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Waking up to the usual newspaper headlines, especially after expending my energy on an article all about our unethical politicians, can be rather depressing.  However, I always remind myself of how much worse it could be.

Today, thinking back to 1995 and the brutal occupation of Croatia, the siege of Bihac, and the murderous Serb rampage across Bosnia, my heartfelt response is “thank God for Operation Storm”.  As I have said before, General Gotovina did more for peace and justice in two days than the ICTY has done in two decades.  If it were not for Operation Storm in 1995, Croatia would have remained occupied, the conflict in Bosnia would have persisted, massacres such as Srebrenica would have been succeeded by even more notorious war crimes, and the world would have been subjected to more of the UN’s interminable equivocation and inaction.

Croatians and Bosnians and all who care for the plight of those in war-stricken countries have cause to rejoice today on this anniversary of Operation Storm.  Not only could it have been so much worse, but this time last year the heroes of that liberation were imprisoned in the Hague.  Since then, that absurd injustice has been overturned.  They are free at last.  Deo gratias!

So there is much to celebrate and for which to be thankful.  I hope you will join me as I raise a glass of Maraska cherry brandy and toast all those who fought for peace and justice during the 1990s conflict.  And let us also remember those who died fighting the good fight… and those who continue to fight today.


Post-War Vukovar

A little girl plays in Vukovar after its liberation and her family’s return home. (Copyright Mishka Gora)