would surely now be looking at a different political scenario, perhaps even at a good progress in reconciliation. But it didn’t and it doesn’t! It sides with Croatian rebel Serb camp that promotes Serbia’s politics in Croatia.

No matter how many times they repeat their spin based on fabrications, there will always be someone who has missed it.  So, repetition is essential to the point of making people feel sick. This is the “Vomit Principle” and it shows particularly at that time when you realise that the spin, the message, the slogan, has been said so many times that you feel that if you hear it or say it once more you are just going to throw up and that is the point at which people hear it. In other words, all marketing that achieves intended results relies on a message which resonates, repeated often enough until it penetrates the minds of your intended audience and gets them to take whatever action you want.

And Serbia wants the world to forget that its aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina ever occurred! That the genocide, the ethnic cleansing, the mass rapes, the torture, the sheer wanton destruction it committed during 1990’s did not occur and if it did occur then it was justified to pursue such course of action because Serbs say in deceit that Croatia, for example, engaged in genocide during World War II. I will not go deeply here into the fact that WWII history regarding Croatia when it comes to, say, Jasenovac camp and the numbers of people who perished there, was largely fraudulently written by Serbs and other communists and, judging by relatively recent research into WWII, it does not represent the true picture, or actual facts. I will not go deeply here into the fact that, for example, Serbia (its leaders of the 1990’s aggression) were convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague of genocide in Croatia, and Croatia was not.

Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic took part in a commemoration ceremony Tuesday, 4 August 2020 in Sremska Raca near the borders with Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The ceremony marked the day when, in 1995, the Croatian military’s Operation Storm, which marked the end of the war for Croatia’s independence from communist Yugoslavia and was organised by official Serbia in remembrance of the Serbian victims and refugees.

We will not celebrate the tragedy of the Serbian people, the killing of Serb civilians, the killing of the Serb children. We will not be humiliated,” Vucic said at the commemoration in Sremska Raca. “Reconciliation, yes. Humiliation — no,” said Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic!

Knowing the fact that there are no known civilian victims during Croatia’s Operation Storm on 4th and 5th August 1995 and that the exodus of some 200,000 of Serbs from Croatia at the time was actually an ordered evacuation that was directed by Serbia itself puts a bitter taste and outrage to these words uttered by Vucic, yet another of many times!

Then, at around the same time, Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, regurgitated Vucic’s vomit against Croatia.  “We want reconciliation, peace, we do not ask you to apologise, admit the genocide in Jasenovac, but we want you to let us mourn that day or those days. We want reconciliation, but not humiliation, which we will not agree to.”

Serbia continues pressuring Croatia to admit to genocide it did not perpetrate in WWII against Serbs in order to continue denying the genocide it, itself, perpetrated in 1990’s in both Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina! The gut-wrenching thing in all this is that pro-communist Yugoslavia political/government leadership of Croatia does nothing to alert the world not to succumb to the nausea infecting the world from Serbia. Even, if that leadership or government of Croatia is in coalition with the Serb activists in Croatia in order to sustain its minority government, it has no right to keep silent in the face of continued barrage of lies and denials of the 1990’s murderous aggression coming from Serbia!

Whether Serbia’s usage of the “Vomit Principle” strategy in its politics to wash away its 1990’s mortal sins against the Croatian people, as if they were never willfully committed, will force Croatian current leadership to further compromise the absolute need of Croatia to defend itself from the murderous Serb aggression is yet to be seen. According to some media sources Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Barnabic has even during the past week “told” Croatia to stop using the term “Serbo-Chetnik aggression” when it comes to Croatia’s Homeland War! Will Serbia’s use of the “Vomit Principle” force a reconciliation founded on the cruel equalisation of the victim with the aggressor? It’s certainly heading that way it seems and it spells no blissful future that depends on truth; it spells a long painful future of unrest among the Croatian people, for certain.

Let’s take a look at what is evidently standing behind Serbia’s leadership’s words – behind what Vucic and Brnabic are saying. In terms of psychology Vucic’s and Brnabic’s, indeed of all Serbia’s leading politicians of decades past, telling lies and pointing fingers at others especially for unrelated acts (for example WWII) has evidently become a way not to admit that which makes them feel ashamed and they do not want to be judged for crimes Serbia has perpetrated. Serbia should be ashamed of its aggression against Croatian people who wanted out of communist Yugoslavia, which, by the way, Serbs controlled to a large extent. Then, of course, the relatively recent trends in historical research into facts of WWII Croatia have revealed several crucial facts regarding WWII Jasenovac and regarding Blessed Alojzije Stepinac that cause anxiety and panic among Serbs who had participated in writing the history of WWII Croatia, based on lies and cruel fabrications. There is the extensive research by American dr Esther Gitman on the rescue and survival of Jews in WWII Croatia which point to the fact that there were Croats, including Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, who made it their task to rescue Jews and others, but still, after WWII Serbs led the persecution against Blessed Alojzije Stepinac with trumped-up charges of Nazi collaboration. Then, British dr Robin Harris published also a biography of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, based on similar facts. But, wouldn’t you know it (!), Serbia has recently placed Israeli historian Gideon Greif on its payroll and Serbia’s lies get new reinforcement.

Historical archives being open after Croatia seceded from communist Yugoslavia in the 1990’s has enabled historians to delve into researching the history of Jasenovac camp. The results that are emerging from this research give a significantly different picture of WWII Jasenovac. This picture based on discovered documentation is definitely set to throw the false picture Serbs and their allies painted into garbage; onto the heap of human misery and deceit. Serbs and their allies have already maliciously dubbed this research as “Holocaust denial” and “Historical Revisionism”! Some notable researchers into WWII Jasenovac camp have been Blanka M. Matkovic, Igor Vukic, Vladimir Horvat and Stipo Pilic, to name just a few. They all point one to the fact that the myth about WWII Jasenovac camp was a cruel myth devised to prop-up the oppressive communist Yugoslavia regime and the Serb determination to cover up their own terrible participation in the WWII extermination of Jews and their hatred for any kind of independent Croatia.

And so, it has surfaced relatively recently that the myth of Croatian genocide against Serbs in WWII is based on lies and fabrication – and this feeds Serbia’s “Vomit Principle” with ammunition made up of lies. Associated with this principle are Croatian Serbs’, who were directly or sideways associated with the rebel Serb faction in 1990’s Croatia (Such as Milorad Pupovac and Boris Milosevic), constant attempts to characterise the “For Homeland Ready” (Za Dom Spremni) Croatian salute, used for centuries as a mark of patriotic love, as a salute that promotes a genocidal character of Croatian fight for independence! Serb aggression and the need for Croats to preserve their lives amidst the brutal aggression means nothing in their warped minds. They lived in Croatia as the 19990’s war of aggression arose, they live in Croatia today and yet they are activists for Serbia’s anti-Croatian politics!  And with this, they all call for a future that is threaded together by peace and reconciliation between Croatia and Serbia!

Surely, Serbia’s use of the “Vomit Principle” cannot possibly succeed in achieving reconciliation because that would mean that Croatia has finally cowered to the pressure of liars and aggressors and that, in no small ways, spells out yet another myth Serbia has managed to forge and place on the world’s stage! To the detriment of humanity and truth! Ina Vukic

 

Croatia: Taste Of Marx’s Theory Of Socialism In President’s Marginalisation

Banner at Zagreb Protest
against Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic
12 February 2018
Banner says: “Serbia must answer for genocide in Croatia
and pay war damages”
Photo: Davor Kovacevic

Stating her official presidential view about the people who protested against the arrival of Serbia’s president Aleksandar Vucic in Croatia, many of who were Croatia’s Homeland War veterans and war widows, Croatia’s president Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic said:

“…We cannot permit individuals from the margins of the political spectrum or from the margins of any type of thinking dictate our politics.” (HRT TV News 13 February 2017)
Prsident Grabar Kitarovic concluded that the policies and inter-state relations should be determined “by us, statesmen and stateswomen, as well as a vast majority of our citizens who support Mr Vucic’s visit to Croatia…”!

Marginalisation is defined as exclusion from meaningful participation in society. Marginalisation in a broader sense can refer to a lack access to vital information and public discussion and thereby the marginalised’s ability to participate in public affairs and act as citizens is thwarted or devalued.

The idea of powerlessness that marginalisation brings links to Marx’s theory of socialism: some people “have” power while others “have not”. The powerless are dominated by the ruling class and are situated to take orders and rarely have the right to give them.

Some of the fundamental injustices associated with powerlessness are inhibition to develop one’s capacities, lack of decision-making power, and exposure to disrespectful treatment because of the lowered status.

Oppression at its “best”.

Given that people who attended the protest come from all positions on the political spectrum (from left to right/ or vice versa) it is not clear which one of these the president considers marginal. It is also not clear whether she actually meant only to label as marginal citizens the individuals who dared to protest.

It is clear that by labeling protesters against Serbia’s president’s visit Grabar Kitarovic employed a yet another distasteful tactic to suppress the many attempts, including those by a number of Members of Croatian Parliament, that called for Aleksandar Vucic’s both personal and state apology for the horror of aggression they waged against Croatia in the early 1990’s.

It is clear that everyone attending the protest felt directly insulted by the president’s insinuation of marginality. The media went wild. The president won no brownie points within her electorate (the Croatian voters) but lost quite a few. The protesters won quite a swell in support throughout Croatia and resentment about being considered as marginal spread like the Bubonic plague.

Presideent Grabar Kitarovic would have done well for her political agenda had she researched the enormous potential in political power marginalised people can assemble. She would have discovered that, for instance, the people in Britain who felt that they had been pushed to the margins of society were actually the driving force behind Brexit (Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2016 research findings). While the marginal people in this case of Brexit votes are those belonging to society’s margins of income and education etc. the Croatian president has created marginal groups for public discussion input, which of course, could come back and bite her at next presidential elections were she in mind to run.

Vucic’s visit to Croatia accompanied by Grabar Kitarovic’s marginalisation of freedom of opinion of some and the angst, the revolts, the protests all this has caused among a significant part of the community may yet prove to be a “wake up call” for those who insist that reconciliation cannot occur unless the Homeland War history and associated issues are reconciled first. And they are many! Certainly they cannot depend on their president with much certainty. Vucic or Serbia will most likely never give in to demands for war damage reparation not for full disclosure of all missing persons from the War. And Vucic said as much during his visit to Zagreb.

In 1991, the government in Belgrade, Serbia, aided the rebellion of ethnic Serbs in Croatia, who seized control of nearly one-third of the country and expelled hundreds of thousands of Croats. The tables turned in 1995, when about 200,000 ethnic Serbs fled to Serbia, despite being asked by Croatia’s leadership to remain in Croatia, when the Croatian army retook the occupied territory. An estimated 20,000 people were killed and thousands are still missing from the five years of conflict.

As for the past, we agree on almost nothing, but at least we understand that the other side has a different view,” said Vucic, who as a lawmaker during the war urged Croatian ethnic Serbs to attack Croats and hold onto the occupied and ethnically cleansed of Croats territory. “However, Serbia and Croatia will have to forge much better relations in the future, whether politicians like it or not,” he concluded almost defiantly.

Since when did real and brutal aggression become a matter of view!?

With Grabar Kitarovic’s energy focused on the process of being more friendly with Serbia at the expense of blotting out or suppressing or pussyfooting around burning issues from the War and Serbia’s aggression, there’s a danger the concerns of people at home will be ignored further. And there you have a formula for endless more years of despair and disquiet.

So much for her being the president of all Croatians! She has just sent groups of Croatian citizens into marginalised social standing or outer limit or edge of society. She has excluded the protesters from participating with recognition on the discourse about genuine public interests. I do look toward coming across Grabar Kitarovic’s clarification as to which groups from the anti-Vucic protests she considers to be on margins of thinking or political spectrum. The Croatian Homeland War veterans involved have a duty towards the state of Croatia to seek clarification of this. Ina Vukic

Croatia: Give Yourself A Tattoo With A Razor Blade Without Anesthetics

Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic (L)
President of Croatia
Aleksandar Vucic (R)
President of Serbia
Photo:Pixsell

Metaphorically speaking, “give yourself a tattoo with a razor blade without anesthetics” is the kind of feeling many people in Croatia are expressing as an intended impact of their president’s current invitation to Serbia’s president for a state visit.

A very significant number of Croatian people are outraged at President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic’s invitation to Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic for an official visit to Croatia mid-February. How Grabar Ktarovic indends to dust off the red carpet to greet Vucic in Zagreb is indeed proving to be a vexing question that goes to the core of the Croatian still largely uncompensated and unrecognised suffering at the hands of Serbia in the early 1990’s.

Serbia’s President Vucic has long, using blatant lies publicly despised, denigrated, vilified and maligned Croatia and Croatian people. Vucic, as did all Serbs who were active during the aggression, embarked on a personal mission during their aggression against Croatia in the early 1990’s to occupy and ethnically cleanse of Croats and other non-Serbs one third of Croatian territory. Croats liberated that territory but were faced with incalculable costs to Croatian lives and at enormous cost to Croatian property by the enemy’s hand. None of which damages have been reconciled to a degree that could satisfy at least a part of due justice.

At the time when Serbia holds its exhibition in UN New York building through which, using lies and half-truths, purposefully tries to show Croatia up as the worst Holocaust perpetrator in Europe the Croatian president invites its president on a visit!

The invitation at such a time may indeed prove to be a gaffe of monumental proportions by the Croatian president, whose approval ratings are already floundering.

It’s a known fact that apologetic gestures via their implications of recognition of past wrong doing contribute positively to a reconciliation process. However, there’s no sign that Vucic intends to offer any apologies with regards to the bloody, murderous aggression against Croatia in the early 1990’s in which he himself actively participated by fueling the Serbian intent to kill, plunder and rape in Croatia.

Given the public outcry and condemnation in Croatia regarding this invitation, including from some well-known intellectuals and politicians, the only way this meeting could end “well” is that Croatia’s president takes Serbia’s president to one of the monuments dedicated to victims of Serbia’s aggression; such as the one in Vukovar, in Skabrnje, in Tovarnik … to mention but a very few.

Anything less certainly appears as a betrayal of Croatian trust and interests that is almost treasonous in its own right; for untold number of unresolved Serb perpetrated crimes during their aggression against Croatia and untold Serb pursuits to vilify Croatians on a world stage even to this day draw one to such a conclusion.

Negotiating successfully with the enemy, an unrepentant one such as Serbia, on points that are outstanding as a matter of reconciliation would indeed be a political art of high-ranking. In essence, Vucic has taken, for the moment at least, the no-concessions view to ongoing requests from Croatia for the location of the many hundreds of Croat victims still recorded as missing from the Homeland War, Vucic continues equating the aggressor with the victim, he continues usurping politically superior rights over the Serb minority of Croatia even if they are Croatian citizens bound to Croatian laws thus maintaining Serb-imperialism over Croatia…

He said a couple of days ago that he “will seek the assistance of authorities in reviving Serb villages and speak of what Serbia can do for their Croatian minority.” The fact that Serb minority has three seats in the Croatian parliament whose line of representation and the fact that Croatian state budget channels significant funds in support of its ethnic minorities doesn’t appear praiseworthy to Vucic – he intends meddling in Croatia’s affairs over its own population, he continues denigrating Croatia in business that is not his!

Milijan Brkic
HDZ Member of Croatian Parliament
and Deputy Speaker
Photo:MP

One must wonder why deputy Speaker of Croatian Parliament (HDZ), Milijan Brkic, stated on Friday 2 February 2018 that he supports President Grabar-Kitarivic’s invitation to President Vucic because “Serbia is our friendly and neighbouring country. Mr Vucic has had in his history some derailment from the path, he wandered a bit, but its time we all take our foot off the ball, all together and that we stop concerning ourselves with the past.”

The problem with this is that Serbia has clearly shown via its UN exhibition last week that it is still no friend to Croatia. And that is only a small part of its unfriendly and aggressive activities against Croatia and its people. People are neither fools nor blind and to call an active enemy a friend is insulting to human intellect.

The situation on the ground regarding President Grabar Kitarovic’s invitation to President Vucic is that a significant number of people within the HDZ ruling party do not support it and the same goes for the opposition. Besides the sentiment expressed by Milijan Brkic the following exemplify the ones that are opposite to Brkic’s or deal with outstanding issues Serbia is expected to deliver:

Stevo Culej (L), HDZ Member of Parliament
Zeljko Glasnovic (R), Independents Member of Parliament
Photo: Screenshot

Stevo Culej (HDZ Member of Parliament) said: “75 Croatian citizens were killed in Tovarnik and no one has been made duly responsible for these killing nor have the remains of the killed been found yet, and I expect, if Serbia’s president comes to Croatia to try in his Serbia find information for at least one person still missing killed in Tovarnik and bring that information to Croatia with him…”

Josip Dakic (HDZ Member of Parliament) said: “as you know, I would rather he is in Remetinec (prison in Zagreb) than on a visit to Croatia…”

Zeljko Glasnovic (Independts Member of Parliament) said: “we have $34 billion war damage, and what’s with the raped, with the murdered, what’s the damage to the victims … since 1945 Germans paid $89 billion in damages to the victims of Nazism, what have Serbs the Greater Serbia imperialists done? I mentioned it before the youngest victim murdered in Croatia was 6 months old and the eldest 104 years old, the youngest rape victim was 5-year-old girl and the eldest 80 … who will pay for these people’s destroyed lives, families etc…”

Another concerning thing is for certain and that is that by inviting Serbia’s president to visit Croatia at this particular time when Serbia’s international propaganda activities based on lies are particularly viciously geared against Croatia President Grabar Kitarovic has served an unpleasant and disquieting surprise to her people. The surprise whose goals and reasons that justify this timing are completely obscure to the masses and politicians as well as the government itself. How is that for preparing the terrain for a visit Grabar Kitarovic claims is good for Croatia when its people are vulnerable still from the ravages and devastation of Serb aggression and are deeply insulted by Serbia’s recent UN exhibition? Grabar Kitarovic would presumably have had a more accommodating public reception to her invite had she clearly stated to the people at least some of the important points on her meeting agenda – which coincide with people expectations – with Serbia’s president on Croatian soil. Ina Vukic

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