Schengen Zone and Euro For Croatia

It is done! As anticipated in my article dated 5 November 2022 it’s a double windfall or double whammy, depending on your vantage point on the matter! The start of this year brought very big changes for Croatia. To pro-European Union political elites and to quite a few Croat ones the entry into the single currency among 20 other countries and the entry into free travel, no borders zone among 27 other countries are considered a major landmark in Croatia’s modern history. For others it is taken with a pinch of salt and lots of distrust.

Certainly, at the time of Dr Franjo Tudjman’s speech at the inauguration of Croatian Parliament 30 May 1990 the European Commission (EC) was very young within the so-called European Community, EU as we know it was to be founded later, and the euro not even on the horizon of the EC but Tudjman had put Europeanisation of independent Croatia as one of Croatia’s major goals in its planned exit from communist Yugoslavia. What a paralysing tragedy for Croats who fought for independence from communism to know that the European Union Parliament had over a decade ago condemned all totalitarian regimes, including communism, and the Croatian governments since his death in late 1999 not only have not in effect condemned communism but in practice glorify it more and more including its mass murderer Josip Broz Tito!

Schengen Zone and the Euro – a perfect match??

January 1, 2023, marked Croatia’s shedding of its kuna currency and the shedding of its sovereign borders in favour of the euro and Schengen Zone. Some say this is a great thing for Croatia, some say it spells a catastrophe for self-determination and a thousand-year proud identity. It is, however, most disappointing that Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic did not in any way, shape or form express the country’s gratitude to all (not just HDZ Party ones) Croatian Homeland War veterans and activists who fought for Croatia in 1990’s, its exit from communist Yugoslavia, its self-determination, paving the way for its European existence with blood, sweat and tears. Andrej Plenkovic’s government continues its coalition with the Serb political minority that was either through direct family lines or political allegiance part of the aggression against Croatia in 1990’s; his government almost does not even acknowledge the part of Serb minority in Croatia that fought shoulder to shoulder with Croats to defend Croatia amidst the brutal Serb and Yugoslav Army aggression.

Asked recently about the implications of open borders with Croatia’s neighbours, Plenkovic said: “People are really thrilled that there are no more border controls on the crossings between Croatia and Slovenia; between Croatia and Hungary. Seventy-three border crossings are now police-free and customs-free. That means people going freely to the west or to the north of Europe. It means less costs, and more tourists coming to Croatia. 82 percent of overnight tourist stays in Croatia are made by people who come from the Schengen area. So this is going to be a huge economic benefit for us.”

Prime Minister Plenkovic and all his government ministers scandalously omitted to mention the rivers of Croatian blood sacrificed by all not just members of his political Party HDZ and the unprecedented harnessing of the Croatian patriotic diaspora in achieving the goal of Europeanisation of Croatia that was so critical from the start of Croatian independence movement from communist Yugoslavia in 1989/1990.

Plenkovic said: “We have no reason to be afraid to say that we are from the HDZ Party, we should be proud, satisfied and happy. Being a member of HDZ means being part of the politics of the party of direction, leadership, achievements, those who made the greatest contribution to an independent, free and internationally recognised Croatia, those who made an immeasurable contribution to the defence against Great Serbian aggression in the Homeland War, those who made a huge contribution the development of Croatian institutions, those who have contributed to the development of democracy, the improvement of the economy, Croatia’s membership in NATO, the European Union, the euro area, the Schengen area…”. Plenkovic did not say that his HDZ Party of today is a mere shadow of what it was when Croats fought for independence, when Croats needed to defend their bare lives from Serb aggression. Independence was a national matter then and Schengen and euro are now – they are not political party matters because they encompass all Croats.

Most activists and fighters have left the Party during the past three decades mostly out of disappointment with the Party’s growing pro-communist Yugoslavia mindset. But hey, 2024 is an election year and Plenkovic is not likely to say anything that would reduce the Party’s chances for re-election. 

They omitted to quote relevant parts of Dr Franjo Tudjman’s, First President of modern Croatia, speech at the 30 May 1990, inauguration of Croatian Parliament that afterwards suffered terrible consequences of the genocidal Serb aggression. Franjo Tudjman among many other things said: “… allow me to endeavour and put forward, in the briefest of points, some of the most urgent and immediate tasks that stand before the new democratic government of Croatia…Inclusion into Europe and Europeanisation of Croatia. Simultaneous with democratic transformation we need to undertake all necessary steps for Croatia to be included into the European Union as soon as possible. For centuries, Croatia has been a constituent part of the Western European (Mediterranean and Central-European) culture. Even when it did not have a full political state subject status, Croatia was inseparably connected to the Western European civilisation. The contribution to European life several centuries ago as well as through later history by Croatian Latinists bears loud witness to that fact. The return to that cultural tradition must be multilayered. In European integration Croatia must secure its independence and faster progress…”. 

Judging from all said from the Croatian government side during the past two weeks regarding the matter of entry into Schengen and adopting the euro one finds it difficult to avoid the ominous and painful feeling that Prime Minister Plenkovic is peddling the idea that his government, his HDZ Party, are singlehandedly responsible for and should be accredited with Croatia’s entry into the Schengen Zone and the adoption of the euro. Yet, he himself and most of his government ministers had avoided fighting to defend Croatia from Serb aggression, avoided fighting to realise the Croatian dream Franjo Tudjman was voicing in parliament on 30 May 1990, most likely covertly if not overtly vying for communist Yugoslavia to survive the 94% Croatian vote to secede, to leave Yugoslavia and turn freely towards Europe as sovereign country.  One finds it difficult also to avoid the feeling that this is so to enable further pandering to the 1990’s rebel Serb associates in his government’s coalition, who fought against such a path for Croatia and killed and ethnically cleansed Croats mercilessly in the effort to try and stop Croatian independence.

Travel the Schengen Zone – carefree

All said above the fact remains that being within the Schengen Zone and being a citizen of Croatia, even with dual citizenship, the gates within the zone are wide open, care free, and easy – for travel to or from any of its country members, to live and work. Third country nationals, carrying a non-Schengen country passport, who have not needed a visa to enter Schengen countries will be able to stay for 90 days and for longer stays visas are required. Border and customs checks will be removed at the borders between Croatia and other Schengen member states for people crossing the borders by road, rail or water. Checks at internal air borders will be lifted from 26 March due to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) summer/winter schedule.  That is a good thing especially for younger generations as it gives them more opportunities to succeed in life.

With the euro, economy in Croatia has no immediate fix

As for economic advantages of Schengen Zone Plenkovic is talking about for Croatia the jury is likely to be out for quite some time in delivering a verdict. Only days into the euro Croatia is faced with unjustified price rises in food, petrol and energy. So much so that the government is setting up a price watchdog with plan to implement sanctions against all those who increase prices of goods and services, disrespecting relevant legislation. Croatian production, for instance, would need to significantly increased in order to benefit from possible easy cross-border trade (the old fashioned export concept). For the time being Croatia’s production of goods has no capacity to benefit from easy cross-border trade because it hasn’t got much to trade with; its agriculture, fishing etc have been severely curbed by European Union quotas since it became member of the EU in 2013. Contrary to what the government is saying it seems that planting into the national mind that Croatia will become rich because it is in Schengen will certainly not become a reality. A country does not become a wealthy country just because it keeps company with rich countries within Schengen! Much needs to change in Croatia’s labour market and productivity before Croatia sees real advantages of this new big market it is a part of; nepotism and corruption must go, at least to high degrees, if Croatia will succeed in this field.

While favouring being a part of the Schengen Zone Croatians have and are exhibiting mixed sentiments towards adopting the euro. According to last year’s European Commission survey only 55 percent of Croatians are in favour of the euro, while others fear a potentially increased cost of living; 80% in fact thought price hikes that will accompany the use of euro in Croatia would put a stress on living that will be difficult to bear.

„We tasked the State Inspectorate, the Tax and Customs Administration to monitor prices on the ground. The goal is to identify those who unjustifiably raised prices. Fines are foreseen for that…Part of businesses have unjustifiably raised the prices. If we observe a further violation of the Government’s regulations, we have a number of mechanisms, from the return of prices to levels prior to introducing the euro to the cancellation of subsidies. I would like to remind you about the subsidised prices of energy for economic entities and more than 1 billion Croatian kuna in subsidies. All competent services receive a large number of complaints from citizens, who we invite to continue sending their complaints about unjustified price increases. We continuously strive to reduce the inflation rate, it is important to avoid irresponsible price increases, which directly reduce purchase power and citizens’ living standard. Businessmen’s responsibility and social solidarity are elements that cannot be bypassed,“ said Croatia’s Prime Minister Plenkovic Friday 13 January in response to the price hikes and chaos occurring.

More than 30 percent of shops and service providers in Croatia have raised prices unjustifiably, some up to 43 percent in the lead up to and transition into euro. This gives a most concerning picture as to how poorer the life of ordinary Croats and pensioners may become. Quite soon! Ina Vukic

Hey New York Times – Croatia’s Franjo Tudjman’s True Image Needs No Buffing!

Having read the latest New York Times article by Andrew Higgins, “To Buff a Balkan Leader’s Image, a Filmmaker Calls In Kevin Spacey”, published 3 January 2023, few things must be said first up in response to this journalistic tripe.

First, Croatia’s First President’s Franjo Tudjman’s true image does not need buffing – it already shines where it counts – among and with all Croatian people bar some former communist Yugoslavia operatives and their lapdogs; he as leader achieved independence, ushered Croatia out of the communist regime albeit soaked in blood and set Croatia towards the path of democracy and European Union.

Second, Andrew Higgins may wish to refresh his knowledge of the Balkan Peninsula countries or change his preferences about placing Croatia on the geographical map that covers Balkan Peninsula. Croatia is not considered to be a Balkan country in the full sense given that almost 60% of its territory is not situated nor has it ever been within the borders of the Balkan Peninsula maps. Furthermore, Franjo Tudjman was born and bred in the part of Croatia that is not and never has been included in the map of the Balkan Peninsula. Croatian people do not consider Croatia as a Balkan country but a South-eastern European country just as all bar the “Higginses” of the world place it.

Third, 1990’s war of independence from communist Yugoslavia in Croatia (and Bosnia and Herzegovina) did not happen by spontaneous combustion, where no culprit can be found. It happened by Serb and former Yugoslav People’s Army brutal and genocidal aggression and, hence, Croatia’s absolute and rightful need to defend bare lives of its people.

Fourth, the Croatians did not ethnically cleanse Serbs out of Croatia after the liberating military Operation Storm in August 1995 as Higgins evidently would like the world to believe. Serb evacuation was planned and ordered by Serbs and Serbia, but Serbs did ethnically cleanse of Croats 25% of Croatian territory known as Krajina as they occupied the area with the help of rebel Serbs in Croatia who did not want an independent Croatia.

One can’t help but wonder and stare in disbelief and bitter disappointment at what some journalists, even Pulitzer Prize winners, are capable of concocting to aid a push for a bigoted line they obviously pursue when it comes important issues such as exiting communist regime for democracy, defending oneself from brutal aggression etc. And so, it is more than plain that New York Times journalist Andrew Higgins did not and does not like Croatia’s first President, Franjo Tudjman, and that such personal sentiments may, sadly, have influenced this latest abominably biased and fact-twisting article on Croatia’s fight for independence in the 1990’s. But then again, Andrew Higgins has appeared, along with a couple of other New York Times journalists, as the butt of jokes in Kyiv, Ukraine, for “getting matters wrong”. Andrew Higgins in this article writes about Croatian “ethnic cleansing” in this war, of Serbs! The fact is that it was Serbs who ethnically cleansed all Croats and other non-Serbs from the quarter of Croatia’s territory they occupied at the start of their war of aggression. They also ethnically cleansed a large part of Bosnia and Herzegovina of Croats and Bosniaks (Muslims)! 

When Croatian forces as part of the liberating military operation Storm on 5 August 1995 entered Croatia’s Serb-occupied town of Knin, the town was already deserted (see for example the well-documented book by Nikica Baric, “Serb rebellion in Croatia 1991 – 1995”, 2005, p. 520). Serb paramilitary forces, Serb insurgent leadership, and “civilians” fled Knin for Republika Srpska (Self-proclaimed Serbian Republic on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Serbia. Estimates of the number of Serbs who fled from Croatia vary by sources. Different sources cite different numbers of Serbs that left Croatia at the time and immediately after the Operation Storm that liberated Serb-occupied Croatian territory. These figures vary from 90,00 to 150,000 to 300,000. Of course, the latter figure is a fabrication of Serbia’s propaganda to aid its fanciful and politically driven claims that Serbs were victims! The departure of the Serbs from Serb-occupied areas liberated by the 1995 Operation Storm was planned, organised, and executed by the insurgent Serb leadership from Knin with Slobodan Milosevic’s directive backing from Belgrade. This is a well-documented historical fact that seems to have eluded Andrew Higgins and those like him who prefer to make their false assertions appear credible by talking to people like Dejan Jovic, a staunch opposer of Croatian independence, of Serbian origins and pro-communist Yugoslavia “academic crusader”.  The fact is that the vast majority of Serb “civilians” from Northern Dalmatia and Lika were evacuated with the aid of Serb forces, ignoring Franjo Tudjman’s pleas to remain in Croatia as equal citizens of Croatia (see further my article dated August 4, 2020). Between 4 and 5 August 1995 the evacuation of Serbs from Croatia followed the decision made by the Serb self-proclaimed authorities of the Republic of Serb Krajina Supreme Defence Council, led by its president Milan Martic (convicted in June 2007 to 35 years prison by the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague ICTY for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Croatia) and commander-in-chief of the Serb Army of Krajina (the Serb-occupied part of Croatia) lieutenant general Mile Mrksic (Convicted by ICTY in 2012 to 20 years prison for war crimes, viz murder, torture, inhumane acts in Croatia against Croats). Although the decision to evacuate Croatian areas they had occupied and ethnically cleansed of Croats did not apply to Serb military forces, they nevertheless joined the “civilians” and left the area with them. 

“Croatia, almost ethnically homogeneous as a result of the 1990s violence that drove out many Serbs and members of other minorities,” writes Higgins, leading one to believe that it was Croats who ethnically cleansed the Serbs from their homes in Croatia and the truth is and was the opposite! Indeed, it occurs to a lucid and decent mind that Serbs may well have fled Croatia in 1995, including “civilians”, largely due to fear of vengeance for the horror and crimes they themselves committed there between 1991 and August 1995.  Furthermore, the fact that their evacuation was an order even from Belgrade, Serbia, seems to suggest that Serbia planned well in advance to try and convince the world of a fallacy that Croats ethnically cleansed them! Such an elaborate plan was not beyond Serbia’s propaganda machinery, and it does not seem beyond it today. Annihilation of Croats and Croatia was Serbia’s goal and political platform to which even so-called civilians subscribed. Multitudes of these Serb “civilians” in Croatia (or Bosnia and Herzegovina) cannot truly be considered civilians as per international humanitarian laws but rather non-combatant civilians. Many held convictions of Greater Serbia creation, acted upon them without a gun in their hands, aided the Serb paramilitary, military, and Yugoslav forces in various ways. Many, for example, are held responsible for or actively contributing to the rounding up of their Croatian (and Bosniak/Muslim) neighbours as they were being forcefully taken to concentration camps in Serbia, e.g, Begejci and Sremska Mitrovica ( the ABC TV Australia Award-winning 1995 documentary by journalist Chris Masters, “The Coward’s War”, is a great record of truth on these matters) where they were tortured, starved, raped, humiliated. Had the international criminal tribunal for Former Yugoslavia in the Hague tested and differentiated between groups of so-called civilians to a fuller extent it would have found, I am convinced, an overwhelming Serb “civilian” following and aiding the military aggressor.

Andrew Higgins quotes Warren Zimmerman, US Ambassador to former Yugoslavia, who in 1992 wrote that “Mr. Tudjman’s election as Croatia’s president in May 1990 had brought to power ‘a narrow-minded, crypto-racist regime’ that, in tandem with Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia, was unleashing ‘nationalism, the Balkan killer.” Not a single word here that Croatian people wanted out of the oppressive communist Yugoslavia, they overwhelmingly voted for Franjo Tudjman to lead them into democracy and independence! One simply cannot call a will for democracy and freedom by the name of nationalism, with negative connotations, and get away with it. Especially not in the case of Yugoslavia which was first created in 1918 to benefit the Serbian Monarchy and Croatian parliament never ratified the decision by a few to join Croatia to Serbia and Slovenia and form Yugoslavia (first kingdom and then post WWII totalitarian communist nightmare for most Croats). Higgins, hence, subscribes it seems to a small army of politically twisted and biased people who keep spinning the corrupt idea that it was nationalism that sparked and aided the terrible war of Serb and Yugoslav aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina!  The war occurred because majority of Croats wanted out of communist Yugoslavia and Serbs did not want this. They murdered, tortured, raped, ethnically cleansed, destroyed homes and buildings… in Croatia to try and stop Croatian independence and expand the power of the rotten pursuits to create a Greater Serbia, stealing other people’s territory. Croatia had no option or choice but to defend itself and kick-in its will power for the right to self-preservation. Indeed, nationalism was not responsible for the bloodshed. It was Serb brutal aggression, laced with pursuits to create an ethnically clean Greater Serbia.

Why Andrew Higgins blatantly in this article takes it upon himself to encourage the world to shun and condemn a man – Kevin Spacey – who has so far not been found guilty of sexual abuse entailed in reported allegations against him, or any other crime, can perhaps be answered by any of us who have lived the democracy in which all are innocent until proven guilty. If this article is to serve as any measure of decency towards society, towards democratic rule of law, towards someone who is the subject of criminal allegations but not yet proven guilty then Andrew Higgins appears to gravely lack any decency towards justice and due process to say the least. Andrew Higgins, it appears delights in spreading the awful occurrences where some (even Hollywood!) have written Kevin Spacey off although charges against him have not been tested or proven in a court of law. A large dose of glee, or “schadenfreude” as Germans would put it, in this article is saddening.

It’s difficult to even fathom what went through Andrew Higgins’ mind when he wrote this mean article in which he obviously tries to convince the unsuspecting public that Croatia’s First President Franjo Tudjman’s true image needs “buffing” (i.e., cleaning or polishing). Then, he implies that “buffing” is not likely to happen through the film in which Kevin Spacey plays the role of Tudjman.   

Franjo Tudjman is and has been a popular leader among those that matter, those who wanted Croatia’s freedom and independence, and that was 94% of voters in 1991 independence referendum. As for others, including perhaps Andrew Higgins, no amount of buffing could remove the effects of untruths and half-truths spread about Tudjman have had on some. No, the film with Kevin Spacey is not made to buff Tudjman’s image it was made to present, once again, considering so many lies and untruths being repeatedly spread about Tudjman, the glorious truth of Croatia’s fight and courage for independence!

Contrary to a common narrative whereby politics drives susceptibility to fake news, we are overall as society of the world fortunate with the reality that people are ‘better’ at discerning truth from falsehood when evaluating politically concordant news or published content. This is truly comforting as one trusts that falsehoods and hatred portrayed against Croatia and its 1990’s War of Independence as one finds in this Andrew Higgins article, will mellow in time, and end up in dark corners and abysses where they belong. Ina Vukic

Croatia: Internal Hybrid Warfare Against Freedom From Communism

Among today’s greatest ironies for countries that have since the fall of the Berlin Wall in late  1989 seceded from communism with the intention to transition into democracy, fought a war of independence such as Croatia that cost thousands of lives and untold damage both physical and mental, rare or non-existent is a Croatian politician in power or government since year 2000 who speaks adeptly about the values of the Homeland War which the Croatian nation must uphold above all else, adhere to and, where needed, perfect with view to serving the Croatian people and their friends who fought for freedom in any way and against communist oppression. On the contrary, the very existence of Croatian nation that fought during the 1990’s for its absolute right of self-preservation in the harsh winds of brutal Serb and former Yugoslavia Army aggression is under threat and is constantly being undermined, diminished, and attacked. This is inward hybrid war or hybrid war against own national values and identity. 

This internal aggression in Croatia is particularly visible and felt deeply painfully by masses through the constant vitriol and aggressive bickering between the President of Croatia (Zoran Milanovic) and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and all his government ministers. Plenkovic was embroiled in similar intolerance and lack of collaboration with the former president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic that was and is essential for any successful nation. The governing Croatian Democratic Union in attempts to fend off increasing criticism of its governance or lack of it, has become sarcastic, cynical, and quick to ridicule any criticism or suggestion from the opposition even if it may be a good one for the nation!

Placing fake news with view to ousting political leaders intent on implementing lustration and prosecuting communist crimes perpetrated by former communist Yugoslavia operatives into the public and political arena appears to have been the tool of choice employed by former communist operatives with view to running down and/or destroy the Croatian national pride and maintain a communist Yugoslavia mentality within independent Croatia at all costs. A vivid example of this was the case of false allegations of fraud and misappropriation against HDZ leader Tomislav Karamarko, who wanted lustration and prosecution of communist crimes when he was Minister of Internal Affairs, and his wife in 2016. Fake news, of course, is a potent tool used in hybrid warfare where, in Croatia, political warfare within the related ‘grey zone’ that has seen and sees a terrible fight to retain communist mentality and communist symbolism as something Croatia should be proud of and to run down Croatian fight for independence from any kind of Yugoslavia during World War II and from communist Yugoslavia during 1990’s.

And so, ever since the 1990’s the world has seen innocent Croatian generals falsely accused of war crimes in the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague, initiated and set up by no other that Stjepan Mesic and his followers, last president of communist Yugoslavia and leading politician in Croatia including having a stint at the Presidency for two mandates since year 2000. It took falsely accusing Croatia as aggressor in Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1990’s by not other than former communist Yugoslavia operatives. It took the rotten, biased and pro-communist Yugoslavia Croatian judiciary to mount criminal charges, always unfounded from the perspective of defence and war that had to be fought to preserve Croatian lives, and try in courts prominent Croatian defenders and leading war veterans such as Tomislav Mercep, Branimir Glavas, Mirko Norac, Duro Brodarac, Mihajlo Hrastov, the policemen in Lora in Split, while leading members of the Yugoslav Peoples’ Army and rebel Serb forces, the murderous brutal aggressor against, Croatia went unpunished and untried.

The Croatian Security Agency, SOA, in its report to the Government of the state, the Office of the President of Croatia, the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament (report available to all Croatian people in corridors of power), warned of corruption in the Croatian judiciary in 2016 and identified 20 judges by name as representing a threat to the Croatian national security. But to this day, these judges have not been dismissed; they still wield “justice” in a country whose government vows continuously and repeatedly to be fighting corruption! What does that tell us?

The governments and the country’s Presidents have had their mouths full of praise for the Croatian diaspora and its huge importance to the success of Croatia as an independent state; incessantly calling the diaspora to return! And yet there has not since year 2000 been a single plenary debate in the Croatian Parliament on the diaspora and how to best harness its knowledge and material wealth for the good of all Croatians. On the contrary the parliamentary seats for the diaspora have been cut from 12 to 3! Lately, there are several government-supported boastings about increased number of citizenship applications and expat returns under the current HDZ government. The problem with these boastings is that they omit to compare with numbers from 1980’s and 1990’s when many more returned to Croatia from the diaspora than these days. But, then again, mass disinformation or misinformation or biased information campaigns (and government in Croatia controls the mainstream media) that are aimed as showing a government in a brighter light than what it is or what it truly deserves are a characteristic found in hybrid warfare.

It has been obvious for many years that the goal of both the Croatian government and the office of the President has been and is to cancel the so-called of the Homeland War and to preserve the power borne in communist Yugoslavia that enabled criminal conversion and privatisation in Croatia post break up of communist Yugoslav. Cheap acquisitions of companies and housing were the order of the day when former communists and their friends became wealthy overnight; major banks were sold to foreign countries under non-transparent and suspicious circumstances; corruption and nepotism continued defining Croatia as they did communist Yugoslavia.   

Although the start of this internal aggression took place in wartime circumstances, particularly from around mid-1992 when Stjepan Mesic visibly began abusing his position of power in plots to overthrow President Franjo Tudjman and weaken Croatian resolve for independence from communist Yugoslavia, when the will of the people was incredibly strong for an independent Croatia and Mesic consequently ended up deposed from the position of Speaker of the Parliament in 1994,  the true dimension of that hybrid war and grey zone markings were revealed after the change of government in early 2000. The Socialist Democratic Party/SDP, former League of Communists of Croatia, won government and Stjepan Mesic, by now within his own new political party unconvincingly called Croatian Independent Democrats (HNS), won the Presidency of the country. This was a lethal combination that would see the Croatia’s fight for independence, its defence from Serb and Yugoslav aggression, prostituted and betrayed with false accusations, political twisting of facts to dangerous levels for individual veteran life and the whole nation and a proliferation of communist mentality and symbols assaulting the intellect of even most common folk let alone intellectuals and multitudes that suffered under communism.  Subsequently, the Croatian Democratic Union Party/HDZ government under Ivo Sadaner and Jadranka Kosor, Stjepan Mesic’s puppets and corrupt communist players to the core, intensified this internal aggression which is still so visible and felt under today’s Andrej Plenkovic HDZ Croatian government.

This persistent internal aggression has gained so much momentum in the past decade, when SDP and HDZ government both sought coalition with the Serb aggressor aligned SDSS political party in Croatia, neglecting purposefully values of the Homeland War, apparently in favour of a reconciliation between aggressor Serbs and victim Croats. The most recent example of this shocking government-led hybrid warfare against the values and justice of the Homeland War was the 18 November 2022 Prime Minister Plenkovic’s defiant visit to Skabrnja Massacre commemoration, together with Greater Serbia’s SDSS (Independemt Democratic Serb Party) Deputy Prime Minister Anja Simpraga. Skabranja’s  defense commander during the Serb massacre of Croat civilians and prisoners of war, Marko Miljanic, said as Croatian veterans present at the commemoration turned their backs to Plenkovic and Simpgraga, “We did not fight for this”. Internal aggression is conducted on multiple fronts and in a coordinated institutional and extra-institutional manner. The forced reconciliation without justice for the victims of the Serb aggression that the Croatian government is attempting to achieve is simply not possible nor will it ever be achieved. Justice must be seen to be done and in Croatia with such governments of communist mentality, with fraternising in government with the Croatian peoples’ and national independence enemies, with the now long-standing aggressive moves to equate victim with the aggressor, Croatia is still on a war path for its dignity, for justice, for truth and independence from Yugoslavia. It is meaningless for Simpraga having condemned the Serb perpetrators of Skabrnja massacres, for her to keep saying “We need to move forward, towards peace, tolerance and coexistence of Croats and Serbs” when she does nothing to bring the perpetrators to justice; when she laments over having to flee Croatia as a child in August 1995 without stating that Croats did not make Serbs flee but guilt for their own crimes prior to 1995 Operation Storm that liberated the part of Croatia her kin had ethnically cleansed of Croats and occupied since 1991. Plenkovic, who was relatively unknown to the Croatian public when thrust into HDZ power in 2016, under the influence and control of the leader of the Greater Serbian fifth column, SDSS’s Milorad Pupovac, appears the main proponent of the damaging thesis that a civil war was fought in Croatia during 1990’s as Serb aggression occurred, and not that Croatia was a victim of Greater Serbian aggression by Belgrade! They undermine even the International Criminal Tribunal’s thorough investigation and conclusion that it was an international conflict with Serbia (servant of Yugoslavia) as aggressor. If it was considered a civil war then no Hague prosecutions could have proceeded under the standing laws and Geneva conventions etc.

The HDZ government will often accuse those rightfully criticising them as leading hybrid warfare against Croatia when in fact it is the government who is quite guilty of hybrid warfare. And it uses not the Croatian Serbs who fought alongside Croats to defend Croatia from Serb aggression in 1990’s but those aligned and related to the Serbs who were the aggressors!  Hence, it has almost become necessary to expose the intentions of this internal aggression daily. Regretfully, such exposures do not reach the general public, because the main mainstream television and radio public service is under the strict control of the ruling Croatian-Serbian coalition. We often come across praises for communist Yugoslavia in this mainstream, produced with Croatian taxpayers’ money, but not for the victorious Homeland War that ensured Croatia’s independence. Time for some serious corrective actions when it comes to the smothered Homeland War values in the political and daily life fields in Croatia. Ina Vukic

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