Thursday, July 29, 2004

War Criminals and Heroes

Tihomir Blaškić (Tihomir Blaskic) spent around eight years behind bars. This is more than most murderers, pedophiles, drug dealers and rapists get in Croatian courts. But this was apparently eight years too much for 99 % of Croatian public who view Blaškić as hero and martyr and who celebrate spectacular reduction of his prison sentence (from 45 to 9 years) as a Croatian triumph.

Minor details, like the fact that Blaškić is still guilty of war crimes and that his sentence was only reduced and not overturned, don't seem to bother Croatians much.

People in Croat sections of Bosnia celebrate and there are many smiling faces in Croatia today. Everyone – average Joes on the streets and serious political commentators alike – talk about Blaškić being "innocent". Some even speculate about this sentence being used for further Croatian triumphs, including getting General Gotovina off the hook.

However, at least technically, Blaškić is still a war criminal. And this decision won't erase what had happened in Ahmići (Ahmici) in 1993.


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