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(E) NATO and ... once we conquer our fears ...Croatian identity!
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  04/1/2002 | Opinions | Unrated
(E) NATO and ... once we conquer our fears ...Croatian identity!
"...once we conquer our fears and open the way for our creative energy to rush out and blossom into life." 
Dear Suzanne and Jean, you're both right and both wrong. I don't think that our patriotism is dead and buried, but, thru enough, it stands on very shaky legs. Considering however our checkered past it is a miracle that we managed even to survive, but survive we did. Right now, we are in the state of limbo, neither here nor there, which is in our case, as it is with most of former colonial subjects, a sort of a passage from boyhood to manhood. There is a story which I heard once from some african fellows whose country had recently attained a freedom, when they came to some conference, they instinctively asked which door were to be used for the colored delegates. Library of books have been written by eminent political scientists about behaviour and doubts of the peoples who having become free had no idea what to do with their freedom. 
    Yes, we managed to get rid ourselves of the Serbs, but are we trully free , trully innerly free from our own colonial hang-ups ? I would argue we're not. The question without doupt will incur a sharp reaction and perhaps some of the people with lofty idea of our past might even ofended. But how is one to explain explain the surrender of our precious freedom to our former oppressors, the communists ? The act of surrender was so shocking to me that the empiric approach is not enough to explain all its consequeces. Only descent, in my view, into the deepest structure of our mental universe can lighten up the labyrinths of our soul in which the frighten little boy from the colonial past is still hiding from the world and the responsibilities of a grown up. 
       Unless he comes out of the closet, the world around will remain hostile and ugly. It will be eternally filled with cantankerous and curmudgeon people, the conspirators, the enemies, the evil and those who were predestined to do us harm. et cetera, et cetera. et cetera...Yes. by God, I forgot the Masons. Yet, there is hope. We can reach our full maturity once we conquer our fears, the frighten child within..., and open the way for our creative energy to rush out and blossom into life. 
              Ivo Tasovac 
(E) NATO and Croatian Identity 
Jean W. Lunt-Marinovic 
April 1, 2002 
According to X.Y, NATO has always been against Croatian interests, Western Nations such as America or Britain make up the axis of evil ("osovina zla"), and Croatia must distance itself from all the above-mentioned. If I didn’t know that I was reading my emails as received through the AMAC distribution, then I would think I was reading from one of those anti-NATO, Russian-backed conspiracy-theory magazines. I studied communist politics at university prior to and during the recent so-called Balkan conflict. As I was studying the creation of Yugoslavia, first and second, Yugoslavia itself was falling apart before our eyes on TV every night. I witnessed the surprised reactions to Serbian aggression, of lecturers or professors, as Serbian bombing increased day by day. Most western academics were not against Croatian people in those early stages. In contrast, it was the approach of the media which was most shocking. (My point being that in the West we do not all think the same, but we (in West) are probably suffering from the same anti-democratic influences which currently hover over Croatia.) Correct me if I am wrong, readers, but NATO did intervene in a way which was in Croatia’s long-term interests over the past few years. Therefore the statement "…kako mi Hrvati mozemo vjerovati da ce nam NATO biti prijatelj, kada oni do sada rade protiv nas…". Yes, of course NATO’s intervention in the former Yugoslavia had many critics, even from within, but that didn’t change their strategic decision-making. Also, if we want to look to the beginning of Yugoslavia as an idea, yes we can look to the Illyrian movement (as cited by Cic) ("Illirskim pismima iz 1877") but we can also look to Strossmeyerism and his National Party politics which included the promotion of Serbian politics against Starcevic—Strossmeyer alleged that Starcevic was poisoning Croatian youth with his ideas about national independence! My professor, Robert Manne in Australia, (a university professor of political department, and well known television and media commentator, and former journal Quadrant-editor) actually ‘laughed’ during his lecture about the creation of Yugoslavia (1989) when he commented that "Croats created Yugoslavia (Yugoslav Committee) and have been trying to get out of it ever since". Serbs have now declared (March 2002) that Yugoslavia does not exist any more. Now, instead of calling the western nations evil, perhaps Croats need to rid their nation of many artificial ‘south slavic’ glorification symbols, scholarships, and street names, etc. so that western leaders and observers etc. can get some clear signals about Croatian national identity!! 
Commentary by 
Jean W. Lunt-Marinovic, Melbourne Australia, 
1 April 2002. 
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