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Yossef Bodansky: Some Call It Peace

SOME CALL IT PEACE

Waiting For War In The Balkans

(Author's Introduction)

The slide toward war in the former Yugoslavia seemed to have stopped and even reversed on November 21, 1995. The signing of the draft Accords of a "solution" in Dayton, Ohio, in the aftermath of three weeks of intense US-imposed negotiations, was presented as a turning point. Soon afterwards, on December 14,1995, the final version of these Accords was signed in Paris. With that, a deployment of a 60,000-man, NATO-dominated I-FOR (Implementation Force) began. A third of the force were US troops, and the US effectively exercised political control over it.

The validity, viability and legitimacy of the Dayton-Paris Accords as the cornerstone for a peaceful resolution of the bitter wars in Bosnia-Herzegovina is far from certain. Similarly, the ability of an increasingly US-dominated I-FOR -- even if it could be impartial -- to enforce a peace process should be assessed on the basis of the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the willingness of the local key players to accept the peace process. A closer examination of the dynamics in the former Yugoslavia since the Autumn of 1995 casts grave doubt on the logic behind, and viability of, the Dayton-Paris process.

Since late 1995, there has been a major polarization of the situation in the former Yugoslavia, and the Balkans as a whole. This trend is being aggravated by the active implementation of the Dayton-Paris Accords. Two distinct conflicts are unfolding separately but in parallel in Bosnia-Herzegovina. For both, the key point of friction is the collapse of the Muslim-Croat Federation invented and imposed by Washington. These two crises are:

  1. The Islamicization and radicalization of Bosnia-Herzegovina, including the consolidation of an Islamist terrorist infrastructure specifically aimed at I-FOR. The main objective of this process is to ensure the Islamic character of Bosnia and further the evolution of a global Islamist jihad. In order to implement this program, the Izetbegovic administration in Sarajevo relies heavily on the continued presence of well over 10,000 foreign mujahedin as well as tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims turned militant Islamists as the most loyal hard core of the armed forces, intelligence and security organs. Considering this distinct character of the Bosnian Muslim defense establishment, it will be impossible for any leader in Sarajevo to disengage from dependency on the Islamists even if this leader really wants to.
  2. The escalation of an arms race between Croatia and rump Yugoslavia in preparation for the regional war to determine the fate of the post-crisis Balkans. The only thing Zagreb (Croatia) and Belgrade (Yugoslavia) seem to agree on is the inevitably of the partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina: that is, the elimination of a Muslim political entity. The differences in the military build-up in the new Yugoslavia and Croatia are a reflection of the emerging national priorities of these two key players in the Balkans. Both are united in their commitment to co-existence in a new Balkans, having first carved up Bosnia-Herzegovina between them.

These dramatic developments did not happen suddenly or in a vacuum. Rather, they are the outcome of a major disruption -- the US imposition of the Dayton-Paris Accords -- to escalating inner tensions and dynamics in the former Yugoslavia. This process, already dangerous and destabilizing in its own right, has been evolving since the early 1990s in and around Bosnia-Herzegovina. As described in this author's earlier book, Offensive in the Balkans, the determination of the Sarajevo leadership to recognize and accept the desire by the key national groupings of the former Yugoslavia -- Serbs and Croats -- to realize their quest for national self-determination, and the determined campaign by the odd alliance of the US and Iran-led Islamists to enforce a Muslim government over the entire Bosnia-Herzegovina, has already led to the continuation and escalation of the fratricidal fighting for four years. To date, the imposition of a US-brokered "peace" only encouraged Sarajevo to increase its struggle for a maximalist solution while driving the other regional powers to attempt to realize their own goals before the Accords were transformed into a new regional reality: a US-imposed new Bosnian order.

Hence, in the aftermath of the Dayton-Paris Accords there is a profound difference in the key players' perception of the immediate future. President Franjo Tudjman's Zagreb believes that there is no escape from a major war before a new realignment of forces in the territory of the former Yugoslavia can be established. President Slobodan Milosevic's Belgrade still hopes to be able to negotiate and bargain its way to Western recognition of the emergence of a new Serb-dominated Yugoslavia and a new Croatia dominating the territory of the former Yugoslavia, including the partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina between them. The new Yugoslavia is exhausted from the sanctions and the collapse of Serb spirit. Croatia, in a sharp contrast, is rejuvenated by the success of the offensive in the Krajina and Bosnia-Herzegovina, particularly the Western tolerance of the ensuing ethnic cleansing of Serbs. Tudjman is in a fighting spirit, convinced that Zagreb will be able to realize its regional aspirations through the force of arms.

Sarajevo is not oblivious to this process. Fully aware of the extent of the threat to its very existence, the Izetbegovic administration is adamant on instigating crises in order to have US/NATO forces destroy the Serbs and Croats for them so that there is no threat to Sarajevo. Sarajevo has a bigger objective in mind: to evolve regional dynamics, and especially establish outright US commitment to Sarajevo, which will deter Berlin and Moscow from endorsing, and facilitating for their respective proteges the elimination of the Muslim entity. Izetbegovic and his closest aides, particularly Gen. Rasim Delic, are convinced that the Clinton Administration can be manipulated into playing this role even in the face of clear preparations for, and active support of, anti-European Islamist terrorism from the territory controlled by Sarajevo.

These Islamist activities, including the manipulation of the Clinton Administration, are the primary destabilizing factor threatening the chances for a lingering peace in the former Yugoslavia. Sarajevo is determined to deliver the spark that can ignite the region and thus become the catalyst for an uncontrollable escalation of any eruption into the rest of Europe.

* * *

Examining and analyzing these dynamics. Some Call It Peace: Waiting For War In The Balkans is divided into three parts:

Part I -- THE ISLAMIST PEACE -- analyzes in great detail the Islamist activities in Bosnia-Herzegovina in preparation for, and the aftermath of, the Dayton-Paris Accords. This part includes a detailed description of the present Islamist terrorist and mujahedin infrastructure in Bosnia-Herzegovina, an outright violation of the Accords, and the preparations for Islamist terrorist attacks against I-FOR and Western Europe.

Part II -- REGIONAL MILITARY BUILD-UP AND DYNAMICS -- analyzes the military build-up in Croatia, the rump Yugoslavia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Special attention is paid to Zagreb's efforts to capitalize on the Eastern Slavonia crisis as a catalyst for the regional war expected to usher in the new division of power in the former Yugoslavia. The Croat build-up in anticipation for a decisive clash with the Bosnian Muslim forces, to be sparked by a clash in Mostar, is also analyzed.

Part III -- AFTER THE EXPERIMENT -- concludes the book with an analysis of the impact of the real power dynamics in the former Yugoslavia, as well as the inherent dangers in the wide gap between the strategic reality in the Balkans and the wishful policies pursued by the United States. Special attention is paid to the Islamist preparations for an escalation of subversion and terrorism in the Kosovo region of Serbia, Yugoslavia. The longer-term impact of the withdrawal of I-FOR is studied. Special attention is paid to the global ramifications of the Dayton-Paris Accords -- an arbitrary imposition of a "solution" by the US -- and particularly the reaction of, and lessons learned by, hostile powers in the Muslim World and East Asia.

* * *

As in Offensive in the Balkans, this book makes a stark delineation between Islamic/Muslim peoples and governments, generally of a moderate nature, and those termed Islamists: the Islamists use -- or mis-use -- Islam as a veneer or cover for their radical political agenda.

Part I -- The Islamist Peace >>


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