piše: Ante Čuvalo

Je li Dayton donio Bosni i Hercegovini početak bolje budućnosti ili početak kraja?

30. studenoga 2020. u 0:01

Potrebno za čitanje: 9 min

Ante Čuvalo

Kolumne

FOTO: Privatni album

Nakon četiri godine stravičnog krvoprolića, izazvanog agresijom Srbije, zajedno s lokalnom srpskom pobunom u Hrvatskoj i BiH, 21. studenoga 1995. u zrakoplovnoj bazi Wright-Patterson u Daytonu, Ohio, potpisan je mirovni sporazum i puške su utihnule.

Prije točno pola stoljeća počela je važna večer za Hrvatsku

Dok ulazimo u deveti mjesec svjetske bitke protiv misterioznog virusa poznatog kao Covid-19, sveprisutna maska ​​u svim svojim stilskim manifestacijama podsjeća na još jednu bolest za koju još uvijek ne postoji cjepivo: hrvatsku šutnju. U vrijeme Titove diktature, kada je skovan ovaj izraz, ljudi su također nosili maske, ali one su bile nevidljive ljudskom oku. […]

Povodom desete godišnjice Sporazuma, u članku objavljenom u Hrvatskoj reviji, (godina 2005., br. 4, str. 49-53) istaknuo sam: “Daytonski sporazum, to jest njegovi potpisnici, zaustavili su tadašnji rat oružjem, ali su omogućili nastavak rata na druge načine… Na drugoj strani, dio sporazuma koji se odnosi na ustroj države i civilni život bio je i ostao mlinski kamen oko vrata Bosni i Hercegovini i onima koji bi u njoj htjeli osigurati slobodan i normalan život… Nije se doreklo je li Bosni i Hercegovini Dayton početak bolje budućnosti ili početak kraja. U takvom je protuslovlju krojena, kako jedan od bivših međunarodnih dužnosnika u BiH reče, luđačka košulja za daytonsku Bosnu i Hercegovinu”.

Petnaest godina kasnije, kada se sjećamo 25. godišnjice, BiH “luđačka košulja” i dalje je tamo. Umjesto da bude uklonjena, sve je tjesnija, posebno za Hrvate. Naime, njihov legitimni položaj kao jednog od konstitutivnih naroda u zemlji ozbiljno ugrožavaju različite snage (uglavnom bošnjački) koje pod krinkom zagovaranja “građanske države” provode centralizaciju bošnjačko-hrvatske Federacije. Njihov krajnji cilj je pretvoriti Federaciju u bošnjački feud. Jasno je da nije moguće ostvariti unitarnu BiH zbog Republike Srpske, pa je cilj umanjiti ustavni status Hrvata u Federaciji i učiniti ih etničkom manjinom koju bi se lako mogla odbaciti kao politički čimbenik.

Primjerice, izborni zakoni zaobiđeni su tako da su sadašnjeg “hrvatskog” člana Predsjedništva izabrali bošnjački birači. Također, neki se Bošnjaci jednostavno izjašnjavaju kao etnički “Hrvati” kako bi bili imenovani na državna ili diplomatska mjesta koja bi, prema sadašnjem zakonu, trebala biti popunjena onima hrvatske nacionalnosti.

Nadalje, grad Mostar, kulturnu prijestolnicu BiH Hrvata, takozvani neutralni međunarodni arbitri (visoki predstavnici) tretirali su kao “poseban slučaj”. Stoga će se prvi “demokratski” izbori u gradu održati (nakon 12 godina) 20. prosinca 2020., više od mjesec dana nakon što su lokalni izbori održani u ostatku zemlje. Prema nekim “višim silama”, s Mostarom se mora postupati s posebnom pažnjom kako bi se mogao osigurati željeni ishod “demokratskih” izbora! Ali to se ne odnosi na Banja Luku ili Sarajevo!

Slijedeći gornju političku i ideološku agendu, čelnici bošnjačke većine ne samo da negiraju prava hrvatskog naroda već i udaljuju zemlju od deklarirane želje za pridruživanjem Europskoj uniji. Možda čak i odvođenje zemlje do katastrofalnog kraja.

Danas bi se, osim hrvatskog pitanja, situacija u BiH mogla opisati i kao muljanje prema nejasnoj i neizvjesnoj budućnosti. Osim COVID-19 i njegovih katastrofalnih posljedica, u zemlji su tisuće nekontroliranih imigranata iz Azije i Afrike, a dolaze još tisuće. Za njih je BiH odskočna daska k Europskoj uniji, ali mnogi od njih će ostati u zemlji. Koliko je među njima (bivših) pripadnika ili simpatizera ISIL-a, nitko ne zna. Čak je i identitet mnogih neizvjestan. Štoviše, mnogi muslimani rođeni u BiH koji su se borili za Islamsku državu vratili su se u domovinu i njihov radikalni islamski utjecaj raste. Nasuprot tome, mladi iz BiH žurno napuštaju zemlju tražeći stabilnost i bolje životne prilike na Zapadu.

Rješenje ovih i drugih problema ne može se uvesti. Strane zemlje (bilo demokratske ili autoritarne), vanjski stručnjaci i imenovani “visoki dužnosnici” imaju svoje planove i vizije, baš kao i sponzori Daytonskog sporazuma prije 25 godina.

Slobodni narodi imaju opoziciju, a neslobodni emigraciju

Nekada se govorilo da ono što nije napisano u povijesnim knjigama da se to i nije ni dogodilo. Latinska “verba volant, scripta manent” (dosta slobodan prijevod: “riječi odlijeću, napisano ostaje”) nije baš u potpunosti točna, jer u svakoj kulturi mnogo toga “ostaje”, ponešto dugujemo usmenoj predaji, živu svjedočenju. Danas bi se reklo i da ono […]

Dugoročni odgovori na probleme BiH mogu doći samo od “hladnih glava” u samoj zemlji. Iako je Daytonski sporazum u svojoj srži nepravedan, jer je podijelio zemlju i nagradio srbijanske agresore s 49 posto teritorija, bolja budućnost može se postići samo ako oni koji iskreno teže ukloniti BiH “luđačku košulju” budu vođeni načelima pravde i uzajamnog poštovanja.

EN

After four years of horrific bloodshed, caused by Serbia’s aggression together with the local Serb rebellion in Croatia and BiH, a peace agreement was signed on 21st of November 1995 at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, and the guns were silenced.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Agreement, in an article published in Hrvatska revija, (year 2005, No. 4, pp. 49-53) I pointed out: “Dayton Accords, that is, its signatories, stopped the war…. On the other hand, the portion of the Accords that dealt with constitutional questions and civil life was and continues to be a millstone around the neck of Bosnia-Herzegovina and those who would like to ensure a free and normal life in it…[It] is not spelled-out as to whether the Dayton Accords were the start of a better future or the beginning of the end for Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is in such a contradiction that the Bosnian “straight jacket” (as a former international official to Bosnia-Herzegovina called it) was fashioned.”

Fifteen years later, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary, the BiH “straight jacket” is still there. Instead of being removed, it is getting tighter, especially for the Croatians. Namely, their legitimate position as one of the tree constituent peoples in the country is seriously threatened by various forces (mostly Bosniaks) who, under the guise of advocating a “civic state,” pursue the centralization of the Bosniak-Croatian Federation. Their ultimate aim is to turn the Federation into a Bosniak fiefdom. Clearly, it is not feasible to achieve a unitary BiH because of the Serb Republic, so the goal is to diminish the constitutional status of the Croats in the Federation and make them an ethnic minority that could be easily dismissed as a political factor.

For example, the election laws have been circumvented in such a way that the present “Croatian” member of the Presidency has been elected by the Bosniak voters. Also, some Bosniaks simply declare themselves as ethnic “Croatians” in order to be appointed to government or diplomatic posts that, according to the present law, should be filled by those of Croat nationality.

Furthermore, the city of Mostar, the cultural capital of the BiH Croats, has been treated by the so-called neutral international arbiters (High Representatives) as a “special case”. Therefore, the first “democratic” elections in the city will take place (after 12 years) on December 20, 2020, more than a month after the local elections took place in the rest of the country. According to some “higher hands,” Mostar has to be handled with special care so the desired outcome of “democratic” elections can be secured! But that does not apply to Banja Luka or Sarajevo!

By following the above political and ideological agenda, the leaders of the Bosniak majority are not only denying the rights of the Croatian people but also pushing the country away from its declared desire to join the European Union. Perhaps even leading the country to a disastrous end.

Today, besides the Croatian question, the situation in BiH might be described as muddling through to an unclear and uncertain future. Besides COVID-19 and its disastrous consequences, thousands of uncontrolled immigrants from Asia and Africa are in the country and thousands more are coming. For them BiH is a stepping stone to the European Union but many of them may remain in the country. How many of them are (former) ISIL members or sympathizers, no one knows. Even the identity of many is uncertain. Moreover, many natives of BiH who have fought for the Islamic State are back in the country and their radical islamic influences are growing. In addition, young BiH natives are leaving the country in a hurry, looking for stability and better life opportunities in the West.

The solution to these and other problems cannot be imported. The involved foreign countries (either democratic or authoritarian), external experts, and appointed “high officials” have their own agendas and visions, just as did the sponsors of the Dayton Agreement 25 years ago.

Long term answers to BiH’s problems can only come from “cool heads” in the country itself. Although the Dayton Agreement is in its core unjust, because it split the country and awarded the Serb aggressors with 49% of the territory, a better future can only be achieved if those who sincerely strive to remove the BiH “straight jacket” are guided by the principles of justice and mutual respect.

Addendum
Hereunder you may see what was my opinion of the Dayton Agreement at the time it was signed.

TO: Participants of the NFCA telephone conference on Saturday, December 2, 1995.
Board of Directors. [NFCA – National Federation of Croatian Americans
FROM: Ante Čuvalo
DATE: December 3, 1995

Below, I am reiterating in writing my yesterday’s comments concerning the Dayton peace agreement with some additional remarks. Please take them into consideration.

I. On Dr. Goss’ introductory remarks:

  1. I don’t share his triumphant view of the Dayton peace agreement. It seems, the line is: the bigger we make the Dayton pact, the bigger “we” are! The NFCA should remain objective, realistic, rational, and practical in its work. We are political activists but not in politics! To look at this agreement from various perspectives will not cost us votes! Dr. Goss, would you please fax me a copy of your article that you mentioned yesterday. I would like to read it.
  2. I have listened to Dr. Goss’ overview of Croatian affairs twice in the last six months, at our May meeting in Chicago and yesterday. Both times he keeps emphasizing over and over that he is not speaking in the name of the government of Croatia. As far as I know he is a reporter and a member of he Board of Directors of the NFCA, and there is no reason to think that he does speaks on behalf of Zagreb. But his insistence that he is not speaking in any official capacity, makes me doubt that either he is speaking semi-officially or he wants to impress us that he knows something that we simple mortals do not. My presumption was and still remains that we are all speaking our own mind.

II. On the Dayton Agreement

  1. Croatia came to Dayton already as a winner, and the agreement ratified that fact. Croatians in Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the other hand, had been a bargaining chip from the beginning of this war and the Dayton treaty ratified that too. Thus, although the agreement is a victory for the Republic of Croatia, it has vital flaws for the Croats in BH. It is an unjust peace, most of all to the Croats in BH. It is not a question that all sides lost a “hamlet here or a hamlet there,” as Dr. Goss puts it. It gives a half of BH to the Serbs, legitimizes ethnic cleansing, and the Croats in BH, especially those in Bosnia, are probably at the beginning of their end as a national community. I hope that I am wrong!
  2. If the question of widening the Serbian corridor in Posavina is already settled and a one year postponement is only a tranquilizer for the Croats in Posavina to swallow the bitter pill, we can’t do much about it. But if the settlement is not sealed, I urge the NFCA and all other Croatians to mobilize our forces and let the decision makers hear our voices. Anyone who might enlighten me on this, please do so!
  3. The Croats in BH will need our help in the future not only to be an “equal partner” to the Muslims but simply to survive as a people in that country. We can help them in many areas: lifting of the arms embargo in which Croats will have equal share, education, investments, reconstruction, etc. Did you know that there is no single newspaper or magazine for children and students in BH? It is impossible for new talents to emerge. If you know of any humanitarian organization for children that might help in this need, please let me know!
  4. The Croat-Muslim Federation will be a “game in town” at least for the time being. The U.S. and W. European countries will try to make the Federation work through reconstruction and other help. One of the dangers that might (will) happen is that the political power holders and their allies in the “invisible” economy will be the biggest if not the only beneficiaries of the reconstruction program. Little of the foreign aid will reach the common people. Most of these “leaders” on both sides, as you know, were the “avantgarde” of socialism, they had helped to bring about a war between Muslims and Croats, and now they are “federalists.” The only interest they have is how to channel the foreign aid to their personal projects. I recommend the NFCA to urge our bureaucrats in Washington wherever it can to make sure that the reconstruction of BH and Croatia starts at the bottom and not at the top of the social pyramid.

III. Image of Croatia and the Croatians
It has been emphasized that Croatia is seen and accepted as a positive player on the international stage. We are all delighted about it! But the image of Croatia and the Croatians is still far from being what it should be. I would remind you to look at recent books and “serious” articles on ex- Yugoslavia. I don’t think that our image is flattering in most cases. The principle of “equalization” is accepted and practiced. Please, check how many books from “our side” are there in your local library! Most of our local “leaders” are too busy with “politics” and “helping Croatia” to be concerned with such “minor issues” as books! Because they don’t read, they think no one else reads.

Furthermore, it seems to me that Croatia and the Croats might be better accepted among those who control political and economic power than among the image makers in this country and around the world. It also looks that the power holders in Croatia are not so much concerned about such breed as the opinion makers. To them they are only minor and passing irritants. Thus, I would urge the NFCA not only to be active in promoting a good image of Croatia on the Hill but in various other forums in the country. To be active only at the very top of our power structure might be personally more gratifying and it might even give some immediate results, but in the long run a wider approach will bring about greater results. Moreover, urge the various political and other power shakers from Croatia to be a little more aware of the image making needs and processes. We can help, but it will ultimately depend on them if Croatia will be seen as a Balkan fiefdom or a “normal” European country.

IV. Although I think that our voting on the question regarding the U.S. ground troops in BH is irrelevant, I vote YES. This issue is already decided. They did not have to be there, but that’s a different story.

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