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Explanations about differences in religion or language are not an explanation, only a description. During most of this period the quality of life of the various factions wasn't appreciably different, the resource availability was similar and the chances for expanding land holdings limited.
Not only have these groups been in a near constant state of antagonism, but they have managed to drag in neighboring states and even more distant ones time and again.
Let's assume that in the last cycle of violence the US was really motivated by humanitarian impulses. This is seen as an exception, so what did Austria or Turkey or Germany or Hungary get out of involvement in earlier conflicts? The small amount of territory and a fractious population doesn't seem much of a reason to get involved.
Attributing intervention to nationalist pride is just giving irrational behavior a label. The world is perfectly capable of doing nothing when the Tutsi and Hutu murder each other (happening again this week in Congo) so what's so different about the Balkans?
Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape
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