Dear Ambassador Holbrook,
Bosnians and Herzegovinians, in particular Bosniaks are grateful for the blessings of peace and are appreciative for the efforts of the United States to this end. We, KBSA, the umbrella organization for the Bosniak American community will continue to work toward an ever more durable peace and functional Bosnia & Herzegovina based upon an open, pluralistic, democratic society and the rule of law and justice, values that should be shared between America and the land of our origin. This will also facilitate real partnership between Bosnia & Herzegovina and the United States.
This is exactly why we are troubled by some of your recent statements, including he interview attached below. You make certain statements which someone with your background in the region and knowledge knows better. This is disconcerting, since it could be understood as an attempt to adjust history and terminology to a current reality still in need of change rather than the a committed effort for progress in BiH.
Carelessly applying misnomers as “civil war,” Bosnian Muslims declared Bosnia independent” or “Serb territory of Bosnia,” is inconsistent with the evidence. You have also declared either “Republika” or “Srpska” as a mistake, but not both and never stated that the ideology of connecting territorial exclusivity with ethnicity was and is inconsistent with BiH history, shared Euro-Atlantic values or justice. “Republika Srpska” was born out of a systematic effort at creating ethnically homogeneous territories by murder, rape expulsion, ie genocide.
To a less familiar audience, your terminology and rationalization could rewrite their understanding of the recent past and evidence. To us, the supporters of shared values and as Bosniak Americans, this could appear as a shrewd attempt to justify the flaws of the Dayton Accords. However, we believe that you will or should know that Republika Srpska is inconsistent with Bosnia & Herzegovina’s past or future as a partner of the Euro-Atlantic family. It may be a negotiated part of the Dayton Accords, but you better than most understand that Republika Srpska cannot be harmonized with the spirit or values for which the United States, Bosnia & Herzegovina or shared future are based upon.
The current realities are as they are; however we will not be party nor should you advance efforts to give Republika Srpska, its genocidal creation or its “founding fathers,” Milosevic to Karadzic and Mladic, any moral, legal or historical legitimacy.
President of the Governing Board of Congress of North American Bosniaks