Komsic a Croat?: During the mentioned round table discussion the participants touched upon all sorts of things, but the scandalous appearance of Zeljko Komsic, currently the mayor of Novo Sarajevo municipality and the future ambassador of Bosnia-Hercegovina in FR Yugoslavia, deserves a separate analysis.
"I do not have a Croatian passport, but I do have a Bosnian passport," Komsic said among other, and this formulation (especially given everything he said during the round table discussion) left very little doubt that this young politician is extremely proud of the fact.
Of course, this was merely a manipulation. As we found out from the Croatian embassy in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Zeljko Komsic in 1997 submitted a request for Croatian citizenship. However, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Croatia rejected his request with the explanation that Komsic could not prove that as an adult he on any occasion declared himself as a Croat before 1990!? Although Komsic claims that during Tudman's rule Croatian passports were distributed left and right, and people took them only because it was easier to travel with them, he was not among those lucky individuals.
"We sent Komsic's request to Zagreb. After a while we got the official rejection, but the Croatian embassy in Bosnia-Hercegovina had nothing to do with the procedure and the final decision," our source claims.
In spite of this Komsic unscrupulously used his alleged Croat nationality to (mostly due to his ethnicity) forge a brilliant political career. A former fighter of the Army of Bosnia-Hercegovina decorated by the "golden lily", who due to "principles" declined several invitations to assist the HVO with his military knowledge and to join the brigade "King Tvrtko" (within which most Sarajevo Croats fought against the aggressor), he always skillfully picked the winning side. As a member of the victorious SDP, after the local elections in April 2000, he became the mayor of the Novo Sarajevo municipality. When, on the other hand, changes in Bosnian diplomacy took place, he easily found a spot on the list of new ambassadors. Namely, the ruling Alliance for Democratic Changes suffers from a constant deficit of "Croat cadres", so that it is forced to appoint to important state jobs individuals who are more suitable for playing dominos in the local nursing home. In such a situation, young, smart, handsome, and "pro-Bosnian" Croat Zeljko Komsic is an ideal choice for every office.
Scandalous statement: However, let us focus for a bit longer on Komsic's "Croat ethnicity". Of course, he has the right to declare himself for whomever he likes. He also has the right to interpret his ethnicity the way he likes, as a part of his individual identity.
However, when Komsic speaks "on behalf" of (Sarajevo) Croats or even represents them politically, the issue gains in importance. Let us return to a Komsic's scandalous statement: "I accept that the documents should be printed also in Croatian language, but only under condition that I be paid to translate them. We must admit that people who speak Bosnian, Croatian or Serbian, understand perfectly well each other. This stuff is silly".
Simply, it is difficult to believe that an educated person, who cares about any democratic principles, can even think something like this, let alone say it! Democracy and equality are actually hidden in small, superficially insignificant, differences that may be even difficult to spot at first glance. All of us understand the language spoken in Belgrade. However, we wanted to keep the right to say "bijelo" [white] when they say "belo". Croat defenders in attacked Slavonija in 1999 brilliantly expressed this on a placard. This placard, which explained why this war was being waged and the essence of the aggression said: "Osijek will never be Osek"!
Cheap points: The problem of language cannot and must not boil down to the extent we understand others. The reduction of language to the function of mere (street, colloquial) communication, or its utilitarian role, shows, at least, enormous holes in the general culture. Similarly, linguistic differences, differences in the vocabulary and the number of speakers of a certain language are not relevant for consideration of a language as such. There are languages with less than 500 words and no one denies their uniqueness. The act of will of even a single person, his statement that he thinks, writes, or speaks some language is an undeniable proof that such a language exists and that it differs from others. More or less.
Of course, when Komsic made the aforementioned statement, he was not concerned that it would reveal his (insignificant) intellectual capacity. He was trying to score points with "the bazaar". Besides, even the "icon of anti-Croatism" (naturally in HDZ's view), Ivan Lovrenovic with horror wrote about such views related to linguistic (in)equality, that are promoted by Zeljko Komsic or Senka Kurtovic. Zeljko Komsic tried to score cheap political points by rejecting the initiative of the Novo Sarajevo municipal council to assign him an apartment before he moves on to the new (ambassadorial) job. That "soap opera" for weeks filled the pages of local newspapers. Komsic was eulogized as "a person of the day" and "seldom seen example of morality in this region".
Who is stupid enough to decline an offered apartment, the public wondered? Perhaps I'm stupid, but that's how it is... Zeljko Komsic replied. Somehow everyone forgot to check where Zeljko Komsic lives now, to whom that apartment belonged before the war etc. No one managed to publicly mention the (unofficial) information that mayor Komsic is building a beautiful and huge apartment in the district of Grbavica within the so-called additional construction program...
Golden lily: Komsic justified his refusal to accept the offered apartment by the alleged manipulation of the SDA, which supposedly wanted to trap and later blackmail him. Namely, the initiative of the local councilors from Izetbegovic's party was that Komsic be given an apartment (although it is questionable whether anyone can be "given an apartment") as a bearer of the decoration "golden lily", the highest decoration of the Army of Bosnia-Hercegovina. This was supposed to motivate him to work harder on providing apartments and accommodation for other war veterans from the ABH.
By the way, Komsic received "golden lily" for, as is claimed, exceptional achievements in the defense of Bosnia-Hercegovina. However, rumors have it that that decoration (which by the way was distributed left and right during the war) was reserved for this Croat from Sarajevo mostly to prove the "multiethnic character" of the Army of Bosnia-Hercegovina.
Finally, related to the "golden lily", let us add yet another spicy story we have recently learned. Rumor has it that Beriz Belkic, member of the Bosnian presidency, a while ago, also due to his friendship with Komsic, bought with taxpayers funds as many as 60 copies of the book "Golden Lilies" at $30 a book. It is easy to calculate that this set the taxpayers back for as many as $1,300.