8/11/2005

Remembering the Storm - by Nebojsa Malic

Anniversary of a Victorious Crime

In the early morning hours of Aug. 4, 1995, on the heels of an incessant artillery and air bombardment, some 200,000 Croatian troops moved in to "liberate" Krajina, a stretch of mountains inhabited by Serbs who had rejected Croatia's secession from Yugoslavia four years prior. Overrunning the token UN observation posts, the U.S.-trained Croatian army quickly overwhelmed localized Serb resistance. President Franjo Tudjman declared Aug. 5, the day Croat troops entered the Serb capital of Knin, a national holiday: "Homeland Thanksgiving Day." By Aug. 7, the "Republic of Serb Krajina" was no longer in existence.

A grand celebration is scheduled for tomorrow in Knin. Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, the late Tudjman's political heir, will no doubt give a rousing patriotic speech, glorifying Croatia's "defenders from Serbian aggression." Some mainstream media will report that the offensive resulted in civilian casualties, and that one high-ranking Croatian general, Ante Gotovina, is a fugitive from war crimes charges at the Hague Inquisition. And that will be the end of it. Dwelling on "Operation Storm" (Oluja) serves no purpose in the official narrative of the Balkans wars. Its victims are that narrative's principal villains, so their suffering must be suppressed. The victors, on the other hand, are no longer useful to the Empire. "Storm" is something Washington would like to forget. Serbs and Croats don't have that luxury.

Remembering the Storm - by Nebojsa Malic

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