Psychological Operations and Information Warfare Against Croatia and Croats – Part II

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Guest Post
By Ante Horvat

The drums of war began to sound again in Serbia following the SANU

Memorandum in 1986 following the death of the wartime and post-war criminal Josip Broz “Tito,” and this set a chain of events and actions by Serbia (and Milosevic’s Quislings in Croatia and B&H) resulting in the Homeland War in Croatia (the background and dynamics of which are covered in detail in this link). The prelude to the war and Western and international diplomatic, deep state, and media gatekeeper manipulation of the facts after war’s outbreak were outlined by Dr. Jerry Blaskovich.
Croatia at the onset of war was faced with:

  • a) No international support except passive Vatican, German, Austrian and Hungarian support
  • b) A hostile United Nations Security Council that forced the immoral arms embargo through, and
  • c) A hostile right-wing (anti-Catholic) and left-wing (Socialist, Marxist and neo-Marxist) media as well as a Western mainstream media that was slavishly repeating Belgrade’s talking points as most journalists were not on the front lines, but in Belgrade being fed misinformation by Yugoslav People’s Army media officers, and Western diplomatic corps determined to keep Yugoslavia together.

The psychological and information war against Croatia took a new dimension during the conflict. In addition to blatant UN compromises with Milosevic’s Quislings, the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia provided a new means of attack for Serbia – reversing the (at least post-Markale massacre, bad press) tactical and strategic defeats at the hands of President Tudjman and Croatia’s police, military and intelligence through legal means, clouding the truth, chronological order of events, and facts by initiating investigations and premising cases on lies, manipulations and propaganda disseminated by Serbia’s intelligence, counterintelligence, military and state media.

This was coupled by massive financing by Western governments (and intelligence agencies) of the so-called non-governmental organizations, many times staffed by known Yugoslav regime sympathizers, collaborators and or intelligence agents, working with the UN, ICTY and international media by feeding them strategic propaganda, misinformation, disinformation, and outright lies and inventions – more or less, serving entirely as front groups with hidden salaries, donors, financial spending, and agendas.
The mere fact that Milosevic’s rise – and his and Serbia’s systematic violation of the SFRJ 1974 Constitution (Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia/SFRY), neo-Apartheid rule over Kosovo, and not entirely clandestine illegal arming of Serbian terrorists and paramilitaries in Croatia a full year before HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) was balloted to power and following suit in B&H as early as 1989 – was covered blithely, the illegal arming campaign not at all, with Milosevic even being hailed as a reformer in English-speaking media, demonstrates who and what the press, and governments of said outlets, were supporting in the fmr. Yugoslavia.
As Milosevic rose to power, he consolidated control of Serbia’s media. The media narratives that Milosevic’s media were repeating became staples of frames of reference Western and international media coverage. Rare, if at all, were Ustasha crimes (and the hyper-inflation of those crimes) committed during WWII absent from any coverage of Croatia 1989 – 1995. Meanwhile, the crimes of the proto-fascist Karadjordjevic regime, the genocide of Croats by Chetniks in WWII (as well as Tito’s genocide of Croats after WWII), and the systematic political disenfranchisement and discrimination against Croats, as well as the state-sponsored terrorism against them inside and outside of Tito’s “multi-ethnic Yugoslavia,” were almost never mentioned in any serious newspaper or television report the duration of the conflict in the West as context yet Jasenovac and real and imagined Ustasha crimes were almost a mandatory frame of reference and backgrounder.
The consistent diplomatic double-speak and equivocations by Western governments, diplomats and the UN and international organizations were not a coincidence – but a consistent policy that mirrored that which the SANU Memorandum II would reiterate years later, which was during the 1990s, through to today, regurgitated by mainstream media in said Western states, as well as their non-governmental organization (NGO) front organizations at home (which are always tied directly to said governments and political and economic elite power structures), in Croatia and its immediate neighboring states. Namely, the discredited canards of “ancient ethnic hatreds,” “warring sides” (and not naked Serbian aggression), and “all sides committing atrocities.”
The time-line and chronology of the so-called Yugoslav crisis in the late 1980s and through the democratic changes, and ultimately, war, were skewed entirely – not just by the parade of the obviously shameless Western government officials, diplomats and UN officials in massive conflicts of interest, like Lawrence Eagleburger, Brent Scowcroft, James Baker III, and General Lewis MacKenzie; nor by the at best lazy journalists who rarely ventured outside of Belgrade’s lavish hotels and Milosevic government and Yugoslav People’s Army press corps untruthful propaganda séances mislabeled as “news briefs,” but by the NGOs and the individuals and organizations that they subsidized, who these government officials, diplomats and journalists would in return cite as if they were independent actors and not controlled and subsidized actors with a foreign state-policy pushing agenda – with the goal of changing perceptions from the facts, to certain false, or at best partially true narratives suppressing important evidence that debunks the premise of the new narrative, with the explicit purpose of achieving political (and in a time of war, by default, military) objectives.
The enduring global reach of Milosevic’s propaganda, and the frequency of repetition of the propaganda points during and since the war – and the deafening silence by governments, NGOs and so-called liberal and progressive Croatian journalists – shows that despite the seminal study “Political Propaganda and the Plan to Create ‘A State For All Serbs:’ Consequences of using media for ultra-nationalist ends” by Professor Renaud de la Brosse, which was submitted into evidence at the Milosevic ICTY trial (i), the propaganda techniques and messages he debunked were, and remain, somewhat still widely accepted outside of Serbia (where they are holier than the Bible), but also in Croatia.

 

The reason is the perpetual repetition of those myths by nontransparent foreign and foreign subsidized NGOs and their media collaborators, along with foreign governments (and their media operatives and the NGOs they finance) working with or outright hiring former regime members and political and intelligence operatives.

 

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Reference/source notes:

(i) The five-parts are no longer available in PDF format as they were up to at least a year ago, but readers are redirected to http://hrp.bard.edu/slobodan-milosevic-trial-public-archive/.

 

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Nest Post: Psychological Operations and Information Warfare Against Croatia – Part III: “Wartime Foreign Information Warfare against Croatia, Croats and the Truth”

Related Post: Psychological Operations and Information Warfare Against Croatia – Part I

 

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About the author: Ante Horvat was born in the USA in 1970′s. He has recently moved to live permanently in Croatia and although spending most of his life in the USA he had made several temporary residence visits to Croatia during that time. His education and professional development in history and international relations also spans across the two continents. He is an active observer of and participant in the development of democracy in Croatia since the early 1990’s and its correlation with the developed Western democracies.

 

 

Psychological Operations and Information Warfare Against Croatia and Croats – PART I

 

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Guest Post
By Ante Horvat

While much has been written about the various phases and techniques about the endless information war being waged against Croatia and Croats – the most seminal works being from Admiral Davor Domazet Loso, Dr. Miroslav Tudjman, and the late and extremely great Dr. Jerry Blaskovich and Michael McAdams, with Dr. Philip J. Cohen receiving a highly honorable mention – there are many aspects of this topic that still need more intensive examination, most importantly, the post-war to ongoing operations against Croatia and Croats.

Propaganda – the backbone of psychological operations and information warfare – itself has several definitions, the most applicable to Croatia’s case is information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement institution, nation, etc.

While examples of negative anti-Croat propaganda date back even to the Thirty Years War, the first (and still ongoing) anti-Croat propaganda campaign originates from the racist and imperialist Nacertanije (Outline) by Ilija Garasanin, Serbia’s then Interior Minister, which made the creation of Greater Serbia state policy.

This policy was supported by the continuation of propaganda against Croatia and Croats for the following century and a half in official, civic, academic, media and diaspora publications, statements, and media in Serbia and amongst Serb communities outside of it, as well as by sympathetic governments, academic, politicians, political movements and media professionals in Europe and across the globe – to and include in and from Croatia. The role of foreign actors in this psychological war and information war is entrenched in geopolitical interests of outside actors in shaping coverage inside and outside of Croatia and the wider region, and the world regarding information on Croatia.

The revelations regarding the Serbian Academy of Arts and Science’s (SANU) Memorandum II, in addition to Serbia’s obscene, revisionist counter-suit at the International Court of Justice is a clinical case study example of ongoing anti-Croat propaganda – and a compilation of the state-academia-media-Church-judiciary inculcation of Serbian neurotic and psychotic syndromes as a peacetime (and wartime) long-term strategy.

In addition to grasping Croatia’s long history, the key to understanding – and debunking – anti-Croat propaganda is the understanding techniques of its utilization in print, radio, TV, film and online texts.

To do so, one must familiarize themselves with logical fallacies, as they are the foundation of and method for propaganda dissemination; the reason is that every government since 2000 in Croatia has shown themselves to be unwilling to challenge the psychological and information warfare campaign against Croatia and Croats.

The Five Phases of Information Warfare Against Croatia and Croats

There were five major phases of the information war against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Croats: from Nacertanije to the so-called Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (or “Yugoslav” kingdom), the SCS / “Yugoslav” kingdom phase, WWII, Communist Yugoslavia phase, the Homeland War phase, and post-Homeland War phase, which is ongoing.

The first phase focused on mobilizing all pillars of Serbia’s statehood and the general Serbian population to support such an endeavor, while mobilizing international support at the diplomatic and political playing fields, to do so. Croats were, according to the greater Serbian narrative, not a state-building people if they could even be considered Croats and not “Catholic Serbs.” The fact that Croats fought for the Austro-Hungarians in WWI meant that they needed to be punished (that Serbs West of the Drina also fought for Austria Hungary as they were mobilized along with their Croat and other non-Serb neighbors, was ignored). The creation of the first “Yugoslavia” was the fruit of their endeavor.

To ensure Serbian supremacy and to see through the military and cultural imperialism (subsidized by land, bank, business and factory seizures in Croatia, as well as the economically devastating farcial Crown to Dinar exchange rate, all enforced through Serbian state-sponsored terrorism), the Karadjordjevic regime saw to it to sack journalists and editors who would not tout the Yugoslav (code for Serbian) line – culminating with the banning of what little was left of any free press with the declaration of the ‘royal’ dictatorship in 1929. With no free media inside of Yugoslavia, that meant that there was no, or very little, critical coverage of greater Serbian imperialism outside of Yugoslavia that could lead to any change in state or international policies towards it.

Croats should have been, according to the Belgrade narrative, happy that they were with fellow Southern Slavs and never forget their siding with the “Huns.” Those who weren’t happy were separatists and terrorists.

Following the German invasion (and the Army of Yugoslavia, Serbian Gendarme and Chetnik massacres that preceded, coincided with, and followed the German invasion, which lasted until the end of WWII) Croatia found itself on the side of the Axis, as no Western democratic power offered Croats any independence outside of a “Yugoslav” framework.

By ending up in the Axis camp, Croatia found itself in a information vacuum – one controlled by the exiled Serbian regime through its network of diplomats and agents in the West, in particular the UK and US, engaged in a frenzied (many times, beyond science fiction) propaganda campaign against Croatia and Croats (until war’s end). This was coupled with the role of some within the international left, including the massive web of Soviet agents and or sympathizers, particularly in the West in academia and media, who continued the negative framing of anything and everything Croatian as being for a free Croatia meant that one was against any Yugoslavia, in particular, Tito’s Communist Yugoslavia.

WWII’s end did not change the situation. Anything and everything Croat was equated with the Ustasha regime and its crimes (both real, exaggerated and entirely imagined) inside and outside of Tito’s Yugoslavia, which the post-WWII international order was pleased with – especially after the Tito-Stalin rift and the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement. Bleiburg massacre was repressed, and the repressions of the Communists were covered as if a necessary matter-of-fact issue necessitated by security. Yugoslavia was multiethnic and the Communism there was allegedly “softer” than in the USSR and Eastern Bloc, so it wasn’t all that bad and should have been left to go on according to the media and diplomatic master narrative of Western democracies.

The simple truth is that Croatia was not viewed as anything important enough to defend, even rhetorically, by the West during the Cold War due to geopolitical realities. Croats were yet again conspiratorial separatists if not genocidal Ustasha maniacs hell bent on exterminating all Serbs if they raised their voice – and not what they really were: people who wanted a free, democratic nation as promised by Wilson’s Fourteen Points, simply opposed to a criminal one-party Communist dictatorship that systematically repressed and robbed them in a dystopian police state. This of course, was not only the narrative reserved for Croats within Tito’s fantasy state, but also for those living and residing in the West.

 

Next Post: Psychological Operations and Information Warfare Against Croatia and Croats – PART II

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About the author: Ante Horvat was born in the USA in 1970’s. He has recently moved to live permanently in Croatia and although spending most of his life in the USA he had made several temporary residence visits to Croatia during that time. His education and professional development in history and international relations also spans across the two continents. He is an active observer of and participant in the development of democracy in Croatia since the early 1990’s and its correlation with the developed Western democracies.

Egg on Tim Judah’s and BBC’s faces – pursuing the truth of Franjo Tudjman

Regardless of the fact that BBC (with Tim Judah’s help?) changed the wording in the relevant part of Tim Judah’s article “Croatia: From isolation to EU Membership” there is still egg on Judah’s and BBC’s faces.

You simply cannot cover-up the fact that you’ve written lies by qualifying them – or adding adjectives and other embellishments – in the second edition of the same article.  The fact that you have published lies still remains – particularly in the case when your original lies reached many people. You are much better off apologising (in a prominent place) for the lies published in the first instance. But, sadly, it would seem that an apology regarding lies published about Franjo Tudjman (23 April 2013) by Judah and BBC would be unbearable for them (?), even if it is the right thing to do; the only thing to do in order to save face and, in order to correct the wrong done.

Indeed, if an apology followed for publishing lies, the public might question the veracity of anything else Tim Judah or BBC might have published about Franjo Tudjman (?).

In the article by Tim Judah published on 23 April 2013, Judah wrote:

Mr Sanader also brought Serbs into his government, something unimaginable in the Tudjman years.

Tim Judah BBC article original edition 23 April 2013

Tim Judah BBC article original edition 23 April 2013

I complained to the BBC that this did not reflect the truth and that, in fact, there were Serbs in the Croatian government and parliament etc during the times of Tudjman; I gave a couple of examples.

On the 26 April 2013 Tim Judah/BBC change the above sentence to:

Mr Sanader also brought Serbs with political credibility and clout into his government, something unimaginable in the Tudjman years”.

Tim Judah BBC article edited version 26 April 2013

Tim Judah BBC article edited version 26 April 2013

The facts are that during the times of Franjo Tudjman there were several Serbs either in the Croatian government, in the parliament, or serving as special advisers to Franjo Tudjman. They include the following persons: Srecko Bijelic, Milan Djukic, Zivko Juzbasic and Djordje Pribicevic.

We can, therefore, conclude that these Croatian Serbs have no political credibility or clout as far as Judah and BBC are concerned!

How pathetic is this!

For the sake of avoiding admission of having told a lie about Tudjman, Tim Judah now takes it upon himself to tell the world that Serbs in Croatian Government during the times of Tudjman were not “politically credible” Serbs, without offering the list of politically credible ones! The problem here is also in this: given the times of Tudjman years, who were the politically credible Serbs in Croatia? Whose politics did they subscribe to? Serbia’s or Croatia’s?

So, I ask myself: who among the Croatian Serbs should have been in the Croatian government, parliament, etc. during the times of Tudjman, while Serb aggression (which included rebel Croatian Serbs) lasted over Croatia?

Should that have been someone from the Serb rebel forces? A Serb nationalist? Would Judah and BBC be happy with that? Would they then stop calling Tudjman a nationalist, as if nationalism is some kind of plague nations should steer away from – all the while nationalism is revered as the highest form of patriotism in their own countries?

It is to be noted that, in the same article, Judah, writes: “Tudjman was not just a nationalist but an authoritarian leader. By the time of his death in 1999 the country was internationally isolated. With the exception of the leaders of a few neighbouring countries, the president of Turkey was the only foreign statesman to show up to his funeral”.

With writers such as Judah in this article, no wonder Croatia was seen as some as internationally isolated and no wonder so few international leaders were at his funeral! But never mind – there were many Croatians at his funeral, and that is what makes his funeral a grand affair, for his people loved him. That is what matters the most – with the people who loved him, Tudjman created the independent Croatia, which commenced then its path to EU membership, albeit at that stage EU membership was only a dream, an aspiration.

But let’s hope truth will surface sooner or later and the world will see that Franjo Tudjman and the Croatian governments of his time were committed to human rights and the rights of ethnic minorities. In December 1991 the Croatian Parliament strengthened the law in relation to ethnic minorities, granting local police, courts and governments to Serbs in those areas in which they were a majority.

These granted Serbs and other national minorities full protection of human rights, guaranteed proportional representation in government, the right to self-government, and protection from any attempts of forced assimilation. It further encouraged individuals and organizations to appeal to international bodies to secure these protections.

Ironically, Serbs in Croatia have never needed these provisions. It was the Croatians, Bosnians and Kosovo’ s Albanian majority who would appeal to the European Community, the United Nations, the International League for Human Rights, Helsinki Watch, Amnesty International and other international bodies for protection from the Serbian minority and the Serbian controlled Army”. (C. Michael McAdams: Croatia – Myth & Reality)

At the end of the day Tim Judah told a lie and BBC published it and then covered it up two or three days later as if nothing had happened of that sort! To my knowledge, no professionally credible person or organization would do that and expect that the world will go on as if nothing happened. There is after all political and professional credibility associated with that. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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