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The SREBRENICA MASSACRE Evidence, Context, Politics

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  • The SREBRENICA MASSACRE Evidence, Context, Politics

    Edited by Edward S. Herman
    Foreword by Phillip Corwin

    This book as a whole, as well as the Foreword, Preface, and each of the individual 10 chapters that comprise it, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, No-Derivative Works 3.0 License (CC-BY-NC-ND).
    See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/
    And see: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/.../3.0/legalcode

    Each author retains his copyright, but also hereby grants to other parties the right to reproduce and distribute individual chapters provided that credit is given to the respective author(s), that this work is
    used non-commercially, and that the chapters are reproduced-in-full, unless otherwise granted permission by the author to use his work in a manner different than that specified here.

    Licensed 2011
    Layout/design: Helen Cuprisin
    Alphabet Soup
    Evergreen Park, IL 60805

    The former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia according to the 1974 Constitution, with its six Republics, and two Autonomous Provinces

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Prikačeni fajlovi
    Last edited by goxy30; 13-09-15, 20:32.

  • #2
    Re: The SREBRENICA MASSACRE Evidence, Context, Politics

    Phillip Corwin

    On July 11, 1995, the town of Srebrenica fell to the Bosnian Serb army. At the time, I was the highest ranking United Nations civilian official in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In my book, Dubious Mandate*1, I made some comments on that tragedy.
    Beyond that, I decried the distortions of the international press in their reporting, not only on that event, but on the wars in Yugoslavia (1992-95) in general. I expressed the wish that there could have been, and must be, some balance in telling the story of what actually happened in Srebrenica and in all of former Yugoslavia, if we are to learn from our experience.
    This book by the Srebrenica Research Group, The Srebrenica Massacre: Evidence, Context, Politics, answers that call.
    It presents an alternative and well-documented assessment of the tragedy of Srebrenica, and of the suffering of all the constituent peoples of former Yugoslavia. It is an invaluable document. Of course, there will be those who will disagree with the authors’ perspective. But if we are to open a discussion
    that has been closed to all but the faithful, if we are to prevent similar tragedies from occurring again, then we must take seriously the accounts put forward by the bright and discerning contributors to this book. No honest reader can doubt the credentials of these authors. And no honest reader should doubt the importance of what they have to say.
    I congratulate them on their scholarship and their courage. Coincidentally, I have a personal reason for recalling what happened on July 11, 1995, for not only was that the day Srebrenica fell, but it was
    also the day that a Bosnian sniper tried to assassinate me as my vehicle, white and clearly marked as a UN vehicle, was driving over Mt. Igman on the way back to Sarajevo from a staff visit to Gorni Vakuf.
    The sniper targeted our vehicle as we sped around the hairpin turns of that narrow, rutted mountain road, and it was due only to the courageous efforts of Bruno Chaubert, the Corsican warrant officer who was my
    driver, that we survived. We knew from the trajectory of the bullet, and the fact that we had identified ourselves only minutes earlier at a Bosnian army checkpoint, that the sniper who fired on us was in Bosnian government controlled territory, and that he knew who we were.
    Actually, the sniper had targeted the driver, because he knew if the driver had lost control, then the vehicle and all its passengers would have gone over the mountain. At the time, however, I chose not to publicize the event because the Bosnian government would have denied it, and the UN would not have protested, given its gaping lack of credibility with the Bosnian government. But the message was clear. The Bosnian government considered the UN to be its enemy.

    In the years since Srebrenica fell, the name itself has become a buzzword for allegations of Serbian genocide. Books have been written, reports have been compiled, and radio and television broadcasts have
    saturated the air waves with “evidence” of this crime against humanity.
    The United Nations Security Council convened an international tribunal in The Hague to “prove” this pre-trial judgment. It would not be an exaggeration to say some journalists and aspiring politicians have
    made careers out of promoting this allegation.
    But the situation is more complicated than the public relations specialists would have us believe. That there were killings of non-combatants in Srebrenica, as in all war zones, is a certainty. And those who
    perpetrated them deserve to be condemned and prosecuted. And whether it was three or 30 or 300 innocent civilians who were killed, it was a heinous crime. There can be no equivocation about that. At the
    same time, the facts presented in this volume make a very cogent argument that the figure of 8,000 killed, which is often bandied about in the international community, is an unsupportable exaggeration.
    The true figure may be closer to 800.
    The fact that the figure in question has been so distorted, however, suggests that the issue has been politicized. There is much more shock value in the death of 8,000 than in the death of 800.
    There is also evidence in this book that thousands of Serbs were massacred, expelled, tortured, raped, and humiliated during the wars within former Yugoslavia.
    The international community has not seen fit to publicize these atrocities with as much vigor as it has those of Srebrenica. That simple observation does not justify what occurred in Srebrenica.
    But it is another piece of the puzzle that explains the anger of the Serbs when they assaulted Srebrenica. In May 1995, for example, just two months before Srebrenica fell, the Croatian army captured Western
    Slavonia and expelled 90 per cent of the Serb population in that region.

    Serbs had lived in Western Slavonia for hundreds of years. But the international community said nothing about those expulsions; in fact, it applauded the Croatian action, as though the Serb civilians deserved
    what had happened. To massacre Croatians or Bosnians or Kosovo Albanians was genocide. To massacre Serbs was regarded as appropriate retribution.
    Clearly, the international community has not seen fit to consecrate the massacres of Serbs with monuments. Instead, it has issued arrest warrants for Serb leaders.

    What happened in Srebrenica was not a single large massacre of Muslims by Serbs, but rather a series of very bloody attacks and counterattacks over a three-year period, which reached a crescendo in 1995. And
    the number of Muslim executed in the last battle of Srebrenica, as former BBC reporter Jonathan Rooper has pointed out, was most likely in the hundreds, not in the thousands.
    Moreover, it is likely that the number of Muslim dead was probably no more than the number of Serbs
    that had been killed in Srebrenica and its environs during the preceding years by Bosnian Commander Naser Oric and his predatory gangs.
    The events at Srebrenica in July 1995 did not occur in a political vacuum. In fact, they might never have occurred at all if Yugoslavia had not been forcibly dismembered against the will of 45 percent of its people, the Serbs. (Serbs were about 31 percent of pre-war Bosnia.) The breakup
    of Yugoslavia, in fact, was contrary to the last Yugoslav Constitution
    (1974), which invested the right of self-determination in Yugoslavia’s
    six constituent “nations” (Croats, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Muslims, Serbs, and Slovenes), and required that all of these nations had to agree to the dissolution of the federal state for it to be legal. And of
    course, the Serbs never agreed. In my book, Dubious Mandate, I report the following question, which was posed to me by a Bosnian Serb: Why, after 50 years as a Yugoslav, should I suddenly be told I’m a minority in a Muslim State, when I was never even given a choice?
    People can get very angry when you take away their country.
    Today, one can only imagine what might have happened in the Balkans if diplomacy had been given a better chance, if NATO had not had the ambition it had to push eastward, up to the borders of the former
    Soviet Union, to annex what was then being called the “new Europe.”
    It is possible—not certain, but possible—that in due time there might have been a peaceful breakup of the former Yugoslavia, probably along different international borders. But the decisions to fracture the
    former Yugoslavia were taken precipitously, by minority communities within Yugoslavia, and were driven by powerful forces outside Yugoslavia—namely, those of NATO, especially the newly-reunited Germany.
    One of the big lies that we heard during the wars in Yugoslavia was that NATO had to intervene because there was danger the conflict would spread. But no group within the former Yugoslavia had ambitions
    outside of Yugoslavia. It was the nations outside Yugoslavia that had ambitions inside Yugoslavia.

    When the greatest military power of all time has an identity crisis, the world is in danger. With the end of the Cold War, NATO’s role as a defensive alliance ended. There were those who said that NATO should
    have been dissolved, now that there was no more Soviet Union. But there were also those—many of whom were bureaucrats benefiting from the existence of such a massive organization—who said NATO should
    now be used as a weapon to forge “democracy” around the world—in other words, it should be used to promote the global economy, and make the world free for Coca-Cola. Four of the six constituent republics
    within former Yugoslavia agreed to this immediate transition to “democracy.”
    Serbia did not, and it paid the price. In fact, everyone in the former Yugoslavia paid the price, and Srebrenica was part of that price.
    Post-mortem studies of events in the former Yugoslavia, including those by the United Nations, have cited the international community’s inability to recognize “evil” as the main reason for its inability to end the
    wars of the 1990s in the Balkans. If such self-delusion were not so tragic, it would be comic. Wars have never been fought to destroy evil, no matter what religious zealots may assert. Wars have been fought for economic, political, strategic and social reasons.
    The wars of the 1990s in the Balkans were no different. It was geopolitics, not original sin, that
    drove NATO’s ambitions

    There is one more general comment I must make, by way of background, about the wars in the former Yugoslavia, and that comment involves the concept of historical memory. We allow certain peoples to have historical memory. We allow the Jewish people to remember the Holocaust.
    And they should remember it. It was a terrible tragedy. But we do not allow the Serbian people to remember their massacre during World War II at the hands of the Nazis and their Bosnian and Croatian fascist puppets.
    This is not to say that all Bosnians and Croatians were Nazi collaborators; but the Croatian Ustaše regime, which included Bosnia, was. And why should Serbs not have been suspicious and angry when they were suddenly told that vast numbers of their people were about to become minorities in new countries that were led by people who were their killers during World War II?
    Especially when the Serbs had never even been consulted! They would have been crazy not to be anxious.
    My question is, why did the international community not understand the perplexity, the anger, and the historical memory of the Serbs?
    Back to military concerns. It was evident by July 1995 that the Bosnian Serb army could not continue to allow five enemy bases to exist behind its front lines. Mind you, I am not speaking about the
    humanitarian issue here, because I have never, and will never, condone the slaughter of civilians. But it would be irresponsible to ignore the military aspect of the campaign in eastern Bosnia when discussing Srebrenica, just as it would be foolish to ignore the historical process that led up to the events of July 1995.
    Today in Bosnia there is a campaign of disinformation that has all but buried the facts along with the bodies. To pretend that the events in Srebrenica were a microcosm of any sort is to take an oversimplified,
    fast-food view of history. One isolated event does not explain a process as complicated as war.
    History is not a collection of sound bites. History is a process with several watersheds, and to understand Srebrenica one must understand the watershed of NATO’s identity crisis.
    As part of that campaign of disinformation, the authors of a whole series of reports about Srebrenica, both inside and outside the UN, have judiciously avoided interviewing those in-the- know who might not
    have told them what they wanted to hear.
    For example, the authors of the first comprehensive United Nations report on Srebrenica, entitled The Fall of Srebrenica, issued in the fall of 1999, never interviewed me, and did not list my book in their short bibliography, even though I was the ranking UN official in Bosnia at the time of the takeover of Srebrenica.
    Nor was I alone in being ignored by the compilers of politicallycorrect history.
    In my case, my major error was that I dared to defend the United Nations at a time when it was fighting as hard as possible to be a scapegoat.
    UN leadership, which was desperately trying to curry favor with the United States in order to prevent the world organization from completely collapsing, could not afford to criticize the world’s only superpower.
    The United States, which had been useless in Rwanda, embarrassed in Somalia, and frustrated in former Yugoslavia, needed a sacrificial lamb. And because I refused to be part of the UN’s mea maxima
    culpa campaign, I was ignored. There were others too, prominent intellectuals, who were ignored in the flurry of reports that emerged, “studies” righteously denouncing the United Nations for not having
    recognized the existence of evil. But one day their story, our story, must be heard if one is ever to understand the history of Srebrenica, of the former Yugoslavia, of Europe, and of the world.
    The beginnings of that untold story, hitherto marginalized by official renditions, are here for all
    to read in this report.

    1 Phillip Corwin, Dubious Mandate: A Memoir of the UN in Bosnia, Summer 1995
    (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999).
    Last edited by goxy30; 12-07-15, 01:21.


    • #3
      Re: The SREBRENICA MASSACRE Evidence, Context, Politics

      Edward S. Herman

      Srebrenica can best be understood in the context of the U.S. and
      NATO war against Serbia and dismantlement of Yugoslavia

      In this war, which followed the collapse of the Soviet bloc and Soviet Union itself (1989 - 1991), and the ending of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s usefulness as a Western ally, those indigenous forces which sought to preserve the unified, federal structure of Yugoslavia were designated
      the enemy, while those which sought its breakup, the Slovenes, the Croats, the Bosnian Muslims, and the Kosovo Albanians, saw their causes adopted by the Western powers, and hence became “freedom
      The ensuing civil wars, which can be dated to no later than the spring of 1991*2 involved both military and propaganda campaigns. In the latter, the Republic of Serbia, as the chief advocate of preserving a unitary federal state, was depicted in the harshest light, with the official
      positions of the breakaway republics of Slovenia, Croatia, and BosniaHerzegovina, and their Western great-power supporters, uncritically accepted by the Western media and humanitarian NGOs and
      It was in such a highly charged political environment that the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995 took place, and was quickly described as a case of “genocide”*3 and “Europe’s worst massacre since World War II,”*4 with the number slaughtered there speedily fixed as 8,000 “men and boys.”
      That number was first put forward by the Red Cross, not on any evidence of 8,000 killings, or even deaths, but on the basis of the number of Bosnian Muslims estimated to have been taken prisoner by
      the Serbs (3,000) plus the number initially claimed to be “missing” (5,000).*5
      Although the Red Cross had no evidence that the alleged 3,000 prisoners were dead, and soon acknowledged that many of the “missing” had gotten through Bosnian Serb lines to safety, and that
      many were killed in the furious fighting in the Bosnian Muslim retreat from Srebrenica, the 8,000 figure was never revised downward, but has remained intact up to today. What is more, it was quickly transformed into “executions,” also intact through the succeeding 15 years.
      This stability in number was not because anything like 8,000 bodies were subsequently exhumed and identified as victims of a Srebrenica massacre, despite years of searches and a substantial forensic investment, or that witness evidence supported any such number, as we describe in the text below (Chapters 4 and 5). It is a curiosity, not only because of the lack of evidence for the figure, but also because in most massacre cases the initial estimates are exaggerated, and are subsequently
      adjusted downward based on the cooler examination of hard evidence.
      For example, at its peak, the early 9/11 estimates at the World Trade Center in New York City reached as high as 6,886, but in the end this was reduced to 2,749;*6 and the numbers put forward by NATO officials in the spring of 1999 for the Kosovo Albanian dead or missing at Serbian
      hands during the bombing war plummeted from 100,000 or more to one-tenth that total and less.*7
      The claim of “genocide” in Bosnia, with an alleged 200,000 (or more) Bosnian Muslim civilians slaughtered
      by 1993, was eventually cut down to less than 40,000, based on the research of two different establishment sources.*8

      This suggests that the Srebrenica total may have been uniquely immunized against downward revision for reasons that have little or nothing to do with evidence, and a great deal to do with political interest.
      We certainly believe that there were a significant number of executions at Srebrenica following the evacuation of the designated Srebrenica “safe area” in July 1995. But we also believe that they may not have been more numerous than the Serb civilians killed in the towns near Srebrenica
      by Bosnian Muslim forces operating out of that “safe area” in the prior three years (well over 1,000, with one estimate as high as 3,2879*9)
      or the number of Serbs killed in the ethnic cleansing by Croats in Croatian Western Slavonia and the Krajina in May and August, 1995 (2,500 or more). We believe that the inflation of numbers and huge publicity given to the Srebrenica massacre, and the avoidance of context and attention to the actions and killings of others participating in the Bosnian struggle, rests on political interest. That political interest has profoundly influenced the focus of Western officials, the Western-organized International Criminal Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the Western-dominated UN, and the Western media.
      The purpose of this volume is to raise questions and adduce relevant evidence about the now institutionalized claims regarding the Srebrenica massacre and to challenge the broader narrative in which it plays a major role.
      This is an important task because this massacre has become a key event and symbol demonstrating Serb evil, the justice of the Western intervention in the Balkans, including its wars and criminal trials, and
      showing that “humanitarian intervention”—and the bypassing of supposedly obsolete rules against military attacks on sovereign nations—is sometimes necessary and good.
      Not a single major discussion that advocates “humanitarian” war, with its related notions of the “responsibility to protect” and the “right to intervene,” has been produced since the events of July 1995 that has not also cited an alleged failure to prevent either the “Srebrenica Massacre” or the Bosnian “genocide” to buttress its pro-interventionary argument.*10
      If, however, the regnant claims about the Srebrenica massacre are untrue or seriously inflated—like that
      of the alleged threat posed by Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” in 2002-2003—one of the moral and intellectual bedrocks of Western interventionism in this post-Soviet era of rapid U.S. and NATO-bloc expansion is seriously weakened.
      We know that our work will be assailed as “historical revisionism” and, worse, as “genocide denial,” but charges such as these are fundamentally political in nature, and we regard them as no more than cheapshots and evasions, whose real purpose is to preempt challenges to a firmly established party-line. The regnant account is regularly protected by aggressive personal attacks on the challengers in lieu of the more arduous task of answering with evidence.*11
      Those who guard the gates of recent Balkans History—especially those who guard it zealously, with no
      other calling but to keep this History all to themselves, and to keep others out—have sharpened several weapons with which to defend those gates, and to repel their adversaries. Many of them believe that the best way to control The Truth is to portray anyone who would breach the gates as a kind of barbarian—and nothing more. In January 2009, the European Parliament proclaimed every July 11 a “day of commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide,” when “more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys…were summarily executed by Bosnian Serb forces…making this event the biggest war crime to take place in Europe since the end of the Second World War.”*12
      In the face of such certitude, who in his right mind would “deny” the “Srebrenica massacre”?
      We will not be cowed by these rhetorical questions designed to enforce a politically preferred but eminently challengeable truth. We do not think we have given the final word here. But we have based our arguments on what seem to us relevant and neglected facts, and invite a careful look at our presentation and further debate The authors are indebted to many scholars in the field, most of whom are cited in our endnotes. We are grateful to Phillip Corwin, who was the highest ranking UN civilian official in Bosnia-Herzegovina in July 1995, for his Foreword to this book. David Peterson has been indispensable
      in helping get the book into final shape.
      Others who have been helpful to this project are the late Milan Bulajic, Kole Kilibarda, Diana
      Johnstone, Stephen Karganovic, Sanjoy Mahajan, George Pumphrey, Milivoje Ivanisevic, Vera Vratusa, and Darko Trifunovic.
      The authors alone are responsible for the analyses and arguments included
      in this volume.

      See, e.g., Susan L. Woodward, Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution After the
      Cold War (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1995); Robert M. Hayden,
      Blueprints for a House Divided: The Constitutional Logic of the Yugoslav Conflicts
      (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1999); David Chandler, “Western
      Intervention and the Disintegration of Yugoslavia, 1989-1999,” in Philip
      Hammond and Edward S. Herman, Eds., Degraded Capability: The Media and the
      Kosovo Crisis (Sterling, VA: Pluto Press, 2000), pp. 19-30; Diana Johnstone, Fools’
      Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions (New York: Monthly Review
      Press, 2002); LTC John E. Sray, “Selling the Bosnian Myth to America: Buyer Beware,”
      Foreign Military Studies Office Publications, Department of the Army,
      Fort Leavenworth, October, 1995, <http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/bosnia2.htm>;
      and Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, “The Dismantling
      of Yugoslavia,” Monthly Review, Vol. 59, No. 5, October, 2007,
      Both the Republic of Slovenia and Republic of Croatia formally declared independence
      from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on June 25, 1991;
      the Muslim - led Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared the republic’s independence
      on April 6, 1992. But all of these actions came on the heels of prolonged
      extreme tensions between the republican and the federal institutions of
      state, as well as the ethnic populations then living across each of the six republics.
      Although political figures and the news media began using the term “genocide”
      in relation to ethnic Serb practices in the former Yugoslavia as early as 1992, the
      earliest official usage of the charge “genocide” in relation to Srebrenica is to be
      found in Counts 1 and 2 of the Indictment of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko
      Mladic for Srebrenica. See Richard J. Goldstone, The Prosecutor of the Tribunal
      Against Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic (IT-95-18), November 14, 1995,
      para. 47-51, <http://www.un.org/icty/indictment/english/kar-ii951116e.htm>.
      David Rohde, “Serbia Held Responsible For Massacre Of Bosnians,” Christian
      Science Monitor, October 24, 1995—one of countless occasions on which this
      and very similar phrases (e.g., “worst mass murder in Europe since World War II”)
      have been used to describe the fate of the designated Srebrenica “Safe Area” population
      since the second-half of 1995. 
      See, e.g., “8,000 missing, presumed dead, from fallen enclave,” Agence France
      Presse, September 14, 1995; Maud S. Beelman, “Red Cross Says 8,000 People
      from Fallen Safe Area Are Missing,” Associated Press, September 14, 1995; “8,000
      Muslims Missing,” Associated Press, in the New York Times, September 15, 1995.
      For the Red Cross’s own documents, see “Former Yugoslavia: Srebrenica: help for
      families still awaiting news,” ICRC News, September 13, 1995,
      and “Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Annual Report 1995, ICRC,
      May 31, 1996, para. 16, <[url]http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/57jmz9?opendocument>.
      Ula Ilnytzky, “Report drops trade center death toll by three, to 2,749,” Associated
      Press, January 23, 2004. Also see David Peterson, “Counting Bodies at the
      World Trade Center,” ZNet, June 14, 2004, <[url]http://web.archive.org/web/20041101065722/blog.zmag.org/rocinante/archives/000614.html>.
      U.S. Department of State estimates of possible Serb killings of Albanians in
      Kosovo reached 500,000 in April 1999. One Weekly Report even stated that,
      “Disturbingly, some 150,000 to 500,000 military age men remain missing in
      Kosovo”—with grim implications that no one could miss. See “Ethnic Cleansing
      in Kosovo,” April 22, 1999, <[url]http://www.state.gov/www/regions/eur/rpt990422_ksvo_ethnic.html>.
       See Ewa Tabeau and Jakub Bijak, “War-related Deaths in the 1992 - 1995 Armed
      Conflicts in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Critique of Previous Estimates and Recent
      Results,” European Journal of Population, Vol. 21, No. 2-3, June, 2005, pp.
      187-215, <www.yugofile.co.uk/onlynow/EJP_all.zip>. Also see Patrick Ball et
      al., The Bosnian Book of the Dead: Assessment of the Database, Research and Documentation
      Center, Sarajevo, June 17, 2007 <http://www.hicn.org/researchdesign/rdn5.pdf>.
      Ball et al. estimate a total of 64,003 Bosnian Muslim deaths
      during the wars. (See Table 19, “Ethnicity of Victims Reported in BBD,” p. 29.)
      These researchers add that the “status in war” of the deceased persons, i.e.,
      whether the deceased persons were combatants or non-combatants, is more difficult
      to determine (pp. 30-32). However, in a slide-show presentation that formerly
      was available at the RDC’s website but subsequently was removed, the
      RDC had estimated a total of 64,036 Bosnian Muslim deaths during the wars
      (very close to the 64,003 the RDC now reports), of whom the RDC reported
      30,966 were combatants, and 33,070 civilians. 
      See Milivoje Ivanisevic, Srebrenica July 1995—in search of truth, Zivka Novicic,
      See, e.g., “We the Peoples”: The role of the United Nations in the 21st Century (The
      Millennium Report), UN Secretary-General (United Nations, 2000), esp. Ch. 4,
      “Freedom from Fear,” pp. 42-53, <http://www.un.org/millennium/sg/report/full.htm>;
       The Responsibility to Protect, Report of the International
      Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (International Development
      Research Center, 2001), p. vii, p. 1., p. 2, p. 11, p. 66, <http://www.iciss.ca/report-en.asp>;
      A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility, Report of the Highlevel
      Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (United Nations 2004), para. 199
      - 203, <http://www.un.org/secureworld/>; In larger freedom: towards development,
      security, and human rights for all (A/59/2005), Report of the Secretary-General
      (United Nations, 2005), para. 122 - 139, <http://www.un.org/largerfreedom/>;
      and 2005 World Summit Outcome (A/RES/60/1), UN General Assembly, September
      15, 2006, para. 138 - 140, <http://www.un.org/summit2005/documents.html>.
      For but one illustration of this kind of personalized, politically-motivated attack,
      with its characteristic lack of resort to evidence, that greets any challenge to the
      orthodox point of view that we contest here, we point to a letter by 25 signatories
      submitted to The Guardian newspaper in December 2005, protesting the
      paper’s “correction” of a misleading report of an interview with Noam Chomsky
      that The Guardian later retracted: See Marko Attila Hoare et al., “Protest to The
      Guardian Over ‘Correction’ to Noam Chomsky Interview,” as posted to Balkan
      Insight No. 15 (Balkan Investigative Reporting Network), December 8, 2005,
      <http://www.birn.eu.com/insight_15_8_eng.php>; see also Marko Attila Hoare,
      “The Guardian, Noam Chomsky, and the Milosevic Lobby,” as posted to the
      website of The Henry Jackson Society, February 4, 2006, <http://zope06.v.servelocity.net/hjs/sections/greater_europe/document.2006-02-04.9587987965>.
      “European Parliament resolution of 15 January 2009 on Srebrenica” (P6_TAPROV(2009)0028),
      EurLex, January 15, 2009, para. 2, para. B, emphasis added,
      This resolution not only asserts, based on no known evidence, that “more than” 8,000
      men and boys were slaughtered at Srebrenica, it even claims “the rape of a large
      number of women” (para. D), something that even the standard mainstream accounts
      of the July 1995 events have not put forward. Politicization has made it possible
      to say anything about the massacre as long as this enlarges its scope of evil.
      Last edited by goxy30; 12-07-15, 01:18.


      • #4
        Re: The SREBRENICA MASSACRE Evidence, Context, Politics

        CHAPTER 1
        Edward S. Herman

        “Srebrenica” has become the symbol of evil, and specifically Serb evil. It is commonly described as “a horror without parallel in the history of Europe since the Second World War” in which there was a cold-blooded execution “of at least 8,000 Muslim men and boys.”*1
        The events in question took place in and near the Bosnian town of Srebrenica between
        July 11 and 19, 1995, as the Bosnian Serb Army (BSA) occupied that town and fought with and killed many Bosnian Muslims, unknown numbers dying in the fighting and by executions.
        There is no question but that Bosnian Serb forces carried out executions, but even though only rarely discussed there is a major issue of how many, as numerous bodies found in local grave sites were victims of fighting, hard to differentiate from victims of execution, and many Bosnian Muslim men
        who fled Srebrenica reached Bosnian Muslim and Yugoslav territory safely.*2
        What is more, some bodies exhumed were very possibly those of Serbs killed in the forays by well-armed Bosnian Muslim forces operating out of Srebrenica during the 39 months before July 1995.
        On April 16, 1993, the UN Security Council designated Srebrenica a “safe area,” one that should be “free from any armed attack or any other hostile act.” Forty-eight hours later, the UN Protection Force for
        Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNPROFOR) negotiated an agreement between the BSA and Bosnian Muslim Army (BMA) whereby the BSA agreed to a ceasefire in exchange for UNPROFOR’S pledge to disarm
        the Srebrenica “safe area” population.
        But Srebrenica remained an armed camp nonetheless, one from which Bosnian Muslim troops and paramilitary forces periodically ventured forth and destroyed numerous Serb villages and killed a total number of Serbs estimated to be well over 3,000 by the war’s end.*4
        The vengeance motive that developed among Bosnian Serb forces was strong, and they even had lists of “safe haven”-protected killers, some no doubt captured and summarily executed in July 1995.
        But there was also heavy fighting during the period of the alleged massacre as several thousand Bosnian Muslim troops of the well-armed 28th division of the BMA retreated from Srebrenica and its vicinity to Bosnian Muslim lines at Tuzla. Many reached those lines (and Yugoslav territory) safely, but large numbers were killed in combat, and the Bosnian Serbs themselves claimed to have sustained the loss of
        as many as five hundred soldiers (see Chapters 2 and 3).
        The uncertainty as to the number and causes of the deaths provided an outstanding opportunity for fudging the data, helped along by the fact that the Bosnian Muslim government refused to provide the Red
        Cross with lists of those who had escaped to Bosnian Muslim lines.
        While this tactic was harsh on the soldiers’ relatives back in Srebrenica and elsewhere in Bosnia, it facilitated the inflation of the numbers missing and possibly executed. The figure of 8,000 executed was initially based on an alleged 3,000 detained by the Bosnian Serbs, plus 5,000 who fled Srebrenica toward Central Bosnia (see Chapter 4).
        It was reported at the time that a great many of the 5,000 did in fact reach their goal, but the refusal of the Bosnian Muslim government to give names made it possible to sustain the 8,000 number, which has held sway up to today. Subsequently, the figure of 8,000 was maintained by official assertions,
        backed by the testimony of witnesses, the evidence of grave sites, a rising number of DNA identifications, and newly adjusted lists of the missing (with the total remaining unchanged). But few if any witnesses
        who testified before the Tribunal saw actual executions—most provided hearsay evidence and most or all had a political or self-interested motive in making their claims. The most featured witness, Drazen Erdemovic, a Croat from Tuzla who served with the Bosnian Serb army, cited by name in the 1999 UN report on Srebrenica, and who, in May 1996, became the first person ever found guilty at the Tribunal on the basis of a plea-agreement, had initially avoided trial on the ground of mental instability—which
        did not rule out his testifying for the Tribunal, free of cross-examination, only weeks later.*5
        Erdemovic was otherwise badly compromised, and gave testimony that was contradictory and unsupported
        by any hard evidence (see Chapters 4 and 5).

        An estimated “43 known Srebrenica related mass graves” had yielded some 2,600 bodies between 1996 and 2001.*6 The 448 blindfolds and 423 ligatures reportedly recovered along with these bodies by forensic experts of the ICTY, genuine evidence of likely executions, represented
        a rate of roughly one for every six bodies,*7 but how many of the rest were executed or killed in fighting has never been established, and the exact provenance of the 7,500 bodies gathered at Tuzla is also uncertain (see Chapter 4).
        There have been repeated claims of secret body exhumations and reburials to more distant locales, pushing the total number of putative mass graves as high as 70 by late 2008.*5
        But the evidence for this structure of primary, secondary, and even tertiary mass graves is weak and the rationale unconvincing: That the Bosnian Serbs would have had the resources in the midst of a war and when under serious military pressure to carry out mass executions and mass burials, and then subsequent to this, mass exhumations and mass reburials, is implausible; and that they could hope to do all of this unobserved would be foolish, and strains credulity. In early August 1995 Madeleine Albright even warned them that “We will be watching,”*9 but no satellite or aerial photos have yet been offered for public examination that show executions in progress, graves being dug, trucks carting off bodies, or bodies exhumed and reburied (see Chapter 4).
        Despite the media focus on “mass graves” and witness evidence, it is mainly the lists of the missing and DNA matching that underpin the claims for 7,000 - 8,000 fatalities. However, now more than 15 years
        after the event, these lists contain evident flaws, with some names appearing twice and a signal lack of transparency about the criteria for adding a name to the list and whether the data relating to where the
        people were last seen was corroborated. There are unknown but possibly large numbers who were killed in action or escaped to Bosnian lines or elsewhere and assumed new lives (see Chapters 4 and 5). The DNA
        identifications suffer from both technical problems and their inability to identify the mode and timing of deaths.
        The events of Srebrenica and claims of a major massacre were extremely convenient to the Clinton administration, the Bosnian Muslim leadership, and Croatian authorities. The Clinton administration
        had been pressing for more forceful action in favor of its Bosnian Muslim allies, and Clinton officials rushed to the Srebrenica scene to confirm and publicize the claims of a massacre, just as William Walker did
        at Racak.*10
        Walker’s immediate report to Madeleine Albright caused her to exult that “spring has come early this year.”*11
        Srebrenica allowed the “fall to come early” for the Clinton administration in the summer of 1995.
        The Bosnian Muslim leadership had been struggling for several years to persuade the NATO powers to intervene more forcibly on their behalf, and there is strong evidence that they were prepared not only to lie but also to sacrifice their own citizens and soldiers to serve the end of inducing intervention (matters described further below and in Chapters 2 and 7). A number of Bosnian Muslim officials have claimed that their leader, Alija Izetbegovic, told them that Clinton had advised him that U.S. intervention would only occur if the Serbs killed at least 5,000 at Srebrenica.*12
        The abandonment of Srebrenica prior to July 11, 1995 by an armed Bosnian Muslim force much larger numerically than that of the Bosnian Serb attackers, and the retreat that made that larger force
        vulnerable and caused it to suffer heavy casualties in fighting and vengeance executions, helped produce deaths that, once their actual number was inflated, would not only meet but surpass the Clinton
        threshold. There is other evidence that the retreat from Srebrenica was not based on any military necessity, but was strategic, with the personnel losses incurred regarded as a necessary sacrifice for a larger purpose (see Chapters 2 and 3).
        Croatian authorities were also delighted with the claims of a Srebrenica massacre, as this deflected attention from their prior devastating ethnic cleansing of Serbs in Western Slavonia (almost entirely
        ignored by the Western media), and it would provide a cover for their already planned removal of several hundred-thousand Serbs from the Krajina area in Croatia. This massive ethnic cleansing operation was
        carried out with U.S. logistical support in the month following the Srebrenica events, and it possibly involved the killing of more Serb civilians than Bosnian Muslim civilians killed in the Srebrenica area in July. Most or all of the Bosnian Muslim victims of execution were men of fighting
        age, and very few were women or children; the Croatians, unlike the Bosnian Serbs, did not bus women and children to safety, and several hundred women, children and old people were slaughtered in Krajina. *13
        But the Krajina ethnic cleansing and massacre was hardly noticed in the wake of the indignation and propaganda generated by Srebrenica and the official guidance of the media agenda.
        The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and UN also had an important role to play in the consolidation of the standard Srebrenica massacre narrative. From its inception the
        ICTY served as an arm of the NATO powers, who created it, funded it chose or vetted key personnel, served as its police arm and main information source, and expected and got responsive service from the organization.*14
        The ICTY focused heavily on Srebrenica and provided important and nominally independent corroboration of the massacre narrative (see Chapters 5 and 6). The UN is less thoroughly responsive to NATO-power demands, but it is responsive and in the Srebrenica case it came through just as the United States and its main allies desired (see Chapter 7).
        These considerations suggest that at least a modicum of skepticism should be applied to the claims regarding the Srebrenica massacre. But no doubts have been expressed in the mainstream media of the West, where there has been no debate, only the endless repetition of a quickly established but unverified claim that serves specific political aims (see Chapters 8 and 9). Even marginalized expressions of doubt have been greeted with aggressive putdowns and smears by enforcers, unwilling to debate on the evidence, but calling those questioning the established narrative “revisionists” and “genocide deniers.”*15
        This follows a long-standing pattern. Time after time the Western media and mainstream intellectuals have fallen into line behind stories and perspectives that served ongoing state policy, but which were either false or biased by the selective use of evidence and/or a failure to provide context. In the recent past we had the claim that Saddam Hussein had mobilized his forces along the border of Saudi Arabia after his occupation of Kuwait in August 1990 and was preparing to invade Saudi Arabia. This claim, which was an important source of war hysteria leading up to the January 1991 war, was false, but was never contested in the dominant media.*16 The claim that Saddam Hussein’s forces had removed several hundred babies from their incubators following his occupation of Kuwait, based on testimony by the daughter of the Kuwait ambassador to the United States (an affiliation undisclosed at the time), was also false, but was disseminated without question by the mainstream media.*17
        It is notorious, and even acknowledged by some of its participants, that the U.S. mainstream media passed along to the public without challenge the false Bush administration pre-invasion/occupation
        claims that Saddam Hussein held threatening quantities of weapons of mass destruction.*18
        The media’s critical capability disappears in the face of conflict with a demonized enemy, and claims of vast killings can be institutionalized without serious evidence. In the case of Khmer Rouge killings in Cambodia in the 1970s, Jean Lacouture claimed that Khmer Rouge leaders had “boasted” of having killed two million people. Subsequently, he was compelled to admit that he had manufactured the boast and figure out of the whole cloth, but the number two million had already been absorbed in the mainstream as the truth, and it persisted long after the recantation.*19
        I believe that we have witnessed a similar process of truth-creation with the 8,000 at Srebrenica.
        In the 1980s, the U.S. mainstream media accepted without question the claim that the Soviet KGB and Bulgarians were behind the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in Rome in 1981. This claim
        fitted well the Reagan administration program of denigration of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire,” and the absurdity of the purported evidence and the likelihood (and evidence) of pressure, coaching and
        self-interest on the part of the Turkish rightist who eventually “confessed” to the crime, never struck the editors and reporters of the New York Times or other mainstream journalists.*20
        The claim was false, but the journalists’ and editors’ gullibility quotient was exceedingly high in
        this case where the allegation of criminality fitted state demands; their critical capability and investigative zeal were minimal.
        This has also been true of the treatment of the Balkan wars by the mainstream Western media and intellectuals from 1991 into 2011. In this case, Western governments intervened continuously in the breakup of Yugoslavia, and from the beginning of that intervention were partisan, with Serbia as their target.*21
        This had profound consequences for the news and editorialists’ and intellectuals’ perspectives.
        The official bias and willingness to lie, inflate claims against the chosen target, select evidence, and use instruments like the ICTY to score points and vindicate official actions, was quickly complemented by a parallel biased selectivity in news reporting, in the establishment and institutionalization of untruths and myths, and in the rewriting of history.*22
        One important myth has been that the NATO powers entered the fray regrettably and unconscionably late,*23in response to long-standing abuses by the Serbs. This mythical history ignores important facts, such as: (1) that with the ending of the Soviet Union and resultant Western disinterest in preserving Yugoslavia, the Western powers positively encouraged the breakup of that country; (2) that they did this without addressing, and in fact obstructing the solution of the problem of stranded minorities who did not want to remain in polities ruled by groups they considered hostile; and (3) that the Western powers, and especially the United States, regularly opposed peaceful settlements of the conflicting land claims and positively encouraged the Bosnian Muslims and Kosovo Albanians to avoid settlements and work for NATO military intervention on their behalf.*24
        A second and closely related myth is that the Serbs initiated ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and elsewhere and were its almost exclusive implementers.
        Arguably, the first major ethnic cleansings in the 1990s occurred in Zadar and Gospic, Croatia, in May and September 1991, respectively, with 116 Serb shops and houses destroyed in Zadar by a Croat mob, and with some 120 Serb civilians killed in Gospic a few months late.*25 The largest ethnic cleansing of the Yugoslav wars was carried out by Croatian forces against Serbs, in the Krajina area of Croatia in August 1995. The ethnic cleansing in Bosnia was tit-for-tat among the Bosnian Muslims, Croatians, and Bosnian Serbs from 1991 till the Dayton Agreement in 1995.*26 The four thousand or more Mujahadeen brought into Bosnia in support of the Bosnian Muslims, with the aid of
        the Clinton administration, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan*27 were efficient
        killers, whose work, along with that of the other Bosnian Muslim paramilitary and regular forces, left many hundreds of Serb villages devastated and several thousand dead. *28 The media’s presentation of the Bosnian ethnic cleansing as one-sided, and with genocidal intent rather
        than a struggle for land control—and sometimes vengeance—has required
        massive suppression of evidence A third and closely related myth is that the Serbs, with Milosevic in the lead, fought their wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo in the interest of creating a “Greater Serbia.” This ignores the fact that with the active assistance of the NATO powers Yugoslavia was in process of dismantlement in the 1990s, and Serb minorities in Croatia and Bosnia wanted to stay in the shrinking Yugoslavia rather than remain in independent republics in which long-time hostile nationalities would have dominant power. (The Western establishment has carefully avoided discussion of the genocidal operations of Croatians against Serbs under the Nazi occupation during World War II, or the Bosnian Muslims’ and Izetbegovic’s service to the Nazis in that era.*29)

        Milosevic was under great political pressure to support those Serb minorities. But although he did so sporadically, he certainly did not fight regularly to keep all Serbs in one state. He either supported or
        agreed to a series of settlements, like Brioni (July 1991), Lisbon (February-March 1992), Vance-Owen (January 1993), Owen-Stoltenberg (August 1993), the European Action Plan (January 1994), the Contact
        Group Plan (July 1994), and ultimately the Dayton Accords (November 1995)—none of which would have kept all Serbs in one state. He declined to defend the Western Slavonian and Krajina Serbs when they
        were ethnically cleansed from Croatia in May and August 1995. He agreed to an official contraction in the earlier Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (i.e., to Serbia
        and Montenegro—itself now dissolved with the 2006 independence of Montenegro and Serbia), which in effect abandoned the Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia to their fate outside any “Greater Serbia.”
        In short, calling Milosevic’s and the Serb minorities’ struggle to stay in the shrinking Yugoslavia, or to merge into Serbia, a drive for a “Greater Serbia” is an ideologically biased and even silly misreading of
        the political dynamics involved.*30
        That bias is also reflected in the fact that the demonstrable drive of the Croatian leadership for an enlargement of Croatia—a “Greater Croatia”—and the Kosovo Liberation Army’s (KLA) fight for a “Greater Albania,” with an associated high readiness to ethnically cleanse non-Croatians and non-Albanians,*31
        has never been given any attention in the Western media. Only targets of the West have a drive toward a “greater” entity. A fourth myth, constructed to support the view that Milosevic was a hyper-nationalist who called on Serbs to aggress and ethnically cleanse in the interest of a Greater Serbia, is that he made such a call in “notorious” speeches made in 1987 and 1989. To take just a few samples from
        a uniform propaganda line of the Western media: Milosevic “whipped a million Serbs into a nationalist frenzy” (Time); he “gathered a million Serbs at the site of the battle [of Kosovo Polje in 1389] to tell them to prepare for a new struggle…Yugoslavia’s long nightmare of civil war was beginning” (BBC in 2001). On another occasion, in 1999, BBC said of the 1989 speech that “Milosevic vowed Serbia would never again lose control of Kosovo.” But there are no such calls or vows in those speeches, which are notable for their stress on Yugoslavia as a multi-ethnic state: “Yugoslavia [is]..a multinational community…[that] can survive only under conditions of full equality for all nations that live in it” (Milosevic at Kosovo Polje, June 28, 1989).
        In a dramatic illustration of the process of myth construction, Francisco Gil-White has shown that the BBC had reported the original speeches, devoid of any parochial Serb call to arms (and including the
        statement quoted above), and at that time, the BBC even noted explicitly Milosevic’s call for full equality of all nations within Yugoslavia. But by 1999 and 2001, when the anti-Serb party-line had long been firmed
        up, the BBC reported claims about preparation for a “new struggle” and allegations about refusal to “lose control of Kosovo” that can not be found in the BBC’s own transcripts of the speeches.*32
        A fifth myth or myth-set that grew out of the need to demonize the Serbs, and as part of an effort to get NATO to come to Bosnian Muslim aid with bombs, is that the Serbs engaged in the ruthless shelling of Sarajevo civilians in three massacres: in 1992 (the “Breadline Massacre”), in 1994 (the Markale or “Market Massacre”), and a “Second Market Massacre” in 1995. These massacres were all extremely well-timed to influence imminent NATO and UN decisions to intervene more forcibly on behalf of the Bosnian Muslims, and numerous UN officials and senior Western military officials have claimed that the evidence is
        strong in all three cases that the actions were planned and executed by the Bosnian Muslims themselves.*33
        3 U.S. Army officer John E. Sray, who had been on the scene in Bosnia during these and other massacres, even suggested that the incidents, and probable Bosnian Muslim official connivance in these atrocities, “deserve a thorough scrutiny by the International War Crimes Tribunal.”*34
        Needless to say, such an investigation was never forthcoming.
        In short, this is not conspiracy theory. It is an analysis and conclusion based on serious and substantial evidence, but it is not even debated in the party-line dominated accounts of recent Balkan history.
        A sixth myth is that the Bosnian Serbs alone had prison camps, and that these housed large numbers who were treated in a manner reminiscent of Nazi concentration camps. In fact, all three parties in the civil war had prison camps; the numbers incarcerated in these camps were never large, the mistreatment of prisoners by the Bosnian Muslims and Croats was certainly no better than in Serb camps,*35 but the Muslims and Croats had the public relations savvy to keep the media away from their facilities—and more important, the Western media were only interested in Serb camps anyway.
        The famous photo of the Trnopolje resident Fikret Alic, showing him emaciated and seemingly inside a Serb concentration camp fence, turned out to be a media fraud. Alic was in a transit camp, was a sick man and not in any way representative of others in the camp, and was soon able to move to Scandinavia; and most important, the fence that appears in television imagery and still photographs formed an enclosure that surrounded the reporters and photographers, not the assemblage of Bosnian Muslim individuals whom they filmed and photographed.*36
        But this fraud was a highly successful propaganda coup for the war-makers and their supportive media. In a later development of interest, on a visit in 2003 with Alija Izetbegovic in the hospital where he was dying, Bernard Kouchner, the former head of Doctors Without Borders and one-time Foreign Minister of France under Nicholas Sarkozy, recounts that on his death-bed, Izetbegovic acknowledged
        to both Kouchner and Richard Holbrooke that he had exaggerated claims of atrocities by Serbian forces to encourage NATO intervention against the Serbs. According to Kouchner, Izetbegovic admitted
        before both he and Holbrooke that, “There were no extermination camps whatever the horror of those places,” and added that “[he] thought that [his] revelations could precipitate bombing [of the Bosnian
        A seventh myth, also now institutionalized, is that at the Rambouillet peace conference in France prior to NATO’s bombing war against Yugoslavia, it was once again Milosevic and the Serbs who refused to negotiate on the issues regarding Kosovo, so that NATO was compelled to bomb. But there is strong evidence that NATO, and notably the Clinton administration, was anxious to bomb, had made full preparations to do so, spent great energy getting the KLA to sign on to an agreement which, among other things, “deliberately set the bar higher than the Serbs could accept,” according to one senior State Department official, by requiring Yugoslavia to allow NATO troops to occupy its entire country. The last tactic was admitted by this official to have been used to preclude a negotiated settlement, because the “Serbs needed…a little bombing to see reason.*38
        This admission plus much circumstantial evidence did not prevent Kofi Annan and the UN from claiming that “the international community tried to reach a negotiated settlement with an unscrupulous and murderous regime.*39
        An eighth myth, or rather structure of myths, is that the NATO bombing war was in response to Serb ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, that it prevented a planned genocidal campaign (“Operation Horseshoe”), that the Serbs still attempted genocide in Kosovo and killed vast numbers,
        and that the NATO war allowed the Kosovo Albanians to return home safely. In reality, Serb brutalities in Kosovo were part of a civil war and response to deliberate KLA efforts to provoke the Serbs to induce
        NATO bombing, and the Clinton administration was aiding the KLA in their provocations.*40
        There was no planned holocaust; Operation Horseshoe has been exposed as another case of NATO-power disinformation.*41
        There was no attempted genocide, but a massive flight based on both fears of NATO bombing and on-the-ground violence; only some 4,000 bodies have been found since the war’s end despite a historically unique forensic search, and in its Annual Report 2009, ICRC listed 1,869 persons as missing and still being sought,*42 which together give a total of approximately 6,000 deaths overall, yet the official figure is still quoted as 11,000. State Department claims of Serb killings ran up to 500,000,*43 revealing once again the propensity to inflate claims of target villainy. The NATO war did allow the Kosovo Albanians to return safely, but it was the war that had caused their mass
        flight in the first place—so we have reached the level of comedy where a “humanitarian” war is justified by the success it allegedly had in reversing a bona fide humanitarian crisis that the war itself triggered.
        A further myth is that post-NATO-bombing-war Kosovo represents some kind of success story. This has required the muting or suppression of both the claimed objectives and the on-the-ground results of the bombing war.
        The nominal objectives of the bombing war were to end ethnic cleansing and to help establish a “multiethnic, tolerant, inclusive democracy” (U.S. President Bill Clinton).*44
        But the hatred stoked by the war was hardly conducive to tolerance, as any sane analyst would
        have recognized. Furthermore, while there had been no true ethnic cleansing previously, only sometimes brutal displacement in a civil war,*45 under the NATO occupation, with the hyper-nationalist KLA incoporated into the NATO-organized police force, there was real and irreversible ethnic cleansing that extended beyond the Serbs to Roma and other minorities— “the largest ethnic cleansing in the Balkans [in percentage terms],” according to Jan Oberg.*46
        6 Five years after the end of the bombing war, the remnant Serb population was isolated, holed up in
        protected compounds, and unable to work, go to school or travel without armed protection. Kosovo was a criminal haven and the drug and sex-trade capital of Europe.*47
        The KLA, long linked to and aided by al Qaeda, had contributed to an upheaval in Macedonia and still nourished its aims of a Greater Albania. All of this has been treated in the West by eye-aversion, along with occasional vague references to a success story.
        The point of mentioning these historical fabrications, myths, and suppressions—and these do not exhaust the list by any means—is to show how commonplace and easy it has been to institutionalize falsehoods
        about the Serbian target group and demonized enemy. One would have hoped that the media and mainstream intellectuals might have learned from the repeated and sometimes embarrassing illustrations
        of their gullibility and treat convenient claims of target villainy with skepticism and subject the claims to careful scrutiny. This did not happen in the case of the myths, fabrications and suppressions just discussed, and, in our view, failed in the face of claims of a Srebrenica massacre.

        In the chapters below we review some of the evidence put forward for the claim of mass executions, but we also attempt to place the Srebrenica events in a historical and political context, which we feel to be of great importance, both in explaining what killing went on at Srebrenica, but also in explaining the political stakes that underpin both the reasons for the seemingly inexplicable 28th division abandonment of Srebrenica—while leaving their women and children to the care of the Bosnian Serb army!—and the very effective campaign to pin a mass murder and “genocide” charge on the Serbs. The Tribunal, UN, and media have had an important and not very creditable role in this campaign (see Chapters 6-9).
        The issues involved here are in urgent need of review and debate. We engage in such a review and initiate such a debate in this volume.

        “Bosnia: 2 Officials Dismissed for Obstructing Srebrenica Inquiry,” AP, New York
        Times, April 17, 2004; Marlise Simons, “Bosnian Serb Leader Taken Before War
        Crimes Tribunal,” New York Times, April 8, 2000; The Fall of Srebrenica
        (A/54/549), Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to General Assembly resolution
        53/35, November 15, 1999, para. 506, <http://www.un.org/News/ossg/srebrenica.pdf>
        Between 840 and 950 Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica and Zepa swam across
        the river Drina to find safety between July 11 and 13, 1995. These refugees—an
        entire brigade of the Bosnian Muslim Army—were apprehended, processed, and
        provided with accommodation and care by the Yugoslav authorities, including visits
        by the Red Cross, which also provided delivery of mail and cigarettes. See
        Milosevic Trial Transcript, IT-02-54-T, December 10, 2003, pp. 30340-30341,
        UN Security Council Resolution 819 (S/RES/819), April 16, 1993. On the UNPROFOR-BMA-BSA
        agreement of April 18, see Marcus Tanner, “Srebrenica victims
        airlifted to safety,” The Independent, April 19, 1993; and John F. Burns,
        “U.N. Says Enclave Is ‘Saved’; Bosnians Call It ‘Surrender’,” New York Times,
        April 19, 1993. 
        See Milivoje Ivanisevic, “The Book of the Dead Serbs of Srebrenica and Birac
        Region, 1992-1995,” in Srebrenica July 1995—in search of truth, Zivka Novicic,
        Trans. (Belgrade: Hriš anska misao, 2nd. Ed., 2010), pp. 95-169. In this section
        of Ivanisevic’s book, he documents by name and by date of birth and death a
        total of 3,287 Serb victims in this region of eastern Bosnia through the end of the
        Germinal Civikov, Srebrenica: The Star Witness, Trans. John Laughland (Belgrade:
        NGO Srebrenica Historical Project, 2010).
        Witness Statement—Investigations Team Leader Dean Paul Manning, Prosecutor v.
        Slobodan Milosevic, IT-02-54-T, November 24, 2003, para. 27, para. 29,
        See the testimony of Dean Paul Manning, Milosevic Trial Transcript, IT-02-54-
        T, January 26, 2004, pp. 31428-31437, <http://www.icty.org/x/cases/slobodan_milosevic/trans/en/040126IT.htm>.—This
        estimate is based on Manning’s
        2,600 bodies divided by the number 450.
        “More Srebrenica victims exhumed from mass grave,” Agence France Presse, December
        9, 2008
        Steven Lee Meyers, “Making Sure War Crimes Aren’t Forgotten,” New York Times,
        September 22, 1997. 
        On William Walker’s role in stirring-up Western interest in the alleged massacre
        of some 45 ethnic Albanians at the village of Racak in Kosovo in January 1999,
        see Johnstone, Fools’ Crusade, “Racak: casus belli for NATO,” pp. 238-244. Also
        see Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, The Politics of Genocide (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2010), “Mythical Bloodbaths: Racak,” pp. 95-101. 
        Barton Gellman, “The Path to Crisis: How the United States and Its Allies Went
        to War,” Washington Post, April 18, 1999.
        In the words of the UN’s official report on the matter: “Some surviving members
        of the Srebrenica delegation have stated that President Izetbegovic also told that
        he had learned that a NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina was possible,
        but could occur only if the Serbs were to break into Srebrenica, killing at
        least 5,000 of its people. President Izetbegovic has flatly denied making such a
        statement.” The Fall of Srebrenica (A/54/549), para. 115
        The UN report does not mention that there were
        nine others present at that meeting, and that one of them, Hakija Meholijic, former
        Srebrenica chief of police, once stated that eight of them (i.e., those still living
        at the time of his statement) “can confirm” the Clinton suggestion. (See the
        interview with Hajika Meholic, in Hasan Hadzic, “5,000 Muslim Lives for Military
        Intervention,” Dani (Sarajevo), June 22 1998 , as posted to the website of
        the Centre for Peace in the Balkans, 
        or  <http://cdsp.neu.edu/info/students/marko/dani/dani2.html>.)
        Veritas estimated that 1,205 civilians were killed in Operation Storm, including
        358 women and 10 children. See “Croatian Serb Exodus Commemorated,”
        Agence France Press, August 4, 2004; also Veritas at <www.veritas.org.rs>. In
        the graves around Srebrenica exhumed through 2000, only one of the 1,883 bodies
        was identified as female. These numbers were given in a privately circulated
        tabulation of the characteristics of these remains by Dr. Zoran Stankovic, a longtime
        UN forensic specialist who has worked extensively on the Srebrenica case.
        Also see Tim Ripley, Operation Deliberate Force: the UN and NATO Campaign in
        Bosnia 1995 (Lancaster: Centre for Defence and International Security Studies,
        1999), p. 192
         When asked about NATO’s vulnerability to Tribunal charges during its bombing
        war over Yugoslavia in 1999, NATO P.R. spokesman Jamie Shea stated that he
        was not worried. The prosecutor (then the Canadian Louise Arbour), Shea said,
        will start her investigation “because we will allow her to.” Further, “NATO countries
        are those that have provided the finance,” and on the need to build a second
        chamber “so that prosecutions can be speeded up...we and the Tribunal are all
        one on this, we want to see war criminals brought to justice.” Press Conference,
        NATO, May 16, 1999, <http://www.nato.int/kosovo/press/p990516b.htm>.
        Also see Michael Mandel, How America Get Away with Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral
        Damage and Crimes Against Humanity (Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press, 2004),
        esp. Ch. 4 and 5; and Edward S. Herman, “The Milosevic Trial, Part 1,” Z Magazine,
        April, 2002
        For illustrations, see the Preface, n. 11.
        See Douglas Kellner, The Persian Gulf TV War (Boulder, CO: Westview Press,
        1992), pp. 17-29. Only the St. Petersburg Times (FL) went to the trouble of locating satellite photos showing that the alleged massing of Iraqi troops on the
        Saudi border was disinformation.
        See John R. MacArthur, Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War
        (New York: Hill and Wang, 1992), Ch. 2, “Selling Babies,” pp. 37-77.
        See, e.g., “The Times and Iraq,” The Editors, New York Times, May 26, 2004, and
        “The Times and Iraq: A Sample of the Coverage,” The Editors, New York Times,
        May, 2004 <http://www.nytimes.com/ref/international/middleeast/20040526CRITIQUE.html>; 
        Howard Kurtz, “The Post on WMDs: An Inside Story,” Washington
        Post, August 12, 2004; Michael Massing, “Now They Tell Us,” New York
        Review of Books, February 26, 2004; Michael Massing, “Unfit to Print?” New York
        Review of Books, June 24, 2004; and Mark Danner, “The Secret Way to War,”
        New York Review of Books, June 9, 2005. 
         Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, After the Cataclysm: Postwar Indochina
        and the Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology (Boston: South End Press, 1979), Ch.
        6, “Cambodia,” pp. 135-294; Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing
        Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, 2nd. Ed. (New York:
        Pantheon Books, 2002), Ch. 6.2, “Cambodia,” pp. 260-296.
        See Edward S. Herman and Frank Brodhead, The Rise and Fall of the Bulgarian
        Connection (New York: Sheridan Square Publications, 1986); Herman and
        Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent, Ch. 4, “The KGB-Bulgarian Plot to Kill the
        Pope: Free-Market Disinformation as ‘News’,” pp. 143-167.
        On the way the international context and direct pressures from Western powers
        impelled Yugoslavia towards its violent breakup, see David Chandler, “Western
        Intervention and the Disintegration of Yugoslavia, 1989-1999,” in Philip Hammond
        and Edward S. Herman, Eds., Degraded Capability: The Media and the
        Kosovo Crisis (Sterling, VA: Pluto Press, 2000), pp. 19-30; Johnstone, Fools’ Crusade,
        pp. 34-50; Mandel, How America Gets Away with Murder, pp. 65-88; and
        Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, “The Dismantling of Yugoslavia,”
        Monthly Review, Vol. 59, No. 5, October, 2007, pp. 4-9
         See Peter Brock, Media Cleansing: Dirty Reporting, Journalism and Tragedy in Yugoslavia
        (Los Angeles: GMBooks, 2005); and L.T.C. John E. Sray, “Selling the
        Bosnian Myth to America: Buyer Beware,” Foreign Military Studies Office, Department
        of the Army, October, 1995,  <http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/bosnia2.htm>.
        The media repeatedly claimed that the UN and NATO had failed through lack
        of “moral courage,” “political will,” “dithering,” and were even “an accomplice of
        Serb aggression” (“The Meaning of Srebrenica,” Editorial, Washington Post, July
        13, 1995; Michael Dobbs, Washington Post, July 7, 1996; Roger Cohen, “Failure
        in Bosnia,” New York Times, April 18, 1993). In a statement delivered on his behalf
        at the 10th anniversary memorial held at Potocari on July 11, 2005, UN
        Secretary-General Kofi Annan lamented the “serious errors of judgement rooted
        in a philosophy of impartiality and non-violence which, however admirable, was
        unsuited to the conflict in Bosnia” (SG/SM/9993). The claim of impartiality or
        indifference on the part of the United States and its allies was then, and remains
        to this day, a falsification of the historical record.
        See items cited in n. 21, above. Also see Lenard J. Cohen, Broken Bonds: Yugoslavia’s
        Disintegration and Balkan Politics in Transition, 2nd. Ed. (Boulder, CO:
        Westview Press, 1995); David Owen, Balkan Odyssey (New York: Harcourt Brace
        & Co., 1995); Susan L. Woodward, Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution after
        the Cold War (Brookings, Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1995);
        Steven L. Burg and Paul S. Shoup, The War in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Ethnic Conflict
        and International Intervention (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1999); Robert
        M. Hayden, Blueprints for a House Divided: The Constitutional Logic of the Yugoslav
        Conflicts (Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 1999). 
         See Johnstone, Fools’ Crusade, pp. 28-29. Also see Rajko Dolechek, “The International
        Criminal Tribunal For the Former Yugoslavia: A Creation and Instrument
        of Nato,” Ostrava, February, 2000.
         Bosnian Muslim civilian deaths in Bosnia were substantially greater than those of
        the Serbs, but the Serb civilian victims were also quite numerous. On the tit-fortat
        nature of the Bosnian civil wars through the end of July 1995, see Cedric
        Thornberry, “Saving the War Crimes Tribunal; Bosnia Herzegovina,” Foreign Policy,
        September, 1996.
         Cees Wiebes, Intelligence and the War in Bosnia, 1992–1995 (London: Lit Verlag,
        2003), pp. 207-208; Richard J. Aldrich, “America used Islamists to arm the Bosnian
        Muslims: The Srebrenica report reveals the Pentagon’s role in a dirty war,” The
        Guardian, April 22, 2002; Richard Norton-Taylor, “US used Islamists to arm
        Bosnians: Official Dutch report says that Pentagon broke UN embargo,” The
        Guardian, April 22, 2002.
        See the report submitted to both the UN General Assembly and Security Council
        (A/48/177 - A/25835), Memorandum on War Crimes and Crimes and Genocide
        in Eastern Bosnia (Communes of Bratunac, Skelani and Srebrenica)
        Committed against the Serbian Population from April 1992 to April 1993, Yugoslav
        State Commission for War Crimes and Genocide, April, 1993, p. 19,
         Also see Ivanisevic, Srebrenica July 1995—in
        search of truth; and Joan Phillips, “Victims and Villains in Bosnia’s War,” Southern
        Slav Journal, Spring-Summer, 1992.
        See Johnstone, Fools’ Crusade, pp. 146-52; Nebojsa Malic, “Whitewashing the
        Holocaust: Jasenovac and the Politics of Genocide,” Balkan Express, April 28,
        2005, <http:///www.antiwar.com/malic/?articleid=5751>
         See Johnstone, Fools’ Crusade, pp. 32-40. Also see the discussion of this issue in
        Herman and Peterson, “The Dismantling of Yugoslavia,” pp. 9-14,
        See Johnstone, Fools’ Crusade, pp. 32-34, pp. 146-156.
        Francisco Gil-White, “How Politicians, the Media and Scholars Lied About Milosevic’s
        1989 Kosovo Speech,” as posted to The Emperor’s Clothes website, February
        9, 2004, <http://emperors-clothes.com/milo/gw.htm>
        For a good summary that these were “self-inflicted atrocities,” with further references,
        see Senator Larry E. Craig, Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help
        Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base, Republican Policy Committee, U.S. Senate,
        January 16, 1997, <http://www.senate.gov/~rpc/releases/1997/iran.htm>;
        Sray, “Selling the Bosnian Myth to America,” 
        David Binder, “Bosnia’s bombers,” The Nation,
        October 2, 1995; and Wiebes, Intelligence and the War in Bosnia, 1992–
        1995, pp. 68-69. 
        Sray, “Selling the Bosnian Myth to America,” 
        Johnstone, Fools’ Crusade, pp. 69-82.; Carl Savich, “Celebici,” <http://www.serbianna.com/columns/savich/047.shtml>.
         Johnstone, Fools’ Crusade, pp. 72-73. Also see Thomas Deichmann, “The picture
        that fooled the world,” LM97, February, 1997, 
         and Deichmann’s “‘Exactly as it happened’?” LM100, May, 1997, 
        , <http://www.srpska-mreza.com/guest/LM/lm-100/LM100_Bosnia.html%20> 
        <http://www.srpska-mreza.com/guest/LM/lm-100/LM100_Bosnia.html> .
        Bernard Kouchner, Les Guerriers de la Paix (Paris: Grasset, 2004), pp. 373-374.
        (Translation provided by Diana Johnstone, personal communication, March 9,
         See George Kenney, “Rolling Thunder: The Rerun,” The Nation, June 14, 1999,
        The Fall of Srebrenica (A/54/549), para. 502, 
        Tom Walker and Aidan Laverty, “CIA aided Kosovo guerrilla army,” Sunday Times
        (London), March 12, 2000; Peter Beaumont, Ed Vulliamy and Paul Beaver,
        “CIA’s bastard army ran riot in Balkans,” The Observer (London), March 11,
        2001; and Rory Carroll, “Crisis in the Balkans: West struggles to contain monster
        of its own making,” The Guardian (London), March 12, 2001. 
        See Noam Chomsky, The New Military Humanism (Monroe, ME: Common
        Courage Press, 1999), p. 36; and Heinz Loquai, Der Kosovo-Konflikt. Wege in
        einen vermeidbaren Krieg (“The Kosovo Conflict: A War That Could Be
        Avoided”—Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2000). Loquai is a retired Brigadier General
        in the German armed forces. 
         See “Kosovo conflict 1999,” in ICRC Annual Report 2009, International Committee
        of the Red Cross, p. 293, 
         In a press release of April 19, 1999, the U.S. Department of State claimed that
        “Their number [Kosovo Albanian men killed by the Serbs] ranges from a low of
        100,000, looking only at the men missing from among refugee families in Albania,
        up to nearly 500,000, if reports of widespread separation of men among the
        IDPs within Kosovo are true.” <http://www.state.gov/www/regions/eur/rpt_990416_ksvo_ethnic.html>.
        Note the immensity of the fabrication required to estimate the minimum number
        of Kosovo Albanian males killed, and only by April 19, at 100,000! 
         “Transcript of Clinton Remarks to American Society of Newspaper Editors,” U.S.
        Newswire, April 15, 1999. 
        On the German Foreign Office’s statement countering the claims of pre-war “ethnic
        cleansing,” see: “Important Internal Documents from Germany’s Foreign Office
        Regarding Pre-Bombardment Genocide in Kosovo,” trans. Eric Canepa,
        Brecht Forum, New York, April 28, 1999
        Also see Noam Chomsky, A New Generation Draws
        the Line: Kosovo, East Timor, and the Standards of the West (New York: Verso,
        2000), Ch. 3, “Kosovo in Retrospect,” pp. 94-147.
         Jan Oberg, “Misleading UN Report on Kosovo (Part A),” TFF PressInfo 77,
        Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, Lund, Sweden, October
        3, 1999, <http://www.transnational.org/pressinf/pf77.html> 
         See Isa Blumi, “The Islamist Challenge in Kosova,” Current History, March, 2003;
        Barbara Limanowska et al., Trafficking in Human Beings in South Eastern Europe
        – 2004: Focus on Prevention, United Nations Development Program, 2005,
        and 2005 World Drug Report, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2005,
        Last edited by goxy30; 04-01-16, 21:02.


        • #5
          Re: The SREBRENICA MASSACRE Evidence, Context, Politics

          CHAPTER 2
          Prelude to the Capture of Srebrenica
          By George Bogdanich

          From the very outset of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Srebrenica was the locus of tragic events, a fiercely contested strategic outpost near
          the Drina River that very quickly became known as the base of Muslim warlord Naser Oric.
          It was from Srebrenica that Oric and his allies launched methodical, scorched-earth attacks against the civilian popu-lation in 192 Serbian villages beginning in May of 1992.*1
          These attacks continued after Srebrenica was declared a “Safe Area” in April, 1993 by a Security Council resolution, *2 until it was captured by the Bosnian Serb Army (BSA) in July 1995.
          In the course of the conflict, Srebrenica would become a focal point of the propaganda battle between the warring sides where tragedy would become entwined with myth, both in public perception and in the official histories written by the UN, non-government agencies, the court documents of the ICTY, and news organizations.
          While local forces, both Serb or Muslim, must bear responsibility for wartime abuses they
          committed in the Srebrenica-Bratunac region from 1992-1995, the major powers, particularly U.S. policymakers, bear substantial responsibility for protracting the war and for the violent end of the “Safe Areas” and UN Protected Areas (UNPAs) in Bosnia and Croatia in 1995.
          In taking sides in the conflict, the U.S. eschewed the role of honest broker and undermined three UN and European Community negotiated settlements which could have prevented the war altogether in March of 1992 (the Lisbon Plan) or ended it in late 1992 or 1993 (the Vance-Owen and Owen-Stoltenberg plans).
          While the public impres-sion is that the U.S. brought the war to a halt, a wealth of evidence suggests that by undermining diplomatic efforts by others, the U.S. bears a great responsibility for the length of the conflict and the suffering by all sides.
          “From the spring of 1993 to the summer of 1995, in my judgment, the effect of US policy, despite its being called ‘containment’, was to prolong the war,” writes European Union mediator David Owen in Balkan Odyssey.*3
          Writing in Foreign Affairs U.S. Air Force General Charles Boyd, who served as Deputy NATO Commander in Europe and the head of intelligence until the final months of the war, observes:
          “The US approach to the war in Bosnia is torn by a fundamental con-tradiction. The United States says that its objective is to end the war through a negotiated settlement, but in reality what it wants is to in-fluence the outcome in favor of the Muslims.”*4

          At a time when NATO’s historic mission had vanished with the collapse of the Soviet Union, U.S. policymakers were anxious to maintain a major role in Europe, which meant a new role for NATO had to be found.
          If the Yugoslav conflict was resolved diplomatically without the U.S., the need for NATO would be further diminished and might be replaced . by a European alliance (as originally envisioned by President Dwight Eisenhower). Indeed, high-level discussions of the Western European Union military alliance had been going on in 1992 between Germany and France.
          In Balkan Tragedy, Susan Woodward observes that “while the Bush administration chose to abdicate leadership in the early stages of the Yugoslav conflict, both the Bush and the Clinton administrations were also unwilling to remain uninvolved, leaving the situation entirely to Europeans. Whenever developments toward the Yugoslav conflict seemed to challenge the U.S. leadership role in Europe, it stepped in.”*
          Despite the violence that accompanied the successful separatist campaigns in Slovenia and Croatia in 1991, senior diplomats believed that war in Bosnia was avoidable. UN Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar, former U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and European Community mediator Lord Peter Carrington all warned that diplomatic recognition of armed separatist republics would damage chances of a peaceful
          settlement of the conflict.
          Germany’s plan to recognize Croatia and Slovenia was initially opposed by the United States, until the Germans succeeded in pressing a reluctant European Community to join them. At this point, the first Bush administration, under pressure from the leaders of Saudi Arabia to recognize Bosnia as a future Muslim-led European state, persuaded the Europeans to extend diplomatic recognition to Bosnia on April 6, 1992 in return for U.S. recognition of Slovenia and Croatia.
          As in the cases of Slovenia and Croatia one year earlier, this was done despite the fact that no agreement had been reached on the question of independence from Yugoslavia among the Muslims, Serbs, and Croats whose nations predominated in Bosnia, and that under the Yugoslav Constitution (1974), legal secession required the assent of all three nations.*6
          The move for a separate state would fracture the fragile consensus that had kept the peace following World War II, when Croat and Muslim leaders allied with the German invaders embarked on an extermination campaign against Serbs, Jews and Gypsies, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians.
          The ruling Muslim dominated Bosnian government controlled less than 40 percent of Bosnian territory at the time of recognition. Moreover, as George Kenney of the US State Department acknowledged, “the [U.S.] intelligence agencies were unanimous in telling us that if you recognize Bosnia it will blow up.” *7
          Realizing that recognition without agreement between the parties could lead to disaster, EU mediator Lord Peter Carrington and Portugese Foreign Minister Jose Cutillero tried to soften the impact by brokering an agreement among Bosnian Serb, Muslim and Croat leaders known as the Lisbon Agreement.
          This treaty established three Swiss style semi-autonomous ethnic cantons under a central government.
          The Lisbon agreement was signed by all three parties on March 20, 1992, but two days later, U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia Warren Zimmerman encouraged Bosnia’s Muslim President Alija Izetbegovic to disavow his signature on the treaty.
          Two weeks later, war broke out. Roger Cohen of the New York Times later noted that international recognition under these circumstances was “as close to criminal negligence as a diplomatic act can be. Indeed international recognition and the outbreak of the Bosnian war were simultaneous:
          The world put light to the fuse.”*8
          U.S. recognition for the Muslim President of Bosnia was accompanied by a media campaign that targeted the Bosnian Serbs as the aggressor, although the first attacks in Bosnia, as reported by the pro-government newspaper Oslobodjenje, took place on March 26, 1992 when Croatian forces crossed the Sava River from Croatia and attacked the Serb inhabited village of Sijekovac near Bosanski Brod in
          Northern Bosnia.*9
          The village was burned and five Serbian families were slaughtered, initiating a cycle of fear and revenge that was watched with apprehension throughout Bosnia. The first killing in Sarajevo took place on March 1, 1992, a month before the official start of the war, when two Muslims and Croat gunmen stalking a Serbian wedding in the downtown section of Sarajevo, known as Bascarsija, killed Nikola Gardovic, father of the bridegroom. The failure of officials of the ruling Party of Democratic Action (PDA) to arrest the killers, who were well known, helped set the stage for the battles that erupted the following month. “By organizing parties along national lines, all three communities bear responsibility for the country’s appalling fate,” observed Misha Glenny in The Fall of Yugoslavia.*10
          The pattern was set, however, by the Muslim faction, which was the first to organize a nationalist party, the PDA. On March 31, 1991, a year before the civil war began, the PDA established the Patriotic League, the first party army since the Axis parties of World War II.
          All the while arms were pouring into Bosnia. The Yugoslav National Army (JNA) began a transfer of arms to the Bosnian Serbs.
          The Croatian paramilitary group—the Croatian Defense Force—was actively arming its members in Herzegovina. The Bosnian Muslim Green Berets were organized in the fall of 1991. According to Izetbegovic they numbered between 35,000 and 40,000 when the conflict began. The more inclusive Patriotic League was formed at the same time and, in February 1992, drew up a plan for the defense of Bosnia. According to Sefer Halilovic, the League numbered 120,000 members by spring 1992.*11
          Croat units from western Herzegovina returned home following the end of the fighting in Croatia, anticipating that war would soon break out in Bosnia. Serbs who were mustered out of the JNA units in Croatia returned to the Prijedor area from Croatia, bringing their weapons with them despite the objections of the Muslim-controlled city assembly.
          According to Bosnian accounts, the JNA struck a deal with Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic in February 1992 to create a joint Bosnian Serb - JNA command and coordinate military actions in Bosnia. Vitomir Zepenic, deputy minister of the interior in the Bosnian government, estimated that 250,000 - 300,000 persons were armed, and that some 10,000 Bosnians were engaged in the fighting in Croatia. Journalists traveling through Bosnia described evenings filled with the sound of small-arms fire from villagers firing off their newly acquired weapons.
          Both the Bush and incoming Clinton administrations portrayed President Izetbegovic as a defender of a multi-ethnic Bosnia, a description at odds with his strongly expressed pan-Islamic views and actions.

          Izetbegovic had begun his career as recruiter for the SS Handschar party which Nazi SS leader Heinrich Himmler had set up for Bosnian Muslims and which was led by the fanatically anti-Semitic Mufti of Jerusalem.
          Izetbegovic was later jailed for his intolerant writings by Yugoslavia communist leader Josip Broz Tito. While cultivating a tone of moderation in dealing with Western leaders during the Bosnian conflict, Izetbegovic remained a fervent admirer of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini and frequent traveler to Iran. Izetbegovic’s Islamic Declaration, first circulated in 1970 and published in time for his 1990 campaign for the presidency of Bosnia Herzegovina, stated:
          “There can be no peace or coexistence between the ‘Islamic faith’ and non- Islamic societies and
          political institutions... Islam clearly excludes the right and possibility of activity of any strange ideology on its own turf.*12
          Thousands of copies of the Islamic Declaration were distributed to members of the Army of Bosnian Herzegovina. Significantly, President Izetbegovic never disavowed his stated views during the war or afterward while fighting to consolidate control over a republic in which Serbs and Croatians together held a numerical majority over Muslims, who were the largest single ethnic group. Within the first few months of war, Yossef Bodansky, Chief of Staff of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, published a report detailing the assistance the Bosnian Muslim faction had been receiving from Islamist extremist organizations and states, especially Iran.*13
          On two occasions in 1994, Der Spiegel’s respected Balkan correspondent Renate Flottau encountered Osama Bin-Laden in the waiting room of the office of Bosnian President Alija Izetgevovic. Bin-Laden, then based in Sudan, had received a Bosnian passport from the Vienna embassy of Bosnia - Herzegovina according to the Bosnian Muslim daily Dani.*14
          Bin-Laden and his military chief of Staff Ayman al-Zawahiri helped establish the Mujahadeen fighters as a force in Bosnia, mostly as special forces of the 7th Corps of the Bosnian Army in Central Bosnia.
          Bodansky notes that support for the Bosnian Muslims was the first time that Shiite and Sunni Muslim terrorist organizations worked together.

          Yet, despite the presence of these extremist elements, and opposition by CIA Director James Woolsey, the Clinton administration gave the green-light to an increase in arms shipments from Iran. The policy to facilitate illegal arms imports was promoted by U.S. National Security

          Advisor Anthony Lake and U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith. Amsterdam University Professor Cees Wiebes, who documented the role of intelligence agencies in Bosnia for the Dutch report on Srebrenica, states that the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was given the responsibility of enabling the accelerated transfer of weapons and personnel from Iran and other Islamist regimes, from Malaysia to Algeria.[/B]*15
          Why would the U.S. resort to measures that violated UN resolutions, alienated former allies such as Britain and France which had UNPROFOR troops on the ground and which risked a longer war? General Boyd wrote: “The linchpin of the U.S. approach has been the under-informed notion that this is a war of good versus evil, of aggressor against aggrieved.
          From that premise, the United States has supported UN and NATO resolutions couched in seemingly neutral terms— for example, to protect peacekeepers—and then has turned them around to punish one side and attempt to affect the course of the war.
          It has supported the creation of safe areas and demanded their protection even when they have been used by one warring faction to mount attacks against another...It has supported the legitimacy of a leadership that has become increasingly ethnocentric in its makeup, single-party in its rule, and manipulative in its diplomacy.”[/B]*16
          General Philippe Morillon, who served as UN Commander in Sarajevo (Sept. 1992 - July 1993), told the ICTY:
          “The aim of the Presidency of Bosnia, from the very outset was to ensure the intervention of the international forces for their own benefit and this is one of the reasons why they never were inclined to engage in talks.”[/B]*17

          Morillon’s predecessor, Canadian General Lewis MacKenzie (1992), often criticized the Serbs for their use of heavy weaponry around Sarajevo, but upon leaving his post in Sarajevo, he wrote that 19 ceasefires he negotiated were broken by Muslim forces, “because their policy was, and is, to force the West to ntervene.” [/B]*18
          Given the Serbs’ initial superiority in heavy weapons, they gained control of substantial territory in the first three months of war that they hoped to trade for peace. “The Serbs think they won already and want the war to end,” observed General Boyd. “The Muslims know they have not, and are seeking ways to continue it.”[/B]*19

          The Bosnian government strategy was aided immeasurably by the U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, who writes that he instructed his Press Secretary, Margaret Tutwiler, to help Bosnian Foreign Minister Haris Silajdzic utilize Western mass media to build support in Europe and North America for the Bosnian cause. “I also had her talk to her contacts at the four television networks, the Washington Post and the
          New York Times.”[/B]*20
          George Kenney, who served on the State Department’s Yugoslavia desk until his resignation in August 1992, confirms that he was asked to help “gin up” public opinion favorable to the Bosnian government and draft material for the spokesman Margaret Tutwiler who was “always looking for something inflammatory.” [/B]*21
          These efforts were highly successful and it was often hard to tell where State Department and Bosnian government press releases on events in Bosnia left off, and where news reports by major news organizations began.
          The misuse of casualty figures by the mainstream media was underway long before events at Srebrenica in 1995.
          For example, through December 1992, the bloodiest year of the conflict, the Bosnian government stated that there had been 17,000 casualties in the conflict.
          Two months later, in the dead of winter, when fighting in this mountainous terrain had nearly ground to a halt, the Bosnian government abruptly began using a figure of 200,000 “killed or missing” which was used by such reporters as John Burns of the New York Times and John Pomfret of the Washington Post. Shortly thereafter, the phrase “or missing” was dropped from news accounts. Thus, the number of casualties claimed by the Bosnian government was brazenly multiplied ten fold in two months, as an obliging press adopted the new numbers.
          Incredibly, the 200,000 fatality figure remained constant over the next two years.
          Similarly, Bosnia’s Foreign Minister Silajdzic made headlines around the world when he visited Britain and then the United States in the middle of December, 1992. While in the United States, Silajdzic meet with the U.S. President and appeared on several television news programs, including CNN and ABC-TV, where he spoke of “death camps” and “rape camps” and “children beheaded,” with 128,000 people killed and 30,000 and sometimes as many as 40,000 women raped. “It is my duty and my job to say this,” he told CNN. Over ABC-TV, Silajdzic emphasized that the litany of abuses he was citing provided “enough reason for all to intervene.”

          In fact, as interested reporters might have confirmed with the International Committee of the Red Cross, the prisoners held by the Bosnian Serbs were overwhelmingly male and had numbered fewer than ten thousand at the peak of detention five months previously.
          Jerome Bony for the French program Envoye Special reported his experience in tracking the rape story: “When I was at 50 kilometers from Tuzla I was told, ‘go to Tuzla high school ground (where) there are 4,000 raped women’. At 20 kilometers this figure dropped to 400. At 10 kilometers only 40 were left. Once at the site, I found only four women willing to testify.”

          By 1993, following further investigation, the official number of rape victims, by all three sides, was revised downward to an estimated 2400 victims based on 119 documented cases of pregnancies due to rape, according to a report by UN Special Rapporteur Tadeusz Mazowiecki.*24
          By then, however, public impressions had been established and corrective news accounts were given little prominence. Writing in October of 1995, Lt.-Col. John Sray, U.S. Army military analyst described a “prolific propaganda machine” made up of “public relations (PR) firms in
          the employ of the Bosniacs, media pundits, and sympathetic elements of the U.S. State Department, who have managed to manipulate illusions to further Muslim goals.” Sray goes on to add:
          Another persistent element of the propaganda onslaught involves legitimate ownership of land. The BSA [Bosnian Serb Army] could never have “overrun, seized, or captured” 70 percent of the country as Bosniac government verbal gimmicks state.
          While they controlled 70 percent of the territory during much of this conflict, the BSA certainly did not possess the military manpower to overrun, seize, or capture it.
          The media and PR firms employ these inflammatory words only to obfuscate the pre-war situation. Due to their agrarian way of life, the Serbs formed a plurality in 64 percent of the territory at the beginning of the war while the more urban Muslim business-oriented people resided in the cities. *25
          There is substantial testimony from senior military and diplomatic officials that Muslim forces deliberately undertook operations that would portray themselves as victims. European Union negotiator Lord David Owen, who took over from Lord Peter Carrington following the London Conference in 1992, wrote that Muslim forces would from time to time shell the airport to stop relief flights and focus world
          attention on the plight of Sarajevo. Owen also stated that UN observers noted that Bosnian Army forces fired mortar weapons from aside the Kosevo hospital to provoke retaliatory fire from Serbian forces, events which credulous reporters invariably described as Serb shelling of the Kosevo hospital. *26
          A pattern of staged incidents to engage world sympathy was revealed in a classified UN report leaked to the London newspaper, The Independent, which reported: “United Nations officials and senior Western military officers believe some of the worst killings in Sarajevo, including the massacre of at least 16 people in a bread queue, were carried out by the city’s mainly Muslim defenders—not Serb besiegers—as a propaganda ploy to win world sympathy and military intervention. . . . Classified reports to the UN force commander [in Zagreb], General Satish Nambiar, concluded . . . that Bosnian forces loyal to President Alija Izetbegovic may have detonated a bomb. ‘We believe it was a command-detonated explosion, probably in a can,’ a UN official said then.” *27
          The successful attempt by Muslim forces to cast suspicion on Serbs for a staged atrocity—which came to be known as the “breadline massacre” of May 27, 1992—seriously affected the development of the conflict, because it gave strong impetus to the passage three days later of Security Council Resolution 757, which placed international sanctions on Serbia, the most important ally of the Bosnian Serbs.*28
          The sanctions were proposed by the U.S. to punish the remainder of Yugoslavia for the alleged presence of Yugoslav troops in Bosnia. But in fact a UN report, also dated May 30, confirmed that, based on the best available evidence, “Most” of the JNA was “believed to have withdrawn already into Serbia and Montenegro,” as they were required to do under Security Council Resolution 752. *29
          By contrast, the UN report noted that, “As regards the withdrawal of elements of the Croatian Army now in Bosnia and Herzegovina, no such withdrawal has occurred.”*30
          The Chairman of the Security Council, Austria’s Ambassador Peter Hohenfellner, received the report two days before the vote on U.S. sponsored sanctions, but the report was kept from other members of the Security Council until one hour after the vote for sanctions against Yugoslavia.*31
          Several delegates complained to reporters that they had been misled, but the U.S. had prevailed in its efforts to target the Serbs indelibly as the villains and Muslims would be encouraged to continue the war as sanctions wore down the Serbs.
          British diplomat Cedric Thornberry, Assistant UN Secretary General, who personally investigated atrocities committed by each of the warring sides, writes: “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.”*32
          These observations describe the political and military climate that developed as events were unfolding in Eastern Bosnia when Srebrenica first gained international attention in 1993.

          See René Grémaux and Abe De Vries, “The Deconstruction of a Trauma,” Trans.
          by Nico Varkevisser, De Groene Amsterdammer , March 13, 1996 (as posted to the Emperor’s Clothes
          website, http://emperors-clothes.com/analysis/falsely.htm). Also see note 35, below.
          UN Security Council Resolution 819 (S/RES/819), April 16, 1993.
          David Owen, Balkan Odyssey (New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1995), p. 400.
          Charles G. Boyd, “Making Peace with the Guilty,”Foreign Affairs, Vol. 74, No. 50, September/October, 1995, pp. 22-23.
          Susan Woodward, Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution After the Cold War (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution), pp 395-396.
          See the valuable treatment of the constitutional “logic” then gripping Bosnia and Herzegovina in Robert M. Hayden, Blueprints for a House Divided: The Constitutional Logic of the Yugoslav Conflicts (Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 1999).
          George Kenney, Interview, in George Bogdanich and Martin Lettmayer, Yugoslavia: The Avoidable War
          (New York: Frontier Theatre & Inc., 2000). 
          Roger Cohen, Interview, in Bogdanich and Lettmayer, Yugoslavia: The Avoidable War.
          See Oslobodjenje (Sarajevo), March 29, 1992. For some contemporaneous Eng lish sources, see Ivan Stefanovic, “Serbs in Bosnia Proclaim Own Constitution,”March 27, 1992; Nesho Djuric, “Fresh ethnic violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina, leaders appeal to UN,” United Press International, March 27, 1992; Slobodan Lekic, “Death visits Bosnian town,” Associated Press, March 28, 1992; H. Evans
          Thomas, “Ethnic clashes involve federal army, Serbs, Croats and Muslims,” United Press International, March 28, 1992; Slobodan Lekic, “Three killed in northern Bosnia, militiamen turn back refugees,” Associated Press, March 29, 1992; and Nesho Djuric, “Sporadic ethnic violence despite truce in Bosnia-
          Herzegovina,” United Press International, March 29, 1992. 
          Misha Glenny, The Fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War (New York: Penguin Books, 1992), p.146 11
          Sefer Halilovic, Lukava Strategija (“The Cunning Strategy”—Sarajevo: Matica, 1998). Halilovic’s exact words are: “Our forces are organized in the Patriotic League of Bosnia and Hercegovina in formation from the smallest military unit to a brigade strength of 120,000 men” (p. 222). Also see Steven L. Burg and Paul
          S. Shoup,  The War in Bosnia - Herzegovina: Ethnic Conflict and International Intervention (Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1999), pp. 74-75.  For Burg and Shoup's source in Halilovic, see endnote #54, p. 427
          Alija Izetbegovic, Islamic Declaration: A Programme for the Islamization of Muslims and of Muslim Peoples 
          (“Islamska deklaracija”), no translator listed, 1970, 1990, p. 30 (as posted to the website of the Balkan Repository Project
          Yossef Bodansky and Vaughn S. Forrest, “Iran’s European Springboard?” Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, House Republican Research Committee, September 1, 1992 (as posted to the website of the Balkan Reposi-tory Project, 
          Dani, September 24, 1999. In testimony given late during the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, the British journalist Eve-Ann Prentice stated that while awaiting the start of scheduled appointment with Alija Izetbegovic around November, 1994, she witnessed an “Arabic looking” man ushered in to see Izetbegovic before her. One of the other journalists in her company at the time, Der Spiegel ’s Renate Flottau, later identified this man as Osama bin Laden. See Milosevic Trial Transcript, IT-02-54-T, February 3, 2006, pp. 47,949 - 47,950, 
          For a wealth of evidence about the illegal arms shipments to the Bosnian Muslims during the war, including essential sources, see Cees Wiebes, Intelligence and the War in Bosnia, 1992 – 1995 (London: Lit Verlag, 2003), Chapter 4, Section 2, “Arms supplies to the ABiH: the Croatian Pipeline,” pp. 158-177; and Section
          3, “Secret arms supplies to the ABiH: the Black Flights to Tuzla,” pp. 177-198.
          Also see James Risen and Doyle McManus, “Clinton Secretly OKed Iran’s Arms Shipments to Bosnia,” 
          Los Angeles Times , April 5, 1996. Most important, see the massive investigative report by the House Committee on International Relations (a.k.a. the “Iranian Green Light Subcommittee”), Final Report of the Select Subcommittee to Investigate the United States Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia
          and Bosnia, U.S. House of Representatives, (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997); and the report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence,  U.S. Actions Regarding Iranian and Other Arms Transfers to the Bosnian Army, 1994-1995, U.S. Senate, November 1996,
          Boyd, “Making Peace with the Guilty.” 
          Milosevic Trial Transcript, February 12, 2004, p. 32,019,
          Note that in this instance, Morillon’s earlier testimony before the Tribunal was being cited in court by Slobodan Milosevic during his cross-examination of Morillon.
          Lewis MacKenzie, Interview, in Bogdanich, Yugoslavia: The Avoidable War. 
          Boyd, “Making Peace with the Guilty.”
          ames A. Baker, The Politics of Diplomacy: Revolution, War and Peace, 1989-1992 (New York: Putnam Adult, 1995), pp. 643-644. 
          Kenney, Interview, in Bogdanich and Lettmayer, Yugoslavia: The Avoidable War.
          See The MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour, PBS, December 18, 1992; “The Growing Tragedy in BosniaHercegovina,” Larry King Live , CNN, December 18, 1992; and This Week with David Brinkley
          , ABC, December 20, 1992. 
          See Peter Brock, Media Cleansing: Dirty Reporting. Journalism and Tragedy in Yugoslavia
          (Los Angeles: GM Books, 2005), p. 66. 
          ee Tadeusz Mazowiecki 
          et al
          ., The Situation of human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia (E/CN.4/1993/50), UN Economic and Social Council, February 10, 1993, Annex II, Report of the team of experts on their mission to
          investigate allegations of rape in the territory of the former Yugoslavia from 12 to 23 January 1993, pp. 63-74; here p. 64 and n. 7, p. 75, 
          In this report, we read: “Through interviews with physicians and a review of medical records from six major medical centres in Zagreb, Sarajevo, Zenica and Belgrade, the team of experts was able to identify 119 pregnancies resulting from rape during 1992 [p. 64]....If the documented cases of pregnancy due to rape represent one quarter of the actual number of rape-associated pregnancies in the populations served by the visited hospitals, and if each pregnant women experienced an average of 20 incidents of rape, then the 119 documented cases [of pregnancy due to rape] would reflect the experience of almost 2,400 women [p. 75].”
          John E. Sray, “Selling the Bosnian Myth to America: Buyer Beware,” Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, October, 1995 
          David Owen, Interview, in Bogdanich and Lettmayer, Yugoslavia: The Avoidable War.
          Leonard Doyle, “Muslims ‘slaughter their own people’,” The Independent, August 22, 1992.
          UN Security Council Resolution 757 (S/RES/757), May 30, 1992. This very comprehensive resolution demanded that all Member States prevent import from or export to what was then still referred to as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia—the SFRY now explicitly defined as “Serbia and Montenegro,” or the so-called “Rump” Yugoslavia. 
          UN Security Council Resolution 752 (S/RES/752), May 15, 1992, demanded that “all forms of interference from outside Bosnia and Herzegovina...cease immediately” (para. 3), including the withdrawal or demobilization of the armed forces of the Yugoslav People’s Army, the Croatian Army, and various irregular
          Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 4 of Security Council resolution 752 (1992) (S/24049), May 30, 1992, para. 6; para. 10. Whereas Res. 757, adopted on May 30, expressed the Council’s “appreciation for the report of the Secretary-General of 26 May 1992” (see S/24000), it made no mention of the Secretary-General’s report of May 30 (S/24049). 
          Peter Hohenfellner, Interview, in Bogdanich, Yugoslavia: The Avoidable War.
          Cedric Thornberry, “Bosnia—Problems of Peace: Saving the War Crimes Tribunal,” 
          Foreign Policy , Fall, 1996.
          Last edited by goxy30; 04-01-16, 23:39.


          • #6
            Re: The SREBRENICA MASSACRE Evidence, Context, Politics

            Naser Oric’s Reign of Terror

            Most of the world first heard of Srebrenica in March of 1993, when UN Sarajevo Commander General Philippe Morillon, acting without the approval of his superiors, made a risky visit to open a humanitarian convoy route to the city in Eastern Bosnia where fierce fighting had been taking place between the predominantly Muslim forces of the BMA and the largely Serbian BSA.
            Despite Morillon’s willingness to take risks to help the Muslim civilians who sought relief, the UN Commander was taken hostage by the Bosnian Muslims as a way of publicizing a humanitarian crisis to force Western military intervention. “The fact that they held me as a prisoner in Srebrenica was orchestrated in Sarajevo,” Morillon later stated in testimony at the ICTY. *33
            It was Srebrenica warlord Naser Oric, Commander of the 28th Division of the BMA, who received the order to hold General Morillon as a hostage. “Naser Oric was a warlord who reigned by terror in this area and over the population itself,” Morillon observed, “[H]e could not allow himself to take prisoners. According to my recollection, he didn’t even look for an excuse.”*34
            General Morillon understood clearly that Naser Oric’s murderous forays against Serbian villages and numerous civilian massacres since May, 1992 were the reason that Serb military forces had blockaded Srebrenica.
            “I wasn’t surprised when the Serbs took me to a village to show me the evacuation of the bodies of the inhabitants that had been thrown into a hole, a village close to Bratunac.”*35
            Both Morillon and Lt. Col Thomas Karremans, who commanded the UN’s Dutch battalion at Srebrenica prior to its eventual capture, drew a very clear connection between the murderous attacks of Oric on civilian populations of Bratunac, Skelani, Kravica, Milici and numerous other towns and villages and the events of 1995. With unsubstantiated media accusations against the Serb forces around Srebrenica growing, Lt. Col Karremans reminded reporters at a news conference in Zagreb on July 23, 1995:
            “We know that in the area surrounding the Srebrenica enclave alone, 192 villages were razed to the ground and all the inhabitants killed. This is what I mean when I say ‘no good guys, no bad guys’. As far as I’m concerned, they’re all the same.” *36
            General Morillon was asked directly by Judge Patrick Robinson at the ICTY: “Are you saying, then, General, that what happened in 1995 was a direct reaction to what Naser Oric did to the Serbs two years before?” Morillon replied: “Yes. Yes, Your Honour. I am convinced of that.”*37
            There is ample evidence that in fiercely contested Eastern Bosnia, both Serbian and Muslim forces engaged in serious abuses. But in a civil war where fear and revenge created a fertile climate for atrocities, the cruelty and scale of Naser Oric’s attacks became well known across Bosnia.
            By June 1993, a report by the Yugoslav State Commission on War Crimes, accepted as a UN document, detailed a pattern of attacks in which entire villages were burned and all civilians murdered.*38
            Internationally recognized forensic pathologist Zoran Stankovic, formerly the Director of the Belgrade Military Hospital and a former Minister of Defense of Serbia and Montenegro, performed full autopsies and forensic reports on victims in a number of villages where Muslim troops led by Oric and his Deputy Zulfo Tursunovic massacred the towns’ inhabitants.
            Typical victims in Dr. Stankovic’s extensive files are elderly women and men born between 1915 and 1930. Photos accompanying these reports reveal throats slashed from ear to ear. Some of these (mostly) female corpses are pictured as they were found, dressed in military uniform jackets many sizes too large, a grotesque effort by their executioners to suggest that these elderly victims died actively defending their homes.*39
            Writing in the London-based South Slav Journal, Joan Phillips reported that she visited the eastern Bosnian town of Fakovici a year after it had been attacked by Oric’s Muslim forces for the first time on July 12, 1992. The same town had been razed to the ground in World War II and its inhabitants slaughtered by the Croatian-led Ustasha. “In this war, Fakovici was once again the scene of a terrible massacre, on October 5, 1992, in which a quarter of its inhabitants were killed...There used to be 115 people living in Fakovici before the war. By the time of the massacre, the number had dwindled. And then 25 or 26 were killed on the same day.”*40
            One survivor of the attack interviewed by Phillips was Andrija Markovic, whose grandfather had led the Partisan resistance to the Fascists from the hills around Fakovici in World War II. On the day of the attack, the Markovic family lost 57-yer old Olga Markovic, 61 year old Slavka Markovic and 51 year old Radoje Markovic, 53 year old Radomir Markovic and several cousins. Having lost 16 members in the previous war, the Markovic family had now lost 10 more to the soldiers of the 28th Division of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
            “Naser Oric’s reign implied a thorough knowledge of the area held by his forces,” Morillon testified. “It appeared to me that he was respecting political instructions coming from the Presidency” in Sarajevo.*41
            Oric and his Deputy Tursunovic were installed by the Izetbegovic government despite the wishes of Srebrenica’s moderate Muslim leader Township Assembly President Besim Ibisevic, who was trying to reassure Serbs.
            Oric himself acknowledged to Olslobodjenje that he had to hide in forests together with his allies and obtain food secretly because most Muslim residents did not share the views of the extremists who would take over. Since the end of 1991, however, the Muslim National Council had been preparing armed insurgents with rifles and uniforms and began to deploy hardened criminals to serve as paramilitaries, a tactic later used by some Serb and Croat leaders.
            Born in nearby Potocari, Oric had worked as a Belgrade policeman, and for two years as a bodyguard for Serbian President Milosevic, but had been fired for theft at the end of 1991 and returned to Bosnia. Tursunovic was in jail in Zenica, part way through a 15 year sentence for murdering three Muslims in 1986, when he was released from prison at the end of 1991 by President Izetbegovic and assigned to be Deputy Commander in Srebrenica.
            He and Oric slipped into Srebrenica in the spring of 1992. The attacks on Serbs began almost immediately. On May 6, the nearby Serb villages of Gniona and Bljeceva were burnt and plundered. The following day, seven Serbs who tried to escape from Srebrenica were ambushed and killed. On May 8, Judge Goran Zekic, President of the Serbian SDS Party and representative to the Bosnian parliament was murdered, triggering a mass exodus of the 1500 remaining Serbs in Srebrenica.
            At this point, scarcely a day went by without scorched earth attacks on towns and villages such as Sikirici, Konjevic Polje, Glogova, Zalazje, Fakovici, Kaludra, Loznica, Fakovici, Agoni, Brezani, Krnica, Zagoni, Zelazije, Orlice, Jezhtica, Bijlaca, Crni Vrh, Milici, Kamenica, Bjelovac, Kravica, Skelani and Zabokvica.
            The massacre of Serbs at Kravica, typical in most ways of these attacks, gained notoriety mainly because it occurred on Orthodox Christmas, January 7, 1993. The total number of those massacred is unknown, but Stankovic examined 48 corpses of people who had been murdered on their most important holiday. According to Joan Phillips, by March 31, 1993, 1200 Serbs had been killed and 3,000 wounded, adding:
            “Today, there are virtually no Serbs left in the entire Srebrenica municipality. Out of 9300 Serbs who used to live there, less than 900 remain. Out of the 11,500 Serbs who used to live in the Bratunac municipality, more than 6000 have fled. In the Srebrenica municipality, only three Serbian villages remain and around 26 have been destroyed; in the Bratunac municipality, about 24 Serbian villages have been razed. The last major Serbian villages in the vicinity of Bratunac and Skelani were attacked and destroyed on January 7, 1993.”*42
            While the U.S. State Department churned out press releases and briefings citing Muslim reports of abuses by Serbs, Naser Oric’s reign-of-terror was almost entirely absent from press briefings and human rights reports. Similarly, Madeleine Albright, then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1993 through the end of the war in Bosnia, regularly sponsored resolutions and reports criticizing Serbian abuses,
            but used her veto power to block condemnation of Muslim abuses, according to U.K. representative Sir David Hannay and Russian representative Yuli Vorontsov.*43
            Oric clearly understood that with uncritical U.S. support for the Izetbegovic government, he could act with impunity.
            He even video taped some of his butchery, including severed Serbian heads, and showed these videotapes to John Pomfret of the Washington Post and Bill Schiller of the Toronto Star. Schiller writes that Oric was “as bloodthirsty a warrior as ever crossed a battlefield,” and then 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 houses, dead bodies, 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 footage of a bulletmarked 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.*44
            It speaks volumes that, despite massive and detailed evidence about the crimes of Naser Oric, Zulfo Tursunovic and other commanders of the 28th Division, the ICTY did not indict Naser Oric until 2003, and then only on relatively minor counts related to a few deaths, the mistreatment of prisoners, the destruction of physical property, and, above all, his failure to restrain the soldiers serving under his command.*45
            That the systematic slaughter of the Serbian civilian population in the area west of the Drina by Oric’s forces did not qualify as a crime against humanity reflects the political agenda of the sponsors of the ICTY, most notably then U.S. Ambassador Madeleine Albright, who arranged the appointment of top prosecutors and other key figures linked to the Tribunal. M. Cherif Bassiouni, the head of the UN Commission of Experts, an Egyptian expert on Islamic law who taught at DePaul Law School in Chicago, did not even mention Oric’s murderous attacks on the surrounding population in the Final Report of the Commission of Experts which he chaired, though he had been provided the forensic evidence from Dr. Stankovic’s extensive files on crimes.*46
            By contrast, the decision to charge the Bosnian Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic with genocide (among other counts) for events in Bosnia that dated back to 1992 was taken less than two weeks after the Bosnian Serbs captured Srebrenica,*47 and served to diplomatically isolate the Bosnian Serbs. ICTY Chief Judge Antonio Cassese praised the speedy indictments as a “good political result” and noted that “these gentlemen will not be able to take part in peace negotiations”*48—a strictly political consideration that nonetheless has failed to discredit the ICTY in the world’s eyes.
            “I realized that the War Crimes Tribunal was a huge valuable tool,” the chief U.S. negotiator Richard Holbrooke told the BBC. “We used it to keep the two most wanted war criminals in Europe—Karadzic and Mladic—out of the Dayton peace process and we used it to justify everything that followed.”*49

            The Bassiouni’s Commission’s silence on Oric and the pattern of the indictments by the Tribunal reflected the political goals of the U.S., which dominated the Security Council on the Bosnia issue, and which viewed the Tribunal as another weapon to be mobilized on behalf of the Bosnian government, rather than as an impartial judicial body.
            Because the U.S. and other permanent members of the Security Council had veto power, the work of the ICTY was inherently political and even the most brazen crimes by Muslim units were given a low priority.
            Similarly, officials of the Tribunal allowed investigations of Bosnian President Izetbegovic and Croatian President Franjo Tudjman to drag-on for years until their deaths by natural causes. Spokespersons for the Tribunal simply announced that no information would be made public about these investigations and imminent indictments, because the deceased were unable to defend themselves.
            Oric’s destruction of Serbian villages created two major problems for those under his command in 1993. Srebrenica had depended on pillaging Serb villages for food, but these sources had been destroyed.
            Meanwhile Serbian survivors of the massacres along Muslim supply lines did their best to block international aid convoys.
            Muslim refugees inside Srebrenica complained that food was being diverted to Oric who set up a lucrative black market.
            International aid officials encouraged the refugees to elect one of their own to distribute foods, but a day after a man was elected to carry out this function, he was murdered.
            The second problem for Oric developed following the massacre at Kravica on Orthodox Christmas 1993, when Bosnian Serbs formed the Drina Corp to protect surviving Serb inhabitants and to destroy Oric’s forces.
            After defeats in Cerska and Koljevic Polje, Oric was pushed back to Srebrenica.
            “If not for the intercession of UN troops,” wrote John Pomfret in the Washington Post, “Oric would either be dead, in a prisoner of war camp or living in the hills.”*50
            Instead, the warlord could now use the Srebrenica civilians that depended on him as a shield.
            Last edited by goxy30; 04-01-16, 23:48.


            • #7
              Re: The SREBRENICA MASSACRE Evidence, Context, Politics

              Manipulating the Safe Areas

              Oric was allowed to remain in Srebrenica because, as Lord Owen states, “the Security Council fatefully decided to demand that Srebrenica and its surroundings be treated as a safe area to be free from armed attack, while neither demilitarizing nor demarcating the boundaries of the area.”
              He adds:
              “The main flaw to the concept of ‘safe areas’ from the perspective of the UN military, was that the UN Security Council were allowing the Muslims to evade any demilitarization provision. This made the whole concept unsafe.”*51
              The agreement, which preserved Muslim control of Srebrenica and enabled residents to receive humanitarian aid shipments, was immediately subverted by the government.
              In excerpts from the Bosnian Muslim General Sefer Halilovic’s 1998 book Lukava Strategija (“A Cunning Strategy”) that were read during the trial of the Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic, we learn from Halilovic himself that he had “returned to headquarters and issued an order to Srebrenica and Zepa that not a single functional piece of weaponry should be handed over or a single usable bullet. After that,
              [he] went to see Izetbegovic and was given congratulations for success.”*52
              A separate statement from Naser Oric, also quoted during the same day’s testimony, corroborated this. “When the order on demilitarization of the town itself was issued,” Oric had stated, “the commander explained to me that we should hand over only non-functional and faulty weaponry, the ones that we could not hide, heavy weapons, which is what I did.
              We remained deployed along the lines and the weapons were still with us.” *53
              Halilovic put the number of troops in the 28th division in Srebrenica at 5,803.*54
              In testimony later that day, General Halilovic acknowledged using helicopters to re-supply and further militarize the supposed “safe area.”
              Reminded that the safe area agreement specifically prohibited flights from Tuzla to Srebrenica and Zepa to provide military supplies, Halilovic testified defiantly: “It is correct that I sent eight helicopters with ammunition, and if I could have, I would have sent 180.”*55

              Despite the fact that Srebrenica was not successfully demilitarized, the Security Council extended the safe area concept to Sarajevo, Gorazde, Bihac, Zepa, and Tuzla and their surroundings.
              Of course, these “safe areas” had never been safe for the Serb residents. As UNHCR maps reveal, with the exception of Sarajevo, the majority of Serbs had been cleansed from these areas by the summer of 1992, much as Muslims were being expelled from towns with Serb and Croat majorities.
              Sarajevo-based Serbs, though their neighborhoods had been reduced by fighting with and the Muslim government, held sections of the city and survived until they were placed under government control, following the Dayton agreement.
              The militarization of the safe areas—in violation of stated UN policy—would have been impossible without U.S. assistance. Newsweek’s military correspondent David Hackworth stated that the illegal supply
              of heavy weapons from Iran and other Islamic countries to the Tuzla airport by C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft had turned into “a regular shuttle” facilitated by the United States, which scheduled lapses
              in surveillance coverage by AWAC radar to coincide with the flights of illegal arm. *56
              This increasing stream of sophisticated weapons, along with a clear grasp of U.S. policy, gave the Bosnian government confidence in their ability to prolong the war and prevail militarily with assistance from both the United States and their Islamic allies.
              On February 5, 1994, another bloody staged incident in Sarajevo enabled the United States to pressure the UN to adopt a tripwire system in which a Serb attack on a safe zone would trigger a NATO airstrike against the perceived threat. This shift in policy occurred after a mortar shell had killed 49 people at the Markale marketplace and injured two hundred more.
              The State Department and U.S. Ambassador Madeleine Albright were quick to blame the Serbs for the mortar and the Muslim faction tried to break-off talks, but this time General Sir Michael Rose, then the UNPROFOR Commander in Sarajevo (Jan. 1994 - Jan. 1995), who had forwarded a technical report indicating that Muslims were responsible for the carnage, went to the office of the Bosnian President Izetbegovic and threatened to make the report public if Muslims did not return to negotiations.
              Lord Owen, who knew about the report, acknowledged that he helped suppress the report because “if the slightest hint that the Muslims were thought to be responsible” had emerged, the Bosnian Muslims would have cut-off the talks.*57
              On February 7, 1994, UNPROFOR Commander Francis Briquemont (July 1993 - Jan. 1994) reported to the civilian head of the UN mission Yasushi Akashi that “in Sarajevo, the Bosnian Army provokes the Serbs on a daily basis. Since the middle of December, the Bosnian Army jumped another step by launching heavy infantry attacks from Sarajevo to the Serb held suburbs of the city.” Briquemont then describes a pattern of manipulation that would recur in Gorazde, Bihac and Srebrenica: “The Bosnian Army attacks the Serbs from a Safe Area, the Serb retaliate, mainly on the confrontation line, and the Bosnian Presidency accused UNPROFOR of not protecting them against Serb aggression and appeals for air strikes against the Serb gun positions.*58
              Two months later, following attacks by Muslim units from safe area Gorazde against nearby Serbian villages, the Bosnian Serbs began shelling Muslim units inside Goradze.
              Press reports quoted government claims that 700 people had been killed and up to 2,000 wounded, and that the hospital was being destroyed. U.S. officials demanded NATO airstrikes and General Rose ordered a pinprick attack on a Bosnian Serb position. When Rose arrived in Gorazde, however, he observed a very different reality.
              The New York Times reported that senior UN officials had found “the hospital, which had been described as being virtually destroyed, operative with just one shell through the roof. There was no evidence of 700 corpses.” In short, “Reports on Gorazde were deliberately exaggerated into order to shame the world into doing something….A dangerous overreaction was stirred up in international capitals. The talk of wider use of NATO power, hitting ammunition dumps and infrastructure went well across the line that would have
              turned the UN forces here into combatants.*59
              The senior official quoted in this unusually frank criticism of the manipulation of the UN and press by the Muslims and U.S. policymakers is almost certainly General Rose, who went on to make these same points to John Simpson of the BBC at the end of his term as UN Commander in Sarajevo. But Muslim government forces would be encouraged by their success in drawing NATO attacks, however limited, against the Serbs.
              A similar strategy was employed in Bihac in November 1994, with government forces using their “safe area” status as a staging area to attack and occupy the Serb inhabited Grabez plateau region.
              When Serbs responded by bringing their forces to the edge of the zone, Bosnian Foreign Minister Haris Silajdzic told a startled press conference in Sarajevo that ‘’The situation in Bihac is dramatic,’’ and added that “Akashi and Rose are responsible for the deaths of 70,000 people. *60
              As fighting subsided and General Rose and UN officers journeyed to Bihac, the Bosnian government lowered their casualty count to 14,000. John Simpson of the BBC reported that Muslim forces threatened the lives of UN officials who used lower casualty figures, but that the UN estimated that “fewer than 1000” people had been killed in fighting around Bihac that had been initiated by the Muslim side. *61
              Preparing a Sacrifice
              The failure of the safe area concept had become increasingly apparent to international officials involved in mediation efforts by the end of 1994.
              The crucial question was: Would the fate of these areas be resolved by diplomacy, or by military means? Because U.S. military and political support for the Muslim government had repeatedly undermined
              efforts to end the war through negotiations, the European Union and UN officials encouraged the United States to become more deeply involved in negotiations through the Contact Group, which also included
              Russia. Diplomacy, however, made little headway, despite the efforts of U.S. envoy Robert Frasure, because the Bosnian Muslim leaders were increasingly confident they could prevail militarily, thanks in
              large part to American support.
              As early as 1993, in discussions with Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic proposed the exchange of Serb-held Vogosca, a suburb of Sarajevo, for Srebrenica. Eventually, this idea was taken up by mediators. “There was a consensus amongst the negotiators (the U.S. administration, the UN and European governments) that it was impossible to maintain the three Muslim enclaves, and that they should be exchanged for territories in Central Bosnia,” writes Carlos Martin Branco who served with the UN Secretariat in Bosnia.
              He continued:
              “Madeleine Albright suggested this exchange on numerous occasions to Izetbegovic, based on the proposals of the Contact Group….The truth is that both the Americans and President Izetbegovic had tacitly agreed that it made no sense to insist in maintaining these isolated enclaves in a divided Bosnia… In the month of June 1995, before the military operation in Srebrenica, Alexander Vershbow, Special Assistant to President Clinton stated that ‘America should encourage the Bosnians to think in terms of territories with
              greater territorial coherence and compactness. *62
              The problem for Alija Izetbegovic was that he felt that he could not publicly acknowledge these discussions or he would lose the hardline support that had brought him to power. In a 1998 interview with the Bosnian Muslim publication Dani, Hakija Meholic, an ally of Naser Oric and a former chief of police in Srebrenica, recalls that at the Bosniak Conference in Sarajevo in September, 1993, Izetbegovic claimed to have discussed various scenarios for Srebrenica with President Clinton.
              According to the interview:
              Meholjic: 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 [a Sarajevo suburb]?”
              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.”
              Interviewer: So you rejected Izetbegovic’s decision?
              Meholjic: We rejected it without any discussion.
              Then he said:
              “You know, I was offered by Clinton in April 1993 that the Chetnik forces enter Srebrenica, carry out a slaughter of 5,000 Muslims, and then there will be a military intervention. *63
              Meholjic subsequently gave an interview about Izetbegovic’s startling statement to a Dutch documentary that was shown as evidence in the ICTY. Here, Meholjic explains that Izetbegovic told the Srebrenica delegation that he “had learned that a NATO intervention in BosniaHerzegovina was possible but could only occur if the Serbs would break into Srebrenica and kill at least 5,000 of its people. *64
              According to the documentary, President Izetbegovic was questioned by UN investigators about these alleged statements which he denied making, while stating that he had accepted an opinion from the delegation on the exchange of territories.
              While there is no evidence, nor any 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 that would sacrifice lives of his citizens for the cause or to inflate the number of casualties from a provoked engagement with Serbian forces. When it came to casualty counts, Deputy NATO Commander Boyd observed that “the Bosnian Government has an interest in portraying the number as high as possible. *65
              U.S. Army analyst Lt.-Col. John Sray noted that staged incidents such as the one at the Markale marketplace had approval at the highest level: “Given the proximity of the Markale Market Square to the Presidency (Bosniac White House), who granted permission to launch these brutal and insane attacks? Surely, it almost had to have been President Alija Izetbegovic or Vice President Ejup Ganic.*66
              Before his death in a road accident in Bosnia, U.S. envoy Robert Frasure worked on a diplomatic solution that would have traded the putative safe areas, Srebrenica, Zepa and Gorazde for the Serb-held suburbs
              of Sarajevo. But the same hardline U.S. faction that arranged illegal arms for Muslim forces, helped kill Frasure’s diplomatic solution in the spring of 1995. Thus, the United States “watched approvingly as Muslim
              offensives began,” according to General Boyd, “even though these attacks destroyed a cease-fire Washington has supported.*67
              As EU envoy Carl Bildt would later observe: “[T]here would be no peace in Washington until there was war in the Balkans.*68
              Instead of a diplomatic solution, the map changes sought by Washington for a settlement in both Croatia and Bosnia would be achieved by military means and the uprooting of hundreds of thousands turned
              into refugees. In November 1994, the United States had licensed a private military contract firm, Military Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI), including “retired” four star generals, to prepare and organize
              the Croatian army for attacks on the UN Protected Areas of Croatia where some 250,000 predominantly ethnic Serbs lived.*69
              9 Unlike the safe areas of Bosnia, which served as staging areas for attacks againstsurrounding territories, the UN Protected Areas remained quiet except for several attacks against them by Croatian forces in 1993. Restraint by the Krajina Serbs, however, would not save them from U.S.-sponsored Croatian military attacks, “Operation Flash” in May and “Operation Storm” in August, the latter the largest ethnic cleansing campaign of the wars, producing more than 200,000 Serb refugees. *70
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              Last edited by goxy30; 02-04-16, 00:21.