Bosnian refugees: sickening indifference of Western politicians

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The Independent Online
From The Rev Francis A. C. S. Bown

Sir: The misery of the refugees driven from the "safe areas" designated by the United Nations is the direct consequence of the failure of nerve by Western political leaders. They have shown themselves to be incapable of decisive action in the face of repeated opportunities to stand up to Bosnian Serb aggression.

The new President of France has now spoken words which will lift the spirits of those of us who are ashamed of the appeasement which has come from Downing Street and the Foreign Office. It is to be hoped that President Chirac's actions will match his words and that the West will rally to his leadership.

For there is no longer any doubt about the morality of the current situation. The world faces a crusade of evil. The Bosnian Serb regime is not just the enemy of the legitimate Bosnian government: it is the enemy of humanity.

There is now an overwhelming moral case for: (1) allowing the Bosnian government to have the means of self-defence; (2) using air power to hinder the Serb advance; and (3) using troops on the ground to enforce the safety of supply routes.

If we fail to act now, history will condemn us with that terrifying accusation: you knew, but you did nothing.


Francis Bown



14 July