US Myths and Bosnian Truths

Was Bosnia Worth It?

In yesterday’s Washington Post, Richard Holbrooke published his reflections not only on his recent visit to the Srebrenica commemoration, but also on the way in which the war in Bosnia came to its end a decade ago.

There is naturally much in his piece that I can agree with, most particularly his description of the very real progress that we have seen in Bosnia during the last decade. We have seen more of refugee return that I think most would have believed should be the case.

But his description of how the war was brought to an end continues a tradition of mythology that bears only a limited relationship to the real story.

He implies that it was all a question of some sort of military intervention, notably the use of air power.

There are small but significant factual errors in his article. Just one example. In a key passage, he writes the following:

It is by now universally understood that a great crime was committed in Srebrenica. As assistant secretary of state for European affairs at the time, I argued, unsuccessfully, that we needed NATO airstrikes to stop the Bosnian Serbs — bullies who preferred long-range artillery and short-range murder to anything resembling a real military operation. But Britain, France and the Netherlands had troops deployed, as part of the United Nations’ peacekeeping force, in three extremely exposed enclaves in eastern Bosnia, including Srebrenica. Facing the brutal threats of Mladic, they refused to consider airstrikes until the Dutch troops were ignominiously escorted out of Srebrenica. By then it was too late.”

This all sounds nice, but I don’t think anyone is aware of any intervention by him in favour of more use of air power in the case of Srebrenica. I talked to him during the critical weekend, as well as others, and this was not mentioned either by him or by others.

In fact, air power was used against the advancing Bosnian Serbs in Srebrenica, but proved massively ineffective. The fighters had great difficulty finding any targets, are were also afraid of being hit by fire from the ground. One could argue that there should have been even more of this, but I know of no one with factual knowledge that believes that this would have made any difference.

He claims that Britain, France and the Netherlands were against air strikes since they had troops in the eastern enclaves. Well, France did not, and it is entirely wrong to say that no air strikes were made until the Dutch had left Srebrenica.

In fact, the British commander of the UN force had ordered air strikes on a number of occasions previously, although he certainly did not see such as the sole solution. And there were air strikes at Srebrenica.

Later, more massive air strikes were made. But a recently published CIA assessment is very much in line with my long-held view that they had far less impact on the ground that on the TV screens. The capabilities of the Bosnian Serb forces were only very marginally affected by them.

What then lead to the end of the war? Wasn’t the role of Richard Holbrooke and Washington of critical importance?

It certainly was – but in a very different ways.

Up until then Washington had been blocking practically every serious attempt to achieve a political settlement. As late as during that spring, they had overturned a deal negotiated by one of their own very best diplomats. There were deep and profoundly disruptive divisions in Washington over what to do with Bosnia.

Shocked also by Srebrenica, minds were finally focused in Washington, and a realistic political strategy started to emerge. The key part of this was the agreement that Bosnia should be a state of two entities, one of which should be the Republika Srpska.

It was when Washington agreed to the setting up of Republika Srpska, and pressed Sarajevo into doing the same, that the war come to its end. The peace was based on a political deal – not a military campaign or a couple of bombs.

This is a reality that doesn’t fit to well with the myth that most things in the world can be achieved by a little bombing. It can’t – and it was a very limited importance in Bosnia as well.

Does it make any difference?

Yes, I believe it does, since erroneous myths about the past can easily lead to erroneous policies in the future. Ending wars is a difficult process itself – it does not get easier if there are profoundly distorted lessons from the past.

So, the US role was critical, and no one was more important that Richard Holbrooke in getting Washington to wake up to the realities. He deserves massive credit for that.

But the historical truth about what that role really was is very different from the myths that continue to make the rounds in the media – including in this article by Richard Holbrooke.

40 Responses to US Myths and Bosnian Truths

  1. Sven K skriver:

    The goal of a military campaign is to force the enemy to negotiations, which eventually succeeded. The bombings were really massive, but then it all ended quickly.

    Dealing with terrorist regimes and alike requires a lot of military skill and power, a historic lesson.

  2. Björn Hallberg skriver:

    There are so many problems with US involvement in Yugoslavia, one hardly knows were to begin. I would even go so far as to say that the US played a part in re-igniting old conflicts and encouraging the breakdown of Yugoslavia, mainly because of the complete lack of influence over the region. Yugoslavia being untouchable and dangerously socialist under Tito. But that is an entirely different story.

    I’m still baffled by the one-sided history lessons that we keep getting even to this day. With Bosnian Muslims always being the victims and Serbs, bosnian or otherwise, being demonized. It’s sad. And even sadder to see misinformation being perpetuated. Like the effectiveness of terror air campaigns. Not wanting to discuss how difficult and bloody the US made the peace and how the new massive US military bases in the region will be there indefinitely.

    Alexander Solzhenitsyn perhaps said it best at the time: ”I don’t see any difference in the behaviour of NATO and of Hitler. NATO wants to erect its own order in the world and it needs Yugoslavia simply as an example: We’ll punish Yugoslavia and the whole rest of the planet will tremble.”
    NATO of course being synonymous with the US.

  3. T K Vogel skriver:

    I must say I *do* see a difference between Hitler and Nato — for example, I’m not aware of Nato gassing millions in concentration camps or attacking scores of neighboring countries. I also fail to see why it’s ”one-sided” to point out that the Serbs started the war in former Yugoslavia and committed by far the most of the atrocities (though one shouldn’t, of course, claim that they were the only ones to commit war crimes). But maybe blaming the U.S., as Mr Bildt seems to enjoy doing, is a normal reaction of us Europeans, who watched the carnage in former Yugo for years without doing anything to stop it. (We *did* do a lot to alleviate the suffering, and France, for example, lost over 150 soldiers in the course, if memory serves well. But we did *nothing* effective to stop the war, even though it was clearly within our area of responsibility, not that of the U.S.)

  4. Alan Kocevic skriver:

    Björn, the war in Bosnia was a Serbian aggression and not a civil war. Not only were the Serbs militarily superior to Bosniaks but they also received full diplomatic support from Russia and Greece.

    My grandmother spent three years in Srebrenica while under constant bombardment, with no clean water, electricity and little food. Fortunately, she survived. My grandfather was not that lucky, he war killed along with 8000 civilians.

    NATO intervention was warranted and justiffiable since all negotiations with the tyrant (read Milosevic) clearly failed. It would be Milosevic’s way or no way at all. The only regrettable thing was that the NATO did not intervene sooner. Had the NATO intervened immediately then the carnage would have been avoided and approximately 300,000 lives would have been saved.

    Let me ask you one thing: if you had been trapped in Srebrenica while daily under heavy artillery with little food, clean water and electricity, would you have opposed a NATO intervention? Be honest!

    Bear in mind that it was Serbia that attacked Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and ultimately Kosovo! This is an irrefutable fact. If all countries were indeed equally guilty, how do you explain the fact that none of the above mentioned countries attacked Serbia?

  5. Alan Kocevic skriver:

    I hereby invite all of you to read my paper Proving Genocide in Bosnia. I welcome feedback and look forward to an intellectual debate.

    http://genocideinbosnia.blogspot.com

  6. Sven K skriver:

    Sweden is another dark corner of Europe producing and hailing dictatorship and executing hard solutions in order to stay in power and dismantle democracy for good.

  7. simulev skriver:

    Mr Bild claim:
    ”US Myths and Bosnian Truth”

    Alan Kocevic said…
    ”superior to Bosniaks

    A new people again, like the ”Palestinians”? How interesting. Any common nominator with a certain religion that is spreading with the force of terror and war in it’s path?

    Hey, I found an article in Israeli National News”:

    […]
    I can find no mention of any ‘nation of Palestine’ in history books. The creation of this mythical state, complete with a ‘people’ called ‘the Palestinians’, has been a project of the NATO governments, the media and Arab leaders. We saw the same thing in the Balkans. There, Western and Muslim leaders created two imaginary peoples. One, called ‘Kosovars’, were ordinary Albanians living in Kosovo, the cradle of Serbian national culture (the Jerusalem of Serbia). The other, called ‘Bosniaks’, were Muslims living in the Yugoslav administrative unit called Bosnia-Herzegovina, where they were not a majority and where Serbian Christian peasants farmed most of the land.

    The Western media transformed these Muslims into ‘peoples’ and gave them brand names, marketing them as rightful owners of the false nations of Bosnia and Kosovo. In this way, Serbs could be portrayed as occupying a supposedly foreign land. When NATO mobilized the ‘Bosniaks’ and ‘Kosovars’ to destroy a real country – Yugoslavia – Western citizens were sold the lie that this was national liberation.

    This is the pattern for NATO nation-destroying. The media portrays a local ethnic population with a weakness for racism as an ‘oppressed nation’. This group is mobilized against a real nation that has been the historic object of its hatred. It is encouraged to launch terrorist attacks against the real nation. The media portrays this terror as a tragically violent attempt to win justified demands. NATO and the UN intervene, aiding and abetting the terrorists to destroy the target nation.

    Cases in point: Albanians in Macedonia and Kosovo; Muslims in Bosnia; and ‘Palestinian’ Arabs living in Israel and the disputed territories, ethnically identical to Arabs in Jordan, Egypt and Syria (Arafat, the ‘Palestinian’ symbol, is from Egypt). By constantly referring to them as ‘Palestinians’, the media has imbued them with national status. This was aided by the refusal of Arab governments to let ‘Palestinian’ refugees become citizens in the Arab states; by the UN, which has given them a fortune in aid on condition that they remain ‘Palestinians’ and refugees; and by the US government, which coerced Israel to accept a ‘Palestinian state’.

    The ‘Palestinians’ are defined by their purpose, stated in the constitution of Arafat’s group, Fatah. Their ‘liberation’ requires the ”eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.” Peace negotiations may be a useful ploy, but ”[a]rmed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic… and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished…”
    […]

    And here seems to be a an archive about Mr Bildt favourite issue of historic truths.

  8. simulev skriver:

    Okay, found a Bosnia 101 primer, written by Dr Nikolaos A. Stavrou, professor of International Affairs at Howard University. Seems his judgement of historical truths are hard.

    So I wonder why Bildt dont mention the Islamic ”bosniaks” volunter participation to waffen SS (under Arafats supposed uncle) with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem? Muslims in extermination units under Nazi flag. The co-operation with Hitler in attrocities and genocide? Well that’s history some might claim? Well then, wonder what Bildt has to say then about the ”modern” Alija Izetbegovic, the ”Bosniak” leader during 1990-1996?

    Prior the Yugoslavian civil war, where the ”bosniaks” grosly violated the Helsinki accords and it’s own constitution of Bosnia Hercegovina, he had already wrote the book The Islamic Declaration

    Some of the visions the Bosniak President already had stipulated in his own writings…

    ”… the Islamic movement should and must start taking over the power as soon as it is morally and numerically strong enough to not only overthrow the existing non-Islamic, but also to build up a new Islamic authority. …”

    The leadership for the religion of peace has spoken once again.

  9. Sven K skriver:

    Western overall interest is to keep Europe and the rest of the world on a stable and peaceful course. Letting the region defuse itself seemed inevitble due to historical records, and a safer option at that time than to try to sustain a ´Swedish situation´ by artificial means and even worse perspectives.

  10. Alan Kocevic skriver:

    Simulev, I have never seen so much nonsense in my whole life. You have no idea what you are talking about.

    If you wish to learn something about the history of Bosnia, I strongly suggest that you read the most authoritative book on the subject matter BOSNIA A SHORT HISTORY by Noel Malcolm before you embarass yourself any further!

    Your comment is the worst piece of propaganda I have ever read, dangerously similar to that propagated by Serbian ultra-nationalists and fascists.

  11. simulev skriver:

    ”Your comment is the worst piece of […]”

    My comment?
    It’s linkings to an archive, an professor of International Affairs at Howard University, and printed statements in Israel National News.

    But, so i take it -you disagree with

    A) Muslims willingly volunter to serv in SS extermination units?
    B) Muslims violating violated Helsinki accords and it’s own constitution of Bosnia Hercegovina?
    C) Muslim ”modern bosniak” leadership printed facist instruction on Muslim jihad?

    Well, if that’s then the case, allow me then to let me also introduce impartial professor Gil White.

    Who started the war in Bosnia? And who committed genocide?

  12. simulev skriver:

    As I asked yesterday….

    Well then, wonder what Bildt has to say then about the ”modern” Alija Izetbegovic, the ”Bosniak” leader during 1990-1996?

    OMFG…Carl, how could you?

    ”Det hände förvisso att Izetbegovic och jag hade olika syn på saker och ting, men det hindrade inte att jag hade en mycket stor respekt för honom som person,”

    Please, it’s vital tell us now, are there any other extreme fundamental islamofacist warcriminals that you have ”great respect for as a person”?

    […]
    ”och att vi inte sällan både under och efter min tid i Bosnien kunde ha långa samtal som gick långt utanför det som var våra officiella synpunkter eller positioner.”

    So, you spent amply time with him? Then you knew him? Really well?

    Han var en djupt troende man vars livsuppgift var att kämpa för rätten för den muslimska traditionen i Bosnien.

    Carl, read cloesly now, the historic ”Muslim tradition” included setting up pure Muslim Waffen SS divisions, where Izetbegovic himself served first as a recruiter, that later exterminated all opposition in some of the worst war crimes known to Yugoslavia. Is that the ”rights” you are speaking of? Because that’s what’s Izetbegovic precisly first was talking about -and then did AGAIN!

    ”När jag kommer hem till Stockholm skall jag ta fram hans bok om Islam och Väst och läsa om delar av den igen. Han gav den till mig med förhoppningen att jag en gång skulle förstå den i dess helhet. Än är jag inte där.”

    You do that Carl. Please. A fast primer crash course on political Islam for a European politican as yourself, who served in mission at Bosnia. He handed over himself his testimonial. And you did not during these years even take the time to read, the one you were suppose to watch, ”respected” own words?

    Then you could pick up Mein Kamfp also, and compare…

  13. Alan Kocevic skriver:

    Why am I not surprised that you suggest the emperors-clothes as a credible source on the war in Bosnia? That website does not contain a single element of truth about the war in Bosnia.

    In case you people wonder what kind of a website I am talking about, consider the following: this website holds Milosevic in high regard and claims that he has not masterminded the war in Bosnia and Kosovo. Moreover, this website also holds notorious war criminals such as Mladic and Karadzic in high regard.
    For those who wish to know the truth about Milosevic, please read one of the most authoritative books on the collapse of Yugoslavia- YUGOSLAVIA DEATH OF A NATION by Laura Silber and Allan Little.

    As regards the Islamic fundamentalism in Bosnia, there is no such thing. That is a concept invented by Serbian ultra-nationalists and fascists. Please check BOSNIA A SHORT HISTORY by Noel Malcolm.

    Simulev, how do you explain the fact that every single church remained intact in the area controlled by Bosnian Muslims while every single mosque was destroyed in the area controlled by Bosnian Serbs. Who is the fundamentalist here? What about the books written by Draskovic and Njegos, both Serbian nationalists who still refer to Bosnian Muslims as Turks even though more than six centuries have passed since the Turkish presence in the Balkans.

    Do you need more proof? See the videotape of the gruesome execution of six defenseless and powerless Muslim men!

  14. simulev skriver:

    ”that he [Milosevic] has not masterminded the war in Bosnia”

    Well, with all the presented facts and logics, it rather seems it was the ”moderate” Waffen SS islamofacist Alija Izetbegovic nazi war criminal highest dream. Stated in his own writings.
    To steal the serbian pecants land, of wich they legally owned 70%, and cleanse and produce the Islamic theocracy of the ”country Bosnia”.

    And how strange it seems to be the same pattern where the jihadist [warning -very strong images] swing their swords. Islamic human decapitation during civil war, a decade prior Iraqi/Pakinstani equal savagery in Allah’s name against innocent civilans.

  15. andnilkun skriver:

    Just a moment here.
    What does Waffen SS got to do with this. The only reason for the bosniaks cooperatinon with the germans was to fight the Chetniks. Even you should know that what the germans did to the jews(even if it was horrible) was nothing to what sovjet did agains the people of Europe, about 70 milion dead. The worst holocaust to this date.
    So keep you arguments to the issue…
    And even you should know that there was a state called Paletine on the same soil Israel was placed on, so one can almost understand their aggression.

    I say as I use to.
    Invite a Palestinian for dinner and make friends like normal people.

  16. gjon skriver:

    The Israelis and the Arabs are the same people. The only thing that separates the Israelss and the Arabs is their religions. The Israelis are not better than the Arabs thats why I don’t think that arabians(israel) should not interfere in the Balkans. What make you an expert in the Balkans? The serbian people do not like jewish people so my question is why do you israel(jude) support the serbian people. I do not mean that you should take the albanians side or the bosniens but you have to know the history before you open your mouth arabian boy. This is Europe not the Middle East so do not interfere the religions in the Balkans because religion has nothing with war to do.

  17. simulev skriver:

    ”What does Waffen SS got to do with this”

    The Nazi Connection to Islamic Terrorism

    And the ”moderate Bosniak” leadership was a Waffen SS recruter, during the WWII along with some 20 000 of his ”bosniak” volunters to the pure islamofacist corps under nazi flag. The infamous SS Handjar division exterminated Jews and Serbs, before he turned the region into civil war again 1990 and stole Serbian land.

    ”you should know that there was a state called Paletine”
    You are a joke, what year was that?
    And the truthful answer is ofcourse that uptodate there have never ever existed such a soverign state, nation or kingdom, in history -ever.

  18. andnilkun skriver:

    The state of Palestine was declared as a part of the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) It states: ”State of Palestine on our Palestinian territory with its capital Jerusalem”. Later UN General Assembly Resolution 181 also made the state leagal and at the same time created a new state called Israel.
    What you say about the German connection to the leaders of Bosnia may well be true and ofcourse it is regrettable to hear about that. Waffen SS was responable for many deaths, both jews, christians and muslims. But as Slobodan Milošević was an important part of the communist party and often accused of having Stalin as a rolemodel, I think this must be considered carefully before connect the Bosniaks to the naziparty of Germany. Why don’t you mention the atrocities comitted by the Chetniks during the period? I thing there is more to the fact than what you initially can see. Considder that many Finns helped Waffen SS against Sovjet during WW2. War creates many unholy alliances and I don’t think the goal for the Bosniaks was to help Germany kill Jews but to contribute with troops to be able to be protected against the feared Chetniks. That is why I can’t see any use in bringing this connection up at all.

  19. andnilkun skriver:

    Oh, and sorry about the change of loginname ”That is it” sounded a little strange…

  20. simulev skriver:

    ”The state of Palestine was declared as a part of the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) It states: ”State of Palestine on our Palestinian territory with its capital Jerusalem”.”

    No it wasn’t, it was not even mentioned in this peace-treaty. Why are you spreading disinformation?

    Perhaps you are thinking of the san-remo conference, the ONLY international legally binding document prior Israel’s rebirth? Well, that document clearly states that the geopolitical area, called Palestine after roman invadors renaming of Israel, belongs to the Jews. At the same time the Arabs got the rest of the Middle East. Jews was promised (to buy) less than a percentage of the entire Middle East. Wich means Arabs gained 99%. The British mandate rulers broke that, and gave for absolutley free, what today is Jordan, to an arabic muslim hasmeite tribe, as a bribe not to attack french controlled mandate of Syria -after they had removed king Faisal 1. That was is today Jordan, was 80% of the mandate of Palestine. Left for the Jews then was then 20% of what they had been promised. But of course thats not enought, now the world screams that parts of that remanings should be handed over to genocidial jihad monster, in what they call a ”Peace process”. This while Muslim Arabs already controll 80% of the former Palestine mandate.

    Resolution 181 from 1947 was a suggestion, therefore not a legally binding resolution, and besides the Muslim Arabs rejected it anyway and started war instead with outspoken genocide goals against the Jews.

  21. andnilkun skriver:

    We can always discuss legally binding documents and resolution from the UN. Some countries consider resolutions from the UN as things you don’t have to take seriously. As long as the US is you puppy.
    A group of people like the Jews are extremly fortunate to have been given, by the west, soil to creat you own country. People like the Albanians in Kosovo, the Kurds and even the Saamis of Lapland in Sweden are not as fortunate. That is why Israel should be greatful for the land they are given and not demand more and more. To add to this, Israel is not so humble. If I had milions of my people killed I would certainly not do the same to anyone.
    Many things you say are correct and some are not. But even if I don’t share your opinion in some areas the conflict in the Middle East is not really the question here. The history there is to complex to talk about in this forum. The Balkan history is not purly religion as the middle East history are. It’s more about myth of greatness of Serbian people and the utopia of a dissillusionated leader (Slobodan Milošević) not to lose control of a country on the road to democracy. And a people the took the bait.

  22. simulev skriver:

    ”We can always discuss legally binding documents and resolution from the UN.”

    Resolutions under UN chapter VI are suggestions.
    Resolutions under UN chapter VII are legaly -yes even by force- binding.

    Israel has no such resolutions against them under chapter VII. (Iraq had for instance)

    The land of israel has since time immemorial been the continous home for the Jews. The Jews had to buy back the land during and after the latest European Holocaust. Arabs got their states for free.

    A pattern that can be equal observed when Islamofacist Jihadist after terror aggression stole Serb land in the Bosnian province of soverign Yugoslavia.

    A slide with some quotes of historic truth regarding Bosnia.

  23. Sven K skriver:

    There are sometimes pretty solutions to virtually impossible problems, such as dealing with muslims and their escalating fury reaching beyond sanity.

    It´s no good for any people blowing itself up all the time. I think it´s time to make a proper offer.

    Renaming Israel for Palestine, or Palestine II, would defuel much anger, since a palestinian wouldn´t attack Palestine.

    That kind of idea isn´t new, however,

    http://www.israelinsider.com/views/articles/views_0070.htm

    Then sharing power with jews in the Knesset on a fifty-fifty basis would force agreements on any issue.

    Just as simple as that.

  24. Alan Kocevic skriver:

    The fact that you use srpska-mreza as a source for your perverted assertions renders all comments superfluous . How can you expect to be taken seriously when your sources contain vicious lies and absurd pro-Serbian propaganda? To be taken seriously you will at least have to use objective and corroborated sources.

    If I were to make a guess I would say that Noel Malcolm is considered a much more credible source than the notorious liars and propagandists of srpska-mreza and the emperors-clothes. Therefore, before uttering preposterous and ridiculous assertions about the history of Bosnia at least consult the most authoritative work on the subject matter BOSNIA A SHORT HISTORY!

    There is a striking resemblance between your opinions and those of Serbian ultra-nationalists and fascists.

  25. gjon skriver:

    Till simulev…. Jag tycker att allt du säger är struntprat. Det finns Inga bevis på att det du säger om balkan e sant. Personligen så tror jag inte att du är israel utan en serb som påstår vara en israel. Serber är hatar judar, hur kan du som jude tycka så mycket om serberna o till och med våga ljuga åt deras räkning. Allt du säger e lögn du borde skämmas inga bosnier eller albaner har varit anti israeler. Men du försöker hitta på att kriget handlar om religion. Det e ditt land som har religösa problem mellan judar o muslimer. I balkan handlar det om att serberna vill skaffa ett storserbien med bara serber inga andra folkgrupper. Men du nämner aldrig att serberna har invandrat till östeuropa, eller albanerna har bott där mycket längre än serberna m.m.

  26. simulev skriver:

    ”Renaming Israel for Palestine, or Palestine II, would defuel much anger, since a palestinian wouldn´t attack Palestine.”

    Arabs has a history of killing eachoter all the time. But it would be easier to rename back Jordan, to ”Palestine”. Who’s current Queen calls herself a ”Palestinian”.

  27. simulev skriver:

    ”The fact that you use srpska-mreza as a source”

    They are wrong? Real easy, did or did not the ”bosnian moderate” Islamofacist Waffen SS war criminal veteran leader write -and republished- that book, the Islamic Manifesto, just prior the outbreak of war?

  28. simulev skriver:

    ”Det finns Inga bevis på att det du säger om balkan e sant”

    That’s usually what a Holocaust denier would be, in history revision, claiming aswell, but they are of course lunatics divorsed from all proven reality.

  29. Alan Kocevic skriver:

    Simulev, the results of the following study easily refute your distorted views about the war in Bosnia.

    Cherif Bassiouni, Professor of Law at De Paul University, conducted a thorough investigation of human rights abuses in Bosnia, the results of which were later submitted to the U.N. Security Council (the title of the report: Final Report of the Commission of Experts Established Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 from 1992). It is frequently asserted that this highly meticulous and exhaustive study offers the definitive account of the war crimes perpetrated in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Bassiouni’s commission of experts found that all parties in the war committed gross violations of human rights. None the less, the study also emphasized that the Serbs committed the overwhelming majority of the war crimes in Bosnia. Most importantly, the commission concluded that the atrocities perpetrated by the Serbs were part of a greater Serbian ideology, namely the creation of a “Greater Serbia”. Here is what the report said: “with respect to the practices by Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, “ethnic cleansing” is commonly used as a term to describe a policy conducted in furtherance of political doctrines relating to “Greater Serbia” (p. 33). Thus, achieving hegemony was the primary objective of the Serbs. The report further disclosed that Zeljko Raznjatovic’s and Vojislav Seselj’s paramilitary forces were found responsible for gross human rights abuses in Bosnia. The commission also implicated the JNA and Bosnian Serb leaders in allowing and even encouraging the ethnic cleansing of non-Serbs (p.35). Regarding the war crimes committed by the Bosnian Muslims, the report said that: “Bosnian Government forces have also committed the same type of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions against Serbs and Croats, but NOT as part of a policy of “ethnic cleansing”. The number of these violations, as reported, is significantly less than the reported violations allegedly committed by the other warring factions” (p. 36 emphasis added).

    The commission also found that all warring parties had detention camps, Serbs had 237, Muslims 89 and Croats 77 (p. 51). However, the worst atrocities were committed in the detention camps held by the Bosnian Serbs. According to the report: “camps operated by Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina are by far the ones where the largest numbers of detainees have been held and where the cruelest and largest number of violations occurred” (p.52). Moreover, the Serb camps were used as an instrument of ethnic cleansing where killing and odious torture of prisoners occurred daily (p.53-54).

    Subsequently, even though the Muslims committed sporadic atrocities, the Serbs committed systematic and extremely well organized war crimes in order to exterminate the non-Serb population. Proponents of “collective guilt” theory correctly contend that all sides in the Bosnian war committed atrocities. None the less, as this authoritative report makes perfectly clear, only the Serbs were guilty of systematic war crimes.

    Thus, these results completely thrash the ”collective guilt” theory.

    See the entire study here:

    http://www.law.depaul.edu/institutes_centers/ihrli/_downloads/Secretary_General_letter.pdf

  30. Sven K skriver:

    Evidently, muslims in Bosnia didn´t made up as good a people as Bildt might suggest from his somewhat summary perspectives.

    Maybe it was a matter of hardware, number of military units etc why muslims appear less non-human according to figures, but there are small differences in Hell.

  31. Alan Kocevic skriver:

    Sven K. You have no idea what you are talking about. I have never heard so much nonsense in my life. The war in Bosnia was a Serbian aggression, not a civil war, why can’t you understand that? How hard can it be?

    Since you are obtuse and extremely naive, let me clarify some simple facts for you:

    – The involvment of the JNA (former Yugoslav Army) in Bosnia clearly indicates that it was an external aggression. Even the notorious Serbian ultra-nationalist Vojislav Seselj admitted that the invasion of Bosnia was in fact planned in Serbia.

    – The fact that Zeljko Raznjatovic also known as Arkan and his paramilitary forces committed heinous war crimes in Bosnia further corroborates that the war was planned in Serbia. Also, the fact that Mirko Jovic’s Chetniks also committed gruesome crimes in Bosnia adds more support to this incontrovertible fact. Please see YUGOSLAVIA DEATH OF A NATION by Laura Silber and Allan Little for corroboration.

    – The fact that every single mosque was destroyed in Republika Srpska divulges enormous hatred of Islam. Conversely, the fact that every single church remained intact in the area controlled by Bosnian Muslim also speaks for itself. For corroboration, see THE BRIDGE BETRAYED by Michael Sells. Therefore, you should speak of the Orthodox Christian fundamentalism in Bosnia, hardly of the Islamic fundamentalism given the irrefutable facts above.

    – After 3 years of the Serb occupation, Srebrenica fell on 11 July 1995. What followed constituted one of the most serious human rights violation in Europe since World War II. 8000 innocent civilians (one of whom was my grandfather) were killed in this gruesome massacre. Even an official Bosnian Serb investigation into the massacre in Srebrenica found that Bosnian Serb soldiers committed abhorrent atrocities in Srebrenica, killing approximately 8000 civilians. See David Rohde’s masterpiece SREBRENICA A SAFE AREA for a meticulous account of the Srebrenica massacre.

    – Who targetted Sarajevo, Gorazde, Zepa and Srebrenica? Who expelled 95% of the Muslims from Banja Luka and Bijeljina? How many people were killed in Serbia proper? 0.

    – Who started the war against Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and ultimately Kosovo? Has any of the above mentioned countries ever attacked Serbia?

    – Finally, the most conclusive evidence can be found at the webiste mentioned in my previous comment.

  32. simulev skriver:

    Cherif Bassiouni, Professor of[…]

    Yes an Egyptian Muslim working for the UN who allows brutal Islamic and arabic dictatorships in it’s organization… But if you google on that name some one with the exact same name later also defended the bosnian ambassador to US, in a case of corruption charges.

    Why are you avoiding a key issue question?

    Real easy, did or did not the ”bosnian moderate” Islamofacist Waffen SS war criminal veteran leader Alija Izetbegovic write -and republished- that book, the Islamic Manifesto, just prior the outbreak of war?

  33. Alan Kocevic skriver:

    I have never encountered a more prejudiced and intolerant person than you Simulev. But I guess ignorance is bliss. I do not hate anyone, I believe that we should judge people based on the content of their character only!

    You are a bigot, that is what you are. You hate all Muslims as if though all Muslims are homogenous. If this is not indicative of ignorance and bigotry then I do not know what is.

    If you think that Izetbegovic was an Islamic fundamentalist, then is the following quote indicative of extremist views:

    ”Islam is the best, but we Muslims are not the best. The West is neither corrupted not degenerate. It is strong, well-educated, and organized. Their schools are better than ours. Their cities are cleaner than ours. The level of respect for human rights in the West is higher, and the care for the poor and less capable is better organized. Westerners are usually responsible and accurate in their words. Instead of hating the West, let us proclaim cooperation instead of confrontation” as adopted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alija_Izetbegovi%C4%87

    End of discussion! I refuse to debate an ignorant and extremely prejudiced person whose chief characteristic is parochialism.

  34. Sven K skriver:

    While communism is fading away muslims are eager to implement the Choran, turn to its bloody past and reject democracy and human rights.

    That´s what cleansing is much about.

  35. simulev skriver:

    How interesting, let’s sumarize some ”views” that clearly shows that it’s never ever a muslims fault, but always someone else, for a majority of the worst conflicts that currently roams the globe.

    ”the war in Bosnia was a Serbian aggression”

    ”it was Serbia that attacked Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and ultimately Kosovo! This is an irrefutable fact”

    ”That website does not contain a single element of truth about the war in Bosnia.”

    ”my paper Proving Genocide in Bosnia”

    ”You have no idea what you are talking about.”

    ”Your comment is the worst piece of propaganda I have ever read, dangerously similar to that propagated by Serbian ultra-nationalists and fascists.”

    ”As regards the Islamic fundamentalism in Bosnia, there is no such thing. That is a concept invented by Serbian ultra-nationalists and fascists.”

    ”your perverted assertions renders all comments superfluous”

    ”I have never heard so much nonsense in my life. The war in Bosnia was a Serbian aggression,”

    ”Since you are obtuse and extremely naive,”

    ”I have never encountered a more prejudiced and intolerant person than you Simulev. But I guess ignorance is bliss. I do not hate anyone, I believe that we should judge people based on the content of their character only!

    You are a bigot, that is what you are. You hate all Muslims as if though all Muslims are homogenous. If this is not indicative of ignorance and bigotry then I do not know what is.

    If you think that Izetbegovic was an Islamic fundamentalist, then is the following quote indicative of extremist views:”

    ”FOR ALL MUSLIMS THERE IS BUT ONE SOLUTION: TO CONTINUE TO FIGHT, TO STRENGTHEN AND BROADEN IT, FROM DAY TO DAY, FROM YEAR TO YEAR, NO MATTER THE VICTIMS AND NO MATTER THE TIME”
    -Alija Izetbegovic, the Islamic Declaration, pages 53-54, republished 1990.

    ”End of discussion! I refuse to debate an ignorant and extremely prejudiced person whose chief characteristic is parochialism.”

    But let me guess, Alan Kocevic is a prime example of a moderate and tolerant ”most merciful” Muslim?

    Painting Fascists as Victims, and Their Victims as Fascists

    ”So what do we have?

    That the Bosnian Muslim faction led by the man who earlier had been a leader of fascist and Islamist movements from the tender age of 16, who wrote and re-issued a book which positively foams at the mouth with fundamentalist fanaticism, who re-released that book as his political platform in the Bosnian elections of 1990, and who recently recreated the SS Handzar Division in fond remembrance of his WWII participation in Nazi crimes in occupied Yugoslavia”
    -Francisco Gil-White, Assistant Professor, Psychology. University of Pennsylvania

  36. Alan Kocevic skriver:

    Radovan Karadzic (former Bosnian Serb leader): ..”the road to which you want to take Bosnia and Herzegovina is the same highway of hell which Slovenia and Croatia took. Don’t think you won’t take Bosnia and Herzegovina to hell and the Muslims into annihilation… Muslims can’t defend themselves if there is war here”…
    as adopted from

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radovan_Karadzic

    The evidence that the war in Bosnia was genocide is abundant and incontrovertible. In perhaps one of the most authoritative and meticulously researched accounts of the breakup of Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia Death of a Nation (1997), Laura Silber and Allan Little argue that the Serbs and Croats secretly agreed to divide Bosnia between themselves. Moreover, Silber and Little provide compelling evidence that the war in Bosnia was a Serbian aggression. When the war in Bosnia began in 1992, the Serbs from Serbia proper began shelling Zvornik. In point of fact, according to José Maria Mendiluce, a senior official of the UNHCR who himself witnessed the Serbian assault on Zvornik: “there was a big artillery bombardment coming from the Serbian side of the Drina. I even saw smoke coming from the cannons on the Serbian side” (as adopted from Silber and Little p. 223). Among those who participated in the attack on Zvornik and Bijeljina was a notorious war criminal Zeljko Raznjatovic also known as Arkan and his ”Tigers”. Arkan and his paramilitary forces killed and expelled Bosnian Muslims in Zvornik and Bijeljina. This systematic annihilation of a people based on their ethnicity and religion is frequently referred to as “ethnic cleansing”. Even Vojislav Seselj, an ultra-nationalist from Belgrade, acknowledged that the attack on Zvornik had been planned in Serbia (Silber and Little: p. 223). Silber and Little further point out that the JNA, the federal Yugoslav army, fought on the Bosnian Serb side.

    A 1994 human rights report on Bosnia by the U.S. Department of State gives an exhaustive account of the human rights violations perpetrated in Bosnia. While acknowledging that all sides committed war crimes in Bosnia, the report makes clear that only Bosnian Serbs engaged in the process of ethnic cleansing. The document further reveals that Serbia provided Bosnian Serbs with extensive military aid. According to the document: “supported by the Serbian authorities in Belgrade, the BSA (Bosnian Serb armed militia) began a brutal campaign of terror- in which acts of genocide took place- to establish an ethnically pure state linking Serb-occupied territory in Croatia with Serbia/Montenegro to form “greater Serbia”. Here is what the same report said of Bosnian Muslims: “the Bosnian Government is Muslim-dominated but continues to support a multiethnic society, and elected officials are drawn proportionally from all national groups”. The report further corroborates findings by the HRW that a significant number of Muslims were expelled from Banja Luka and Bijeljina. Several thousand Muslim civilians were killed in the Serb attacks on Sarajevo, Srebrenica, Gorazde and Zepa. According to this report, in order for the Serbs to inflict as much damage as possible, they targeted heavily crowded places such as hospitals etc. Another important strategy of Bosnian Serbs was to deny the U.N. food convoys entry to Srebrenica, Gorazde, Zepa and Sarajevo. Bosnian Serbs knew that shortage of food, water and medical supplies would inevitably result in malnourishment, starvation, diseases and despair.

    After three years of the Serb occupation and intensive bombardment, Srebrenica fell on 11 July, 1995. What followed constituted the most serious human rights violation in Europe since World War II. Ratko Mladic who is now being sought for war crimes and his forces entered Srebrenica and immediately began separating men from women. While women and children were taken to Tuzla, men were taken to various locations to be executed. Approximately 7,000 Muslim men were killed in this gruesome massacre. Here is what one report by the U.S. Department of State said:” the Bosnian Serb occupation of the U.N. “safe area” of Srebrenica in July resulted in one of the worst single reported incidents of genocidal mass killing of members of an ethnic or religious group in Europe since World War II”. Elaborating, the report further pointed out that:” the systematic way in which prisoners were moved to execution sites and the presence of trailers and bulldozers (to transport corpses and to dig mass graves) indicate that the mass killings were planned well in advance. More than 7,000 remain unaccounted for and presumed dead”. According to the same document, there are countless reliable eyewitness accounts of random killings of civilians in Srebrenica. Dutch soldiers themselves witnessed the atrocities; they saw dead bodies by the road, says the report.

    HRW writes in its 1996 report: “following the fall of Srebrenica, Bosnian Serb forces summarily executed hundreds, possibly thousands of men and boys at various mass execution sites near the Srebrenica area and during their flight from Bosnian-Serb-held territory to Bosnian-government-controlled areas. Women, children and elderly persons deported from the area were also terrorized, and thousands of persons remained disappeared”. There is evidence that the massacre in Srebrenica was a direct order of Karadzic and Mladic. According to testimonies by two Bosnian Serbs at the War Tribunal in The Hague (Miroslav Deronjic and a Lieutenant Colonel Dragan Obrenovic), Karadzic and Mladic ordered the Srebrenica massacre. The most compelling proof, however, comes from an official Bosnian Serb investigation into the Srebrenica massacre. The results of the investigations are staggering to say the least. Bosnian Serbs admitted for the very first time that they were responsible for the Srebrenica massacre. This admission shocked the world. Furthermore, the commission also found that 6,447 people remain unaccounted for, only 1,332 have been identified. The commission also incriminated senior Bosnian Serb officials in the Srebrenica massacre.

    Dutch Institute for War Reporting conducted by far the most meticulous investigation into the Srebrenica massacre. The results of this comprehensive study demonstrate without a doubt that the Bosnian Serbs committed enormities in Srebrenica, killing approximately 7,500 Muslim men. According to this report:” the majority of the missing men were killed during the mass executions”. Furthermore, the report also found that:” the executions began on 13 July. In the ensuing days, prisoners were transported to the execution sites to the north, where most executions took place between 14 and 17 of July”. While atrocity deniers like Simulev claim that there is no compelling proof that Bosnian Serbs perpetrated egregious atrocities in Srebrenica, this authoritative report concludes that: “there is absolutely no doubt that the mass murder was committed by Bosnian Serb military units”. It should be added that this study is considered the definitive account of the massacre in Srebrenica. Thus, atrocity deniers are deliberately ignoring the results of this exhaustive report since they easily refute their assertion, i.e. that there was no massacre in Srebrenica. Simulev further ignores the fact that many Dutch U.N. soldiers who were stationed in Srebrenica themselves witnessed heinous war crimes. Many of them later developed severe psychological problems as a result of these traumatic events. This does not constitute sufficient proof for Simulev nor does the fact that Bosnian Serb soldiers dressed in the U.N. uniforms in order to trick the Muslims hiding in the forest to surrender. Under the impression that they were turning themselves over to the U.N. soldiers these men were easily captured by the Bosnian Serb army. There is even visual evidence of the Bosnian Serb soldiers wearing blue U.N. helmets when urging the Muslims to come out of their hideouts. To Simulev, this is not incriminating evidence; it is probably the West manipulating the evidence in order to dehumanize the Serbs. In addition, Simulev displays a flagrant disregard and sheer indifference for thousands of corroborated witness testimonies by the survivors of the Srebrenica massacre. Bosnian Muslims have always been tolerant and secular. This is evident from the fact that almost every single church remained intact in the area controlled by the Bosnian Muslims.

    Sources:

    http://www.hrw.org/reports/1995/WR95/HELSINKI-03.htm

    http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/ERC/democracy/1993_hrp_report/93hrp_report_eur/Bosnia-Herzegovina.html

    http://www.hrw.org/reports/1996/WR96/Helsinki-04.htm

    Once again I rest my case!

  37. andnilkun skriver:

    As you, Simulev, obviously don’t have a any idea about the difference between european Islam and that of the middle East. Add to this, you still think it is crime to had been working with the army that wanted to end communist involment in Europe in ww2. Germany started WW2 and did’t horrible things, but they fighted the Chetniks and you know that the Chetniks was and still are the greatest threat agianst peace and stability in Europe. If you are Israel or Serb I don’t care about but don’t judge people for things done 60 years ago in to
    to save your people against your worst nightmare, Sovjet(serbia).

    *** Please Mr. Bildt, with you knowledge, bring some sense to this debate before historic knowledge is lost and people that wants to rewrite history to suit their distorted beliefs. There is only one history and it shows what really happened. ***

  38. andnilkun skriver:

    As you, Simulev, obviously don’t have a any idea about the difference between european Islam and that of the middle East. Add to this, you still think it is crime to had been working with the army that wanted to end communist involment in Europe in ww2. Germany started WW2 and did’t horrible things, but they fighted the Chetniks and you know that the Chetniks was and still are the greatest threat agianst peace and stability in Europe. If you are Israel or Serb I don’t care about but don’t judge people for things done 60 years ago in to
    to save your people against your worst nightmare, Sovjet(serbia).
    So what do you try to prove? That some people are worth more than others that one Israelian life is worth more that 10 Palestinians? That is the worst nazi propaganda I’ve ever heared.

    *** Please Mr. Bildt, with you knowledge, bring some sense to this debate before historic knowledge is lost and people that wants to rewrite history to suit their distorted beliefs. There is only one history and it shows what really happened. ***

  39. Sven K skriver:

    Islam incorporates ideological elements of both communism and fascism, so we may soon face the ultimate threat.

    Analyzing the prospect of Islam is a matter of survival. Insurances from Hell aren´t reliable.

    The ‘Prophet’ Bildt is, however, advocating Islam ‘light’ for European use, prophesing about communism ‘light’ and fascism ‘light’ at the same time.

    Awaiting the declaration of democracy ‘light’…

  40. ags1 skriver:

    I wouldnt want to take sides on neither sides of the bosnian muslims or the serbs…

    Because the balkans is an area of revenge existing through the ages….

    As for Alan Kocevic’s painting the Bosnian Muslims as perfect angels and drawing a distinction between European Islam and Arabic Islam…..

    Is there a european islamic religion ? is it different from the sunnis or shiites?
    he never made the distinction…Islam is Islam ..the religion enforces laws called the Sharia….which can be far from democracy…Sharia is just like how the catholics would recite the ”Are Father”….

    As for the serbs, there victimization syndrome from the nazi and ottoman times have turned them into the new aggresors of the 1990s balkan wars proped by the media….

    yugoslavia failed because of less compromise between the different republics…not a multicultural slavic country but a serbo-slavia….

    but the croats and bosnian muslims had their share of aggression……

    something they wouldnt want to admit……

    Alan Kocevic never would admit to the flaws of the bosnian muslim leadership during WWII and the OTTOMAN past but resort to Noel Malcolm propaganda history…

    Otherwise , the british are putting alot of investment into Albania and bosnia because of a military base and an energy pipeline….

    i am sure noel malcolm has been recieving alot of grants and funds from his lobbyist friends……

    you cant really make a living being a historian these days…

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