Vladimir Filipović, PhD
Libertas International University
Zagreb, Republic of Croatia
“THEY FINALLY REALIZED WHO MILOŠEVIĆ IS”: CROATIA AND THE NATO INTERVENTION IN FR YUGOSLAVIA 1999
Vol. XLI, 1/2023, pp. 221–240
Original enthusiasm of Croatian government regarding the NATO intervention in FR Yugoslavia slowly transformed to a more nuanced and distanced position with serious reservations. However, public opinion in Croatia was more than delighted with the intervention and believed that “the Western powers finally realized who was guilty for all the evils in the Balkans”, and in time this opinion made the government’s position difficult. The HDZ government created a nationalistic public mood, and then had to cope with its effects in the case of the 1999 intervention. President Tuđman had serious reserves towards the interventions, mostly due to his idea of sovereignty and fear that intervention can cause the change of regime, not only in Serbia but in entire region. Tuđman presented his own plan for Kosovo which was ignored. At the same time, voices with serious reservations regarding the intervention were rare, especially in the first few weeks. Those voices belonged to small anti-war groups gathered around NGO’s and those newspapers which were critical of the regime. Organized opposition supported intervention because they wanted to show to Western powers that they are cooperative and desirable candidates for power in Croatia. The Serb and Albanian ethnic groups in Croatia viewed the intervention in accordance with their broader national positions. Those views are of interest, but did not have much influence on Croatian politics.
KEYWORDS: Intervention 1999, Croatia, Franjo Tuđman, Public Support
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