National Congress of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
ONLINE NEWSLETTER - International
July 31, 2008
1. Silajdzic for BBC: Old Bosnian Serb plan 'thriving'
2. A SERBIAN AGENT WITH SWEET WORDS BUT POISONOUS ACTIONS
3. Appendix: BOSNIAN PRESIDENT AGAINST LIFTING OF THE ARMS EMBARGO ON BOSNIA
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1. Old Bosnian Serb plan 'thriving'
Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic says the arrest of Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic obscures a more important issue - that his "ethnic cleansing" project is still "thriving".
Talking to BBC television's Hardtalk programme, he criticised the Dayton peace deal which ended the 1990s war in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
The following are excerpts from Stephen Sackur's interview with Mr Silajdzic, who was a Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) leader in the war.
Q: We have seen in recent days the joy of people in Sarajevo, the tears of relief from the families of victims, of those murdered in Srebrenica. What are your feelings when you now reflect on the capture of Karadzic?
I'm especially glad for the families of victims, because at least they have some satisfaction. But then I think the focus should not be on the criminal, but on the crime.
Obviously Karadzic is arrested and his project is not arrested, it's free and thriving, living in Bosnia-Hercegovnia. [Former Yugoslav President Slobodan] Milosevic is dead, Karadzic is arrested, [former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko] Mladic will be arrested hopefully one day - and we have their project thriving.
Q: When people around the world hear that, I think they won't understand it. What do you mean, the project is "thriving"? Patently that isn't true, Bosnia is now in peace.
Bosnia is in peace exactly because that project succeeded. Hundreds of thousands of - at least half a million - people are outside their own country because they have been ethnically cleansed, they're not there, because they were forced to get out under the threat of death. Our constitutional arrangement is such that actually it rewards the aggression and genocide and ethnic cleansing and so on.
Q: But hang on a moment, the situation in Bosnia today is reflective of the agreement which your own Bosnian leadership signed in 1995, the Dayton accords, that is the system under which Bosnia runs today, you signed it.
Exactly. One technical correction - we are Bosniaks. True we are Muslims, but we have a national name, we are Bosniaks. Yes, it was signed, at gunpoint. It was signed, the question is whether it was implemented or not. I say it wasn't implemented. And I'll prove this to you.
The criminal is caught and we leave the money on his account - that is not logical to me
The crucial part is so-called Annex Seven of the agreement, about the return of refugees and so on in dignity. Now Karadzic, the same man captured now, said he could tolerate in that part of Bosnia - tolerate - up to 10% of non-Serbs, meaning that Bosniaks and Croats are out… Now the level of return today in that part of Bosnia is 8%. So we did not live even up to Karadzic's expectations. That's why I say the project is kicking and alive.
Q: I asked you for your reaction to Karadzic's capture, and you've already taken us right back to the detail of the Dayton accord and what you believe to be the failures of that accord. Many people say to you, Haris Silajdzic, it's time to move on, look forward, not back.
Well, those who'd like to keep that arrangement are looking back. I'm looking toward citizens' representation in Bosnia, not ethnic representation - I think that's looking back.
Q: Are you saying that for you the political future for Bosnia has to rest upon eliminating the Republika Srpska, created under Dayton? That is, the autonomous Serb region inside Bosnia?
By the way, created by that same man Karadzic. He named it himself. So I think it would be a travesty arresting this man and at the same time legalising his project. Yes I have a different future for Bosnia. I'd like to see a Bosnia of the regions, a decentralised state, but based on the economic regions... not based on ethnic regions. It's never been an ethnically divided country. It survived the 15th Century, 16th Century but did not survive the 20th Century as a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, genuinely ancient multi-cultural world...
I give credit to the new Serbian government, and [Serbian] President [Boris] Tadic himself for doing this [arresting Karadzic]. It's a very good move for all of us, not only Serbia, Bosnia, but the whole region. I think it's turning a new page. I think it'll probably provide the ingredients for catharsis in Serbia itself… to go through real change, to challenge the established paradigms about nation, nationality, Europe and so on....
But again the focus should be on the project. The criminal is caught and we leave the money on his account. That is not logical to me.
Q: A very different perspective and different emotions are heard on the streets of Pale [in Republika Srpska]... Serbs who live in Republika Srpska, many of them feel an unfairness about the process… they say there are Muslims too who are yet to be held to account, who also committed crimes in the terrible years from 1992 to 95. Would you acknowledge that?
Oh, this is equalisation, which is wrong… They were defending themselves. It was a war against civilians, and civilians defended themselves. The crucial difference is what is your intent? The Bosniaks' intent was to defend themselves… In defending themselves they may have committed in some places some things I wouldn't like to hear or see..
When you are attacked, your family is slaughtered before your own eyes, what do you do? Defend yourself. Then the international community imposed an arms embargo not on Milosevic, because he had the arms, but on the victim - the international community, the [UN] Security Council, committed a cosmic moral mistake... not allowing us the right to defend ourselves…
There are politicians in Bosnia using nationalist rhetoric these days, and also trying to belittle symbols of Bosnia, for example throwing the flag of Bosnia publicly from the table… so this equalisation is very dangerous…
Q: ... The international community has become increasingly frustrated with you, sees you as part of the problem, blocking progress toward a reformed, modernised Bosnia…
What was I blocking? I'm fighting all my life for a multi-ethnic Bosnia. Even during the war, I had no nationalist rhetoric, no nationalist feeling. I'm fighting for more centralised power, not a centralised state. But more centralised power... So why would I reject a proposal that amends our constitution? Why?... There's a good reason. That amendment was meant to soften the position of Belgrade on Kosovo. It was compensation for Serbia…
My question is to you - if you sign a contract today and parts of it are ignored what do you do? ...You go back to the law.
Q: The EU is telling you to move on... You can change and modify Dayton, but not throw it into the trash can.
I want to implement it. There are obstructions - by whom? Everybody knows - those who kicked those hundreds of thousands out... So this looking forward into the 21st Century, if it means accepting this fascist ideology then I'm not a forward-looking man…
My strategic objective is the EU and Nato alliance... not because of economic benefit, but because of stability and peace... They can be secured under these two roofs. I'm working on it day and night…
The Karadzic arrest will reveal some more details about the genocide and Srebrenica and will prove that genocide took place in other parts of Bosnia-Hercegovina...
But shall we build our future on the results of ethnic cleansing and genocide?.. I think that's backward-looking…
The international community is in love with the status quo, but sometimes for the sake of stability and peace you have to actually do something, not follow the line of least resistance, and break some eggs to make this omelette.
The following is the comment on this interview:
2. A SERBIAN AGENT WITH SWEET WORDS BUT POISONOUS ACTIONS
By: Muhamed Borogovac, Ph. D.
What is the problem with Dayton? Why has it been so advantageous for the Serbian aggressor, and did not work for Bosnians? The answer is simple: it gave the Serbian aggressors everything they wanted immediately (i.e. change of the constitution) while the return of refugees and other provisions that benefit Bosnians were left for some undefined future. Such unbalanced contracts are commonly known as fraud.
Silajdzic complains that Annex 7 (return of refugees) has not been implemented by some imaginary entity he refers to as the "international community". However, he was the one of those who negotiated and signed the Dayton accord, even though he knew very well no clauses or mechanisms were included that would outline how that part of the agreement would be implemented and by whom. He knew that the sides in any agreement control its implementation, only if they preserve their leverage. I am one of the people who called him to warn him about it. I know at least two other members of Bosnian Congress USA, who begged him not to sign the Dayton accord for those very reasons, and he hung up on us. Prof. Francis Boyle, then legal advisor to the BiH government, had also analyzed the Dayton accord in great detail, and warned against signing it, equating it to total capitulation, which can be found at:
The reason that we called Silajdzic, and not anybody else, was that at that time he publicly acted as if he was in strong opposition to Dayton. He cried to women of Srebrenica: "I will never betray you." In fact, that was just a performance for the Bosnian public meant to keep the Bosnian people feeling secure that Silajdzic would not allow such unscrupulous compromises against Bosnia in Dayton.
The clauses of the Dayton peace agreement that were meant to help the Bosniak people are not implemented because the Bosnian Prime Minister and President (Silajdzic and Izetbegovic) accepted that the Dayton constitution was to be implemented immediately, even before the necessary ratification by the parliament of the Republic Bosnia-Herzegovina. That gave the Serbian side all of the benefits upfront including the ability to veto other clauses of the agreement such as the return of the refugees. This is a catastrophic deceit of people from their own leaders, who actually are Communist operatives installed on the leadership position of Bosnia before the war.
The Clinton administration also had its own shameful role in this dishonorable act the Dayton conspiracy against the victims of genocide, which marred the reputation of the USA regardless of the excuse that "Bosniak leaders signed that agreement". We omit those details as we have discussed them earlier, but the American administration was complicit because it knew that Silajdzic and Izetbegovic worked for the Serbian aggressor and the administration still decided to participate and lend the appearance of credibility to the process that tore apart a country, member of UN, that was a victim of such deeply prepared aggression.
Later, during the adaptation of the laws of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Dayton constitution, the representatives aligned with Silajdzic in the new Bosnian parliament adopted versions of bills that strengthened the partition of the country. This is why former High representative in Bosnia, Ashdown, correctly pointed out in a recent interview in the Bosnian daily Avaz that Bosnia is closer to the point of falling apart now than it was in 1995 when the Dayton agreement was signed.
In his interview to the BBC, Silajdzic stated that Bosnian's hands were tied because "the international community imposed an arms embargo". The truth is that the Silajdzic-Izetbegovic government was responsible for preservation of arms embargo on the army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Izetbegovic twice rejected arming of the Bosnian Army by the USA. More precisely, the US Congress passed bills that offered to Bosnia unilateral lifting of the arms embargo by the United States, and he rejected those offers. He did so in his address to the UN General Assembly on October 24, 1995 by stating that he wanted the US and the UN to establish a balance of weapons at an impossible lower level (disarmament of Serbian military machine in Bosnia) instead of the offered higher level (providing comparable weapons to the Bosnian Army). He tied the hands of the friends of Bosnia by making it clear that he wished to negotiate with the Serbian aggressors on their terms. For your convenience, we copied that Izetbegovic's speech; see item #3 of this Newsletter.
Therefore, Siladzic is lying to Bosnjaks that our hands were tied by the "international community". The truth is that our hands were tied by Serbian agents Izetbegovic and Silajdzic, who signed the reprehensible (and illegal, by the Bosnian constitution which it replaced) Dayton agreement where everything that the Serbs demanded, including a new constitution that legalized Karadzic's ethnically clean RS, was implemented immediately, while tokens thrown in for the Bosnian people were left for later without any mechanism or intent for ever implementing them. Now Silajdzic feigns patriotism by begging some imaginary "internationa community" to "implement" Dayton, like he did in the above interview.
Muhamed Borogovac, Ph.D.
42 Bexley Rd.
Roslinadle MA, 02131
3. Appendix: BOSNIAN PRESIDENT AGAINST LIFTING OF THE ARMS EMBARGO ON BOSNIA
Statement by H.E. President Alija Izetbegovic
The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Special Commemorative Meeting of the General Assembly on the occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations
October 24, 1995
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, Excellencies, distinguished delegates,
The organization of the United Nations, whose anniversary we today celebrate always been a source of our hope, but also a constant cause of our disappointment. Some say that it the largest, but on occasions, the most inefficient body in human history. The number of unimplemented resolutions is a proof of this. Being as it is, our organization probably reflects the imperfection of our world. If the continuous improvement of the world is not work in vain, the further improvement of the United Nations is not only possible but very necessary.
The supreme goal is the maintenance of peace. The United Nations has succeeded in the prevention of global conflict, but it has proved less effective in stopping local ones. The sum of the catastrophic consequences in local wars since the foundation of the United Nations until today has reached a tragic balance with the world wars of this century.
The United Nations acted effectively in stopping the Gulf crisis. Unfortunately, this efficacy has not repeated itself in the case of the aggression against my country. The price of hesitation has been enormous. My people paid this price.
I would like to repeat the words of the Georgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, who at this rostrum, two days ago, stated that "we must have the courage and the will to call an aggressor, an aggressor, and genocide, genocide."
As you know, very often, there has been a lack of either courage or will, and sometimes both.
In several days, the talks on peace in Bosnia will commence. We approach this initiative, undertaken by the United States and its President, with the best of faith and with plenty of hope. Our people need and want peace. We have not started this war, and although we are winning, we have not dreamed of being victors in war. We have always worked towards peace and we would like to be victors in peace.
We want to create a society based on political and ethnic pluralism, the respect for human rights, and private enterprise. Since, on the other side, everything is opposite to this, we are confident that our ideas will triumph in a peaceful game in the next 5 to 10 years. Thanks to the remarkable superiority of our model of society and state we shall win, with God's help.
The Bosnian Government and Army will no accept the division and disintegration of our country, no matter in what packaging it may be served. The division of Bosnia will lead to the continuation of war, immediately or later.
Genuine democratic elections in Bosnia are a big -if not the only- real chance to remove from the commanding political and military functions the war criminals and nationalist fanatics who have caused this war and who will continue to poison the relations between people and nations. In order that this chance for democracy in the Balkans not be wasted, it is necessary to ensure certain conditions. These conditions are freedom and effective international supervision of elections.
If the peace negotiations are concluded successfully, the renovation of the war stricken areas will follow, in particular in Bosnia. The international community is promising significant support to the reconstruction plan. In this connection, I would make one, may be unexpected, proposal: put conditions on this assistance. Send a clear message that the party which will not respect freedoms and human rights, will not receive assistance. And decide that these conditions should be strictly observed. Do not make mistakes again, in the hope that you can buy or improve the criminals and tyrants by new concessions. And take one step further. Isolate the criminals and tyrants. That is the only way.
Those who have lead their people to the path of crime must be removed. Without this there is no peace or security, neither in Bosnia, nor in the region.
We want and have the right to integrate Bosnia, which has been destroyed, not through the will of its people, but through the force of weapons. The Bosniak - Croat Federation is an important step in this direction and all friends of Bosnia should support and assist this project.
In order to achieve peace - and what is more - to maintain it, it is necessary to establish a balance in weaponry. This balance can be established on a higher or lower level. We give the preference to the latter, and we demand the reduction of Serbian heavy weaponry. If the Serbs reject this, the only option is to arm the Bosnian Army, which, so strengthened, will become a factor of peace and stability in the region.
At present, almost all of our cities are within the reach of Serbian artillery. This artillery must be removed or destroyed. We cannot and will not agree to continue to live under permanent threat.
And in the end, in the past two days, many speeches have been delivered in this hall. We have heard nice and noble words on democracy, freedom and all that comes with it. Freedom and justice have been recalled by some of those who have stridden and continue to stride over the basic rights of people and nations.
One of the ancient holy scripts says: "Judge them according to their deeds." Therefore, let us listen to what they are saying, but let us ask them what they are doing. As soon as they return home, unfortunately, they will contiune their course. It is up to us to stop them.
I thank you.