Zlatko Dizdarevic: Relaxed While Abandoned


The day before the first of August, when his term began, Christian Schmidt, the new High Representative in BiH, came to Sarajevo, elegantly not caring that Dodik hysterically did not agree with it. Until he profitably becomes a turncoat, as usual. And that is why he received applause of relief from Europe. Just before his arrival, the German gave an interview to Deutsche Welle. He said at the time something that made many people happy here and many not at all: “If we want to take Bosnia and Herzegovina into the European Union and transform it into a democratic country, we must not have a purely ethnic orientation.” Confused, after all the explosive announcements of a new rhythm in the coming times with him and us: “Just relaxed!” He then took office. At the reception in the garden of the National Museum, the (un) invited were carefully counted by the media and – a month and a fraction of complete “relaxation” occurred.

Coup From the Textbooks

In relaxing August, Dodik thought completely differently and carried out something that is called in the rest of the world, a coup d’etat, according to serious legal textbooks: He does not recognize state institutions, most of our 13 constitutions, from state to canton, as well as a sea of different laws, occasions, then the jurisdiction of the state in “his” half of the country minus one percent, especially laws and regulations made with foreigners, and not in a dream of the OHR decision and finally, not under any circumstance, the Law on Genocide Denial published by Inzko before leaving. Officials from RS, where he is an unquestionable pharaoh, according to him, have nothing more to do in “political Sarajevo…” Salaries continue to flow, of course.

The public response, after the first shock, was on Schmidt’s recommendations – relaxed. De facto. De jure is not acknowledged in BiH for a long time. The High Representative strictly adhered to his own recommendations to the DW. Of course, in the meantime, relaxation has expanded the space for tightening the strings among many differently constitutive. It is boiling below the surface. It is only four months until the New Year when the embargo on all the most significant changes in the entire electoral system, laws and regulations regarding voting and the electorate comes into force. However, some “activities” are mentioned in short breaks within various strategic, parliamentary blockades. Some commissions are appointed to appoint commissions, etc., etc. There are rumours that the two largest political parties, B. Izetbegović (SDA) and D. Čović (HDZ) – increasingly promoted by the BiH Constitution to “leaders of two nations” – will determine the framework proposal of the new election law to vote next year. And when they agree, they will call the other party presidents to ask them something about it. If by any chance all this would be settled, then there is a legal, long parliamentary procedure for amending the law that has been valid so far. Something like that.

In the current situation, with the existing “leaders” and their goals, with the hitherto known views on this, with the possible “agreement” of others, and Dodik who has long been outside everything that is “state” except in blockades, laws and procedures, and a relaxed High Representative – all together, as it is, should create a “platform” for a future solution. If subsequently someone targeted and internally agreed, and as if by accident does not withdraw and pulls the plug. And then we go all over again, democratically. And so on until the next elections in 2026. In the meantime, the EU would probably praise the “process”. Just don’t shoot!

This is nothing new. Many have reconciled and resonated, which is why the EU High Representative is here. To promise that the action will start after relaxation. And with the help of the Americans. Even Biden resolved the matter amicably with the Taliban to the surprise of America, Europe and Afghanistan, but not to the surprise of the Taliban. Well, Trump agreed everything with them and signed in Doha a year and a half ago. The world didn’t ask anything. Those are international politics today.

Here, since the announcement of the arrival of the energetic German, we have been analytically speculating on what is important behind the scenes. And what actions did the EU and the Americans think of because we are very important to them. It was only known that the action would be real, final, unquestionable, radical, etc. and – it was promised in that interview for DW – that “it can’t all be ethnic…” and that one should be “relaxed”…

Then came the CSU Bavarian-Party meeting on the topic: “Euro-Atlantic perspectives of Bosnia and Herzegovina”. Before that, there was the Regional Forum in Bled on the “Future of Europe”. There, “non-paper” Jansa, the host of a country that also holds the presidency of the EU Council, determined Bosnia’s status, diplomatically unquestionable: he did not even greet the BiH delegation as a participant in the Forum. Dodik did not agree, and he is a landmark for many of our direct and indirect neighbours. They know why. I guess the low level of their delegation was, “only” the chairman of the Presidency of BiH Komšić, a member of the Presidency of BiH Džaferović and the High Representative of the EU in BiH Schmidt! However, Bled did not particularly upset the public in BiH after other events. Mild by default, with a few sparks after.

Echoes from Germany, of course, with media-targeted make-up depending on the source of the story, were fundamentally different. And important for understanding the essence. When everything unfolds, it is essential that the endless, organized, politically hypocritical and somewhat sadistic mutilation about what it is, where it is, whose Bosnia and Herzegovina it is – continues. Where everything that should have been done concretely has been stopped. With numerous handovers on the Dayton-Europe-High Representative line all the way to Schmidt. But the underground sadomasochistic boiling continues. Who is on which side, who is for the entities and who is not, who recognizes civil rights and who does not, who constitutes and who does not, who respects The Hague and who does not, whether there was genocide or not, who attacked whom and who defended, whether it was a civil war or aggression, whether BiH can do anything without Belgrade and Zagreb, according to Dayton or not, whether soap goes first and then baby powder or vice versa? And so, for almost thirty years. Which fitted into the “internal German debate” the other day, in Neustadt “an der Aisch”.

An authentic version of this says that Schmidt dealt again with the dilemma of states or the case of Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats, and now “both Russia and Turkey can be part of the solution”. The President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schauble, dissidently reminded the EU that they were strengthening “centrifugal forces which, under the influence of neighbouring countries, threaten to split the fragile state structure”. He thus reopened the door for new debates with those external, centrifugal powers, about their unquestionable “Dayton rights” (sic!) Towards BiH. Until they arrange it exactly the way they want it to their advantage. Until the breakup. Particularly pragmatic and focused on philosophical solutions to get out of the Dayton coma was the historian Marie-Janine Calic with her dubious lamentations about genocide, Srebrenica, reconciliation which is a problem because “the mothers of Srebrenica do not want it”. In all this, one really cannot forget the incidental fact that during the war the historian was an adviser to the UN special envoy for the former Yugoslavia Yasushi Akashi, directly guilty of bloody terror over Bosnia and especially Sarajevo since it did not last at least “three times” shorter than it did, from ’92. until the end of ’95.

Who will change Dayton?

All these talks have no end, nor will they have one if conducted in this way in the organization of the OHR and people who persistently take turns as the caravans pass. At the same time, it never occurred to any of the concerned world leaders that Dayton could be changed only by those who brought it, and they do not show that they will, and possibly the once awakened people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. If he ever gets his head out of his ass, on what this is all about, who is doing it and why. And dealing with those who are guilty, in a way that would awaken a lot of euthanized, blinded and blackmailed so-called nations, the OHR and the EU with the Americans, could do – if they wanted to – concretely, simply and quickly, if they dealt with their established powers and capacity. Without prolonging the agonies of debates, theorizing, philosophizing with ignorance of this world. There are competent institutions for that, educational, academic, political, etc. Their field is wide. The former, mentioned, should turn to the beginning, in a dramatically mature situation for that exclusively. A key point on the EU list of 14 requests to us, on the road to Europe: the rule of law and the reform of judicial institutions. So, the classic court sanctioning on the genealogy of evil in Bosnia and Herzegovina. True cartels and mafias in society and institutions.

Recently, a friend of mine, a law professor once in our country, and now in the big world, aware of the difficulties with the idea he is seriously and hypothetically telling me, said: All stories about constitutional and other reforms should be forgotten, they would last for years again. Americans should be asked (of course if it’s in their best interest) to send a “Dayton” strong FBI team here, give them all the criminal files of the mafia that “run” the country and let them do their job professionally, nothing more… In a year, this would be a noticeably swept society, but also an open door to optimism and trust in the state, opportunities for the profession, youth, enthusiasm and patriotism, for concrete activism… Step by step. But only those who can and will.

Mafia and State

I remembered then the true story from the life of Italy thirty years ago. On the trail of what is known about states that have a mafia, and a mafia that has a state in Italy. Everything tipped over and strong and incorruptible were brought to the judiciary and the police, positions from what had to be done could be done. The mayor of Palermo at the time, Leoluca Orlando, said about the situation in the country: “The mafia is against the state, but at the same time it is in the state itself. Against banks and works in banks. Against the church and within the church, against society and within society.” The battle against them, with not a few honest and strong individuals, with power for taking care of things, was led by heroes from the very top of the system, judiciary and police, such as Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino… Hundreds of criminals and the mobster ended up in jail. Falcone and Borsellino were killed in assassinations, because the mayor of Palermo was right: The mafia was everywhere and knew everything. But the crime woke up Italy.

Maybe the comparison is incoherent, and maybe it’s not. The Mafia is all around us, and we theorize about the baits on the hooks thrown by them, in politics and society – state or nation, entities, citizens or constituency, history and roots… And so on until the last smart and educated people, with the right degree, honest and humiliated, young and eager for a normal life – are not driven as far as possible. And the rest, even after Schmidt, in a few years, will continue arguing over whether they need the OHR and what its job is. While the mafia is growing, both against the state and in the state, against banks and in banks, against the “church” and within them, against society and within it.

Until all the relaxed ones leave and move into their pocket.

Idi naVrh

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