By: Dr Bakir Alispahic
It is interesting how we, the Bosniaks, have to unite every now and then, which is subsequently, as unwritten rule, utilized to cover all the dirt that we had earlier spat against one another. After we unite, those things are no longer allowed to be spoken about. The reasons for arguments should now bring us together, while the faults must be spoken about as virtues.
Ever since SDA and SBB formed a political alliance of Bosniak parties, the media space has been filled by talk about 'Bosniak unity'. The leaders of the two parties were the first to stand up for it, followed by some public figures from cultural, academic and religious communities. Few understand what party leaders and your regular political figures really want. I trust the basic message to be that every Bosniak should religiously follow the decisions of these two political parties, because Bosniaks have to respect 'order and leaders'.
It is interesting that the HDZ leader, Dragan Covic, was the initiator of the alliance of the two parties. He has also been the biggest advisor to the SDA leader and a good pal to the SBB leader. Surely one can conclude that Covic is the creator of the 'Bosniak unity'. It has become obvious how fine treatment he gets from them, his loyal subjects, who also indulge him with regard to the process of power sharing. Could one analyze these absurd relations without becoming labelled as a buster of 'Bosniak unity'? The answer is no. You immediately become a traitor, an opponent, a dissident and – not Bosniak.
Equalization of the nation with 'unity' puts us in the position of political correctness. One gets labelled for betraying national interests. That moves us far away from serious relations in our society. People get sarcastic about it: 'Euphoria among people: Unity from Monday'.
Sometime ago, BH Islamic Community sent out a call to a gathering to determine common goals. Even if the invitation was justified, it was neutralized by the fact that thus far has been no dialogue between these parties about state goals in the interest of Bosniak people.
Every call to unity has for its purpose, not the unity itself, but labelled enemies who only remain to be publicly named.
Why unity and who is our enemy?
So, does this mean that we are going to have rule of law? How much of state justice are they going to share so that we can talk about the unity? Unity of who and for who? Of the competent and incompetent, of those with integrity and criminals? Unity of the poor and the rich? Unity of the humiliated and those who humiliate? Unity of those who build and those who destroy? Much to my regret, and regret of a million of other Bosniaks 'out of alliance', this is the unity of lies and deceit. This is the unity of three men, two politicians and one grand mufti who has found himself in a predicament for sake of interest of a narrow circle.
How is it possible that the unity of SBB and SDA can become an indicator of evolution of Bosniak politics when we know that these parties won elections as opponents in all respects: their antagonisms have entirely disoriented the voters. With a rarely seen brutal campaign, it was those two leaders who divided Bosniaks to the breaking point, and today they are talking about unity. People fall for such spin because they are sensitive to the issue of 'national'. I could not even guess what can be expected on the next level of manipulating public opinion. Having said that, I suppose that 'the united' will explain to us why it is so very good for Bosniaks to form a third entity, and that all Bosniaks should live along the line between Sarajevo and Tuzla.
It is obvious how one can make the best friends out of your worst enemies. They may as well start pushing people with a rifle into that unity of theirs. Had somebody somehow overslept through the year and a few months after the elections, s/he would probably have thought that the election campaign was a nightmare. We have a serious problem because our government has nothing to do with the elections. BH political scene goes to the extreme; sometime ago, the motto 'brotherhood and unity' was spat at. Now it is all about the unity of Bosniaks, and it is presumed that we are brothers who belong to the same community.
As a state, we are deeply divided along the ethnic seams. In BiH, it is not about functionality of the nation, but the functionality of the state. Lack of functionality of the state, medically speaking, is related to the hyperactivity of ethno-politicians, as well as the attention disorder as regards the state. In this ghetto of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where our collective rights have been seriously reduced, nothing else bad can be done except for bad construction of retarded national unity which forbids a critical distance.
Who knows what else awaits us in this story of 'unity' of two parties of one part of Bosniak power. We have unity and alliance; we just do not know which option formally dominates. Those from SDA talk more and more about 'alliance', those from Alliance for BB about 'power of unity'. Since forming the power, they have completely mixed up the slogans, roles and opinions. SDA and SBB should know that they are together in the power, which is quite enough of joint political goals and tasks. However, we mustn't forget that there are 80% of Bosniaks in Federation BiH, which should according to all definitions mean enough democracy to form the government. Unfortunately, even united, they do not have the capacity to do that, so they called Croats to help, giving them both what belongs to them and what does not belong to them. What this really means I mustn't say out loud; otherwise I would jeopardize the unity. Yet it does not seem to me that all Bosniaks are in the same line.
As regards their political unity, they did not even need the parties. They have all come under the coat of SDA and they are all SDA clones. The unity of SDA and SBB is just a momentary political interest and not some long term strategy. The talks about close relationship between two parties are so dramatic that one may as well expect a union of the two parties under careful supervision by the patron from Siroki Brijeg. Something like SSDA – The Union of parties of democratic action (Savez stranaka demokratskih akcija).
Nevertheless, it could be said that such processes testify of a nearing destruction of some idea or goal. When unity is forced upon people, somebody always gets hurt. We saw what neighboring countries made across BiH in the name of unity. Fascism is the last stage of unity. We are at the first 'you are either with us or against us' stage.
Subjugating of the Bosniak national body may negatively homogenize the other two constitutional groups, far more effectively than anything else. To form a government of national salvation or a government of national unity is understandable from a historic point of view. In such governments of salvation, all political and ideological options were always included. There were political 'left' and 'right' and 'center'. What is being formed here is the government of national failure, just so that we are clear.
SDA and SBB should check once more what Covic's HDZ took from the power weakened by their unity, particularly the ministries and agencies that are financially well off. They should check where goes the money (or gets spilled over out of proportion) of Bosniak tax payers. That is exactly where their national unity shows that it has no strength when it comes to decisions of executive power.
Up until now, SDA and SBB operationalized vast quantities of Bosniak unity. One could say that is has gone overboard – yet too little for Bosnia and Herzegovina and just enough for Herceg-Bosna.
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