PITY THE PEACEKEEPERS

THE SERBS RESPOND TO NATO BOMBINGS BY CHAINING HOSTAGES NEAR POTENTIAL TARGETS, AND THE STALEMATE RESUMES

The words sounded drearily familiar. Bosnia's Serbs "have gone too far," intoned German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel. "This is where we draw the line." NATO Secretary-General Willy Claes asserted that "the international community cannot accept any longer to be humiliated" -- just as so many other statesmen had insisted so many, many times in the past three years.

It seemed that this time, for once, words would be matched with action. And they were, sort of, in what might be called a Balkan-style chain reaction. A heavy NATO bombing raid was swiftly countered by Serb shelling of supposed "safe areas"; that...

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