Skip to comments.Croatian PM: We Are Proud of Operation Storm
Posted on 08/10/2005 10:24:50 AM PDT by montyspython
Croatian PM: We Are Proud of Operation Storm First Published on Balkanalysis.com While this party must be sending chills down some EU diplomats spines, its doubtful that anyone from the international community will condemn this and risk future property acquisitions in this vacation paradise on the Adriatic.
By Christopher Deliso
First Published on Balkanalysis.com
While this party must be sending chills down some EU diplomats spines, its doubtful that anyone from the international community will condemn this and risk future property acquisitions in this vacation paradise on the Adriatic.
Croatian media reports Prime Minister Ivo Sanader as saying that Croatia is proud of the action Storm, calling it a big, grand, historic action, and with this action were liberated parts of Croatia.
According to the official Croatian history, Operation Storm was a clean, quick and efficient military campaign of liberation. As former Bosnian ambassador of BiH to the European Union and NATO Vitomir Miles Raguz gushed:
Croatias recent inclusion in the PfP [NATOs Partnership for Peace] program is long overdue. Since we often speak of NATO membership as a reward, the delay here is curious, as perhaps no new state deserves this honor more than Croatia. Since the breakup of the Warsaw Pact, Croatia has done more to benefit Western interests than any other new democracy.
To begin, Croatia saved BiH. In the summer of 1995 its military operations, named Operation Storm, ended a carnage Europe had not seen since World War IIa humanitarian catastrophe for which the West could not muster an appropriate response. The Western capitals often unfairly take credit for this turnaround; in fact, the peace in BiH came only once the Croatian Army (HV) had established a new balance of power in the region by its summer operations. Everything that followed, from the first exercise of NATO air power to the Dayton-Paris peace agreement, was a filling-in of a diplomatic puzzle.
All along, the United States and its allies have been looking for a forceother than themselvesthat could check Serbian and Bosnian Serb adventurism and produce a military balance on which realistic settlement could be built. Maybe such a force is now emerging: Croatia, wrote The Washington Post three days before Operation Storm commenced. At the end of the operation the Post added, The Croatians argue they are not the problem but the solution; they claim to have created a new regional balance on which proper peace talks with the Serbs can begin. This line has been enthusiastically adopted by the American government, which is under pressure to show that the quiet political support it extended to Croatia had a legitimate purpose of promoting a negotiation in Bosnia.
The controversial ceremony has sparked a war of words between the Serbian and Croatian leadership. Serbian President Boris Tadic, who had extended the olive branch to Bosnian Muslims at last months commemoration of the Official History of Srebrenica, felt the Croatian holiday to be a slap in the face.
However, Sanader scoffed at the criticism, saying that nobody should be disturbed because of Tadics statement, and opined that the latters stance was merely a product of internal politicking in Serbia.
While there is probably an element of truth to this contention, what with the Serbian Radical Party pressing hard to denounce the Storm ceremony, its also hard to deny Tadic the moral high ground especially considering he had apologized on behalf of Serbia over Srebrenica, even if it was the Bosnian Serbs who were involved with that operation, and even if the fog of war has shrouded what
really may have happened.
However, as Nebojsa Malic pointed out, questioning the Official Truth of Srebrenica is anathema because there are too many careers and interests that depend on its retention.
President Tadic left no doubt about his position in a July 29th interview, in which he asked the Croats to commemorate August 5th by arresting those responsible for the operation.
When we talk about Operation Storm, just like with Srebrenica, I dont want to talk about the legitimacy of military operations. Im just interested that in this action suffered innocent people. I am interested [to know] why refugee columns were bombed, why people were killed by being shot in the back. Im interested [to know] about the people who were liquidated only because they were from a different population.
what was my reaction against such crimes, I showed in Srebrenica. Now I am interested in what is the answer from the other side.
According to Croatian President Stipe Mesic, disingenuously deflecting attention with help from the Official Truth, Srebrenica is the biggest crime that happened in the history of this area, when 8,000 people were killed, only because they were not Serbs, and nobody can say this is equal with some isolated cases which happened during the military operation Storm.
Isolated cases? Even the Croats American handlers rued the coordinated ethnic cleansing that resulted when they let their junkyard dogs, as Richard Holbrooke called them, loose from the chain. And, unlike the great lengths to which John Norris goes to portray Bill Clinton in Kosovo almost as one of Ben Franklins clockmaker gods, hovering over everything unperturbed and unaware, it is pretty clear that Clinton took an active, voracious and day-to-day interest in Croatian military operations up to and including Operation Storm. And, though the Croats deny it, America played a key role in logistics, espionage and other nefarious deeds meant to cripple the Serb forces. Indeed, as Bosnian-born Malic put it today, Storm is something Washington would like to forget. Serbs and Croats don't have that luxury.
Even thought they dont want to be reminded of it, the Hague takes a different view. Perhaps that is just power politics on a higher level, with serious thought about how best to stall Croatian EU membership until other Balkan states are ready to join as well. But this is conjecture.
What is clear is that (perhaps because of this very interest from Del Ponte and Co.) the Croatian leadership is making a point on this jolly anniversary of reminding us that they had the full support of the Americans when they carried it out. And so the government is going out of its way to glorify Operation Storm, just as it continues to ignore similar things they should take pride in, such as Jasenovac and the Ustasha movement in general.
Nothing like killing defenseless old people to be proud of!
How do you figure?
And so the Armenians and Greeks occupied a large part of Turkey, "neccesitating" proper cleansing procedures. Pesky Armenians and Greeks occupied the Turkish coasts and north-east for more than 3000 years, way too long.
The Serb authorities ordered their own civilians out.
That wasn't part of Operation Storm. Get your facts straight.
And so did Armenian and Greek leaders in Turkey: "flee to save your lives". Some have made it, some did not.
Why weren't they allowed to return home by the RSK authorities?
Killing women and children, shelling Nis, straffing refugee columns was. Go read what the Canadian peacekeepers wrote. They even had a pitched battle with Croatian forces until they were ordered back. Plenty of evidence by the Canadians of Croatians raping and pillaging areas they over ran too.
How the authorities of RSK erased from the surface of the Earth can disallow survivors from the return?
Again, get your facts straight.
Next time try getting the facts first.
As for Haghai Sophia, yeah I am, the Turks steal and desecrate (in typical islamic fashion) the holiest cathedral of the Orthodox, damn skippy I want it back in Orthodox CHRISTIAN hands.
Why did they refuse 200,000 expelled Croats from returning to their homes for those 4 years?
Oh do try to get your facts correct; Serbs had lived there for centuries. The only thing they were occupying were their own homes.
There are no victors, heroes or even "good guys" here. It was a brutal blood bath from everyone's perspective. Everyone lost. One would just wish people on all sides would realize what tragedy they perpetrated and stop celebrating their bloody "victories". As if anyone is now better off. It's just shades of worse.
The RSK did not correspond to the Habsburg created Vojna Krajina which always had a Croatian majority, nor was it "given to the Serbs".
....and Croat homes.
Croatia is much better off, thank you very much.
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