June 26, 1993 |
Western political leaders who seem to be opting for a political solution to the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina by dividing it among contending Croats, Serbs and Muslims shouldn't be accused of cowardice. They are simply yielding to Realpolitik. More than a century ago, Germany's "Iron Chancellor," Otto von Bismarck, a leader who was quite willing to wage war for political benefit, frequently warned Austria-Hungary against pressing its territorial claims in the region and studiously avoided German entanglement in the region.
June 27, 2001
The regime, not the dictator, created the nightmare in Serbia. Therefore, it is not enough to arrest only Slobodan Milosevic and to allow the corrupt regime's ringleaders, who for 10 years created the horror in Serbia and throughout the Balkans, to remain at large. The willpower of the Serbian people will be an important factor in creating peace in the region only if justice can be served. The real goal, therefore, is not to expel Milosevic but to judge both him and his ringleaders in such a way as to help bring democracy to Serbia and to establish Serbs' relations with the rest of the world.
April 12, 1999 |
Balkan soldiers slaughter civilians "so their dirty race may not spring up again. " Ethnic groups, enraged "by old hatreds and resentments," take up arms with the goal of "complete extermination of an alien population. " "This," the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace concluded about wars in the Balkans, "is why they produce so great a loss in men and end in the annihilation of the population and the ruin of whole regions. " The date of the report: 1913. Eight decades later, little seems to have changed in the Balkans from the last time Serbs fought Albanians, when a shocked United States looked with disbelief at the Balkan people's capacity to brutalize each other, in the name of ancestry, ethnicity and religion.
June 16, 1999 |
Some say NATO will now be stuck in the Balkans for decades. I say fine. NATO has finally found its new mission. What use are NATO troops sitting around in Germany? Does anyone think the broken Russian army, whose 200 soldiers are begging the British for water at the Pristina airport, is still a threat to Western Europe? Puhleeze! U.S. and European forces in Kosovo will now be doing something useful. Their presence, along with European development aid, will help reintegrate the last, lost Balkan frontiers of the continent into its wealthier, democratic mainstream.
December 11, 1992 |
It will prove a lot harder for President-elect Bill Clinton to bring U.S. troops home from Somalia than it was for George Bush to send them there. But that doesn't mean the lame-duck president lauched Operation Restore Hope just to subvert his successor's pledge to give domestic needs priority over foreign problems. If Bush had wanted to do that, he could have left Clinton with a stickier military commitment in the Balkans. Even now, there are some critics of the purely humanitarian operation in Somalia who complain that it would have made more sense strategically to send a military rescue mission to beleaguered Bosnia.
November 29, 1994 |
A single corpse disfigures a deceptively tranquil countryside. Children with ravaged eyes stare out from behind barbed wire. Mothers and daughters reflect on the trauma of gang rape. Skeletal men, their ribs visible, lie on prison beds waiting to die. Through a pane of cracked glass, like a spider's web, we glimpse the ruins of Sarajevo. These are images of ethnic warfare and its aftermath in the Balkans, captured by a distinguished international group of photojournalists.
February 16, 1993 |
Bill Clinton knows what he wants to do on domestic policy. On foreign policy he does not. He knows only that he wants to do good. It is a dangerous impulse. It is particularly dangerous in the Balkans, a swamp of historical grievances, a place that produces more history than it can consume. Bill Clinton came upon the Balkans and decided that he wished to do better than Cyrus Vance and David Owen who, after five months of negotiations, finally produced a peace plan. On Feb. 1, Vance and Owen brought their plan to the United Nations, hoping the Great Powers would endorse and impose it. Clinton did not bite.
March 28, 1999 |
The 20th century is ending as it began, with war in the Balkans. Spurred by nationalism, a vitriolic force that sometimes hibernates but never dissipates, the animosities of the region have survived Turkish rule, Nazi invasion and Soviet control. The destructive passions flourished in two world wars, thrived with the end of the Cold War, survived peacemaking efforts of the League of Nations and the United Nations, and they will no doubt survive NATO bombing. Unreasoning hatred and undying vengeance have been responsible for some of the most savage acts people have committed against each other.
December 6, 1996 |
There has been a great deal of attention devoted to the crimes against women in the Balkans in the past few years. But let's take a look at what has happened to the men. While women and children have suffered and died in the ethnic wars in the former Yugoslavia, most of the bodies are male. It is the men who are missing from the Bosnian villages. A few years ago, an Amnesty International report on Serb atrocities stressed that Muslim men were so fearful that many "slept away from their homes in places such as orchards.
June 13, 1999 |
After taking the military lead in NATO's 11-week air war over Kosovo, American officials are vowing that the United States will not shoulder the burden of rebuilding Yugoslavia and the region. "I would expect that most of the money would come through Europe because most of the costs of this campaign, the air campaign, have been borne by the United States," President Clinton said Thursday. "I don't quarrel with that; we had the capacity, and we did what we should have done. " "But I don't want us to get into a haggling situation either," he said.