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The Real Story Behind Srebrenica
The Globe and Mail ^ | 14 July 2005 | Lewis MacKenzie

Posted on 07/15/2005 9:30:59 AM PDT by Doctor13

This week marked the 10th anniversary of the United Nations' second greatest failure since its creation in 1945 -- the genocide in Rwanda being the undisputed No. 1. With much fanfare, the ceremonies focused on the massacre of "up to" 8,000 Bosnian men and boys by General Ratko Mladic's Bosnian Serb army in Srebrenica in July of 1995.

In the vast majority of recent media reports, the background and responsibilities for the disaster in Srebrenica were absent. Preferred was the simple explanation: a black and white event in which the Serbs were solely to blame.

As someone who played a modest role in some of the events preceding the massacre, perhaps a little background will provide some context. In early 1993, after my release from the Canadian Forces, I was asked to appear before a number of U.S. congressional committees dealing with Bosnia. A few months earlier, my successor in the UN Protection Force, General Philippe Morillon, had --against the advice of his UN masters -- bullied his way into Srebrenica accompanied by a tiny contingent of Canadian soldiers and told its citizens they were now under the protection of the UN. The folks at the UN in New York were furious with Gen. Morillon but, with the media on his side, they were forced to introduce the "safe haven" concept for six areas of Bosnia, including Srebrenica.

Wondering what this concept would mean, one U.S. senator asked me how many troops it would take to defend the safe havens. "Somewhere in the neighbourhood of 135,000 troops," I replied. It had to be that large because of the Serb artillery's range. The new UN commander on the ground in Bosnia, Belgian General Francis Briquemont, said he agreed with my assessment but was prepared to try to defend the areas with 65,000 additional troops. The secretary-general of the day, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, went to the Security Council and recommended 27,500 additional troops. The Security Council approved a force of 12,000 and, six months later, fewer than 2,000 additional soldiers had been added to UNPROFOR for the safe-haven tasks.

Then the Security Council changed the wording of the safe-haven resolution from "the UN will defend the safe havens" to "by their presence will the UN deter attacks on the safe havens." In other words, a tiny, token, lightly armed UN contingent would be placed as sacrificial lambs in Srebrenica to "deter" the Bosnian Serb army.

It didn't take long for the Bosnian Muslims to realize that the UN was in no position to live up to its promise to "protect" Srebrenica. With some help from outsiders, they began to infiltrate thousands of fighters and weapons into the safe haven. As the Bosnian Muslim fighters became better equipped and trained, they started to venture outside Srebrenica, burning Serb villages and killing their occupants before quickly withdrawing to the security provided by the UN's safe haven. These attacks reached a crescendo in 1994 and carried on into early 1995 after the Canadian infantry company that had been there for a year was replaced by a larger Dutch contingent.

The Bosnian Serbs might have had the heaviest weapons, but the Bosnian Muslims matched them in infantry skills that were much in demand in the rugged terrain around Srebrenica. As the snow cleared in the spring of 1995, it became obvious to Nasar Oric, the man who led the Bosnian Muslim fighters, that the Bosnian Serb army was going to attack Srebrenica to stop him from attacking Serb villages. So he and a large number of his fighters slipped out of town. Srebrenica was left undefended with the strategic thought that, if the Serbs attacked an undefended town, surely that would cause NATO and the UN to agree that NATO air strikes against the Serbs were justified. And so the Bosnian Serb army strolled into Srebrenica without opposition.

What happened next is only debatable in scale. The Bosnian Muslim men and older boys were singled out and the elderly, women and children were moved out or pushed in the direction of Tuzla and safety. It's a distasteful point, but it has to be said that, if you're committing genocide, you don't let the women go since they are key to perpetuating the very group you are trying to eliminate. Many of the men and boys were executed and buried in mass graves.

Evidence given at The Hague war crimes tribunal casts serious doubt on the figure of "up to" 8,000 Bosnian Muslims massacred. That figure includes "up to" 5,000 who have been classified as missing. More than 2,000 bodies have been recovered in and around Srebrenica, and they include victims of the three years of intense fighting in the area. The math just doesn't support the scale of 8,000 killed.

Nasar Oric, the Bosnian Muslim military leader in Srebrenica, is currently on trial in The Hague for war crimes committed during his "defence" of the town. Evidence to date suggests that he was responsible for killing as many Serb civilians outside Srebrenica as the Bosnian Serb army was for massacring Bosnian Muslims inside the town.

Two wrongs never made a right, but those moments in history that shame us all because of our indifference should not be viewed in isolation without the context that created them.--

Retired major-general Lewis MacKenzie was the first commander of UN peacekeeping forces in Sarajevo.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: balkanalkaeda; balkans; bosnia; islamofascists; mackenzie; un; unpeacekeeping; unprofor
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To: johnnyBbad
>>>>>Unless MacKenzie can explain why all of Eastern Bosnia was attacked (Zepa was overrun soon after Srebrenica and Gorazde was hammered throughout) then the Serb claim that they were only responding to Oric just doesn't hold up.<<<<<

Since you are in explanation mood, can you explain these poaradoxes:

1. Intent to eliminate group is mandatory condition for the crime of genocide. However, Muslim women and children were not harmed in Srebrenica. Neither were Muslim men in Zepa, in operation you mentioned. None of them was harmed. How is that possible, if Serbs had an intent to destroy Muslims as a people?

2. Safe Haven Srebrenica was never demilitarized. There is ample hard evidence about it from NATO sources. How members of Bosnian Muslim Army in Srebrenica can be called Bosnian Muslim men and boys" when their status was "Bosnian Muslim soldiers and paramilitaries" or Bosnian Muslim POWs?

3. There were only several boys among alleged 8000 Bosnian Muslims dead. Nevertheless, guideline "8000 men and Boys" is repeated ad nauseam. At the same time, foreign mercenaries who werte among Srebrenica Muslims are never mentioned. Why "8000 Men, Boys and foreign mercenaries" is not used instead?

4. In Kravica incident, Bosnian Muslim POWs overpowered BSA guard, took his weapon and killed him. Enraged guards opened fire. Why this incident is never described in detail?

5. BSA offensive used only two tanks and both were captured by Bosnian Muslim Army. How it is possible if Muslims were unarmed as propaganda depictrs them. When barehanded man meets a tank, Tienanmen happens.

6. How many Serbs were killed in Srebrenica region according to Muslim sources. Serbs have the names of all 3287 killed. Where are their corpses?

7. What happened with alleged intel photos Mad Albright waved in UN?

8. During retreat, some Bosnian Muslims were fighting among themselves and killing each other. Also, there was a firefight between Bosnian Muslims and foreign mercenaries who resisted surrender. When a Bosnian Muslim shoot and kill a Bosnian muslim or foreign mnercenary, is the resulting corpse an evidence of Serb genocide? If not, why all casualties are billed to Serbs?

9. Photos taken in Srebrenica shows that among the women and children boarding busses were Bosnian Males as well. Busses were escorted by peacekeepers and no males were taken off the bus. What happened to them once they reached destination in Muslim held Bosnia? Are they also "8000 men and boys" killed by Serbs?

10. Last but not least, Muslim sources speak of Srebrenica being sold out. Diplomatic sources confirm that Clinton in his talk with Izetbegovic stated that international community will intervene if the number of dead Muslims is higher than 5000. Are they talking about the same thing?

21 posted on 07/15/2005 10:29:24 AM PDT by DTA
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To: johnnyBbad

You mean all Bosnians or just the radical ones like Oric?

22 posted on 07/15/2005 10:31:39 AM PDT by FormerLib (Kosova: "land stolen from Serbs and given to terrorist killers in a futile attempt to appease them.")
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To: Doctor13


23 posted on 07/15/2005 10:50:46 AM PDT by RATkiller (I'm not communist, socialist, Democrat nor Republican so don't call me names)
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To: johnnyBbad
Welcome to the Balkan twilight zone.

I fear I'm one of the "muslim apologists" your interlocutors refer to, and if you defer from adopting their bizarre worldview, you'll soon be labelled one too.

Ah well - know those you talk to by their posts.


24 posted on 07/15/2005 10:51:00 AM PDT by Hoplite
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I'm gonna get in serious s**t for doing this at work...

1. In my opinion claims of genocide in Bosnia were rubbish. No one committed genocide. It was a territorial struggle in which horrific crimes were committed - not the Holocaust or Rwanda. George Kenney accurately likened it to Lebanon.

2. Yes, Srebrenica was never demilitarized. Put yourself in the shoes of a Bosnian cleansed from Visegrad or Foca - would you give up your guns surrounded by Serbs and "protected" by a UN that got pushed around by all sides? Me neither.

Members of Bosnian army are protected by war crimes laws when they surrender. You can't shoot em at that point, regardless of whether they're in the army.

3. Agreed - "boys" is overused. Many/most of Muslim men were soldiers (many unarmed) trying to get to tulza (or thereabouts).

Please elaborate on the "foreign mercenaries" in Srebrenica. to the best of my knowledge there were none in that region. most radical imports fought in central bosnia against the HVO.

4. The Kravica incident you describe (in 93?) is nothing at all like rounding up thousands of POWs and blowing them away. No comparison.

5. The Muslims did have two Serbian tanks - captured in 93 -which soon ran out of fuel and ammo. they were by no means the "only" tanks used by the BSA.

6. Dunno where Serbs corpses are. I imagine the Serbs would have recovered a fair bit given that the Muslims could only raid and then retreat. They wouldn't exactly have time to burry them would they?

7. No idea.

8. again, what foreign mercenaries are you talking about?

9. Most Muslim men were seperated from the women or captured en rout to Tulza.

10. No idea.

25 posted on 07/15/2005 10:51:36 AM PDT by johnnyBbad
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To: johnnyBbad
Yes, Srebrenica was never demilitarized. Put yourself in the shoes of a Bosnian cleansed from...

The important distinction inferred by "demilitarized" is that they are soldiers (heading into Srebrenica, thereby bolstering the security enjoyed by the murderous raiders) as opposed to civilians armed in self-defense.

The former created a threat to the surrounding farms and villages while the latter do not.

And I see one of the Muhammedan apologists has decided to identify himself to you. Yes, meeting such as he is your first look into the "Twilight Zone" as his postings have little to do with what occurs here on Planet Earth.

26 posted on 07/15/2005 11:38:59 AM PDT by FormerLib (Kosova: "land stolen from Serbs and given to terrorist killers in a futile attempt to appease them.")
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To: FormerLib

When it comes to the safe areas, both sides badly abused the concept. The Muslims didn't disarm while the Serbs pressed their offensive against Gorzade in 1994 and only backed off when they'd pushed the UN/NATO to the brink.
Not even the Serbs claim to have been responding to Muslim attacks there.

BTW is there any ping lists for the balkan threads I can get on?

27 posted on 07/15/2005 11:57:50 AM PDT by johnnyBbad
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To: johnnyBbad

As to ping lists: the quickest way is to scoll up near the bottome of the original article where you see the KEYWORDS. Click on BALKANS and you'll be shown a list of all other articles containing that KEYWORD.

28 posted on 07/15/2005 12:03:45 PM PDT by FormerLib (Kosova: "land stolen from Serbs and given to terrorist killers in a futile attempt to appease them.")
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To: FormerLib

I noticed up top that you posted

To: Doctor13; Lion in Winter; Destro; Honorary Serb; jb6; Incorrigible; DTA; ma bell; joan; vooch; ...

I take it that's some sort of Balkan poster list?

29 posted on 07/15/2005 12:06:30 PM PDT by johnnyBbad
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To: johnnyBbad
As much as I dislike - no, HATE - ISlamic radicals I don't see how you confuse the Bosnians with, say, radical Arabs.

Heh.. I say the same thing. My Muslim friends in Bosnia drink more than I do -- and they like barbecued pork more than me, too. Careful saying it, though, you'll be called an Islamofascist faster than you can hit "Post."

30 posted on 07/15/2005 12:10:03 PM PDT by Terabitten (Illegal immigration causes Representation without Taxation.)
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To: Terabitten
you'll be called an Islamofascist faster than you can hit "Post."

I encounter the same attitude from balkan folks all the time. "Don't think I'm 100% right? You must love the Islamists/chetniks/ustashe!!" It's annoying at the best of times, and VERY revealing as to how they ended up slaughtering eachother.

31 posted on 07/15/2005 12:19:30 PM PDT by johnnyBbad
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To: johnnyBbad
What would you call radicals when the Bosnian Muslim government of Alija Izetbegovic slaughtered his own people at the Markale market place massacre in 1995, blamed on Serbs, in order to get the West's sympathy and to fight for them? This is pretty sick!

I would, therefore, call them Bosnian radicals.

Furthermore, that is the alleged market place massacre over which we bombed the Serbs!

32 posted on 07/15/2005 4:56:56 PM PDT by Doctor13
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To: Doctor13

What proof do you have that the 95 Sarajevo mortar attack was by Muslims?

Not saying it isn't true, I just keep hearing this story without any concrete proof. Plus, if you recall, Karadzic made the same charge after the Feb 94 attack as well as the May 92 breadline attack as well.

So even if the 95 attack was by Muslims, I'm afraid the Serbs didn't help their cause much.

33 posted on 07/16/2005 10:57:57 AM PDT by johnnyBbad
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To: johnnyBbad

I suggest you read a few pages from Izetbegovic's "Islamic Declaration" and decide if that's radical enough for you.

34 posted on 07/16/2005 12:01:48 PM PDT by Pantagruel
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To: johnnyBbad
This is James R. Davis' account of Muslim tactics. He was there when they mortared again and again for PR purposes and then would scream in their press that the Serbs and the UN were responsible.

Sharp End: A Canadian Soldier's Story by James R. Davis

Page 173:

..."On 17 July, we were tasked to provide VIP security for a meeting between all the factions and Sir Douglas Hurd, the British Foreign Secretary....

We spent the day moving the foreign Secretary around and dodging well-staged incidents the locals (Muslims) put on for his benefit. At the Bosnian Presidency the TDF (Territorial Defense Forces) mortared their own people again as Hurd arrived. He had just dismounted from Kevin's track when several mortars slammed into the square across the road, killing several civilians. It had been staged by the Muslims to impress Hurd. They told him the Serbs did this to them everyday, when in fact they killed their own people again for political reasons. Animals."

Page 167-168: ... "That evening there were some kids hanging around on a patio at the base of the building. The guys had thrown them some candy until I told them to stop. I didn't want every kid in the city coming to hang out beneath our windows. Also on the patio was an attractive teenage girl. She spoke some English and was having a conversation with some of our guys who were hanging out the window.

Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, one of the troops saw... a mortarbomb. In the moment before it detonated, he realized it was heading right for the kids. Before he could shout a warning, the bomb exploded. The impact threw our guys back out of the window and onto the floor. Immediately, more rounds followed and the building rocked. ..Warrant Sullivan... rushed outside...

What he found shocked him to the core. There were little pieces of children everywhere. Arms, legs and blood covered the patio. The teenage girl had died instantly. The other kids were badly wounded. Brit medics showed up and tried to sort out the mess... They got the kids on street chars and tried to match the arms and legs with the proper child. It was horrible.


Later that night, the platoon area was pretty subdued. Some of the guys blamed themselves for talking to the kids and throwing them candy, but we all knew- we hadn't launched those bombs.

The next morning, a report came in from the observers that no Serb mortars had fired that they were aware of. The trajectory was calculated and it was determined that the Bosnians had mortared their own children. For public relations purposes. Sure enough, the morning news in the city reported that the UN and their Serb allies had killed these children. We could not believe it. I can't speak for the others, but that morning I would have happily killed any TDF (Muslim) troops I saw. I was growing tired of the whole mess. These people did not care. They were animals.

Still, it was my job. We were still a platoon with a job to do. I tucked all my feelings away and tried to be my normal, carefree self. It wasn't the last time the Bosnians murdered their own people in well-staged attacks for PR reasons."...

35 posted on 07/16/2005 1:21:12 PM PDT by joan
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To: johnnyBbad

War in eastern Bosnia was started by Bosnian muslim.

On May 8, 1992, Oric’s forces assassinated Judge Goran Zekic President of the Serbian SDS Party in Srebrenica, triggering an exodus of 1,500 Serbs in Srebrenica.

They ambushed his vehicle and used hand grenade to kill him. Part of bomb killed muslim assassin who throw that bomb. Later this assassin was officially elevated to status of torrent.

War in northern Bosnia was started by joint Croat-muslim attack on Sijekovac.

War in souther Bosnia was started by Croat attack on Kupres.

Yugoslavia - The avoidable war
torrent file at:

36 posted on 07/16/2005 8:32:04 PM PDT by zagor-te-nej (
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To: zagor-te-nej

“elevated to status of torrent.”
it should read:
”to the status of hero who died for the faith”

37 posted on 07/16/2005 9:29:16 PM PDT by zagor-te-nej (
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Is "Muslim courage" kind of like "Serb courage" in Krajina 1995?

38 posted on 07/17/2005 9:17:58 AM PDT by Joey Silvera
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To: Doctor13

Seems it would be easier to move WMD than it would to move bodies?? Bosnia was a scam from the start.

Pray for W and Our Troops

39 posted on 07/17/2005 9:26:26 AM PDT by bray (Pray for the Freedom of the Iraqis from Islam)
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To: zagor-te-nej
War in eastern Bosnia was started by Bosnian muslim. On May 8, 1992...

Nice try. The war started in early April in the east when Arkan swept through the Drina Valley. Why do Serbs regularly screw around with the chronology to prove that Oric attacks in May 1992 and January 1993 somehow "started" a war in April 1992?

40 posted on 07/18/2005 5:12:11 AM PDT by johnnyBbad
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