Friday, April 22, 2011


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NATO's Sarajevo Moment

In the early 1990s, the Western powers stood by idly while the Muslims of Bosnia were murdered, raped, thrown into concentration camps and ethnically cleansed in the hundreds of thousands. This disgraceful passivity in the face of atrocities of WW II imagery occurred in the immediate aftermath of the democratic world's historic triumph in the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. It took more than three years before the United States and its allies were stirred into action -- thanks largely to Bill Clinton being pushed into an untenable corner by then French President Jacques Chirac. The ensuing intervention was quick and decisive. The air campaign and subsequent occupation of Bosnia cost America not a single casualty.

History now is repeating itself. Valiant Libyans who are fighting for their freedom from a tyrant are being left pretty much to their own devices. Civilians in Misrata are being subjected to death by a thousand cuts similar to what was the fate of Sarajevo's citizens. The Libyans of Suwarah already have been cleansed. Opponents of the regime in Tripoli are suffering systematic abuse across the country. Benghazi seems destined to be cast as Sarajevo in this recasting of the Bosnian tragic drama.

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