Apology of a sort

Serbian president Boris Tadić is on a visit to Sarajevo, where he is apologising "in his own name" for crimes that were committed "in the name of the Serbian people." B92 is carrying the following text of Mr Tadić's somewhat equivocal statement, in which he calls for mutual apologies by all sides:

"However, these crimes were not committed by the Serbian people, but by criminals, individuals. It is not possible to charge a whole people because the same crimes were also committed against the Serbian people, so in that sense we all owe one another an apology. If I have to start first, well, here I am."

Interesting formulation. Probably it will be taken as a half measure. But then, half measures are not always worse than no measures at all. But it does lead a person to wonder why politicians are so much more cautious when making apologies than they are when doing damage.

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