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Europe's Next Trouble Spot

By Patrick O’Brien

Imagine it's February, 2008. Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia is imminent. International analysts are warning about reactionary moves by other breakaway regions. They say that South Ossetia and Abkhazia would become more daring in making official their already de facto independence from Georgia. They also say that after the successes of these regions-turned-states, we shouldn't be surprised by the appearance on the map of independent republics called either Transnistria (in Moldova), Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan) or Republika Srpska (Bosnia-Herzegovina).

Eight months on, those predictions are still prescient. The "who started it" question in Georgia is, in a way, irrelevant. All the players played their roles quite well, and foreordained result was Russia's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. It's important to remember that Russia gave a very clear warning in February, just before Kosovo's declaration. But neither is any major power supporting self-determination across the board. Without a common framework agreed upon by the major powers (the U.S. and Russia, of course, but also China and a united EU), traditional alliances and strategic concerns will determine who recognizes whom. The result could be a map of Eastern Europe with a lot more dotted lines where there were once solid lines.

So what's the next trouble spot? Bosnia is a good bet. Bosnia-Herzegovina has a federal system uniting two autonomous entities: half of the country is made up of Bosnians and Croats, the other half by Serbs. The latter, called Republika Srpska, has recently been moving toward more autonomy within the federal system. For 13 years the Dayton Peace Accord has embodied the spirit of power-sharing between these groups, and it has been enforced by a western military presence (NATO until 2004, when it was succeeded by the EU).

But recent strains between Haris Silajdzic, the senior President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Milorad Dodik, prime minister of Republika Srpska, can only work to strain the confederacy. Local elections held nationwide this month gave a boost to ethnic parties of all stripes. Now recall that in February, some politicians in Republika Srpska said that Kosovo's secession would be the green light for their immediate secession from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Of course, "immediately" in diplomatic language may mean years, but eight months without such a declaration is no reason to feel complacent. The English-language media has been largely mute on Bosnia lately, except for a warning in The Guardian by Richard Holbrooke, the architect of Dayton, to wake up and smell the Turkish coffee. If Holbrooke is right and the Bosnian Serbs are positioning themselves to declare independence, America's and Europe's reaction isn't clear.

Unlike in the 1990s, when America was at the height of its relative power and thus able to extend security over the region, America is now fighting two wars in the Middle East and is preoccupied with the financial crisis. Europe is still divided on its interpretation of Kosovo and is severely dependant on Russia for energy. The question of the day in the 1990s -- "Why should I be a minority in your country when you could be a minority in mine?" - is surfacing again. And to ethnic separatists, post-Kosovo, there is no longer a satisfying answer.

Patrick O'Brien is a graduate student in the Russia and Eurasian Studies progam at the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Bologna Center in Italy.

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The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Johns Hopkins University.

Comments (75)

dinostanisic Author Profile Page:

We can play the one world game all day if you like. The simple fact is that the "Bosniaks"
are alligned with Turkey. If so, there is no room for them in South Eastern Europe.

First, Dr. Mustafa Efendi Ceric, the reis-ul-ulema (grand mufti) of Bosnia and Herzegovina, made some statements over the last few years about the correlation between Bosniaks and Turks, statements open to discussion, no doubt. Speaking to participants, Bosniaks and Turks, at a reconstructed mosque in Rogatica on Sept. 2, 2006, he said: “I propose we all call ourselves Turks. And we are Turks -- by our historical memory, by our historical disposition, by the identity of Islam that Turks brought to us. However, we are also Bosniaks.” The grand mufti of Bosnia also told Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an during his visit to Sarajevo on March 25, 2008, “Please convey to your people the following: Turkey is our mother; it has been so and it will remain so.”

Discussion spills into streets

The discussion easily made its way to the streets. Hundreds of fans waved and kissed Turkish flags, shouting “This is Turkey!” in Sarajevo, Zenica and the part of Mostar with a Bosniak majority.

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

Bosnia is an independent, internationally recognized country in its totality. It has the rights to autonomy that all other internationally recognized free countries have. Those in Croats and Serbs that simply can not stand the idea of living in a democratic multicultural ,multi-ethnic, and multi-religious Bosnia and Herzegovina (because they prefer Hitler's ideas of a racially pure homeland and have an out of control flare for believing in myth and folklore and committing ethnic cleansing) should get packing and leave Bosnia for Croatia (the the west) or Serbia (to the east) I'm pretty sure even in those countries they'll be seen as a useless nuisance which they definitely are in Bosnia, and I remind them to send the sensible Bosnian Croats, Bosnian Serbs, and Bosnian Boaniks that have decided to stay in our internationally recognized independent country of Bosnia and Herzegovina to build a more democratic and enlightened society postcards with pretty pictures!

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

The problem with that Dino, is that Bosniaks aren't of Turkish descent nor do they claim to be and our country for the last 1000 years has been, you guessed it, Bosnia and Herzegovina (maybe the name Bosniaks gave that one away). Turkey is an independent country which Bosnia has a historic connection due to the long Turkish occupation that Bosnia endured in the Ottoman era but that is all we share as peoples and as nations, a common part of our histories. And, Dino, Internationally recognized borders do mean something to a whole lot of other people (i.e. the whole international community and people who believe that international law is to be respected which of course it should be). Btw, I believe there is a way in which those intolerant Croats and Serbs who decide to leave Bosnia to find a better more ethnically pure future for themselves can get the Serbian and Croatian government to pay for those postcards they'll be sending, or maybe they can get them at a lower price something will have to be worked out lol

dinostanisic Author Profile Page:

Again we are not to allow foreign powers to dictate to us what the borders should be. There is a country to the east called Turkey which the Bosnians can go. There is much love for them there. There they can drink Turkish coffee, practice Islam, cheat at soccer tournaments and deny who they really are.

The Bosniaks are welcome to join Croatia as long as they swear allegiance to Croatia. They are our lost brothers after all.

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

Those Serbs that want a Serbian homeland will be glad to find it to the East of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is a country called Serbia (problem solved). Those Croats that want a Croatian homeland will be delighted to find it to the West of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is a country called Croatia (problem solved). Those Serbs and Croats that consider Bosnia to be their homeland will be overjoyed to see that it is their homeland and that they are part of it as much as it is part of them (problem solved). It is wise to remember that Bosnia and Herzegovina belongs to all the people that live in it and that no single group of people can steal bits and pieces of it (by all laws written and unwritten known to man). Theft is a crime period. Those that want to go to the Serb or Croatian homelands will find it an easy and enjoyable journey across friendly internationally recognized borders to their homelands (i.e. Serbia and Croatia). The people there will meet them as their long-lost brethren and will provide them with the shelter they need and the love they desire. I would be thrilled if those who choose to go and find better lives in their homelands of Croatia and Serbia were to send those of us that remained in our internationally recognized and independent homeland of Bosnia and Herzegovina to send us postcards to show us that they are OK so we can move on with our lives and build a better country for the sensible people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

LoisLane08 Author Profile Page:

Dino your people can go, across the border into croatia that is lol any talk of merger with croatia (i.e. theft of bosnian land) is illegal and nonsensical

dinostanisic Author Profile Page:

Most Croats in Bosnia want to merge with Croatia.
They do not want to be second class citizens to muslims. nor should they. Croatians have long historical claims to parts of Bosnia and they should be allowed to merge with Croatia. The problem in Southeast Europe is that larger foreign powers have always imposed their will in this region. This goes back to Roman times all the way to today.

Let my people go!!!

dinostanisic Author Profile Page:

Phoenician's in Croatia? I think the Croats claim an ancient Persian link. As a matter of fact Hitler declared the Croats a Gothic Persian
Hybrid people.

Also let's not forget the Role of Greece in the aggression on Bosnia. The greeks provided direct aid to Serbia during the conflict. Greeks were quoted as saying that the Serbs are their Byzantine brothers. Foreign Greeks were fighting in Sarajevo. Let us not forget that Greece is a sponsor of ethnic cleansing.

sirivanhoe98 Author Profile Page:

No country in Europe has just ONE origin.

On Bosnia's demographic composition, according to IGENEA.com:

Bosnia
50% Illyrer
4% Thraker
20% Germanen
6% Hunnen
15% Slawen
15% Kelten

Serbien:
30% Slawen
9% Phönizier
21% Illyrer
14% Kelten
8% Hellenen
2% wikinger
18% Germanen

Croatia
34% Illyrians
20% slavs
18% celtic
16% phoenician
12% germanic tribes

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

Barbarism and primitivism have their short term victory but civilization and enlightenment always win in the long term, Bosnia will move towards being a better country for all of its citizens and hopefully her friends in the West will help her on that difficult but necessary road that she has to travel. The whole Balkan region (even Serbia) can be reformed and improved for the benefit of the people in it, so far only the criminals and thugs that live in that region have been profiting from all the hatred and war propaganda that had been adopted, but as we move forward it will be the citizens of that region that will get the power (led by enlightened leaders) to for functioning modern and democratic states that will work on behalf of their citizens and a better world and will not be seen as the "basket cases" of Europe. The sooner we all start working toward that goal the sooner that region of the world will be allowed to prosper after so many years of terrible violence and poverty

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

Bosnia will never fade into history and will not be overtaken by anyone, it will remain what it always has been a country for all of its people. Just because the Serb think that their backward and primitive methods of going about their policy in the former Yugoslavia will work does not mean it will (I use Croatia and Kosovo to prove my point). The Egnlish, Americans, French, Russians, and Germans only have one nation each why should the Serbs (who committed ethnic cleansing and genocide) get two? Makes no sense at all. Won't happen ever.

dinostanisic Author Profile Page:

First lets learn something today. The Croats, Serbs and Bosnians are not really a Slavic people. We are Dinaric. Yes we speak a Slavic language but racially we are different from the major Slavs such as the Poles or Russians.

It's a fact!!!!!

dinostanisic Author Profile Page:

The serbs will always be backward Byzantine stooges. Bosnia will fade into history. her land will be claimed by Croats and backward Byzantines.

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

Btw the so called "republika srpska" is not a state, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a state, the so called "republika srpska" is a self-glorified entity in the internationally recognized state of Bosnia and Herzegovina (by the way Dodik is trying to run it you'd think it was a medieval kingdom)

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

If you care so much about the Bosnian Croats as why don't you go over there to help them out? Be the shoulder they can cry on (if indeed they are as unsatisfied as you claim btw where's the evidence your rhetoric alone won't do). Democracy is the only thing that will help Bosnia continuing ethnocentric tribal practices won't if you have an alternative to a democratic and free Bosnian society then maybe you should list it, or perhaps you'll be to busy to think of one as you are helping out the Bosnian Croats you are so passionate about lol

cygnussx1 Author Profile Page:

If you ask me it sounds like you are just using democracy rhetoric to achieve a nationalist agenda and that agenda is to abolish a state and assume control over it. Why can't you prove that your intentions are to create a multi-ethnic eutopia in the Balkans by meeting the demands of the minorites within the Bosnian-Croat Federation. Croats are deprived of basic rights and very un-happy because of Slobodan Milosevic or Radovan Karadzic or Richard Holbrooke or who ever you want to credit for the making of RS???? Your comments make no sense.

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

Barak Obama and Joe Biden will be good news for Bosnia, hopefully they will help the Bosnians create a more united, successful, and prosperous country for all the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

Status quo in Bosnia doesn't work for its people but there is a way to make it work and that is to create a functioning modern constitution (entirely different from the Dayton appeasement to genocide) that will let everyone live in prosperity. The Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats never have in the past and never will in the future be prevented from living happy and successful lives in Bosnia by anyone (those who claim they will will have to provide some evidence showing that if they have it and I doubt it). Bosnia exists as a country and it will continue to exist, the question becomes how will we make everyone happy and the answer is a new constitution that protects all citizens and allows all three major ethnic groups (along with smaller minorities) to have their say on how they want the country to be run. This will require the abolishment of the "republica srpska" and will require outside help in order to craft a truly inclusive and functional constitution. Current politics is run by unqualified war profiteers who are doing nothing to benefit the people of Bosnia but instead are interested in keeping their own jobs and power by using fear mongering to keep the people from talking about the real issues facing Bosnia. A great example is Dodik (i.e. the self-proclaimed king of the so called republika srpska) who now is taking in millions of dollars of profits by selling former state assets to the Russians. His whole political career has been based on using fear to keep the country dysfunctional and reamain in his position of king of the serbs. Barak Obama, an african american, just won the presidency of the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural USA and we need a new post-ethnic leader like that to emerge in Bosnia to lead all of its people to prosperity and success.

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

How is it that no one has brought up the idea that it is the Bosniaks in Bosnia were and continue to be the victims? When they tried to establish themselves as a peoples the Serbs and Croats kept insisting that they were not a people, that they did not have a language, that they did not have a history, and most importantly they did not have a country. These things were being perpetuated by both Serbs and Croats in the hope of tearing Bosnia up and each getting half of the country. Fortunately that did not happen because, as i have said, justice always prevails in the end. It did not happen when the worst atrocities imaginable were being committed against unarmed innocent Bosniak men, women, and children were being murdered in cold blood and driven out of their houses by their Serb and Croat neighbors just because of their [the bosniaks] ethnicity and religion and for NO other reason. Anyone of significance will tell you that the Bosniaks did not start the violence in Bosnia but instead were the biggest victims of ethnic cleansing and genocide carried out by their Serb and Croat neighbors. So the question becomes why would they want to live with these Serb and Croat people who were murdering them and slandering them? The answer is simple, since bosnia came into existence a thousand years ago (when the Bosnian kingdom was founded) the Bosnians of that time had a belief that Bosnia should be a country that includes people of all different faiths and ethnicities and there are still many Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats along with Bosnian Bosniaks who continue to believe that. Bosnia belongs to all of its citizens regardless of what they are and there simply is no way of separating any part of Bosnia from the rest of Bosnia, it is one indivisible whole. Bosnian Serbs, Bosnian Croats, and Bosnian Bosniaks are all shareholders and owners of the country of Bosnia and they need a constitution that clearly states that and that allows all the people living in Bosnia to start focusing on achieving their personal dreams (jobs, family, travel etc.) and to stop living in a dysfunctional and undeveloped nation.

cygnussx1 Author Profile Page:

LoisLane08 No one believes that is what the Bosnian Muslims want, they have done nothing to prove that is what they really want in the 12+ years since Dayton. The Croats can't stand living in Bosnia. What sign have the Serbs gotten that it would be any better for them? None.

sam20 Author Profile Page:

You can't enjoy the fruits if the soil doesn't permit the plant to grow.
Beliefs are inspirational but they must jive with the reality of a particular situation to work. i believe that the institution of marriage is extremely beneficial and there are studies that show that children, communities and societies are stronger when they are underpinned by marriage.
But if "warren" is beating "adele" bloody and she is threatenig to ruin him, i can't see why they should be kept together for a belief.
Beliefs are a goal. Peace is a measurement. Hitler was stopped and 60 million people died. The USSR was appeased after World War II and communism ended anyway. Wasn't that a better ending than nuclear annihilation?
Speaking of communism, isn't it ironic that after decades of opposing communism and succeeding, that we're now defending borders (Yugoslavia, Georgia, Ukraine, etc) spuriously imposed by communist tyrants?
Anyway, the multi-ethnic/multi-cultural state that was Yugoslavia was allowed to pass without a wimper. i don't see why the same people who didn't see the benefit then would suddenly have a change of heart and want it to flourish in Bosnia.
The people of Bosnia are the Bosniaks (muslims), Croatians and Serbians who live there. They should decide. i suspect after years of war, death and animosity, peace serves them better than multi-culturalism right now.
i don't know how the people on all sides in Yugoslavia ethnically cleansed from their territories should be compensated. i suspect that answer will come at the same time it's discovered for the Palestinians of Israel/Jews of the Middle East; Muslims of India/Hindus of Pakistan; the Poles of Ukraine, the Greeks of Asia Minor, the Turks of Bulgaria, the Mexicans of Texas...well, i feel sad about the terrible cost of nationalism. Regardless of the system, someone's always on the receiving end.

cygnussx1 Author Profile Page:

What happened in WWII is heresay and myth????? Are you for real??? Can you imagine a German saying that about the holocaust??? How can you have a conversation about German Israeli relations without putting it in context of the Holocaust? How can you talk about African American - American relations without talking about slavery? You can't. So why should Serbian people be the only people who can't bring up or put current relations with groups that committed genocide against them and or enslaved as the Turks did with the help of Bosnian Muslims and Albanians? YOU are the real human rights violation denier "Defender of Truth". The bosnian Muslims paid the biggest price for fighting the Nazis???? That if jsut sick and twisted when you think about how many Serbians lost there lives fighting the Nazi's and the number of Bosnian Muslims that supported and helped the Ustasha and Nazi's. It's no wonder there are wars and hate there when people like you spread that kind lies and try distort the truth.

LoisLane08 Author Profile Page:

A reply to SAM20:
I did not mean to say that this is your idea, but I simply referred to the argument that you were presenting. Yes, you do enjoy as do I the fruits of a democratic and multi-ethnic/multi-cultural state. But with the sorts of reasoning you have brought up in your post, you are in a way denying these things you and I enjoy to the people of Bosnia. It is saying that those who act upon such ideologies and commit such heinous acts need to be rewarded and appeased, just for the sake of calm and quiet. Every place has some sort of issue it is dealing with. The US, as great as it is, is not without its faults. Race, for example, is still a divisive issue. So if Americans during the civil rights era said, well for the sake of peace and tranquility, let us appease those who support racism and segregation, and preserve the status-quo, or if America appeased Hitler’s ideology and gave the Nazis Europe for the sake of reducing American involvement in that war….Where does such appeasement and giving in to acts that are so heinous lead? What does it really accomplish? If it were up to the people who support and appease the status-quo, our world would not be as free and democratic as it is. American men and women would not be fighting and dying and getting maimed overseas, and they would not been engaged in the places in the world that are now our allies (Japan, S. Korea…) The system that you and I live under does not impose religious believes on anyone, nor does it impose any one cultural heritage on all the other groups. If you are Irish, or Jewish American you are free to practice your cultural and religious heritage under this system.
That sort of system is what I am arguing should be put in place in Bosnia instead of the system imposed by Dayton. The small pinch of changing the status quo will be felt, no doubt, but it is by no means as painful as the imposing of a system that does not allow the citizens in Bosnia to develop as other democratic peaceful countries have and a system that goes against the beliefs and values you and I live under. And the EU and US role is to guide Bosnia with all its diversity into that system.

LoisLane08 Author Profile Page:

A quick response to a previous post of AZTECTERP:
How is the idea about having a modern, multi-ethnic/multi-cultural unified nation that DefenderOfTruth is advocating for in any shape or form racist and offensive in your or anyone else’s opinion?????
Maintaining the current status quo in Bosnia in which one ethnic group proclaims exclusive ownership of half the country which it achieved through unlawful and despicable means, further validates and encourages Milosevic’s and Serb-radicals’ ideas of Serb supremacy, which they think entitle them to pursue their goal of forming an ethnically pure “Greater Serbian” state…. that would inherently be founded on a racist ideology that has not been seen in Europe since Hitler’s
dream of forming a similarly conceived state for the German folk in the 1930’s. The civilized world stood up to Hitler diabolical plans then, and must now do the same by standing up for values Europe represents and allow these same values to be enjoyed by the citizens of Bosnia.

sam20 Author Profile Page:

"If your idea is correct..."

i wasn't presenting ideas but a recitation of events.
Having said that, then i can add that your point cuts to the meat of the issue and brings us to the present. What is to be done? i don't see a universal standard being applied in world affairs, just unilateral actions that suit major powers (China, EU, Russia, US).
Assuming you live in the US as well, isn't it pleasant when the question of national aspiration was settled more than a century ago (1865 to be exact).
But what are the issues faced by the Pular group in Senegal? i have no clue, but the Pular people live with it every day of their lives. Who decides what is to be done?
Finally, as an opinion, i prefer the multi-ethnic/multi-cultural state, but i'm biased because i enjoy its fruits. But what i want (and hope i join the majority) is whatever leads to peace without having to kill other people.

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

To Aztercerp: Rasim Delic stood trial like a man and was sentenced to three years of jail for his failure to PREVENT the cruel treatment of 12 (note the number) captured Serb SOLDIERS in the village of Livade by people that were factually out of his control. He was never accused on ordering any wrong-doing himself and would never kiss any serb wether dead or alive and you have no evidence to prove the claim you made)
But the serb national hero Mladic seems to be too scared to face trial for the murder of 8000 unarmed CIVILIANS in Srebrenica in the worst massacre committed on the European continent sine the second world war. Mladic the "serb hero" would rather hide like a coward and prevent the entire country of Serbia from moving forward economically and socially. So a man that kills innocent civilians (including children) gets proclaimed a Serb hero and is sheltered by the entire state for 15 years, that is quite sad for all of Serbia and serbs all around the world.
The Serbian people should stop picking cowardly war-criminals as their heroes and quit trying to justify the cold-blooded murder of 60,000 CIVILIANS committed by the Serb yugoslav army and armed serb militias in the 92-95 time period.

LoisLane08 Author Profile Page:

If your idea is correct, then I suppose you support the Sandjak and Vojvodina regions in Serbia becoming independent countries and we should give the gypsies in Romania their own country, the Basque in Spain their own independent country, the Turks in Germany their own country, the Kurds in Turkey their own country, The Moroccans in France their owns country, the Welsh their own independent country, the Chechens their own country, the Turkic people living in Russia their own countries, the Shias, Sunnis and Kurds in Iraq their own countries, the Canadian French their own country, the African Americans their own country in the US, the Latino Americans their own country in the US, the Sicilians in Italy their own country, the Serbs who were kicked out of the Krajina region of Croatia their own country within the fantasy state that the Serbs want to build in Bosnia; and generally we should divide Europe, Asia, Africa and North America into thousands of ethnically pure and warring independent countries, each with their own independent government and feudal ruler, and each achieved through the ethnic cleansing of the non-desirable ethnic and religious groups…. and kiss good-bye the modern idea of an inclusive multi-ethnic/multi-cultural state and all political and social advances that humanity has made over the past thousand years.
Do you and the others who use the same line of argument indeed advocate that ethnical groups should have each their own state created through genocide and ethnic cleansing? If that is so then these flawed ideas will set us back a thousand years and will push us closer to the primitivism of the past and away from future enlightenment.

aztecterp Author Profile Page:

That Rasim Delic is quite a good guy, right offenderoftruth? Did you also kiss the severed heads of Serbs? If not, I'll bet you would have loved to do it. You must be very proud of him and the volunteers whom cut off heads of Serbs. Boy, what great tolerant people those Bosnian Muslims were and are.

sam20 Author Profile Page:

In 1993, the "medieval" Czech people and "anachronistic" Slovak people of modern Europe decided to seperate from each other and form countries where their ethnic group is the majority and in control of their own destinies. Both became EU members.
The same is being considered in places like Quebec, Belgium (Flemish and Walloons) etc.
Seperation and the creation of states based on group identity (nation-alities) is alive and well. But finding leaders to accomplish it without war is about as slim as a Ralph Nader victory.

LoisLane08 Author Profile Page:

A quick reply to SAM20: Your definition of a state is kind of medieval and is considered anachronistic by today’s standards; and is contradicted by every modern democratic multi-ethnic/multi-cultural state in existence (ex: US, Switzerland, Canada, Germany…).

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

One thing that is sure is that Serbian government's and academia's perception of what happened during the break-up of Yugoslavia, while valid to bring up and state, does not have proper evidence to be considered as a believable account of what really happened in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo etc... While the war crimes were being committed the Serbian government and academia were telling everyone else that the serbs were only defending themselves but as Srebrenica and NATO's bombing campaign in Kosovo clearly showed this was baseless war propaganda and hence their statements are writing are too biased to be considered acceptable evidence as to what REALLY HAPPENED in the former Yugoslavia (and even before that time)

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

As a matter of being hones in a discussion please don't use Serb historians as your sources of information, due to the fact that the Serb Academy of Sciences wrote the blue-print for the ethnic cleansing that was carried out by the Serb government, military, and paramilitary Serb academics definitely can not be trusted to be be impartial observers. There are many honest Serb academics but due the fact that so many have been shown to be dishonest and nationalist in their thinking as a whole their work can not be trusted to be true and honest when it is brought up in discussions

sam20 Author Profile Page:

"people have no choice but to only vote and live in the areas controlled by their group, then how on earth can anyone expect to have a functioning state?"

Funny, that seems to be the definition of a state.

LoisLane08 Author Profile Page:

When a system that divides instead of unifies people is created during the Serb aggression on Bosnia, and enforced since then by the EU and US; that rewards ethnic cleansing and genocide instead of punishing it. When the system (as imposed by Dayton) enforces religious and ethnic separations so that the people have no choice but to only vote and live in the areas controlled by their group, then how on earth can anyone expect to have a functioning state. It is simply impossible. Now, following the model that the US and the EU practice themselves in their respective nations, such as democracy, the rule of law, individual freedoms, and resolving disputes through democratic means would produce a functioning Bosnian state. Dayton needs to be thrown out and replaced by a modern and function new constitutional framework that does not reward genocide and that does not impose ethnic and religious segregation and apartheid on the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I'm glad to see that Holbrook and other progressive leaders are acknowledging the need to address the divisions imposed on Bosnia by Dayton.

sam20 Author Profile Page:

It seems to me that the forced removal or annihilation of ethnic peoples on land toward the aim of creating a state, has been one of the historical norms throughout the world. In 1776, there were few if any white Anglos in Arizona, yet the citizens of that land annually celebrate July 4 as their Independence Day from Great Britain, even though they never lived under the UK flag. So it is with Israel/Palestine, India/Pakistan, Turks/Asia Minor, etc, etc, etc.

aztecterp Author Profile Page:

Offenderoftruth,
Bosnia is a failed state. Croatia and Serbia will be EU members before Bosnia. You are defending failure. Your racist dribble is more telling about you than Bosnia itself. I would not have been interested in your comments had you not generalized them to all Serbs.

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

By the way why on god's earth are we still talking about what happened in the 14th century and WW II there is such a thing as the modern world and Serbia should really at least try to live in it. The 90s are on tape and record what you claim happened in WW II is hearsay and myth bring evidence not public folklore to this discussion. The Bosnian's paid by far the biggest price fighting against the Nazis and if you remember the victory that created Yugoslavia (which was destroyed by Serb ultra-nationalism/fascism) was formed in Jajce in Bosnia and Herzegovina, please do not lecture me on what happened during WW II with your fairy-tales

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

The day (a few weeks ago) that EVEN Montenegro decided that it can not stand to live inside the bubble of Serbia's twisted world-view to such a degree that they would actually recognize Kosovo as an independent country is the day that Serbia's policies really pushed the country to the very bottom of the worlds reputation scale but now hearing what's coming out from the so called "republika srpska" makes me thing we still have some way to sink before that bottom is reached

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

Your personal attacks against me do not offer any of the evidence i was talking about, there is in internationally set up court of justice in the Hague, Netherlands that tries alleged war crimes I believe well over 80% of those being tried are Bosnian Serbs or Serbs so bring evidence or maybe those medications you mentioned could be put to a better use by someone else. Btw Serbia is the only country in history to have its president die in a jail cell being tried for war crimes (even Hitler ended his life before it came to that). But his death, unfortunately, did not bring an end to his policies which live on through the thoughts and actions of serb ultra-nationalists who can not bring themselves to realize that their methods have failed and will continue to fail, truth and justice always persevere over lies and injustice in the long term (just look at what happened in Kosovo to be convinced of that)

aztecterp Author Profile Page:

More racist comments from Offenderoftruth: "Those fascist Bosnian Serbs that really can not stand to live with non-serbs (as evidenced by them committing ethnic cleansing against all non-serbs wherever the serbs used to live) then that shows to me a very arrogant, backwards, and tribal mentality." Wow, nothing more needs to be said. Serbs are fascists? Since when? History has already shown that Bosnian Muslims actually served under a Nazi Puppet state. Many Serbs were murdered in cold blood by Nazis.
Here's an excerpt from a credible piece by Historian Carl Savich.

"The Bosnian Muslim Government and Army of Alija Izetbegovic reformed and revived the Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS Division from World War II. This startling fact was first revealed by British journalist and military analyst Robert Fox in the Daily Telegraph news report from December 29, 1993. The report was entitled “Albanians and Afghans Fight for the Heirs to Bosnia’s SS Past” and was reported from Fojnica in central Bosnia. This was one of the most remarkable stories to emerge during the Bosnian civil war. The Bosnian Muslim Government and Army had reformed a Nazi SS Division right under the eyes of the U.S. and Western media. And only Robert Fox caught it. That is a remarkable example of media censorship and collusion to cover-up the facts. And this was accomplished the U.S. and Western media.

This story started when Robert Fox went to investigate the horrific murder of two Roman Catholic priests in Fojnica. Bosnian Muslim Army troops had executed two priests, Nikola Milicevic, 39, a parish priest, and Mato Migic, 56 , a vicar, were Franciscan priests who had been murdered by Bosnian Muslim soldiers at the Holy Spirit monastery, execution-style. While investigating this war crime, Fox soon discovered that the Bosnian Muslim Army had reformed a Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS Division from World War II, the 13th Waffen SS Division Handzar or Handschar, “dagger”, which is derived from the Arabic word khanjar, the term for a curved, double-sided Ottoman knife prevalent in Arabic and Muslim countries."
Talk about facism...

aztecterp Author Profile Page:

Here's an example of racism: "Serb allegations of war crimes committed against them are just that allegations until ANY believable evidence is put forward which probably will never happen since that evidence i tightly held in the lush and prolific collective Serb imagination which is great for perpetuating myths and fantasies from generation to generation but just seems to be unable to deal with facts and the real world." Thanks Offenderoftruth for this great example. By the way, psychiatry has come a long way and there are some good antipsychotic drugs that you could benefit from.

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

Those fascist Bosnian Serbs that really can not stand to live with non-serbs (as evidenced by them committing ethnic cleansing against all non-serbs wherever the serbs used to live) then that shows to me a very arrogant, backwards, and tribal mentality. Bosnia does NOT want people with that kind of mentality to be able to proudly claim Bosnian citizenship and they should leave Bosnia and cross the Drina river to live in the country of Serbia (the existing and recognized country that has Belgrade as its capital not the make-believe one) while the moderate Bosnian Serbs that are willing to live with non-serbs in a democratic and prosperous Bosnia and Herzegovina are welcome to stay and help Bosnia become a successful and progressive country that will be a member of the EU and NATO and will treat all of its citizens equally regardless of race or religion (i.e. a modern european democratic country i.e. Milosevice's and Karadice's worst nightmare which they'll be having in their Hague jail cells)

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

Serb allegations of war crimes committed against them are just that allegations until ANY believable evidence is put forward which probably will never happen since that evidence i tightly held in the lush and prolific collective Serb imagination which is great for perpetuating myths and fantasies from generation to generation but just seems to be unable to deal with facts and the real world.

ronjaboy Author Profile Page:

These aren't nations; they're tribes with flags.

blueball Author Profile Page:

cessation of bad english is required of all Johns hopkins writers!

aztecterp Author Profile Page:

I will never understand why some people are so motivated to force people to live together when they don't want to live together. During the 1990s, people were living in a la la land dreaming of children and adults of different religions walking hand in hand in a beautiful field full of flowers. That's a bunch of kids stuff. Reality is different. In the real world people stone each other, people murder innocent civilians, people bomb hospitals, and people throw bottles at innocent victims visiting their ancestors' graves. This is reality. The war in Bosnia was nothing about childhood dreams. There are terrible people behind the lies told by all sides. There will never be peace in that or any area; I hate to break the news to you all. And to the mental midgets like the DEFENDEROFTRUTH, the Bosnian Muslims did horrible things to Serbs before Srebrenica. Yet, they will never be punished for their crimes. Too bad for you that things aren't going so well in Bosnia:-( Please don't cry too hard little ones. Your attempt to create a religiously pure Muslim state in Europe is just not going as well as you would have liked. So sorry little guys. To the rest, you should feel good that at the end of the day when you look in the mirror, you don't see what DEFENDEROFTRUTH sees.

themick Author Profile Page:

There seems to be only two "solutions" one is to dissolute the "Republika Srpska" which would require brute force or to allow it to secede and join the Serbia proper perhaps in exchange for the recognition of Kosovo.

Bosniaks would perhaps be better rid these Serbs and move forward to EU membership not withstanding their ethnic cleansing of the territory they possess.

thegreatpotatospamof2003 Author Profile Page:

I have to wonder, if three months later, the invasion into Georgia is still looking like a good idea, to Putin, and the rest.

Cheney, and his group, have to face the truth about their little eight year escapades, I would think the same is true for Russia, too.

There do seem to be parallels, in terms of an inability to realistically assess any given situation, all leading to poorly thought out, aggressive actions which backfire, in the end.

AMviennaVA Author Profile Page:

Despite what 'DefenderOfTruth' has to say, Izetmehtovic wanted to establish an Islamic republic in Bosnia, and the Christians did not want that. The Muslims (Bosniaks) became agreeable to a republic after they were defeated. So, considering that the Bosniaks were used by the Turks to oppress the Christians in the past, and apparently many of them want an Islamic republic today, why should any non-Muslim trust them that they will co-exist?

Further, considering that that US established the principle that every minority is entitled to its own state (our position on Kossovo), and the Bosniaks have recognized Kossovo's independence, why is there now an objection to another minority gaining independence? To be sure, it will reward the ethnic cleansing that the Bosniaks imposed. Let us not forget that today there are millions of Serb refugees from Croatia, Kossovo, and Bosnia.

hannodb Author Profile Page:

International politics is the biggest hypocracy on the face on the planet. How do you explain the West turning its back on democratic, capitalistic Taiwan, in favour of communist China? How do you explain the West presuring South Africa to hand over power to the then openly communist ANC, while at the same time, assasinating a democratically elected socialist leader in Zaire, to replace him with Mabuto Sese Seko?

I'll tell you why: MONEY!!!

Whether it's Kosovo, Bosnia, Ossetia or Iraq. All sides claim to have some "moral" reason for their actions, but the real reason is always oil, gold or some other interest of the countries involved. whatever. Justice is NEVER the sole motivation in international affairs. Imperialism isn't dead, it's just a lot more subtle.

hardNfair Author Profile Page:

@DefenderOfTruth

yeah your are some kind of defender...

defender of a truth that split yugoslavia and led to the biggest tragedy since WW2 in europe...

your kind of truth is over, we live in the year 2008, now you can actually SEE the truth (if you want), go inform yourself a bit before you repeate the good old nazi-propaganda here...

you are still comming up with the kind of truth that helped germany and the vatican to split yugoslavia.

for example: srebrenica:

what happened BEFORE 6000 muslim MEN (ALL were MEN -fit for military service, with there feet in military boots) were killed by serb troops ? 3500 serb WOMEN CHILDREN an MEN were killed IN SREBRENICA by muslim paratroops, yeah but this kind of truth is invisible to you...

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

* I meant to say years not hearts

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

For those that want to compare Kosovo to "republika srpska" the only similarity is that in both Kosovo and Bosnia it is the Serbs that committed atrocities and war crimes against an unarmed innocent population (thee IS a reason that NATO bombed Serbia for months) and in both cases the serbs great ambitions will end in disappointment but there will be hundreds of hears to hear all the myths and fantasies about why the lost the battle of Bosnia

hannodb Author Profile Page:

The trouble is that the international political system still rely on the outdated imperial system of determining borders. The whole concept of "terratorial integraty" is an imperial one, and plays to big a role in the modern world.

In the imperial system, borders are determined by dominant powers and standing armies. Countries or empires are created and destroyed based purely on who has the most power. In this system, the citizens are there to serve the state, and the state is controled by a powerful elite.

In a just international system, states should exist to serve their people, not the other way around. If a state does not forfill that purpose to a majority in a certain region, that majority should have the right to form their own state.

The reason why the birth of states are associated with violence, is because, after 60 years of existance, the UN has still not come up with a peaceful mechanism for creating new states. The whole issue is dealt with irrasionally: Terratorial integraty is treated like an absolute right of the state, while ethnicity is blamed for the violence. Ethnicity can not be wished away: It defines people's identity. Even those liberals who believe they have none, have an ethnic identity. It defines your culture, language, religion, heritage and values. Peace is only possible when states learn to accomodate ethnic differences to their satisfaction. If states can no longer rely on international support for their terratorial integraty, then they might do more to accomodate the needs of all their citizens.

jpca Author Profile Page:

Surely you meant to write secession, not cessation...

gutta Author Profile Page:

The great powers are the artisans of their own misfortune. If the victorious allies of WWI had created a Kurdish State, we would not have to deal with the problem today. If they had given self-determination to the 3.5 million Germans of Bohemia and Moravia, as proposed by the American Delegation under Harvard Professor Archibald Cary Coolidge (and opposed by Clemenceau), the tensions that led to the Munich Agreement of 1938 would not have emerged, if at Dayton we had given the Bosnian Serbs their State, we would not be reading this article. Alas, our politicians practise international law à la carte. We propose the absurdity that whereas it is possible for Kosovo to break off from Serbia, it is not possible for the Kosovo Serbs to break off from Kosovo. What kind of weird logic is this?

mccurrym Author Profile Page:

Who cares? Let'em all kill each other.

cygnussx1 Author Profile Page:

So why do Croats in Bosnia want to leave the union?
Because everything is perfect for them and they are just irrational?

http://www.javno.com/en/croatia/clanak.php?id=199153

LoisLane08 Author Profile Page:

The Bosnian Serbs claim to have a right to form their own (ethnically cleansed and pure) state is refuted by the fact that they engaged in ethnic cleansing, genocide, mass murder, rape, ghastly tortures and mutilations, concentration camps, sieges, wiping out towns and villages, destruction of historic and cultural artifacts and buildings, destruction of libraries, hospitals, and schools etc. The leaders in EU and US need to understand that RS today only exists because its former inhabitants are either dispersed all over Bosnia or this globe, or are dead and buried right were Serbs have taken up residence now.
RS's existance is based on one and only one reason, namely ultra-nationalism and the idea of the creation of greater Serbia, genocide and ethnic cleansing of anyone who is non-Serb, all due to the
false idea that Serbs are somehow the world’s most tragic character and fate served them some major bad cards so that for no apparent reason their immediate neighbors hate and oppress them, and other Western nations want to punish them.
Now the claim that let it be there since it’s done and it exists, and excusing the most heinous and sadistic crimes that Europe has seen sine the holocaust and WWII,
based on some imagined Serbian perpetual historic victim idea is unacceptable. It is very simple, RS needs and has to be removed because it awards and validates genocide and ethnic cleansing (and all the before mentioned). Its leaders, such as Dodik are continuing the legacy of nationalist/Cetnik ideology Milosevic, Karadzic and Mladic engaged in. It leaves a black mark in Europe that for the sake of democratic and human justice ideals (all the ideals that the modern and progressive world is built upon)needs to be removed and replaced by a system that does not enforce ethnic and religious separation.

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

The so called "republika srpka" does not meet any of the requirements of an independent state and the fact that is 100% founded on the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the non-serb population that used to make up a very large part of the population of that territory in Bosnia before the war (take a look at the 1991 census) it can not be allowed to become a state by countries and people of a strong ethical standing that demands that crimes not be rewarded but instead should be punished. It is high time for the International Community and it's leading democratic nations to step up their efforts in Bosnia in order to work with sensible Bosnians (members of all three ethnic groups and other minorities) to bring about the fundamental changes in Bosnia's constitution that are necessary to make the country functional and prosperous gain, this will benefit all of the people living in Bosnia and the Balkan region as a whole.

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

In response to CygnussX1: We are going to write a new constitution (obviously Dayton is a nonfunctional monstrosity without equal in the world) that makes bosnia a functional state and you will see that both the Bosnian Serbs and the Bosnian Croats will want to stay in Bosnia and will be quite happy there. I mean, what is the hurry that the Bosnian Serbs are acting in to destroy Bosnia's territorial integrity (which by the way is guaranteed by international law since 1992 before the war even started)? Is there any reason for them to be pursuing this course? Are they being persecuted (a claim that is laughable but still could be looked at if there were any evidence to support it but there clearly isn't)? Is their culture, language, or religion being in any way threatened by anybody in Bosnia? The answer to all these rhetorical questions is NO. They have everything as individuals and as an ethnic group that they could want and more (one doesn't see many minorities claiming half a states territory as their exclusive property very often). Why would they want to leave Bosnia? If the only reason that they want to leave is to form a purely serbian state (RS is over 90% Serb after the genocide) then that reason is simply non-sensical. As I have stated earlier modern states (even the republic of Serbia which is an independent country bordering Bosnia and Herzegovina has large minorities in its Sandzak and Vojvodina regions) have sizable minorities and that is OK because there is such a thing as a democratic governmental system and civil rights to keep people of different beliefs and backgrounds working productively together in peace. The same argument can be made for the Bosnian Croats.
.

cygnussx1 Author Profile Page:

So one question for you Defender of Truth and Subrin, if Serbs and Croats don't want to live in Bosnia with only one central government and they refuse to leave... what are you going to do?

Subrin Author Profile Page:

Also, where is the creator/first president of rs? Oh, right The Hague, facing war crimes charges. Funny, if you ask me.

Subrin Author Profile Page:

@goaway41:
No country showed that it could exist in 1941. Nazi Germany had something to do with this.

Oh? Bosnian nationalism? Not the serbian nationalism, which wants rs to secede?(which the dayton peace agreement doesn't allow them to)

I guess it must be the Bosnians who are undoing 13 years worth of reforms in republika srpska. /sarcasm

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

When I said "your" in my previous statement I of course did not mean that it was anybodies particular stance, I simply used it to make a general point. As the statement goes, bosnia is quite big enough for everyone to reside and prosper in it, we are not crowded for space or resources provided that all people in bosnia see others as their neighbors and compatriots and not as the "other" that must be removed.

"Democracy and Justice for all the citizens of a prosperous, united, and indivisible BiH"

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

Regardless of how the situation is in the so called "republika srpska" it can never and will never change the fact that it was founded on genocide and ethnic cleansing. When a "republiks" founding fathers are Slobodan Milosevic (war criminal), Radovan Karadjic (war criminal), and Ratko Maldic (war criminal) and your heroes are people who murdered innocent unarmed civilians simply for the fact that the were different, and when July 10th (the day of the Srebrenica massacre) is a date to be celebrated and commemorated by your population then that "republik" is morally repugnant and can not call itself a "republik" it is simply a left over souvenir that marks death and destruction which should be discarded by morally upright nations and idividuals

goaway41 Author Profile Page:

Be that as it may, Yugoslavia showed that it could not exist in 1941, whereupon the German invasion sparked ethnic violence that has yet to be seen in Europe.

In the same way that Serb nationalism sparked the end of the Yugoslavia, current Bosnian nationalism is going to lead to the end of Bosnia.

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

As far as Bosniaks ruling over the Serbs or the Croats, that is simple a statement that keeps getting repeated over and over again and I'm left wondering how this could possibly be shown to be true considering that the vast majority of war crimes were committed by the Bosnian Serbs against the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Bosniaks (think of Srebrenica and the four year long siege of Sarajevo) and that a so called "republica srpska" which never existed before was created and covers 49% of Bosnia's territory while the Bosnian Serbs only make up 35% of the population of Bosnia, quite strange facts if one thinks that it is the Serbs who are supposedly being oppressed or "ruled over". If the serbs were ever being ruled over it must have been in the fertile and lavish serb imagination which just does not seem to be able to take any real facts into account.

Subrin Author Profile Page:

@goaway41:
People who don't want to be Bosnian/be a part of Bosnia can always leave. There's no law against that. And, if I recall correctly, Yugoslavia was far from a failure until the SERB ultra-nationalists started stirring up the pot in Kosovo.

goaway41 Author Profile Page:

@ DefenderOfTruth

Because of the fact that the South Slavic peoples have been infighting and murdering each other since before the Battle of Kosovo and the fact that the charges of genocide against the Serbian nation have yet to be proven at the ICTY so I will not discuss this. However, having spent some time in Bosnia's Serb half, I feel obliged to inform you of vast changes that have been made in the entity in the last 13 years.

The reality in Bosnia is that the majority of non-Serbs in the Serb Republic are much better off than Serbs in the neighboring Federation; umpteen times as many Muslims have returned to their pre-war homes in the Serb Republic than Serbs that have gone back to theirs in the Federation. This is due to laws that have been imposed by the international community on the Serb's side of Bosnia and that were not seen as needed in the Federation as the Serbs were purportedly the aggressors across the board. In addition to this, all wartime Serbian politicians have either been pushed or bought out of office or been sent to the Hague, while Muslim leaders, such as the current Haris Silajdzic (prime minister '93-'96), are the same people who were in charge in the 90s. This has led to much change in the Serb Republic, which has undeniably become the better half of Bosnia, more economically stable and safer for minorities. I believe that it speaks for itself that Muslims live just outside of the capital Banja Luka wearing burqas and freely going to mosque while outside of Sarajevo few Serbs comfortably admit their nationality.

The Federation is bankrupt and suffers from disagreement between the Croat and Muslim politicians as well as a poor governmental structure which is more prone to corruption than the Serb Republic's. Nevertheless, the Serb Republic would have been long gone had there been interest in doing away with it by the free world. With lower tax rates and other incentives for foreign investment, multi-national companies have very much to lose from the disassociation of the Serb Republic. I personally would find it ridiculous to destroy the entity as then the Serbs would have fought a bloody war for nothing. Admittedly, a similar case can be made for granting it independence. Bosnia has been a hot spot since time immemorial and removing the current status quo would anger either the Serbs or the Muslims and eventually lead to another conflict. The failed experiment of Yugoslavia showed that the South Slavic people are unable to live together so why must they live together in a united Bosnia?

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

If the serbs want to live in peace they can do so in Bosnia absolutely no one is stopping them from pursuing all their individual dreams and aspirations the way they could in any other country. Please give me any evidence to the contrary if you have it. This freedom to pursue ones dreams should be extended to all the people living in bosnia all over its territory, that is a modern democratic society should be build and the old ethnocentric society (the dream of Hitler and Milosevic) should be discarded. Just because there are differences of opinion on certain things does not mean that there has to be violence, the Bosnaiks (proper ethnic term for the old misnomer of Bosnian Muslims) do not want to protect or rule over any of the other ethnic groups in Bosnia we simple want a just and democratic society and a functional modern European country I think that those aspirations are justified and should be advanced by all the ethnic and religious groups living in Bosnia because that is the only way that the country will advance into a more prosperous future

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

Yeah that makes sense (sarcastically) genocide and ethnic cleansing does produce great results in stability, if one subgroup of the population doesn't like another subgroup maybe greater stability can be produced by committing genocide against the undesirable group in order to create greater harmony. I'm sure Hitler and Milosevic would also support this line of reasoning which is the main reason that it probably should not be used. Modern states depend on democracy and civil right creating stability in a society and not the murder of one or more "undesirable" groups from society.

cygnussx1 Author Profile Page:

"Defender of Truth" That is the same line that the hard line Bosnian Muslims use to stir the pot in Bosnia. Why do they want the Bosnian Muslims rule over Serbian people? Because they want to look after Serbian people's best interests, because they care about Serbian people and want to provide for them in a new state? I think not... In the 12 plus years since the Dayton Peace Accords the Croat population of the Bosnian-Croat Federation have been leaving Bosnia or at the least bemoaning the poor state of affairs for Croats in Bosnia. This is the Bosnian Muslims supposed ally that are facing serious discrimination and you want the Bosnian Muslims to rule over there sworn enemy? That is a recipe for disaster. Like the first comment said, give the Kurds Kurdistan, divide up the Balkans and Iraq. Forcing these warring factions to live together is just going to lead to more trouble down the road.

kohsar240 Author Profile Page:

Why are we afraid of cessation or partition? Always, partition or cessation produce great results in terms of stability, governance and justice for the disenfranchised. What would be wrong for Kurds to have their own Kurdistan? Many countries in the middle east that is unstable is precisely because of resistance or suppression of those discriminated against. Pakistan and Afghanistan is a great example of holding together artificially, which will remain unstable unless it was partition along ethnic lines. Kashmir is another nation without their state.

DefenderOfTruth Author Profile Page:

I completely agree with the fact that bosnia is in deep crisis. The problem is that the Dayton Peace Accord has in a sense rewarded the genocide and ethnic cleansing that was carried out by the Bosnian Serbs as they implemented Milosevic's and Karadjic's plans to create a "greater serbia". Their success at committing ethnic cleansing has been rewarded by the international community in 96 by basically giving the bosnian serbs their own mini-state which had been "cleansed" of its former non-serb residents. The fact that the main (but not only) aggressors got such a great reward from the international community has basically set in motion the serbs expectation that the international community will continue to bend over backwards in order to appease them, after all if you get rewarded for ethnic cleansing what kind of reward could you expect from politically calling for your own state? The problem with their reasoning is as follows: all modern nations have sizable minorities in them (take the US, France, and Russia as examples) and they maintain a functioning society by having a democratic system in place that protects all the citizens of the state and not just the members of a certain ethnic group and that is precisely what bosnia needs is that a functioning government is set up so that all people living in bosnia can feel themselves to be wanted by the state and protected by it. The so called "republika srpska" is a sham democracy in which only serbs are allowed to have real power and which continues to say to all the other people living in bosnia "hey we got our mini-state by having to do some hard work (i.e. ethnic cleansing and genocide) we should get to keep the reward indefinitely or if you others don't agree with us on that we can just go off and make our own ethnically pure state". It is important for the US as the leader of the free world to engage in Bosnia and to impose the dissociation of this blood stained "repulik" so that a functioning and modern political system can be set up that all the citizens in Bosnia wether they be Bosnian Croats, Bosnian Serbs, or Bosnian Bosniaks can benefit from. We must show the world that genocide and ethnic cleansing can not be the ways in which minority or majority groups pursue their goals of statehood in Europe in the 21st century.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.