Republicans like Bob Dole were demanding attacks on Serbs and accusing Clinton of Chamberlain style appeasement.
National Review was so viciously braying for the Serbian blood that I had to cancel the subscription.
Here comes the article from that time:
(C) BOSTON GLOBE
29 APRIL 1993
BEFORE WE JOIN A WAR, SOME QUESTIONS
by H.D.S. Greenway
In the last few weeks, the Bosnian town of Srebrenica has become another Guernica in the eyes of the West, and the Clinton administration is being drawn inexorably toward military intervention in the Balkan civil war.
Secretary of State Warren Christopher has laid out what he calls the "severe tests" of an interventionist policy: It must be clearly stated, there should be a strong likelihood of success, there must be an "exit strategy," and it must win sustained public support in this country. None of those conditions has been met.
But a public mood is rising. Television has zeroed in on Bosnia while other civil wars and ethnic cleansings go relatively unreported. Respected opinion makers from both left and right have been beating the intervention drum, taunting Clinton, calling his caution a weakness and making shallow, ill-considered comparisons with Hitler-appeasing Neville Chamberlain.
Before the United States commits itself to war, however, there are three questions that the administration needs to answer if intervention is to meet Christopher's "severe tests."
First, who will be our enemies? Second, what are our war aims? Third, what will we do if limited intervention fails to achieve our aims?
Bosnian Serbs are not allowed to link up their territories in what would become a "Greater Serbia," but the Croats in their part of Bosnia-Herzegovina fly the Croatian flag, use Croatian money and have linked up with Croatia. If we will go to war against Serbian aggrandizement in Bosnia, will we also bomb Croats to prevent Greater Croatia?
Will our war aim be "stopping the genocide now," as Sen. Joseph Biden has said? If so, whose genocide? Only last week in Central Bosnia, Muslims and Croats were at each other's throats and, according to the United Nations, summary executions, massacres and ethnic cleansings were committed by both Muslim and Croat factions.
And while world attention was on Serbs shelling Srebrenica, the BBC reported on the mass graves the Serbs were finding just a few miles away in which lay the corpses of Serbs who had been decapitated, mutilated and tortured by Muslims during the Muslims' Christmas offensive.
Simplistic analysts have put all the blame for the Bosnian civil war on the Serbs and their leader, Slobodan Milosevic, the former Communist turned ultra-nationalist who has played the ethnic card to fan the flames of hatred. That Croatia's leader, Franjo Tudjman, has done much the same thing goes largely ignored. The real cause of the war, however, was as UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali described it in an interview last summer. "You have three ethnic groups, and they have not taken into account the point of view of one of the three, which was the Serbs."
Croats and Muslims were granted rights of self-determination that the large Serb minorities living outside the province of Serbia were denied. Serbs had historical reasons to fear Croatian and Muslim domination, and Milosevic was able to take advantage of those fears.
True, the Serbs are responsible for the most atrocities, but if we intervene to tip the military balance against Serbs, will we be pre- pared to make war on Muslims and Croats if they turn on Serb civilians to enlarge their own territories?
This is not a cut-and-dried matter of forcing an invader out of another country. This is an entangled, tripartite civil war with 500 years of hatred. If putting back together the Humpty Dumpty of Bosnian unity --never more than an illusion-- is our aim, we'd better think in terms of a 100-year "exit strategy."
Lastly, what if a limited intervention fails to end the fighting and accelerates it instead? Unfortunately for Clinton, he will have to live with the results of intervention while pundits promoting war today will be the first to denounce him should things go wrong tomorrow.
I never had much use for Republicans like Bob Dole just as I have no use for McCain and a few other Republicans.
Former Ustachi facist Franjo Tudjman, you might add.
From the perspective of cold calculation, it was still only a couple of years after the fall of the USSR. The idea of a widespread war in SE Europe was problematic. Initially, NATO sat on the sidelines and gave the Euros a chance to deal with it. Lacking any real recent experience in matters of war, the Euros failed. NATO had to step in. Now, on the matter of what happened next, there is plenty of criticism to go around. A topic for another day ....
In the book "While America Sleeps" by Kagan and Kagan is a good analysis of the issue.