Let the Yugoslavs fight their civil war

August 25, 1995

The fact that the United States Congress voted for arming the Bosnian Muslim government should make "leftists" like Bob Lentell (THES, August 18) think that maybe Bosnia is not such a good cause.

We hear about defending Bosnian and Croatian "internationally accepted frontiers". The United Nations, bounced by Germany, did indeed recognise these borders. But what about Yugoslavia's internationally accepted frontiers? What about its integrity? How did it come to be broken up? The Croat and Bosnian Muslim governments and their foreign sponsors violated Yugoslavia's independence by breaking it up. Now they cynically invoke the principles of inviolable frontiers and sovereignty for its successor states.

The Bosnian and Croat governments are no more worth supporting than the most backward of Ulster loyalists, or the most feudal mujahidin in Afghanistan. Remember that in 1993 the Bosnian Muslims attacked Lasvanska's 200,000 Croats, trying to make all central Bosnia exclusively Muslim. And 265,000 Bosnian Serbs have been forced to flee Bosnia in the past two years. All those so impressed by Bosnia's "multicultural democracy" might care to reflect on these facts. And Croatia's president Tudjman invented the term and the practice of "ethnic cleansing" when he forced the Serbs out of Croatia.

Those who call for armed intervention to save Bosnia are warmongering. Those who want to arm the Bosnian Muslims would do better to sort out the problems in their own countries, rather than pretending that the crucial fight for justice is abroad.

We should insist that all external forces be pulled out. We do not need the US to intervene. All these outside forces only prolong the war. No arms should be sent to Bosnia. A civil war can only be settled by those who live in that country. It is not our war.

WILL PODMORE

Wilton Way

Dalston, London E8

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