Croatian politics in BiH

Croatian politics in BiH

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Josipović spoke in the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo; he expressed his respect towards the sovereignty and integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina; he admitted mistakes of wrong Croatian policy in the war and post war period, and he stressed that Bosnia and Herzegovina is Croatia's most important neighbour. This speech sparked a storm of reactions in the Croatian political scene. The then HDZ government of Jadranka Kosor expressed dissatisfaction. Right wing parties organised different gatherings in order to condemn Josipović's statement made in Sarajevo. There were also calls to launch a procedure for impeachment of the president, but in that period, the HDZ did not have enough power in the Croatian Parliament.

Nationalism and native land
Nationalism and native land — Image Credits

Croatian politics in BiH

            At the time of the socialist Yugoslavia (1945-1991), there were two parallel conceptions related to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Croatian political life, Croatian Diaspora and among Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina. One conception was protection and preservation of the integral Bosnia and Herzegovina. The second, latent for a long period of time, was Ustasha Nostalgia which relied upon the tradition of the Ustasha regime of the Independent State of Croatia (Original: Nezavisna Država Hrvatska – NDH), according to which the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina was supposed to be integrated into Croatia. The Ustasha considered Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosniaks, as Croats of Islamic religion – Croat Muslims and they claimed that they were an integral part of the Croatian nation. Hatred against Serbs and any form of Yugoslavia was one of key elements of their ideology.

                       Such positions are well illustrated through an event that occurred in summer 1972, when 19 well-armed members of a Croatian émigré organisation illegally entered Yugoslavia from Austria. They came to the Central Bosnia (in the vicinity of Bugojno), intending to spark an uprising based on a wrong estimate that the local Croats (and Muslims) were dissatisfied with the socialist Yugoslavia to the extent that they would enthusiastically join them in large numbers. Their slogan read "Avengers of Bleiburg". Therefore, they remembered and wished to avenge the "settling of scores with the enemy of the people" done after the Second World War by partisans against the local collaborationists (including Ustashas).[1]

            Ever since 1971, the first Croatian President Franjo Tuđman (1922-1999), President from 1990 until his death, persistently and consistently expressed his wish for creating the "Greater Croatia". At this point, he openly wrote about "spiritual and territorial integration of the Croatian national entity". At the end of 1980s, he came to a conclusion that Croats and Serbs could not live in a joint state. Besides this, he claimed that Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina were not a separate nation, but a part of Croatian national corpus, which was rarely stated in the Croatian public. Therefore, Tuđman believed that independent national states should be created in the future, after the breakup of Yugoslavia, where ethnically compact and homogenous territories would be established through organised resettlement of the population.[2]

Considering that Tuđman was a realist to a certain extent and that he opposed Ustasha regime, he understood that re-establishment of the NDH could not have been an option and that Croatia had to reach an agreement with Serbia on the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He believed that the division should be made in accordance with the borders of the Banate of Croatia from 1939, when Bosnia and Herzegovina was partitioned among Croatian political elite and the circle around the royal palace in Belgrade. However, the Banate never functioned on an acceptable basis: its establishment was not verified in the Belgrade assembly. In determining its borders with other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, only the ration of the number of Serbs and Croats was observed, while Muslim population was ignored. The idea of the Banate of Croatia perished when the war started in Yugoslavia in April 1941. Croatia completely dismissed and forgot the idea of the Banate. It was, however, reintroduced to the political scene by Franjo Tuđman around 1990.[3]

            Tuđman's close associates who worked or originated in Hercegovina (such as Gojko Šušak, Mate Boban and others), were only consistent implementers of Tuđman's ideas.  

            The implementation of Tuđman's ideas and plans found support in the policy openly pursued from 1987/8 by a movement led by Slobodan Milošević. At his trial in The Hague in 2002, Milošević rejected claims that he had wanted to partition Bosnia and Herzegovina: "I am not saying that such ideas did not exist, but they were not mine", which was not his first time to lie openly. His statement was demined by Warren Zimmerman, the last US Ambassador to Belgrade during the period of Yugoslavia – he pointed right at him as „the driving force of breakup of Yugoslavia“, and concluded that "his primary goal was to establish Serbian authority in the entire country. Once Slovenia and Croatia opposed this goal by deciding to secede, the Serb leader turned to al alternative strategy. He decided to bring all Yugoslav Serbs who lived in five out of six republics, under Serb authority, i.e. under his rule". Franjo Tuđman provided great support to Milošević in the course of implementation of this plan. In any case, West Herzegovina (mostly inhabited by Croats) was not in Milošević's plan of Greater Serbia (even Stevan Moljević, an ideologist of Greater Serbia, in 1942 provided a some kind of autonomous status for West Herzegovina and Dalmatia!).

            Milošević and Tuđman met on 25 March 1991 in Karađorđevo. The official statement was never released. Semi-officially, it was discussed how to avoid war in Croatia and in the area of former Yugoslavia, but there is no doubt that partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina was the main topic. Tuđman failed in his intention to avoid war in Croatia (it lasted from the beginning of July 1991 until the end of the year), but in the following years he and Milošević were jointly coming up with plans on partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina.[4]

At the international conference on Yugoslavia in November 1991 in Geneva, the European Community proposed solving the crisis by accepting the borders of republics as borders of new states, respecting in that process the minorities' rights. An arbitration commission was established, led by Robert Badinter (the so called Badinter's Commission). In the end of the month it established that Yugoslavia was "in the process of breakup". The Ministerial Council of the European Community announced recognition of Croatia (and Slovenia). Without waiting for this to happen, Tuđman rushed to declare the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia (HZ-HB) as a "political, cultural, economic and territorial unit". Borders of HZ-HB were never determined, let alone coordinated with a partner. Only some 50% of Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina lived in the territory of the planned HZ-HB, but in the following years, the policy of the state of Croatia towards Bosnia and Herzegovina adjusted to the aspirations of the HZ-HB, instead of interests of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina and interests of Croatia as a country.

In an interview (with Slobodna Dalmacija in Split) in 1991, Tuđman claimed that Croatian-Serbian relations might be permanently solved in such a way that "Serbia’s national objectives are achieved (i.e. if Serbia got part of Bosnia and Herzegovina - A/N), so it has no more reasons for expansion, and at the same time, Croatia will get its territories integrated because the current Croatian pretzel is unnatural." (The shape of Croatia on a map indeed resembles a pretzel because it encircles Bosnia and Herzegovina through a curve spanning from Danube in the North-East to Dubrovnik in the South-East.) Tuđman believed that “it is in the interest of Croatia to solve the problem" the same way "the Banate of Croatia was solved". In the end, there would only be "a part of ‘the small land of Bosnia’, where Muslims would be majority population and such Bosnia might be a buffer zone between Croatia and Serbia". Tuđman concluded that "this would be the end of colonial creation of Bosnia and Herzegovina."[5]

            Tuđman expected that the Bosniaks will not be able to oppose such strategic plans and that they will have to make up with having control over a small portion of Bosnia and Herzegovina. When Stjepan Mesić, his close associate at that period (later Croatian President), asked him what would Izetbegović say about this plan, Tuđman replied: "Stipe, you do not understand historical forces. Once Croatian and Serbian scissors merge, there is nothing left for Alija to say." Tuđman was explaining to Izetbegović on one occasion that a role of Mehmed Spaho (1883-1939) was planned for him, referring to the fact that Spaho was a Minister in the Yugoslav government for many years, with the sole purpose of having a Muslim in the government. Izetbegović warned Tuđman - "but I, unlike Spaho, have an army." It is important to understand that at this point Tuđman did not find it necessary for Bosniaks to move out of Herzeg-Bosnia (because they were Croats as well!).

            In June 1992 (the war had already started in Bosnia and Herzegovina), in his conversation with Milošević and Izetbegović, Tuđman advocated for a peaceful resolution of conflict. He stressed that problems should be solved through "territorial demarcation", even "voluntary relocation", instead of "annihilation and barbaric destruction". In August 1993, he urged for establishment of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia (HR-HB), which was a sign that he openly expressed wish to partition Bosnia and Herzegovina. During a meeting of the Croatian national leadership at the end of the year, Tuđman said that "the borders of the future Croatian state are currently being established. They will probably be wider than the borders that any Croatian leader or king in the history had under his control...HR-HB will integrate with Croatia. Croatia will be stronger and more powerful."[6]

            Such plans never came true because in March 1994 Croatia signed the so-called Washington Agreement on the establishment of Bosniak and Croat Federation.[7]

            In spite of this, in July 1995, after he accurately anticipated a quick victory of Croatian Army against Serb rebels in Croatia, Tuđman said that after this "we will make borders of Croatia in Bosnia", which means that he had not let go of his old obsessions.[8]

            After signing the Dayton Agreement in the end of 1995, the separatist aspirations among the leadership of Croatian and Herzeg-Bosnia policy had to be kept down in the following years, but they did not go away.

            Death of President Tuđman in December 1999 and a devastating defeat of his party (Croatian Democratic Union – HDZ) at elections in 2000 contributed to keeping these aspirations low. Stjepan Mesić was elected for Croatian President. He was a candidate of a leftist party and liberals, with a program which was completely, and in important elements radically different from Tuđman's program, including the issue of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Mesić was consistent in advocating for territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which meant that he rejected any kind of ideas that "Croat territories" in Bosnia and Herzegovina should be integrated with Croatia. Advocates of Herzeg-Bosnia and the radical right were his fierce political opponents. In such a strategy, Mesić found good partners in the governments of Ivica Račan (2000-2003), Ivo Sanader (2003-2009), and Jadranka Kosor (2009-2011) in spite of the fact that Sanader's and Kosor's governments were HDZ's governments.

            Croatian policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina did not significantly change during the mandate of President Ivo Josipović (2010-2015), who was a candidate of social democrats. In this, Josipović was supported by social democrats' government led by Zoran Milanović (2011-2015).

            In April 2011 Josipović visited Ahmići, a village in the vicinity of Vitez, where one of the most atrocious crimes against Muslim civilians was committed during the conflict between Croats and Muslims in 1993. His tribute to the victims represented admitting and accepting responsibility for the crime that was committed on behalf and under the guise of the Croatian state. Commemorations were held in the presence of politicians from all nations and religious leaders of all faiths, which had been almost unimaginable until that moment.

            Josipović spoke in the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo; he expressed his respect towards the sovereignty and integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina; he admitted mistakes of wrong Croatian policy in the war and post war period, and he stressed that Bosnia and Herzegovina is Croatia's most important neighbour.

            This speech sparked a storm of reactions in the Croatian political scene. The then HDZ government of Jadranka Kosor expressed dissatisfaction. Right wing parties organised different gatherings in order to condemn Josipović's statement made in Sarajevo. There were also calls to launch a procedure for impeachment of the president, but in that period, the HDZ did not have enough power in the Croatian Parliament. Josipović's statement that interests of Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina are best represented in that country, even in the capital city, and that the famous formula on equality of citizens and peoples should be built through agreement within Bosnia and Herzegovina, was completely unacceptable for the Croatian right wing. Josipović also rejected the theses that "Croat territories" in Bosnia and Herzegovina should be organised in a form of the so-called third entity, which was in this period (and later, even today) often suggested by the right wing in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After the government of Jadranka Kosor realised that the majority of Croatian citizens supported Josipović's address in Sarajevo, it changed its position and, together with President Josipović, made up a declaration on Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was later adopted by the Croatian Parliament.

The declaration stated that the Republic of Croatia can and must help, both as a signatory of the Dayton Peace Agreement, and in accordance with its Constitutional obligations towards Croats outside of Croatia, primarily in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It supported constitutional changes in Bosnia and Herzegovina which would provide full, legal and enforceable equality of all constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is also a precondition for Euro-Atlantic integrations. The declaration placed emphasis on the fact that the representatives of the peoples living in Bosnia and Herzegovina must lead towards changes and that the speed of the changes would only depend on them.

Croatia entered the EU in 2013. Milanović's government stressed that support to former Yugoslav countries in their process of EU accession was one of key foreign policy priorities within the EU. In this regard, Croatian diplomacy launched an initiative in 2014 for changing EU's policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina and not to insist on the implementation of Sejdić-Finci decision as a pre-condition for any kind of progress towards the EU. With the support of British and German diplomacy, the EU accepted the strategy and this became new EU policy to Bosnia and Herzegovina. This enabled Sarajevo to submit a formal "EU membership request" in 2016, which has so far been the only true step forward in this path.

However, such policy had strong opponents within Bosnia and Herzegovina. Economic crisis additionally worsened the already bad international relations within the country. Populism grew quickly. National homogenisation intensified. Even though moves made by Josipović and Milanović's government were mostly approved by Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, they still were and they remained HDZ's electorate. For example, in the second round of the 2010 presidential elections, when Josipović won a landslide victory over Milan Bandić (60.3-39.7%), 94% of voters in Bosnia and Herzegovina voted for Bandić (who, actually, was not a right wing candidate, but just before the elections he had been banned from SDP; also he was born in Herzegovina).

In presidential elections in January 2015, HDZ candidate Kolinda Grabar Kitarović won a narrow victory over Ivo Josipović (50.7%-49.3%).

After this, the HDZ and its coalition partners won in the parliamentary elections in the fall of 2015. Tihomir Orešković was appointed the Prime Minister. After the crisis and the collapse of Orešković's government, new elections were held in the fall of 2016. HDZ and its coalition partners scored another victory. Andrej Plenković was appointed Prime Minister.

Since the HDZ came to power, and Kolinda Grabar Kitarović was elected president, the Croatian policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina has changed. This primarily happened due to strong right direction of both Orešković's and Plenković's governments. The liberal democracy principles that Croatia respected in the period of EU accession have been systematically violated since 2015, and some have already been waived.

The most important characteristics of such development may be summarised in several elements: the first feature is nationalism – feeling of hyperpatriotism, authoritarianism, absolutisation of the state (characterised through a slogan – You are nothing, state is everything), intolerance or rejection of multiculturalism and dialogue with other cultures in general (where "others who are different" are antagonised), radical populism (characterised by addressing the "small, common man" who is patronised through demagogy and propaganda). Resistance towards civic culture and the culture of political citizenship is obvious as well. These concepts are opposed by the allegedly uncorrupted values of national tradition. Finally, historical revisionism is also very important, i.e. denial of criminal character of the Ustasha so-called Independent State of Croatia (NDH, 1941-1945) and other forms of Ustasha Nostalgia. Historical revisionism is naturally followed by the denial of war crimes and the violation of basic human rights of "our side" in the 1990s wars.

            Policy change towards neighbours, primarily Bosnia and Herzegovina, logically arises from such basic ideological and political assumptions. Even though highest official support territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their statements and even though President Grabar Kitarović paid an (unannounced) visit to Ahmići and Križančevo Selo at the beginning of 2018 in order to pay tribute to Bosniak and Croat victims of the conflict during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was, actually, just a mask. Completely different processes are taking place below the surface of false glimmer of diplomacy – just like in the period of Tuđman, a paternalist policy is run from Zagreb towards Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with all the damaging consequences to the bilateral relations between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and the position of Croats in this country.

            Besides this, Croatian policy also supports the orientation of leadership of HDZ and Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their strong alliance with the leadership of Republika Srpska and Milorad Dodik personally. Regardless of the fact that HDZ and the Government in Zagreb want to present themselves as pro-European, they are lacking both the strength and wish to confront such strategies. Instead, they are kowtowing to it.

Meetings at highest levels are held without any strong messages, exclusive messages are sent out to irritate the "others", but which are to be used in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also in Croatia (and Serbia)- Therefore, as a result of Croatian policy (but also policies of other national leaderships in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as interferences from abroad, primarily from Russia, Serbia, and Turkey), relations worsened between the countries and between the peoples within Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mutual distrust was growing. When it comes to Croatian policy, it is significant to note statements made by President Grabar Kitarović about Bosnia and Herzegovina as a dangerous terrorist haven, as well as her attempts to discuss the election law of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the President Putin and President Erdogan, which no one outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina is entitled to. This was with a good reason interpreted as interfering into the affairs of another country and an attempt of impermissible political patronising

After in November 2017 General Slobodan Praljak committed suicide during the reading of the court’s decision (the court upheld 20-year prison sentence for war crimes curing a conflict between Croats and Bosniaks), a memorial service was held in Zagreb, in one of its famous halls, and it was attended by the Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister Damir Krstičević, Minister of War Veterans, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Miljan Brkić and many other persons from public and political life. It was stressed that Praljak was a hero and the Hague Tribunal’s decision was rejected.[9]

President Grabar Kitarović publicly supports singer Marko Perković Thompson (who is banned from performing in several European countries due to his extremist, pro-Ustasha positions); she claims that some of his songs are "very dear and favourite, I listen and I love some of his songs and I think they are good for national unity and I stand by this." President Grabar Kitarović publicly sings Thompson’s song "Lijepa li si" (T/N: You are beautiful) which openly brings into question the integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina (in the end of November 2018 she sang it in the presidential residence when she received Croatian tennis players, Davis Cup winners).[10] Namely, this song lists different Croatian regions and mentions Herzeg-Bosnia among them ("Herceg-Bosno, srce ponosno")[11]. Even though there is no doubt that the song is referring to a part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the President "completely rejects”, without any valid arguments, “the idea that this song is characterised as a nationalist song and that it is directed against anyone".[12]

In the end of August 2018, 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia was celebrated in Mostar. The ceremony was attended by Zvonko Milas, State Secretary of the Central State office for Croats Abroad. Božo Ljubić, parliament member from diaspora, was the key speaker, while Marko Babić, Consul General of the Republic of Croatia in Mostar, was the President’s envoy. The celebration sparked many negative reactions throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina because it was concluded that the event gathered advocates of partitioning of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Milas later explained that he attended the celebration unofficially, in a private arrangement. As far as anyone knows, Ljubić and Babić did not give any comments.

Croatian political leadership got strongly engaged in the 2018 pre-election campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina, openly supporting HDZ candidate Dragan Čović. The support went into such details that in June 2018 Čović received an honorary doctorate from the University of Zagreb (Principle of the University Damir Boras is in close relations with the state leadership) for "contribution to strengthening bilateral relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia, preservation of Croatian identity, promotion of democratic values and recognition of Croatian educational, scientific, and cultural heritage in Europe and the world".

Apart from the Prime Minister Plenković, the award ceremony was attended by a large number of other high officials.

The election of Željko Komšić as a Croat member of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina in October 2018 caused additional disputes. Komšić’s election was legal because it was made on the basis of existing laws and constitutions. Moreover, HDZ candidate Dragan Čović was elected as member of Presidency in 2014 on the bais of the same laws.

However, the election stirred up the Croatian national corpus. The fact is that a significant number of non-Croats voted for Komšić (not only Bosniaks, as claimed by Čović’s supporters, but obviously Serbs and others!)

The ones who are dissatisfied claim that all this process is not in accordance with the spirit of the political system based on the Dayton Agreement, which is a questionable claim which could be discussed.

Both President Grabar Kitarović and Prime Minister Plenković made great efforts to show to different instances, including Brussels, the injustice and to lobby for the amendments of the election law. It is completely unrealistic to expect that such an initiative might result in amending the law as wished by the Croatian political leadership (because this is a highly complex issue that implies many other changes, including constitutional ones). It is also unrealistic to expect that this initiative will improve the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the position of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It will not strengthen the position of Croatia and its diplomacy in the European Union either. Besides, Plenković commented that "the election of Željko Komšić is a bad scenario for Croats but it is also bad for Bosnia and Herzegovina." Such an approach of the Croatian Government only increased worry that the official Zagreb was once again becoming a destructive force and a destructive factor in Bosnia and Herzegovina, all this ahead Croatian presidency of the EU (first half of 2020).

Almost at the same time (in the end of October 2018), all Croatian members of the European Parliament sent an open letter to EU leaders, expressing their deep worry for the election of Komšić. Namely, they claimed that mostly Bosniaks voted for him, while the majority of Croats voted for another candidate. It is surprising that such a letter was co-signed by representatives of Croatian opposition parties (member of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, members of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, members of Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats) because they would not have done it a couple of years back.[13]

Anyhow, this is about the lack of principles in Čović’s supporters, because according to the 2013 census, the Municipality of Vareš in Central Bosnia had 32% of Croats and 61% of Bosniaks (according to all analysts, the real number of Croats is much smaller), but still Zdravko Marošević, a Croat, HDZ candidate, was elected mayor. It is absolutely natural to conclude that Marošević was elected as a result of votes of a significant number of Bosniaks, but Čović’s supporters did not see this as a reason to publicly express their dissatisfaction.

There were also reasonable voices which tended to find paths towards peaceful resolution of problems. Šaćir Filandra, Dean of the Faculty of Political Studies in Sarajevo, stated that "Bosniaks know and they should know that it would not be fair if they elected Croat member of Presidency, representative of Croats. The dissatisfaction of the Croats is completely justified. "[14]

The initiative of the Croatian leadership was not well accepted in the European political circles either – three former high representatives of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Carl Bildt, Paddy Ashdown, and Christian Schwarz-Shilling) addressed a special letter to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini to warn about Croatia’s interference with the internal affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stressing that contesting the election of Željko Komšić as a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Croatian officials is unacceptable.[15]

Unlike the situation during the war between Croats and Bosniaks in the 1990s, when most opposition parties and a great part of Catholic Church opposed the official policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina, such opposition does not exist in Croatia now. To a large extent it is the result of collapse of Croatian political scene, i.e. organising around supposed national objectives. It is also the result of weakness and constant conflicts within the crucial opposition party (The Social Democratic Party – SDA) and other opposition parties.

            By means of quiet diplomacy, Croatian foreign policy should encourage solutions that strengthen Bosnia and Herzegovina, open its European future and lead towards democratic solutions that will remove dissatisfaction and fears of all three peoples and make the famous formula of equality of peoples and individuals finds its applicable content. This is specifically related to the relation between Croats and Bosniaks. Namely, the ability of Bosniak and Croatian politicians to regulate the relations between the two peoples in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was and will be crucial for the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the future of Croats in this state, just like regulating relations with Serbs and Republika Srpska, in order for Bosnia and Herzegovina to become a functional state.



[1] Avengers of Bleiburg is a title of a posthumously released "handbook for the guidance of Croatian guerillas", written by one of group leaders, Adolf Andrić - A. Andrić – A. Plemić, Osvetnici Bleiburga: „priručnik“ za vođenje hrvatske gerile, no place of publication, 1974 

[2] In: Usudbene povjestice, Zagreb 1995, President Franjo Tuđman published a "Draft program of Croatian National and Socialist Movement" in 1977. The starting point are "current borders of the republics as a reality, but one has bear in mind that the borders have been made at the expense of Croatia (...) Srijem and Boka Kotorska have been taken away from within the historical borders of Croatia (triune kingdom of Croatia), while Croat parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina (which were even part of the Banate of Croatia in 1939) and Croat part of Bačka (including Subotica) were not integrated into Croatia, which Croatia is entitled to by the natural law. Besides this, even though Vojvodina was integrated into Serbia, in spite of the fact that the national program of the Communict Party of Yugoslavia in the period of Yugoslavia requested Vojvodina to become a federal unit, Bosnia and Herzegovina was not integrated into Croatian federal unit, in spite of the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina is more related to Croatia in all aspects (geographic, economic, historic, cultural, transport) than Vojvodina is related to Serbia" - Tuđman, Usudbene povjestice, 341; see also D. Hudelist, Tuđman: biografija, Zagreb 2004, 701-702; I. Goldstein, Hrvatska 1918-2008., Zagreb 2008, 719-738.

[3] Stenogrami o podjeli Bosne, ed. I, handbook P. Lucić, Split – Sarajevo 2005, 11, 87-88, 119; I. Goldstein, Povijest Hrvatske 1945-2011., Zagreb 2011, ed. III, 57-58.

[4] Tuđman's closest associates bear witness of his ideas of partitioning Bosnia and Herzegovina – Hrvoje Šarinić (H. Šarinić, Svi moji tajni pregovori sa Slobodanom Miloševićem 1993-1995, Zagreb 1999, 44), Mario Nobilo (M. Nobilo, Hrvatski feniks, Diplomatski procesi iza zatvorenih vrata, Zagreb 2000, 50,  555-562), Branko Tuđen (B. Tuđen, S političarima u četiri oka, Dnevničke bilješke glavnog urednika, Zagreb 2007, 45-46) and Davorin Rudolf (D. Rudolf, Rat koji nismo htjeli, Hrvatska 1991, Zagreb 1999, 98-99).

[5] Slobodna Dalmacija, Split, 31. XII. 1991 – 1 January 1992, p. 3.

[6] Transcript, in: Jutarnji list, Zagreb, 3 October 2007

[7] M. Granić, Vanjski poslovi. Iza kulisa politike, Zagreb 2005, 92-95; Z. Radelić, D. Marijan, N. Barić, A. Bing,  D. Živić, Stvaranje hrvatske države i Domovinski rat, Zagreb 2006, 374-377.

[8] Recording of the meeting of state leadership in Brijuni 31 July 1995, broadcast 24 June 2007 on HTV; Goldstein, Povijest Hrvatske 1945-2011., ed. III, 58-59.


[11]T/N: Oh, Herzeg-Bosnia, you are a proud heart – ovaj komentar sam dodala u fusnotu kako se ne bi našle dvije zagrade jedna pored druge