Posted in clash of civilizations

With friends like the Yanks and Brits, Bosnia doesn’t need enemies

Tribalism is the natural order of things. Pluralism (multiracial, multi religious diversity) is a forced framework imposed on unwilling groups.

‘Is Bosnia on the brink of war?’, the Turks want to know.

This trending topic was discussed in the Roundrable programme aired a couple of days ago on the ‘TRT World’ channel — video below.

TRT is the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, i.e. Turkey’s national public broadcaster.

Bosnia experienced a civil war previously in 1992–1995.

“As the country seems to be breaking apart, will armed conflict return?” TRT asked its roundtable panelists on Wednesday (Jan 26).

Bosnia is being forcibly held together only by the Dayton Accords brokered in November 1995 by world policeman USA.

USA and its deputy sheriff the UK (+ Nato) had forced the Dayton ‘peace’ agreement on Bosnia more than 26 years ago.

Talk, talk and more talk

Today the UK is still declaring that it “will not allow division of Bosnia, Herzegovina”, reported the Anadolu Agency – another Turkish news media – a few days ago on Jan 24.

In other words, the UK is determined to tie the Bosniaks to the Serbs even though the dysfunctional Bosnian couple desire a divorce.

Ever eager to show “how the UK can do more to help the forces of good“, a British delegation paid a visit to Bosnia earlier this week (Jan 26–28).

Like a marriage counsellor, the UK foreign affairs committee were in Sarajevo to urge the return to “constructive dialogue”.

Read embassy communique (linked below) by Matt Field, British ambassador to Bosnia.

A tale of two religions

Washington DC, New York, London and other European cities this month saw demonstrations calling “for action to prevent Bosnia sliding into war”, reported Al Jazeera (see below).

Meanwhile Christian Serbs also marched in Republika Srpska chanting “For the cross, for the cross!” said Al Jazeera in the same Jan 10 news report. 

Republika Srpska is the Serbian part of Bosnia and Herzegovina (single country but with a double-barrelled name, similar to Trinidad and Tobago, St Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe and others).

Serbs form some 30 percent of the population in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Other ethnics in Bosnia are the majority Bosniaks (above 50%) and the minority Croats (around 15%).

Bosnia is saddled by the Dayton Accords with a system of power sharing between Muslims and Christians.

But the Dayton detente, which World Policeman (USA) and Deputy Sheriff (UK) imposed on Bosnia, is not necessarily what its people want to forever keep.

”There are Bosnian Serbs who would be quite happy to join Serbia. There are Bosnian Croats who would be quite happy to be part of greater Croatia,” said war correspondent Tim Marshall in The Red Line podcast below (refer timestamp 1:06:10).

Serbia is Bosnia’s neighbouring country which borders its east, and Croatia is Bosnia’s neighbour bordering its north.

Religious ecosystem like Lebanon’s

Discussing the issue of ‘Bosnia: A Peace in Pieces’, The Red Line – see 12 Dec 2021 video above – opined that “Bosnia is currently sliding back toward ethnic conflict and civil strife”.

Bosnia’s ethnic conflict overlaps religious conflict since its Bosniaks are Muslim, its Serbs are orthodox Christian and its Croats are Catholic.

Overseeing the dominant faith in Republika Srpska as well as in the former Yugoslav republic of Montenegro is the Serbian Orthodox Church.

In light of the boiling crisis in Bosnia, Al-Jazeera on 8 Dec 2021 asked whether a split between the Bosniaks and Bosnian Serbs is inevitable.

Some political observers also see the hand of Russia in further fracturing the fragile country — listen to the panelists on Al-Jazeera (video above).

However according to Tass, the Russian state news agency, it is the West that is interfering and raising tensions in the Balkans.

“Western forces are trying to destroy the Serbian Orthodox Church in the former Yugoslavia as well as the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine”, Tass quoted Serbia President Aleksandar Vucic as saying on 5 Sept 2021.

Like in Lebanon, the detail of ‘who’ – individual selected based on his race and religion – is allowed to hold what political office is baked into Bosnia’s bizarre constitution.

If you thought that the political setup in Lebanon – with its always Christian president-Sunni prime minister-Shia parliament speaker – was complex, then wait till you see Bosnia’s tripartite presidency which rotates every eight months!

Bosnia has three presidents, thirteen prime ministers and a ’byzantine‘ maze of VIPs parked under the Dayton constitutional framework. It’s complicated.

BELOW: The gift of Dayton Accords from the Yanks and the Brits to Bosnia is a present from hell


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13 thoughts on “With friends like the Yanks and Brits, Bosnia doesn’t need enemies

  1. Here is a common saying amongst diplomats. ” The Americans forget easily – Afghanistan. The British try not to forget – Hong Kong. The French never forget – Napoleon. The Chinese never, never, never forget – South China Sea. The Malaysians forgive and forget – Hmm !

      1. How many Malaysians know the real reasons for 13 May 1969 ? There were many reasons which came together at a zenith. First, on 13 May 1969, the British owned 70% of the best Malaysian assets, the Chinese 25% of the third rate with a handful of towkays and the Malays just 2% of the economy. The British trading houses reaped the profits, not the Chinese who took the trading risks. Because of this, my 1972 Concept to capture Sime Darby for the Malays to go quickly into big corporate business big time was well supported by the PM Tun Abdul Razak and YBM Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. Sime Darby was delivered by November 1975. The cost was RM 23 million and supported by 2 Singaporean corporates. Second, on 13 May 1969, the Government practised British Currency Board Policy even though we had a Central Bank since 1957 ! This meant Malaysia could only spend what she earned. My newly British educated Malay friends could not find financial support in their own country on their return. There were no OD, no house loans, no motor car loans, no credit cards, no nothing !. The rich became richer, the poor became poorer with a slow moving economy. Something had to change. Third. Lee Kuan Yew was making things hot for the Government in the Dewan Rakyat. I was there. His speeches at Sulaiman Court ( now Sogo) were even hotter. I was there. Fourth, when the Government announced no more tax free status for Pulau Pinang, there was a riot. Fifth, a gangster was accidentally shot at Kepong before the 1969 GE. The gangsters paraded the body through the streets of KL like Jalan Foch (now Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock). I was there. In those days, Singaporean gangsters and leftists could enter Malaysia without a passport. Sixth, the winners made abusive and slanderous slogans from lorries parading around KL after the GE. Seventh, the MCA Leader Tan Sri Tan Siew Sin at 2.30 pm 13 May 1969 announced with a pique that MCA withdrew from the Alliance. The riots began from Jalan Putra at 5 pm. By 10 pm , Tan Sri Tan Siew Sin said MCA was back in the Alliance. It was too late. The 5th Royal Malay Regiment arrived at 8.30 pm to restore order. They were bivouacked opposite my brother’s house off Jalan Gurney. They were disciplined and orderly. My brother-in-law who lived on the fringe of Kampng Baru was not disturbed at all. My friend Dato Wong Kok Fun living right in the middle of Kampong Baru was also not disturbed. The rioters came from a place in Selangor. 13 May 1969 was a tragedy waiting to happen since 1957 ! The main cause was the Colonial relic, the Currency Board Policy which was only abolished in 1972. No one should be blamed for this tragedy. It was an tragic accident waiting to happen !

        1. Thank you AK47 for these insights. Yes, these would be the underlying factors. But what was the proximate cause? There is a view, that riots, are always planned. It is never spontaneous. It is always coordinated. Do you have insights on views that it was the Menteri Besar of Selangor (fearful of his political career), and UMNO (fearful of loosing the most advanced stated in Malaysia), that started the riots? TQ.

          1. I only present facts as I saw them. You can raise a thousand questions but you will never get a true answer in events such as these. Your conjectures are common place and have been raised over and over again for what purpose may I kindly ask ? I still maintain the fact that no one is to be blamed for this unfortunate tragedy waiting to happen since 1957. For your edification, you have not mentioned a key question. Why?

          2. G L. As an academician living in a place where my sister also lives, you have the freedom to express your thoughts freely. For example, how many Malaysians are aware that a Malaysian of Chinese descent donated his father’s mansion with 13 acres to be the First Istana Negara or directly assisted the two percenters to capture Sime Darby PLC to enter big business quickly without impinging on the businesses of others or proposed the establishment of the Bank Simpanan Nasional or re-set the Currency Board mind-set to proper Central Bank thinking by Bank Negara Malaysia in an independent country or assisted in the monetization of the assets of the only major political Party or lent this Party so that it could redeem the assets of the old from the Official Assignee and much much more.. GL. Do you think this fellow and his ilk deserved to be called pendatangs ?

            1. This unknown fellow, a Malaysian of Chinese descent carried on his father’s good works since 1889 who arrived in 1889 at 16 penniless and began life in Selangor as a dishwasher in Towkay Loke Yew’s kongsi’s kitchen in Sungei Besi. In the National Interest, he never asked for money, titles or favours.

            2. My father’s legacy was the rise and contributions of his close relatives by marriage via his children, Tun Sir Henry Lee Hau Sik, Malaya’s First Minister of Finance and Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore. As a result, I became a Constitutionalist, never a Communalist. Who are the Pendatangs now ?

            3. It pays to be humble which attitude I found myself with a lot of happiness and satisfaction. There are so many examples in this World which exemplify the ancient saying, ” There is always a higher mountain. “. Not only that, out of the blue, the Covid-19 virus hit with an intensity never before seen in this World by its swiftness and infectiousness. For the Plague to reach London from China in ancient times, this took 300 years. Now, it takes just 300 minutes to reach thousands of miles away by jet plane. World’s best countries like Singapore was brought down by an invisible and brainless micro-organism ! In the first year, the SIA had to close-shop and at least S$ 30 Billion had to be drawn down from its precious reserves to keep things normal. Huge business empires were mired in financial problems. Is this reminiscent of the Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and British Empire of yore in line with ” There is always a higher mountain ” ?

      2. Further to my facts on the reasons for 13 May 1969, the debacle led to the launch of the NEP by our great Statesman Tun Abdul Razak in 1971 which eventually took off in 1981 with the Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad Administration. This created the 6 million Malay middle-income families in the urban areas. Before 13 May 1969, there were not many private individuals living in the towns. The most prominent Malay was the father of Justice Wan Yahaya whose house was next to the Hotel Concorde, Jalan Sultan Ismail. Most of them were Government Servants. KFC was struggling until the Malays grew in numbers by the late 1970s and beyond. With the abolishment of the Colonial Currency Board in 1972 ( I was there ), Bank Negara Malaysia began to function as 1. the Banker to the Government. 2. Issuer of the Currency. 3. Safeguard the currency. From 1972 to 1981, the Ringgit was 1 to Sg $ 1.03. We had gold in the vaults.

  2. How many Malaysians are aware that America became great through its participation in wars ? Beginning with the War of Independence 1774, the Civil War 1851, the Indian Wars of the late 19th Century, the Spanish-American War 1899, World War I, 1914-1918, World War II, 1941-1945, Korean War 1952-1953, the Vietnam War 1968-1975, Iraq War I, Iraq War II, Afghanistan 2003 -2021. Under President Eisenhower, America was organized as a political-industrial-military complex. Now President Putin alleged that America is trying to induce Russia to make an incursion into Ukraine ! Hence, it always pays for Malaysia to be friends of all and enemy of none.

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