The New York Times and Croatia
To the Editor:
The New York Times title "... in Near-Feudal Croatia" for Mr. Wood's article (Dec.12, 03) I smell new tactics by the Times editors to demonize Croatia. Stereotypes die hard on the Manhattan island.
After 30 years of loyal reading, buying the New York Times every morning, I do expect to see one day article with positive title when Croatia is concerned. At the time when Croatia was captive in Yugoslav prison of nations, that beautiful small country on the Adriatic sea use to be scapegoat for all evils in malfunctioning of Belgrade's Communist empire, but now, independent and the role model in the region, why?
It looks, the editors of the greatest daily paper in modern history, somehow are aware of the Croatian national values, not fully compatible with their own. That could be one of the reasons. Further, those values of the Croatian people, family life, devotion to their homeland, believing in the community of nations; service to God, equality of all humans and the same justice for poor and rich doesn't fit well with imperialistic mind of the few in the editorial room of the New York Times. Sorry, Croatian nation never in their long history accepted or inflicted slavery on their human brothers and sisters whatever was their color of skin, religion or gender. Deep down in their national character they carry wonderful characteristics what we call human and humanity. Give them credit for that.
I wouldn't necessarily agree with everything the letter says, but, I do agree with one thing. As soon as there is an opportunity to write something negative, here we go. This is not The New York Times problem. it is our to press and push and organize ourselves much much better. The world we live in is not based on justice. Law is more and more detached from it. What is legal is not necessary just and vice versa. To call our new government "nationalistic" is quite arrogant regardless on the past of the political party. New democracies need time to develop. Our change of power every four years is something very positive and should be encouraged and rewarded. It all happened in a most civilized way. The best out of all of the countries that came out of this vicious war. Croatia leads in a political development of the whole region. That you wouldn't be able to figure it out from the articles written in The New York Times.
For years our neighbors established a relationship with The New York Times that is not based on value of truth, but commerce. And if we know that, we have to do something about that. That is a job for the government. One doesn't exclude the other and we have to continue to protest and have meetings with The NYT editorial board. We have to be a step ahead and not always step behind. Always reacting to the articles that have BEEN published. How about planning 12 articles a year that will be published in 2004. When the opportunity arrives. The New York Times is in business of selling the news. Good guys or bad guys do not exist. Guys who pay or not pay do.
Editor in Chief, Croatia.org