Jeffrey T. Kuhner's Commentary column asked about the prospect for an "Islamist state in Europe" (The Washington Times, Dec. 18). It is not a question of "if," but of "when."
We need only look at what is happening in Europe. Today there are more practicing Muslims than practicing Anglicans in England. In one demonstration in front of British Parliament, signs were carried reading, "Islam, our religion today, your religion tomorrow." France is a basket case, plagued with riots between Muslim youths and the government. Young non-Muslims girls there are accosted on the streets for not covering their hair.
In The Washington Times (Culture, et cetera)on April 14, 2003, in "La France, c'est morte," Guy Milliere was reported saying, "In fact, the only things that are growing in France right now are crime and Islamism." Germany invited Turkish guest workers (gastarbeiter) when they were needed but today faces high unemployment. Even financial incentives are not enough to entice the "gastarbeiter" to return to Turkey. They know they live better in a Christian than in a Muslim country.
And what of the Netherlands, where the famous Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was stabbed and shot to death by an irate Muslim for a making film that showed what many Muslim women face in arranged marriages.
Bosnia has become al Qaeda's corridor into Europe. An example is that a main terrorist in the Madrid bombing was born in Bosnia. While the Clinton administration fawned over the Bosnian government of Alija Izetbegovic, his embassy in Vienna issued Osama bin Laden a passport in 1992, as reported in a Nov. 1, 2001, article in the Wall Street Journal titled, "Al Qaeda's Balkan links." It said, "For the past 10 years, the most senior leaders of al Qaeda have visited the Balkans, including bin Laden himself and on three occasions between 1994 and 1996." The Washington Times also reported as recently as last Dec. 1 that the "Balkans are seen as terrorist training ground."
The Sept. 1, 1996, New York Times reported: " 'If you read President Izetbegovic's writings, as I have, there is no doubt that he is an Islamic fundamentalist,' said a senior Western diplomat with long experience in the region. 'He is a very nice fundamentalist, but he is still a fundamentalist. This has not changed. His goal is to establish a Muslim state in Bosnia, and the Serbs and Croats understand this better than the rest of us." Saudi Arabia wanted the first Islamic nation in the heart of Europe, and the Clinton administration wanted cheap oil and Saudi money. In 1995, Saudi Arabia signed a letter of intent to buy $6 billion of Boeing aircraft. The day after NATO bombed the Serbs on a trumped up self-inflicted atrocity committed by Bosnian Muslim forces at Sarajevo's main market, the Saudis signed on the dotted line. A coincidence? I don't think so.
President Bush accuses Iran of sending weapons and mujahideen into Iraq, yet there was no outrage when Mr. Clinton approved Iran's sending in Islamic fighters against Christian Serbs. A Senate Republican Policy Committee report of 1997 describes the Iranian involvement in Bosnia as the "stepping-stone to Europe: The intended targets of the mujahideen network in Bosnia are not limited to that country but extend to Western Europe."
A 1992 report, "Iran's European springboard?" for the Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, House Republican Research Committee, outlined Iran's plan to establish an Islamic state in the heart of Europe.
Ironically, said Mr. Kuhner, "To the Balkanists in the State Department, however, Bosnia is a giant laboratory for their experiment in multiethnic nation-building." (my emphasis).
Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Democrat, said something similar: "Under Clinton's policy, Bosnia will continue to be our responsibility for the rest of the century and beyond. This is a much broader and deeper commitment than what the American people realize. It runs far beyond mere 'peacekeeping... administration officials have looked far and wide for somewhere to implement these notions [total, systematic restructuring of a society.] Bosnia is their new laboratory, providing a largess scope for experimentation than either Somalia or Haiti." (my emphasis). (The Washington Times, Feb. 4, 1996)
Jeffrey Kuhner's solution is "All three ethnic groups [being] masters in their own house, will give each, especially the minority Serbs and Croats, an incentive to view Bosnia as their shared, common homeland," exactly what the 1992 Lisbon Agreement would have accomplished.
The real tragedy is all the suffering, bloodshed and deaths in this conflict might never have occurred had it not been for our State Department's meddling when the three Bosnian leaders representing Croats, Muslims and Serbs endorsed a proposal that the republic be a confederation of three ethnic regions. Then our U.S. ambassador to Yugoslavia, Warren Zimmermann, told President Izetbegovic, representing the Muslim party of Bosnia, that if he didn't like it, why sign it? Though the Lisbon Agreement was the best opportunity to achieve peace, it was primarily the State Department official's misguided advice to the Bosnian president that encouraged Mr. Izetbegovic not to sign the agreement he originally accepted in Lisbon, a decision which made the war inevitable.
"In retrospect," Mr. Zimmermann said in an interview, "The Lisbon Agreement wasn't bad at all."
STELLA L. JATRAS
Camp Hill, Pa.