Sunday, 21 November 2010
Croatia: Myth and Reality (12) - C. Michael McAdams - Croatia's Future
C. Michael McAdams
The Croatian people face many challenges, in Croatia, in Bosnia-Hercegovina and abroad. The weight of the war, hundreds of thousands of refugees, rebuilding destroyed cities, and a weakened economy took their toll. Many became cynical about politics and democracy during that trying time but there was ample cause for hope. Throughout the world, Croatia found friends to assist in the development of democracy - friends in the true sense. There were also those in the United States and other countries who wanted to dictate the terms of "democracy" to nations emerging from communism. Croatia must build a democratic republic reflecting its own rich heritage, its diverse regions and its unique social and cultural institutions. The United States and other democracies can perhaps serve as an example of what to do, and what not to do, but no nation can dictate the terms of "democracy." In 1791 the Croatian Ban John Count Erdodi at the Congress of Bratislava stood to inform the Hungarian council "Regnum regno non praescribit leges!" (One kingdom cannot make the laws for another!). Those words were no less true two hundred years later. Croatia can survive and build on its democratic foundations. And while those foundations are being laid, the bedrock of the Croatian Trinity, language, culture and history, will continue to serve. The Croatian spirit, which has lasted over a thousand years, must never again the sacrificed at the international altar.