4:15 PM, Sep 16, 2013 • By GARY SCHMITT
Sophisticated folks like to tell themselves that history doesn’t repeat itself. Life, politics, and diplomacy are all driven by a multitude of circumstances that make every moment different and every judgment so much different … except of course when they aren’t. But as Maya Kandel, an analyst at Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l'Ecole Militaire, a French defense ministry think tank, and a specialist on American foreign policy, wrote in a recent email:
“This past week can’t help be reminiscent of Bosnia back in 1994. On February 5, a Serb shelling of the Sarajevo main market wound up killing some 68 individuals, with nearly three times that number wounded. In the aftermath, President Clinton and NATO issued an ultimatum to the Serbs—this coming nearly two years after the war had been going on. Suddenly Russia stepped in and ‘supervised’ the Serbs ‘surrendering’ their heavy weapons to UN soldiers stationed around Sarajevo.
“It was all a farce, and very beneficial to Russian prestige, allowing Moscow to jump back in to the great power diplomatic game. And Washington and the West were relieved not to have to intervene militarily.
“A year later, Serb soldiers just went to the unprotected UN warehouses and took back their heavy weapons. A second shelling of the market occurred in late August 1995, killing and wounding scores more. NATO then intervened, conducting a bombing campaign involving some 400 NATO aircraft against Bosnian-Serb forces that proved key to ending the war there.”
The parallels with Syria are not a perfect match, of course. But in both cases tens of thousands have died, innocents have been brutalized, and massive numbers have been exiled from their homes, towns, and country. And what is a match as well is the never ending hope by Washington and other capitals that a deal can struck that will take the burden of military action off their shoulders.
7:32 AM, Jan 18, 2013 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Bosnia-Herzegovina has seen the last of hundreds of employees of the European Union, United Nations, and other international agencies, including dozens of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that once gathered there. They have left the country a politically-partitioned and economically-distressed state that, if not failed, seems ever deteriorating.
1:40 PM, Apr 17, 2012 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Twenty years have passed since the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina declared its independence from Yugoslavia at the beginning of March 1992. Bosnian independence came after Slovenia, Croatia, and Macedonia had left Yugoslavia in 1991. Slobodan Milosevic, the Yugoslav dictator, proclaimed Serbian “independence” inside Yugoslavia—of which Serbia was the dominant constituent—in 1990.
12:01 PM, Dec 7, 2011 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Two of the most respected Muslim academics in Bosnia-Herzegovina have given lengthy interviews in which they condemned Wahhabism, or “Salafism,” as the Arab-financed Islamist ideology is also known.
3:12 PM, Aug 3, 2011 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Israeli media report that Aleksandar Cvetkovic, 43, a Bosnian Serb who emigrated to the Jewish state and acquired Israeli citizenship through marriage, has been ordered extradited to Bosnia-Herzegovina to face trial for his alleged involvement in the Srebrenica massacre of 1995. Cvetkovic, who moved to Israel in 2006, fathered children there, and lived in the northern Israeli city of Karmiel, has 30 days to appeal the decision.
11:45 AM, Dec 6, 2010 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Last April, when I was in Sarajevo, the Bosnian metropolis, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt happened to make a quick tour of the country, coming by private plane from Venice, where Jolie was filming The Tourist, a mystery pic with Johnny Depp.
Thought experiment.3:17 PM, Aug 18, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Opponents of the Ground Zero mosque have tried to use analogies to show that their opposition to the mosque is not rooted in anti-Muslim bigotry. For example, a Japanese cultural center at Pearl Harbor would be provocative and insensitive, even though many Japanese Americans fought and died in World War II.
From Pakistan to Bosnia.4:00 PM, Aug 9, 2010 • By IRFAN AL-ALAWI and STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
The people of Pakistan, and Muslims as well as non-Muslims around the world, were horrified when, at midnight on July 1, three bombers struck the Data Darbar Sufi shrine in Lahore.
Cracking Down on Islamic Extremists12:00 PM, Mar 10, 2010 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Last week, the Albanian Muslims of Kosovo, who have demonstrated their aversion to radical Islam in a series of recent clashes with extremist infiltrators, took another significant step toward ridding their new republic of Muslim fanatics. A self-proclaimed imam, Xhemajl Duka, who had come to Kosovo from his native Albania, was deported back there. The mosque he had erected in the village of Marina, near the central Kosovar city of Skenderaj, was closed by local authorities.
12:00 AM, Feb 18, 2010 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Early this month, Bosnian police and military forces conducted their first major operation since war ended in the country in 1995. On February 2, some 400-600 agents raided a major center of radical Islamist activity. Officers were sent to the notorious “Wahhabi village” of Gornja Maoca from Sarajevo, capital of the Muslim-Croat federation that makes up about half of the country, since partition was imposed by the Dayton Accords fifteen years ago.
‹‹ More Recent