The Real Bosnian Genocide – Геноцид над Србима у Босни
Name: Peter Robert North
Location: Perth, WA, Australia
The REAL Srebrenica Massacre/ Srebrenica Genocide:…
Saturday, August 19, 2006
The REAL Srebrenica Massacre/ Srebrenica Genocide: 3,870 Serbian Civilians Murdered by Izetbegovic’s & NATO’s Islamist Warlord: Mr. Naser Oric
Bosnian Muslim military forces from Srebrenica killed Bosnian Serb Milan Vujicic, mutilated his body, and then roasted his corpse.
The body of Bosnian Serb civilian Kostadinka Grcic, executed by Bosnian Muslim forces by stabbing her in the chest.
The body of Milica Saric, who was murdered by Bosnian Muslim forces in Kalinovik with 30 other Bosnian Serb civilians.
On right, the body of 15 year-old Bosnian Serb Slobodan Mastilo, who was murdered by Bosnian Muslim forces in the Foca region.
The bodies of Ranko Sekulovic, left, and his wife, Radenka, 30,
executed and mutilated by Bosnian Muslim Territorial Defense forces on September 13, 1992 in Foca. Bosnian Muslim troops murdered the entire Sekulovic family.
These little Serbs, Predrag and Danka Sekulovic, were slain with their parents on Sep. 13, 1992 by Bosnian Muslims in the village of Bakic on the road to Foca. He was 7, she was 4.
A Bosnian Serb mother grieves over her loved ones – brutally murdered by Izetbegovic’s/Oric’s Islamist troops.
The Milici Massacre, south of Srebrenica. Bosnian Muslim troops executed Bosnian Serbs and mutilated their bodies. On left, Ljubomir Jurosevic had his right eye cut out by Bosnian Muslim soldiers and his neck and chest showed signs of knife wounds.On right, the mutilated body of Bosnian Serb Dimitrije Alempic from Rogosije, who was executed by Bosnian Muslim soldiers. His body was mutilated and burned.
The bodies of two Bosnian Serbs in eastern Bosnia. On the right, a charred body of Zdravo Eric, who was killed and his body burned. Before burning him, Muslims took out the heart of this Christian as a sign of Islamic piety.
The body of a Bosnian Serb from Sarajevo, who was killed, mutilated, and burned. His body was thrown in the Miljacka river by Bosnian Muslim forces.
The corpse of Bosnian Serb civilian Radivoje Lukic, 59. The Bosnian Muslim paramilitaries „The Mosque Doves“ or „Dzamijski Golubovi“, murdered him
with an axe to the head on October 8, 1992 in Klisa.
The Bosnian Muslim paramilitaries „The Mosque Doves“ or „Islamski Golubovi“, murdered two elderly Bosnian Serb women near Zvornik north of Srebrenica.
Top, bodies of elderly Bosnian Serbs executed by the Bosnian Muslim paramilitary group The Mosque Doves, or Djamijski Golubovi near Zvornik in eastern Bosnia. The Mosque Doves executed 25 Bosnian Serb civilians. Left bottom, Bosnian Muslim forces crushed his skull with an axe, exposing his brain. Right bottom, the body of an elderly Bosnian Serb woman who was murdered by Bosnian Muslim forces.
Bosnian Serb civilian Zdravko Eric executed, burned and mutilated by the Bosnian Muslim paramilitary group Mosque Doves, Djamijski Golubovi, under Midhat Grahic fron Zvornik.
The decapitated head of Bosnian Serb farmer Pero Makic, who was executed by Bosnian Muslim/Croat forces in the northeastern Bosnian city of Brcko on June 22, 1992. His head was placed on a pitch-fork and a cigarette was placed in his mouth. One of the forks of the pitch-fork was stabbed in his eye. This is a photo that was censored and suppressed in the West and the US.
Sarajevo: The body of Bosnian Serb Nenad Beribaka. The Bosnian Muslim forces mutilated his body after killing him by extracting his brain.
Sarajevo: The body of a Bosnian Serb. Bosnian Muslim forces murdered and mutilated him by smashing his skull open.
A Serb soldier who was captured by the Muslims, skewered on a spear and exhibited in front of a hotel. „He stayed alive for a few days,“ said a Serbian journalist. That set off wild rumors throughout Bosnian Serb-held territories.
Burned remains of Milomir Prodanovic, a Serb from Podravnje near Milici, Bosnia.
(From: „The Suppressed Serbian Voice And The Free Press In America“ By William Dorich, 1994 – pp 20, 22.)
The mutilated body of Velo Majstorovic, who was tortured, killed, circumcized, and burned alive by Bosnian Muslim forces in Milici in eastern Bosnia, southwest of Srebrenica.
First massacre in Bosnia: March 26, 1992, Croat and Bosnian Muslim forces executed, mutilated, and beheaded 20 Bosnian Serb civilians in Sijekovac near Bosanski Brod. An 85 year Bosnian Serb was executed and then burned inside his house. The decapitated and mutilated corpses of Bosnian Serbs murdered in northern Bosnia near Brod.
As above.Bosnian Serbs brutally tortured, mutilated and murdered by Izetbegovic’s/Oric’s Islamist troops in Sijekovac near Bosanski Brod.
Photo 1)Saudi/Afghan-Arab mujahedeen with decapitated heads of Bosnian Serb POWs in 1992. Al-Qaeda funded and organized these early terrorist attacks against Bosnian Serbs.
hoto 2)Saudi/Afghan-Arab mujahedeen with decapitated heads of Bosnian Serb POWs in 1992. Al-Qaeda funded and organized these early terrorist attacks against Bosnian Serbs.
Saudi/Afghan-Arab mujahedeen holding the decapitated head of a Bosnian Serb POW who was executed and decapitated in central Bosnia in 1992.
Previous photo enlarged. The head of a Serb, Blagoje Blagojevic, held by an Arab Saudi/Afghan ‘Jihad’ fighter in Crni Vrh, Bosnia, 1992.
Previous 3 photos above) Alija Izetbegovic’s 10,000 strong Islamist fundamentalist „El Mujahedeen Unit“ in Zenica, Bosnia on parade with green banners on their heads which read: „Our path is the Jihad“ written in Arabic script.
See related articles,“Moderate Democrat or Radical Islamist? Who is Alija Izetbegovic, the man the US sponsored in Bosnia?“
„What really happened in Bosnia? Were the Serbs the criminal aggressors, as the official story claims, or were they the victims?“
„How the U.S. & Iran have Cooperated to Sponsor Muslim Terror(and this while loudly denouncing one another in public)“
What is this monument inscribed in Arabic script doing in Srebrenica (Potocari village), Bosnia? What is ex-president of the United States, Bill Clinton, doing here at the unveiling of this Arabic-inscribed monument dedicated to fallen al Qaeda Mujahedeen fighters in Srebrenica-Potocari, Bosnia? Why is Clinton bowing to this monument?
For the answers to these disturbing questions, see the articles
„Clinton opens a monument dedicated to Al Qaeda fighters and bows to it!“
„Srebrenica Controversy Becomes Increasingly Politicized and Ethnically Divisive, Increasing Pressure on Peacekeepers“ http://22.214.171.124/ISSA/reports/Balkan/Sep1903.htm
„Bosnian Official Links With Terrorism, Including 9/11, Become Increasingly Apparent as Clinton, Clark Attempt to Justify Support of Bosnian Militants“
„US Official Implicated With Bosnian High Representative Ashdown in Attempting to Force Fabricated Report on Srebrenica“ at:http://126.96.36.199/ISSA/reports/Balkan/Sep0803.htm
Here is an excerpt from the preceding article:
It appeared that the OHR wanted the statement issued before the opening of a Muslim monument — essentially a shrine which was being promoted as a site for annual Muslim pilgrimages from around the world — memorializing the radical Islamist allegations about events in Srebrenica to occur on September 19, 2003. The unveiling of the monument would be attended by former US Pres. William Clinton, and “finalizing” the Srebrenica case would help stop the ongoing wave of allegations of illegal Clinton Administration activity in supporting radical Islamist activities in Bosnia during the 1990s. This is particularly critical given the fact that a significant number of the Islamist terrorists involved in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States had strong links into the Bosnian Muslims whom Clinton had supported.
The US Embassy in Sarajevo donated $1-million to the construction of the “shrine”, even though all proper investigations of the Srebrenica affair in fact showed the Islamists’ claims to be unsubstantiated and, in many respects, without foundation at all.
Recent information emerging from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and particularly from the RS investigations into the Srebrenica affair and other aspects of terrorism in the region, have highlighted the fact that the Clinton Administration had, during the war, facilitated the Islamist terrorist activities because of the Clinton Administration’s need to demonize the Serbs in order to provide a casus belli for US-led military actions in the area to distract from domestic US political problems. Significantly, when the Muslim representatives involved in building the “shrine” in Srebrenica approached New York Mayor Michael Blumberg to establish a sister-city relationship with New York, the Mayor refused, based on intelligence showing the link between the Bosnian Islamists and the al-Qaida attacks on his city.
Amb. Hays’ two-page document was expected to lead to a statement, possibly as early as September 8, 2003, by RS officials, which would not only serve to protect the Clinton Administration officials, including the former US President, but would also serve as an admission of guilt of Serbs for killing thousands of Muslims who, in fact, were not known to have been killed. Several hundred bodies have been found as a result of the fighting in and around Srebrenica, but the Islamists and their supporters have claimed figures which grow higher with each telling, with figures now claiming some 15,000 alleged deaths. At the same time, there is no acknowledgement of the Muslim killing of thousands of Serbs at Srebrenica earlier in the war, when the city was supposed to have been a demilitarized zone.
Self-confessed mass murderer of Serbian civilians, Naser Oric, at the NATO owned ICTY in The Hague, Netherlands just prior to him being given a 2 year sentence by NATO for mass murder in Srebrenica.
Thousands of Bosnian Muslims („Bosniaks“) gather at Sarajevo airport to welcome their „hero“, Alija Izetbegovic’s Islamist Nazi self-confessed mass murderer of Serbs in Srebrenica, Naser Oric.
Below quotes excerpted from the Canadian Toronto Star newspaper article: „A Reporter’s Account of an Evening Spent with Nasir Oric, the Muslim Commander in Srebrenica“
„Fearsome Muslim warlord eludes Bosnian Serb forces“
Toronto Star, July 16, 1995
By Bill Schiller
On a cold and snowy night, I sat in his living room watching a shocking video version of what might have been called Nasir Oric’s Greatest Hits.
There were burning houses, dead bodies, severed heads, and people fleeing.
Oric grinned throughout, admiring his handiwork.
„We ambushed them,“ he said when a number of dead Serbs appeared on the screen.
The next sequence of dead bodies had been done in by explosives:
„We launched those guys to the moon,“ he boasted.
When footage of a bullet-marked ghost town appeared without any visible bodies, Oric hastened to announce: „We killed 114 Serbs there.“
Later there were celebrations, with singers with wobbly voices chanting his praises.
ICTY: 2 years for Oric
„It is in this regard that the ICTY may have failed,“ wrote the newspaper Transitions Online, on July 3 „— not in giving Oric the two-year sentence but in indicting him in the first place, thereby raising the expectation that Bosnian war crimes in and around Srebrenica would finally be properly investigated. (…)
(…) The court is now very likely to close down without ever having adequately dealt with the issue, confirming many Serbs in their view that they are hated by the West and many Bosniaks in their view that they were blameless victims in the war.“
NATO owned ICTY at The Hague Frees the Srebrenica Massacre Islamist Nazi Commander: Mr. Naser Oric
Unlike the deaths of Izetbegovic’s Islamist Nazi troops in combat with the better trained and better disciplined Bosnian Serbian Army(VRS), the REAL Srebrenica „Massacre“ (or Srebrenica „Genocide“) NOT reported by the corrupt,racist pro-Islamist Nazi Western corporate controlled media, was the brutal mass murder – using axes,knives,daggers,sledgehammers,
iron bars,flamethrowers and explosives – of 3,870 Serbian elderly men, women and young children in and around the town of Srebrenica and its adjoining villages(Bratunac,Skelani,Zvornik,Kravica,Milici et al) as well as the town of Gorazde from April 1992 to July 1995 by Alija Izetbegovic’s notorious Islamist Nazi troops: foremost among them being mass murderer and Tuzla brothel owner: Mr. Naser Oric . Mr. Naser Oric, in perpetrating these mass slaughters of Serbs was respecting political instructions from Izetbegovic in Sarajevo according to testimony given by the former French UN general in Bosnia, Phillipe Morillon, at the Milosevic „trial“ in the NATO owned ICTY at The Hague. Mr. Oric was recently freed by the NATO owned Hague ICTY on Friday, June 30, 2006, after being given a mere 2 year sentence – for murdering 3,870 innocent civilians in and around the Bosnian town of Srebrenica over a 3 year period from April 1992 to July 1995!!
This piece of Islamist Nazi mass-murdering filth was FREED by that corrupt NATO-owned pro-Nazi ICTY kangaroo court in the Hague,Holland (flying the UN flag to claim „legitimacy“ and „moral authority“)because the entire edifice of NATO’s massive Goebbels style LIES – and that of their allies in the Western establishment corporate controlled media – used to justify demonizing,embargoing and bombing the Serbs and breaking up their country into NATO/EU run protectorates; the lies about Srebrenica being a helpless,defenseless „safe haven“ – would utterly collapse if the horrific crimes of genocide perpetrated by Oric were to be exposed by giving him the appropriate life sentence that he deserved.
Since Mr. Naser Oric had already served 3 years and they only sentenced him to 2 years, NATO’s ICTY decided to RELEASE this SELF-CONFESSED mass murderer of Serbs immediately. AN OUTRAGE to the civilized world and a grievous INSULT to the relatives of the families who were all brutally mudered in such a sadistic,primitive, barbaric manner.There is your so-called NATO/EU „Western liberal multi-ethnic democracies committed to humanitarian values“ for you, folks – all paid for with your tax dollars.
For further information, see:
http://www.serbianna.com/features/srebrenica/(This link contains some horrific photos of those Serbian civilians who were massacred)
http://www.freesrpska.org/en/index.php?PHPSESSID=96cb7d9964b05238786dc8cc792c22d9(This link also contains some horrific photos of those Serbian civilians who were massacred)
Official „Republic of Srpska“ (Bosnian Serbian Republic) documents containing rigorously documented evidence of Naser Oric’s troops’ mass murders in and around Srebrenica can be seen below.These are the documents deliberately SUPPRESSED in late 2003 by EU neo-colonial viceroy of Bosnia(Office of the High Representative)former British Liberal Democrats politician and apologist for Balkan Nazis such as Izetbegovic,Tudjman, Ceku,Haradinaj and Thaci: Paddy Ashdown. Lord Ashdown also FORCED a so-called „confession“ by the Republic of Srpska government – threatening to FIRE the Prime Minister and entire cabinet – if they did not issue a bogus report which supported the Izetbegovic SDA Islamist Nazi version of events (i.e., the absurd claim of 7,000 to 8,000 of Izetbegovic’s troops executed)
For evidence of the above, see:
For official United Nations documents containing documented evidence of Oric’s massacres, see:
SERBIAN RESEARCHERS SAY MORE THAN 3,000 SERBS KILLED IN WARTIME SREBRENICA
BBC Monitoring International Reports – June 14, 2005
Text of report by Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA
Belgrade, 14 June: The Belgrade Centre for Researching Crimes against Serbs has found out that 3,227 Serbs were killed or died as a result of torture in the area of the municipality of Srebrenica between 1992 and 1995, and that these are not the final figures, Centre president Milivoje Ivanisevic has said.
According to the Centre’s data, „in Srebrenica itself 469 criminals killed 446 Serbs, in Bratunac 254 criminals killed 447 Serbs, while in Zvornik 100 criminals killed 954 Serbs“.
Ivanisevic told [the Belgrade daily] Vecernje novosti that „every black figure and every name – of victims as well as criminals – is backed by evidence“.
This evidence includes photographs, eyewitness testimony, statements from relatives, municipal death certificates, data on cemetery plots, and priests’ diaries.
„We have all the evidence, and we are also filing descriptions of the crimes and monstrous historical facts. There is no way that someone who is alive could appear on our lists of the dead,“ Ivanisevic said.
He added that people from the Hague tribunal had come to the Centre to obtain evidence for the trial of [wartime Srebrenica Muslim commander and former Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic’s security guard] Naser Oric.
The Centre’s archive is divided into sections corresponding to every village and every town in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
Source: SRNA news agency, Bijeljina, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 0745 gmt 14 Jun 05
Copyright 2005 Financial Times Information
All rights reserved
Global News Wire – Asia Africa Intelligence Wire
Copyright 2005 BBC Monitoring/BBC
Posted for Fair Use only.
Bosnian Islamist fundamentalist terrorist, Alija Izetbegovic writes in his manifesto, the „Islamic Declaration“ (first published in 1970 and re-published in 1990):
„Oh Prophet, incite the believers to combat. If there can be found among you twenty who will endure, they will vanquish two hundred, if one hundred can be found, they will vanquish a thousand infidels, because they are people such as cannot understand.“
Why must infidels be slaughtered? Because „they are people such as cannot understand.“ That is, they must be killed for their beliefs.
The philosopher quotes the Qur’an again (and again without preface or comment):
„And combat on Allah’s path those who combat you, and don’t disobey. True, Allah does not love the disobedient! And kill them where you will find them; chase them from where they chased you: association is a graver sin than murder. But don’t fight them near the sacred Mosque unless they fight you there first. And if they fight you there, kill them then. Such is the retribution against infidels. Should they cease, Allah is, surely, forgiving and merciful.“
Consider the statement, „Association is a graver sin than murder.“
What constitutes ‘murder’? If a Muslim kills a non-Muslim, is that murder? Not according to our Islamist philosopher. He has quoted a Quranic text that says the killing of an infidel pleases Allah. Indeed, in the text, Muslims are enjoined not to disobey Allah but to kill infidels „where you will find them.“ Since killing infidels is a sacred duty, it can’t be murder.
A Muslim can only commit murder when he kills another Muslim.
Thus, „Association is a graver sin than murder“ means that for a Muslim to have cordial relations with a non-Muslim is worse than killing a Muslim!
What is our philosopher telling Muslims? That as long as they live in a non-Islamic society, they must segregate themselves, avoid cordial relations with non-Muslims, and prepare for the day when they can seize state power and enforce the Islamic Order.
This, of course, will guarantee growing tension, leading to civil war…
Our philosopher explains:
„… the Islamic movement may, or rather should, begin by seizing power as soon as it possesses a good measure of moral and numerical strength, allowing it not only to overthrow the non-Islamic power, but also to establish the new Islamic power.“
Doesn’t leave much to the imagination, does it?
Izetbegovic appointed the Muslim National Council (MNC) of Bosnia to achieve long-term aspirations, to create a Muslim state in the Balkans. This state would defend the Muslim interests throughout Yugoslavia, i.e. Sandzak, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Croatia, Serbia). “Rise brother Muslims, there are enough of us to accomplish our goals, whom the Muslim and those of Muslim blood will not betray. This time will never come again. Now is the opportunity to realize the dream of every Muslim” [qouted in Doc Center, 2002 from the Bosnian Muslim magazine VOX]. Among other objectives the MNC was working for were the creation of a Muslim state within the borders of present day B&H and formation of the Muslim Armed Forces.
In October 1991, the MNC defined its political platform:
„The day is nearing when the announced Islamic Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be proclaimed. The date, which every Muslim in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sandzak [Raška] is ardently waiting for has been known for a long time to be the 31st December. There are some indications that the Serbs might oppose this historic event…Every individual Serb must be aware of the responsibility of the entire nation, the penalty for crimes will be collective-for one dead Muslim one hundred Serbs will be liquidated-for one wounded Muslim (depending on the wound severity) 10-50 Serbs will be executed“ [ibid].
The document further elaborates how the Serbs would be treated in the Islamic Republic.
„All Serbs will have a 12-hour working day. The wages will be proportionate to the loyalty of all employees and as a rule they will be paid 30 percent less than the wages of Muslims whom occupy the same post … Serbs will receive rations for food, which they will obtain in special shops. Serbs do not have national parties and if they do not abide by the rules of political life, they will not be entitled to political organization or to vote..Serbs are equal to Muslims if, of their own will, they are received into the Islamic faith of their forefathers…A good Serb is a living and obedient Serb or a dead, disobedient Serb“ [ibid].
The presidency of the Association of the Islamic Clergy (Ilmia) for B&H offered in 1992 in huge print, run in annual Takvim, the following instruction for jihad:
“Jihad in Islam is not only a war in the name of Allah. In reality, Islam is a revolutionary ideology and program that aims at changing the social system of the whole world and order it in harmony with its regulations and ideals. Islam wants to destroy all the states and governments anywhere on earth which stand opposed to the ideology and program of Islam, regardless of the state or the nation that is in power. The purpose of Islam is to establish the state based on its ideology and program, no matter which nation becomes the bearer of Islam or which nation is undermined in the process of establishing the ideological Islamic state” [ibid].
See below for written PUBLIC statements made by the Bosnian muslims themselves in their own magazines „Svijet“ and „Vox“ (where in its October 1991 issue on the front cover we see a color graphic drawing of severed Serbian heads being stepped on by a Bosnian muslim 13th Waffen SS „Handzar“ member with the captioned text reading „Spremna Handjar divizija!“ which translates in English to „Handzar division is ready!“).
„This magazine bears a large measure of responsibility for spreading hatred against the Serbs. In the first issues of this „youth magazine“ the hatred was directed against the Serbs in Belgade and Serbia and subsequently the magazine started publishing threats and predicting more massacres of Serbs in B & H. The same magazine published documents based on the ideas Izetbegovic presented in his „ISLAMIC DECLARATION“; DECLARATION OF THE SOVEREIGN REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA – HERZEGOVINA; POLITICAL PLATFORM OF THE MOSLEM NATIONAL COUNCIL; WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO SERBS IN THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA; AND OTHERS…“ (Excerpted from „The Eradication of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992-1993“)
Izetbegovic’s Islamist fundamentalist religious fanaticism and racist Islamist Nazism can be demonstrated by the fact that he was an Iranian and al Qaeda backed Islamist fundamentalist terrorist publicly committed – through his very own writings – to GENOCIDE of all non-muslims (i.e., mainly Serbs).
Osama bin Laden visited Izetbegovic in his Sarajevo presidential offices on multiple occasions from 1992 to 1994 and Izetbegovic’s Bosnian embassy in Vienna, Austria, issued bin Laden an official Bosnian passport in early 1993; Izetbegovic’s quoting of the Quran in his book „Islamic Declaration“ in support of his public commitment to genocide: views which he expressed and re-iterated in a visit to Tehran,Iran in 1991 BEFORE the outbreak of war.
This visit to Tehran occurred a year after his manifesto, the „Islamic Declaration“ was re-published in 1990 – it was first published in 1970.So much for the ridiculous reversal of cause and effect best exemplified by the collossal canard of some pro-Islamist Fascist apologists claiming that [to paraphrase]: „Karadzic’s & Mladic’s ‘brutality’ AFTER the outbreak of war caused the Islamist radicalization of the Izetbegovic (SDA party)Bosnian muslims“.
See also how the Sarajevo Izetbegovic SDA party’s Islamist Nazis viewed the World War Two 13th SS „Handzar“(meaning „Scimitar“:a long sword)Bosnian muslim divison notorious for its horrendous massacres of Serbian and Jewish CIVILIANS (i.e. men,women,children):
Logo: „Handzar“ (which means Scimitar, the curved sword of the Ottoman Empire).
The Fez, which was part of the Handzar division’s uniform, is the same one Bosnian soldiers wore in the Austro-Hungarian military. Only the emblems were changed. The photo shows a field gray jacket with emblems on the collar and on the camouflage uniform.
A group of Muslim volunteers from the Handzar division. All wear the fez. Their logo consists of a skull and crossbones and an SS eagle. The fez was worn by the Muslim soldiers and their German officers alike. There were different models of fez in different colors (green or red and with or without the tassel). A scimitar or curved sword and a swastika were engraved on uniform collars.
SS Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler and SS Brigadefuhrer Karl G. Sauberzweig inspecting Handzar division.
Bosnian Muslim 13th Waffen SS Handzar volunteer troops at attention
with artillery guns.
The above photos are from the Emperor’s Clothes article:
„Himmler was their Defender! The Handzar Division Lives On In Bosnia“
Srebrenica ‘Massacre’: Is The Hague Hyping a Hoax?
Part I [http://emperor.vwh.net/articles/pumphrey/Srebrenica.html]
by George Pumphrey
[Originally posted 8 May 2000 on Emperor’s Clothes http://www.tenc.netand
„As a result of the Srebrenica hoax, a new order of the world is beginning to take shape, where the UNHCR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] assists in creating refugees, where the Red Cross helps separate families and where Tribunals indict first and look for crimes later.“ – G. Pumphrey
Five years ago, George Pumphrey wrote „Srebrenica: Three Years and Still Waiting…“ That was a ground breaking article because it convincingly challenged the almost unanimous stance of the Western mass media and the political left, right and center, that the Bosnian Serb Army had slaughtered 7000 (or 3000 or 8000) POWs and/or civilians when that Army re-took the town of Srebrenica.
Two years after his first article, Pumphrey produced an entirely new analysis. Though shorter, the new article includes new information and arguments. I find its handling of the labyrinth of contradictory reports about Srebrenica clearer and easier to read as well.
Now on the eighth anniversary of this alleged event (imagine – in our brave new world, we have ‘alleged events’!) Pumphrey’s article takes on special significance. The Hague Tribunal is pressing to get hold of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and Serbian Gen. Radko Mladic. And Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is already in The Hague, fighting the accusation that he is responsible for an alleged massacre which the Tribunal has yet to prove even happened at Srebrenica.
— Jared Israel
11 July 2003
Srebrenica ‘Massacre’: Is The Hague Hyping a Hoax?
by George Pumphrey
The „massacre of Srebrenica“, where 8,000 Muslim males of military age are reported to have been summarily executed by Bosnian Serbian troops in the aftermath of the takeover of the town, has been termed the worst war crime in Europe since World War II. Most significantly, it has been deemed not merely a crime of war, but evidence of a campaign of genocide, the worst war crime imaginable.
The case of Srebrenica, and the subsequent genocide indictment, can be seen to have brought about a major change in the political and social rules of conduct in international relations, and not only for this region of Europe. A new set of factors has been introduced into world politics. Some of the most important changes are:
The discrediting of the United Nations for supposedly having stood idly by, allowing a „genocide“ to take place on territory under its authority, which was a prerequisite for:
Promoting NATO as the world’s new „peace keeping“ force, allowing the US-led military alliance to strike and eventually occupy sovereign states or to take sides in civil wars outside the constraints of the democratic and peace-oriented principles of the United Nations Charter;
The relativisation and resulting trivializing of Nazi barbarism, a prerequisite for releasing Germany from its obligations to seek reconciliation with its World War II victims and allowing it once again to exercise military force anywhere in the world;
Creating public acceptance of inquisitorial methods of journalism and judicial inquiry, denying the accused not only the presumption of innocence and the benefit of the doubt, but of long-established democratic rights to proper legal defense;
Undermining journalistic standards of fairness in favor of propaganda in a media industry organically linked to dominant economic and military powers;
The imposition of a discriminatory „moral“ double standard of „human rights“, selectively applied in favor of particular national, social, cultural or „ethnic“ groups, leaving others without „rights“ worthy of respect by Euro-American powers, and therefore:
Growing acceptance of treating a whole nation or people as inherently criminal and therefore unworthy of basic rights of equity before the law.
In short, with Srebrenica important mainstays in the international political order of the post-war period were ushered out the door. This has all been made possible through a massive propaganda campaign spreading the story of a yet-to-be-proven massacre, which has become the key piece of evidence for an also yet-to-be-proven campaign of genocide. Momentous political decisions have been based upon and justified by the supposition that a huge massacre took place in Srebrenica, decisions determining the welfare of the peoples of this region and beyond.
Three years later, in 1998, the effort to find evidence was still underway, as yet more areas in the vicinity of Srebrenica were being dug up in search of the „mass graves“ presumed to contain the remains of the victims of the „Srebrenica massacre.“ As with previous years’ excavations, representatives of the UN Security Council’s ad hoc International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia held their press conference at the beginning of the dig.
A revealing press conference
Information from this press conference, as reported in the New York Times, provokes questions about the basis of the juridical work of this ad hoc Tribunal. Mike O’Connor, reporting on the beginning of a dig in the village of Kamenica, in the spring of 1998, writes that:
„Exhumations in 1996 [the first year of digging] recovered 460 bodies, (…) 7,500 others were still missing from the town of Srebrenica. Finding the others has been the goal of war-crimes investigators for more than two years.“1
Anonymous investigators (investigators for the Tribunal spoke to the reporter „on condition of anonymity“) said that what they hoped to find „will bolster the cases against [the] 2 Bosnian Serb leaders“ Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Radko Mladic, indicted for genocide by the Tribunal.1
Two months later, the NY Times reported that the total number missing was 7,300, that 1,000 bodies had been found, but that „only about 15 bodies have been identified.2 Other reports have given similar, though slightly inconsistent, figures.3 This inconsistency is based on the different sources of the figures. Whereas O’Connor sticks to the quasi-official (because least partisan) figures given by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the author of the second Times article, David Rohde, relies on figures from the „survivors“ of Srebrenica, meaning Muslim (usually Muslim government) sources. That the Muslim authorities have every reason to exaggerate the number of victims on their side of the conflict is without question and therefore their figures are to be taken with more than a grain of salt. Already throughout the course of the war their estimations of the numbers of dead – widely reported in the press without verification – have had to be revised downward.4 Thus, for this paper, the Red Cross figures will be used.
But if finding the other 7,000 has been the goal of war crimes investigators for more than two years, the question should be raised: on what did the Tribunal base its charges of „genocide“ if they did not even have the proof that the massacre for which the two Serb leaders are charged ever occurred? If they now – three years later – are still trying to scrape together enough bodies to make their indictment plausible, on what was their indictment based?
O’Connor writes that the Tribunal now has to try to „prov[e] that the soil around the bodies came from the original mass graves.“5 Does this mean that what they had considered to be „the original mass graves“ were either empty or sheltered too few bodies to justify their charges?
Under such circumstances, it appears that the Tribunal charged Karadzic and Mladic according to the principle: „Indict now. Look for evidence of a crime later“. And even when the evidence is not found, there is no suggestion that perhaps the proper course would be to revise the indictment or drop the charges.
Diana Johnstone, who has been closely following the developments in the Balkans, noted in The Nation:
„When, in the early months of the war which raged across Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992, the Muslim-led government in Sarajevo, seconded by Croatian agencies in Zagreb, presented Western media with reports indicating that the Serbs were pursuing a deliberate policy of genocide, a basic principle of caution, essential to justice was rapidly abandoned. That is the principle that the more serious the accusation, the greater the need for proof, since otherwise accusations will become an instrument of the lynch mob.“6
In the media, each succeeding generation of speculation – even falsification – is built upon preceding generations of unproven reports, many of which were set in motion as deliberate disinformation by secret services and public relations agencies. Once they have been repeated over and over as certainty, anyone who would dare to venture upstream to the source and demand substantiating evidence runs the risk of being verbally lynched for having denied something as obvious as that the earth’s surface is flat.
Given the fact that the number of persons alleged to have been summarily executed could make the difference between a charge of „genocide“ and a charge of „war crime“, and faced with the difference between the 8,000 alleged to have been killed and the 460 dead bodies actually found, the first step in beginning to sort out fact from fiction would be to clear up this discrepancy in numbers.
Playing the numbers
The International Committee of the Red Cross published a press statement on September 13, 1995, which stated:
„The ICRC’s head of operations for Western Europe, Angelo Gnaedinger, visited Pale and Belgrade from 2 to 7 September to obtain information from the Bosnian Serb authorities about the 3,000 persons from Srebrenica whom witnesses say were arrested by Bosnian Serb forces. The ICRC has asked for access as soon as possible to all those arrested (so far it has been able to visit only about 200 detainees), and for details of any deaths. The ICRC has also approached the Bosnia-Herzegovina authorities seeking information on some 5,000 individuals who fled Srebrenica, some of whom reached central Bosnia.“7
The September 15, 1995, New York Times gives another accounting:
About 8,000 Muslims are missing from Srebrenica, the first of two United Nations-designated ‘safe areas’ overrun by Bosnian Serb troops in July, the Red Cross said today. (…) Among the missing were 3,000, mostly men, who were seen being arrested by Serbs. After the collapse of Srebrenica, the Red Cross collected 10,000 names of missing people, said Jessica Barry, a spokeswoman. In addition to those arrested, about 5,000 ‘have simply disappeared,’ she said.8
Aside from simply adding the 3,000 Muslim men in Srebrenica upon arrival of the Bosnian Serb military (who the Serbs then took as prisoners of war) and the 5,000 Muslim men, reported to have left Srebrenica before the arrival of Bosnian Serb forces, to inflate the figures – and therefore the gravity of the accusation – this report makes no mention of the fact that by mid-September 1995 a sizable portion of the group of 5,000 had already reached Muslim territory and safety.
And the fact that the Red Cross was asking the Bosnia-Herzegovina [Muslim] authorities for information about the 5,000 (the original figure) – „some of whom [had already] reached central Bosnia“ – has completely disappeared from the news. The entire 5,000 of the one group and the 3,000 of the other are still today – 3 years later – being counted as „missing“ and therefore presumed dead.
Even the Red Cross played loose with the numbers
The Red Cross report was itself lacking the objectivity that one would have hoped for from a non-partisan organization. Its very off-hand „some of whom reached central Bosnia“ gives the impression that only a handful could be accounted for by mid-September. But again the press gave another picture. Within a week of the takeover of Srebrenica (July 18, 1995) one learns that:
„Some 3,000 to 4,000 Bosnian Muslims who were considered by UN officials to be missing after the fall of Srebrenica have made their way through enemy lines to Bosnian government territory. The group, which included wounded refugees, sneaked past Serb lines under fire and crossed some 30 miles through forests to safety.“9
Similar reports appeared in other journals at the time. On August 2, 1995, The Times of London published the following:
„Thousands of the „missing“ Bosnian Muslim soldiers from Srebrenica who have been at the centre of reports of possible mass executions by the Serbs, are believed to be safe to the northeast of Tuzla. Monitoring the safe escape of Muslim soldiers and civilians from (…) Srebrenica and Zepa has proved a nightmare for the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross. For the first time yesterday, however, the Red Cross in Geneva said it had heard from sources in Bosnia that up to 2,000 Bosnian Government troops were in an area north of Tuzla. They had made their way there from Srebrenica „without their families being informed,“ a spokesman said, adding that it had not been possible to verify the reports because the Bosnian Government refused to allow the Red Cross into the area.10
The Washington Post explains: „The men set off at dawn on Tuesday, July 11, in two columns that stretched back seven or eight miles.“11
Two weeks before the Red Cross representatives Angelo Gnaedinger and Jessica Barry gave their numbers to the press, another spokesperson for the International Red Cross in Geneva, Pierre Gaultier, provided an important detail. In an interview given to the German journal Junge Welt, he explained:
„All together we arrived at the number of approximately 10,000 [missing from Srebrenica]. But there may be some double counting… Before we have finished [weeding out the double counting] we cannot give any exact information. Our work is made even more complicated by the fact that the Bosnian government has informed us that several thousand refugees have broken through enemy lines and have been reintegrated into the Bosnian Muslim army. These persons are therefore not missing, but they cannot be removed from the lists of the missing (…) because we have not received their names.“12
Since the number of „missing“ (and therefore assumed dead) has remained at roughly 8,000 throughout the past 3 years, it can be reasonably assumed that the Muslim government has never furnished the Red Cross with the names of those who reached Muslim lines.
3,016 massacre victims vote…
Also to be noted is that when Prof. Milivoje Ivanisevic at the University of Belgrade took a close look at the Red Cross list, he discovered it contained the names of 500 people who were already deceased before Bosnian-Serb troops entered Srebrenica.
Even more interesting, when comparing the Red Cross’ list with the electoral list for the 1996 fall elections, he also found that 3,016 people listed by the Red Cross as „missing“ were on the electoral lists the following year.13 This leads to one of two possibilities: either the Muslims were having their dead vote, meaning that the voters were bogus, and the election a fraud; or the voters were in fact alive, in which case, here is an additional piece of evidence that the massacre is a fraud.
Early in the war, journalists from Time magazine saw through the game being played on the press and international organizations. They wrote: „Bosnian Muslims, fighting at the raw level of their rivals, are likewise guilty of barbarism–and of inflating horror stories about the Serbs to win sympathy and support.“14 It appears that they were not without success.
Poor performance by Red Cross and media
With deliberately inflated figures clearly being used to fuel a major propaganda campaign to make „Srebrenica“ a symbol of Serbian „genocide“, some Red Cross spokespersons in effect became a party to the conflict by failing to bring important information to public attention. It is difficult to understand how correspondents such as Mike O’Connor and their editors could be unaware of the extremely misleading and inaccurate content of the reports they published.
Both Red Cross and UN officials knew that thousands were safe. Yet neither corrected the communiqué given in September. And both failed to report that Ms. Barry’s 5,000 who „simply disappeared,“ had in fact simply disappeared back into the ranks of the Bosnian army. The propaganda put into circulation by representatives of the Bosnian government was allowed to stand uncontested even by organizations otherwise seen as non-partisan.
Within days of the take-over of Srebrenica, Zepa, a second Moslem enclave (and UN Safe Area), was also captured by Bosnian Serb forces. Among the defenders of Zepa were hundreds of the „missing“ soldiers from Srebrenica. The New York Times recounts:
„The wounded troops were left behind, and when the Bosnian Serbs overran the town on Tuesday, the wounded were taken to Sarajevo for treatment at Kosevo Hospital. Many of them had begun their journey in Srebrenica, and fled into the hills when that ‘safe area’ fell to the Bosnian Serbs on July 11. These men did not make it to Tuzla, where most of the refugees ended up, but became the defenders of Zepa instead. ‘Some 350 of us managed to fight our way out of Srebrenica and make it into Zepa,’ said Sadik Ahmetovic, one of 151 people evacuated to Sarajevo for treatment today. (…) They said they had not been mistreated by their Serb captors.“15
It might seem strange that the Muslim soldiers of Zepa would abandon their wounded comrades and that 5,000 Srebrenica soldiers would abandon their women and children to an enemy with a reputation – at least in the media – of being sadists, and rapists seeking to commit „genocide“. Could it be that these Muslim soldiers knew that they need not be particularly worried about their women, children and wounded comrades falling into the hands of their Serbian countrymen? The Serbian forces had the wounded Muslim soldiers evacuated behind Muslim lines to their Muslim hospital in Sarajevo. Is this how one goes about committing genocide? Is this the military force compared to Nazis? What a trivialization of Nazi barbarism!
The London Times article quoted above mentions that 2,000 Srebrenica soldiers made their way to the north of Tuzla „without their families being informed“. Were their families ever informed? Other than the very few articles that took notice of their resurrection from the presumed dead, the public at large was never informed that they were in fact alive. On the contrary. And the women of Srebrenica continue to demonstrate demanding information about their loved ones, whom they believe are still alive.
Supposed massacre victims are secretly sent to other countries!
To maintain the hoax, it is not only necessary to create the illusion that the proof of a massacre exists, but it is also necessary to suppress any evidence that it did not happen. Not only must the 5,000 never be accounted for, but not too many of the 3,000 listed by the Red Cross as prisoners of war must be allowed to return „from the dead.“
On January 17, 1996, the British daily „Guardian“ published an article concerning one group of the former Muslim POWs from Srebrenica and Zepa, who, once liberated from a POW camp, were flown directly to Dublin:
„Hundreds of Bosnian Muslim prisoners are still being held at 2 secret camps within neighboring Serbia, according to a group of men evacuated by the Red Cross to a Dublin hospital from one camp – at Sljivovica. (…) A group of 24 men was flown to Ireland just before Christmas (…). But some 800 others remain incarcerated in Sljivovica and at another camp near Mitrovo Polje, just three days before the agreed date for the release of all detainees under the Dayton peace agreement on Bosnia(…). The Red Cross in Belgrade has been negotiating for several weeks to have the men released and given sanctuary in third countries. A spokeswoman said most were bound for the United States or Australia, with others due to be sent to Italy, Belgium, Sweden, France and Ireland. (…) Since late August, the Red Cross has made fortnightly visits from its Belgrade field office. (…) Teams from the War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague have been in Dublin to question and take evidence from the men.“16
Why would prisoners of war, whose normal first wish upon being freed would be to be reunited with their families and to restart their interrupted lives in peacetime, be rushed off to Dublin, with „papers to remain in Ireland“? Why would the Red Cross – usually known for reuniting families – be seeking to secretly spirit them out of their homeland, away from their family and friends? Were their families ever informed?
The ex-prisoners were widely dispersed. For instance, to a second country…
[The] US decided to accept 214 Bosniaks who, (…) had been detained in Serbian camps and give them refugee status.17
Why have neither the Red Cross (which has been visiting the prisoners since August 1995), nor the Tribunal (in its search for evidence of a „genocide“ in Bosnia, for which Srebrenica is slated to be the centerpiece), nor the American government made mention since August 1995 of these men being given refugee status?
And to a third country…
In 1996, the pro-government (Muslim) news agency TWRA reported:
„[One] Hundred-three Bosnian soldiers who were recently released from prisons in Serbia, were sent to Australia against their will“, claims their commander, Osmo Zimic. Zimic also criticizes the UNHCR, whose spokesman claimed these soldiers demanded departure to Australia and by no means return to Bosnia for they would allegedly face criminal charges as deserters there. „This is not true“, says Zimic. Australian immigration & ethnic affairs office spokesman says he was informed [of] Zimic’s allegation from the Bosnian embassy in Canberra and that the investigation was initiated.“18
„The Bosnian Embassy in Australia requested the Hague International Tribunal (ICTY) to start an investigation on the deportation of Bosniaks (800 persons) from Serbia to Australia and Europe in which, supposedly, UNHCR assisted, instead [of] involving Bosniaks in the exchange of prisoners, esp. for they had been in the camps in Serbia which claimed not to be involved in the war in Bosnia. The principal witness for the prosecution is Osmo Zimic, a Bosnian Army Officer, one who had been deported to Australia against his will.“19
It seems as though the Red Cross, the UNHCR, and a host of „western“ governments around the world were engaged in hiding the fact that these men were not massacred.
Who stood to gain?
As a result of the Srebrenica hoax, a new order of the world is beginning to take shape, where the UNHCR assists in creating refugees, where the Red Cross helps separate families and where Tribunals indict first and look for crimes later.
Before discovery of conclusive evidence that the alleged crime has even been committed, the indictment alone is made to serve as punishment. This reverses the principle of „innocent until proven guilty“ and amounts to inquisitorial justice. For three years the Tribunal has been searching for evidence of an alleged genocide which has already largely served its political purpose. Now the search is on for a retrospective judicial fig leaf.
Emperor’s Clothes has published other articles challenging the Srebrenica massacre story. For a list, with brief summaries, go to „Was There a Massacre in Srebrenica?“ at
Footnotes for Part I:
1) O’Connor, Mike; Mass Graves in Bosnia Bolster War-Crimes Cases; IHT (NYT-Services), 14.5.98
2) Rohde, David; „In Bosnian Town Where Thousands Died, Ethnic Hate Overwhelms Small Kindnesses“ New York Times, July 25, 1998.
3) As noted below, early reports used the figures 10,000 and then 8,000. The Washington Post gives 12,000 as the original number of missing.
4) „News organizations and specialists, after three years of war, talk of 200,000-250,000. The Bosnian government in April 1995 lowered its previous estimate to just over 145,000, about 3 percent of the pre-war population.“(my emphasis, gp) David Owen, Balkan Odyssey, Harcourt Brace, 1995, pg. 80;
6) Johnstone, Diana, Selective Justice in The Hague: The War Crimes Tribunal on Former Yugoslavia is a Mockery of Evidentiary Rule; The Nation, 22.9.97
7) Former Yugoslavia: Srebrenica: help for families still awaiting news; ICRC News 37
8) AP; Conflict in the Balkans; 8,000 Muslims Missing; New York Times; Sep 15, 1995; p. 8.
9) Chris Hedges; Conflict in the Balkans: In Bosnia; Muslim Refugees Slip Across Serb Lines; New York Times; July 18, 1995, p. 7.
10) Evans, Michael and Kallenbach, Michael; Missing’ enclave troops found; The Times; 02 August 1995 p. 9.
11) Dobbs, Michael/ Spolar, Christine; 12,000 Muslims Massacred In July Srebrenica Exodus; Washington Post, October 27, 1995.
12) Pierre Gaultier (interview), Wo sind die Vermißten aus Srebrenica? Junge Welt, 30.8.95
13) Faux électeurs… ou faux cadavres; Balkans Infos, Paris; Oct. 1996 (No. 6); See also Ivanisevic, Milivoje; „Un Dossier qui pose bien des Questions“; Balkans Infos, Paris; Dec. 1996 (No.8).
14) McAllister, J.F.O. et al; Specters of barbarism in Bosnia compel the US and Europe to ponder: Is it time to intervene?; Time Magazine Aug. 17, 1992.
15) Hedges, Chris; Bosnia Troops Cite Gassings At Zepa; New York Times, Jul 27, 1995
16) Vulliamy, Ed; Bosnia: The secret War – Serbs ‘run secret camps’: Men freed from clandestine detention tell Ed Vulliamy of random beatings and ‘mobile torture machines’; Guardian, 17.1.96
17) S.K., Another Two Mass Graves Discovered, Press TWRA, Jan 19,1996
18) A.S.; Bosnian Soldiers in Australia Against Their Will; Press TWRA, Feb 6, 1996
19) A.S.; Investigation on Deportation of Bosniaks Requested; Press TWRA, March 9, 1996
19a) See UN War Crimes Tribunal Delivers a Travesty of Justice by Prof. Robert M. Hayden at http://emperor.vwh.net/analysis/unwar.htm
19b) See Still More Evidence – Was the Srebrenica Massacre a Hoax? by René Grémaux and Abe de Vries at http://emperor.vwh.net/analysis/falsely.htm
And the Politics of
Findings of the Srebrenica Research Group
into the allegations of events and the background leading up to them, in Srebrenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina, in 1995.
For fair use only:
Defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis
Founded in 1972. Formerly Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily.
Volume XXIII, No. 62 Friday, June 17, 2005
© 2005, Global Information System, ISSA
Special Report: Srebrenica and the Politics of War Crimes
Analysis. By George Bogdanich.
Ten years of reflection since the end of the war in Bosnia should have provided ample time to put that conflict into proper historical perspective. But judging from a recently proposed, but politically skewed, US Congressional resolution, such is not the case. The resolution in question singles out and seriously inflates reported abuses by Bosnian Serb forces following the capture of Srebrenica in 1995, and conveniently ignores equally brutal and even larger military operations directed against the ethnic Serb civilian population, both before and after Srebrenica, in the UN protected areas of Western Slavonia and the Krajina. These brutal, ethnic cleansing attacks were conducted by Croatian forces armed, trained and logistically supported by the US.
In the autumn of 1995, former Deputy NATO Commander Charles Boyd, noted in Foreign Affairs that
“more than 90 percent of the Serbs of Western Slavonia were ethnically cleansed when Croatian troops overran that UN protected area in May …This operation appears to differ from Serbian actions around the UN safe areas of Srebrenica and Zepa only in the degree of Western hand-wringing and CNN footage the latter have elicited. Ethnic cleansing evokes condemnation only when it is committed by Serbs, not against them.”
Operation Flash, which took place a more than a month before Srebrenica, was a straight out attack on the civilian population – men, women and children – of a UN Protected Area (UNPA), directly authorized by US President Bill Clinton. “Many Serbs perished in heavy Croatian tank, artillery and aerial bombardments on Monday and Tuesday as they tried to flee southward toward the Sava River bridge into Bosnia,” wrote Roger Cohen of The New York Times, adding “The estimate of 450 Serbian dead given by Gojko Susak, the Croatian Defense Minister appears to be conservative.” Very conservative. Officials of the Serbian Orthodox Church put the number of murdered civilians in the thousands.
“By acquiescing to the Croatian Government’s seizure of Western Slavonia,” European Union envoy Lord David Owen, observed, “the [US-dominated] Contact Group had in effect given the green light to Bosnian Serbs to attack Srebrenica and Zepa.” Under existing UN resolutions, an attack on a safe area could be used to justify NATO intervention. This was a policy that the US used selectively, denying requests (including at least one from the UNPROFOR Commander in Sarajevo) to punish Muslim or Croatian violations, but urging NATO bombing when Bosnian Serbs responded to provocations out of “safe zones” that had never been demilitarized. UN Gen. Francis Briquemont wrote in 1994:
“The Bosnian Army attacks the Serbs from a Safe Area, the Serbs retaliate, mainly on the confrontation line, and the Bosnian Presidency accuses UNPROFOR of not protecting the them against Serb aggression and appeals for air strikes against the Serb gun positions”
In his book, Balkan Odyssey, Lord Owen makes it clear that the establishment of “safe area” by the Security Council, without demilitarizing them was “the worst decision of my time as Co-Chairman [of the International Conference on Yugoslavia]”.
While extensive human rights abuses were documented on all sides throughout the conflict, it was the Muslim side, which used them best as a powerful weapon to gain sympathy from the international community. When Bosnian Foreign Minister Haris Silajdzic told a press conference in Sarajevo that “70,000 people” had been killed near Bihac in November of 1994, his demands for NATO air strikes received wide news coverage. UN investigators, however, later told BBC reporter John Simpson that “fewer than a thousand” people had been killed around Bihac, a battle which began when Muslim forces attacked the nearby Serb-held Grabez plateau, provoking a sustained counter-attack.
A recent video screened at the War Crimes Tribunal [International Criminal Tribunal on the former Yugoslavia: ICTY] purportedly showed the execution of six Muslims by Serbian paramilitaries in Treskavica, and was being used, illogically, as “proof” of highly inflated estimates that the Bosnian Serb Army killed 7,000 Muslims following the capture of Srebrenica in Eastern Bosnia. If the Bosnian Serbs executed six Muslims, the “logic” goes (and the authenticity of the film is yet to be established), then Bosnian Serbs clearly executed 7,000 Muslims in their attack on Srebrenica.2
Meanwhile, for the first three years of the war in Bosnia, Srebrenica was the stronghold of Muslim warlord Naser Oric, who showed home video tapes of massacres his soldiers carried out against Serbian villages to The Washington Post reporter, John Pomfret, and Toronto Star reporter Bill Schiller. Schiller writes that Oric was “as bloodthirsty a warrior who ever crossed a battlefield” and recounts a visit to the warlord’s home in January 1994:
On a cold and snowy night, I sat in his room, watching a shocking video version of what might have been called Naser Oric’s Greatest Hits. There were burning buildings severed heads and people fleeing. Oric grinned throughout, admiring his handiwork. We ambushed them,” he said. The next sequence of dead bodies had been done in by explosives. ‘We launched those guys to the moon,’ he boasted. When a bullet-marked ghost town appeared without any visible bodies, Oric hastened to announce ‘we killed 114 Serbs there’. Later there were celebrations, with singers with wobbly voices, chanting his praises.
According to former UNPROFOR Commander Gen. Phillip Morillon, Nasir Oric “appeared to be respecting political instructions coming from the Presidency in Sarajevo”, an observation which is confirmed by Gen. Sefer Halilovic, Commander of Muslim Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. For several years early in the conflict, the Serbian population of Srebrenica and scores of nearby villages were ether killed or forced to flee because of Oric. On May 8, 1992, Oric’s forces assassinated Judge Goran Zekic President of the Serbian SDS Party in Srebrenica, triggering an exodus of 1,500 Serbs in Srebrenica. Scarcely a day went by without scorched earth attacks on nearby villages on towns and villages such as Bratunac, Sikirici, Konjevic Polje, Glogova, Zalazje, Fakovici, Loznica, Orlice, Biljaca, Crni Vhr, Milici, Kamenica, and Kravica. The massacre at Kravica, occurred on Orthodox Christmas Eve the Serbs’ most important holiday. Writing in the London based South Slav Journal, reporter Joan Phillips observed that by March 31, 1993, at least 1,200 Serbs had been killed and another 3,000 wounded by Oric’s forces. She added:
Today there are virtually no Serbs left in the entire Srebrenica municipality. Out of 9,300 Serbs who used to live there, less than 900 remain. Out of 11,500 Serbs who used to live in Bratunac municipality, more than 6,000 have fled. In the Srebrenica municipality, about 24 villages have been razed. The last major Serbian villages in the vicinity of Bratunac and Skelani were attacked and destroyed on January 7, 1993.
Why, then, despite massive and detailed evidence provided to the UN in 1993, did the Ad Hoc War Crimes Tribunal not indict Naser Oric until 2002, and even then, on relatively minor charges of “mistreating” prisoners. The systematic slaughter of the Serbian civilian population in the area west of the Drina River apparently did not qualify as a “crime against humanity”.
By contrast, the quick decision to charge Bosnian Serb leaders with “genocide” after the capture of Srebrenica reflected political correctness by the Tribunal, whose staff had been largely appointed by Madeleine Albright, then serving as US Ambassador to the UN. Meanwhile, a soon-to-be-released report by the Srebrenica Research Group, a group of journalists and academic researchers led by University of Pennsylvania Professor Ed Herman, raises serious doubts about the official version of events at Srebrenica, including bias, inflated casualty numbers, and dubious methodology used to justify estimates that were made before investigations had even begun.
Significantly, the portrayal of events at Srebrenica, is also challenged by senior UN and NATO officials on the scene in Bosnia. These include, as noted previously, NATO’s Deputy Commander Charles Boyd, who was NATO’s Director of Intelligence; Lt.-Col. John Sray; UN Civilian Affairs Coordinator Phillip Corwin; and Carlos Martins Branco, UNMO (UN Military Observer) Deputy Chief of Operations of the UNPF (United Nations Population Fund), who debriefed UN military observers posted to Srebrenica. Corwin, the most senior UN civilian official in Bosnia at the time of the capture of Srebrenica, and the author of Dubious Mandate, a personal account of the last year of the war, states that the official version of events at Srebrenica has been a “campaign of disinformation that has all but buried the facts along with the bodies”.
Branco, a Portugese UN military official states that casualty estimates of 7,000 have been “used and manipulated for propaganda purposes.” He wrote in 1998 that “there is little doubt that at least 2,000 Bosnian Muslims died in fighting the better trained and better commanded BSA [Bosnian Serb Army]” in three years of fierce fighting. This is roughly the number of bodies (2,028) which were exhumed by the International Criminal Tribunal on Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the region by the year 2001. Many, perhaps most, of these deaths occurred before the fall of Srebrenica, according to Branco.
Preparing a Sacrifice
The question is why? Why did the Bosnian Government in Sarajevo withdraw 18 top officers of the 28th Division of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, including its top officers, including Naser Oric and Zulfo Tursunovic, only a month before the fall of Srebrenica, supposedly for training exercises in Zenica? Why did the Muslim military command in Sarajevo order the remaining, nearly leaderless 28th division in Srebrenica to mount a meaningless attack on the strategically unimportant Serb village of Visnica just days before the Serbs captured Srebrenica? Was it to provoke a Serbian counter-response, as had occurred repeatedly in other safe areas?
In testimony at The Hague, Gen. Sefer Halilovic, commander of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina acknowledged that “there were a large number of orders for sabotage operations from the safe areas”. He also confirmed that 5,500 members of the 28th Division were based in Srebrenica, before its capture and that he had sent eight helicopter loads of ammunition to Srebrenica and Zepa, from Tuzla, in violation of the demilitarization agreement. (The US Government violated its own arms embargo by flying tons of military equipment including stinger missiles to Muslim forces through secret C-130 flights to Tuzla airport at night.) Significantly, Halilovic also acknowledged that Srebrenica, was captured by a small force of only 200 Serb soldiers (“chetniks”), supported by five tanks.
Yet Dutch military observers told The New York Times that the much larger Muslim force simply fled along with most military age males in the two days before the Serbs entered to take the nearly empty town on June 11, 1995. Women, children and elderly men, meanwhile, fled to nearby Potocari, where negotiations resulted in UN supervised safe passage for civilians to Muslim-held Tuzla, in buses provided by the Bosnian Serbs.
British military analyst Tim Ripley writes that prior to its capture, Dutch troops “saw Bosnian troops escaping from Srebrenica move past their observation points carrying brand new anti-tank weapons. This and other similar reports made many UN officers and international journalists suspicious.” Carlos Martins Branco writes that “Muslim forces did not even try to take advantage of their heavy artillery, under control of the United Nations (UN) forces at a time in which they had every reason to do so … Military resistance would jeopardize the image of ‘victim’, which had been so carefully constructed, and which the Muslims considered vital to maintain.”
Was Srebrenica sacrificed by the leadership in Sarajevo in order to draw in NATO intervention on behalf of the Muslim side? That is the opinion of Ibran Mustafic head of the ruling party (SDA) in Srebrenica as well as his antagonist, Hakija Meholic, who served as police chief under Naser Oric. Mustafic later told Slobodna Bosna that orders from Sarajevo to attack the Bosnian Serb army in early July 1995 were part of a deliberate strategy to promote Western intervention:
The scenario for the betrayal of Srebrenica was consciously prepared. Unfortunately, the Bosnian Presidency and the Army command were involved in this business…Had I received orders to attack the Serb army from the demilitarized zone, I would have rejected to carry out that order without thinking, and would have asked the person who had issued that order to bring his family to Srebrenica, so that I can give him a gun and let him stage attacks from the demilitarized zone. I knew that such shameful, calculated moves were leading my people to catastrophe. The order came from Sarajevo.
A UN report “The Fall of Srebrenica”, issued in 1999 by Secretary-General Kofi Annan denied that a US sponsored deal had been struck to exchange Srebrenica and other eastern Bosnia enclaves for Serb held Vogosca near Sarajevo. In fact, however, this exchange became a key goal of US policy as early as 1993, according to Branco:
[then US Ambassador to the UN] Madeleine Albright suggested this exchange on numerous occasions to [Bosnian President Alija] Izetbegovic, based on proposals of the Contact Group. The truth is that both the Americans and President Izetbegovic had tacitly agreed that it make no sense to insist on maintaining these isolated enclaves in a divided Bosnia. … In 1995, the month before military operations in Srebrenica, Alexander Vershbow, Special Assistant to President Clinton stated that ‘American should encourage the Bosnians to think in terms of territories with greater coherence and compactness.
The problem for Alija Izetbegovic was that he felt he could not publicly acknowledge these discussions or he would lose the hardline support which had brought him to power.
In an interview with the Bosnian Muslim publication Dani, Hakija Meholic, the police chief of Srebrenica, recalled that at the Bosniak conference in Sarajevo in September 1993, Izetbegovic claimed to have discussed various scenarios for Srebrenica with President Clinton. According to Meholic, an ally of Naser Oric:
We were received there by President Izetbegovic, and immediately after the welcome he asked us: „What do you think about the swap of Srebrenica for Vogosca?” There was a silence for a while and then I said: „Mr President, if this is a done thing, then you should not have invited us here, because we have to return and face the people and personally accept the burden of that decision.“ Then he said: „You know, I was offered by [US Pres. William] Clinton in April 1993 that the Chetnik [derisory term used for Serbs] forces enter Srebrenica, carry out a slaughter of 5,000 Muslims, and then there will be a military intervention.“
Meholic also recounted this incident for a Dutch documentary. Pres. Izetbegovic was later questioned about the incident by UN investigators and denied he made the statement regarding his discussion with Pres. Clinton. While there is no way to confirm that President Clinton actually made such a proposal to Izetbegovic, however hypothetical, there were at least eight surviving witnesses to confirm what Izetbegovic told the Srebrenica delegation. Nor would it have been out of character for Izetbegovic to approve a plan which would sacrifice lives of his citizens for the cause, or to inflate the number of casualties for propaganda purposes.
Shortly before his death in 2003, Izetbegovic confessed to Bernard Kouchner, of the Physicians Without Borders humanitarian organization and former US envoy Richard Holbrooke, that during the war he had falsely accused the Serbs of running “extermination camps”, according to a recent book by Kouchner. During the Bosnian war, all sides — Muslim, Croat and Serb — ran POW camps which were visited and criticized by the International Committee of the Red Cross. “There were no extermination camps, whatever the horror of those places,” Izetbegovic acknowledged to Kouchner and Holbrooke. “I thought my revelations would precipitate bombing [against Serbs].”
“Holocaust comparisons evoke powerful feelings and images, but in this case exist only in the fertile imaginations of media sound bite writers,” wrote US military analyst Lt.-Col. John Sray. “Popular perceptions pertaining to the Bosnian Muslim Government (Bosniaks as they prefer to be called) have been forged by a prolific propaganda machine … which includes public relations (PR) firms in the employ of the Bosniaks, media pundits and sympathetic elements of the US State Department.” By the summer of 1995 “the advocacy rhetoric regarding the Bosnian Muslim government in Sarajevo finally grew sufficiently deafening enough to dupe NATO into prosecuting the civil war against the Bosnian Serbs”.
On July 9, 1995, two days before the Bosnian Serbs captured the city, Pres. Izetbegovic called on Pres. Clinton to prevent “terrorism and genocide” at Srebrenica. On July 24, 1995, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Henry Wieland, whose team had spent five days interviewing scores of refugees among 20,000 Srebrenica survivors gathered at the Tuzla airport, told the London newspaper, The Daily Telegraph: “We have not found anyone who saw with their own eyes an atrocity taking place.”
Indict Now, Investigate Later
Just three days later, however, indictments of Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic and Bosnian Serb Pres. Karadzic for genocide were announced by the War Crimes Tribunal, whose Chief Judge, Antonio Cassesse, of the Tribunal, casting any pretence of objectivity aside, called them “a great political result … The indictment means that these gentlemen [Mladic and Karadzic] will not be able to take part in peace negotiations.” The Boston Globe reported the same day: “The Clinton Administration has not obtained independent confirmation of atrocities [at Srebrenica], but does not doubt that they have occurred … ‘The bottom line is these guys have been indicted as war criminals,’ said a State Department spokesman.”
“I realized that the War Crimes Tribunal was a very valuable tool,” Richard Holbrooke told the BBC. “We used it to keep the two most wanted war criminals in Europe out of the Dayton process and we used it to justify everything that followed.” What followed, was Operation Deliberate Force, a US-led NATO bombing campaign which had clearly been planned well in advance against Bosnian Serb targets in Vogosca and near Gorazde. “We have become the Muslim Air Force,” a US officer told former New York Times reporter David Binder. Less than a week later, Operation Storm was launched, when US-backed Croatian forces, attacked on all fronts against the Serbian civilian population of the Krajina region, driving 200,000 ethnic Serbs from their homes and then methodically killing the mostly elderly population who were unable to flee.
Operation Storm was, by all accounts, the largest ethnic cleansing operation to date in the former Yugoslavia. In violation of UN Security Council resolutions, but with strong US support and planning, the Croatian Army then entered into Bosnia and launched a joint ethnic cleansing operation with Muslim forces against Serb inhabited territories in western Bosnia which displaced another 100,000 ethnic Serb civilians. In To End a War, Richard Holbrooke’s self-serving account of this period, the former US envoy boasts that he even advised Croat Muslim forces on specific Serbian towns to attack in Western Bosnia.
Was there “Genocide” at Srebrenica?
Unlike US-supported attacks by Croatian troops on Serb-inhabited UN Protected Zones (Western Slavonia and the Krajina), the Bosnian Serb Army’s capture of Srebrenica was a predictable response to military provocations. Unlike the Croatian operations Flash and Storm, the Bosnian Serbs helped arrange a massive safe passage operation to Tuzla for thousands of Srebrenica residents who chose to leave from nearby Potocari where the buses were deployed. By the first week of August 1995, 35,632 people had registered with the World Health Organization and Bosnian Government as displaced persons, survivors of Srebrenica. If the goal of the Serbs had been genocide, or even an act of genocide, there would have been no safe passage for the civilian population. According to Carlos Martins Branco, “if there had been a premeditated plan of genocide, instead of attacking in only one direction, from the south to the north – which left the possibility of escape to the north, the Serbs would have established a siege in order to ensure that no-one escaped.”
The premise that Serbian forces executed 7,000 to 8,000 people “was never a possibility,” according to former BBC journalist Jonathan Rooper, who has investigated the events that followed the capture of Srebrenica on site and through official records over many years, and whose findings are presented in the upcoming report of the Srebrenica Research Group. He points out that numerous contemporary accounts noted that UN and other independent observers had witnessed fierce battles as the Muslim 28th Division and military age men accompanied them.
The official numbers provided also preclude the possibility of such a large number of executions. In addition to the 35,632 registered survivors, the International Committee of the Red Cross observed that “several thousand men,” (at least 3,000) who fled from Srebrenica with the 28th Division had survived the harrowing journey across Serb held territory and were redeployed to fight elsewhere “without their families being informed.” Dutch military observers and British SAS intelligence officers in Srebrenica witnessed a bitter battle between Muslim factions, before the Serbs entered the town. These observers say that the clash between Muslim men who wanted to stay and defend the town and those who followed orders to evacuate, left about 100 were killed and their bodies were left where they had fallen. Some 700 Muslim soldiers from Srebrenica made their way to Zepa, emerging safely when that town fell to the Serbs during the last week of July 1995.
“Taking all these factors together, in order for 7,300 people from Srebrenica to have been massacred, the population of the safe area before it fell to the Serbs, would have had to be well over 46,000 – a figure far in excess of any credible figure put forward at the time,” Rooper reports. Patricia Wald, one of the Tribunal Judges who convicted Bosnian Serb Gen. Radislav Krstic of crimes at Srebrenica, wrote an article on the case for Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics in 2003 where she states that “prior to the attack, Srebrenica was a village of some 37,000 inhabitants”.
“Judge Wald was apparently supremely unaware that her own figure made it impossible for the crimes for which Krstic was convicted to have taken place,” Rooper states. According to Michael Mandel, Professor of International law at York University in Toronto
The Tribunal’s claim genocide occurred at Srebrenica was not supported by the facts it found or by the law it cited. Even the trial chamber’s conclusion that ‘Bosnian Serb forces executed several thousand Bosnian Muslim men [with the] total number of victims … likely to be within the range of 7,000 to 8,000 was not supported by its specific findings.
Mandel notes that Tribunal only ‘suggested’, rather than proved, that the majority of (2,028) bodies actually exhumed by the ICTY had been killed in executions rather than in the many battle reported between Bosnian Serb forces and the Muslim 28th Division column retreating toward Tuzla after the capture of Srebrenica. Internationally respected military forensic specialist Dr Zoran Stankovic, who reviewed the findings of the six experts employed by the Tribunal wrote that the effort lacked standard procedures, several of experts also lacked familiarity with wounds inflicted by military ordinance and some parts of the reports are “contrary to the generally acceptable forensic standards”.
According to Dr Stankovic, many of the bodies exhumed from 17 gravesites were found in an advance state of decay “skeletonized, disarticulated and decomposed” lacking soft tissue and body parts that could help determine the cause of death. “Ascertainment of the cause of death in the cases of decomposed bodies is generally extremely difficult and in most cases impossible…It is not allowed that [ICTY] experts provide their opinion in that regard and put forward the assumption having no grounds in autopsy findings.”
Some executions did take place at the hands of paramilitaries and a mercenary group led by Drazen Erdemovic, who was arrested in Novi Sad, Serbia, and turned over to The Hague in 1996. Between 200 and 300 blindfolds and ligatures were exhumed with bodies by the ICTY, and as Dr. Stankovic notes, these are sure signs of execution. “It is a crime, whether it is 300 or 30 or three persons killed in this way, but using a false number such as 7,000 and calling it “genocide” indicates that Srebrenica is still being used 10 years later as a political issue,” says Phillip Corwin, the former UN Civilian Affairs Coordinator in Bosnia when Srebrenica was captured.
False Witnesses, Unreliable Testimonies
But other reports of massacres came from a handful of individuals close to Naser Oric, including his cousin, Mevludin Oric, whose claims to being eyewitnesses to such events, were repeatedly undermined by contradictory accounts given to different reporters. One witness, Smail Hodzic, told Alexandra Stiglmayer of Die Woche that he had been captured and taken to “a basketball stadium near Bratuanac” and taken to “a large field not far from a forest”. Hodzic, however told another reporter Roy Gutman, that he had been held in a soccer stadium in Nova Kasaba, but then, he and others were moved to be killed, “probably in a town called Grbavce”. In a third interview with Aida Cerkez of the Associated Press, Hodzic now claimed that he went through the same experience as Mevludin Oric, this time being held in “a school in Krizevci”, before being taken for execution not far from Karakaj.
Several of these alleged eyewitnesses told reporter Louise Branson of The Sunday Times and Robert Block of The Independent contradictory stories, that thousands were executed, either at a school in one version, or at a nearby sports complex. Human Rights Watch, which acknowledged it had not been able to trace survivors of such crimes, called for “more detailed investigations.” However, Dutch UN officer Captain Shouten, who was the only UN officer in Bratunac during the period when this bloodbath was alleged, told the Dutch newspaper Het Parool on July 27
„Everybody is parroting everybody, but nobody shows hard evidence. I notice that in the Netherlands people want to prove at all costs that genocide has been committed. … If executions have taken place, the Serbs have been hiding it damn well. Thus, I don’t believe any of it. The day after the collapse of Srebrenica, July 13, I arrived in Bratunac and stayed there for eight days. I was able to go wherever I wanted to. I was granted all possible assistance; nowhere was I stopped”
The trial of General Radislav Krstic, demonstrated, that faced with years of prison, Serbs were equally capable as their Muslim counterparts of providing false testimony used to prop up the official version of events at Srebrenica. During the trial, a Serbian military officer named Momir Nikolic claimed that he had supervised the massacre of more than a thousand Bosnian Muslims at a warehouse in Kravica, but under cross examination, by defense lawyer Michael Karnavas, Nikolic admitted that he not only didn’t give the order; he wasn’t even present.
„You needed to give him [the prosecutor] something he did not have, right?“ said defense attorney Michael Karnavas. „You wanted to limit your time of imprisonment to 20 years, that was part of the arrangement, yes? Quid pro quo?“
„I did not tell the truth when I said that,” Nikolic admitted. “I lied.”
The key witness used by the Tribunal to support the contention that Bosnian Serb leaders ordered executions at Srebrenica, was Drazen Erdemovic, leader of a mercenary group who was arrested in Serbia in 1996 after he was injured in a drunken shooting incident involving another member of his group. For myriad reasons, it would be hard to find a less reliable witness than Erdemovic, an ethnic Croat from Tuzla, who claims to have fought previously at various times for the Army of Bosnia Hercegovina and the Bosnian Croat HVO.
Erdemovic claims that his group of eight was ordered to execute Muslims at Branjevo military farm near Pilica by a Lt.-Colonel, but this officer is never identified. Erdemovic states that members of his group had been paid 12 kilos of gold, but was not able to remember who provided the funds. Anxious to use his testimony, but unwilling to expose him to cross examination, the Tribunal concluded on June 27 that Erdemovic’s mental condition did not permit his standing trial.
Yet, based on a plea bargain with prosecutors, Erdemovic was allowed to participate in the farcical Rule 61 hearings later that year against Bosnian Serb leaders Karadzic and Mladic, a trial-by-media procedure which allowed uncorroborated testimony to be provided without cross examination. Legal experts were scathing about the procedure. The BBC called it a “circus,” but Chief Judge Cassesse, said “I am relying on the pressure of public opinion” to justify indictments against Serbian leaders.
Erdemovic who, like Nikolic, had admitted to terrible crimes, received a very light sentence of five years and was not required to serve out even the full term because of the “significant cooperation that has been provided to the Office of the Prosecutor”. None of the prosecutors office apparently wished to ask, why, if they had any interest in carrying out summary executions, would the Serb High Command entrust such a mission to a mentally unstable Bosnian Croat, who had fought previously with Muslim forces and the Croatian HVO? Eventually, Erdemovic’s former partners-in-crime were reported serving as mercenaries in the Congo on behalf of French intelligence.
“Few outside Serbdom would object to Karadzic and Mladic being put on trial,” observed former UN Assistant Secretary-General Cedric Thornberry in the Summer of 1996 in Foreign Policy. “But is it likely, given their near universal demonization and the high places from which they have been denounced and condemned, that they could receive a fair trial?” Thornberry asserted that Judge Cassesse and others on the Tribunal had “stretched their judicial role,” by calling for political action. “Crusading and judging are two different (and incompatible) occupations,” he noted and warned that “the court could leave a poisoned legacy.” Columnist George Szamuely, also with the Srebrenica Research Group, writes that the ICTY
“is a kind of Nuremburg in reverse. The principle that was supposed to have been enshrined by the post World War II war crimes trials – that carrying out the orders of superiors is no defense – has been turned on its head. The ICTY declares that lowly soldiers that committed war crimes were really not responsible for their acts, because they were only carrying out orders of their superiors. And what is the evidence that they were carrying out orders? Well it stands to reason that they wouldn’t have done what they did, had they not been ordered to do so.
When the 1968 My Lai massacre was revealed during the Vietnam War, convictions at the never reached higher than Lt. William Calley and Capt. Ernest Medina (although there were courts martial held at Ft. Meade in 1970-71 for everyone up to the division commander). No one of higher rank than Specialist Charles Graner Jr. and Pfc. Lynndie England has been charged in the Abu Ghraib torture scandal. Yet, because the US, and a US-dominated NATO eventually took sides in the Bosnian civil war, not only were the scope of crimes greatly inflated, but responsibility for these abuses was placed on Serb leaders, without evidence they had ordered or approved of them.
The failure to condemn and prosecute a similar military operation by Croatian forces in Western Slavonia that preceded the capture of Srebrenica, and a much larger “scorched earth” operation driving out 200,000 Serbs out of the Krajina, shows a marked discrepancy in comparative moral standards. The ICTY moved haltingly and reluctantly moved prosecute mid-level Croatian military officials involved in Operations Storm and Flash, but because of US support for these war crimes, indictments did not reach any higher, nor was there serious consideration of prosecuting Americans involved in the operation. The Pentagon has refused to turn over satellite photos. But a recent article in Croatian Nacional Magazine, by Ivo Pukanic, asserts that US Pres. Clinton was personally involved in military arrangements for these attacks on civilians in UN Protected Areas.
The United States not only monitored the complete Operation Storm, but they also actively participated with the Croatian Military in its preparation, and in the end directly initiated the operation. The green light from the White House and then-President Clinton for Operation Storm was passed on by Colonel Richard C. Herrick, then US military attaché in Zagreb.
Senior UN official Cedric Thornberry holds no particular brief for the Serbs, whom he accuses of shelling him out of several different residences in Sarajevo, but he expressed dismay at the bias, which impeded a solution to the war in Bosnia. “By early 1993, a consensus developed –- especially in the United States, but also in some West European countries and prominently in parts of the international liberal media — that the Serbs were the only villains, all through Yugoslavia, and that the victims were overwhelmingly or even exclusively the Croats and Muslims. This view did not correspond to the perceptions of successive senior UN personnel in touch with daily events throughout the area; as a kindly soul at the UN headquarters in New York, ear to the diplomatic grapevine, warned me, take cover – the fix is on.” Whether the US Congressional Resolution on Srebrenica passes in its present form, without mentioning or condemning well-documented and comparable abuses by Muslims and Croats, should indicate if the “fix” is still on.
1. George Bogdanich is part of the Srebrenica Research Group which is led by author Ed Herman of the University of Pennsylvania; Herman is co-editor with Phil Hammond of a series of essays called Degraded Capability: The Media and Kosovo Crisis. Others in the group include former BBC Journalist Jonathan Rooper, former New York Press columnist George Szamuely, Diana Johnstone, author of Fool’s Crusade: Yugoslavia NATO and Western Delusions, international law professor Michael Mandel of York University in Toronto, author Phil Hammond, researchers David Peterson of the US, Tim Fenton of London, George Pumphrey of Germany, Dr Milan Bulajic, former Director of the Museum Genocide and Belgrade Professor Vera Vratusa. Mr Bogdanich has also written about the Balkans for various publications including The Chicago Tribune. He was co-producer of Yugoslavia The Avoidable War, with German television reporter Martin Lettmayer.
2. Editor’s Note: Not only is the logic faulty, the motivation behind showing the video at the ICTY was clearly questionable. While showing the highly-inflammatory and graphic imagery in that video, the ICTY refused earlier to show video footage of the 505th Buzim Brigade of the Bosnian [Muslim] Government army showing heaps of mutilated bodies, torched villages and the beheading of a Serb soldier, Ensign Rade Rogic. The ICTY said that the footage was too brutal to show. As a result of the showing of the video highlighting alleged Bosnian Serb atrocities — which resulted in the arrest of at least 12 of the Serbs in the unit involved — the Belgrade newspaper, Vecernje Novosti published a picture a week later, on June 15, 2005, showing the beheading of Ensign Rogic from Sanski Most.