Monday, September 24, 2007


I have not been in Srebrenica since 1992. For the most part this is my fault but I have been postponing this trip for 15 years now. My parents and my brother have been in Srebrenica two times since the end of the war but I have been a coward every time. Not once have I managed to overcome this fear and anxiety that I feel deep inside, even though I am fully aware that it is perfectly safe in Srebrenica now. This fear and extreme nervousness keep bothering me to such an extent that I am beginning to wonder will I ever be able to make this trip to Srebrenica. Chris Daughtry’s incredible song Home best describes my nostalgia.

I asked my brother to describe his first impression of Srebrenica after the end of the war and he said that everything had changed. The town appeared to be much smaller than before the war and our house was barely recognizable. The people seemed unfriendly and hostile and the tension was omnipresent. I have been thinking about why all the survivors of the Bosnian carnage upon their return to Srebrenica get similar impressions as the one offered by my brother. I do not know why this is the case and it is by no means a simple question. However, I do know beyond any doubt that even the people who had not been in Srebrenica during the war have been deeply traumatized by the events. My family and I were constantly worrying about my grandparents who had stayed behind. Plagued by these gruesome memories the people who have been in a post-war Srebrenica view everything differently. Everything suddenly appears much smaller than it actually is. I theorize that this is simply some kind of a defense mechanism that helps people cope with traumatic events. Needless to say, it is in one way a traumatic event to return to Srebrenica knowing that my grandfather was killed there and that the remains of many victims are scattered in the surrounding forests.

I intend to videotape my first visit to a post war Srebrenica and to post the video to my blog. Hopefully some of my readers will appreciate this.

Friday, May 25, 2007

ESC and Politics

Although I think that the right song won this year’s ESC, there are nevertheless a few points that need to be addressed. Marija Serifovic’s performance was unprecedented and there is no doubt that Serbia deserved to win. However, I was appalled when I noticed the reaction of Serifovic after she had received the results of Bosnian voting. As is well known, Bosnia gave 12 points to Serbia. Shortly afterwards, Serifovic raised three fingers. This notorious sign is frequently used by Serb nationalists and extremists to incite hatred toward the non-Serb population in the region. Perceived as a sign of Serb supremacy, many non-Serbs were highly offended by this egregious gesture of Serifovic. This morally reprehensible gesture should once again serve as a reminder that a concept of reconciliation between Serbs and non-Serbs is merely a utopia.

The day after the show the Swedish media reported of this incident while the Bosnian media failed to mention a single word of the incident. To remain politically correct, the Bosnian press deliberately refuse to address any sensitive issues that might further exacerbate the already poor relations between Serbs and Muslims in Bosnia. This is certainly understandable to a certain extent but the people deserve to know the truth. Nationalism still plays a pivotal role in Serbia, which was evident from the aforementioned incident that took place during this year’s ESC. The Swedish media also pointed out that many survivors of the Bosnian carnage who reside in Sweden complained to the President of the ESC following the inappropriate gesture by Serifovic but to no avail. Why mix politics with the ESC and deliberately offend the survivors of the Bosnian war? Why further destabilize the situation between Serbs and non-Serbs in Bosnia?
I am deeply concerned about the situation in Bosnia and I am highly skeptical about the future of Bosnia. As long as there are three groups in Bosnia with completely different visions for Bosnia, there can never be any long term stability, let alone a reconciliation.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Justice is non-existent for Bosnia!

Today’s acquittal of Serbia means that the concept of justice is highly overrated. While the court in the Hague acknowledged that Serbia provided Bosnian Serbs with arms during the war in Bosnia it simultaneously failed to fully acknowledge the complicity of the Serbian authorities in the Bosnian carnage. If you aid someone who you know is committing an atrocity then you must be found equally guilty as the person committing the actual atrocity. An accomplice, and there is no doubt that Serbia aided and abetted the genocide in Bosnia, must be held to account. Failure to do so has severe implications for all of us. This basically means that a state that knowingly and deliberately provides a group of people with arms who then commit war crimes can escape responsibility for those crimes. The Serbian authorities were fully aware of the atrocities perpetrated by the Bosnian Serb army and still provided Serbs in Bosnia with both ground troops and arms. Today’s verdict sends an unambiguous message to the rest of the world: any state can use a proxy army to achieve its goal without having to face any repercussions. Let the others do the dirty job for you and simply stand back and watch the carnage.

One of the main reasons Serbia was acquitted today is its powerful lobbyists. Numerous examples from the history show that those with the money can escape a conviction. Simply influence the right people and the victory is yours. I believe in justice but I also know that justice cannot be done unless you have the money. Serbia has been giving shelter to Karadzic and Mladic now for 13 years without having to face any consequences whatsoever. Serbia has refused to cooperate with the War Tribunal in the Hague and to extradite the notorious war criminals. This verdict is ridiculous and completely unfounded. This is the greatest setback for the people of Bosnia since the end of the war.