Why Croatian Americans will vote for John Kerry
I'm Drucilla Badurina, President of Badurina & Associates. We are an advisory firm dealing with Euro-Atlantic international relations, business and economic issues. From 1998-2001, our main focus was United States-Croatia relations. Perhaps you might remember me. Many Croatians, Croatian Americans and Croatians worldwide are aware of us because of our work during that period. (Web site: http://badurina.com)
Since that time, we have worked on other projects, but Croatia will always be a special area of interest. In fact, I'm working on a book about US-Croatia relations.
However, the focal point of our current project, the most critical work of our lifetime, is helping to elect John Kerry and John Edwards.
You wrote an excellent personal reminiscence op-ed piece for John Kerry a true Croatian Friend that preceded Kerry's statement in remembrance of Croatia's Statehood Day (Politics-21 Sep-04).
I don't believe that some Croatian Americans realize the dreadful consequences another Bush-Cheney term will have on their lives here in the United States (e.g. their children and grandchildren having to pay off Bush's projected deficit of $2.33 TRILLION) but also the extremely negative impact it will have on Croatia and US-Croatia relations.
To enlighten and inform them, I have written an article, "Why Croatian-Americans Who Care About Croatia Should Vote for John Kerry and John Edwards" and am submitting it to CROWN for posting.
Thanks. Good to see that CROWN keeps on rolling.
WHY CROATIAN AMERICANS WHO CARE ABOUT CROATIA SHOULD VOTE FOR JOHN KERRY AND JOHN EDWARDS
President, Badurina & Associates
Here in the United States, the first Tuesday of November will mark the most important election in our lifetime. It’s a choice between George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and a continuation of lies, hypocrisy and the erosion of our democratic rights, values and ideals OR John Kerry and John Edwards and truth, integrity and upholding those democratic rights, values and ideals.
It’s a choice between Bush-Cheney and four more years of government of, by and for corporate cronies like Enron and Halliburton OR Kerry-Edwards and government of the people, by the people and for the people. But Croatian Americans who care about Croatia should also vote to replace Bush-Cheney because of the imperial hubris of their relations with the Republic of Croatia and other nations that has made the United States less respected throughout the world. Seeking to deflect from their horrible failure and the increasing quagmire of Bush’s war in Iraq, Bush constantly refers to the coalition of the willing in Iraq, frequently mentioning Poland (less frequently mentioning those other military giants: Palau, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, etc.) as if that makes his preemptive war more palatable. However, unlike Bush’s assertions that the US is joined in this war by a coalition that wanted to liberate Iraq, find WMD’s or any of the other 24 ever changing reasons he has used to defend the indefensible, Poland’s Foreign Minister was brutally honest about why Poland was part of the coalition. It was not for liberation or democracy but for a share of Iraq’s oil fields---to the victors belong
the important spoils. So, 13 Polish soldiers died for oil. (Now, the US is upset by Poland’s defense minister’s recent statement announcing the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq beginning in early 2005.) Fortunately, Croatia’s government didn’t attach itself to the coalition of the coerced and greedy, although pressure to provide even a token force was probably applied. So, unlike Poland and Italy for example, which lost troops, Croatia was spared the agony of its soldiers returning in “transfer tubes” (aka body bags) or without arms and legs.
No matter how one feels about the International Criminal Court (ICC—not to be confused with the ICTY----the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia), George W. Bush reached the heights of hypocrisy and bullying about this issue. In 2002, Bush formally renounced his predecessor’s signature on the Rome Statue of the ICC. Last year, the Bush administration cut off military aid to 35 friendly countries, which included Croatia, because of their support of the ICC and refusal to exempt US soldiers from ICC jurisdiction.
However, after the Abu Ghraib scandal and abuse of Guantanamo held prisoners became front page news worldwide, the Bush administration, in its usual flip-flop method, withdrew a U.N. Security Council resolution to exempt American soldiers from prosecution overseas and renounced the ratification process of
the ICC. Croatians will remember how, in 2003, Bush’s administration attempted, through a legal challenge at the WTO, to browbeat the European Union into lifting its moratorium on the sale of genetically modified (GM) seeds and foods in Europe. Croatians, like most Europeans, are concerned about possible harmful health
consequences of GM food. Also, unlike some American corporate fast food mind sets, every European country, including Croatia, has its own cuisine which is an integral part of its culture.
Acting like a cheerleader for American agribusiness and chemical corporations, Bush bullied Europe by fraudulently equating their refusal to grow GM crops for export to creating millions of starving people in less developed countries. (Actually, the hunger problem is more a result of how farmland is used rather than having any basis in the availability of GM food.)
Then the Bush administration tried persuasion by invoking cost savings which was another lie. GM seeds are more expensive because they are patented. That means that farmers cannot save new seeds for another growing season because they belong to the seed company! (There is already a ludicrous lawsuit filed by a large agribusiness company against a farmer whose fields sprouted plants from wind blown seeds of neighboring farms.) Forced to buy new seeds every year would not help but further hurt subsistence farmers.
However, Bush and his administration refuse to accept the reality of any issue, so their policies and plans, or lack thereof, result in terrible consequences for the United States and the rest of the world.
Croatian Americans need to face the fact that another four years of Bush’s policies could seriously cripple United States-Croatia relations. If you care about strong future US-Croatia relations, a US relationship with Croatia that is enlightened, practical and respectful of Croatia’s sovereignty, vote for John Kerry and John Edwards on November 2.