There can be no peace with injustice and evil
There are numerous examples of the changes happening on the global macrocosm towards geopolitical multipolarity, and in each region we encounter conflicts between states, the resolution of which is desirable, but whose differences and historic grievances cannot quickly or easily be brushed aside or neglected. In the microcosm of the Balkans our attention is certainly drawn to the unresolved conflict between Serbs and Croats. The Croatian political, clerical, or social elite in general, appear to be changing positions and attitudes towards their eastern Orthodox neighbors, namely the Serbs. On the face of it, Christian prudence demands this be taken seriously and viewed positively. The Serbs are a forgiving people, and this is a feature of both their interpersonal and world views.
But if these overtures require the Croatian elite to do more than speak kind words, and rather would compel them to right past wrongs, then we can be sure that they will sing a different tune. On the one hand, it is a positive sign because these Croatian overtures demonstrate a degree of Serbian strength. Serbia has, in its own troubled and imperfect way, shown that states – indeed civilizational spaces – can survive outside of the EU and NATOsphere, even when besieged by it, both internally and externally. On the other hand, that such overtures come at precisely this time should raise concerns about issues revolving around opportunism and the politics of convenience. Overtures and lipservice aside, for any push towards rapproachment to become concretized, the real issues must be resolved. Two of these issues can be given as examples, even while in summarizing these we will naturally overlook others.
The first of these are that the Croatian genocide of the Serbs during the Second World War saw almost half of the Serbian population located west of the Drina River killed, mostly as civilians, either in Hitler-styled concentration camps, or slaughtered on the doorsteps of their homes. The Serbs forgave, in the name of the new communist unity in the second Yugoslav state, an entity that came to an abrupt end 45 years after the war, as soon as the demise of the Soviet bloc enabled Croats to once again pursue their zero-sum-game national aims, once again ethnically cleansing the Serbs from their historic territories.
The second of these issues are that twenty years after a US-backed, Croatian genocidal military operation that made modern Croatia into one of the ethnically most homogenous states in the world, the Croats are now, and only now and under these conditions, willing to let bygones be bygones. The Croats have, for a long time, played the regional geopolitics and aligned themselves with the Atlanticist powers until, and only until, that project began to show real signs of weakness and historic irrelevance. Now that a new age of geopolitical multipolarity is emerging, the Croatian elites want to speak of a certain bright future with Russia, and by extension with Serbia, but only based upon the position of advantage against their 'Slavic brothers', the Serbs, inherited from the prior period, which they still find themselves in today. It is reasonable that an objective or outside observer would appreciate a degree of skepticism and lack of reticence on the part of the Serbs.
The rise of Russia under Vladimir Putin has finally, through foiling the Western agenda in Ukraine and Syria, has really catalyzed this new age of geopolitical multipolarity. Such a change will certainly have major consequences on the Serbian question, without a doubt affecting the comfortable position that Croatia was left in during the previous global shift of power. In this moment, we were presented with a rather utopian text from a renowned Croatian analyst, Tomislav Sunic, pleading for an end of inter-Slavic conflicts and even going so far as to propose the expansionist ecumenical agenda of the Vatican as the best way to set our (religious) differences aside. According to Sunic, the disease itself is also a cure.
Having taken into account our extremely painful historic experiences with the Croats, and the associated Yugoslav idea that have cost us more than 2,5 million lives in the last century alone, we are still able to propose a long term peaceful solution to the problems that plague the post-Yugoslav space. Such a solution cannot be founded on the results of genocide and ethnic cleansing, nor can it be achieved through the paradigm set by the West during the time of its geopolitical dominance. Instead it must reflect the reality on the horizon, Serbia's improved position in that context, and the decisions that past Croatian leadership have made.