A convicted war criminal, who performs xenophobic shows in the Croatian public and openly flirts with the Ustashe movement and fascism, is constantly appearing on the front pages of the media, and no one sees anything controversial in it.
By: Nenad Tadic
All major Croatian parties are queuing and waiting in line for the post- election grace of convicted war criminal, Branimir Glavas, who has recently formed a unit of the Blackshirts in Osijek and, laughing in the face of the public, named it the “Sokol Guard” (falcon).
Glavas, who was sentenced to years in prison for his involvement in the murder of Serb civilians in Osijek in the famous Scotch Tape Affair, became the most desirable “political bride” in Croatia after he was released from prison in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he had escaped to and served his sentence.
Either his cynical remark to the journalists upon his arrival in Croatia that “he is as full as a car battery” (which was a cynical reminder of the accusations that he forced the Serb civilians to drink car battery) failed to make either the government or the opposition sick of Glavas’s party the Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja /HDSSB/.
The opposing Croatian Demcratic Union (HDZ) does not make statement on the Blackshirts rally, while leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Zoran Milanovic, when asked about a possible coalition with Glavas’ party, shifts a decision to the HDSSB itself, not wanting to close the door for negotiations.
Aware of the “magic” mandate call, Glavas has explained that the party members vacillated between “falconers” wearing black shirts or the shirts in the “rainbow colours”. They chose to wear black shirts because they are “more elegant”.
Recently, a photo of Glavas with a bottle of wine, on which there was a label with Hitler image, was taken. However, the major political parties in Croatia refuse to see and recognised it during their race for mandates.
Only a few months earlier, the SDP, the HDZ and all Croatian parties sent letters of protest to Belgrade over Vojislav Seselj’s action, whose party is not even the parliamentary one, arguing that his action spoiled relations between the two countries.
They even initiated declarations in the European Assembly and requested the trial before the UN Security Council because of Seselj’s political engagement in politics.
Now, when the convicted war criminal, who performs xenophobic performances in the Croatian public and openly flirts with the Ustashe movement and fascism, is constantly appearing on the front pages of the media, no one (apart from several portals) sees anything controversial in it.
Therefore, the party founder, Branimir Glavas, gave an ironic explanation on the militia (paramilitary unit) related accusations that it is “the HDSSB’s recreation unit,” while the party president, Dragan Vulin, stated that the HDSSB party had no militia, but they “look like chimney sweepers.”
But, who would react to Glavas’s Ustasha sentiment?
The HDZ leader, Tomislav Karamarko, announces the changes in school textbooks so the children could learn “real history” and a kind of new “homeland war” when his party comes to the power.
Split Mayor who comes from the ranks of the left wing SDP participated in the ceremony of unveiling the monument dedicated to the Blackshirts member, Jura Francetic, that took place on the Victory Day (over Fascism)?!
All these are facts that show that Croatia is “right winged”, as rare political analysts in Croatia warn.
Flirting with the NDH symbols, the contest between right and left wings in fetishizing the role of Franjo Tudjman as the “father of the nation” and bowing the heads before the imperious actions by war crime convicts for the sake of political coalitions – erase any distinction between political options.
It is the same as when pro-Ustasha oriented Croatian football player Jospis Joe Simunic erased any distinction between the fans and chauvinists by leading thousands of people at the Maksimir Stadium to chant with him Ustashe slogan “For Homeland Ready”.
Is not that quite certain who will have a majority in the Croatian Parliament, but one thing is – the chauvinistic sentiment will be the greatest winner.
It is true that there is no money, that the society is robbed and credit interests are abnormally high and that finding a job is mission impossible – but there are the usual suspects: the Serbs, Yugoslavs, Cyrillic, the downtown of Belgrade …
Let us paraphrase the book authored by Croatian “father of the nation” and conclude – Croatia lives Glavas’s “Wastelands of historical reality”(Franjo Tudjman’s book-literal translation).