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In 1992 DFA describes Croatian mass murder of Serbs in Vukovar
Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy ^ | December 31, 1992 | Gregory Copley

Posted on 12/23/2002 9:58:28 AM PST by Karadjordje

Hiding Genocide

The Balkan Conflict: The Psychological Strategy Aspects

Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy Volume XX, Number 12, December 31, 1992 p.4-9

Croatia has resumed its "liquidation" of Serbs, while arguing that "ethnic cleansing" is a Serbian creation . . .

"The Big Lie" technique is alive and well. Croatia has used the media and skilful image manipulation to hide its renewed genocide against the Serbs while at the same time ensuring that Serbs are themselves wrongly accused of the same type of crime, and more.

Editor-in-Chief Gregory Copley reports from the Balkans.

Twice before in this Century there have been well documented attempts by the Croats to destroy the Serbian people, and to obliterate their culture, religion and memory. It first began, during the upheaval of the Austro-Hungarian Empire--of which Croatia, but not Serbia, was part --with World War I. Then, after a period of apparent Balkan har- mony under the first Yugoslavia--the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes--it resurfaced with the invasion and occupation of Yugoslavia by Italy and Germany. Nazi Germany on April 10, 1941, proclaimed Croatia an independent state for the first time in its history, and installed a neo-nazi puppet Government of the Independent State of Croatia (known in Serbo- Croatian as Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska: NDH).

Between 1941 and 1945, the "Ustasha" NDH Government of Poglavnik (leader) Ante Pavelic systematically killed as many as one-million Serb men, women and children. Serbian historians claim that as many as two-million Serbs have been killed by Croatia in this century. Population figures over this century give credence to the latter claim. Documented evidence confirms the approximate accuracy of the World War II deaths. From the beginning, the Pavelic Government repeated: "there can be no Serbs or Orthodoxy in Croatia." NDH official Dr. Milovan Zanic said at a meeting in Nova Gradiska on June 2, 1941: "This will be a country of Croats and none other, and we as "Ustasha" will use every possible method to make this country truly Croat and purge it of the Serbs. We are not hiding this, it is the policy of the state and when it is carried out, we will be carrying out what is written down in the "Ustasha" principles."

Today, the newly-independent State of Croatia has adopted the same symbols as the "Ustasha" puppet nazi state. In many instances its military and paramilitary units have adopted the same uniforms of the 1941-45 "Ustasha" Black Legions. And the killing has begun again. The dispossession has begun again. The NDH puppet Government, with the full support of the Nazi German occupying Army, destroyed some 450 Serbian Orthodox churches in World War II. The newly-independent State of Croatia has either directly or indirectly supported the destruction of more than 300 Serbian Orthodox churches--many of which had been rebuilt on the rubble of the World War II sites --in Croatia and Bosnia- Herzegovina. Between 600,000 and 800,000 ethnic Serbs have fled from Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina to Serbia to come under the protection of the Yugoslav National Army (JNA).

Austrian historian Freidrich Heer noted in 1968 that what happened in NDH Croatia was the result of "archaic fanaticism and pre-historic times". Pavelic, he said, was "a singular murderer of the 20th Century. Pavelic is today lauded as a hero of modern Croatia; his picture (and that of l9th Century "Ustasha" ideologue Ante Starcevic) adorns the T-shirts of a generation of Croatians who were unborn at the end of World War II.

Pavelic had noted: "The Slavoserbs are the rubbish of a nation, the type of people who will sell themselves to anyone and at any price, and to every buyer ..." By June 12, 1941, the movement of all Jews and Serbs in Croatia had been restricted, but by then the mass killings had already begun.

Croat writer Mile Budak declared in Gospic on July 22, 1941: "... We shall slay one third of the Serbian population, drive away another [third], and the rest we shall convert to the Roman Catholic faith and thus assimilate into Croats. Thus we will destroy every trace of theirs, and all that which will be left, will be an evil memory of them ...." The Roman Catholic Church, far more zealous in Croatia than elsewhere in the world, did not fight the nazis as they did in Poland, but embraced them and the "Ustasha". Croat Catholic priests, in clerical garb and out of it, joined in personally as killers in the concentration camps of Croatia.

Today, it is with more than a hint of concern that Serbs see the Catholic church offering apparently unlimited support to the new Croatian Government and its "Ustasha" principles, despite 1963 apology of the Roman Catholic church in Croatia for the atrocities of World War II. "It is actually in this country that many of our Orthodox brothers were killed in the last war because they were Orthodox," said Alfred Pihler, Catholic Bishop of Banja Luka in his 1963 Christmas pastoral letter to Roman Catholics. "And those Christians were killed because they were not Croat and Catholics. We admit painfully such a terrible fallacy of those people who had gone astray, and beg a our brothers of Orthodox faith to forgive us, the same as Christ forgave us all on the cross."

It is significant that, in the 1991-1992 conflict, there has been no similar flood of Croatian refugees from Serbia (Yugoslavia) to Croatia, as a counterbalance to those Serbs (and others) who have been fleeing from Croatia. Indeed, so many Croatians have fled to Serbia after opposing the new "Ustasha" juggernaut of the Franjo Tudjman Government of Croatia that organizations such as the Association of Croatian Journalists have been set up in exile in Belgrade. And yet the world has not heard anything of this.

Croatia, in two world wars, fought on the side of Germany against the Western Allies (while on both occasions Serbia fought with the Allies). Today, modern Croatia is regarded as a creature of the West, while what is left of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) is regarded as a hostile vestige of Tito's communist administration. Why, or how, can such a massive thing as the attempted genocide of a whole people, be misrepresented so that the victims, rather than the oppressors, are called the criminals? Can such a misrepresentation be the result solely of accidental misinterpretation of the facts? It is not possible.

There is no doubt that the genocide against Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina resumed immediately after Germany forced the European Community, in 1991, into the premature recognition of what is now Croatia. Defense & Foreign Affairs correspondents have seen irrefutable evidence of the facts. It is precisely because of the renewed genocide against the Serbs that those ethnic Serbs whose ancestors lived for centuries in Bosnia-Herzegovina, rebelled and began protecting their villages and their lives, rather than once again face slaughter or deprivation of their lands.

Defense & Foreign Affairs has had the opportunity to match many of the photographs and videotape of the war dead which have gone out on the news networks worldwide during the past 18 months. In virtually every instance, the Western media has captioned the pictures of dead as being Croatian, or Muslims from Bosnia-Herzegovina. In many instances, families of the dead have come forward to identify the victims as ethnic Serbs slaughtered by Croats, or sometimes by Muslims.

Virtually every piece of news footage and photography which emerges from the conflict zone comes out through the Croatian capital, Zagreb, or Muslim controlled Bosnian outlets. Western media chiefs have been warned off accepting "propaganda" from what is purported to be the "vile neo-communist authorities" of Belgrade, the capital of both Serbia and Yugoslavia. Western television, including the Eurovision exchange, has consistently refused to accept anything emanating from Belgrade. Defense & Foreign Affairs has seen the evidence of this, too.

It is significant that the only television satellite uplink in Yugoslavia when the state was prematurely broken up was in Zagreb, so it was Croatia which was able to corner the outflow of television pictures. Belgrade's links into the European satellite system were then relegated to second status, and so today it must switch frequencies constantly in order to broadcast. As a result, Serbian-speaking audiences and listeners in Western Europe generally cannot find the Serbian or Yugoslav broadcasts, and, on top of that, there seems fairly good evidence that Germany is attempting to jam, or interfere with, the broadcasting which does find an occasional channel.

Croatian expatriates have had a long time to establish themselves in the West, and gain a good grasp on some levers of power. The exiled Serbs many of whom fled Yugoslavia after World War II because of their opposition to Tito's communism, were harried by Tito's intelligence services wherever they went, even in Australia. Croatian exiles, however, were left largely undisturbed by the communist intelligence services, largely because Tito himself was a Croat. Today, as a result, Croat nationalists find themselves in respected posts in respected Western organizations.

Christopher Cviic is a classic example, supposedly an impartial Balkan expert in the Royal Institute of International Affairs. From this vantage point he is invited onto BBC programmes to give the Institute view on the Balkans, only to reinforce a rabidly anti-Serb anti-(new)Yugoslav viewpoint. The fact that the prestigious institute was used in 1991 to publish Cviic's tract, "Remaking the Balkans", is testament to the subversion of respected bodies to achieve pro-Croatian aims.

Edward Gibbon, in his "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," noted: "Diligence and accuracy are the only merits which an historical writer may ascribe to himself; if any merit can be assumed from the performance of an indispensible duty." Diligence, accuracy and balance have been removed from the current writings on the historic events now underway in the Balkans. Part of this is due to the fact that journalists have a natural tendency to report mostly that to which they can have easy access; believe most readily that which has been laid out for them in forms, and through channels, with which they feel comfortable. Traditionally, when one journalist, or only a small number, works harder, takes more risks, strives more to understand the broader picture, and reports a view contrary to that of his editorial cousins, he is not hailed for his achievement. He is castigated for breaking ranks with the accepted line, the accepted truth. A journalist who admits (in the light of later-discovered truths) that his work may not have been all that it should fears most and first the wrath of his editor. The editor himself rejects correction (for fear of losing credibility, a news medium's only asset) unless the laws of libel force such apology or correction. And in war there is no libel. Better to sustain a lie than to lose circulation, viewers or listeners, by a revision of the view.

Perhaps this accounts for the apparently consistent effort to ensure that the Serbian and Yugoslav message is not allowed to compete with that of other vested interests?

It is clear that Croatian strategic aims have been considerably advanced by the increasing persecution of Serbs, Serbia and Yugoslavia in the current Balkan conflict. Indeed, Croatia's grand strategy is considerably advanced by ensuring that a confused image appears in the minds of the international policymaking audience (and the media which influences it) as to the differences between Bosnian Serbs, Serbia and Yugoslavia.

To begin with, Croatian strategic objectives have been historically stated and are today re-stated, to include the elimination of all Serbs from what the Croatian leadership believes to be its territory. Croatia's territorial objectives are stated, whenever possible, as the recreation of the boundaries of the 1941-1945 so-called Independent State of Croatia, which subsumes virtually all of Bosnia-Herzegovina and much of Serbia. Additionally, modern Croatia will not abandon the gift which Yugoslavia's communist Croatian leader gave it: virtually all of the Dalmatian coastline and key ports. The World War II division of spoils gave this to Italy; today, with no historic precedent to justify it, the land has been recognized as Croatian.

The propaganda to remove Bosnian Serbs from Bosnia- Herzegovina enables Croatian forces to consolidate their hold over as much of that newly independent state as possible. The Militias of Croatian Bosnians together with some 40,000 Croatian Armed Forces personnel have been consolidating their control over much of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the expense not only of the Bosnian Serbs, but also of the Bosnian Muslims who are themselves ethnically and linguistically Serb.

The campaign of genocide and terror against the Bosnian and Croatian Serbs helps reduce the Serbian populations of those two states, helping to ensure Croatian dominance. The campaign to claim that the genocide is Serbian in origin and that the victims are Croats or Muslims puts the Serbs on the defensive and builds the case for Croatia to have the international community guarantee Croatia's status quo and its expansion in the Balkans.

The late 1991 battle for Vukovar was portrayed in the Western media as a battle between heroic Croatian defenders against overwhelming Yugoslav (ie: Serbian) modern military might. Significantly, as in World War II Germany when the concentration camp ovens kept burning as the Allied forces swept toward them, Croats in Vukovar from June 1 to November 23 1991, were busy exterminating those Serb families who had not been able to flee. It was for this reason that the JNA --the Yugoslav Army--fought back into Vukovar.

At least 1,000 Serbs, mostly women, old people and children, were shot, knifed, axed or bludgeoned to death systematically, one-by- one, in two main centres; one the Borovo Footwear Factory, the other the Rowing Club of Vukovar. Many of the bodies were dumped into the Danube, left to float down to Belgrade. And in many instances, the Croats took pictures, or recorded the deaths. One visiting Croat female journalist, during the Vukovar fighting, unfamiliar with firearms, asked one of the young gunmen to cock a pistol for her so that she could feel what it was like to kill a Serb. She shot, indiscriminately, an old Serb woman who was standing under Croat guard.

One Serb, Branko Stankovic, was captured after being wounded in the leg by Croat forces. He was taken to a hospital where he was forced to make a television broadcast for Croatian television, saying how well he and other prisoners were being treated. He was then taken out and killed. Photographs of his tortured, mutilated body were subsequently found. So, too, were a significant variety of specially made implements for torturing and killing.

Vukovar has seen it before: Between August 8 and September 16, 1942, some 10,000 Serbs were killed and scores of thousands more were tortured by their Croat captors.

But the Vukovar tragedy of 1991 is but one of thousands of new killings which have occurred during the past year or so of independence in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. There were similar atrocities in the Croatian town of Gospic in mid-October 1991. And in Glina, another World War II massacre site revisited by "Ustashi" in December 1991. And Kupres. There, 1,036 Serbs were killed in World War II under the orders of the "Ustasha" (who killed 889 of the Serbs), by Italian troops and by German troops. A still unknown number of Serbs were butchered by several Croatian military formations, the HOS, ZNG and foreign mercenaries, in early April 1992.

What is significant is that the slogans of the Croats are those of the "Ustashi" of World War II and pre-World War II. The weapons used for ritual killing are also, symbolically, virtually the same. The knife is a favourite, and many special knives were made during the Vukovar killings. These, along with the Serb victims, were found later. Many Serbian villages and towns were razed during the past 18 months in Croatia and Croatian-held parts of Bosnia- Herzegovina. Even in Zagreb, where no fighting officially took place, more than 100 Serbs had been killed in 1991 alone, and the Orthodox churches there damaged or destroyed.

Journalists and analysts looking at the overall situation in the Balkans today must ask why in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina hundreds of Orthodox churches have been destroyed, while in Orthodox Serbia no Croatian institutions or Catholic churches have been attacked. The answer is that in Croatia -- as has been historically documented -- there is widespread Croatian Catholic xenophobia aimed at the Orthodox church and Serbs, whereas there has been no such xenophobia against Croats or Catholics in Serbia or Montenegro.

More than 40 percent of the population of Serbia is non-Serbian, and there has been a history of multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi- cultural cooperation which has not prevailed in Croatia. Indeed, where Croatia's government today intimates that there were excesses in Croatia during World War II, it also says that there were similar excesses by Serbs in Serbia at the same time. The truth is that Croatia, when it greeted its German "liberators" with open arms on September 10, 1941 began its own campaign of extermination of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. On the other hand, the extermination of Jews and Gypsies in Serbia was carried out virtually entirely by Germans or Yugoslavs of German background.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: balkans; campaignfinance; croatia; vukovar

1 posted on 12/23/2002 9:58:29 AM PST by Karadjordje
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To: *balkans

Thanks for this post.

2 posted on 12/23/2002 10:42:48 AM PST by DestroyEraseImprove
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To: Karadjordje
3 posted on 12/23/2002 8:23:52 PM PST by F-117A
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To: Karadjordje
Thanks for posting this, Karadjordje. I spoke intimately with both Serbs and Croats who were in Vukovar at the time. Not at all as it has been portrayed.
4 posted on 01/17/2003 8:27:27 PM PST by wonders (If you see Karadjordje on the menu, order it! You won't be disappointed!)
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To: wonders; *balkans; joan
thankas for the bmp
5 posted on 01/20/2003 7:33:21 PM PST by vooch
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