Everything here rings fake, from the concern for Bosnia's well-being to fears for EU and US credibility. Even the choice of who gets credited is calculated: since FT is a British paper, let's put the two Brits as the primary authors. The only authentic thing is the Serbophobia that permeates the piece. And the hypocrisy, of course.
Next to the undersigned Ashdown (ex-viceroy of Bosnia and disgraced politician at home) and Hague (Tory Shadow Foreign Secretary), the rest of the committee that put the piece together is American. There's Morton Abramowitz, founder of the ICG and the eminence grise of American foreign policy. Jim O'Brien was Madeleine Albright's right hand in the Balkans. And Jim Hopper used to head the Washington, DC office of ICG, as well as the rabidly interventionist Balkans Action Council prior to that.
Knowing where the authors are coming from, the content of the commentary is neither new nor surprising. Except for one thing - a clear articulation of their vision for Bosnia:
A robust international approach should focus on a single goal: a central government in Bosnia effective enough to meet the responsibilities of EU and Nato membership. Each Bosnian leader should have to stand for, or against, that simple idea – and face consequences for his or her answer.
Uhh, no. This was what caused the war, remember? And now they want to remake Bosnia to fit the vision of "Ein Land, Ein Volk, Ein Führer"? Do they also have the One Leader in mind? Pity that Alija Izetbegovic, "father of his nation" (as Ashdown wept at his funeral), has departed from this world. But Bosnia is not one land, nor is it inhabited by only one people, so it cannot have one government, no matter how much the authors of this op-ed wish it. Or their proteges in Bosnia itself.
Nothing else ought to be expected from people obsessed with safeguarding the political and other capital gained over the past two decades of their involvement in Blame the Serbs for Everything, LLC. However, their wishes remain just that - wishes. The Empire has no means to make them reality. The U.S. government debt is many times the GDP, while all its troops are either in Iraq, Af-Pak, or counseling after coming back from there. How dare they publish this in a financial publication, amidst the news of bankruptcies and the free-falling pound and dollar?
Ah, now I get it! It wasn't really a wish-list intended for the ailing Empire, but rather a letter to Santa Claus! But this is what happens when things are done in committee... Christmas was five days ago. Financial Times' op-ed page isn't quite the North Pole mailroom. And the "multiethnic, multicultural Bosnians" have outlawed Santa Claus anyway.