Croatia: Repeat of Serbian Mind-numbing Political Violence

One doesn’t need to think too hard to clearly formulate an answer to the question: what does it say about Serbian society when a convicted war criminal, Vojislav Seselj (and others) is not made an outcast from the country’s political power corridors but is actually helped and promoted to pursue the evil and the hatred that had rather recently resulted in crimes against humanity! It’s a given that the boundaries of tolerance change through history – as do the methods – ostensibly for progress away from mind-numbing fear and violence.  The political violence against sovereign Croatia (sovereignty won and defended amidst the 1990’s brutal Serb aggression) pursued relentlessly by Serbia must not remain unchallenged. Enough is enough.

The political violence is, after all, in the ontology and unbridled spreading of fear in Greater Serbia politics.

With this, there is simply no ground for mutually respectful conversation or reconciliation between Croatia (and Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Serbia. Serbian violent politics must be defeated before any lasting reconciliation could be achieved.

Firstly, at the beginning of April when a Croatian delegation lead by the Speaker of Croatian Parliament, Gordan Jandrokovic, entered Serbia’s Parliament they were met with a tirade of abuse and insults uttered by no other than the convicted war criminal Vojislav Seselj, who despite his war crimes conviction continues to enjoy parliamentary privilege in Serbia as well as continuing at the helm of the ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party. Seselj shouted insults, hatred against Croatian people and abuse at the Croatian official delegation and trampled on a Croatian flag. As any decent being the Croatian delegation turned around and left Serbia to return to Croatia forthwith. But, while Croatian politicians stood their ground in condemning the incident apart from a few criticisms from a few Serbian politicians and the EU of Seselj’s behaviour nothing of substance ensued that would give the world the justified hope that the politically violent maniac Seselj would be removed from the parliament, or his political party – and at least some semblance of neighbourly respect be achieved!

Then came last weekend when Serbia’s defence minister Aleksandar Vulin was all set and sharpened to visit Croatia near Jasenovac to attend a memorial service for victims of WWII. Given the insults and inflammatory anti-Croat bellicose rhetoric Vulin had uttered before at similar memorials and generally in Croatia, and given Seselj’s unsanctioned insults only days before, Croatia refused permission to Vulin to attend the memorial. Vulin response to that was that Serbia’s President and relevant Government Minister are the only ones, not Croatian, who could refuse his entry into Croatia! He blatantly disrespects and disregards Croatia’s sovereignty. Consequently Croatian authorities declared Vulin as persona non grata, not welcome in Croatia.

Instead of dealing with the problem both Seselj and Vulin had created in relations between Croatia and Serbia, on Thursday 26 April Serbia entered into a tit-for-tat response and banned Croatia’s defence minister Damir Krsticevic from Serbia! As part of Serb denial of crimes committed in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1990’s Vulin and other Serbian leaders keep on falsely accusing Croatia of nationalism and neo-fascism; they keep on falsifying the numbers of Serb victims in WWII on Croatia’s territory. This strategically destructive tactic, filled with deception, also serves Serbia “well” in avoiding the acknowledgement of its own WWII history against the Jews and its “Jew-free” status (May 1942), created through extermination of its Jewish population aided and facilitated by the then Prime Minister Milan Nedic.

Many in Croatia see Vulin’s comments and rhetoric as a bid by Belgrade to distract from the behaviour of Serbian ultranationalist leader Vojislav Seselj who trampled on and tried to rip up the Croatian flag and hurled insults at officials visiting from Croatia. The fact that Seselj, among other insults, yelled at the Croatian delegation in Serbia’s parliament calling them Ustashas presents the world not only with the ugly face of irony (as the persons in Croatia’s delegation have no family or personal affiliation with WWII Ustasha movement that fought for Croatia’s independence [from Serb-led Kingdom of Yugoslavia]) but it drives home the ugly and unwanted truth that Serbia’s leadership is much about violent hatred for and vilification of the Croatian nation.

According to Croatian media, some members of the country’s government want its ambassador to be recalled from Belgrade and for it to block Serbia’s membership talks with the European Union. Likewise the opinion prevails in Croatia that talks between Croatia and Serbia should be frozen until Belgrade stops advancing a ‘Greater Serbia’ policy towards Croatia and ejects convicted war criminal Vojislav Seselj from its parliament. Hear hear! Ina Vukic

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