Serbs and Croats live together, sharing a language and mentality. The territory that they inhabit cannot be separated by an amicable divorce settlement. 1
The historical record is perhaps the primary means for ascribing meaning to others' actions: by labelling the other as 'foe', our enemy today is as they have been in the past. The recent history of relations between Serbs and Croats - as I described in the previous chapter - has provided the basic material for nationalist politicians to construct an image whereby the other is always the culpable aggressor and the self the blameless victim. In August 1990, historical narratives were in this way employed in the service of mobilising populations towards the perpetration of violence. The specific purpose of this chapter is to assess whether this violence, between Croats and Krajina Serbs, 2 can profitably be viewed as the product of a societal security dilemma, in either its 'tight', 'regular' or 'loose' interpretations.
Doing so involves determining whether the parties' (societal) security requirements display a 'real' or an 'illusory' incompatibility. I argued in Chapter 4 that security requirements are subject to a process of definition and re-definition; that is to say, according to historical and political circumstance, security requirements will change over time. It is crucial, therefore, to concentrate on a period of time when such requirements remained (relatively) constant. If security requirements are in flux, then it becomes difficult to constitute the actors as stable referent objects for security analysis. Here, the focus on events in Croatia is duly of a fairly short duration: a six-month period, from the 'official' start of the election campaign on 24 February 1990 to the so-called revolucija balvana ('Log Revolution') beginning on 17 August 1990.
The chapter is broken down into four main sections. The first section briefly describes events in the aforementioned time-period. The second part turns its attention to an assessment of the security requirements of the HDZ government. The third part does likewise for Croatia's Serbian population. Finally, the fourth section concludes as to the compatibility/incompatibility of Serb and Croat security requirements.