Wednesday, 19 March 2014


I oppose Putin's aggression against the Ukraine; I oppose Aksyonov's mafia-style separatism, shamelessly supported by Moscow; and I oppose the recent sham referendum in the Crimea!

Why? Because I am a Croatian Serb, and the current situation in the Crimea reminds me of what happened in the former Yugoslavia. It reminds me of how the Krajina Serb rebels spuriously and maliciously claimed that Croatia's ethnic Serb population, of which I am one, was in danger of a "repeat genocide" to be committed by Croat nationalists fifty years after the original genocide committed by Ustashas during WW2. Personally, I don't like Serb or Croat nationalists; I think they're both a bunch of cynics, and I think their worldview is morally flawed! However, anyone who does thorough research into the wars of the former Yugoslavia – of course, taking into account both sides of the story, to begin with – will have to conclude that both sides were NOT equally guilty of starting the war; the wars were started by Milošević's régime in Belgrade, which sponsored Serb nationalist régimes in Croatia and Bosnia, providing them arms with which to commit REAL persecution against non-Serbs within their authority (authority they established thanks to the Yugoslav People's Army taking their side, even though that army was meant to protect all Yugoslavs). The wars he started in those two countries were brutal AGGRESSIONS, and not genuine interventions to protect ethnic Serbs from persecution.

As you can tell, I also don't buy Moscow's claims that Russian speakers or ethnic Russians in the Ukraine are under threat of being persecuted by Kiev, i.e. that they could become victims of systematic human rights abuses to be committed by the current interim Ukrainian government (formed following the overthrow of the country's previous president last month, now a fugitive wanted for mass murder) with the intent of causing them grave harm. About the recent controversial repeal of the 2012 regional language law in the Ukraine – which even I found rather troubling, being a supporter of multiculturalism, multilingualism, etc. – I'm relieved to have found out that it was vetoed by the interim president, which I think was a very decent move on his part. Nevertheless, looking at the bigger picture, whatever fault this interim government may have, it certainly cannot be equated with what Putin is doing to their country!

I am ashamed of the wars started by Slobodan Milošević against Croatia and Bosnia, based on false allegations of a similar nature; I am ashamed of his sponsorship of CRAZY Serb nationalist régimes in Croatia and Bosnia, which brought about distruction and misery to so many people! What Putin has done so far to the Ukraine is awfully remiscent of what Milošević did more than two decades ago in the Balkans, and I am so sad and fearful of what's coming next.

I will not keep quiet; I am choosing to be on the RIGHT side of history! That's why I say:



Anonymous said...

You leave out Tudjman and that he was invited old Ustasha (and their sons and grandsons) back to Croatia. And this even included Ustashe concentration camp commanders.

You leave out that Serbs were written out of the new constitution as a constituent people. That Serbs were mass-fired from their jobs.

That there were Croatian death squads which were taking people for "interrogation" which meant torture and death.

You probably don't even know who Tomislav Mercep was, what he did or where he operated.

You probably don't know who Miro Bajramovic was even though he is a Croat who admitted to killing 86 people, mostly Serb civilians in the first year of the war.

Miro Bajramovic was just ONE man of Tomislav Mercep's death squad. Another of his men was responsible for the murder of a well-off Serbian family, including their young daughter.

It doesn't even seem like you were living in Croatia during the war.
But fact is that even Serbs living in certain areas didn't know about the complete destruction of Serbian villages, by Croats, which was going on.

There even was an ethnic Serb soldier who fought with the Croatian Army and only after the war did he learn that his OWN MOTHER had been murdered by Croats!

You seem ignorant of what was done to Montenegrin and Serbian soldiers kept at Lora prison!

Even Croat witnesses testified how they had had their TONGUES cut out and were gurgling on their own blood. They heard the sounds and then went to investigated and that's what they found.


They recovered the smoldering bodies of raped Serbian teen girls, the butchered bodies of old Serbian women...


In October 1995, they were still finding SEVERAL new cases of decapitated Serbs PER WEEK. And that was mentioned as a lower count than what had been going on in August and September.




Balkan Ⓐnarchist said...

To Anonymous 20 March 2014 06:27:

There are a lot of things I didn't mention in this article, simply because this article is about the Ukraine and the current situation in that country, not a thorough comparison between this crisis and the Croatian war, let alone a complete review of everything that happened during the latter! You are free to look at my other articles tagged "Croatia" and "War" on my blog to see what else I know about that conflict and other opinions I have, and feel free to share your own opinion or knowledge.

FYI, I am aware of the Lora prison in Split; I have heard of Merčep and Bajramović; and I know about the loss of Serb civilian lives during Operation Medak Pocket in 1993 (believe you me, I'm far from clueless about these extremely serious crimes!).

For all I know, Anonymous, you may have lived through the war in Croatia. However, the point I'm trying to make in this article is how false allegations were used to justify criminal actions, and we're seeing it happen again. The fear of a "repeat genocide" promoted by Serb nationalists in Knin sponsored by Belgrade (you don't deny the sponsorship, do you?) was spurious and malicious. You and I know what kind of things happened thanks to such vicious propaganda.

Whatever you think of Franjo Tuđman (I never liked him and never will), there is no conclusive and irrefutable evidence that his administration actually planned a "repeat genocide" before the war started or any time during it. Oh, and please re-read the Brijuni transcripts, and ask yourself whether that is enough evidence to convict anyone of state-sponsored ethnic cleansing!

One last thing: what the wars in the former Yugoslavia and the present crisis in the Ukraine remind us of is how NOT ALL SIDES ARE EQUAL!!!

William Dorich said...

As a double victim of Balkan genocide in 1942 in the village of Vojnic, 97 Serbians were locked inside their church and burned to the ground by Croatian Nazis and their Nazi priests…17 of those victims were my relatives. During Operation Storm in 1995 when 250,000 Serbs were “ethnically cleansed” from Croatia the last 5 relatives of my name were too old and too sick to flee. A month later the Red Cross notified me they were found with their throats slit.

I am also the author of 6 books on Balkan history including my 1992 book, Kosovo, the first book published in the United States about this region of the world. My newest book is: Memoirs of a Serbian-American Dissident, a book that includes letters to Clinton, Albright, Holbrooke, Thatcher and Reagan to mention a few.

George Santayana (1863) reminds us “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In 1991 Croats pretended to have amnesia about their ugly Nazi history just 65 years ago. In his book: The War We Lost: Yugoslavia’s Tragedy and The Failure of the West, Constantine Fotitch, Yugoslav Ambassador to the U.S. writes on pp. 118-119: Viktor Gutich, Ustashi Governor of Western Bosnia made a speech in Banja Luka telling his audience that the Poglavnik had decided to make Banja Luka the capital of Croatia, but before that could be done the city would have to be “thoroughly cleansed of Serbian dirt.”

The Western media in their early reports of the war proved ignorant of these Nazis and their Ustashi history including The New York Times who claimed the Serbs invented “Ethnic Cleansing.”

In February 1991, anti-Serb text appeared in local newspapers in Croatia. A book was published entitled “Who’s Who in Daruvar, it contained the surnames of 6,521 Serbs from 35 settlements. After the book was published Serbs were fired from their jobs and a year later over 4,800 of those named on the list were dead. For a brief record their name with their position on the list follows: Nikola Crnobrnja (1), Veljko Vukelic (4), Ratko Vukelic (31), Dragoljub Ljubcic (59) Milenko Stefanovic (139) Milos Kaurin (265) Vlado Stepanovic (330) etc.

On October 29, 1991, Croatian radio gave the Serbs 48 hours to leave their homes with only the “barest of necessities.” The Croats called it a “Depopulation plan.” What followed on November 1st and 2nd (All souls Day) was the mass destruction of 11,000 Serbian homes and the ethnic cleansing of 58,000 Serbs followed by the total destruction of 96 Serbian Orthodox churches. The world simply looked the other way.

In Colorado on a tour to the United States in August, 1993 Pope John Paul gave his blessing for an American air assault on Serbia and asked President Clinton to launch it without delay. Rome’s daily La Republica published a front cover illustration of the pope at the top of a minaret calling out: “Isus (Warren) Christopher, save us.” Secretary of State Christopher made numerous bigoted remarks about the morality of the Serbian people. A year later his own nephew was arrested at Forest Lawn Mortuary in Glendale, California where the police caught Christopher’s nephew having sex with a corpse. Need I say more about the morality of American politicians and the sexual proclivities of William Clinton who turned the White House into a brothel?

William Dorich said...

President Wm. Clinton
The President of The United States
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President,

An American President once said: “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people, all of the time.” The so-called “picture perfect rescue” of Capt. Scott O'Grady was right out of Universal Studios and the mind of Steven Spielberg.

Air Force Capt. Scott F. O’Grady’s parachute was sighted 25 miles south of Banja Luka, near the town of Mrkonjic Grad. During the CNN interview today with O’Grady he said he moved “only about one and a half miles during the 6 days.” Your government officials have reported that O’Grady was plucked from “the fogbound forest near where his F-16 was shot down six days earlier.” The original broadcast of the rescue specifically claimed that he was retrieved “20 miles southeast of Bihac”—that is some 60 miles away from the parachute site. Are we to believe that O'Grady jogged 15 miles each night through hostile Serb territory laced with land mines? You should indeed be grateful that the Serbs had the good sense not to parade O’Grady before the CNN cameras to discredit your administration more than they already have.

O’Grady did not use his radio for nearly 6 days for a good reason—the Serbs who had captured him had the radio transmitter. To imply that we send pilots up in multi-million dollar aircraft and then provide them with batteries that only last a few days amounts to a hideous lie. Plucking O’Grady from the forest "within 50 yards of his hiding place" might make a good movie script, but it hardly represents the truth, confirmed to me by two separate people very high in the intelligence community of the American government who are outraged by this media stunt. These sources obviously wish to remain anonymous.

Gen. John Shalikashvili told a Congressional hearing that we would not go into Bosnia without the approval of Congress, while at that very moment we had dozens of American troops setting foot on Bosnian soil—indicating the depth of his deception. This is the same “American” General, who, while visiting the land of his father, asked Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze if he could re bury his Nazi father in the Caucasus Mountains, (AP May 24, 1995). His father was in Hitler’s brutal Waffen SS. Shalikashvili’s father emigrated to the United States in 1946 and became an American citizen. Shalikashvili, who insults the nationalism of the Serbs apparently has Nazi motives of his own!

Apparently O'Grady's “story book rescue” was a deal calculated to restore the faith of American “top guns,” to downgrade the danger that our pilots face in Bosnia and to restore what is left of your credibility. My only question is, at what price to the Serbs? If O’Grady was so thirsty that he had to ring out his socks for water, why didn’t he have the good sense to milk the cows he claimed came around him each night and "were so friendly that he even named them?”

Mr. President, you violated all human decency by secretly violating the “no-fly zone” on May 1st and 2nd, 1995, in which the Croats used American made assault helicopter gunships to attack Okucani, exterminating over 1,500 Serbs. This war crime will be remembered in the historical records of this war as a deception of appalling proportion.

Gen. John Shalikashvili in the Congressional hearing this week boasted of more than “69,000 sorties” over Bosnia. But this same Air Force seemed incapable of stopping those attacks on Okucani which were calculated to serve the interest of the Croatian government with whom you had made a secret deal.

Wm. Dorich, President
Serbian American Voters Alliance

William Dorich said...

June 1, 1991

Macabre Image Manipulation of the War in Croatia by Wm. Dorich

In the news we continue to hear about Serbian domination of other ethnic minorities in Yugoslavia. However, few Americans realize that in spite of the Serbs being the majority of the population they rank 4th in political positions in their own government. Ante Markovic, a Croatian, was Prime Minister of Yugoslavia. He ordered the Serbian army to attack Croatia in 1991, then resigned and fled to Croatia knowing full well that he had opened Pandora’s Box on Balkan violence.

In battles between Croatian HVO forces and the Serbian army on September 1st, 1991, both sides took 3 prisoners each from their opponents. On September 3rd, in a trade of prisoner’s agreement, the Croats were handed 3 live soldiers. However, the Serbs received 3 dead bodies. One of the bodies was brutally beaten, stabbed two dozen times, several toes were severed, one leg broken and evidence in autopsy indicated that vital organs were missing from these 3 dead Serbs giving credence to Serbian claims that the vital organs of victims were being sold on the black market in Germany.

Footage of one of these three victims was shown on German and Zagreb television during the first week of September. Actor Martin Sheen narrated this propaganda footage that was sent to members of the American House and Senate. Dusan Markovic however was not a Croatian victim as this footage indicated. He was a 32 year-old Serbian the father of one child with a pregnant wife.

In the December 1993 issue of Strategic Policy, the London based international journal, its founder and editor Gregory Copley said: “The Big Lie” technique is alive and well. Croatia has used the media and skillful 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.” In his editorial he wrote: “Pictures of dead, wounded (or raped) Serbs often fill the screens of the world’s television and print media, only to be re-labeled as dead, wounded or raped Croats or Muslims. Many Serbian victims and the bulk of the victims of the conflict, contrary to popular reports, have been Serbs—not only suffer the indignity of defeat in death; they also are used in death as models in the macabre image manipulation operation of the Croatians and Bosnian Muslims.”

Balkan Ⓐnarchist said...

Excuse me William Dorich, I wonder how any of your three posts above relate to the content of this blog article re: the Ukrainian crisis. If your posts were meant to refute my point in the above comment that "there is no conclusive and irrefutable evidence that [Franjo Tuđman's] administration actually planned a "repeat genocide" before the war started or any time during it" (look at me quoting myself!), then a careful look at your above posts will reveal that you have completely failed to do so!

Let me make it clear to you: mixing the recent war in Croatia with WW2 doesn't wash with me. It was that fallacious conflation of the different situations in the early 90s and early 40s, promoted by Serb nationalist propagandists during the 90s, that abetted the crimes of the Serb nationalist régime in Knin against the non-Serb population within that shortlived, break-away statelet.

Here is my simple proposition to you, Mr. Dorich: once you acknowledge all the heinous crimes, for which Milan Martić and the late Milan Babić were rightfully convicted, and condemn them all WITHOUT A HINT OF RESERVE, then we can discuss Tuđman and his politics.

Anonymous said...

serbs have staged a hit [coup] on croatia, its sabor, law ad order on aug 90.
croatian sabor had annulled serbs as a constituent people in dec. 90.

Anonymous said...

wars are waged for land. that's what serbia did against croatia '91, bosnia 92, and kosovo '99.
but serbia also didn't want non-serbs in the lands it tried to annex after conquering them.
in croatia, serbs have expelled anywhere from 170k to 250k croats from their homes situated in the newly conquered territories.
they have also killed at least 10k croatian civilians while grabbing about 25% of croatian territory.
yes, some croatians have committed war crimes against some serbs; however most of such crimes occurred after serb hit on croatia by serbs and JNA aug. 90.

Anonymous said...

hit [putsch, coup] on ukraine; its constitution, law and order, agreement made between janukovyc and opposition feb 22 and which UE/US not only approbated, but also egged it on, represents a casus belli [of civil a war] between w. and s.e. ukraine.
it did not happen, i suggest, only because russia showed a strong concern for the south-eastern ukrainians.
thus, no civil war yet.
however, if turchynov and yatsenyuk and a gang of unelected people stay much longer in power, we may have a civil unrest or a war there yet.
thus, it's of utmost importance that yatsenyuk and turchynov not only step down quickly, but that they must face courts for their role in the hit on the country. it was a very perilous act to do?
luckily not too many people died because of it! bozhidar balkas sibenik

Anonymous said...

The referendum in Crimea was not properly conducted. Vladimir Putin did not consider this lack of legitimacy was important enough even to comment on.


Owen said...

And now here we are in July seeing photographs of those kids who were flying off to enjoy a family holiday of a lifetime. Killed by the boys with toys.

Balkan Ⓐnarchist said...

This time last year, I would never have guessed that something like that, what happened in the former Yugoslavia, would happen again elsewhere, and in Ukraine of all countries! Then again, with what happened in Georgia (see South Ossetia and Abkhazia) and Moldova (see Transnistria), and remembering the 2004 Orange revolution (when the Western media certainly did mention divisions between eastern and western Ukraine), how could I not've foreseen it?

And it keeps getting worse, doesn't it? The chief agitators of this conflict want to drag other people into their war, and have this time – I have no doubt about which side is responsible – taken the lives of 298 innocent people, who have absolutely nothing to do with what's going on there. It's just heart-breaking. And it's clear to me that Putin wants to keep on pushing and pushing.

And about that referendum in Crimea, I remember watching Al Jazeera one evening. They briefly mentioned "international observers" over there, and lo and behold, Srđa Trifković! And once I saw him pop up on the screen, I thought to myself, "Now I know how 'free and fair' this referendum will be"!

Owen said...

Trifkovic! So being refused entry to Canada under the War Crimes and Crimes aganst Humanity Act doesn't disqualify you from serving as an international election observer (for which organisation, I wonder).

Owen said...

"No major international organisations are monitoring the vote, but a group of observers from 23 countries – a mixture of anti-western ideologues and European far-right politicians – have arrived of their own accord and gave a press conference in Simferopol on Saturday evening.

Belá Kovács, an MEP from the far-right Hungarian party Jobbik, said everything he had seen on Saturday conformed to international standards and he expected the vote to be free and fair.

Many of the observers railed against the west and said that by recognising Kosovo, the west had opened a Pandora's box and had to accept the result in Crimea.

"What is sauce for Kosovo's goose is certainly sauce for Crimea's gander," said Serbian-American writer Serge Trifkovic. When asked if observers had been paid to attend, he said that if he were looking for money he would have approached the CIA. The observers, he said, were "as poor as church mice".

Kovács said there were no British observers at the referendum. The BNP's Nick Griffin "really wanted to come, but we persuaded him not to", he said. "

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