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In order to do this horendeous injustice to the Serbs the Western media purposely lied
WORLD MUST BE WARY OF FASCIST CROAT FORCES
Albany, New York
Sunday, May 23, 1993
By Paul Reid
For fair use only
Published under the provision of
U.S. Code, Title 17, section 107.
* * *
BOSTON - Sometimes a journalist finds in a single experience
the metaphor that defines his story. When the story is big,
beyond comprehension even - like the Yugoslav civil war - that
experience may serve as a catalyst for further research or
unsettled sleep. Such was case when I met the
HOS - the neo-Nazi Croat militia.
In October 1991 the civil war was moving to the start of the
Bosnian phase. I was struck by the historical
similarities to the earlier Balkan wars, and by the parallels
between Slavic nationalism and the nationalism in the Soviet Union.
The Yugoslav war seemed like it might be a window on the future of
the entire old East Bloc, so I went to Croatia.
Croatia and Slovenia were on the verge of
recognition by Germany, a curious circumstance to an American
journalist who wondered why the Germans - with their own problems
in the old East Germany - would be so quick to rush into the political
riptide of the Balkans. Clearly, this civil war seemed to be about
the dismantling of the Yugoslav federation.
Throughout of summer 1991, American television news had reported
on Serb snipers and Serb shelling of eastern Croatian towns. The news
weeklies had focused on the civil war, especially the "brutality"
of the Serbs. Clearly, this trip to Croatia would teach me just why
the Serbs seemed committed to the reality of a Greater Serbia at any
cost, why they felt such a need to extinguish their enemies.
Then, after a day spent with Croat forces besieging the Marshal
Tito Barracs outside Zagreb, I encountered the HOS. Clearly, from
that day on, nothing was clear.
The HOS (*) - or Croatian
Defense Force - are
the best-trained, best-armed Croat paramilitary force. Paramilitary
in Croatia does not mean extra-military. The entire Croat military
is made up of militia. There is no central command, no joint chiefs
reporting to a civilian command. Paramilitary groups are the
Croat army. Where any particular militia in any given village may be
armed with old shotguns and the occasional automatic weapon, the HOS sport
crisp uniforms, Austrian sidearms and AK-47s. The next time you are
watching TV news, look for the Croat flag flying over T-series
East German battle tanks, deployed in Bosnia. The guys on the tanks
are the HOS.
The HOS are the troops who threw grenades
through the windows of Muslim homes, burning the families alive.
The HOS are the troops who tried to keep U.N. inspectors out of
Bosnian villages. The HOS are the troops
who salute with a straight-armed gesture that will send chills up your
spine. THE HOS ARE FASCIST, PLAIN AND SIMPLE.
leaders were UNANIMOUS in saying they saw worring PARALLELS
BETWEEN THE NAZI AND PRO-NAZI MASSACRES OF 50 YEARS AGO and
the unease of Jews in Croatia under strongly nationalist
regime in the break away republic TODAY...
"What worries us is that those in power in Croatia NOW
are largely THE SAME AS DURING THE NAZI ERA... In some cases
THEY ARE EXACTLY THE SAME PEOPLE, now in their seventies and
BACK from exile under the Communists. In other cases, they
are the CHILDREN OF THE USTASHA... THEY WEAR *THE SAME BLACK
SHIRTS*, the same black trousers, many carry THE SAME
"SERBO-SEKS" [KNIVES FOR THE SERBS]..." said Dr. Klara Mandic,
a senior Jewish community leader.
The above quote is from:
[British] The Independent
October 21, 1991, page 10
"War raises old anxieties for Croatian Jews"
I met HOS troops in the bar at the international Hotel in
Zagreb. It was during an air raid alert, and while many of my
colleagues were hunched over their drinks and the spiffy press
packets handed out by the Croat information ministry, I struck up
a conversation with one of three HOS troopers. Another one of the
three was very drunk, and before he stumbled into the night,
he did his straight-armed Nazi salute,
complete with a bellowing "Seigh Heil."
His friend told me that the HOS would push the "Turkish"
Serbs right back to Asia.
The spiffy Croat press packet said nothing about the HOS.
In fact, except for March 28 Boston Globe story, I am not
aware of a single major news media outlet that has told the story
of the HOS, and the implications of that story. In fact, while
the entire focus of U.S. journalism has been on Serbian "agression,"
the Croat HOS has been conducting its own
campaign of GENOCIDE.
The story continued on the next page (E2) under title:
CROATIA: Crack forces are guilty of atrocities ...
A brief familiarization with Croat history
should have prepared Western journalists for the neo-Nazi movement
in Croatia. A rudimentary understanding of Croat history should have
moved news producers to assign reporters to what should have been
an ongoing story: Croatia,
if armed, will do today what Croatia did for Hitler
in World War II, when more than 400,000 Serbs were
exterminated by Croat Nazis.
This is not to excuse a single shot fired by Serbs, but only to
put today's events in a historical perspective: Croats see themselves
as protectors of the European frontier, and they see Serbs as inferior
Asiatics to be pushed out, or put down.
Not reported in the U.S. press was the fact
that soon after Croatia declared its independence in June 1991,
Croatian [actually: "Krajina"] Serbs were
asked to take a loyalty oath. Forty thousand who would not sign
were forced out of their homes. At the same time, squares
in Zagreb were renamed for members of the Ustasha - the
Croat Nazi movement of World War II. Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal has long warned of
the rebirth of Croat fascism, but not until Croat President Franjo
Tudjman showed up at the April dedication of the Holocaust Memorial
in Washington did the American press begin asking just what it is
about Croatia's past that might so bother Serbs.
This all begs for further scrutiny.
government has revived many of the paraphenalia of the Nazi puppet
regime headed by Ante Pavelic in the early 1940s.
STREETS AND SQUARES HAVE BEEN RENAMED AFTER USTASHA HEROES...
...Plans are well under way to REINSTATE the kuna, THE
CURRENCY OF THE FASCIST STATE. THE CROATIAN FLAG ONCE
AGAIN SPORTS SAHOVNICA, THE RED AND WHITE CHEQUERED SHIELD
WHICH SYMBOLIZED PAVELIC'S STATE - symbol which some...
equate with a reunited Germany flying the swastika...
...It is less easy to explain that lack of international
reaction to the RESURGENT FASCISM *SO EVIDENT* in the building
of the new nation. British suggestions of economic sanctions
on account of Croatia's military involvement in Bosnia have
been repeatedly blocked by Germany... Germany is siding with
Croatia... former partners in tourism and GENOCIDE. On the
American side, THERE ARE NONE SO BLIND AS THOSE WHO WILL NOT SEE.
SWASTIKAS, BLACK UNIFORMS, *RAPE AND PILLAGE* fade into
insignificanse beside the demonic image the State Department
has built for the Serbs.
The above quote is from:
[British] THE SPECTATOR
March 19 1994, pages 16, 17, 18
"UNRECONSTRUCTED NAZISM ON DISPLAY -
The Germans warmly support the Croats. Kenneth Roberts
says this reuniting of Second World War allies is distasteful"
There is no dispute that 40,000 [regular]
Croatian troops [drafted in Croatia proper], including the
HOS troops riding tanks, are in Bosnia. There is no question that
they are now murdering Muslims. There is no doubt that they have
T-Series battle tanks, supplied last
year by the German GOVERNMENT.
Why, then, has not a single major U.S. media outlet asked these
questions? What about the arms embargo? What are foreign troops
doing in Bosnia? What other weapons have the Germans sold the Croats?
In fact, during 1992 Germany sold MiG aircraft, SAM missiles and
60 battle tanks to Croatia. Croatia, in turn, sold 120mm and 76mm
light artillery to Bosnia, along with SAM missiles, possibly the same
ones sold Croatia by Germany. These transactions are matter of
public record, listed in the Defense and Foreign Affairs Strategic
Policy report of December 1992.
I'm troubled by the possible consequences of not asking these
questions. Is U.S. policy based, in part, on an incomplete
assessment of the situation in the former Yugoslavia? If so, are
U.S. troops about to be deployed to a place where both the people
and terrain will be inhospitable? Do U.S. policy-makers believe
that political support for troop deployment can only be assured
if the American public finds a "good guy" to fight for? And
ARE THE CROATS REALLY GOOD GUYS?
Or are there only bad guys fighting a war that should be contained,
to be sure, but not joined?
Finally, as was the case with public relations and Kuwait
during Operation Desert Storm, are public relations firms doing
such a good job "spinning" the news
that both the public and policy-makers are operating under false assumptions?
government is represented by the Washington PR firm of Ruder Finn.
The Serb government is represented by the British firm of Ian
Greer Associates. Recently on a Bosnian radio station, Gen. Lou
MacKenzie, former U.N. commander in Bosnia, made reference to the
distillation of news from Bosnia through public relations firms,
saying, "If you're to have a civil war, the first thing you need
is a good PR firm."
When one considers Croat history,
the HOS, Croat atrocities in Bosnia and Croat weapons purchases, one
must conclude that Ruder Finn is doing a first-class job. At what cost to U.S.
prestige and the lives of U.S. troops remains to be seen.
I came away from Yugoslavia with far more questions than
answers. Some of these questions need to be asked by the TV
networks, which are in a position to educate the public and the
policy-makers. Photo footage of an HOS
squad throwing grenades through the windows of Bosnian farmers
will tell a horrific story, but a story that needs to be told.
It needs to be told before U.S. troops land in a war zone where they will have
no friends, where they too will be everyman's target.
(End of quote).
* * *
Paul Reid, a Boston columnist who writes frequently about
international terrorism, wrote this article for The Miami Herald.
(*) HOS stands for "Hrvatske Oslobodilacke Snage" which
translates to "Croatian Liberation Army." This is not to
be confused with "Kosovo Liberation Army" (KLA) though
both "armies" were armed, trained, equipped and supported -- in
any shape and form -- by the "democratic" West.
Nazis flock to Croatia to fight the Serbs ]
betray the Serbs ]
Croats are marching again! ]
[ PR wars against the Serbs ]
The truth belongs
to us all.
free to download, copy and redistribute.
August 3, 2003