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Radovan Karadzic Truancy and Biljana Plavsic Release: Bosnia Struggles

October 27, 2009
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Genocide, Endurance, Compassion, and Beauty: Vedran Smajlovic Playing his Cello in the Partial Ruins of the National Library

A Collision of Genocide, Endurance, and Compassion: Vedran Smajlovic Playing his Cello in the Partial Ruins of the National Library

I’m disgusted.  I would almost rather not add to Karadzic’s dramatic court absence and Biljana Plavsic’s release so as not to validate their moment in the spot light, but at the same time these events need to be documented and we need to remember how all of this plays out.  The situation is rapidly deteriorating, not only in justice not being served, but in the world’s playhouse of diplomacy.

Plavsic’s release is more than just disturbing for the reason that six years of jail (reduced from 11 years) seems to be a fitting punishment for genocide, it rather bluntly puts into perspective the climate in Bosnia.  The New York Times has a Reuters article that describes the quaint release:

“She wore a fur coat and at one point threw a kiss to the crowd upon arrival in central Belgrade with current Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik.”

Although the article misses the mark by failing to mention in that statement that Milorad Dodik is currently the Bosnian Prime Minister, the article does goes on to point out the significance of Dodik flying out to meet Plavsic upon her release:

“Dodik’s visit from Bosnia to welcome his mentor’s return highlights continued divisions in the country where 100,000 died during the war. European Union and U.S. diplomats have in recent weeks sought to bring together political leaders in the still divided country, yet have not seen any immediate success.”

Which brings me to the next issue, why are the EU and the U.S. fighting for an agreement that once again would benefit the smaller Bosnian entity within Bosnia?  The terms that have been recently drafted are reverting back to old stipulations that Milosevic wanted placed into the Dayton Accords which the main Bosnian entity could not accept because they favored encroaching Serb extremist agendas – divide and conquer.  Senator Bob Dole explains the flaws within the proposal in his Wall Street Journal article:

“First, it proposes that almost all state property be given to the two ethnic-based entities in the country (Serbian and Federation, a coalition of Muslims and Croats). This would weaken the state and strengthen these entities. Slobodan Milosevic, the architect of the Bosnian genocide, had sought to do this very thing in the Dayton Agreement, but was rebuffed. Second, the proposal preserves “entity voting”—a provision in the Dayton Agreement that allows the Serbian parliamentary minority of 22% the power to veto almost anything in parliament they deem to be against their “entity’s interest.” Invoked by the Serbs hundreds of times, this veto has prevented Bosnia from passing basic laws regulating commerce and agriculture, and even generating tax revenue. On Oct. 14, the European Commission’s 2009 Progress Report on Bosnia identified “entity voting” as a key obstacle to Bosnia’s development. Yet European negotiators in Sarajevo are making no effort to alter or end it. “

Although it is a fallacy to assume that Hillary Clinton would oppose such a proposal based on former President Bill Clinton’s efforts to end the war in Bosnia – I still find myself perplexed.  Then what about Biden’s accomplishments regarding the situation?

I guess in some ways it makes sense.  The Dayton Accords were always a band-aid that were signed under heavy pressure.  No phone calls, no faxes, no outside influences – an agreement was crucial and the bullying ensued after a failed diplomatic effort between Israel and Palestine.  Diplomacy.  No.  Politics.

I wonder how Obama’s book will read in terms of Bosnia.  I can’t imagine that it would be very flattering as he pushes a proposal that rewards genocidal maniacs.  Diplomacy.  No.  Politics.  No.  Failure. 

I guess there is still an inkling of hope that a viable proposal might be drafted.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Owen permalink*
    November 1, 2009 12:22 am

    What is also disturbing is why the Tadic government allowed and facilitated Dodik’s mercy mission/publicity stunt to bring the war heroine home to Belgrade?

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  1. Global Voices Online » The Balkans: Karadzic’s Trial; Plavsic’s Release

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