Therefore in what damned state do you live if in one day, within the radius of two hundred kilometers [about 120 miles] you at first feel so overwhelmed by emotion as if your heart could jump out through your mouth after passing the death factory in Potocare; watch sad homes covered by nylon sheets in which Bosniak returnees rot; then you eat "Lijanovic" salami with Bosniak returnees and Serb policemen and listen to the guy who needed 200 days to walk through Serb held territory between Potocare and Kladanj; then listen to the father whose sons were not lucky enough to repeat the same feat of endurance; then hug an old lady sad that you're not one of her loved ones, lost in the war? Then you travel 200 kilometers towards your entity nest, passing provincial versions of western bordellos, hotels, discount stores and shopping centers, and no less ridiculous versions of oriental places of worship, mosques, Islamic centers, mesjids... "Wise" and "Interex" are interspersed by prince Salman's Islamic architectural exhibitions magnificent in their ambitiousness and perverse in their lack of consciousness about the state of the state and the nation in whose midst they were installed. During three hours of driving between Potocare and Sarajevo, the sadness (probably one of more noble and moral emotions given to us) melted away, rage died down, compassion turned into blunt apathy and immediately after only a few hours you were just like everyone around you, ministers in expensive cars, religious servants in luxurious apartments; you could almost go that night to the nearby concert of "Elektricni orgasm" [rock band from Serbia] at which you would just like "the whole Yugoslavia" dance rock and roll.
The next morning you ask yourself the question asked by the prince from the start of this story...
The causes of the current tragedy of the Bosniak people, as I saw in Potocare and convinced myself upon the return to Sarajevo, have nothing to do with the Dayton Agreement (neither its letter, nor holy spirit), are not caused by maliciousness and lack of understanding on the part of its neighbors or the international community: the drama of this nation is contained in totally destroyed basis and substance of the morality of that people and the people who lead it. What sort of moral monster has found its place inside Ejup Ganic who, while building a huge house in Sarajevo, goes to eastern Bosnia to stimulate Bosniak returnees to remain on their own land? What sort of monstrous national arithmetic pushes Alija Izetbegovic and Mustafa Ceric to demand the construction of a Memorial Center to slain and slaughtered Bosniaks in Potocare before they do anything to make sure that those who survived Golgotha in Srebrenica have somewhere to return to? Can Edhem Bicakcic face any of those individuals he would like to see under tents in Banja Luka and explain to them with whose money he paid for his hacienda in Semizovac and apartments in Sarajevo? Does Senad Sahinpasic know that KM50, the amount he gave to a soft-drink salesman at the soccer match between Bosnia-Hercegovina and Spain, is enough to feed for a week one of Bosniak families that has returned to his birthplace, Foca? Does Sakib Mahmuljin feel ashamed in front of his dead and surviving soldiers while peeling apples comfortably sitting in an armchair in his house in the Sarajevo district Asikovac? Does the Federation Minister for Industry and Energy Mirsad Salkic, while he repackages expensive shoes in his shoe store "Bata", think about the unfortunate individuals in Bihac who are starving to death in front of TV cameras as a result of a hunger strike? Can Dino Dervishalidovic present unfortunate paraplegic children, instead of with his tapes and posters, with just a bit of the money he earned advising them to go "down the middle" even though most of them cannot walk at all? No one is thinking about anything, no one feels anything, no one cares about anything or is ashamed of anything.
Oh I forget: they were scandalized when Milorad Dodik bought at the Sarajevo Car Fair a car for $100,000-$150,000. That is terrible, therefore, that lack of solidarity with the hungry population of the Republic of Srpska! How ruthless can Ante Jelavic be while he calls on Croats to return to the Sava Valley Region while his hand is adorned by a golden Rolex watch worth enough to build three houses?
Naturally, all of this is mere moralizing of a person for whom it has on several occasions been proven that he does not recognize interests of the Bosniak people, that he makes fun of its spirituality, which he personally lacks. Fine, let's do this, let us try to conduct a small experiment. Slobodna Bosna has donated KM5,000 from its non-existent budget for (partial) construction of a house in Potocari. I call publicly on the following ten public personalities from the Bosniak political, spiritual, religious and artistic establishment to do the same but with a ten times smaller amount. But not from state, party or some other public budget. I call on them to contribute from their own pocket. For starters, let Alija Izetbegovc, as a citizen and Bosniak, Edhem Bicakcic, Ejup Ganic, Mustafa ef. Ceric, Bakir Izetbegovic, Haris Silajdzic, Sulejman Garib, Mirhunisa Komarica, Dino Dervishalidovic, and Senad Sahinspahic donate KM5,000 [about $250] each to the current account number 12200-601-113083 belonging to the construction company "Amos" that will transport the necessary building material to Potocare in the next seven days, because later it may be too late; it is cold and the people will have to figure out how to survive the coming winter. Their KM5,000 would be equal to the amount collected by about 15 poor individuals from Slobodna Bosna for the accommodation of the remnants of the slaughtered nation in Potocare.
Therefore, that would be an excellent start for their moral improvement!
Does all of this sound like a reminder of bad news from the past or an announcement of even worse times in the near future? Both! The name is the Alliance for Changes! Which, if the current situation is an indicator, will in the process of "alignment" with some smaller corrections fill in the new and so far most democratic set of offices in the history of Bosnia-Hercegovina in the way described above. Therefore, all of that under the condition that it is definite and unquestionable that this mishmash made up from two serious political parties (Socialdemocratic party and Party for Bosnia-Hercegovina) and seven-eight tiny parties which failed to draw to their programs in the November 2000 elections even the closest relatives of their leadership (some rough assessments indicate that one of the leaders of the Croatian Peasant Party [HSS] Hrvoje Istuk during thirty years of hard work as a Communist official distributed more apartments to his friends and collaborators then the number of votes received at the November elections - about 500).
But that is how it roughly turns out and it cannot be any different. The process (it is grotesque, a caricature and extremely sad) within which one undemocratic, totalitarian, uncivilized government is brought down with democratic means by people who were under that and such (therefore totalitarian) government persecuted, tortured, and maltreated. The leaders of the Alliance for Changes during ten years of nationalist darkness and madness in this country had to do the toughest jobs which bordered on humiliation. These unfortunate individuals were everything one can imagine: presidents of state (Kresimir Zubak was at the same time president of two such states - Herceg-Bosna and Bosnia-Hercegovina), and presidents of parliaments (Miro Lazovic). There were even worse and more somber examples and jobs. For example the nationalist monsters did not even refrain from punishing some of the opposition leaders with draconian measures such as appointments to the office of Prime Minister or deputy Prime Minister (Silajdzic, Lagumdzija), of member of the Presidency (Kljuic, Komsic), commander of the Army or his deputies (Halilovic, Siber, Lozancic), Police minister (Jusuf Pusina), and various ministers (Jadranko Prlic, Rasim Kadic, Enver Kreso, Nikola Grabovac)... We would need a lot of space to list all those bearers of democratic flourishing gathered around the Alliance for Changes who in the former undemocratic regime were forced to become presidents or ministers in districts or cantons, and were cruelly punished by that regime by being sent to several-years-long exile to various embassies abroad.
Carefully hidden and processed information leaked from daily formal and informal gatherings (there is hardly a restaurant or café in Sarajevo that has been spared of one of these historical snacks) of the leaders of the Democratic Alliance to the public is supposed to suggest that the most important part of the work is already behind them. Several strategic documents have been approved (truly brilliant in conception and daringly sent to the international community without which it does not make any sense to accept any sort of governing post in this country). Also the public has been told that this political corporation is decisive, full of solidarity and united in its intent to banish those who would like to divide Bosnia-Hercegovina based on their nationalist principles and views from all levels of government. That was demonstrated publicly and in practice with two trials in the state and federation parliaments when the representatives of the parties that participate in the Alliance voted all for one, one for all. And what is the problem then? Why is the takeover of power going so slowly and so clumsily? Above all because there is no rational way to convince a lawyer from Doboj, Kresimir Zubak, whose party, the NHI, received half as many votes than ever before, that academician Bozidar Matic, one of most intelligent Bosnians in the last fifty years, is a better solution for the president of the Council of Ministers (Setting aside that Matic's SDP received ten times more votes then Zubak's NHI). Who is going to convince Stjepan Kljuic that nowhere in the world can someone become a president of a state, even if that state is called the Federation Bosnia-Hercegovina, with two to three thousands of votes? Who will, again, and in what way, convince Sefer Halilovic and Ivo Lozancic that the appointment of either one of the two of them for the Defense Minister automatically implies the end of any common denominator of the military components in the Federation? If for example, Hrvoje Istuk, without blinking, was capable of saying that the SDP carries a horrible burden form the past (which is the same as if Stalin accused Gorbachov of being a member f the Communist Party of the USSR!), then it becomes clear that this is serious business and that this is nothing but brazen struggle for power by those who are not capable of living from anything else but from government jobs. What "new concept", what silliness! Gentlemanly move by Haris Silajdzic, who gave up any posts in the future authorities, is one the one hand an indicator of his good upbringing and taste and on the other hand of maturity and responsibility with respect to a historical moment. Unfortunately, those who posses neither are numerous in the Alliance. And what about the SDP? Lagumdzija's party would have to within itself check why the only new "face" offered by the SDP in the last ten years is sixty-years-old academician Bozidar Matic?!