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BosNet Diegst V5 #35 / Jan. 23, 1996

From: Nermin Zukic <n6zukic@SMS.BUSINESS.UWO.CA>

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

CONTENTS

  • [01] BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: "Clinton"

  • [02] SERBIA-MONTENEGRO: "Clinton's Successful Peace Mission In The Balkans"

  • [03] SLOVENIA: "Clinton's Pre-Election Poker In Bosnia-Herzegovina"

  • [04] "Bitter Europe"

  • [05] GERMANY: "Clinton, U.S. Soldiers: Picture Of Historic Significance"

  • [06] "A Visit At The Right Time"

  • [07] BRITAIN: "Deliver Those Accused Of Ethnic Cleansing"

  • [08] FRANCE: "Opening Of Presidential Campaign"

  • [09] "Clinton Could Cash In Bosnia Dividends"

  • [10] ITALY: "Visit A Disappointment To Dayton Supporters"

  • [11] "U.S. Election Campaign Trail Begins In Tuzla"

  • [12] RUSSIA: "Pompous Visit"

  • [13] HUNGARY: "Disappointment?"

  • [14] POLAND: "Mostar Under Arbitration"

  • [15] SPAIN: "Very Positive Visit For Europe"

  • [16] "For Domestic Electoral Consumption"

  • [17] PHILIPPINES: "Hunting Season"

  • [18] SOUTH KOREA: "More Trouble Than It Was Worth?"

  • [19] THAILAND: "Clinton Begins To Campaign"


  • [01] BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: "Clinton"

    Independent Oslobodjenje (1/13) ran Vlastimir Mijovic's comment that "for us it would be much better if the American president never heard of us, or even more, never decided to visit our distant country. The anonymity would suit us much better than the aggression and the war tragedies that brought our country to the attention of the world and media....

    "By visiting our country today, President Clinton--besides emphasizing the international importance of our country--clearly demonstrated the intention of the United States to fulfill its commitment and the guarantees it has given for the implementation of the Dayton peace accord. The citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina are certainly pleased with the visit of this high official and most certainly his fellow citizens, American soldiers in IFOR, share that feeling."

    [02] SERBIA-MONTENEGRO: "Clinton's Successful Peace Mission In The Balkans"

    Major, pro-government Politika (1/15) published this editorial by Editor-in-Chief Hadzi Dragan Antic: "President Clinton's visit to the U.S. soldiers in Bosnia (categorized for security reasons as a 'high risk' one) has additionally strengthened the conviction that peace in the Balkans and in Europe is quite important for both President Clinton and the United States.

    "During his Balkan visit, President Clinton spoke about the conflict between the Serbs, the Muslims and the Croats, concluding that this was the conflict between 'those who want peace and those who want war.'

    "The most important thing for the citizens of Republic Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation, i.e., Bosnia as a whole, is the fact that the U.S. president treated all the entities equallly in Tuzla. President Clinton met with the Bosnian Serb delegation...which proves in its own right that in the future all three parties would be treated equally, both by the United States and the international community."

    [03] SLOVENIA: "Clinton's Pre-Election Poker In Bosnia-Herzegovina"

    Left-of-center, independent Dnevnik (1/13) featured this commentary by Maroje Mihovilovic under the headline above: "For Clinton, it is important to be seen among the American soldiers, and on the territory where there was much suffering which he now helps soothe. His trip is promotional rather than political. He had used Bosnia for his pre-election purposes before. But--although this may not seem fair from the ethical point of view--it has been good for Bosnia: The war has ended, something has been done in the search for lasting peace.... Therefore, Clinton's visit is welcome regardless of his (real motives)." "Hello, Is That Slobodan Milosevic?"

    Dnevnik (1/16) featured a commentary by Maroje Mihovilovic: "During his trip...Bill Clinton did...something which the world hardly knows.... He called...Slobodan Milosevic." After summarizing the history of U.S.-Serbian relations and reaction in Serbia to the telephone call, the commentator concluded: "The Americans will have to listen to many a reproach that they have associated themselves with the Balkan executioner. But they will be able to excuse (the act) by stating that this has contributed to peace; that Serbia has had to give up most of its military goals whereas the United States has gained much. With Milosevic's help, (the United States) may even be able to oust Russia from this region and to (incorporate) the central Balkans into its military sphere of interest. Perhaps Serbia may, one way or another, join it sometime in the future."

    [04] "Bitter Europe"

    Right-of-center Slovenec (1/13) featured a commentary by Janez Povse: "The turning point in the Bosnian war did not appear before decisive U.S. intervention.... The statement that the United States has intervened in the Balkans only because of the coming presidential elections can often be heard.... Clinton has yielded to public opinion...which opposed the slaughter on the territory of former Yugoslavia.... The public opinion is based on humanity...rather than on rational political judgement.... Hence, Clinton's intervention in the Balkans is not controversial from the humanitarian point of view.... European leaders, on the other hand, did not follow the opinion of their people who demanded actions in Bosnia.

    "The fact that American politics--unlike European--followed public opinion can be explained by the fact that public opinion is much more influential in the United States.... The bitter remark that the United States intervened in the Balkans only because of the coming elections is typically European and means that that part of Europe, which would never take the decisive step toward peace in former Yugoslavia, will try to preserve the old relations and policies...so that the question of Europe's guilt in the affair will not have to be raised."

    EUROPE

    [05] GERMANY: "Clinton, U.S. Soldiers: Picture Of Historic Significance"

    Fritz Wirth wrote this editorial for right-of-center weekly Welt am Sonntag of Hamburg (1/14), "Clinton among cheering American soldiers in Bosnia...is a picture of historic significance.... The American president's visit to the front proves what a dramatic change has taken place. Clinton has changed from a skeptical isolationist into a harbinger of peace. And those with an even better memory will realize that the former conscientious objector Bill Clinton, who almost stumbled over this image four years ago, has become a competent and almost keen commander-in-chief of the American armed forces....

    "By making this trip, Clinton has begun the election campaign.... While his Republican challengers wear one another down and attack each other in the run-up to the elections, he offers the image of a caring buddy of his troops and a statesmanlike peacemaker. In other words, after winning the first plus points in the budget war at home, he is now cutting a good figure on the foreign policy front.... The state of the election campaign at this stage is thus clear: Clinton is the clear favorite. "This should not, however, tempt us to draw premature conclusions. It is not only the...Whitewater affair which could still cause incalculable damage. Even his trip to Bosnia is not entire free of risk. The possibility that his soldiers might get drawn into the quagmire of this civil war cannot be ruled out."

    [06] "A Visit At The Right Time"

    Jochen Siemens wrote in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (1/15), "Clinton's visit to the Balkans came at the right time. Even though the arrival and deployment of the implementation force in Bosnia and Croatia went according to plan, the prospects for the peace which the soldiers are supposed to preserve are anything but rosy.... The pictures and speeches were designed to boost morale among the troops, but were also aimed at the voters at home. The symbolism was targeted at the devastated country and its people. It underlines the international community's serious efforts to help. Clinton did not fail to make clear how far this help can go: It is a chance for peace. The international force cannot do any more. It is up to the Serbs, Croats and Muslims to use the opportunity."

    [07] BRITAIN: "Deliver Those Accused Of Ethnic Cleansing"

    An editorial in the conservative Daily Telegraph praised Secretary Perry's statement to the New York Times (1/16) that IFOR will provide security for investigators of human rights violations in Bosnia: "If such investigations cause most embarrassment to the Serbs, so be it.

    "They instigated the policy of ethnic cleansing and were its most assiduous practitioners. It should be part of the NATO mandate to assist not only with the assembling of evidence but also with the delivery of those accused of war crimes to the tribunal in The Hague. That this does not fall to IFOR points to a fundamental weakness in the Dayton agreement."

    [08] FRANCE: "Opening Of Presidential Campaign"

    An editorial in economic Les Echos said (1/15), "Clinton's trip to Bosnia opens a campaign during which (he) wants to show Republican isolationists in Congress that he knew how to manage the move into the post-Communist era and that the United States holds the keys of the world. But will voters judge him on these criteria?"

    [09] "Clinton Could Cash In Bosnia Dividends"

    Washington correspondent Sylvie Kauffmann filed for influential Le Monde's (1/14-15) edition, "Absent a serious incident, Clinton will be able to cash significant dividends from the Bosnia operation. He may well also help eliminate the international sense of confusion which followed the collapse of the Communist bloc. The U.S. involvement in Bosnia shows the outlines of the post-Cold War international order." "Why Clinton Sent Soldiers"

    In that same edition, Le Monde noted in its lead editorial (1/16), "He was said to be indecisive, with neither political sense nor international leadership. However, on Saturday January 13, he took his biggest risk. It required a good dose of political courage to send 20,000 GIs to Bosnia.... However, Clinton did it, for obvious reasons: NATO's future was at stake. What is the point of keeping 100,000 soldiers in Europe if they don't participate in peacekeeping operations in Bosnia? The predominance which the United States wants to maintain in NATO was also at stake.... But Clinton will have to wage war on another field--that of 'scandals' (Whitewater, etc.) And a few good TV pictures...in Tuzla might not be enough to erase the persistent doubts which voters have about the president's character."

    [10] ITALY: "Visit A Disappointment To Dayton Supporters"

    Elena Ragusin wrote in financial Il Sole-24 Ore (1/16), "What, according to reports, should have been a weekend entirely devoted to the visit in Bosnia, was limited to a few hours of transfers from one airport to another, interrupted by brief messages from the president to U.S. troops engaged in the IFOR mission and a meeting with Croatian President Tudjman.... Clinton used emphatic words, aimed only at strengthening his image in the United States in view of the next presidential elections. The expectations of those expecting from Clinton's mission to Bosnia a clear signal to those who want to boycott the Dayton agreement or challenge the IFOR mission were disappointed for the most part. In the meantime, however, the CIA is promoting an expanded 'intelligence' program in the former Yugoslavia in order to maintain close monitoring of the factions which oppose the peace accords."

    [11] "U.S. Election Campaign Trail Begins In Tuzla"

    Centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera held (1/16), "Clinton comes to the Balkans to regain the consensus which, amid scandals and disputes, is diminishing at home.

    "This is 'his' peace--Pax Americana. It is natural for the election campaign to begin in Tuzla, the headquarters of U.S. troops in Bosnia.... The first chief of state to visit Bosnia after the signature of the peace agreement, Clinton, vis-a-vis a public opinion divided on the need to involve U.S. troops, knows that his credibility is at stake in the Balkans at a time when tension is again on the rise and the future is uncertain."

    [12] RUSSIA: "Pompous Visit"

    Andrei Stakhov filed from Zagreb for reformist Segodnya (1/16), "The U.S. president's descent upon the Balkans...was so pompous that its political meaning barely made it through the thick atmosphere of the patriotism-soaked welcoming ceremony.... There was no substance behind the outward trappings of the visit." "Not A Chance To Learn Something New"

    Reformist, youth Komsomolskaya Pravda (1/16) said in a comment by Sergei Moshechkov and Sergei Ivanov, "The U.S. president hardly had a chance to learn or discuss anything basically new. He did not see the war-ravaged country or talk to people who had lost their homes and families. In Tuzla he expressed confidence in good prospects for the Croatian-Muslim federation, ignoring that the two subjects of this federation were locked in armed clashes only an hour's drive from where he was speaking."

    [13] HUNGARY: "Disappointment?"

    Conservative Magyar Nemzet opined (1/16), "People at Taszar spent their entire Saturday waiting for the U.S. president, although they knew that it was in vain: Bill Clinton only spent two hours in Hungary and he only visited the base. We think however that the American president should have walked for a few minutes on the main street of the village and should have shaken hands with the people living in Taszar.

    "It seems that by now the euphoria accompanying the arrival of the U.S. troops in the region is over; the American presence only means heavy traffic, noise, damage to the roads and to the houses and a number of car accidents.... If this trend continues the people of Taszar will eventually say that it was better to host the Russians. In order to avoid this from happening Americans are really trying to do something."

    [14] POLAND: "Mostar Under Arbitration"

    Leftist Trybuna opined (1/16), "Clinton visited Tuzla, and afterwards met with President Franjo Tudjman in Zagreb. Both men agreed on putting the Croatian-Muslim dispute under "American arbitration.... Earlier in Hungary, Clinton discussed the issue of NATO expansion to Central European countries. He said that Russia has no right to veto the issue, although both NATO and the United States are paying attention to Moscow's opinion."

    [15] SPAIN: "Very Positive Visit For Europe"

    An editorial in centrist Diario 16 held (1/16), "[Clinton's] trip is very positive for European politics and its commitments because it means the United States is tightening ties with both."

    [16] "For Domestic Electoral Consumption"

    Conservative ABC commented editorially (1/14), "Clinton was interested in stressing his position as commander of the U.S. troops and in mingling with them for domestic electoral consumption at a time when the polls show a loss of his landslide popularity of some weeks ago. A loss caused by the Whitewater scandal and the growing accusations against his wife Hillary. For the first time, the perspective of a clear victory in November begins to fade amidst the poll surveys which Clinton urgently has to turn in his favor."

    HONG KONG: "Clinton's Visit To Europe Is Like A 'Show'"

    The pro-PRC New Evening Post's (1/15) commentary column "Evening Talk" said, "If the peace in Bosnia breaks down, the American soldiers killed will be sent back to the United States in body bags. At that time, it will be much harder for Clinton to get re-elected."

    [17] PHILIPPINES: "Hunting Season"

    The independent Manila Times (1/16) remarked, "Tis the season for vote-hunting in the United States.... Clinton flew off to Bosnia to be photographed with U.S. troops.... Clinton never ventured out of the base.... But no doubt, being there with the troops meant some points for him from the U.S. television viewers."

    [18] SOUTH KOREA: "More Trouble Than It Was Worth?"

    Conservative Segye Ilbo noted (1/16), "The Bosnian press derided Clinton's visit for being so brief that he could not see much of what's really going on there. He broadcast his speech in Tuzla across the world, and this too is being derided as promoting his image as part of his re-election effort. Many local people were reported as saying that Clinton's visit created more trouble than it was worth."

    [19] THAILAND: "Clinton Begins To Campaign"

    Centrist Ban Muang's foreign news editor said in a piece (1/16) that was critical of the President's trip to Bosnia: "The visit is part of Clinton's political campaign for the upcoming presidential election.... Clinton has conducted a brutal military policy by attacking Serbian military strongholds with aircraft until the Serbs were badly bruised and Muslims and Croats siezed more than half of Bosnia, compelling the Serbs to go to the negotiating table in Dayton, Ohio."
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