by Tarik SADOVIC
It is undeniable that without international political and military action the fragile Bosnian state would fall apart. If it weren't for their generous assistance, our life would be miserable. We still desperately need financial assistance for the continuation of the started reforms. Assistance for the democratization of Bosnia-Hercegovina and establishment of standards of modern and successful states of the West is precious. To ignore this would be ungrateful and highly insolent. But Bosnia-Hercegovina is in Europe, even though Europe may view it as a poor cousin that is a source of embarrassment. The civilized "old lady" cannot renounce her cousin despite everything.
Changes that have taken place, first in Croatia and then in Serbia, where they were crucially assisted by the American money, sent the signal that it was time to create a similar scenario and try to do something similar in Bosnia-Hercegovina. In the neighborhood, political parties and leaders who were deeply involved in the bloody Bosnian drama have been ousted from power. They were replaced by moderate national[ist] leaders, both according to their own declarations and the opinion of the West. Unfortunately, that method cannot be applied in Bosnia-Hercegovina, because, among other, she is a multi-national state with unfinished (and impossible) state organization. Due to the lack of readiness to determine what is the true measure of national interests and what should be mechanisms for their protection, in the time of still present painful memories of wartime suffering and persecution on the ethnic and religious basis, the international representatives have decided to give open and exaggerated advantage to the Bosnian social-democrats. Our social-democracy is still far from the European social-democracy and unlike it, it has to resolve sensitive ethnic issues within.
Results of the November elections openly brought into questions international policy with respect to Bosnia-Hercegovina. Only the Bosniak nation distributed its votes between national and "anational" parties, unlike the Serb and Croat nations, which did not have similar doubts. In their case everyone is national: socialists, and social-democrats, radicals and liberals, populists and civics, left, right and center. According to some, the Bosniaks have demonstrated their political maturity, and according to others, their naivete. The realization that exactly they are the victims and guinea pigs for experiments of local and international political scientists is now speedily taking hold among Bosniak politicians and voters. The Bosniak man already says "enough!" But he says that inwardly, because he is ashamed to say it openly. That is why it is good to remind him of a political slogan displayed on posters all over Sarajevo. Double standards of the international community towards leading political parties have become indecently obvious and irritating, even for the ordinary people. The established communist practice in resolving ethnic problems was to each time punish all three ethnic groups, even if only one deserved punishment. If a Serb was to be punished, a similar punishment had to be meted out to a Croat and a Bosniak as well, for the sake of symmetry and ethnic balance, even if the guilt of the latter two had to be fabricated. The HDZ referendum was a total humiliation for the international community, but Barry's "death sentence" never made it to the defiant leaders. Instead, the punishment affected lower ranking politicians. It was confirmed that he found it easier to banish one of the most prominent SDA candidates, a distinguished surgeon and reputable individual such as Abdulah Nakas, than for example the image of St. Sava from numerous city halls in the Republic of Srpska, even though his rules require secular atmosphere at the meetings. A sane individual cannot but be astounded by the news that the Sarajevo canton, which contributes 14 representatives to the Federation Chamber of Nations, is supposed to select 4 Bosniaks, three Croats and 7 representatives from the ranks of others. It turns out that Sarajevo is the capital city of "others".
Barry compensates for the impotence of his organization and his bad policy by meting out punishments where he can, in the parts where Bosniaks are in majority. Historically, exactly Bosniaks have a lot of experience with the democratic principle "follow the orders". Who could have thought that that was how they were going to demonstrate western democracy and even try to force us to believe in their demonstration.
"The time for changes" really comes at a bad time.