The Dayton accords are in trouble. Their only virtue—it is not a small one—is that they stopped the organized fighting in the former Yugoslavia. But they also partitioned Bosnia and left the consequences of “ethnic cleansing” intact. The major war criminals and their chief henchmen are unlikely to be punished. The three new “entities” in Bosnia are now unashamedly based on ethnic homogeneity, real or imagined. For that matter, Croatia itself is close to being ethnically homogeneous, with a broad consensus among Croatian parties that this is a good thing.
Dayton did achieve one aim brilliantly— keeping the lid on the former Yugoslavia until Clinton’s re-election. Along the way, Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic, Croatia’s Franjo Tudjman, and Bosnia’s Alia Izetbegovic, three presidents who share different degrees of responsibility for the carnage in the region and who are all hostile to democracy, became the accepted “relevant” political players. No wonder that an election in Bosnia in which 103 percent of those eligible voted was certified....
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