Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"The Fall of Yugoslavia" by Misha Glenny [25]

Epilogue 1996 [continued]

The next six pages consist of a short discussion of the "parastates", which Glenny describes as "the mutant offspring of an expiring state." The term is not his own, nor is the observation that such parastates existed in the former Yugoslavia. I give him credit for acknowledging that the Serb Republic in Bosnia was a creation of genocide. However, he considers the Muslim-dominated Bosnian government to have been nothing more than one of three parastates within Bosnia, eliminating any lingering doubts that he did not give the Bosnian government under Izetbegovic any legitimacy. Which goes a long way towards explaining why he was so opposed to Western support--he rejected the entire notion that there was a Bosnian state.

Furthermore, he expresses outrage at the video of a Bosnian soldier from a government propaganda piece extolling the upcoming offensive planned during the Jimmy Carter-brokered cease-fire. Specifically, he bemoans what he perceives as a double-standard, as the international community would have been outraged to see "the Serbs" making such provocative gestures, but the Bosnian government does not received condemnation when it "trashes its solemn commitments to the international community."

There's a lot to unravel in that statement, little of which Glenny seems aware of. For one thing, the description of the "Bosnian government" is his--he often refers to "the Moslems" (even in this section, even when describing the very military actions being discussed here), yet here he refers to the "Bosnian government." Yet he is treating the government as just another "parastate" in this section, without explaining how that is.

The issue of why the Bosnian government--a UN member democracy being destroyed by an avowedly genocidal rebel regime supported by its more powerful neighbor--owes to the international community which has denied it the right of self-defense a "solemn obligation", needless to say, goes unmentioned. We are far beyond expecting Misha Glenny to acknowledge that issue.

1 comment:

Owen said...

Kirk, I'm just catching up after a long absence. I'm struck by the way Glenny seems hesitant to express to concern for the interests of the people represented by Bosnia's legitimate government while insisting on the need to have regard for Serb (nationalist) concerns.