Here’s some good news for humanity, but a real no-win for the neo-Ustashe and neo-Chetniks who plague this blog. The neo-Ustashe will be aghast that the proud defender of an ethnically-pure Croatia has been subjected to this indignity—or, the more hypocritical ones will be chagrined by the riots in their civilized, Euro-ready Croatia. The neo-Chetniks, in turn, will have still less plausibility to harp on their long-nourished gripe that the world is picking on the Serbs and giving the Croats a pass. We imagine both varieties of kneejerk extremists will become even more venemous upon being backed into a corner like this. Bring it on! Let the abuse hurl forth! From the Financial Mirror, Dec. 9:
Former Croat general Ante Gotovina, wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), was arrested in Spain yesterday, sparking riots in Zagreb among his nationalists supporters.
Croatian riot police used force and arrested several people.
Hundreds of demonstrators earlier threw stones at the building housing the Croatian government, which assisted in the arrest of general Ante Gotovina a day earlier in Spain.
Several people were reported injured and arrested when they resisted police. An increased presence of police in full riot gear was still visible late Thursday on the streets of Zagreb.
Gotovina, a former French legionnaire and mercenary, retired from the Croatian army in 2000 after earning a hero’s status in the 1991- 95 war for Croatia’s independence from Yugoslavia.
He became a fugitive a year later when the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) indicted in the deaths of Serb civilians and other atrocities committed by his troops.
The announcement of Gotovina’s arrest was made earlier Thursday in Belgrade by ICTY chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte. She expressed gratitude to Croatian authorities for contributing to his arrest on the Canary Islands.
Croatia’s EU accession talks were suspended in March 2005 because the government was judged not to have done enough to track the wanted man. However, in a backroom deal in October, Croatia started accession negotiations in return for Austria’s agreement to allow Turkey to start talks.
Prime Mininster Ivo Sanader said that the arrest affirmed Croatia’s policies, and that all those indicted by the ICTY must face justice. The Croatian Interior Ministry so far refused to confirm that it had helped track down Gotovina or what aid was provided.
Despite a decade of peace, the indictment and years in hiding, Gotovina, aged 50, who looked well and fit when he was arrested, remains one of the most popular figures in Croatia. Following his arrest, several veterans organizations from the 1991-95 war said that they would hold protests, expected to peak Sunday.
See our last posts on Croatia and the still-simmering Balkan crisis.
Neo-Ustashe mobilize for Gotovina
AFP, Dec. 11:
See our last post on Ante Gotovina.
Whineberg on Croatia (or anything else for that matter)
To use one of Wineberg’s favorite intellectual phrases “FUCK BILL WEINBERG”
Well, my anticipation of abuse was certainly warranted. At least I made an argument as to why Ralph Nader is fucked. Do you care to make one? Don’t we even get to find out whether you are a neo-Chetnik or a neo-Ustashe?
Wish we had more information on this
From the BBC profile of Gotovina:
Italy’s La Reppublica informs us that he met his future wife Ximena when he was in Colombia to oversee the abduction, assassination and torture of her countrymen. (Why are women attracted by this sort of thing?)
This contract work in Latin America almost necessarily implies links to the CIA. Which throws an ironic light on the $5 million US State Department reward offered for information leading to Gotovina’s capture.
Even more ironic (and little remembered) is that 1995’s Operation Storm, which Gotovina is now facing charges in connection with, was given a “green light” (including CIA technical assistance and oversight) by the Clinton administration (as recalled by Ivo Pukanic in the Croatian weekly Nacional May 24, 2005).
As we noted in our primer War at the Crossroads: An Historical Guide Through the Balkan Labyrinth: