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Dust in Our Eyes (1 Viewer)


Sep 23, 2005
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I would like to make a quote and give credit to reporter and author Peter Maass. I will be directly citing some work from his book, "Love Thy Neighbor." Bosnia is a special place to me since I served in this part of the world when I was on active duty with the Army. I learned alot about human nature and the darkness of governments while I was in Bosnia. Here are some quotations from his book:

"The truth, more complex than appearances, is that they are similar, underneath their contrasting garments, like a millionaire and a beggar. There is much virtue to be found in Sarajevo, even beauty, and much vileness in Geneva, even evil. All of this dawned on me when I turned down further assignments in Bosnia and was dispatched to Geneva, where, instead of soldiers tearing Bosnia apart, diplomats were doing the same thing. These diplomats were not Serbian or Croatian but American and British and French, and instead of preventing a crime, they acted as accomplices. The men with pens were every bit as fascinating and repulsive as the men with guns."

Here is another quote:

"Izetbegovic's (he is the leader of Bosnia's Muslims) greatest defect was his naivete. While Serbs and Croats were obtaining weapons and organizing themselves for war, Izetbegovic was calling for peace and trying to keep Yugoslavia together. His effort to prevent the Yugoslav breakup undercuts, yet again, the Serbo-Croat contention that he always wanted to set up an 'Islamic State' in Bosnia. When the Yugoslav National Army (JNA) ordered the disbanding, in January 1991, of all Territorial Defense units (similar to the US National Guard), Izetbegovic fully complied, despite the objections of some of his supporters. Izetbegovic had been duped, while the JNA, whose officer corps was dominated by Serbs, disarmed Territorial Defense units in areas of Bosnia inhabited largely by Muslims, it secretly supplied more weapons to units in areas inhabitied largely by Serbs."

Here is another passage:

"I want to explain that President Clinton threw dust in our eyes by saying, for example, that he had tried hard to get our allies to agree to lift the arms embargo against the Bosnians and carry out air strikes against the Serbs, but in fact he hardly tried. He sent Warren Christopher on a famous trip to Europe in May 1993, but Christopher did not argue or cajole when he stopped in Paris, London and Moscow, he merely listened and nodded his head, and then returned to Washington to say that, despite his supreme offorts, our European allies refused to budge, so the embargo would, regrettably, stay in place, and the F-16s would, regrettably, stay in their hangars. President Clinton passed on the message to the country.

Names, dates, places, quotes.

It was easy to blame the West Europeans, for they were, indeed, the firmest apostles of appeasement. Just as David Owen did the dirty work for British Prime Minister Majo and French President Mitterand, Major and Mitterand were doing the dirty work for Clinton. This was helpful. Clinton could criticize the Europeans obliquely, and his aides could criticize them directly, but he never stood in their way, he implicitly encouraged them and let them take a well deserved beating for being appeasers.

Dust in our eyes. Bill Clinton wanted us to forget about Bosnia, to write it off as an infinitely complex place in which nothing was as simple as it might seem, only the high priests of politics could figure it out, for the war was a matter of tribal rivalries and those Balkan people 'have been fighting each other for centuries," blah blah blah. This was rubbish, and Clinton knew it. What people on this planet have not been fighting each other for centuries? Not the French and Germans, not the British and French, not the Koreans and Japanese, and not, for that matter, the citizens of the United States; if you consider the Civil War and the war against Native Americans and perhaps toss in the recent riots in Los Angeles and Liberty City, not to mention Harlem or Watts or the startling murder rate in Washington DC, Americans have been fighting ONE ANOTHER for centuries. The point is this: if you can understand the intricacies of a draw play in football or the wild card play off system, as most Americans can, then you can understand Bosnia. Beginners might need fifteen or twenty minutes of instruction to grasp the basics of either subject. Unfortunately, most Americans got two minute television stories or six hundred word newspaper articles that created more confusion than comprehension - on the one hand this, on the other hand that - and influential government officials, with their evasions and contradictions, made things cloudier, intentionally. In essence, Americans never had the chance to learn the rules of the game, and they were told by their government not to bother, beacuse the game was too complex for ordinary mortals to understand.

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