Prisoner of historically obsolete models, Tudman transformed the nation state, adorned by sash and operatic sentries, into a fetish, and patriotism, verbal and rubble rousing, was his highest value. Mafia dons and criminals, who swore to independent Croatia, were treated as distinguished Croats. Those who were suspected of lacking patriotism were in practice treated as enemies. The Socialdemocrat Prime Minister should know what sort of signals he is sending when he uses such rhetoric.
Even more worrisome is the fact that Racan uses patriotic preaching in the same manner, with identical motivation and with the same goals as Tudman. The label about "insufficient patriotism" is supposed to discredit critics of Racan and of his government. Racan is very upset by the public opinion polls that indicate a precipitous drop in his positive ratings. He can't take it when respected intellectuals, critics of Tudman's regime to the last one and strong supporters of the parties in the current government two years ago, today state that "it's tome for changes" one more time.
The Prime Minister has accused some intellectuals and media of producing apathy and dark emotions, which, according to him, has nothing to do with reality. In that, he displayed the ambition to run the media, in addition to the government, so that he recommended that the media publish good news to nurture optimism among the voters. Rulers, as a rule, prefer apologists to critics, but the smart ones try not to reveal this preference.
The most powerful man in the country in the same breath tried to share responsibility with his critics. He said that the government "cannot be the only one to blame". He posed a question: "what about the creative contribution of others?" He claimed that the government had asked for volunteers willing to help. That is only true to the extent that the ruling coalition has used the intellectuals and the media as allies until it came to power. Immediately afterwards, the SDP practically dissolved its advisory council that gathered in the pre-election period the top brains of Croatia. The political elite cut the rest of us off, convinced that the running of the country was its prerogative. With his statements Racan demonstrates total ignorance or rejection of the fundamental role of the media and intellectuals - criticism of the authorities.
Finally, with his lesson in patriotism the Prime Minister demonstrates that he has accepted another one of Tudman's favorites, his belief that he was an embodiment of the state. He denounces his critics as insufficiently loyal to the state, which means that in practice he sees no difference between himself and Croatia. "The state, that is me," that is the essence of Racan's patriotic sermon to the nation.
Disabled war veterans from Vis believe that it is not an accident that the disputed statue was set up at the time the mentioned songs were sung and demand that the competent authorities and local authorities investigate who "the perpetrators of that unseemly act were", and immediately remove the statue.
"How can it be possible that a cultural organization, partly financed by taxpayers money, is engaged in dirty politics," UHVIDR wonders in the statement, while they blame the organization "Mocvara" and "some globalists" ("who are spending the summer here very cheaply, and no one knows who is paying for their vacation," says the statement) for the controversial "music program".
Although the statement does not specifically mention that, it is obvious that the remarks about singing of "from Vardar to Triglav" and similar songs as well as "cheap summer holidays" in the former barracks, refer to the participants of the summer culture school "Otokultivator" [island cultivator]. Organizers of the school deny the claims from the UHVIDR statement, saying that hitherto schools have always finished without any incidents and that they have always cooperated with the local authorities and police.
As far as the financing is concerned, according to the organizers "Otokultivator" is mostly self financed, while some of the expenses are covered by the city of Zagreb, with 30,000 kunas and the Ministry of Culture with 50,000 kunas. They emphasize that "Otokultivator" has nothing to do with the statue of Marshal Tito. However, yesterday we were unable to obtain an answer from the local authorities in Vis to the questions who put up the statue and why, and whether it would be removed.
The "analysis" was written early last year, after the Croatian intelligence services had learned that the Hague investigators had been collecting data about the action carried out in Medak villages, in which scores of Serb civilians had been killed. The document provides a detailed analysis of the key events and reconstructs the chain of command of the said operation. It confirms the disappearance of a large number of Serb civilians, at least 51 person, points out numerous mysterious details, proves an attempt to hide the crimes... the document reminds that Rahim Ademi, the then commander of the forces in the Gospic region, and captain Mile Kosovic, at the time the commander of the national guard regiment, were dismissed a few days after the conclusion of the action. The investigation, conducted last year by Croatian intelligence services, gravely implicates commanders of the operation Medacki Pocket and confirms the charges from the Hague Tribunal indictments.
Publishing the secret document, "Jutarnji List" also quotes one of leading Croatian agents, who interpreted the massacre of Serb civilians in this way: "It is obvious that scorched earth strategy was applied in Medacki Pocket. The goal was to make sure no one returns there. Consequently, after the murders, the soldiers burned houses and poisoned the wells. We managed to put together a very precise reconstruction of what happened there and who could be responsible. We informed the government last year about our findings, and Croatian Army generals were criticized for remaining silent about these events". Therefore, Racan's government was warned in time. It had received a detailed report before any of the indictments from the Hague arrived in Zagreb.
The Ministry of Defense has confirmed that the published document is authentic and announced that those who had leaked it to the media would be prosecuted. But, before that, the authorities owe us some answers. First, why were the results of the investigation about crimes in Medacki Pocket treated as a top secret and why is their publication "absolutely impermissible"? Shouldn't the public have been informed about the investigation results, especially as on the other hand the public is being systematically brainwashed by claims that the Croat side hasn't committed any crimes? Does it make any sense that the Hague indictments are public while the identical documents produced by Croatian intelligence services are kept hidden from the public as state secrets?
Secondly, how could it happen that after the investigation that was concluded a year ago and, to say the least, confirmed the indications about committed mass crimes in Medacki Pocket, the competent authorities haven't done anything? Now, the authorities are announcing swift reprisals against those who leaked the document to the media, while as far as we know nothing has been done against perpetrators of the crimes in Medacki Pocket. Again, the messenger is guilty, while the executioners have been pardoned a long time ago.
Third, how could it be that the Croatian authorities are foaming at the mouth, claiming that the Hague Tribunal indictments are not valid and initiating suits in front of the Constitutional Court if a year ago they had a proof provided by their own investigators that the charges from the Hague indictments are mostly true? And where do they find the guts to complain about the qualification about ethnic cleansing in the indictment if their own intelligence officers claim that scorched earth strategy was applied in the Medacki Pocket, which is only a euphemism for the same crime?