Serbs won’t rein in their war criminals
Croatia won’t stand for Serbian insults, said Iva Puljic-Sego. Relations between the two countries have been tense since the early 1990s, when Croatia fought a war of independence from Serb-dominated Yugoslavia. Things had been getting better recently, thanks to patient Croatian diplomacy. In February, when Croatia hosted Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, it “gave him a princely reception, both in terms of personal security and respect for Serbian state symbols.” But when the return visit came last week, the pure hatred that still rules some in Serbia erupted. As the Croatian delegation arrived at the Serbian legislature, ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj—a recently convicted war criminal who is nevertheless a legislator in good standing—tore down the Croatian flag and trampled on it, hurling insults at the Croatian lawmakers. The Croatian politicians rightly said they would not tolerate the affront, and the delegation promptly returned home. The Serbian failure to prevent the all-too-foreseeable disruption by Seselj is inexcusable. After all, when the International Criminal Court in The Hague found Seselj guilty earlier this month of war crimes against Croatians in the 1990s, he announced he was “proud of all my war crimes” and “ready to repeat them again.” Did Serbia “deliberately allow” the desecration of our flag? Is it trying to provoke our wrath?