Communist Yugoslavia Secret Services Archives Needed To Fight Against Organised Crime

The report on cooperation in the fight against organised crime in the Western Balkans was adopted by the Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday 26 October 2021 by 60 votes in favour, 4 against and 6 abstentions.  In the report Members of the European Parliament urged governments in the region to significantly increase their efforts to go forward with reforms in the rule of law and the fight against corruption and organised crime. The report says that the Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Serbia) are countries of origin, destination, and transit for human trafficking, and they serve as a transit corridor for migrants and refugees and as a location for money laundering and firearms trafficking.

There is a lack of genuine political will in fighting the organised crime in these countries and MEPs want Western Balkan countries to address fully the shortcomings of their respective criminal-justice systems, including the length of legal proceedings. While not located within the Western Balkans for the matters addressed in this report, Croatia as a country that used to be a part of communist Yugoslavia until 1991 still has a great deal to answer for and fight against when it comes to organised crime and corruption.

The report said that Members of the European Parliament insisted that “fighting organised crime and advancing towards European Union integration are mutually reinforcing processes and call for an accelerated integration process.” The EU should, according to its Members of Parliament, support these efforts through financial assistance and practical cooperation. Call me a pessimist and a cynic in this if you like, but judging from the fact that organised crime and corruption are rooted in these societies of former communist regimes or similar political and social realities, the EU money dished out to root out corruption will be largely swallowed up by the same corruption, to feed itself, unless political power landscapes are changed in those countries or the EU actually controls every euro given and does not give money away.

As a member state of former Yugoslavia Croatia has also inherited widespread corruption as organised crimes from it. As such, Croatia could play a significant role in its input into fighting organised crime in those countries of Western Balkans that have their eye on being members of an extended EU member country because it possesses “inside knowledge” of organised crime. But given the alarming level of organised corruption still plaguing Croatia one must doubt as to whether much will change in Western Balkans on account of Croatia’s input. To be effective in this Croatia would need to shed most of its public administration heads and replaced them with those who have no links whatsoever with the corrupt echelons. Or, assisting the EU in this role from Croatia should be persons who would not qualify for lustration if lustration was to occur as well as not be a descendant, child, or grandchild of those who would qualify to be lustrated whether now living or not. It sounds like a big ask but, in essence, it is not because Croatia has quite a number of those who would qualify and who had during the life of former Yugoslavia either lived there or lived abroad as part of the diaspora.

Croatia’s criminal-justice system is certainly there where Western Balkans’ is and it needs a complete overhaul, however, we are not likely to see this occur while those aligned with the former communist Yugoslavia mental set control all aspects of public administration including judiciary.

The Report says that the main factors that make Western Balkans societies vulnerable, are the lack of employment opportunities, corruption, disinformation, elements of state capture, inequality, and foreign interference from non-democratic regimes such as Russia and China. Croatia, even after 30 years of seceding from Yugoslavia still has these problems plaguing its progress and everyday life.

Links between organised crime, politics and businesses existed before the break-up of Yugoslavia and have continued since the end of the conflicts of the 1990s, and Members of the European Parliament “condemn the apparent lack of will of the responsible authorities in the region to open the former Yugoslav archives and for files to be returned to governments if they want them.”

The report welcomes the conclusion of cooperation agreements between Eurojust and the governments of Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, as well as the authorisation to open negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina. MEPs urge the Council to authorise as soon as possible the opening of negotiations for a similar agreement with Kosovo.

It is of great interest to monitor how the recommendation from the Report that says that “Responsible authorities should open the former Yugoslav archives” will fare. Knowing the utterly corrupt persons that held the corrupt and criminal Yugoslavia together, influence of whom poisons many a responsible authority in former Yugoslavia countries, including Croatia, the opening of all archives is likely to be stalled for generations to come. Unless of course there comes a time when the political landscape changes and new generations, unpolluted by communist Yugoslavia nostalgia, come to be the authority that makes such decisions.

Suffice to say that there are multitudes of politicians in power or those holding authority in Croatia for whom the opening of Yugoslav archives would reveal alignment with UDBA (communist secret services in former Yugoslavia) communist purges operations and grand thefts for personal gain; an abominable, criminal past that included persecution and assassinations of anti-communist Croats and stealing public wealth for personal gains. Further problem for the opening of Yugoslav archives rests in the fact that when former Yugoslavia crumbled apart Serbia retained much of the archival material pertaining to the country’s federal depository held in its capital city Belgrade. Serbia did not do the decent thing and returned to all the former states of Yugoslavia their rightful archives – Serbia kept them all and it is not a member state of the European Union. Those archives would undoubtedly also reveal, among many other facts, the nasty historical fabrications Serbia has engaged in against its neighbouring countries, particularly Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.     

Communist Yugoslavia Secret Service files (UDBa) hide everything that the lustrated or those prosecuted for endangering human freedoms, political and civil rights, destroying families would be accused or members of the service lustrated or those prosecuted for endangering human freedoms, political and civil rights, destroying families and various blackmails and interfering in political and economic life and installing in political parties would be charged with. But Croatia’s criminal justice serves largely those it needs to protect from such lustration or prosecution. Secret service files hide everything unknown that would shed light on various historical and political deceptions, montages and that it would produce grounds for a different understanding of the 20th century history that is based on facts rather than communist or Serb fabrications.

Plights by several Croatian politicians in the opposition to the HDZ or SDP governments since year 2000 for the opening of accessibility to all Yugoslav archives, wherever on the territory of former Yugoslavia they may be held, have been numerous. Lobbying for the opening of the archives has been quite rich. But all to no avail! Will EU succeed where others have failed!?  The answer to the question “what is in those secret services files” appears with more urgency as Yugoslav secret services files continue to remain a “taboo topic” despite the landscape where, on surface, all the government officials and leaders swear to their personal commitment towards the truth! EU has been asking for access to those archives for over a decade and this Report regarding fighting organised crime on Western Balkans is just another notch in the string of asking.

The Report’s other significant recommendation is that political and administrative links to organised crime must be eradicated. This all sounds very great, just like the European Parliament’s declaration condemning all Totalitarian Regimes from the past some 12 years ago (2009). But the European Union authorities still to this day fail to punish or impose consequences upon Croatia for encouraging symbols of communist Yugoslavia totalitarian and murderous regime to thrive on the streets of Croatia that lost rivers of blood in the 1990’s while trying to secede from communist Yugoslavia. All this tells me that the European Parliament and the EU authorities have no real political will to contribute effectively to the achievement of recommendations from the Report on cooperation in the fight against organised crime in Western Balkans. I, for one, would love to see Yugoslav secret services archives open for all to access and study and show the truth but somehow, I fret that in my lifetime I will not see that without a miracle of political change. There appear to be too many individuals with power at some level within the countries’ machinery involved with organised crime in both Croatia and in the Western Balkans and only a miracle can rid the people of that scourge. The miracle, of course, can be shaped at the next general elections. Ina Vukic

Croatia – A Lapdog To EU

Ursula von der Leyen
President of the European Commission

If being “a success story of the European Union and a role model for other countries attempting to get EU membership,” as the newly elected president of the European Commission said this week about Croatia, is an assessment reached through weighing an EU member country’s efforts to suck up to EU needs rather than needs of the same country’s people, then, yeah, with alternating Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) led governments since 2013 Croatia has been an EU lapdog above all else. Had von der Leven taken the effort to look at the widespread despair and political quagmire within Croatia itself that is seeing multitudes leaving their homes for other countries in search for work and a decent living then her appraisal of Croatia for Croatians would not include the words “role model”. But then again, she is about EU “political corporation” interests and not about the interests of individual nations making up the EU.

Given the past SDP/HDZ governments’ track record since Croatia joined the EU, unless the players making up the next government (2020 general elections) change, Croatia could become even more of a public acolyte (a lapdog, a disciple…)  for all things EU. In reality, most countries that supported Croatia’s inclusion in EU would have known that, in all likelihood and if not actively resisted, Croatia would remain lock step with the liberal political route largely paved with Soros funds, and so its membership was a way of extending EU influence into Eastern Europe where Russia’s political and practical backers maintain a constant air of communist nostalgia, resistance to true and full democratic change.  Had, during the expected  democratisation period after 1991, mainstream journalism evolved throughout Croatia toward an independent and aggressive style, more attuned with the role of the free press as a fundamental tool with the checks and balance necessary for a working democracy, then Croatia would have been a different environment to what it is today. It would have rid itself of most individuals in positions of power who held such position in communist Yugoslavia and that in itself would have been the main part of the formula through which corruption and nepotism, especially, are eradicated to, at least, a degree that does not negatively affect the livelihood of workers, of ordinary citizens.

With significantly eroded living standards, alarming emigration increase and pronounced economic development slouch coupled with large-scale corruption scandals, it is now more than clear that a small power such as Croatia should have never thought it could depend on building up brownie points for the benefit of its own people with superpowers (EU), as EU movers and shakers, by their nature and purpose, pursue their own interests without let or heed to so-called loyalties to lesser states.  Similarly, the dangers of continuing to be seen as an EU puppet and how this is inimical to Croatian interests within its own borders emerge as issues that must seriously be visited, particularly given the widespread fear among Croatian people that unless the backbone of political tides is changed, and Croatian politics turned inward more than outward, Croatia as a nation will disappear even in our own lifetime.

The lapdog to EU mentality becomes even more distressing when one looks at top-level, palpably autocratic decisions in Croatia to introduce the Euro, rid Croatia of its own currency Kuna despite the fact that opposition to this move is rather widespread among the Croatian people.

Given this, we can only hope the future government of Croatia will have something far more intelligent and more in Croatia’s long-term interests in mind. So far, membership in EU has, for Croatia, seen a perpetual politically-pitched promise of EU money that will change for the better everyone’s life and yet a widespread capacity to draw on those funds from Croatia has been kept at the lowest possible level. The road to EU funds grant applications remains a mystery and a closed alley for most individuals in Croatia; little if any public education has occurred. If we exclude the concept of being a lapdog from positive people-oriented politics, little, if any, assertiveness of Croatian interests has been witnessed in the EU corridors of power except individual politicians’ evident ambition to gain a position within the EU “corporation” power machine.

The lapdog mentality in aligning Croatia’s legislation with that of the EU has further eroded Croatia’s independence from communist Yugoslavia and Croatia’s absolute need to fully address the impact on itself of 1990’s Serb aggression. This alignment has meant that minority rights have developed not as rights within a majority setting, but as rights that are equal to majority rights. And so, one gets the soul-destructive outcome where Serb minority in Croatia (largely made up of individuals who were actively or politically associated with the 1990’s aggression against Croatia) are joined in holding the rudder of Croatian life. But then, this suits the EU as its eye of future expansion is cast on Serbia!

Politics is the art of the possible and this was clearly demonstrated through activism of left-oriented individual politicians in Croatia who pushed for EU membership to that degree where relative minority of voter turnout at referendum could carry the referendum forward! And so, Croatia’s membership in the EU may at this stage be its only short-term option.

But what about the future?

What happens when EU interests directly conflict with those of the Croatian people? The fact that they already do is palpable and the fact that they interfere or stifle the needed progress towards decommunisation (democratisation) of Croatia’s public services and administration, including legislation, has spread into a nationwide concern over the lack in meeting the needs and interests of Croatian people and their personal living standard. Do Croats, by staying lapdogs to EU, really want to be drawn into a regional conflict brewing as illegal migrants and asylum seekers clutter the borders and compromise national security upon which citizens depend for their personal safety as well as for the safety of national existence? And what of Croatia’s future economic prosperity? Will Croatia continue to allow EU-defined free trade agreements to be rammed down its throats at the cost of local jobs, local business enterprises growth and their viability in the face of EU quotas and standards? These are all serious questions which must be addressed with long term thinking. Unfortunately, Croatia’s elitist political class seem to have their fingers in the till (as they did during the times of communist Yugoslavia) or their heads in the sand, or both. Croatia talks of a saving potential ingrained in its diaspora or Croats living outside Croatia, yet the governments in Croatia have done their utmost to stifle adjustment of Croatia’s legislation to that potential.  Croatian politicians talk of being nimble yet do the utmost to stifle innovation in building a fully functional democracy well rid of former communist mentality and its destructive approach to creating opportunities for individual growth and expression in all walks of life. Instead of putting the welfare of its citizens first, Croatian corridors of power pander to EU interests and its rapacious greed for control and compliance to its own standards that have no regard for individual national identity and needs. Risk averse and too short sighted to see the car crash ahead of Croats, Croatian governments remain as ever the obedient servants of the EU. And yet, modern Croatia is founded on taking risks: risking human life for the glory of independence and democracy! What has gone wrong? Ina Vukic

Invictus – Croatian Survival In Face of Communist Crimes Denials

Austrian police arrests pilgrims
at Beliburg 12 May 2018

On Friday 18 May 2018 Croatia took over the rotating chair of the Council of Europe (for Croatia also a prelude to its presidency of European Union mandate due in 2020) and judging from the politically treacherous pressure created via allegations of right-wing extremism, neo-fascism and hate speech on the rise (The Council of Europe Anti-Racism Commission Report on Croatia), adopted on 21 March but “conveniently(!)” released on 15 May 2018, three days after the Bleiburg commemoration for victims of horrendous communist crimes against unarmed Croatian soldiers and civilians in 1945, by the evidently targeted and planned arrests by the Austrian police of 5 among 11,000 Croatians (and 1 Slovenian citizen) who came to Bleiburg on 12 May and the mean-spirited hardships imposed upon the Croatian pilgrims at the state border with the obvious intention of ensuring many don’t arrive in time for the commemorative Holy Mass, all give the picture of an internationally orchestrated environment that would set back even further from the current appalling state of communist crimes being left uncondemned. While the handful of those arrested may have been lawfully arrested for the reason of breaking the Austrian law – i.e. displaying the banned WWII symbols (which is illegal in Austria) but wearing a T-shirt with “Better dead than red” written across it and allegations of raising the right hand were reportedly also a reason for one of the arrests! Catch the drift here?

Compare that, if you please, to a music concert somewhere in a Western country where, say, 5 people get arrested for illegal drugs possession but thousands of other have no drugs – do we label the whole nation as an illegal drug-taking nation? Of course we don’t!

Do we express with concerns that illegal drug consumption is on the rise in the country? Of course we don’t!

For the Council of Europe and the liberal politics subscribers everywhere the attempts in Croatia to unveil and condemn communist crimes and the commemoration to the victims are seen as glorification of ideologies from World War II — especially of Croatia’s Ustasha regime, according to the report by the CoE’s Anti-Racism Commission. The same Anti-Racism Commission writes not a single word about the lack of condemnation of communist crimes/genocide committed under class-hatred ideology (the victims whom communists labelled as enemies of the people)! Not a single word about the fact that the lack of communist crimes condemnation signifies a concerning level of neo-communism, or something like it, being present in Croatia! A yet another sad but condemnation-worthy indictment on humanity when we come across the political plots where victims of racial hatred (e.g. the Holocaust) are more deserving of human compassion than victims of class hatred (e.g. communist crimes). Yet both fascism and communism stand as condemned totalitarian regimes by the European Union!

Class hatred is racial hatred’s twin sibling. But to call it by its name is unacceptable in progressive circles, which are by all and sundry slotted into the so-called liberal political platforms.

Many liberals don’t get that. They find it abhorrent to hate Jews for being Jews, but acceptable to hate the political class to the point of eradication that opposes another, the ruling one.

An older pair to Marx and Engels – Cain and Abel – appears to have been the first to ignite class hatred. Communism took on Marx and Engels ideological concoctions and gave itself a licence to kill. Throughout the ages, this virulent form of hatred has caused humanity endless suffering. We’re not only looking here at the “class enemies” who were hacked, guillotined, beaten and murdered during bloody revolutions. We are talking about the hundred and more millions of victims in cities and in villages, in gulags and in prisons, in Russia and in Romania, in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, in China, in Vietnam, in Croatia and in numerous other countries who suffered from mass murder, political class genocide, starvation, incarceration, torture and execution. When it comes to communist crimes under the communist Yugoslavia regime (including Croatia) hundreds of thousands of communism opponents were murdered, dumped in political prisons or fled abroad in fear for their lives and all that while communist Yugoslavia’s leader Josip Broz Tito had the “protection” of many Western democratic countries. One must contemplate and deduce how much of this protectionism (shared guilt for crimes of communism) is still behind the appalling lack of due process for communist crimes.

Horrific figures of communist crimes were and still are being justified in “progressive” circles on the grounds that they were necessary to remove traitors and to build a utopian society. But communist societies failed miserably in their efforts to create a society that consumed freedom which all deserve.

The 1980s and the early 1990’s saw a crescendo of critiques and rejections of the ideals of communism, which, instead of socialist ideology, underpinned the Former Yugoslavia and the pervasive nostalgia for Croatian national identity. Croatia is no different to any other member state of the European Union when it comes to pursuits for national identity and never before in Europe’s history has this been so clearly demonstrated as it has been during the past decade that saw, and still sees, masses of refugees, illegal immigrants and the like charge across country borders, ending up with ghettos that reek of irreconcilable cultural, religious and moral profiles with the receiving country. It would seem that a significant dose of “unrestrained tolerance” found in these “progressive and permissive” societies has awakened a conservative temperament, a plight for national identity, traditional national values and pride.

Dealing head on with communist crimes means a plight for moral restoration. Croatia, and every other country with unresolved and unreconciled history of brutal communist crimes cannot breathe. It is not acceptable to condemn the crimes of one regime and tolerate the crimes of another. Such double standards in morality were the fabric of the communist regime and now – of the liberal wagon. Council of Europe, or any other body of international influence cannot expect to survive if it deals with one class of historical mass crimes, genocide, and ignores the other.

An astonishingly high percentage of today’s young and those in mid-life cycle do not know who murderous communist leaders were. Even worse, there are many who have favourable opinions about Stalin, Lenin, Zedong, Tito, Che Guevara… But the most disturbing fact is how many lack basic knowledge of the crimes of communist regimes. You can be sure that if a favourable leaning towards Hitler or ignorance about the Holocaust were evident it would generate outrage, hand wringing about historical amnesia and mainstream media would be awash with claims of danger to democratic values festering in the body politic.

Where are the equivalent warnings about the evils of communism?

Commemorative Mass for Croatian victims of communist crimes
Bleiburg, Austria, 12 May 2018

For more than 70 years, communists conducted a ruthless war on their own citizens, starving tens of millions in deliberate campaigns to bring the peasantry to heel, executing millions because of their class background or their ethnic identity, deporting whole populations for the sole crime of belonging to a group labelled an enemy of the people, imprisoning thousands of intellectuals for their writings or ideas, persecuting and exterminating religious believers, men and women of the cloth, and arbitrarily shipping dissidents and innocents alike to concentration camps where they laboured under horrendous conditions.

Hitler exterminated 6 million Jews. Stalin alone is responsible for some 30 million deaths. Josip Broz Tito is responsible for almost 600,000 deaths (state murders) in Croatia (a very small country by comparison) alone. During the Great Leap Forward, Mao Zedung’s policies led to some 45 million Chinese dying. And the Khmer Rouge killed nearly 2 million in Cambodia. Every other communist regime accounted for tens of thousands of other murders.

And today’s Croatian and European and the World’s “progressives” have the gall to label a Holy Mass and commemoration for several hundreds of thousands of victims of communist crimes at Bleiburg – a neo-fascist event. Such bigotry must be eradicated! Ina Vukic

William Ernest Henley poem – Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.


In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.


Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.


It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.

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