Croatia: Reconciliation Cannot Be Achieved With Denial Of Truth And Lacking Love For Nation Of People

Ina Vukic, August 2020

 

Many people are asking me these days what is the reaction of the Croatian diaspora to the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of victory in Knin on August 5.

The celebration of the 25th anniversary of Operation Storm, was neither visually nor morally nor truthfully a celebration of the great and deeply sacrificial victory over the brutal and obscene Serbian or Yugoslav aggressor! What that celebration was is a false picture of the truth and reality of that time and now!

During the Homeland War, Croats and anti-Croatian Serbs did not sit together in any rows, let alone in the front row of the battlefield, but on opposite sides. On one side, aggressive brutally murderous Serbs, and on the other side, Croats whose lives were endangered in the middle of that Serbian aggression.

Then in Knin on August 5, we saw and heard General Ante Gotovina who, without a shred, without a shred of shame or embarrassment, dishes out some lesson that discipline is needed in war and in peace! Of course, this mention of discipline certainly referred to the HOS (volunteer Croatian Defence Forces), whose defenders of the Homeland War and Operation Storm  were standing at that time on the streets of Knin during the celebration of Operation Storm with police threats directed at them. Because, you see, their slogan For Homeland Ready (Za Dom Spremni), which infused courage and determination for an independent Croatia, bothers the current government of the Republic of Croatia. This slogan was decisive in the defence of the Republic of Croatia, i.e. in the establishment of independence.

Then, General Gotovina, straight-faced, gave himself the right to speak about discipline, which in this case should surely keep HOS defenders, under police pressure and threats behind the lines, the police lines, while others, undeserving others, celebrated part if not the whole victory to which they contributed, to which HOS contributed and deserve to be a part of its celebrations.

So, I have never seen such perversion anywhere in the world. That something like this should happen, that the celebration of victory should be denied to those who contributed to that victory, in national defense or in national victory.

Perversion itself!

It is not just about discriminating against HOS defenders in this case, it is about perversion against the Homeland War, perversion against victory.

HOS Veterans denied access to celebrations
of Victory/ Operation Storm
in Knin, Croatia, 5 August 2020
Photo: Screenshot

And then so that this discrimination and perversion could become even stronger or better – worse! – at almost the same time not far from Knin in Grubori, the Croatian government, that is, Serbian politics in Croatia, organised a commemoration for victims of a crime against six Serb civilians that took place some three weeks after Operation Storm. The crime was committed by individuals who, in fact, with that act of crime violated the policy of the Croatian defence, the policy of Franjo Tuđman, the policy of Gojko Šušak, also now deceased. So, this commemoration in addition to the victory celebration in Knin was simply planned in order to diminish the value and the validity of the victory of Operation Storm. That’s why they sent Tomo Medved (Deputy Prime Minister) there. The appearance of Tomo Medved in Grubori at the commemoration for the victims of a crime committed by disobedient individuals who violated the policies and orders of the Croatian defence. This appearance by Tomo Medved there undoubtedly symbolises also that the top of Croatia wants to attribute this crime committed by individuals to the overall Croatian defence in the Homeland War. And that is nothing else but an another step in equalising the victim and aggressor in the Homeland War.

So, a perversion, perversion which I and I believe many others have not experienced before.

What courage against the Croatian people!

But, all this said, Croatian diaspora was before the Homeland War, during the Homeland War and after the Homeland War “For Homeland Ready” and for God and Croatia,  democratic Croatia, ready!

Some will say that by organising the celebration of 25th Anniversary of the magnificent victory over the brutal Serb aggressor in Knin at almost the same time they organised the commemoration for the victims of crime against six Serb civilians that occurred in the nearby village of Grubore, three weeks after the victorious Operation Storm, is good for reconciliation! Well, my professional opinion derived from my substantial training and experience as a Psychologist, tell me that nothing can be further from the truth. Firstly, the killing of the six Serb civilians occurred on 25 August 1995, twenty days after this Serb-occupied Croatian territory was liberated by Operation Storm, and the commemoration should have been planned for that date! Secondly, the ICTY Appeals Tribunal (International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia) in the Hague had, in its Judgment in the Gotovina & Markac case, in November 2012, stated that “the state and military leadership had no role in their planning and creation” of this crime. So, why join the commemoration for these victims with the glorious victory of Operation Storm!? Utter perversion and political manipulation in the lame efforts to achieve reconciliation between the Serb aggressor and Croatians whom they attacked, perhaps? But here is the reality: one cannot achieve reconciliation through the denial of truth nor through lacking love for one’s people! And the current government with its Serb minority elected coalition clearly possess both of these characteristics that are not reconciliation-friendly: denial of truth and lacking love for the Croatian nation. Ina Vukic

Below is the video in the Croatian language with English subtitles that I have made with the above record of distressing happenings in Croatia around the celebrations of the 25th Anniversary of Operation Storm. Please visit!

 

Croatian Operation Storm 1995 and the Serb Self-imposed Exodus From Croatia

 

In honour of the 25th Anniversary of the Croatian August 1995 Operation Storm that within a matter of days liberated much of its Serb occupied territory I would like to share with the public and my readers the documentary film in the English language that clearly, verifiably and with absolute and irrefutable truth demonstrates the magnificent courage of the Croatian Defence Forces in bringing to the people a free and independent Croatia. This video focuses on some of the crucial military tactics employed by the Croatian Defence Forces, ensuring that there were no victims of the shelling of Knin, which was usurped by rebel Serbs as the capital city of the area they occupied via ethnic cleansing of Croats, via murder and destruction and gave it the name of Serbian Republic of Krajina. The video demonstrates with historic evidence that Croatia did not forcibly expel Serbs from Croatia in August of 1995 and is in itself a document of truth. Very worthwhile watching, and I trust you will watch this video and share it. It begins with:

“Hello and welcome to my Youtube presentation entitled “What caused the Serb exodus from Croatia during Operation Storm”. My name is Luka Misetic, I am an attorney in New York, I spent seven years before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia as defence counsel in the case of General Ante Gotovina which dealt extensively with Operation Storm. So, I have spent many years looking at the evidence in the case. At the end of this presentation hopefully you will learn three important things about Operation Storm. The first is what caused the Serb exodus from Croatia during Operation Storm. The second important thing is that you will learn the critical role that General Ante Gotovina played in Croatia’s victory in Operation Storm and the third thing that you will hopefully learn is the importance of a little village in the Southern part of Croatia known as Otric and the importance that that village played in Croatia’s victory in Operation Storm and in the departure of Krajina Serb civilians and military from Croatia during Operation Storm.

As I record this in August of 2020 and we are approaching the 25th Anniversary of Operation Storm, which took place between 4 August and 8 August 1995. Every year around this time tensions rise between Croatia and Serbia over the anniversary of Operation Storm. There are competing narratives between the two countries about the Operation. Operation Storm is celebrated in Croatia because it liberated 10,400 square kilometres or 4,000 square miles of Croatia’s territory that had been occupied by rebel Serbs for more than 4 years. The territory liberated by Operation Storm accounted for more that 1/5 of Croatia’s overall territory. Croatia celebrates Operation Storm every year on the 5th of August as a national holiday. In Croatia it is known as Victory Day and Day of Homeland Thanksgiving.

In Serbia the anniversary of Operation Storm is a Day of National Mourning. The Serbians view Operation Storm is that it is the biggest ethnic cleansing in modern Europe with the claim that hundreds of thousands of Serbs were expelled by Croatian authorities in 1995.

It is true that many Serbs left Croatia during Operation Storm… many civilians packed up and left and exited Croatia in long columns that took several days, leaving for the Serb occupied territory in Bosnia and Herzegovina known as Republika Srpska (Serbian Republic) or going on to Serbia itself. But the key question that has to be asked is why did the Serbs leave during Operation Storm? The issues or questions are were they forcibly expelled by Croatia or were they encouraged to leave by their own Serb leadership which caused a panic among the civilian population and a mass exodus.

The fundamentally contradictory historical narratives are at the centre of the dispute between Serbia and Croatia which arises every year in August during the anniversary of Operation Storm. In this video I will explain the true reasons that caused the Serb population to leave Croatia in 1995….”

 

Thank you Luka Misetic for this detailed video of Croatia’s victory in its harsh path to independence, corroborated by facts, that stands tall in the line of magnificent Croatian truths. Happy Victory Day to all Croats around the world! Ina Vukic

 

 

HERE ARE SOME SCREENSHOTS FROM LUKA MISETIC’S VIDEO. PLEASE CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE:

 

Croatia: No Apology For Defending People And Country

Apology Poster in
Zagreb Trams
Photo: Screenshot

Article 51 of the UN Charter clearly recognises “the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations” by anyone. To put it further, the inherent right to self-defence extends to all, whether members of the UN or not.

But it seems this right to self-defence has eluded a group of youth in Croatia that operates under the banner of Human Right initiatives, causing community outrage and despair for justice.

A number of small but publicly visible campaign posters, entitled ‘Apology’ (set against the background photo of Serbs leaving Croatia in cars and carts filled with their belongings after the Operation Storm in August 1995] appeared inside Zagreb’s trams this week. Jumbo-posters have appeared alongside roadways.

One cannot but express dismay and shock at even the thought as to who among authorities permitted these posters to be displayed.

The malicious and politically appalling motive behind this has everything to do with blatant disregard for the truth that Croatia was forced to defend itself and with mounting some (undeserved) credibility to Serb denial of guilt for the bloody aggression that Croatia had to deal with between 1991 and 1995. The campaign is timed just ahead of Croatia’s Victory Day celebrations for 5 August – military Operation Storm ended 5 August 1995 and liberated Croatia’s territory of the Serb self-proclaimed and ethnically cleansed of Croats and other non-Serbs, Serbian Republic of Krajina (Croatia’s occupied territory).

The public posters aim to open a public communications channel through social networks, through which the Initiative will provide audio, video and other materials and gather signatures of support through the ‘Apology to the Victims of Storm’ petition,” the Youth Initiative for Human Rights said in a press release. As well as signing the petition, the group says that people will be able to share their thoughts on social networks using the hashtag #isprika (apology). Their aim is also to convince the authorities to officially apologise to all the innocent victims of the operation and their families.

Jumbo Poster
along Zagreb road
“National interest is admission,
no lies”
Photo: Screenshot

 

According to the Youth Initiative for Human Rights website the organisation’s “Vision” is “To live in responsible societies that have learned lessons from the past and aspire towards a positive future founded on the respect of human rights, citizens’ values and the rule of law.”

First of all, this group of young people has learned no lesson from the perilous past of their own Croatian people. Second, they evidently do not respect the rule of law for if they did they would act according to what laws say regarding court decisions – to respect them. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Appeals Chamber in the Hague had in November 2012 ruled and found that there had been no forced deportations of Serbs from Croatia and after the Operation Storm of August 1995 (Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac case).

Hence, one can safely discard this bunch of social and political hoodlums belonging to this Youth Initiative for Human Rights from anything even remotely associated with justice as a human right. Indeed, going by their website, their “Mission” is “Mission of the youth Initiative for human rights is guided by the values it wants to realise in society.” In other words, this group of young people, in the case evidence by these posters, want to shape the Croatian society by false pretenses and by covering up the glorious truth about Croatia’s victory against Serb aggression.

What an obscene situation Croatians are forced to have to deal with here!

Now lets look at the human and material cost to Croatia that Serb aggression caused between 1991 and 1995. In 1991 Croatia’s population was about 4,785,000, out of that were 12.2% Serbs.

These are the terrible figures of Croatian victims and damages caused by the Serb aggression during the Homeland War (1991-1995) – these figures keep climbing as matters get discovered.

Croats killed 13,583 (Civilians 6605 including more than 402 children)
Wounded 30,578
Women, children and men raped and pack-raped, so far recorded – 2,500
By December 1991 displaced-forcefully deported from their homes as ethnic cleansing of Croats and non-Serbs ensued – 550,000
Held in concentration camps – 30,000
War invalids – 37,000
Catholic churches destroyed – 122
Hospitals destroyed – 14
Buildings destroyed – 200,000 (180,000 homes)
Mass graves unearthed – 156
Individual graves of victims of Serb aggression – 1400 (unearthed by 2011)
Still missing – 1,541
War damage – in excess of 32 billion euro

Land mines left in Croatia by Serbs: 42,371 

 

Serb Aggression and
ethnic cleansing of Croats
in Croatia 1991 – 1995
Photo: Screenshot
See animated video below

 

It is the Serbs and Serbia who must apologise to Croatia!

Operation Storm put the needed swift end to the terrible suffering caused by the Serb aggression.

An apology is not needed from Croatia for Operation Storm – but it is needed from Serbia. Operation Storm was absolutely necessary to prevent further damage to Croatia and its people.

From the perspective of lives lost in Croatia during the war, Operation Storm saved far far more lives than it took. To apologise for Croatia’s kindness in leading a clean (non-civilian targets) military operation for the liberation of its occupied territory – Operation Storm – would be to rob Croatia of even more of what little dignity it has left after all the pro-communist, pro-Yugoslavia, pro-Serbia attacks it has so far endured in its path to democracy and freedom.

Serbia has not apologised for the multitude of heinous crimes carried out on the Croatian people between 1991 and 1995, and in fact still denies the crimes. Had Serbia not attacked Croatia with the help of the drowning Yugoslav Army and Serb rebels living in Croatia, the Operation Storm, Croatia’s Homeland War, would never have happened.

This is the lesson that Youth Initiative for Human Rights should have learned from their country’s past!

They should have learned that the aftermath of Croatia’s democratic vote to secede from communist Yugoslavia turned out, from the direction of Serbia, to be more hostile, protracted, and bloody than ever could be imagined in Croatia (or elsewhere). A nation whose people wanted to be free of communism and secure from the evil of oppression became a victim to violence and terror. For all of this, Serbia should show profound sorrow, regret, and apology. Not Croatia! Ina Vukic

 

Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions:

All content on “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is for informational purposes only. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is not responsible for and expressly disclaims all liability for the interpretations and subsequent reactions of visitors or commenters either to this site or its associate Twitter account, @IVukic or its Facebook account. Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of their writers and the writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The nature of information provided on this website may be transitional and, therefore, accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed. This blog may contain hypertext links to other websites or webpages. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information on any other website or webpage. We do not endorse or accept any responsibility for any views expressed or products or services offered on outside sites, or the organisations sponsoring those sites, or the safety of linking to those sites. Comment Policy: Everyone is welcome and encouraged to voice their opinion regardless of identity, politics, ideology, religion or agreement with the subject in posts or other commentators. Personal or other criticism is acceptable as long as it is justified by facts, arguments or discussions of key issues. Comments that include profanity, offensive language and insults will be moderated.
%d bloggers like this: