Media information operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina - cognitive battlefield and use of digital neurotoxicants
(Volume 23, No. 3, 2022.)
Author: Robert Kolobara
The action of the mass media can be viewed not as a mere factor in transmitting information about reality but, more importantly, as an active component that creates social, political and cultural reality, with the mass media being both part and product of those realities. In this context, media functions appear as very important in the process of constructing social reality, ie as important activities
within ideological and historical matrices where images of events from (hyper) reality are created, as well as notions and ideas about a new complex political reality. Based on this, the mass media create messages in which the communication event becomes new real events, ie the mass media participate in modeling narratives in which dominant social values are identified and meaningful discourse is produced. The analysis of information operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and their impact on cognitive cognition through misinformation, lies and deception results in new hyper reality and permanently disrupted interethnic, interfaith, and interpersonal relations.
Key words: information operations, media, cognitive battlefield, digital neurotoxicants
The media and political scene in Bosnia and Herzegovina is extremely active and creative. It institutionalizes and perfectly channels a huge amount of negativity and a strong desire for domination of one nation over another with many innovative lies. Among other things, a hybrid war against the Croat and Serb constituent peoples is being waged through television, internet, and print media, with the aim of building a Bosniak nation-state with the camouflaged name of civil B&H (one man one vote). Hybrid warfare is a multidimensional phenomenon that integrates several aspects of combat - military, informational, economic, political, and sociocultural into one domain (Kolobara, Hybrid Threats in 21st Century, 2019, 3). It includes the use of military and non-military tools in an integrated campaign designed to surprise, seize initiative and gain psychological as well as physical advantage by using diplomatic means; sophisticated and accelerated information, electronic and cyber operations; covert and occasionally open military and intelligence activities and economic pressure (Military Balance 115, no. 1, 2015, 5).
The goal is to destroy the political cohesion of the adversary from within by using carefully designed hybrids of non-military means and methods that reinforce political, ideological, economic, and other social divisions within the adversary's society thus leading to its political collapse. It seeks to destroy the adversary, completely eliminate the independence of his system of government and bring him under complete control (Fridman, Ofer; Kabernik, Vitaly and Pearce, James C., 2019, 30).
In recent years, Bosniak politics has moved in the direction of coordinated information operations, where psychological and media operations are united behind holistic efforts to achieve clearly defined national goals. This stems from the belief that changing attitudes through informational action is not enough. It increasingly emphasizes the goal at the expense of resources and a sharp political focus on the outcome of behavioral change. That focus is still on effects but some influences now reach beyond the propaganda of information influence distribution to be combined with deliberate manipulation of the circumstances or conditions in which people operate and make decisions. It is no longer just a matter of whether you win hearts and minds, or whether Croats and Serbs love Bosnia and Herzegovina like this is irrelevant, but an influential campaign simply seeks to change the political behavior of Croats and Serbs, not opinion. In short, it is important that Croats and Serbs listen to what they are told from Sarajevo, and what they think is irrelevant.
This approach engages a wide range of informational and other activities that only superficially appear unrelated to the desired end result in order to create behavioral changes in the target audience. This includes appearances by various experts, civic pseudo-intellectuals, public figures, clearly instructed presenters-journalists and a number of organizations, associations and external analysts with the ultimate intention. The desired behavior change will not be apparent from the activities undertaken and the true intentions will be obscured by the process from the observer. An attempt is being made to create a situation where the targets of persuasion (Croats and Serbs) will begin to make "the right decisions" without being aware that they are working to their detriment and that these decisions are the wishes of propagandists.
The main methods and tactics of the campaign of influencing and modifying behavioral practices, in this case modeled on the concept of Yury Kuleshov, can be conceptualized in 7 points:
1. A direct lie with the purpose of misinforming the domestic and foreign public (eg the judgment of the Constitutional Court from the Ljubić application has been implemented);
2. Concealment of critical information (omission of facts that are not in favor of Bosniaks);
3. Dissolution of important information into a huge amount of data (it is not important what is written in the Constitution or court rulings, but what our civil analysts say is important);
4. Simplification, confirmation and suggestion (civic concept is the best and we should strive for it)
5. Terminological substitution: the use of concepts and terms whose meaning is not clear or have undergone qualitative changes, making it difficult to form a real picture of an event or concept (constitutivity is a Soviet concept and what does that legitimate representation even mean !?);
6. Tabooing certain types of information and journalistic categories (Croats want their political rights; this is JCE - joint criminal enterprise - journalism);
7. Providing negative information, where the response of the public is higher than with positive information (Croats and Serbs, who are fascists and genocides, want the disappearance of B&H and the destruction of Bosniaks).
The damage done to the two constituent peoples consists in the fact that now the only credible source of information for the international factor is the media, ie institutions and other positions of the Bosniak elite which authority over "truth", which must not be doubted, is drawn from the very position of authority and does not have to be rationally justified. It is enough that it is convincingly repeated many times, ie that it is presented in different ways in order to create the illusion of intellectual diversity in the domestic and foreign public. Sarajevo media information should be seen only as a surface phenomenon, as a form filled with content of an interest nature packed into a seemingly objective phenomenon for an uninformed recipient. It is important to emphasize one paradox of Bosniak media operations, and that is that they are primarily intended for their own population that needs to be radicalized and prepared for the final duel with Croats and Serbs who are perceived as a foreign body in B&H. This, at first glance, irrational political behavior points us to a much deeper political anatomy that reveals the root of all B&H political problems, and it lies in the simple fact that Bosniaks do not want to share political power with Croats and Serbs but want to dominate them.
The Sarajevo media promotes a culture of hypocrisy and lies where force becomes law. What these and such media have achieved with their target audience is an almost inviolable faith in their claims, and such a belief is needed only when something illogical, something completely absurd is emphasized (eg constitutivity should be abolished). This transfer of directed "knowledge", which always has the ultimate intention, works according to the principle "not as it is but as it is presented". An attempt is being made to determine the political and legal status of the constituent peoples by force and abandon the principle of consensus.
The crisis of Bosniak identity spills over into all aspects and spheres of socio-political life, poisoning interethnic relations and preventing sustainable coexistence. The autochthonous peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croats and Serbs, must suffer and endure all the negativity of wandering and searching Bosniaks for their identities. The extent of this wandering is best shown by the tragicomic events from the 2013 census. when to Bosniaks, their political and religious leaders had to literally write down who they are, what they believe in, and how to declare themselves, so it said: "I am a Bosniak, I speak Bosnian and my religion is Islam" (nkp.ba, 06.05. 2022.). It is these sharp and deep historical complexes that cause the current aggressive and exclusive political and social behavior where they try to suppress and ignore painful historical facts and completely invent a new politically appropriate history that would then be imposed on Croats and Serbs! Of course it is a utopia. Bosniaks must go through their national catharsis, come to terms with the facts of their origins and build the future of coexistence in BiH in peace and on the basis of equality.
The truth cannot be changed, but one can always find an assumption that works better, and if it is more successful it is consequently politically truer. The Bosniak political truth is jealous and exclusive and wants to own you completely. The character of ignorance that such an audience has, has a great ability to "lull" an individual into a false sense of bliss. Therefore, the real problem here is not so much in ignorance but in the Bosniak national resistance to knowledge and facts.
The state of mind of Bosniak political actors is such that the use of force through the state judicial apparatus against all those who disobey official Sarajevo is continuously sought. Among other things, every mention of Croatian military defense during the war in B&H is criminalized, and the Hague legal-political phrase "joint criminal enterprise" is regularly associated with it. This connects the entire Croatian nation (politically sovereign people) with the phrase joint criminal enterprise, which consequently results that any insistence on the legitimate representation and guaranteed constitutional equality of the Croatian people in B&H exposes the possibility of a meaningful transformation into a criminal offense! Some would say that they are (Bosniaks) nostalgically accustomed to collaborationist rule and that they consider it normal for the court to model political-social relations and change the Constitution at will. De facto and de jure in the EU there is no state in which the court can change the provisions of the Constitution, but only the parliament can!
The nature of targeted information for a specific recipient will always be negative from at least one point of view because its value determinant is formed depending on the position of interpretation. News is no longer created directly in front of the camera, it is directed and shaped towards the desired outcome. It endeavors to distance viewers from reality as much as possible, and based on their apathy, disinterest and ignorance, information action strategies are created. At the same time, negative emotions are provoked. Such emotions have endless potential to constitute the formation of quick and decisive decisions among "citizens" based on prejudice and aversion to someone and something. On the other hand, towards the international public, old unitary-centralist thinking is continuously packaged in new envelopes that are allegedly in line with EU legislation (omitting the multinational character of the state) and thus deliberately and knowingly misleading them for their own benefit.
What is bad and very dangerous, looking at the psychological side of the impact of media information operations, is that they start to work before people become aware of it and when they have already made the decisions that determine them (at least in one time frame). This specifically means that the targets (Bosniak audience) are already propagandistically conditioned and led to desirable thinking or action, while firmly thinking that their attitudes and potential actions are 100% morally correct, socially justified and nationally desirable.
Doubt for the position of authority is the same as indifference for the ego. Doubt sharps intellect and is your only friend in Sarajevo's media reporting. On the other hand, believing in what is being served to you causes numbness and dead obedience. It is a well-known fact that excessive data does not enlighten the viewer or listener but drowns him in a multitude of data. Precisely because of this multitude of unnecessary negative information, whether he cannot understand it or arrange it in his head, the "citizen" will only draw a general conclusion from it. And to make the paradox bigger, the more politically oriented information the citizen gets, the picture becomes simpler!!
An image that looks something like this:
1. Croatian political goals are anti-civilization, and the demand of Croatian politics for legitimate representation is pure fascism;
2. Overvoting, unitarism and hegemony are European values;
3. The Republika Srpska is a genocidal creation, and its representatives are genocides who want to secede and destroy B&H;
4. Constituency should be abolished, and the international community should give us a civil state;
5. War rather than respect for the Constitution; National equality is the demolition of B&H;
6. We call on the OHR and the International Community to sanction fascists and genocides, and the prosecution to imprison them;
7. Crimes in the past war were committed only by Serbs and Croats, while Bosniaks "nurtured interpersonal relations" in Grabovica, Bugojno, Bijelo Polje (Potoci), Dusina, Konjic, Trusina, Bilivode, Travnik, Maglaj, Lužani, Busovača, Vitez, Kraljeva Sutjeska, Kakanj, Doljani, Mostar, Kiseljak, Žepče, Uzdol, Prozor, Fojnica, Križančevo selo, Buhini Kuće, Miletići and Jablanica (when it comes to Croats).
In these "activities", members of the El Mujahideen unit, which consisted of mujahideen from Middle Eastern countries, stood out. It is crucial to note that at least four former members of the El Mujahid unit, which was part of the Third Corps of the Army of RB&H, were participants in the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001.
Speaking of the demystification of history, it is expedient to ask "antifascist" media Sarajevo how many Bosnian Muslims participated in the partisan movement (in number and percentage), and how many in the Ustasha movement, out of the total number (during WWII)? Indeed, their unfounded accusation of fascism to others is the ultimate act of hypocrisy, malice, and deception.
The malicious act of malicious distortion of modern reality fully applies to the past war, where the facts of 500,000 exiled Muslims who were warmly received, protected and nurtured by the Republic of Croatia along the Adriatic coast are (almost) never mentioned. However, this does not fit into the narrative of the Sarajevo media about JCE (joint criminal enterprise), so it is better to skip the same. Instead of facts about helping, misinformation about the division of B&H is being spread.
"The story of the division of Bosnia served to break the Croat-Muslim alliance in the pre-war period, but also to homogenize Muslims in B&H, and their full national profiling, ie to achieve national interests. It has also served to criminalize every political option in B&H, except the 'civil' state, which provides Bosniak Muslims with complete dominance in B&H "(Lučić, 2003, 43).
It is important to point out that Bosniak centers of power continuously strive for information hegemony through the media, which politics has never allowed to be independent and therefore could not exercise their "natural" function of supervising and controlling these centers of power, reviewing government decisions, presenting truth regardless of political consequences and the creation of objective public opinion.
When it comes to reporting on these and such media, it is important to emphasize that the attention paid to a particular party or topic, statements taken from participants in an event or movement, greatly influence and create public opinion mainly because one side of the "truth" is forced, and on the other hand only what "suits us" is taken, thus bringing reporting aimed at provoking a certain emotion in the viewer, which in turn ultimately causes that viewer or viewers to fall into one or the other side and be subject to propaganda messages coming from that side. This type of reporting to the audience, which encounters a topic or a certain phenomenon for the first time, comes as initial information that is established as truth and becomes the base camp from which a certain action starts, either intellectually or operationally. When a viewer, with an already formed negative or positive attitude about something, encounters the influence of the media, which reports differently in relation to his attitude, he (mostly) automatically rejects such reporting as wrong and false and creates an even stronger belief in the correctness of his opinion. It is precisely the cornerstone of what we call information as a means.
In today's Bosnian society, interest and concern for manipulating public opinion, forming attitudes and influencing behavior has reached unprecedented levels. We currently live in a digital age where that same society is bombarded with information, and more than ever we need to understand and evaluate the nature of information operations and what they deliver to us.
Information operations can be defined as the integrated employment of basic electronic warfare capabilities, computer network operations, psychological operations, military deception and security operations in conjunction with supporting and related capabilities to influence, hinder, bribe or usurp adversary human and automated decision making while protecting our own (Christoper, 2008, 2). Information warfare is an explicit and implicit interaction through information between different systems for the purpose of gaining certain benefits in the material sphere, while information warfare is performed using information weapons, ie, such means that allow performing actions with transmitting, processing, generating, destroying and perceiving information. (Kolobara, 2017.).
But information, like power, is intrinsically difficult to measure, categorize, and understand, and is very difficult to use effectively in a predictive or linear way. In the past, political efforts were about the ability to control and transmit scarce information, and today political efforts are about creating and destroying credibility (Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication, September 2004, 20).
Sarajevo's information strategies invent a kind of negative "knowledge" by managing and purposefully sharing their own political information while interfering with hostile deceiving at the same time in an effective way, thus creating convincing messages that support the will of their own people (civil state, abolition of constitutionality) while at the same time demoralizing the will of the Croatian and Serbian population (we have no life here, move abroad). D. Thompson defines this as counter-knowledge i.e. misinformation packed as facts. "Counter-knowledge is expressed as knowledge, although the claims it presents cannot withstand a simple empirical test. The falsity of counter-knowledge can be revealed by the fact that the facts contradict them, or that there is no evidence to support them. Counter-knowledge (intentionally or unintentionally) misrepresents reality and non-facts as facts” (D. Thompson, 2009 in Tuđman, 2013, 75).
This type of information can be used to terrorize someone, to create conditions where someone does not want to do something, or to encourage them to work to their own detriment, and in the interest of political Sarajevo. Such actions, especially on the information battlefield, can create chaos, mistrust, suspicion and even giving up the fight for one's political goal. It is a well-established tactic of some Sarajevo media to use Croats and Serbs bought or blackmailed by money and women in their program („honeypot“ tactics), who then wholeheartedly advocate bosniaks political-nationalist goals.
Such systematically organized and coordinated actions among Croat and Serb public provoke outrage and repulsion, while their own ignorant target audience is falsely convinced and radicalized to such an extent that they are fully prepared for physical action. For example, a Bosniak politician talks about turning his machine gun on Mostar while at the same time his political rallies saw calls for the rape of women and the impalement of people. The best description of such people and such a society was given by Nobel laureate Ivo Andrić. In the last century, Andrić recognized Sarajevo's evil fantasies about an impossible state. His statement is also famous: "Bosnians hate everyone, but most of all they hate those who point out their hatred", Kecmanović points out (www.politika.rs, May 7, 2022). Some would say that it would not be strange to send an appeal from today's Sarajevo to the Constitutional Court of B&H to ban Andrić, and perhaps to posthumously try him in The Hague.
A significant aspect of Bosniak online information and psychological operations is the use of so-called "Trolls" (run by people) and "bots" (controlled automatically). This broad system of bogus accounts on social networks helps to provide the necessary points of view in some debates by distracting and changing the public's attention (from numerous scandals and litigations of Bosniak officials) or by suppressing unwanted opinions. The mimicry of those concerned is less and less complicated to discover, as their publications abound in vulgar vocabulary and proclaim distinctly Bosniak-nationalist goals. Those who are less intelligent do not hide, so on Facebook they imaginatively threaten all Bosnian enemies, and "patriots" are advised to sleep with one eye open. Propaganda and its intentional new social media forces can produce mild/severe cognitive decline, attentional deficits, and mood and anxiety disorders, modify impulsivity or enemy aversion, influencing cognitive capital. The use of digital neurotoxicants for mental contamination, wide and deep mental experiments, behavior optimization, the current, even if temporary, influence of affect, managing positive/negative expectations and the feelings dimensions of fear and imaginary/produced threats, are areas of interest of cognitive battlefield.
The author defines digital neurotoxicants as cognitive substances that can cause detrimental effects on the psychosomatic system and ultimately, if necessary, induce obedient action or non-action. The vast number and variety of potentially neurotoxic cognitive substances includes information, misinformation, inexact information, truths, halftruths, untruths, facts, lies, accurate and inaccurate data/statistics, knowledge and counter-knowledge, and their sources include television, print, radio and digital/social media/networks, statements of officials, politicians, scientists, public figures and ordinary citizens, ie knowledge stored in books, memories and in the noosphere. The entry of the same cognitive substances can occur through media, social and personal absorption.
In other words, information operations use tactics that appeal to human nature to, on the one hand, ensure indulgence, obedience, submission, change of attitude and behavior in the enemy, that is, to increase aggression, loyalty, faith in the state, and intransigence in the face of an imaginary enemy attack with one's own target audience!
Albert Camus (Gopnik, 2006., 21-22) points out that fear is a method and that it prevents people from thinking rationally or makes people think in abstractions about enemies that threaten us and that we must therefore destroy. Normal fear is a reaction to an objective existing external circumstance, and neurotic fear and anxiety is anxiety caused by the assumption of a possible unpleasant outcome. Bosniak political elites systematically and regularly through the media provoke, encourage, and conduct information-psychological operations of fear among their target audience, and therefore we can rightly say that fear is one of the architects of Bosniak national political behavior.
This process takes place through 4 main points:
1. Enemies, Croatian and Serbian politics, pursue war goals in peace, want to destroy Bosniaks and the state of B&H (there will be war!?);
2. Bosniaks will suffer the fate of the Palestinians if there is no B&H, ie if the (genocidal) Republika Srpska is not abolished;
3. If Croats are allowed to be equal and constitutive, it means the formation of a third entity and the disintegration of B&H;
4. Serbia and Croatia are rapidly arming themselves and it is only a matter of days when they will attack Bosniak Muslims (and commit genocide?).
That the propaganda-induced fear can have fatal, self-destructive consequences for the state is also shown by the case from 2015. when the Bosniak political elite renounced the sovereign right of B&H to the territory of Sutorina, ie access to the sea border, and in favor of Montenegro only because, in the opinion of many, it would not belong to the Republika Srpska or Serbs. Today, when states are fighting for pieces of territory, our territory with access to the open sea has bestowed like a sack of flour. But for Sarajevo, this is neither the division, nor the destruction, nor the betrayal of B&H. Objectively reasoning, we wonder then what is it?
Instead of reality, the perception of injustice is created among Bosniaks in relation to the other two constituent peoples, and the perception of injustice always arises when there is a gap between the real destiny and the one that the individual believes he deserves. Thus, the narrative that Bosniaks are victims (which is a Bosniak propaganda success) and Croats and Serbs are aggressors (another propaganda success) is emphasized again, and that "victim" deserves the whole country for itself because others have reserve homelands. Objectively, Croats were victims of the war to an equal, if not greater extent. The fact that the Muslim political leadership rejected the Lisbon Treaty (Carrington-Cutileiro Plan 1991-1992), which was the initial capsule for the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is persistently ignored, while at the same time real and indisputable responsibility is removed from oneself through media. The history of warfare is always the history of perceived injustice, whether the injustice is real, produced, or imaginary. And in the world of traditional power politics, it was typically about whose army or economy would win, but in today's political information age, it's also about whose story will win.
When the mind is manipulated, it always "hits" the most ground floor feelings and targets people's weaknesses such as their children, religious beliefs or national feelings, or what is valuable and important to people. The promise then becomes more important than the deed because the promise gives hope and immediate satisfaction that nourishes the human psyche and acts as a stimulator of happiness (B&H will be "100% ours"). This hope for future happiness and satisfaction is self-sufficient because it overcomes the current material and financial situation and objective unfavorable circumstances. A promise is nothing but a form of information that contains a value determinant, and refers to the future. Information is then converted into hope, and hope consequently into faith. This giving of hope is a powerful psychic stimulus because it de facto establishes control over man (without him even being aware of it) and because it gives legitimacy to those who utter it. When you get people to convince themselves of what you want, that belief (and prejudice) is almost impossible to refute no matter what facts you put in front of them.
One of the most important characteristics of Bosniak prejudices is that they are quite insensitive to new experiences. This significantly distinguishes them from social misconceptions, which can be removed relatively quickly with the help of experience and rational verification.
After a long media influence, people project their own mind on a topic, they see everything they want to see, that is, they see everything they are conditioned to see from the very beginning. They think it's facts, but it's not facts, it's interpretation! Such a mind will not allow you to know the political and social reality, because it constantly creates hallucinations. Therefore, in such an environment, you can be crazy without knowing it, because everyone else in your environment is crazy to the same degree. It is always decided first, so the evidence for the statement is subsequently found. That is what is madness in this sense: first decide, and then find evidence.
In this context, the mind can even fabricate memories, so recently one of the Bosniak leaders, speaking at a political rally, "remembered" that the ancestors of B&H citizens were once one people, the Good Bosniaks, divided by time into three ethnic groups, and that nations (Croatian and Serbian) formed in the 19th and 20th centuries (klix.ba, 09.05.2022)! Logical and factual unsustainability and historical nonsense qualify this statement as direct disinformation with the aim of erasing the complete identity and deconstructing the history of the two autochthonous and constituent peoples of B&H and their assimilation into the newly formed Bosniak nation (September 1993), ie the Bosnian identity. This "collapse of reality" takes place in the information space as a consequence of the manipulation and montage of information and data. The consequence is that there is no longer a clear line between fact and illusion, illusion and truth” (Tuđman, 2013, 64). Bosniak counter-knowledge and their definition of reality at the same time as they are pronounced come into conflict with reality. "That is, the definitions of reality imposed on the public are becoming increasingly at odds with historical and eventful reality" (Tuđman, 2013, 57).
The campaign of fear always goes hand in hand with propaganda about the past that needs to be adapted to the political present. In this historical montage, every context of events has been lost, thus skipping many historical stages that are not politically in their favor (such as changes in religious and national affiliation). Apart from repeating lies (creating false memories), the cruel Turkish occupation of 400 years and more is romantically presented ("ours" were the Viziers for 114 years), and the centuries-old violent process of Islamizing Christians (Croats and Serbs) is ignored as if it never even existed. Also, it is not mentioned or explained to the public who are the descendants of these people today? To what extent do such people look at a false face in a false mirror is a question of historical truth, that is, irrefutable facts of the historical sequence of events!? Tarik Haverić wrote in his book Critique of the Bosnian Mind that "the Bosnian Muslim subject does not attach any importance to evidence that contradicts his narrative". Like telling children’s bedtime stories, the narrator here knows not only which version the target audience wants to listen to, but also which one they are willing to believe. "Because they believe in the truth of misinformation, people are indoctrinated by the system, they are prisoners of spent ideals, terrified of change, limited in their behavior. People are ready for destruction and crime more to defend the false truth than for personal interests, revenge or selfishness. That is, people believe in misinformation while it is in their interest and ensures profits ”(Tuđman, 2013, 160).
The production of misinformation has reached such a level that neither the target individual nor the target society has control over knowing how, where and when these lies arose, ie the hairdos of events surpassed the understanding of reality, so the placed information replaced objective knowledge and moved away from truth. The result is a new Bosniak political hyperealism in which there is no place for truth and facts but only for a political interpretation that satisfies current political-national-religious interests.
In the information war of these and such ideas, the battlefield is the mind and information is a successful weapon only when the cognitive function that enables the understanding of reality fails. While physical struggle tends to be localized, psychological struggle spills out of the immediate combat space spreading through print, electronic media, and social, political, and cultural networks. Victories in the war of ideas come when you convince others that your policies are not a threat to them (civil state, abolition of constituency, reduction of the powers of the House of Peoples). In a war of ideas, words can be as deadly as real ammunition. In this context, such words produce pseudo-knowledge in public space, which ultimately results in a semi-educated public and allows the continuation of the upgrade of pseudo-knowledge, or cognitive dominance over them. "History has shown that lies, 'one-sided' truths and counterfeits' are 'explosives for the community.' The deeper the truth is suppressed, the more violent the energy with which it will come to the surface will be. "What is repressed comes back, sometimes the community itself is destroyed" (Ottmann, 2003, 100).
Mental health and fear are absolutely incompatible things and therefore it causes tectonic disturbances on interpersonal, interethnic and interfaith relations in B&H. The paradox is that the fundamentally repulsive philosophy of unitarism and centralism in a multinational state union cut through the roots of equality and expects sustainable fruits of coexistence. Everyone has a constitutional right to elect their legitimate representatives, right? Not according to Bosniak political-intellectual thought, which does not want to share power with Croats and Serbs, but wants to dominate them!
Nihad Hebibović, Advisor to the Member of the Presidency of B&H Željko Komšić, explains precisely why and in what way Bosniak politics should control as large a territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina as possible, as well as institutions from municipal to state or B&H Presidency level. These are openly chauvinistic and anti-Dayton attitudes that have been undermining international efforts to stabilize B&H for years and at the same time literally destroying B&H, writes dnevnik.ba. On the social network Twitter, Hebibović "explains" to those Bosniaks who accept the state of B&H as a state of the three constituent peoples and other citizens that this is not the essential goal of Bosniak politics. He makes it clear that Bosniak politics cannot accept the fact that it has one third of the power in B&H, which is in line with the B&H Constitution and the Dayton Peace Agreement. He also claims that the principle of tripartite division of power in B&H can be broken peacefully.
"Instead of the concept of 'third', it is necessary to inaugurate the political struggle for the concept of political majority, with the aim (Bosniak, author's comment) of dominating the majority of the state apparatus. For reasons of strengthening the sovereignty of the state, security, for social and economic reasons. The main political problem in B&H is that the civic political majority does not rule with a majority but with a third of the state apparatus. The Dayton Constitution allows the mastery of the state apparatus to be in a peaceful and political manner. It is a question of political will, whether to suffer more, until when and why", says Komšić's advisor, explaining precisely why Bosniak politics rejects any agreement with Croats in the Federation of B&H and why it wants to seize or make meaningless the federal House of Peoples as a place to protect the political interests of the constituent peoples. "No substantial change can happen by rotating Bosnian (Bosniak, author's commentary) political options in places belonging to the so-called Bosniak quota. It is a futile exhaustion. The change is mastering the institutional apparatus of FB&H and imposing 2/3 of political will at the B&H level.
The main reason why the SNSD supports the HDZ is the awareness of the above. Namely, they know that if we add up, that return can be turned in our favor. And that is why they want the current situation to be concreted. Besides, it is the only possible way in which social change can be made. Then the whole economic picture changes and the part of society that pays the most taxes to the state, then has the majority of power, while now it is completely the opposite. Thus, the control of the majority of the state apparatus through the existing constitutional system is at the same time a national and social revolution. "Revolution in a peaceful way," Hebibović told the Bosniak public.
By the way, Komšić's adviser previously stated the position rooted in the Bosniak public (which they hide from international representatives) which says that the principle of people's constituency applies to them only when grenades fall and that it must not be valid today because grenades do not fall. He is a man who openly threatened to "send Wahhabis to ruin the tourist season in Croatia", and supporters of Željko Komšić at preelection rallies called for the murder of Dragan Čović (political leader of Croats in B&H) and the rape of Kolinda Grabar Kitarović (former Croatian president). His views, as well as those of a number of Bosniak political officials, journalists, intellectuals and other public figures, are no secret and have been publicly articulated for years in front of the domestic public, while trying to present themselves to the international community as a cooperative factor (dnevnik.ba, 06.05.2022.).
If we semantically analyze (everything) written, we differentiate between key words such as: "concreting, mastering, suffering, imposing, revolution, disabling, majority, slaughter and civil B&H". The sequence of words also follows the political-biological sequence of events that could take place over Croats and Serbs, thus creating additional dirty water in society.
The fact that religious and political fundamentalists still live in B&H is no proof that they belong there, just as a fly is not a pet just because it lives in house, many believe. The paradox is that they stigmatize other people by giving them a "corrupt identity" (fascists and genocides). Under such conditions it becomes possible for these and such persons to perform acts of the worst destructive cruelty again.
Since many in Sarajevo do not understand, do not know (?) and do not comprehend the notion of legitimacy of government, at least this European one, it is necessary to explain it to them that is the people who give legitimacy to the state and that the state exists for the sake of the people and not the other way around, as imposed by the civic „experts“ from Sarajevo. The state is not a natural community of people, something that goes without saying, but an artificial body and creation built on the will of the people, that is, the nation (nation - politically sovereign people). The constituent peoples are state-building and the state of B&H exists because of and for their sake, and not, they, because of the state!
Civic "experts" regularly introduce us to their political terms and concepts in order to impose in public discourse their use and the meaning they think they have. It is nothing but semantic infiltration or systematic distortion of the meaning of certain words in order to confuse or deceive. Semantic infiltration is the process where we adopt the language of our opponents in describing political reality (Moynihan, 1979, 53). But do we have to help them by repeating those words?
In a country where law enforcement is entrepreneurship and justice is a rare occurrence like Sarajevo's multiculturalism, extreme rhetoric always precedes extreme action. In these areas, consciousness is always behind reality and it is regularly forgotten that ideas are organic creatures. This means that every materialization, creation, implementation is preceded by an idea! In this context, it can be said that what starts in evil from evil becomes even stronger. Thus, Bosniak politician Reuf Bajrović, who is considered by many to be the informal spokesperson of the ruling politics, points out in one media that it is important that all Bosniak parties (he calls them pro-Bosnian) reach an agreement on putting "their" Croats on electoral lists to have a control mechanism in the Federal House of Peoples : "Therefore, I call on all pro-Bosnian parties to agree on which Croats will be on the county lists.
The pro-Bosnian parties should have one Croat each and we should get rid of ČoviĆ and the HDZ. I hope that a consensus will be reached on that ". He also states that Bosniaks, from Croats and Serbs, have taken control of key institutions in recent years: "Primary Presidency where we have Komšić and Džaferović, then the Armed Forces led by Minister Sifet Podžić and General Mašović ... It is important to mention the Ministry of Security, Central Election Commission, High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council ”(dnevnik.ba, May 9, 2022).
Sarajevo's political crowd is creating a different perception of reality, giving birth to followers of the mythomania of captive minds and aggressive character. The state of mind of Bosniak political actors is such that the use of force through the state judicial apparatus against all those who disobey official Sarajevo is continuously sought. Therefore, the real problem here is the violent desire to subordinate Croats and Serbs to the Bosniak political will, to erase their constitutionality (equality) and to build the Bosniak nation-state on a mad mythomania. The Bosniak nation-state with Croats as a minority, and that minority will be granted as many rights as this Bosniak majority considers correct. What Slobodan Milošević did in the late 1980s in Yugoslavia is now being done by the Bosniak political elite in B&H.
Today, Sarajevo's media assurances and promises that a civil B&H will not be a religious state and that Croats and Serbs can be safe if only they politically surrender, remind us of recent Taliban promises to former Afghan government officials that they will be safe and should stay in Afghanistan, just to surrender peacefully. Almost all were killed (who remained).
Today's Sarajevo media (most of them) systematically and regularly dehumanize the bearers of Croatian and Serbian political power, and thus this consequently reflects on their peoples, especially among propaganda-conditioned individuals who identify all members of one nation with certain policies. Dehumanization is a central construction in our understanding of human inhumanity to man. Dehumanization occurs whenever some people begin to consider other human beings excluded from the moral description of what constitutes a human being. The object of this psychological process loses the status of a man in the eyes of the dehumanizer. Dehumanization is central to prejudice, racism and discrimination. It stigmatizes others by giving them a "corrupt identity" (fascists and genocides). Under such conditions it becomes possible for normal, morally correct and even often idealistic people to perform acts of destructive cruelty. Not responding to other people’s human qualities automatically facilitates inhumane actions. Thus, for example, many lynching’s of black people by white crowds in cities across the United States were also not considered crimes against humanity for stigmatizing these people as “niggers” (Ginzburg, 1988 in Kolobara, 2017, 98-99). Numerous psychologists who have studied the bad behavior of individuals who have usually behaved humanely all their lives have conclude that bad behavior was preceded by one of the following phenomena: dehumanization, image of the enemy, group thinking, moral exclusion, social insensitivity and other environmental factors. Dehumanization lowers moral and cultural barriers that otherwise prevent abusive treatment of others.
Potemkin's Village is a phrase that signifies something - which in reality does not exist, but exists only as an illusion and delusion, and was given a commercial purpose in American western films where a fake facade of small desert towns was built for filming purposes. The same can be said for Sarajevo's multiculturalism. After "seeing off" most Serbs and Croats from the city, these people of a new identity then hosted Iranians, Saudis, Turks, Pakistanis, Afghans and Syrians, and again "became" a multicultural society. How new immigrants / citizens see coexistence is described by the tragic and painful fate of hundreds killed by mujahedin fighters. It is common knowledge that the Army of B&H „had 331 camps during the war, in which 14,444 people were detained, of which 10,346 were civilians, of whom 632 died". "Also, there are several final court verdicts for crimes committed by the AB&H. HRS (Croatian Republican Party) states that the Bosniak leader is "one of those who not only denies crimes committed by the AB&H, but glorifies its military successes" in places where people are tortured, raped and killed only because of their national and religious affiliation and that such an attitude signifies participation to this day in these crimes (bljesak.info , 27.04.2022.).
The editor of the prominent Bosnian political daily Dnevnik.ba, Jurica Gudelj, says that each new statement by Bosniak and Muslim political and religious officials makes it clear that there is literally no hope of building Bosnia and Herzegovina as a common homeland of the three constituent peoples, Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats and all other citizens. The Bosniak public, most of the political officials and Muslim dignitaries, use literally every opportunity to satanize Croats in the first place, although, of course, they do not miss the possibility of attacking Serbs.
However, Croats are currently in the first enemy position because a process is underway that could lead to changes to the Election Law, which would prevent Bosniak voters from imposing political representatives on their Croat neighbors. In order to justify violence (increasingly physical), the Bosniak public is developing narratives about Croats as a foreign and hostile element in B&H from which Bosniaks need to defend themselves. B&H would be Switzerland, it is indirectly communicated in the Bosniak public, only if there is no "Croatian demographic minority" that allegedly wants to manage the Bosniak-Muslim demographic and democratic majority.
"So far, we are used to warmongering and chauvinistic messages of Bosniak politicians towards Croats. Today, there are few politicians whose parties are based in Sarajevo and that they will address at least one normal word to Croats. Everyone, from Bakir Izetbegović, Željko Komšić and Nermin Nikšić, through Reuf Bajrović and Emir Suljagić, to marginals like Mirsad Hadžikadić and Nermin Ogrešević, as the main problem of the electorate they aspire to (Bosniaks), they state the fact that Croats live in B&H, and that these Croats want to decide equally and sovereignly on socio-political processes in the Federation of B&H and the state of B&H, which is guaranteed to them by the Constitution and Dayton. "
He adds, "At the same time, the means of Satanization are not chosen, they talk about members of a joint criminal enterprise (the term genocide is used for Serbs), Ustashas and Ustashaization, Bosniaks-Catholics, serfs, a minority that wants to rule the majority, on breaking the shackles (over the Bosniak majority)... The fact that Komsic received over 200,000 Bosniak votes in calls for the murder of Dragan Čović and the rape of Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović speaks volumes about the fact that such abominations have exceptional effects within the Bosniak national corps.”
He further states that Muslim religious dignitaries are becoming more and more actively involved in the chase against Croats. In recent weeks, the current and former Mufti of Mostar, Salem ef Dedović and Seid ef Smajkić, have tried to stop the project of building the Croatian National Theater in Mostar. They are bothered by the fact that the HNK is the Croatian national theater and as such, they believe, should not be built in the center of Mostar. At the beginning of the year, Šefik Kurdić, a professor at the Islamic Pedagogical Faculty in Zenica, spoke about how Christians were serfs to Muslims "and now they want half the state", openly calling for jihad. Against whom - it is known. Namely, it is a public secret that the votes for Željko Komšić were collected by the SDA and the Islamic Community, ie that Komšić was imposed on Croats as a member of the presidency by "Jamaat members" with the mild help of secularized Bosniaks, claims Gudelj. "Croats will soon realize that their only way out is to self-organize and form their own political and territorial entity within B&H in which they will be able to organize a normal political, social, cultural and every other kind of life. Otherwise, their biological survival will be at stake ”(dnevnik.ba, 05.05.2022).
The recent Facebook post of a politician from Sarajevo shows that calls for jihad are heard. In her Facebook post, the president of the women of the SDA (political party) canton of Sarajevo, criticizes the political competition (referring to the upcoming elections) and ends the post with: " In Mind, Bosniaks, this is the jihad of our time" (banjaluka.net , 24.05.2022.).
Zoran Krešić, a political analyst at Večernji list, also noticed one "good" thing in the speech of a Muslim religious leader: "But on the other hand, it is very good that this face has been revealed, that symbiosis of politics and religion that is rarely seen anywhere in this area. Like a party megaphone with the aim of creating an Islamic state, Reis Kavazović repeats the sentences of Bosniak political radicals and mythomaniac historians. Krešić is of the opinion that such "appearances" are taking place with the aim of encouraging political violence against Croats, "The appearances of Reis Kavazovic or his political bosses have only one function - to encourage violence against Croats and preparation for the final showdown with these people "(hms.ba, 06.05.2022.).
Sarajevo's media, people-induced political consciousness is too self-occupied and the more self-aware the more it believes in the illusion of its reality in which they perceive that their inner thoughts, ideas and emotions are explicit to everyone around them. With such an illusion, if necessary, you can introduce general discomfort, paranoia, panic, neurosis, and potential insanity. If their sense of self-confidence is inflated, individuals can be mobilized, distracted, disoriented, and become suitable for political decision-making. On the other hand, if false facts are continuously placed on the other side, feelings of shame and guilt are introduced, and if false statements are made by their leaders about things that are important to them, a feeling of weakness can be created, which can quickly lead to despair and be a turning point that will result in breaking their (political) will. By the constant media repetition of the so-called correct political views, one wants, among other things, to achieve a gradual change of attitudes towards the final matrix of desirable thinking and action through the psychological means of shame and alleged guilt for past events. They systematically accuses and belittles the electorate of others and induces the so-called a sense of shame and stupidity because they chose “wrong” (how could they?, who are these people?). The same is aimed at psychologically punishing and directing the target population to future events so that the same "mistakes" at the polls would not be repeated.
The goal of today's Bosniak media information operations is to overthrow reality, ie to establish an imposed perception and understanding that leads to the same thinking, which will ultimately provoke the desired action. The sharpness of judging the effect of information action is inversely proportional to the immediate vicinity of the object of events. The closer you are, the less you see rationally, and the more you act in affect, while the clearer it becomes for you the more you move away and the less emotionally involved you are. This specifically means moving away from their national propaganda machinery and not receiving their digital neurotoxicants. We should be primarily interested in the structure of information in the whole context of events, its consciousness and only then its content. After all, due to the repulsion, disgust and revulsion caused at the Croatian and Serbian audience, Bosniak political propaganda carries the detonator of its own end and results in even stronger resistance and the growth of even greater national feelings among Croats and Serbs!
Today we need security-information ability to see, to discern and consequently not to react. You cannot change the way Bosniak security and political media gravity works, but you can adapt to it and take advantage of it. If something sounds like a fact, it doesn't mean it is. After all, the facts are no longer important to them, only the narration is important. Truth is a politically dangerous value that no longer has a place in the media and reality is essentially malleable.
Currently, the Croatian and Serbian identity and political subjectivity in B&H are being attacked, which is mostly disputed linking it to the past war, and increasingly emphasizing that they are a minority while Bosniaks are the majority, while consciously and politically-autistically ignoring all historical and legal facts! Finally, it is crucial to emphasize that if you fail to defeat extremism, hate ideology, or ideas that promote physical or political destruction while still at the idea level, they turn into acts of hatred, attack, or terrorism. Judge for yourself at what stage the Bosnian (media) society is!
APA 6th Edition
Kolobara, R. (2022). Media information operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina - cognitive battlefield and use of digital neurotoxicants. National security and the future, 23 (3), 19-47. https://doi.org/10.37458/nstf.23.3.2
MLA 8th Edition
Kolobara, Robert. "Media information operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina - cognitive battlefield and use of digital neurotoxicants." National security and the future, vol. 23, br. 3, 2022, str. 19-47. https://doi.org/10.37458/nstf.23.3.2 Citirano DD.MM.YYYY.
Chicago 17th Edition
Kolobara, Robert. "Media information operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina - cognitive battlefield and use of digital neurotoxicants." National security and the future 23, br. 3 (2022): 19-47. https://doi.org/10.37458/nstf.23.3.2
Kolobara, R. (2022). 'Media information operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina - cognitive battlefield and use of digital neurotoxicants', National security and the future, 23(3), str. 19-47. https://doi.org/10.37458/nstf.23.3.2
Kolobara R. Media information operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina - cognitive battlefield and use of digital neurotoxicants. National security and the future [Internet]. 2022 [pristupljeno DD.MM.YYYY.];23(3):19-47. https://doi.org/10.37458/nstf.23.3.2
R. Kolobara, "Media information operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina - cognitive battlefield and use of digital neurotoxicants", National security and the future, vol.23, br. 3, str. 19-47, 2022. [Online]. https://doi.org/10.37458/nstf.23.3.2
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