LIFE BEFORE AND AFTER THE WAR:How we became a society with post-traumatic stress disorder

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LIFE BEFORE AND AFTER THE WAR: How we became a society with post-traumatic stress disorder

At the mere mention of war, we froze like animals in front of car headlights, blind and deaf to everything. We are no longer interested in everyday life problems.

How we became a society with post-traumatic stress disorder
(Plastic soldiers)


Let's face it, we all know what has been going on for years. We know that Dodik is preparing for entity independence, we know that Čović wants a third entity, we know that Izetbegović is completely satisfied with what he has left. We know that everyone has been preparing their position for years, placing loyal people and family members in strategic places and stealing everything they can get their hands on to ensure the most comfortable position possible. We know that none of them care about the country and that they would sign its absolute disintegration tomorrow if it would guarantee them power on some atom. But we are still surprised and worried once again, just like winter services before the first snow.

We do not know how to react differently than worried, we are nations, minorities, and others with a fresh memory of the war, still living traumas and active PTSD syndrome. We need just a little bit to reactivate. At the mere mention of war, we are petrified like animals in front of car headlights, blind and deaf to everything.




We do not see that the pandemic is raging again, that we have one of the highest death tolls in the region, that only 20 percent of the population has been vaccinated, and that the crisis headquarters do not know how to deal with it. We do not worry that 20 percent of the population has left the country in recent years. We ignore the fact that everything has risen in price in the range of 10 to 50 percent and that due to the increased price of electricity, companies are announcing closures. We are indifferent that doctors are still leaving KCUS and that the main witnesses in the Respirators Affair suddenly got amnesia. Industrial oxygen no longer worries anyone, nor that the companies of unemployed members of the Dodik family have established a monopoly in public procurement. We are not overly worried about the announcement of new taxes on everything that has not been taxed so far. It is a traditional economic strategy in this area, from the vizier to the prime minister - when the money runs out, announce a new tribute…

No one mentions everyday life problems anymore. Workers' rights? Human rights? Two schools under one roof? Equal rights to education? Migrant crisis? A failed economy? Foreign investment? Unbearable nepotism? Incentives for employment? Health care? Social protection? Everything receded before the everliving fear about the division of the land.

State institutions have not been working for months. Decisions are not made by parliaments or governments, everything is in the hands of three self-proclaimed leaders, and not even in theirs, but an agreement is expected between Milanovic, Vucic, and Erdogan, and not even between them, but an agreement is awaited by the world's greatest powers. For decades, we have been paying members of the Presidency, dismissals of various parliamentarians, prime ministers, ministers, their assistants, advisers, members of commissions, spokespersons, drivers, entire bureaucratic brigades… When the crisis broke out and the state apparatus was supposed to function and all these officials demonstrate what their job is, everything simply stopped, neither are they asking anything, nor is someone asking them.

We do not have politicians (on either side) who can offer us anything better than a constant state of war. They neither want nor know. This is how this empty space of lawlessness was created, in which the Dayton Agreement is interpreted at will, and the laws are either violated or withdrawn from use.

"Ordinary" citizens do not even notice that the government is blocked, their lives are going on in the same depressing rut - a daily struggle for mere survival without any signs of a better future. In the hair just like when institutions are working full steam ahead.

(Let me just mention that even in this crisis, those who are filled with the mention of war stood out, as bellows of blood, who hide behind false patriotism and from a safe distance burst through social networks in order to intensify the atmosphere of fear. Their carnivorous attempts to reap their own benefit are a particularly slimy form of war profiteering. But that is the other side of the pathological spectrum and more on that on another occasion.)




No one can predict how long this crisis will last and how it will end. Whatever the outcome, we will have a long period of repairing the damage. We will pay an extremely high price, as we pay the current course of the crisis - absences from work, consequences of blockades, lobbying abroad, travel expenses and per diems for negotiations, menus of secret dinners, fuel for cars, and helicopters… The problem is that in an over-indebted country, with a blocked economy, there can be no more money, just much less. We became a crisis hotspot again, even Finnish football players were reluctant to come to Bilino polje. Serious business people will be even more reluctant to invest money where top civil servants do not respect the laws they have passed.

We are a society that no longer reacts reasonably or logically, but instinctively or paranoid. We are not naturally like that, we have been destroyed by decades of primitive manipulations. We all need a good therapist. But, above all, we need better house rules in this stuffy tavern that we have turned the country into. For the start, the bills should finally be paid by those who made them - some for political adventurism and extremism, some for years of inaction and crime. We need a serious head of the hall, or at least a waiter with authority, who will visit drunken, soiled guests, hand out block bills and kick them out of the tavern. Only after that should everything be painted and started, without fear, from the beginning.

That’s the only real way to solve this crisis in the long run: a kick in the ass. It is quite clear to me that this proposal of mine is vulgar, pathetic, and impossible. But all other solutions, such as election engagement, constructive opposition, civic criticism, and the like, seem even more pathetic to me at this point.