Croatia: Shammed Democracy – Persons With Military Background Cannot Have Opinion

Croatian Assembly of Generals meets  Photo: Sanjin Strukic/Pixsell

Croatian Assembly of Generals meets Photo: Sanjin Strukic/Pixsell

For many citizens it landed like a much needed balm of good and promising prospects of advancement to the shattered state of political confusion, lack of clarity and direction as to national interests and the seething economic hopelessness the Croatian nation has been suffering in a crescendo for at least a decade – about to reach boiling point. For the government and its supporters (including many media outlets) it landed like a bomb out of nowhere.

48 Generals from the Croatian Assembly of Generals (largely forcefully retired by former President Stjepan Mesic) met Saturday 2 March in Zagreb to do what needs to be done: look at what’s happening in Croatia and come out with some expectations, some standards expected from the government in order to protest and advance interests of Croatia and its people.

The fact that 48 Generals met signifies very strongly that, indeed, all things are not right. Croatian HRT TV writes that some had labelled this meeting as “a state of internal aggression“!

The Generals among other things came out with concerns regarding the official number of Serbs in Vukovar as propagated by the government to be adequate in order to apply the law regarding bilingualism in the area. In relation to the Generals’ meeting it’s been stated that there are some 20 – 30 people registered as residents at one house address – blatantly obvious abuse of the law and the government does not seem to be wanting to review the fake census figures upon which it says it will base its introduction of the Cyrillic language in Vukovar. The Generals also emphasised that they will not permit the government to sell off Croatian lands, water sources … to foreigners through its Strategic investments proposal, which had recently caused a great deal of distress among the general population of Croatia.

This seemingly sudden and decisive step by the Croatian Assembly of Generals alarmed the government and its supporters (including much of media outlets) and the resulting out pours could easily be summed up as scrambling, laughable panic of Bolsheviks.

Evidently shielding his government from further derogatory criticisms that point to incompetence – of which it has had more than plenty in the last year, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Predrag Matic, topped his own usually subterfuge and inconsiderate self. He actually stood up before the media and, sourpuss straight faced, blurted out his: “Where have they been these past 20 years“! (Referring to the Generals, of course)

Can you believe this garbage!?

Well, for starters, the generals had, like most citizens, more than likely spent the years after the war allowing the governments to develop, further and set in place the goal that, at the beginning of 1990’s,  94% of Croatian voters set for themselves. That goal was to secede from communist Yugoslavia and develop a society of democratic freedom and order. Thousands of Croatians lost their lives for that goal; all of the Generals and war veterans placed their lives at risk and at disposal for that goal.

It is only too right and expected of those who placed their lives at risk for the goal of independent and democratically prosperous Croatia to question what government have done or are doing in ensuring that focus is kept on the goal. But not only that, they have that same right as citizens who voted at the referendum about secession and democracy.

As things go in life, sadly, when you have a bunch of would-be-antifascists like Croatia’s former President Stjepan Mesic, Croatia’s current President Ivo Josipovic, Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Josip Leko pandering to also would-be-antifascist minister Matic’s vomit against the Generals’ meeting, then it becomes crystal clear that such meetings are absolutely necessary in order to return to Croatia at least some semblance of democratic freedom of expression the society enjoyed during dr Franjo Tudjman’s era; to return to the point where the door to furthering democracy in Croatia was shut and almost bolted when the politically repulsive character by the name of Stjepan Mesic weaseled his way to the top and – start again with a political heart that is truly and in earnest democratic (not some hybrid of communist resistance to change).

Mesic’s criticism of the Generals’ meeting was : “ a country where there’s rule of law, it’s not normal for generals to participate in some special political options“.

President Ivo Josipovic said that “Croatian Assembly of Generals brings Organisations such as Croatian Assembly of Generals, in democratic countries, have as their main task the preservation of military traditions and the support of the system of defence… but, entering into daily politics brings two dangers: firstly, the danger to the organisation itself – generals differ in their personal political thinking and this will cause its disintegration and neglect of its main task. Secondly, an organisation, although part of civil society, whose connotations are military, brings about unpleasant associations with militarisation of politics...”

Can you believe this garbage!?

The Generals’ had risked their lives for free and democratic Croatia, they are citizens of the democratic Croatia and yet, if they have and express an opinion about what the government is doing and how things could be changed for the better – they’re causing unpleasantness! Heck, they don’t have the right to say anything about the country’s government and situation, even though that country is their home and they are its citizens like any other!

It would seem that neither Mesic nor Josipovic have the will to enlighten the nation that one can indeed separate one’s career from one’s duties as ordinary citizens.

The Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, Josip Leko, said that “in a democratic society and country everyone has the right to their own opinion, to criticise, and there are no problems when we look at it that way. The problem arises when an organisation of generals arises, the connotation is entirely different in that situation. I would not want the generals to judge about the political options“.

Can you believe this garbage!?

Can the situation regarding who can and who cannot express an opinion about the government be placed on the right tracks in Croatia, I wonder? It’s still stuck in times of former Yugoslavia when only those chosen by the government could form and express opinions about the life in the country, about the state of the nation.

I wonder if this would-be-antifascist lot are aware of the fact that, from George Washington to Barrack Obama, the majority of U.S. Presidents came into office as Veterans – 32 out of 44, in fact, had active military background when they entered the Office of the President.  No need to emphasise here that a similar situation with persons of military background being actively involved in the political life of their country is found in many democracies.

Stjepan Mesic, Ivo Sanader, Josip Leko, Predrag Matic can rest assured that what the Croatian Assembly of Generals is doing – is very normal for democracy and what they themselves are saying, is not normal for democracy. Am not at all surprised at such distortion of democratic normality by the Croatian political “leaders” – after all, some of them and their “lapdogs” were the ones who undoubtedly derailed the 1990’s plan to build and develop in an organised way the democracy in independent Croatia. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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