bosnia report
New Series No:43-44 January - April 2005
 
Debate on the wars in Croatia and Bosnia - Part II
by Dušan Bilandžic, Mile Bjelajac, Ivo Komšic, Denis Kuljiš, Martin Špegelj

Bilandžić: Since it was impossible to divide Bosnia ethnically, it was clearly necessary to move the population round, using both force and persuasion. Croats were forced to move from central Bosnia, Serbs from Croatia, etc. It turned out, however, that despite all this the borders have remained the same.

Komšić: It seems that Croatia is unable to free itself from the discourse imposed by the HDZ, and that only a few people like Martin Š pegelj, Dušan Bilandžić, Vesna Pusić and Ivo Banac have succeeded in challenging it. This is why round-tables like this are so important. It is a pity that the Croatian parliament has failed thus far to debate the war in Bosnia. But the parliament itself is not as innocent as many like to pretend, particularly since some of its current deputies sat also in the parliament of 1991-92, when Herzeg-Bosna was recognised de facto. If you read the parliamentary records of the time, you will see that the parliament discussed the formation of the Croat Community - later Republic - of Herzeg-Bosna, and gave it its full support. The parliament cannot redeem itself by, for instance, adopting a motion saying: ‘We did not agree to Bosnia’s division’, full stop.

What was the governing principle of the projected division: territory, or what Tuđman called ‘humane resettlement’? As one who participated in almost all important negotiations, I can say that the territorial division in regard to Bosnia-Herzegovina - and most likely also to Croatia - was political in nature. The maps as such were never of decisive importance, but rather indicated areas open for political trade-offs. They mirrored political developments.

Talking to various foreign politicians - who at that time were deciding our fate - I gained the impression that they divided into basically two groups: those who believed that the war had been caused by Serbia’s desire to preserve Yugoslavia - this was Milošević’s argument, which he defended skilfully and which found considerable support; and those who believed that the war was the outcome of long-standing, deeply rooted antagonisms present among the nations inhabiting this area. Both are false, of course. The war came about as the result of definite policies conducted in the 1980s and 1990s, primarily by Milošević on the one hand and the JNA on the other (Martin’s book is an important testimony to this), but also by Tuđman as a third party. The fourth relevant factor was the policy adopted by the Bosniaks. These policies form the background to the war, which like all other wars was pursuit of politics by other means. So I agree with Mr Kuljiš that in order to understand the politics, one needs to describe and analyse the conduct and sequence of the military operations.

The war was fought in my view in order to realise two basic ideas of Tuđman and Milošević: to create independent national states, and to ensure their maximal ethnic homogeneity. As Professor Bilandžić has said, this was impossible to achieve with the existing distribution of the population in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, so Milošević and Tuđman agreed that it was necessary to reorganise the ethnic make-up of the whole territory. This could not be done without war. I witnessed the failure of the initial military actions in my home town of Kiseljak and the surrounding area, i.e. in central Bosnia. They failed because the people did not want to shoot at each other. They asked their opponents: ‘Who sent you and why?’ The answer was: ‘We were sent to kill you.’ ‘And we were sent to kill you.’ They then said: ‘They’re quite crazy, let’s go home, what do they think, that we’re mad?’ So people went home, and the war between Croats and Muslims fizzled out. So what happened next? Local radio stations appeared, the equipment arrived from Croatia, and a special communications centre was established in a holiday home near my house [in Kiseljak]. There followed a propaganda war. Army transmitters were taken over, local television stations appeared, journalists were signed up, and the production of hate began. Up to that moment in this highly mixed Croat, Serb and Muslim area of central Bosnia and up as far as Posavina, mutual trust was such that houses and cars were as a rule not locked. The problem was how to start a war in such conditions. It could be done only by creating hate, for which war was the means.

Let me say something about the various plans of Milošević, Tuđman and the JNA at the start of the war, i.e. in 1991 and early 1992. At this stage the Muslim leadership had no plan of their own. Milošević’s plan, as we know, was to drive out Slovenia and a truncated Croatia from Yugoslavia, i.e. to create a new kind of Yugoslavia. This was the plan also of the Bosnian SDS leaders headed by Radovan Karadžić.

In 1990 I held the post of deputy president of the Communist League of Bosnia-Herzegovina (SKBiH)[now SDP]. Bosnian elections were supposed to take place in April 1990, but for reasons that I will explain later, they were postponed to November. Immediately after the formation of the nationalist government (the transition took about a month), we sought talks with the SDS, the HDZ and the SDS. We talked with Izebegović (SDA), who tried to persuade us, rather unconvincingly, that he was a committed Social Democrat. We had a friendly talk with Kljuić of the HDZ, with no particular results. The talk with Karadžić’s SDS, however, was very significant. Our delegation included our most important leaders: the party president Nijaz Duraković; the two vice-presidents, of whom I was one; the official spokesman; and Zlatko Lagumdžija (who had to leave early, however). The SDS headquarters were located in a building next to that of the Central Committee (which used to house members of parliament, and now serves as the American embassy). They came out to meet us, which was unusual: Karadžić, Aleksa Buha, Slavko Leovac. Milorad Ekmečić joined us a little later. With the exception of Karadžić, none of the others was formally in the SDS leadership. They said they were not members of the SDS, and were there only to help. There exists a written record of our meeting with them.

I well recall the seating: Durakovic in the middle, I to his right, Karadžić across the table, Ekmečić and Leovac to his left, Buha to his right. Karadžić made a few introductory remarks along the lines of: we hold the SKBiH in high esteem; you have lost the elections, but you have won a lot of votes; you too are a pro-Yugoslav party and it is important that we work together; we expect that you will support us in preserving Yugoslavia. Ekmečić then took over. He started to explain what kind of Yugoslavia he had in mind. This is the first time we had heard from the people in the SDS leadership what they were planning. He said that there existed a permanent conspiracy of the Croats, the Vatican and Germany against Yugoslavia; that they wished to bring it down for good; that we had to try to preserve it; that the elections had proved that one could not expect much from the Slovenes and the Croats; that the new Yugoslavia would differ from the old. Ekmečić said that the Slovenes should be allowed to leave, while the Serb areas in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia should form the future Yugoslav state which, according to him, ‘will be beautiful, very beautiful’. And he asked for our support in creating it. We said to him: ‘Do you realise what you are saying? Do you realise that your idea leads directly to war?’ Ekmečić said they knew that. He said: ‘Of course we know, but this cannot be avoided. No European state was made without bayonets, so this one too will be made with bayonets.’ We said: ‘Do you know how many lives will be lost?’ He laughed: ‘Of course we know, but it is not much to sacrifice a hundred or two hundred lives for a state. A mere nothing.’ Those were Ekmečić’s words. So far as I know this was the first time that this plan was made public. The task of the SDS was to implant this idea into the minds of the Bosnian Serbs.

This conversation took place on 10 April 1991, after the meeting in Karađorđevo. Tuđman knew about this plan. It cannot, therefore, be argued that he did nothing about Croatia’s defence in order to avoid war with Serbia, the all-powerful JNA, etc. If that were true, why was he in such a hurry to declare Croatia’s independence? Independence could not be realised without a confrontation with the JNA, as Martin Š pegelj describes in his book. The JNA thought of Yugoslavia as its own state, and wished to preserve it. I know this from personal experience. Our party had scheduled elections for April 1990 - they were supposed to take place at the same time as the elections in Croatia. But in March that year a group of generals arrived from Belgrade to talk to us. Nijaz Duraković, the party president, spoke on our behalf. The army delegation was headed by Admiral Petar Š imić, who headed the Communist party organisation in the JNA. I recall two other generals who were there (I have the names of the rest written down). One was Stane Brovet, a Slovene with a Buster Keaton face, who never smiled - I was quite terrified by him; and Simeon Bunčić, with a shaved head which was rather unusual for a general.

We were supposed to hold elections in April. They came to tell us that they were going to take power in all of Yugoslavia. They said openly that they were planning a coup, but were confronted with a problem: to whom to hand over power after the coup? They asked us: ‘Would you be able to take power in Bosnia-Herzegovina following our coup? Would you, the SKBiH leaders, be willing to take over the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina after the military coup? We wish to hand power to you, because we want to preserve Yugoslavia.’ Our last talk with them took place on 8 March, Women’s Day. You should know that we in the party presidency were divided, since the Serb component was very strong. The Serbs had the strongest cadres. I was new, with little experience: this was my first party post. Zlatko Lagumdžija and I joined the party leadership at the same time. We were the youngest among them, with little experience, we did not know what it all meant. I said: ‘Not only will we not take power, but you will have to kill me first.’ Lagumdžija said: ‘Me too.’ They then tried to explain to us what was involved. I was invited to Belgrade. Nijaz Duraković went several times and wished me to accompany him, but I refused, so he went without me. Ivan Brigić went once with him, Krstan Malešević at another time. Malešević was a Serb from Banja Luka, a man of progressive and democratic views, an exceptional person.

The talks were held in a bunker in Belgrade, where the idea of the military coup was explained, how it was to be done. Nijaz Duraković, who reported back to us, said that a colonel kept guard at the door of the bunker while some twenty generals sat inside, together with the civilians who, according to Duraković, were supposed to form the new Yugoslav government after the coup. The generals did not count on Ante Marković, whom they considered an enemy: he was on the list of those to be arrested. But Raif Dizdarević was there, whom they had chosen instead to head the future Yugoslav government. Duraković said that there was no one from Slovenia and Croatia at these sessions. But there was a group of civilians who took part in the negotiations, including Duraković himself, although he went along only because he was scared. They would send a military plane to bring him, and he would go in order to buy us time: the idea was to play along until after the elections in Slovenia and Croatia, after which it would be too late. During these talks Petar Š imić was highly reserved - he was actually against the whole idea of the coup. In fact, at our last meeting he came out openly against it, in front of us all. I shall never forget him saying good bye to me - he held my hand for a long time, would not let go of it. He died suddenly soon afterwards.

A participant: He was poisoned, of course.

Komšić: We were playing for time, which included postponing the elections to November. So that was the military’s plan, which was clearly different from that of Milošević and the SDS. And Tuđman too had a plan, which agreed with Milošević’s: to create an independent and ethnically homogeneous Croatian state. Naturally, neither Milošević nor Tuđman could realise their plans without involving Bosnia-Herzegovina. As it turned out, however, the Serbs had to leave the areas envisaged in the maximal plan. The proclamation of the Serb krajinas was in fact a reduction of the original maximal project. As for the Bosnian Croats, two thirds of them lived intermingled mainly with Muslims (Kupres was the only municipality that was equally divided between Croats and Serbs).

The first conversation I had with the Tuđman side was with Mate Boban. At this time Stjepan Kljuić was still the head of the Bosnian HDZ, but he did not know what was happening in his party. I was at that time organisation secretary of the SKBiH/SDP club in the Bosnian parliament. Boban informed me of the basic outlines of Tuđman’s plan at the start of 1992, during those marathon sessions of the Bosnian parliament when Krajišnik was preparing the departure of the SDS deputies. Boban told me: ‘You must join us.’ I said: ‘I don’t understand you.’ ‘We’re making a state’, he said. ‘But what kind of state?’ ‘We’re making a state, we need you, you know how it’s done.’ ‘What kind of state are you planning to make?’ ‘We’ll take one half of Bosnia and the Serbs the other half. We’ll then join our half to Croatia and the Serbs their half to Serbia.’ ‘But what about the Muslims?’ ‘They’re not of the least importance. Who, after all, are the Muslims?’ ‘But they’re 48% of the Bosnian population. They live with us.’ ‘Bah, that’s irrelevant.’ ‘What do you mean irrelevant?’ ‘Because we’re halving the whole thing: some of them will go with the Serbs, the others with us.’ ‘What about those who don’t want to join either side?’ ‘They’ll be killed.’ ‘Listen, Mate, this is first of all a criminal project, in which I cannot participate. It’s also unrealisable, since once you get down to implementing your plan the Muslims will rebel. There will be a war with them, which they’ll win.’ He said: ‘You’re crazy. They have no chance. We shall complete the whole business in a fortnight - we have an army and they have nothing.’ I said: ‘Your project is to divide Bosnia, but if the Muslims resist and you make war against them, I’ll be on their side, not yours.’ This ended our conversation.

The siege of Sarajevo began in April 1992. I returned to Kiseljak on 1 May and was unable to return to Sarajevo. Ivica Rajić, who had been appointed commander of the HVO, visited me in May and the conversation followed the same course as that with Boban:’ I’ve been sent to talk to you, we’re making a state, we need you, etc.’ ‘What will be the borders of that state?’, I asked. ‘Those of the Banovina [of 1938].’ ‘Do you know that you will have over 40% of Muslims in that state?’ ‘What Muslims?’ And so on.

So that was Tuđman’s plan. We had three plans: the army’s, Milošević’s and Tuđman’s. At a certain point all these plans came together. At that moment I was an ordinary citizen, but I knew which way Muslim policy was going, since Izetbegović would occasionally call me and ask for my views. I remember one such conversation. It took place in March 1991, before Milošević and Tuđman had reached an agreement. I was told that Milošević had made a proposal to Izetbegović. Milosević, in fact, tried to reach agreement first with Izetbegović. This was the time when the republican presidents were meeting at different cities in Yugoslavia, speaking to each other collectively and privately.

One morning Izetbegović asked me to visit him. He told me Milošević had called him the evening before and asked him to keep Bosnia within Yugoslavia, and had offered him the post of first president of a new Yugoslav state. Izetbegović wanted to know what I thought about this. I asked him what his answer had been. He said he had refused the offer. I asked him why. He told me: ‘Because it was only a bait. He does not want two million Muslims in his state. What he needs is 200,000 soldiers whom I am in a position to mobilise. He wants war with the Croats, he wants to take parts of Croatian territory.’ Izetbegović then described Milošević’s plan: to seize the Serb areas from Croatia. ‘He could achieve this with my 200,000 soldiers. But what would I gain in return? I would have a Croat rebellion in Bosnia, since all Bosnian Croats would be against it - they wouldn’t wish to remain in Milošević’s Yugoslavia. When the moment came for this plan to be put into practice, I would provide the soldiers, Milošević would provide the weapons, and we [Bosniaks] would have war with Croatia and the Bosnian Croats. That would be the end of my people. I would lose an ally, my only true friend. I don’t want a war with the Croats, since we cannot survive without them. We could realise the plan within three months, and it is possible that the world would recognise the result, but what about our future? The Croats would become our lasting enemies, Bosnia would lose them all, since they would go to Croatia or somewhere else, because they wouldn’t wish to live in such a Yugoslavia, and we Muslims would remain alone with the Serbs. Bosnia would suffer the fate of Kosovo - we would disappear as a people. I would be replaced within two years. This is why I refused.’

I told him that Milošević would proceed with his plan with or without him, and asked him what he planned to do. He paused a little: ‘I shall form an alliance with Tuđman.’ Was he sure that Tuđman would be his ally? He said: ‘He has no other choice. Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Croats and the Muslims, will be attacked at the same time, and it is only natural that we shall have to defend ourselves together. I am convinced that together we will win.’ I agreed with him, but told him I did not quite trust Tuđman. He replied: ‘You don’t like the HDZ and Tuđman.’ I said that this was not the issue, but I had been following Tuđman’s statements on Bosnia since 1990 and did not trust him - I feared he would try to divide Bosnia. He tried to persuade me that I was wrong.

This suggests that Izetbegović did not have a reserve strategy. He sought an agreement with Tuđman in 1992, and especially in 1993 and 1994, when I became involved in his negotiations with Tuđman. He offered an alliance in Split in 1992, but Tuđman rebuffed him. He rebuffed him again at the end of 1993, or maybe soon after the New Year. This was the time of Tuđman’s so-called Bosnian peace initiative, but the negotiations, during which I represented Izetbegović, failed. One night Izetbegović asked me to visit him and, because I knew that it was an important moment, I asked Hido Biščević to come with me (he was at the time Croatia’s ambassador to Turkey). When we arrived, Izetbegović told me: ‘Go to Tuđman and tell him that this is my last offer. I offer him a military alliance directed against Karadžić, with the aim of preserving Bosnia as a whole, with the Croats and the Muslims sharing power on a fifty-fifty basis. Or rather, if Serbs wish to remain they will be given a proportionate share in the government, but the rest will be divided equally between Croats and Bosniaks irrespective of their relative numbers. I also offer him a confederation between such a Bosnia and Croatia. But Bosnia must remain a single unit, from the Una to the Drina and from Neum to the Sava. Go and tell him that.’

Hido and I went to see Tuđman and told him of Izetbegović’s offer. Tuđman laughed and said: ‘He is offering me all of Bosnia, but he controls only 12% of its territory.’ He literally laughed off Izetbegović’s offer. I told Izetbegović that Tuđman had refused, but did not tell him the details, in order not to make matters worse. I was dismayed, because what Izetbegović was offering was salvation for us all. He asked me to return to Tuđman with the message that he might take western Herzegovina, if - this is how Izetbegović himself put it - he would ‘leave us in peace’. (Tuđman would later often boast about how Izetbegović had offered him western Herzegovina.) I told him: ‘This is something you must tell him yourself. So far as I am concerned, I now have two enemies: you and Tuđman.’ I didn’t take the message, but someone else must have done so, though I don’t know who that might be. Tuđman acted in accordance with the agreement reached in Karađorđevo. On 13 June 1991 he invited the Herzegovina group led by Mate Boban to Zagreb, where for the first time he presented the idea of dividing Bosnia-Herzegovina. On 20 June he held similar talks with the Croats from Travnik. It continued like that: on 15 October there was a meeting in Grude; on 22 October in Busovača, and so on throughout 1991.

There is no doubt that Croatia attacked Bosnia and that the HV went to Bosnia to realise Tuđman’s plan. It is important that this be openly admitted in Croatia - the country must free itself from this burden for the sake of its future. Croatia must not be allowed to be held back by what happened, constantly to make excuses for the warmongers - who, moreover, turned the war into general pillage.

Bjelajac: As a historian researching these events post festum, I accepted the invitation to join this round-table mainly in order to listen, to resolve some of my dilemmas, and to deepen my understanding. I consider the publication of Š pegelj’s memoirs as a important step in forming a proper picture of the past. My own work concerns the history of the JNA and the former Yugoslavia, and in that context military-civilian relations and how a multi-ethnic army functioned during Yugoslavia’s existence. There is much disagreement on the character, role and responsibility of the JNA for the break-up of Yugoslavia and the war. There exists an apparent consensus that it played a highly negative role, but the arguments put forward for this view often start from opposing premises. Contemporaries are for one reason or another disappointed with the JNA’s behaviour, but the tendency is to concentrate only on its final act. The majority view is that it was an instrument of Serb domination. For my part I have tried to avoid this reductionism by looking at its overall interaction with politics and society.

The JNA was a multi-ethnic army in 1948 when, supported by its highest officers, Tito made his decision to resist Moscow. As the British analyst James Gow notes in his book Military and Legitimacy, the Yugoslav case, its credibility and legitimacy were at their height at times when the country faced danger from abroad or a threat to its internal instability, but its credibility declined as the system entered its political crisis in the 1980s, while its internal morale was affected by a permanent lack of funds for modernization. The break-up of Yugoslavia opened up a debate on the character of this army. Some argue that it was always an instrument of Serb domination, others that while Tito was alive it was an army of equal nations - which started to change when Admiral Branko Mamula became minister of defence. Still others see Milošević’s arrival at the helm of the Serbian League of Communists as the true watershed. What was the JNA’s true role, its ability to navigate in the rapidly changing circumstances? What were the true motives of the military leaders? Did it align itself with a particular plan, or did the evolving events gradually and inevitably tie it to those who favoured some kind of Yugoslavia? I believe that Miroslav Hadžić is right to say that its most strident critics tend to forget how, in the last days of its existence, the individual republics were simply pushing the JNA into Serbia’s arms.

It is my belief that the JNA was largely a Yugoslav force until 29 June 1991, when its leaders decided to move against Slovenia in order to restore the earlier regime as well its own credibility as the guarantor of peace. On the following day they were stopped by Milošević and Jović, after which Kadijević accepted whatever they offered him. Having lost credibility as a force, the JNA also lost its legitimacy as an all-Yugoslav body. However, the pro-Yugoslav current within the military establishment in Belgrade was removed only in the spring of 1992. Kadijević’s hope that by defeating Tuđman he would be able to restore the JNA’s international credibility and preserve Yugoslavia was dashed.

It is true that victors write history. The defeated option by the very fact of losing the battle inevitably becomes discredited. This notwithstanding, our knowledge of these events is growing. I have read General Š pegelj’s paper delivered at a conference in Budapest, the proceedings of which were published as The War in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, a book from which I learnt a great deal especially about the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Since then we have had new insights offered, for example, by Holbrooke’s memoirs. We heard today that Raif Dizdarević supported the idea of a military coup, something which he omits to mention in his own memoirs. General Marijan Kranjc, in his book Balkanski vojački poligon [The Balkan Military Area], supplies the arguments for deploying ‘A’ formations against NATO, and explains for the first time the true significance of the military document that set off the Janša affair. The document in question related to the deployment of an ‘A’ unit along the border with Italy. Kranjc specifies the exact moment up to which a military coup was still possible in Slovenia, and when the commander of the most important unit went over the side of the Slovene leadership.

But was the American ambassador Zimmermann wrong in his estimate of the JNA’s power, credibility and legitimacy in August 1991? In his book he notes Tuđman’s - in his view misplaced - optimistic assessment that in the event of an open military conflict the USA would come to Croatia’s aid. There was a rumour in Croatia, allegedly started in Yugoslav foreign minister Josip Vrhovec’s circle, and repeated in 1993 in his memoirs by Davor Perinović (a founder of the Bosnian HDZ) - who got it as ‘confidential information’ from Ivan Bobetko in the summer of 1989 - that Gorbachev and Reagan at a meeting on Malta had confirmed the Yalta agreement dividing Yugoslavia into Western and Eastern spheres of influence, with the Drina as the border between the two. The message was that Yugoslavia’s break-up was inevitable, in which case Croatia would join the West. Our knowledge based on personal accounts is growing. We have Jović’s diaries, the memoirs published by Stipe Mesić, Branko Kostić, Raif Dizdarević, Kiro Gligorov, Janez Janša. Kadijevic has written his account, as have done other generals and admirals: Aleksandar Vasiljević, Nikola Čubra, Martin Š pegelj, Janko Bobetko, Branko Mamula. We have also had the debate over Marinko Ogorec’s book Vojna sila bivse Jugoslavije [Former Yugoslavia’s Military Power], with retired general Zlatko Rendulić denying in Polemos (Zagreb) that the JNA was an instrument of Serb domination during the time Tito was alive.

Bilandžić: Do you think that the military leaders capitulated to Milošević in June 1991? Milošević forced Kadijević to consider another attack on Slovenia, since the first one had failed, but then he changed his mind and asked him to leave Slovenia alone and concentrate instead on Croatia. Do you think that in 1991 Drašković and the Serbian opposition were more committed to the project of Greater Serbia then Milošević?

Bjelajac: I know it sounds heretical, but in my view Milošević was not a chauvinist. He was above all a politician ready to utilise national frustration. According to my sources, he was in fact ‘brought in’ after a secret meeting held at Fruška Gora, involving Nikola Ljubičić and old retired generals from all over Yugoslavia, at which it was agreed that ‘Yugoslavia must be saved’, and that in order to achieve this it was necessary first to re-organise the League of Communists. They wanted to have someone who appeared fully committed to ‘brotherhood and unity’. I have heard that Ljubičić too has written his memoirs, which should be interesting. He belonged to a circle which believed that Tito had left Yugoslavia to their protection. They feared Kosovo for this reason. Like Tito, they feared that some internal disorder could be used to justify an outside intervention. They suspected the East, but did not exclude the West. As Milošević rose, or as they raised him, it was popular to attack those responsible for the Memorandum. Milošević was then on the same side as Stambolić, who was perceived as a nationalist by those outside Serbia. When, however, he became strong and something had to be done, things changed: his personal ambitions and those of his wife came to the fore.

Kadijević tried to explain to Zimmermann the dangers he saw with the introduction of a multi-party system. He argued that political pluralism would return to power those forces that were defeated in the Second World War, in the first instance nationalists, who threatened the country’s integrity and a new civil war. He asked for support. Regarding the story of the military coup, I have heard from two different sources about an American offer of support to Kadijević made in the autumn of 1990. But this was not to support what the JNA planned in 1991 - i.e. to remove Ante Marković and leave Milošević. The alleged American offer started from different premises. The idea was to offer tacit American support for two years for the JNA to do what Jaruzelski had done: to create a framework within which, in one way or another, a new internal settlement would be reached. The republican leaders were supposed to become part of the federal government. It is possible that the United States, in its preparation for the war against Iraq, wished to have peace in this part of the Mediterranean and the Balkans. Kadijević was not convinced of the sincerity of the offer, however, and it is possible that he was already suspicious of Ante Marković.

 

This is an edited and shortened version of the full discussion published in Gordogan (Zagreb), Autumn 2003

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