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(E) AP and "Croatian Nationalism"
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  11/22/2003 | Letters to the Editors | Unrated
(E) AP and "Croatian Nationalism"


Would you call us in the U.S. "nationalists" when waving "Old Glory"

Dear Editors:

Re: "Croatian PM Warns of Opponents' Ploys" by Snjezana Vukic, Nov. 7. 03

Time and again we see in print reference to Croatia's first government
after the bloody breakup of former Yugoslavia in 1991, as being
"nationalistic". When any western nation stands up for its rightful,
lawfully achieved independence and its people are proud of their nation,
it is called patriotism, yet when reporters write about Croatia it
becomes "nationalism". This is unfair and false.

Would you call us in the U.S. "nationalists" when waving "Old Glory" or
singing the national anthem even at sports games? Would you consider it
"nationalistic" if we object and/or vote against moves that are
detrimental to our country? Certainly not - but God forbid Croats would
do the same - "how nationalistic!!"

Western reporters and diplomats hail the present Croatian government of
Premier Racan as "democratic" and pleasing to the West. Yet only recently
IFEX (International Freedom of Expression Exchange) has written a letter
to the Premier complaining about "the deterioration in respect for
freedom of expression that the new Criminal Code provisions represent".
The fact remains that Racan is an old communist apparatchik who has not
shaken his communist mind-set and would not object bringing Croatia back
into some kind of Yugoslav confederation of states - which is precisely
what England and France, old supporters of Serbia, are trying to promote
by pushing Croatia into a Balkan Association. While there are still
Croats who would not oppose this, particularly some regime-approved
journalists, most Croats are opposed to any such notions.

Racan's regime is in the process of selling much of Croatia' best assets
to foreign companies, taking the profits out of Croatia. This is not in
Croatia's national interest and is objected to by the opposition party,
which in your opinion makes it "nationalistic". Fact is, the opposition
party HDZ is a center-right party, as opposed to Racan's SDP, which is
center-left. It is therefore not surprising to see the "reformed"
communists calling the opposition party "nationalist" in order to make
points with the EU and the U.S. government.


Hilda M. Foley
American-Croatian Association
13272 Orange Knoll
Santa Ana, CA 92705

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