Croatian victory?

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Tue Sep 26 07:24:09 MDT 1995


Misha Glenny in an op-ed piece in 9/25 NY Times:

At the outset of the conflict, Dr. Tudjman had asserted that the
division of Bosnia-Herzegovina would provide the solution to the
conflict. He also warned the West that a Muslim-dominated state there
could become a bridgehead for Islamic militancy in Europe. By joining
in the partition of Bosnia, he will see the success of one of his central
war aims.

But he has done much better than that. Over the summer, Croatia
launched a lightning offensive in its Krajina region against its own
rebel Serbs. Crucially, American diplomats have offered encouraging
words for his action. Although the Croatian attack on the Krajina
Serbs resulted in the largest single episode of ethnic cleansing in the
entire conflict, Dr. Tudjman did not suffer the opprobrium reserved for
the Bosnian Serbs. The offensive, American officials argued, shifted
the balance of power in the northern Balkans, clearing the way for the
overall settlement which Mr. Holbrooke is now negotiating.

The manipulative skills of President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia
have become a cliche. Against him, Dr. Tudjman's capricious
behavior, with his tendency toward hysterical outbursts, has looked
amateurish. Appearances have been deceptive.

Mr. Milosevic has achieved little. The Serbs of Croatia have departed
for Serbia, swelling the vast number of
shattered refugees already there. Ordinary Serbs have had to suffer
three years of punishing economic sanctions, and the world treats
them like pariahs. Mr. Milosevic will enjoy control over part of
Bosnia, but it is a poor payoff for such a destructive investment.

Dr. Tudjman, whose moral record is at least as dubious as Mr.
Milosevic's, has won everything and been patted on the back by the
West.

The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina are the biggest losers, but
squeezed between the Balkans' two powers, this was their destiny from
the beginning. The only consolation they may draw from this grinding
endgame is that the Serbs came out losers as well. The champagne
corks can be opened in Zagreb--nowhere else.

Louis Proyect


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