Ivana Marić: A Lot of Talk, and Few Sanctions

Are these the terrible and terrifying sanctions that were supposed to scare and stop Dodik? Is this all of the sanctions they have been announcing for months and which have created a false hope among the people that they will finally get rid of corrupt politicians? If that is all, then it would have been better if they had never mentioned the sanctions, because what they did will not harm Dodik, but will further strengthen him. No wonder then that the news of the renewal of sanctions against him, Dodik celebrated with song and accordion.

He was put on the ‘black list’ of the American administration a few years ago, so the renewal of sanctions will not touch him. This is a new sure goal for him, which the international community is throwing at him. Inzko’s decision served to block state institutions, and these ‘terrible and frightening’ sanctions will be the reason for him to continue with the blockades and to thicken the national rhetoric.

Further Deterioration

Such symbolic sanctions only make the situation even more difficult for us, because corrupt politicians will use this to further worsen the political and security situation in the country. You don’t have to help us if you don’t have the desire, will and courage to do it, but don’t help us either, because that’s exactly what you’ve been doing for years. If the West really wants to help BiH get rid of corrupt politicians, then they should impose sanctions on many more politicians, companies, media, directors of public companies, judges and prosecutors. Dodik is not so smart and capable that he could achieve all this on his own. There are many who help him in that, not only from the Serbian people, but also from the Croat and Bosniak people. Corrupt politicians do not know nationalism, they only use nationalism to cover up crime.

If the sanctions against Dodik, Tegeltija, Kukić and ATV are just the beginning of a long list of sanctions against numerous politicians from different parties, then that could help the people think carefully about when they vote in the next elections. The situation would surely get more serious if the USA applied a scenario similar to the one in Bulgaria, in which about 60 people and companies were blacklisted. These are called sanctions, not these crumbs we got.

Dodik does not derive his power from the support of the people, but from the political and financial power he has gained over time. If Western sanctions were imposed, they would be able to stop illegal money flows through which corruption is financed and voters are bought, then that would seriously shake the whole pyramid of power. Everything else just helps Dodik regain the strength he lost over time.

What is important to keep repeating is that America imposed sanctions against these people and companies, because of corruption, not because of nationalism. Sanctioned persons are criminals, not nationalists. That is the essential difference. They are not doing anything to protect their people, but only to protect their crime and illegally acquired wealth.

When will the people grow up to expect foreigners to solve their problems and when will they realize that they are the ones who have to solve their problems? Dodik was chosen by the people and he should replace him. Just like all other corrupt politicians from all three nations, and, of course, from the ranks of the Others, because corruption has affected every pore of our society. The people do not need anyone’s help, it is enough that as many voters as possible go to the polls and vote for some other, better politicians. Of course, provided they are not happy with the ones they have chosen. If they are satisfied, then let them vote for them again or let them not go to the polls again. Just stop expecting others to clean up the mess they made themselves.

Voters who elect such corrupt politicians to lead them are not victims but accomplices. This refers to those 20–30 percent of citizens who voted for the ruling coalition, whether they did it because those parties owed them in some way, or they are so naive that they believe that they will do something for them and their people.

How naive you have to be to still believe that HDZBiH, SNSD and SDA will fight for something that they have been promising for decades, but they have not fulfilled. How naive you have to be to believe that they will succeed in protecting their peoples, stand in front of them and lead them into battle, when they did not do it when needed, but hid in basements, engaged in business or smuggling. Why would it be any different now?

What the leading BiH politicians talk is the opposite of what they do, so it’s much more important to watch what they do, instead of listening to what they say. They complained about how badly they live, how their children have been unemployed for years, how their jobs are not going well, how they have to live on a few thousand marks for several months. We would feel sorry for their heartbreaking story, if we did not know what grand estates and houses they own, or we did not see the expensive clothes worn by their wives and children, whose individual value exceeds the annual salary of workers, and know that their children, sons-in-law godparents and business partners regularly receive jobs worth millions in tenders of public companies. Some of it is a lie, and it’s not hard to guess what.

When you listen to the presidents of the national parties talking about each other, you would think that they are angry enemies. But then you look at how nicely they agree on the distribution of election spoils, how they serve each other state institutions, ministries and public companies, in which each of them employs their relatives, friends and the electorate. Through these companies they withdraw money to their private accounts, they employ relatives, friends and the electorate in these companies, they extract money from these companies to buy voters who failed to push into state crèches, and through these companies they withdraw millions to finance election campaigns, especially electoral fraud. Self-proclaimed leaders of the people are no enemies, they have an enviable level of support and help each other in gaining wealth by stealing from citizens and thus destroying the state. Such loyalty and support are rare.

Don’t Listen to What They Say, Watch What They Do

When you hear what self-proclaimed leaders of the people say about each other, you would think that they would never do anything for each other. And then look at how generous the Bosniak political leadership is towards Croatia, so they give them all the state functions they want, give them a secure position of president of the Federation of BiH, give them the most important state ministries, and give them dominance in defence and finance for years. The Croatian side does not remain indebted, which is best seen by the extent to which they protect spouses and close friends of individuals from the Bosniak political leadership by holding them in their positions, despite numerous scandals and dubious diplomas, where people of integrity and without any stain should be. The Croatian side could easily remove those personnel with the help of the opposition, but why would they do that when they can get more by exchanging services with the Bosniak side? Those criminals who are sold as nationalists have an unwritten rule, that is the mafia moral code ‘don’t touch my people and my business, I won’t touch yours either’. The fact that both of them tore apart the state and looted everything in their path does not worry either of them or the third.

You can hardly hold back your tears when you see how the members of the Presidency of BiH, Dodik, Džaferović and Komšić, help each other to appoint ambassadors around the world. Thus, with Dodik’s will, Abdullah Skaka will be the BiH ambassador to Qatar. It would be a shame not to share such a pearl with the world. In the package with him, Dodik’s ambassador in Paris was also appointed, who will undoubtedly represent BiH interests in France in the best light.

Let’s not forget that the SDA was the one that gave HDZ BiH and SNSD absolute power in the House of Peoples of BiH. parliament, giving them the power to block any decision they do not like. Would the enemy be so generous? When you think about it, think that only someone who is naive, someone who does not know the Constitution of BiH and the way state institutions function, or someone who received a certain favour in return, and maybe someone who is all of this combined, could do it. Would anyone normal, to his worst enemies, voluntarily and without reciprocity, surrender so much power of management and block?

When you hear Komšić how verbally, he threatens and branches his hands towards Dodik and Čović, you would think that they are fierce enemies. But then you hear that Komšić and Dodik are drinking a glass of Dodik’s homemade brandy in Džaferović’s office. Čović was most pleased with Komšić’s announcement that he would be a candidate for a member of the Presidency of BiH again, because for him that means pre-won elections without a ‘shot fired’. This will mean that Čović will not have to lead the election campaign in the next elections either, because Komšić did the hardest part for him, again putting Croats in his pen. Komšić will not stay short-sleeved either, because Bosniaks will vote for him again, that is against Čović, which will provide him with another four years of sitting in a comfortable armchair with an excellent salary for which he does not have to do anything, but only to verbally threaten Dodik and Čović.

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