Wednesday 3 August 2005
The West turned a bloody battle in a brutal civil war into a clash between good and evil.
It is 10 years since the internationally brokered Dayton Agreement ended the civil war in Bosnia-Hercegovina, the worst of the conflicts of the former Yugoslavia. In the West, the Yugoslav wars have became iconic symbols of both the transformed nature of war and conflict after the end of the Cold War, and of the moral imperative for new forms of Western intervention.
From the early stages of the war in 1992, the Bosnian conflict was reported not as a conflict between two opposing sides, but as a conflict between good and evil, in which the Bosnian Serbs were initiating a campaign of genocide against the Bosnian Muslims. Of all the events in the war, this was symbolised by the fall of the Bosnian Muslim-held town of Srebrenica to Bosnian Serb forces. The events that occurred in Srebrenica in July 1995 are now infamous. The Bosnian Serb army invaded the UN Safe Area of Srebrenica, and murdered 8,000 unarmed men and boys, dumping their bodies in mass graves.