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The Psychiatrist's Departure

From Novi Prelom (Banja Luka)

Radovan Karadzic is gone. After six years. For us, these have been years in which, to paraphrase Kolakowski, the devil has reappeared in our history. We have had a war, our life has been reduced to the ethnos alone, we have been returned several hundred years into the past and have become imprisoned in a project called Republika Srpska. We are humiliated and despised.

This how we can describe, in brief, the results of the monstrous policy conducted by the Sarajevo psychiatrist. Not on his own, of course. Surrounded by a group of hypocrites and acolytes, he almost forgot that by starting the war he took upon himself an enormous responsibility, especially for the people in whose name it was all done. We too forgot that responsibility. And now in silence we watch Radovan Karadzic's departure. Many have a sense of emptiness. This, of course, is normal and human. It is also normal and human to say that there is nothing to be sad about.

I hope that his departure will, above all, signal the possibility of changes that will permit us to undertake the long and hard journey of reconstruction of the country and a society befitting human beings. Within the framework of Karadzic's policy and mindset, such a journey was indeed impossible. This is why Radovan Karadzic's departure must in every way be welcomed.

The Philosopher's Arrival

On Sunday 14 July, a meeting of support for Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic was held in Trebinje. The meeting as such was nothing unusual. The iconography and much of what was said were the same as at all similar meetings in the past. But there was something new, nevertheless. Messrs Aleksa Buha, Momir Vojvodic, Simeon Djuretic and other such toilers for the people told the gathered populace that 'we have drawn a line and nobody can come in [to Republika Srpska]. As for us, we shall not cross the line either.'

The message, however morbid, is very clear. The highest national interest for these people is to create a prison, a ghetto. The person who said this is Aleksa Buha, a professor who used to teach German classical philosophy at the University of Sarajevo. He came to Trebinje as a statesman to legitimize a fascistic policy, signalling that he himself believed in it. In Buha's view, the Serb people should live unnaturally and abormally - should remain fully self-sufficient.

The keepers of the Serb people's souls will tell you that this is what the people want. And they have indeed brought the people to the point where it really does not know what it wants. My Serb people! Can you open your eyes and see where they are leading you? Can you lift your head and raise yourself from the gutter into which you have been cast, not so much by the world, nor by various fundamentalists or Ustashe or whatever, but by your own chosen leaders? Do you have the courage to look up and ahead, and to start along a path that is worthy of humans? Along a path that is different from the one along which all the various psychiatrists and doctors of science are leading you? I believe that you can and must do so.

Miodrag Zivanovic Taken from Novi Prelom, Banja Luka, 19 July 1996. Miodrag Zivanovic is the editor of Novi Prelom and leader of the Liberal Party of Banja Luka. (Aleksa Buha is Republika Srpska's 'foreign minister'.) Prelom was founded in 1988 by the Banja Luka Socialist Youth Alliance, precursor of the Bosnia- Herzegovina Liberal Party. Current editorial address: Cara Lazara 6, Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina (telephone and fax: + 387 78 60 676, + 387 78 61 437).