Bob: thanks for the excellent report on the Balkans...it really helps put everything into perspective.
Interestingly enough, regarding the powder keg, there was a story in the local newspaper describing the current conditions in Sarajevo...which, after the Dayton Accord is supposed to be now at peace.
Not so! The inhabitants ("man in the street" interviewed by the German reporters) all live in fear of each other. One man described how he always ducks when crossing in front of his living room window for fear of a Croatian sniper. A muslim college student tells of being spit upon by fellow students of Serb descent. A woman office worker describes being mobbed by other workers of a different ethnic group.
All agree that if the peace keeping forces now in Sarajevo were to pull out, war would break out again...kinda like Beirut was for so many years.
So where does that leave us? After the collapse of Russia, the French and the Germans were adamant that it was time for the Yankees to go home...they would handle Europe.
But, everytime the sh*t hits the fan, who's out there in the front?...Uncle Sam. The "powers" in Europe love to posture and play big brother, until it comes time to put up or shut up.
I can see this Balkan thing lasting for years...yeah, we bomb Milosevic and his buddies out of power...but who takes over from him? We'll have to be there sitting on top of the pressure cooker alą Tito.
Maybe the t-shirt logo that came out during the Beirut crisis makes the most sense: "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out".
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