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Ask Croatian mothers...
Boris Raseta "Arkzin's" chief commentator:
Who would lose?

Stipe Suvar, former head of the Yugoslav communist party and also a participant of "Vukobrat Conference":
We will have to find modus vivendi

Ask Croatian mothers...

Who would lose?

The same theme is explored in the most cited article on this subject, published in the Zagreb by-weekly "Arkzin" in its issue of June 16 1995, written by one of its chief commentators, Boris Raseta.

It seems that all the factors in the Yugoslav crisis are in a hurry, says Raseta. He cites the reasons why the regional actors are in a hurry (at the moment of writing), but what is more important, he says, the Americans are in a great rush, more precisely, president Clinton, who is confronted by the elections of next year, which he will enter with great internal, but also external mortgages, and completely non-transparent policy. Clinton, a year before the election, has to solve the question of Bosnia or completely withdraw from it. In such a constellation, a peaceful solution is the card that will be used by the larger part of those who have decisive influence on the solution of the crisis in ex Yugoslavia.

But, the solution for "lasting and just peace" is not found yet.. The only ones that, strategically, have to give up the military solution are the Serbs, which have gained with war all they could have - and who are - particularly in the last few months - only suffering defeats.

But, the possible military solution "step by step" could last years - Boutros ghali says a decade. The strategic estimate of the West is that in this case there is no military solution.

Raseta says that one can already see the contours of what Americans might push as the acceptable solution for all sides:

The basic premise is the perpetuation of the existing political elites - Tudjman, Izetbegovic and Milosevic, who is from recent times becoming "the angel of peace". The novelty is - giving up on the full implementation of the realization of the Washington agreement on the Bosnian - Croat (con)federation and playing on the card of the yesterday's "butcher of the Balkans" - Milosevic. Immoral ? The ethics, here, of course, are not the first priority. Clinton is in a hurry with a Bosnian solution, and bosnia is threatening tobecome a key foreign policy theme in the forthcoming elections.

Milosevic would be offered - as a reward for the recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina (and in perspective Croatia) - the lifting of sanctions and return to the international community (possibly even the right to the succession of the former state, something that might not be so probable), but something else too.

It seems that the region East of the river Una is envisaged as some form of the Balkan Benelux: it would be formed by FRY, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia ! These three states would be connected by a customs union and a common market, and separated by soft borders.

Each of these states would be sovereign, would keep the membership in the UN, the armies, foreign policy and other.

The first premise for this idea would be the acceptance of the Croatian Serbs of the Z-4 plan, as a means of preventing possible Serb - Croat war and the elimination of Radovan Karadzic, who is an obstacle to everybody today.

The Bosniak - Muslims, according to american estimates, will accept this plansince it would enable them, for the start, at least a formal unity of the state territory and a return to the pre -war borders, as well as the influence on Muslims in Sandjak, the status of which would be regulated by a special agreement. The territorial division would still be 49/51.

The Serbs in Bosnia get soft borders towards Serbia - so Drina will not be the "border of the worlds" for them, as well as a chance to withdraw without a defeat from the catastrophe in which they were brought by this war. Serbia gets the same chance - and it would be, it seems used by the opposition too (Djindjic, the leader of the Democratic party is already prepared for the recognition of Bosnia). Milosevic remains in power, America and bosnia with this buy the supposition of radical division of responsibility between Milosevic and Karadzic, but - "if that is the price of peace..."

Macedonia gets a chance to, reasonably in an elegant manner, free itself of the Greek blockade - eliminating at the same time the danger of territorial pretensions of all of its neighbors, while Greece receives - deux ex machina - the solution of the "Macedonian question". Croatian (Krajina) Serbs would get wide political autonomy and a chance for biological survival, which would comeinto question in a case of a military solution.

Who would lose ? Who would pose most opposition to such a solution ?

In first case, it is a matter of Karadzic's head. His removal is a precondition for the realization of this plan - Karadzic has shown to be resistant to his removal so far.. In second case - "Herzeg Bosnians" (Bosnian Croats) which could not envisage a case in which Yugoslavia would fall apart without them becoming part of Croatia.

This is where the rest of the plan comes into operation, since Herzegovina Croats would be offered a model solution similar or identical to that offered to the Croatian Serbs, meaning some form of Z-4. A similar type of autonomy would be applied to Kosovo, which would eliminate this neuralgic point.

This plan as presented, says Raseta, includes a number of unknown variables. Will the Bosniaks accept ? Will Milosevic be able to remove Karadzic ? What will happen in Krajina ? What will become of Herzeg - Bosnia ? What will be the reaction of Croatia, which would regain its territorial integrity, but would remain economically, geo-politically and militarily squeezed between the "Balkan Benelux" and Slovenia, which does not want to hear anything of any kind of union with "southerners".

Raseta thinks that the realization of the existence of such a plan was a reason behind a panicky session of "the Council for National defence and security of Croatia", which discussed the dangers of the renewal of Yugoslavia ? Even though this plan seems to be the arithmetic median of the interests of the all sides involved, will it still be the motive enough for all ?

(Source: Zagreb fortnightly "Arkzin", June 16, 1995.)

Ask Croatian mothers...
We will have to find modus vivendi

Zagreb by-weekly "Arkzin" talked also with another of the participants of the "Vukobrat conference", former head of the Yugoslav communist party, Stipe Suvar, the interview appearing in its July 14, 1995, issue.

Asked why so much furor was raised about this conference in former Yugoslavia, Suvar said that this was due to the fact that it fits into the context of plans in the West to find some form of a solution for the states now existing in the region of former Yugoslavia; that they should - first of all in the economic sense - establish connections, and that then, in that context, a political solution is found for the Balkans and Southeastern Europe. The goal is to establish a lasting peace there, so that peripheral capitalism is developed, that West could invest part of its money and secure a part of the market, although not such a large one. This is a problem with half of the continent, and if you include Russia, even more.Secondly, regional integrations are cropping up all over - in America, Asia, Pacific... The leaders of the mid-European countries have met recently in Hungary, but without Croatian president Tudjman. Either he does not want to go there, or nobody s to keen to call him. Croatia is leading a very stupid policy if it thinks that it will reach greener pastures only if it calls itself only a partner of great America and most populated China, and runs under the German skirt.

The prevailing thought at the Paris conference, says Suvar was that the state of Southeastern Europe - but also the whole Eastern Europe cannot reach Europe in the wider sense individually, without good cooperation between themselves and formation of regional markets, which will then fit well in the European market. Particularly, the countries of former Yugoslavia cannot pull themselves out of this situation without some form of a "Marshall Plan", but it is a question whether anybody wants to offer such a plan. In any case, it could not be negated that it is a question of an unified geopolitical region.

Discussing current political situation, Suvar said that Tudjman will "solve" the Croatian national question in such a manner that you will not be able to find a Croat East of Drina and Danube rivers even with a candle. The same will be east of river Neretva (in Bosnia), and the same might be true East of river Una. In spite of state and legal provisions, the Croats in Bosnia will be an unimportant minority in relation to Muslims, even Serbs.

So, looking from a historical standpoint, Croatian nation is loosing those territories which it inherited through centuries. Dubrovnik will slowly rot isolated in the surroundings populated by different ethnic groups. There will be no Croats in Vojvodina, and at one point they were quite represented in the Banat region. Croatia has the right to the so called AVNOJ borders, but only under the conditions that the Serbs who broke no laws can return to their homes, same as the Croats, under the same criteria.

Milosevic will solve the Serbian question in the same manner as Tudjman will the Croat: the Serbs might completely disappear in Croatia, and no matter what the territory distribution will be in Bosnia and Herzegovina, they will be herded in mountain reservations. Vojvodina will be predominantly Serb, while inKosovo, even if there is an extensive colonization, the basic ratio of ethnic masses of Albanians and Serbs will not change. Serbia might even, at some point, allow secession of a part of Kosovo to relieve itself of the main part of the Albanians there. As is seen, nobody has solved the national question of its nation, while all of us have encountered national tragedies. We remain living in the houses from which we purged each other. So, we will have to find modus vivendi, or move from these regions.

In the long run, Suvar thinks that there will not be a quick normalization of conditions in the region. Secondly, no reconstruction of Yugoslavia is foreseen in a confederal sense. But, economic cooperation will grow, and there must be a free flow of information, some form of cultural exchange, even soft borders.This also depends how great will be the involvement of Europe.

(Source: Zagreb fortnightly "Arkzin", July, 14, 1995)