Bosnia: bombing for peace

NATO FORCES upped the ante on Sunday night, firing 13 sea-launched cruise missiles against the Serbian air defence system around Banja Luka.

Unrelentless bombing continues as Nato demands that Mladic pulls his weaponry 12 miles away from Sarajevo.

The Nato bombing is clearly part and parcel of the US-driven ‘peace’ process. Richard Holbrooke, the US assistant secretary of state, recently summed up the American position with brutal frankness: “If the bombing affects the peace negotiations, so be it.”

This military escalation represents a major shift in imperialist policy. To use the jargon of the UN militarists, we are moving from the doctrine of ‘peace keeping’ to that of ‘peace enforcement’.

The talks in Geneva on Friday cleared the way for a division of Bosnian territory between the Serbs and the Sarejevo regime on the basis that Bosnia is already divided into two “entities” - the federation established between the Croat and muslim controlled areas, and the Serbian Republika Srpska.

However, the Geneva agreement advocates that Bosnia should retain “its legal existence with its present borders and continuing international recognition”. In other words, the right of the Bosnian Serbs to determine their own future is effectively denied by the new deal. Apparently this does not bother The Guardian, which advocates that the Geneva agreement “should also make it impossible for the Bosnian Serbs to join formally with the Serbian republic” (September 9).

The September issue of the Trotskyite Workers Power goes even further. Generously, it reassures the Bosnian Serbs, “All unbiased accounts suggest that [Bosnian government] forces have not engaged systematically in ethnic cleansing” (my emphasis).

Workers Power brushes aside the fact that the Bosnian government is being armed by the US: “But they are not being supplied with heavy artillery and tanks.”

 Workers Power is not opposed to imperialist rifles and guns - they are OK. But it does not like imperialist tanks - they are bad. This is a novel interpretation of revolutionary communist internationalism.          

All the peoples of this area must be free to determine their own future, in a truly democratic manner.

Eddie Ford