Thanks responsible Muslims: Despite the prominent role of U.S. in ending the ethnic cleaning of Muslims by ending the Bosnian war, who suffered 9/11?
The following quote from today's The Wall Street Journal Online about the Bosnian war and the ethnic cleaning of Muslims and Croats during Yugoslavia's bloody breakup in the 1990s notes one of the real ironies of the Bosnian war. We were the good guys, but what thanks do we get. Ultimately, 9/ll.
[T]he ideological and paramilitary campaign against Muslims led by Messrs. [Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb leader who led the siege of Sarajevo and is accused of genocide for the 1995 massacre of more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica], [Slobodan] Milosevic [, the former president of Serbia, was put on trial for war crimes in 2002 but died before a verdict was reached,] and [Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serbs' paramilitary commander who is still at large,] fueled a sense of outrage in the Islamic world that helped Mr. bin Laden -- despite the prominent role played by the U.S. in ending the Bosnian war. In the 1990s, counterterrorism officials were able to track the movement of veterans of the Afghan fight against the Soviet Union to Bosnia, Chechnya, Algeria and elsewhere, in what would eventually emerge as the international ideological constituency for al Qaeda. And yet, it was historical outrage -- at perceived age-old injustices against the Serbs -- that Mr. Karadzic employed to justify the war crimes committed in Bosnia.
I have to admit having had real reservations about America getting into this Eastern European conflict, regardless of how bad and atrocious it was as we were reminded each night during the evening news. The reason was personal knowledge of how the Serbs and Croats hate each other. It is inbred; is has been there for centuries and will be there for centuries to come.
This no doubt contributed to the nearly 3 1/2 year wait before the U.S. under President Clinton's leadership and Europe decided to intervene.
Their hatred for each other is not unlike that of the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds in Iraq, and was a big part of why Dick Cheney (prior to become Vice President and a neoconservative in his Bush II days) said during the mid-1990s that it would have been a mistake to have gone to Baghdad while he was part of the Bush I team, and also accurately predicted what would follow if we had and later did. Private citizen Cheney then said:
[T]he history of this region of the world and our own intelligence convinced us that as bad as Suddam was, his not being there would probably be worse. Without question the whole area could be rendered less stable, and just as surely civil war between the Shiites, Sunni and the Kurds would erupt, with more fighting and bloodshed than the liberation of Kuwait had involved.
The above quote is from 8-14-07 post, and if you have not seen it, you are missing something. It includes the YouTube link to Mr. Cheney saying in 1994 that having gone to Baghdad would have created a quagmire.
Maybe the capture of Karadzic and his being turned over to the International Criminal Court in the Hague will help Serbia put its past behind it. Maybe peace will come in Iraq and contribute to there being stability in the Middle East. I hope so on both counts.