Skip to comments.The Real Story Behind Srebrenica
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.
My bad on the war crimes accusation. I did read it wrong.
From what I have heard, the incident at Sejekovac was a gun battle that left between 24-27 Serbs dead. If it was a massacre of civilians then I can only hope the perps were brought to justice and I will not make any excuses for the conduct of the HV units involved.
What I don't understand is how this somehow justifies or explains why the Serbs would then sweep through the Eastern regions and surround Sarajevo. How is attacking Musilms a response to a Croat attack? Again, it was this kind of "response" to enemy attacks that cost the Serbs the PR war (I wouldn't say the Serbs lost the whole war - they lost Krajina and Western Bosnia and ended up winning in the north and east, minus Gorazde).
Ah yes I've heard that story as well.
Apparently a shooting at a Sarajevo wedding party is grounds for surrounding and shelling the city for four years.
It bears repeating: the Serb tendency to lash out was the best weapon her enemies had.
The Muslims were launching attacks on the Serb parts - including shelling Ilidza from Mount Igman:
Testimony from WITNESS: RICHARD MOLE [Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Mole]
Q. Thank you. Are you aware of an attack which took place -- are you aware of the attacks coming from Mount Igman on the 4th and 8th of December, 1992?
A. I would not be specific about the 4th and 8th of December, 1992, because it was a frequent occurrence that the weapons on Mount Igman were used in the conflict, and I recall specifically that they were used and fired upon the area of Ilidza.
Q. Thank you for your answer, Witness.
When you say, "Ilidza," are you referring to a civilian area?
A. Of course. The whole battle area was occupied by civilians, hence, it is a city called Sarajevo.
Q. Thank you very much. So are you telling us that Muslim forces had opened fire on an area in Sarajevo?
A. On Ilidza, yes.
Q. That is a part of Sarajevo, on an area in Sarajevo?
A. It is a suburb of Sarajevo.
WITNESS: JAMES PHILIPE CUTLER
Yes. I am Mr. but ex -- retired Lieutenant-Colonel James Philipe Cutler Yes, I am retired from the New Zealand Army and I was an officer in the Royal New Zealand Regiment for 32 years Yes, I arrived from New Zealand on the 29th of November and was posted -- I flew into Sarajevo as a senior military observer on the 21st of December, 1992, and officially took over from Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Mole on the day after Christmas, [Realtime transcript read in error " "] the 26th of December, 1992.
Q. Colonel Cutler, during the course of your tenure in Sarajevo, do you -- or did you receive any information that the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was using the hospital grounds to launch mortars?
A. Yes, there had been a lot of rumours floating around that, in fact, mortars were being used or various United Nations installations, the locations of the Egyptian and Ukrainian battalion, and in particular, the Kosevo hospital had been used to screen firing of mortars by the Presidency forces.
On the -- I was obviously delighted that on the second week in January, I think it was on the 12th of January, a colonel sergeant from the British Cheshire regiment, who had been in charge of mortars, asked to see me. He had been asking who he could give a statement to. I welcomed him into my office and I took a statement from him that involved him witnessing the fire of a mortar, an 82-millimetre mortar, from adjacent to the Kosevo hospital. I think it was early afternoon. The Colonel sergeant had been escorting a convoy of fuel to that hospital. He and his crew observed this mortar firing five rounds from the hospital, adjacent to the hospital grounds, as part of the hospital grounds. On leaving the hospital grounds, which would have been in the order of 30 minutes later, the hospital came under mortar, artillery, and anti-aircraft fire
In the February-March period, that was seemed to be particularly evident to the stage where we would get up in the morning, 6.00, no activity whatsoever and then we would hear a couple of "pop pops" which were obviously outgoing mortar fire from the Bosnian, and within a short few minutes later, there would be incoming fire, and normally the incoming fire would be more than two rounds. If two rounds were fired out, it would be something in the order of 10 to 15 rounds would be incoming
So you would hear outgoing fire from the Presidency side, the Bosnian side, followed by incoming?
Your cynicism aside, you forgot the following:
1. In 1991 Bosnian Muslims have organised clandestine Patriotic League of over 70,000 armed fighters. The aim was to repeat script from Croatia - kill and intimidate JNA officers and rectuits. JNA officer, Bosnian Muslim Sefer Halilovic was the brain behind this and he spoke openly what Muslims planned and what they did. JNA trusted him with command. He was a traitor.
2. March murder of a Serb father in a wedding procession was calculated provocation. There is enough evidence from Muslim sources. The perp although known was never punished.
3. Prior to Bosnia gaining independence April 6, JNA was legitimate armed force in Bosnia Herzegovina, not an invader as claimed by the Muslims. National Guard is not an invader in Georgia or Tennessee. JNA retreated when it was decided on political level, after Bosnia gained independence. When JNA retreated from Sarajevo garrison, the column was ambushed from front and back and many recruits and officers were murdered. JNA had had capability to lever Sarajevo but no such action took place. The response was a encircling of the city.
In any conflict, unilateral use of force makes truce null and void. Muslims have attacked retreating JNA not once, but two times (Sarajevo, Tuzla).
4. During four years of conflict, Sarajevo was Bosnian Muslim garrison. Muslim government took all citizens of Sarajevo hostage because they were not allowed to leave. Taking hostages is a war crime per Geneva Convention.
Methinks you know all of this too well.
Completely agree when it comes to Muslim intimidation of the JNA.
However I'm also aware of how the JNA functioned in both Croatia and Bosnia. Serb paramilitaries would take a town and the JNA would arrive to secure their holdings. This was repeated throughout eastern Bosnia until the JNA left in May/June 92, but not before turning over most of its heavy guns to the Serbs.
http://conspiracycentral.net:6969/ is site where you can download documentary:
Yugoslavia - The avoidable war, which will help you (maybe) to understand that Racak (like Markale, Vase Miskina Street ) were crimes committed by Muslim forces.
This way you do not have to go to Sarajevo to bay video cassettes glorifying jihad. You can download that material for free.
They all seem very secular folk, more likely to drink themselves silly than pray in a mosque.
Good description of 9/11 terrorist - bar-going, secular-looking Muslim like Atta.
Western quest for liberal, free, democratic, western-leaning Muslim is futile. When occupying forces order Serb officials to keep quiet of 35 kg of explosive found in Srebrenica you encourage Muslim.
Your understanding for Muslim and prosecution of Serbs will result in more London, Madrid, Beslan and New York bombings.
And I absolutely like this part - when Arkan swept through the Drina Valley. Where you keep digging those fantasies?
Then you stick your head in the sand and your *** in the air and see how the Muhammedans treat you. Oh, they'll probably film it so make sure you show your good side, ok?
Lamest reponse ever.
I really don't care if you fail to understand why Serbia was seen so badly during the war. It's not my country that will be an outcast because of it.
And I absolutely like this part - when Arkan swept through the Drina Valley. Where you keep digging those fantasies?
Oh that's right - it was a Muslim dressed up as Arkan! Silly me.
I'd laugh but I actually feel sorry for you.
Hmmm, that's a curious statement for someone who's claiming to be new around here. Been around before? ;-)
Ever heard someone say "That's the dumbest joke ever," or "that's the lamest excuse ever"?
They're not literally claiming to have heard every joke or excuse of all time! It only means to convey their take on what they've just heard.
That's what I just did. Sorry if I'm confusing the hell out of you.
The Muslims jailed 10s of thousands of Serbs. The Muslims had scores of torture/rape/death camps in Sarajevo. The Muslims started liquidating Serb civilians from the get-go. Indeed. The media covered for the Muslims and turned the Serb accusations against the Muslims against the Serbs.
The Serb population of Sarajevo is DOWN OVER 150,000 since 1991. 150,000! While the Muslim population is higher both in real numbers, and especially in percentage. They are said to be 90-95% of the population of Sarajevo - with continued moving in of Muslims from the countryside and Sandzak, and they have killed Serbs for their property since the war.
U.N. just doesn't learn
Who am I to judge? I served in the former Republic of Yugoslavia during the early 1990s. I worked under the authority of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' Belgrade office. Among other things, I was directly involved in the evacuations of Muslim refugees from Srebrenica to Tuzla in April 1993.
One night, Bosnian Serbs had shelled the Muslim enclave, injuring a number of women and children, who were subsequently airlifted and trucked to hospitals. You may recall the scene on CNN, where a young boy was lying in the back of a truck, covered in blood and screaming for his mama. The CNN reporter claimed that these people were victims of an unprovoked attack launched by the Serbs.
The truth of the matter is that the shelling was a counterattack against the Muslim forces in Srebrenica, who had just finished shelling nearby Serb positions. The Muslim assault had lasted for approximately three hours and ended moments before the counterattack began. How do I know this? I read the message from the U.N. Communications Team in Srebrenica to the U.N. Mission in Belgrade. The U.N. however, saw to it that the correct information was never released to the media. Why? Because the truth did not suit its political agenda.
the world knew very well what happened.
"A few days ago Mr. Boutros Ghali informed me that the projectile which hit the Markale marketplace in Sarajevo was an act of (Bosnian) Muslim provocation". President Mitterrand of France, 1995
the world just decided to punish Serbs for Muslim bombs. the world was pretty much like you they keep coming with new, fantastic excuses for Muslim side. Which is why the West is loosing war on terror:
As for Arkan, he is not usually blamed for sweeping through the Drina Valley. If you have some information feel free to share them with us.
And I do not feel sorry for you you feeling of sorrow can be contributed to the fact that Serbs did not wait to be slaughtered like 1941.
Oh dear... This is what happens when stupid commie leadership fails to deal with the past.
I was of the opinion that Bosnia wasn't genocide yet I guess you're still convinced that it happened to Serbs (that's what "liquidating" means, yes?).
I love how the standards of proof change depending on who's crime is in question.
April 8 1992
he ended up on the hydroelectric plant and dam in Visegrad, threatening general Kukanjac that by destroying the dam he would destroy all bridges on the Drina, he was in the same situation as most of Bosniaks.
Before the war, he toppled the statue of the only local Nobel Prize winner, Ivo Andric and threw it into Drina River saying you wrote enough, now you swim
And his son was named after Ottoman murderer.
No wonder that Arkan had to intervene.
Well at least you're now on record as having endorsed Arkan's offensive.
"the genocide in Rwanda being the undisputed No. 1"
Not hardly indisputable considering the millions dead in Cambodia's killing fields.
Anyone who thinks the Serbs committed war crimes by shelling Sarajevo, killing Bosnian "men" (any male over 12), and raping the women to teach their people a lesson.
Well I guess that does make a Muhammedan apologist.
It is like I said; you are ticked off because Serbs did not wait to be slaughtered like 1941 or 1914.
You are on record as someone who has tons of understanding for Muslim terrorist and none whatsoever for their victims.
Does that mean I'm going to back them on everything they do? I'm afraid not.
You do not back Serbs at all. Not anywhere not on anything period!
You have zero understanding for Serbs and all understanding for Muslim side and you keep coming with new and fantastic excuses for them.
And we are talking about former Bosnia not Croatia.
I repeat: I've stated (on another thread I think) that I understand why the Serbs in Croatia rose up when their rights weren't guaranteed.
Unfortunately, I've met enough Serbs to understand that failure to back Serbia 100% means one must be in line with the Ustashe.
...or the Muslims.
I would back the Serbs more in Bosnia if they'd done something worth backing them for!
Let us assume, for a moment, that you are a Westerner and/or that you care for the US. In that case I can tell you that you can back up Serbs or Muslim. What happens when West arms, equip and train Muslim forces we saw in Afghanistan sooner or later they will turn on you. If that is OK with you so be it. You do your work - as for Serbs Patience - Rescue".
Who started war in Bosnia:
1991 --- VOX magazine cover from October 1991 showing Bosnian Muslim soldier in Nazi SS Division Handzar stepping on decapitated heads of Serbian leaders. Caption reads: "Spremna Handzar Divizija" (The Handzar Division is ready).
The Bosnian Muslims were very secular before the war and still are today. The Afghan mujaheden, by comparison, were completely insane from day one and Reagan knew it. They were simply a force the US backed as a way of giving the Soviets their Vietnam. The legacy of that decision is positive in some ways (no more USSR) and horrible in others (more Islamic fundamentalism).
Funny that you mention a Bosnian magazine from October 1991.
At about the same time....
"You want to take Bosnia-Herzegovina down the same highway of hell and suffering that Slovenia and Croatia are travelling. Do not think that you will not lead Bosnia-Herzegovina into hell, and do not think that you will not perhaps make the Muslim people disappear, because the Muslims cannot defend themselves if there is war-How will you prevent everyone from being killed in Bosnia-Herzegovina?"
- Radovan Karadzic, October 14, 1991 (said to the Muslims at the Bosnian parliament).
So what do you think had more to do with war starting, a magazine story or an open threat of genocide?
Which is why we have the USAF do it for us.
"I would sacrifice peace for a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina
but for that peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina I would not sacrifice sovereignty."
Izetbegovic, February 7, 1991:
So what do you think who was preparing to start war, member of a Muslim youth organization that recruited for the Waffen SS or gentlemen who warned muslim not to take Bosnia-Herzegovina down the same highway of hell and suffering that Slovenia and Croatia are travelling.
Hint for you:
Great people of Islamic revival - http://www.youngmuslims.ca/biographies/
Muslim Brotherhood site - Alija Izetbegovic is second on the list:
In other words Izetbegovic had to choose between independence and the same Serb-dominated Yugoslavia that everyone else - Christian and Muslim alike - wanted the hell out of.
Serb-dominated? LOL! Former Yugoslavia was ANYTHING BUT Serb-dominated. Educate yourself: http://www.balkan-archive.org.yu/kosta/Geopolitics/Risto.Mostarski/Serb_dominated_YU.text
the war started quietly by the croatians against the serbs of the pakrac region of western slavonia/croatia, back in 1987/8.