By: Sead OMERAGIC
What are the current politics of Croatia and Serbia towards BiH? Their politics are repacked, and Milosevic and Tudjman are still there, under the masks of new politicians. We have seen the verdicts for the crimes in BiH but not the confessions by the perpetrators.
The Hague Tribunal should have been the place of the past and the future of the Western Balkans. Two years ago Croatia openly celebrated the suicide of Slobodan Praljak in the Hague courtroom as an honorable act, claiming his innocence. The European Union wisely kept silent at the time.
Could anyone remember if EU ever mentioned the joint criminal enterprise of its own member – Croatia? Has the EU ever dealt with the verdicts of the International Criminal Court which was established on its own ground, and in which most of the honorable judges are Europeans?
And while the EU does provide financial support for some Tribunal projects, it has never genuinely dealt with the issue of denial of Srebrenica genocide and the joint criminal enterprise by Croatia in BiH.
Having said that, on the eve of reading the verdict for Karadzic, the EU issued a statement:
'The European Union fully respects decisions of the Tribunal and its successor the International Residual Mechanism for the criminal courts... EU expects all leaders in the region to respect decisions of the international courts and restrain from any statements or action which may dispute independence and impartiality of court trial. Denial or revisionism are contrary to the most fundamental European values.'
European parliament is marking the Day of genocide in Srebrenica. However, it still has not reacted to the verdict for the joint criminal enterprise by Croatian political and military high ranks. Also, the EU has kept silent to denials of the verdicts for Croatian political and military high ranks for the JCE.
This is an 'historical revisionism, opposite to the European values'. Croatia has never even considered having a serious discussion in the parliament, or asking BiH a political forgiveness in the name of peace and future.
Not to mention Covic's celebrating Bosnia and Herzegovina and an absolute denial of the joint criminal enterprise. It would be most useful if EU advised its member-state to have a discussion in the parliament and confess the crimes committed by its leaders and military officers.
Serbia also denies the genocide; only once, some 10 years ago, it gave a pale and general recognition to the Srebrenica genocide in the Assembly.
Hitlers from our street haven't left yet. While European Union keeps mute about Croatia's joint criminal enterprise, Russian politics towards BiH is utterly dishonest and one-way, solely focusing on Serb interests. There's been an expectation that close ties between Turkey and Russia, in view of the relations of Bosniaks and Serbs with those two countries, would melt Russian heart for BiH and Bosniaks.
Unfortunately, that hasn't happened or else it doesn't seem to be the case judging from public appearances. Russian politics has always directly interfered in BiH. Their long arms have reached as far as The Hague. The US general Wesley Clark revealed that at one occasion to Carla Del Ponte. When she asked him if he would lead the hunt for Karadzic, he declined. However, he did have a few tips for the chief prosecutor:
'He warned me that Russian agents guarded Karadzic and Mladic at the time Clark was the NATO commander', Del Ponte revealed. General Clark also told the chief prosecutor: 'Russians don't want you to succeed. They are on the side of Serb nationalists. They are playing a dirty game. They read your mail and bug all your telephone conversations'.
We often hear the Russian ambassador in BiH Petar Ivancov openly advocating against interests of BiH. At the same time, he shows understanding for denial of Srebrenica genocide and the Croatian JCE. Ivancov defends Dragan Covic if needed (and if not). He doesn't seem to notice that Bakir Izetbegovic is trying to get close to Russians via Turkey – in vain. Judging by Ivancov's statements and actions, Russia is not likely to change its policy towards BiH. I'm not sure if even Americans can see that the EU is turning blind eye to open collaboration between Serb and Croat politics in and around BiH. And that the EU is likely to have let Russia have the Western Balkans. Croatian politics is rather successfully pushing Bosniaks away from the West and NATO – straight into Russian arms. Covic will continue to dispute Bosnian road to the NATO, while his obedient defense minister will continue to make affirmative statements about Euro Atlantic integrations, while Izetbegovic is turning towards Turkey and Russia.
European Union and the United States display anger at Bosniak politics. When Covic and Dodik misbehave, it is only natural.
One cannot help but wonder... is it normal that Bosniak politics advocates for construction of highway to 'greater-Serbia' in their own country? Is there a way out of this 'rashomon'? Is there a way back?
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