Wednesday, June 12, 1996


Political blindness

By: Zorica Banjac

Certain Serbian intellectuals and academicians apparently became accustomed at alarming the public every other year with their political views of the key problems facing the nation. Until recently, they were mostly concerned with the destiny of the entire nation, but have since shifted their position to focus on specific individuals. A group of about twenty intellectuals just published a Declaration in which they demand that the charges brought up in The Hague against Radovan Karadzic be dropped unconditionally because of his "outstanding contributions to the peace process and respect he enjoys among Serbian people in general".

The demand that the President of the Republic of Srpska (RS) be relieved of all charges and subpoenas even though his extradition to the War Crimes Tribunal was agreed upon in Dayton (and ratified by the Serbian side) was announced (by chance?) on the same day when the President of Serbia gave an interview to the German newspaper "Spiegel" in which he refused to answer direct questions about Karadzic's apprehension.

The Serbian intellectuals and academicians who signed the Declaration stated their position beyond the shadow of a doubt and attached no stipulations that could extend a diplomatic ambiguity to the Serbian President's refusal to deliver on his Dayton pledge. Their proclamation not only relieves Karadzic of any responsibility for the catastrophe brought upon the Serbs in Bosnia, but also elevates the Pale leader to the imaginary Pantheon of Serbian national heroes.

Is this another demonstration of the famous Serbian gall, that collective insanity that periodically forces the Serbs to plunge headlong into their own demise, against the whole world? Or is this yet another political misjudgement among many others formulated in the last several years to the detriment of all Serbian citizens, including those of the future Republic of Srpska? Only a misjudgement, to say the least, can declare R. Karadzic as the leader of all Serbs when, at the same time, an international warrant issued for his arrest identifies him as a prime suspect in the War Crimes Tribunal. Only political blindness can deny legitimacy to the War Crimes Tribunal especially when the cooperation with this tribunal (pledged and signed by S. Milosevic) will determine the lifting of the economic sanctions and return of Yugoslavia to international organizations.

Any attempts to discredit the international community are counterproductive, as they actually discredit the Serbian people on whose behalf these intellectuals have been pontificating for years. The twenty or so of them, who try to speak on behalf of all Serbs and against the whole world, will not prove the innocence of individuals, e.g., Dr. Karadzic, but will only strengthen the belief that the entire Serbian nation shares the blame for specific political fallacies.

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