Srebrenica: More Myth Than Massacre
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As the saying goes, history is written by the winners. And when it comes to the former Yugoslav peoples, that can readily be described as everybody but the Serbs. So it is unsurprising then that they have been vilified throughout the West, labeled as war criminals and butchers whose unmitigated xenophobia caused the collapse of a great multi-ethnic state and the bloodiest set of wars Europe had witnessed in a half century. Yet much as Joe Biden and other Serbophobic politicians who called for the repeated bombing of Serbia during the Wars of Yugoslav Secession might believe that summary to be accurate, the facts simply do not lend themselves to such a conclusion. This may be no better demonstrated than by looking at Srebrenica, which has long been Exhibit A in the court of world opinion in the case against the Serbs.
Officially, the story goes that around 8000 innocent Bosnian Muslims were, without any provocation, slaughtered indiscriminately by genocidal Serbs with revanchist aims, who were unmoved by the civilian status of their victims, or that the area they attacked was to be a safe haven managed by the unbiased and above reproach United Nations. As far as making a case for the bloody violence the Western allies would unleash on the Serbs, that did the job rather well, as it played to the sympathies of the emotionally-driven masses. Of course, with respect to capturing the truth, the governmental line is rather inadequate.
So what exactly is the truth? Alexander Dorin, a Swiss researcher who just recently sent his book “Srebrenica – The History of Salon Racism” to print in German (Serb and English translations are planned in the future) said in an interview that, “After 14 years of investigating events that took place in Srebrenica in 1995 I can attest there was no genocide over Muslims in that enclave — the myth about the massacre of Muslims was invented by the late Bosnian Muslim war leader Alija Izetbegović and then-U.S. president Bill Clinton.” Questionable as that allegation may sound to many, it is important to recall that the United States actively armed Izetbegović and his ragtag jihadist army during the war, applied pressure on Tudjman’s secessionist Croat government to cease his involvement in the Herzeg-Bosnia land theft, and sought actively to create a Bosniak state where one had not traditionally existed (for the land falls within the bounds of historic Serbia). Much of this, especially the sale of arms, was documented heavily even by the liberal American media at the time. And indeed, once the other factual inaccuracies become apparent, it seems quite evident that there was not a Srebrenica massacre, but rather a military engagement that, like many US operations, involved some inadvertant civilian casualties, that has been mythologized to give political cover to the warmongers that led us into battle on intelligence information more questionable than any ever utilized by the Bush administration.
For instance, the real number of dead bodies uncovered was closer to 2000. Some 3000 names of alleged victims were alive enough to vote in the 1996 elections. And many other dead bodies were found to be from previous gun battles or from non-violent ends more than a decade before the event in question. Still unaddressed though is guilt. Among the 2000 dead discovered were a very large number of soldiers who, under the leadership of jihadist Naser Orić killed some 3000 Serbian civilians beforehand. That raises perhaps the most important point: Srebrenica was not a purposeful slaughter of innocent civilians, but an effort by Serb forces to save the lives of their countrymen from an enemy army that had already spilled ample blood, and which was cowardly seeking refuge in protected civilian areas that were supposed to be unarmed, and therefore demilitarized. That there is no record of any military orders relating to civilians, or even mandating the execution of enemy soldiers is telling, in that it makes evident the aim was not to inflict unnecessary brutality, but to take control of the area such that the nearby Serb civilians they were charged with defending could go about their business unmolested instead of living with a paralyzing fear that the destruction of their village was imminent. Indeed, the size and weaponry of the Serb forces present would’ve proven insufficient for anything more grand. The physical evidence confirms as much, for of the dead Muslim soldiers discovered, a good number of them died not from execution, but from untreated wounds that came about during the two-sided military engagement.
All things considered then, we must realize that Srebrenica’s infamy is deserved not because it was home to an act of genocide in post-Holocaust Europe, but because the events that unfolded there amidst a highly misunderstood war have been so grossly distorted that the popular myth has overpowered reality, and in turn has given the Serbs a reputation for neanderthalic brutality and bigotry that is entirely undeserved. Even today, with the violence having long come to an end, the Serbs remain villainized and subject to undue scrutiny because of this and other associated lies. It is therefore important that the record be set straight and that the Serbs cease to be made a pariah simply because they were on the losing side of a war our country made much worse.
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Posted on August 25, 2009, in The Balkans and tagged Bosnia, Bush, Caleb Posner, Croatia, Dorin, Faulty Intelligence, genocide, History, Holocaust, Izetbegovic, jihad, Oric, Serbia, Serbophobia, Srebrenica, Tudjman, UN. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.