Warren Zimmermann, a professor of international diplomacy at Columbia University, was US Ambassador to Yugoslavia from 1989 to 1992. A revised edition of his book, Origins of a Catastrophe:Yugoslavia and Its Destroyers, has just been published in paperback. (June 1999)


Milosevic’s Final Solution

Slobodan Milosevic’s decision to ex-pel the entire Albanian population of Kosovo was so audacious and so ruthless that it caught the West by surprise. Yet it was not an uncharacteristic act for the president of Yugoslavia. In Bosnia Milosevic and his then partner, the Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, had …

Bad Blood

The Warrior's Honor: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience

by Michael Ignatieff
Even those without nostalgia for the cold war will admit that it had some moderating elements. For more than a half-century the character of the bi-polar Soviet-American confrontation protected Europe and North America from conflict. For the most part, violence and danger were relegated to regions where confrontation was not …

Last Chance for Bosnia?

Unfinished Peace: Report of the International Commission on the Balkans

Just before World War I the Balkans erupted in two consecutive conflicts. In the first Balkan war in 1912, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Montenegro—all of which had won their independence from Turkey—joined to drive the Turks from Macedonia, the last Turkish foothold in the region. A year later, in 1913, …

Prophet With Honor

At a Century's Ending:Reflections, 1982

by George F. Kennan
George Kennan’s ninety-two-year life spans a century with which he has grown progressively uneasy. On the first page of his new and absorbing collection of essays he calls the twentieth century “a tragic one in the history of European (including American) civilization.” Kennan is a historical and cultural pessimist who …

The Choice in the Balkans

The lightning Croatian victory in the Krajina region of Croatia has changed the face but not necessarily the essence of the war in the Balkans. By force of arms, as impressive as it was illegal, the Croats have accomplished what years of negotiation could never have achieved for them—they have …

The Captive Mind

Forging War: The Media in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina

by Mark Thompson
In the old days of the Soviet Union, a huge neon sign was clearly visible from Gorky Street in Moscow. It read, as I remember, “The Soviet Press—Strongest Weapon of Leninist Power.” Ever since Lenin, Communists have understood the importance of the press as a vital instrument of control. In …