Croatia: No Apology For Defending People And Country

Apology Poster in
Zagreb Trams
Photo: Screenshot

Article 51 of the UN Charter clearly recognises “the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations” by anyone. To put it further, the inherent right to self-defence extends to all, whether members of the UN or not.

But it seems this right to self-defence has eluded a group of youth in Croatia that operates under the banner of Human Right initiatives, causing community outrage and despair for justice.

A number of small but publicly visible campaign posters, entitled ‘Apology’ (set against the background photo of Serbs leaving Croatia in cars and carts filled with their belongings after the Operation Storm in August 1995] appeared inside Zagreb’s trams this week. Jumbo-posters have appeared alongside roadways.

One cannot but express dismay and shock at even the thought as to who among authorities permitted these posters to be displayed.

The malicious and politically appalling motive behind this has everything to do with blatant disregard for the truth that Croatia was forced to defend itself and with mounting some (undeserved) credibility to Serb denial of guilt for the bloody aggression that Croatia had to deal with between 1991 and 1995. The campaign is timed just ahead of Croatia’s Victory Day celebrations for 5 August – military Operation Storm ended 5 August 1995 and liberated Croatia’s territory of the Serb self-proclaimed and ethnically cleansed of Croats and other non-Serbs, Serbian Republic of Krajina (Croatia’s occupied territory).

The public posters aim to open a public communications channel through social networks, through which the Initiative will provide audio, video and other materials and gather signatures of support through the ‘Apology to the Victims of Storm’ petition,” the Youth Initiative for Human Rights said in a press release. As well as signing the petition, the group says that people will be able to share their thoughts on social networks using the hashtag #isprika (apology). Their aim is also to convince the authorities to officially apologise to all the innocent victims of the operation and their families.

Jumbo Poster
along Zagreb road
“National interest is admission,
no lies”
Photo: Screenshot

 

According to the Youth Initiative for Human Rights website the organisation’s “Vision” is “To live in responsible societies that have learned lessons from the past and aspire towards a positive future founded on the respect of human rights, citizens’ values and the rule of law.”

First of all, this group of young people has learned no lesson from the perilous past of their own Croatian people. Second, they evidently do not respect the rule of law for if they did they would act according to what laws say regarding court decisions – to respect them. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Appeals Chamber in the Hague had in November 2012 ruled and found that there had been no forced deportations of Serbs from Croatia and after the Operation Storm of August 1995 (Croatian Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac case).

Hence, one can safely discard this bunch of social and political hoodlums belonging to this Youth Initiative for Human Rights from anything even remotely associated with justice as a human right. Indeed, going by their website, their “Mission” is “Mission of the youth Initiative for human rights is guided by the values it wants to realise in society.” In other words, this group of young people, in the case evidence by these posters, want to shape the Croatian society by false pretenses and by covering up the glorious truth about Croatia’s victory against Serb aggression.

What an obscene situation Croatians are forced to have to deal with here!

Now lets look at the human and material cost to Croatia that Serb aggression caused between 1991 and 1995. In 1991 Croatia’s population was about 4,785,000, out of that were 12.2% Serbs.

These are the terrible figures of Croatian victims and damages caused by the Serb aggression during the Homeland War (1991-1995) – these figures keep climbing as matters get discovered.

Croats killed 13,583 (Civilians 6605 including more than 402 children)
Wounded 30,578
Women, children and men raped and pack-raped, so far recorded – 2,500
By December 1991 displaced-forcefully deported from their homes as ethnic cleansing of Croats and non-Serbs ensued – 550,000
Held in concentration camps – 30,000
War invalids – 37,000
Catholic churches destroyed – 122
Hospitals destroyed – 14
Buildings destroyed – 200,000 (180,000 homes)
Mass graves unearthed – 156
Individual graves of victims of Serb aggression – 1400 (unearthed by 2011)
Still missing – 1,541
War damage – in excess of 32 billion euro

Land mines left in Croatia by Serbs: 42,371 

 

Serb Aggression and
ethnic cleansing of Croats
in Croatia 1991 – 1995
Photo: Screenshot
See animated video below

 

It is the Serbs and Serbia who must apologise to Croatia!

Operation Storm put the needed swift end to the terrible suffering caused by the Serb aggression.

An apology is not needed from Croatia for Operation Storm – but it is needed from Serbia. Operation Storm was absolutely necessary to prevent further damage to Croatia and its people.

From the perspective of lives lost in Croatia during the war, Operation Storm saved far far more lives than it took. To apologise for Croatia’s kindness in leading a clean (non-civilian targets) military operation for the liberation of its occupied territory – Operation Storm – would be to rob Croatia of even more of what little dignity it has left after all the pro-communist, pro-Yugoslavia, pro-Serbia attacks it has so far endured in its path to democracy and freedom.

Serbia has not apologised for the multitude of heinous crimes carried out on the Croatian people between 1991 and 1995, and in fact still denies the crimes. Had Serbia not attacked Croatia with the help of the drowning Yugoslav Army and Serb rebels living in Croatia, the Operation Storm, Croatia’s Homeland War, would never have happened.

This is the lesson that Youth Initiative for Human Rights should have learned from their country’s past!

They should have learned that the aftermath of Croatia’s democratic vote to secede from communist Yugoslavia turned out, from the direction of Serbia, to be more hostile, protracted, and bloody than ever could be imagined in Croatia (or elsewhere). A nation whose people wanted to be free of communism and secure from the evil of oppression became a victim to violence and terror. For all of this, Serbia should show profound sorrow, regret, and apology. Not Croatia! Ina Vukic

 

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