Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

To Avoid Another Bosnia: Recognize Macedonia Now

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

To Avoid Another Bosnia: Recognize Macedonia Now

Article excerpt

INTELLIGENCE sources in Washington openly predict what will happen next in the Balkan tribal war. As the Serbians consolidate their holdings in Bosnia, they are expected to try to drive out the 200,000 Albanians that live in Kosovo, and go after western Macedonia, a region where many Serbs live and that many Serb nationalists see as part of a "Greater Serbia." If we are to avoid standing by as thousands more civilians are slaughtered, and thousands more are driven from their homes, we must act now.

Before the United Nations is even to consider sending peace-keeping troops, it should raise its moral voice. The nations of the world, with the United States, should condemn, in no uncertain terms, Serbian expansionist plans. Some reports show earlier, muted objections to Serb attacks on Bosnia were read by them as an indication that the West, especially Germany, would not be unduly distressed by their belligerent acts. We should leave no room for doubt this time.

Second, the West should recognize Macedonia now as a country and grant it admission it to the UN. Attacks across its borders would then clearly constitute an act of international aggression. This by itself may not suffice to protect Macedonia but it would allow the US and its allies, or the UN, to respond without unnecessary hesitation and with full authority.

We are informed that the Greeks will wildly protest such a move, not because Macedonia is part of Greece but because they claim title to the name! Some have suggested that the solution lies in recognizing Macedonia by some other name. I do not care much for such international niceties; call them what you may but we should not allow the idle threats of Greece to pull out of the European Community (which they desperately need), to prevent us from doing what is right.

Next, the UN should warn that the political leaders, officers, and troops of any country that engage in massive killings of civilians and in ethnic cleansing, would be considered war criminals. If any of these criminals ever leave their puny enclaves, they would be treated as fugitives, subject to arrest and persecution. …

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