by Branko PERIC
The High Representative was also a target in apparently synchronized campaign. One senior BH official (Rasim Kadic) publicly accused Petritsch of loosing his vision, after being struck "by the virus of possible". According to Kadic, Petritsch is legalizing ethnically divided BH, he is catering to Serb nationalists and Kostunica (instead of strengthening BH institutions), he is tired, he's getting lost in too many projects, paying too much attention to details etc. Of course, every politician in BH has the legitimate right to criticize the High Representative. However, it is a cause for concern that Petritsch has become a target of generalized accusations at the moment he made very grave accusations of the Republic of Srpska, which are very disturbing for the public in Srpska.
The Hague indictment of Milosevic for genocide in Bosnia-Hercegovina is being used as yet another political argument in the attempts to question the legitimacy of Srpska. Milosevic came as crown evidence that Srpska is a criminal construction, based on genocidal policies of Milosevic and Karadzic's coterie.
Messages of this sort are not only coming from politicians of this or that hue. Media previously viewed by the democratic option in Srpska as the chief force in the rebuilding of trust and future of BH have also joined this campaign of total denial. Sarajevo media have even exposed to an ugly attack translator Kolja Micevic, writer Ranko Risojevic, and poet Dusan Trifunovic, people who could never be accused of nationalism. If that is so, is there anyone in Srpska who would be accepted as an interlocutor in Sarajevo? Must every Serb upon arrival in Sarajevo first say "I am a member of a criminal nation", and "we are the aggressors"?
A respected and influential journalist from Sarajevo, referring to a scene from Danis Tanovic's movie "No man's land" wrote recently that "BH is an immobile wounded man lying on top of a landmine called the Republic of Srpska"! This and similar opinions are, of course, legitimate. Every Bosniak has the right to believe that all Serbs are criminals and that all of them must be punished now and keep being punished in the future. Following the same logic, every Serb has the right to his, different opinion. Uneducated individuals have their personal reasons for such an opinion. However, public promotion and favoring of such opinions can have tragic consequences for the future of Bosnia-Hercegovina.
Even if all Serbs were idiots, crazy, destructive, this or that, they are, the way they are, a social and political fact in Bosnia-Hercegovina. If BH is a democratic state, even its demented nation has the right to elect its politicians and these politicians must be recognized as partners without exaggerated emotion. According to the politicians in Sarajevo, who in Srpska can be their partner for the building of joint institution in BH, if they refuse to accept Dodik, Radisic, Ivanic, Banjac, Spiric? How do they imagine multicultural Sarajevo if Kolja Micevic, Ranko Risojevic and Dusko Trifunovic are not welcome there?
It would be good, and perhaps it is high time it happened, that we realize that the wartime tragedy, trauma and wounds undeniably exist in BH and that they are the chief reason why we should try to restrain our impatience regarding political demands and moderate our historical and political criticism. For historically frustrated Serbs, the Republic of Srpska will remain an important symbol even if it were insignificant, but that does not have to be a problem for the logic of common life in a joint state. Why is it necessary to immediately abolish sensitive symbolism of illiterate and uneducated individuals if it is easier to first establish joint rail service, electrical utility company, air traffic, same customs and tax rates, bring back refugees, open the borders, etc. Therefore, given wise politicians, the "virus of possible" can save BH.