|Format cm (visina x širina):||17 x 24|
On the one hand this book is the result of the continuation of my investigation and research into the place and role of the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia (CCHB), later the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia (CRHB), in the totality of relations which emerged from the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina (war, killings and destruction), and the process of gaining independence and international recognition for Bosnia and Herzegovina on the ruins of the dissolution (disintegration) of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). On the other, it is also the result of investigating the place, role and actual policy of the Republic of Croatia and its state leadership towards Bosnia and Herzegovina in those circumstances. An additional motive for its writing arose after I had written my expert report “A Constitutional Legal Analysis of the Establishment of the Croatian Community (Republic) of Herzeg-Bosnia, Particularly from the Aspect of its Potential Independence, Separation and Incorporation into the Republic of Croatia” (unpublished manuscript). All of my research for that work pointed to a deep contradiction between the programmed perception of the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina, created and accepted by the public on the one hand, and the actual place, role and actions both of the Croatian Community (Croatian Republic) of Herzeg-Bosnia and of Croatian policy with regard to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in particular with regard to the pursuit of its goal of achieving independence, territorial sovereignty and international recognition in the implementation of the process of the dissolution (disintegration) of the former common state, the SFRY. All of the results of my investigations and research, all of the available references, legislation and other documents, as well as the actual (decisive) actions of the politics of both the Republic of Croatia and the CC(CR)HB show that Bosnia and Herzegovina would not only not have been internationally recognised as an autonomous and independent state but its survival in general, and in particular within the borders which it had as the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina within the former SFRY would undoubtedly have been questionable were it not for the political support from the Republic of Croatia, and the Croat people within Bosnia and Herzegovina, in carrying out a policy which aimed to bring about a free, independent and sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina of three constituent and equal peoples. However, those hard-to-deny facts have not impressed themselves upon the perception as real or truthful, particularly among that section of society which had at its disposal all the available means for “modelling” the perceived comprehension of reality by the public. In that respect the perception that imposed itself on the public was that the Republic of Croatia, its heads of state and military leadership led by Dr Franjo Tuđman, the President of the Republic of Croatia, conducted a policy of aggression towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. Moreover, that together with the Croatian leadership of the CCHB they participated in a joint criminal enterprise and conducted a policy of dividing Bosnia and Herzegovina, separating part of its territory and incorporating it into the Republic of Croatia in order to make real the idea of a Greater Croatia. The CCHB was to serve as a means for achieving that aim. None of my investigations or research were able to find a real basis for this kind of perception in legislation, other documents or the real political-legal decision-making and actions of the Republic of Croatia and its state and military leadership. Quite the reverse, from the latter arose a different truth which opposed the one which was created in the public and accepted as the perception of the policy of dividing Bosnia and Herzegovina. Indeed, the real decisions and political actions, as well as participation in defensive operations against the aggressor clearly demonstrate that the Republic of Croatia, in cooperation with Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as one of its constituent peoples, and the central government, supported the autonomy, independence and international recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That fact is not diminished but is additionally confirmed and strengthened by the position of the Republic of Croatia (and its state leadership), as well as that of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that internally Bosnia and Herzegovina should be structured as a decentralised social and state community of three constituent and equal peoples on the territory of the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that equal rights before the law for all citizens in exercising the full range of their human (and minority) rights and basic freedoms without discrimination on any basis should be provided. Furthermore, mere discussions on the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a possible way of solving the Bosnian-Herzegovinian crisis have not been and cannot be a decisive basis for forming the hypothesis, let alone potential accusations, about the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Simply due to the fact that after they were held not only were no decisions made, nor were any actions of any kind with the aim of implementing a policy of dividing Bosnia and Herzegovina undertaken, but the Republic of Croatia and the Croat people in Bosnia and Herzegovina made decisions, promulgated acts and carried out activities without which the autonomy, sovereignty and international recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina could not have been achieved. All of their relevant legislation, other decisions made, actions and measures undertaken which were to lead to an autonomous, independent and internationally recognised Bosnia and Herzegovina bear witness to this. In fact, investigating and researching, as well as writing this book I have done my best to deal with the question of what is and where is the real truth. Is the truth the one that is present in the public perception, or is the real and material truth suppressed (concealed) and hidden from public view, regardless of the possible motives for such action? For that reason writing this book was a kind of search for the truth, the real and material truth and not the one imposed on the public as a distorted construct (perception) with no basis in real decisions and actions that could substantiate it as truthful and reliable. In investigating and researching I tried to establish and/or at least contribute, however small that contribution might be, to learning whether the perception that the Republic of Croatia took part in the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina is true or whether the truth consists of a completely different Croatian policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. In searching for the truth I tried to discover by which decisions of a constitutional nature, by which regulations and other acts, acts-in-the-law and actions did the Republic of Croatia on its own and/or in cooperation with the CCHB and vice versa conduct a policy of dividing Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the purpose of separation (secession) of part of its territory and its incorporation into Croatia. Or rather, if such documents, decisions and actions do not exist, what kind of policy did the Republic of Croatia conduct and support in relation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and from which decisions, regulations and actions can this be not only gathered but indisputably confirmed? Then, what was the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia according to its place and role in Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly with regard to the process of achieving independence and international recognition all the way to the Washington and Dayton accords, including their effect on ending the war, establishing peace and the internal structure of today’s Bosnia and Herzegovina? Writing this book I discovered basically three different fundamental approaches to what Bosnia and Herzegovina should be like after achieving independence following the breakup of the former SFRY. Each of these had its basis in one of the three constituent peoples: the separatist as well as the unitarian one and the one advocating a decentralised Bosnia and Herzegovina of three constituent and equal peoples. And it is about those questions that I write in this book. However, I also encountered a lack of understanding as well as misconceptions about the policy which the Republic of Croatia conducted in regard to Bosnia and Herzegovina. This policy is, according to the stance I have taken arising from writing this book, related to this failure to understand that the imperative of Croatian policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina was to defend its right to autonomy, independence and international recognition which it, as one of the former constituent socialist republics, had following the breakup of the former SFRY. Defending that right the Republic of Croatia at the same time demanded that very same right for itself and defended it internally from Greater Serbian aggression, and internationally on the basis of international law, which as objective law provided the legal basis for it to demand such a right from the international community as its subjective right. This book deals with a complex issue. I have tried to deal with this issue in an interdisciplinary manner, at least to the extent which my powers and my knowledge allowed me. However, the dominant approach I used in dealing with all legal matters in its purview was constitutionalist and sociopolitical. In that respect it could be sur mised that the book is intended for jurists and political scientists. That is no doubt to a great extent correct. However, I have tried to write in such a way as to depict constitutional and sociopolitical issues so that the book is approachable and understandable not only to jurists and political scientists but also to everyone who is interested in these questions. I chose this approach in writing this book because I consider that what I have learned and what is demonstrated in it following the research I conducted is a contribution to learning the truth about the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the role of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and of the Republic of Croatia, especially in solving it. If I have contributed anything here, all of the effort and time I have invested in writing it make sense and are justified. The best judges of this will be its readers. This book encompasses a time in which the Croatian social and government community was in an exceptionally sensitive and politically fraught period. The crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina arising from the process of the country’s gaining independence and international recognition, from the war and stopping the war in it, and the different concepts of its (re)structuring which were advocated and suggested at various junctures by political-legal actors on both the internal and international level had their respective influence on that political situation. I wrote this book in my so-called free time. In writing this book, very valuable support was provided by my son Igor, a lawyer in Zagreb. He was of great help in compiling references and other evidence, and even more helpful with his suggestions. I also would like to thank my younger son Vladimir who contributed some of his valuable time to help sort the bibliographical evidence, legislation and other documents into a sort of corpus which formed the subject of my investigations and research. I would also like to thank everybody who encouraged and supported me to persevere with its writing. They include, above all, my dear friends: Ivo Franolić, Zoran Luštica, Miro Raguž, Marinko Mikulić and others. My colleague Ms Marija Hajnić deserves special thanks for being of invaluable assistance in all administrative and technical matters in writing this work. However, I owe one person particular thanks, and that is my wife Branka who always showed understanding towards me. When needed she was a tough critic. I thank her for that. I dedicate this book to my sons Igor and Vladimir who are the irreplaceable joy and purpose of my life.
Dr. Mato Arlović