Chapter 21: ShowdownThis chapter is a brisk and exasperated account of events in Bosnia from late May up until around the fall of Srebrenica as witnessed by Bell and other members of the media, who were unable to witness much of what was happening first hand.
Mostly, this is account of the final, craven capitualation of the United Nations to the Bosnian Serb forces and of the continued increase in the volume and ferocity of the armed combat between those forces and the Bosnian government. It was clear to Bell at the time, as it is to all reasonable students of the war in hindsight, that the UN was a spent force at best by this point. Bell correctly notes that its mission had become an absurd anomoly, a protection force which seemed only interested in protecting itself. The UN was by now occupied with little other than negotiating for its own hostages and urging NATO to leave so that the Serbs would no longer threaten them. The fall of Srebrenica was the final, humiliating proof that it was well past time for the United Nations to leave.