After Tito's death, especially at the time when with the destruction of the Berlin wall and socialism Yugoslavia also started to fall apart, Croatia needed a strong personality. The West has by then somewhat forgotten strong personalities; in Croatia, fortunately, a strong personality became a political heavyweight and the head of the state. This kind of Tudman was ready for the most fruitful risk - to take Croatia from the traps of the recent past and take it into the world from the historical depths and historical roots. The recent totalitarian systems - communism and fascism - are the biggest enemies of such an endeavor, because they feed and survive on a moment, temporary coincidences and temporary, expendable alliances.
As expendable systems, both communism and fascism, ideologically exclusive, are ready to expend the people as well. Those two totalitarian ideologies have, to a large extent, influenced the recent destiny of Croatia; therefore Dr. Tudman found it extremely important to reconcile, not those two ideologies, but the people who, in a this way or that, belonged to them or were close to their main exponents. Therefore, he chose to apply the historical criteria of non-ideological and extra-ideological national survival to the recent past. Every testimony, proof, symbol, sign of historical continuity of the Croatian people were in those years, and will be in the future, for Croatia and Tudman, necessary not as a governmental decoration but to rekindle the memories from those centuries and centuries whose traces are visible everywhere in the West which keeps sending us criticisms and grave accusations..
A lot of accusations from the West after the "Storm" - about ethnic cleansing, torching of houses, murders of civilians - accusations against Croatia and especially its president Tudman, therefore should be understood, but not accepted, as a continuation of repression of the picture of the Croatians as a nation; nation which doesn't want to join Europe on a basis of charity of the powerful but on a basis of its strength and history. How could Croatia possibly endanger Great Britain, France, U.S.A., Germany...?! Indeed, with its size and (military) might, in comparison with them we are totally powerless; but we are absolutely powerful as a nation which wants to survive. That isn't our little, nor our big, but our EVERYTHING. That is a sort of our "totalitarianism." In the West, Croatian right for State survival is still regarded as totalitarianism, nationalism, fascism; instead it should be the opposite: the right for a state should be supported as a framework for democracy and not a denial of democracy.
As "a self-management ideal", Yugoslavia looked to a lot of European leftists as a model of solved national and social problems; they couldn't see that communism suffocated the market as the basis of general enrichment and that greater serbian nationalism suffocated nations which could not accept it.
What kind of person should Dr. Tudman be to make a favorable impression on certain Western media? Obviously, they don't like that he is neither a fascist nor a communist. The appearance of a Croatian statesman without an ideology, in the surrounding which inherited ideological criteria about judgments and accusations, is one of the most European recent political fenomena, which Europe due to its forgotten tradition can hardly recognize. Europe is actually, traditionally full of differences; therefore it should accept Croatia without any problems. However, burdened by being used to communism in the neighborhood (in the socialist block) and fascism as a negative memory and of course burdened by the interests of the imperial interests of the European powers and a contradictory idea of unification, much of Europe cannot accept the personality of president Tudman as it was unable to tolerate and produce personalities who were to or would determine its national destinies and the future of the continent. The latest American "excursion" into Europe does not deny but on the contrary confirms Tudman as an European politician who from the start "offered himself " to France and Great Britain, and Germany, and Russia... not as a prostitute but as a statesman. A part of Europe will easily tolerate Croatian guilt (they will even enlarge it), but it will have difficulty in tolerating Croatian innocence because Europe has excluded it from its calculations a long time ago.
Therefore, as much as a part of Europe sees in Tudman's Croatia parallels with Pavelic's NDH - it sees its bad conscience, dirtied exactly with denial of Croatia and croatianism! Accept me as a friend and a collaborator, and then judge me as I will judge you. But do not reject me in advance as if the verdict has already been made! That European, Christian principle with which Croatia wants to join Europe and with which it is ready to recognize its own mischief and crimes isn't some "catholic narrow-mindedness" but belief in the God who has been despised scorned for a long time in Europe; Europe which accuses us!
The following words, taken from an interview, will be sufficient to convince you that that part of Europe in incurably racist, actually Nazi:
"We had a good friend who was a Serb; he was an anthropologist and discovered interesting data about the origin of Zagorci [people from the region near Zagreb in northern Croatia. Presidents Tudman was born and grew up in that region]. he claimed that Zagorci came from the very south of the Balkans, that they were actually the Byzantines. I really like that theory. Zagorci are actually the Byzantines! Because whenever Tudman speaks about the Byzantines he always does that with condescension."
These are the words of Dessa Trevisan, a long time correspondent for the London Times from the former Yugoslavia. That forgery symbolizes animosity which a part of Europe feels toward Tudman and Croatia; actually that part of Europe which received a fake picture of Croatia form "a Serbian friend". The drawing of parallels with the serbian nazism is actually the real reason behind the drawing of parallels between todays Croatia and NDH.