The Perils Of Enemy Of The People Climbing Into Croatia’s New Government

 

While getting relatively most seats as single party, Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ did not get enough votes in recent General Elections in Croatia on 5th July 2020 to form a majority government. It will need coalition with other parties.

Touting on Croatia’s streets and media that the composition of the new government could include a former rebel Serb whose immediate family, if not he himself, participated in ethnic cleansing and murder of Croats during the Homeland War, is generating increasing bitterness and despair among people such as the one were Israel of today to appoint a high-ranking WWII Nazi official as one of its deputy Prime Ministers. Certainly, any Croatian Prime Minister’s plan for the appointment of Milorad Pupovac as one of the deputy Prime Ministers would push a large number of Croatians to the brink of despair and there is no telling which way that would evolve if Andrej Plenkovic embarks on that path in the composition of his new government. Would it set off a higher than the usual high number of people leaving Croatia, or would it trigger massive unrests? Milorad Pupovac has stated publicly a couple of days ago that candidature for a high position (such as deputy Prime Minister) in Croatia’s government would be discussed in his Serbian party room early next week; indications are that it could also be his condition for forming part of the coalition of the new HDZ minority government.

Milorad Pupovac has been re-elected into the parliament by his Serbian minority under the Croatian electoral laws that permit an ethnic minority representative win seats with barely a couple of hundred votes! There are 8 seats in the Croatian Parliament reserved for ethnic minorities! It’s no secret that Pupovac’s seat in the parliament has always been the subject of condemnation and strong opposition with the Croatian population. Essentially because he works against Croatian people and the truth.

Indeed, it is no secret that the leader of the Serb minority community in Croatia went to his village of Ceranje Donje near Benkovac during the 1990’s war of Serb aggression against Croatia and during Serb occupation of Croatian territory, which the Chetniks (Serbs) kept under control after ethnically cleansing all Croatians and other non-Serbs from that region of Croatia. Pupovac’s brother Vojislav was a member of the murderous Serbian paramilitary forces in Croatia, and his other brother Mladen wasn’t far behind. There have also been testimonies and conclusions in the Croatian media over time that Milorad joined his brothers and rebel Serbs in Croatia in the armed aggression against Croatian people.

Justifiably, serious concerns and disapproval by people regarding any possibility of appointing of Milorad Pupovac as deputy Prime Minister is a warning of sorts that increased conflicts about the values and goals set in the Homeland War are likely to erupt even more in the not so distant future.  It is almost unfathomable why a government that is supposed to serve the values cemented in the foundations od the state’s very existence would actually take the road of purposeful insult against its own people. Yes, appointing Milorad Pupovac as deputy Prime Minister

  • would be a deliberate and ultimate insult against Croatian people who fought off the Serb aggressor in the 1990’s;
  • it would be a deliberate insult against the thousands killed during the war;
  • it would be a deliberate insult against hundreds of thousands of Croats ethnically cleansed from their homes and sent on a road of torture, rape and murder;
  • it would be a deliberate insult against the enormous material damage done to Croatia by the Serbian aggressor;
  • it would be a deliberate insult against independence Croatians paid for with life and blood;
  • it would be a deliberate insult against facts of history of Croatian suffering;
  • it would be a deliberate insult against common sense and human decency and dignity;
  • it would be a deliberate insult against the human right of self-preservation;
  • it would be a deliberate insult to me personally and, I am certain, to millions of others.

And, at the end of the day if, by any chance, an excuse for such deputy-primeminstership appointment is claimed within the bounds of reconciliation then that excuse would be nothing short of a lie! One cannot achieve reconciliation by inflicting pain upon subjects of such reconciliation. Offenders against Croatia’s independence and its people and their representatives must be brought to suffer for their wrongdoing and not rewarded! How can Croatia ever even hope to achieve the sought result of Serbia and Serbs paying compensation for war damages to Croatia and its people if its government places a representative of those who perpetrated the damage almost at the helm of its government!?

Reconciliation requires that facts must be faced, nor avoided. Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic is and has been avoiding the facts of Serb aggression against Croatia in 1990’s in many instances. The fundamental truth of the stories of those in Croatia who were murdered, who were raped, who were tortured and placed into torture camps, who were ethnically cleansed and banished from their homes and their pain, cannot be denied.

Reconciliation requires accessibility to records and all state archives. This is not done in Croatia. Reconciliation requires culturally appropriate healing, and this is not being done in Croatia. Reconciliation requires placing the victim of aggression at the forefront of politics and human rights, and this is not being done in Croatia. Indeed, if Croatia’s new government appoints Milorad Pupovac as deputy Prime Minister it would make yet another abominable step in trying to water down the brutal aggression against Croatian people and deny the victims the human right to justice.

Ultimately, reconciliation is about bringing in justice and there is no justice in appointing and active anti-Croat such as Pupovac as a member of executive government of Croatia.

Among the communist left, there is a common tendency to see fascism within every manifestation of nationalism or patriotism. Indeed, the very Milorad Pupovac has constantly labelled all patriotic Croatians as fascists or Ustashe! The fact that he himself stood behind and is aligned with Serb Chetniks does not seem to bat an eyelid of the present Croatian government nor any government reeled in since Dr Franjo Tudjman’s death in late 1999. In right-wing circles, in contrast, “fascism” is a curse that is to be evaded, a kind of persistent suspicion that must be rebuffed – as exemplified by their much-portrayed image and desire for a full democracy, for lustration, and national identity that would stand by its people through thick and thin.

Croatia’s, the nation’s, values are being eroded by former communists, by universal liberal tenets and by “foreign” influences, including those within the European Union. The British fought for retention of national values by voting for Brexit; I hope that Croatians will have the strength and determination to fight off this prostitution of national values as is entertained by some with the very notion that Pupovac could have a role in the executive government.

It’s very possible that the constant sense of crisis in which the Croatian political consciousness has been immersed for two decades, hinders the creation of a feeling of a single, sharp and acute crisis that would spur or incite the masses into action for needed change. The ongoing state of emergency in economic downfall, in the continual degradation of Homeland War veterans who brought independence, the ongoing belittling of Homeland War values, the ongoing corruption and nepotism and clientelism akin to former communist Yugoslavia, the ongoing denial of basic rights such as voting to the massive diaspora … dulls the sting of urgency:

When “bombs” slam regularly into parts of the country’s existence, they too become routine, albeit a lethal routine.

In parallel, Croatia’s political and legal institutions have also undergone further erosion as former communists continue holding key positions. If bringing a rebel Serb, such as Milorad Pupovac, around the table of executive government doesn’t bring the sting of urgency to save the Croatian people from the pit of hand-to-mouth existence – nothing will! The reality is that for most Croatians in Croatia there is hardly enough food or money to live on, hence tens of thousands leave the country each year. The government is about to blame Covid-19, coronavirus, for all the country’s perils; why else would it appoint dr Vili Beros, the leading personality in the build-up of public coronavirus panic since February this year, who was relatively unknown before that, as new Health Minister!

We can argue all we want about the appropriate role of government in the economy, but the outcome will be determined in the political sphere, not the intellectual one. And the political reality in Croatia is that while some voters (at 2020 general elections only about 17.5% of voters voted HDZ in as leading party to form new government) appreciate what governments do for them, they generally feel that public policies are beholden to powerful special interests. And they are not wrong – concentrated interests are powerful and do dominate much policymaking. Those concentrated interest groups in Croatia revolve around former communists; those who help corruption and theft, clientelism, thrive! And now, if Milorad Pupovac enters as deputy Prime Minister, added to that we can, regretfully, be certain that these interest groups are not only about holding on tight to communist mindset but also about degrading and terminally running into the ground those groups who fought for, suffered for, sacrificed for the independence of Croatia from communist Yugoslavia.

To top the insult against the Croatian people, the very people Pupovac and his Serbs attacked viciously in 1990 with the aim of wiping them off their very own lands, said a couple of days for the Croatian media that “he wants to be an equal partner in the Croatian government”! The audacity and disrespect of that man is repugnant! He or any other enemy cannot be equal partner in the government that arose from bloodied ashes of Serb aggression against Croatia. Croatian people were not aggressors they were victims of Serb aggression! Ina Vukic

Croatia: 5 June 1991 – historic day to remember!

City of Split – 5 June 1991 demonstrations against Yugoslav Peoples Army

5 June 1991: City of Split demonstrated against Yugoslav Peoples Army and terrible Greater Serbia tendencies.

On this historic day, after many days of the siege of village Kijevo (near Knin) and the massacre of Croatian policemen in Borovo selo, embittered residents of Split came out in their masses – unarmed,  they confronted one of the strongest formations of the Yugoslav army, had sniper barrels pointed at them but, despite all the threat to their lives, showed their strong resolve to choose an independent Croatia.

The scene in which an unarmed resident of the city of Split takes Yugoslav Peoples Army’s tank, bashes and belts its exterior, and another in front of the building of the Naval command filled with soldiers, raises the Croatian flag, stands as  witness to the great courage of ordinary Croatian people.

Transcript of  News video recording of the event:

After rebel Serbs had for several days held the Croatian village Kijevo (near Knin) in a blockade and prevented supplies to the hospital in Vrlika, Split rose to its feet, distressed by constant threats and provocation by self-proclaimed sheriff of Knin, Milan Martic, and the relations of the Yugoslav Peoples Army (JNA) with the rebels, the residents of city of Split came out into the streets.

Everything started about 10 o’clock when rivers of workers headed to the Split wharf and the Yugoslav Military Navy Administration building. Many citizens soon joined the protest. 

 They demanded that the Army takes a clear position towards the extremists and Martic’s outlaws. That is, the federal secretariat of defence arbitrarily raised combat readiness of JNA and executed mobilization, not waiting for the decision from the Presidency of SFRJ (Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia). 

 These commands, under the pretense of neutrality increasingly and openly placed themselves on the side of rebel Serbs.  Unfortunately when tanks threatened the demonstrators chaos arose and gunfire ensued in which a soldier of Macedonian nationality was killed. Another soldier and a woman were wounded. 

The Split mayor Onesin Cvitan appealed to the masses of 50,000 demonstrators to settle down, emphasizing that there were many inserted provocateurs and only one fired bullet could lead to bloodbath. The president Franjo Tudjman called for the cessation of the rally as, he said, at that moment the rally did not serve Croatia but only its enemy. Nevertheless the Split demonstrations clearly showed the mood of Croatian people in Dalmatia and their resolve to oppose the Greater Serbia tendencies”.

Many of Split’s residents taking part in the demonstrations against the Yugoslav Army were arrested, beaten… by the Yugoslav government security forces. One may well say that the 5 June 1991 protest against the rising, distressing, Serb rebel threats to the new Croatian democracy and independence stays in memory as a stark reminder of how very courageous the Croatian ordinary people were in their path to freedom. And, I’ll say it once more: To march at armed tanks with only ones bare hands, while snipers stare down at you is truly courageous. Only utter desperation for freedom and selfless love for ones country can explain such courage. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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