The Vomit Principle in Serbia’s Political Spin

 

The “Vomit Principle” in modern marketing trends hasn’t eluded Serbia’s politicians. The vomit principle is a political tactic that wilfully disgusts people in order to grab their attention. When it comes to Serbia’s denial of its horrendous crimes in its pursuits of a Greater Serbia, stretching into Croatian territory and the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1990’s, then it has almost perfected the “art” of the “Vomit Principle”.  Serbia’s politicians, whether in Serbia (for example Aleksandar Vucic, Ana Brnabic, Ivica Dacic) or in Croatia (for example Milorad Pupovac, Boris Milosevic) or in Bosnia and Herzegovina (for example Milorad Dodik) are sticking to their marketing message, sprouting their their passively-aggressive slogans and genocide denials ad nauseam. You’d think they’d get sick of saying the same thing at every turn. And if by any chance, you are asking why I’m putting Serbs from Serbia, Serbs from Croatia and Serbs from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the same cauldron here it’s because both Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina had ethnic Serbs living there who emerged as rebel Serbs (rebelling against the states’ secession from communist Yugoslavia), mounted terror against non-Serbs in those two countries, and were joined in that fight by Serbia with its deadly viciousness. If Croatia’s minority government had the courage and prudence to side with the Croatian Serbs that fought with Croatians against Serb aggression (and there was a significant number of them) we would surely now be looking at a different political scenario, perhaps even at a good progress in reconciliation. But it didn’t and it doesn’t! It sides with Croatian rebel Serb camp that promotes Serbia’s politics in Croatia.

No matter how many times they repeat their spin based on fabrications, there will always be someone who has missed it.  So, repetition is essential to the point of making people feel sick. This is the “Vomit Principle” and it shows particularly at that time when you realise that the spin, the message, the slogan, has been said so many times that you feel that if you hear it or say it once more you are just going to throw up and that is the point at which people hear it. In other words, all marketing that achieves intended results relies on a message which resonates, repeated often enough until it penetrates the minds of your intended audience and gets them to take whatever action you want.

And Serbia wants the world to forget that its aggression against Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina ever occurred! That the genocide, the ethnic cleansing, the mass rapes, the torture, the sheer wanton destruction it committed during 1990’s did not occur and if it did occur then it was justified to pursue such course of action because Serbs say in deceit that Croatia, for example, engaged in genocide during World War II. I will not go deeply here into the fact that WWII history regarding Croatia when it comes to, say, Jasenovac camp and the numbers of people who perished there, was largely fraudulently written by Serbs and other communists and, judging by relatively recent research into WWII, it does not represent the true picture, or actual facts. I will not go deeply here into the fact that, for example, Serbia (its leaders of the 1990’s aggression) were convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague of genocide in Croatia, and Croatia was not.

Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic took part in a commemoration ceremony Tuesday, 4 August 2020 in Sremska Raca near the borders with Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The ceremony marked the day when, in 1995, the Croatian military’s Operation Storm, which marked the end of the war for Croatia’s independence from communist Yugoslavia and was organised by official Serbia in remembrance of the Serbian victims and refugees.

We will not celebrate the tragedy of the Serbian people, the killing of Serb civilians, the killing of the Serb children. We will not be humiliated,” Vucic said at the commemoration in Sremska Raca. “Reconciliation, yes. Humiliation — no,” said Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic!

Knowing the fact that there are no known civilian victims during Croatia’s Operation Storm on 4th and 5th August 1995 and that the exodus of some 200,000 of Serbs from Croatia at the time was actually an ordered evacuation that was directed by Serbia itself puts a bitter taste and outrage to these words uttered by Vucic, yet another of many times!

Then, at around the same time, Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, regurgitated Vucic’s vomit against Croatia.  “We want reconciliation, peace, we do not ask you to apologise, admit the genocide in Jasenovac, but we want you to let us mourn that day or those days. We want reconciliation, but not humiliation, which we will not agree to.”

Serbia continues pressuring Croatia to admit to genocide it did not perpetrate in WWII against Serbs in order to continue denying the genocide it, itself, perpetrated in 1990’s in both Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina! The gut-wrenching thing in all this is that pro-communist Yugoslavia political/government leadership of Croatia does nothing to alert the world not to succumb to the nausea infecting the world from Serbia. Even, if that leadership or government of Croatia is in coalition with the Serb activists in Croatia in order to sustain its minority government, it has no right to keep silent in the face of continued barrage of lies and denials of the 1990’s murderous aggression coming from Serbia!

Whether Serbia’s usage of the “Vomit Principle” strategy in its politics to wash away its 1990’s mortal sins against the Croatian people, as if they were never willfully committed, will force Croatian current leadership to further compromise the absolute need of Croatia to defend itself from the murderous Serb aggression is yet to be seen. According to some media sources Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Barnabic has even during the past week “told” Croatia to stop using the term “Serbo-Chetnik aggression” when it comes to Croatia’s Homeland War! Will Serbia’s use of the “Vomit Principle” force a reconciliation founded on the cruel equalisation of the victim with the aggressor? It’s certainly heading that way it seems and it spells no blissful future that depends on truth; it spells a long painful future of unrest among the Croatian people, for certain.

Let’s take a look at what is evidently standing behind Serbia’s leadership’s words – behind what Vucic and Brnabic are saying. In terms of psychology Vucic’s and Brnabic’s, indeed of all Serbia’s leading politicians of decades past, telling lies and pointing fingers at others especially for unrelated acts (for example WWII) has evidently become a way not to admit that which makes them feel ashamed and they do not want to be judged for crimes Serbia has perpetrated. Serbia should be ashamed of its aggression against Croatian people who wanted out of communist Yugoslavia, which, by the way, Serbs controlled to a large extent. Then, of course, the relatively recent trends in historical research into facts of WWII Croatia have revealed several crucial facts regarding WWII Jasenovac and regarding Blessed Alojzije Stepinac that cause anxiety and panic among Serbs who had participated in writing the history of WWII Croatia, based on lies and cruel fabrications. There is the extensive research by American dr Esther Gitman on the rescue and survival of Jews in WWII Croatia which point to the fact that there were Croats, including Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, who made it their task to rescue Jews and others, but still, after WWII Serbs led the persecution against Blessed Alojzije Stepinac with trumped-up charges of Nazi collaboration. Then, British dr Robin Harris published also a biography of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, based on similar facts. But, wouldn’t you know it (!), Serbia has recently placed Israeli historian Gideon Greif on its payroll and Serbia’s lies get new reinforcement.

Historical archives being open after Croatia seceded from communist Yugoslavia in the 1990’s has enabled historians to delve into researching the history of Jasenovac camp. The results that are emerging from this research give a significantly different picture of WWII Jasenovac. This picture based on discovered documentation is definitely set to throw the false picture Serbs and their allies painted into garbage; onto the heap of human misery and deceit. Serbs and their allies have already maliciously dubbed this research as “Holocaust denial” and “Historical Revisionism”! Some notable researchers into WWII Jasenovac camp have been Blanka M. Matkovic, Igor Vukic, Vladimir Horvat and Stipo Pilic, to name just a few. They all point one to the fact that the myth about WWII Jasenovac camp was a cruel myth devised to prop-up the oppressive communist Yugoslavia regime and the Serb determination to cover up their own terrible participation in the WWII extermination of Jews and their hatred for any kind of independent Croatia.

And so, it has surfaced relatively recently that the myth of Croatian genocide against Serbs in WWII is based on lies and fabrication – and this feeds Serbia’s “Vomit Principle” with ammunition made up of lies. Associated with this principle are Croatian Serbs’, who were directly or sideways associated with the rebel Serb faction in 1990’s Croatia (Such as Milorad Pupovac and Boris Milosevic), constant attempts to characterise the “For Homeland Ready” (Za Dom Spremni) Croatian salute, used for centuries as a mark of patriotic love, as a salute that promotes a genocidal character of Croatian fight for independence! Serb aggression and the need for Croats to preserve their lives amidst the brutal aggression means nothing in their warped minds. They lived in Croatia as the 19990’s war of aggression arose, they live in Croatia today and yet they are activists for Serbia’s anti-Croatian politics!  And with this, they all call for a future that is threaded together by peace and reconciliation between Croatia and Serbia!

Surely, Serbia’s use of the “Vomit Principle” cannot possibly succeed in achieving reconciliation because that would mean that Croatia has finally cowered to the pressure of liars and aggressors and that, in no small ways, spells out yet another myth Serbia has managed to forge and place on the world’s stage! To the detriment of humanity and truth! Ina Vukic

 

Victims Of Post-WWII Communist Crimes Remembered At Jasenovac

Some of the participants
at Jasenovac 1st May 2017
commemorating post-WWII
victims of communist crimes at Jasenovac
Photo: Oskar Sarunic

 

In October 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution gave birth to the deadliest ideology in human history – Communism. That disease spread like wildfire. To date Communism has claimed more than 100 million lives worldwide and to quote Nigel Jones : “The 20th century witnessed death and slaughter on an unprecedented scale…Josip Broz Tito’s (described as belonging to the top 20 mass murderers of the 20th century) communist regime murdered some 570,000 political opponents…” and this figure does not account for family members, women and children that stack up a murderous toll. According to the world renowned academic and scientist R.J. Rummel, the democide committed by Tito’s communist regime after WWII amounts to 1,380,000 people (with the population of around 18 million at the time this figure is staggering).

Croat victims make up more than 500,000 within this number.

 

A free and independent Croatia cannot afford to forget the evils of Communism even if its former communists and todays so-called antifascists fiercely disagree. Tito’s atrocities cannot be allowed to fade into the background of history. The trail of blood and tears this utopian deception has left behind must not be forgotten.

 

It is a great moral failing that so many do not know the extent of Communism’s atrocities and an even greater moral failing that so many do their utmost to uphold and spread that moral failing. All the numerous commemorations held at hundreds of mass graves and pits filled with hundreds of thousands of victims of communist crimes have not moved Croatia’s authorities to seriously pursue condemnation and prosecution of these crimes; it’s as though the victims of communist crimes do not deserve the same dignity of justice offered to the victims of the Holocaust.

An atrocity of its own kind!

And so, to commemorate the victims of post-WWII communist crimes in Croatia at the same site where the gigantic flower-shaped monument to victims of what is known as the Holocaust – Jasenovac – would be an event that, sadly, makes many people turn the other way, shaking their heads in disapproval. The same denial is found in all former communist countries of Europe. One might well ask but why such cruelty (?) – victims are victims and all deserve the dignity of respect and remembrance.

Numerous academic works and historical facts point to the reality that Jasenovac camp was kept in “working order” by communist Yugoslavia authorities for the purposes of purging the Croats (and others) until 1952. Attempts to dig up the grounds around Jasenovac WWII campsite with view to researching the truth about the identity of victims’ remains have fallen on deaf ears repeatedly, or better said – hit the wall of resistance to the truth. In recent years there have been numerous fierce discussions about the future historical and cultural memory of the expanded Europe. The most controversially discussed areas were those pertaining to the history of formerly communist-ruled countries. Conflicts about memories and memorialisation were primarily ignited by the differing national perceptions of historical events and the evaluation of these events in the 20th century. The discussions focused on those states in which the assessment and treatment of national-socialist and communist crimes did not accord with the expectations and standards, which had developed over the previous decades in Western Europe, particularly in the Federal Republic of Germany.

The point was, and is, not merely which historical events should be remembered and how they will be, or rather should be, commemorated. How these historical events should be perceived and how they should be integrated into the respective national or transnational historical narratives were likewise a matter of heated debate. Discussions focused on the status accorded to particular historical events, their representation and memorialisation, compared to other historical events. The prominence given to the memorialisation of national-socialist crimes was/is hotly debated.

These discussions focus on the memorial cultures which have begun to develop in the formerly Soviet-dominated post-socialist nations of Central and Eastern Europe – nations which, during the course of the 20th century, were the site of crimes committed by those two big totalitarian systems: national-socialism and communism. In Croatia, bar few courageous individuals, the discussion regarding communist crimes is nowhere near to what they publically are in countries of Eastern Europe, and one cannot err in concluding that the fake antifascists, communist at heart, are responsible for such an atrocity against humanity that is reflected in a planned path of erasing a nation’s memory of those terrible communist crimes. The antifascists pursue that the authoritarian, repressive communist regime, which persecuted persons or groups for political, religious and/or ethnic reasons, would recede from view behind these memories.

But one fact and truth remain: memorialisation of events serves to promote the identity of a nation and is accompanied by a comprehensive externalisation of moral guilt and responsibility. In this lies the absolute responsibility and duty of today’s Croatia to face its past demons of communism and its crimes head on.

 

To some, an event that was organised Monday 1st May at Jasenovac may appear relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of things happening or not happening in Croatia regarding holding the nation’s attention focused on communist crimes.

 

But make no mistake – the event is significant!

 

It was as recent as late April when Jasenovac saw three separate commemorative gatherings to honour the victims of WWII Holocaust. The victims of communist crimes whose remains also lie buried in that soil were completely forgotten, ignored and denied. And so, on 1st May a special commemoration was held at Jasenovac for the victims of communist crimes at that very site. Croatian government, sadly and in line with its political and practical reluctance to determinedly address the issues pertaining to communist crimes, played no part in this neither did the opposition – out of the same reasons as the government’s.

The 1st May event in Jasenovac was held to commemorate all the victims that fell in Jasenovac by the partisan and communist hand after the end of WWII, i.e., after 1945. Present at the commemoration were Zeljko Glasnovic, independent member of Croatian parliament, Bozidar Alic, Croatian people’s tribune, Zorica Greguric, president of Association of Zagreb veterans in the 1990’s battle for Vukovar, Mirna Zakman Sunic, a political prisoner in communist prisons, Stipo Pilic, a historian, dr. Tomislav Sunic, writer, translator and former university professor in the USA, Zeljko Koroman, president of state-building forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, representatives of Pure Croatian Party of Right from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ivan Pandza, former president of HVIDR (community of Croatian army Homeland War invalids), and others.

 

Prayers, the laying down of flowers and the lighting of candles for all the innocent victims murdered there in Jasenovac: Croats, Germans, Roma, Jews and Serbs, along with speeches and a cultural performance were the order of the day in Jasenovac on 1st May. This is hopefully the first of such events at Jasenovac where all the victims – those that perished during WWII and those that perished after it – are commemorated and their dignity uplifted there where it should be. Victims of communist crimes are thus bestowed the place in the terrible history that is rightly theirs – a place in lasting memory. Ina Vukic

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