Friend of mine wrote the book on Slobodan Milosevic. No. Really. And I am named in the thanks, for the work I did transcribing interviews with his sources. I heard a lot that was not included in the book, in 70 hours of interview tapes.
I also worked for the peacekeeping forces in the Balkans, IFOR, KFOR, and SFOR. The only area that was still hot when I was there, was Kosovo, which was long after Srebrenica. But. We all knew about it. And Mostar. And Sarajevo. And others.
I managed a shop on the military base in Sarajevo. Two of our girls who worked there, and were good friends, were a Serb and a Bosnian. One of their brothers was a gunner on the hills over Sarajevo, while the other one lived in Sarajevo being bombed by the other girl's brother.
For them both, it was water under the bridge. Ancient history. They were young, 20-somethings with English and a good job, and their whole lives in front of them. They wanted nothing to do with the war they had just lived through.
I never understood the war. And I never understood how neighbors could turn on each other. And I never understood how these two women could be friends and socialize so soon after their families were trying to kill each other.
The Balkans are a truly fascinating place... always been at the intersection between the West and the East, but - unlike Turkey - are firmly physically in the West.
Sooooo much history there...