I had planned an editorial on Bosnia for this page—a diatribe against the moral blindness and complacency of European governments and the leadership failure of our own, against the cowardice of NATO and the weakness and confusion of the UN, against unfulfilled promises and empty threats, against military actions that were always too little, too late. But a proper diatribe depends on local and timely reference, so I kept postponing the writing. And finally, in the first days of September, the leaders of the West, no doubt for their own political reasons and not for mine, though perhaps driven also by shame or the fear of dishonor, have acted forcefully enough, maybe, to open the way for serious negotiations. That much will come of them is still
doubtful, for we have no reason to be sure of the stamina or courage of our leaders (or, for that matter, of the readiness for compromise of the Serbs, Bosnians, and Croats). And why did our leaders hesitate for so long—while the killing went on and on, and the number of refugees mounted, and the UN looked and acted like the League of Nations in Ethiopia?
We will continue to print articles on nationalism, “ethnic cleansing,” state formation, and military intervention. And we will try in all of them to attend to what so often gets lost in international politics: the interests and concerns of the victims, the men and women at risk....
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