June 14th 2008 02:36:01 PM
In March of last year, I wrote of a pattern encountered by anyone attempting to introduce Croatia to a conscience, in which he or she is reflexively accused of “attacking” that nation, and asked why he/she “hates” Croatians. I cited this BBC Monitoring International Reports:
Croatian TV film on war-time camp for Serbs causes storm
Last night, Croatian TV aired a documentary about Serb sufferings in the Lora [war-time] camp, which caused vocal protests by viewers, while the discussion in the Tragovi [Tracks] programme, during which the documentary was aired, was very heated, a SRNA correspondent from Zagreb reports.
Croatian TV received a large number of calls from viewers, who started to phone as soon as the programme “Lora - a Testimony” by [documentary maker] Nenad Puhovski was announced. In the film, some 10 people testify about what they had been subjected to in Lora.
The following took part in the discussion: film author Nenad Puhovski, war-time Premier Zdravko Tomac, Croatian forces war-time commander in Vukovar Mile Dedakovic Jastreb, judge Slavko Lozina, who had issued the not guilty ruling regarding war crimes charges in Lora at the first such trial, film co-author and investigative journalist Pero Jurisin, journalist Josip Jovic, and former camp inmates Milan Tosic and Nenad Filipovic, who were in a studio in Belgrade.
Tomac and Dedakovic criticized the film makers for equating events in Lora with Vukovar and choosing the wrong moment to show the film in view of the developments in The Hague.
According to them, torture perpetrated in that camp was done by individuals, while Puhovski and Jurisin argued the opposite, citing the fact that “a traumatized man from Vukovar” was appointed the camp commander.
War-time Premier Zdravko Tomac blamed the inmates for the sufferings they endured in Lora, asking them “what were you doing in Croatia at that time anyway?” Tosic replied that he had been captured in Bosnia-Hercegovina while he was doing his military service there.
The majority of guests in the Zagreb studio saw the film as an attack on Croatia, which the authors kept denying.
And below we have a more recent example, from April, in which Richard Holbrooke, who refers to Serbs as “murderous assholes”, suddenly finds himself accused of hating one of the sides he and his America took against the despised Serbs.
14 April 2008 Sarajevo — The chief architect of Bosnia’s peace agreement has been accused of ‘hating Croats’.
Former senior United States diplomat, Richard Holbrooke, who is visiting Bosnia told local media over the weekend that creation of a third, Bosnian Croat entity, would lead to the “disintegration” of Bosnia.
“The Creation of a third entity, which would like to be part of Croatia, let me be very clear, would lead to the disintegration of the country,” Holbrooke was quoted as saying.
Reacting to this statement, a senior leader of the Croat Democratic Union, HDZ, Ivo Miro Jovic, claimed “Holbrooke confirmed his hate towards Croats.”
“Holbrooke is a minor political personality and I want to tell him that Croats will determine their own fate in Bosnia, not those like him,” Jovic said.
Bosnia’s administrative setup is currently made up of two entities – the Federation of BiH, where Bosnian Muslims and Croats mostly reside, and the Bosnian Serb entity, Republika Srpska. Both were created by the Dayton Treaty, which ended Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war and whose principal architect is considered to be Holbrooke.
A hardline Bosnian Croat association, Croatia Libertas, also strongly criticized Holbrooke’s comments.
In its press statement on Monday, the organization said the idea of the third Bosnian Croat entity is supported by most Serbs and Croats as well as many Bosniaks.
“Unless the three peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina do not agree on their own about crucial domestic issues such as the internal constitutional setup, BiH will fall apart,” the statement claimed.
Over the past years, Bosnian Croat nationalist leaders have pushed for the creation of a third, Bosnian Croat-dominated entity, but their plans were always thwarted by the international community.
The current system is considered to be too complicated, ineffective and expensive…
Holbrooke is, as always, wrong. The Western plan to keep Bosnia as a multi-ethnic state while increasingly centralizing the government so that Croats and Serbs are under the Islamic thumb is a bad thing, and I would support both the Croatian and the Serbian components of Bosnia going their separate ways. Even though there is a great deal of poetic justice in the Croatians’ current Bosnian miseries — based both on their alliance with Muslims in the 1990s and an even more love-filled alliance with them in WWII:
Mile Budak, [Pavelic’s] chief spokesman, drew up the measures to be taken: “One part of the Serbian population we shall kill, another part we shall expell, and the rest we shall convert to the Roman Catholic Church and thus transform them into Croats.”
The Muslims, in contrast, were called “the purest Croats, precious stones which we must put in the structure of our Independent Croatian State.”
– from a paper by Veselin Kesich, Professor at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, Crestwood, NY