Croatian Viewpoint
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Open Letter to My Friends and Relatives

In the USA and the Commonwealth Countries
Christmas 1991 - Croatia Under Siege
I hope that you will have a blessed Christmas and a prosperous and enjoyable new year. My family in Australia are in good health and they wish you all a happy Christmas as I do.
With my Christmas wishes this year I am sending you a copy of the best-selling cassette entitled, 'Stop the War in Croatia ' (with this letter and card). Perhaps its melody and message can touch your heart as it does mine, and that it will cause you to ask your church leaders and government representatives what is the logic or ethical reasoning represented in your government's foreign policy regarding non-recognition of Croatia ? Not only does your nation not recognise the democratic will of the Croatian people, but it interferes with the will of other governments to do so.
The well known Serbian writer, Milovan Djilas once declared that in 1945 Croats had to die in order for Yugoslavia to live! Is it possible that today Croats must continue to die in order that European unity can live, or is it possible that the new world order is so fragile that democracy and freedom can threaten it?
If only you realised what was really happening in Croatia today. Hundreds of Croatian towns have been demolished along with their churches and cultural institutions, libraries and hospitals, and their elderly citizens massacred and dismembered. Not one family we know, including our own, is without grief. Like in the French revolution or the Spanish civil war churches are the first target. I listen each week to news in the Croatian language which comes directly from Croatia on the ethnic language radio stations in Australia . When this direct news is compared with mainstream news in English, the details are left out. Mostly we only hear about Dubrovnik , Zadar, Vukovar or Osijek but in addition to each of those cities, hundreds of small towns have been bombed, burnt and then bulldozed off the map. None of those towns were 'Serbian', but rather had been Croatian, for centuries. The latest news that another month must go by before de jure recognition will materialise will allow more time for innocent civilians to be slaughtered who have no means of defending themselves from Yugoslav jets, navy and tanks. All the world talks about is 'minority' rights but what about rights for the 'majority'?
When eastern Canada was blacked-out during the second world war my cousin promised me he would fight to turn on the lights again for my generation (as related to me by my parents when I was older). As you know my own father was instrumental in sending bombs and planes to Europe . But what has been our legacy from victory in the second world war? It appears that we have created a frankenstein in the form of the Serbian-dominated Yugoslav army which can bomb and slaughter at will in Europe without so much as a finger lifted to stop them in the entire world for a year already! I have heard of nothing like this in history since Genghis Khan in the 12 th century.
Why is Croatia being sacrificed by world powers today? As you know I have been studying political history at university for the past few years, yet text books will not provide the answer. We read about the world's military industrial complex theory, or the anti-clerical theory, or the one-world government conspiracy theory, yet none of these arguments satisfactorily explain the hypocrisy and 'moral distancing' evident today regarding Croatia.
For example, if it was true that the sale of weapons dominates our world then why aren't weapons sold to Croatia for profit? If anti-clericalism or communism were the source of the problem, then it would have to be acknowledged that communism is not dead after all, but on the contrary that it has permeated western governments. One could argue ad infinitum and not solve this riddle. Perhaps the answer is linked to the fact that the world war two allies were instrumental in the creation of communist Yugoslavia , financially, morally and directly and today America , Britain and Russia can't bear to see their investment disappear. How many more deaths will result from the enforcement of their vision of the world order?
All of you, I believe, call yourselves Christians so how can the societies we live in allow this butchery to continue? When the atom bomb was dropped in Japan , the Canadian Prime Minister stated he was glad it happened in Asia and not in Europe . President after president in America has claimed to be fighting totalitarianism. How can they reconcile this claim with reality today? The aggression against Croatia forces us to ask ourselves if democracy exists anymore. We cannot call ourselves Christians and watch this bombardment month after month and rationalise that it does not involve us. Our governments allow this merciless slaughter to continue in Europe and our children watch and are led to believe that this is happening far away and is not their concern. However by not raising our consciousness to reality it is possible that in North America or Australia we will one day experience what Croatia experiences now. Our governments sanction this aggression, hoping it will sort itself out and not spread. Their fancy diplomatic promises are pathetic as each day costs many more lives and territory.
For hundreds of years Croatia was known as the 'Bulwark of Christendom' whilst America 's pilgrim fathers were free to practise their freedom of religion. Where are their ancestors today? Where are Billy Graham's prayers for the victims in Croatia ? Are they censored, or not yet uttered?
You can go on distancing yourselves if you wish, as Christians, believing that the war against Croatia is merely a foreign ethnic dispute, but I'm pleading with you for your own sake that this is not the truth of the matter. What happens in Croatia today affects all of us and our children. We are witnessing moral corruption in our governments. History teaches us that all corrupt governments come to a sorry finish but unfortunately they take innocent lives with them. It is our moral obligation to take sides against blatant aggression, especially as we celebrate the birth of Christ.
Jean Lunt Marinovic
February 1990
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