Skip to comments.THE NUMBERS GAME
Posted on 07/23/2005 10:09:05 AM PDT by getoffmylawn
Those who have asked questions about the Srebrenica numbers over the last ten years have invariably been treated with withering scorn. At best they have been characterised as would-be revisionists; at worst, deniers of a modern-day holocaust. Yet no serious analysis of events in and around Srebrenica in the summer of 1995 could be complete without detailed examination of the numbers. From the outset the numbers were used and abused, for a variety of political and other purposes, to conceal the fundamental truth of what had happened.
Origins of the massacre allegations
Over the years it has been held to be highly significant that original ballpark estimates for the number who might have been massacred at Srebrenica corresponded closely to the missing list of 7,300 compiled by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). But the early estimates were based on nothing more than the simple combination of an estimated 3,000 men last seen at the UN base at Potocari and an estimated 5,000 people reported to have left the enclave before it fell. Neither of these figures could be considered reliable: the estimate of the Dutch peacekeeping force in Srebrenica (Dutchbat) of males at Potocari was far lower. And, as the British journalist Linda Ryan pointed out in an article in 1996, the words before it fell probably refer to the substantial numbers of the refugee population who had left the safe area days, weeks or months before the Serb takeover to move to other Muslim controlled areas. It was only because the Bosnian Muslim government refused to provide information on what had become of these people that they remained technically unaccounted for.
Perhaps the most startling aspect of the 7-8,000 figure is that it has always been represented as synonymous with the number of people executed. This was never a possibility: numerous contemporary accounts noted that UN and other independent observers had witnessed fierce fighting with significant casualties on both sides. It was also known that others had fled to Muslim-held territory around Tuzla and Zepa, that some had made their way westwards and northwards, and that some had fled into Serbia. It is therefore certain that nowhere near all the missing could have been executed.
These points provide strong reasons for scepticism about the extent of the massacre claims. As further information has emerged over the last ten years, the version of events which was established in 1995 has come to seem more and more unlikely. The most fundamental problem of all is that the arithmetic does not add up.
The CBC in their Hemospheres show was just quoting numbers in the 7ks.
A Balkans ping.
The real question here is not bickering about the number of Bosnian Muslims who died, is it 2000 or 8000. The real issue is what really happened in Srebrenica in July 1995 and why.
Why the men who escaped from Srebrenica alive and well are included among '8000 dead men and boys'
Why combat death of Srebrenica Muslim soldiers is genocide and death of 3287 Srebrenica Serbs is not genocide?
Why escorting women and children out of combat zone is genocide? Saving women and children is incompatible with the intent to destroy an ethnic group.
Last but not least, why are the events that preceeded July 1995 carefully edited out from the picture?
After answering these key questions, Srebrenica myth collapses like house of cards.
Like any myth, Srebrenica requres a blind faith and repetition, not the facts.
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