The Unknown Civil War

The use of NATO military strikes against the Bosnian Serbs, at the urgings of the Clinton administration, camouflages for the moment a rift that has occurred in the Western alliance. Sooner or later recriminations over "who lost Yugoslavia?" are certain to come. And though it may be a while before historians render a verdict, there are already some indications that the answer will be "the Western European powers with the complicity of the United States." The reason: a failure to understand the basic issues in the Yugoslav crisis.

Since the Western media failed—or simply refused—to state or explain the issues in that civil war, particularly as seen b} the largest ethnic group (the Serbs), I elicited information from Serbian friends and acquaintances who were visiting the United States or who were writing or phoning in an effort to be heard. What follows is a summary of those conversations.

"For nearly 50 years we were forced to suffer under communism, which we did not choose, and yet nary a word of concern from you. As a matter of fact, after 1948, your Presidents and Secretaries of State praised our dictator Tito, whom you know was a Croat and not a Serb. Communism was not our doing; you betrayed us near the end of World War II, when you abandoned our guerrilla leader, General Mihajlovitch, and supported the communists. We were your allies in the two world wars, and yet now you heap...

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