LETTER: Europe's Balkan failure

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The Independent Online
AS A regular reader I was surprised at your leader on Bosnia, ("Bloody mark of failure",) and at the confused ramblings of Robert Fisk ("Why we mustn't accept quick-fix solution", both 3 September), neither of which seemed to support Nato air strikes. Fisk wonders: "How many people will be proud to call themselves good Europeans?" in the event of the American Peace Plan going through.

The fact is that Europe has lost all moral authority and credibility in the Balkans, and already there are many who are not too proud of being European. No doubt Bosnian Muslims will ponder long and hard at what it means to be a European Muslim. As for the Americans, they are no saints but at least they have acted. The air strikes may have more to do with a presidential campaign than moral considerations, but this action is better than playing with words which European politicians prefer.

We have been told that "ethnic cleansing" must not be tolerated. Meanwhile the Serbs have taken what land they needed and the Croatians reclaimed the land they needed. The West may not want to get bogged down in the Balkans, but at least Bosnian citizens should have been allowed to arm themselves.

Dr Mohammed Iqbal

Bradford, W. Yorks