Skip to comments.Serbs Still Being Framed
Posted on 09/09/2006 6:19:59 AM PDT by FormerLib
The AFP reported last month that there was an explosion at the grave of Bosnia's wartime president and Muslim hero Alija Izetbegovic. Izetbegovic, who was finally, reluctantly, being investigated by the Hague for war crimes against Serbs and others at the time of his death, is buried in a "martyrs'" cemetery, as he requested.
Naturally, we are meant to think that the grave bombing was committed by a Serb or Serbs, especially with AFP adding this tidbit: "Tensions have risen in Bosnia in recent days after the broadcast of footage showing a former Muslim general, Atif Dudakovic, ordering his troops to burn down Serb villages at the end of the country's 1992-1995 war." And this one: "Bosnian Serbs, however, are strongly antagonistic about Izetbegovic, whom they accuse of war crimes." And this: "Bosnian Serb officials remained silent about the incident."
The attack "drew strong condemnation from Muslim leaders and the international community's top envoy in Bosnia, Christian Schwarz-Schilling, who called for calm and said he felt 'shocked and saddened'."
Here's the update that AFP didn't carry; only Serbia's traditionally anti-Serb, Soros-funded "B92″ news agency had it: B92 cited local daily Nezavisne Novine, which reported that police have arrested Rahim Amulj, a Muslim, in connection with the bombing. He was already a suspect in three explosions in November in a Bosnian town called Travnik. From B92: "Ramulj, who had confessed to placing the three bombs in Travnik, was set free due to the Municipal court's error. In May 1999 he was convicted, along with six others, to three and a half years in prison for mining Croatian homes and placing explosive devices in front of the Bugojno Municipal council chairman Ivo Mra's house."
Let's recall that last year bombs were found at the Srebrenica memorial for Muslims killed in the Bosnia war. In that case, too, evidence pointed toward a Bosnian-Muslim, and a man was arrested and later released because of a lack of evidence. It was yet another anti-Serb frame-up happening while Fox News mimicked every other news outlet on the planet in broadcasting footage of Bosnian-Serb paramilitary killing six Muslim fighters to somehow prove that another 8,000 were killed the same way, and to reinforce the same old propaganda we swallowed throughout the 90s.
And in 1995, we bombed the Bosnian Serbs when Bosnian Muslims bombed the Markale marketplace.
Meanwhile, Albanian Muslims have pretended to be Serbs while on missions to attack UN installations, as former UN Major General Lewis MacKenzie wrote in 2004.
Julia Gorin really annoys the Dhimmis with the truth!
"... The first and foremost of such conclusions is surely the one on the incompatibility of Islam and non-Islamic systems. There can be no peace or coexistence between the "Islamic faith" and non- Islamic societies and political institutions. ... Islam clearly excludes the right and possibility of activity of any strange ideology on its own turf. Therefore, there is no question of any laicistic principles, and the state should be an expression and should support the moral concepts of the religion. ..." Alija Izetbegovic
Serbs Still Being Framed
YOU BET they are.
How many US fliers did Milhalovitch and his Chetniks save in World War Two?
500 American flyers rescued from German occupied Yugoslvia during WWII. Bush finally (after years of it remaining classified as "secret") had the award presented to Mihailovic's grandaughter a couple years ago, but the news here ignored it. http://www.bannerofliberty.com/BOL-05MQC/5-6-2005.1.html
THANK YOU for that post.
I was not aware of that.
By: Mary Mostert, Analyst, Banner of Liberty (www.bannerofliberty.com)
May 6, 2005
The other day I received an e-mail from a reader that told me the Legion of Merit would be presented to the World War II Serbian leader, Draza Mihailovic. I tried, with no luck, finding out when and where that would take place, and whether it was true, as I had been told, that there were efforts to block the presentation.
Few Americans, especially young Americans, have ever heard about Mihailovic and his men who, at huge risks to themselves, saved the lives of over 500 Americans and 250 Allied personnel from behind enemy lines . It's been covered up for political reasons . During World War II, when the Soviet Union under Stalin was fighting Hitler on the Allied side, it was Winston Churchill who thought it best to side with the Croatian Communist leader, Josip Tito rather than with the Serbian leader Mihailovic. Churchill thought giving in to Stalin on the Yugoslavian issue would lead to world peace after the War. As a result, the Serb Draza Mihailovic, who saved hundreds of Americans, was executed by the Communist Croatian dictator Josip Tito on July 17, 1946.
Of course, sacrificing Mihailovic and the Serbs didnt lead to world peace. It did lead to the Serbian contribution to World War II being almost totally forgotten. And, with the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 by NATO and the Clinton Administration, based on lies about Serbs killing 100,000 Albanians, the true history of the Serbian historic struggle for liberty was even more deeply buried under a barrage of anti-Serb propaganda. It appeared to me at the time that Clinton thought that using the US Air Force to support the KLA, which the US State Department listed as Muslim fundamentalist terrorists, would somehow lead to better rapport with the Muslim World.
I wrote about Clintons support of Muslim terrorists in 1995-96 when he lifted the NATO arms blockage of Bosnia to allow fundamentalist Muslims from Iran and the Sudan to arm their friends. And who do you suppose it was that financed the purchase and shipment of those weapons? A name that comes to mind is Osama bin Laden who was headquartered in the Sudan until May or June 1996. In February 1996 I wrote about the ethnic cleansing of Serbs (who are Christians) from Bosnia: In 1991 the population of Sarajevo was 525,980. It was 49% Muslim, 29.9% Serb, 6.6 Croats and 14.2 other. More than 155,000 Serbs and 262,000 Muslims lived in Sarajevo and its suburbs before the war. Today, the Associated Press reports, "only about 30,000 Serbs in a population of "300,000 remaining" inhabitants." -It would seem that most of the 262,000 Muslims are still there, and 125,000 of the 155,000 Serbs are missing.
We have already forgotten what happened in 1999. Does anyone really care any more about what happened to hundreds of American Air Force men who were shot down by Nazi aircraft more than 60 years ago? To me, this is still a matter of American honor. Cant we at least set the record straight and honor Serbs who risked everything to save the lives of our own pilots in the 1940s? Cant we now look at what has happened since Clintons effort to pacify Muslim fundamentalist terrorists and question what our official anti-Serb policies have done to strengthen terrorists and destroy worldwide American credibility?
Perhaps, the best way to explain this is in the words of Major Richard J. Felman USAF Retired, who was the keynote address at the 50th D-Day/Normandy commemoration in Chicago on June 6, 1994. Major Felman, who died in late 1999, was one of those hundreds of airmen saved by Mihailovic and his Chetniks. Major Felman said about the first public recognition of the greatest rescue of American lives from behind enemy lines in the history of warfare:
Today is the first time in fifty years that the American airmen and the Serbian Chetniks are gathered in one place. This is a tremendous event. ..if these Chetniks hadn't risked their lives, the airmen you see in this room wouldn't be here...the airmen that they saved across the country wouldn't be here...neither would their children or their grandchildren, who today can walk freely in this country. Nobody else, in the entire history of the United States government has ever said that...
Major Felman, flying with a B-24 bomber over southern Europe had been told in a briefing mission they would be flying over Yugoslavia that day, and to stay away from the Serbian people, because the Serbian people would cut off the ears of American airmen! If you get shot down in Yugoslavia, stay away from the Chetniks. Look for the people with the red star on their hats...Tito's Communists...'
Major Felman was shot down over Yugoslavia. He described what happened:
I parachuted down from 20,000 feet, the next thing I know, I was in Serbia, among the Serbian Chetniks, and the first thing I did was reach for my ears... Not only did they not cut them off, as you can see, but they grabbed me up, kissed me, put me on their shoulders like a conquering hero...
Since that time, to expose this treacherous propaganda lie, the American airmen have been doing every possible thing we could to expose the thoroughness with which the truth was manipulated by the Communists during World War II. Let me give you a concrete example: I don't believe what I read in the papers...I know what I see...
Let me tell you some techniques of Communist propaganda. I went on some raids with General Mihailovich and the Chetniks...We raided a few German garrisons, forts...very successful...We came back. The next day or so, we turn on the shortwave radio. BBC from London says: 'Tito's Partisans just completed a successful raid at such and such a village' -- the place that we went to just the night before...That's how the truth was manipulated. Now, let me tell you, how would you feel -- I just saw something, and the news reports say 'this didn't happen, something else happened...' --
"The very friendly people that we were with, that were saving our lives, were abandoned by the Allies, because of the - can I use the term - screwed up Intelligence of the British.
You are welcome!
I just also heard from someone who has two blogs dedicated to General Mihailovic at http://ravnagora.blogster.com/ and http://draza-mihailovich.blogspot.com/
If you can believe it, the US Holocaust Museum, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, still lists Mihailovic as a "Nazi collaborator" and never even mentions the Legion of Merit award he was given (or why) even though it is stone-cold fact. The Holocaust Museum still repeats verbatem the Titoist lies -- laregely because the Museum is run by the US State Department who finds these lies quite convenient while they continue to screw the Serbs!
By Aleksandra Rebic
You know as well as I do, I dont have another fifty years to fight for a cause as American as the American flag, the Star Spangled Banner, and the Bill of Rights. Gratitude. American gratitude. Thats all we want, for 500 American lives.
Major Richard L. Felman, U.S.A.F. May 31, 1994
In years past, and in the years that followed, the circumstances just didn't seem to lend themselves to the fulfilling of this simple request.
The Legion of Merit in the degree of Chief Commander was bestowed upon the late General Dragoljub Draza Mihailovich of Yugoslavia by President Harry S. Truman in 1948, two years after General Mihailovich was executed by the Yugoslav communists. It was awarded to General Mihailovich posthumously in acknowledgment of and appreciation for organizing and leading important resistance forces against the enemy which occupied Yugoslavia, from December 1941 to December 1944. Through the undaunted efforts of his troops, many United States airmen were rescued and returned safely to friendly control. General Mihailovich and his forces, although lacking adequate supplies, and fighting under extreme hardships, contributed materially to the Allied cause, and were instrumental in obtaining a final Allied victory." Though he didn't live to receive or even know of this honor, 57 years after the award was conferred upon him, an American delegation was in Serbia on May 9, 2005 formally returning the Medal back to the homeland that the great General had fought and died for. It was an appropriate day, for May 9th was the day the world marked as the anniversary of the end of World War Two and the defeat of Nazism and Fascism.
The Americans who attended the quiet ceremony in Belgrade were Major George Vuynovich, the chief of O.S.S. Bari, Italy; O.S.S. Radioman Arthur Jibilian, the last surviving member of the Halyard Mission; rescued U.S. airmen Lt. Colonel Charles Davis, Clare Musgrove and Robert Wilson and members of their families.
The presentation of the Medal took place in the private home of a Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Embassy. No government dignitaries were present. The Medal was given by the airmen to Dr. Gordana Mihailovich, General Mihailovichs daughter who graciously accepted the award.
Why did it take so long? Obstacles and excuses permeated the diplomatic cover-ups as the honor began evolving from its very inception immediately after World War Two. The obstacles surrounding the official and public recognition of the awarding of the Legion of Merit to Mihailovich in the degree of Chief Commander essentially revolved around two issues:
One: The United States establishment did not want to offend or alienate the new communist regime of Yugoslavia, headed by Josip Broz Tito and
Two: There was no viable person to whom the medal could be presented.
For these two reasons, not only was no publicity given to the award back in 1948, it was also kept classified for 20 years. Even though it was finally "declassified", due in large part to the efforts of U.S. Congressman Edward J. Derwinski, the award remained stored away ever since. It remained in possession of the U.S. State Department until 1978 when it was given over to the United States National Archives, where it remained safely stored in "The Vault", a highly secured area of the Archives designated for some of the most valuable historic material. Upon learning this, I was glad that it had at least remained safely stored away all that time and had not been lost or damaged or destroyed.
For years, Yugoslavia was under the control of Marshall Tito, thus release of the medal was not considered, for it would have "offended" him and his regime. Though no longer in power and no longer alive after 1980, thus seemingly eliminating the first conditional obstacle set forth in releasing the Medal, for years after his death Yugoslavia remained under the control of the Party faithful, again a situation not lending itself to the release and proper presentation of the Medal.
Then came the shredding of Yugoslavia as a sovereign nation with the onset of the wars over the course of the 1990s and beyond. Because of the tensions and conflicts this created between the ethnic groups in the former Yugoslavia, again it seemed futile to try to accord a public honor upon a commander who was Serbian. Given the way in which the Serbs were demonized over the course of the last decade, how many officials were willing to look past the fact that General Mihailovich, though Serbian, had nothing to do with what was happening fifty years after his death in his homeland?
Then, finally, Serbia began to stabilize and slowly evolve as being more democratic. A new administration came to power that appeared to be amenable to working with the Americans, despite the tensions that arose between the two countries over the course of the 1990s. Serbia had always considered America a friend and an ally in the past. General Mihailovich was an embodiment of that loyalty. There were definite signs that the climate, at least in Serbia, would be far more receptive, or at least tolerant of, an official honoring of General Mihailovich.
With regard to the second conditional obstacle that no viable recipient was available -- General Mihailovich has a grandson, Vojislav, and a daughter, Gordana, both still living. Vojislav Mihailovich, an official of the Serbian Renewal Movement, had formally asked the U.S. State Department to release the Medal and present the award in 1994, eleven years ago, at the height of the ethnic wars in the former Yugoslavia. The request was denied. Vuk Draskovic, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Serbia and Montenegro and leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement Party in Serbia then repeated the request in August of 2004, this time asking former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to intervene.
Unaware of this request and separate from the efforts of those in Serbia, I wrote and sent an appeal to the head archivist of the United States in September of 2004 to consider releasing the Medal while at least some of those whom had been part of the great story were still alive. I respectfully explained why the time was right and why there should be no more excuses for keeping it hidden away. This appeal was then referred to the U.S. State Department. Then all we could do was wait. Somehow, though, I had a real good feeling about the prospects of the release.
When it all came through, the only thing that barred the deserved jubilation for such a long overdue event finally happening was the fact that it was kept so low-key, so quiet. I strongly felt that any such requests should be kept quiet as this was the most effective way to prevent sabotage of the ongoing efforts and progress being made, but once done, the quiet continued, with only a few token mentions and descriptions of the event in the media. This I was not able to understand.
I was to learn that due to political considerations regarding ongoing negotiations with regards to the situation in the former Yugoslavia and concern for the reaction of various non-Serb ethnic groups, there was to be virtually nothing done to attract attention to this event. O.S.S. Radioman Arthur Jibilian, Jibby, in his respectful way, described his reaction to this mandate:
The day before the presentation, we were told by the Embassy that the presentation would have no publicity and no political overtones. The medal was from the "American people (airmen) to the Serbian people." This lack of publicity disturbed me immensely. GENERAL MIHAILOVICH SAVED OVER 500 AMERICAN AIRMEN, for heavens sake. The American people need to know this!!
Having said this, I realize that I am not privy to ALL the information available to our government. I must have faith and trust that our representatives are doing what is best for our country. I take solace in the fact that history is (usually) an evolution and the facts of General Draza Mihailovich's contribution to the Allied war effort will be duly recognized and his name and reputation cleared.
Embodied in this Medal is a story of heroic and noble magnitude. It reflects a truthful accounting of who General Mihailovich was and what he did that is not tainted by years of embedded historical propaganda and disinformation perpetuated by historians who havent dug deep enough and who write only what's been repeated over and over again, and by those in whose interest it has been to invalidate and discredit General Mihailovich.
The medal doesnt just address the magnificence of the great rescues of Allied personnel in 1944, it directly credits General Mihailovich with being of service to the entire Allied cause throughout the war, and that cannot be forgotten.
He was a believer in the ideals of freedom and democracy. He was not a political man. He knew and understood his people and was loyal to both them and the democratic Allies in whom he believed. When the Nazis attacked and occupied Yugoslavia in April of 1941 and the government and army surrendered, making Yugoslavia yet another of Hitler's successful conquests in Europe, Draza Mihailovich opted not to surrender, but to fight. With him he took only 80 men into the mountains of Ravna Gora, Serbia where he and his Serbian Chetniks were the first to raise a successful resistance to the Nazi forces in occupied Europe. This resistance would have far-reaching implications on the outcome of the entire war. The Allies, bigger and stronger than he and his guerilla fighters and the peasants who nourished them, would come to owe much of the success of the Allied campaign against Hitler to these simple people.
Mihailovich made his position clear to the Germans: "I demand," he told them, when the Germans attempted an armistice, "that the German troops evacuate my country and then the peace will be restored. As long as a single enemy soldier remains on our soil, we shall continue to fight...Our fighting spirit is based on the traditions of a love for liberty and our unflinching faith in the victory of our Allies."
The enemy did not evacuate. Mihailovich was good to his word. Severe and cruel Nazi reprisals began against the innocent Serbian civilian population in order to stop the resistance. Because he was a compassionate man who loved his people, Mihailovich was compelled to alter his means of fighting the enemy in order to spare the lives of the innocents. He and his fighters would prove very adept at the sabotage campaigns that were crippling to the Nazi war machine. Ultimately, Hitler would be forced to keep several of his divisions in Yugoslavia just to fight the guerrilla resistance that had by now grown in number and foiled his plans for an easy conquest of Serbia. The ultimate consequence of this would prove fatal for the German Army.
Because Hitler was forced to keep several of his divisions in Serbia, his plan for the invasion of Moscow was delayed in 1941. The delay proved to be critical, because by the time the German forces would finally approach Moscow, the brutal Russian winter had set in, and that was a force the Nazis could not overcome. Had the German forces not been delayed by the Serbian resistance in Yugoslavia, Moscow may well have fallen and the course of history would have been much different.
As pivotal as this was in the eyes of those whose lives General Mihailovich and his Chetniks affected directly, a feat was later accomplished that was even more important.
During the course of the Allied bombing campaigns of the Ploesti oil fields in Romania, Hitler's only supply of oil in the Summer of 1944, hundreds of Allied airmen were shot down by the Germans. Over 700 of these airmen, 500 of them Americans, would end up on Serbian territory. There they would be nursed back to health by the Serbs loyal to Mihailovich, who at great risk to themselves, would shelter, feed, and protect these men who were foreigners on their soil. Ultimately, these airmen, to the very last one, would be returned to their homes and their families as a result of evacuations that stand as the greatest rescue of American lives from behind enemy lines in the history of warfare. It was a grand rescue under extreme duress for they were surrounded by the occupying Nazi forces. 500 American young men would return home to become husbands and fathers and later grandfathers who would tell their children and grandchildren the story of how their lives had been saved so many thousands of miles away by a man named Draza Mihailovich.
One of those men was the late Major Richard L. Felman, U.S.A.F., who did not live to see the release of the Legion of Merit medal. In his address at the Halyard Mission celebration on May 31, 1994 in Chicago, Illinois, an event that was part of the U.S. Department of Defense week-long commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, Major Felman recounted the personal battle that followed the end of World War Two:
After the war was over, as you know, we turned over the government of Yugoslavia to the communists. They seized upon the opportunity to capture Mihailovich, and in March of 1946, Tito announced to the world that they had captured Mihailovich and were putting him on trial as a war collaborator.
The immediate response was that the airmen he had rescued ran to the newspapers, saying How can this be? I have a book here, a thousand newspaper clippings from 1946 of airmen in the newspapers asking 'How can this be? How can this man who saved our lives be a war collaborator? We want to go to Belgrade. We want to testify on his behalf. This man saved our lives. We don't want to be presumptuous and say we want to interfere in your internal affairs -- but, the government of Yugoslavia was charging him with being a collaborator. How could he be a collaborator? Our lives were a testimony that he wasn't! So, we don't want to judge him, we just want to present testimony that our lives were relevant to the charges of collaboration.'
So we flew to Washington. We chartered a plane from Chicago, called it 'A Mission for Mihailovich.' There were 22 of us Allied personnel. We were met by congressmen and senators, and we petitioned the State Department to send a diplomatic note to Yugoslavia to request permission to appear at his trial, presenting evidence relative to the charges of war collaboration. The State Department sent two notes to the Belgrade Court. The response from the Belgrade Court was this:
Mihailovich will be given a fair trial, but we have enough legal evidence to convict him, and he will be shot.
At that point, we almost gave up. We couldn't appear.
After the Belgrade court turned us down, we formed the "Commission of Inquiry" in New York. Testimony was presented at the Commission of Inquiry in May of 1946. It was presided over by some of the most prominent jurists in the United States. We accepted testimony from all of the American Intelligence officers and airmen. The findings were sent to the Belgrade Court in the interest of international justice. The Belgrade court ignored it, and on July 17, 1946 they executed Mihailovich and threw his body in an unmarked grave.
Now once that happened, put yourselves in our position. What do we do now? The man was executed -- murdered is a better word -- so what do we do now? Thank God, along came the Honorable Edward J. Derwinski.
Twenty years after Mihailovich was executed by a communist firing squad, Edward Derwinski came up -- he was investigating this for years -- he came up with the fact that in 1948, two years after Mihailovich was shot -- Secretary Derwinski came up with the information that President Truman, on the recommendation of General Eisenhower, who knew better than anyone else, that President Truman awarded posthumously the Legion of Merit in the Degree of Chief Commander, to General Mihailovich for his material contribution to the Allied victory. Mind you, this is the highest award the United States government gives to a foreign national. This award was given two years after the communists shot him as a war collaborator.
For the first time in the history of this country, because of the "behind the scenes" activities in Washington, this award was kept secret. The first time in history, one of the highest awards was kept secret! The State Department finally admitted -- well, we did not want to release this because we did not want to offend the communist government of Yugoslavia. This is in an actual document ! So, it's okay to offend the Americans, but don't offend the communists!
Major Felman would go on to express further frustration with the fact that the non-Serb ethnic groups in Yugoslavia were always a consideration in whether or not publicly honoring and thanking General Mihailovich would be officially allowed. He related how it felt to read the letter he received from a U.S. official in February of 1990, (before the break-up of the former Yugoslavia and before the wars of the 1990s began) declining Felmans appeal for a public display of gratitude. In this letter, Major Felman was told that we appreciate what you are trying to do but the petition for Mihailovich is being denied, because of the opposition of the Yugoslav government and the opposition of certain [ethnic] groups in Yugoslavia.
I broke four windows when I got that letter. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would live to see the day when a committee of the United States Congress would allow an ethnic group to interfere in our internal affairs. Besides that, and this is the important thing, it sets a frightening precedent that the legitimate requests of American citizens are denied by the United States government on the basis that they might upset a foreign government.
After trying all these years, I will never accept the fact that, during World War II we risked our lives and watched our buddies get their arms, legs, and heads blown off so that ethnic groups could tell us what we could or could not do in our own country.
********** Former congressman and U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Edward J. Derwinski was also present as a featured speaker at the Halyard Mission commemoration on May 31, 1994 and emphasized just how deeply rooted in secrecy the Legion of Merit award remained and how much insult was added to injury after the honor was posthumously conferred on Mihailovich. Though he did not give himself enough credit, we may never have known about the award without Mr. Derwinskis efforts.
It was immediately classified. The reason was that the officials in the United States State Department didn't wish to offend Mr. Tito's government. It remained classified for twenty years, until we finally managed to get the Defense Department to finally acknowledge that this award had been conferred upon General Mihailovich by President Truman.
That started, what I call, the revival of legitimate history in studying the role of Yugoslavia in World War II. if it hadn't been for the resistance of the Yugoslav government, the Nazis would have had far greater resources for their invasion of Russia, and the entire tide of the war may have changed if they weren't pinned down by General Mihailovich and his men, and their power siphoned off because of this, which led to their ultimate failure in Russia.
That's hardly ever mentioned, because we went through that terrible period, and the airmen can tell you, when they were rescued one of the things they found out was that they weren't supposed to discuss it. After all, our propaganda machine, the propaganda of the Allies, was already 100 percent in favor of Tito."
******** Perhaps this lies at the core of why it took so long to release the Mihailovich medal. No doubt that the prospect of opposition from the various ethnic groups and political entities not amenable to honoring General Mihailovich, a Serbian patriot and a true democrat, played into the decisions made as to how and when the Medal would be released. Ultimately, however, the paradox had to weigh heavily as to how could it be publicly acknowledged that such a high honor had been bestowed upon a man wrongfully accused, abandoned, betrayed and destroyed for mere political expediency. The hypocrisy of the betrayal of General Mihailovich by the Allies would then have to come to light and the political powers would have to be held accountable for the wrong decisions that were made and kept at a crucial point in our history.
I love the Mihailovich story. It has all the elements of a genuine and tragic drama. Most of the people involved never received the official accolades their efforts and their loyalty deserved. What stays foremost in my mind is the fact that General Mihailovich organized and facilitated the great rescues of the American and Allied airmen in 1944, long after he was abandoned by the Allied leaders and left to face the Nazi and Communist forces alone.
I can only begin to aspire to that kind of nobility of character and unselfishness. The Mihailovich story, no matter how tragic, will always serve as an inspiration to do the right thing no matter what. And for him, the cost was great. He did the right thing from start to finish, having already borne the gross injustices of the charges being leveled against him and the extent to which those false and contrived charges were used to justify abandoning him for political expediency. It is noteworthy that upon the end of the war, Sir Winston Churchill, the Allied leader most responsible for the abandonment of General Mihailovich, ended up deeply regretting his decisions and policies. But by that time, the injustices and the errors in judgment could not be undone. And the great General was gone.
We cannot resurrect General Mihailovich. We cannot reverse history. But we can acknowledge the wrongs that were committed against him and honor him the way he deserves to be honored. I am so glad that Serbia seems to finally be on her way to publicly honoring one of her greatest heroes and one who gave far more than he ever got in return. I am happy, too, that some of those folks for whom this story is paramount in their lives have lived to see the Medal released, among them my father.
I am sad that so many of those for whom the release of this Legion of Merit medal would have meant so much are no longer with us and did not live to see this happen. So many of them were part of the story and lived it. Captain Nikola Lalich, Colonel Nick Stepanovich, Zvonko Vuckovich, Captain George Guv Musulin, and so many others, among them veterans and survivors of the war who remained true Chetniks in their hearts to the end of their lives. I wish most of all that Major Richard Felman, who passionately and ceaselessly devoted the last fifty years of his life to the cause, had lived to make the visit to Serbia in May of 2005 to see the Mihailovich Medal finally come home. You can bet he would have ignored the directive to keep things quiet he would have been shouting from the mountaintops. I hope that wherever he is, General Draza is right there with him and that they are celebrating together.
Our most sincere thanks go out to the airmen who did make the historic trip to Serbia in May for keeping the faith all these years and for never forgetting their debt of gratitude.
July 2, 2005
"The Holocaust Museum still repeats verbatem the Titoist lies -- laregely because the Museum is run by the US State Department who finds these lies quite convenient while they continue to screw the Serbs!"
The US State Department has been rotten since the time when Roosevelt acted as Yes man for Churchill's idiotic betrayal of Milhalovitch.
Roosevelt (and Truman's) Secretary of State, Dean Acheson
REFUSED TO EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE the many messages from the over 500 US fliers Milhalovitch and the Chetniks saved from Hitler in Yugoslavia during WW II.
DO YOU REMEMBER when the head of the Holocaust Museum was forced to "resign" a few years back when he refused to give Arafat, the Jew-Killer, a tour of the museum (as ordered by the US State Department).
They replaced him with someone who danced better for the lefty, anti-US State Department line.
The Holocaust Museum still repeats verbatem the Titoist lies --
That is the most disgusting thing I have seen in a long time.
Maybe, maybe not. The problem is that the Serbs always feel like they are the most put-upon people in the world. In fact the title of this article seems to be almost a caricature of the stereotypical Serb attitude.
1939: "It is all Jews fault!"
2006: "It is all Serbs fault!"
Good point. Serbs should just say "We are legitimate sovereing nation, respect that or go f***c yourself"
And Americand should say the same to all those NGOs and EU politicians...
Just because we're paranoid, it doesn't mean that everybody isn't out to get us :-)
That attitude stated largely because of this Mihailovic issue.
For forty years, many supporters of Mihailovic who were forced into exile were falsely labeled as "Nazi colaborators" by British & American writers who supported Tito, mainly because this Legion of Merit Award remained secret. Then, rescued Americans like Major Felman ran into solid brick walls when Felman tried to see Mihailovic honored, which were also erected by the US State Dept who didn't want to offend Tito and who were reinforced by many of the real WWII Nazi collaborators who had been Mihailovic's enemies. Andrija Artukovic, 2nd in command in the WWII Nazi Regime in Croatia (which wantonly murdered over 500,000 Serb civilians), lived openly in San Pedro, CA for nearly forty years! He wasn't deported to stand trial until the 1980's. Just how would you feel if you were a Serb back then?
And all of this happened long before the Balkan Wars of the 1990's and had nothing to do with it. Point being, the Serbs were getting screwed -- even in the US -- for a long time before anything happened over in the former Yugo during the 1990's.
It all comes down to this -- Britain and the US were duped during WWII by Soviet spies in British Intellegence re Yugoslavia, so the US & Britain handed Yugoslavia over to Tito & the communists at the end of WWII. For the last 60 years, the US State Department has tried to pretend that they weren't duped by communists back then (when they really were) and have defended with all their might probably the stupidest decision of the entire war. And, no one has paid a bigger price for that stupid decision than the Serbs. The break-up of the former Yugoslavia was a perfect time for the incompetent idiots at the State Department (I am an American) to bury this longstanding screw-up by selling out the Serbs one more time. It wasn't in the interest of the American people, but it WAS in the interest of a bunch of backward-ass bureaucrats at the State Department who wished to defend 60 years of abject stupidity by dumping a former ally one more time -- an ally who had saved 500 American lives when there was nothing in it for them except the principle of the thing .
Every Serb in the former Yugoslavia may not have been "a saint" in fighting their wartime enemies in the 1990's and I am no fan of Milosevic, but there is no doubt whatever in my mind that the US screwed the Serbs six ways from Sunday when Serbs have never been anything but an ally to America!
You want to know what "a real Serb" is like? Think "Don't Leave Home Without It". Karl Malden is an American Serb and was virtually every American kid's daddy-figure when I was growing up. He's what a real Serb walks and talks like, not the characature that has been painted for the American people during the last 15 years of anti-Serb propaganda.
I'm with you on that one!
I don't remember that, but I'd like to know who that guy was, because I'd hire him in a minute -- he's got integrity!
"The Holocaust Museum still repeats verbatem the Titoist lies" --
That is the most disgusting thing I have seen in a long time."
I was very upset when I went to the US Holocaust Museum website and found that they still use the old communist propaganda re "Mihailovic as a Nazi collaborator http://www.ushmm.org/uia-cgi/uia_doc/photos/2178?hr=null , and they don't mention the Legion of Merit Award, nor the rescue of American pilots. They also list Serb victims at Jasenovac as "prominent Serb nationalists" http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/index.php?ModuleId=10005178&Type=normal+article (click on personal stories below Jovanka's name and it will give you 3 stories which all use this terminology) I wrote to them and I suggest that everyone else should as well.
Sorry about that. The Museum moved the page on Mihailovich : http://www.ushmm.org/uia-cgi/uia_doc/photos/2192?hr=null
Greatest tragedy of today is not war in Iraq, not war in Afghanistan, not Middle East, but the fact that USA and Serbia are so much simmilar in political wiew, in conservative issues, and USA still is hostile towards Serbia. They two would make such great allies
In March 1948, President Truman posthumously awarder Medal of Merit to General Mihailovich.
At that time, Tito was firmly in Stalin's fold, two bit commie dictator and U.S. had no reason to be afraid to anger him, quite contrary.
Only three months later, in June 1948 Tito renegged against Stalin.
The entire world was taken by surprise when Tito said NO to Uncle Joe. I would say, it was not that difficult when he had Uncle Sam behind him.
I guess that this is the reason why the Medal of Merit was kept secret. U.S. was not afraid of angering two bit commie dictator, but of ruining on-going plan to use Tito as a silent partner in Commie block.
That is disgusting communist propaganda---at a US "museum."
Disgusting---and hard to believe.
Something should be done about that.
You don't have a clue, do you?
Nice try--but it doesn't wash.
Milhalovitch was betrayed by Churchill long before that.
Dragoljub Draza Mihajlovic (1893-1946), colonel [ Milhalovitch was a GENERAL--and the head of the Yugoslav army--calling him a 'colonel' illustrates the falsness of this crap right as it begins ] in the Yugoslav army and leader of the Chetniks. Born in Ivanjica, Serbia, Mihajlovic fought in the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) and World War I. By the time of the German invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, he had obtained the rank of colonel in the Yugoslav army. After the Yugoslav surrender, Mihajlovic gathered around him a group of Serbian soldiers who were united in their loyalty to the royal house and organized them into a underground [ There was nothing 'underground' about the Chetniks ] militia that became known as the Chetniks. In 1941 Mihajlovic was appointed minister of war by King Peter and the Yugoslav government-in-exile. In July and August of that year, Mihajlovic and his men took part in the uprising against the Germans, during which he cooperated [ TOTALLY FALSE in every way. He never 'co-operated with commie Tito in any way. What a STRANGE choice of words ] with the Yugoslav partisans under Josip Broz Tito. The uprising, however, was brutally suppressed by the Germans, leading Mihajlovic to rethink his position. He concluded that there was no point in fighting against the Germans, [ TOTALLY FALSE---He and the Chetniks fought the Germans throughout WWII. Their blowing up of the trains carrying tank parts through Yugoslavia to the top of Italy which were meant to supply Rommel in Africa was a major factor in the defeat of Rommel ] that his focus should be on the fate of Yugoslavia after the war, and that his true enemy was the communist partisan movement under Tito. [ Correct. When Milhalovitch fought the Germans, Tito hung around the back and attacked Milhalovitch as he was fighting the Germans ]. As a result, Mihajlovic left off his struggle with the German invaders by the end of 1941 [ HORSES**** ] and gradually developed a collaborative relationship with the Italians and Germans against the partisans. [ That is raw propaganda. Milhalovitch and the Chetniks rescued and spirited to safety over 500 US fliers shot down by the Nazis. Why is there NO MENTION of this basic fact? ] In response [ to a communist spy infiltrating the British Intelligence located in Africa and replacing Milhalovitch's name with that of Tito every time Milhalovitch fought the Germans in war dispatches sent to Churchill ], the Allies switched their support to the partisans who were fighting the Germans [ FALSE--They were fighting the Chetniks ] and came to view the Chetniks as Nazi collaborators. [ DISGUSTING ]After the occupation of Serbia by the partisans and the Soviet army, the Chetniks were hunted down. Mihajlovic went into hiding, but was captured and arrested on March 13, 1946. Found guilty [ by communist Tito's kangaroo court ] of treason and collaboration, he was executed in Belgrade in 1946. [Source: Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, English edition, S.v. "Chetniks."]
I have no doubt that Truman had realized the United States and Great Britain's error and the medal was awarded as a result.
Roosevelt may have been delusional enough to believe that the US and Communists could coexist, but the Truman Doctrine in 1947 declared that the United States would actively resist the expansion of Communism.
Hindsight, you know.
Some good books on WWII Yugoslavia:
"The Web of Disinformation" by David Martin
"The Rape of Serbia" by Michael Lees
"Wartime" by Milovan Djilas.
The Web of Disinformation actually ties the WWII Soviet disinformation re Yugoslavia to a guy named Klugman in Cairo who not only handled all WWII British intelligence reports on WWII Yugoslavia, but who also recruited the infamous Soviet double-agents, Burgess and Philby, while they were at Cambridge. Really interesting stuff!
and Acheson refused to acknowledge or reply to the message sent to him by over 500 US fliers rescued by Milhalovitch and his Chetniks
during the phony "Star Chamber" trial communist Tito held for Milhalovitch before "convicting" Milhalovitch and shooting him to death on a golf course.
David Martin wrote three books on Milhalovitch.
The first is titled ALLY BETRAYED.
The last of the three books pinpoints the communist British spy who worked his way into British military intelligence reporting to Churchill from Africa who replaced Milhalovitch's name with that of Tito in each report sent to Churchill from Yugoslavia on [what was actually Milhalovitch and the Chetniks] fighting the Germans.
The spy's name was James Klugman.
David Martin spent decades traveling back and forth from the US to England to finally uncover Klugman--whom he terms the "Fifth Man," along with the other British traitors Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean and Anthony Blunt.
This final book by David Martin is titled THE WEB OF DISINFORMATION----CHURCHILL'S YUGOSLAV BLUNDER.
published by Harcourt Brace Iovoanovich: 1990
It is fascinating story Germans were constantly fed false information where the second front in Europe will be opened. Hitler was led to believe that it will be Adriatic after Sicily. And it was the main reason why he held 16 divisions in the Balkans.
Tito was part of this deception plan. Radio London constantly augmented the number of his troops. Tito's emisaries (Velebit et al. ) contacted Germnans and offered to fight together when the Allies land (sic!). Hiter refused it, but the British bait was served. When it became difficult to hide the massive buidup in England, Gen. Patton was put in charge of complete bogus army that gave impression of landing plans north of real Overlord landing in Normandy.
Some parts of these documents are still classified.
Why Churchil trusted Tito? My wild guess is because was triple agent, working first for the Germans, then for the Soviets and finally for the Brits. I would put the time of his recruitment in 1937, when he formed Politburo of Yugoslav Commubist party without Commintern's instruction. Somebody instructed him, for sure.
There is a well documented episode. After the Brits saved Tito's hide after Otto Skorceny's descente in Drvar and airlifted Tito to island of Vis, Tito clandestinely flew with Soviet plane to Moscow to meet Stalin. Churchill was furious. It is odd, Tito was a declared commie and went to see Stalin, nothin unusual and can not explain Churchil's anger, except if Tito was OHMSS and did not inform superiors of his initiative beforehand. This requires a lot of archive digging.
WEB OF DISINFORMATION
CHURCHILL'S YUGOSLAV BLUNDER
Harcourt Brace Ivanovic: 1990
David Martin interviewed the Brits directly involved in Yugoslavia in WWII. He made repeated trips to England over a period of decades for that purpose.
He had to handle British intelligence and military people involved in WWII at lunches etc. on his trips to England.
Over a period of decades they gradually gave more information.
That is how David Martin uncovered James Klugman, the communist who the British idiots let replace Milhalovitch's name with Tito's every time Milhalovitch and the Chetniks fought the Germans.
Your comment "This requires a lot of archive digging."
shows me you are of the same mentality as the typical university professor.
You can't conceive that live people exist and can actually contacted , talked to, and ---if handled with intelligence--can be gotten to talk.
David Martin did this over a period of decades.
Your comment "when this book was written" is typical of the self-important members of academia.
Many things about WWII are stll classiffied for a reason- it shows how the things were done and why. When the known pieces of the puzle are put together, classified although can not be read stand out as a white sillhouette.
Here is a riddle. During WWII, U.S. was in dire shortage of pilots, the casualties over German skies were around 50%. Yet, U.S. did notthing to airlift 500 American and 100 other allied flyboys from Serbia, although Mihailovich begged Americans to come and rescue them. The question is why. Also,why those 500, the largest U.S. airmen recue behind the enemy lines were ignored and their story remained unknown to American public, even 60 years after the war.Capt. O'Grady was given his five minutes of fame, they were flattly denied. I would say, their story was not over when the war ended.
America did rescue them and used a number of Serb-Americans to do it -- Misulin, Lalich, Stepanovich. America did not trust the British to get them out, nor did America even trust British intelligence in the Balkans because everytime they had -- something went wrong. All communication lines were directly with Americans.
And this may answer your second question -- if the real truth be told, British intelligence was compromised. (This was later proven by "the Cambridge set" affair.) But Britain & the US always cover each other's flubs.
Here is a pretty detailed account of the WWII rescue of the American pilots from Yugoslavia (below the photos): http://www.pogledi.co.yu/english/airbridge/index.php