Bosnian Serbs flee multi-ethnic cleansing

Left rejoices at Nato led Serb retreat

FOR ALL those who believe that the war in Bosnia is purely the result of ‘Serbian aggression’, or even ‘Serbian fascism’, the events of the last couple of weeks must have seemed too good to be true.

Bosnian Serb forces have been well and truly routed, with Muslim-Croat armies seizing key towns in central and western Bosnia - including the ‘rebel’ stronghold of Sanksi Most. Over 50,000 Bosnian Serb civilians fled in terror.

Bosiljko Misetic, a Croatian minister, announced on state television that the current offensive would seek the conquest of the whole of Serb-held western Bosnia: “It is absolutely in the interests of Croatia that the Banja Luka area becomes a part of the Bosnian federation.”

In their struggle against ‘Greater Serbia’ the Croatian forces have taken Drvar and Sipovo, even though Croats have never lived there. Indeed, Drvar was 97% Serb before the war. The entire Serb population has fled the Muslim held town of Donji Vakuf. Kpcic, a village to the south of Donji Vakuf, had been razed to the ground by the victorious Muslim forces a few days earlier.

A clear case of ‘ethnic cleansing’, which any leftwing group would automatically denounce. Then again, perhaps not ...

For instance the paper Workers Power has issued a ‘Central Committee Statement’ (September 5) which excitedly proclaims, “Victory to the [Bosnian government forces] in their struggle to regain the lands stolen by the ethnic cleansers!” Euphorically it continues in this militaristic vein: “Send heavy artillery, tanks and planes to the [Bosnian government] army with no conditions!”

The logical conclusion to draw from this is that the ‘revolutionary communist’ Workers Power fully supports the UN/US/Nato attacks on Bosnian Serb positions, which are defending ‘multi-ethnic’ Bosnia from the “genocidal onslaught” of the Serbs.

No. Workers Power denounces the bombing because “strategically it is reactionary, leading to an end to the struggle for liberation”. For good measure though it condemns “the reactionary nationalist politics” of the Bosnian government, while supporting their “just war of self-defence.”

However if you are looking for a non-convoluted defence of ‘ethnic cleansing’ and nationalist/chauvinist slaughter, look no further than Socialist Outlook. Vilely it states, “We therefore recognise the right of the Croatian government to reintegrate the Krajina region into Croatia” (September 9), thus legitimising the biggest single act of ethnic cleansing during the war. More a national socialist outlook than a revolutionary socialist outlook.

We must recognise the right of all peoples to determine their own future, including the right of the Bosnia Serbs to merge with Serbia if they so with.

Eddie Ford