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T.W. Carr

Associate Publisher, Defense & Foreign Affairs Publications. London

GERMAN AND US INVOLVEMENT IN THE BALKANS: A CAREFUL COINCIDENCE OF NATIONAL POLICIES?

Presented at the Symposium on the Balkan War

Yugoslavia: Past and Present, Chicago, August 31-September 1, 1995

INTRODUCTION

On June 12, 1994, US President William Clinton made a "symbolic" speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in which he made it clear to the world that a reunited Germany was the United States key European Partner in bringing about a new world order. At associated meetings he referred to Chancellor Hemut Kohl as: "Helmut is my principal partner in Europe"…and "A reunited Germany will be the leader of a united Europe". President Clinton projected a vision of a reunited, rebuilt Berlin as the centre of united Europe with Germany moving the continent forward in peace and economic progress.

The facts however deny the realisation of such a Utopean vision. Many European leaders and analysts have noted that Germany’s actions since the fall of the Berlin Wall have been largely self-serving and frequently destablizing within Europe, rather than furthering European unity and continental stability. The hundreds of thousands of people killed, maimed, made homeless and turned into refugees in the former Yugoslavia bear witness to Germany’s apparent agenda in the Balkans, aided both wittingly and unwittingly since 1991 by two successive US Governments.

The economy of the Balkans has been put back at least 30 years, and enough new hatred generated to last for decades. Far from being a forward looking foreign policy as projected by President Clinton, Germany has reverted to some of its traditional strategic goals, albeit presented in a modern idiom. If new maps were to be produced of Europe which depict current zones of German economic dominance and military influence, they would bear a striking similarity to maps of the Holy Roman Empire, and, more recently, to those made a temporary reality by Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich in the 1940’s.

However, south of the "German Zone", in a swathe which runs from Albania in the West through Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldavia to the Ukraine in the East, is another zone to which the United States is paying special attention. It appears that the US Government views this southern belt as its area of economic interest. It is not yet certain whether there is an agreement between Germany and the US to carve Europe into two main zones, but there is strong circumstantial evidence from their actions in the Balkans and in the Southern belt to support the supposition of carving up of Europe by two superpowers of the next century.

THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA

In order to trace German and US involvement in the Balkans in recent years, it is essential to understand the circumstances which made this possible, and to briefly profile the three main protagonists in the former Yugoslavia, namely, Presidents Milosevic of Serbia, Tudjman of Croatia and Izetbegovic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The death of the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia President Tito in 1980, and than that of his protégé and successor, Vladimir Bakaric, in 1983, produced a void in the leadership of the Yugoslavia. As a result, throughout the remainder of the 1980s, Yugoslavia suffered from a declining economy, increasing rivalry between individuals and states, and the rebirth of nationalism closely allied to one of the three religions, Christian Roman Catholicism, Christian Orthodoxy and Islam.

In 1989 proved to be a pivotal year with a number of factors facilitating far reaching change, not only in Yugoslavia, but also through Europe, and in the world at large.

In 1989, the demise of the USSR and Eastern European communism, removed any remaining inhibitions against radical change in the political make up and structure of the Yugoslav Federation. Inhibitions disappeared also against change in the strategic political and military alliances, frozen throughout the period of the "Cold War". It was judged by many as an opportunity to create a better world, a time for US President George Bush’s "New World Order", a time to reap the peace dividend. Those with a more informed knowledge of history, however feared otherwise, perceiving that the end of the relatively simple-to-understand, polarized, East-West, communism versus capitalism confrontation, would probably mean a return to the complex, devious, and frequently covert, geopolitics practiced by the major powers in the 19th Century and the first half of 20th Century.

The last decade of the 20th Century has thus become a period in which the world’s great powers can implement new policies formulated to advance national interests. In many current situations, implementation can be achieved more easily than in the past, and given a cloak of international respectability, by manipulating the United Nations Security Council, and using the Trans-Atlantic/European organizations which had been developed to counter the military and economic strength of communism form 1945 to 1990.

MILOSEVIC, IZETBEGOVIC & TUDJMAN: THE BID FOR POWER

Three leaders emerged within the collapsing Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. Each used the emotive appeal of patriotism (nationalism), history and religious heritage in their bid for political control of one of the three nation "nation states", Orthodox Christian Serbia, Roman Catholic Christian Croatia and Islamic Bosnia-Herzegovina.

SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC

On June 28, 1989, Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic marked the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo against the "Ottoman Islamist Empire" at Gazimestan by addressing more than one million Serbs, recounting the heroism of the Serbian nation and their Christian Orthodox faith in resisting the spread of Islam into Europe. He reassured his audience, that the Autonomous Province of Kosovo would remain an integral part of Serbia and Yugoslavia, despite the then current and often violent, problems of separatism demanded by the Muslim Albanian majority living in Kosovo.

In the Serbian presidential election of November 12, 1989, Mr. Milosevic won 65.3 percent of the vote, his nearest rival, Mr. Vuk Draskovic, polled only 16.4 of the votes cast.

ALIJA IZETBEGOVIC

At the same time, Alija Izetbegovic, who had been released early from jail in 1988 (serving only six years of a 14 year sentence for pro-Islamic anti-state activities), visited Islamic fundamentalist states in the Middle East, returning to Bosnia-Herzegovina to found the SDA (Muslim Party of Democratic Action). His 1970 manifesto, "Islamic Declaration", advocating the spread of radical pan-Islamism-politicised Islam-throughout the world, by force if necessary, was reissued in Sarajevo at this time. His Islamic Declaration is imbued with intolerance towards Western religion, culture and economic systems. This is also the theme projected in his book, Islam between East and West, first published in the US in 1984, and in Serbo-Croat in 1988, shortly after he was released from prison in the former Yugoslavia. In his writings he states that Islam cannot co-exist with other religions in the same nation other than a short-term expediency measure. In the longer term, as and when Muslims become strong enough in any country, then they must seize power and form a truly Islamic state.

In the multi-party elections held in Bosnia-Herzegovina on November 18, 1990, the population voted almost exclusively along communal lines. The Muslim Democratic Action Party secured 86 seats, the Serbian Democratic Party 72, and the Croatian Democratic Union (ie: union with Croatia) Party 44 seats. As the leader of the largest political party, Mr. Izetbegovic, became the first President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, albeit for just one year, for under the new constitution of B-H, the presidency was to revolve each year between the three parties, each of which represented one ethnic community.

Under constitutional law, in January 1992, Mr. Izetbegovic should have handed over the Presidency to Mr. Radovan Karadzic, the Serbian Democratic leader. He failed to honor the constitution and being true to his writings, he seized power, acting undemocratically and illegally. Therefore, at no time since January 1992 should Mr. Izetbegovic have been acknowledged by the international community at the legal President of B-H.

FRANJO TUDJMAN

Towards the end of World War II, while still a young man, Franjo Tudjman took the pragmatic option and joined the communist Partisans. He had probably realized that Germany could not win the war and that Tito and his Partisans would gain control of Yugoslavia, with the full support of both Soviets and the British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

Some time after the end of World War II, Tudjman joined the communist Yugoslav Army as a regular officer and rose to the rank of Major-General during the early part of President Tito’s period in office.

During the late 1960’ and in 1979, ultra right fascism began to re-surface in Croatia, showing the same World War II fascist face of nationalism and the requirement that a nation state must be racially pure. This was the first attempt anywhere in Europe to resurrect German National Socialism following the fall of the Third Reich in 1944. Hitler created Croatia when his forces over-ran Yugoslavia in 1941, installing as Fuher, Ante Pavelic, leader of the fascist Croatian Ustashi movement. Pavelic had spent the previous 10 years in exile in Italy as head of a Croatian terrorist group, shielded by the Vatican and the Italian Fascist party.

Mr. Tudjman was deeply involved in the attempted revival of fascism, allowing his national socialism ethos to come to the fore with the publication of his treatise, The Wastelands. In it he attempted to re-write major sections of the history of World War II, downplaying the Holocaust, and with it , the more than one-million Jews, Serbs and Gypsies murdered by the Croatian ultra-nationalist Ustashi, which included priests of the Holy Roman Church, at the Croatian Ustashi concentration camp of Jasenovac and other locations within Yugoslavia.

For his nationalistic, anti-state activities at this time, Mr. Tudjman went to jail for three years. After being release from jail, Mr. Tudjman went politically low key for a few years, but re-emerged on the scene when President Tito died in 1980, gradually building a power base among the Croatian right wing and creating the HDZ Party.

In the multi-party elections held in Croatia in May 1990, Mr. Tudjman’s HDZ Party won control of the Sabor (Croatian Parliament) and Mr. Tudjman became President of Croatia when it was still part of the Yugoslav Federation.

THE REBIRTH OF GERMAN EXPANSIONIST AIMS

The demise of the USSR and communism in Eastern Europe in 1989, removed a 40 year old threat which had curtailed successive West German governments from pursuing policies independent of other West Europe countries, the US and Canada. The collapse of communism in the East basically spelled the end of the post-World War II era and constraints imposed on the defeated Germany by the victors of that war.

In 1989, West Germany Chancellor Kohl suddenly had the opportunity to re-unite the two parts of Germany, and to formulate policies which would make Germany the dominant power in Europe, with the economic and financial capabilities to control the European Union from within at the same time, a resurgent, united Germany would also have the financial and economic strength to exercise a large measure of control over the former East European satellite states of the USSR.

GERMAN FOREIGN POLICY AFTER REUNIFICATION

The German Government anticipated reunification, and, with the benefit of hindsight, it is possible now to discern that a new far-reaching strategic policy was being formulated as early as 1987. In September of that year, the then communist leader of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), General Secretary Erich Honeker, crossed over into the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), visiting the Federal Government and making a symbolic trip to his birthplace Saar. This was the first time that an East German communist leader had ever held talks with his counterpart in West Germany. There was ample circumstantial evidence to support the conclusion that the shaping of a united Germany was discussed at that meeting: Honeker never stood trial for his crimes against the German people; after four months sanctuary in Russia he returned to Germany but was allowed to move to Chile on "health grounds". It is apparent from that point onwards the German Government began to be more assertive in foreign affairs, particularly so in dealings with Europe, within the European Community (EC), in the Middle East and at the United Nations.

German reunification commenced on July 1, 1990, when the two economies and currencies merged. West Germany created a US$ 71-billion unity fund to facilitate the reunification. However, other member nations of the EC also have been made to pay for German reunification. Without consulting other EC governments, Chancellor Kohl equated the Deutschmark of his economically strong West Germany with that of the economically weak former communist East Germany. High interest rates were implemented by the Bundesbank in order to maintain the strength of the combined East/West Deutschmark at the international level of the West German mark. This however, pushed other EC countries faster into recession, which was clearly affecting them to varying degrees at that time. Obliged to maintain their currencies within the European partners were forced to follow the Bundesbank in maintaining (or in some cases even increasing) high interest. This was at the time when they desperately needed to lower interest rates as a method of stimulating economic growth and reversing rising unemployment.

It has been estimated that in 1994, the former East Germany received a least 176-billion deutschmarks in investment and income/pensions support of the 16-million population. This has been paid for from higher taxation levied on the citizens of what was West Germany, and by higher levels of unemployment in the other EC member states.

GERMAN FOREIGN POLICY TOWARDS THE UK

The UK is somewhat of a special case as far as Germany is concerned, both historically, when, allied with the Serbs, she was twice instrumental in defeating German expansionism, and currently, when the UK impedes Germany’s domination of the EC. However, from the end of World War II until the demise of communism, Germany needed the UK as an ally to help defend its Eastern border. Geopolitical circumstances changed in 1989, the communist threat evaporated, and once again, German Government actions indicate that the UK is seen as an impediment to Germany’s strategic ambitions. Germany has taken steps to undermine the UK’s financial standing and its credibility within the EU, NATO and the North Atlantic Alliance.

When the pound sterling came under pressure from speculators, no support was forthcoming from the German Finance Ministry and the Bundesbank. Indeed they increased the degree of speculation, saying the pound was overvalued. Despite spending millions of pounds trying to maintain the international value of sterling, the British Government was forced to withdraw the pound from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). UK Prime Minister John Major was made to appear politically weak and not in control of the British economy. On the other hand, the German financial institutions reinforced their already formidable international reputation, and the Deutschmark was perceived as the most powerful currency within the EU and indeed in Europe.

In similar circumstances, Chancellor Kohl gave massive financial support to the French Government when the French franc came under speculative pressure. A partial explanation of the difference in treatment meted out to the two countries by Germany is the fact that the French Government had followed Germany’s dictate and made the Bank of France independent of the French Ministry of Finance. In so doing, the French Government moved closer to Germany, but at the same time, it effectively made the Bank of France subordinate to the Bundesbank. A similar dictate to John Major was promptly turned down as the British Prime Minister knew only too well that such a move would weaken his Government’s control of the British economy to the benefit of Germany. However, because of Germany’s growing strength within the European Community, the British Prime Minister was unable to prevent the new European Central Bank being established in Frankfurt, rather than the city of London, the traditional international financial centre for Europe.

At the same time Germany persuaded France to join with it to form the Eurocorps, a joint Franco-German military formation destined to be a 40,000 strong force not under the control of NATO. Only German and French would be used by the new formation, unlike NATO which uses English as its prime language. As mentioned previously, when Europe went into economic recession, Germany refused to lower its interest rate as a method of stimulating the EU’s economies, in effect making EU states fund the re-unification of Germany. Through these and many other actions, Chancellor Kohl attempted to weaken the UK Government’s economic position and its influence in all the European institutions. Germany is now actively seeking a seat at the United Nations Security Council, even if this turns out to be at the expense of the UK’s seat.

It should be remembered, that by breaking up the former Yugoslavia, Germany has created four new member states at the United Nations in New York, all four of these new states will vote in favor of Germany being given a seat on the UN Security Council. For its part, Germany is playing an active role to gain EU membership for Croatia and Slovenia. In Slovenia’s first multi-party government following the secession from Yugoslavia, no less than six Ministers were of German descent.

GERMANY AND CROATIA: RESURRECTION OF THE "PURE" CROATIAN NATION STATE

Reliable intelligence sources claimed in 1990, that in 1988 Mr. Tudjman paid a secret visit to the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and met with Chancellor Kohl and other senior Government Ministers. It was said that the aim of the visit was to formulate a joint policy to break-up Yugoslavia, leading to the re-creation of a new independent State of Croatia with international borders in the form originally set up by the German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, in 1941. At a secret meeting in Bonn, the German Government pledged its political, financial, and covert military support for Croatia’s secession from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia the intelligence source claimed such an action fitted neatly into Germany’s strategic objectives in respect of the Balkans, which included bringing Roman Catholic Croatia and Slovenia within the German economic zone, gaining direct access to the Adriatic and Mediterranean, and securing a favored nation status with the oil and gas producing Arab states. The latter to be enhanced by recognizing Bosnia-Herzegovina as a predominantly Muslim nation state, an entrée to modern Europe for Islam along a traditional path from Turkey via Albania and the Serbian areas of Kosovo and the Sandzak occupied by Muslim majorities.

In the period leading up to Croatian secession there were signs that indicated the re-emergence of the historical axis previously seen in the days of the Holy Roman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Third Reich. There is no "conspiracy theory" in this: merely the reappearance of a geopolitical pattern.

Evidence of the axis in action occurred on October 4, 1990, when, even though still a part of Yugoslavia, Croatia was covertly provided with a US$2-Billion interest free loan, repayable in full after 10 years and a day. The loan was provided by the Ordre Souverain of Militaire de Saint-Jean de Jerusalem, Chevaliers-Hospitaliers de Malte. This ancient Order of Roman Catholic Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem was based in Malta during the Christian Crusades against the Islamic forces in Jerusalem. Today, the headquarters building of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem is located at 61 Via Nizza in Rome from where these modern Catholic Knights wield the influential power of high finance. There is a known strong link between the headquarters in Rome and Germany, with reports indicating the organization is even directed by German nationals. Ostensibly the loan was to fund priority civil engineering projects with a statement of conditions that the loan should not be used to fund military projects. However, well-placed sources said the loan freed-up other finances earmarked for civil projects, thus enabling the money to be redirected to equip armaments factories and to purchase weapons. The same source said that despite the "no funding of military projects’ condition, a significant percentage of the US$2-billion loan was misused on armaments. Signatories to the contract on behalf of the Croats were Vice President Dr. Mate Babic and Madamme Maksa Zeleu Mirjana, Counseler at the Ministry of Finance authorized to act on behalf of the Minister of Finance.

This US$2-Billion loan has never appeared in any Croatian Government financial statement. When Waterman Associates, on behalf of the Croatian Embassy in Washington D.C., sent out a press release in 1994 purporting to show a very low amount of foreign debt/loan, I challenged their figures, mentioning the US$2-Billion loan from the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem. The embassy said they had no knowledge of the loan, so I offered to send them a complete copy of the "Object du Financement". My offer was declined as they said such a document did not exist.

It should be remembered, that this loan was made to Croatia prior to secession. At time when Croatia was still a part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and obliged under the Federal Constitution to disclose any such transactions.

The reunification of the two Germanies and modernization of the East German armed forces, made available a substantial pool of weapons and military instructors for arming and training of a Croatian militia. During late 1989, and throughout 1990, arms flowed from Germany to Croatia to equip militia units. After HDZ party (Croatian Democratic Union) won control of Sabor in the May 30, 1990, multi-party elections, the newly elected President Tudjman formed a National Guard Corps (ZNG). In effect, the ZNG was not a "national" force in the accepted meaning of the word, rather it was the ultra-nationalist, neo-Ustashi military wing of Tudjman’s HDZ political party, in the same way that the "Brownshirts" of the 1930’s acted as the vanguard enforcement wing of Hitler’s National Party.

It has been asked why did Yugoslav Government in Belgrade not prevent the formation of the ZNG. The answer is quite simple. At the time, all the senior positions in the federal internal security organizations, and many senior posts in the General Staff of the JNA, were held by the Croats. For instance, Croatia’s first Minister of Defence, Martin Spegelj, was a senior general in the Yugoslav Armed Forces at the time of secession.

With the full support of Germany, and against the wishes of other members of the EC, the HDZ ruling party declared Croatian sovereignty in the Sabor on December 22, 1990, despite strong objections raised by the opposition parties.

Shortly after the declaration, President Tujman introduced a new Croatian constitution which defined Croatia as the national state of the Croatian people and others, pointedly relegating the Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and Muslims to second class status. This was an exact repeat of what had happened in 1941 when nazi Germany invaded Yugoslavia and set up Croatia as the national state of the Croatian people and others. After the HDZ dominated Government passed the new constitution, discrimination against the Serbs began immediately. Serbs lost government jobs in the civil service, police, local authorities etc…they were evicted for their homes, many lost the ownership of their own businesses, and Serb newspapers were closed down etc. A special property tax applicable only to Serbs was introduced, and Croatian militia openly looted and closed down shops selling expensive products such as jewelry. These measures clearly indicated to the Serbs living within the administrative borders of Croatia that they must leave the land where they had lived for three centuries, or face the consequences of staying.

One of the most sinister changes was that every identified Serb in Croatia was issued with a new identity card which incorporated the figure 3 as the eight figure in the identity number. The figure 3 thus became the Croatian equivalent for Serbs as nazi Germany’s Star of David was for all Jews residing in countries dominated by Germany. When the time came for ethnic cleansing to start, the figure 3 would ensure no Serb would escape.

THE REVIVED POLITICAL ROLE OF THE CROATIAN BISHOPS

On February 1, 1991, the Croatian Roman Catholic bishops sent an open letter to the bishops of the world, and then to the entire Catholic church worldwide. In the letter, the Croatian bishops said that Belgrade, supported by the Orthodox Church, was advocating that socialism of the communist type be preserved in Yugoslavia. The letter also stated that the Serb-dominated government and army in Belgrade were centralist, and were firmly opposing the western cultural and democratic traditions to be found in the republics with the pronounced West European tradition…ie. Croatia and Slovenia. This theme, that the Serbs were undemocratic communists and Belgrade was the last bastion of communism in Europe, while the Croats were anti-Communist democrats aligned with western values, culture and free-market economic structures, became the golden bullet fired constantly by the Croatian propaganda machine. It struck home all over the Western world, particularly in the United States, and it quickly became the driving force behind US policy in Yugoslavia. It also struck home with much of the world’s media, thereby setting the scene for the anti-Serb reporting that persist to this day.

Pope John Paul II received President Tudjman on May 25, 1991, just as Pope Pius XII received Ante Pavelic, the Ustashi leader of the Independent State of Croatia on May 18, 1941.

On May 28, 1991, in the Zagreb football stadium, President Tudjman held a military rally reminiscent of Hitler’s pre-World War II rallies in Germany. The National Guard Corps, now a large and fully equipped military force paraded before the political and religious leadership of the new Croatia. The parading troops wore the same insignia as the fascist Ustashi in 1941 and, as in 1941, received the public blessing of the Roman Catholic Church before going into towns and countryside to commence the ethnic cleansing of Serbs. An official UN report by the UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali state that more than 250,000 Serbs were driven out of Croatia and thousands killed during 1991 and 1992 by Croatian ethnic cleansing operations.

Somehow the Western media failed to pay attention to the actions against the Serbs; only when the Yugoslav army attacked Croatian territory in an attempt to free 6,000 Serbs imprisoned and being killed at Vukovar did the TV cameras appear on the scene to tell the world of barbaric Serbian aggression launched against freedom-loving democratic Croatia. The root causes of the problem were ignored, history was ignored, objectivity was left behind in the modern vision-bite of instant TV reporting. The Balkans was too complex for mass audience to comprehend, so keep it simple, paint it black and white and produce existing, emotive newscasts. The Balkans replaced the Gulf War in the battle for TV ratings. The Serbs were immediately cast simultaneously as communists and evil bearded, drunken Chetniks. Anyone with even a vague knowledge of the Balkans would know this was a contradiction, the Serbian Nationalists fighting the Germans in World War II—often miscalled Chetniks—were Royalists not communists.

GERMANY FORCED THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY TO RECOGNIZE CROATIA AT MAASTRICHT

On June 25, 1991, both the Slovenian and Croatian parliaments declared independence, seceding from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Fighting between Croatian and Slavonian militia units with the confused poorly-led JNA erupted in many places with the result that on June 29, the EC dispatched the so-called Troika peace mission to Yugoslavia. On July 7, under the auspices of the EC, the Brioni Declaration was adopted: the decisions of Slovenia and Croatia to secede were suspended for three months in an attempt to secure peace and to maintain the unity of Yugoslavia, albeit probably in a revised federal structure.

From May 1991 onwards, the Western media was full of biased, anti-Serb reporting, frequently claiming that the communist Yugoslav National Army from Serbia was conducting naked aggression against the innocent, democratic, pro-western people of Croatia and Slovenia. Germany played the major role in projecting and reinforcing this view of events. At 05.00 hrs on July 9, 1991, the then German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hans Deitrich Genscher, telephoned the US Secretary of the State for Foreign Affairs James Baker, demanding resolute action by the UN Security Council and the Western Alliance against the Serbian terror in Croatia. During his early morning telephone call, Herr Genscher pushed hard for economic sanctions to be placed on Serbia and Montenegro, and that Croatia and Slovenia be recognized as independent states.

Here again, it can be seen that Germany was striving to bring about the break-up of Yugoslavia in pursuit of its own strategic objectives, and at the same time positioning itself along side the United States. In this Germany was aided by Austria. For instance, the Grand Duke Otto von Hapsburg, son of the last Emperor of Austro-Hungary, and now a German Member of the European Parliament, spoke strongly in favor of the Croats. In the French newspaper Le Figaro on August 15, 1991, he is reported as saying: "Croats, being the civilized part of Europe, have nothing in common with Serbian primitivism the Balkans. Croatia’s future lies in European Confederation to which the former Austor-Hungary could serve as the model to be followed." On the other hand, in contrast to the German and Austrian strategy, at this stage, the EC was still trying to bring about a peaceful resolution of the situation and to maintain the unity of Yugoslavia. However, the fighting continued. In an attempt to slow down the fighting, the UN voted on September 25 to impose an arms embargo on all factions in Yugoslavia; Germany ignored the embargo and continued to covertly supply Croatia with arms and ammunition. Fighting intensified, particularly in Croatia. During October 1991, more than 25,000 Serbs were ethnically cleansed from Western Slavonja. At the same time, 245 Serbian villages were razed to the ground in the area around Slavonska Pozega and more than 10,000 Serbs were driven across the border into Bosnia by Croatian ethnic cleansing operations.

In December 1991, EC heads of state and senior ministers gathered for a crucial meeting at Maastrict. Their task was to agree a treaty that would be a blueprint for the future development of the European Community, including across-to-broad integration of economic and monetary affairs, a timetable for achieving political cohesion, a far-reaching social policy and moves toward a common policy on foreign affairs and security. Some member states, particularly the UK, know they would be unable to gain acceptance from their own parliaments for this complete package of the measures and therefore pressed for an opt-out clause on some of the measures. Western European Union document 1342 Part two, dated November 6, 1992, indicates, that at the Maastrict meeting, the unity of the EC was maintained at the expense of the unity of the Yugoslavia. In the course of heated discussions on European security and a common policy on foreign affairs, Germany injected the problems in Yugoslavia.

From a position where EC members were 11 to one in favor of maintaining the unity of Yugoslavia, Germany succeeded at 04.00 hrs in forcing approval for the recognition of Croatia and Slovenia as independent states. The Maastrict Treaty was signed, complete with all its opt-out clauses, and it was claimed in a press statement issued at the end of the conference that the EC was united on the way forward on all major policy matters.

The WEU document reads:

"The Maastrict process therefore influenced the Twelve’s reactions to the Yugoslav crisis, while that crises influenced the process of the European Union….it should be underlined that any undertaking that did not have the consent of all member states of the Community would have significantly weakened Europe just when it was negotiating the Maastrict Treaty and then proceeding to ratify it."

In effect, Yugoslav unity was sacrificed to maintain EC unity. By its actions, Germany had proved it had become the dominant power in the European Community and was prepared to use its economic strength to achieve strategic goals in the post war era. A few days after the conclusion of the Maastrict meeting, on December 23, 1991. Germany recognized Roman Catholic Croatia and Slovenja as independent states effective from January 15, 1992. Germany also gave a promise to gain for them membership of the United Nations; this was affected just five months later on May 22, 1992.

GERMAN ACTIONS DESTABILIZE YUGOSLAVIA AND THE US STEPS IN TO ASSIST

A major destabilizing effect of German’s recognition of Croatia came the day after on December 24, 1991. The Serb areas within the administration boundaries of Croatia exercised their right to self-determination, just as the Croats had done in seceding from Yugoslavia. They came together in a single republic independent of Croatia and Serbia, but the EC refused to acknowledge their right of self-determination, stating that the territories were a part of Croatia. This was a fundamental error of judgement that led to four years of conflict, the death of thousands of innocent Serb civilians and the Croatian ethnic cleansing of West Slavonia and the Krajina in May and August of 1995.

On January 13, 1992, in his capacity as Head of the Vatican State, the Pope became the first Head of State (alongside Chancellor Kohl of Germany) to recognized the new Croatian nation state. He was even ahead of EC member countries, they collectively recognized Croatia on January 15, 1992. The outcome of recognizing Croatia as an independent state within whose international borders the international community forced thousands of Serbs to live as second class citizens was an intensification of the fighting.

At a meeting in Lisbon in February 1992, the EC proposed a Swiss, canton-based solution for the running of Bosnia-Herzegovina which had declared it would secede from the Yugoslav Federation, despite the objections from the Serbs who constituted 34 percent of the population. Ignoring the EC proposal, the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnia Croatian deputies ordered a referendum on February 29, 1992, which was boycotted by the Serbs. The result therefore was 99 percent in favor of seceding form the Yugoslav Federation. Germany and the US encouraged President Izetbegovic to declare independence with promises of recognition and financial aid. Heavy fighting broke out, but towards the end of March 1992, it appeared that a breakthrough had been achieved when despite reservations on some of the detail, all three sides apparently verbally accepted the EC canton-style solution proposed some weeks earlier in February. Yet only two days later; the Bosnian Muslims rejected the plan following an assurance from the US and Germany that Bosnia-Herzegovina would be recognized, given UN membership, and, that they could get a better deal than was currently on offer form the EC/UN Peace Envoys.

Germany forced through EC recognition of B-H on April 6, 1992, the very anniversary of German’s invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941. This was done against all the advice and warnings of the conflict that would occur in B-H from knowledgeable statesman, including Lord Carrington who resigned his post as EC Peace Negotiator. Just a few hours after Germany’s recognition of B-H, the US took the same step on April 7. The next day, on April 8, the Muslim-Croat dominated Bosnian Government announced the immediate formation of a single national militia (army) under the control of the Minister of the Interior, a radical Muslim. In response, the Bosnian Serb Deputies declared an Independent Serbian Republic (Republic Srpska) on April 7/8, 1992, declaring the 34 percent Serb population had as much right to self-determination as the Bosnian Muslims and Croats, particularly since the Serbs in Bosnia held legal title to at least 65 percent of the land.

Four days after the formation of the Bosnian Muslim Army, President Izetbegovic ordered his troops to attack all the barracks of the Yugoslav Army in Bosnia. Two weeks later, the Yugoslav Government declared it would respect the territorial integrity of B-H and that the JNA would commence to withdraw to Serbia on May 19, all the JNA had withdrawn by June 6, 1992. Despite the JNA clearly demonstrating it was withdrawing, on May 30, the UN, led by the US and Germany branded Yugoslavia the aggressor in B-H and in the disputed territory on the Croatian-Serbian border. No account was taken by the US and Germany of the fact that the JNA had withdrawn from its barracks in Slovenia and Macedonia, and was half way through a withdrawal from B-H…Yugoslavia was still branded the aggressor. Later on the same day, May 30, 1992, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 757, imposing economic sanctions on Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). On July 2, the Bosnian Croats who accounted for 17 percent of the population of B-H, declared a separate state within B-H, calling it Croatia Herzeg-Bosnia. This territory rapidly became a part of greater Croatia, adopting the same flag, currency, car numbers plates etc…as used in Croatia and Croatian Government troops were deployed in this part of B-H. No action has ever been taken against Croatia by the UN in respect of these flagrant acts of aggression, a sharp contrast to Yugoslavia which suffers UN sanctions despite having no troops deployed in B-H.

The US and Germany again took the lead against Serbia by taking action at the UN with the passing of the UN Resolution 816 on October 9, 1992, declaring the air space above B-H to be a no-fly zone. The US said the objective was to prevent munitions and war supplies from reaching all three sides, and to prevent air strikes being employed by one side against another…However, because the Bosnia Serbs had by far the largest air force, the real effect impinged on one side only. In addition, the no-fly zone was used by the US to allow the Bosnia Muslim and Croat forces to use helicopters and fixed winged aircraft without being attacked by Bosnian fighter aircraft. Between October 1992 and today, UN observers have reported thousands of violations of the no-fly zone, the vast majority by Bosnian Muslim and Croatian aircraft, and yet, only Bosnian Serb aircraft, airfields, radars and communication centres have been targeted by NATO aircraft. It should not be forgotten that within the NATO structure in the region, most of the senior officers in control of air and navel operations are US personnel, and the aircraft used in the air strikes have been predominately US.

US ATTEMPTED THREE TIMES TO CONTROL BELGRADE

As noted earlier, the perception in the US is that Belgrade is the last bastion of communism in Europe, and that President Milosevic of Serbia is the last communist leader holding power in Europe. As a result of these perceptions, constantly reinforced by Germany, the US has taken a number of actions to gain control of Yugoslavia and in so doing to unseat President Milosevic.

In July 1992, with the blessing and backing of the US State Department, and an invitation from the Yugoslav leadership, a naturalized citizen, Milan Panic, returned to Belgrade. He had left Serbia in the early 1950’s as a poor young man and carved out a multi-million dollar pharmaceutical business empire in California. Milan Panic, therefore, was the embodiment of the American dream, and a potent symbol for capitalism over communism. Accompanied by a host of US advisors, his mission appeared to be that of peacemaker, with the Yugoslav leadership hoping that his presence in their capital would result in better relations with the US and the lifting of the UN sanctions. On July 14, 1992, while still a US citizen, Mr. Panic appointed as the first Prime Minister of the new Yugoslavia.

Under US law, citizens of the US are not permitted to hold office in, or participate in, any foreign government; in the past, people even voting in a foreign election have lost their US citizenship. Yet Milan Panic was allowed by the US State Department to become the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, a country on which the US had been the prime mover in imposing UN sanctions. It can only be assumed, as subsequent events seem to confirm, that the State Department hope Mr. Panic would displace "communist" leader Mr. Milosevic. After which, Mr. Panic would be in a strong position to terminate the Balkan’s conflict on US and German terms, and bring Yugoslavia under US and German economic influence.

On August 11, 1992, Mr. Panic made his first tentative move to sideline President Milosevic. Together with the then recently elected Yugoslav President, Mr. Dobrica Cosic, Prime Minister Panic met with Lord Owen and Cyrus Vance in Geneva. Following the meeting, a joint statement was issued on future Yugoslav relations with Croatia and B-H. It varied somewhat from previous positions adopted by President Milosevic.

On September 1, Prime Minister Panic startled the Yugoslav population by stating during Belgrade TV interview: " The world sees Mr. Milosevic as a man who does not keep his word." President Milosevic brought a vote of no confidence against Panic. On September 10, 1992, the Yugoslav Foreign Minister resigned his post during peace talks in Geneva, saying Mr. Panic was continuing to work against the interests of the Serbian people. Another vote of no confidence was brought against Mr. Panic in November, and though it failed by one vote in the upper chamber, it effectively crippled Mr. Panic’s administration.

The Yugoslav Federal Prime Minister than made his third move, announcing he would run against Mr. Milosevic for the Presidency of Serbia. At the election on December 20, Mr. Milosevic polled 56.21 percent of votes, and Mr. Panic 33.95 (the remainder went to the right wind nationalist candidates). Many independent observers of the elections said the US Government’s transparent tactics of threatening the Serbs with military intervention if Mr. Panic was not elected, backfired by pushing a large proportion of the population into voting for Mr. Milosevic. His mission a failure, Mr. Panic returned to the US to pursue his business interests.

The second occasion took place when US Secretary of state Warren Christopher visited Belgrade as part of his round Europe diplomatic effort, made soon after President Clinton had taken over from President George Bush. Though his tone was diplomatic, nevertheless he went to Belgrade more to preach and harangue, rather than to listen to another point of view and work more objectively. Interviewed by the US CBS Television Network on March 28, 1993, Secretary of State Warren Christopher said: "If the Bosnian Serbs do not sign, we will take measures to tighten sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro, increase humanitarian aid to Bosnia, take further steps for establishing an international war crimes tribunal and, hopefully, have a resolution enforcing the no-fly zone in Bosnia next week. The US is also considering a lifting of the embargo on delivering arms to Bosnian Muslims."

The third time pressure was applied by the US took place in April 1993. In an attempt to show EC member states that strong talking and threats was the way to deal with the Serbs, President Clinton sent to Belgrade a US Special Peace Envoy, Mr. Ralph/Reginald Bartholomew, accompanied by State Department officials and senior US Armed Forces Officers. Their publicly-stated mission was to hold discussions on how to progress the peace process with the Yugoslav Government. On arrival, they tried to drive a wedge between the military and political leadership by insisting on separate meetings. At a series of meetings, in a most confrontational manner, the Americans demanded the Bosnian Serbs be made to sign the Vance-Owen plan immediately.

At the meeting with the then JNA Chief of General Staff, General Panic, and his senior officers, the Americans made it very clear they had not come to negotiate. When the JNA officers tried to put forward the Serbian viewpoint they were told to shut up and listen. The Americans said they were not interested in history and had come to deliver an ultimatum. The meeting was filled with threats of massive US military action against Serbs throughout Yugoslavia unless the Yugoslav Government agreed immediately to US and UN terms for the peace settlement in Bosnia and Croatia.

A senior US officer was introduced as having a wide experience of the Vietnam war, and that his armored units in the Gulf war had destroyed seven Iraqi armored divisions. The threat was made to send him to the Balkans to do a similar destruction job on the JNA. General Panic explained there were no JNA forces in Bosnia, so he trusted the Americans would be even-handed and attack and destroy the Croatian invasion force in Bosnia. Despite having been told not to argue by General Panic, the JNA Chief of Military Intelligence could not resist saying that the US officer had lost in Vietnam, and he would find the mountains of Bosnia and Serbia defended by Serbian fighting men much tougher to attack than a bunch of Muslims in a flat desert. That evening, the US Embassy in Belgrade very pointedly held a cocktail reception just for the political parties and newspaper editors opposed to Mr. Milosevic. It perhaps needs no saying that the US Delegation left Belgrade without any concessions from the Yugoslav side.

Throughout the remainder of the 1993 and into 1994, while the EC and UN Special Envoys tried to achieve a peaceful solution in the former Yugoslavia, Germany continued to supply arms to Croatia and the Bosnian Muslims. Other than Germany, EC member states resisted efforts to lift the arms embargo on only one side in the Bosnian civil war. President Clinton therefore abandoned his efforts to lift the arms embargo on the Bosnian Muslims. It is now clear that the US Government changed tactics at this point.

US GOVERNMENT CO-ORDINATES CROAT AND MUSLIM ACTIONS AGAINST SERBS

Peace negotiations reconvened in Geneva during the second week of February 1994 in an atmosphere charged with emotion and anti-Serb feeling as a result of the Markele market explosion, claimed erroneously to be a Serb mortar shell. Prior to this round of talks in Geneva, President Clinton and his administration had made it clear they had little faith in the EC/UN peace negotiating process. Quite remarkably, on February 11, 1994, in front of TV cameras in Geneva, US Special Envoy to the Peace talks, Charles Redman, stood side by side with a very happy looking Bosnian Prime Minister, Haris Silajdzic, and declared that "The United States now intends to help the Bosnian Government to come to a substantive settlement. We want to invigorate the negotiations and produce the results the Bosnians have been looking for." In plain English, Mr. Redman was stating the US Government is going to take sides in a civil war and is going to intervene in the internal affairs of another country, taking the side of the Muslims against the Orthodox Christians

From this point on it is possible to discern a much greater overt and covert US involvement in B-H, in a pattern reminiscent of the early days of the Vietnam war. In addition to increasing the flow of arms to the Croats and the Muslims, the US went further and devised a policy to bring the Croats and the Bosnian Muslims together in a co-ordinating strategy to defeat the Bosnian Serbs and the Krajina Serbs. In March 1994, talks were held in Washington D.C. between the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat leadership, accompanied by President Tudjman of Croatia. The two sides agreed to a cease-fire, the forging of a Croat-Muslim alliance, and the formation of federal Bosnia, with the Bosnian Croatian Republic confederated with Croatia itself.

In May 1994, I wrote in a Defense & Foreign Affairs Publication, that: "President Tudjman admitted that the Serbs in Krajina, and in other Croatian territories, would be forced to concede the territories are part of Croatia. Pressure would be exerted by the US, using its influence in NATO and the UN Security Council, and its economic leverage with Russia, to force a settlement on the Krajina Serb Republic. Sanctions would remain in Yugoslavia as a means of pressuring President Milosevic into forcing the Krajina Serbs to agree to the US position." Recent ethnic cleansing of the Serbs from their homelands in West Slavonia and the Krajina has demonstrated the truth of President Tudjman’s statement about the support promised by the US Government a year ago. When UNPROFOR soldiers were killed by the Croats, and were being used as human shields to deter the Krajina Serbs from shooting at advancing Croatian troops, US Air Force ground attack aircraft went into action. Not as one would expect to attack the Croatian force, but rather they attacked and destroyed a "Serb radar system", which the US spokesman claimed had locked onto the aircraft. It turned out of course that the ground installation hit and destroyed by US aircraft was the Serb communication centre linking the area under Croat attack around Knin with other parts of the Serb Krajina.

Arising from the formation of the Croat-Muslim Federation in Bosnia, during the second half of 1994, the US created a joint Croatian and Bosnian Muslim Military Command. At the same time, the US Government dispatched to Croatia, Bosnia, Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a number of recently retired US Army officers as "advisors". These advisors developed a coordinated military strategy to defeat the Krajina Serb and to secure the demands of the Bosnian Muslim Government. In other words, to devise the method and organization required to fulfill the promises made to President Tudjman in Washington DC, and those given to the Bosnian Muslim Prime Minister, Haris Silajdzic, by the US Special Envoy Charles Redman of Geneva.

The US advisors also trained Croatian and Bosnian Muslim officer cadres which in turn trained their own troops. In the case of the Bosnian Muslims, the US advisors were assisted by Turkish officers. While this training was in progress, intelligence sources claim the advisors brought in US Special Forces trained as communications specialists. Their task was to provide sophisticated Communications, Command and Control and Intelligence (C3 I) links for the new, joint Croat-Muslim Military Command, and to deploy with ground troops as forward air controllers (FACs) capable of calling in, and controlling, air strikes against targets. Though initially denied, the deployment of the US Special Forces was later admitted by a US Government spokesman who said: "These communication specialists have been sent to B-H to provide communication links covering the possible withdrawal of UNPROFOR."

In addition to the US Special Forces units, an increasing number of mujahedin began to arrive in the region. Many of the mujahedin were seasoned Afghan fighters accompanied by Islamist religious police to begin the radical Islamisation of Bosnia. During the making of a BBC documentary featuring Michael Rose, two of these black uniformed religious police appeared and tried to prevent filming.

THE US STRATEGY IN ACTION; APRIL TO AUGUST 1995

In April this year, the Bosnian Muslim units in and around Sarajevo begin to bring out of hiding heavy weapons whose existence UNPROFOR was not aware of. French troops kept a log of many of the events and submitted it to UNPROFOR Command of Sarajevo. When UNPROFOR troops tried to investigate, the Bosnian Muslim forces blocked all UNPROFOR operations in the Sarajevo area while they moved the weapons into position. At the same time, large numbers of Bosnian Muslim forces began to gather in rear of the hills surrounding Sarajevo, and US-built C-130 Hercules began to arrive at Tuzla airport at a rate of four per day. The transport aircraft were unmarked but manned by US crews; the Bosnian Serbs recorded the crews’ voices and say there is no doubt whatsoever that the crews were American. It was reported that the aircraft brought arms and ammunition for use by the Bosnian Muslims forces gathering around Sarajevo. It is estimated that at least 90,000 troops arrived, including the very best Muslim Special Forces units, with the exception of the Bosnian 6th Corps Special Forces which remained at Bihac. Despite protests made by the Bosnian Serb Government, no action was taken against the heavy weapons sited within the exclusion zone and the UN Safe Haven of Sarajevo, which should be demilitarized city.

As an act of provocation designed to trigger NATO air strikes against the Bosnian Serb forces Bosnian Muslim snipers killed two UNPROFOR soldiers serving with the French contingent in Sarajevo. However, this event happened during the French Presidential campaign which overshadowed media coverage of the killings, plus the fact that UNPROFOR commanders no longer attribute all such killings to the Bosnian Serbs. UNPROFOR commanders on the spot now seem to display a much more questioning attitude towards events that occur just before a significant stage in the peace process. This questioning attitude however seems to have little effect in achieving more objective news coverage of events that happen within the UN Safe Havens. Emotive TV reporting of another alleged Serb mortar attack on Sarajevo in which more than 30 people have died is being shown as this paper was being written.

On May 3, 1995, the Bosnian Muslim troops launched a major, offensive at 06.00hrs and at 10.00hrs, NATO air strikes were made against Bosnian Serb positions ahead of the Bosnian Muslim advance. The aircraft making the strikes were mainly in an air defense suppression role. In addition, the Bosnian Serb forces say that a small number of French, Spanish and Dutch aircraft took part in the air strikes. The air strikes ceased only after the Bosnian Serb took UN troops hostage. Bosnian Serb intelligence says that the hostages were handcuffed to posts for a very brief period to allow TV cameras to film footage for distribution in the West. All those involved were well treated, on Spain’s national day, Spanish TV filmed their troops held hostage telephoning home to parents, wives and girl friends. The British troops said they had been well treated and that they understood the military situation which caused their detention, however on their way out through Serbia and since they have not been permitted to make any comment to the media. Unknown to the Bosnian Muslims and their US Advisers, Bosnian Serb intelligence had secured a copy of the planned Muslim offensive three days before it took place. Its main objectives were to secure Mt. Igman, to destroy a major portion of the Bosnian Serb Army and lift the siege on Sarajevo. Attacks were launched from a number of locations towards Sarajevo, including three major thrusts from Vares, Viscko and Pazaric. Another line of attack moved behind Mt. Igman across Mt. Bjelasnica and Mt. Treskavica before one column headed for Trnovo in an attempt to secure the road and tunnel linking Sarajevo and Kalinovik. At the same time, the Croats attacked Livno and Drvar in an attempt to drive a wedge between the Krajina Serbs and Bosnian Serbs. According to the Bosnian Serbs, it was quite clearly a two front attack coordinated by the joint Croat-Muslim Command headquarters.

At the Sarajavo battle, the Bosnian Serbs fell back to prepared positions giving the impression that the Muslim forces had them on the run. Indeed, at the time, some Western media reported an outstanding success had been achieved, the Serbs had been routed, and went on to speculate that this offensive, by a well-equipped Muslim army, could be a turning point in the war in favor of the Bosnian Muslim Government. According to Bosnian Serb intelligence, the man who planned and executed the Muslim offensive was former US Army General John Galvin, recently retired and now advising the Bosnian Muslim Government in Sarajevo. Last year he was in charge of the US Army’s famous military academy, West Point. Sadly for the Muslims they fell into a classic military ploy. The Bosnian Serbs enticed them into a large valley by retreating rapidly as the Muslim Special Forces pressed home their attack. When the valley was full of Muslim troops the Bosnian Serbs opened up from the surrounding hills with heavy artillery, mortars and machine guns. According to one quietly spoken Bosnian Serb colonel it was horrific, he said: "It was a slaughter. Even though I know they had come to slaughter us, I cannot be joyful at so many deaths which could have been avoided if only we had been allowed to remain united in Yugoslavia. In past times we lived together in peace, all of us, Serbs, Croats, and Muslims. The Americans and Germans broke up Yugoslavia, for what? Now they prolong the war, setting the Croats and Muslims together against us, planning the war for them, arming them and importing mujahedin into my country. If he wants to manipulate land, tell President Clinton to go back to Arkansas. I asked the colonel how many Bosnian Muslim troops had been killed in the May offensive. He said: "There were two divisions, not one.

It is difficult to judge how many died eventually, as the Muslim Government imposed a curfew on Sarajevo on the excuse that Serb snipers were in action, but this was to prevent people from finding out what had happened. They set up field hospitals but I think they could not cope with all the casualties and many must have died of wounds. What I do know is that the Bosnian Muslims lost many thousands of their Special Forces who were spearheading the attack. In that one valley there must have been more than 10,000 Bosnian Muslim troops killed, and those were their best men." He went on to say: "You know, even after such a defeat, the Muslim politicians still wanted more blood to be shed. They gave orders immediately for the Muslim units in the enclaves to launch attacks from Srebrenica, Gorazde, Tuzla and Bihac. From Srebrenica they launched three attacks in early June in which 12 Serbs were killed and many house burnt. They made another two attacks from Srebrenica and Zepa using 640 troops. The villages were not expecting the attack and many Serbs were killed.

From Goradze they made two attacks towards Bogatica and burnt Serb villages. In Gorazde the Muslims surrounded the Ukrainian UNPROFOR unit and took their weapons and Armored Personnel Carriers. From Tusla there were three attacks in the direction of Petrovac and one towards Majeva, and from Bihac the Muslim Special Forces made four attacks in the direction of Petrovac and one towards Novigrad." He concluded by saying: "The Muslims wanted to provoke us into attacking the enclaves so that the Muslim Government could demand that NATO must protect the safe havens with air strikes and use the Rapid Reaction Force to fight Bosnian Serbs at Gorazde, Zepa, Srebrenica etc…Because the Muslims lost heavily at Sarajevo using an American strategy, I believe the Muslims expected the Americans to use NATO air strikes to punish Serbs. I don’t think we have seen the end yet, we are awaiting another Muslim offensive and another staged incident by the Muslims on Muslims in order to give the Americans an excuse to send in NATO warplanes."

SUMMARY

In conclusion I would just like to say that I think the recent ethnic cleansing of more than 250,000 Krajina Serbs, and before that some 13,000 Serbs from West Slavonija, has shown the true face of Croatia today. It bears striking similarities to the face it showed in 1941 with Germany as midwife on both occasions. The difference this second time is that the United States of America has abandoned its ally of two major world wars, Serbia, and has chosen instead to back former enemy and its satellite states on the one hand, and its most dangerous current enemy, radical Islamist fundamentalism, on the other. Significantly, even President Husni Mubarak of Egypt, a Muslim state, opposed the US by saying recently that arms embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina should be lifted. Egypt knows full well that Islamism-radical, political terrorism using the face of Islam to legitimise itself—is no friend of the moderate Islamic states nor of the West.

The United States will find in the not too distant future that its actions in the former Yugoslavia have opened a green route for Islamic fundamentalists into the heart of Europe. A route down which drugs are already flowing in increasing quantities.

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