Charles William Maynes' column "Is There Any 'Right' Bosnia Policy for Clinton?" (Opinion, April 24) contains numerous misstatements of fact. He is of course free to speculate on the most appropriate response from the Clinton Administration on the resolution of the Bosnian conflict. He is not, however, free to manipulate history in support of his thesis.
Maynes claims that anti-Serb excesses of World War II are "fueling the current conflict" and somehow justify current Serb aggression. Although he must know that atrocities were committed by all sides during that war, he omits completely the excesses committed by the Serbian fascists, led by Milan Nedic, against all non-Serbs and especially the Muslim population during this time period. Serb Chetniks succeeded in "cleansing" most of the 86,000 to 103,000 Muslims who perished during the war; their ideological successors are continuing the tradition today in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in occupied parts of the Republic of Croatia.
Serbian propaganda also purports that the 500-year-old Croatian coat of arms is a fascist symbol simply because it was used by the Croatian Ustashi government. However, the checkerboard coat of arms configuration during this period was different than the other Croatian flags and, furthermore, Maynes forgets or is ignorant of the fact that the checkerboard coat of arms has appeared on every Croatian flag since the year 1582. As for the rehabilitation of war criminals in Croatia or the naming of public squares after them, I defy Maynes to offer a single example. Although there was a street and a school outside Zagreb named after Mile Budak, a Croatian playwright (and former member of the Ustashi government), these names were recently changed at the initiative of the city council, which found them objectionable.
As an example of the importance President Franjo Tudjman places on such issues, it is important to note that he personally initiated a recent premiere of "Schindler's List" in Zagreb and took that occasion to express his deepest apologies for the excesses committed in Croatia during World War II and for the Nazi-fascist racist laws.
In light of the facts, both past and present, it would behoove Maynes to join the rest of the international community in condemning Serbian aggression.
JULIA BUSICH, Adviser
Embassy of Croatia, Washington