October 18, 1995
The Clinton administration is creating unnecessary trouble for itself - and for the Balkans - with its plan to send 20,000 U.S. troops to keep the peace in Bosnia. The administration troop proposal comes as U.S.-led diplomatic and military action has finally produced a cease-fire in Bosnia and an Oct. 31 date for a peace conference. Now President Clinton proposes to keep a pledge to NATO allies to dispatch U.S. troops as part of a 60,000-strong NATO force to keep the peace. "There will not be a peace settlement in Bosnia unless NATO and the United States in particular take the lead in its implementation," Secretary of State Warren Christopher told a skeptical congressional committee yesterday.
October 17, 1995 |
For years after the Serbs captured their home town, Hasiba Kazic, her husband, Musto, and their five daughters managed to hang on. Life was difficult for this Muslim family. In the occupied town of Sanski Most, Musto had to do grunt work for the Serbian army. Hasiba was frequently denied the right to buy bread from the Serbian shops. She took to wearing black, as the Serbian women do, to walk freely through the town. Still, the Kazics had their own home. Unlike hundreds of thousands of their countrymen, they were not refugees.
October 11, 1995 |
The Bosnian cease-fire that was supposed to take effect at the stroke of midnight was derailed again yesterday - this time by a last-minute dispute over electricity in the besieged capital. Restoration of Sarajevo's utilities was a precondition to the cease-fire set by the Bosnian government. Although streetlights flickered beckoningly in some neighborhoods and gas trickled in, the government felt the supply was insufficient, U.N. spokesman Chris Vernon said. "The big bone of contention right now is electricity," Vernon said last night as the warring parties met at the Sarajevo airport.
October 3, 1995 |
In the freshly mown wheat fields not far from this ruined city on the Danube, the refugees of summer have become the soldiers of autumn. Dozens of Serbian men who fled Croatia's Krajina region last month have been put to work digging trenches in the stubble, building a line to defend the last Serbian stronghold on Croatian territory. Only a few hundred feet away in the very same fields, Croatian men are also busy digging. The former countrymen, now adversaries, are so close they can wave to one another.
September 30, 1995 |
Europe's recent tyrants cared about neatness - ethnic neatness, that is. Hitler wanted all the Germans to live in a greatly expanded Germany. When he failed at that, Stalin completed part of the job for him. After World War II, millions of ethnic Germans were banished from communist Eastern Europe and re- settled in Germany. It was a cruel process, but it helped produce a most benevolent result: a long-lasting peace. Greece and Turkey also exchanged populations in the 1920s - half a million people swapping one country for another.
August 13, 1995 |
The battle that was fought last week in Krajina, 250 miles away, arrived Friday morning at the door of Jurius Gasparovic's house in Serbia. When Gasparovic, an ethnic Croat, cracked open his front gate, he found himself face to face with a bearded Serbian fighter in full uniform. "Could you take us in?" the soldier, Milan Jovo Parasovic, wanted to know. "We have no place to go. " It was less a question than a demand, and after four years of surviving as a Croat in this small Serbian town, Gasparovic knew better than to decline.
August 10, 1995 |
The stone narrowly missed the blue Zastava car in which Miodrag Pavlovic was driving his daughter and her 4-month-old baby out of Croatia. But the clump of mud that struck the windshield, along with the epithets and obscene gestures, managed to deliver the unambiguous message: Serbs get out and stay out. "It is an incredible world tragedy. There is such hatred in this region," said Pavlovic, 47, in a voice steeped more with sadness than rancor. Indeed, the circumstances under which this convoy of Serbs departed Croatia offered up little hope for those idealists who believe Serbs and Croats can live together peacefully in the foreseeable future.
August 10, 1995
As up to 150,000 Serb refugees flee Croatia, some diplomats and U.N. officials charge that Croatia is responsible for the largest episode of ethnic cleansing of the Yugoslav wars. Such charges can't be taken lightly in a region where ethnic cleansing has been practiced at a level not seen since World War II, mainly by Serbs. So far in this instance, the claims don't appear to be justified, but U.S. and German leaders - who tacitly encouraged the latest Croatian military offensive - bear a special responsibility to pressure Croatia to ensure that ethnic cleansing doesn't happen by default.
August 9, 1995
Events in Croatia this week have made fools of all the Western leaders who claimed that the Serbs were invincible. For three years, Western politicians have been protesting that they couldn't stop Serbian "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia without a huge outpouring of blood and treasure. But suddenly, in three days time, Croatian government forces defeated a heavily armed Croatian Serb army allied to Bosnian Serbs and based in forbidding mountains. So what happened to those fierce fighters who, Pentagon and British officials told us, were descended from the Yugoslav partisans who held off the Nazis?
August 8, 1995
Out of the newest tragedy in the former Yugoslavia comes a possibility of ending the Bosnian war. It brings continued suffering as well: Croatia's successful military offensive to retake the breakaway region of Krajina has sent tens of thousands of new civilian refugees - this time Croatian Serbs - fleeing into Serb-held parts of Bosnia. But Serb leaders brought this tragedy down on their own heads. After Croatia became independent, the Serbs living in the Krajina region had formed their own mini-state in hopes of linking up with the Serbs of Bosnia and Serbia.