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ANALYSIS AND STUDIES ABOUT WAR AGAINST BOSNIA


[photos] Muhamed Borogovac

    The War in Bosnia - part one

    INTRODUCTIONS

    
    
    Dr. Muhamed Borogovac
    
    
    THE WAR IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA 1992-1995
    
    
    
    "THE BOSNIAN CONGRESS"
    
    
    
    
    Published by Dr. Vahid Sendijarevic
    Typographical preparations: The Bosnian Congress - USA
    Tel. (617) 783-8796,  (810) 828-3193
    FAX (810) 828-3069
    Email: azra@tiac.net
    
    
    
    2.                        CONTENTS:
    
    Dedication.................................................
    
    Preface...................................................
    
    The Ethnic Structure of Bosnia-Herzegovina........
            Serbs
            Croats
            Bosnjaks
    
    Bosnia-Herzegovina within Yugoslavia....................
            Bosnia-Herzegovina before the "Agrocomerc" matter
            The "Agrocomerc" matter
            The Party of Democratic Action - SDA
            The First Congress of the SDA
            
    How Yugoslavia Died.........................................
            Federation
            The Yugoslav Peoples Army and the Territorial Defense
            The Assembly, Presidency and Government of Yugoslavia
    
    The War.....................................................
            The War in Slovenia
            The War in Croatia
            Tudjman's understanding of "Sensible Borders"
    
    The New World Order.........................................
    
    The War in Tuzla Region.....................................
            The Patriotic league in Tuzla
            Attack on the Offices of the SDA in Tuzla
            Tuzla before May 15
            May 15, 1992
            The First Negotiations with Territories
    
    Core Politics of the SDA during the War....................
            Influx of New Members
            Pohara in Tuzla
    
    Negotiations..............................................
            Second Conversation With Izetbegovic
            The International Law or the Negotiations
            Agreeing to Negotiate
            Consenting to Karadzic Participating in the negotiation
            Consenting to Negotiate the Bosnian Constitution
                                                         3
    The Consequences of Negotiating the Bosnian Constitution.....
            Questioning the Recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina
            Destroying the Motivation for the Struggle
            "Demilitarization of Sarajevo" -- Betrayal of Gorazde
    
    Polemic about some of the Izatbeogivic's Statements.........
    
    The Bosnian Congress........................................
        Balog's and Sendijarevic's correspondence with Izetbegovic
        The Bosnian Congress Accusation
        The Activities of the Bosnian Congress
        The Bosnian Congress Vs Izetbegovic's Press
        Questions and Answers
        The Betrayal of Bihac
        Reaction of the Bosnian Congress to the request from                                  
        Milosevic to recognize Bosnia-Herzegovina    
    
    The Fall of Zepa and its Consequences.......................
            The Fall of Srebrenica
            The Betrayal of Zepa
            Political consequences of the Fall of Zepa and Srebrenica
            The Cetniks were Defeated Militarily
            The Army and the Politics
    
    Others Comments about the War in Bosnia
            The Announcement by the Bosnjaks Organization
            The Message from The Bosnian Congress to the Bosnian 
            Assembly following the "American Initiative"
            The Message from Professor Francis Boyle to the Bosnian 
            Assembly following the "American Initiative"
            The explanation by the Studio 99
            The Analysis by Dr. Zdravko Tomac
            The reaction from The Tuzla's Intellectuals
    
    How Could he Get Away with it?..............................
            The Technology of the Deceit
            The Role of other Participants within the Government
            About Izetbegovic's Motives
    
    
      4                       DEDICATION
    
    
    "We are going to Drina river" 
    
    (Refers to pushing the Serbian aggressors back to the 
    traditional border between Bosnia and Serbia)
    
             Captain Hajro Mesic, Commander of Teocak and Zvornik
    
    
    
    "The war will end when "Lilies" fly over Banja Luka and Grude"   
    
    (Refers to the Bosnian flag flying over the territories currently 
    occupied by the Chetniks(1) and HVO (2))
    
               Sefer Halilovic, past supreme commander of the Bosnian Army
    
    
    "Bosnia doesn't need peace, Bosnia needs freedom" 
    
               Zaim Imamovic, The Commander of Gorazde
    
    
    "The "safe heavens" are those where the Bosnian Army is in control"
    
             Atif Dudakovic,  The Commander of the Fifth Core
    
    
    "We (Bosnian Army) are going to have a parade in Banja Luka"  
    
    (Referring to the final liberation of the occupied territories)
    
               Mehmed Alagic, The Commander of the Seventh Core
    
    
    I dedicate this book to the heroic Bosnian Army
    
    
    INDEX
    
    Bosnjaks is the official name since October 1994. of the most numerous
    ethnic group in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Before October 1994.
    the name was "Bosnian Muslims". Hence, "Bosnian muslim is a name of the
    ethnic group, rather than religious group.
    
    "Brotherhood and unity" was a way of living (modus vivendi), promoted by
    Tito, based on tolerance between various ethnic groups in the diverse
    Yugoslav society. 
    
    Ustashe, Croatian nationalists who considered the Serbs as enemies and
    "Muslims" as allies against the Serbs. They committed genocide against the
    Serbs. in the W.W. II. After the W.W.II "Ustasa" was a pejorative name for
    Croats used by Serbs. 
    
                                          INTRODUCTION
    
    The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina is an unheard of tragedy.  Before the eyes
    of the entire world, a state is disappearing, and the people (population)
    of a nation are also disappearing.  All of the principles of humanity,
    morals and international rules have been trampled.  The question most
    often asked is how could that happen today, when the Genocide committed
    during W.W.II is so well known (The Holocaust) and when the International
    community had the will and the means to protect The Republic of
    Bosnia-Herzegovina (RBH)?  The International community has shown that it
    is not the enemy of The Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and that it accepts
    this State in to its membership when it recognized RBH on April 7, 1992. 
    With that act, the International community stud up against the Serbian
    nationalism, which only started to bloody its hands in Bosnia-Herzegovina. 
    So how come that in the Fall of 1995, after the innumerable atrocities
    committed by the Cetniks, revolted the world, the International community
    crossedover to the side of to the side of the criminals, giving them 49%
    of Bosnia-Herzegovina with its "peace proposals?"  Who was the mastermind
    who succeeded to change the world opinion and what methods did he use? 
    This book answers some of those questions. The reading of this book has to
    be approached with having faith in no one but a clear mind.  Besides that,
    from the reader who comprehends what is truly happening in Bosnia, it is
    expected that he/she spread the truth.  The ultimate goal is to help in
    the fight against the forces of betrayal and the division of
    Bosnia-Herzegovina. 
    
    Wishing to arm the Bosnian patriots as soon as possible with the knowledge
    of what is really happening, this book is being written in a hurry.  I
    still hope that this book will reach Bosnians and friends of Republic
    Bosnia-Herzegovina all over the world before it is too late, while it is
    still possible to say "NO" to the division of homeland.  That is why I ask
    you to overlook any imperfections contained in this book. 
    
    
    Boston, November 5, 1995
    
    
    Author: Dr. Muhamed Borogovac
    
    
    
    
    6                       CHAPTER ONE
    
             ETHNIC STRUCTURE OF BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
    
                            The Serbs
    
    The war in ex-Yugoslavia started back in 1987 with the arrival of Slobodan
    Milosevic to power in Serbia.  Milosevic was brought in to the highest
    ranks of Serbian leadership by the liberal Serbian communist Ivan
    Stambolic, who considered him to be a good banker.  Stambolic dreamed that
    after the fall of communism, the Serbs will turn towards improvement of
    their economy, as was being done by the rest of the nations from the now
    defunct communist world.  He was wrong. He paid for his mistakes at the
    historical 8th conference of the Serbian Central Communist Committee (CK
    SKS) by being removed from all of the positions he held.  He didn't know
    his people well enough.  Let's try to explain where Stambolic made his
    mistakes, that is, what makes the Serbs so different from the majority of
    other people. 
    
    The most important characteristic of the Serbs is their exaggerated
    collective conscience.  The strong Serbian national conscience evolves
    from the Serbian Orthodox Church, which has always not only protected the
    souls of its disciples, but it was always active in politics.  The outcome
    of that is that the Serbs talked more about the "Serbian bravery and the
    Serbian heroism" in their church than have prayed to God.  That was also
    happening before this current war.  Let's remember for example the
    ferrying of the "remains of the Czar Lazar" throughout the "greater
    Serbian lands west of the Drina river."(Czar Lazar was the last Serbian
    medieval ruler.  After the defeat of his army on the Kosovo Field in 1389.
    Serbia became a part of the Ottoman Empire until 1812.) That "pilgrimage"
    with the remains of the Czar Lazar became the ritual marking of the
    "Greater Serbia" and the awakening of genocidal hate towards neighbors
    prior to starting the war.  Because of such strong showing of love towards
    Serbian ethnicity, the Serbs are known as either great patriots or great
    nationalists, depending on the interpretation of those terms.  How does
    such collective consciousness affect the "brotherhood and unity?"
    ("Brotherhood and unity" was a modus vivendi based on tolerance between
    various ethnic groups in the diverse Yugoslav society promoted by
    communists. ) I'll use the example of Bosnian universities.  Working at
    different Universities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, I noticed that most of the
    employees were Serbs, although the Serbs were a minority among the
    students.  How did that come about?  When a Serbian student appeared
    (although he might have been average), all the Serbian professors and
    instructors were making believe he was extraordinarily good and did
    everything possible to place him as a faculty member. To any Serbian
    professor it was quite normal to sacrifice some of his own teaching hours
    just so that "their" faculty member would be hired by the University.  The
    important thing was to employ as many Serbs as possible, in order to
    control the University.  (All schools in Bosnia belonged to working force
    of the school.) On the other hand, the Bosnjak and the Croatian professors
    were looking to maintain as many teaching hours in order to increase their
    income.  That's how it happened that the faculty was composed of average
    graduates, while many excellent Bosnjaks and Croats were forced to toil in
    some provincial industries. 
    
    The Serbian collective ethnic conscience insured that their favorite
    subject was history, but mainly that history which glorified the Serbian
    nation.  There is a saying :"The Serbs live in the past." Some of the
    other favorite Serbian activities was the Serbian traditional epic
    literature which glorified the "Serbian manliness and bravery."  There was
    a constant expression of longing for a Greater Serbia, strong Serbian
    army, strong police, and all else that could be used in creating the
    Serbian nationalist hegemony over the neighboring people.  The
    individuality among the Serbs is discouraged.  In cases where the
    individual characteristics, such as morals, honesty, compassion and
    conscience clash with the Serbian Nationalism , in the great majority of
    cases, the "national interests" will overrule individual sentiments.  That
    caused tragedies within the Serbian neighbors wherever they lived.  For
    centuries, Serbia was a diverse community, as long as it was ruled by the
    Ottoman empire and the Slavic Muslims.  The latter built all of the
    Serbian cities, in which they were also the majority.  Under the term
    "city" I consider the business and commerce centers, not some medieval
    castle, of which there were several even before the controlling of Serbia
    by the Ottoman empire.  In those cities, there lived quite a few Greeks,
    Jews, Gypsies, Armenians and many other peoples that comprised the Ottoman
    empire.  For example, the well known Turkish historian "Evlija Celebija,"
    whose works were used in many doctorate thesis, such as was the case of
    Ivo Andric, wrote in 1660: "Belgrade is a port on the Danube, with 38
    Muslim neighborhoods, three Greek, three Serbian, three Gypsy and one each
    of Jewish and Armenian. (Urban Development in the Western Balkans, by
    Francis Carter, London, 1977).  But as soon as the Serbs took power in
    1812, they eliminated all the non-Serbs and created an ethnically pure
    Serbia.  The surviving Muslims from Serbia mainly escaped in to Bosnia. 
    However, no revenge against the Serbs living in Bosnia took place.  A very
    similar circumstance is taking place today.  The massacred people of
    Srebrenica, Zvornik or Bijeljina are not revenged in places where the
    Serbs live under Bosnian Army control, such as Tuzla, Sarajevo Zenica and
    other places.  The Bosniaks call that "Merhamet."  The rest of the world
    calls that "individualization of guilt." 
    
    As opposed from the Bosnjaks, the Serbs in similar situations always act
    collectively, as a whole composed from many parts.  For example, if the
    Serbian soldiers are killed in fighting near Bihac, the Serbs take their
    revenge on the Bosnjaks, a.k.a. Bosnian Muslims, in Prijedor, a city under
    Serbian occupation. Well known is the case when Serbs buried alive tens
    inhabitants of Prijedor in 1994. when several Serbian policeman were
    killed in a battle near Bihac. Also, when the Serbs lost a battle in
    Croatia, the Serbs took it out on the Croats left in Banja Luka.  There
    are many such examples, a better known example was Serbian revenge over
    the Croats in occupied Banja Luka because of the loss of Western Slavonia. 
    The world took more notice of that mistreatment of Croats living under
    Serbian control in Bosnia because the Bishop of Banja Luka Mr. Franjo
    Komarica was on a hunger strike at that time. 
    
    Here I mentioned Ivo Andric, a very important man for the understanding
    the Serbs. Ivo Andric was a famous Serbian writer whose "historic" novels
    spread hatred against "Turks" i.e. Bosnian Muslims. He described Bosnian
    medieval heroes as either stupid, homosexuals, or maniacs who mistreated
    Serbs. He described Bosnjaks as an evil people. His "historical novels
    were exploited in Yugoslav school system in order to destroy any dignity
    of Bosnjak students. Nobody ever told the students the truth about events
    described in his "historical" novels. Ivo Andric won the Nobel prize for
    literature in 1960. His novels were both literature and politics,
    something like Solzenjicin, but targeting not a political regime, but a
    whole people. He is the man who signed the alliance between the Serbs and
    Nazi-Germany in 1941. Even though he is a good writer it looks like that
    prizing him with the Nobel prize was a political act. 
    
    Let's go back to other events that took place in Serbian history.  After
    the Second Serbian Uprising and liberation of Ottoman empire at the
    beginning of the nineteen century, as Serbia was expanding, so were the
    Serbs "ethnically cleansing" the "new" Serbian territories of all the
    non-Serbs, not only of the Muslims.  That is readily apparent in
    Vojvodina.  For many centuries, that region was an integrated, mixed
    society with a small Serbian minority, while it was ruled by the
    Austria-Hungary.  But since Vojvodina became a part of Serbia in 1918,
    almost all of the Vojvodina's non-Serbs have disappeared.  Completely gone
    are the Germans, most of Croats, Hungarians, Slovaks and others. 
    
    In the traditions of other people, a hero calls out an opposing hero to a
    duel.  The Serbs are the only people in the world that consider it heroism
    when a group of them kill a single opponent in his sleep.  This Serbian
    "heroism" is depicted in the historical poem "Death of Smail Aga Cengic." 
    Two centuries have passed since that cowardly act took place, yet the
    Serbs still celebrate that as an act of heroism.  Because the Serbs have
    so concentrated themselves on their nationalism, their culture is also
    exclusively nationalistic.  Actually, the Serbs have no artistic and
    cultural heritage, except for a few "cycles" of traditional epic poems, in
    which the Serbian "heroes" are honored, such as when they attack a
    "Turkish" wedding from an ambush and slaughter all its participants. The
    word "Turkish" is in quotes because in the Serbian mythology, the word
    "Turk" is designation for all hated Muslims, no matter what ethnic group
    or nationality they are. 
    
    The best description of the Serbian nationalism and "culture" is the
    madrigal "Gorski Vijenac", by Petar Petrovic Njegos, in which he describes
    and glorifies genocide committed over the Muslims during the reign of
    Vladika Danilo.  The Serbs too the "Gorski Vijenac" as the inspiration for
    all the later genocides they committed against the Muslims.  The Serbs
    have constituted their nationality based on the genocidal ideas described
    in the "Gorski Vijenac." All children in Yugoslavia had to know "Gorski
    Vijenac" in details if they wanted to graduate. "Gorski Vijenac" has
    actuality been accepted as the Constitution of Serbs in the ethnic sense. 
    Because of such reverence by the Serbs for the "Gorski Vijenac," Njegos is
    considered by Serbs the father of the Serbian nation, even though he is
    from Montenegro. 
    
    It is interesting to find out how do the Serbs succeeded in developing
    such a strong nationalist view in their young. There are four pillars of
    the Serbian nationalist consciousness.  I mentioned the first one, hate of
    the "Turks," the so called Kosovo myth.  The Serbian hatred of the
    "Turks", including Bosnjaks, Albanians and ethnic Turks, is the oldest and
    the most important pillar of Serbian ethnicity.  Second and third pillars
    of Serbian ethnicity are directed towards the Croats and the Germans. 
    Lately, there has been the formation of the "Jasenovac myth" and of the
    "Kragujevac myth" in the Serbian "culture," which are used to intensify
    the flames of hate towards the Croats and the Germans.  All of the
    government holidays in ex-Yugoslavia were occasions for reading from anti
    "Turks", anti Croats and anti-German books, such as "historic" novels
    about the "Turks" from Ivo Andric, or the "Jama" from Ivan Goran, which
    depicts the Ustashe (Croat extremists in the W.W.II) Terror over the Serbs
    and Krvava Bajka (The Bloody Fable) by Desanka Maksimovic, which tells of
    the German mass execution committed in Serbian town Kragujevac during
    W.W.II.  The fourth pillar of "Serbianism" is the love for fellow Eastern
    Orthodox Russians.  Over the last few decades, as the result of the
    Russian confrontations with the West, there has been a development of hate
    towards the "decaying West."  The west will never understand why Serbs
    killed so many French soldiers (more than 35) by snipers in Bosnia, even
    though the French politics helped them so much. Killing by sniper is not
    an accident. A murder sees a victim clearly. The Bosnians will newer
    understand why French were so devoted to their murderers.  It is because
    of so much hatred that the Serbs appear as paranoid to the rest of the world.
     
    Something like the meeting of one million Serbs on the Kosovo Field in the
    summer of 1989 could only happen to them.  Mostly drunk, they gathered at
    the place of the greatest Serbian loss on the battlefield, so they could
    get incited towards one more revenge towards the "Turks," their mythical
    enemies who defeated them in the Kosovo battle six centuries ago, 1389. 
    After two days of travel and after half an hour of rallying around with
    their leader "Slobo" (Slobodan Milosevic), they returned to their homes
    psychologically ready to launch a new Serbian style reign of terror;
    killing of their unarmed neighbors, robbing of all the non-Serbs, rape and
    also killing of children.  A normal person hates to take the two hour trip
    from Tuzla to Sarajevo, unless he must.  To the Serbs it wasn't difficult
    to make the two day trip from Knin to the Kosovo field, just so they could
    reconfirm their hatred of others.  The "Serbianism" that was re-awakened
    on the Kosovo Field is responsible for some of the most gruesome sights
    ever seen in Europe.  The Serbian soldiers love to kill, whether using a
    knife, the garrote, sledge hammer or the butt of the gun. In the beginning
    of this war they invented "the string for cutting throats". They surpassed
    the cruelty committed by the Nazis.  That is why the Serbs, who are for
    centuries obsessed by genocide against their neighbors, will have to carry
    their shame forever. 
    
                               THE CROATS
    
    Croatia wasn't occupied by the Ottoman Empire for as long as the Serbs
    were.  In Croatian history, a much bigger role was played by Austrians,
    Hungarians, Venice and eventually the Serbs.  There has never been as much
    hate towards the Turks and Muslims in Croatia, mainly because the period
    of occupation by the Ottoman Empire was relatively brief, and only a
    smaller part of Croatia was ever occupied (Slavonia and Lika).  Somewhat
    more negative emotions towards the Austrians, Hungarians and Italians have
    also pretty much evaporated, so that the principal Croatia enemies have
    become the Serbs.  Starting in 1914, many Croats have developed a sense of
    closeness and unity of purpose with the Bosnjaks, during their fight with
    their common enemy, Serbian expansionism.  But there always have been also
    those Croatians who felt that an accord regarding Bosnia-Herzegovina
    should be reached with the Serbs, of course, at the expense of the
    Bosnjaks. However, towards the end of 1980s and the beginning of the
    1990s, there were many more of those willing to cooperate with the
    Bosnjaks and work together against the common enemy, the Serbian
    expansionism.  The Bosnjaks bad luck was the fact the Croatia's current
    president, Mr. Tudjman, is a fan of the division of Bosnia, along the
    lines of "Cvetkovic/Macek" ("Cvetkovic/Macek" was the deal between Serbs
    and Croats about division of Bosnia-Herzegovina reached before the W.W.II.
    in 1939. Bosnia-Herzegovina was reestablished by Bosnian anti-fascists of
    all ethnic groups on November 25. in 1943.) Tudjman belongs to the small
    minority of those Croats who are convinced that an agreement can be
    reached with the Serbs, and thus get a large chunk of Bosnia-Herzegovina. 
    Judging by the current policy of the Croatian Government, dividing Bosnia
    is more important than liberating all of Croatia.  Because he couldn't
    find enough support in Croatia proper for the policy of aggression towards
    Bosnia while a third of Croatia has been occupied, Mr. Tudjman relied on
    the "Herzegovina lobby", which he created himself in order to hand over
    many of the functions of the Croatian Government and of his political
    party, the HDZ.  Why were the Herzegovinian Croats Tudjmans main
    supporters of the division of Bosnia?  One of the reasons is that the
    Herzegovinian Croats were under the Ottoman rule before 1878, so that they
    have (just as the Serbs have) accumulated a lack of tolerance towards the
    "Muslims". The word "Muslims" is in quotation marks because in this case
    it is designation of the ethnic group rather than the religious group.
    Namely, in former Yugoslavia the official name of Bosnjaks was "Bosnian
    Muslims". Working at the "Dzemal Bijedic" University in Mostar, I learned
    that the Herzegovinian Croats had much more ill will towards the "Muslims"
    than towards the Serbs.  Afterwards, during the war, they properly
    conducted Tudjmans policy towards the Bosnjaks.  The second reason that
    the Herzegovinians were the headquarters for the division of
    Bosnia-Herzegovina is because in a few counties of western Herzegovina
    Croats were in a majority, so it seemed natural that those regions become
    incorporated  with Croatia proper, in case there is a division of Bosnia.  
    
    As opposed to the Herzegovinian Croats, the Croats of Bosnia were
    supporters of a unified Bosnia-Herzegovina.  That occurred mainly because
    Croats in Bosnia are minority and, hence, they realized that if
    Bosnia-Herzegovina is divided into ethnically purestates, they will loose
    their homes and property.  That is why they were in support of a unified
    state of citizens in which the rights of all will be protected equally. 
    Another important fact is that there are many more Croats in Bosnia than
    in Herzegovina (because in Bosnia lives a ten times larger population than
    in Herzegovina). Additionally many Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina were
    real Bosnian patriots, especially among the intellectuals. The examples
    are: Branko Mikulic, Hrvoje Istuk, Stjepan Kljuic, Dr. Ivo Komsic, Dr.
    Miljenko Brkic, Dr. Ivan Lovrenovic, Miljenko Jergovic and so on. That is
    why Tudjman has a lot of hard time installing "his" people, the
    "Herzegovinians."  The word Herezegovinian is in quotation marks because
    it also designates the political currents of dividers of
    Bosnia-Herzegovina among the Croats, rather than just the regional
    identity.  We must remember that Davorin Perinovic, Stjepan Kljuic and Dr.
    Miljenko Brkic were one by one replaced by Tudjman until Tudjman's men,
    Hercegovinian, Mate Boban didn't finally take control of the Croatian
    affairs in Bosnia, i.e. until Mate Boban didn't become the leader of the
    "Croatian Democratic Party for Bosnia-Herzegovina" (HDZ BiH).  It is very
    interesting to note that Davor Perinovic was replaced when it was
    discovered that one of his grandparents was a Serbian priest.  In an
    interview in "Globus," (1994), he admitted that he was in favor of
    preserving the unity of Yugoslavia.  Reading that interview, I remembered
    that some rumors from the times of the formation of the nationalist
    political parties in Bosnia.  It was said that KOS ( The ex-Yugoslav
    intelligence service which was completely under the control of Serbs) is
    the one that organized the all main political parties in Bosnia, after the
    fall of communism just so they could control them.  However, there could
    be some justification for doubt towards Perinovic, but there could have
    been no doubts about Kljuic and Brkic. 
    
                             THE BOSNJAKS
    
    In its insatiable hunger for a big and powerful Serbia, throughout all the
    wars the Serbs have expanded their territories by eliminating its
    neighbors, while during the periods of peace, they tried to assimilate
    them.  In that regards, the Serbs came out with a new theory in which they
    claim that all of Bosnjaks are really just Serbs who converted to Islam. 
    The strategy of that claim was to convince the Bosnjaks that they are
    descendants of the Serbs who became separated from Serbs that's to the
    betrayal by their ancestors.  Generations of Bosnjaks were forced to learn
    how during the Ottoman empire, their ancestors, who were Serbs, were
    converting to Islam; some because of the incentives offered, some from
    fear.  According to that theory, only the staunches and the most honorable
    Serbs stayed faithful to their religion.  There are many clichés in the
    Serbian language. that constantly keep insulting those who converted to
    Islam.  Young Bosnians were exposed to such humiliation and abuse since
    1918. 
    
    During the Serbian language and history classes (the teachers were in many
    cases from Serbia, usually spouses to the Serbian and Montenegro officers
    stationed in Bosnia) the teachers were "explaining to the little Bosnjaks
    that they are descendants of the worse turncoats.  Such education had as
    its goal to embarrass the little Bosnjaks in to abandoning any ethnic and
    national pride they might have been developing.  To ease the loss of
    ethnic and national identity, during the period of communist Yugoslavia, a
    new ethnic identity was invented; "Yugoslav."  To all the ethnically aware
    Bosnjaks it was clear that the name "Yugoslav" was invented just so that
    the assimilation of the non-Serbian people proceeds as painlessly as
    possible, and, hence, as successfully as possible.  That kind of
    assimilation, which was thought in Bosnian schools throughout the Kingdom
    of Yugoslavia (1918-1941) and during the communist era (1945-1992) brought
    the loss of any national identity for many Bosnjaks.  It is well known
    that the writer Mehmed Mesa Selimovic declared himself as being an ethnic
    Serb, of Muslim descent. There were many Muslims who felt they were ethnic
    Serbs, but just didn't declare that publicly.  It is also interesting to
    note that many Bosnian Muslim politicians and almost all of the top
    leaders of the Bosnian Islamic community considered themselves as being
    ethnic Serbs.  Why is it that almost only such Muslims were able to attain
    such high positions?  That is explained with the fact that the Serbs
    perceived them as such, and under those condition allowed them to advance
    in their fields, where they were in position to represent all Muslims,
    including Bosnian Muslims.  Many such "Muslims" were described by Alija
    Nametak in his book "The Sarajevo necrology", published in 1994 by Globus
    and the Bosnjak Institute in Zurich.  The best known recent example of a
    Bosnjak who converted to a Serb is the film director Emir Kusturica. 
    Hiding behind his Yugoslav ethnic designation, he placed himself to the
    side of the Serbs, thus best proving that the new ethnic designation,
    Yugoslav, was only a synonym for Serb. 
    
    It is interesting to note that Alija Izetbegovic also kept declaring
    himself to be a Serb.  Before the 1990 elections several documents from
    nineteen sixties were published in which Alija Izetbegovic stated in his
    own handwriting that he was a Serb.  It is also known that Izetbegovic
    proclaimed himself to being a Serb during the population census in 1961.
    That discovery, made by Croats, endangered Izetbegovic's nomination for
    the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1990. Considering
    that on the eve of the 1990 elections, the Serbs were in charge of the
    national TV and radio, Izetbegovic was given a half hour program to
    explain to Bosnian voters such pro-Serbian statements.  He defended his
    actions claiming that the Bosnjak ethnic identity wasn't recognized before
    1970. as such so he had to declare himself as a Serb.  However, that is
    not true.  He could have joined the majority of Bosnians who rather than
    calling themselves Serbs wrote "non-committed to any ethnic designation"
    on their census papers.  Some Bosnjaks have done as a sign of protest,
    some as a joke, but many have written in the place where their ethnic
    designation is asked: "Eskimo, Martian, Chinese, Japanese, and so on. 
    Finally, the religious designation Muslim was allowed. He could simply
    declare himself as being a religious Muslim and leave blank his ethnic
    designation.  Hence, Izetbegovic declared himself as the ethnic Serb
    rather than religious Muslim. I always declared myself as being a Muslim,
    yet I too lived in the same state as Alija Izetbegovic.  All the Muslims
    descents that I know have declared themselves as being the Serbs did so
    because of their affinity towards the Serbs.  Realizing that Alija
    Izetbegovic was politically very knowledgeable, he was very
    conscientiously declaring himself to being a Serb.  Those who didn't know
    much about such things didn't differentiate between their religion and
    their nationality, and since declaring oneself to being a Muslim was
    permitted, they claimed to being Muslims, without any damaging aftereffects.
    
    Later the HDZ withdrew the proves that Izetbegovic declared himself to be
    a Serb. Namely, Croatian President Franjo Tudjman realized that, for his
    goal, division of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, it is better to have
    the Serb Izetbegovic as Bosnian President, than a real Bosnian patriot. 
    
    While I am still on the subject of the Bosnjaks identity, I would like to
    add a few more details.  As opposed to the rest of the Southern Slavs who
    came to the Balkans towards the end of the seventh century and converted
    to the Eastern Orthodox church, and who later in the nineteenth century
    identified themselves as Serbs, there are also those who accepted the
    Catholic faith and in nineteenth century identified themselves as Croats. 
    Besides those two denominations in Bosnia, a third, albeit "heretic" 
    church spread roots in Bosnia.  It was the so called Bosnian or Bogumil,
    or also called "the Christian" church.  The Bogumil teachings sprouted
    from the contradiction of unity of God with the teachings of the Holly
    Trinity.  They were strong believers in the afterlife.  They believed
    there is only one God, and that God is good, that He is not the source of
    unhappiness on the earth, but rather that unhappiness is the result of the
    material world, the world of evil, which is the work of the Devil.  The
    Bogumils believed that the death of a person frees a person from the
    material world, the world of evil and in to the eternal world of truth,
    which is the creation of God.  Bogumils and the Muslims alike do not
    accept the preaching of the Holly Trinity, which according to them,
    destroys the image of the uniqueness of God.  It was because of the dogma
    similar to that of the Muslims, Bogumils voluntarily accepted Islam, later
    in 15th century when Ottomans conquered Bosnia, some converting (to Islam)
    before Bosnia was even occupied by the Ottoman.  Before converting to
    Islam, the Bogumils were exposed to the Crusades against them directed by
    the Hungarians and also by the Serbs, in order to force them to renounce
    their faith.  As the result of those wars, the Bosnian Kings formally
    accepted the Catholic faith, in order to protect the population and the
    state, even though the majority of their subjects remained faithful to the
    Bogumil religion. The academic, Nedim Filipovic proved in his works that
    the majority of the Bosnian Muslims originate from the Bosnians who were
    converted to Catholicism only one generation before converting to Islam. 
    During the Ottoman empire they used to call themselves "Muslims" while
    they were in Bosnia, in order to differ from local Christians. Out of
    Bosnia they used to call themselves "Bosnjaks" in order to differ from
    Turks. As the result of such history in Bosnia-Herzegovina, we have
    Catholics, Eastern Orthodox , who only much later in 19th century began to
    develop their Croatian and Serbian identity, respectively, and Muslims who
    rebuild old Bosnjak nation.  Hence, the truth is opposite from the
    teachings we have received in the Yugoslav schools: the ancestors of
    today's Serbs and Croats have under pressure from "outsiders" and the
    Crusaders abandoned their Bogumil religion.  However, those questions are
    of secondary importance.  There shouldn't be any conclusions drawn from
    the ethnic backgrounds and history of different groups in Bosnia that
    would in any way impact any of their importance in Bosnia.  All those who
    honor and respect the Bosnian Constitution and its borders have equal
    right to live there. For a long time, the Bosnian Muslims were forbidden
    to use their traditional ethnic name of Bosnjaks., explained by the
    following argument: The Muslims can not be the only ones with the right to
    use the name of Bosnians.  There are Serbs and Croats who also live in
    Bosnia.  They too are "Bosnians."  In order to escape the confusion
    between the word Bosnjak and Bosnian, Bosnian is a name for a regional
    belonging, such as in America Midwesterner or New Yorker.  On the other
    hand, Bosnjak is descriptive of ethnic affiliation, such as Croat, Serb or
    Albanian.  The word Bosnian is also an abbreviation for a citizen of the
    Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Because of that, the existence of the term
    Bosnjak does not preclude neither the Serbs nor the Croats from Bosnia
    from calling themselves Bosnians. 
    
    It is completely unreasonable to claim that the Bosnian Muslims are
    descendants of converted (to Islam) Serbs or Croats.  Until the later part
    of 19th century, there was only the religious identity in Bosnia and not
    any ethnic affiliation.  Up to that point, people of Bosnia considered
    themselves as being Eastern Orthodox, Catholics or Muslims, not Serbs,
    Croats or Bosnjaks.  In addition to their religious affiliation, the
    Bosnjaks also had a very strong sense of belonging to Bosnia-Herzegovina. 
    During the period of Austro-Hungarian rule, only after 1878 did the
    Bosnian Eastern Orthodox acquire their Serbian national identity, the
    Catholics their Croatian identity and the Muslims rebuild their national
    identity and the name of Bosnjaks, which was forgotten during the five
    centuries of Ottoman rule.  However, this rule has many exceptions.  There
    are well known examples of Catholics and Eastern Orthodox people who
    identified themselves as Bosnjaks.  But there are many better examples of
    Muslims that acquired Serbian or Croatian identity.  In 1918, Bosnjaks
    again lost their ethnic identity and traditional name Bosnjak in
    Yugoslavia. Their ethnic identity and name Bosnjak was forbidden.
    Officially they were considered as Serbs or Croats of Muslim faith. For
    the Serbian rollers of Yugoslavia problems occurred during ethnic
    censuses. Great majority of unrecognized Bosnjaks did not declare any
    ethnic designation. Those like Alija Izetbegovic, Mesa Selimovic, Emir
    Kusturica and some others who declared themselves as Serbs or Croats or
    Yugoslavs (in ethnic sense) were only a few.  For the formal recognition
    of their ethnic distinctiveness under the new name "Bosnian Muslims", they
    had to wait until 1970.  That recognition came about thanks to the Bosnian
    patriots, formally members of the Communist party of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
    such as Dzemal Bijedic, Hamdija Pozderac, Dr. Fuad Muhic.  That was a very
    docile political fight in which no mistakes would be tolerated.  A role of
    significant importance was played by the theoreticians: Dr. Atif
    Purivatra, Dr. Muhamed Hadzijahic, Dr. Muhsin Rizvic, Dr. Kasim Suljevic
    and Dr. Muhamed Filipovic.  Bosnjaks returned their name of "Bosnjaks"
    only during the current war, in October 1993.  Important recognition for 
    that belongs to Mr. Adil Zulfikarpasic and Alija Isakovic.
    
    Before the war, the Bosnjaks were the most vital of all the ethnic groups
    in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but after the Albanians even in all of Yugoslavia. 
    That is the direct result of being completely disenfranchised within the
    communist system. During the communist rule, all the "doors" were wide
    open to the Serbs in all the large, government owned companies.  The Serb
    who got tired of the hard life on the farm came down in to the city. 
    There he always found a fellow Serb who would always find some kind of em
    ployment for him.  That is how it happened that all the factories were
    full of illiterate guards and security unskilled workers, Serbs who
    abandoned their farms in the mountains and came down to the easier life
    and state apartments in the city. (Having a state apartment was a greatest
    benefit. Rents were 5 to 10% of average wages and nobody could evict a
    resident from a state apartment.) Getting acquainted to the city, they
    usually only had one or two children. Many of them, separated from their
    historical ambient, the farm, became alcoholics.  The Serbian villages in
    the mountain became deserted.  On the other hand, Bosnjaks didn't have
    those advantages and the possibilities of employment.  That is how it
    happened that Bosnjaks stayed on the farms.  Living the traditional
    country life, they usually had quite a few children, like peasants usually
    do.  As opposed to the Serbian villages, in the Muslim villages, the life
    was on an upward path.  The net result of that was the greater birth rate
    among the Bosnjaks; fourteen per thousand, while Bosnian Croats had eight
    and the Bosnian Serbs seven.  Only the Albanians had a greater birth rate
    in ex-Yugoslavia.  The Bosnjaks were by far the youngest of all the people
    of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  During the pre war years, the number of Bosnjak
    babies was 2/3 of the total number of babies born in Bosnia, although the
    Bosnjaks composed only 44.3% of the population.  That meant that
    eventually, Bosnia would develop in to a predominantly Bosnjak (a.k.a.
    Muslim) population.  That is one of the reasons for the Cetnik genocide
    and the insistence on the division of Bosnia in to ethnic territories. 
    
    The Bosnjaks in the city also didn't have many opportunities for
    employment.  That is why they turned to creating small, private companies,
    as opposed to the Serbs who tied their future to the large, government
    owned companies. 
    
    Croats, along with the Bosnjaks turned towards the small, privately owned
    companies.  The source of the starting capital was usually the savings or
    the money earned working abroad, usually in Germany.  During the last 20
    years before the war, the small, private sector enjoyed prosperity, but
    also the socialist downfall.  That is how it happened that the economy of
    the Croats and the Bosnjaks became more dynamic than that of the Serbs. 
    That was the second main reason for the genocide committed by the Serbs. 
    The Serbs couldn't stand that the "Turks" and the "Ustashe"( ) again
    become economically superior.  The Serbs knew that power belongs to those
    who control the money.  It was not by a coincidence that the greatest
    targets of the Serbian genocide were exactly those Bosnjaks who succeeded
    in the business world.  It was the strategic interest of the Serbs to
    separate themselves from the more vital and capable Bosnjaks.  That is why
    anyone who accepts the division of Bosnia is doing that for the benefit of
    the Serbian national interest. 
    
    On the other hand, because the Bosnjaks lived so (almost) evenly spread
    throughout Bosnia, the division of Bosnia will certainly signify the
    disappearance of Bosnjaks in the foreseeable future.  That is why the
    mortal enemy of Bosnia is anyone who promotes its division.  For the
    Bosnjaks, there shouldn't be a higher and more significant goal of a
    unified Bosnia, because the alternative is the question of life and death
    of our people.  That is why the unity of Bosnia can not be bartered away
    for the promise of some economic aid, as is happening according to the
    latest peace process.  Seeking economic aid in order to sign the "peace
    agreement" in whichever form it takes is the death blow to Bosnia which
    can never be forgiven to those who committed it. The basis for existence
    of a people, such as its sovereignty, territories and the national dignity
    are priceless.  There is no compromise there.  The country's leaders should
    not even bring in to question such issues.  That is why in all the
    countries of the world, during the inauguration, when the Leader takes
    his oath, he swears that he will defend with his life, the sovereignty,
    territorial integrity and the constitution of his country.  Bosnia is
    disappearing only because its president has abandoned those foundations,
    acquired through thousands of years of experience about the state. 
    
                                The end of the first part
    
    
    

    [END OF PART ONE]

    [PART TWO]




    © Bosanski Kongres
    Updated Aug., 1997