- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 3, 2001

In the rush to get $50 million in U.S. taxpayers´ money to Belgrade, the State Department obviously has convinced the Bush administration that ignoring congressionally mandated deadlines and conditions is OK because requiring “perfect performance” from the Serbs is unrealistic. Perfect performance, by State´s definition, seems to be anything that requires Belgrade to do much more than send a solitary Bosnian Serb mayor to The Hague and jail the “Butcher of the Balkans” on charges of white-collar corruption.

As your March 30 editorial “Aid reformers, not Milosevic” makes very clear, the criteria for the administration´s certification of compliance includes the absolute requirement that Milosevic and other indicted persons be physically turned over to The Hague. That is something President Vojislav Kostunica has unequivocally and consistently refused to do. Other provisions, written into the aid appropriation and signed into law by Congress, specify that in order to be certified as cooperating, Belgrade must give up control of its puppet government and army in the Republika Srpska as specified in the Dayton accords.

As of March 31, no Yugoslav citizen indicted by the International War Crimes Tribunal for Yugoslavia has been turned over by the Kostunica government. As of March 31, Belgrade still keeps its own government and police and a large army in Republika Srpska. That Bosnian Serb army, which protects the gains of ethnic cleansing, has steadfastly refused to cooperate with the international community or to integrate itself into the federation´s armed forces. As of March 31, that refusal continued to violate terms of the Dayton accords.

Human Rights Watch and other international humanitarian organizations have found that the current action against Mr. Milosevic is not a basis for certification. So, perhaps the State Department can explain to the world exactly what Belgrade has done to meet the requirements for direct U.S. aid that Congress laid out last October?



The Croatian American Association


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