People in America are confused enough about what would be the right course of action that the U.S. should take to end the disastrous conflict in Bosnia. The only thing they do not need is more incompetent advises from guessing journalists.

For quite a while they were at least spared proselytizing by James Ridgeway - Jasminka Udovicki team from Village Voice who set themselves on crusade to prove that Serbs may not be as evil, as the other media say, solely on the grounds because the straw-man of U.S. imperialism is against them. Sadly, they reappeared in the August 1st issue of Voice (James under the name of Stan to protest that publishers of Voice fired his colleague Stan Mac). This time their educated guess is to send a clear message to Bosnian Government, calling them to surrender, capitulate: "Persuading the Bosnian government to give up the enclaves Karadzic covets... might seem absurd. BUT the harsh reality of the situation might ... change the government's viewpoint." A desperate plea, now that fortunes of war started turning and 'harsh reality of the situation' is that Serbs are loosing. Peter Arnett of CNN, who made a habit of reporting behind the enemy lines, is already in Pale.

Udovicki and Ridgeway were right that Pakrac might have been the turning point. Three years were Bosnian Serbs signing and then breaking before the ink dried dozens of cease fire and safe areas agreements, with no punishment resulting from their behavior. Occasionally NATO would bomb an empty tank in the field more in effort to show Western Media that they did something, than to actually do something. Croatian and Bosnian army just recently caught up with Western hypocrisy, and realized what they had to do. Bosnian army, of course, is deprived of means by the embargo. Croatian army, however, is not. So, Croats armed themselves and re-captured Pakrac. The West shuffled for half a week, and nothing seriously happened. As nothing seriously happened when Bosnian Serbs seized Srebrenica and then Zepa, or when Bosnian Croats later seized Grahovo and Glamoc. All those actions drove indigenous populations out of those cities and increased the number of refugees and increased, therefore, the toll on the UN humanitarian effort. But that's what the UN in Bosnia chose to do, didn't they?: fattening civilians for slaughter.

Since Pakrac Serbs panic. Bosnian Serb Army wants to consolidate its holdings in the East Bosnia, which they presume they might keep even if they loose Krajina in Croatia and the Western parts of 'Republika Srpska' in Bosnia. So, they attacked Srebrenica and Zepa. The recent Croatian offensive in South-West Bosnia outraged Serbs even more. At the meeting of Serb military commanders and political leaders from Bosnia and Croatia in Drvar, Karadzic issued a bold plea for help to the international community to help him keep fruits of his earlier aggression. Males of military age are randomly summoned on streets of cities in Serbia proper and sent to Bosnian frontlines in a way buccaneers manned their ships. You are gone either if you have an ID (like drivers license, or ANY id) issued in Bosnia or if you were born in Bosnia. But their morale to fight is obviously lower than that of Bosnian military men. Males of military age are rounded up in Croatia, too. Streets of Zagreb seem empty at night now, since around one hundred thousand young males were sent to the war.

It is also true that Bosnian government in the process of war gradually abandoned their multiculturalism and embraced Islam more firmly. After all, only Muslim countries (like Turkey, Iran and Pakistan as mentioned in the Voice) cared to help them. This process will continue if West decide to prolong its delaying to lift the arms embargo. It is a serious flaw in the New World Order to allow the stronger party to win justified just by its strength. It sets a terribly wrong example that will sure haunt the West for a few unhappy decades that are bound to come. It is also hard to believe that Clinton would risk his veto overturned by Congress one year before elections to appease foreign governments, and both houses of Congress voted overwhelmingly in favor of lifting the embargo.

The main assertion of the Udovicki-Ridgeway article - that people and not territory is a key to peace in Balkans - is nice in theory but at best naive in reality. In short: they propose leaving the territory under the Serbian rule, returning Bosnian-Muslim refugees to their homes, and supervision by the UN and NATO that human and civil rights are honored regardless of ethnicity or religious adherence. In another place they (Udovicki and Ridgeway) answer their own rhetorical question about why people there fight for the control over territory: because they are mostly peasants, and "any peace that left them without their land would be short-lived and foster its own collapse."

However, it is preposterous to believe that refugees would agree to return to their villages while those villages are still under control of the same people that 'cleansed' them out of their homes, raped their mothers and wives and killed their husbands and sons. They'd rather hang themselves as the woman, mentioned in the beginning of the Voice article, did (she did it after Serb soldiers dragged her two underage sons of the bus and slit their throats).

Also, it makes no sense to believe that Serbs who spend so much time and resources 'cleansing' the area would now happily allow the return of Muslims. They fought to get Muslims out. It is same for them to give back the conquered territory or to allow Muslims to return - which they flatly reject both.

The biggest nonsense is, of course, to believe that the UN and NATO forces who failed to protect safe-heavens before (and now) and who proved to not be able even to defend themselves (and who are taken hostage themselves very often), would suddenly be able to defend the returned villagers - backing up the Udovicki-Ridgeway proposal.

Udovicki is obviously an aristocratic socialite from Belgrade whose apparent misunderstanding of this war equals to some patrician lady's from Berlin ill- understanding of holocaust - making a case against the state of Israel in 1948 on the grounds that it's safe for Jews to return to Germany which got under control of allies. Or like Maria Antoinette telling peasants to eat cake if they have no bread.

In the time I write this, Croatian Army is closing in on Knin, while already prepared to launch attack on Serbs north from Bihac enclave. Bosnian Army is ready to shell any Serb reinforcements that Mladic may send to the West through Brcko corridor. And there is no serious threat from NATO either to Croatian or to Bosnian forces that they'd be bombed should they not cease their attacks. Western media seems to be not bothered much by such a position either. Meanwhile, Serbs are threatened with air-strikes should they renew their attacks on any of the remaining safe-areas (Bihac, Gorazde, Tuzla, Sarajevo), while media continues to portray them as viciously as possible. So, I guess the West took side. But Serbs mostly did that to themselves: they introduced the practice of ethnic cleansing, they were first to establish concentration camps, they took Westerners hostage, they made this war remembered in history as the war with largest amount of journalists killed ever... Well, they couldn't expect to win the popularity contest, could they?