June 10, 2005
Jatras: Playing the Devil's Advocate
A provocative new article by Stella L. Jatras:
The video shown at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague and rebroadcast on Serbian television and on US national TV of the killing of six Muslim men by a group of mercenary volunteers, known as the Skorpians, has shocked the Serbian people. The story goes that release of the video is due to the conscience of one of the perpetrators and delivered to ICTY courtesy of lawyer Natasha Kandic, founder and director of the "Fund for Humanitarian Law," an organization funded by George Soros.
Correctly, those who participated were immediately arrested and will stand trial, and, if found guilty, will be punished by the Serbian government. In view of this, will the Bosnian government now stand up and admit the atrocities that were committed by Bosnian Muslim forces against Serbian civilians so that they can also receive justice?
To play the Devil's advocate, it is necessary to know what precipitated the events in Srebrenica. Therefore, it is equally important that the video filmed by the dreaded Muslim commander in Srebrenica, Nasir Oric, who had mounted commando raids against surrounding Serbian villages whose remaining population were mainly elderly Serbs, many in their 80s, who refused to leave their homes also be shown at The Hague and on national TV. Bill Schiller in the Toronto Star of 16 July 1995, wrote of Oric: "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 a 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."
Why did Srebrenica happen, and what really did happen there? Balkan analyst Carl Savich gave his analysis of General Philippe Morillon's testimony at the ICTY regarding Srebrenica and Naser Oric stating: "The major conclusion from Morillon's testimony was this: The fall of Srebrenica in 1995 was the 'direct reaction' to the massacres of Bosnian Serbs by Naser Oric's forces in 1992-1993. Morillon acknowledged that Oric's troops had committed war crimes in eastern Bosnia. Morillon personally witnessed the exhumation of the bodies of Bosnian Serb civilians and soldiers who had been tortured, mutilated, and executed. He saw with his own eyes the Serbian villages that had been burned to the ground in the Srebrenica pocket. More than anyone else, Morillon understood the level of devastation in eastern Bosnia and the extent and nature of the massacres of Bosnian Serbs."
Who can forget the image of Madeleine Albright frantically waving a CIA satellite photo of the soccer field showing "proof positive" where 7,000 men and boys alleged to have been killed by Serbs in Srebrenica were said to be buried? Twenty-two renowned journalists investigated the site and came away empty handed. Furthermore, in his analysis of 18 September 2003 titled, "Srebrenica Casualty Numbers Challenged by Experts as Politicized and Ethnically Divisive," Gregory R. Copley, Director of Strategic Studies, wrote: "On the eve of the dedication of a monument to Muslims killed at Srebrenica, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in 1995, a group which includes a former UN official, intelligence experts, and journalists, released a statement challenging the alleged casualty number of 7,000 victims as 'vastly inflated and unsupported by evidence'."
In another analysis titled, "US Official implicated with Bosnian Representative Ashdown in Attempt to Force Fabricated Report on Srebrenica," Gregory R. Copley, with input from sources in Sarajevo and elsewhere, wrote, "Very reliable sources within the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other sources in Sarajevo have told GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily that a second US official, Amb. Donald S. Hays, the Deputy High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been actively engaged in attempts to force a fabricated report to be published on the controversial wartime fighting at the city of Srebrenica."
A representative in the Bosnian and Federal Parliaments, Ibran Mustafic, gave an explosive interview on Aug. 15, 1996, to Slobodna Bosnia ("Free Bosnia," A Sarajevo newspaper). Mustafic was quoted as saying that the betrayal of Srebrenica "was consciously prepared and that the Bosnian president and the army command were involved in this business," and that was to sacrifice Srebrenica in order to gain sympathy of the West. Of his internment in a Serbian jail, he writes, "I should have died. They [the Bosnian Muslim authorities] don't appreciate living people. They appreciate the dead because they cannot talk."
Yasushi Akashi, former UN Representative in Bosnia, admitted in The Washington Times of 1 November 1995, that, "it is a fact that the Bosnian government forces have used the 'safe areas' of not only Srebrenica, but Sarajevo, Tuzla, Bihac, Gorazde for training, recuperation and refurbishing their troops." In other words, the so-called "safe areas" were used as military posts to train mujahedin fighters from Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Turkey and the entire Islamic world, free to commit their treachery by attacking Serbian villages and returning back to the safety of their UN protectors who conveniently looked the other way. Prior to the events at Srebrenica, these "Holy Warriors of Islam" had attacked 42 surrounding Serbian villages and over 3,000 Serbian villagers had been slaughtered, but when Serbs were provoked to retaliate against these Muslim assaults from these so-called "safe areas," they were condemned by the entire world.
President Bush said after 9/11 that we will do whatever it takes to defend ourselves against the [Muslim] terrorists, yet we denied the Serbs the right to defend themselves against the same enemy that we are fighting today.
If the American people are to be given the full extent of atrocities committed by both sides, shouldn't the photos be shown of mujahedin from Saudi Arabia holding the severed heads of Serb soldiers in Bosnia and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), holding the severed heads of Serb soldiers in Kosovo? Or the photo of Serbs being roasted live by Islam's holy warriors? Shouldn't the photo of the Serbian family that was slain by Bosnian Muslim forces, the father, whose genitals were stuffed in his mouth and an Islamic crescent and star etched on his forehead, also be shown on national TV? Or the photo of Serbian babies with a bullet hole between their eyes who had been killed by a Bosnian Muslim sniper? Shouldn't the video of atrocities committed by Nasir Oric as previously described be shown to the world, or is the "shock" syndrome reserved only for Serbs?
In civil wars, all sides do terrible things and it is tragic that this should happen to young boys, but are we not seeing reports of Muslim boys even younger being trained in Pakistan as suicide bombers?
America has not heard the last of atrocities alleged to have been committed by Serb soldiers. More stories, either fabricated or exaggeration will continue to emerge from out of the blue, but atrocities committed by Bosnian Muslims and by the Kosovo Liberation Army will continue to be swept under the carpet. That's the way the game is being played in the Balkans. All Christian Serbs wear black hats. All Bosnian and Kosovo Muslims wear white hats. Checkmate.