Saturday, May 07, 2005

ZAGREB, May 6 (Hina) - The head of the Civil Committee for Human Rights, Zoran Pusic, sent an open letter to US Ambassador to Croatia Ralph Frank on Friday, protesting against the announced presentation of a decoration former US President Harry S. Truman bestowed posthumously on Draza Mihailovic for the assistance provided to the crews of US bombers that were gunned down on the territory under Chetnik control in World War II.#L#

"According to media reports, on May 9, 2005 the grandson of Draza Mihailovic will be presented with a decoration bestowed posthumously on Draza Mihailovic by President Truman in 1947. I am writing to you as president of the committee for human rights because I believe that the war crimes committed by Chetnik units under Draza Mihailovic, for which he is directly responsible, constitute the gravest violations of human rights, and that the decision made in President Truman's time was the result of lack of knowledge of certain facts," Pusic says in the letter.

He goes on to say that the facts in question are well known today and reminds the US ambassador of the fact that the Chetnik movement had for years cooperated with Italian fascists and German Nazis.

Pusic also says that Chetniks can in no way be considered fighters against fascism because they helped the US airmen in the last year of World War II, "when it was rather clear in whose favour the fortune of war had turned and when other collaborators of fascists and Nazis, and even fascists and Nazis themselves, sought to establish contact with the Allies".

Pusic also recalls the mass crimes committed by Chetnik units against Muslims and Croats, which he says "did not happen as individual incidents but were part of a planned campaign aimed at the worst form of ethnic cleansing and extermination of entire communities". Pusic cites documents supporting his claims.

"Very likely President Truman and the US government were not familiar with those documents in 1947, when many Chetnik emigrants in the USA depicted Draza Mihailovic (sentenced and executed in 1946) as a victim of the communist regime. Nevertheless, those documents are available today and I would be grateful if you could make the US State Department aware of their existence," Pusic said.

He concluded the letter by saying that the said crimes "are immanent to the Chetnik ideology, which is evidenced by crimes committed in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s by followers of the Chetnik ideology, often under the same symbols".

Pusic especially points to the fact that the decoration to Draza Mihailovic would be presented two months before the tenth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre.

(Hina) rml

06.05.2005. 20:49 MET

Yahoo! Groups Links

Reply via email to