Letter: Bosnia: in a grand European tradition

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Sir: The lament has gone up that the war in Bosnia signals the end of European civilisation. On the contrary, what is lamentable is how true to type Europeans still are. I write on the anniversary of the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre that marked the beginning of the French wars of religion. What we are now witnessing is exactly as in the Peloponnesian war, fought then with swords and shields; as in the Hundred Years' War, fought with armour and archery; as in the Thirty Years' War, fought with muskets and artillery; as in the World Wars, fought with tanks and rockets . . .

This is Europe at its most typical: viciously aggressive, territorially acquisitive, motivated by intolerant beliefs and oppressive ideologies, underpinned by clever science and cunning technology which become more deadly by the day.

What is depressing about Bosnia is that Europeans are seen to be ending the 20th century in the way they began it, making it the most humanly destructive century in history. Plus ca change]

Yours sincerely,


Corpus Christi Priory


24 August