Touring Bosnia


by Sunny
9th August, 2009 at 12:12 pm    

Shazia Awan, who is a Tory member and a regular reader of PP, sends in some pictures from a recent trip to Bosnia. I thought it was a nice story so I said I’d plug it.


(Left to right: Tobia Ellwood MP, Shazia Awan, Lord Ashcroft & Baroness Sayeeda Warsi)

She says:

For me I really wanted to go as I remember I was in school when all this was going on with ethnic cleansing and I couldn’t quite understand why people were being killed just for being a different religion- I still can’t understand it now. The trip really has had a massive impact on me. We went out there to build a house for a refugee family, refurbish a classroom at a local comprehensive and construct a football pitch. I was quite heavily involved in the school project managed to get lots of books donated from a publisher in this country and also we did everything from empty out the classroom, to painting the walls and ceilings to mopping the floors. William Hague flew into Bosnia to join us which was fantastic- he opened the IT suite for us.

To avoid another disaster like Srebrenica I strongly believe that the international community needs to help Bosnia become more stable, help encourage tolerance and only then can people in the region learn to fully embrace each others differences.

Shazia is currently looking to get selected as a Parliamentary candidate.


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Filed in: Current affairs,Religion,The World






17 Comments below   |  

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  1. pickles

    New blog post: Touring Bosnia http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5468


  2. Louisa Loveluck

    RT @pickledpolitics http://tinyurl.com/n9es7c – nice piece on Bosnia. Btw if anyone has accomm. tips for Sarajevo, would love to hear them!


  3. Marketing Knowledge

    http://bit.ly/xvehU Pickled Politics » Touring Bosnia http://bit.ly/SECQm http://bit.ly/xvehU


  4. Kurt

    Pickled Politics » Touring Bosnia http://bit.ly/Sb4Sc




  1. Shamit — on 9th August, 2009 at 1:28 pm  

    I wonder all those people who cry cynicism when we talk about intervention and pour vitriol on Blair at every opportunity –

    What do they think of this?

  2. Roger — on 9th August, 2009 at 2:00 pm  

    ” I couldn’t quite understand why people were being killed just for being a different religion- ”
    People weren’t killed just for being a different religion- or, rather, with most Serbs and Bosniaks, paying no attention to a different relilgion; that was the most noticeable apparent difference and saved people thinking about the complexities of the matter.

    “I wonder all those people who cry cynicism when we talk about intervention and pour vitriol on Blair at every opportunity –

    What do they think of this?”
    You couls argue that it came about as a result of a different kind of intervention: the E.U.’s immediate acceptance of the break-up of Yugoslavia without requiring negotiations or discussion triggered the Serbian intervention to “rescue” their fellow-countrymen in the Krajina and everything followed from that.

  3. Mostaque — on 9th August, 2009 at 2:10 pm  

    .
    .
    Bosnia was an intervention by the USA Clinton administration from 1995 as I recall, and the UK had little or no role in that intervention, after 200,000 Bosnian Muslims were murdered, and Europe watched on.

    The Government of John Major were not interested. Blair was in opposition……learning and memorizing his Thatcher hymn book.

    The USA brokered a peace which the USA, with NATO enforced on all three sides of the conflict, the Bosnian Muslims, Serbs and the Croatians.

    Thats the good story, glorious America saving nations and saving lives.

    On a not so good side the USA sanctioned the airlift of up to 7,000 Islamic fundamentalist fighters from mainly Afghanistan into Bosnia, with the logistics, and financial help of Mullah Iran……..we may call it the proto-development of an al-Qaeda force even though the organization in reality doesn’t exist or never existed………..but you had the image of Islamic fighters in exotic gear fighting Christians in Europe………..an invaluable narrative leading up to 9/11.

    Since “liberation” Bosnia is a failed narco state, and Europe doesn’t seem to be that interested in integrating the little rump statelet of Bosnia into the EU, by passing it in consideration of less developed nations like Romania, and Bulgaria, since they are wholly Christian and pose less problems in terms of integration.

  4. Mostaque — on 9th August, 2009 at 2:15 pm  

    .
    .
    We have pictures, with messages? How cool!

  5. Mostaque — on 9th August, 2009 at 2:17 pm  

    I am having problems posting on the Obama Hitler article…..can it be sorted?

  6. Ali Hussain — on 9th August, 2009 at 5:16 pm  

    If you really want to learn the depth of complicity of the Conservative Government in the genocide in Bosnia, read this book. It is written by a Cambridge Professor of History and demonstrates with clinical research how the British were the biggest obstacles to peace when other countries wanted to act. If you can’t get the book – read the reviews on Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Unfinest-Hour-Britain-Destruction-Bosnia/dp/0713994258/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1249834346&sr=8-2

    It is grand that the Tory party now want to make amends but some members of the current Shadow Cabinet are the same people who did everything to ensure that an arms embargo was imposed on Bosnian government and no actions was taken by other nations against the Serbs. Such as our very own Dame Pauline Neville Jones – current Shadow Security Minister.

    Let our memories not fail us when it comes to these smiling photo op.

  7. damon — on 9th August, 2009 at 6:06 pm  

    The first lines that Sunny quoted from Shazia Awan (in red) tell us how much she knows.

    She has no more idea than my mum. Not that I claim to be any kind of expert either.

    The BiH t shirts are a bit patronising too. Kind of like when England played a football match in Albania a decade ago and some England fans wore ”I love Albania” t shirts.

    I was once given a lift by a Serbian guy in Bosnia from the Serb town of Trebinje right in the south of Bosnia, just over from Dubrovnik.

    This was about seven years ago and he’d been a young guy in the Bosnian Serb militia.

    He was a friendly guy, and had worked before in the tourist industry of the Dalmation coast, which was now another country. And had served in the ‘multi-national’ army of Yougoslavia and his friends and colleagues in it were from every part of that former country.

    As we drove out west from Trebinje (with the chain of mountains that seperate that sliver of Croatia from Bosnia – and from which the Serbs had besieged Dubrovnic) – he pointed out three villages along the valley which the road travelled.

    One Serb, one Croat and one Bosnian muslim. He had ‘defended’ the Serb one on a front line that ran through the broad wide valley.
    It was all fruit trees in the valley bottom as I remember, and he told me that the EU had given the industry much money and it had thrived before the war, but now it had fallen into disrepair.

    He let me off at a side road leading up into the Croat village and I walked up into it.
    All these villages had turned on their minority populations, and in this idilic summer scene, as I walked up and up towards the center, there were burned out houses with wildflowers blooming in the sunshine growing in the ruins.
    In the village center there were Croatian flags displayed prominently.

    What cauesd all this to happen is something that is contentious. But I don’t think that having ”the genocide of Bosnia” is a useful marker or starting point. (Blaiming it all on the Serbs).

  8. MaidMarian — on 9th August, 2009 at 6:19 pm  

    In the Yugoslav conflicts, the most culpable western powers were the US, Germany and Greece. With Israel and Ukraine not far behind.

    To my mind, there was no genocide, just a large number of war-crimes. In the Balkans more than just about anywhere else in the world history is flexible and everyone loves nothing more than to flaunt their victimhood.

    The slightly more worrying thing for Bosnia is its difficulty in attaining some sort of functioning statehood. Whilst it is harsh as others have done to label it a narco state (and yes, I have been there) there is a truth in that as a state it is misfiring. And to be honest, the Bosnians of all religions need to pull their weight a bit more than we have seen in the past few years.

    No one has anything to be proud of in Yugoslavia and we desperately need to turn a page.

  9. fugstar — on 9th August, 2009 at 8:11 pm  

    ennaffening tory genocide tourism.

  10. pounce — on 10th August, 2009 at 9:16 pm  

    Mostaque wrote:
    Bosnia was an intervention by the USA Clinton administration from 1995 as I recall, and the UK had little or no role in that intervention

    I don’t know about you. But I served in Bosnia in mid 1995. The Brits were there as I belonged to the rapid reaction force that was sent out to teach the Serbs a lesson. In fact if anything until we started bombing the Serbs the Muslims in theater treated the UN just as bad as the Serbs did. That is fact as seen with my own eyes.
    I was also based at GV where UN vehicles used to get hijacked all the bloody time when the Bosnians wanted vehicles for their army. In fact when the Croats and Bosnians weren’t fighting the Serbs on the front line at Bugojno they would fight each other.

    As for the figure of 200000 muslims died thats funny as the total death toll (for everybody) came to 97000.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6228152.stm

    and the best part on our MSR we used to see warlords nick the last wagon of an aid convoy saying the food wasn’t good enough for their people. But as we were wearing UN berets at the time we couldn’t do a thing.

    As I mentioned above I was there, I presume you weren’t. Revisionist history is something we can all do without.

  11. Mostaque — on 12th August, 2009 at 8:18 am  

    Full respects to the British forces who served in Bosnia professionally.

    In the course of my life I have had good friends, very good friends who had served in the British armed forces….Mike, Bill and a few others….and I tried at one time to be part of that.

    In the course of my life experiences I tend not to mince my words on topical issues.

    Greater respects to the 200 odd British ex-servicemen who served on the Bosnian government side before the largely American intervention, for often no pay, just food and lodging in poor conditions, fighting the good fight and for the noble cause, for a cornered rump statelet being attacked from all sides….Serb, Croate, and infighting between the Bosnians themselves. BEFORE THE American intervention which basically saved the Bosnians.

    The problem for Britain viz Bosnian government was the intrangience of the British TORY government. Politically/legally Britain had no obligations to get involved in the “slippery slope” politics of the Balkans………..the criticism arose purely from a moral perspective, and the murder of 200,000 people Muslim, Serb, and Croate in the midst of Europe.We can “play” with numbers here, but its the nature of the barbaric act which is morally reprehensible.

    The moral intransigience of the TORY government under the hapless John Major led even Thatcher, the so called Iron Lady to label the British government as “Glorying in slaughter”………basically for holding endless EU meetings about the problem in exotic locations around Europe, without actually doing anything.

    At the end of the day, Pounce, whether you like it or not, terming it as revisionist history, it was ultimately the action of the Clinton administration, and pressure from sections of the Jewish lobby (Elie Wiesel in particular…publicly rebuking Clinton to “do something Mr. President”….stark images of skeletel Muslim men in Serb concentration camps in Northern Bosnia/Aushwitz redux) that moved the Clinton administration to do something via NATO, and American forces.

    The practical effect of American intervention meant that in Central Bosnia, under Bosnian government control, an airstrip was used to secretly airlift into Bosnia substantial amount of arms and Islamic fighters from Afghanistan which would turn the tide in favor of the Bosnian central government. In addition it is the American’s who led an extensive airstrike campaign against the Serb C&C structure which basically destroyed the Serbska military machine in Bosnia, and “encouraged” the Serbs to come to the negotiating table, and settle the dispute.

    Other than that General Rose and the French commander of European NATO forces did a lot of tut tutting, and touring around, but were mere bystanders in the slaughter of Bosnian Muslims, especially in Sebrenica, with allegations that Dutch forces infact helped the Serbs round up Bosnian Muslim men in that tragic enclave.

    Revisionist history:…….with the passage of time new perspectives are gained about that tragic event, as more information comes to light. Why did the American’s really intervene? Revisionist history from some in the USA no less, and you can research that yourself, states that the Clinton administration really wanted to prime American foreign policy on a more interventionist path, unhindered by the collapse of the Soviet Union, and America as the new sole hyperpower……leading to intervention in Kosovo, and the attack on Sudan, and Afghanistan in 1998, and eventually 9/11, and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq…….

  12. Edna on Hols — on 12th August, 2009 at 9:03 am  

    Is there anything new on the yarn that the Bosniaks’ semi-allies the Albanians dismembered living Serbs for their body parts?

  13. HardHat2006 — on 13th August, 2009 at 5:20 pm  

    If you really want to learn the depth of complicity of the Conservative Government in the genocide in Bosnia, read this book. It is written by a Cambridge Professor of History and demonstrates with clinical research how the British were the biggest obstacles to peace when other countries wanted to act. If you can’t get the book – read the reviews on Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Unfinest-Hour-Britain-Destruction-Bosnia/dp/0713994258/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1249834346&sr=8-2

    It is grand that the Tory party now want to make amends but some members of the current Shadow Cabinet are the same people who did everything to ensure that an arms embargo was imposed on Bosnian government and no actions was taken by other nations against the Serbs. Such as our very own Dame Pauline Neville Jones – current Shadow Security Minister.

    Let our memories not fail us when it comes to these smiling photo op.

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