PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS

[Mission address; coat of arms, etc.]

Date: December 29, 1997  TOP SECRET

Deliver to:
Office of the President, Franjo Tudjman

Foreign Ministry, Mate Granic

Delivered by:
Miomir Zuzul, ambassador to US
Jakov Sedlar, culture attache, NYC

NOTE about obtaining the first part of the manuscript of the book by Joe Tripician about the President of Republic of Croatia

From a confidential source inside the Random House publishing house, special counsel Miles Raguz obtained the first draft of the already finished manuscript of the book about the President of the Republic of Croatia written by Joe Tripician. Enclosed are the excerpts from the manuscript and their short analysis. The entire 137 pages manuscript we are sending by diplomatic mail. Source seeks anonymity, so we ask for discretion in handling of this matter.

Compiled by:
Vitomir Miles Raguz
Special Advisor
[signed by] General Consul Ivan Simunovic

TOP SECRET

ANALYSIS of the first part of the manuscript of the book by Joe Tripician about the President of the Republic of Croatia

Summary: The book reflects the negative perceptions of the President, Republic of Croatia and Herceg-Bosna. It mentions all the criticism of the Western public opinion against the President, yet it does not place it in the necessary context, i.e. it does not explain local circumstances unrecognizable to the Western public. The writer hints that the President might be connected with the murders of Blaz Kraljevic and Ante Paradzik. Manuscript appears as if the history of conflict was ‘copied’ from the pages of The New York Times. The rare author’s independent conclusions are, also, anti-Croat. For example, author states on page 83: “If we say that Serbs returned ethnic cleansing to life, then we can say that Croats perfected it.”

The manuscript is full of, to the international community already well known, negative perceptions about the President, Republic of Croatia, Herceg-Bosna and the history of Croatia. We are highlighting the following comments:

1. History of conflict was presented using the known logic of the media disinclined to the Croatian cause (crude nationalism, equalizing the responsibility of Belgrade and Zagreb, presenting Muslims as the only victims, etc.). Given that the author is not an expert in history, nor is he well informed about the most recent conflict, it appears that for his background information he most likely uses the articles published in The New York Times. Croatian identity is presented as “nationalism”, which as an idea is unacceptable to the Western reader.

2. Current conflict in the draft version of this book is related to the events from NDH (Independent State of Croatia). Serbs are presented as a majority in the anti-fascist movement, and Chetnicks as yet another anti-fascist group. Muslims are historically innocent group, that joined Partisans during the WW II. The draft is overburdened with the paradigm of Ustasha: Serbs feared new Ustashas; Tudjman partially adopted Ustasha ideology; Tudjman was supported politically and financially by Ustasha emigres; Hercegovci are still Ustashas today; Serbs did to Muslims in this conflict the same that Croats did to Serbs during the NDH; there is a historic alliance between Croatia and Germany.

3. Politics of R.Croatia towards Bosnia&Hercegovina is explained exclusively within the context of extreme nationalism and territorial pretensions, and as such put to blame. The agreement between Milosevic and Tudjman about the division of Bosnia is highlighted on several occasions. The role of Croats and Serbs in B&H is equalized. The crimes of Serbs and Croats in the R. of C. are equalized. The author picks Borovo Selo and the murder of Reichel-Kier as the pivotal events for the beginning of war in the R. of C.

4. The author nearly exclusively quotes those Western writers that are reserved about Croatia, or even openly anti-Croat, like Richard West, Warren Zimmerman, Laura Silber and Robert Donia. Also, he often quotes Ivo Banac and the person that he calls “The Priest.” The author quotes Slvaneka Drakulic, too - and she is known to have accused Croatian identity as an unacceptable nationalism. He quotes Lojze Peterle and Herbert Okun in positive light for the President.

5. The author firmly puts R. of C. on the Balkans and assigns all the negative events in the region to the “balkan” way of life, behavior or conducting of warfare.

6. From the manuscript we take a couple of quotes, translated to Croatian:

– If Franjo’s early identification with Ustashas (pp.5)
– Che ckerboard - Croatian checkered coat of arms even today evokes horror in the hearts of WW II survivors (pp.7)
– Ustasha reign of terror is virtually unparalleled in modern history (pp.12)
– Stepinac, the archbishop of Zagreb, supported Ustashas and blessed Pavelic (pp.13)
– Tudjman’s figures [about the Jasenovac victims] lead to wrong conclusions (pp.14)
– This proposal to de-Serbianize Croatian language now looks ridiculous and divisive (pp.39)
– The difference was that Croatian liberals saw the injustice, but also a danger in the declaration of independence without addressing and finding a solution for the worries and fears of the Serb minority. The white socks did not care about that at all. (Pp. 57)
– As one Hercegovac explained: “Here only three things grow: snakes, rocks and Ustasha.” (Pp. 58)
– Their laughter provoked him to utter the words now known as his greatest ‘faux pas,’ albeit just one of the many to follow. (Pp. 60)
– However, the propaganda in Croatian media was equally as fierce,... (pp.60)
– Although Serbs were the majority in Knin, the region was controlled by Croatia... (pp.61)
– [This goal for Tudjman] had included all ornaments: checkerboard, nationalist songs, honor guard to rival Tito’s, and the renaming of streets in Zagreb from Partisan to NDH names. (Pp.63)
– The new nationalist government took a direct control over radio, television and principal print media, to prepare them, as the official explanation asserted, for the transition to the market economy. The direct consequence was that the HDZ controlled the opposition vote. In the schoolbooks all stories about the Partisans and the anti-fascist movement were deleted, and state employees - from mailmen to social workers - were required to sign the loyalty oath. (Pp.64)
– Fear and hate, imported by extremists on both sides... (pp.73)
– If we say that Serbs returned ethnic cleansing to life, then we can say that Croats perfected it. (Pp.83)
– In other words, Franjo made a scapegoat out of Vukovar. (Pp.85)
– Cruelty of the Serbs [B&H] rushed through the villages and townships. Their methods were the same as those of Ustashas in 1941 (pp.91)
– Mistrust and suspicion will quickly break down feeble Croatian-Muslim alliance and result in the bloodiest episode in this bloody, little war. (Pp.92)
– As are the Bosnian Serbs, ...., as are the Bosnian Croats ... (pp.95)
– In fact, he [Tudjman] hated Muslims. Looked upon them as inferiors ... (pp.97)
– Muslims found themselves squeezed between Serbs on the East and Croats on the West. Massacres that followed were the bloodiest since the WW II. It was a slaughterhouse. It was genocide. And everything was allowed. (Pp.105)
– Croatian Guard brigades occupied Western Hercegovina. (Pp.103)
– Both Serbs and Croats blocked food delivery to Bosnians (pp.104)
– Majority [of POW’s in B&H] were held by Bosnian Croats (pp.112)
– I have an impression that by the end of the 1993 he [Tudjman] listened more to me [Galbraith] than to his advisors. (Pp.114)
– While Granic discussed with international representatives building of Muslim-Croatian alliance, Bosnian Croat delegates coordinated their military attacks on Muslims with the Croatian secretary of defense, Gojko Susak, loyal to Tudjman. (Pp.122)
– True, Tudjman in fact did not care that much about Bosnian Croats (pp.126)
– In July, Tudjman’s army took two towns in Western Bosnia (pp.131)
– During ‘The Storm’ Croatian soldiers looted and burned more than 20,000 Serbian homes. (Pp.133)

Comment:

Author’s motivation for such a negative approach perhaps comes out of market reasoning. Western markets buy/sell certain concepts, and R. of C. already has an image that belongs into marketable negative concepts.

Compiled by:
V.M. Raguz
Special advisor

 

All About "Balkanized at Sunrise"