Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hillary and Bosnia: A Clarification

The recent flap over Hillary's trip to Bosnia has focused welcome attention to that troubled region. I will assume that Hillary is independent enough of her husband to reexamine America's policy in the region.
The damage inflicted by American aircraft on Serbian civilians should be scrutinised. Minimising civilian deaths in a conflict should be a goal in warfare. As a guideline to future engagements, the past should be studied
As bad as Slobodan Milosevic was, Franjo Tudjman remade the Croatian state into something very similar in tone to that of Serbian nationalists. Under Tudjman, the Ustasha Nazi Puppet state that existed from 1941 to 1945 got much more favourable treatment. Old Ustasha songs and other forms of Ustasha nostalgia became very common under Tudjman. Atrocities and expulsions of Serbs living in Croatia took place under his rule. A regional war crimes tribunal should have put some members of Croatia's government on trial as well.
Each Republic of the former Jugoslavia should have an article in its constitution protecting the rights of ethnic minorities belonging to neighboring republics. It should assure them of the right to maintain their language and culture in exchange for loyalty to the government.
America's worst mistake was banning the sale of arms to warring sides in Bosnia. Had we not followed this foolish policy, American involvement in the conflict could have been minimised. Particularly in a conflict such as Bosnia or Kosovo, a well armed minority facing equally well armed adversaries is far more likely to avoid bloodshed than a situation where one party is disarmed. Unfortunately in Bosnia and Kosovo the aid of Arab countries who gave the Bosnians and the Albanians means to defend themselves is likely to be remembered for a long time. America needs to buy goodwill when the opportunity presents itself. A policy that sounds good to an American or western European electorate such as banning arms sales to combatants often worsens regional conflicts. America's next president should follow a realistic foreign policy. Learning from Bill Clinton and America's mistakes in the Balkans can save lives in the future.

Copyright 2008 By Magdeburger Joe. Stamps at top of page were issued by the Ustasha Croatian puppet state during World War Two. They commemorate the fascist Croatian military and their contributions to the German war effort.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

before you make up your stories you should know the truth....the Croatians called the Serbian minority in krajina many a time to the peace table to discuss peace talks and as many times that the Croatian gov't invited the serbs to the table.... the serbs never showed....but called krajina atonimous....ya doesn't work that don't carve yourself a peace of land from war....well that applies to most of the countries world...even the Americans had enough of the stall strategy and the Americans backed and helped the Croatians..... well that applies to most of the countries world...