LETTER : London conference on Bosnia: undefined aims in an old game

From Mr George Tintor

Sir: The articles by Zbigniew Brzezinski and David Howell (21 July) calling on the West to support the Bosnian Muslims ignore one important fact. The Bosnian Muslims, not the Serbs, have initiated nearly all the recent fighting in Bosnia - including major offensives near Tuzla, Travnik and Sarajevo and attacks on Serb villages near Srebrenica.

Pouring arms into Bosnia and dropping bombs on the Serbs will not resolve the political dispute in Bosnia. It will only encourage the Bosnian Muslims to continue their offensives - leading to more war, more civilian deaths, more refugees and more destruction of cultural monuments.

From the start, the Bosnian Muslim ruling clique has attempted to draw Western forces into the conflict in order to help it achieve its goal of creating a Muslim-ruled Bosnia. There is no reason - other than to appease Germany and the Islamic World - why Bosnia's Serbs should submit to rule by those who have persecuted them in the past and are committed to their destruction.

It must-be recognized that there are four constituent groups in Bosnia: the Croats, the Muslims led by Alija Izetbegovic, the Muslims led by Fikret Abdic (in Bihac) and the Serbs. The Western goal should be to ensure that a mutually-acceptable constitutional package is agreed upon. The way to achieve this is to pressure all parties in Bosnia to negotiate directly with each other on equal terms.

Yours faithfully,

George Tintor

London, EC3

21 July