The following text originally appeared on the Al Jazeera Balkans Ope-Ed page on 9 February 2014. The author is Nedzad Ibrahmiovic a professor of literature at the University in Tuzla.
It’s clear why the OHR never reacted to apartheid in Bosnia, to the rights of minorities, to the strikes of the hungry, the tent cities, the constitutional and non-constitutional encroachments on Bosnia. For the OHR, Bosnia should remain in a constant state of neither war nor peace, believes author Nedžad Ibrahimović.
“Inzko escalated!” – was one of the striking comments that appeared on Facebook, which, unlike the mass media, is still not part of the same broken system against which the protestors stood up.
The High Representative in Bosnia, Valentin Inzko, stated for Vienna’s Kurier that the “current situation in Bosnia is the worst since the end of the war,” adding that if the “situation escalates, it would be necessary to think about [sending] EU troops,” which we assume would act to deescalate, or calm the situation.
So, the High Representative wants to calm everything, to return everything to “normalcy” adding that it’s necessary to strengthen the “rule of law.” At the very end of his interview (after reinforcing the police, the judiciary, the army, democracy, peace and other pseudo-liberal platitudes) he mentions education. Afterwards, obviously employing a psychoanalytic symptomatology, the High Representative reveals to us the fundamental strategy and ‘trauma’ of the OHR (and of the so-called ‘international community) by stating that “for a long time people haven’t protested since peace was important to them after a war in which more than 100,000 died.”
What kind of ‘hidden agenda’ and what ideological ‘traumas’ are now being revealed? It’s absolutely clear that: (1) wherever war is consistently being mentioned in the daily political “crossfire,” it factually hasn’t ended; (2) whenever peace is constantly being mentioned, unrest continues to dominate; (3) whenever tens of thousands of dead people are routinely mentioned in the daily public and political discourse (an not through the prisms of science, anthropology, victimology, historical or statistical studies), it becomes clear that this discourse doesn’t serve any other purpose than to impose ideologies that through political necrophilia have dominated the region for at least half-a-century; (d) that ‘resolving’ social and existential issues through the prisms of ethno-nationalism (read: Dayton!) does not necessarily offer a solution to any economic or other social issues; and (e) that the ethnic territorialization [of space] ‘unnaturally’ hides the economic interest behind re-territorialization.
Permanently on Life Support
If we review all possible socio-political and ideological attributes describing the OHR’s political-strategic activities, from its foundation till today, and we uncover the basic truth/trauma that Valentin Inzko and the OHR are hiding, then the simplest way of summing-it up would be that: BOSNIA SHOULD NOT BE A FREE COUNTRY! Some might say that this is because the paws of neoliberal vultures have already descended on Bosnia; some others will say that its suffocation is the condition for the sale (read: plunder) of the ‘family silver’ (water, energy, telecoms, human resources, etc); still others will say that our country must not be ‘free’ in order to be more easily partitioned between Serbia and Croatia as a ‘final solution’ (in fact, these days the meetings of Serbian politicians spanning the Drina have become more frequent, while Croatia’s Prime Minister is visiting Mostar today).
The facts are clear: now it’s obvious that since its beginning, the OHR in Sarajevo was established only to hide this essential truth/trauma. Inzko ‘escalated’ and thus revealed that the emperor has no clothes.
It’s therefore clear why the OHR has never reacted to apartheid in Bosnia, to local, ethnic and political fascisms, to the rights of minorities. It’s clear why the OHR has never reacted to the strikes of the hungry, to the tent-cities, or failed to react to the constitutional and non-constitutional attacks on Bosnia by all nationalist elites. He didn’t react, since this wasn’t his assigned task!
The OHR’s “sins of omission” now show us that they were, in fact, a “tactic for hiding the truth.”
According to the OHR, Bosnia should be in a constant state of neither war nor peace, it should remain governed in the hands of political idiots that have increasingly indebted the country to the IMF and world monetary parasites, it should constantly remain on life support machines, until they are shut-off. Well, these days, the citizens have decided to take control of the life support machinery from the political elite.
The OHR’s “sins of omission” are now revealed as a “tactic for hiding the truth.” Apartheid, nazi(onal)ism, plundered enterprises, a ravaged education system, poverty were meant to preserve the “peace after the war” as a smouldering low-intensity conflict. Just as neoliberal vampires must first sedate their victims, so to the OHR was sedating Bosnia. All of Inzko’s domestic ‘haters’ who from on-high spit on the ‘victims’ of this process, all those domestic pseudo-intellectuals with salaries of 5-6,000 KM/mo, have been working two decades only and exclusively on this.
At the time when the necessary denazification of the society should have taken place, by undertaking a general lustration, when it was necessary to allow a healthier social fabric enough room to breath and begin creating new values, the OHR instead strengthened the repressive apparatus of the state, the police, the judiciary and the prosecutors’ office. In doing so, logically, there was more and more crime, nepotism and corruption eating up whatever was left of the young and healthy social fabric in Bosnia. At the same time, the SDP’s wannabe bureaucrats were mentioning Kragujevac, WWII, and partizan battles, just as the public broadcasters, every now and then, would air partizan movies.
If the OHR ever thought of doing something seriously on behalf of the citizens of this country, they would have first worked on helping revive and boost the country’s economic life. The OHR could have helped with constitutional and educational reforms by rebuilding the core of a humanistic education in general.
The Status Quo
And if, as Inzko wants, ‘EU troops’ did come to Bosnia, what purpose would they serve? Let’s assume, that these powerful (we shouldn’t underestimate them) political-criminal, ethnic-elites – in both the Federation and in the RS – succeeded in channeling the current social unrest into ethno-national and ethno-social clashes (let’s not forget how Milosevic would ‘spit’ on ‘Slovenian fridges’)? If these ‘children’s revolutions’ (because of the JMBG protests and the large number of hopeless young people in the demonstrations), were manipulated once again to serve in fanning interethnic hostilities, or maybe an international war (Serbia and Croatia), EU troops would ‘make sense,’ but only in an attempt to return everything back to the status quo (exactly the same order that the demonstrates stood up against).
Another way of animating ‘EU troops’ would be as a means of preparing the terrain for a Dayton II, which means that they would ‘work’ with weapons to abolish the entities, to reduce or completely eliminate the cantons, to create constitutional conditions for the articulation of a civic, instead of institutionalizing an ethnically divided society, to complete the already mentioned denazificaiton of the educational system, etc.
But, then again, didn’t it all begin with guns and EU-troops in the first place anyhow?
The positions expressed in this text are the authors and do not express the editorial policy of Al-Jazeera.