On journalist Domagoj Margetic: Let there be one less idiot in Croatia

When a journalist embarks on a journey to destroy the inherent goodness a nation possesses then we must pay serious attention to that journalist. Not to revere him/her but respond to his/her public allegations in a responsible manner, defending the goodness, free of subjectivism. If we fail to do that then the journalist’s journey sees no opposition, experiences no correction, suffers from falsehoods paved as truth.

Recently, I came across a film clip on Youtube of Croatian investigative journalist Domagoj Margetic appearing on Serbian TV, promoting his new book.

Instead of convincing the public, except perhaps Serbian and pro-Serbian, of the value of his book (and why people should obtain it) Margetic appeared with atrocious propaganda usually heard from the cold mouths of paid political agitators or someone bent on revenge for some nebulous wrong done unto them by everybody, anybody or somebody. He ends his Serbian TV appearance by calling all 4.5 million of Croatians nitwits and idiots.

Since Margetic has not expressly distanced himself from the 4.5 million of Croatians, it follows that he considers himself to be a nitwit and idiot, also.

In this Serbian TV appearance Margetic says the following:

“Our biggest mistake was to break up Yugoslavia”.

“I regret having participated in that breakup.”

“Yugoslavia was truly a European Union before the European Union (existed).”

“If it wasn’t for the breaking up of Yugoslavia, that transitional process, these domestic elitists would not have become rich.”

“In my newest book I want to confront myself and my readers with several key transitional truths: Firstly, there was no homeland, defensive war but an agreed war; Secondly, that we haven’t gained any freedom, because we are not free nor do we know what freedom is nor do we know how to think about freedom let alone live freely…except those who are on the margins and outsiders; Thirdly, the illusion about our big heroes who let’s say fought for our freedom when in fact they’re ordinary mercenaries and war profiteers, criminals … I said in Zagreb at my book promotion who are you celebrating, you celebrate one Ante Gotovina as a national hero, he is a bandit, a man who fled former Yugoslavia into the Foreign Legion … who returned to Croatia not for ideals but for pay, to fight, to profit on the blood, on burnt country and people…Croatia is a country of 4.5 million idiots.”

There’s a strong sense of Margetic using a title of an investigative journalist to mask his personal anger and bitterness (at something or someone) and he seems to be in dire trouble separating his subjective self from what should be an objective address of public issues. Calling all Croatians idiots is a classic symptom of personal anger and bitterness. On the other hand he also clearly portrays the groups that are nostalgic for Communist Yugoslavia, fuelling unrest.

Margetic says in the Serbian TV appearance that his proof of agreements for the war and financial cooperation between Franjo Tudjman (Croatia) and Slobodan Milosevic (Serbia) is contained in the information provided to him in 2007 by Borka Vucic (died in 2009). Vucic was a trusted ally of Milosevic during his decade-long rule in Serbia in the 1990s’. She ran a Serbian bank in Cyprus at the time and allegedly helped the country evade the U.N. sanctions that were imposed on it to punish Milosevic primarily for his actions in Bosnia and Croatia. After Milosevic’s died in 2006 (in ICTY prison in the Hague), Vucic remained a ranking official in his Socialist Party. She served briefly as the parliament speaker in 2007. Margetic mentions that Serbia had shares in Croatian banks, Zagreb bank.

Given the political unrest in Former Yugoslavia, military aggression against Croatia by Serbs, one would expect that anything Borka Vucic would have produced to Margetic would need to pass the professional, independent, scrutiny and assessment by way of  utmost forensic detail (factual and political). I somehow doubt that Margetic had put the information he claims he had obtained under such scrutiny – as journalists should.

He makes blanket statements that the Balkan countries, including Croatia, are ruled by Albanian drug mafia, that drug money is and was laundered throughout …

His comments against general Ante Gotovina also point to the possibility that Margetic is lost in his calling as investigative journalist and should not be appearing in public as one in the matters of Croatian Homeland war. There are millions of Croatians living abroad whose families had fled Communist Yugoslavia – just like Gotovina fled. Many had returned to fight, defending Croatia from Serb aggression while multitudes had donated charitable funds and humanitarian aid whilst still living abroad. It is not a negative personality trait to serve in the French Foreign Legion – as Margetic suggests. If Gotovina received pay as general in Croatia then this is a normal and well-deserved condition of employment in a job which desperately needed to be done. Any objective and respectful journalist, person, would acknowledge that fact.

Margetic has the gall to call Gotovina a bandit and yet Margetic himself has a personal record of criminal convictions that is not insignificant – corporate crime conviction (2002). He was also convicted by ICTY in the Hague for contempt of court – divulging name of protected witness (personally I myself don’t consider this conviction as pointing to a criminal mind as people have a right to know witness identities if such a witness gives testimonies about stately or government affairs); he was reportedly removed from Hrvatsko Slovo weekly allegedly for manipulating the paper’s expenses.

Investigative journalists dig deep and wide into issues they’re reporting on. Often, they uncover corruption and organised crime and this leads to police, criminal prosecutions or public inquiries. At times the investigative journalist will offer their own opinions on matters uncovered, but when it comes to Margetic he does not seem to differentiate between the facts and his personal opinion. He seems to go further and formulate his opinions (based on some discoveries he has made, which may or may not be as black and white as he portrays them to be) into a lynching of the whole nation just because some individuals may have committed a reprehensible act.

While he points his poisoned darts at Croatia’s War of Independence, at Croatian general Ante Gotovina and, therefore, at war veterans for that matter, at Croatian governments or individuals in them, at freedom that according to him does not exist, he jumps into his own mouth freely and publicly stating that there’s no freedom in Croatia.

Go and figure out that one!

There are at least two freedoms in Croatia: freedom to speak garbage like Margetic does and freedom to move out of Croatia and live elsewhere if some other country will have you. Margetic is exercising the former and should he take up the latter form of freedom then there’ll be one less – as he himself puts it – idiot in Croatia. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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