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The inadmissible politicization of the Slovenian Army: Captain Lampe proposes “removal of the government” on Facebook?!

Could citizens really rely on an officer like this, in case of an armed conflict? Can we really be certain that he would not point his gun at fellow citizens who do not share his beliefs? Many are wondering about this, after looking at the Facebook profile of the army Captain Jure Lampe. A worshipper of Yugoslavia and dictator Tito, who is also an obvious opponent of the Prime Minister Janez Janša. “Instead of installing the mobile application, I suggest removing the government,” he wrote, among other things, as well as “My a…, who is he, to run the country with his Twitter profile…” Captain Lampe, a soldier of the Slovenian Army, is also the man behind the anonymous letter that was sent to Mladina magazine, in which the brigadier and State Secretary Bojan Pograjec was accused of spreading propaganda for the current government. From Lampe’s Facebook posts, you can see for yourself who the real person spreading propaganda is – a man who swore his allegiance to Slovenia but is obviously showing greater loyalty to Yugoslavia.

“Despite the fact that, as a former professional soldier, he knew very well that the army must be and remain politically undecided, according to Mladina, his speech indicated the exact opposite,” the web portal wrote, but they were clearly talking about the wrong person. We have already reported on the fact that the author of the anonymous letter which was sent to Mladina was, in fact, Jure Lampe – we are referring to the letter, in which it was stated that the State Secretary Bojan Pograjc was supposedly spreading propaganda in support of Janez Janša and his government to soldiers. We received this information from sources from within the Slovenian Armed Forces, which are credible by all criteria. They also told us that Lampe is the political cadre of the SD party, which can also be confirmed by taking a look at his Facebook profile. From all this, the conclusion followed that the anonymous letter was another failed attempt to undermine the current government, namely by the proud successors of the Communist Party, and the traditional opponents of the Slovenian independence government, the SD party.

We have selected a few of the most controversial posts from Facebook, and everyone can decide for themselves whether the left-wing activist Lampe, who is currently in training to become a mayor, is even suitable for this rank and for such an important role in the Slovenian Army. Given his position, one cannot help but also wonder about what kind of example he sets for his subordinates, and the question also arises as to how his superiors can tolerate this. It is true that many of the former Yugoslav People’s Army officers are now part of the Slovenian Armed Forces, but nevertheless, there are also more patriotic people in key positions, so it is unusual that no one has yet brought attention to the Captain’s actions. Sources in the Slovenian Army told us that political comments and agitation for the left are also something that they cannot avoid at work – when working with Lampe, and we also received several messages from the soldiers who feel hurt and appalled because of this, since they never make their political beliefs public due to correctness and professionalism.

“Restricting government adopting restrictive measures… Instead of installing the mobile application, I suggest removing the government,” the Captain of the Slovenian Army, Jure Lampe, who is also a Social Democrats (SD) supporter, wrote on Facebook. Are these words that a member of the Slovenian Army, who has sworn his allegiance to the country, can afford to write?

Captain Lampe often uses the #enoughJJ (#DovolJJe) hashtag on the social networks, which is one of the slogans often used by the SD party.

Here are some other things Captain Lampe has also written on Facebook:

“My a…, who is he, to run the country with his Twitter profile…” This is what Lampe wrote about Prime Minister Janša. Words that are perfectly appropriate for a man of his rank and position, right?

“I reeeeaaaally feel like cycling today,…” Lampe also called people to join him on the Friday’s anti-government protests.

Given that Captain Lampe was born just before the death of Josip Broz Tito, he certainly does not remember the times he writes so fondly about – because he did not even experience them. But that did not stop him from writing about the so-called Non-Aligned Movement, which was a failed alliance of the less developed dictatorships. He posted a photo of the Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Naser, Ganes Kwame Nkrumah, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Indonesian Ahmed Sukarno and Yugoslavian President Josip Broz Tito, and wrote: “Those were the days.”

However, the population in Yugoslavia was mainly miserable. Socialism, introduced by the Yugoslav communist dictator Josip Broz Tito, did not actually mean that all citizens of Yugoslavia were, in fact, equal or had equal access to basic goods. Long queues for bread, empty shelves in stores, and long queues of vehicles in front of the state border with Italy and Austria still live in the memory of the older generations of Slovenians. The SD party, which is the proud successor of the Communist Party, still misses and honours those times.

Josip Broz Tito was the dictator of an undemocratic regime that violated fundamental human rights and freedoms of individuals, especially the political opponents and critics of the regime. During the second world war and immediately after it, the revenge of the Communists and their murdering of their compatriots came to light. Tito’s regime is responsible for the deaths of about half a million people, who were mostly political opponents of the regime. Their bodies were found in more than 600 execution sites in Slovenia alone. The British Daily Mail also included Tito on their list of the biggest mass murderers in history.

The 9th of May is celebrated in Europe as the day World War II ended. For many countries, which became part of the Eastern bloc – including Slovenia, this is a day that represents further occupation by the communist regime. Slovenia only won its liberation in the war for independence in 1991. However, Captain Lampe worships the 9th of May in his Facebook posts, even though the 45-year tyranny that reigned in Slovenia began on that day.

Janez Stanovnik, a symbol of the former regime, was, among other things, a member of a small group that was informed about the secret preparations for the arrest of Janez Janša. Igor Omerza wrote about this in more detail in his book JBTZ – the Time Before and the Days that followed (in Slovenian: JBTZ – Čas poprej in dnevi pozneje). He also wrote about Stanovnik’s lies – he claimed that he knew nothing about the military document that was found with Janša on Mikro Ada. This happened at the JBTZ hearing of the parliamentary inquiry commission, on the 26th of February 1996. Since Stanovnik had the status of a witness before the commission, this meant that his testimony was false.

Despite all of this, Captain Lampe posted Stanovnik’s photo on his Facebook wall and wrote: “Father of the nation, rest in peace.” Stanovnik was fanatically against an independent Slovenian state, and Zoran Janković built him a statue.

Is Captain Lampe even suitable for his rank and such an important role in the Slovenian Army?
Article 42 of the Slovenian Constitution prohibits professional members of the defence forces and the police from becoming members of political parties. Some believe that this is not in line with the internationally protected right to freedom of assembly and association, but in the Rekvenyi v. Hungary case, the European Court of Justice ruled that the ban on membership in the political parties of the members of the police and defence forces is also enshrined in the Hungarian Constitution, and is therefore not contrary to the said European Convention. Article 16 of the Service in the Slovenian Armed Forces Act also speaks of the principle of prohibition of political activity, and there are also several articles that speak of this in the Defence Act. Among other things, the law stipulates that the Slovenian Armed Forces may not be used for political or party activities or purposes, and that party activities, propaganda or gatherings of parties in military facilities, military commands, units and institutes are also prohibited. But regardless of the laws, the soldiers should follow their own moral code, correctness and professionalism and not make their political beliefs public at all, especially if this means turning against the country they swore their allegiance to.

Sara Kovač

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