‘”liirks” (all Serbs outside of Serbia properrneall the Muslims “Turks,” as the Muslimsrninsisted on calling themselves untilrn1918 and their defeat in the Great War).rnWith April 6, 1941, began my own family’srnextinction, with the loss of three paternalrnuncles, mv grandfather, and myrnmaternal aunt.rnSo, on April 6, 1992, someone in Vienna,rnBonn, or Berlin, gave the nod tornAlija Izctbegovie to start his march towardrnan Islamic State of Bosnia. (Whatrnthe Icutonic policymakers had in mind,rnwhen they decided to destroy the formerrnYugoslavia and start anew thernBalkan horror show, I do not know, norrndo I, or Milosh Dragichevitch, or MitchornStupar, or anyone else I know, care. I listoryrnshall judge them, as well as God,rnwho, so far, has not been forgiving ofrnthem.) This was the day a Muslim gunmanrnin Sarajevo shot at a Serb weddingrnpartv, killing the father of the groom,rnwounding the priest, and burning thernchurch flag (the colors of the Serb OrthodoxrnChristian Church—red, blue,rnand white—are the same as the Serb nationalrncolors). This was not, however, asrnthe Commandant reminded mc, whenrnthe current mess started. For a decadernprior to that. Commandant, a youngrnSerb, was made uneasy in his hometownrnof Bano’itchi by taunts and subtle hintsrnthat he ought to move to Serbia, wherernall other pig Christians live.rnSometimes the hints (or instructions)rnwere gi’cn with a smile, other times beforernor during a fight in the schoolyard orrnin the street, The Commandant wasrnonce stabbed by a Muslim schoolmate,rnbut his father, a Communist Party stalwart,rnwould not press charges; he did notrnwant to endanger the fragile Bosnianrn”Brotherhood and Ihiity.” (That was inrn1985, when—according to today’s wistfulrnWestern “analyst” reports—all wasrnwell and humming with the multinational,rnmulticultural, rnulticonfcssionalrnmosaic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, asrnwell as of Yugoslavia itself.)rnWhen the war between the BosnianrnSerbs, on the one hand, and GermangoadedrnBosnian Muslims and Croats, onrnthe other, began, the Commandant wasrnnot surprised, but his Marxist father was.rnDespite all the federal money invested inrnBosnia, despite all the brand-new roads,rnschools, hospitals, factories, and powerrnplants, despite all progress, the Commandant’srnfather, mother, and youngrnsister had to leave Banovitchi a week afterrnApril 6, because Muslim “militia”rnhad twice visited their apartment, purportedlyrnsearching for their son. Thernfirst time, the Muslims—former friendsrnand neighbors—took the family’s colorrnTV set, their VCR, and the 3,000 Germanrnmarks the Commandant’s fatherrnhad set aside for hard times. The secondrntime was punctuated by gunfire, at thernfamily’s refrigerator and electric stove,rnafter which a Muslim fighter with a greenrnIslamic headband told the Commandant’srnfather that the next time theyrncame, their bullets would be aimed elsewhere.rnThe trip to Belgrade was long and arduous,rnpast Muslim checkpoints wherernsome women and girls were fondled byrnthe “militia”; the Commandant’s father,rnall his life a fervent internatioiralist andrnleftist, had been quite sure that his idol,rnJosip Broz Tito, had found the goldenrnformula for successful and fulfilling “togetherness,”rnvet 1941 was repeating itself,rnwhen his father—and the Commandant’srngrandfather—had to leave forrnthe hills and fight for his life as Belgradernitself was occupied by the merciless Germans.rnThe “Dark Country,” as the Bosniansrnthemselves call their land, had, forrndecades, been inhospitable to its Serbs,rnbut the Commandant’s father had triedrnnot to see it, confident that his place inrnthe communist hierarchy—and the needrnfor token Serbs in the administration,rnthe arts, and the economy—would savernhim, and his family, from the fate ofrnhundreds upon hundreds of thousandsrnof Bosnian Serbs who had had to leaserntheir homeland since the early 1960’s inrnsearch of peace of mind. In his nativernBanovitchi, he kept busy as poets GojkornDjogo and Rajko Nogo were houndedrnout of Sarajevo for singing of Serbs andrntheir myths instead of “brotherhood andrnunity,” communism with a human face,rnor the joys of consumerism. He eenrnspoke out against Mesha Selimovitch, arnMuslim noelist who had gone to Belgrade,rnsaid that he was a Serb of Muslimrnfaith, and decried Yugoslav Nobel PrizewinnerrnIvo Andric’s pages describing thernBosnian Muslims as renegades, militants,rnand fanatics.rn”Bosnia,” wrote Alexander Hilferding,rnRussian Consul-General in Sarajevo inrn1856, “is a country where the threernSlavonic faiths: the Roman Catholics,rnthe Serb Orthodox, and the Muslimsrnhate each other with a passion exceedingrnonly their hate, and mistrust, of all otherrnforeigners, whether Frank or Ottoman.”rnTito, the obscure adventurer foistedrnupon Yugoslavia by Eleanor Roosevelt,rnWinston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin,rnrecognized Bosnia’s potential for ethnicrnshuffling, affirmative action, governmentrninter’ention, and wealth redistributionrnlong before the present champions ofrnthe New World Order. Like the Ottomansrnbefore him, who, in the words ofrnSir Chades Eliot, Secretary of the BritishrnEmbassy at Constantinople from 1893 torn1898, “aided the minorities in theirrnrealm against the majorities” in order alwaysrnto have the upper hand over the kitrnand kaboodle of them, Tito shrewdlvrnforeshadowed today’s action by the “InternationalrnCommunity,” the nascentrnWorld Government (United Nations),rnand NATO for the same reasons.rnAnd so the Commandant’s father gotrncaught by his own gullibility and lackrnof honor: before he left for Serb Ozren,rnthe Commandant, a just-graduatedrneconomist, had told his parent that hernwas a fool to trust in the goodwill of peoplernwho had met each invading armyrnover the last 100 ears with the cry “Hererncome our men!” Standing, speechless—rnone with fury, the other with frustrationrn—the Commandant and his fatherrnhad parted, the Commandant to sit withrnus on a porch in Bolyanitch, on OzrenrnMountain, the father to queue up in Belgradernfor U.N. handouts and to pore overrnthe news from Bosnia, Geneva, NewrnYork, and elsewhere, where men who didrnnot know him were—in bad faith—torndecide his fate.rnAs v-e listen to Vaskcrsiye Petkovitehrnspin off another tune on his shargiya, wernknow that Ozren Mountain will not givernin, regardless of who signs what, where,rnand for whose soul and honor’s sake.rnLike Serbs eer where, Ozrenians do notrnbelieve in contracts between crooks andrnswindlers, and they will not suffer to playrnthe fools. Our host, Branko Sofreniteh,rnan electrical engineer who ga e up his securernand well-paing exccutic’s positionrnin Panchevo, Serbia, to return to nativernOzren and Bosnia as soon as the warrnstarted, smiles at Milosh’s cracks aboutrnan old Muslim hoja (priest) who remainedrnsilent on a train when a youngrnSerb asked him for the time of day.rn”Why,” the hoja’s wife asked her husbandrnlater, “did you not answer thernyoung man?” And the hoja looked at hisrnwife like a tired, battered, wise old manrnand said, “By Allah, if I had answered therngiaour, he would have asked me this andrnthat and finally said that he had no placernFEBRUARY 1994/39rnrnrn