Croatia, give heed: the vicious claws of Greater Serbia grow bolder

This year’s official state celebration in Knin, August 5, of the 17th anniversary of Operation Storm which liberated the last of Croatian territory from Serb occupation, mass murder and ethnic cleansing clearly shows a renewed aggressive trend within the loud echelons of the Serbian ethnic minority in Croatia espousing Belgrade based Greater Serbia politics.

While not all Croatian Serbs are part of this alarming trend, it’s a trend that’s poses, yet again, serious threats to Croatian people and their rightful land and national interests. It’s also a trend that places obstacles in Croatia’s democratic processes that include full integration of all ethnic minorities into a peaceful existence. Certainly, leaders of Serbian organisations in Croatia have done absolutely nothing in assisting their members to adjust their mindset and emotions as Croatian citizens. That is, to feel as Croatian citizens regardless of remaining as members of Serbian ethnic minority. Even the members of Croatian parliament such as Milorad Pupovac and Vojislav Stanimirovic do not present themselves as representing a body of citizens who are Croatian citizens but rather as Serbs, as a separate body of people leaning towards Belgrade rather than Zagreb.

While the world refers to the current Croatian government and Croatian president as representatives of the will of all Croatian people, locally, this could not be further from the truth. Countless cries of despair and embitterment have recently poured from Croatian media, various organisations and multitudes of individual citizens regarding the increasingly visible battleaxes Croatian Serb leaders and leaders from Belgrade, Serbia, wield in their efforts to justify or deny the Serb aggression against Croatia during early 1990’s. But these cries fall on deaf ears of the current Croatian government and president. The latter act no different to what political leaders acted in former communist Yugoslavia.

The noise loudly reminiscent of the Greater Serbia onslaught of early 1990’s has become alarmingly louder since Tomislav Nikolic was elected president of Serbia in May 2012. Nikolic represents the sickest forms of Serbian nationalism, whose roots go back to the Chetniks (Serbian royalists of WWII). Led by Draza Mihailovic, Chetniks formed a racist far-right-wing movement that sought to create an ethnically pure Great Serb empire incorporating Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, a great deal of Bosnia and Croatia. Allied to Benito Mussolini’s fascist Italy, the Chetniks engaged in murderous ethnic cleansing, slaughtering tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims, Croatians and Kosovar Albanians.

As the people of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Macedonia (republics of former Yugoslavia) and formerly autonomous region Kosovo within Serbia’s borders expressed their free will to secede from Yugoslavia (early 1990’s) and embark on the path to democracy, independence and self-determination Serbia, in concert with most Serbs living in those former states of Yugoslavia, launched brutal wars of aggression against Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.

In this brutal onslaught for Greater Serbia more than 250,000 were killed and nearly 2 million ethnically cleansed. Nikolic was Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic’s chum and stood loudly behind this entire Serb power grab and territorial annexations that would, in the event of their success, result in a Great Serbian empire.

As far as Croatia is concerned they did not succeed; Operation Storm saw to that. As far as Bosnia and Herzegovina is concerned they succeeded, somewhat, by ending up with the political entity of Serbian Republic within B & H borders.

Nikolic is not some unyielding Serbian patriot but a radical nationalist who has not abandoned the dream of Greater Serbia and who seeks close ties with Russia, wants to emulate Kremlin’s rule and once suggested that Serbia should become a province of Russia.

Indeed, no matter how hard Nikolic tries to appear pro-European Union and promulgate self-determination rights of constituent states of former Yugoslavia, he is not giving up the idea of Serbian supremacy in the region. Croatia’s Serb leader Milorad Pupovac propagates Nikolic’s rotten veil of Serbian righteousness, adamant not to admit guilt for Serb brutality and aggression in the former Yugoslavia during 1990’.

It is a sad day when I realize that the current Croatian government and its president do not seem to acknowledge this twisted and predatory way of Greater Serbia psyche. They simply allow it to go on and fail to fully and openly defend the truth about the Serb aggression, murder and ethnic cleansing during 1990’s. But then again, they are former communists by membership and seem not to have severed their umbilical cords from those oppressive roots their own people plucked out by voting for independence in 1990.

What Serbia and some Croatian Serb leaders are attempting to do, with increased vigour since Nikolic came to power in Serbia, is to nail a glossy, clean surface to the coffin of their horrendous crimes. Serbia’s leaders (aided by the communists, both Yugoslav and Russian) have done this before – after WWII.

That is, Serbia, just like WWII Independent Croatia, Romania, Italy, Spain, Vichy France, Norway, Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia … had fascist regimes, collaborationist with Nazi Germany.

But, contrary to myth, Serbia also had a Nazi collaborationist followers, just as ruthless as in some of the above countries (including Croatia). Led by Milan Nedic and his government, Serbia’s fascists engaged in the comprehensive extermination of the country’s Jewish population. By the summer of 1942, Serbia had become completely “Judenfrei.”

Serbia, with the help of Belgrade based Yugoslav communist party within Yugoslavia, with the help of Russian communist party, managed to sling all the horror of the Holocaust on the territory of former Yugoslavia against Croatia; coming out of their WWII genocidal enterprises seemingly squeaky clean – as victims (due to those killed in WWII Croatia) and –  forever blaming German occupying forces for the extermination of Serbian Jews, with political cunning burying the truth that it was Serbia’s nationals who actually (gladly) delivered the Jews to slaughter.

The putrid ways of Greater Serbia dream preservation are afoot again, in Croatia. Serb lobby wants to accelerate the equalization of aggressor with the victim. Serb lobby wants the Croatian victims to forget why they became victims in the first place. Serb lobby wants to bury the truth of Serb aggression in the 1990’s. Serb lobby does not want reconciliation in the region between different ethnic groups because reconciliation requires admission of guilt and Serb leaders do not want to and will not go there.

That is the simple truth. With such truth one frets another war brewing, or major unrest in the least. Unless the Croatian government and the opposition wake up to the need to protect hard earned independence of Croatia and raise their voices in truth, publicly remind the Serbs over and over again of the crimes they committed in Croatia during 1990’s instead of being coy about them in some attempts to appease political pressure from the misguided and biased international community, I’m afraid Croatia will face a yet another dark and bloody time defending its territory and hard-earned independence. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.,Ps. (Syd)

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