With God on Their Sides
November 25, 1996
The Bridge Betrayed: Religion and Genocide in Bosnia by Michael A. Sells (University of California Press, 244 pp., $19.95) The Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina: Their Historic Development from the Middle Ages to the Dissolution of Yugoslavia edited by Mark Pinson. (Harvard University Press, 207 pp., $14.95) Was it genocide that occurred in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995? Were the Serbs and the Croats who attacked the Muslims motivated mainly by religious nationalism?
October 14, 1996
The price of the September 14 elections in Bosnia was not simply that ethnic cleansers were legitimized; it was, more mundanely, that ethnic cleansers were elected. Though Radovan Karadzic was not voted into office (indicted war criminals were not permitted to run), his ideas were. All three ruling parties--Serb, Croat and Muslim--spent the election "campaign" cracking down on opposition candidates, obstructing the media, stomping out free expression and blocking refugee repatriation. As a result, the vote proved empowering only to those who already held power.
A Man of Good Intentions
July 29, 1996
Profound disappointment creased the usually impassive face of Warren Christopher the night of May 29. The secretary of state and his staff on the seventh floor of the State Department were hearing about the election returns from Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu, a committed foe of trading the Golan Heights for peace with Hafez al-Assad's Syria, had defeated Shimon Peres, Israeli architect of the land-for-peace enterprise. Christopher had invested more than three years of effort, as well as presidential, national and personal prestige in trying to broker such a deal.
November 20, 1995
In July, 1994, when Bill Clinton was touring Europe, the president's aides were, well, awestruck by the tenacity of Richard Holbrooke, then the United States Ambassador to Germany. What accounted for this reaction? During the president's visit to Germany, Holbrooke was, as one official put it, "a whirling dervish." He managed to wangle his way into top-level meetings and hounded White House staff to get airplane and helicopter seats close to Clinton.