Let's Not Add War to War
Le Figaro, 18 August 1992
Having received a desperate message from Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic comparing the situation of the inhabitants of Sarajevo to that of the fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto, François Mitterrand, listening only to his courage, rushed to the Bosnian capital accompanied by his minister for humanitarian aid.
Things having gotten worse since Mitterrand's visit in Sarajevo as well as in Gorazde and Bihac. Bosnia has asked the West to intervene militarily, or, failing that, to lift the embargo on arms to the region so as to reduce the arms imbalance that is currently so unfavorable to the besieged. This time, listening only to his "wisdom," the president of the French republic offered his response to Bosnia's request in the newspaper Sud-Ouest, asserting that one should not "add war to war."
At the same moment, General Mackenzie, who until recently commanded the UN force assigned to protect Sarajevo, declared in Time magazine that references to a possible armed intervention only lulled the government of Alija Izetbegovic with harmful illusions. As long as rumors of a military intervention circulate, the general implied, the Bosnians will continue to believe in the possibility that territories conquered by the Serbs will be restored to them, and they will thus continue to refuse to negotiate a cease-fire.
So the general and the president deliver the same message about the war in the former Yugoslavia: after a year of cultural vandalism and ethnic cleansing without equal in Europe since the time of Hitler, a humanitarian West calls for the immediate and unconditional capitulation of the ag
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Publication information: Book title: Dispatches from the Balkan War and Other Writings. Contributors: Alain Finkielkraut - Author, Peter S. Rogers - Translator, Richard Golsan - Translator, Richard Golsan - Author, Lincoln - Author. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press. Place of publication: Lincoln, NE. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 98.
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