Lessons from the Bosnian War

Lessons from the Bosnian War

The European Community (EC), the United States, and the United Nations have all contributed mightily to the death of Yugoslavia and the murder of Bosnia. German and Austrian overeagerness to recognize unilateral declarations of secession by Slovenia and Croatia assured that there would not be a peaceful parting of the ways.

The federation that was Yugoslavia was a much lesser evil than the horror that followed. Yes, it was a one-party regime with as many as five hundred political prisoners during most of the last decade of its existence, but with the exception of the Albanians in Kosovo, it was not dominated by its largest national group. Since the purge of the head of political police, Alexander Rankovic, no Serb had been a major figure in the Yugoslav Federation for the last twenty years of the country’s existence. Tito was a Croat, the major party ideologue Kardelj, a Slovenian. In office at the time the country broke up in 1991 were Prime Minister Markovic, a Croat; Foreign Minister Loncar, a Croat; President of the Party Presidium Suvar, a Croat; and Chief of Staff Kadijevic, the product of a mixed Serb-Croat marriage. The ambassadors in Moscow, Paris, Vienna, Rome, and at the UN were Croats. The ambassador to Washington was a Bosnian.

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Wurgraft | University of California Press Lima