Lessons from Bosnia — Part 1
Many people think of war when they hear ‘lessons from Bosnia’. They think about genocide, mass murder, bombs, hunger, mass graves, identifying bodies, memorials, and so on. They think about the brutality of crimes against humanity. Well, not this time. This time we’d like to talk about the post-war, even though there are many (myself included) who’d argue that the war in Bosnia has not ended, it has only changed. And while this suggests an interesting and important question about modern-day warfare, we’re not going to talk about that either.
Some years ago, my Bosnian friends and I joked about ‘Balkanisation’ of Britain. We could see various leaders becoming self-absorbed, arrogant in their positions, while people started to loose trust, and faith in their power. We knew what this meant, but we didn’t think too much about it. We didn’t take it seriously enough. After all, we all have jobs and families, and life is just hectic. Right?
Now, this ‘joke’ has become a bit of a fear. For me, seeing an official who resigned because of misconduct being re-employed was alarming. While the idea of ‘second chances’, and ‘people can change’ is all well and good, there are certain things we do not risk to give someone another chance. And, when it comes to the government sector, good character goes a long way. Things like ‘caring for ordinary people’ should be a must. If you don’t care for people, please do not go into a ‘leadership’ position.
So, instead of seeing Bosnian society improve, we are seeing British society ‘failing’. Just to be clear, British society is still a long way away from the chaos that Bosnians are in, which means that Bosnia can show where Britain is heading if things do not change. While we have no power to change anything, we feel it is our duty to do what we can. And what we can do is show you Bosnia that you’re not likely to see anywhere else.
I’ve been involved with the ‘fight for Bosnia’ from an early age. From talking about what’s going on, to protests, to packing humanitarian convoys of food and supplies. I thought I knew Bosnia really well. But, just like any relationship, you can spend time with someone and think you know them, however, it’s only when you start living with them that you learn things you never thought of.