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Thursday, June 16, 2005


Wikipedia is a very good idea since, in theory, it allows any knowledgeable people to bring up facts on subjects & by a process somewhere between dialogue & verification of facts produces accuracy.

I have contributed to articles on the Milosevic trial & the Srebrenica massacre & am moderately satisfied with both. Both are still largely on the Nato side but I accept that, at least within Nato countries, this is the popular view & enough satire has been allowed to stand in the trial article to show the weakness of the Nato case. The Srebrenica article, while in the main body containing the Nato story does have a section at the end on the alternate view & while even this section has been written & rewritten by Natoists it nonetheless contains infinitely more discussion of the theory that the bodies are those of Serbs than you will get in the normal media.

My complaint is about the article on Franjo Tudjman which (a) consists almost entirely of a bio produced by the Croatian regime (a clear breach of Wikipedia rules) & (b) the moderator allows virtually no corrections even to clear factual untruths - I have marked clear inaccuracy THUS, note that except in a really silly case I have not mentioned the adulatory nature of the language throughout in what purports to be an impartial assessment

Franjo Tudjman (May 14, 1922 - December 10, 1999) was the first president of Croatia in the 1990s.

Tudjman's political party HDZ (Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica, Croatian Democratic Union) won the first post-communist multi-party elections in 1990 and he became the president of the country. A year later he proclaimed the Croatian declaration of independence. He was reelected twice and remained in power until his death in late 1999.

Franjo Tuđman
Order: 1st President
Term of Office: May 30, 1990 - December 10, 1999
Date of Birth: May 14, 1922
Place of Birth: Veliko Trgovišće, Croatia
Spouse: Ankica Tuđman
Profession: soldier & historian
Political Party: Croatian Democratic Union HDZ

Contents [showhide]
1 The Communist

2 The Dissident

2.1 The national program

3 The President of Croatia

4 External links

The Communist
Franjo Tudjman was born in Veliko Trgovišće, a village in Hrvatsko Zagorje, region in northern Croatia.

During WWII Tudjman fought on the side of Tito's partisans, where he also met his future wife, Ankica. He became one of the youngest generals in the Yugoslav People's Army in the 1960s — a fact which some observers linked to the fact that he sprung from Zagorje, a region that gave few Communist partisans.HE IS FIRST RECORDED AS SERVING WITH THE PARTISANS AS THE LEADER OF A UNIT IN 1944 JUST AFTER TITO ISSUED AN AMNESTY TO CROATIAN NAZI UNITS WHO TURNED, AS POINTED OUT THERE WAS A SERIOUS LACK OF LOCAL PARTISANS & HIS EXPRESSED POLITICAL VIEWS ARE HARDLY CONSISTENT WITH OPPOSITION TO HITLER

Others have observed that Tudjman was probably the most educated of Tito's generals (as regards military history, strategy and the interplay of politics and warfare) — this claim is supported by the fact that generations of future Yugoslav generals based their general exam theses on his voluminous book on guerilla warfare throughout history: Rat protiv rata ("War against war"), 1957, which covers as diverse topics as Hannibal's drive across the Alps, Spanish war against Napoleon and Yugoslav partisan warfare.

Tudjman left active army service in 1961 to found the "Institute for the history of the workers' movement", and remained its director until 1967.

The Dissident
Apart from the book on guerilla warfare, Tudjman wrote a series of articles attacking the Yugoslav Communist establishment, and was subsequently expelled from the Party. His most important book from that period was Velike ideje i mali narodi ("Great ideas and small peoples"), a monograph on political history that collided with central dogmas of Yugoslav Communist elite with regard to the interconnectedness of the national and social elements in the Yugoslav revolutionary war (during WWII).

In 1971 he was sentenced to two years of prison for alleged subversive activities during the so-called "Croatian Spring".

The Croatian Spring was a reformist movement that was actually set in motion by Tito and Croatian party chief Bakarić in the climate of growing liberalism in the late 60s. It was initially a tepid and ideologically controlled party liberalism, but it soon grew into mass manifestation of dissatisfaction with the position of the Croatian people in Yugoslavia, and it began to threaten the party's political monopoly. The result was a brutal suppression by Tito, who used the military and the police to crush what he saw as the threat to his undivided power - Bakarić quickly distanced himself from the Croatian Communist leadership that he himself helped gain power earlier, and sided with the Yugoslav ruler.

During the turbulent 1971, Tudjman's role was that of the dissident who questioned the central myth of modern Serbian nationalism, the number of victims of the Jasenovac concentration camp, as well as the role of centralism in Yugoslav and the continuation of ideology of unitary "Yugoslavism". Tudjman felt that this originally Croatian romantic pan-Slavic idea from the 19th century had been mutated in harsh realities in both Yugoslav states into the front for a pan-Serbian drive for domination over non-Serb peoples — from economy and army to culture and language.

On other topics like Communism and one-party monopoly, Tudjman remained mostly within the framework of Communist ideology. His sentence was commuted and Tudjman had been released after nine months.

Tudjman was tried again in 1981 for the "crime" of giving the interview to the Swedish TV on the position of Croats in Yugoslavia and got three years of prison, but again he only served a portion, this time eleven months.

In 1989 Tudjman published his most famous work, The Horrors of War (Bespuća povijesne zbiljnosti) in which he questioned the number of victims during World War II in Yugoslavia. "The Horrors of War" is a strange book, a compilation of meditations on the role of violence in the world history interspersed with personal reminiscences on his squabbles with Yugoslav apparatchiks and slowly spiralling towards the true center of the work: the attack on hyperinflation of Serbian casualties in the Independent State of Croatia (NDH). THIS BOOK TITLED IN THE UK AS WASTLANDS OF HISTORICAL TRUTH IS EQUALLY DISMISSIVE OF THE JEWISH HOLOCAUST BOTH CLAIMING THAT ONLY 900,000 DIED & THAT "HITLER'S NEW EUROPEAN ORDER CAN BE JUSTIFIED BY THE NEED TO BE RID OF THE JEWS - TO SAY THAT HE DENIED THE SERB HOLOCAUST FIGURES WITHOUT SAYING THAT HE DENIED THE JEWISH FIGURES IS CLEARLY DISHONEST - HE ALSO SAID THAT "GENOCIDE IS COMMANDED BY THE WORD OF THE ALMIGHTY FOR THE RESTORATION OF THE KINGDOM OF THE CHOSEN NATION & SPREADING THE ONE TRUE FAITH" WHICH PUTS SOME DOUBT TO THE IMPARTIALITY OF HIS RESEARCH

Serbian politically-motivated history writers had claimed that the number of Serbs killed in Jasenovac was between 500,000 to 1,000,000. WHICH MAKES THE ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA A SERBIAN POLITICALLY MOTIVATED PUBLICATION - THESE FIGURES HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED AS AS ACCURATE AS THE GENERAL HOLOCAUST FIGURES ALTHO THEY NOW GET IGNORED OR DOWNPLAYED, WHICH IS NOT THE SAME AS DENIAL, BY WESTERN SOURCES These numbers were grossly inaccurate,LIE yet they were intentionally propagated, cleverly manipulated and intensified for purely political reasons: the Ustaše were a defeated enemy from World War II that had to be portrayed as ultimately negative. However, some went so far to decry all Croats by extension, and victimize all the Serbs, thereby creating a self-image of a people victimized by Croats, who are depicted as diabolical Serbocidal fanatics. This in turn led to the state of mind battening on fear, hostility and thirst for revenge. The fact that such claims were promoted by members of the Serbian intelligentsia, made it look like it was a scientific fact rather than an opinion.WHEN 750,000 SERBS WERE MURDERED AT THAT ONE SITE IT DOES NOT TAKE "PROMOTION" TO MAKE SERBS DISLIKE THE THOUGHT OF A NEW RACIALLY PURIFIED CROATIA It was Franjo Tudjman's firm opinion that all this was done in an attempt to create and solidify Greater Serbian domination on the ruins of the destroyed, post-Titoist Yugoslavia.

Tudjman had, relying on earlier investigations, concluded that the number of all victims in the Jasenovac camp (Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, Croats, and others) was somewhere between 30,000 and 60,000. Current investigations have bracketed the figure in a similar scale — between 56,000 and 85,000 — therefore by and large confirming that Tudjman's estimates were not fabricated. TECHNICALLY I SUPPOSE ONE COULD SAY THAT CURRENT INVESTIGATIONS OF THE HOLOCAUST HAVE CONCLUDED THAT THE JEWISH HOLOCAUST NEVER TOOK PLACE EITHER - BUT ONLY IF YOU DIGNIFY THE HOLOCAUST DENIERS AS INVESTIGATORS & IGNORE EVERYBODY ELSE - IF YOU DON'T ACCEPT THEM AS IMPARTIAL THEN YOU HAVE TO CONCLUDE THAT WIKIPEDIA ARE LYING HERE TOO They were, however, considerably lower than the official numbers and most previous estimates, which caused ample controversy.

Other controversy surrounding The Horrors of War was Tudjman's alleged anti-Semitism, supposedly expressed in this book. On closer examination, Tudjman can be blamed only for the lack of sensitivity ONE WAY OF DESCRIBING THE "NEED TO BE RID OF THE JEWS" REMARK: he quoted various Jewish sources that show how the number of victims is hard to estimate — Jewish and Israeli historians placed the number of Jews killed in the Nazi genocide between 4 and 6 million ALMOST ALL HISTORIANS NOT JUST JEWISH ONES. The relativity of these figures ("margin of error" fluctuating around 2 million people dead or alive) prompted Tudjman to lump these estimates with evidently overinflated Serbian ones. However, in the case of Jewish victimology, figures vary ca. 30 %, whereas the Serbian victimology had no less than 1200 % "margin of error" — a grotesque example of manipulation. THIS IS A CLEAR & DELIBERATE LIE - TUDJMAN DIDN'T SAY ONLY 4 MILLION JEWS DIED IN THE HOLOCAUST HE SAID 900,000 JEWS WHICH IS VERY MUCH THE SAME "MARGIN OF ERROR" HE USES FOR HE CLAIMS MADE ABOUT GENOCIDE OF SERBS

Also, Tudjman's style was anything but nuanced: the characteristic amply misused by Serbian propagandists who quoted Tudjman's frequently superficial generalizations taken out of context, in order to depict him as virulent anti-Semite. This ensued in tension between a part of Jewish communities (especially in the USA and Israel) and befuddled Tudjman — a tension that was soon dispelled by prominent Jewish figures like writers and publicists Alain Finkielkraut and Philip Cohen or Tommy Baer of Jewish World Congress.

Aside from that furore, The Horrors of War, the most famous (but not the best) Tudjman's book, remained closer to the leftist and socialist worldview, not questioning the Marxist ideology as such.

If Tudjman’s stature as a historian and publicist is to be evaluated, it would probably be along the following lines: his voluminous (more than 2,000 pages long) “Hrvatska u monarhistickoj Jugoslaviji”/Croatia in Monarchist Yugoslavia, has become standard university textbook analyzing this period of Croatian history; his shorter treateses on national question (“Nacionalno pitanje u suvremenoj Europi/The National question in contemporary Europe; “Usudbene povijestice”/History’s fates) are still valuable essays on this particular problem, while his most celebrated work “Bespuca povijesne zbiljnosti”/”Horrors of war”, consciously distorted and misused by anti-Croat propagandists of various affiliations, will, in all probability, become regarded as a book of historical importance only, since its value lies mostly in publicly dismantled central Greater Serbian modern myth- the hyperinflation of number of Serbian victims in Jasenovac concentration camp. Generally, Tudjman’s historical works are considered to have gained the status of indispensable synthetic surveys of Croatian 20th century history, while his shorter political-cultural analyses and geopolitical essays belong to the treasury of classical Croatian political thought. However, Tudjman’s overly Marxist treatises and polemical squabbles are period pieces that will, in all likelihood, vanish into oblivion.IT WOULD BE EQUALLY TRUE & SOMEWHAT SHORTER TO SAY THAT HE WROTE THE HISTORY BOOKS AS PROPAGANDA PLAYING DOWN NAZI GENOCIDE & THAT EVEN AFTER HIS DEATH THE REGIME MAINTAINS THIS RACIALLY DIVISIVE PROPAGANDA

The national program
In the latter part of the 1980s, when Yugoslavia was creeping towards its inevitable demise, torn by conflicting national aspirations (among them the most "visible" Albanian "troubles" in Serbian province Kosovo and the pan-Serbian national populist movement, moulded by Serbian intellectual elite and led by former banker and Communist official Slobodan Miloševic), Tudjman formulated a Croatian national program that can be summarized in the following way:

The primary goal is establishment of the Croatian nation-state; therefore all ideological disputes from the past should be thrown away. In practice, this meant strong support from anti-Communist NAZI & GENOCIDAL WOULD BE MORE ACCURATE SINCE NOT ALL ANTI-COMMUNISTS SUPPORTED HITLER Croatian diaspora, especially financial.
Since the grudges and impediments from western European countries could be expected, particularly along the lines:" We are undergoing a process of integration, and you (Croats) want to disintegrate a successful multiethnic country, Yugoslavia", the answer was found in an equally simplistic expression: "Your pet Yugoslavia is not a multiethnic paradise, but a Serbian Communist tyranny. Do you support "integration" based on oppression?". Or, in a more nuanced vocabulary: "Nations are simultaneously going through processes of national individualization and international integration".
Even though Tudjman's final goal was an independent Croatia, he was well aware of the realities of internal and foreign policy. So, his chief initial proposal was not a fully independent Croatia, but a confederal Yugoslavia with growing decentralization and democratization. He knew that this process would eventually corrode all Greater-Serbia projects, only if it could be implemented in peace.
Tudjman envisaged Croatia's future as a welfare capitalist state that will inevitably move towards central Europe and away from the Balkans.
With regard to the burning issuses of national conflicts, his vision was the following (at least at the beginning): he knew that Serbian nationalism, which effectively controlled JNA (Yugoslav People's Army: Serbs, who constituted less than 40% of Yugoslavia's population, made ca. 80% of commissioned officers corps) could wreak havoc on Croatian and Bosnian soil. The JNA, according to some estimates the 4th European military force re firepower, was being rapidly Serbianized, both ideologically and ethnically, in less than 4 years UNTRUE, FOR EXAMPLE THE JUGOSLAV ARMY COMMANDER AT THE TIME THE CROATS STARTED FIGHTING WAS A CROAT . Tudjman's proposal was that Serbs in Croatia, who made up 11 % of Croatia's population, 12.1% ACCORDING TO THE LAST CENSUS, CROATS MADE UP 75% THE REST DESCRIBING THEMSELVES AS YUGOSLAVS OR OTHER CONSTITUENT NATIONALITIES should gain cultural with elements of territorial autonomy.
With regard to this point, Tudjman did not satisfy Serbian appetites that operated on many levels: the lower one was the condition that they should have the right of the contistitive people (ie., the right to secede) in any form of Croatian state — effectively, that Croatia should be defined as a bi-national, Croato-Serbian country (notwithstanding the fact that Croats constituted 78 %, and Serbs 11 % of the populace in 1991).IN FACT UNDER THE CONSTITUTION THE SERBS ALREADY HAD THAT RIGHT, CROATIA BEING SPECIFICALLY DEFINED AS BEING A REPUBLIC OF CROATS & SERBS WITH BOTH HAVING A LEGAL VETO ON CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION

Apart from being a stew cooked in the ideological kitchen of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (the mother of all Serbian expansionist machinations in 1980s), this claim had a sort of legitimacy in a purposely ambiguous formulation of Croatia's constitution from 1974. But, it could hardly stand a dispassionate legal analysis. Everyone knew that it was only a pretext for impending Serbian aggression. SEE ABOVE - NOTE THAT THIS PHRASEOLOGY IS IN WHAT IS MEANT TO BE A DISPASSIONATE ARTICLE IN AN SERIOUS REFERENCE WORK

As far as Bosnia and Herzegovina was concerned, Tudjman was more ambivalent: initially, he thought (as did many Croats from northwestern Croatia) that Bosnian Muslims or Bosniaks are, essentially, Croats of Muslim faith and will, freed from Communist censorship, declare themselves ethnically as Croats, therefore making Bosnia a predominantly Croatian country (with 44% Bosnian Muslims, 17% Croats and 33 % Serbs) AGAIN THESE FIGURES ARE FIDDLED SERBS & YUGOSLAVS MADE UP 40% - SERBS WERE THE LARGEST SINGLE ETHNICITY IN BOSNIA. But, these illusions were soon dispelled.

The President of Croatia
Internal tensions that had broken up the Communist party of Yugoslavia prompted the governments of federal Republics to call for the first free multiparty elections after 1945.

Tuđman's connections with Croatian diaspora (he travelled a few times to Canada and USA after 1987) have proven to be crucial when he founded Croatian Democratic Union ("Hrvatska demokratska zajednica" or HDZ, as it became known after its acronym) in 1989 — a party that was to stay in power until 2000, and which cannot be classified along criteria dominant in stable societies.

Essentially, this was the Croatian national movement that affirmed Croatian values based on Catholicism blended with historical and cultural traditions generally suppressed in Communist Yugoslavia (although soon many "repentant" Communists joined this pan-Croatian movement). The aim was to gain national independence and to establish Croatian nation-state. Tuđman's HDZ triumphed and got ca. 60% seats in the Croatian Parliament. After a few constitutional changes, SINCE THE SERB MINORITY HAD A VETO ON THIS THE ACCURATE TERM WOULD BE "A FEW UNCONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES" Tudjman was elected to the position of President of Croatia.

Since the split among Communists in Yugoslavia was caused by the pan-Serbian movement led by Slobodan MiloševiC, it was inevitable that the conflict should continue after the democratic elections that brought to power non-Communists in Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Communists held their position in Serbia and Montenegro. For the tensions and wars that ensued, one should see history of Croatia and history of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

During these decisive years, especially from 1990 to 1995, Tudjman proved to be a master strategist. According to the testimonies of both friends and enemies, he outmanoeuvred Croatia's adversaries on many levels: diplomatic, military, information and economic. While his opponent Miloševic was a brilliant tactician who, by many accounts, lacked the strategic vision, Tudjman was the exact opposite: frequently clumsy and erratic in behavior, he possessed the strong sense of mission and the vision of Croatia's independence — and the statesman's wisdom how to realize it.

This was seen at crucial junctures of Croatia's history: the all-out war against combined forces of Yugoslav Army and Serbian irredentist rebels, war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Operation Storm and the Dayton peace agreement. For instance: Tudjman's strategy of stalling the Yugoslav Army in 1991 by signing frequent cease fires intermediated by foreign diplomats was efficient — when the 1st cease fire was signed, the emerging Croatian Army had 7 brigades; the last, 20th cease fire the Croats had met with 64 brigades. IF ONE ASSUMES SERBS ARE NOT ENTIRELY STUPID A MORE ACCURATE WAY OF PHRASING THIS IS THAT THE SERBS OFFERED PEACE WHEN THEY WOULD HAVE TAKEN EVERYTHING & TUDJMAN CLEVERLY WAITED TO START HIS GENOCIDAL ATTACK ON KRAJINA TILL WESTERN ARMS, LEADERSHIP & AIR COVER WERE AVAILABLE

Apart from war, other significant changes had altered Croatian society in the "Tudjman era" that covered the last decade of the 20th century. Probably the most of these changes would have happened anyway during the transition from communism to capitalism, or from one-party dictatorship to western-type democracy. Unquestionably, Tudjman has "speeded" or "slowed down" some processes by his influential position — for better or for worse.

Tudjman initiated the proces of privatization and de-nationalization with mixed results: Croatian economy coped with the war extremely well, having in mind all the pros and cons; only in the last two years of Tudjman's tenure the detrimental effects of "wild" and unrestricted capitalism had become visible. The charge of nepotism and favoritism, frequently levelled at Tudjman, seems to be unresolved yet: his personal property was, as the official proving of will had shown, acquired in a completely legal way. TENDENTIOUS SINCE HE WAS WRITING THE LAWS, AS SHOWN, WITHOUT REFERNCE TO THE CONSTITUTION

On the other hand, it is beyond doubt that not few shadowy figures who moved close to Tudjman, the centre of power in Croatian society, profited from this enormously, having amassed wealth with suspicious celerity. Although this phenomenon is common to chaotic reforms in all post-communist societies (the best example being Russia with her "oligarchs"), the majority of Croats are of the opinion that Tudjman could and should have prevented at least a part of these malfeasances.

The most common accusation of all is that of autocratic behavior and "despotism". This claim is both true and false: Tudjman was a strong, but democratically elected national leader and this was a mixed blessing. Faced with a superior military aggressor, the Croats, who had not yet built functioning national institutions, had to rely on a strong personal leadership Tudjman embodied. Although such kind of leadership necessarily involved unpleasant side-effects like traits of autocratic behavior, it proved beneficial in crucial matters, as the Croats under Tudjman won the war and founded the nation-state, at least partly thanks to this characteristic.

Tudjman, who had been thrice elected as President of Croatia, fell ill with cancer in 1993. He recovered, but the general state of health declined in 1999 and Tudjman died from internal hemorrhage on December 10th, 1999.

External links
Croatian Radio Television: Dr. Franjo Tudjman, historian and statesman (
Croatian Embassy to USA: Franjo Tudjman's Biography (
BBC: Franjo Tudjman: Father of Croatia (
Retrieved from ""

I don't sympathize with nationalists like Tudjman, but much of this is inaccurate.
Here are some quotes that Parenti or his source has taken out of context:


It's "could be justified", not "can be justified". Here, Tudjman is describing the Nazi ideology and not his own. He is saying that HITLER used the extermination of the Jews as a pretext for the occupation of Europe.


Again, he is describing the ideology of the Old Testament, and not his own.

See this (Serbian anti-Tudjman) site for the quotes in their original context.
At one stage I retracted the accusation that he could be proven to have said this & then, on furhter evidence being supplied retracted the retraction - see where a link to this your site already exists.

I may be that the difference between "can" & "could" is that it is being translated out of the local language & that it may be translated either way.

Remember that Tudjamn had fought for Hitler (& God or at least the Catholic Church which to believers is the same thing). When approvingly describes these as the opinions of both he is defending his own opinions.
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