of the Damned
Tortured by Irrational Ideas
is a country of hatred and fear." - Ivo Andric, 1920
will soon be eleven years since Bosnia was recognized as an
independent state, yet it has never functioned a single day
as such. Most of its Croats have long since taken Croatian
citizenship, and feel comfortable only in the sliver of land
where they form a majority. Its Serbs have never truly accepted
it as their country, and agreed to its existence only because
the 1995 Dayton
peace agreement offered them little choice – and a territorial
autonomy. Only the Muslims, who have even taken the moniker
of 'Bosniaks' (and are commonly called 'Bosnians', to perpetuate
the confusion), persist in the illusion of statehood and independence,
though it is as far from reality today as it was in 1992.
Bosnia is occupied
by a small NATO force and governed by an Imperial viceroy
– currently a washed-out
British politician – with powers the ancient absolute
monarchs would envy. Throughout Bosnia, statism reins supreme;
there are no safeguards of liberty or property rights, political
correctness runs rampant, and individuals are seen as servants
of the government, not the other way around. Oh, the rhetoric
is all of 'human rights' and 'justice,' but there isn't a
trace of either in most of what transpires there daily.
challenges any definition of 'nation'," wrote a
Canadian reporter in a recent story on his hometown's
peacekeeper regiment. The Canadians' commanding officer summed
it up as, "a nearly dysfunctional government of three
ethnic groups in two entities comprising one country."
This is a refreshing
bit of honesty amidst a severely twisted picture of Bosnian
reality promoted both by the local leaders and the omnipresent
Imperial interests. In case of the latter, their manipulations
go far beyond
Bosnia's petty disputes, all the way to the current effort
to justify the unjustifiable in Iraq.
November 2001, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen
to the Bush regime to appease Muslims worldwide – irritated
by the "war on terrorism" – by going after Serb
leaders accused of genocide against the Bosnian Muslims. Someone
must have taken his advice, because efforts to "bag"
the military and political leaders of Bosnian Serbs always
spike during a major crisis in US-Islamic relations (such
as, for example, His Most Democratic Majesty's determination
to invade Iraq simply because he wants to). These efforts
are usually an exercise in brute
force, intended not so much to seize the alleged war criminals
as to intimidate the local population and – more importantly
– their political leaders into submission.
weeks ago, the Viceroy and NATO's stormtroopers have launched
another manhunt for the former Serb Republic president Radovan
Karadzic. This time, they went after his alleged "financial
and support network," by seizing the property of
two prominent Serbs and threatening others. NATO troops also
raided municipal offices in Pale, the Parliament in Banja
Luka, and even the Army command, carrying away boxes of documents.
All this talk
of 'networks' and 'supporters' most likely deliberately invoked
the images of Al-Qaeda and the still un-captured Bearded One,
just as Cohen had suggested 18 months ago. Language
also reveals the ham-fisted and bullying approach of Bosnia's
occupiers to the entire operation. Namely, the two Serbs singled
out for 'special treatment' are "linked to" or "alleged
associates" of Karadzic, who "allegedly led a network"
which was "widely regarded" to support him financially.
All this passive-voice and guilt-by-assumption/association
indicate that neither NATO nor Viceroy Ashdown actually have
any proof better than local rumors that either man
is actually connected with Karadzic.
kind of intimidation tactics are in line with what former
commander of NATO forces in Bosnia, Gen. Sylvester, promised
last year. Karadzic himself protested
it as extortion, in an open letter to his supporters in Serbia.
Though his protests may well have been selfishly motivated,
that does not make his point any less true: The New World
Order really does not care about the means used to achieve
its supposedly noble ends. Truth is, the means are the
ends. It defies all reason to claim one is for law, human
and property rights in Bosnia, then proceed to violate all
of them in the name of "bagging" people accused
of war crimes.
the same time as the Karadzic hunt, Bosnia's Human Rights
Chamber ruled that the Bosnian Serb government had to pay
nearly $2 million in damages over the "Srebrenica
massacre," and conduct "a full, meaningful, thorough
and detailed investigation" into what happened.
the court demanded is desperately needed, both to establish
the truth of events and to stop the use of Srebrenica as a
political 'bloody shirt'. However, as with all judicial efforts
at social engineering, this one creates as many problems as
it intends to solve. For instance, the damages are not to
be paid to the actual families of the missing, but to the
Potocari Memorial Foundation, a political
tool of the Muslim nationalist SDA party. The Foundation's
goal is not to establish the truth, promote healing or even
obtain justice, but to erect a monument to the SDA's twisted
version of history.
is the investigation. When the Serb Republic government published
the first volume of its official report last year, it was
by both Muslims, Imperial envoys and western NGOs, because
it challenged their enshrined preconceptions. Several Muslim
plaintiffs have already
said they "doubted the Serb authorities would ever
provide them with the truth." One is tempted to wonder
if the result of the mandatory investigation will be ruled
acceptable only if it is tailored to fit the official
line. After all, everyone knows what happened in Srebrenica
– or acts as if they do, anyway. Why ask a question to which
one already assumes the answer? It's a strange way to champion
the truth, indeed.
uncomfortable truth is, NATO and the Empire really couldn't
care less about war crimes. If they did, they wouldn't commit
them so easily. As with everything else in Bosnia, the issue
of Karadzic and General Mladic is not about truth and justice,
but about politics and power.
Alagic, seized in 2001 by the Hague Inquisition on charges
of war crimes. At the time, the 'Tribunal' was fending off
accusations of anti-Serb bias. The allegations soon subsided,
and Alagic and his fellows were quickly provisionally
a Corps commander during the war, first in central, then in
southwestern Bosnia. His first command, the Third Corps, included
many mujahideen. His last, the Seventh Corps, took
part in the mass ethnic cleansing of Serbs from western Bosnia
in the fall of 1995. In a command structure that could only
be described as feudal, Alagic answered directly to Alija
Izetbegovic. Before he could have mentioned any of this at
his 'trial,' the 58-year-old Alagic died
on March 8, supposedly of a heart attack.
There has to
be a certain irony in the fact that the Empire likens Karadzic
and Mladic to Osama bin Laden, while the Bearded One's fellow
ideologue reaps the benefits. For Izetbegovic is an avowed
Islamic fundamentalist, a militant totalitarian who not
only never renounced his 1971 "Islamic Manifesto,"
but reaffirmed it in 1990 and thereafter. This is the same
man who lied effortlessly to Western observers that his goal
was a multi-ethnic, tolerant Bosnia, while simultaneously
recruiting mujahideen and purging the Bosnian Army
(and society) of non-Muslims. The extent to which his abuse
of coexistence and 'citizen society' poisoned inter-ethnic
relations in Bosnia is inestimable. Yet his lies are still
regarded as obvious truth, and the Empire has never charged
him with any crime. He was investigated
in the fall of 2001, but those efforts were apparently dropped
Empire's perceptions in Bosnia have been at odds with reality,
the Dayton peace agreement provided for a schizoid construction
that both insisted the Serbs were evil and protected
their rights, and favored the Muslim "moderates"
while condemning their militant fundamentalism. As a consequence
of this paradoxical approach, Bosnia ended up torn between
four competing visions. Izetbegovic wanted a Muslim-dominated
Islamic state, where others would be second-rate minorities.
Karadzic wanted a separate Serb republic and 'population exchanges'
with the remaining Muslim and Croat lands. The late Croatian
president Franjo Tudjman desired Bosnia wholly or partially
annexed to Croatia, sans the Serbs and with Muslims
if need be. And the Empire decided that Bosnia was to be made
into a nation of "Bosnians," who would subscribe
to politically correct values of liberal democracy, crony
capitalism, 'human rights' and (of course) absolute obedience
to the Emperor.
of these visions makes for a decent future, and all four together
are a recipe for disaster, as the state of affairs in Bosnia
today amply demonstrates. As one of the Canadian peacekeepers
earlier said, it is a country with a "culture of
victimhood and dependency." Corruption, murder, theft,
extortion, lies, hatred – these are the demons that rule Bosnia
today, not 'war criminals' or some phantom 'lack of democracy.'
Compared to it, the bleak prison yard of Ivo Andric's "Alley
of the Damned" seems downright cheerful.
both loved and hated Bosnia, a conflict that drove him to
write beautiful, tortured prose for which he won a Nobel
Prize. His Travnik Chronicle (also known as Bosnian
Bridge on the Drina and other novels are worth
more than all the drivel written by quasi-'experts' over the
past decade. Most of them deal with Bosnia's Ottoman past,
when it was known as the 'dark vilayyet (province)'.
Perhaps that is why the Muslim authorities find him absolutely
politically incorrect, and their court intellectuals have
him of 'genocide'.
In a 1920
letter to a friend, Andric wrote that Bosnia was a land
where goodness of the heart and nobility of character were
suffused with fear and hatred. He concluded the letter with
lies awake at night in Sarajevo hears the voices of the Sarajevo
night. The clock on the Catholic cathedral strikes the hour
with weighty confidence: 2am. More than a minute passes (to
be exact, seventy-five seconds – I counted) and only then
with a rather weaker, but piercing sound does the Orthodox
church announce the hour, and chime its own 2 am. A moment
after it the tower clock on the Bey's mosque strikes the hour
in a hoarse, faraway voice, and that strikes 11, the ghostly
Turkish hour, by the strange calculation of distant and alien
parts of the world. The Jews have no clock to sound their
hour, so God alone knows what time it is for them by the Sephardic
reckoning or the Ashkenazi. Thus at night, while everyone
is sleeping, division keeps vigil in the counting of the late,
small hours, and separates these sleeping people who, awake,
rejoice and mourn, feast and fast by four different and antagonistic
calendars, and send all their prayers and wishes to one heaven
in four different ecclesiastical languages. And this difference,
sometimes visible and open, sometimes invisible and hidden,
is always similar to hatred, and often completely identical
this great darkness in the hearts of Bosnian peoples, it cannot
be defeated by force, or by lies. Only the truth holds any
hope of redemption. There may be places and people even truth
can't redeem any more, however horrifying the thought. But
if it works for Bosnia, it may yet work anywhere.
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