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New Croat Initiative
Only 202 Croats With Government Jobs In Sarajevo Canton
Oslobodjenje, Sarajevo, Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina, B-H, February 18, 2002
Out of 7,349 employees of the Cantonal, city, municipal authorities and eight public companies in Sarajevo region, only 202 (or 2.7 percent) are Croats, which clearly indicates to what extent Croats are discriminated against, Vlado Raguz, president of the Cantonal organization of the New Croat Initiative (NHI) warned on Monday during a press conference. Raguz emphasized that these figures are shocking and expressed outrage "because it is believed that there are far more Croats in Sarajevo". Raguz stated that besides him, a deputy president of the Sarajevo Canton, there are only two other Croats on similar positions in the local authorities in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Gradimir Gojer, minister for culture and sport of the Sarajevo Canton, and Darko Ruzic, deputy president of the Sarajevo Council legislature. Raguz warned that during the war and all until 2001 he was the only director of a state-owned company in the Sarajevo Canton (KJKP Pokop), and that after that there are no ethnic Croat directors left. According to the data provided by the Sarajevo Canton, out of 720 employees, only 30 (4.2 percent) are Croats, while the City administration employs 59 persons, 5 of them Croats. The situation in Cantonal public companies is also catastrophic. Thus, for example, in Gras out of 1952 employees 47 are Croats, in Rad out of 1152 employees 20 are Croats, in Vodovod and Kanalizacija [Waterworks and sewage] out of 1952 employees there are only 12 Croats. In Pokop out of 111 employees 11 are Croats, in Sarajevogas out of 213 employees eight are Croats, in Park out of 198 employees there are three Croats, while Markets [Trznice and Pijace] employs 2 Croats, out of 71 employees. The situation with Serb employees is even worse, because there are only 191 of them with government jobs in Sarajevo Canton. "This is not an attack on the Alliance for Changes, because it did not influence employment policies. All of this is a consequence of long-term rule of nationalist parties the HDZ and the SDA. The HDZ's goal was to force all Croats to leave Sarajevo and they did not care whether they had work or not. If we want the return to really become sustainable, we must find jobs for returnees," Raguz says. According to information available to NHI, about 27,000 Croats currently live in the Sarajevo Canton.
BIF case opens hunt on "moles" in AID
Zahiragic Smuggled Top Secret Documents Out Of AID
by Azhar KALAMUJIC
Oslobodjenje, Sarajevo, Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina, B-H, March 28, 2002
While searching the offices of the Bosnian Ideal Future (BIF) and the apartment of its director, former AID [Bosniak secret service] member Munib Zahiragic, on March 21 the Federation BH Police found documents about anti-terrorist operations and information passed at one point by French and American secret services to the AID. In the filing cabinets of the BIF the police discovered some of AID's files on anti-state activities of persons of African or Asian origin, which disappeared during or after the war, Oslobodjenje has learned from reliable sources.
Attack on Radio Repeater
Late last week, the Federation Police submitted a lawsuit against Zahiragic to the Cantonal Prosecutor's Office in Sarajevo charging him with spying. As we have learned, the charges will be extended to include allegations about Zahiragic's involvement in embezzlement in the BIF and his responsibility for the disappearance of the equipment (machinery) from the space used by this organization in Zenica. The same sources indicate that after these discoveries, within the AID a special commission was formed with the goal of determining as soon as possible how top secret documentation was removed from AID's premises. The commission will inform the prosecutor's office about its conclusions. Namely, it is suspected that Zahiragic was assisted by a number of employees of the AID, which, if confirmed, should prompt a series of indictments for spying. Also, in the BIF offices the police found documentation about purchase of an apartment in Sarajevo for the former commander of the Islamic volunteer unit El Mujahedeen Abdulah Mohtari, also known as Abu Meala, who escaped from Bosnia-Hercegovina in 1999 under unclear circumstances, after finding out that western intelligence services had shown interest in his activities. The apartment is located in 32 Muhamed Hadzijahic street. Zahiragic got the apartment from the Cantonal Construction Administration and filed it as his property in the competent municipal court. It seems that Zahiragic was informed about Abu Meali's escape from the country, as he claimed at the time that he was confident that Meali had left the country. The last spying case is only one in the series of controversial events linked to Zahiragic. He started his police career in the Federation BH Police on April 16, 1992, and less than two years later he moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sarajevo. In early August, 1994, he was employed as a security officer for the BH embassy in Kuwait, from where, at the request of the then BH ambassador Naim Kadic, Zahiragic returned to Sarajevo in mid-August of 1996. It was established that in the BH embassy in Kuwait Zahiragic had made unauthorized phone charges of more than $1,800. Immediately after his return to Sarajevo ambassador Kadic sent from Kuwait Zahiragic's performance review to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The review was received on August 18, 1996 and was negative. This was probably the recommendation that prompted his move to the AID on September 13, 1996. At that time Bakir Alispahic had just resigned as the head of the AID under pressure from the American administration, and Kemal Ademovic had been named the new head of the agency. The leaders of the Bosniak intelligence service were not bothered that in early July of 1987 Zahiragic was condemned for planning of terrorist attacks and sentenced to a five-year prison term. Participants in the pre-war investigation of Zahiragic's activities claim that he advocated destruction of the radio repeater on Bukovic above Sarajevo, but to this date are not able to explain his motivation for these activities, which were officially condemned as anti-state terrorism. It is obvious that after the first democratic elections, the Bosniak authorities and the new leadership of the sate security service interpreted Zahiragic's activities as a progressive act against the Communist dictatorship, while the investigation of the then Bosnian security service was dismissed as fabricated. In late 1997 Zahiragic was rewarded for exemplary service for the AID with an engraved wrist watch. Three years later, on June 3, 2000, Zahiragic resigned and left the AID. In the series of events related to his intelligence service career, Zahiragic's 15-day stay in Azerbaijan draws attention. As an active AID agent, according to the Police, Zahiragic was in Azerbaijan between September 1 and 15 together with Enam Arnaut, Bosnian director of the Benevolentia International Foundation, which was later transformed into Bosnian Ideal Futura. Their final destination was Chechnya.
In a report filed after this journey Zahiragic admitted that he had been to Azerbaijan but failed to mention that Enam Arnaut was his company. Only after his return to Sarajevo he allegedly showed to his colleagues photos with a Turk who, according to Zahiragic, was on the top-wanted list of the Turkish authorities. First results of the investigation into BIF's activities and information about earlier work of Munib Zahiragic for the AID indicate a start of a new scandal in the Bosniak intelligence service where, according to knowledgeable sources, even today there were "political" employees who are loyal to the former leadership of the agency. Judging by what has been found in the BIF offices, Zahiragic played an important role in the chain of persons responsible for the receiving and "coverage" of persons from Africa and Asia and their property in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Knowledgeable sources claim that Zahiragic's motivation in this work was purely financial and had nothing to do with ideology.
Noose Around Neck
by Ibrahim PROHIC
Oslobodjenje, Sarajevo, Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina, B-H, February 18, 2002
After Milosevic's appearance at the beginning of the trial, London Guardian published an article under headline "Eerie day in the Hague" ["I'm being crucified says Milosevic in four hour diatribe to court", by Ian Black, Guardian, February 15, 2002]. The article states that the world has for the first time had a chance to feel the full force of Milosevic's rhetoric, which Serbs had soaked up from state-controlled media every evening for ten years or even longer. The question whether the Hague Tribunal is a legal or political court has been raised many times. There can be no doubt that the trial in front of the Tribunal (and everything that preceded it) has a forceful psychological undercurrent. Slobodan Milosevic, to whom the court has given more space in the main role than was necessary, confirms that. We are watching a classic psychological play, we are listening to illusions, deceptions or conscious lies, constructions verging on paranoia, we are observing a laboratory in front of the world public in which masterful manipulation is being demonstrated. "Brain washing", i.e. washing of consciousness, as theoreticians of marketing and propaganda would say. A fabulously exploited chance. Unfortunately for Milosevic, the situation will significantly change once constructions face facts and evidence. The Hague grotesque will show that Milosevic is nothing but a fake comedian who had previously orchestrated a bloody tragedy in three acts (Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Kosovo). If the statute of the Tribunal permitted, he would probably be sentenced to 300 years in prison. Milosevic is not politically significantanymore, but his appearance in the Hague is nevertheless harmful. Harmful for Serbs. His lies are affecting those whose mind has been imprisoned by ten-years-long political indoctrination (nationalism). His "testimony" strengthens their delusions and prevents catharsis that would make them realize that they had been deceived. I am talking about traditional Serb inclination towards mythical mode of thought (collective unconsciousness). Supporting the arrest of Karadzic and Mladic, Milorad Dodk says: "It is typical for Serbs to turn losers into mythical heroes". Zoran Djindjic warns that Milosevic (in his attempt to defend himself) offers collective guilt (he offers Serbs and Yugoslavia, i.e. Serbia). Djindjic and Dodik agree: "Our fate must not depend on him". The Serb people, Djindjic says, does not want a noose around its neck any more. Will they finally understands that in Banja Luka, and how much time will be needed for that release of the manufactured mythical mentality to become dominant? It is a long journey. One should get going as soon as possible.
Today and Here
Serb Side Of War
by Gojko BERIC
Oslobodjenje, Sarajevo, Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina, B-H, February 14, 2002
Life somehow always makes sure that justice wins in the end. The beginning of the wartime career of Slobodan Milosevic was marked by tanks covered by flowers and martyr cities - Dubrovnik and Vukovar. Then Sarajevo was punished by a four-years-long siege. Murders of civilians in front of doors of their houses, deportations to concentration camps, mass executions and thorough persecution of non-Serb population was crowned by the massacre of eight thousand Bosniaks in Srebrenica. The last turn off of the bloody path led to Kosovo, the place of rise and precipitous fall of the uncrowned king of "all Serbs". And so, two days ago, the world saw that monster sitting in the courtroom of the Hague Tribunal and with clear boredom listen to the indictment read by the "Serb-phobic witch", Carla Del Ponte. The trial of Milosevic has been described by many observers as a historic trial. But history is at times ridiculous. Milosevic sees himself as a victim of an imperialist conspiracy and, as he announced, he will defend himself "addressing the international public and fighting for the truth". What if the trial turns into an endless charade, where even psychiatrists would be unable to help? Accused of worst crimes, Milosevic believes that it is in his interest to turn the trial into an overlong comedy, and lawyers can only stand in the way. Journalists who visited the Scheveningen prison immediately before the trial claims that Milosevic stays fit exercising in the prison gym, while he likes listening in his cell to Sinatra's "My way". His madness is not without logic. Ever since the sanctions imposed against Serbia, Milosevic responded to all accusations with one and only motto: "The truth always wins in the end!" By deciding to be his own lawyer in the Hague he actually remains consistent, because in all questions, of war and peace, at least as far as Serbs are concerned, he made all decisions on his own. Good old Frank's "My way" is sort of like the Bosniak folk song sang by the Moric brothers on the way to their execution. Nevertheless, Milosevic's personal fate is not of great importance at this point. Much more is at stake. Namely, the Hague is writing the official history of the past decade in the Balkans in which the chief and shameful chapter belongs to Serbs. Milorad Ekmecic and Vasilije Krestic can interpret Milosevic's thirteen-years-long rule any way they like, but the moment the Balkan butcher receives a final verdict, that will become the official version of a state policy, the only version that will be recognized by relevant international institutions. Milosevic did not happen by chance to Serbs, nor did he come from somewhere. He is an absolute reflection of the Serb mentality, a fatal mixture of epic mythology, historical frustration and political neglect. Milosevic and his men were elected in democratic elections, and received a mandate to lead the state. They were the state. The state was a machinery of several hundreds of thousands of people in the military, police, economy, banks and criminal underworld. Milosevic did not fire tank grenades, he did not personally lead slaughter squads, he did not burn people alive in Bosnian houses, he did not shoot at Sarajevo. For all of that he needed regiments of murderers, arsonists and criminals recruited to create "Greater Serbia". I know that the overwhelming majority of that scum will never be punished for their crimes, nor will they ever repent for them, but history will not forget about them. They marked Milosevic's state with their crimes, just like Nazis marked Hitler's Germany. Serbs usually murder their rulers with an axe, while they sold the last one for a handful of dollars and sent him to the Hague. Millions who euphorically celebrated him, with war trumpets and drums, in Gazimestan, dwindled to several thousands of supporters who recently organized a rally in Belgrade. All others forgot about him. "Milosevic has received the worst possible punishment in Serbia - indifference," writes Belgrade daily newspaper Politika, one of the biggest strongholds of Milosevic's regime in the past. However, this is not indifference, but deliberate collective avoidance of the unpleasant truth. Asked by a CNN reported whether the Hague is judging Milosevic or Serbs who voted for him, Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic responded by saying that "Serbs did not know what was going on due to the media blockade". Although he knows that that is not true, Djindjic calmly tried to fool the American journalist. But, what is to be done, that's how most Serbs view their side of the war. The bulldozer revolution has changed the authorities in Serbia, but the mental foundation of the current rulers is the same as of that that served Slobodan Milosevic.
Translated on September 5, 2003