Letter: Why Britain should be involved in action against Serbian tyranny

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Sir: John Turkie (letter, 2 January) misleadingly states that 'the majority of Serbs fighting the multi-ethnic Bosnian government are not Bosnian at all . . .' Comparatively few irregular forces from Serbia proper serve with Bosnian Serbs. This has been confirmed by UN and other intelligence reports.

On the other hand, it is also a well-established fact that tens of thousands of Croatian army personnel are operating in the civil war in Bosnia. To a lesser, but steadily increasing extent, imported mujahedin have joined their 'holy war' against Christian Orthodoxy.

The composition of Bosnia's collective government reflects an enduring interest in a multi-ethnic society. Nevertheless, Alija Izetbegovic, the Bosnian Muslim leader, has long insisted in his 'Islamic Declaration' (first published in 1970 and reissued in 1990) that

Islamic values and institutions must, as soon as they are morally and numerically strong enough, replace those of Western pluralism, including the federal structures and procedures of the former Yugoslavia.

Hence, it is hypocrisy to depict the Serbs as standing for extreme nationalism and the ubiquitous 'President' of Bosnia as standing for multi-culturalism. The facts are exactly the reverse. It is symbolic of this, and of Mr Turkie's failure to see the facts in their proper perspective, that Radovan Karadzic happens to be Montenegrin. This bears no significance to his status as 'leader of the Bosnian Serbs'.

Tragically, the case for multi- culturalism stood or fell with the federation of former Yugoslavia. When that was deliberately destroyed, so, too, were the prospects for power-sharing in Bosnia.

Yours faithfully,


Headington, Oxfordshire

3 January