Croatia: Yugoslav Communists Lying About Croatian Independence Movements

Zoran Milanovic (L) Stjepan Mesic (R) Photos: Screenshots

You simply know that your country’s president is a devastating and appalling waste of space when it comes to honouring the people’s wish for independence from communist Yugoslavia and your people’s fight for that independence by the persons he chooses to represent him at various events, who are equally a waste of space. During the past week Croatia’s President Zoran Milanovic sent as his representative the former President of Croatia, the former President of communist Yugoslavia (Stjepan Mesic) to the commemoration of victims of the Danica camp in WWII Croatia (where communists and Serbs say 5,000 people perished but any history written by Yugoslav communists cannot be trusted, even though only one victim is one too many)! That message says a great deal. Milanovic knows that Stjepan Mesic is the leader of the pack when it comes to liars and that he was a war profiteer, scavenging away into his own pockets bundles of funds donated by the Croatian diaspora for humanitarian needs of victims of the 1990’s Serb aggression against Croatia and for defence of Croatia. Part of evidence for the latter has certainly surfaced in a civil court case in the city of Split between 2017 – 2019.

But despite the evidence and testimonies presented in that court that strongly indicate that Stjepan Mesic did engage in criminal activities of war-profiteering, none of that evidence or indications seem to have been referred to or directed to the office of public prosecutor by the court in Split. But then again, Croatia is no full democracy. It still protects communist thieves and liars that define Croatia on basis of corruption.

And so, Mesic said at Danica site last week: “I hope that the Ustasha movement will stop one day, and then it will stop if we remember these events which are facts, which cannot be changed, because in history only what happened, happened.

Then he went on to say: “The state government should first of all stop financing those who falsify history, such as those who claim that the Jasenovac camp continued to function after 1945: This is a notorious lie.

Had Mesic, forgetful of his own previous statements, not here labeled himself as a notorious liar, one might be tempted to believe him but it is terribly difficult to believe him when he, himself, is one of those leading people of former Yugoslavia who revealed to the world that Jasenovac camp did remain open after WWII ended and in there innocent Croatian people who fought for independent Croatia were murdered and exterminated at the hands of Yugoslav communists. Now he wants people who promote that fact to be cut off from financial help! He obviously forgets what he says from day to day. Not because of some problem with Alzheimer’s disease but because he is a person that will say and do anything in order to promote the criminal regime of former communist Yugoslavia, or, if circumstance so demands – “suck up” to the other political side for personal gain.

In 2017, Stjepan Mesic stated publicly: “Don’t be fooled, Jasenovac worked two years after the war. There are many Croats buried deep there. We will now ask for those graves to be dug up, and you will see that they are Home Guards and Ustashas. We will have to bring a world commission to see that. Tito knew that it was a forgery … in order to get bigger reparations. He was never in Jasenovac,” said Mesic, who called Jasenovac a labor camp, not a concentration camp as others have painted it.

If Croatia’s Stjepan Mesic, President Zoran Milanovic, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic – none of whom ever fought for Croatian independence and democracy but in one way or another fought against it, and still do, ensuring they hold well-paid positions they do not deserve nor have the skills to perform at successfully – think and say that Ustasha movement still exists in Croatia and its diaspora, they would in certain ways be right! Of course, the WWII Ustasha movement as per organised political force does not exist and it hasn’t existed for many decades as a formal movement since it was disbanded soon after WWII ended. What does exist today is the independence of Croatia ideology and “movement”, which, of course has, in that sense, close similarities to what the Ustasha movement was for Croatia during WWII. Independence from Yugoslavia. Mesic knows that and that is what bothers him as it does all his communist Yugoslavia “pals”! He has always worked towards running down and crushing the glory of Croatian people’s victory during 1990’s in succeeding to free themselves from the chains of communist Yugoslavia. When he became President in 2000, one of his first moves was to retire some 20 Generals of the Croatian Army and Croatian Defence Council – to cut them down, to cut down as much as he could the independence movement even though Croatia had already won its independence. But it still had a job to finish during peace time: to lustrate Croatia of communists in power.

Ah, someone might say: but WWII Ustasha movement had Racial laws in place and many victims were generated because of it! It did! But so did almost all other countries throughout the world at one stage or another. Just check the facts of 20th century history, and before, you will find even today the remnants of such utterly depraved laws and practices; Camps, Reservations, stolen land, stolen generations, mass graves, “Whites Only”, …  The world is full of destitution and dead bodies because of it. The important thing in my mind is that every era bought its own way of achieving national goals, and many were not pretty nor justifiable, but in the historical context they fit into the order things were done by all our ancestors. Not that this justifies historical deeds that ruined lives, but it does serve as a platform upon which we learn lessons of a better future.

What is happening in Croatia, though, is that former communist operatives are using examples of historical crimes, alleged crimes and fabricated crimes to cover up and bury the glorious efforts for independence and self-determination.  They will not succeed if people at large have anything to do with it. WWII Croatia and its Ustasha movement fought for independence from Yugoslavia and in that the occupying German forces were a propping hand, however critical of that we may be; in 1990’s Croatian people fought for independence from Yugoslavia on their own. And that is the beauty of it. That is what communists like Stjepan Mesic are trying hard to dishonour. They will not succeed. The word Ustasha in essence means “rise against oppression”. Stjepan Mesic doesn’t like that. Well, tough luck for that decrepit man of “politics”, the movement of rising against the very idea of Yugoslavia is here to stay. Even in peace time. Why? Because it was oppression itself, it was criminal and murderous, it was garbage! It only served best those in Communist Party positions, the rest just lived day by day or fled out of that existential misery. It is to be hoped that Croatia will not end up like Yugoslavia even if there are no serious signs of lustration on the horizon yet to stop such misfortune. Lustrating former communists in authority or high positions within former Yugoslavia would, of course, be the ideal answer to all the problems afflicting Croatia negatively on the path of full democracy. Failing that there is always the heart that cries out for independence and truth to rely upon. Ina Vukic

Independent Croatia: To Expose Yugoslav Communist Enemy Within

Zoran Milanovic (L) Zeljko Glasnovic (R)

Croatia survived 45 years of communist rule under the lie of “brotherhood and unity” in Yugoslavia, emerged victorious in the 1990’s in fighting off the bestial enemies of its independence and democracy, only to keep having salt poured over the wounds it sustained in achieving independence and its continued struggle for a full democracy. In Croatia, former communist domination has been increasing since year 2000, alienating and degrading those who fought against the communist aggressor in early 1990’s. Make no mistake: Croatia’s very future is still at stake, despite the glorious victories of its defence forces. The best example of such alienation and degradation, which to my view verge on treason or bombarding of foundations of a state can be found in the acts of Croatia’s President Zoran Milanovic only a couple of days ago, on Friday 22 January 2021.

On Friday, the President of the Republic Zoran Milanovic, from the city of Zadar, cancelled his participation in the commemoratory program marking the 28th anniversary of the Croatian Military and Police undertaking called “Maslenica ’93”, which retook territory in northern Dalmatia and Lika from rebel Krajina Serb forces, with the military objective of pushing the Serb aggressor back from approaches to city of Zadar, Maslenica and Karlobag, allowing a secure land route between Dalmatia and northern Croatia to be opened. Milanovic abruptly cancelled his presence at Maslenica commemoration after he learned that some participants there, invited as part of official participants, were wearing clothes with the “HOS – For Homeland Read” (HOS – Za dom spremni) symbols, the same clothes worn by the paramilitary Croatian Defence Forces (HOS) who took a great part in defending Croatia from Yugoslav/Serb aggressor and, therefore, are unequivocally included among the pivotal creators of today’s democratic and independent state of Croatia. Of course, as their leader Milanovic, the Chief of the General Staff of the current Croatian Armed Forces, Admiral Robert Hranj, and all military commanders withdrew from the commemoration program after Milanovic announced his withdrawal.

“Since afterwards it was established that people wearing Ustasha insignia and inscriptions were also participating in the official commemoration protocol, the president cancelled his participation in the programme,” the statement from Milanovic’s office said.

This is not the first time that Zoran Milanovic insists on blatant lies about HOS and “For Home Ready” greeting! In fact, he has been consistent and uglily pushy on this! The fact that HOS that participated in defending Croatia from Yugoslav/Serb aggression was not an offshoot or continuance of WWII political environment but rather an arm of the 1990’s Croatian people’s decision to secede from communist Yugoslavia is a fact that Milanovic insists on burying and lying about.

To me, and I gather to many, this can only mean one thing and that is that Croatia’s President despises those who freed Croatia from communist Yugoslavia and fought and contributed to creating the free and independent Croatia.

That is among the reasons why Croatian government and Presidents since 2000 have persistently downplayed the role of Croatian defence forces in Croatia’s secession from communist Yugoslavia; and persistently keep on a course of degrading the value for the country of its liberating forces that fought off its brutal, bloody aggressor. Just imagine if political leaders in Britain or United States of America pursued a path of hunting down and belittling all those who during World War Two, or any war for that matter, guided their resolve to participate in freedom-creation with the motto “For God and Country!” or “For Home and Country!” Would they be impeached or banished from public positions? I think so!

And so, are Croatians supposed to accept as the country’s leader a man (Milanovic) who did not want an independent Croatia, who hid away from war battle zones when Croatian territory and people were being defended from Yugoslav/Serb aggression? I say not!

Retired General of the Croatian Army (HV) and the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) Zeljko Glasnovic has yesterday in relation to the above actions and promotion of lies about HOS forces by President Milanovic published the content below, which I have translated into the English language from Croatian:

Zeljko Glasnovic Facebook page screenshot. Embedded image portrays human (and HOS uniform) remains of Zarko Manjkasa Crvenkapa in a mass grave of Serb aggression victims near Vukovar

 “You run from this?

If you run away from this, you are also running away from the man on whose bones the state of Croatia arose.

And not just on his bones but on thousands of bones.

You are distancing yourself from this?

If you distance yourself from this, then you also distance yourself from the function you perform.

Being President is like being an officer – service, not honour. No one ‘rewarded’ you by electing you President but indebted you. Remember.

You cannot be the President of a state whose foundations you despise.

You cannot be the President of a state despising the people who created that same state.

Despising emblems.

Despising flags.

Despising symbols.

As you bow at the grave to a man who is buried with this symbol on his uniform, at the same time you drive his comrades from the grave for that same symbol.

You can’t have double standards.

If you despise the world in which you live, you also despise its Creator. It is inseparable.

You cannot praise the act of creating a state and despise its founders.

Call them provocateurs, and until yesterday saviours and liberators.

You cannot say that you respect the sacrifice of the defenders, and at the same time spit on the symbols they proudly wore while bleeding for that same homeland.

You can’t be miles away from the battlefield, waiting for an outcome in the safety of your home and 30 years later condemning the flag under which others gave their lives to so that you could live.

You should be grateful.

With your head down.

Your hands clasped.

If not in prayer, then in silence.

In pride.

On your knees, because they deserve that.

It is easy to be a Supreme Commander in peace.

Where were you when the bloody battle was being fought?

It is easy to command the army to retreat as birds sing around you.

Do you know what it’s like to give an order while the air around you smells of death?

Do you know what it’s like when you’re surrounded, when you have no air, when you’re lying wounded?

Do you know what it’s like to be a commander when you lose 20 men in one day?

And you must move on.

Do you know what it’s like when you have to come to the door of the mother of a killed soldier and tell her that her only son is gone?

And you were his superior.

Do you know what it’s like when they mutilate your brother, rape your mother, imprison your grandparents and take everything away from you?

Do you know what it’s like to look into the eyes of a raging horde of animal instincts as they torture and kill your army?

Do you know what it’s like when your wounded tortured soldier dies in your arms?

Do you know how it is when your soldier with triple bullet wounds still stands at frontlines, refusing to leave his post.

Till death.

What to say to a mother whose son has been killed, who calls you and asks you to come sleep in his bed?

What to say to a soldier who asks you for 2 days off after 4 months on the field, and you can’t give them to him because there are no people, there are no shifts, but maybe there would have been shifts had the offices of the golden youth not been full.

Do you know what it’s like when there’s no time to grieve after your comrades are killed, when you have to move on like nothing happened.

And the heart bleeds.

Do you know what it’s like to remember all your life the last words of a murdered medical corps heroine: ‘If I had 10 lives, I would give them all for Croatia.’

Do you know what it’s like when a commander is wounded and his soldiers take turns carrying him, wounded, in a tent flysheet for 2 days, not wanting to leave him?

That’s an honour.

That’s pride.

They are brothers.

That’s loyalty.

That’s fidelity.

These are concepts that you will find difficult to understand.

A commander on paper – in peace – is not the same as a commander on the ground in war.

Some are not worthy of war,

and some are not even worthy of peace.

Have we given so many lives so that you could mock?

Did we shed so much blood so that you could jubilate?

Did we fight so that you could be ashamed of us on anniversaries?

Did we create this country so that the Commander-in-Chief could suppress us?

You are not worthy of our sacrifice.

You are not worthy of being called the President.

You are not worthy of the authority of the Commander-in-Chief.

In other countries, people bow in respect to war veterans, grateful for their life made possible through their sacrifice.

In Croatia, war veterans are being killed due to injustice, disrespect, belittling and mocking the shedding of their blood.

Thanks be to God, we even fought for people like you. The ungrateful, narcissistic and arrogant, who today spit on the foundations of their homeland, trample on the sacrifice of its defenders, mock those who made life possible for them and they call themselves presidents. Until when?”

Ina Vukic

Croatia: Empowerment And Engagement Of Young People In Politics Is Essential For Democracy

Block for Croatia party leadership (L) Ludwig Radic with Ana Lederer (R) Photo: Facebook

The most comprehensive post-election quantitative analysis commissioned by the European Parliament in June 2019 shows that the higher turnout at polling stations across the EU is the result of greater interest from young voters. Citizens under the age of 25 (+ 14%) and those between the ages of 25 and 39 (+ 12%) went to the polls in large numbers. In Croatia, an increase of 5 percentage points was recorded in both age groups (18% turnout of young people up to 24 years of age, 25% turnout of young people in the group of 25-39 years old).

The fact that young people in Croatia, overall, are relatively disinterested and largely abstain from voting in elections, whether they live in Croatia or have emigrated in the past decade in enormous numbers, is a concern particularly because the future, which is theirs more than anybody else’s, is likely not to be the way they would want it unless they engage more. The relatively low levels of interest (closely estimated around 10 to 25% in 2019/2020 presidential/general elections in Croatia) in the young people to vote or become politically engaged are largely a sign of protest against alarmingly pervasive corruption and nepotism in Croatia. Various sources point to a prevalence of reasoning that there is no use in voting because nothing ever changes. This points to an unhealthy environment filled with disappointment and anger at the seeming helplessness of individual citizens, including the young, to change things for the better or to their needs. There are politicians in Croatia that claim that turnout of young people at elections will increase dramatically once trust in the political and other establishments is returned to them! Without actual involvement and engagement of the young within political parties this trust established politicians talk about will not be restored.

Young people need to “own” the process of change and restoration of trust by being and active part of that change.

Millennials – born between 1981 and 1996 – are already the largest living generation and the largest age group in the workforce, they are followed by Generation Z (post-Millennials) – born between 1997 and 2012 – who are the largest living generation in the education system that should largely develop and encourage critical thinking aimed at their surrounds, at the world and its political and economic course. Startups largely associated with the Millennials have revolutionised economies throughout the world although in Croatia they still remain the pursuit of individuals rather than a focused government strategy. Their tastes and appreciation of differences are shifting the culture, and their enormous appetite for social media has transformed human interaction. Politics is the next arena ripe for disruption and rectification of that which stifles progress of the world they live in.  

If a generation shift in young people’s political culture is not taking place, which makes their views and expectations different to those of previous generations, it should be. It is the Millennials and Generation Z that will clarify and assert the role of politics in everyday life. I feel certain of that. It is these generations that will demonstrate that politics should simply mean strategies and actions that create equal opportunities for all or, at least, those that want to take advance of those opportunities both personally and nationally. We see in these younger generations a greater participation in issue-led, rather than ideological, politics and a concern with issues such as the environment, animal rights, pro-life vs. pro-choice, criminal justice reforms, and so on. Issue-led participation in politics overwhelmingly home in on matters that matter on the ground, in everyday life, in immediate surrounds. Hence, this approach to politics has a significant potential in reviving the sense of patriotism lost through decades of materialistic pursuits on the individual level. This more than anything is important in a country like Croatia, which is still after 30 years struggling to fully transition out of the communist regime it was locked into for 50 years in former Yugoslavia.  

And the Millennial coupled with the elder members of Generation Z are coming to Croatia as well as to the rest of the world; the only questions remain are when and how fast will they arrive to take significant hold of the rudder that steers Croatia’s foreseeable future.

Ludwig Radic Photo: Facebook

On Facebook social media  on 9 November, I came across a status post that attracted my attention in the context of young people gaging active interest in political developments and political party membership in Croatia. It was the Facebook profile of a young man from Zagreb, Ludwig Radic and he titled his post “The only light in the darkness of Croatian politics” and the post goes like this:

“THE ONLY LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS OF CROATIAN POLITICS

On this day exactly one year ago a party was founded ‘Block for Croatia’ (Blok za Hrvatsku), which I joined in August this year.

Why the Block for Croatia?

The answer is very simple. When I was politically engaged, I always aspired to ideals, which do not exist at all in mainstream parties. However, in 2016, two people emerged who awakened hope in many to return to a consistent policy. These are the former Minister of Culture, Dr. Zlatko Hasanbegovic and his deputy Dr. Ana Lederer. Many who until then did not want to go to the polls saw a new patriotic icon in the form of Zlatko Hasanbegović.

The first serious collaboration with these people followed the next year during local elections, when we built the Croatian patriotic option in Zagreb together. These people brought to our Croatia something that has long been forgotten and written off in Croatian politics – authenticity. It is currently the highest quality brand within the Croatian right-wing electorate.

The Block for Croatia was formed in extremely difficult circumstances, under a media blockade and the ‘fire’ of some individuals who really believed that our party would not last even a month. Regardless of these circumstances, thanks to the authenticity and consistent policy, we showed our strength in the parliamentary elections in 2020, when Zlatko Hasanbegovic sovereignly entered the Croatian Parliament, even though the entire political mainstream was convinced that his political death was coming. Personally, I think that the establishment and work of the Block can be characterised by the immortal words of the British statesman Winston Churchill ‘blood, sweat and tears’.

The strength of the Block for Croatia lies precisely in its members. These are people who are not classic politicians or demagogues who earn political points on the misery and distress of the suffering Croatian people. On the contrary, we have people who have earned their ‘rating’ solely through hard work, as university professors, literary critics, lawyers, and then as ministers and government officials. It is worth emphasising the fact that the Block for Croatia gives a hand to young people without attached strings, who exclusively want to contribute to the prosperity of our homeland Croatia. When I look at all the circumstances and facts, it was not difficult to make a decision to join the Block. With my experience gained so far, I will help the Block for Croatia to continue on the winning path as before.

I repeat, this is the only light in the darkness of Croatian politics, and our prominent members of the party have proven it with their work so far. I am proud to be a part of this story and I believe we will be even stronger in the future!”

I thought the above to be a wonderfully enlightening article as to how some young people in Croatia think, act and carve their path into democratic engagement. There should be much more of this in the coming decade if Croatia will develop into a full democracy.  Generally, young people are not confident when it comes to participating in the democratic process — and that’s probably contributing to their disengagement from electoral politics. That is, some young people do not actually know how to decide which political party best reflects their views or understand that politics are not a pursuit separated from living standards and life of people in the country.  

Croatia should do more to equip young people to have that confidence to participate in the democratic process, especially when they leave school. That is the only way in generating trust in democracy or restoring the lost one. After all, half of Croatia’s Millennial and all of Croatia’s Generation Z are born after Croatia seceded from the communist Yugoslavia regime and developing democracy in Croatia during the decades after the complete end of the Homeland War in 1998, has been contaminated and stifled by the stubborn remnants of communist regime inheritance. While, fortunately, there are many young people like Ludwig Radic in Croatia asserting their engagement in the political arena their presence, or indeed their impetus still need a higher level of relevance in both pre-election platforms and public office.

Young voters in Croatia can play a crucial role in deciding who wins and who loses an election, helping to shape politics, realpolitik and the Croatian nation for decades to come. With the current political confusion and instability in Croatia, with new general elections and presidential elections due in a handful of years’ time, there is no better time to consider issues concerning the involvement of young people in politics and to reflect on the ways in which the existing systems can encourage them to participate more competently and confidently in the Croatian democratic process and hence, give a boost to an eventual full democracy outcome. Certainly, the mass exodus of young people from Croatia because of the ineffective political platforms in power is a strong motivating force for realpolitik change where this trend of looking outside of Croatia rather than within for a decent livelihood could be reversed. Ina Vukic

(Block for Croatia website: https://www.blokzahrvatsku.hr)

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