Skip to comments.We bombed the wrong side?
Posted on 04/06/2004 4:54:40 PM PDT by DTA
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Vecernje Novosti daily, Belgrade
April 5, 2004
They were beaten bestially
By D. Todorovic
There was a huge crowd of people in the Church of the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God and in the churchyard. Six o'clock in the evening. The priests and bishops are holding a prayer service for the health of Father Jeremiah and his 18 year-old son, Aleksandar. The prayer service is held every day.
The service is soon led by Bishop Grigorije of Zahumlje-Herzegovina. There is a delegation from the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church led by Bishop Laurentije. They convey the blessings of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle, who appeals to Serbs to remain dignified despite the difficulty of the challenges facing them.
Sighs of relief sginal the arrival of Bishop Nikolai. He looks tired and worried. He says that doctors at Tuzla Hospital are making great efforts to save the lives of father and son, Jeremiah and Aleksandar, both of whom remain in a coma. They are on life-support machines.
"Fr. Jeremiah's right hand is also broken and Aca (diminutive of Aleksandar) suffered brain damage. They were both beaten up using blunt objects," says the bishop.
The prayer service was also attended by the highest officials of Republika Srpska. After the end of the service, the gathered people ask them: "Is there anyone to protect the Serbs?"
We enter the parish hall. The entrance door on the west side was blown off using explosives. The walls are cracked, the plaster and wooden frame scattered.
"They entered in five places at the same time: through the double entrance door of the hall, through the balcony, through the windows," says a middle-aged man who lives nearby and saw everything.
He says it is is a lie that they didn't shoot. Through the window of the neighboring apartment, Fr. Miomir Zekic peeked through to see what was going on. They shot at him but missed.
Fr. Miomir joins us as we tour the destroyed parish home. The priest's mantle is missing; everything else is destroyed. He takes us to the room of 18 year-old Aleksandar Starovlah. First we jump over a big, red puddle of blood now dry. Icons, books and prayer books scattered all around. Furniture and linens overturned. The parish home destroyed.
"When they saw me at the window, they broke in like dogs; they tied up my wife and me, threw us on the floor and we stayed like that until the morning," says Fr. Miomir.
"And what happened next door with Fr. Jeremiah?" asks Bosnia-Herzegovina member Borislav Paravac.
"They beat Fr. Jeremiah; they tied up his wife and locked her in another room," the presbytera later says. "The poor man's cries could be heard for an hour. During the time, young Aleksandar couldn't be heard at all, and his despairing mother imagined the worst had happened."
BANJA LUKA - Banja Luka police confirmed that posters bearing the image of Hague indictee Radovan Karadzic pasted throughout the Banja Luka quarter of Borik. Under the picture of Karadzic was a slogan saying "Always with you".
TUZLA - Fr. Jeremiah Starovlah and his 18 year-old son Aleksandar remain in critical condition, according to chief surgeon Mirsada Prasa (Muslim name), the head of the team treating them, and the director of the Clinic for Anasthesia and Reanimation Emergency Clinical Center in Tuzla. (V.M.)
LETTER OF PATRIARCH PAVLE TO SFOR COMMANDER
His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch Kyr Pavle sent a letter today to U.S. Major General Virgil L. Pickett, the SFOR commander in Bosnia-Herzegovina, stating the following:
Several times already we have asked the SFOR command, the High Representative of the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and even the Secretary-General of the United Nations to put a halt to the completely needless and improper mistreatment of Orthodox residents of the small town of Pale on Mt. Romanija, and the destruction of their property by military forces, which arrived in this part of Europe to help in keeping the peace and establishing understanding and tolerance. We last wrote you regarding this issue only in February of this year after forces under your command, in full battle gear, with the justification that they were seeking persons suspected of war crimes, broke into a church and apartments of Orthodox priests in Pale at the end of the Christmas holidays, where they carried out searches and frightened the household members and their small children.
However, as our letter failed to convince you that our priests and the members of their families take no part in the activities of which you obviously suspect them, you, Sir, ordered that nothing short of a military campaign be launched against their homes on April 1, 2004, on the very eve of the Easter holidays. In the dead of night, your soldiers, using the most lethal explosive devices, broke in through the roof, the door and the windows of their home, completely destroying it in the process. The strong explosions wounded Archpriest Stavrophor Jeremijah (Jeremiah) Starovlah and his son, Catechist Aleksandar. But this was not enough for your soldiers, called "peacekeepers" by our people. They proceeded to tie up Father Jeremija and his son and, while thus tied, they savagely beat them using rifle butts, boots and whatever else they had on hand. In short: they beat them to death. The entire time this was occurring, the presbytera (the priest's wife) had a gun pointed at her, with a finger on the trigger, so she could not help her son or her husband. These facts, sir, are well known to you. At the time of the writing of this letter, physicians are still fighting for the lives of these two Christians, who are suffering for the same reason the martyrs suffered under the Romans - for the name of Christ.
If it was not clear to you until that day, Sir, that Serbian priests are not hiding those whom you have indicted for committing war crimes, we hope you are now so convinced. Or perhaps you are not, and we should expect to see once again those whom we wished to see as men of goodwill heading with bombs, guns and boots against our holy shrines, the lives of our priests and their families.
At this time we wish to advise you that we will inform the global community in the broadest sense with the contents of this letter.
The Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovac and Serbian Patriarch + Pavle
That's why I got so surprised and confused when some people I knew suddenly became anti-Serb in 1998 and 1999. Where exactly did everyone get their strange ideas about Serbs, I wondered?
I still don't know the answer.
Yes, and they knew what they were doing.
Probably because they are afraid if we pull out, it will further destabilize the entire region. And we have this thing that we learned in the history books that the assasination in Sarajevo was the spark that ignited WWI.
I don't know where we go from here. Once we get in a place, we don't seem to like to leave. What a mell of a hess we have made of this.
Notice this is the Canadian press. I don't expect to read anything about this in the American press.
I guess what really bothers me is that the planners and shakers want people to learn to live with other ethnic groups. That is simply asking too much for some people. Sad, but true. If people don't play by civilized rules, you cannot force them to live together in peace. It doesn't really even work all that well in America, but the law keeps things in check for now.
"It is a relief when American foreign policy rises from imperialism, if only to arrive at fatuity"-----but our assault on Kosovo, Belgrade, and Serbia is beyond any excuse.
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