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BOSNEWS digest 487 - 02/12/95

From: Nermin Zukic <>

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

From:  Nermin Zukic <>

BOSNEWS Digest 487





    An ABC poll released today indicates that popular disapproval of the Clinton Administration's handling of Bosnia policy is increasing. According to the poll, on Wednesday 50% of the public disapproved of the President's policy. Only 40% supported it. On Monday, 44% had disapproved and 43% approved. Opposition to sending U.S. troops to Bosnia increased from 57% on Monday to 58% on Wednesday.

    Approximately 200 NATO logistics troops are expected to arrive Saturday in Bosnia and Croatia. They would soon be followed by as many as 2500 more troops, including several hundred Americans. In all, the U.S. plans to deploy 32,000 U.S. troops to the region, with 20,000 in Bosnia, 5,000 in Croatia, and 7,000 supply support troops in surrounding countries, primarily Italy and Hungary.

    Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole announced today that, following today's Senate hearings on the troop deployment, the Administration's commitment to arm and train the Bosnian Army remains "vague and confused" and raises "a serious question as to whether the safe and honorable withdrawal of U.S. forces at the completion of their mission can be assured." Dole called on the Administration to present without delay a credible exit strategy and a concrete plan to ensure that Bosnia would be able to defend itself when U.S. forces complete their mission. Dole is developing a resolution in the Senate that will require such a plan as a condition for supporting the deployment.


    It may be old news to some of us that Milosevic was planning the ethnic cleansing of both Croatia and Bosnia since well before the war broke out, but great swathes of the "international community" still think it was the Slovenes, Croats and Bosnians who broke up the Yugoslav Federation.

    However next time anyone tells you that fairy story, you can direct them to Borislav Jovic's memoirs. Slobodan Milosevic's former sidekick Jovic, and Federal President of Yugoslavia from 1989 to 1991, claims in his memoirs that the plot between Milosevic and army leaders like Kadijevic to dismember Yugoslavia and bring all of the Serb-populated zones of Bosnia and Croatia into a Greater Serbia, had been hatched even before 1990, the year of multi-party elections in Croatia and BiH. He quotes specific conversations with Milosevic and Kadijevic and others to that effect. Students of the conspiracy theory of history will recall that the outlines of the ethnic cleansing programme were allegedly drawn up in a document variously entitled Operation Ram, Rama or Brana, during the nineteen-eighties, e.g. Vladimir Srebrov (interviews 1995,) articles in Delo (Jan.1993) and elsewhere. There is a detailed report on the Jovic memoirs in this week's "Feral Tribune" (Nov. 26), in which columnist Milan Gavrovic wonders why Jovic is choosing the post-Dayton weeks to try and launch his diaries. Gavrovic tells us that the book was withdrawn from sale almost as soon as it hit the book kiosks, but the "Feral" went to press too early to make the connection between Jovic's revelations and his expulsion from Milosevic's ruling party later in the week.

    Not many of the real diplomatic operators can be deceived any longer about responsiblity for the break-up of Yugoslavia, either, if the views of Victor Jackovich are at all typical. Though he may be stating the obvious, the new American ambassador to Slovenia after being US Ambassador to Sarajevo to the spring of 1995, shows that the State Department has at last accepted the facts when he says*, in an interview in the Ljubljana weekly "Nedelja" (26 Nov. 1995), that the first to break away from the former Yugoslavia had actually been Serbia -- fairly natural as it was the key republic in the Federation, not perhaps because of the number of inhabitants but because it was the dominant nationality. Serbia decided to push through its own drive for secession with a new and different basis for Yugoslavia;those republics which did not resist would remain in it, but the others would have to be cut out. In his opinion, the breakup of Yugoslavia was triggered by the Serbian desire for complete dominance in the reshaped state. Because of flawed thinking in the US, hesays, there was a failure to understand many of the events in Belgrade, such as how part of the Federal apparatus came to be taken over by a single republic .... which he does not name.

    Maybe there are still grounds for hoping that eventually Milosevic and his cronies on the General Staff will one day be properly fingered. _____

    *Comments translated from Slovene.

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