My Opinion

first posted in October of 1996

      One would think that after the disaster of appeasing Adolf Hitler in the late 1930's the Western democracies would have learned. Once again, however, the world watches the West vacillate and fail to prevent a naked slaughter in its own back yard. As an American, I could hardly contain myself at the time reading the newspaper and knowing that my country had the power to stop this conflict and did nothing. How ironic it is that when President Clinton finally decided to move seriously with an extensive use of military air power the killing ended almost overnight. Why he did not act years earlier I have no idea!

      Will democracies ever learn how to deal effectively and decisively with thugs with guns?

A reader took issue with a few of my assertions on this page.
You read his e-mail and my response and make up your own mind!
"I would like to express my views..."

A U.S. soldier stationed in Bosnia-Herzegovina rejects the above response.
"I volunteered to come, feeling it was my duty
to use my skills to help bring peace to this world."

The Slaughter

Child weeping for slain father
photo by Christoper Morris

A child cries for his father a young policeman killed in Bosnia on August 11, 1991.

Serb soldiers kick a dead lady
Bijeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, April 1992
Ron Haviv, Saba Press Photos for TIME

Look at the above photo!

      A Serb irregular in 1992 kicks the body of a Muslim woman executed seconds after coming to the aid of her husband. During the war Muslims were routinely "cleansed" from their homes by Serb forces.

      There is perhaps nothing more honorable than a soldier faithfully doing his duty and serving his country to the best of his abilities. However, there is nothing worse than a thug pretending to be a "soldier" wearing a uniform and wielding the power a gun gives him. Such an individual is a bully plain and simple. In the best sense of the word, I have always believed in the warrior who can fight with honor. A warrior does not kill prisoners. A warrior does not kill children. A warrior does not rape women. We will never know how the "warriors" in the above photo would have fared in open combat with professional soldiers from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces. They seem to be good at shooting defenseless civilians, though.

Serbs kick dead Croat
Vukovar, Croatia, November 1991
photo by Ron Haviv

Serb irregular militiamen kick the corpse of Croatian civilian.

      Employing "ethnic cleansing" and "scorched earth" tactics, Serb forces expelled Bosnia Croats and Muslims from their homes and villages by terror. Methods used in ethnic cleansing include mass murder, torture, pillage, abuse in detention, rape, castration, and other forms of violence. I doubt there were many Croats left at the end of the war in the village pictured above. Although atrocities were committed by all sides during the Bosnian conflict, it is generally agreed that the Serbs performed most of them - if only because they had the preponderance of guns and power.

     During all the years that this happened the West basically just watched. The United Nations was involved, but they were worse than useless militarily serving as targets in their baby blue helmets and vehicles. Jesus!  When will we learn? Why does it always take us so long?

* Sources and facts can on this webpage can be corroborated at the following URL:
"Faces of Sorrow"


"If we fear so much a country the size of Ohio armed with antiquated Russian weaponry, then we deserve all the scorn and shame the Albanian Kosovars can heap on us for having involved ourselves in the region in the first place!"