March 28, 2008
As European politicians experience from time to time, it is very easy to get lost in the treacherous Balkan soil. The dynamics of social change, tension between ethnic and cultural groups, complex alliances: Austrians, Hungarians, Germans, Russians and the EU has learned that it is not easy to score points in this region. Hillary Clinton stepped on a virtual land-mine in Bosnia when she tried to prove her diplomatic skills.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/8BfNqhV5hg4" width="320" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]Ms. Clinton tried to appear as a peace-maker of Bosnia who risked her life to save the country from further civil war. Unfortunately, this is not that country, or she did not play that role. According to the American archives Ms. Clinton has indeed visited Tuzla, but only to meet a young girl and a German-adopted class of schoolchildren. The American voters immediately punished the former First Lady’s campaign. But the story got hold in the actual countries, too.
The Foreign Policy Passport Blog quotes the Bosnian Serb political leader Mladen Ivanic:
Given that the world, and especially America, associate the activity of snipers shooting at innocent civilians exclusively with Serbs as ‘the bad guys,’ Hillary Clinton has sent a clear signal as to kind of foreign policy she would hold towards this part of the Balkans. The Serbs would still be ‘the bad guys,’ while the Bosniaks and the Croats would be ‘the good guys.’
Given the deadlock in Bosnia-Herzegovina, if elected, Ms. Clinton will have to deal with these unwanted consequences of her campaign. The Dayton Peace Treaty certainly needs some follow-up from the EU and the US.Author : Dániel Antal