Monday, April 05, 2004

Theatre of the Inconsistency

What used to unimaginable under "left centre" government of Ivica Račan (Ivica Racan) and what used to be the worst nightmare of any self-respecting follower of Tudjman has become boring routine under right-wing HDZ government of Ivo Sanader.

Six Bosnian Croats have left for Amsterdam. From there they would report to ICTY and later be tried for various war crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims during 1993-94 war. (Reuters, as it is to be expected, got the years wrong.)

Those six men went to Court by their own free will and used the opportunity to stage memorable farewell at Zagreb airport. This was hardly surprising, because one of those is General Slobodan Praljak, former film director. His speech was most theatrical of all it was followed by short dramatic performance of Zlatko Vitez, Zagreb actor known for pro-Tudjman views in 1990.

This spectacle, attended by hundreds of people, was to be expected. Indicted men know that they need not only to catch but to maintain the attention of Croatian public.

It is debatable whether they would succeed or not. With government's media blitz promising EU entry around the corner, with political establishment seeing war crimes suspects as expendable and with most of Croatian right-wingers still seeing Sanader as lesser evil than Ivica Račan, six Bosnian Croats can't arouse as much passion as Norac, Gotovina and Bobetko did.

On the other hand, Praljak is most probably going to be make much better show than most of ICTY defendants.


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