Commentary by Erol Avdović
Boris Tadic failed to say, since obviously, he wanted to look like president Barack Obama - when he announced the elimination of al-Qaida boss - that Ratko Mladic, (accused by ICTY) is not a hero, but a mass murderer, responsible for genocide in Srebrenica. Instead of announcing that - Tadic said: The arrest was good, because now it "throws the Brammertz’s (the ICTY Chief prosecutor) report, (very critical of Serbia) - in to the water."
With that, the Serbian president only confirmed, the date of Mladic’s arrest may have been calculated in advance to gain the most of it. Of course, the cynicism of this kind has to be abandoned, since - Mladic behind the bars - is a really great news for the entire region. However, this was a "political move", as it was immediately noticed by James Rubin, former Assistant to the Secretary of State Madeline Albright. Indeed, a unanswered question remains: What the Belgrade waited until now?
When “king was pushed to the wall” (“dotjerali cara do duvara”), as old Bosnian proverb says, all (former) Jokers spent, and Tadic was threatened to become isolated by Europe - Serbia was forced to exchange Mladic for it’s better European future. And now, instead of stick, in Belgrade, they can – expect the carrots! In balkans they still behaive within that Bizmark's political philosophy.
Unfortunately, we can not get read of that feeling, that authorities in Serbia continued to push and prefer policy over the back of the victims. They were waiting for 16 years, for Serbia to fulfilly their obligations in accordance with International Law, but to apply morality approach to all of this.
Hence, with such and such "trade", the official Belgrade wants to stay on "top of the game," as Americans often call it. And even more to that: to go back to “zero sum game”. Indeed, there are many in Bosnia who lost everything worthy during Mr. Mladic’ war actions. Some 8000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed in cold blood by Serb military under Mladic's command in Bosnia, in July 1995, in Srebrenica.
Nonetheless, leaving only to Serbia this "initiative" - the International Community shows its own inconsistency and deficit of the will – to push forward the whole region of West Balkans, and move away from the general negative trend of decline, particularly in Bosnia (BiH – Bosnia and Herzegovina). Therefore, the BiH suffered the most even after the recent war.
The EU foreigin minister, baroness Catherine Ashton, who was in Belgrad on the day of Mladic's arrest, but also US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would have to upgrade their "focus on region," as was suggested in London, by British Foreign Secretary William Hague. The chief British diplomat promised a "greater engagement” in the region and Bosnia and Herzegovina “in the coming weeks and months!”
Now, when Mr. Milorad Dodik (president of smaller Bosnian entity Republika Srpska), at least was nominally "defeated" - indeed Mrs. Clinton and baroness Ashton should make the extra mile, for Washington and Brussels – to remain on top of the game in the region.
For Bosnia and its neighbors the European policy still have to be created or driven, not by the (referendum) blackmail from Banja Luka - but by the Europe itself. Neither, an occasional "generosity" from Belgrade, where, from time to time – they decide to trade some of its notorious criminals - should be euphorically accepted and trade for anything.
When it comes to the victims concerned, morality should not be beyond politics.