Understanding the Bosnian Genocide & Yugoslav War
I’ve seen recently on my dash and well also on the news a lot of references and talk made to the Yugoslav War in the early 1990s because of the recent arrest of Ratko Mladic and his part in the Bosnian Genocide. & I’d to share a few resources with you guys on the history of the genocide in Srebrenica.
I might not have mentioned it here… actually. Wait. That is a lie. I have, I think that my senior year was devoted to the research of the genocide in Srebrenica. Some could say that only upon the completion of that thesis would I have been able to graduate with my degree. Although the actual research started in the beginning of my fourth year .. the preparation had began in January of 2010 ( so the winter + spring + summer before the start of my fourth year)
The reason I am doing this, is not to give a upper hand on my knowledge but to share it - because truly, what good is having knowledge of something if you only keep it to yourself? - and expose others to something they may not have known about or wanted to know more about but couldn’t find the appropriate resources. I want to share with you guys and hopefully broaden your minds and raise questions in you about the intricacies of the current structure of the world we live in - be it the structure of the (inter)national law - or arms embargoes - or peace keeping - or importance of culture or economic system - why people wage wars - why was the international response so poor? What were the aftermaths? How has it stifled the growth of said country? All these questions and more should arise when one is researching or learning about a historical event - especially one such as the Bosnian Genocide ( in Srebrenica) because it speaks volumes about the morality of human beings and the current structure of the world we live in.
I cannot find a better book than Michael Sells ( but there are other books out there which I’m sure would do a better job ..but as of right now.. for a quick and preliminary read …Sells does the job)
Here are a few articles (available in PDF format) that provide a deep analytical view on the genocide
The Council of Foreign Relations is like the Michael Cors, Prada, Versace ( you get the point) of Wikipedia
Understanding how the United Nations Security Council works will better able you to not only critique the structure but understand why their role in this genocide was pivotal to the success or failure of it.
I really admire this individuals blog on how extensive his/her documentation is and the links he/she provides Srebrenica Genocide Blogspot
Institute for the Research of Genocide of Canada is also a excellent resource website and I’m going to borrow a paragraph from the website because they just say it way better than I ever could
The Institute makes up part of the Institute for Research of Crimes against Humanity and International Law University of Sarajevo. As an academic institution, the Institute is dedicated to scientific research on crimes against humanity and international law. Specifically, our goal is to document and accurately illustrate all materials related to acts of Genocide. While demonstrating these facts we encourage and support academic and scientific dialogue on the matter based on democratic principles and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As a scientific organization, we are apolitical. Our aspirations are moral and humanitarian in nature and we only differentiate between justice and injustice.
Michael Mandelbaum writes a very accurate piece of NATOs involvement in the Yugoslavia War ( which is a must in understanding the genocide in its part) called A Perfect Failure ( when you click on this link - it’ll be the first article on the top of the page - click on it and it will automatically download in to your folder)
These are just a loose nickels and dimes worth of information and links I have provided but I hope that not only do they become of use to you, or that you learn something from it but that you are better able to critique and understand the past and why such and such works the way it does. I hope you will be able to gain insight on the structure and system of our global world, how interrelated we really are and that no one life is more or less valuable than another.
More than anything, I hope you use your voice to its highest potential.
(As always, you are more than welcome to ask me any questions you have .. I’ll do my best to give you a honest and critical answer or at least help lead you to one)
Chomsky’s Genocidal Denial – by Dr Marko Hoare
In the realm of politics, there are those of us who wear our hearts on our sleeves: proud of what we stand for, we are not afraid to state our positions as clearly as possible, so there is no danger of misunderstanding; we call a spade a spade, and are ready to face the music. On the other hand, there are those who are embarrassed by their own position: they dissemble; muddying the waters so that what they really think is vague and hidden; when confronted by those who recognise them for what they are, they lash out in fear and shame, denying what everyone knows to be the truth.
Two very interesting parallel cases were highlighted in the Guardian newspaper on 17 November. It was reported that David Irving was arrested in Austria for the crime of Holocaust denial. Irving is well known as a Holocaust denier and Hitler apologist, yet when accused of this by the historian Deborah Lipstadt, he attempted to sue her for libel, resulting in his crushing courtroom defeat. Yet he apparently remains ashamed to accept the label that he has inevitably earned. According to theGuardian: ‘Mr Irving has said he does not deny Jews were killed by the Nazis, but challenges the number and manner of Jewish concentration camp deaths. He has questioned the use of large-scale gas chambers to exterminate the Jews, and has claimed that the numbers of those who perished are far lower than those generally accepted. He also contends that most Jews who died at Auschwitz did so from diseases such as typhus, not gas poisoning.’ In other words, lacking the moral courage to say proudly ‘Yes, I deny the Holocaust !’, Irving seeks refuge in the claim that he is merely concerned with the accuracy of details and interpretation. Thus, the Holocaust denier does not merely deny the Holocaust; he denies his own denial. Of course, no rational person would accept such a plea at face value.
On the same day (17 November), a new twist emerged in another saga of genocide-denial: the Guardian printed a grovelling apology to Noam Chomsky for a none-too-flattering interview with him carried out by the award-winning journalist Emma Brockes, published by the Guardian on 31 October, in which Brockes cites Chomsky as having said that the Srebrenica massacre of 1995 was ‘probably overstated’ and was not even an actual massacre. Chomsky prides himself on being a resolute champion of freedom of speech; on this ground, he has defended the right of Holocaust-deniers to publish what they want; and condemned Britain’s libel laws. Yet faced with Brockes’s exposure of his position, he and his circle of fans retreated from their pro-free-speech position, and organised a campaign of denunciation of Brockes, bombarding the Guardian with letters of complaint, and eventually bullying this spineless newspaper into issuing an unequivocal apology and retraction.
In his letter of complaint to the Guardian, published on 2 November, Chomsky writes: ‘As for her [Brockes’s] personal opinions, interpretations and distortions, she is of course free to publish them, and I would, of course, support her right to do so, on grounds that she makes clear she does not understand.’ Yet as a result of the Chomskyite campaign against Brockes, the Guardian readers’ editor reported on 17 November: ‘The Guardian has now withdrawn the interview from the website.’ Just fancy that ! More shamefully still, the Guardian also apologised for having published a letter by Kemal Pervanic, a survivor of the Serb concentration-camp Omarska, alongside Chomsky’s on 2 November. Pervanic said he was ‘shocked by some of the views of Noam Chomsky in the article by Emma Brockes’s.’ Yet in the words of the Guardian readers’ editor’s grovelling piece of self-criticism: ‘While he has every sympathy with the writer [Pervanic], Prof Chomsky believes that its publication was designed to undermine his position, and addressed a part of the interview which was false… With hindsight it is acknowledged that the juxtaposition has exacerbated Prof Chomsky’s complaint, and that is regretted.’ So much for respecting the right of a concentration-camp survivor to state his opinion.
Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, Arundhati Roy and Pamela Geller are all deniers of the Bosnian genocide. Chomsky, Tariq Ali and Arundhati Roy all agree with the genocide-denying parts of Diana Johnstones book called “Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions” (the entire book is conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory and genocide-denial). As for Pamella Geller, she’s an islamophobe and racist, so that shouldn’t suprise anyone, she cried when the terrorist Ratko Mladic was caught and thinks all Muslims (including Muslims from Bosnia) are terrorists.
To minimize a genocide is genocide-denial to me. When you minimize what happened you’re also denying the horrors of the genocide.
Every single piece of shit on the face of this earth that denies the Bosnian genocide can rot in the lowest fires of hell for all eternity along with the ones who committed the genocide. I have zero respect for such people (read: monsters).
But the lives of Bosnians have never mattered to anyone, so it’s easy for them to side with the oppressors, to minimize our oppression to deny the genocide that the enitre Western world let happen and contributed to along with Serb facists.
I'd appreciate it if you could recommend me any reliable books/documentaries on the Bosnian genocide, thank you. (love your blog)
The bridge betrayed by Michael A. Sells
The Bonewoman by Clea Koff
Investigating Srebrenica (institutions, facts and responsiblities) by Isabelle Delpla, Xavier Bougarel and Jean-Louis Fournel
Love thy neighbor by Peter Maass
Bosnia and Hercegovina: A tradition betrayed by Robert Donia
The Destruction of Yugoslavia by Branka Magas
- The resistance of Bosnia was heard up to the skies
- Veterans - Siege of Sarajevo - 14 April 08 - Part 1 & part 2
- Srebrenica - A Cry from the Grave
- On the frontline (About El Salvador first then Bosnia & then Lebanon)
- The Rageh Omaar report - The Secret Life of Radovan Karadzic
- Women who refuse to die
- The death of Yugoslavia
- I came to testify - Women, war and peace
- As if I am not there (it’s not a documentary but a movie based on true stories Bosnian women & girls went trough during the genocide)
Since September 11, 2001, Bosnia and Herzegovina has repeatedly been branded a hotbed of Islamic terrorism in Europe. It is true that up to 4,000 Muslim mujahid (jihadi fighters) from Arab countries and Afghanistan fought in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995, and some of them had links with Al - Qaida (see Bougarel, 2005: 16 - 18; Kepel, 2002: 248). Although the majority of those Muslim mujahid left Bosnia following the signature of t he Dayton Peace Agreement, around 1,300 of them acquired Bosnian citizenship and remained in the country. In the course of several years following the end of the war, state authorities revoked the citizenship of most of these people on the grounds of fraud ulent acquisition, while many others migrated to European countries. Today, no more than 200 of the former mujahids are recorded as residing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and most of those who are are married to Bosnians (see Sarajlić , 2010: 21 - 23 for more details). However, the image of Bosnia as a safe haven and launching pad for Jihadi terrorists has been firmly established in European mainstream media, and perhaps in the minds of many decision makers.
- Eldar Sarajlić, ‘The Return of the Consuls: Islamic networks and foreign policy perspectives in Bosnia and Herzegovina’
I’m very tired of the belief that Bosnia is a “safe haven” for Jihadi terrorists, when there’s only 200 Mujahideens left in Bosnia of those who fought in the 90’s. And to assume they’re some sort of “threat” is islamophobic, especially taking into consideration all the Serb war criminals who are still not in jail but who participated in the genocide against the non-Serb population in Bosnia.
And typically enough the West makes a big deal about the Mujahideens who came to Bosnia in the 90’s but never mention all the volunteers from Russia and Greece who came to fight along with Serbs. The Greek Volunteer Guard for instance participated in the Srebrenica genocide and Viktor Loginov (Russian officer in UNPROFOR) smuggled fuel & supplies to the Serb terrorist Arkan.
Anyway, the above mentioned book can be read here. For books about other Balkan countries with Muslim populations, visit this website. I’ve only read the book about Bosnia-Hercegovina so I can’t say if I agree/approve of the other books, but this one about Bosnia was not biased & quite objective so I assume the other books are as well too.
Noam Chomsky is a genocide denier. And I’m talking about the Bosnian genocide. I used to love Chomsky for being brilliant in many, many aspects but when I found out he denied the Bosnian genocide & sided with the chetniks he lost all my respect.
Midhat Ridjanovic wrote him a letter called “A Letter to Noam Chomsky from a Bosnian Colleague”, and that’s pretty much everything I want to say to Noam Chomsky as well. He speaks up a lot about Palestine, and as much as I agree with him, I won’t reblog or like any of his quotes whatsoever. He has zero of my respect. This is a very sensitive topic to me, & I can’t stand genocide deniers, they disgust me beyond belief.
Elie Wiesel, a holocaust survivor met Franjo Tudjman (a holocaust denier) in person, and didn’t want to shake hands or talk with him because of that (which is understandable) I’m exactly like that too. My family went through its horrors, Americans like Noam didn’t, it’s easy for him to deny & base his “facts” on conspiracy theories.
I absolutely resent your sentiments toward all Serbs. My name is technically Serb and it's something I was born into and not something I chose. I lived 4 years in the war and I was shot when I was 7 years old. Bigotry is everywhere, including the Muslim world, so please avoid making blanket statements against people who would stand up for you just as they would anyone else. It's hateful.
Peace and many blessings,
You’re not addressing my initial problem with the Bosnian massacre and how Serbs are constantly posing the question about how we should “all just get along” (which is subconsciously forcing Bosnian Muslims to “get over it,” and that’s never okay to impose on people who have been oppressed and ethnically cleansed for years).
What you are doing in fact is manipulating the situation by making this about you (or precisely, your name), when in reality, this isn’t about you. The Bosnian massacre is not about Serbian cetniks and how “they’ve been affected too.” It’s like suggesting — and I’m suggesting for the sake of providing exemplifications of your rationale, not for the sake of comparisons, for that would completely dehumanize the atrocities I’m about to mention — how some portion of the Baathist party were affected by Saddam’s regime too; exactly, it’s logically incoherent. Also (like Anna once put it), it’s like suggesting that not all Nazis were evil; again, it clearly makes no sense.
So please, take your resentment and dump it on someone who can help you with it.
And don’t come to me with the bigotry argument, because again, you’re not addressing the point. And when you learn how to, we can have a civil and mature discourse about this and come to some sort of compromise about the ordeal. Until then, you can go read our history books and try to convince yourself how Serbian Cetniks like Mladic, Milosevic, and Karadzic were not hateful.
What do you make of the accusations that certain Orthodox hierarchs-- including the then Serbian Patriarch, His Holiness Patriarch Pavle-- blessed weaponry used by Serbian paramilitary against Bosnian Muslims? I ask because I honestly don't know what to make of it, and as an Orthodox Christian who was brought into Orthodoxy in a Serbian church, it was reeeaaally awkward when my Islam in the Balkans professor would single me out during discussions of this and Srebrenica.
Peace and many blessings,
I have never come across those specific accusations against the Serbian Patriarch, although I’m sure many Serbs who participated in the ethnic genocide of Bosnian Muslims would blatantly testify to that fact. In fact, it would come as no surprise that Serbian cetniks (and I say cetniks because Serbian cetniks and Serbians are two different types of mindsets with regards to their ethnic identification in that one prides itself in nationalism while the other prides itself in patriotism) would suggest such things.
It wouldn’t come as a surprise considering the way in which the Dutch (that were sent my the United Nations during the time period of 93-95) behaved. They were sent to aid and protect Bosnian Muslims, but because of the large amount of control Serbs had during certain portions of Bosnian cities, it was almost impossible to do so. Within days after being sent by the UN, the Dutch were threatened by Serbs to leave their defense positions and come to negotiate in the Serbian headquarters.
And they did. They negotiated, and within a few weeks, they left. They were given gifts and big cash prizes by Milosevic himself. And because their lives were threatened, the UN pulled them out, but unfortunately, have left hundreds and thousands of Bosnian Muslims to die in concentration camps and in mass graves due to their leave.
I truly, with all my heart and soul, apologize that you don’t know what to make of such accusations. But if you’re thoroughly interested in coming to some sort of intellectual consensus regarding this issue, I suggest you evaluate a couple of things.
One, you must recognize that the Bosnian genocide was the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims by Serbian cetniks (among other European nations that allied with Serbs) was because Bosnian Muslims were Bosnian and Muslim. It was an attack against their ethnicity and an attack against their religion. Anyone who suggests otherwise needs to thoroughly analyze our situation post WWII before providing any form of insight on the matter.
Two, you must come to terms with the fact that many Serbs till this day completely deny this very ethnic cleansing. Mladic and Kardazic, who are being trialed at this very moment, deny that they have been commanders of Milosevic during the Bosnian genocide. Which, ironically, is completely untrue (and we have infinite amount of proof that would suggest otherwise).
Three, people are no longer interested in religion (although they do use their holy texts to justify their means of cruelty) when their self interest is at stake.
And four, Identify the oppressed. Speak to Bosnian Muslims who have been affected by the ethnic cleansing. Speak to Albanians. Speak to Slovenians. Speak to the hundreds of people who fled to places like Germany or Zenica. Speak to them.
Only then will you be able to make something at of the accusations that you find to be discomforting or awkward.
Statement by the President Obama on the 17th Anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide
On July 11, we honor the memory of the over 8,000 innocent men and boys – brothers and husbands, fathers and sons – who were brutally murdered in Srebrenica 17 years ago in a brazen act of genocide that shocked the world. The name Srebrenica will forever be associated with some of the darkest acts of the 20th century.
A measure of justice is finally being served for the victims in courts in The Hague and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the perpetrators of this atrocity, including Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, are now being called to account for their actions. We know that Srebrenica’s future, and that of Bosnia and Herzegovina, will not be held back by its painful recent history. The United States rejects efforts to distort the scope of this atrocity, rationalize the motivations behind it, blame the victims, and deny the indisputable fact that it was genocide. We all desire continued reconciliation and peaceful coexistence for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Balkans, because achieving that will be the ultimate repudiation of the evil that started the wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina and elsewhere in the region and that led to the Srebrenica genocide.
As more innocent victims of this tragedy are laid to rest on July 11, the United States stands with the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and grieves again for the loss of so many loved ones. Our hearts and deepest sympathies are with them, and we pledge our enduring commitment to support their aspirations for a better tomorrow.