Various armies have passed through Bosnia-Hercegovina and many regimes have replaced each other since the last Bosnian queen Katarina Kosaca left the country and left it under the care of the Vatican. At the time, even the Ottoman conquerors, seeing that the people were leaving the country en masse, decided to negotiate with its only representative at the time - with Father Andelo Zvizdovic. The Austro-Hungarian Empire also ruled the Croat people and at that time there were also attempts to erase Croats as a nation from the map of Bosnia-Hercegovina. Fortunately, resistance to such efforts, embodied, among other in the character of Ciro Truhelka, the guardian of Croatian culture and heritage in Bosnia-Hercegovina, prevented those plans. The current events, under the guise of Europeanization and promotion of civic society in Bosnia-Hercegovina are totally unbecoming to that same Europe and the whole international community. The leaders of the international community are today not negotiating with church dignitaries because almost all Croat priests have told them that they stand with the people. And besides in modern societies there should be a separation between religion and government. However, while it suited them they daily flirted with some Bosnian Franciscans. They do not recognize legitimate elected representatives of the Croat people. They seek advice from "Croat intellectuals" and opposition parties. Wanting to prove at all costs that their concept of a "civic" state is the only one possible they are violating basic human rights, such as the right to work, the right to free choice, and are violating the will of the people expressed in democratic elections. They even publicly admit that their decisions violate the Constitution.
But they would not be able to do that if some of us haven't forgotten what they actually are and if power hasn't blinded them. Naturally, these individuals have the right to behave accordingly and no one should have a problem with that. But let them speak on behalf of citizens, rather than on behalf of nations; let them serve the international community as citizens and others, and not, never, as Croats. Some of them, namely Ivan Lovrenovic, say that we have been what we are today for only two or three generations, and that before that we used to be what we should be today. Lovrenovic thereby admits that he does not views himself as a Croat and we should accept that. But we cannot accept the fact that he portrays himself to the international community as a member of the Croat nation. Therefore, Mr. Lovrenovic and those like him should be honest and open towards to the Croat nation, towards themselves and the international community and stop speaking on behalf of the Croat nation.
Unlike the Ottomans, the present international community does not anymore negotiate with the religious or the political leaders of the Croats in Bosnia-Hercegovina. The international officials take into account only what the opposition representatives and certain "intellectuals" say. However, the main source of attacks on the Croatian leadership is unfortunately, in Zagreb, in person of the president of Croatia, Stjepan Mesic. Recently he said to Petritsch to step on Croats because he had had enough of them. That statement, after wartime suffering and death of thousands and thousands of Croat soldiers and civilians cannot be interpreted but as tragic for Croats in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Every president in the world would wish that his people were a constituent nation in another state. Croats are a constituent nation in two states, in Bosnia-Hercegovina and the Republic of Croatia. Mesic does not care at all about that and he does not see any advantage in that. However, he should see with what zeal and persistence European politicians fight for parts of their nations living in other states. Let us add that those politicians can only dream about constituent status of their compatriots in other states. As far as Croats in BH are considered, the issue is not only equality, but also the ancient Croatian land and the homeland that remained such for centuries. With everything mentioned above, Mesic is only offering us whip and sword, and at the same time talks in Dayton about the need for understanding for the new authorities in FR Yugoslavia and patience for the new leadership in that state.
On the other hand, the international community tells us that they do not understand us, that their logic cannot comprehend our obsolete way of thinking, our definition of nation and people. They add that they do not see grounds for opposition to the rule "one person- one vote". They tell us that, while at the same time in Nice, in France, at a European Union summit they are fighting a political struggle for the same principles we are fighting for. Those same principles, consensus, veto and equality, were confirmed in Nice. Europe is strengthening federalism using the principles advocated by us, and they tell us about obsolete ideas. The presidential candidate George W. Bush won the elections in the U.S. although Al Gore had almost 300,000 votes more, and that speaks enough about the principles "one person- one vote". Besides, in which institution that is supposed to protect the interests of one nation or one group, another group has influence on the institution's decisions! We find the example of the "alarm bell" in Belgium instructive. That example allows Walloon representatives in Belgium, elected by the Walloon region, to block with a two-thirds majority any decision harmful to the interests of the Walloon nation.
In Bosnia-Hercegovina, the conflict between two concepts is at work. One concept is a deformed social-democratic project under the auspices of a civic state and the other is ours, and populist. The international community refers to that project as nationalist. Since in Europe and the world, but not anymore in the USA, the social-democrats are in power, it makes sense that they advocate social-democratic ideas, the ideas that can be confirmed in Bosnia-Hercegovina only if nations truly accept them. The populist political parties are slowly returning to the scene in Europe. The most developed regions in Europe are those in which populist forces rule, such as Bavaria in Germany and Catalonia in Spain. Whatever is possible and prosperous in Europe, here is denounced and labeled as return to the past and ghettoization.
Therefore, it is really time for changes, but not for changes desired by the OSCE. The time is to finally take our destiny in our own hands, because we do not want that in our towns and villages tomorrow old women wear black kerchiefs the way they today do in Kraljeva Sutjeska, in memory of the last Bosnian queen who stayed with her people. Because to lose a people is the same as to lose one's home and the country.