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.
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.