By: Amir Suzanj
Just when we thought that the times of coups were over, and that they were no longer en vogue even in Latin America, in the last 15 days we saw two attempts of coup d’état. One took place in Africa's Gabon, attempted by some charlatans in military uniforms. For the entirety of 15 minutes they held captive a microphone of a local radio-station which they used to inform that they were taking over the government, until a police patrol backed by an incomplete units of civil defense and a local postman, arrested them and sent to prison.
The second coup, if we are to believe interpretations by the regime in the Republika Srpska, was also attempted without success by conspirators from the organization 'Justice for David' (Pravda za Davida) behind which, they say, are sinister foreign factors determined to destabilize Republika Srpska, and according to credible intel, are led by British intelligence!!!
If we were so arrogant and cheeky to not believe Dodik and his associated when they say it was a classic attempt of coup d’état, we would surely reach out for a dictionary of a sort, or an encyclopedia, and read in it that a coup, by definition, means an anti-constitutional and illegal dismissal of bearers of power in some state, with use of military force and mainly with political backing by foreign factors. It is most often undertaken by high ranking political officials and antiregime officers and, in order for it to succeed, it is necessary to achieve full control over military, police and media.
And only then we would be utterly confused!!!
If we are to blindly follow the definition, we will right at the start wonder how it is possible for a coup d’état to be carried out in a political subject that is not even a state, practically in one piece of a state. If we happen to buy into statements of the regime that the coup was attempted by a conspiratory organization 'Justice for David', we will have to ponder the question what kind of military force the group counted on in their destructive intention... the group led by Davor Dragicevic who, as the public was able to see, did not have a penny in his pocket, not to mention weapons.
Additionally, if we take seriously that unavoidable detail from the definition that, for a successful coup it is necessary to seize control over military and police, we will laugh to tears watching those stuck up members of the support unit who would never trade their easy life in uniform for some ideals, not to mention support for some group of adventurers that rebel against the government every now and then, so they are forced to stand guard every night at 'Banja Luka Tiananmen' instead of going to pub.
There's no such revolutionary in the world history who would convince them to abandon the regime and join the rebellion!
And as far as foreign support is concerned, we, the media people, have not managed to understand from Dodik's mute and vague statement, who from the position of the chairman of the Presidency BiH, continues to rule the Republika Srpska, if this attempt of coup is a continued action of those 40 English intelligence chaps, highly specialized members of British military intelligence services who before the October elections had come to destabilize the Republika Srpska and its regime and enable the Alliance to win the elections so that the entity could be definitively dismantled and deconstructed.
If we happen to be so silly as to seriously accept the statements of the regime in the Republika Srpska about what coup d’état actually is, we will conclude that the last coup in modern Europe was carried out by – Milorad Dodik. You will recall (some perhaps will not as their memory runs as far as the actual national leader) that it happened in the beginning of 1998 when Biljana Plavsic, then president of the Republika Srpska, appointed Milorad Dodik a prime minister. As he did not have his own army and loyal officers who would bear the 'military dimension' of the coup, the international community 'rented' him their own forces, so it was on their tanks, just like it fits your real national hero, with blessing by then high representative Karlos Vestendorp, that he marched into a legend – he became a president of the government at the time when his party at the entity parliament had a stable majority of two delegates. It was a school example of impeccably executed legal coup with all necessary elements, all of it by the book. The international forces first arrested and ousted bunch of SDS officials, after which they collected delegates at the entity parliament and brought them to the assembly hall by helicopters, and eventually they enthroned a man they considered a 'cooperative' leaders with a vision for the future.
Several months later, the US state secretary Madeleine Albright gave full legitimacy to the upheaval with her visit to Banja Luka. We still remember a touching welcome by the enthusiastic prime minister and military and state honors for the high US official.
The story about coups and manipulation of the term in the history of the Balkans deserve a special place. In October 1934, in the night when his close relative king Aleksandar was murdered, Pavle Karadjordjevic realized all the opportunities before a capable and wise man if he knows how to manipulate the term 'coup'. As the regent, meaning the first in line to the throne before Aleksandar's son Petar II comes of age, he forbade the people that same night to broadcast the news about the death of Yugoslav monarch with an excuse that the communist could attempt coup. It must be that that dramatic night at the court, general Petar Zivkovic, president of government Nikola Uzunovic and minister of internal affairs Bozidar Maksimovic, who were at a session with the prince, wondered how possibly and with whose army and support the communist could attempt coup when 95% of communist leadership was imprisoned and those remaining 5% was terrified of possible arresting so they kept to their conspiratory shelters.
They realized what prince Pavle had in mind they realized when it was already too late – when they learned that that same night, he took away Aleksandar's gold from the famous Belgrade lawyer Todorovic, the personal attorney of the king, and stashed it away into his own safe. Indeed it was the most creative and most brilliant example of manipulating with possible coup in the entire Serb history because already next morning, after the successful night operation, he showed no concern as to how and when media would broadcast the news about the death of king Aleksandar and what may happen afterwards.
The regime in the Republika Srpska could not ever compete in creativity and capability with that of prince Pavle, so this current manipulation with coup is by far more primitive with incomparably lower goals. It has come down to mere intimidation of people, especially those already lost academic and intellectual circles so that they not dare to support street protests in Banja Luka. Dodik's model of rule 'Republika Srpska – that is me' one again revealed his determination to cut at the root anything that smells of rebellion against the regime.
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