BiH i međunarodna zajednica

BiH i međunarodna zajednica

(scroll down for the English version)

Puno je ljudi ovih dana u Bosni i Hercegovini koji su, blago kazano,  nespokojni.  Ponovo na isti način kao devedesetih godina, uoči rata. Mnogi šute u nelagodi i čekaju „nekoga sa strane"  da presječe  očiglednu  proizvodnju  tenzija pa i mržnje,  ne vjerujući da to sada više mogu i hoće domaći lideri.  Mediji se uglavnom svrstavaju na podijeljene strane, doprinoseći podizanju napetosti. Nije malo onih koji tvrde da ne bi više čekali  „šta će biti dalje" već su spremni  na prvi dramatični signal spakovati se pa otići, bilo gdje. Drugo je pitanje ko bi ih sada primao, kao „onda". Tada nije bilo ni Sirije, ni Iraka, Libije, ni Afganistana...Unija je bila moćna i kompaktna, zagledana u budućnost, a ne istraumatizirana  i sobom i okolinom. Geostrateški kontekst  nakon okončanja hladnog rata bio je mnogo jednostavniji nego danas. 

U detektiranju  razloga za strah povodom radikalnih  političkih  zaoštravanja, naravno, mora se uzeti u obzir da najveći dio populacije u BiH i regionu pripada još uvijek aktivnoj generaciji „sjećanja".  Današnji ovdašnji stanovnici su doživjeli predratno  stanje "naivnosti i iznenađenosti" ratom,  potom strahote rata, a nakon toga vrijeme  nade i obećanja u vezi sa budućim mirom. Evo sada već godinama žive period velikih  trauma  proisteklih iz osjećanja prevarenosti i napuštenosti. I zbog onoga kod kuće, i podjednako zbog potpuno izgubljenog povjerenja u međunarodnu zajednicu. Osjećaj je danas da su prelomne godine  između optimizma  i početka „pada" bile 2004. i 2005.

Situacija u BiH, na ivici eksplozije povodom pitanja koje u normalnim okolnostima ne bi bilo ni približno presudno za sudbinu zemlje, vuče korjene još od kraja rata i Dejtonskog sporazuma. (Da razloge i raspad Jugoslavije sada  ostavimo po strani.)  Zato se postojeća, po mnogo čemu vještačka  kriza  povodom najavljenog referenduma u RS, ne može uspješno i trajno ni riješiti  jednom odlukom PIC-a ili partikularnim dogovorima u Beogradu, Sarajevu ili bilo gdje drugo. Odgađanje krize nije "rješenje BiH". Odgođene krize svaki slijedeći put će biti sve teže i opasnije,  jer se one proizvode i hrane svjesno, planski i na temeljima  realnog stanja u zemlji. Ako se u politici međunarodne zajednice ne shvati, ili ne želi shvatiti,  gdje su uzroci za ovo stanje među njima koji su ovakvu BiH stvorili, gdje među političkim akterima u zemlji koji su već odgojili novu generaciju  kao nastavljača  projekta  razdora – rezultat će biti veoma ozbiljan  unutrašnji sukob sa nezaobilaznim posljedicama na  regionalnu  sigurnost i stabilnost.

Gdje su ključni propusti (ako je riječ samo o propustima) međunarodne zajednice:

 

Kapitalni propusti

- Rat  nije završen  jasnom međunarodnom identifikacijom zločinca i žrtve, u strahu od ustanovljavanja  kolektivne krivice  čega su se „pomiritelji" iz dugoročnih razloga plašili. Tribunal u Hagu tu grešku nije ispravio. Naprotiv, u izgubljenom vremenu i konceptu, najveći ratni zločinci postali su ponovo heroji i nacionalni uzori. Ovakva politika  dugoročno je na kolektivnoj razini poništila osjećaj odgovornosti za zločin, a dovela do frustracija žrtava. Istorija i politika građeni na tome nisu mogli biti osnov za stvaranje cjelovite države na temeljima  odvojenih nacionalnih  kolektiviteta  kakvi su nametnuti Bosni i Hercegovini.

- Neposredno nakon rata nije učinjeno ništa od onoga što je bilo pozitivno  iskustvo iz Njemačke nakon Drugog svjetskog rata: Nisu eliminisane  ekstremno nacionalističke političke  partije i ideologije, nisu brzo i efikasno presuđeni krivci, nisu učinjeni presudni utjecaji na profiliranje školstva,  medija, državnih institucija, posebno  pravosuđa, nisu odgođeni izbori dok se ne ustanove institucije,  pa je vještačkim  "demokratskim  izborima" (bez demokratske realnosti i institucija)  samo legalizirana dalja  duboka podjela i društva i države. Etablirani su lideri  podjele, a ne cjelovite države.  Konačno, nije ponuđeno ništa slično "Maršalovom planu" što bi sačuvalo preživjelu proizvodnju,  otvorilo  proces efikasne obnove, a kroz to i sačuvalo  socijalnu  perspektivu.

- Kapitalni propust  napravljen je odmah iza rata time što BiH mnogo odlučnije, energičnije pa i uz zatvaranje očiju pred  mnogim elementima  nespremnosti za EU, nije privučena  direktnije Uniji i NATO-u. Uvjerenje da se ovako dekomponirana  BiH može ostaviti u praznom prostoru i na geostrateškoj vjetrometini, pokazalo se poraznim. Svi su u regiji prije BiH ušli u EU, ili bar započeli proces približavanja Uniji. To je stvorilo dodatni osjećaj "napuštenosti" države koja je najteže prošla u ratu, te je stimuliralo  disfunkcionalnost  zemlje i  potpuni nedostatak osjećanja za elementarnu  državotvornost. Narasli utjecaji izvana  dobijaju otvoren prostor u zoni koja im je bitna. Od raznih ekstremizama do  utjecaja  partikularnih,  "neevropskih"  politika.  Praznog prostora u geostrategiji ovakvih prostora  naprosto ne može biti, a baš u takav "prazan prostor" u BiH ušli su mnogi nepozvani.    

- Tzv. privatizacija pod snažnim pritiskom izvana (kako bi se što prije napustio bivši "ideološki" sistem)  pretvorila se u masovnu krađu državnog i društvenog vlasništva, uz potpuno urušavanje preživjelih i zdravih dijelova privrede i ekonomije. Dovedeno je do dramatičnog socijalnog  raslojavanja  mimo  svake logike. Uništeni su čitavi slojevi društva, a posebno oni sposobni, proizvodni, uz obrazovanu srednju  klasu, intelektualnu  supstancu  buduće države u sferi nadgradnje, obrazovanja, kulture...

- BiH  je Dejtonskim  sporazumom  formalno sačuvala zajedničku vanjsku granicu i međunarodni suverenitet, ali  je potuno  zanemaren  unutrašnji  suverenitet kao temelj zajedničkog, državnog identiteta (svjesno ili zbog nerazumijevanja  unutrašnje logike  multinacionalnog  društva).  Bez  projekta  jačanja  države i njenog jedinstvenog suvereniteta koji uvažava i podržava  nacionalne specifičnosti u svakom pogledu, počelo je separatno glorificiranje ekskluzivno  etničkog  u zemlji, sve do organiziranja vlasti  sa otvorenim težnjama ka podržavljenju  svake od tri nacije.  Logika težnje ka "pobjedi u nadvladavanju" u odnosima između tri  ekskluzivno nacionalna subjektiviteta, prejačala je logiku potrebe za državom. Psihologija "poraženih", naravno, bila je izvor nove unutrašnje agresije. Traženje vanjskih uporišta u ovom nadmetanju dobilo je posebno mjesto. "Posebne veze" su postale  važne i sa Beogradom i Zagrebom sa jedne strane, ali u novije vrijeme  i u nastojanjima  da se "Istanbul" instalira kao  nedostajuća, treća karika u BiH. Nastranu što je traženje "identiteta" Bošnjacima u Turskoj, mimo vjerskih sentimenata, potpuno deplasirano i neutemeljeno.

 

Nedostatak državnog demokratskog korektiva

-Lideri  tri političke  nacionalne  stranke u BiH  etablirani su kao vođe separatnih kolektiviteta i politika. Njihov prevashodni  "zadatak" je da brane i promovišu  suverenitet  ekskluzivno  svog etnosa u "državi" koja to jeste samo na terenu onoga što je "nametnuto" Dejtonom kao zajedničko.  U skladu sa tzv. realpolitikom, međunarodna zajednica legalizirala  je ovakvo rastakanje  BiH  čak i na formalno  protokolarnom  nivou – domaći partneri svim funkcionerima koji su dolazili iz Brisela uvijek su u pravilu  bili lideri tri nacionalne stranke, bez obzira na kojim su se funkcijama nalazili, a ne parlamenti, institucije i izvršni organi države. Ta je praksa u BiH "pročitana" kao poruka  priznavanja  "nacionalnog suvereniteta" kao ključnog u kreiranju i provođenju politke u BiH. Istovremeno, američka logika "demokratske forme" koju legitimira po svaku cijenu samo "onaj sa najviše glasova", bez obzira na politiku koju vodi,  drugi je elemenat koji je davao krila  glorifikaciji  lidera na vlasti "jer oni predstavljaju svoju naciju".               

-Tendencija unutar PIC-a da se napusti politika "štapa i mrkve" kako bi se ojačao osjećaj odgovornosti domaćih lidera ispostavio se na ovim prostorima kao kontraproduktivan. Zaključak nije bio kako pojačati vlastite napore u izgradnji efikasne države, već se shvatilo  da čak i ono što se radi na terenu rastakanja države u ime vlastodržačkih, ličnih i korupcionaških interesa,  neće biti sankcionirano, pa se može slobodno tako i nastaviti.  U krugovima međunarodne zajednice nikada se nije shvatilo da je biračko tijelo, u ovdašnjoj nedemokratskoj praksi i sistemu, definitivno podijeljeno na troje, i time rastureno. Ono je stavljeno pod institucionalnu i interesnu kontrolu  tri nacionalna centra i time onemogućeno kao državni demokratski korektiv od kojeg se u normalnim okolnostima očekuje pozitivna reakcija na realno stanje.   

Svi ovi propusti doveli su danas do ozbiljne krize unutar BiH u kojoj se po prvi put u dvadeset godina pominje i rat,  udrženja veterana najavljuju  "vojne vježbe" tražeći od Oružanih snaga BiH "najnovije oružje koje veterani moraju da poznaju" ali i "bojevu municiju".  Na političkom terenu  proizvodnja animoziteta i mržnje promovisana  je kao najefikasniji metod za očuvanje  vlasti.  Vjerske institucije snažno su se i najčešće krajnje destruktivno uključile u glorifikaciju suvereniteta "naroda i nacije" a protiv "drugih". U političkim preigravanjima  stvorena je atmosfera "ili – ili", bez ostavljanja otškrinutih vrata  za kompromis, dijalog i zajedničke interese. Ključni  politički dogovori  obavljaju se po kafanama  i potpuno izvan institucija što krajnje degradira elementarno osjećanje za državotvornost.  Pojačano je potenciranje pripadnosti  "metropolama" izvan BiH. Time BiH postaje i upaljač regionalnog destabiliziranja.  Pitanja  egzistencije, ekonomije, rasta, modernizma...potpuno su  sklonjena u stranu jer je stanje na tom terenu depresivno i tu se ne dobijaju izborni poeni. Samo su mržnja i strah provjereno efikasni. Stare dileme iz krugova u  EU - ima li uopšte  smisla u ovakvoj situaciji  za dalje proširenje, dodatno ohrabruju kreatore postojeće  politike. Malo ko ima hrabrosti da javno konstatuje da je  održavanje  postojećeg "status quo" stanja, zapravo,  politički projekat dijela domaćih oligarhija koje u svakom ozbiljnom napretku  zajedničke države i demokratskih  institucija vide veliku opasnost za sebe i svoju poziciju. Paralelno sa tim, izrazita je skepsa i spram iskrenosti tih lidera kada se zaklinju u "evropski put". Veliko je i čuđenje što iz EU sa puno entuzijazma podržavaju  one koji proizvodnjama kriza, zapravo, blokiraju evropski put ma kako se u njega verbalno zaklinjali.

U Sarajevu se zbog svega ovoga često pominje teza  profesora na FPN Nerzuka Ćurka: "BiH postoji samo zato što se ne može raspasti..."  Naravno, tako vječito neće moći postojati. Država bez unutrašnjeg  suvereniteta  nemoguća je misija. U politički  emancipiranom  svijetu  to bi se, možda, i moglo rješavati mirnom disolucijom. Politička civiliziranost, međutim,  ovdje je eliminirana  kroz minule dvije decenije. Kada bi se BiH čak i raspala, da se ne sluti  kako, šta se dobija? Velika Srbija, velika Hrvatska i mala muslimanija. Usred Evrope. A Badinter, Osimski sporazumi... nemogućnost  mijenjanja  granica  mimo  dogovora to nikoga ne interesira.  Ovako, otvaraju se granice na silu. Šta je onda sa velikom  "muslimanijom"  koja čuči ispotiha u planovima sa strane, a oni hipotetički uključuju  Sandžak, dijelove Makedonije, veliku Albaniju...Odavno  neinventivne  i sobom zabavljene birokrate iz EU zgrozit će se uljudno i diplomatski nad svim ovim. Mnogi su se tako čudili dirljivo i devedesetih.

Značajan faktor u svemu ovome su veliki susjedi i njihova uloga u BiH. Za Hrvatsku je Bosna, i ekskluzivno  Hercegovina, od raspada Jugoslavije uvijek  posebna preokupacija. U ratu su je  iskazivali posebno, ali i zajedno, i Milošević i Tuđman. Nakon rata  intenzitet i karakter interesa Hrvatske prema BiH je varirao. Odnedavno, doduše, i EU voli sugerirati  Zagrebu što bi i kako bi spram BiH. Mesićevu, sada već pomalo mitsku  poruku da je "Hrvatima u BiH glavni grad Sarajevo", uz sve obaveze koje Zagreb ima prema njima ovdje (uz glasanje konstitutivnog naroda jedne države u drugoj državi ?!) nikada nije prevalio  preko usta bezmalo niko od hrvatskih dužnosnika.  A i što bi kada se i Bošnjaci sve direktnije pozivaju na "svrstavanje" pod zastavu – Istanbula. Nekima sa strane, iz EU, ovo izgleda smiješno.  Ovdje nije uopšte.  

Odnosi sa državom preko Drine posebni su. Pa i uz upotrebu helikoptera, bornih kola i padobranaca u zajedničkim policijskim treninzima,  za borbu protiv potencijalnih  terorista,  "jer ni za njih Drina nije granica".  Američki "Fox News" zato vijest objavljuje  u kontekstu saradnje policije Srbije i "male srpske države u BiH". Čemu onda čuđenje  kad se sastanci  Vučića i Dodika u Beogradu doživljavaju u BiH kao presudni. Vučiću je pri tome  EU egzistencijalno neophodna pa se s razlogom očekuje da smiruje Dodika. Stanovništvu sa obje strane Drine se to sve teže može objasniti. 

U suštini, današnje tenzije sa referendumom kao jednom od kriza u nizu, pokazuju  da se sa mnogo toga u BiH zakasnilo, a puno toga – gledano iz zapadne perspektive – nije ni shvaćeno.  Ne pokazuje se spremnost da se otvore temeljna pitanja suštinski pogrešne unutrašnje konstrukcije BiH koja je, možda, bila jedino moguća kao argumenat za zaustavljanje rata, ali apsolutno nemoguća za iole normalniji život i opstanak BiH danas. Međunarodna zajednica je  paralisana  saznanjem da se – zbog njenih interesa – BiH ne smije raspasti, ali ne pokazuje ni minimum kapaciteta i hrabrosti  da povuče poteze koji bi usmjerili državu u pozitivnom pravcu. Na sadašnjem stupnju krize očekivati to od onih kod kuće koji tu krizu sistemski i ciljano proizvode iz striktno vlastitih interesa, uz različit stupanj  pameti i znanja, potpuno je deplasirano i politički nezrelo.  Ne treba se zato čuditi što se ovdje sve češće ponavlja stara narodna izreka: "Koga su zmije ujedale i guštera se boji..." Obični ljudi drugačije čitaju  znakove unaokolo, mimo onih koji misle da je ovo samo uobičajena predizborna igra.  I zato se boje.

 

BIH AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

Misunderstood reality and missed opportunities

There are many people in Bosnia and Herzegovina these days who are, to put it mildly, restless. Just like they used to be in the nineties, before the war. Many are silent in their discomfort, waiting for “someone from the outside” to put an end to the obvious production of tensions and hatred, refusing to believe that this can and will be done by local leaders. Media usually take sides of the divided parties, thus contributing to raising the tensions. There are also quite a few of those who claim that they do not want to continue waiting “to see what would happen next” and that, after the first dramatic signal, they are ready to pack and leave to anywhere in the world. Another question is who would receive them now as “back then”. Back then there was no Syria, Iraq, Libya or Afghanistan. The Union was powerful and compact, looking into the future rather than traumatised by itself and its surroundings. After the end of the Cold War, the geostrategic context was much simpler than it is today.

Of course, in detecting the reasons for fear over radical political tensions, one has to take into consideration the fact that the greatest part of the population in BiH and the region belong to the still active generation of “remembering”. The local population has gone through the pre-war “naiveté and state of surprise” when the war broke out, followed by war atrocities and a time of hope and promises regarding the future peace. Since many years now, they have been living a period of great traumas caused by the feeling of betrayal and abandonment. This feeling was the same for what was happening at home and for the lost trust in the international community. Today, a feeling remains that the crucial years between optimism and start of the “fall” were 2004 and 2005.

The situation in BiH, at the verge of explosion due to issues that, in normal circumstances, would not be even close to being crucial for the destiny of a country, has its roots in the period after the end of war and the Dayton Peace Agreement (we will now leave aside the reasons for this and the breakup of Yugoslavia). This is why the current crisis regarding the announced referendum in the RS, that is artificial in many ways, may not be resolved successfully, or be solved permanently by a decision of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) or through particular agreements in Belgrade, Sarajevo or anywhere else. Delaying the crisis is not a “solution for BiH”. Each time in the future, the delayed crises would be more difficult and more dangerous, because they are produced consciously, with a plan and on the grounds of the real situation in the country. If the policies of the international community fail or refuse to acknowledge that the causes for this situation lie among those who had created BIH, and the political actors in the country who have already raised a new generations who will continue the project of destruction, this will result in a very serious internal conflict with inevitable consequences to regional security and stability.

Capital mistakes

What are the key mistakes (if they are only mistakes) of the international community?

- The war was not finished with a clear international identification of the perpetrators and victims, so as not to establish collective guilt, which the “conciliators” were afraid of for long term reasons. The Hague Tribunal did not correct this mistake. On the contrary, the lost time and concept, have re-established the greatest war criminals as heroes and national idols. In the long-term, such policies have destroyed the feeling of responsibility for crimes on the collective level, and lead to frustrations among the victims. History and politics built on this could not be the ground for the establishment of an integral state on the basis of separated national collectives that were imposed upon Bosnia and Herzegovina.

- Immediately after the war, none of the positive experience of Germany after the Second World War was applied: the extreme nationalistic political parties and ideologies were not eliminated, the criminals were not brought to justice in a quick and efficient manner, crucial influences to the profiling of education, media, state institutions, especially justice, were not made, elections were not postponed until the establishment of institutions, resulting in artificial “democratic elections” (without democratic reality and institutions) that legalised further deep division of both society and state. Leaders of division were established, instead of leaders of the integral state. Finally, nothing similar to the Marshall Plan was offered to protect the surviving production, open the process of efficient reconstruction and thus maintain a social perspective.

- A capital mistake was made immediately after the war by not attracting BiH to the Union and NATO in a more decisive and energetic manner, even if it meant turning a blind eye to many aspects of the unpreparedness for the EU. The conviction that such a decomposed BiH could be left in an empty space, an abandoned geostrategic site, was shown to be devastating. Everyone in the region joined the EU before BiH, or at least started the accession process. This created an additional feeling of “abandonment” of a state that had undergone the greatest hardships during the war and it stimulated the dysfunctionality of the state and a complete lack of sense for fundamental statehood. Growing influences from the outside have been given an open space in their zones of interest. From a number of extremisms to the influences of particular, “non-European” politics. In the geo-strategy of such areas there should not be any empty spaces whatsoever, but there were many uninvited who entered such “empty space” in BiH.

- The so called privatisation under a strong influence from abroad (in order to abandon as soon as possible the previous “ideological” system) turned into massive theft of state and social property, with a complete destruction of the survived and well-functioning parts of the economy. Dramatic social divisions were caused beyond all logic. Whole parts of society were destroyed, especially the capable and production part, with the educated middle class – the intellectual substance of the future state in the sphere of construction, education, culture…

- In the Dayton Peace Agreement BiH has formally preserved mutual external borders and international sovereignty, but internal sovereignty, as the basis of joint, state identity was completely neglected (consciously, or due to a lack of understanding of internal logics of a multinational society). Without the project of strengthening the state and its single sovereignty that respects and supports everyone, separate glorification of exclusively ethnic ideas started, resulting in the organisation of government that openly longs for creating states of all three nations. The logic of longing for the “victory in governance” in the relations between the three exclusively national subjects, overcame the logic related to the need for a state. Of course, the psychology of the “defeated” was the source of a new internal aggression. Looking for an external stronghold in this rivalry was given a special place. “Special connections” with Zagreb and Belgrade became important on one side, but lately they were also important in the aspirations to to install Istanbul as the missing third link in BiH. We will put aside the fact that Bosniaks’ looking for identity in Turkey, beyond religious aspects, is absolutely misplaced and ungrounded.

The lack of a state democratic corrective

- The leaders of the three national parties in BIH have been established as leaders of separate collectives and politics. Their overall “task” is to defend and promote the sovereignty of exclusively their ethnos in the “state” that is state only on the grounds of what was “imposed” as common by the Dayton Peace Agreement. In accordance with the so-called realpolitik, the international community legalised such a division of BiH even at the formal, ceremonial level – local partners to all officials who came from Brussels were usually leaders of the three national parties, irrelevant of their positions, instead of parliaments, institutions and executive authorities of the state. This practice in BiH was perceived as a message of recognising the “national sovereignty” as a key in creating and implementing politics in BiH. At the same time, American logics of the “democratic form” that is legitimated only by the “one with the greatest number of votes”, irrelevant of their politics, is the second element that gave way to the glorification of leaders in power “because they are representing their nation”.

- The tendency within PIC to abandon the policy of “stick and carrot” in order to strengthen the feeling of responsibility of local leaders turned to be counterproductive in these areas. This did not lead to a conclusion that efforts in the development of an efficient state need to be strenghtened. Instead, it was realised that even the activities in the field of dividing the country on behalf of the interests of leaders in power, corruption and personal interests, would not be sanctioned, so that they could be continued. The international community has never understood that the electorate in the current non-democratic practice and system is definitely divided into three and thus scattered. It was placed under institutional and interest control of three national centres, which hinders it from acting as a state democratic corrective, expected in normal conditions to provide positive reaction to the real state.

All these mistakes have lead to today’s serious crisis within BiH in which, for the first time in twenty years, war is mentioned, associations of veterans announce “military drills” requesting from Armed Forces of BiH the “latest weapons that the veterans must be familiar with”, but also “live ammunition”. In the field of politics, creation of animosity and hatred is promoted as the most efficient method for the preservation of power. Religious institutions have strongly and utterly destructively been taking part in the glorification of sovereignty of the “people and the nation” and against the “others”. Political games created the “either-or” atmosphere, without leaving space for compromise, dialogue and joint interests. Key political agreements are made in cafes and completely beyond institutions, which absolutely degrades even a fundamental sense of statehood. The affiliation to the metropolises beyond BiH has been intensified. Through this, BIH has become a switch of regional destabilisation. The issues of sustenance, economy, growth, modernism, etc. have been completely put aside because the situation in these fields is depressing, and election points cannot be gained there. Only hatred and fear are proven to be effective. The old EU dilemma – if there is any sense of further enlargement in such a situation – constitutes an additional encouragement to the creators of the current politics. Not many are courageous enough to publicly state that the preservation of the current “status quo” is actually a political project of one part of political oligarchies that detect a great danger for themselves and their position in every serious progress of the common state and democratic institutions. Parallel to this, scepticism towards the leaders when they praise the “European path” has also been intensified. It is also very curious that the EU enthusiastically supports those who block the European path by creating crises, no matter how strongly they praised the European path in words. 

This is why the thesis of the Faculty of Political Science professor Nerzuk Ćurk is often repeted: “BiH exists only because it cannot fall apart…” Of course, it cannot exist like this forever. A state without internal sovereignty is a mission impossible. In a politically emancipated society this might be resolved with a peaceful dissolution. However, political civilisation was eliminated here in the past two decades. What would be the result if BiH fell apart (let us not even speculate how)? Great Serbia, great Croatia or small Muslimania? In the middle of Europe. And what about the Badinter and Osimo agreements…the impossibility of changing the borders beyond agreement is in nobody’s interest. That way, borders are being opened by force. What about the great “Muslimania” that is silently hidden in the side plans that hypothetically include Sandžak, parts of Macedonia, great Albania …The self-absorbed EU bureaucrats that have been lacking sense of invention for a long time would now politely and diplomatically shudder over all this. In the nineties, many were in such a touching awe as well.

An important factor in all this are great neighbours and their role in BiH. For Croatia, Bosnia and, particularly Herzegovina, has been a special preoccupation since the fall of Yugoslavia. This was demonstrated during the war separately, but also jointly by Milošević and Tuđman. After the war, the intensity and character of Croatia’s interest towards BiH varied. One has to admit that lately the EU is the one who loves to make suggestions to Zagreb regarding its actions towards BiH. Mesić’s somewhat mythical message that “Sarajevo is the capital of the Croats in BiH”, with all the obligations Zagreb has towards them here (along with the right of the constitutive people of one state to vote in another!?) was never expressed by any of the Croatian officials. And why would it be, if Bosniaks are being more direct in urging to be “put” under the flag of – Istanbul. To some observing from the side, from the EU, this looks ridiculous. Here it is not ridiculous at all.

The relations with the country across the Drina River are special even with the use of helicopters, armoured cars and parachutists in joint police drills for the fight against potential terrorists “because for them the Drina is not a border”. This is why American “Fox News” published news on the cooperation of the police of Serbia and a “small Serbian state in BiH”. Why are we then surprised when meetings between Vučić and Dodik in Belgrade are seen as crucial? The EU is existentially necessary to Vučić, so there is a good reason to expect Vučić to calm Dodik down. It is getting more difficult to explain this to the population on both sides of the Drina.

In essence, current tensions regarding the referendum as one of the crises in a row show that many things came late in BiH and many things, seen from the perspective of the West, were not even understood. There is no readiness to open key issues regarding the essentially wrong internal construction of BiH which may have been the only possible argument to end the war, but is absolutely impossible for a more normal life and preservation of BiH today. The international community is paralysed with the notion that, for its own interests, BiH may not fall apart, but it also fails to show minimum capacities and courage to make moves that would direct the country into a positive direction. At the current level of crisis, it is utterly misplaced and politically immature to expect this from the ones at home that are systematically and deliberately creating the crisis for their own interests only, with a different level of intelligence and knowledge. No wonder the old proverb: “Once bitten, twice shy” is being brought up more and more. Common people read signs differently, except for those who think that this is just a usual election game. This is why they are afraid.