Egg on Tim Judah’s and BBC’s faces – pursuing the truth of Franjo Tudjman

Regardless of the fact that BBC (with Tim Judah’s help?) changed the wording in the relevant part of Tim Judah’s article “Croatia: From isolation to EU Membership” there is still egg on Judah’s and BBC’s faces.

You simply cannot cover-up the fact that you’ve written lies by qualifying them – or adding adjectives and other embellishments – in the second edition of the same article.  The fact that you have published lies still remains – particularly in the case when your original lies reached many people. You are much better off apologising (in a prominent place) for the lies published in the first instance. But, sadly, it would seem that an apology regarding lies published about Franjo Tudjman (23 April 2013) by Judah and BBC would be unbearable for them (?), even if it is the right thing to do; the only thing to do in order to save face and, in order to correct the wrong done.

Indeed, if an apology followed for publishing lies, the public might question the veracity of anything else Tim Judah or BBC might have published about Franjo Tudjman (?).

In the article by Tim Judah published on 23 April 2013, Judah wrote:

Mr Sanader also brought Serbs into his government, something unimaginable in the Tudjman years.

Tim Judah BBC article original edition 23 April 2013

Tim Judah BBC article original edition 23 April 2013

I complained to the BBC that this did not reflect the truth and that, in fact, there were Serbs in the Croatian government and parliament etc during the times of Tudjman; I gave a couple of examples.

On the 26 April 2013 Tim Judah/BBC change the above sentence to:

Mr Sanader also brought Serbs with political credibility and clout into his government, something unimaginable in the Tudjman years”.

Tim Judah BBC article edited version 26 April 2013

Tim Judah BBC article edited version 26 April 2013

The facts are that during the times of Franjo Tudjman there were several Serbs either in the Croatian government, in the parliament, or serving as special advisers to Franjo Tudjman. They include the following persons: Srecko Bijelic, Milan Djukic, Zivko Juzbasic and Djordje Pribicevic.

We can, therefore, conclude that these Croatian Serbs have no political credibility or clout as far as Judah and BBC are concerned!

How pathetic is this!

For the sake of avoiding admission of having told a lie about Tudjman, Tim Judah now takes it upon himself to tell the world that Serbs in Croatian Government during the times of Tudjman were not “politically credible” Serbs, without offering the list of politically credible ones! The problem here is also in this: given the times of Tudjman years, who were the politically credible Serbs in Croatia? Whose politics did they subscribe to? Serbia’s or Croatia’s?

So, I ask myself: who among the Croatian Serbs should have been in the Croatian government, parliament, etc. during the times of Tudjman, while Serb aggression (which included rebel Croatian Serbs) lasted over Croatia?

Should that have been someone from the Serb rebel forces? A Serb nationalist? Would Judah and BBC be happy with that? Would they then stop calling Tudjman a nationalist, as if nationalism is some kind of plague nations should steer away from – all the while nationalism is revered as the highest form of patriotism in their own countries?

It is to be noted that, in the same article, Judah, writes: “Tudjman was not just a nationalist but an authoritarian leader. By the time of his death in 1999 the country was internationally isolated. With the exception of the leaders of a few neighbouring countries, the president of Turkey was the only foreign statesman to show up to his funeral”.

With writers such as Judah in this article, no wonder Croatia was seen as some as internationally isolated and no wonder so few international leaders were at his funeral! But never mind – there were many Croatians at his funeral, and that is what makes his funeral a grand affair, for his people loved him. That is what matters the most – with the people who loved him, Tudjman created the independent Croatia, which commenced then its path to EU membership, albeit at that stage EU membership was only a dream, an aspiration.

But let’s hope truth will surface sooner or later and the world will see that Franjo Tudjman and the Croatian governments of his time were committed to human rights and the rights of ethnic minorities. In December 1991 the Croatian Parliament strengthened the law in relation to ethnic minorities, granting local police, courts and governments to Serbs in those areas in which they were a majority.

These granted Serbs and other national minorities full protection of human rights, guaranteed proportional representation in government, the right to self-government, and protection from any attempts of forced assimilation. It further encouraged individuals and organizations to appeal to international bodies to secure these protections.

Ironically, Serbs in Croatia have never needed these provisions. It was the Croatians, Bosnians and Kosovo’ s Albanian majority who would appeal to the European Community, the United Nations, the International League for Human Rights, Helsinki Watch, Amnesty International and other international bodies for protection from the Serbian minority and the Serbian controlled Army”. (C. Michael McAdams: Croatia – Myth & Reality)

At the end of the day Tim Judah told a lie and BBC published it and then covered it up two or three days later as if nothing had happened of that sort! To my knowledge, no professionally credible person or organization would do that and expect that the world will go on as if nothing happened. There is after all political and professional credibility associated with that. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


Sick and Tired of BBC Perversions

Franjo Tudjman   Photo:

Franjo Tudjman Photo:

It’s a real shame that someone at BBC doesn’t think twice and actually stops someone else (or self) at BBC from publishing lies, half-truths or perversions of truth about Croatia (in the context of former Yugoslavia particularly). But then again, such material is evidently tailored to deceive and maintain afloat a certain negative (or even repulsive) reputation created about someone (in this case about Franjo Tudjman) or something (in this case about Croatia), which is in human terms – in reality – just as positive and acceptable as things about those who write or publish the perversions.

Well, let’s, for now, not dwell too much on the fact that BBC Timeline on Croatia continues to pervert the truth about Croatia and keeps peddling to the world that in “1918 – Croatian national assembly votes to join the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes on the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire”.  WITHOUT ALERTING the public to the fact that there EXISTED the Croatian Parliament at the time, which NEVER ratified the National Council’s decision/vote. BBC would like the world to think that Croatian National Assembly stood for Croatian Parliament!

Well, it did not!

And, it was NOT an Assembly but a Council. There is a huge difference between the two. An Assembly is like a Parliament and a Council is like a Committee.

I’m quite certain that I am not the only person who had alerted the BBC editorial that Croatian Parliament never ratified any decision about Croatia joining the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in 1918. If BBC is not inclined to take on board or pay due attention to what individuals from the public might write to it about the issue, then I would expect it to do its own research. A mere visit to the Croatian Parliament website would have supplied the truth: “…the Parliament, however, had never ratified (confirmed) Croatia’s entry into a state union with the Kingdom of Serbia and Montenegro.

Indeed, in December 1918, there were strong opponents among members of Croatian Parliament to the tyranny of the Croatian National Council and its undemocratic decision  for Croatia to join the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.  Such criticisms and opposition saw, for example, Vladimir Prelog, member of Croatian Parliament at the time, thrown in prison for a year by “Belgrade” – without a court hearing or any due process of justice.
BBC could at least say that Croatia was forced into joining the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, since it’s so keen to write about the Kingdom of the British King George the Sixth’s cousin.

Croatian National Council was established on 5–8 October 1918 in Zagreb. The Council declared itself a political representative body of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs living in Croatia-Slavonia, Fiume, Dalmatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Istria … The Council established its own Central Committee and Presidency (filled with pro-Yugoslav individuals) and it operated with its agenda in concert with “Belgrade”/ Serbian King, regardless of the fact that a full Croatian Parliament existed!

So, I say to BBC’s Timeline of Croatia: “A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies!” (Pietro Aretino)
And now, journalist and writer Tim Judah (who, “coined” the ridiculous and wild word/concept “Yugosphere“) has, with his latest article, fortified the senseless but evident hatred BBC seems to harbour against Croatia’s first President Franjo Tudjman.  The perversions of truth about Tudjman have not abated even after the ICTY Appeal Chamber acquitted in November 2012 Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac of “Joint Criminal Enterprise” (against Serbs in Croatia), in which alleged war crimes Tudjman was also named by the ICTY Trial Chamber.

Tim Judah, who calls himself a “Balkans analyst” (!) has just written a piece for BBC “Croatia: From isolation to EU Membership” in which he offers no analysis, just superficial gargle designed to throw hateful aspersions against Franjo Tudjman – once again.
Mr Sanader also brought Serbs into his government, something unimaginable in the Tudjman years,” Judah writes (as in the first version of this article at the time of my publication of this post 23 April 2013).

How cruel can the journalist be! How cruel can the BBC be for allowing such hateful garbage.

For the record of truth: there were Serbs in Croatia’s government during the Tudjman years. For example, Zivko Juzbasic was a Minister between July 1991 and May 1992. As for the Croatian Parliament, Serb People’s Party had three members of parliament between 1992 and 1995, with Milan Dukic serving as deputy Speaker as well as assistant minister of interior and served as advisor to Tudjman.

The mind reels with anger amidst such hateful gargle and from Tim Judah and the BBC (who published Tim Judah’s article).

As any truth respecting person would, I complained to BBC regarding the untruths in Tim Judah’s article and alerting them to the fact that there were Serbs in Croatian government during the times of Tudjman. I did receive a reply from BBC and it seems now that Tim Judah has his own opinion as to the credibility of those Serbs who were in the Croatian government during Tudjman’s times. BBC has, 26 April 2013, changed the sentence in the article to this:

Mr Sanader also brought Serbs with political credibility and clout into his government, something unimaginable in the Tudjman years.”

I wonder what Judah’s definition of “Serb” political credibility and “Serb” clout is!? No doubt, I will be visiting this issue soon on this blog.

The best ammunition against lies is the truth, there is no ammunition against gossip. It is like a fog and the clear wind blows it away and the sun burns it off,” Ernest Hemingway once said. And so, in the light of all of the above I was compelled to write this post. For truth’s sake. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Related post: Timeline Croatia: Back to a-b-c with BBC

Timeline Croatia/ comparison with BBC’s one can be accessed via the link on the right hand margin of this website (under the photograph of Korcula)

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