Letter: Need for immediate action in Bosnia - and the risks

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The Independent Online
Sir: 'What is Act Two? What is Act Three?', William Perry, the Defense Secretary of the United States asked recently, referring to 'Act One of a new melodrama', meaning the air strikes to punish the Serbs of Bosnia. The obvious scenario is a wide radicalisation of the Serbian population in Bosnia, as well as in Croatia and Serbia. No Westerner shall feel safe faced with the wounded pride of the Serbs.

The humanitarian aid will virtually cease, not because the Serbs will start retaliating against soft UN trucks, but because all other sides will feel free to hunt them, providing that the Serbs are blamed for everything anyway. The bombs dropped by the West will fall as music to the ears of the Bosnian government; that is precisely what they have been praying for over the last two years. That action will more than certainly discourage them from negotiating.

The Serbs have already threatened that any bomb aimed at them will mean an immediate abandonment of the negotiating process. Rather than stopping the war, the bombing (punishing) of the Serbs will start a new, disastrous wave of killing on the killing fields of Bosnia, as if the unfortunate people did not have enough of tragedy.

Yours faithfully,


London, W1

8 February