Croatia: The Swell Of Discontent Reawakens The Beast Of Communist Oppression

Celebrating Croatia’s admission into the UN on the main  square in Zagreb upon the return of President Tuđman  from New York on 24 May 1992. Croatia declared its  independence on 25 June 1991, confirmed this decision  on 8 October 1991 at the expiration of the moratorium,  and was recognised by the international community on  15 January 1992. Photo:

Celebrating Croatia’s admission into the UN on the main
square in Zagreb upon the return of President Franjo Tudjman
from New York on 24 May 1992. Croatia declared its
independence on 25 June 1991, confirmed this decision
on 8 October 1991 at the expiration of the moratorium,
and was recognised by the international community on
15 January 1992. Photo:

Booing and jeering grew louder on Monday 5 August in Knin as Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic climbed onto the podium to deliver his address to the crowds celebrating Croatian Victory and Thanksgiving Day!

Milanovic walked to the podium to cries of  “don’t let him speak”, “You don’t love Croatia”, “Monkey”, and “Manure” as the crowd showed their disapproval at Milanovic’s government’s policies over the last 18 months.

Milanovic spoke with a loud and forceful, somewhat embittered tone, evidently trying to outdo the jeering, whistling and booing from the crowd. As much as his speech contained praise for Croatia’s war efforts towards its independence and democracy, saying it was a righteous path, his words fell upon many disbelieving ears. After all it was Milanovic who only a few months ago wickedly said that Croatian Homeland War of 1990’s was a kind of a civil war similar to the one that had occurred in Finland!
After all, it’s Milanovic who confuses the issues about the War in Croatia; it’s Milanovic who has never expressed a strong and consistent view about the righteousness of Croatia’s fight for secession from communist Yugoslavia. Perhaps this is so because he has difficulties handling freedom and self-determination as the right of every citizen, singularly and/or as a nation.

Booing, jeering, whistling … at Knin, August 5:

The Police in Knin wasted no time is arresting one of the loudest men from the Knin crowd who booed, whistled and jeered at the Prime Minister.  Police are still combing through video footage in order to gather evidence for further arrests! They say that the charge is disturbing of public peace!
During the speeches from high-ranking state officials they whistled and yelled and created a racket disturbing the peace. One person has been arrested and will face court action at the Knin court, whilst investigation continues to catch the other culprits,” said a police statement. Monday’s official ceremonies were filmed and police will trawl through footage and have warned more people will face charges in the following days.

Booing, jeering and whistling at high ranking elected officials as they speak is a form of freedom of expression regarded as very normal behaviour of disapproval in developed democracies. It’s not swearing, blasphemy or what have you of the same offensive nature. Well not so in the apparently neo-communist arcades of the Croatian political scene – to “offend” a political leader, who happens to come from former communists ranks, by booing, jeering, whistling at him is obviously now considered a form of penal (read criminal) behaviour. Just as it was when communist Yugoslavia was alive and kicking its force around.

It’s blatantly and painfully obvious that democratic expressions of approval, or disapproval, have taken a serious step backward in Croatia during the past week; during the past couple of years…

Up until 1990, i.e. during the times of communist Yugoslavia, there was no booing, jeering or whistling at politicians while they spoke. To do so was dangerous and without fail landed one behind bars and ostracised as “unsuitable citizen” for life. This was just one ugly and brutal face of the Communist Party in Yugoslavia. Oh sure, they spoke of “socialism with a human face” but really that human face was defined by the communists as the one that had to be compatible with Party lines. Bitter experience led the people into growing careful as to what to say or not to say; one simply knew which words or non-verbal expressions of disapproval of political elites would land one behind bars, earn beatings, prison sentences …

Judging from what happened in Knin on Monday there is no doubt that Croatia is seeing a re-introduction of oppression, of fear mongering…of repression of freedom of expression. Threats made by the police (after arresting one man) to arrest more people for booing, jeering and whistling at public officials cannot be interpreted in any other way. These moves are not isolated or independently made by a local police station – they are part of the fabric of the newly “refreshed” police force padded with those that bow, nod and support the government which has major difficulties adjusting to democracy and abandoning the control freak show Yugoslavia was exposed to.

So, I ask myself: where did and how did Croatia stray from its primary goal set through 94% of democratic vote in 1991? Where did the message “we want to move away from totalitarian communism and move towards democracy” get lost in the past ten years especially?  Why have so many Croatian politicians lost sight of that primary goal and wobble around interpreting – often recklessly – the events from the war rather than keeping check on how is democracy (the primary goal) is faring?

“Now is the winter of our discontent” are the opening words of Shakespeare’s play and lay the groundwork for the portrait of Richard III as a discontented man who is unhappy in a world that hates him. The brooding malevolence that Shakespeare has Richard personify mirrors the playwright’s view of the state of the English nation during the Wars of the Roses.  Closer to our times, The Winter of Discontent refers to the winter of 1978–79 in the United Kingdom, during which there were widespread strikes by public sector trade unions demanding larger pay rises, following the ongoing pay caps of the Labour Party government led against Trades Union Congress opposition to control inflation, during the coldest winter for 16 years.

And, given the widespread disillusionment of Croatian people with the government and various politicians in opposition who expressly feed political divisions from the past, whose actions like the one above in Knin remind of painful and loathsome past, who have degraded and belittled the value of battles for democracy and exit from communist Yugoslavia, who have done little in putting right the thievery of national assets through corrupt individuals in high position, who evidently have little clue as to how to install an economy for betterment of citizens’ lives … I wonder if we are not looking at the Winter of Croatia’s Discontent that is simply bound to end, sooner than later, in widespread unrest that will bring new breath of life to the goal set by the people in 1991 (full democracy and freedom) and which goal has become buried amidst the kicking and screaming of die-hard communists. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia: One (Two) Serbs Too Many

From left: Milorad Pupovac and Savo Strbac   Photo:

From left: Milorad Pupovac and Savo Strbac

Croatia’s Homeland Thanksgiving Day (Victory Day) is coming up on 5th August. It’ll be the 18th anniversary of the day the horrible war of Serb aggression ended; Military operation Storm had within a matter of days liberated the Croatian territory that was occupied by Serbs, ethnically cleansed of non-Serbs, thousands lost their lives… It’ll also be the 18th anniversary of Serb denial of their horrid aggression and crimes – their denial almost succeeded in its wicked plan to equate the aggressor with the victim had the ICTY Appeal tribunal not acquitted in November 2012 Croatian generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac (and indeed the Croatian leadership) of joint criminal enterprise against Serbs/i.e. forced deportation.

Regretfully, some loud Serbs from within and from outside Croatia still cannot face the guilt of Serb aggression. One of these is Savo Strbac – a Croatian Serb nationalist living in Serbia who even though heavily involved in the set-up and pursuit of Serb aggression in Croatia in early 1990’s “assisted” the ICTY prosecutor to formulate the failed indictment of joint criminal enterprise against Croatian generals. Even though Strbac had publicly stated many times that Serb leadership evacuated Serbs from Croatia – mind you he said that was because Croats would have committed genocide over the Serbs then had Serbs not been evacuated! – the ICTY prosecutor (Carla del Ponte) pressed on with trying to make it as if all those Serbs fled Croatia under the conditions of Croatian illegal or excessive shelling of its Serb-occupied territory (which was disproved by the court).

Here is a record of how Savo Strbac promoted Serb aggression in Croatia: He calls Croatian defence efforts an aggression; he says that Croats never wanted to live with Serbs in Croatia and YET when 94% Croatians voted to secede from communist Yugoslavia it was the 6% of Croatian Serbs (with the help of Serrb led Yugoslav Army) who rebelled and started the aggression, ethnic cleansing and murder because they wanted to live in Yugoslavia and not Croatia… news portal reports that yesterday, 3 August, Strbac had announced in Banja Luka (!) that new evidence has come to light and that it is expected that the judgment, which acquitted Croatian generals of joint criminal enterprise in 2012, will be reviewed.  Banja Luka, to remind readers, was the second largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was ethnically cleansed of non-Serbs during the 1990’s Serb aggression and untold horrid crimes were committed by the Serb forces there; and now stands as administrative capital of Serbian Republic entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina. (And the world tolerates this!)

Strbac said that these new facts were not known to ICTY when the acquitting verdict was delivered against the Croatian Generals regarding Operation Storm. He refers to the remains of 110 recently  exhumed bodies around Sibenik and Zadar and concludes that these are the remains of Serbs killed during military operation Storm!

A renowned Croatian lawyer, Zvonimir Hodak, while commenting on Strbac’s latest outburst said that Strbac should go and seek medical treatment.  Then Hodak explained some things that are clear to everyone except Strbac:

Firstly, Sibenik and Zadar have no connection with the military actions in operation Storm, it’s known precisely over which territory the military operations were carried out. Savo Strbac could have dug out some remains near Krapina and said that these were the victims of operation Storm. Furthermore, Savo Strbac and his traitors from Croatia are saying that there were 971 civilians killed, but the Hague tribunal had identified and confirmed 44 killed civilians and that is the valid number that cannot be changed…the new evidence has nothing to do with the territory over which operation Storm occurred”.
Hodak says that this latest outburst by Savo Strbac is “shooting at sparrows with cannons and obvious disinformation of the public from which anger and despair arise”.

Another Croatian Serb Croatia could do without is Milorad Pupovac. One the Serb National Council website he states: “ … Serb national council also remembers destructive consequences of the war upon relationships between people and nations, upon social values and economy. The majority of Croatian citizens have not recovered from these in almost two decades. We condemn the continuance of political use of the war because the way it is interpreted and celebrated rejuvenates and prolongs the war atmosphere and war rhetoric, deepens the ethnic and social divides and stops the public to face itself with its dark side and its destructive consequences”.

Croatian Serb national Milorad Pupovac would like Croatia to:
•    Stop remembering its war dead
•    Stop remembering that it was attacked brutally when its 94% of voters opted to secede from communist Yugoslavia and build an independent democratic state;
•    Forget that it was the Croatian Serbs (aided by Serbia) who did not want to live in Croatia and therefore decided to steal its territory and cleanse it of non-Serbs;
•    Stop celebrating the victory of self-determination

Indeed, Strbac and Pupovac are two too many Serbs in Croatia; in the world. Their political rot is the reason why Croatia must never forget the price it paid for freedom and celebrate victory even more. No one must forget its victims in order to appease the criminal. And, one must take seriously Strbac’s words from the above video where he says that they (Serbs) needed to organise the exodus of Serbs from Croatia (in 1995) in order to preserve their people for a future that is yet to come – Greater Serbia at all costs. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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: