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Commentary

Two Anniversaries, Two Legacies -- Which Will Bosnia Choose?

A cemetery for those who died in the siege of Sarajevo, built on a football pitch in front of the Zetra Olympic hall in Sarajevo (file photo)
A cemetery for those who died in the siege of Sarajevo, built on a football pitch in front of the Zetra Olympic hall in Sarajevo (file photo)
By Gordana Knezevic
In Sarajevo, February is not the shortest month. At least it doesn't seem that way. There are simply too many anniversaries to honor, mourn, or celebrate.

It's been 25 years since the 1984 Winter Olympics, when for a fleeting moment the entire city was transformed into the world's sports capital. That February, every citizen of Sarajevo seemingly believed he or she had personally contributed to each medal won in the giant slalom, bobsled, or ski jump, or simply felt immeasurable pride at being a perfect host.

Eight years later, Sarajevo was back in the world's headlines when it was attacked by Serbian artillery forces. One of the worst massacres of the war that ensued took place on February 5, 1994, when a single shell killed more than 60 people and severely wounded 200 more in what came to be known as the Markale market massacre. February 5 was declared a day of remembrance for victims of the war, including 12,000 Sarajevans, many of whom are buried at former Olympic sites hastily converted to graveyards during the conflict.

The defense of Sarajevo was heroic. People of different ethnic backgrounds fought side by side to protect their right to live together -- only to see their country divided, once the war was over, into an ethnically identified Serb Republic (Republika Srpska) and a Muslim-Croat Federation.

Undoing Dayton?

The U.S.-brokered Dayton peace agreement in 1995 was praised for forcing all sides to the table to end nearly 3 1/2 years of fighting. But it was a shotgun wedding that failed to deliver the constitutional framework needed for Bosnia's future.

A Sarajevan family mourns a victim of the city's February 1994 marketplace massacre. The shelling, which killed 68 people, did not discriminate between Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats.
One of Dayton's legacies is the Office of the High Representative, an international post established to supervise the postwar normalization. Since December 1995, the world has sent six of its most prominent diplomats to babysit the fragile Bosnian peace. The post came with almost unlimited powers. But each time, the high representative left Bosnia frustrated at his inability to move the country forward, toward real stability.

The latest such case is High Representative Miroslav Lajcak, who is leaving in favor of a post as Slovak foreign minister. Lajcak signaled his intention to leave in late January; his successor has yet to be named. Local political leaders, reasoning that Lajcak is unlikely to use his final weeks in office to play disciplinarian, have seized on this window of opportunity, using the current power vacuum to propose that Bosnia be divided into four separate regions.

Despite the locals' protestations that the plan would create "sustainable economic units," this is hardly regionalism as it is understood in Europe. Rather, it is a throwback to the early 1990s, when Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic presented a scheme to divide Bosnia into four cantons -- one Serb, one Croat, and one Muslim, with Sarajevo thrown in as a separate entity to convince the international community the division was truly administrative in nature, and not a split along ethnic lines.

In the months leading up to the war, the leaders of Bosnia's three national parties secretly drew and redrew the maps in an attempt to formalize Karadzic's proposal. Many of those maps ended up in the dustbin; but psychologically they laid the groundwork for the ethnic cleansing that followed.

Old Goals

Once again, the maps are being privately redrawn. History does not repeat itself, and the current four-unit proposal does not mean Bosnia is once again teetering on the brink of war. If anything, the leaders of the three major national parties believe the time has come to achieve their wartime goals -- albeit through peaceful means.

Even Dayton, the treaty that brought peace to Bosnia, has become a weapon in the mounting tensions. It has been nearly 14 years since the ink dried in Paris, but Bosnia's national leaders have yet to comply with one of its basic demands -- that they sit together and produce an official constitution. Without that step, Bosnia cannot move ahead on European integration or NATO membership.

But attempts to introduce a new constitution have failed repeatedly. When a preliminary document was finally cobbled together in 2007, Haris Silajdzic, the Bosniak member of the country's tripartite presidency, blocked the deal, saying it didn't go far enough. In truth, he has called for the dissolution of Republika Srpska, and has no inherent interest in carrying out Dayton to the letter. (Silajdzic was one of the key Bosniak negotiators in the Dayton talks but is now its chief critic inside the Muslim-Croat Federation.)

What has been completely lost in Bosnia is a sense of reality. Each ethnic group clings to its own narrative of the recent past.
Similarly, Milorad Dodik, the prime minister of Republika Srpska, have no personal stake in seeing a constitution approved. Officials in Banja Luka, the capital of Republika Srpska, are pushing for secession from the Muslim-Croat Federation, and have traditionally refused to countenance the three-party negotiations prescribed by Dayton.

Dodik has hired an American law firm to advise his government on any further negotiations with the international community and on other legal issues. As Russia's money and Belgrade's influence in the region grow, Dodik is increasingly flexing his muscles. He is ready to use any legal loophole or marketing trick to block constitutional changes.

In Dodik's view, the future of Republika Srpska is safe -- it is Bosnia that will not last. His arrogance is not simply poor manners. It is an intentional jibe meant to annoy his political partners and force Muslim and Croat leaders to ask for an ethnic "divorce" -- a division of the country along ethnic lines.

New Element

To add to the turmoil, the religious head of Bosnia's Islamic community, Mustafa Ceric, last week defended the country's Wahabbist movement during Friday prayers. He rejected any division between "old" and "new" Muslims, invoking specters of "Islamophobia" and "genocide" that haunt all of Bosnia's Muslims.

The appearance of religion in an already tumultuous ethnic debate is a bad sign. And as long as politicians hold the people of Bosnia hostage to their ethnic or religious identities, no one will be asking the questions that really matter: Why are more than 40 percent of Bosnians unemployed? What is the average salary still below $600? What has happened to the millions of dollars and foreign aid that has poured into the country since the end of the war? Why have reforms aimed at European integration not been introduced?

What has been completely lost in Bosnia is a sense of reality. Each ethnic group clings to its own narrative of the recent past. Most Muslims consider Republika Srpska an entity created through genocide. Many inhabitants of Republika Srpska, meanwhile, deny that events like the Markale massacre ever happened.

Nationalism in Bosnia is a strong drug that keeps the country deeply divided.

Independent voices are not being heard.

Where is the global city of Sarajevo that hosted the Olympic Games?

Gordana Knezevic is director of RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Services. The views expressed in this commentary are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of RFE/RL.
Video
Sarajevo's Brightest Days

For a fleeting moment 25 years ago, the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo transformed the city into the international sporting capital of the world.  Just a few years later, the region would be engulfed in war and Sarajevo would never be the same. Video courtesy of TV Liberty. Play


Gordana Knezevic

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by: Commentator
February 11, 2009 18:30
The global city of Sarajevo is not "global" any more. Maybe RFE can specify the number of Serbs and Croats living in Sarajevo today vs. number that lived before the war. Wast difference and no sign of "multiethnic" Sarajevo! Bosnia follows the doomed destiny of the former Yugoslavia and proves that "another smaller Yugoslavia" is not feasible anymore in the Balkans.

by: Bosanac
February 11, 2009 19:53
Part 1<br /><br />Oh my little friend &quot;the so called Commentator&quot;, you are so wrong when you say Bosnia will share the faith of the Former Yugoslavia. I will say in 20-30 years Bosnia-Herzegovina will be the national state of Bosniaks and others just as Croatia is the national state of Croats and others and Serbia the national state of Serbs and others. Croats and Serbs are making this possible by the way they view Bosnia. Education my friend is the key.<br /><br />The concept of the national state is essentially tied to demography, to population figures. The demographic factor will play a decisive role also in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where twenty years from now the numbers will tell whether we are dealing with a tri-national or a bi-national or a mono-national state. It is useful, therefore, to look at the Bosnian population censuses up to 1991, which made it - in practice as well as theoretically - a multi-national state. The fact is that during the previous century and a half, no national group had formed a majority in Bosnia-Herzegovina.<br /><br />The census of 1865 thus records the population as 46.3 per cent Orthodox, 30.7 per cent Muslim and 22.7 per cent Catholic. The numbers for 1895 are 42.7 per cent Orthodox, 36.9 per cent Muslim and 19.9 per cent Catholic. Similar proportions are produced also by the censuses carried under Austria-Hungary: the last, conducted in 1910, showed 43.5 per cent Orthodox, 32.2 per cent Muslim and 23.3 per cent Catholic. A relative Orthodox majority is recorded also in the censuses conducted between the two world wars (in 1921 and in 1931), and in the immediate post-war period (1948, 1951 and 1961). The census of 1971, however, for the first time showed a relative Muslim majority: 39.6 per cent Muslim, 32.7 per cent [Orthodox] Serb and 20.6 per cent [Catholic] Croat. The census of 1991 indicated a growing Muslim preponderance: 43.7 per cent Muslim/Bosniak, 31.2 per cent Serb, 17.4 per cent Croat.<br /><br />But today, for the first time in a century and a half, we do have an absolute majority of one group. This fact is as important a historical event for Bosnia-Herzegovina as were the above-mentioned data from the past. According to a projection by the Statistical Agency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the country has 3, 447, 156 inhabitants, 64.2 per cent of whom live in the Federation, 33.8 per cent in RS and 2 per cent in the district of Brcko. If one accepts the Catholic Church’s optimistic estimate of there being 450,000 Croats or 12-13 per cent of the total, and given that the number of Serbs cannot be more than 1,150,000 or 32-3 per cent of the total, this leaves 1,850,000 Bosniaks or 53-4 per cent of the total. The Statistical Agency has produced an even more alarming datum, which is that the average age of the population in RS is 3.8 years higher than in the Federation, due largely to the emigration of young people from RS to Serbia. This trend will ensure that the number of Bosniaks will grow faster in the future than that of the Croats or Serbs, and that the trend will accelerate as the percentage difference becomes larger.<br /><br />If one adds to this observation the Bosniaks’ strategically advantageous geopolitical distribution that prevents the break-up of Bosnia-Herzegovina; reports by the statistical offices in RS and the Federation, which show a persistent annual decline of the birth-rate in RS and a simultaneous rise in the Federation (with the Croat areas also in decline); and the constant emigration of Croats and Serbs from the rural areas to respectively Croatia and Serbia - and if one takes into account also the growing influx into Sarajevo of Bosniaks from the Sandžak - then it becomes highly likely that Bosniaks will achieve a two-thirds majority, or 67 per cent of the total, in about twenty years time. In other words, this could happen in around 2028, which is not far ahead

by: Mike Thoms from: Toronto
February 11, 2009 19:54
The writer states that &quot;each group clings to its own narrative of the recent past.&quot; That makes perfect sense as each ethnic group in the former Yugoslavia did exactly the same and the West happliy supported its dismemberment. Bosnia is little more than a mini-Yugoslavia and the Serbs and Croats naturally align themselves with their Serb and Croat bretheren across the border. To simply label a leader &quot;nationalist&quot; is to ignore the reality on the ground and that is that the vast majority of Serbs and Croats are just that, Serbs and Croats - not Bosnians. In the Middle East, no jew is allowed to live in the West Bank. He's considered a criminal and the West supports this partition. So why not accept the same reality in Bosnia and support a peaceful partition. It's what about 50% of the population what.

by: Bosanac
February 11, 2009 19:56
Part II<br /><br />As a Bosniak, I know that Bosnia survived the last war - and that its existence is now unquestionable - for various reasons, geopolitical ones in particular. I am aware that the internal structure of the Dayton state could be a threat only in the event of RS secession, but that since such secession is impossible, the we can enjoy both the comfort and the time in which slowly to build up our two-thirds majority. We also know that the only true guarantee for the preservation of Croat and Serb national interests is their birthrate and their prosperity, while their struggle to achieve legal-constitutional detachment has been a wrong strategy. The proof of this is Kosovo, ruled by the Serbs for the past ninety years but which nevertheless became fully Albanian in both the formal and the demographic sense.<br /><br />Viewed from this perspective, the Serb concentration on preserving RS competencies and the Croat preoccupation with the creation of a third entity are an absolute waste of time, a wrong strategy that will recoil on them like a boomerang when the Bosniaks’ two-thirds majority becomes established in 2028. It will then become even more difficult to divide Bosnia. For if Karadzic failed to achieve this in the lunacy of 1993-5, and Krajisnik and Poplasen in the crazy postwar years, if even Dodik failed to achieve this after Kosovo’s independence, then there is no possibility that it could be done twenty years from now, in a country in which the Bosniaks will form 67 per cent of the population. The existence of RS will mean very little to the Serbs when they become a negligible percentage of the population, just as the ‘Turkish paragraph’ of Mehmet Spaho’s times would have meant nothing to the Bosniaks in 1991, at the time of the referendum on independence, if they had formed only 20 per cent and the Serbs, say, 57 per cent of the total population. Had the Serbs grown by ten per cent between 1910 and 1991, there would have been no referendum on Bosnia-Herzegovina’s independence in 1992, but rather a referendum on its adhesion to Serbia. The numbers proved more important to the Bosniaks than the ‘Turkish paragraph’, which was later erased.<br /><br />Serb belief in the eternal protection of RS competencies is a mistake, because Serbs are leaving for Serbia. Reasoning in this way, the Bosniaks will enjoy multiple and long-term profit from the existence of Republika Srpska, because Karadzic’s incomplete project (which could be completed only through secession) will help them achieve a two-thirds majority in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And when they do gain that majority, they will conduct a six-month campaign with the aim of having 500,000 Bosniaks register their identity cards in RS, after which they will perfectly legally elect a government there, appoint a new prime minister, and with a parliamentary majority decide the future of RS. Those with a favourable birthrate do not need to take up the gun. It is a Serb mistake to believe that what matters is ethnic separation, or the fact that RS is now 90 per cent Serb. This might play a role in the event of secession, but since secession is impossible without catastrophic effects on the Bosnian Serbs in particular, it is quite unimportant who lives where and who dominates ethnically which place. The Serbs themselves, indeed, are living proof of having survived as a distinct people for centuries under the Turks without having any powers. During the past twenty years of struggle for competencies, on the other hand, they have been disappearing from their centuries-old habitats in Croatia, Kosovo and now also Bosnia-Herzegovina.<br />

by: Bosanac
February 11, 2009 20:07
Part III<br />After the first few years following the end of the war, the current Bosniak policy understood this historical process and embraced it as its guiding idea. From the perspective of a people that during the last war was fighting to preserve crumbs of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Bosniaks are now being offered the incredible perspective of making Bosnia-Herzegovina a national Bosniak state. This has become an inspiration for the Bosniak nationalist circles which are defining the Bosniak project in the twenty-first century. Realizing that Sarajevo is the foundation-stone of multi-ethnic Bosnia, and that the idea of ethnic pluralism lives or dies in Sarajevo, they have busied themselves with ‘killing’ the multi-ethnic idea at its very source in Sarajevo itself. Utilizing the truly perverse policies of the Serbs and the Croats, who are giving up on Sarajevo, the city’s gradual radicalization and islamicization has now come to the fore, evident in education, in architecture, in the media, in the absence of other national groups in the administration. As a result an increasing number of those non-Bosniaks who remained in Sarajevo during the war now wish, thirteen years after its conclusion, to move away, to go to places with a Serb or a Croat majority. According to prominent Sarajevo citizens, the city was far more cosmopolitan during the war than it is today.<br /><br />There is little doubt, however, that Sarajevo is for the Serbs of strategic importance, given that the eastern part of RS can relate only to Sarajevo or Serbia. There is no third option. If the thirty- odd municipalities in the rural areas of eastern RS that are economically its suburbs reject Sarajevo, and then Tuzla and Mostar too, their economic collapse is inevitable. There is not even a theoretical possibility that the eastern part of RS could develop without the Federation, as the map makes clear. Without its full integration into the Federation, let me repeat, eastern RS, which does not form a sustainable economic region on its own, stands no chance of economic development, regardless of desire and effort. Even the alleged hydro-electric potential of this area is a great illusion, since the erection of a hydroelectric plant would lead to a centralisation of capital and bureaucracy in Banja Luka, accompanied by a further emigration of the local population. A proof of this is the Visegrad hydroelectric plant, which has led to the economic devastation of Visegrad and its area, the population of which continues to leave for Serbia.<br /><br />The Banja Luka region, on the other hand, is able to develop, not because RS acts as a state but because it is a natural economic area. RS is currently reduced, in fact, to administering the business of the Banja Luka economic area. The area itself does profit from this to some extent. On the other side, however, in the east, the hard entity border is in practice inimical to Serb national interests, because it prevents the region’s economic development and leads, in the last instance, to the creation of ‘many mountains and valleys without shepherds or sheep’. And, as the proverb says, ‘the mountain belongs to those who own the sheep’.<br /><br />The merry-go-round of decline on which the RS political elite has embarked is the assumption that RS can develop economically without a European road for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Bosnia-Herzegovina’s integration into the European Union is impossible without a transfer of authority from the entities to the state - yet the RS elite defends the entity’s powers at all costs. As a result, the population is promised the fulfillment of two diametrically opposite goals: preservation of RS powers on the one hand, economic development on the other. Since one of the two must fail, the present government has opted for the former, and is using television and its other controlled media to fan the illusion that RS is flourishing economically and that its people are living well.<br />

by: bosanac
February 11, 2009 20:12
Part IV<br />Something similar is true also for the Croats. Without an orientation towards Sarajevo, there is no possibility that a largely rural and sparsely populated Herzegovina can retain its young, bright and talented people. They will be gobbled up by Zagreb.<br /><br />Sarajevo is a world brand, famous for Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination, the Winter Olympic Games, and the recent long siege. This world brand has been attracting successful Bosniaks from all over the world, who are coming back to live in Bosnia. Serbs and Croats could do likewise, if only they wished to.<br /><br />Croat and especially Serb politicians treat as traitors those of their peoples who see their future in Sarajevo and other Bosnian places, while hailing as patriots those who make their way to Serbia or Croatia, when in fact the opposite should be the case. The Bosniak side, by contrast, appears far more committed to its people returning to RS, for example by promoting ‘Drina patriotism’ among the Bosniaks. Serb politicians meanwhile scornfully denigrate any idea of strengthening the Serb presence in Sarajevo and other ‘age-old Serb hearths’.<br /><br />The departure of so many young Serbs and Croats for Serbia and Croatia respectively leads to a decline in Serb and Croat birthrates, which can only aid the creation of a two-thirds Bosniak majority in the country. According to the statistical offices of the two entities, during the last five years alone (2003-7, ) in RS the number of deaths surpassed the number of births by 15,100, while in the Federation 18,000 more people were born than died. Since we know that Croat areas within the Federation also have a negative demographic trend, any growth in the Federation’s population favours the Bosniaks still further. If we put these two figures together, during the past five years the gap between Bosniaks and Serbs grew by 33,000 or 2 per cent in favour of the former, due solely to the birthrate. (What this means can be illustrated by the fact that most municipalities in eastern RS have around 10,000 inhabitants.) If one adds to this the fact that at least twice as many people have left Bosnia-Herzegovina (in the absence of relevant research, this estimate is buttressed by the tens of thousands of Serbs with RS identity card who have been living in Serbia for the past five, ten or more years), or on the other hand have arrived in Sarajevo from the Sandzak then we can conclude that we are dealing with weighty percentages.<br /><br />What is happening can be summed up in a single sentence: This is logical, because more Serbs and Croats than Bosniaks leave this country with its low living standards, which in any case they do not love, and since they have another state to which they can easily move, so that they lose the endurance and persistence needed for staying on - unlike the Bosniaks, who may also have living problems but who, not having a reserve state and also loving this one, retain the ability to endure the hardship.<br /><br />The aim of this policy to destroy Sarajevo’s strong civic tradition, which retains strong support among its citizens, and to encourage further the already misguided Serb and Croat policy towards Sarajevo, hoping that it will become even more radical and move even further from an understanding that the Serbs and the Croats cannot survive in Bosnia without Sarajevo. It is not important that Bosnia will fall behind on the road to modernization, because the harder life is in Bosnia the faster will the project of a two-thirds majority be realized, since Croats and Serbs will simply move to Croatia and Serbia. In this historical perspective, twenty or thirty years signify little when it comes to the one thousand years of Bosnia’s history; and a degree of economic decline of the country is a worthwhile price to pay for the realization of our creation of a national Bosniak state in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

by: Jim Cohn from: Vienna, VA
February 11, 2009 20:13
When was the last time, in history, that Bosnia was an actual functioning independent country? It NEVER WAS, IT WILL NEVER BE. Bosnia was never a country, it’s just arbitrary area where southern Slavic people of different backgrounds were forced to live in. <br />We need to put an end to this charade. It’s been a long time and everyone in his right mind already knows that Bosnia is a failed state. We should stop subsidizing a failed idea. You cannot, for long, forcibly glue together people of various religious and ethnic backgrounds if they truly do not to live together as one country. Look what happened to the Soviet Union, glued together for a failed purpose and idea. It eventually collapsed. <br />Let Serbs, Bosnians and Croats decide their own fate and decide to which country they’d like to belong. No one can inject “love of Bosnia” into hearts of these people. Stop wasting my money on a failed state. Let Serbs go their way, either an independent republic or join Serbia proper. Same with Croatians. Bosnians can, surely, have their own country as well. <br />After this divorce, all of these people might one day come to realize that borders don’t matter no more because they’re part of EU. But, for now, this is impossible to achieve. <br />Same is true with Kosovo/Serbia and Karabakh/Azerbaijan. Kosovo had to go its way, so will Karabakh. Karabakhis and Azerbaijanis have nothing in common. Let people decide their own fate, stop dictating who should report to whom.

by: abdulmajid
February 12, 2009 10:43
&quot;A country defeated in a bitter war and divested of half its territory loses its drive and spirit and suffers a shock which is communicated to all its people. For generations its citizens brood over what has happened, preoccupied with the past and dreaming of a miraculous change - until time brings apathy, OR A REVERSAL OF HISTORY.&quot; (Ward Moore, Bring the Jubilee) This also applies to Bosnia-Herzegovina today.<br />Yet, there is a thin shred of hope. Some young Bosnians of different ethnic and religious backgrounds show that they are more ready to accept the other than their parents. Quite a few of the destroyed places of worship and historical landmarks (such as the old city of Mostar, traditional houses and the mosques in Stolac, Brcko and other places) have ben lovingly rebuilt, with great attention to authenticity and detail They would not just do that for the heck of it? Yet, if that will be enough remains to be seen (see the report by Peter Lippman on the current situation in Bosnia under www.glypx.com/BalkanWitness/journal.htm <br />ANd what Bosnac says is true. See the articles by Bojan Bajic: &quot;In favour of a new Serb policy for Bosnia-Herzegovina&quot; and &quot;The Bosniaks’ Bosnia Policy&quot; published in &quot;Dani&quot; and also under http://www.bosnia.org.uk/news/news_list.cfm<br />to see what I mean.<br />So the Bosniak side stands everything to gain. The Cetnik side stands everything to lose.<br />Which does not mean the Bosniaks can just relax and take it easy. They have to watch out, lest their enemies should lose their nervesand try again by war and genocide to stave off the inevitable: that they will be OUTNUMBERED, and then the Bosniaks can democratically and legitimately do as they please. And that's the reversal of history. (btw. That, as reported inBalkanInsight, sex life of the Serbs is depressing and many marriages fail – well , this is hardly a surprise, given how they treat their women – certainly will not help them.)<br />I remember onew of many TV reports from the war, which was about Karadzic and showed his office. In it there was a poster copied from the Sherwin-Williams paint trademark ( a can of paint which is being emptied onth eworld and the slogan &quot;Cover the Earth&quot;) Well, in this case the paint was greeen, and the caption read &quot;This is not a paint commercial&quot;. Which goes to show what Karadzic and his cronies re, Islamophobes. Well, what they have tried has not and will not avail them anything. It will be like trying to stop a tsunami. So to all them I say &quot;Watch out for the green Tsunami!&quot;<br /><br />And to all Islamophobes and all those who stiill folow a pipe dream of Greater Serbis: <br />In Albania there is also a populationof very different ethnic and religious backgrounds. There are Tsks, Ghegs and Cams. There are Roma and Greek too. By religions they are more or less like in Bosnia, a relative majority opf Muslims (between 50 and 70%), Orthodox ( maybe 20-30%) and the rest are Catholics. Like in Bosnia they share the same language and lifestyle and some cultural traits. Like in Bosnia there are also fundamental differences between them. Yet nobody dreams of making war or separating the country. <br />Besides that, an independent &quot;RS&quot; would be liker an independent Padania. It could not survive on its own. And since some of you hypocrites say that the Dayton Treaty is inviolable and God-given and trat by trying to correct or apply it correctly the Bosniaks are subverting it: If the &quot;RS&quot; really declares independence then Dayton is null and void, and the Bosniaks will be no longer bound to it, and they will not give you half of the country just like that!

by: Boston B. from: USA
February 12, 2009 14:28
Bosanac is right;<br />The only thing that he did not talk about is that there is also about 800,000 Bosniaks spread around the world. And that number is going to double in the next 20 years. Most of the Bosniaks that live in USA for example are planning at some point to move beck to Bosnia. All the older generation will move beck within next 7 years once they earn retirement in USA, that’s about 250,000 Bosniaks. <br />My generation that left Bosnia when we were 10-15 years old still remembers what happened during the war and will not stay still if anybody tries to break our motherland. This is not 1991 when Bosnians faces one of the most powerful armies in the world with just small arms. This time the history will not repeat itself. If anybody thinks that they would be able to create their own country in Bosnia it would backfire and they would lose everything. The Bosnian people are trained and well equipped this time. <br />Bosniaks will have 2/3 majority in Bosnia before 2020, and we would peacefully take over the country and if anybody tries to stop that move well then we all know what would happen. <br />

by: Mirza Basic from: London
February 12, 2009 14:45
Bosnia WAS a state and an independent entity BEFORE Serbia and Croatia (for over 11 centuries) and has existed as multi-ethnic and multi-cultural center in Europe successfully for a long time (Noel Malcolm - Bosnia: A Short History). <br /><br />Things that are happening today to Bosnia are due to various divisive policies of surrounding countries, which are aiming at creating ethnically 'clean' areas. <br /><br />If Bosnia didn't make sense as a country, why would it have been recognised at the Berlin congress in 1876. and why would it again be recognised by the world in 1991.? <br /><br />Silly comments from people. European Union should honour the deal from Dayton and help Bosnia practically in achieving a proper, centralised democracy which it is always proposing Bosnia should have. <br /><br />So far, most High Represenatives have played a passive, nagging role in Bosnia, while not practically adding any tangible value to the country. This should be reveresed and the world and EU should start practicing what they are preaching and help out properly through direct involvement and mediation.
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