The Utmost Arrogance of “Assad Must Go”

This monotonous mantra has echoed endlessly in halls of power throughout the US-led imperium. In Washington, London, Riyadh, Doha, Ankara, and Tel Aviv, its chant has droned on for years, heedless of developments.

Al Qaeda and ISIS leading the anti-Assad insurgency? Assad must go. And we will risk future terror attacks on the American homeland to make it so.

ISIS declares a Caliphate incorporating its conquests in eastern Syria and western Iraq? Assad must go. And we will risk the further destabilization of the entire Middle East to make it so.

Russian fighter jets enter Syria to fight Al Qaeda and ISIS and save Assad? Assad must go. And we will risk military incidents that could escalate to a nuclear world war to make it so.

Source: The Utmost Arrogance of “Assad Must Go”


Original Article: https://internationalscope.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/the-utmost-arrogance-of-assad-must-go/

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Croatia In A Pickle To Form New Government

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Around 61.12 percent of 3.8 million eligible voters cast their ballots in Sunday 8 November general election in Croatia.
As I thought in one of my recent articles, neither of the two “big” political camps in Croatia (which divide Croatia into communist nostalgics/centre-left and independent Croatia loving cenre-right) won enough parliamentary seats to form a government outright- in the 151 seat parliament 76 are needed to form a majority government. In fact, the difference in results is almost insignificant leaving Croatia politically and ideologically divided (between centre-left and centre-right) to the point where economic progress and optimal politico-moral harmony are becoming more and more a feat impossible to achieve in one lifetime, at least.

Leader of Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ Tomislav Karamarko raises a glass to relative victory at 2015 general elections in Croatia Victory not enough to form government Photo: AFP

Leader of Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ
Tomislav Karamarko
raises a glass to relative victory at
2015 general elections in Croatia
Victory not enough to form government
Photo: AFP

The conservative Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ led coalition won 56 seats from within Croatia plus 3 allocated for the diaspora or voters living abroad (59 total) and the centre-left Social Democrats/SDP led coalition won 56 seats, but if one pinned the natural alliance to them from the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS), that won 3 seats just like the diaspora, then these two camps are equal even if HDZ is the relative winner. They are equally unable to form a government outright. They are equal in their desire to form an alliance with a group of independents that campaigned under the name “Bridge” (Most), which, by the way, based their election campaign on asserting they were “neither HDZ nor Social Democrats”, campaigned against the inefficient Social Democrat government…and achieved an amazing 19 seats in parliament evidently on the strength of asserting they were something entirely different to the two main political parties and that they would not be entering into a coalition with either! Many a prominent or formerly prominent political figures fell off the political race wagon – most embarrassingly for their results were pathetically against them. Some of these losers are the former President of Croatia Ivo Josipovic, the former Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, the former finance minister Slavko Linic, the former Environment minister Mirela Holy…

Leaders of political parties, journalists, political analysts… in Croatia look baffled, seem surprised, taken aback in a shock, shaking their heads in confusion – saying no one predicted such an election outcome and no one predicted the “Bridge” group could rise to such an important place as to be in the position that could be deciding who will govern Croatia and who won’t for the coming four years. It is clear to me that these people are not used to the situation where, after elections, forming government is not straightforward but requires minority government picking up various choices and combinations of governing models that could lead to forming a government.

Leader of Social Democrats/SDP and former Premier Zoran Milanovic Still in the running to form government although record of last mandate appalling Photo: Ivica Galovic/ PIXSELL

Leader of Social Democrats/SDP and former Premier
Zoran Milanovic
Still in the running to form government
although record of last mandate appalling
Photo: Ivica Galovic/ PIXSELL

It’s clear to me that the two main political camps have equally been miserably ineffective in wooing the electorates to vote for their programs and plans for changes and reforms. So, electorate had gone in significant numbers to the option that said loudly enough “we are not like any of them!”(Meaning HDZ or SDP).

This easily points to the democratically positive fact that the Croatian electorate is gaining in confidence and ability or strength to decide for itself and that candidates in future elections will need to work much harder to deserve and earn votes from people. “Bridge’s” electoral success seems to indicate that many Croatians are disenchanted with the traditional political parties, which have failed to address the country’s deep-rooted economic problems. And so the general elections results in effect mean that Zoran Milanovic’s Social Democrats government had lost but Tomislav Karamarko’s Croatian Democtratic Union did not quite win!

Be that as it may, Croatia today truly stands in a political pickle: both major political parties/coalitions have won enough seats to potentially form government with the third, new group – Bridge, or the two major political parties could form alliance between themselves only and form a government – plucking feathers off the threat to their power base that “Bridge’s” success at the polls poses; it has for a long time been said that Croatia needs a Third political option (besides the traditional big-players HDZ and SDP) and “Bridge’s” success appears to be the first ever “Third Option” that has hit the ground confidently running to the parliament and having a significant say in government.

Left: Drago Prgomet Right: Bozo Petrov two leaders of "Bridge" (Most) group of independents that won enough parliamentary seats to influence the formation of government in Croatia Photo: Robert Anic/Pixsell

Left: Drago Prgomet Right: Bozo Petrov
two leaders of “Bridge” (Most)
group of independents that
won enough parliamentary seats to influence the
formation of government in Croatia
Photo: Robert Anic/Pixsell

The problem with the “Bridge” group/coalition is that it’s not a homogenous group when it comes to a political ideology or even a set of programs to be had to improve Croatia’s economic and national unity fortunes. Mostly, the group is made up of several quite strong personalities (some relatively unknown and untested in national public service) and sound individuals who have been successful at their respective local scenes or local governments that often carry agendas not necessarily applicable to national issues. Furthermore, Drago Prgomet, one of the leading politicians in the “Bridge” group had relatively recently left HDZ, where he was a deputy leader under circumstances seemingly less than peaceful.

The question that leaps at one at this stage is: What criteria will the “Bridge” use in deciding which side it will join to help form a government if it comes to that: the centre-right/HDZ or the centre-left/SDP? They said in their campaign they’re neither and won their parliamentary seats on that account for sure; there are those among them who equally hate HDZ and SDP or like one more than the other but have declared they like neither…complicated!

Both the leader of HDZ, Tomislav Karamarko and the leader of SDP – Zoran Milanovic, have stated readiness to conduct talks with the “Bridge” in order to form a government. Another leading “Bridge” figure Bozo Petrov said on Monday 9 November it was ready for discussions. On the other hand, who knows, HDZ and SDP, the staunch political enemies, may end up putting their irons in the same fire and form a government – wouldn’t that be a shocker! The whole nation would need to go on Valium or some such sedative drug to carry it through to the next elections! It does strike one that to give “Bridge” room to swing its cats also means risking losing much of the power-base owned by each of the big players: HDZ and SDP! One wonders whether the Croatian winners at these elections are capable of leaving their egos outside the door before entering the meeting room where negotiations regarding forming government are to be held. Or, or – no government formed and new elections set, say for January or February 2016! (?)
Although members of the “Bridge” group have said in recent months that they would not be promoting personality cults I have yet to see a single member state in public that the “Bridge” would go back to its electorate and talk to their constituents, to people who voted for them, and seek their direction as with whom they should form alliances towards forming the government: HDZ or SDP! It’s shaping up to be a political mud-slinging fight loaded with individual and suddenly inflated egos so that any outcome is possible, unless of course, the coming days show some cementing of unity within the group for the program ahead to make Croatia firmly directed at economic recovery in particular.

President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic addresses the nation after the results of 2015 parliamentary elections announced Photo: predsjednica.hr

President of Croatia
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
addresses the nation after the
results of 2015 parliamentary elections announced
Photo: predsjednica.hr

Croatian president Kolinda Grabar Kitarović commented on the general election results with positive overtones and trust in the power of negotiations and consultations. “The results of the elections show that Croatia is a mature democracy. I want to congratulate everyone who entered the Parliament, as well as Patriotic Coalition (HDZ-led coalition), which is a relative winner of the election. I invite all those who are elected to Parliament to demonstrate their responsibility to the citizens who elected them and to put party interests aside. Together, we must continue to lead Croatia out of the crisis. In accordance with constitutional powers, I will act responsibly and I believe that we will, after consultation with the parties, soon have the new prime minister-designate”, the president said. Indeed, the coming week will show how mature Croatia’s democracy is at this time and whether personal emotions and views of politicians needing to consult will, to the country’s detriment, win against the absolute and cold-faced need to set up a responsible and effective government that is very different to the one Social Democrats and Zoran Milanovic have led in past four years.
Currently the most pressing problems in Croatia are:
• unemployment is at 15.4% – the third-highest in the European Union, after Greece and Spain
• youth unemployment is at 43.1% – also the third-highest in the EU
• the country has suffered six years of recession, although has seen little growth this year
• over 360,000 refugees and illegal migrants have passed through Croatia since beginning of September/late August this year and thousands are being housed in temporary winter reception centres en route to Western Europe, causing concerns on all sides.
Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


Original Article: http://inavukic.com/2015/11/11/croatia-in-a-pickle-to-form-new-government/

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Purging Croatia Of Darkness Of Tito And Communism

Zagreb, Croatia 31 October 2015 President of Croatian National Ethics Tribunal Dr Zvonimir Separovic Opens the proceedings against communist Yugoslavia's Josip Broz Tito Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Zagreb, Croatia 31 October 2015
President of Croatian National Ethics Tribunal
Dr Zvonimir Separovic
Opens the proceedings against communist Yugoslavia’s
Josip Broz Tito
Photo: Oskar Sarunic

It does not need to be pointed out that a country cannot step into a democratic political system from a communist dictatorship overnight, or without dedicated resources that would draw up and act on plans to help rid the country of a remnant communist mindset. It’s been over 25 years since Croatian people voted overwhelmingly in April 1990 for a multi-party parliament based on campaign for a greater sovereignty and eventual independence of Croatia from communist Yugoslavia. At the first sitting of the parliament on 30 May 1990 President Franjo Tuđman announced his manifesto for a new Constitution (ratified at the end of the year) and a multitude of political, economic, and social changes, and how best to achieve them, that would be the backbone of the independent and democratic Croatia. The war of Serb aggression quickly ensued against Croatia and did not completely end until 1998. This of course meant that much of Tudjman’s prescriptive manifesto for how best to achieve democracy and shed communism could not be implemented. And, of course, after his death in December 1999, former and die-hard communists came to government as well as the office of president and this saw a most damaging period for democracy in which de-Tudmanisation occurred based on lies and falsehoods especially regarding the Homeland War whereby victim was being equated with the aggressor; a period in which those in power sought to feed nostalgia for communist Yugoslavia and Josip Broz Tito even though Tito (who died in 1980) and Yugoslavia were much hated by much of the Croatian population. One could say that the powers that be in Croatia at this time after Tudjman’s death worked against the sentiments and political moral fiber of much of the Croatian population.

Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall Zagreb Croatia 31 October 2015 Judgment Day for crimes against Croatian people perpetrated by Josip Broz Tito and his followers Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall
Zagreb Croatia 31 October 2015
Judgment Day for crimes against Croatian people
perpetrated by Josip Broz Tito
and his followers
Photo: Oskar Sarunic

It goes without saying that to move truly into a democracy Croatia must confront and condemn the dark side of the communist era under Tito and his followers and this has been difficult as opposition and sabotage are very active. When faced with a government that proclaims Tito’s righteousness even though it is undeserving then a huge problem and perpetual division among people exist. But, every once in a while we come across a positive and notable step towards ridding Croatia of the dark ghost of Tito that continues stifling democratic progress in many subtle and not so subtle ways.

31 October 2015 Zagreb, Croatia Dr Zvonimir Separovic (middle) confers with members of Croatian National Ethical Tribunal (dr Zdravko Tomac - left and Zvonimir Hodak - right) regartding proceedings of the day condemnation oif crimes of Josip Broz Tito Photo: Oskar Sarunic

31 October 2015 Zagreb, Croatia
Dr Zvonimir Separovic (middle) confers
with members of Croatian National Ethical Tribunal
(dr Zdravko Tomac – left and Zvonimir Hodak – right)
regartding proceedings of the day
condemnation oif crimes of Josip Broz Tito
Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Thousands filled the Vatroslav Lisinski Conert Hall in Zagreb on Saturday 31 October 2015 to witness and be present at the posthumous judgment against Josip Broz Tito, the President, the Marshall, the Judge, the Jury and the Executioner, the Dictator of the former communist Yugoslavia delivered by the Croatian National Ethical Tribunal for his crimes against the Croatian people. As these things go in a country like Croatia where communists and former communists control the mainstream media one did not find out about this most important event via that media. Many distinguished guests, academics, former Croatian parliamentarians and government ministers spoke but perhaps at this point it is most significant to note the words of the last speaker of the day – Franc Breznik, member of parliament of Slovenia (Slovenian Democratic Party):

Today in Croatia, with the ethical condemnation of Tito, Croatian Nurenberg occurred. After the Nuremberg trials, which commenced on 20 November 1945 began the process of De-Notification of Germany. Today’s ethical condemnation of Tito and his ideological followers will start the DE-comunisation of Croatia, Slovenia and other parts of other states that were once part of communist Yugoslavia. Now it is up to us in Slovenia to follow your example Croatia,”said the Slovenian parliamentarian, earning thunderous applause.

Thousands came to witness the hearing of testimonies of victims of communist crimes in Croatia Zagreb, Croatia - 31 October 2015 Croatian National Ethical Tribunal Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Thousands came to witness
the hearing of testimonies of
victims of communist crimes in Croatia
Zagreb, Croatia – 31 October 2015
Croatian National Ethical Tribunal
Photo: Oskar Sarunic

People came from all over Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and from around the world – especially representatives of the Croatian diaspora. Also present were representatives of many major veterans associations, from those who have stood in protest for veterans’ rights for almost a year now at Savska 66 in Zagreb to members of the Committee for the defense of Croatian Vukovar.

Prior to the judgment being delivered Dr Marko Veselica – a former dissident and a former political prisoner in Tito’s prisons – and Mr Nikola Stedul, who survived an assassination attempt (five bullet hits) by UDBA’s (Tito’s Communist Yugoslavia Secret Police) agent Vinko Sindicic in Kirkcaldy, Scotland in 1988, spoke. Then Anto Kovacevic, who spent seven years in hard-labour prison for telling a joke about Tito, also gave witness as to the criminal acts and depraved revenge Tito effectuated against all who dared think differently. Kovacevic’s clearly articulated and unequivocally adopted position that without lustration, democracy or economic recovery were not possible for Croatia was met with resounding applause. Other, speakers among many included Eva Kirchmayer Bilic, Dzemaludin Latic and Mladen Pavkovic.

Nikola Stedul A victim of and witness to communist crimes by Tito and his followers Zagreb, Croatia 31 October 2015 Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Nikola Stedul
A victim of and witness to
communist crimes by
Tito and his followers
Zagreb, Croatia 31 October 2015
Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Ante Glibota, vice president of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and Literature spoke about lustration as intercession for a democratic future. For ethical condemnation criminal Tito and his ideological followers came to a large number of Slovenians, which present very strongly welcomed by long applause. Roman Ljeljak, a well-known Slovenian public advocate for the disclosure of Tito’s Partisan army’s post-WWII perpetration of genocide and war crimes and the UDBA assassinations of Croatian political emigrants in Europe, especially in Austria, spoke about the Huda pit (mass grave of innocent 2,000 Croats, 700 Slovenians and 300 German nationals) and the murder of Croatian emigrant Stjepan Crnogorac by UDBA.

Sister Bernardica Crnogorac spoke of her brother Stjepan's murder in 1972 and that the communists still hold secret the place where his remains were left after his murder in Salzburg by communist secret police Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Sister Bernardica Crnogorac
spoke of her brother Stjepan’s murder in 1972
and that the communists still
hold secret the place where his remains were left
after his murder in Salzburg by communist secret police
Photo: Oskar Sarunic

Dr Zvonimir Separovic, the president of the Croatian National Ethical Tribunal (and Croatian Victimology Society), then moved that the Tribunal attends to the main point on the day’s agenda.
The Croatian National Ethical Tribunal in this its Fifth Judicial sitting, deliberated in this trial against Josip Broz Tito and the Yugoslav Communist totalitarianism on the ethical charges brought on 25 June 2015 for genocide and other serious crimes committed against Croatian people. The tribunal comprised of thefollowing members: Zvonimir Separovic – President of the Tribunal and members Nikola Debelić, Zdravko Tomac, Josip Jurcevic, Zdravko Vladanovic, Zvonimir Hodak, John Kozlic, Bozidar Alic, Ante Beljo, Nevenka Nekic and Tomislav Josic. Josip Broz Tito and the Yugoslav communist totalitarianism were convicted of these criminal charges by the Tribunal.

Furthermore, Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic was also condemned and convicted for being Tito’s and his ideology’s follower. “ In the past year the Ethical Tribunal has delivered convictions against Ivo Josipovic, Stjepan Mesic, Vesna Pusic, Milorad Pupovac, Budimir Loncar, Vesna Terselic and now the turn has come for Zoran Milanovic,” said dr Zdravko Tomac.

Hence, it’s by pure chance that Zoran Milanovic’s case as one of the remaining Tito’s followers has come up at this time. He is judged on two bases: as a follower, a man who even after the discovery of 1700 mass graves and Huda pits he had the audacity to repeat that Tito was the best thing that Croats ever had”. The Ethical Tribunal thus convicted Milanovic.

JUDGED AND CONDEMNED FOR COMMUNIST CRIMES Portrait of Josip Broz Tito President of former Communist Yugoslavia Portrait in oil: Charles Billich

JUDGED AND CONDEMNED FOR COMMUNIST CRIMES
Portrait of Josip Broz Tito
President of former Communist Yugoslavia
Portrait in oil: Charles Billich

Croatian National Ethical Tribunal is a great thing that has happened to the Croatian social conscience scene since 1990 as it gathers large crowds that deal head-on with the dark past of communist crimes that must be dealt with – it is a great pity that government authorities in Croatia look past this as if it had to do with some other people not their own descendants or those victims still living. It is by no measure an easy thing to do what the Ethics Tribunal is doing for these champions of democracy are quickly and maliciously and above all undeservedly labeled by communist nostalgics as fascists or Ustase. It goes without saying that much of the opposition to the process of condemning the Yugoslav communist regime for its crimes is ingrained in the resistance for such in descendants of communists or former communists themselves. Purging itself of communist past with decisive condemnation of its crimes continues to be a most difficult task for Croatia but – not an impossible. Persistence is the key to success! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Original Article: http://inavukic.com/2015/11/04/purging-croatia-of-darkness-of-tito-and-communism/

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Croatian Elections: Don’t Let The Patriotic Fire Go Out

Croatian General Elections 2015: 2311 Candidates - 166 Lists!

Croatian General Elections 2015:
2311 Candidates – 166 Lists!

Croatia, like most other democratic countries, is well entrenched in the era of multi-party political coalitions and these have, particularly since early-2000’s become the norm rather than the exception. Long gone are the days when one party or two-party coalition could secure the government or majority seats in the Parliament. The era of multi-party politics, government and coalitions is here and the days of exclusive manifestos, majorities and the domination of the traditional parties is at an end and that, it would seem, is a natural development within a democracy where the right to opinion and view inevitably gives rise to differences unsustainable within a single party or even a multi-party coalition. We are witnessing more and more parties competing for the votes from people concerned about fairness and social justice. 2015 General Elections due on 8 November in Croatia will have 2311 candidates from 161 political party lists and 5 independent – 957 or 41.41% women candidates. This year’s political coalitions indicate that the need to increase the number of political parties in a single coalition has grown since 2011 elections and is painting a scenario of polarising voter body into two almost equally large parts, with trickles of independents or brand new parties trying to win a seat or two. The big surprise in 2014/2015, however, is that the Croatian political environment seemed as if it was entering an era of third options, moving away from its two-party tradition, but rather went to a two-coalition tradition after the bubble of new parties burst.
The road to a minority government seems almost a certain political fate for Croatia in November 2015 as two large political coalitions (each with their own voter support) take to the public arena, unless at least a little bit tectonic shift occurs in the voter corpus of either centre-left/Liberal or centre-right Conservative coalitions towards the other, or, all political parties with similar designs on outcomes have in fact entered the same coalition and there is no cross-contamination of political character between the two coalitions.
In loose terms, generally, the Left oriented political platform believes the role of the government should be to guarantee that no one is in need and Liberal policies generally emphasize the need for the government to solve problems – something that was the back-bone of the failed communism and socialism of former Yugoslavia. The Right oriented political platform believes the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals and Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems.

In its election campaigning the Social Democrat led coalition decided to show results that Croatia’s economy is growing; indicators are, albeit flimsily, positive for the second quarter in a row and they are pressing on with the rhetoric: let us finish what we started. With this they continue with their focus on no-holds-barred allegations that there is corruption in the Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ, which leads the Conservative coalition, hence coming up with another slogan or rhetoric “There’s no turning back to the old ways”. The Social Democrats led coalition has huddled around the slogan “Croatia is Growing” – trying, among other trajectories, to portray to the voters that the economy is getting stronger and it will support them without the need for austerity or increase in unemployment and poverty, threat of which hover with stark reality and likelihood over everyone’s heads. Hence, feeding a continuance of certain dependence upon government and its performance, which by the way has been appalling under the Social Democrats’ led government.

Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ was quick to seriously dampen and dash any high-hopes of a better living standard under a Social Democrats led government. HDZ was quick to point out that what is indeed growing is Croatia’s debt, which has reached 290 billion kuna, the number of indebted people with frozen bank accounts, the number of citizens leaving the country in search of a livelihood, the number of small businesses and family farms that have been shut down, the number of people queuing in front of soup kitchens, the loss of jobs and the drop in living standards during the term of Social Democrat led government.

Croatian economy is not much better than the Greek and all know that drastic changes will need to be made to bring the economy to a positive trend, which in turn has an effect in bettering the citizens’ daily existence. Social Democrats have taken a populist approach to elections by injecting an air of enthusiasm for a quick and painless fix of dire economic woes under their government that “Croatia is growing” slogan suggests.
Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ has opted to concentrate on patriotism as the main mind-frame that will win them government and has resoundingly named its coalition “Patriotic Coalition” (or rather Homeland-loving coalition) with the slogan “For a Strong Croatia”. Certainly, while prudently not relying on the current economic trends as any sort of promise for the future HDZ has aptly and ably managed to show the weaknesses and downfalls of the current Social Democrat led government in its handling of the economy and its possible recovery and looks to see this translate into some defection of voters from the left side to theirs. In this HDZ demonstrates sound knowledge and needed skills of perception that could lead Croatia into having a stable government under HDZ’s leadership. Stability is also a very important characteristic of patriotism, which in turn nurtures the sentiments of safety and support.
Indeed, patriotism does not divide (as left-oriented politicians in Croatia have wickedly tried to convince people) – it unifies. Patriotism with all the passions that ignites can bond people together for good purpose or it can be the last refuge of a scoundrel but first and foremost, voting is an act of patriotism.
Elections are the epitome of patriotic expression. You cannot have a republic or a democracy without participants who can freely speak through voting. This election is no exception but it has been dubbed as one of the most crucial elections in Croatia’s relatively young democracy. The disquieting hue in the apparently widespread sentiment is that if Social Democrat led coalition wins Croatia will be lost. The other side of that coin is that Croatia has its only chance of survival if HDZ or Croatian Democratic Union led coalition wins government on 8 November.

croatian independence
Independent Croatia founders (which did not include the Communist League from which Social Democrats sprung) designed democratic Croatia in which people would speak freely through voting. Their objective was to replace Communist Party dictates with representation in parliament. I think anyone who does not vote falls short of being a true patriotic Croat. The Communist League walked out of the Croatian Parliament in 1991 when the Parliament announced its about to vote for Croatia’s secession from communist Yugoslavia and it remains to be seen whether an increased number voters who have been loyal to the left will on 8 November recognise the fact that Social Democrats force-feed themselves with notions of Croatian patriotism while not lifting a finger to denounce and condemn the former Yugoslav communist rule – and vote against them. Will they recognise the reality that Croatia cannot move further into a complete state of well-being unless it completely sheds and shatters the remnants of communist Yugoslavia.

Patriotism is defined by the Webster Dictionary as “a zealous love of one’s country”, while the Oxford Dictionary defined it as “devotion to one’s country and concern for its defence”.
The definition of being a patriotic Croat is to show love and loyalty to Croatia and of all the signs and activities that lead to calling oneself patriotic – voting stands alone as the most important civic action citizens can take part in to win the right to call themselves “patriotic.”

Political coalitions would do well to remember that it is not merely difference in opinion (or slogans) but strength in opinion that usually characterises party support. Cast-iron promises are not what the voters will be looking at in Croatia – history knows political promises are made to be broken – but, if savvy enough, they will be looking at coalition negotiations, anticipating give and take flows that could affect their own lives. HDZ’s leader Tomislav Karamarko has promised the Croats a passage through the valley of tears, meaning the heavy and painful reforms that a number of consecutive governments have been postponing, hence resulting in comparison between Croatia and Greece. Zoran Milanović on the other hand, who has so far positioned himself as an austerity-oriented, has quickly and loudly untied the purse strings promising Christmas bonuses to pensioners (it cannot afford) and better days ahead, although Croatia is in an excessive deficit and suffocating under debt. Definitely, to my view – Zoran Milanovic reminds us of Yugoslavia’s Josip Broz Tito whose seeming political success thrived on borrowed money, on other people’s money. The difference is, nevertheless, that Zoran Milanovic lives and acts in times when single political parties have no decisive power and the homeland is becoming the ultimate asset worthwhile having – not political parties. In the end, the results of the general elections in Croatia will come down to whether the love for Croatia is a force that wins the elections and sets Croatia on the final leg of its originally desired freedom and prosperity. After 25 years – it’s time! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


Original Article: http://inavukic.com/2015/11/01/croatian-elections-dont-let-the-patriotic-fire-go-out/

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