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The Croatian Identity: Status, State of Emergency

Translated from the original: Since the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991 until today, the Croats are forced to deal with an ill-defined identity. Their recent Civil War, awkwardly called “patriotic war” and “defensive war”, lends itself to serious legal misunderstandings. Nowhere do we use what would be a more accurate name, namely “the war of Croatian liberation against communism and against Yugoslavia.” Now there is a considerable difference between the two. The political class in Croatia, media class, all converted today in the US-Westernism, consist mostly of former Yugoslav officers, former communists and their offspring. If therefore the recent Croatian war of secession was only a “defensive war”, one is entitled to ask the question whether Croatia between 1991 and 1995, was in the process of protecting and safeguarding the achievements of communism and Yugoslavia or if it expressed the desire to get rid of. We must not exaggerate the role of Croatian nationalists as often do the foreign media. Many Croatian nationalists can be described as “default Croats,” or as “reactive Croats”, as their nationalist sentiments are often expressed in terms of the hatred of the other, namely the alleged Serbean threat. In Croatia, the political class deliberately ignore the root causes of the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. By focusing on the real or alleged Serbian threat, Croat political parties, including many followers or supporters of the former Communist Marshal Tito, thus provide a convenient loophole to hide their bloody legacy.

The Croatian Identity: Status, State of EmergencyThe accession of Croatia to NATO in 2009 and the European Union in 2013 further complicated the Croatian identity. Despite the fact that NATO has no reason to be in Europe, as his opponent, the Warsaw Pact was dissolved long ago, NATO is in the Croatian popular consciousness the symbol of belonging to the NATO and so the best defense against the alleged Russian and great-Serbian appetites. Moreover, whether we like it or not, NATO is the armed wing of American hegemony to which all European countries are expected to submit, including the new Croatia. It must be stressed that the pro-American sentiments and pro-NATO sentiments among the Croats, as the predominantly Catholic nations, such as the Baltic, Poles, Slovaks, have traditionally been more pronounced than among Christian Orthodox peoples. As for the former Yugo-communist and post-Yugoslav Croatian left — they have become today, like the Left in France — passionate pro-NATO fans. In case of a serious Russian-American crisis, do no exclude that NATO can bank on the Croatian nationalists, Baltic, Polish, etc. The similar scenario in Ukraine is obvious. Croats seem to forget that America has interests that change with the geopolitical circumstances. Until 1992, and contrary to what some renowned French authors say, America was an advocate for the unity and integrity of Yugoslavia. It was only later that she radically changed course.

The same applies to Croatia where, apart from some minor parties of the extreme right, all political parties are the spokesmen of the “Euro-Atlantic integration.” The accession of Croatia to the EU is considered the best shield against the Christian Orthodox Serbia and a detour against the alleged Russian hegemony and the best way against any temptation of a new Balkan future. This is not correct. What good is it to get rid of Yugoslavia to embark immediately in such a multicultural environment and supra-state, this time under the more attractive name “European Union”? The Brussels edicts were yet firm. Although a third of Croatians cast their ballot in favor of joining the European Union, during the referendum in January 2012, the threshold was deliberately lowered in order to make the membership valid.

Certainly, in the 90s, the Europeanist idea had a certain prestige in Croatia, while today, like the other member countries, the Croats began to become disillusioned. Even the most naive Croats realize that the EU is not a money machine. It is not excluded that Croatia, as did other members, soon begins to ask not how to keep its place in the EU, but of how to get out.

The great replacement in the Croatian perspective

The scourge of non-European migration rivers further complicates the construction of the Croatian identity. Certainly migratory rivers that that flow into Europe have had a huge psychological impact on Europeans who claim their identity or idea of various European nationalisms. What is obvious is that the largest ethno-racial alternative being to use the exact, goes virtually unnoticed in the Croatian media. Afro-Asian migration is treated as an incident that will miraculously stop alone. And maybe that Croats are not wrong. They know very well that migration flows, at all cost wishing to reach the lala-land of plenty, Germany, and not stop in Croatia. About this non-European migration tide, Croatia, like all the countries of the East, can do nothing. Those who are responsible for sparking the largest ethno-racial replacement are German and Brussels politicians. That said, there is no German plot, nor any need of an alleged cheap labor, as mentioned in some right-wing circles in Europe. The main reason for the “host culture” – including the German political class, which is its main sponsor – lies in the historical guilt complex of German politicians, a complex dating back to 1945, and currently pushes the ruling class of German and many German intellectuals of the left to be more Catholic than the Pope, that is more democratic and more multicultural than any other EU country. Paradoxically, Croatia, and the entire Eastern Europe, thanks to the Communist grip of yesteryear, has preserved its European face, his white face, and historical memory. For how much longer?

In contrast, Germany is facing its past that does not pass away, and should play in the humanitarian and altruistic one-upmanship against migrants, imagining that its turbulent past will eventually pass away. Subjected after the Second World War to an exemplary rehabilitation, it is not surprising that Merkel and her entourage make ultra humanitarians multiculturalist discourse excessive. However, the problem for neighboring countries, including its traditional friend, the Croatian people, is far more serious. And expiation by her grotesque gestures, Germany risks becoming again the European pariah – but reversed course. The countries of Eastern neighbors, such as Hungary and Croatia, can not forever maintain their status as white enclaves. Migratory rivers will inevitably spill over them, with effects that can be imagined. It is clear, however, that the Croatian people or the Serbian people, suffers much less historical guilt complex.

If “Hasanbegovi?” and the new dominant ideas

In terms of its cultural policy, what is obvious is that Croatia, despite the high number of former communist and Yugoslav officials, especially in the diplomatic corps and their higher education, still carries in the foreign media stigma of a far-right country, wiht strong-Nazi Ustasha residues. On the deductive level, this is a false and dishonest conclusion. It could be better described as Croatia with strong neo-communist, Yugo-nostalgic tendencies. Former Minister of Culture, Mr. Zlatko Hasanbegovi, had to undergo a true media lynching for his alleged revisionist opinions and neo-Ustasha. Predictably. During his short tenure, Mr. Hasanbegov? has been a fierce advocate of the lustration of former Yugo-communist cadres. Moreover, as Minister of Culture, he refused to distribute jumble grants to many non-governmental organizations linked to various centers of Western cultural and media power. The media lynching, triggered by Western media such as Libération and Le Monde, was quick. The most effective method to close the mouth an identity of any European nationalist, whether in France, Croatia or Germany, is to use guilt by association procedures and being categorized as anti-Semitic, Ustasha and fascist, Hasanbegovic had made a bitter experience.

Following the elections of 11 September 2016, the name of Hasanbegovic still appears first on the list of the winning party, the HDZ. But even with the HDZ success (center right party) of which he is a member, the new government, for lack of an absolute majority, will be required to enter into cohabitation with other parties, all tuned, of course, to the Brussels edicts. It is clear that in the parliamentary system “the more things change the more they stay the same” besides the fashionable formulas derived from the gospel of human rights, theology of the single market and the ideology of progress, endlessly repeated on all wavelengths and the entire Croatian political class – certainly through different syntaxes – there will be nothing new in Croatia with the new HDZ government.

This time, for Croatia and for all of Europe, the issues lie elsewhere. The Donald Trump phenomenon in America not only shows a serious tilt in the political landscape but also the rise of new ideas and new dominant myths in America and Europe. Germany, with its current policy of ethno-masochism, also remains, as always, a great unexpected. In the coming months, whatever happens in Berlin and Washington will inevitably have consequences for Croatia – and across Europe.

Tomislav Sunic, writer and former diplomat.
[Translated from the original.]

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