4. CONVERSATION WITH DR. FRANJO TUĐMAN, CROATIAN PRESIDENT ON 8th APRIL 1991
CLEAR “EVIDENCE” THAT DR. TUĐMAN WAS DIVIDING BiH??
COMMENT General colonel Slobodan Praljak:
This document says what Mr. Muhamed Filipović thinks about who is to be BLAMED for such policy of the Muslims and what was Franjo Tuđman (and Slovenian leadership) offering to Alija Izetbegović back on April 8th 1990.
However, Franjo Tuđman who is well above these reserve provincial political players and who raises above by his deep comprehension of social and political powers, not only in the former Yugoslavia but also “in such a world”, Franjo Tuđman knows that “Alija Izetbegović is far more impressed and, in a certain sense, prepped by the YNA”.
Mr. Tuđman estimated and knew that Alija “was surrounded by agents of KOS (Counterintelligence Service) and SDB (Service of National Security) and that he, Izetbegović, will not have the strength to free himself from this and to risk the conflict with this force”. Wasn’t it like that?
Further in the document it says that it was Alija and that Alija sent M. Filipović to agree on the “historical agreement” with Serbs.
And then he tricked M. Filipović – Alija Izetbegović tricked him.
M. Filipović: I was Alija’s diplomat
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If we were not the authors of our fate, if everything that happened to us and around us happened according to the intentions of decisions taken by others, if therefore we were only an abiding element of our history, then we did not have the right to do even what we did, or to take decisions that significantly altered the position and situation of all the inhabitants of our country. By doing so, to a great extent we decided what would happen to our country and ourselves and for this we bear the greatest responsibility.
Tito was no longer around, MILOŠEVIĆ’s attack on the Alliance of Communists, carried out with the help of some incautious pro-Yugoslav politicians from other republics, and the growing tendency to resurrect an old proposal for the so-called amputation of Slovenia and northern Croatia from the former Yugoslavia, initially launched by the former Yugoslav King Aleksandar KARAĐORĐEVIĆ in 1929, creating a Greater Serbia, clearly indicated that there was but one solution for all the states that found themselves in Yugoslavia, which was to flee from this hell, exercising what was at the time the constitutionally guaranteed right of the republics to disband and declare independence.
Unfortunately, it must be said that the Muslims, particularly the intellectuals, were not aware of the actual position of Bosnia and Herzegovina or themselves. They failed to react to the massive political persecution of the Muslims in the so-called Agrokomerc affair. They did not show even the slightest interest in the work of the Forum, in fact, some very well known Muslim intellectuals easily fell under the influence of forces and ideas that had their foundation in anti-Islamism, In order to awaken interest in this topic, I initiated a meeting of some eminent Muslim intellectuals, planned for the end of 1989 and finally held at the mosque in Zagreb in 1990. The meeting took place on 12 February 1990 while I was a guest at the Novinarski Dom /Journalists’ Club/, at a round-table discussion of the Alliance of Croatian Journalists, where I was invited to talk about the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the problem of the national identity of the Muslims. I had arranged this guest appearance myself as a cover for the meeting that was the real reason for my trip to Zagreb.
I had no desire to become its member, and was silent in response to IZETBEGOVIĆ’s and ZULFIKARPAŠIĆ’s offer to join the party. Once, when IZETBEGOVIĆ told me he was having a problem with some people in the party over including me in the executive committee, which he had supposedly recommended, as was confirmed by Adil ZULFIKARPAŠIĆ, I told him that he should not do it because I had no desire to be in the same party as people like Omer BEHMEN, Hasan ČENGIĆ, Salim ŠABIĆ etc. since I was a very different type of man, and to me there was no connection between religion and politics.Of course this did not mean that I considered these men unsuitable for any other reason save our difference of opinion. My opinion was completely different from theirs, because, from what I could see, they derived all their political positions from their religion, which to me were wrongly understood. I believed politics and religion were different things.
The meeting with TUĐMAN took place in his residence, the presidential palace on Grič hill, on 8 April 1991.
During the meeting TUĐMAN was very pleasant and benevolent, and showed a great interest in the idea of Bosnia following the example of Croatia and Slovenia. which, he then told us, had taken an irrevocable decision to leave Yugoslavia, even telling us the precise date when the decision is to be made public. They took the decision for state reasons and because all possibilities to reach some kind of logical, rational and political agreement with MILOŠEVIĆ had been exhausted. Even if it had been difficult in the past in Yugoslavia, always dominated by the Serbs, then a Yugoslavia dominated by MILOŠEVIĆ could not survive and a decision had to be made to leave it. This was a legally justified and politically logical move, which he recommended to us wholeheartedly at the time. He emphasised that if Bosnia and Herzegovina were to leave Yugoslavia with Slovenia and Croatia, it would be much easier for everyone to take the step and strike back against any action taken by MILOŠEVIĆ. Finally, TUĐMAN believed, the world would have to support three republics leaving a state so obviously dominated by MILOŠEVIĆ, who, as far as we knew, was considered by politicians abroad to be a brute, Serbian nationalist and semi-fascist. He also told us that the Croats and Slovenes already had significant support from Germany and Austria for the step they intended to take, which was far from little to begin with. We gave him our assessment that for Bosnia and Herzegovina it would also be best to leave Yugoslavia together with Croatia and Slovenia, since once two states departed Bosnia and Herzegovina would be left alone in a Serbian sea, which will be additionally frustrated after the departure of Slovenia and Croatia, so democracy would not stand a chance in such conditions. TUĐMAN reacted to this by openly saying that he did not believe that Bosnia would leave Yugoslavia, saying he believes that IZETBEGOVIĆ was impressed and somehow prepared by the JNA /Yugoslav People’s Army/. Assessing that he was surrounded by agents of the KOS /Counterintelligence Service/ and DBJ /Yugoslav State Security/, he said he knew that IZETBEGOVIĆ had been at the JNA General Staff for preparations, where all the power and might of the army was shown to him and that he would not have the strength to break free from it and risk a conflict with such a force. Of course, I reacted to his statement, saying that IZETBEGOVIĆ was not the topic of discussion here and that all of this could be conjecture, but rather /we were there to discuss/ the political conditions in the country and the best decisions that could be recommended. However. TUĐMAN stuck by his position, repeating that he did not believe IZETBEGOVIĆ would take the decision to leave Yugoslavia together with the other two republics. At the end, concluding our conversation, he offered to have us join them in leaving Yugoslavia and said he would wholeheartedly welcome such a decision from us and that he would make the effort with his Slovenian partners to accept such a position from us. He even said that he believed they would be prepared to wait a month if we could prepare for such a decision. We agreed that such a decision required some minimal but necessary preparations. Above all it was necessary to prepare the appropriate decision on our leaving Yugoslavia in the utmost secrecy, and those pertaining to the functioning of the future independent state, and it would be necessary to develop the methods for implementing such decisions. It was necessary to immediately activate military forces that would be loyal to the Bosnian government after the decision to break away was taken. We believed that the conditions and proposals offered to us were fair and that it was possible to examine the issue of us breaking away from Yugoslavia based on them and to take a set of decisions to legally and technically prepare us for it. It was really a very urgent matter and events would not wait for us to catch up. Complete political, military and legal measures were needed very urgently to allow the implementation of this delicate, risky and complex state, legal, political and military operation and to ensure its success.
Following the talks, we departed for Ljubljana on 9 April 1991. I mentioned earlier that Adil had long been acquainted with the leading Slovenian politicians of the time, some of whom were then very influential, had taken part in the former Democratic Alternative abroad, thereby making contacts and discourse much easier.
Actually, our discourse with BAVČAR, BUČAR, JANŠA and other Slovenian politicians was very direct, meaningful and smooth. Like TUĐMAN, all our collocutors believed that we would inevitably leave Yugoslavia, that it was better done as soon as possible and that the most favourable moment was when the two western Yugoslav republics were leaving Yugoslavia. They too were of the opinion that such a decision needed to be prepared, taking into account that some preparations, already completed while Slovenia and Croatia were preparing to leave Yugoslavia, would now take less time, but there was a need to hurry up with the preparations in all fields: military, political, economic, constitutional and legal. Above all this was a thorough international probe of how influential western countries would accept such a document. Considering this, it would be easier for us to take a decision knowing that it would be supported by some very important states. They believed that leaving the existing federal state or the separation of three republics would be a more plausible act and that it would offer much greater chances for tactical manoeuvring in these circumstances. First, it was not disintegration as much as halving Yugoslavia. Second, the West, whose political calculations include economic interests as an important criteria would more readily accept the separation of three than two republics, because it would thereby keep a larger market for its goods and technology and we would be better partners. In that case we represent the more developed part of Yugoslavia. Militarily it would be easier for three to defend themselves from an attack than to do so individually. Finally, now is the right time, because MILOŠEVIĆ has not properly prepared Serbia for war or homogenised the Serbs to the measure where they would be prepared to chance direct war operations.
According to Adil, IZETBEGOVIĆ said that he had neither guarantees, nor was he working on any plan for militarily or politically opposing the anticipated operations and he believed that the only way out of the situation lay in negotiations with the Serbs. When Adil ZULFIKARPAŠIĆ asked him to negotiate, IZETBEGOVIĆ supposedly told him that he could not, that he was not the best person for it, because the Serbs did not trust him, and therefore he was not a suitable negotiator. He requested that we, Adil ZULFIKARPAŠIĆ and I, negotiate with the Serbs on behalf of the Muslims. I felt something was not right and that a trap lay somewhere in IZETBEGOVIĆ’s illogical proposal.
We believed that the negotiations had take place, primarily between the Serbs and Muslims. Namely, the greatest problems and severest possible consequences for Bosnia and Herzegovina would be the result of severely disturbed relations between the Bosniaks and Serbs. It had to be clear to everyone that the fate of Bosnia and Herzegovina was to be determined above all others by relations between its largest ethnic communities.
Thus began the negotiations, often referred to later, between the Serbs and Muslims on how to solve the problem of the fate of our country began under auspices of the President of the SDA Alija IZETBEGOVIĆ, with the mandate he gave us. These were negotiations for finding a solution to the problem of relations between the Serbs and Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and at the same time on the future relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Actually, the negotiations dealt with whether and under what conditions Bosnia and Herzegovina could possibly remain in Yugoslavia or whether she must leave, even if under the most unfavourable conditions.
The negotiations began on 8 July 1991 and were held in the building of the state Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, actually in the office of its member Nikola KOLJEVIĆ. The preliminary, introductory negotiations were lead only by Adil ZULFIKARPAŠIĆ, Radovan KARADŽIĆ, Muhamed FILIPOVIĆ and Nikola KOLJEVIĆ.
Te negotiations began intensely every day at meetings of the two delegations. Adil and I were in one, Karadžić and Koljević in the other.
Occasionally. Momčilo KRAJIŠNIK and Biljana PLAVŠIĆ would join the negotiations on the Serbian, while on our side only Alija IZETBEGOVIĆ sometimes took part in the negotiations.
He took part in one of the very important sessions of the negotiations, when it seemed we had already come close to an agreement. This was on 23 July 1991, after IZETBEGOVIĆ’s return from a visit to the USA, when he gave a positive assessment of the negotiations, welcoming them and saying that he was aware they were being held with his knowledge and approval. The negotiations were interrupted briefly because the Serbian representatives had to consult with Slobodan MILOŠEVIĆ, which the late Nikola KOLJEVIĆ said openly, because these were issues of the highest national interest for all Serbs. We did not need that much time, our communication with IZETBEGOVIĆ was easier, interrupted only by his brief visit to the United States of America. Upon his return from that visit, at Sarajevo airport, IZETBEGOVIĆ gave a statement for TV BH that he knew the so-called Serbian-Muslim talks were in progress, he approved of them and that he hoped they would succeed. During that visit, IZETBEGOVIĆ was received by BAKER’s assistant at the. time, Lawrence EAGLEBURGER, and by General SCOWCROFT. the President’s National Security Advisor.
Furthermore, JNA operations, which had two basic objectives, began. The first of these was to include the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina in intense military operations, which the JNA was waging against the state of Croatia at that time. The second objective, in conditions of the assumed absence of a proper and energetic reaction by the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to this obvious seizure of its territory, was to force a worsening of relations between the Croats and Muslims, as logical allies in this situation, so that a variety of activities aimed at destabilising these rations were carried out from our territory. The city of Dubrovnik was attacked from the territory of the municipality of Trebinje, an attack was carried out against Ravne village in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, populated by Croats committing an overt military provocation and aggression on its territory. Finally, and the final measure to test the ability of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to protect its territory, was the shameful act of the Bosnian authorities turning over the captured defenders of the Croatian town of Kostajnica, who crossed to the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina to avoid falling into Serbian separatists’ hands in Croatia, to be turned over by our authorities to the Serbian army in the guise of the JNA, and all of them kept in the ominous Manjača camp and probably killed.
To all these over provocations, our government and Alija IZETBEGOVIĆ himself remained mute. The expected silence was the condition for the continuation of a possible Serbian military operation in our country. The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina silently allowed the Serbs to continue such operations, and their conduct as occupier received additional impetus from the stepped up campaign of the Serbian autonomous districts throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bosnian Krajina SAO, Old Herzegovina SAO, Ozren SAO and Semberija SAO. Preparations were under way for creating other similar entities, all with the aim of breaking up the country. This was how Bosnia and Herzegovina became a kind of leopard skin, spotted with zones where the legitimate authorities had no influence.
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Muhamed Filipović: I was Alija’s diplomat /orig. title: Bio sam Alijin diplomata/, Bihać, Delta, 2000
COMMENT General colonel Slobodan Praljak:
Hwo are Muhamed Filipović and Adil Zulfikarpašić?
Muhamed Filipović is an academic, historian, philosopher, one of the most prominent intellectuals in BiH, and he said that it is clear that Serbs are executing their plan for a Greater Serbia, he refuses to be a member of SDA (Party of Democratic Action – Izetbegovic’s Party), because in his opinion, Filipović, politics and religion should not mix together, the way leaders of SDA (Behmen, Šabić, Čengić) announced in the “Islamic Declaration”.
Adil Zulfikarpašić, political emigrant, Swiss citizen after the World War II, founder and leader of the “Bosnian Institute” and a Muslim by faith.
COMMENT General colonel Slobodan Praljak:
On which grounds was Izetbegović convinced (a fortune teller?) that HE (MILOŠEVIĆ) will suggest to Tuđman some kind of „partial solutions, which in part are to be achieved at the expense of Muslims in BiH?“
And what the “certain information” are, and who gave them to him?
KOS (JNA Counter Intelligence Service)? which surrounds him, SDB (State Security Service) which surrounds him or some third or fourth party, out of many who staged the conflict?
The goal is very clear, and to save paper I will not elaborate.
Again and again it is interesting how lies can become “accepted course of events” and how many „flies“ are attracted by such lies?
Manufacturers of such fictions are top experts and are well aware how a thing that we call „MAN“ functions.
Prof. SLOBODAN PRALJAK, dipl.ing.
Kazališni i filmski redatelj – Akademija
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