Bosnia: An Unholy Alliance

This is Bosnia's endgame. Last week, in the Croat-held town of Kiseljak about T18 miles northwest of Sarajevo, three Serbian tanks pulled up to a checkpoint manned by Croatian Defense Council soldiers. No shots were fired. Instead, the tanks proceeded south to a front line where the Croat and Muslim-led government forces have been pounding each other for weeks. The Serbs returned the favor, allowing 20 busloads of Croat troops to pass unmolested through a Serbian checkpoint near the Bosnian capital. Then the Croats headed north toward the town of Maglaj to join Serbs who were squaring off against Muslims. "We are all together now," a Serbian soldier told Tony Land, head of the Sarajevo office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. "We're even selling our tanks to the Croats." ...

Germany's Furies

First came the crash of a firebomb. Then the roar of spreading flames. And finally, the phone call: "Fire in Ratzeburger Street! Heil Hitler!" Those words, called in to the fire department in the small Baltic town of Molln, resounded across Germany last week. They announced much more than the arson attack that killed two Turkish girls and a 51-year-old grandmother. They were a cry of rightist revolt that jolted Germans into a frightening realization: the 1,800 attacks this year on foreigners and Jewish monuments can no longer be described as the random vandalism of a minority of alienated youths in the formerly communist states of eastern Germany. Rather, neo-Nazi attacks pose nothing less than a challenge to democratic order in the entire country. For the first time, officials of Chancellor Helmut Kohl's conservative government began branding the rightist youths as "terrorists" on a par with the leftist assassins who targeted industrialists and politicians in the 1970s and '80s....

Why Are the Camps Still Full?

Grizzled and hollow-cheeked, Mehmet is 30 but looks about 50. That isn't surprising, given his ordeal. Mehmet is from Kozarac, a Muslim town in northern Bosnia that was "ethnically cleansed" by Serb forces last June. Mehmet says the Serbs looted his house, knocked out his front teeth with a pistol butt, locked him overnight in a bathroom with two mutilated corpses and then took him to the notorious Omarska prison camp. There, he says, he was forced to take his cousin to the camp's "House of Many Colors"-and made to watch as Serbs cut the man's throat. Mehmet is still too scared to reveal his last name. Now living in a dingy, crowded hostel run by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Croatian town of Karlovac, he hopes to return to Kozarac. But first, he says, "I would like to go to another country and see my wife and daughter." ...

Now, A Second Front

The convoy of buses had been wandering the remote area of Bosnia for three days, looking for a safe road to Travnik, a town 45 miles northwest of Sarajevo. The passengers thought the Muslim-Croat alliance in Bosnia guaranteed some measure of security for their journey. They were wrong. In the village of Torine, they stopped to smoke cigarettes and chat with Muslim guerrillas and local residents. Suddenly, an artillery shell erupted in dust and shrapnel only 50 yards away, and everyone bolted for cover. Two more terrifying explosions followed. It was nothing out of the ordinary in Bosnia, except for one thing: this barrage came not from the Muslims' usual Serb antagonists, but from Croats-the Muslims' erstwhile allies. "Everything is crazy," muttered Zoran Uresic, 36, a passenger from the bus convoy. "Everything." ...

The Money Of Collor

A little more than two years ago, Brazilian President Fernando Collor de Mello came to power on a vow to clean up corruption in Brazil. Today, the dashing 43-year-old free marketer has not only failed to live up to that promise-he also faces well-documented accusations that he ripped off the government on a grand scale himself A Brazilian congressional commission has found that Collor personally benefited from an influence-peddling ring operated within the government by his former campaign treasurer. Of "hundreds of millions of dollars" raked off through kickbacks on government contracts, bank fraud and tax evasion, more than $20 million allegedly made it into the pockets of Collor, his family and cronies. The loot reportedly included hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses for the president, a $1.8 million overhaul of the presidential-residence gardens and swimming pool, a $10,000 Fiat and a $5,000 monthly salary for Collor's butler. First Lady Rosane Collor...

The Soldiers' Story: An Army In Chaos

A soldier's life is seldom easy, but the Peruvian troops in the Andean town of Puquio are downright pitiable. Short of food, bullets and boots, they are paid $23 a month to battle Shining Path guerrillas. Fighting spirit is also running low. When a guerrilla column attacked Puquio one night in January, not a soldier stirred. The troops sabotaged their radio so orders to fight could not reach them, according to Peruvian congressional accounts of the incident. The insurgents blew up a bank and town hall, killed three police officers and stole their guns. ...

The 'Self-Coup' That Rocked Peru

Bernard Aronson, the Bush administration's point man for democracy in Latin America, was wondering why the Peruvian government had asked him to postpone his visit to Lima last week. As Aronson sipped a nightcap in Lima with U.S. Ambassador Anthony Quainton, he found out: Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori went on national television to announce an autogolpe--a "self-coup." With military backing, Fujimori dissolved Congress, suspended civil liberties and established government by decree. American intelligence had warned of rumblings in the officer corps, Fujimori's deep-seated contempt for opposition legislators and corrupt judges--and, of course, the relentless advance of the Maoist guerrilla group Shining Path. But the United States was still surprised by the autogolpe. As tanks rolled in Lima and soldiers arrested lawmakers, journalists and opposition politicians, Aronson set aside his talking points on anti-drug aid to work on the immediate suspension of all but humanitarian U.S...

One Giant Leap For Mankind

It was a heady moment-that instant I realized I was about to race down the narrow basement corridor of Perfect Tommy's, a bar on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, spring onto a trampoline and backflip smack into a Velcro-striped wall. There I stood in a Velcro-covered jumpsuit, adrenaline and Amstel Light pumping in my veins. Tipsy twentysomethings lined the runway, chanting my name. I jogged, bounced, flipped, lost all sense of where I was ... and, despite help from two safety spotters, stuck to the wall for barely a second before crumpling to the floor. Groans (and quite a few snickers) filled the beery air. STICK OR DIE says the sign at Perfect Tommy's. I did nearly die-of embarrassment. But once I recovered, my first thought was: hey, lemme do it again. ...

The Newest War

The American-led battle to oust Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait is an increasingly distant memory. U.S. troops may soon be airlifting food to another crumbling former foe, the Soviet Union. But the U.S. military is still at war-against the drug lords of Latin America. On the waters of the Caribbean Sea, ships and AWACS planes of the Navy's Atlantic Command search for drug planes and boats, while a military radar aerostat balloon hovers above. In the desert Southwest, Marines and Army Special Forces soldiers burrow into "hide sites," peering at drug smugglers through night-vision goggles. Along the GulfCoast, Navy SEALs probe ships for cocaine shipments riveted to their hulls. In South America, American trainers mold Latin armies into narco-fighting form. ...

Rejecting The Refugees

Is Albert Auguste a freedom lover or a fortune seeker? Last week the U.S. Coast Guard returned the 31-year-old to Haiti after plucking him and 141 others from a homemade wooden boat bobbing off the coast of Florida. It was his second repatriation. The first time, Haiti, the poorest nation in the hemisphere, was ruled by dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier. Today Haiti is under the control of a violent group of military coup makers against whom the U.S. government has organized a trade embargo. To the Bush administration, however, Auguste is an economic refugee, lured northward by American opportunity; he must go home. To supporters of the boat people, the roughly 3,000 Haitians who have fled since the Sept. 29 coup are escaping military violence and deserve refuge, if not fullfledged political asylum. ...

Cloakrooms And Daggers

HELP WANTED: Secretary-General, the United Nations. Salary: $190,000 per year. Benefits: enormous prestige, opportunities for travel. Responsibilities: flexible. Qualifications: international diplomat with friends in high places but no opinions that might offend the governments of the United States, Britain, France, China or the Soviet Union. Must speak French. Formal applications not encouraged; whispering campaigns will be considered, provided they do not breach boundaries of good taste. (The United Nations is an equal opportunity/affirmative-action employer.) ...

Haiti: Why The Coup Matters

France's ambassador to Haiti was one of the first to see armored cars moving in on President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's Port-au-Prince home. He raced to the house and managed to pull the president into his bulletproof car, but not before soldiers had killed one Aristide bodyguard. On a frantic ride to the presidential palace, Aristide, his suit splattered with his bodyguard's blood, watched as soldiers fired at civilians. At the palace, the president was suddenly arrested by troops apparently led by the very man Aristide had put in control of the Army only last June, Brig. Gen. Raoul Cedras. "They tied him up; all they need to do now is throw a tire around his neck. My God, my God, my God," a soldier sobbed over Army Radio. Necklacing-or Pere Lebrun, as the Haitians call it, after a local tire importer-might have seemed poetic justice to Aristide's foes. Upon his return from a U.S. tour, the president had called execution by burning tire a "beautiful instrument." Aristide escaped to...

A Marriage On The Rocks

George Bush has made only four Oval Office addresses to the nation, two of them to rally the people against Saddam Hussein. Last week he was contemplating a fifth TV appeal, this time to take on an old ally: Israel. Washington and Jerusalem have been at odds ever since Bush's angry demand that Israel postpone its request for $10 billion in U.S. loan guarantees to resettle Soviet Jews in Israel. The president sees Israel's settlements on its occupied territories as a major obstacle to Arab-Israeli peace, and fears the loan guarantees will indirectly finance more of them. And he smells political victory: an ABC News poll showed that 86 percent of the American people support his stance, while Israel's supporters on Capitol Hill seemed short of a vetoproof two-thirds majority in the Senate. "The Israelis and [the Israel lobby] have put their heads into the noose," says a Democratic House aide. "The president has the upper hand." ...

A Victim Of Preference

One spring day in 1976, Stephen Carter's phone rang. It was, seemingly, a miracle: a Harvard Law School official, calling to apologize for rejecting his application and to offer him a spot in the class. But the miracle was a stinging insult in disguise. "We assumed from your record that you were white," the official explained. In other words, Carter writes today, "Stephen Carter, the white male, was not good enough for the Harvard Law School; Stephen Carter, the black male ... rated agonized telephone calls urging him to attend. And Stephen Carter, color unknown, must have been white: How else could he have achieved what he did in college? ... My academic record was too good for a black Stanford University undergraduate, but not good enough for a white Harvard law student." ...

The Last Gulag

Revelations about China's brutal labor camps raise questions about Bush's tolerance for Beijing Watchtowers and brick walls line the lonely gray highway between Qinghai and Tibet in northwestern China. In the fields, the prisoners, in tattered blue uniforms, shuffle to work under the harsh gaze of their guards. Most of the inmates in China's labor reform camps are common criminals; but according to secret Chinese documents obtained by NEWSWEEK, perhaps 100,000 of the estimated 10 million denizens of China's prisons have been jailed for nothing more than opposing the government in Beijing. Many, like Li Lin, a labor activist, were arrested in the crackdown that followed the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Li endured months of beatings, psychological abuse and forced labor. "The prison was so horrible," Li told NEWSWEEK in Hong Kong, where he lives now, thanks to an international campaign to win his release. "I thought I'd never get out..." Many never do. Some prisoners are kept at...

How The West Can Win The New World Order

As the Soviet Union is crumbling, so is a basic conception which has guided Western foreign policy for the better part of five decades: that a single government would enforce its writ across the gigantic land stretching between Poland and Vladivostok. In the pre-Gorbachev past, a seemingly permanent Soviet Union served as the common enemy whose menace kept Europe and the United States together. More recently the New World Order was also premised on the existence of a unitary Soviet Union: this time as a partner that could make and keep deals with the West. ...

Peru:Into The Cross-Fire

Late last month 20 members of Peru's mysterious guerrilla group, Shining Path, stormed an experimental farm in Huaral, 50 miles north of Lima, the country's capital. They executed three visiting agronomists from Japan. They blew up research laboratories. Then they escaped. It seemed a senseless act, almost guaranteed to alienate the very peasants guerrillas normally court. But to Shining Path, the agronomists were imperialists propping up the "fascist" government of President Alberto Fujimori. The attack showed the rebels can strike freely near the capital. It was also intended to weaken Peru's links to Japan, which pledged to help Fujimori, the son of Japanese immigrants: since the attack, Japan has recalled 52 agricultural engineers. ...

A Moment Of Truth?

The moment Yitzhak Shamir dreaded had arrived: President Hafez Assad of Syria agreed to U.S. proposals for a Mideast peace conference. His enemy's concession confronted the Israeli prime minister with a dilemma: how to avoid snubbing his American patrons without setting his country on the road to territorial compromises. Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasir Arafat was no less flustered. Isolated by his support for Saddam Hussein in the gulf war, he had to keep a hand in the conference stop it-and thus avert total irrelevance. ...

How War Changes America

The best description of the gulf war's impact on American society came from President Bush himself: "We've kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all." For half a generation, the memory of defeat in Vietnam--and the deep national divisions exposed and fed by that defeat--haunted the United States at home and abroad. A "can't do" spirit seemed to dog the government's efforts. But suddenly, Americans believe again that they can, and should, solve nagging problems at home as competently and resolutely as the U.S. military dealt with Saddam Hussein.Such bullishness in the immediate aftermath of war is far more characteristic of American history than the Vietnam syndrome was, mainly because the United States usually won its wars. Though Americans like to think of war as an aberration from the peaceful flow of their history, it has in fact played an integral role in the economic and political development of the nation. Military conflicts have created "emergency" conditions in which...

Saddam's Endgame

Who is Saddam Hussein? Five months after he invaded Kuwait, changing the course of a turbulent year and perhaps the politics of the Middle East forever, no one really knows for sure. Is he a madman, a latter-day Hitler? Or is he a calculating student of power--an Arab Bismarck? In August Saddam ruthlessly seized his lightly defended neighbor, but before he moved he took care to hedge his bets. First he sent out a steady stream of false assurances about his intentions. Then he did his best to find out whether any other country, especially the United States, would call his bluff. In a fateful meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Baghdad April Glaspie just days before the invasion, Saddam sounded out U.S. intentions and received signals that Washington would turn a blind eye. Only then did he proceed with his Middle Eastern anschluss. As one State Department official put it last week, "For a guy with a terrible hand, [Saddam] holds a lot of cards, and he knows how to play them." ...