Zlatko Dizdarević: At a murky source

Here we are in the second half of the third decade since we are watering the so-called Dayton Bosnia and Herzegovina with water from a murky well. Hundreds and hundreds of years old plant, sustainable and grown in various conditions and doomsdays, yet rarely as weak and barely upright as it is today.

Opinions differ why, right now, it is like this. And there are different answers – some say it is intentional, some say it is out of ignorance. Evil intentions are not new, but ignorance has advanced greatly. And they became targeted. With beautiful memories of what and how we used to learn in history classes during school. We learned about the dates, but even more about history as a detailed explanation of past times. Even what happens when the mind and facts about the past do not agree.

We learned about World War II from books. The other one, we lived. The books also talked about the steps after the long-standing victory over fascism in order to get the world out of the nightmare. And what to do, so it does not happen again. It was not just a politically fashionable, routine phrase. It was about thoughtful, organized, and unquestionably big moves that will push one reality into the past and open the door to another reality. The old men would say, for all times.

The victorious interests and political wisdom of that time, as we have learned, created important conditions for Europe’s path – to a peaceful future.

First, there was no dilemma or moment between who was against whom and why. It would be hilarious to ask then, who won and who lost. And about the countless “nuances” of victory and defeat, history will deal with later.

Second, Nuremberg and the criminal court came quickly and ended quickly. In the 11 months since the end of ’45. the trials of indicted war criminals have been completed precisely and efficiently. Twelve hanged, seven in prisons, three released. Several were caught and tries later. People like Eichmann, for example. Those who were not for execution, and were organized and active on the side of the losers, went into the corner of history. Streets, squares, schools have never been adorned with their names …

Third, political parties, those hives of hatred and crime, have not continued to exist.

Leaders in the new, and the war-losing states, acknowledged in different ways everything they had to admit as defeated ones. History will, for example, remember Willy Brandt forever. Some others, not so much.

Fourth, the winners brought life back to the generation of survivors in the devastated states with grandiose reconstruction and all-around support projects (the Marshall Plan, for example). It was a struggle for existence, the restoration of normality, but also for new, humane values.

Further, the elections did not come immediately after the war. A lot had to be swept away – the wrong people in particular – to clear the ground for freedom, democracy, institutionalism, and a view of a different future …

All of this was known to us from books in our youth but, we were moving forward then, so we didn’t know what the traces of unlearned lessons looked like. But the devil waited and welcomed that fact. History cannot be deceived and here we are, where we are. Small and nowhere. The source on which we started in 1995 was not nearly as clear as the one on which the victorious coalition half a century earlier began to supply Europe and the new society. It was tainted from the beginning with different interests and evil “wisdom” on the outside and even more on the inside.

And a cursory comparison to ’45. would be ridiculous now, if it weren’t tragic: Dayton didn’t determine the winner and the loser. And no truly completed war knows that. Great concessions have been made to many, rather than to the new future and the new people around us. The original creators of the Peace Treaty confirmed the old colonial logic: “Where several tribes fight in the zone of your interest, the greatest tribe must not be defeated.” That’s how it was. Those who created the conditions first for the disintegration of Yugoslavia and then the war, who led it and brought it to an end, essentially respecting foreign interests in the Balkans, remained in power. Of course, continuing at first calmly, and then more openly with its logics, that have not been punished long enough. A new wrong path could actually work.

Nuremberg ended up with “crime and punishment” in less than a year, and the three-decade-long philosophising of the international community and the Criminal Court in The Hague, as its extended hands, returned many of the criminals to the lists of “heroes”.

Elections in an atmosphere of unfinished war were scheduled shortly after the shooting stopped. The new-old “leaders”, legitimized by the democratic elections, were paid for criminal privatization and stuffing their pockets with everything worthwhile in the country before the war, all behind the backs of passionate voters. And a lot of it was worth a fabulous amount. “Marshall’s” and similar plans remained a dream. Fortunately for the “leader”, there was no Marshal and no winner. Burglary, corruption, and mockery of democracy and the rule of law were slowly being incorporated like cancer into the state and especially the society.

Much has already been written about the profile of the country in which we live, about those who are truly as humans and existentially defeated, and about those who go wild and are publicly protected by their positions. Or about the guards who personally brought them up to all normal conditions and standards. A special class are those who are little talked about, who are neither ostentatious and under capacitated but powerful “leaders”, nor those who economically blackmailed or masochistically obedient and keep the former. It is a “new business class” of millionaires enriched by various tricks in a purposefully disintegrated system. Entire small empires have been created to which such a state, corrupt judiciary, and humiliated profession fully correspond. Their silence with a debilitated system and such circumstances is expected. As well as the mass departure of all those who in no way can or do not want to fit into this reality.

The reasons for this are also known why the so-called international community, with the EU closest to us, has many bureaucratic and interesting reasons to preserve the status quo of misery in BiH. Success in Brussels is proven by not shooting here. It is a complete farce in the call for “leaders”, ie the breadwinners of disintegration, “to make additional efforts for faster reforms on BiH’s European path”.

The war was as it was. Those who have been through it here know what that means. And how did it come about that we were led by three cartels “with protection” from the neighborhood and the stumbled opposition? Back then, in 1945, it could not be like that, because we were neither small nor defeated.

It is clear that none of what was wanted back then was a priority or a long-term plan in Dayton. The “peacekeepers” followed in the footsteps of other interests in the Balkans. And big mistakes were made. The disintegration of the constant production of nationalism, hatred, and the persistent desire to defeat the “other” within the same state was stimulated. Before his death, Richard Holbrook, a contractor in Dayton, also expressed doubts about the result of his work. Along with others from Europe. But this is neither the first nor the last big mistake of the still colonial West around the world.

For us today, and here, this knowledge does not make life easier. It must be known exactly who and why obscured that well until it became poisoned. The guardians of this secret are powerful, and there is no serious interest in demystifying it here or abroad, for now.


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