The Guardian February 21, 2001


NATO-occupied Bosnia

by Brian Denny

The European Union troika presently touring the Balkans, led by EU foreign 
policy tsar Javier Solana, cancelled a visit to NATO-occupied Bosnia this 
week.

The Western ruler of Bosnia Wolfgang Petritsch, known as the High 
Representative, said that they had to cancel the visit "because there is no 
government".

Bosnia's state parliament failed to approve a new Prime Minister amid a 
power struggle between nationalists and a Western-backed coalition of 
parties.

One of the reasons for the impasse was made clear when the tripartite 
presidency's Serb member Zivko Radisic accused US Ambassador Thomas Miller 
of interfering in the country's internal affairs by intimidating parliament 
deputies to support the pro-Western coalition and its candidate for Prime 
Minister.

Even the Croat presidency member Ante Jelavic agreed. "With due respect for 
US Ambassador Thomas Miller, I personally disagree sometimes with his 
behaviour and political actions, because he oversteps sometimes.

For further evidence that Bosnia is no more than a colony of the West, run 
by increasingly autocratic bureaucrats, take a look at the high 
representative's legendary dictatorial powers.

Mr Petritsch has imposed his own choices for the country's currency and the 
design of new coins. His office even directed the selection of a new 
national anthem.

Candidates for public office have been barred from the ballot by Mr 
Petritsch for transparently cynical reasons.

In the spring 2000 municipal elections, the commission in charge banned the 
entire slate of the Radical Party which had won the presidency in the 
previous national elections. An action akin to the Electoral Commission in 
Britain disqualifying the Labour or Conservative parties.

In April 1999, the West's puppet media commission even ordered a Bosnian 
Serb television station to carry an address by US Secretary of State 
Madeleine Albright to explain why Yugoslavia had to be mercilessly bombed 
into the stone age.

Party for Democratic Progress chair Mladen Ivanic said: "The high 
representative makes, forms laws, he takes over a legislative function and 
thus makes the local authorities invalid.

"Everyone knows that, eventually, the High Representative will make a 
decision. In such conditions no one is forced to make agreements, to look 
for solutions and compromises", he said.

Western powers also harass or suppress media outlets that dare to criticise 
the so-called Dayton "peace" Accords. Six years after the Accords were 
signed the Western military occupation continues and rule by Western diktat 
has been institutionalised.

Despite systematic attempts by Western powers to undermine them, 
nationalist parties fared well in the November elections, as they have in 
every election since 1995. Therefore, when all else fails, Western 
authorities simply remove elected officials they dislike. The most 
prominent official purged to date was the Bosnian Serb Radical Party's 
Nikola Poplasen.

Bosnia today illustrates the ugly face of new-style Western colonialism 
which also imposes policies of mass privatisation as a matter of course.

The mass sell-off follows the redrawing of Bosnia's laws by the West to 
enable the country's state-owned industries to be privatised.

As the Bosnian Embassy spokesman in London Radomir Kosic said in December 
during a presentation to the Department of Trade and Industry, giving 
details of the first 289 companies to be sold. "Companies that were 
formerly worth tens of millions of dollars can be bought for a few hundred 
thousand", he said.

On the military front, Germany and France issued a call last month for the 
EU to takeover military operations in the former Yugoslav province and push 
the US out.

"Germany and France should back a quick conversion of the SFOR force in 
Bosnia into a European-led operation and thus work towards a fair trans-
Atlantic burden sharing", former German Minister Volker Ruehe said.

Worst of all, the West apparently views the Bosnia intervention as a 
template for similar missions in the Balkans and beyond.

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Morning Star

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