As nationalism may seduce the masses, so may vanity have the same effect upon individual diplomats engaged in conflict resolution. While some may debate what strategic interests, conspiracies or prejudices are at play in motivating policy, too frequently it may be the egos of the personalities involved.
Whether there was acquiescence or complicity before or after the fact of the fall of Srebrenica, Washington pivoted its policy toward satisfying Milosevic's territorial demands. The mythology of peace in BiH continues to be dominated by tales of age-old hatreds as well as ethnic chauvinist politics.
Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and more than a decade after the establishment of the International Criminal Court, shockingly little is being done to stop massive human rights abuses. The prospects of victims receiving justice, let alone bringing perpetrators to account, seem ever more remote.
While Serbia has made great strides towards integration in the EU, it still has a long way to go before it can achieve economic compliance with EU standards and shed the reputation of intolerance and radical nationalism, personified by Seselj, that has tarnished the country since Milosevic's ascension to power.
Every year we commemorate the genocide, we expect that those who betrayed Srebrenica might this time ask for forgiveness from the survivors. Instead, much of Europe appears inclined to forget Srebrenica and punish all Bosnian & Herzegovinians ("BiH") for reminding it of its collective failure to prevent the genocide.
From the Vietnam War to the Iraq War, facile and wildly inaccurate comparisons between foreign adversaries and Adolf Hitler have served the interests of politicians hell-bent on propelling the United States into war. Often, those politicians succeeded. The carnage and the endless suffering have been vast.
Yugoslavia fell apart in stages, and violence accompanied each of these stages. To assess these crimes and determine culpability, even as the wars continued to rage, the United Nations established the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 1993. It was the first war crimes tribunal since the end of World War II.