LETTER: Not all Bosnian Serbs wish to negotiate a separate republic

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From Mr Daniel Wright

Sir: Zoltan Rae's criticism (letter, 4 September) of the Nato action in finally using force against the Bosnian Serbs is an indulgence in the kind of "short-termism" that has allowed this conflict to last as long as it has. Whatever one's opinion on the use of force it seems odd to sit back and allow one side to continually flex its strong arm to the ever-lasting detriment of others.

If, in striking against this force, the effect is to move the ethical boundaries in the former Yugoslavia, then so much the better. Their previous position was absurd, untenable and cruelly unfair to one side. To remove some of the outrageous threat of destruction held by the Bosnian Serbs seems an act of inexorable logic, given the previously unbalanced situation. The petulance, ability for self-denial and sheer audacity of the political and military leaders of the Bosnian Serbs needed desperately to be put in some sort of perspective before their belief in their own abilities spiralled even further out of control and led to further atrocities.

The most sensible way out of the situation now can only be peaceful talks. If this genuine chance of long-term peace required a shifting of the ethical boundaries, I salute it - why has it taken so long?


Daniel Wright

Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire