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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Bosnian riddle

Lately i've been hearing in the news all about this videotape that shows Serb paramilitary forces killing 6 young unarmed muslim men in 1995, which finally forced the serbs to acknoweldge their role in what is becoming known to be " the worst massacre in Europe since World War II." I figured that this would be good news, because anything that brings up the memory of what happend in Bosnia, should also bring back the memory of how it was the Americans who actually saved the bosnian muslims from ethnic cleansing on the hands of the christian serbs. It's actual proof that the US isn't embarking on an "evil crusade" against Islam and muslims. I always thought that the Bosnians would be the natural advocates for that theory, given that the US saved their lives and all, while their so called muslim bretheren have done little more but watch them get killed and issues a condemnation against the serbs evil action every once in a while. I thought they would be gratefull enough to come to the US' defense! Again, I stand corrected! Sigh..


At 6/04/2005 07:07:00 AM, Blogger Highlander said...

I have a special relationship with that involvement SM , I just don't have the time or energy now to write about it as it is easier to say that the US rescued the Bosnians and that's it.
But I hope to soon write a short essay about this to show you why I think that this feeling of 'gratitude' is not taking roots.
In the meantime your post as it is is quite logical. Thanks for pointing to the slate article. now I have one more book to buy I guess .

At 6/04/2005 07:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If A helps B, then B is under an obligation to A. This breeds resentment, especially if he cannot repay it. I would expect the Bosnians to be as anti-American as the French, and for the same reason. "Who asked you to come here and liberate us?" ___ Gratitude is very close to humiliation.

At 6/04/2005 09:18:00 AM, Blogger Tina said...

It reflects badly on them, not us. We've learned not to expect thanks or any kind of gratitude. It's always such a pleasant surprise when someone has the class to be thankful and aware of the sacrifices we make.

Americans are a grateful people, and we have long memories. We came to the aid of france, not because of anything the french at the time deserved, but because of ONE FRENCH MAN who came to our aid when we need him during our revolutionary war. When the US soldiers arrived to a jubulant Paris in 1917 Lt. Col. Stanton declared "Lafayette, we are here!". The answer to an ancient promise to be there for the french if they ever needed us.

Americans are also grateful to God, and much of what we do is in payment to that gratitude.

At 6/04/2005 01:39:00 PM, Blogger egyptiansally said...

I think anonymous has a good point. And I don't think Trofimov's account, published in Slate no less, provides a well-rounded perspective. U.S. involvement in Bosnia is in no way similar to its involvement in Iraq. Should Bosnians support the U.S. in *any* endeavor simply because the U.S. liberated them once upon a time?
Plus, regarding the whole "evil crusade," the U.S. administration today is quite different from what it was 10 years ago. I'm not sure what Bush would do if he were faced with Sarajevo today.

At 6/04/2005 02:11:00 PM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Sally, are you saying Slate is biased?

At 6/04/2005 02:20:00 PM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Not to mention the article talks about Bosnian viewing what's happening in Iraq to be "genocide". That's a pretty big and messed up word to use, especially by people who did experience genocide first hand and know what it's really likem u know? Anyone who views what's happening there can tell it's not genocide: neither are the iraqis being eradicated, nor are the secterian divides between them causing some groups to mass kill the other. If anything, the US liberation of Kuwait and invasion of Iraq had stopped the Kurdish and shia genocide on the hand of the sunnis there. So i am just a little confused by that point is all.

At 6/04/2005 08:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget Canada. The Bosnians who wanted to, spent a winter here in Toronto while landminds were being cleared.

At 6/04/2005 08:37:00 PM, Blogger thewiz said...

SM. The US deserves more credit than it gets. The last SIX military actions have been to the rescue of Muslim populations. Some from Christians and some from fellow Muslims.

Somalia; interevened in a civil war to prevent a warlord from starving millions of his enemy Muslims.

Bosnia; just like ya said, rescued Muslims from Christians.

Kosovo; ditto

Kuwait, rescued Kuwaitis from Saddam.

Afghanistan; freed the population from the heinous Taliban

Iraq; freed 25 million from a heinous dictator.

Plus we are working to free Lebanon, Syria, Iran and others from dictatorial regimes and pressuring the Saudis, Egypt, Lybia, Kuwait and others to reform their government.

We are not perfect, have made mistakes before, and will make more in the future. But it would be nice if the Muslim world gives credit for the good we have done.

At 6/04/2005 10:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man." - Mark Twain

"If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives, DO GOOD ANYWAY." - Kent M. Keith

At 6/05/2005 12:08:00 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Sally, it was Bush's dad who intervened in Bosnia... I'm not really sure what you think his sone would have done differently. Bush Jr is more the idealist than Bush Sr was, in my opinion. If anything, I think GW Bush would have intervened sooner than HW Bush did. I mean, it was pretty obvious for a couple years there that the UN troops weren't doing anything about the genocide.

Just curious, by "the U.S. administration today is quite different from what it was 10 years ago" - in what ways do you see current foreign policy being different today than they were in 1995? And for better, or worse? My view of US foreign policy in 1995 is that teh US was entirely focussed on trade issues.

Bush Senior did military interventions in Kuwait, Panama, Somalia, and Bosnia.

Clinton did military intervention in Kosovo, and attempted to do an intervention in Somalia, after the US lead UN forces were withdrawn. And he launched cruise missiles at chemical factories in Africa.

Dunno. I don't think US foreign policy was so great under Clinton. Lots of happy talk and trade globalization and that's about it. I think if Clinton had been more engaged in REAL problem solving during his 8 years in office, things wouldn't be as bad as they are now.

At 6/05/2005 01:46:00 AM, Blogger egyptiansally said...

SM: Slate isn't necessarily biased, but it doesn't exactly provide a forum or readership to effectively analyze U.S./Bosnian/Iraqi relations. And taking what a few people refer to as "genocide" does not show the entire perspective once again. Remember, a lot of these "islamic" leaders say stuff that does not necessarily reflect the view of the people.

Craig: Bush Sr's adminstration did a lot for the world, I agree. But I think it would be wrong to associate GW Bush's administration's policies with that of his dad's. I don't think the war in Iraq is about liberation (the Gulf war clearly was) & it didn't even pretend to be so until the U.S. didn't find WMDs & needed to come up with a reason to justify their presence there. And foreign policy now is still very focused on trade issues, but the difference is the means by which the administration is seeking out those trades.

And I think under Clinton, we at least had a semblance of diplomacy. Not this you're either with us or against us rhetoric. Because regardless of actions (unfortunately) what's proving to be a major player in today's international politics is rhetoric. And GW Bush's administration definitely doesn't have a good handle on that.

Would the U.S. intervene in Bosnia today? Probably. I'm just not sure about the means.

At 6/05/2005 08:43:00 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Egyptiansally, you are right about Iraq. I don't really like to talk about Iraq because I think it derailed the War on Terror - which is something I believe in.

I never thought the War in Iraq was about WMD,though I certainly believed Saddam still had them. I *do* think it was about creating democracy in Iraq. I think that was the intent right from the start.

If you go back and look at what the neocons were saying in the year or so after 9/11, the consensus of opinion was that the ONLY way to win the war on terror was to eliminate it's root causes. In the short term, kill or capture as many terrorists as we can find, but for the long term approach, the governments of the middle east needed to be changed. The neocons can explain this theory much better than I can, and they have, so I won't try to paraphrase it here. But regime change was, in my opinion, always the purpose for invading Iraq.

BTW, I opposed the War in Iraq, though I support a successful outcome in Iraq now that we are there. We (the US) used up all our brownie points in Iraq. I would have rather fought the unpopular war someplace else.


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