Serbia cleared of genocide
Though this might seem like a good opportunity to celebrate, I hesitate in doing so. Firstly it is outrageous that the UN court had the audacity to 'try' Serbia given the fact that the UN refused to examine the NATO bombardment of Serbia in 1999 on the basis that Serbia was not a UN member! Given that the crime Serbia was tried for was supposedly commited in the 1995, it was not a member of the UN at that time either. Niether was the province of Bosnia. So despite the fact that the right conclusion was reached, I never recognised the legitimacy of the court to try Serbia in the first place any more than I recognised the political circus located in the Hague.
If we examine the ruling more closely we'll find a second major issue. In this report I found the following statement:
the court made clear that Serbia could have done more to prevent genocide during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia Herzegovina. "Serbia violated its obligation under the Genocide Convention to prevent genocide in Srebrenica" by not using its influence in the region, the court said.
The implication here is that it is a crime 'not to use ones influence' to prevent genocide. How states are supposed to predict the location and time of genocides that occur outside their borders in advance , and 'exert influence' to stop them is baffling. Perhaps America should be a candidate for failing to exert its influence to prevent Israeli aggressions.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, although the court finds Serbia as a state not-guilty, it still refers to Srebrenica as a genocide in which 8000 people died. There are so many myths surrounding Srebrenica that I don't quite know where to start. Not many people know that Srebrenica was taken 3 times by Serbian forces. In the first days of the war, April 1992, Bosnian Serb troops siezed the town, but agreed to withdraw, accepting that it would be a demilitarized zone. Instead of abiding by the agreement, Muslim forces, led by Nasser Oric, used the town as a staging point to attack surrounding Serbian villages.
In April of 1993, Serbian forces fought their way into Srebrenica a second time. NATO threatened to bomb Serb troops and an agreement was reached whereby the town would be part of a 'Safe area'. Despite the terms of the agreement, the UN allowed Muslims to carry on infiltrating weapons and troops into Srebrenica, and were powerless (or unwilling) to stop attacks on Serbian villages. There is evidence that this was part of a deliberate ploy on the part of the Muslims to enrage and provoke Serbs into reprisals.
In February 12, 2004, testifying at The Hague, the UN military commander in Bosnia at the time, General Morillon, stressed that the Muslim commander in Srebrenica, Naser Oric,
"engaged in attacks during Orthodox holidays and destroyed villages, massacring all the inhabitants. This created a degree of hatred that was quite extraordinary in the region, and this prompted the region of Bratunac in particular---that is the entire Serb population---to rebel against the very idea that through humanitarian aid one might help the population that was present there."
Finally, for the third time, in 1995, Serbian forces entered the town for good. Meanwhile, the Muslim high command in Sarajevo ordered the Srebrenica commanders, Oric and his lieutenants, to withdraw from Srebrenica, leaving thousands of his soldiers without commanders, without orders, and in total confusion when the foreseeable Serb attack occurred. The thousands of Muslim troops did not attempt to defend the town and tried to break through the encirclement and make their way to Muslim controlled territory in nearby Tuzla. The main column ran into a Serb ambush, though a good part managed to reach safety . Given that we know that Muslims bombed their own civilians for the 'good of the cause', there is no reason why they would not sacrifice fighters for the same reason. Especially since they were of dubious use in a surrounded an indefencible pocket. Surviving Srebrenica Muslim officials have bitterly accused the Izetbegovic (Muslim President at the time) government of deliberately sacrificing them to the interests of his State.
Edward Herman explains how the Muslims and the media used the confusion to manipulate the numbers of dead, missing and captured:
The Srebrenica events had a number of features that made it possible to claim 8,000 "men and boys" executed. One was the confusion and uncertainty about the fate of the fleeing Bosnian Muslim forces, some reaching Tuzla safely, some killed in the fighting, and some captured. The 8,000 figure was first provided by the Red Cross, based on their crude estimate that the Bosnian Serb Army had captured 3,000 men and that 5,000 were reported "missing." It is well established that thousands of those "missing" had reached Tuzla or were killed in the fighting, but in an amazing transformation displaying the eagerness to find the Bosnian Serbs evil and the Muslims victims, the "reaching safety/killed-in-action" basis of being missing was ignored and the missing were taken as executed! This misleading conclusion was helped along by the Red Cross's reference to the 5,000 as having "simply disappeared," and its failure to correct this politically biased usage and claim despite its own recognition that "several thousand" refugees had reached Central Bosnia.
While some Muslim soldiers were summarily executed on the battlefield, the number has been grossly inflated. To reach the popularly accepted figure, you have to assume that no Muslims were captured by Serb forces, and no Muslims made it to safety. Even then you have to go looking for non-existant mass graves because there just isn't enough bodies. Even if every single dead body was (a) Muslim (b) the result of an execution, you still fall far short. Despite unprecedented efforts over the past ten years to recover bodies from the area around Srebrenica, less than 3,000 have been exhumed, and these include soldiers and others-Serb as well as Muslim-who died in the vicious combats that took place during three years of war, not on one fictitious but hugely symbolic day.
In any case, execution of men on the battlefield seem to me a lot less repugnant than the burning of villages, killing of women and children, and torture of civilians in barbaric ways. The photos show the work of Nasser Oric's forces before the Serb forces routed the 28th Regiment of the Bosnian Muslim Army. I hesitate to post them, but if people want to moralise about genocides from the comfort of their sofas, they should be prepared to see both sides of the gruesome story. The photo above is of Milan Vujicic. His body was mutilated before he was then roasted.The photo below shows the body of Nenad Beribaka. Bosnian Muslim forces operating out of the 'Safe haven' of Srebrenica mutilated his body after killing him by extracting his brain.
The commander of Bosnian Muslim forces in the area, Oric, delighted in showing Western journalists home videos of himself beheading civilians. His punishment- he was immediately released from jail upon being found guilty due to the fact that he was given a 2 year sentance and the trial had lasted that long! Meanwhile the West attempts to hold Serbia to ransom for Serbian military leaders who did not order any massacre, much less personally delighted in torturing and killing women and children.
Here are some articles on Srebrenica for those interested in reading up more:
[UPDATE: Upon request I have dug up more links and information on Oric, and Srebrenica. Unfortunately there has been little investigative journalism done on the massacres commited by Oric. That information which we have, no mainstream media outlet was willing to host in the days of the war, yet alone 10 years later.]