23 Jul 98, Thursday, 1:25PM

A friend in Bosnia (working for the UN) just sent this brief. I had to edit it a little in order to preserve his anonymity:

7 July 98

I am here in beautiful Bosnia/Herzegovina, firmly ensconced in my new job and enchanted by the conspicuous beauty of the County. Driving is the most dangerous thing we do, and, over here, the act of driving on a public road is dangerous! The locals would benefit greatly from some American high school driver’s ed.

Unfortunately, I believe I am encountering the most pigheaded, unprogressive, uncharitable group of human beings on the face of the Earth! They are trying, with all their might, to figure out ways to avoid living with each other in anything that would even remotely resemble harmony. The locals are superficially friendly but exceedingly banal and withdrawn. Some Bosniacs (mostly Moslem) are cautiously moving back into the area (having been displaced by the war), but are meeting with everything from silent (more or less) hostility and contempt to flagrant arson, shootings, and bombings. Lovely!

By the way, anyone who thinks the UN has any chance of setting up a One World Government need not worry. UN personnel are a bunch of utter, blithering idiots! The entire UN Team is a pathetically inefficient, top-heavy bureaucracy, filled, top to bottom, with dithering buffoons, who routinely find even the most rudimentary task wholly beyond their ability. Hopeless is not exactly the right word, but it’s close!

Farming is the primary industry, over here, and it is done almost entirely by hand. Stoop labor on a monumental scale! The farms are all small and wretchedly inefficient by our standards. It would remind most Americans of the Deep South in the twenties and thirties.

Most of the indigenous population, of all ethnic groups, will have nothing to do the with the local police, because the police are seen as corrupt, incompetent, sloppy, biased, untrained, negligent, and completely unresponsive, all, of which is accurate- in spades! Police officers are paid a pittance, but at least they have a job. Their equipment is, without exception, obsolete, dilapidated, rusting junk! Several officers must share the same pistol (invariably a piece of trash) and the same set of handcuffs. Moral is extinct. You get the picture.

I wish the situation over here were brighter. It’s hard to believe a place like this exists. More later.