That military action was the liberation ofCroatia
Recently we have seen a number of articles and communications from
various patriotic Croatian organizations within and outside of Croatia,
in defense of falsely and unjustly indicted General Gotovina.
While all statements in his defense are excellent, I believe that one
particular statement should be omitted.
Croatia's statehood, its right to independence and sovereignty must never
be connected with Operation Storm (Oluja). There is no correlation
between the two events and Croatians making this connection
can only harm Croatia by serving Croatia's enemies, who are gladly
accepting Croatia's own words that
the ICTY's Del Ponte "criminal enterprise", referring to Operation Storm,
means also putting into question
the very existence and legitimacy of the independent state of Croatia. It
is the old story that if something is repeated long and often enough it
will be eventually believed as the truth by all.
Croatia's fight against Serb aggression culminating in its independence
in 1991 and recognized by the
whole world by January 1992 as a sovereign state has absolutely nothing
to do with Operation Storm in 1995. That military action was the
liberation of Croatia's Serb-held territory within Croatia's recognized
borders, occurring full three years later and was a legal undertaking as
is the right of every sovereign
nation to reclaim its occupied territory. If occurrences against the
international rule of warfare occurred,
the perpetrators should be punished. Trumped up charges as well as
"command responsibility" have
to be dismissed.
Croatia is a legally and internationally recognized state and that is an
indisputable fact that no one can change. No Croatian, no matter how well
meaning, should get into a position of putting words into its enemies
mouths, who will use it to their advantage. Therefore, such writings
connecting two unrelated
events of recent Croatian history must stop.
Every effort should be directed toward having all facts available for
General Gotovina's thorough
defense, so he can be found not guilty on all counts. There is no
question that Gotovina's indictment is
a political one and the defense needs skilled political advisers as well
as skilled lawyers for his defense.
Croatians must stand united in this cause.