Since I don’t live in the US, I have to use alternate means to stay abreast of how the Western press reports the news. One effective method is using sites like Yahoo, which have a long list of AP, AFP, and Reuters stories just under front page articles with titles like “Can dogs think?” or “5 Signs that your man might be cheating on you.” During the height of the Evromaidan protests, there were plenty of prominently displayed stories about the protests. As usual, most of them either completely ignored the right-wing, fascist role in the protests or they at least severely downplayed it.
By contrast the recent protests in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which began in the city of Tuzla, have garnered little attention, and it seems zero on Yahoo at least. In fact I’m hesitant to report more on the topic just because I was only recently made aware of these protests via activist friends on Facebook. Why aren’t the demonstrations, which are every bit as radical as those in Kiev, getting so much media attention? Well for starters the Bosnian protests have a decidedly working-class character and are aimed largely at social demands regarding unemployment wages, etc. Perhaps more importantly, Bosnia and Herzegovina has for some time been a country well within the sphere of the EU, dominated by EU countries, and even occupied by the troops of EUFOR Althea, which replaced NATO’s IFOR contingent. In other words, Bosnia’s mess is well within the EU’s back yard. This has nothing to do with Russia and as far as I know the Russian government hasn’t expressed any noteworthy opinion, if any at all, about it. Lastly, this is all happening at a time when the EU is trying to tempt Ukraine’s more moderate yet naive population into thinking that greater integration with “Europe” will magically solve Ukraine’s deep-rooted problems. While the recent crisis-driven problems of EU members Bulgaria and Romania failed to take purchase in Ukrainian memory, this flare up in Bosnia is most inconvenient for the leadership of the EU. If publicized widely enough, it would contribute to the world’s memory of the protests in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc., and then in comparison the Evromaidan protests, even in the whitewashed way the media presented them, would look hilariously stupid. The world could look back to 2008 and see virtual uprisings all across the supposedly stable, successful EU, and then here we have these naive people in Kiev foolishly believing that a trade agreement with the EU will get them a piece of something many Europeans apparently don’t want. Of course to be sure, that is leaving out the right-wing, nationalist roots of Evromaidan violence, but we’re talking about a media narrative and not reality here. In short, the Bosnian protests, due to their timing if nothing else, would expose Evromaidan as a farce and thus they need to be downplayed if not ignored.
Of course that’s not all that’s being ignored. Remember when, in response to Evromaidan violence, Russian Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov announced that Russia would be increasing its military presence in the naval base at Sevastopol and massing troops along the Ukrainian border? Oh you don’t remember that? That’s probably because it never happened. What you also probably haven’t heard, is that the Austrian High Representative for Bosnia and Hercegovina has in response to the protests declared that Austria will be increasing its troop deployments in Bosnia and the EU may send additional troops as well. To date Yanukovich in Ukraine has yet to call out the Ukrainian army, but the European Union is happy to use regular military troops in response to demonstrations after less than a week. European values in action!
There is one last reason why the Western media’s failure to adequately report on these demonstrations is such a travesty. In one of the reports from an eyewitness I read, it was said that in Tuzla local Serbs joined the Bosnian(no doubt mostly Muslim) protesters in solidarity, and that signs could be seen with the slogan “JEDAN NAROD”, meaning “One People” or “One Nation.” If one is well educated in the history of Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Hercegovina, one will no doubt recognize the significance of those two words. These actions represent the healing of wounds, the possible end to one of the Balkans’ bloodiest cycles of violence. We may very well be watching one of the most significant reconciliations in European history and yet the Western media is practically ignoring it because it doesn’t fit their narrative, nor does it please the capitalists of the European Union.
No, the EU and its media lackeys would much rather support the hate and petty rivalries which drive Evromaidan, whatever the future consequences may be, rather than publicize a potentially historic reconciliation between peoples who were once bitter enemies at the end of the last century. If need be, the self-proclaimed bastion of democracy is, within one week of unrest, willing to deploy regular military forces to intimidate the people in its virtual colony. I have not a doubt in my mind that if this continues, pro-EU forces will happily attempt to reignite inter-ethnic hatred so as to split the movement, but I’m optimistic that it won’t work. This is why Evromaidan is totally illegitimate. The supposedly non-nationalist, liberal side of the protests in Ukraine not only refuses to repudiate or cut ties with the fascists with whom they stand shoulder to shoulder, not only fails to bring up any working class or social issues, but they enthusiastically cheer for this obviously imperialist and undemocratic bloc that is the European Union. Meanwhile the multi-ethnic people of Bosnia heroically join the ranks of the Greeks, the Italians, the Portuguese, and the Spanish. They deserve your support and if the media won’t properly inform you of their struggle, there are always sources at your fingertips.