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Am I right in believing that the Sbreneca massacre was the defining moment in the whole conflict?  I recall a lot of neo-con scoffing that the EU could ever get its act together on anything and that it had even allowed a massacre to happen on its own doorstep.  

After that the EU determined to have a more pro-active and cohesive foreign policy (however misguided) and this is reflected in the proposed high Commissioner for external affairs post in the proposed new constitution.

EU policy has also been anti-serbian since that date - a policy which was easy enough to implement whilst Russia was weak.  There is no obvious self-interested reason why the EU should favour a small, Islamic, ethnic Albanian entity over a mid sized state with a strong European history and identity.

It is just possible that the EU thinks it is acting idealistically in this case.  Whether it is acting wisely is another matter.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 07:03:08 PM EST
And why has EU policy not become anti American after the Faluja massacres? An entire city of 350 000 people was ground to rubble : 60% of the buildings were damaged, 20% completely destroyed.

Between 700 000 and 1 million Iraqi dead caused by the US led invasion. But who wants to talk about Fallujah? Rupert Murdoch? European Parliament? RELEX?

Yet Srebrenica gets the lime light in our "free Western" media. I'm a BBC regular, and I find the number of articles on Srebrenica revealing of British foreign policy in the Balkans. Every year, the chorus starts in June, reaching a pitch in July - the anniversary of the Srebrenica massacres. And every year, 14 years after the event, Bosnian Muslims are reburying and reburying and reburying their dead. Of course, any opportunity to demonize the Serbs is good.

Here is an excellent example of the anti-Serb spin in Western media:
The Sunday Times, Nov. 3, 1996, Jon Swain
In several months of digging at mass graves in the macabre hinterland around Srebrenica, the investigators recovered far fewer bodies than they had expected. Of the thousands of men and boys from the UN safe area who were executed by Bosnian Serbs in July 1995, only a few hundred - less than 10% of the 7,000 Muslims missing - have been dug up.
The empty graves speak volumes about the conspiracy by Bosnian Serbs to cover up the massacre at Srebrenica... The more plausible theory is that bodies have been made to "disappear". As long as a year ago, American spy satellites first revealed evidence of tampering at several grave sites which, when later exhumed, yielded fewer corpses than expected.

Fantastic really. We went from 14 000 dead in Srebrenica at the height of the war, to 8 000 dead, to 7 000 dead to 1 500 bodies - mostly of adult males - were they fighters? Western media knows that most were underage women, dressed up to look like men before being raped then massacred and then « made to disappear ».

Through 1992 and 1993, Srebrenica was a safe haven for Bosnian Muslim and their Arab Mujahideen allies. Serbs in surrounding villages were constant targets of attacks coming from Srebrenica. Then came the offensive in July. There's no war without blood.

My point is this: Srebrenica wasn't the defining moment in EU politics. Srebrenica was seized by the Anglo (and German in this case) business elites as an event to (over)publicize Serb "brutality" and sell a war to pacifist European populations that would otherwise have not supported one - as was Racak in Kosovo.

by vladimir on Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 04:08:34 AM EST
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The short answer to your questions, VDR, is power.  The US has it, the Serbs, particularly with a much weakened Russia, don't.  Therefore, the US can get away with a lot the Serbs never could.

There was and is massive European opposition to the Iraq war.  Those few leaders who supported it - Berlusconi, Aznar, Blair have all gone, virtually hounded out of office.  But the Iraq war is America's war. Srebrenica happened on our doorstep.

European leaders, with far more European support, felt that they were responsible for doing something about it.  The fact that they didn't was an affront to the EU pretensions to be a world power governed by more civilised values than you know who...

I don't doubt the anti-Serbian bias in much of the media coverage.  Serbia exposed the EU for the toothless tiger that it is.  But it still doesn't make sense for the EU to favour a relatively very small ethnic Albanian and Islamic population over a significant European state like Serbia unless there are other issues at play.

Yes, massacres like that at Srebrenica happen in war, but they haven't happened in Europe since the Second World War.  The EU's founding ideology is based on a determination not to let that happen again.

Srebrenica therefore challenged the whole raison d'etre of what the EU is about.  If the EU cannot stop a relatively minor regional war on its doorstep, then what use is the EU as guarantor that war will never again be permitted in Europe?

The EU had to deal with Serbia or be laughed into irrelevancy.  Serbia was a threat to the legitimacy and survival of the European Ideal and the elite who's fortunes are tied to it.

You can massacre millions in Rwanda or Kampuchea and nothing is done about it because major elites are not threatened by it.  Massacre a few thousand in the U.S. or Europe and you will bear the full force of Superpower retaliation.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 05:28:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your analysis is spot on Frank.
by vladimir on Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 06:47:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 06:54:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I posted a complete reply on a new thread:
by vladimir on Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 06:50:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you read the diary I put up a few weeks ago specifically to stimulate this kind of debate on this?

From my impressions calling Srebrenica only a "safe haven" after 1993 is the understatement of the year. It was a geographical cul-de-sac where people's survival was dependent on food droppings, the coinage used was cigarettes and with Serbian forces at the doorstep preventing any migration away from the enclave.

Can you also provide some evidence that, in 2007, 11 years later after your quoted newspaper clip, that body count is still stuck at 1500 bodies?

I agree with you that the Srebrenica massacre was too late a rallying point for the west against Balkan brutalities.

by Nomad (Bjinse) on Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 07:10:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apologies Nomad - I am only a member here for a couple of weeks

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 07:20:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was not my intent to make people feel guilty of neglecting diaries in the maelstrom that is ET; I'm sorry if I did! I just wanted to have a pointer to it. Upstate NY above is, I think, quoting from his valuable responses to that diary. Link here.
by Nomad (Bjinse) on Tue Dec 11th, 2007 at 07:43:37 AM EST
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