Nato tells the Serbs: ‘Gotcha!’

THE BIGGEST combat operation in Nato’s history was unleashed last week against the Bosnian Serb forces. The assault resumed again this week, with further Nato air-strikes against Bosnian Serb positions around Sarajevo.

The US assistant secretary of state Richard Holbrooke was not afraid to state the obvious. He announced that “the air strikes have strengthened our hand”, adding for good measure that the Nato assault “was overdue and fully justified”.

This would appear to be a successful strategy for US imperialism. The military actions so far appear to have caused a serious rift between the military and political wings of the Bosnian Serb leadership. Radovan Karadzic has strongly hinted that he would accept a US-sponsored ‘peace’ plan, while Ratko Mladic - the military leader - has defiantly said: “The more they bombard us, the stronger we are”.   

President of Serbia Slobodan Milosevic is also piling up the pressure on the Bosnian Serb leadership. He recently announced that he would personally lead the Serbian negotiating team to US-sponsored ‘peace’ talks in Geneva on Friday.

Unsurprisingly, the Nato offensive has been greeted with militaristic delight. The entire bourgeois press has lined up squarely behind the Nato warplanes, its columns littered with the unpleasant ramblings of armchair generals.

It is even possible that the Nato strikes might mollify some sections of the ‘revolutionary’ left. In June the Trotskyite Workers Power was moaning, “Up to now, the Nato attacks have, in essence, been cosmetic jobs”, which were not aimed “at defeating Serbian forces”. Perhaps the Nato generals have taken notice of this devastating ‘revolutionary communist’ criticism and decided to do a ‘proper job’ this time. No doubt the fanatically anti-Serbian and pro-Bosnian Workers Press will claim the bombing is a cover for imperialism’s support for the Serbs.

Eddie Ford