Croatia: Accusations of Revisionism Denounced As Cultural War Waged By Post-Communist Elites

 

 
Croatia's Minister of Culture Zlatko Hasanbegovic Photo: lemonde.fr

Croatia’s Minister of Culture
Zlatko Hasanbegovic
Photo: lemonde.fr

Regular readers of this blog will know that the Croatian Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic has had to endure incessant attacks since he was appointed a minister in the new Croatian government over his position as a historian on WWII Croatia. His views are severely criticised, painted as revisionist in the utmost of negative connotations and the criticisms have rendered much of the worldwide media an orchestrated series of attacks using utterly ugly and unfair hate speech. But criticisms did not stop at attacks via the media – and although communist rattles such as Efraim Zuroff from Jerusalem based Simon Wiesenthal Centre have sought that the minister be removed from his post,  some more known personalities recently also wrote  an open letter seeking Hasanbegovic’s dismissal as minister.

The call (open letter) has received large international support from prominent figures, members of civil society and the world of culture. This support represents 35 countries, who call for revisionism and genocide denial to be removed from the heart of the Croatian government,” wrote EGAM.eu (European Grassroots Antiracist Movement) on 24 May 2016.

It appears quite extraordinary that an organisation that “prides” itself on fighting against racism, such as EGAM, actually condones and fuels racist attacks and abuse against Croatia’s minister Hasanbegovic, whose political plight and agenda heavily rests on determination to finally achieve justice for the victims of communist crimes in Croatia during and post-WWII. But, looking deeper into EGAM, it looks more like a political arm for the defence and justification of communist crimes rather than an independent body truly fighting racism in any of its forms.
The internationally leftist flavoured call to rid Croatia of its minister Hasanbegovic, EGAM writes about, was first published 23 May 2016 in Libération, a the French far-left newspaper.

Mr. Hasanbegovic uses the evidence of crimes committed after the World War II as a point of identifying anti-Fascism as Communism, which is inadmissible,” writes Libération.

However, nothing could be further from the truth.

What Hasanbegovic actually said on the topic antifascism/communism was that communism (as in Yugoslav communism) was not antifascist, that is, that to the communists antifascism was nothing more than “a mask behind which historical intellectual, philosophical, political and human shame of communism is hidden, but also the weapon for restraining everything that did not comply with the communist idea of proletariat world dictatorship.” This of course is quite different to what Libération would perhaps like us to see.

Libération brands Hasanbegovic as revisionist and writes that one of Hasanbegović’s first moves was to abolish the Commission for Non-Profit Media – which was in the hands of leftists, according to the Minister – and to get rid of “critically-minded journalists” on Croatian Radio Television. Cutting government funding to useless non-profit media or NGOs whose functioning goes against their own purpose – for which they received government funding in the first place – is not a move of a revisionist but a move made by numerous government everywhere with view to bringing order in government subsidy schemes. With the public space cluttered by too many media outlets in Croatia it was about time the government started cutting some from its own purse and allow these non-profit media outlets to fend for themselves and turn into profit media, as public media mainly should be.

As shown on the egam.eu website the open-letter in Libération against Croatia’s minister of culture was signed by a string of personalities such as the Italian Marxist theoretician Antonio Negri, conservative French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, Italian Nobel Prize for Literature winner Dario Fo, “Nazi hunters” Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, and others like human rights activists, artists and – unbelievably – Michael Danby, a Labor Party member of Australian Parliament for Melbourne Ports! It appears this was the only parliamentarian on the list of signatories and an Australian taxpayer, the Australian Parliament, the Croatian Parliament… must indeed ask the question as to why a Member of Parliament (Australian) would sign a letter as Member of Parliament seeking to oust from office a minister of a friendly country (Croatia)? Such behaviour of blatant hate attacks by a Member of Parliament against a Member of Parliament of a friendly country, outside official Parliament business to boot, must not be tolerated and should be condemned, severely sanctioned. The open letter maliciously stated, “Zlatko Hasanbegovic exploits violence of totalitarian regimes to discredit the struggle against fascism, which he insidiously mixes with the crimes of communism, which is a distortion of the truth. He was not chosen for his competences in the field of culture, but to promote the ideology he represents. In his speeches and publications, he puts into doubt historical truths and basic values of our political union”. What an abominable attempt by the persons signing the open letter to deny victims of communist crimes justice.

Hasanbegovic defended his positions by answering to these attacks in an interview with French Le Monde newspaper published 25 May 2016, which are according to him a “cultural war” led by leftists and liberals exercising a cultural and social hegemony without taking into account the end of communism.

You are very criticized by cultural, thousands of artists ask for your resignation, is this not a problem?” asked Jean-Baptiste Chastand of Le Monde.

I was criticised by some of the cultural and artistic community, but I am sustained by another. I have to deal with a kind of cultural war. In our post-communist society there are indeed still divisions on interpretations of the past, including Yugoslav. But in my case, part of a courteous and civilised debate has been exceeded. There is a hysteria, a smear campaign, from a pseudo-left that continues to exert a kind of cultural and social hegemony without taking into account the fall of communism,” replied Hasanbegovic.

This is completely unfounded nonsense” said Hasanbegovic defending himself against these attacks. “I am surprised by the superficiality of people who allowed to be pulled into a smear campaign launched by armchair critics from Zagreb without ever reading any of my statements, articles or books,” he added during Le Monde interview.

Hasanbegovic says, for Le Monde, that his work aims to get rid of the remains of communism, in a post-communist country, still infiltrated by “a pseudo-left that continues to exercise a cultural and social hegemony.” Accused to have pushed to resignation the president of the Agency for Electronic Media and the president of the Croatian Television, he denied his involvement in these resignations and recalled that both of them were influential members of the former Yugoslavian communist party and that it was not acceptable that they were at such posts.

Furthermore, in his interview for Le Monde, he was asked to explain his positions regarding the WWII pro-Nazi Ustashi regime – active between 1929 and 1945, his ties to Alain de Besnoist and Tomislav Sunic – associated with “new right” movement in the EU, and his ties with nationalists. Finally, he needed to answer to the accusation of revisionism.

About being seen as a nostalgic of the Ustashi regime, he explained his aversion of the Bolshevism and his support for auto-determination of each nation, and recalled the particular context of that time: “I regret that the Croatian people had failed to exercise their right to national self-determination after the Second World War. Each Croatian will give you the same answer as every Lithuanian, Latvian or Estonian. I regret that we found ourselves in Yugoslavia, a Bolshevik undemocratic system, against our will. But, of course, I do not regret the defeat of the Ustasha regime, which was responsible for many crimes.”

On Alain de Benoist and Tomislav Sunic, Hasanbegovic said that Benoist is one of the greatest French intellectuals alive, whose many works have played an important role in his own intellectual formation, and that Sunic did important academic work, even if he does not agree on everything with him, but does respect him for his academic work.

Regarding his links to nationalists, he simply explained his love for his country, and added that he was honoured to be in associated with the people who fought for his nation. About revisionism, he explained that his work to honour the Croatian victims and the national martyrs is not in any way a minimisation of the suffering of the other victims of WWII, such as Serbs, Jews or Roma. He simply recalled that the Croatian victims are the only ones who have not received enough consideration until now, and that it was his priority to ensure they receive due consideration.

Tomislav Karamarko President of HDZ First Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia

Tomislav Karamarko
President of HDZ
First Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia

The majority party of Croatia’s ruling coalition, Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ, held its elections in Zagreb on Saturday 28 May 2016 and members overwhelmingly voted their support for Mr Tomislav Karamarko as President and leader, but what delights also is the fact that Zlatko Hasanbegovic received an overwhelming (more than any other candidate) vote as elected member of the Party’s presidency. The 200,000 + members of HDZ have thus sent a strong message they reject the racist and hate attacks waged against the minister worldwide by the left, pro-communist lot. Such resolve does make one proud to be Croatian at this time! Nothing but the truth will suffice, no matter what occurs in between. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Original Article: https://inavukic.com/2016/05/29/croatia-accusations-of-revisionism-denounced-as-cultural-war-waged-by-post-communist-elites/

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 Editors Notes:

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No Holds Barred Attacks Against Croatian Government Majority HDZ Leader

Ana Saric-Karamarko and Tomislav Karamako Photo: vijestihrt.hr

Ana Saric-Karamarko and Tomislav Karamako
Photo: vijestihrt.hr

“They” – opposition politicians of the communist breed largely embedded in the Social Democrat parliamentary opposition in Croatia, self-professed antifascists who know bugger all about being or practicing true antifascism as well as much of the twisted left oriented media in Croatia – are still intent on destroying the coalition government mainly by staging scandals and false crises. The political arena where political combatants get at each other armed with a vicious killer instinct is, of course, nothing new for a parliamentary system of governments where the number of votes gets to be “King”. However, when the path of destruction against a political party targets its leader using blatant denial of due process then any democratic society must take a pause and take a hard look at itself. Be concerned. Very concerned.

Latest ammunition used in Croatia to try and destroy HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union that holds majority seats in the coalition government) is that of denial of due process to its president, Tomislav Karamarko. That is, the matter of possible Karamarko’s conflict of interests in relation to his wife’s previous dealings with Hungarian MOL company I referred to in my last article, has escalated to ugly media and by the opposition pressures for HDZ and its coalition partner MOST to issue statements regarding the matter, ahead of findings by the appropriate independent official body dealing with the matter.

All in all: pressure that translates into denial of due process. Ruling on the matter must occur first and then comments and statements follow naturally and as a matter of due process also.

I was most disappointed in an article by a well-known, often respected, Croatian journalist for Vecernji List, Davor Ivankovic, a couple of days ago in which he appears as if he has joined the liberal/communist/social democrat opposition in mounting no holds barred attacks against Karamarko as the person who must go from his position of party leadership and government leadership team!

Suddenly Tomislav Karamarko, leader of HDZ, the First Deputy Prime Minister, is to blamed for everything, even for an alleged dysfunctional government over which he does not even preside!

Ivankovic, in his article, talks of the planned vote of no confidence being tabled at the Parliament by the Social Democrats against Tomislav Karamarko on basis of alleged conflicts of interests to do with his wife’s private business. “…If MOST (HDZ’s coalition partner in government) holds the numbers for a quorum when the voting is on regarding Karamarko, it’s enough for them to abstain from voting, and, therefore, SDP (Social Democrats) would not collect enough votes. That would give the new HDZ leadership (HDZ general assembly coming up this coming week/before Parliament votes on no confidence) enough time to search for a new leader. Karamarko is, so to say, already in ‘free-fall’, and it’s clear that every new quake around him will start the motion of replacing him within the party. It’s thought that no one would even let a tear drop for him after 3 or 4 months…” writes Ivankovic.

There is not a mention, not a single mention of any unfairness against Karamarko in Ivankovic’s article; there’s no criticism of the Social Democrats for causing what he calls a “quake” around Karamarko when the official independent body has not even delivered its findings against allegations of conflict of interests! I have, therefore, started to wonder if Davor Ivankovic has crossed the lines of journalistic balance and joined the real destroyers: those who are purposefully and neglectfully straying away from foundations of democracy – entitlement to a due process. This surely cannot be a healthy occurrence for a society hungry for justice for victims of the Homeland War and of communist crimes to endure.

Regardless of how one feels about Tomislav Karamarko, his absence from the leadership of HDZ would signal major changes within the party that most likely would not spell political survival as Ivankovic suggests it would. It needs to be remembered that the public faith in HDZ has since May 2012 been praise-worthily and significantly restored under Karamarko’s leadership. Karamarko’s leadership gave a new lease of life to conservative or centre-right politics in Croatia; the politics that were responsible for the Homeland War victory and Croatian independence but also the politics suffering almost insurmountable unproven allegations of theft, fraud, corruption…

There is a number of people in HDZ who have arrayed themselves in opposition to Karamarko, even if they may or do not show it. A keen eye could see for a while now that appetites have been running whet for the leadership chair as well as on skinning HDZ of its popularity among the people. There has been little if any efforts from those currently eyeing a chair at the HDZ leadership table in asserting to the public that HDZ is not as “sick” as the opposition and media are making it look. The limp, lukewarm comments on major scandals by those running close to Karamarko in HDZ may not in fact be what Ivankovic calls “mentality in HDZ where no one dares to go against the chief for if you do, you lose your head,” but in fact responses that go with ambitions to be that leader once the latter falls; to be a new Karamarko to HDZ (?). In any case, there’s much to be said for loyalty to the leader in a political party – it is the superglue of political survival and unity and is a desirable quality everywhere.

Davor Ivankovic’s article suggests that HDZ is dying, but Karamarko doesn’t know it (and he should! He should step away! – he suggests). That HDZ is sick. And then Ivankovic would like us to think anything that speeds up Karamarko’s demise is to the good, because then it (HDZ) can reinvent itself and return as something healthy. No way Karamarko has caused all that alleged sickness in HDZ – the political party that only a few months ago won 59 seats in Parliament under his leadership, enough to form a coalition government!

I have problems with the approach of attacking HDZ’s leader, Karamarko, which in turn dictate the results of opinion polls and nation’s mood for dealing with real issues such as economic reform. Real issues and electoral promises always get left behind when the society is bombarded daily with scandals around personal issues of politicians or unproven allegations. This approach presumes the events of the coming years can be perfectly predicted because one can mount scandals that shape a government or party leadership and it undermines the legitimacy of the Parliament and executive.

The approach suggests opinion polls are more important than the Parliament, than the actual good Karamarko (or any member of parliament) does as a parliamentary representative.

Some principles are more important than the contest for who gets to ride in the shiniest car with the flag on the bonnet. Croatian society (any democratic society) can only properly function while its members accept the laws enacted by the parliament bind them. If Karamarko has a case to answer in the conflict of interest allegations then the ruling will be brought under the relevant law enacted by the parliament. A due process that also means innocent until proven guilty is a mandatory moral fiber all politicians and media must uphold; otherwise we’re all “going to pot”. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


Original Article: https://inavukic.com/2016/05/24/no-holds-barred-attacks-against-croatian-government-majority-hdz-leader/

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Editors Notes:

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New Yale Law School Report Shows Rapid Growth of Domestic Watchlists

terror alertBy Derrick Broze

A new report highlights the lack of oversight and exponential growth in the number of Americans placed on domestic intelligence watchlists.

A new analysis from the American Civil Liberties Union and a clinic at the Yale Law School is calling attention to the hundreds of thousands of individuals who have been placed on a variety of domestic terror watchlists. The report, “Trapped in a Black Box: Growing Terrorist Watchlisting in Everyday Policing,” details how the ACLU and the clinic at Yale Law School view this expansion of domestic watchlists as a potential threat to privacy and liberty.

The researchers reviewed 13,000 pages of information, including pages released from the Federal Bureau of Investigations via a Freedom of Information Act request and lawsuit by the ACLU and the Civil Liberties and the Civil Liberties and National Security Clinic at the law school.

The team also studied information obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the government’s Watchlisting Guidance.

They found that there were less than 10,000 entries in 2003 as part of the Violent Gangs and Terrorist Organizations File, but by 2008 that number grown to 272,198 individuals under a successor category, the Known or Suspected Terrorist File. The report states that the KST list, “is part of a vast system of domestic surveillance of people whom law enforcement labels suspect based on vague and loose criteria, with serious constitutional and privacy implications for those who are included in the file.”

“Such individuals may be stigmatized as potential terrorists and are vulnerable to increased law enforcement scrutiny, often without knowing that they are on a secret watchlist, and without a meaningful way to confirm or contest their inclusion,” the report said.

Alice Wang, a third-year Yale Law School student and an author of the report, said the report highlights the shift made by the FBI from law enforcement to domestic intelligence gathering. Wang said although it may be appropriate to have a file of people with arrest warrants, she said those numbers only make up a small portion of the list.

Wang told the NH Register that the authors were not taking a position on the watchlists in general, but rather focusing on the due process rights of individuals on the list. The report does state there is a lack of oversight and the list “utilizes a low ‘reasonable suspicion’ evidentiary standard” in adding a name to the list. The report concludes that the primary purpose of the list is “the surveillance and tracking of individuals for indefinite periods.”

Dave S. Joly, terrorist screening center spokesman in Washington, D.C., told the NH Register that, “The Terrorist Screening Center does not publicly confirm nor deny whether any individual may be included in the U.S. Government’s Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) or a subset list.”

The expansion of domestic terror watchlists has received scant media attention in the past. Even the two leaks (one, two) related to government watchlists were mostly ignored by the corporate media during the summer of 2014. The first leak dealt with a 2013 document from the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) which details the rules for placing individuals on terrorism watchlists, including the no-fly list.

The 166-page document covers two lists: the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), and the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB). Chapters of the document include information on what triggers placement on the lists, and what type of information officials are to collect when encountering suspected individuals.

While that document details the vague and broad language used to ensnare individuals as possible terrorists, the latest leak covers another document from the NCTC: the Directorate of Terrorist Identities (DTI) Strategic Accomplishments 2013. DTI is a counterterrorism unit within the NCTC responsible for maintaining the TIDE. The document is essentially a highlight of what the NCTC deems as accomplishments by the DTI in their pursuit of counterterrorism goals.

As the Intercept notes, at the time of the document the TSDB listed 680,000 “known or suspected terrorists.” However, a whopping 280,000 are described as “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.” The groups listed alongside “no recognized terrorist group affiliation” include more well-known groups deemed terrorists by the U.S. government. Namely, Al Qaeda in Iraq, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah. The documents show that under the Obama administration the number of people placed on the no-fly list has grown more than ten times.

The leading agencies behind placing individuals on the watchlists include the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The document also lists five cities where “known or suspected terrorists” are reportedly in large numbers. These include New York; Dearborn, Mich.; Houston; San Diego; and Chicago.

As the government continues to operate these lists in the cover of dark, the American people are left to wonder if they are yet another number being observed by the watchful eyes of Big Brother. Only by exposing the public to this information and choosing to speak boldly and courageously will we ensure that America does not succumb to tyranny.

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for Activist Post

Derrick is available for interviews.

This article may be freely reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link

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Editors Notes:

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#In the Shadows of Men

My mother gave birth to me in Jerusalem, and my first months were in Jericho. I am a sun-month born person. The flaming august as they call it. And in those years, summer was present with immense strength not like these days. We don’t know when it starts and when it leaves us. I was small in size; my weight didn’t exceed the three kilos.

And my grandmother used to wipe me with olive oil and wrap me with a piece of cloth and pull it around my tiny body to strengthen my bones.

And my mother used to put me on the terrace in the courtyard of the house and leave me until she finishes her house chorus. . And forget me … until my grandfather screams out: “ come and take her before the cat eats her.” No wonder my skin color was darker than my sisters. The rays of Jericho’s sun have brushed me for many hours, day after day to have my bones getting stronger and harder. But inside me was always what frightened me … slow down, you are a girl. Your steps should always be limited. You don’t need a man. But you will not be anything without him.

No mater how hard you worked and your sisters to compensate your parents for the absence of the boy, you will never be able to fix this gap in your mother’s heart.

Original Article: https://nadiaharhash.com/2016/05/22/in-the-shadows-of-men-3/

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Editors Notes:

I would remind you that this blog is produced free for the public good and you are welcome to republish or re-use this article or any other material freely anywhere without requesting further permission.

News & Views welcome always published as long as NO bad language or is not related to subject matter.

Thanks for following as always appreciate every like, mention , reblog or #tweet also our newspaper is added with all our posts daily:

BreakingMain NewsFinanceWorldSocialFoodHistoryBritainScotlandFriendsAuthors#TweetPC-HelpNewsroomChatShop & ShareDisability — more to come.

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Bleiburg – Commemorating Croatian Victims Of Communist Crimes

Tomislav Karamarko, First Deputy Prime Minister Shakes hand with one of the clerical officials leading the mass at Bleiburg field Saturday 14 May 2016 Photo: Sanjin Strukic/Pxsell

Tomislav Karamarko, First Deputy Prime Minister
Shakes hand with one of the
clerical officials leading the mass
at Bleiburg field Saturday 14 May 2016
Photo: Sanjin Strukic/Pxsell

The 71st annual commemoration of Croatian victims of communism (Yugoslav) at the Bleiburg field, Austria, and along the Way of the Cross from mid-May 1945 to months after, took place under the renewed auspices of the Croatian Parliament at Bleiburg field on Saturday 14 May 2016. The Eucharist led by Bishop Franjo Komarica (From Banja Luka/ Bosnia and Herzegovina) embraced the compassionate and grieving hearts of more than 20,000 Croats and their guests.
The Bleiburg field and death marches (Way of the Cross) symbolise the tragedy of the Croatian people that occurred after WWII had ended. The totalitarian communist regime of Yugoslavia then committed acts of horrendous violence on massive scales, violating basic human rights, including the most valuable human right – the right to life. All this, in the name of sick revenge and political agenda, which would see the undisturbed installation of communism as the only way of political thought and deed for decades to come.

Croatian government and parliamentary leaders at Bleiburg 14 May 2016 Photo: Sanjin Strukic/Pixsell

Croatian government and parliamentary
leaders at Bleiburg 14 May 2016
Photo: Sanjin Strukic/Pixsell

Zeljko Reiner, the President of the Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko (who also led a delegation on the same day to lay wreaths at the Tezno pit – mass grave filled with more than 15,000 victims of communist crimes), several ministers and MPs gathered there to personally bow their heads to the victims. Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, and Deputy Prime Minister Bozo Petrov were not there with the masses on Saturday (although President Graba-Kitarovic did send a representative Bruna Esih), they each decided to avoid coming on that day but did get to Bleiburg privately or on the quiet the day or so before.

This seems to be some sort of a new fashion or a fad in Croatia from the office of the President and Prime Minister: not joining the official commemoration, not joining the people for the occasion – just going separately under the explanation that they do not want to bring politics into commemorating! Similar thing occurred for the commemorations of the Holocaust in Jasenovac in April, at least as far as the President is concerned.

Bleiburg 2016 Photo: Sanjin Strukic/Pixsell

Bleiburg 2016
Photo: Sanjin Strukic/Pixsell

Well, while politics should not interfere with commemorations for victims of these brutal crimes it does strike one that the very noticeable President’s and Prime Minister’s absence actually makes that choice of theirs very political. The President’s eye-poking purposeful absence from the official memorial ceremonies does colour commemorating the victims political no matter what the President or Prime Minister say. By not attending the official ceremonies, to my view, both the President and the Prime Minister have given their nod of approval to the Social Democrats/ the left parliamentary opposition for their absence from the official commemorations! So, the President’s and the Prime Minister’s calling for unity does not sit comfortably when in fact they practice separatism in this very important historic event for the Croatian nation.

Bleiburg memorial site for Croatian victims of communist crimes

Bleiburg memorial site for
Croatian victims of communist crimes

A major problem in modern historiography is that when describing the ‘struggle for historical remembrance,’ not all victims enjoy the same privilege of commemoration. Judging by the modern media body counts, someone’s World War II dead must have priority, while someone else’s dead are meant to slide into oblivion. In Croatian historical awareness the word ‘Bleiburg’ has a special meaning, just like the word ‘Viktring’ has a specific meaning for the Slovenes and for the inhabitants of Austria’s Carinthia. Indeed, in the Croatian language the word ‘Bleiburg,’ does not evoke the images of pristine woods, skiing holidays, or a new shopping center. For many Croats this word has become a metaphysical locution designating a horrific example of catastrophically failed nation-state building. Bleiburg is not a symbol of a picturesque and romantic location, but a road sign of Croatia’s sociobiological catastrophe. By the late May 1945, hundreds of thousands of fleeing Croats … were extradited from there to Tito’s Yugoslav partisans—courtesy of the Allied English troops in the vicinity,” wrote recently dr Tom Sunic in his review of Florian Thomas Rulitz’s book “The Tragedy of Bleiburg and Viktring, 1945.

Bleiburg commemoration 2016 Photo: Sanjin Strukic/Pixsell

Bleiburg commemoration 2016
Photo: Sanjin Strukic/Pixsell

During communist Yugoslavia, the commemorations at both Bleiburg and Jasenovac were illustrative of how Josip Broz Tito’s communist dictatorship monopolised the historical narrative through public rituals. Under Tito’s – communists’ directives – the commemoration at Jasenovac (symbol of the Holocaust) served to uplift in people’s eyes and legitimate the ruling communist party, and any questioning of the official narrative or figures was strictly forbidden. Numbers of victims at Jasenovac were blown out of reality and floundered falsely, without questioning, into hundreds of thousands just because psychologically the greater the number the more horrible the crime in people’s minds. Bleiburg, on the other hand, was a taboo topic, banned and systematically erased from the cultural and historical memory in Yugoslavia, but was kept alive in the Croatian diaspora community and its press.

In contrast to the state-sponsored rituals at Jasenovac, individuals paying homage to the victims at Bleiburg and its aftermath often did so at great risk to their lives – the first commemoration in Bleiburg occurred in 1952, All Saints Day, when three survivors laid a wreath at the graves of Croatian soldiers in the Unter-Loibach cemetery. As attendance of the commemoration grew over the following few years, held annually on Mother’s Day, Yugoslav intelligence agents began monitoring, threatening, and killing Croatian émigrés involved with the Bleiburg ceremony. Communist Yugoslavia Secret Police/UDBA operating internationally hunted down their Croat political opponents with beastly brutality.

Original monument to Croatian victims at cemetery near Bleiburg

Original monument to Croatian victims
at cemetery near Bleiburg

The atrocities and mass murders committed by Josip Broz Tito’s Partisan units of the Yugoslav Army immediately after the Second World War had no place in the conscience of Socialist Yugoslavia. More than once, the annual Croatian commemoration of the Bleiburg victims was subject to attacks carried out by the socialist Yugoslav state. Abroad in the West, on Austrian soil, the Yugoslav secret service (UDBA) did not shy away from murdering the protagonist of the Croatian memory culture, Nicola Martinovic, as late as 1975. The official history was aligned with a firm interpretational paradigm that called for a glorification of the anti-fascist ‘people’s liberation resistance.’ With the breakup of Yugoslavia and its socialist regime in 1991, the identity-establishing accounts of contemporary witnesses, which had mainly been cherished in exile circles abroad, increasingly reached public awareness in Croatia and Slovenia.

In the 1990s Croatia witnessed the emergence of a memory that had been suppressed by the socialist-Yugoslav regime—namely the Bleiburg tragedy. The situation in Slovenia was similar in terms of identity and remembrance culture… Reports on the communist postwar crimes and on the countless discoveries of mass gravesites have also begun circulating in the media of the German-speaking world in the last few years…” part of foreword to the English translation of the book by Florian Thomas Rulitz, “The Tragedy of Bleiburg and Viktring 1945”

Tragedy of Bleiburg
The collapse of communism, the 1990’s war in Croatia, and the post-war efforts at reconciliation and EU integration all contributed to the public changes in the meanings, symbolism, and political significance of the commemorative events at Bleiburg. The annual gathering at Bleiburg Field transformed from an illegal commemoration attended largely by émigrés into a commemoration of victims of communist crimes and a proud symbol for all Croats who had sacrificed themselves for the freedom and independence of the Croatian state.

In 1990, on the 45th anniversary of the Bleiburg massacre, the Croatian media reported on the commemoration at Bleiburg for the first time in Croatia, but such reporting, especially the left-leaning media, has often continued with utter brutally untruthful allegations against innocent victims, often miserably implying they (or many of them) deserved death even if they were not ever tried in court or found guilty, fueling international media to do the same. That’s the talk of executioners who do not want to bear any guilt for their crimes that sadly still lingers strongly, preventing the victims to rest in dignified peace they truly deserve.

Tomislav Karamarko, First Deputy Prime Minister (front left) and Zeljko Reiner (front right) President of Croatian Parliament Pay respects to victims of communist crimes at Bleiburg Saturday 14 May 2016 Photo: Vlada RH/Twitter

Tomislav Karamarko, First Deputy Prime Minister (front left)
and Zeljko Reiner (front right)
President of Croatian Parliament
Pay respects to victims of
communist crimes at Bleiburg
Saturday 14 May 2016
Photo: Vlada RH/Twitter

So, amidst all the politicking and media “cannibalism” let’s remind ourselves:

What has actually happened on the 15th of May 1945, the day of the surrender? When after the laying down of the weapons Tito’s partisans were certain that their victims (Croatian army) could no longer defend themselves and that the British did not intend to intervene (the British, namely, threatened that they would bombard the Croatian troops and civilians if the Croats did not immediately lay down their arms), the partisan commissioner Milan Basta, a Serb from Lika, issued his order. Only those who were present at that apocalyptic massacre could describe what thereupon followed. Here is the testimony of one eyewitness. “Men, women and children were falling down in sheaves while the partisans were mowing left and right with their machine guns over the open field. Soon so many people were slaughtered that the partisans ventured to descend among the survivors and with visible pleasure to beat them to death, to kick them with boots and to stab them with bayonets.” (Report of the eyewitness Ted Pavić in Nikolaj Tolstoy’s book “The Minister and the Massacres”, London 1986, p. 104). Another eyewitness Jure Raguz reports, that in his vicinity he saw a desperate Croatian officer shoot his two small children, a boy and a girl, then his wife and in the end himself (quoted on the above indicated page). When the slaughter at Bleiburg was finished on the 16th of May, the remaining mass of disarmed and frightened Croatian prisoners was driven on foot into Yugoslavia, to the blood-fields of Kočevski Rog and others further on, on a death march known as the ‘Way of the Cross’. A Slovenian Franc Perme in his documentary book ‘Concealed graves and their victims’ proves, that in the first days after the end of the Second World War, only within the area of Slovenia, therefore outside of Austrian Bleiburg, further189,000 Croats were killed, and further 144,500 died in the death columns on the Way of the Cross from the Slovenian-Croatian border to the Romanian border…

Bishop Franjo Komarica Photo:Ivica Galovic/Pixsell

Bishop Franjo Komarica
Photo:Ivica Galovic/Pixsell

In his homily, Bishop Komarica said that Bleiburg is the most prominent symbol of totalitarianism and ideologies that have humiliated and disgraced human dignity of humanity – terribly and deeply; shamelessly trampling upon human dignity, rights and freedoms and destroying a man’s sense of co-responsibility and moral and ethical values. Lest we forget! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


Original Article: https://inavukic.com/2016/05/15/bleiburg-commemorating-croatian-victims-of-communist-crimes/

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Continued Mistreatment of Croats in Serbia Stalls Serbia’s EU Membership Negotiations

Croatian Member of EU Parliament Marijana Petir

Croatian Member of EU Parliament
Marijana Petir

If anyone wants to go and see how minorities are mistreated, abused and persecuted in the 21st Century’s so-called freedom and democracy go to Serbia and check out the abominable treatment of the Croatian minority in the Vojvodina part of Serbia.

This May marks 25 years from the time of widespread and brutal persecution of Vojvodina Croats from their homes under the attack of the criminal Great Serbian policy from Slobodan Milosevic and the current Serbian government, in its desire to become an EU member state is doing nothing much to correct its wrongs of the past. In the 1990’s Serbs did not only attack Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to ethnically cleanse large areas of these sovereign countries but they also went about ethnically cleansing parts of Serbia (Vojvodina); targeting Croatian minority there. (Of course elements of such a criminal pattern would be also seen in the Kosovo, then a province of Serbia, and its Muslim population.)

When compared to 1990, there is only half of Croats still living in Vojvodina, Serbia. They are being discriminated against and their rights as a national minority – repressed. They have had no parliamentary representation in Serbia’s Parliament like Serbs living in Croatia have during the past two decades. The broadcasting of the radio and TV in Croatian language has been shut down; Serbia’s government also does not finance books and education in the Croatian language. Croats are often the targets of thievery, murder and physical attacks for which the assailants are rarely found. Catholic priests are also attacked and Catholic churches defiled. Reports Cro Portal.

Croatian member of the European Parliament Marijana Petir alerted the European Commission about this on several occasions in recent times. She asked the EC to protect the Croatian minority in Vojvodina.
The national authorities in Serbia are preventing Croats in Vojvodina from exercising their rights to language, culture and education in their mother tongue. All of the actions taken by the Serbian authorities in Vojvodina are aimed at favouring the Bunjevci — a group of Croats who do not wish to declare themselves Croats, but only Bunjevci — in order to assimilate them. Croats are prevented from exercising the rights that are guaranteed to them by the law and by international agreements.
The Croatian National Council in Serbia and the Croatian Government are therefore obliged to spend their own resources on printing textbooks. Meanwhile, the Serbian Government refuses to reimburse them for the costs of doing this and does not allow them to use public spaces for their cultural events. It is also attempting to squeeze out the Croatian language and replace it with the Bunjevac language.
Given that Croats are citizens of the European Union, how will the Commission ensure that the rights of Croats in Vojvodina to language, culture and education in their mother tongue are exercised?” Petir asked the EU Parliament in late 2015.

Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy

Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy

Johannes Hahn, EC Commissioner Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, replied that respect of fundamental rights and the protection of minorities are the key conditions for Serbia within the negotiation process and are dealt with in Chapter 23. He further explained that Serbia was completing its action plan regarding the protection of minorities and the EC expects from Serbia to take up the recommendations entailed in the EC Advisory board’s directions. Those recommendations, he said, are directed at education, use of language, access to media and religious practices in the languages spoken by minorities. He concluded that Serbia, in practice, is bound to respect fundamental rights, including the right on property protection … As to the latter part of Hahn’s reply, the return of property to the Croatian clubs and organisations (in Vojvodina) Mr Krunoslav Djakovic (President of Centre for Culture ‘Srijem” and Croatian House organisatuon) emphasised that “Croats are not asking for anything that would contradict the law, but are asking from Serbia’s government to give them, as an ethnic minority, that which they have legal right to. If they don’t want to do that, that is breach of human rights”.

Recently Petir said that she will not stop in her endeavours and that Serbia must ensure all the rights defined by the international agreements because if that does not happen, they will not be able to continue their European path. Petir also wants Croatia to start taking more care about Croats outside their country, and also the Croats in Vojvodina, so that their interests are protected and that they can have their right for a Croatian citizenship.

Miro Kovac Croatia's Foreign Minister

Miro Kovac
Croatia’s Foreign Minister

Last week, albeit reluctantly, following complaints by the Croatian government, the European Council had once again postponed the opening of negotiations with Serbia in its desired accession to EU membership. The postponement has to do with two crucial chapters of the EU legislation, Chapter 23 (judiciary and fundamental rights) and Chapter 24 (justice freedom and security). Croatia did not and does not accept or endorse the European Commission opinion that Serbia is ready to proceed to EU membership negotiations stage; all 28 countries, members of the EU must agree in order for any new membership negotiations to proceed.

Croatia’s concerns are threefold: the lack of Serbian cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY); the mistreatment of the Croatian minority in Serbia (Vojvodina); and the universal jurisdiction of Serbian courts over war crimes committed in other parts of the former Yugoslavia.
It would seem that the EC sent a blind or a pro-Serbia bent person to Serbia during 2015 on task of investigating matters on progress made by Serbia with view to its path in becoming an EU member state. In its Progress Report (2015) EC writes:
2.4. Human rights and the protection of minorities – Overall situation – The legislation and institutions needed to uphold international human rights law are in place. Legislation to protect minorities and cultural rights is also broadly in place. However, sustained efforts are needed to ensure effective and consistent implementation across the country. Shortcomings particularly affect the following areas:
• Conditions for the full exercise of freedom of expression are still not in place. Full implementation of the new media laws needs to be ensured.
• Promotion and protection of the rights of the most vulnerable and discriminated groups, including the LGBTI persons, persons with disabilities, and persons with HIV/AIDS has yet to be fully ensured. Hate-motivated offences need to be properly investigated, prosecuted and sanctioned.
• Efforts to improve the difficult living conditions of Roma and to combat discrimination need to be strengthened. Government coordination and leadership of Roma integration policy needs to be further improved…”

Zilch on the widespread mistreatment of Croat minority in Vojvodina! One must, therefore, be very skeptical of the truthful representation of the situation in Serbia regarding ethnic minorities within the EC. Croatia has the absolute right to require same standards from Serbia as the EC required of Croatia during the prolonged and painful period of negotiations as prospective member of the EU. Furthermore, let’s hope that Croatia will persist in its requirements for Serbia to meet EU standards and turn away from nasty media and nasty politicians who try and belittle Croatia’s attempts at demanding acceptable standards from Serbia. As long as abuse or mistreatment of rights of ethnic minorities exist in Serbia, Croatia must remain a watchdog for the EC.

To reiterate Croatian foreign minister Miro Kovac words on 15 April 2016 HRT news “Croatia is neither a superpower nor a poodle. Croatia is a member state of the European Union. If we are admitting someone in our family we have to monitor the accession process and co-decide about it. If Serbia wants to be a part of the EU, it will have to adapt to its standards…” Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Original Article: https://inavukic.com/2016/05/18/continued-mistreatment-of-croats-in-serbia-stalls-serbias-eu-membership-negotiations/

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Editors Notes:

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Incoherencing incoherence

Something seems to be cooking in the political kitchen that concerns Palestinians, in another recipe that is designed to feed Palestinians with no intention to feed them, and many cooks preparing a recipe of ingredients that they will take home. The result will be lentil soup.

It must be with the commemoration of the nakba. The politicians realized that the status quo situation is even worse. We are in a fogyish intifada mode. Every day Palestinians are being killed under the same accusation of attempted stabbing or attacking. We actually no longer catch up with the series of events.

Is it that people are no longer interested or the media is not responding upon some political decisions? Why the same things are still going on but no responds are taking place.

Nevertheless, of course this is also not the case.

The situation is as follows,

We are under occupation since 1948.

We have a Palestinian authority functioning under occupation since 1994.

We have two Palestinian governments ruling us illegitimately since 2006.

We are inside a third intifada under occupation and under illegitimate governing bodies.

Our leadership (illegitimate by default) is thinking of finalizing the situation through some “peace” tilted agreement to reach a final status (nothing is left to negotiate on; prisoners are tripled in numbers, land had been tripled in confiscation, wall has seized more movement and swallowed more land. In addition, the refugees… who cares… Jerusalem, what do you mean? )

Egypt’s Sissi , amid all the mess he is putting himself in after two years of ruling Egypt and crowning himself as the eternal pharos he decided to talk Palestinian issue now .

Our president goes again to Israelis public and insure them that his aspiration is Israeli men and women and children safety.

Our politicians march in “an impressive” to them march commemorating nakba, in a scene that felt like a celebrative family event … with launching Assaf with the BIGGEST AWDA key in Guinness records ( we the Palestinians are taking over Guinness with our hugest everything …except a land of course) . Moreover, cynically promotion items such as caps of Awda, Nakba made in Israel.

Original Article: https://nadiaharhash.com/2016/05/18/incoherencing-incoherence/

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Editors Notes:

I would remind you that this blog is produced free for the public good and you are welcome to republish or re-use this article or any other material freely anywhere without requesting further permission.

News & Views welcome always published as long as NO bad language or is not related to subject matter.

Thanks for following as always appreciate every like, mention , reblog or #tweet also our newspaper is added with all our posts daily:

BreakingMain NewsFinanceWorldSocialFoodHistoryBritainScotlandFriendsAuthors#TweetPC-HelpNewsroomChatShop & ShareDisability — more to come.

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