Bosnia Quotes

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1993-06"UNPROFOR is the sort of institution that transforms a temporarily adverse situation into a permanently adverse situation." (Alija Isakovic, Sarajevo journalist)
1993-07"SERBPROFOR" (Muslim term for UN peacekeepers)
1993-09"I am not one of those who believes that a few well-chosen bombs will take care of a thousand years of history. They won't." (Gen. Colin Powell)
1993-10"We need to be extremely careful about calling on young men to lay down their lives for something that ... does not affect our own economic or security interests." (Sen. Sam Nunn, D-GA)
1994-05"Serbia isn't Somalia." (Zeljko 'Arkan' Raznatovic, Serb militia leader)
1994-07"If the United Nations had been conducting US foreign policy in 1940, as it appears to be today, it would have advised England to accept Hitler's offers of peace." (George Melloan, Wall Street Journal)
1994-08"I don't like seeing any lines drawn across Bosnia-Hercegovina. It is like cutting through living tissue. It bleeds." (Haris Siladzic, Bosnian Prime Minister)
1994-09"Let's cut deals. It's better than fighting." (Fikret Abdic, war profiteer)
1994-10"If you confront us with the choice -- either UN blue helmets or weapons -- we choose weapons. They at least guarantee our people's survival." (Alija Izetbegovic, Bosnian President)
1995-01"There were some very strict measures taken undertaken by our commanding officer. Let us say they involved a very heavy armored patrol. The mujahideen do not bother us any more." (Turkish officer in Bosnia, after his troops were confronted by Muslim holy warriors)
1995-01"The mission of UNPROFOR is no longer to protect the UN-established safe havens but to protect itself." (George Soros, philanthropist and financier)
1995-02"Because I'm paid to engage in the absurd." (US State Department spokesman when asked how Clinton can expect the Serbs to agree to a just peace without facing a threat of force)
1995-02"No wonder, UNPROFOR has better cars." (UNHCR spokesman when told UNPROFOR vehicles were being stolen five times as often as his own)
1995-03"It makes me nervous -- everyone knows I'm not used to shooting apples." (Zeljko 'Arkan' Raznatovic, Serb militia leader & wanted war criminal, speaking about the Serb marriage tradition of shooting apples off the bride's roof)
1995-03A "bewildered bunch which does not know how to solve the war." (Radovan Karadzic, Bosnian Serb President, referring to the 'contact group': America, Germany, France, Britain and Russia)
1995-04"United Nations Peace Force One" (The proposed name for a revamped peacekeeping force in Croatia)
1995-05"We did a lot to preserve peace in this region." (General Perelyakin, fired UN commander)
1995-06Before NATO airstrike: "People come in here on six-month or one-year contracts. They just want everything to be as peaceful as possible on their watch, so they give one concession after another to the Serbs. They don't look at the long-term effects." (UN employee on why he believes the UN's authority in Bosnia had collapsed)
1995-06After NATO airstrike: "We always knew that no matter how effective the air strikes, there would be retaliation." (Anonymous 'senior US official')
1995-06"Of the 164 UN peacekeepers killed in Bosnia the past three years, none were killed by Serbs." (Vecernje Novosti, Belgrade daily)
1995-07"We believe there must be a clearly-defined mission for the Rapid Reaction Force. And so far [we have not] received a clear articulation of exactly what that force would do -- except more of the same. The argument that somehow there will be a reinforcement of people who are trying to keep the peace in a place where there is no peace doesn't make a lot of sense." (Sen. John McCain, R-AZ)
1995-07"This resolution is again nothing but baloney which nobody takes seriously. We're lying to ourselves day after day with these resolutions and it makes me sick. We cannot defend such enclaves so far into Serb territory without war, and if we don't want that we should retreat. The UN and NATO should finally say what they really want and define a policy." (Hans Koschnik, EU administrator of Mostar)
1995-08"Bomb them and bomb them some more until these Chetnik [Serbian] bastards beg for the mercy they never showed anybody in this war." (Sarajevan after NATO air strikes)
1995-09"As long as I am foreign minister, no Italian will sit behind anyone." (Susanna Agneli, after US peace negotiator Richard Holbrooke told her Italy should be content to stay quiet and sit behind EU mediator Carl Bildt at Geneva peace talks)
1995-10"Defensive advances" (Excuse used by Bosnian government commander to describe an attack on Bosnian Serb forces)
1995-11"... this mission should and will take about one year." Bill Clinton (11/27/95)
1996-01"I assume full responsibility for any harm that may come to them [US troops]." (Bill Clinton, to the American people on national TV)
1996-01"It's like pornography. We'll know it when we see it." (Clinton's Bosnia exit strategy as whispered by 'top White House official' to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT)
1996-01"Mother Teresa is admirable, but conducting foreign policy by her example is an expensive proposition." (Michael Mandelbaum, professor of American Foreign Policy)
1996-01"There are no flanks, no rear, or, to put it otherwise, it is front all round." (Leftenant Backsight Forethought, 'The Defense of Duffer's Drift')
1996-02"Today in the Balkans, we don't have war but we don't have real peace ... NATO must not underestimate the hatred, mistrust and enmity on all three sides." (Richard Holbrooke, US peace envoy)
1996-02"We are in early days, it is a honeymoon period." (Lt. General Sir Michael Walker, NATO ground commander)
1996-05"Our original weapons were simply hatching babies." (Defense Minister Susak, on Croatia's response to American inquiries about arms smuggling)
1996-06"I don't know about Geneva, but this is the harsh reality that we are facing on the ground here." (UNHCR spokesman Kris Janowski, on the lack of the freedom of movement 'guaranteed' by the Dayton Accord)
1996-06"[It's] obviously been a bigger problem than I anticipated." (James Pardew, director of U.S. military aid to Bosnia, on the problems posed by Muslim-Croat antipathy)
1996-06"The only choice I have to vote for is the seven bastards that did this tome in the first place." (Muslim refugee from Serb-held Bijeljina)
1996-07"The major powers are so exhausted by Bosnia their instinct is still to build a fence around the problem. Principle, other than the principle of containment, was abandoned long ago. Everyone, including the Serbs, know that and they exploit it." (anonymous Western diplomat)
1996-07"Not for the first time, Radovan Karadzic ... is making a fool of all those important people who like to make statements about the 'will of the international community.'" (Financial Times)
1996-11"... the United States will take part in a follow-on force in Bosnia." Bill Clinton (11/15/96)
1997-12"... the United States would in principal take part in a security prescence in Bosnia when SFOR withdraws this summer." Bill Clinton (12/19/97)