Tales from Herzeg-Bosna – the trial of the Prlic defendants

By highlighting again the atrocities of the war in Herzeg-Bosna, and by pinning liability for grave crimes upon some of that war’s leaders, the Hague Tribunal may have been lending moral stigma to a political project that threatens again to awaken from an extended slumber.

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Conflict Background


By Matthew Parish

Amidst angry debates over the Srebrenica massacre and the Siege of Sarajevo, it is sometimes forgotten that Bosnia’s war cut three ways. While Serbs and Muslims (Bosniaks) were entrenched in siege warfare in the centre and north of the country, an equally vicious struggle was underway in the southwest. This majority-Croat area, adjoining the city of Mostar, was undergoing its own torment. For while Croats had joined Bosniaks in supporting the early 1992 referendum on Bosnian independence from Yugoslavia that triggered the country’s civil war, they had in mind a subsequent act of secession of their own. Irredentist aspirations are recurrent in the history of the Western Balkans. Just as the Bosnian Serbs declared their own parliament and institutional structure, the Bosnian Croats did the same in November 1991 and pronounced the newly-formed Croat Community of Herzeg-Bosna, later declared to be an independent republic but never recognised by the outside world.

The intention was always union with neighbouring Croatia, but this required war because the Bosniaks would never countenance partition of Bosnia just after it had secured its notional independence. After discussions in March 1991 between Croatia’s president Franjo Tudjman and rump (Serb-dominated) Yugoslavia’s Slobodan Milosevic, a rudimentary plan was hatched to divide Bosnia into Croat and Serb spheres of influence. It is not clear to what extent this agreement ever translated into military or political policy for either side. Shortly after the “Karadjordjevo Agreement”, as it became known, Serb and Croat forces were engaged in bitter conflict within Croatian territory.

Nor was there significant cooperation between Serb and Croat forces in Bosnia to give effect to the envisaged partition plan. Nonetheless Bosniaks perceived themselves as being trapped in a pincer between two aggressors, and their resistance was fierce. There was a significant Bosniak minority in east Mostar, and the city became the focal point for Bosniak-Croat hostilities in southern Bosnia that intensified between April 1993 and February 1994 when the two sides ultimately agreed, under US diplomatic pressure, to create a federation of cantons between them and to combine their military efforts to fight the Bosnian Serbs.

In the intervening period, Herzegovina suffered the same horrors of war as the rest of the country. Civilians living in areas controlled by the other side were expelled from their homes. Cruelty and shocking treatment were in abundance. Mostar was bombed and shelled into oblivion. Inhumane acts took place in prisoner of war camps. Ethnic groups were forcibly separated. In perhaps the most iconic display of the Bosnian war’s cultural barbarism, Mostar’s Ottoman-era Old Bridge, a symbol of the former Yugoslavia’s beauty, was shelled into oblivion.

Now the question arises of who, if anyone, should be held criminally liable for the torrid events in Herzeg-Bosna. After a trial lasting over six years (the defendants were in custody for even longer), the conclusion reached by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is that all the principal Bosnian Croat political and military leaders are guilty. We do not yet know the details of their convictions. A summary of the judgment was handed down on 29th May 2013. Extraordinarily, we are told that a 2,629-page full judgment has been prepared but it has not been published contemporaneously with the conviction. We must wait to see what it says.

In the intervening period, the contours of the judgment’s reasoning are already clear from the summary the Court has provided. There was a “joint criminal enterprise” on the part of the Croat military and political leadership to detach Herzeg-Bosna from the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The tools used to achieve this goal included forcible extermination of non-Croat populations, destruction of religious buildings, and excessive use of military force against civilian populations. Pursuant to this joint criminal enterprise, civilians were mistreated or murdered. The behaviour of the Bosnian Croat armed forces was systematic in its wanton disregard for human life and property. The Court’s view is that the Bosnian Croat political and military leaders must be held responsible for the actions that occurred. Therefore all six of those indicted, leading with Jadranko Prlic (the Bosnian Croats’ political leader at the time), are guilty of the crimes of persecution, murder, rape, inhuman treatment, deportation, unlawful confinement, cruel treatment, unlawful labour and more.

Conviction on this basis raises a variety of legal issues. First, is it legitimate to describe the act of seeking secession of Herzeg-Bosna from Bosnia and Herzegovina as a “criminal enterprise”? Surely not just any act of state secession is criminal. Bosnia and Herzegovina itself seceded from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, as did the Republic of Croatia. Were these secessionist projects likewise criminal? If so, then why has nobody been prosecuted for them and why does Yugoslavia not remain a single country? By contrast if Bosnia’s secession was not criminal, then it is hard to see why Herzeg-Bosna’s secession attempted secession itself be criminal. Secession begets secession, and criminalising an attempt at secession merely because it was ultimately unsuccessful appears arbitrary.

Alternatively, was it the means of attempted secession (i.e. expulsion of non-Croat members of the population and use of disproportionate military force) that made the attempt to secede criminal? This hypothesis might be more plausible. But there was scant evidence that the very act of secession required such crimes to be committed. Indeed the Bosnian Croats declared the existence of Herzeg-Bosna before the Bosnian war started or anyone was killed. It seems possible that, at least in principle, the Bosnian Croats’ secessionist project could have been undertaken peacefully. Once war began, however, the methods adopted to advance the secessionist goal took a more sinister turn.

Automatic attribution of criminal responsibility to the individual political and military leaders for the horrors that undoubtedly unfolded in the course of the Herzegovinian conflict is also controversial. Undoubtedly those individuals knew what was going on. They surely appreciated the destruction of Mostar and the expulsion of populations. They must have known that their armed forces were behaving dishonourably. Therefore they might be held guilty of the sin of omission: they must have been aware of what was happening but they failed to prevent it. But by attributing criminal liability to oversight, international courts stray perilously close towards the ambiguous contours of historical judgment rather than legal pronouncement. Judges are required to pre-empt decisions undertaken in the course of complex military operations: a task which they may not have the experience and expertise to do. The decision to bomb Mostar’s Old Bridge was undoubtedly a controversial one. Evidence suggests that the bridge was being used as a conduit for arms and fighters by Bosniak paramilitaries and more regular armed forces. Arguably therefore it was a legitimate target. A majority of the Judges disagreed with this conclusion, but this might be a conclusion better drawn by military men than lawyers.

The massive property damage suffered in central Mostar was the product of a campaign of relentless shelling and sniping executed by both sides. The brutal circumstances in which civilians on all sides found themselves expelled from their homes was a disgrace. But in this judgment of the Court, disproportionate responsibility is assigned to the Croats in a war which had three unequivocally guilty sides. The question of how much responsibility attaches to a political leader for the excessive acts of soldiers in a civil war is wrapped in a series of unanswerable hypotheticals. What else might those leaders have done? Should they have disciplined their informal, militia-like troops more effectively? Should they have deployed non-existent military police units to discipline their rabble forces? Amidst the fog of war, little is clear.

At over 2,500 pages, the Court’s judgment will no doubt catalogue in some detail the atrocious events that played out in Herzeg-Bosna. But the final judgment on relative guilt of the sides and the individuals involved may be the subject of debate for some time to come. It is not obvious that judges are in the best place to undertake the sort of primarily historical evidence-gathering research that has clearly occupied the Court in the Prlic trial. However thorough the Judges and Prosecutor have been, new facts may emerge in the future that colour the events which scoured Bosnia’s landscape. The Bosniak public may be baying for vengeance. This is understandable for families who lost loved ones. But the challenge facing international criminal justice is that it must provide more than mere retribution for mindless atrocities that inevitably incur in any civil conflict. Legal and moral judgments, handed down with the institutional legitimacy of an international tribunal some twenty years after the events they describe, must serve some broader social purpose.

As a court inevitably involved in the adjudication of matters of high political sensitivity, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is bound to remain acutely aware of the political consequences of its decisions. At the time, the Herzeg-Bosna project was a failure. Bosnian Croat secession was repulsed by US diplomatic determination to maintain post-Yugoslav Bosnia as a single state. Whatever American motives drove this course at the time, since then much has changed. Many years of gradual political decomposition have brought the accords creating the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to a stammering halt. Bosnian Croat cantons are now run through parallel political structures that pay scant regard to the ostensible institutions of Bosnian central government. With Croatia’s impending EU accession, the most compelling impediment to explicit Bosnian Croat disavowal of Bosnia and Herzegovina – Zagreb’s pressure upon Bosnia’s Croats to keep quiet – is about to dissolve. What will happen afterwards is anyone’s guess. Bosnian Croats remain profoundly dissatisfied with their third-class role in the country’s dysfunctional multi-ethnic polity. They all hold Croatian passports, and the Croatian border with Herzeg-Bosna is indefinitely permeable. It would take very few formal steps for this volatile, mountainous region now to detach itself altogether from its unloved mother country.

Hence we might speculate that the Judges in the Prlic trial were all too aware of the contemporary political realities facing the region over which they stood in judgment. Perhaps they saw their role as being to prevent Bosnia’s imminent collapse. By highlighting again the atrocities of the war in Herzeg-Bosna, and by pinning liability for grave crimes upon some of that war’s leaders, the Court may have been lending moral stigma to a political project that threatens again to awaken from an extended slumber. Whether in the long run the international community is right to try to prevent the Bosnian Croats from going their separate ways, only time will tell. All we can say for now is that the last twenty years of unhappy cohabitation between Bosnia’s Muslims, Croats and Serbs have resulted in stagnation, corruption, sloth, waste and want. Let us hope that whatever political shifts take place in the region over the next twenty years, their impact upon the long-suffering people of the region are not so enduringly negative.

Matthew Parish is an international lawyer based in Geneva, Switzerland and a partner with the law firm Holman Fenwick Willan. He formerly served as Chief Legal Advisor to the International Supervisor of Brcko, as part of the Office of the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina. His first book, A Free City in the Balkans, describes the course of state-building in post-war Bosnia. His second book, Mirages of International Justice, includes a sharp critique of international criminal courts in bringing peace and reconciliation to war-torn societies. In 2013 he was named as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and Bilan magazine named him as one of the 300 most influential people in Switzerland. www.matthewparish.com

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21 Responses

  1. PEN

    Might I suggest that the judges in all the recent judgements at the Hague court were all too aware of the contemporary political realities facing the region. One can only speculate whether or not these judges are being manipulated by Western interests and if so, doing their master’s bidding. How then can one credibly explain the shock aquital of Gotovina and Markac other than as allowing Croatia untainted entry into the EU. The recent release of Perisic, and yesterdays aqiutals have more than a faint whiff of reward for Serbia for being more co-operative over Kosovo. The prepostrous sham trial of Haradinaj was grotesque. Furthermore, Serbia can hardly start EU entry talks this year with the stigma of war crimes in Bosnia attached to it. Those pulling the strings know exactly what they’re doing. More often than not, due process has nothing to do with it.

  2. therealamericro

    If Croatia and Croatians in B&H hatched and oversaw a plan to subjugate and or destroy Bosniaks in B&H, why did all B&H Croats vote for BiH independence? Why was Croatia the first nation to recognize BiH, and why was the first foreign ambassador to B&H from Croatia? Why did Croats take in over 150,000 Muslim refugees into HZHB in the Spring and Summer of 1992 and another 500,000 Muslims in Croatia that same year, and house, feed, and cloth them and then arm and train their men on the territory of HZHB and Croatia to fight the JNA-VRS in coordination with the HVO as ABiH members and or as members of the HVO?

    Why did the HVO fight the JNA-VRS to a standstill and start kicking them back off of 85% of the territory of what is the Federation today in the Spring and Summer of 1992 (with the HVO taking in over 150,000 Muslim refugees into the HZHB and feeding them, sheltering them, clothing them and arming and training the Bosniak males of military age) if Tudman “dealt” Bosnia with Milosevic – the claim first made by none other than Vojislav Seselj (he was lamenting that Milosevic wasn’t interested with Serbian borders on the ouskirts of Zagreb) – and repeated by a host of people who were never at Karadjordjevo (the illogic of the Karadjordjevo myth being the war in Croatia itself, as well as the HVO’s March 1992-Nov 1995 fight against the JNA-VRS).

    Or Croatia allow and facilitate the formation of two of the ABiH’s 7 Corps on the territory of the Republic of Croatia? Or the 2nd Corps having a logistical center on Ilica 39 in Zagreb – the entire duration of the war, including during the ABiH-HVO conflict? Or the ABiH recieving arms the duration of the war – including the duration of the ABiH-HVO conflict?

    How can Croatia or the Croatian Army have been an “aggressor” in BiH when the only successful combined arms operations launched against the so-called JNA / VRS were a) Allowed by the signed agreements between Sarajevo and Zagreb b) Planned, led, supplied (both the HVO and ABiH), partially staffed and entirely overseen by the HV; namely, Operations Lipanjske Zore (1992), Zima 94, Skok 1, Skok 2, and Maestral,?

    If Croats accepting Cutliero’s peace plan and the VOPP is “dividing Bosnia,” why aren’t Vance and Owen on trial?

    The simple truth is that the actual, entire chronological order of
    events and elementary logic and reason demolish the entire prosecution case and ruling, which was and remains a violent gang rape of truth and reason.

    HZHB was formed the day Vukovar fell in December 1991, because Sarajevo was unwilling to do anything to a) Thwart Serbia’s genocidal aggression against Croatia which was being waged from and supplied over the territory of B&H, not even talking military terms here, but even making a public verbal protest b) Do anything to organize ANY defense from the JNA which was openly arming SDS paramilitaries by December 1991 for over two years, with Izetbegovic even stating that the JNA would “defend Bosnia” and that it was “our army” even AFTER the brutal JNA-Chetnik paramilitary massacre of dozens of Croatian civilians in O C T O B E R 1991 in Ravno, B&H, after which Izetbegovic stated “To nije nas rat” / “That is not our war,” despite the Croatians in Ravno being citizens of the state he was President of and all voting for him.

    The HVO, thanks to Croatia and the HV assistance, saved B&H and Bosniaks from the fate of Eastern Bosnia and Srebrenica.

    The HVO stopped the JNA-VRS on 85% of the territory of B&H in the Spring and Summer of 1992 while, outside of Sarajevo, 95% of Bosniak areas in Eastern and Western Bosnia fell without as much a shot fired by Alija’s TO and ABiH because of their lack of organization and unwillingness to open their eyes to the fact that Milosevic Serbianized the JNA way back in 1988.

    The only successful large-scale combined arms operation in 1992 against the JNA-VRS was Operacija Lipanjske Zore / Operation June Dawn, which was an HV-HVO operation under the command of WWII Partisan fighter, Croatian General Janko Bobetko as Zagreb and Sarajevo had signed a military cooperation agreement ALLOWING for HV units to operate in B&H.

    Unfortunately the cabal of mostly Sandzak-born Bosniak JNA and JNA Counterintelligence (KOS) officers who fought against Croatia in 1991 – Halilovic, Hadzihasanovic, Kubura and the rest of the JNA / KOS generals and operatives Izetbegovic surrounded himself with, convinced that clueless Islamist that it was better to carve out a Bosniak state and attack the Croats who they miscalculatingly thought would be the path of least resistance for more Muslim Bosniak living space – with the assistance of Islamist terrorists Izetbegovic called to help fight against the wishes of Croats and every sane Bosniak Muslim.

    The result of Bosniak aggression was the Muslim-Croat civil war, and over 170,000 Croats ethnically cleansed at gunpoint in Central Bosnia, North Herzegovina, and East Mostar and barred from returning (post-war the return has been thwarted institutionally by mountains of paperwork, and of course by not-so sporadic terrorist violence and ritual murders) the internment of 14,444 Croats (only 4,000 of them HVO POWs captured by the ABiH and jihadi terrorists, the rest civilians) in 331 ABiH concentration camps, of which over 600 murdered in ABiH custody, and a total of 1,051 Croatian civilian deaths, including 121 children.

    The charade is obvious, and it is over.

    The ICTY was created to equate guilt, namely, whitewash Serbia’s guilt for a) Pre-planning the wars, in particular, their genocidal conduct outlined in the Rampart (RAM) Plan which Serbian Yugoslav People’s Army officers authored that ordered the systematic targeting of civilians b) Instigating, coordinating and continuing the wars and c) Committing well over 90% of all attrocities, in Croatia, B&H and Kosovo d) Serbia’s wars having support of over 90% of Serbian voters.

    Stanisic and Simatovic were let off and Prlic et. al. railroaded because the UN itself aided and abetted Milosevic by imposing the immoral arms embargo, and UN officials’ chummy relations with Serb leaders and paramilitaries in Croatia and B&H.

    The UN, UK, France, Netherlands and Sweden were lobbying for a consolidation of the maximal extended borders for Serbia the duration of the conflict, demanding Croat and Bosniak capitulation repeatedly at every farcial peace talk initiative, until the HV / HVO crushed the VRSK and VRS in the summer and early fall of 1995.

    The ICTY was and remains a means for the UN itself, UK,
    France, Netherlands and Sweden to wash their hands of the oceans of blood their top diplomats facilited Milosevic to spill.

    Who stopped Milosevic and forced him to sue for peace after his forces were crushed in engagement after engagement winter 1994 through the fall of 1995?

    Franjo Tudman, the HV, HVO and HZHB/HRHB leadership.

    Which led to Wednesday’s irrational, illogical, contradictory punishment for Tudman, Susak, Bobetko, and the HV and HVO preventing Bihac from making Srebrenica look like an episode of Captain Kangaroo, and forcing Milosevic to sue for peace in borders that were too small for Milosevic’s Serbia (and its facilitators in the foreign policy centers of the UK, France, Netherlands and Sweden).

    The ICTY acquittal of Stanisic and Simatovic has effectively sentenced B&H to war in the near future.

    In terms of Praljak, Prlic et. al. and their ruling, I highly suggest all readers of Mr. Parish’s article read Lt. Col. Dr. Charles Reginald Schrader’s book The Muslim-Croat Civil War in Central Bosnia 1992-1995: http://www.amazon.com/The-Muslim-Croat-Civil-Central-Bosnia/dp/1585442615/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369821066&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Muslim+Croat+Civil+War.

    Lt. Col. Dr. C.R. Schrader taught as a professor of military history at West Point and the US Army War college – he was commissioned to do a study by the ICTY for the Blaskic trial – being that his findings demolished the entire case of Blaskic, it was, as in the Prlic et. al. case for all of the same reasons, barred from being entered into evidence and he barred from being allowed in as a witness.

  3. therealamericro

    The bottom line is that the ruling against Prlic et. al. is a farce – factually inaccurate, based off of hearsay, conjecture, contradictory verbal gymnastics, and the cherry picking of events out of chronological order (skipping between months, decades and even centuries) ignoring all of the preceding events and circumstances, as well as end results.

    Take, for instance, the nature of the conflict itself.

    The HVO was outnumbered 7 to 1 in Central Bosnia, 3 to 1 in and roughly 1 to 1 in Mostar and W Herzegovina – due to the fact that, despite the HVO-led and mostly manned Posavina Corridor defense meaning the end of Western RS and the “Krajina”, Izetbegovic was the spring, summer and fall of 1992 sending tens of thousands of ABiH troops and reinforcements to already (nearly to a location, HVO-liberated) liberated areas instead of the life-and-death corridor for W RS and “Krajina,” Posavina, where they were needed.

    To even suggest that the HVO would have the motive and above all, means to attack the ABiH is an exercise of criminal insanity.

    That Islamist terrorist volunteers that Izetbegovic called against the wishes of every Croat and every sane Bosniak were harassing Croats in Central Bosnia, and radicalizing local Bosniaks with their religious hate speech and propaganda, long before open fighting took place, was entirely ignored.

    As was the fact that the dates cited by the prosecution of “HVO attacks” were actually HVO c-o-u-n-t-e-r — a-t-t-a-c-k-s from preceding ABiH attacks against them.

    Prozor, for instance, first saw the ABiH attack the HVO in town and cleanse the local Croat residents as the ABiH, unlike the HVO, refused to respect the Tudman-Izetbegovic agreement that mandated that all HVO units in majority Bosniak areas subordinate themselves to the command of the ABiH and all ABiH units in areas with a Croat majority do the same.

    Not to even mention the role of radical Islam and all of the attacks against Croats in Central Bosnia, North Herzegovina and East Mostar during the conflict – for which a total of 6 years was meted out in prison to Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.


    The Prosecution’s indictment and the courts’ ruling were and remain political ones with no basis on law (two of the “judges” are not actual judges in real life nor qualified to be), on the actual chronology of events, or the totality of the evidence.

  4. therealamericro

    The entire case against Prlic et. al. hangs on hearsay and conjecture (the Ashdown napkin in which Tudman drew the borders of what is now the Federation of B&H and theKaradjordjevo myth that is debunked by the war in Croatia itself and the HVO’s March 1992-Nov 1995 fight against the JNA-VRS), as well as willfull ignorance.

    Namely, the judgement ruled that the first clash between Croats and Bosniaks took place on Oct. 23 in Prozor, when “the HVO attacked the town of Prozor and its surroundings.”

    What is missing is the fact that:

    a) The HVO “attack” was actually a counter-attack after the ABiH murdered four HVO members during what was supposed to be a relief in place on post in the village of Dobrasin, but was actually an ambush that was to set the stage for the larger TO/ABiH attack to push Croatian civilians and soldiers alike out of Prozor;
    b) The first act of violence took place on Radusa mountain where four HVO soldiers were killed by their Army of B&H “allies” while doing a leaders reconnaissance on JNA-VRS forward positions in an ambush from behind, on June 13, 1992;
    c) On Oct. 1-5 1992 skirmishes break between Croatians and Muslims and foreign Islamist militants in the municipality of Novi Travnik, in the villages of Senkovci, Sinokos and Donje Pecine, Opara, as well as in the city of Novi Travnik. The Army of B&H escalated its use of force and engaged in excessive and indiscriminate artillery against the villages, injuring several civilians, and launched an artillery and mortar assault that was followed by infantry assault against the HVO command post and the HVO Field Hospital in Travnik, the latter destroyed. Two nearby apartment buildings inhabited by Croats were set on fire by Army of B&H and foreign Islamists and frenzied local civilians after they kicked out the residents at gunpoint.
    d) The fighting on Oct. 23 in Prozor was planned on Oct. 21, at the meeting of the “Headquarters of territorial defense forces of Prozor municipality,” where commanders of Muslim forces from neighboring municipalities met at the house of Zibo Korman in the village of Blace (municipality Rama-Prozor). The chairperson Mustafa Hero, the commander of Muslim forces in Prozor said, and this is according to the meeting minutes taken by Alija Emric, that on Friday, October 23rd 1992 “the fight will start” and that at the end of it “The Muslims will call the shots in the city”, and that in “the fight” they would be helped by Bosniak Muslim reinforcements from Gornji Vakuf (around 1000 fighters) and Konjic (around 500 men).

    This means that contrary to the Prosecution claims and judgement allegations, Bosniak fighters attacked the Croats in Dobrasin and in Prozor town itself, which they did, expelling the Croat civilans briefly, and the Croats were forced to counter-attack, which they did.

    The reason Hero and his cohorts planned the attack was because they and the ABiH in general rejected the signed agreement between Tudman and Izetbegovic that subordinated ABiH units in Croatian majority areas to the command structure of the HVO and HVO units in Bosniak majority areas to the command structure of the ABiH.

    The second most glaring factually innacurate premise is what the judgement ruled as the actual start of open conflict. It claims the “first clashes between the HVO and the ABiH took place on 11 and 12 January 1993 in the Municipality of Gornji Vakuf. On 16 January 1993, pursuant to an order issued the previous day, the Main Staff of the HVO demanded that the ABiH in Gornji Vakuf subordinate its troops to the HVO. The ABiH rejected this demand.”

    What was ignored by the Prosecution, and the Judges (well, the Judge and the two “judges”) is that between January 8-10, 1993, one hundred Croats were ethnically cleansed from Muslim-majority sections of Gornji Vakuf by ABiH members and civilians alike.

    To summarize – the entire premise of the case is based on a false premise, namely, the “convenient” ommission of very relevant preceding events that demolish the entire premise of Prosecution indictment and the subsequent judgement.

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  6. therealamericro

    The fact is that without Franjo Tudman, Bosniaks would either all have been, along with all B&H Croats, physically exterminated or living in refugee centers in Croatia (or what was left of it) or the West.

    Bosniaks should build a giant, 20 meter golden statue of Tudman in Sarajevo (or name the airport after Him and put the 20 meter golden statue of him at the main entrance), and He should have a square in every Bosniak majority city, town and village in B&H because without Tudman, every Bosniak in B&H would have shared the same fate as Bosniaks in Bijeljina, Foca and Srebrenica – death or life as a refugee in a foreign country.

  7. Hamo

    Matthew Parish, your obsession with a possible dissolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina is seen in every of your articles. I know that it is hard for you to see that this triangle is still existing on the map, but better get used on it. It won’t change :)

  8. PEN


    Did it ever occur to you that the whole point of commenting on something was to make it as brief, to the point, relevant and prescient as possible. Rambling on ad-nauseum just makes you look obsessive and ridiculous.
    If you want to compile a dissertation on the Yugoslav wars, I suggest you enrol at an appropriate institution. Though I suspect your none too subtle bias wouldn’t garner you many plaudits with serious minded academics.

  9. therealamericro

    @ PEN:

    You did not address a single fact or argument I put forth in your ad hominem / red herring.

    Just thought I’d point that out.

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