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Sunday, October 31, 2004

War? What War?

Stipe Mesić (Stipe Mesic) has made the first major blunder of his presidential campaign. After the meeting with Miodrag Vlahović (Miodrag Vlahovic), Montenegrian foreign minister, he said that "Croatia and Montenegro never made war on each other".

Mesić's statement is, of course, motivated with the desire to cultivate the best possible relationships with Croatia's tiny neighbour and thus help both countries get over their troubled past. This noble purpose, however, doesn't make it compatible with historical truth. Those who inhabit the southernmost area of Croatia know too well the difference between what Dubrovnik and its surrounding looked like in Summer of 1991 and Summer of 1992. They also know what kind of events created such transformation and which people enthusiastically participated in it.

Mesić in his statement contradicted himself. In 2000 he visited Montenegro and asked for public apology over the events in 1991-92.

The statement itself is also contradictory. In strictly legal terms, Mesić is right because Croatia nor Montenegro never declared war on each other.

But in the same statement Mesić says that "Croatia and Serbia also never made war on each except the last one, started by Milošević (Milosevic)". That war too was never formally declared by either side.

This opportunity was immediately taken by embattled HDZ presidential candidate Jadranka Kosor. She criticised President for ignoring historical truth.

Mesić's camp reacted by flat denial. Danijela Barišić (Danijela Barisic), head of Information Department of President's Office, signed communiqué claiming that Mesić had really said that "Croatia never made war with Montenegro or Serbia until the last war, started with Milošević".

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