www.slobodan-milosevic.org - August 3, 2008

Written by: Andy Wilcoxson

After evading capture for thirteen years, former Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic made his first appearance at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague last Thursday.


Our media and our political establishment have portrayed his arrest and extradition to the Tribunal as a great triumph. They have spent the last sixteen years promoting the thesis of Serbian guilt and Muslim victimization in the Bosnian war and in their minds Karadzic’s arrest validates their politics and their policies.


Ever since Karadzic’s arrest was announced our political establishment has been engaged in an orgy of childish name-calling. Karadzic has been portrayed as evil incarnate; various journalists and public figures have called him a “monster”, a “demon”, and a “butcher”. Former Assistant Secretary of State, Richard Holbrooke called him “Europe’s Bin Laden”. While this kind of name-calling might give self-important journalists and politicians the opportunity to portray themselves as virtuous crusaders for international justice, it does very little to shed light on what actually happened in Bosnia.


The people who cheer Karadzic’s capture today might regret it tomorrow. These people built their professional careers on the premise of saving “innocent” Bosnian-Muslims from Karadzic’s “genocidal Serb aggression”. Their credibility and professional reputation depend on his guilt. Until now, they’ve been able to accuse him with impunity because he was in hiding and couldn’t defend himself. Now that he’s in the Tribunal’s custody, he will be given a high-profile public trial where he will have the opportunity to challenge their accusations and present his own evidence.

One of the most famous “crimes” that Karadzic is accused of is the Siege of Sarajevo. Most of us can remember the scenes of pockmarked apartment blocks in Sarajevo and the images of Muslim civilians maimed and killed by Serbian artillery fire. Karadzic’s trial promises to give much-needed context to that imagery.


Without a doubt, the Serbs shelled Sarajevo several times during the war. The Karadzic trial will reveal why they did it. The evidence has already been presented during other trials at the Tribunal, but the Karadzic trial will be the highest profile presentation of that evidence.


The Serbs fired on Sarajevo because the Muslims were in the city shooting at them. The so-called “siege” began as an operation to rescue soldiers that the Muslims were holding hostage in the Marshal Tito Barracks. It continued because the Muslims wouldn’t agree to a cease-fire and they wouldn’t stop shooting at the Serbs.


Muslim troops in Sarajevo deliberately attacked the Serbs from built-up civilian areas of the city in order to increase the likelihood that civilians would be hit when the Serbs returned fire. UN military observers stationed in Sarajevo have already testified at the Tribunal that they witnessed this practice many times.


David Harland, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping in Bosnia, is on record testifying at the Tribunal. He said, “The Muslims certainly understood that when they fired out of the city that [it] would provoke incoming Serb fire, which would make normal life in the city impossible.” According to his testimony the Muslims violated 514 attempts by the UN to implement a cease-fire.


Philippe Morillion, the French general who commanded the UN force in Bosnia from 1992 to 1993, is on record testifying that the Muslims “very frequently used mortars at Kosevo (the main hospital in Sarajevo) for provocation purposes”.


Morillion’s protest letters to the Bosnian-Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic are already exhibits on file at the Tribunal. One letter dated January 11, 1993 reads: “[an] 82-milimeter mortar had been set up on the western side of the Kosevo Hospital within the hospital grounds. This mortar and its crew then proceeded to fire nine rounds using the hospital as a screen. The direct consequence of this disreputable and cowardly act was that shortly afterward the hospital came under fire from anti-aircraft gunfire, artillery fire, and mortar fire ... You will, I’m sure, be aware that the firing of weapons from the hospital is against the Geneva Convention.”


The siege of Sarajevo wasn’t a genocidal Serb attack on defenseless peace loving Muslims like our news media led us to believe. The Muslims deliberately put their civilian population in the crossfire so that NATO would intervene against the Serbs on “humanitarian” grounds.


NATO took the bait because our news media shamelessly shilled for the Islamic cause. Our journalists dutifully reported that Muslim civilians were killed in Sarajevo by Serb artillery fire, but they failed to report that the Serbs were provoked by Muslim artillery fire emanating from the city.


The story of Srebrenica is similar. We’ve been told the half-truth that the Serbs over-ran a UN safe area and killed thousands of Muslims, but we weren’t told that the Muslims of Nasir Oric’s 28th Infantry Division used that safe area as a base to launch attacks from. They massacred the Serbian villages surrounding Srebrenica and they fled back into the warm bosom of the UN Safe Area when they were done – safely behind the UN’s skirts and out of reach of Serb retaliation.


In July 1995, when a column of 15,000 Muslim men from Srebrenica ventured out of the safe area to attack the Bosnian-Serb frontlines in an operation to break-through to Tuzla, the Serbs weren’t inclined to be friendly. The Serbs shot and managed to kill thousands of their Muslim attackers, and now we’re being told that they committed a so-called “genocide”.


One has to wonder what kind of “genocide” it was when most of the bodies being pulled from the mass graves around Srebrenica are military aged men. Thousands of bodies have been exhumed and there isn’t a single woman among them. Can you think of any other “genocide” that spared women and children? If exterminating Muslims was the goal, why not kill the women and children? The story of Srebrenica doesn’t make a lot of sense until you realize that it wasn’t genocide at all. What happened in Srebrenica is simple: the Muslims attacked the Serbs so the Serbs shot and killed them, some died in battle and others were executed. It might not have been pretty, but it’s ridiculous to call it “genocide”.

Only a fool would believe that the Muslims were striving for a democratic and multi-ethnic Bosnia. Alija Izetbegovic, the leader of the Bosnian Muslims, was seen in the company of Osama bin Laden by Der Spiegel’s Balkan correspondent Renate Flottau and by London Time’s war correspondent Eve-Ann Prentice in 1994. According to the 9/11 Commission report four of the 9/11 hijackers, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, were veterans of the Bosnian jihad against Radovan Karadzic and the Serbs.


A report published in 1996 by the US House Committee on International Relations says, “Iran ordered senior members of its Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (“IRGC”), the elite force used to advance militant Islam, to travel to Bosnia to survey the military needs of the [Izetbegovic] government. IRGC trainers taught the Muslims how to use anti-tank missiles and helped with troop logistics and weapons factories. The IRGC also incorporated religious indoctrination into military training. Iran used this leverage to urge Hizballah to send foreign fighters to the region as members of the Mujahideen. The effort was successful and a force of thousands drawn from several pro-Iranian groups and other Islamic Opposition movements assembled in Bosnia.”


Radovan Karadzic was fighting the good fight in Bosnia. He was fighting to keep his people from being subjugated by an Islamic regime in Sarajevo that had ties to Osama bin Laden and the Iranian government. Anybody who believes that the Muslims enlisted the help of Osama bin Laden and the Iranians for the sake of multi-ethnic democracy is hopelessly delusional.


Radical Islamic groups supported Izetbegovic’s regime because he shared their fundamentalist views. In 1990, two years before the war started, Izetbegovic published his book “The Islamic Declaration” in Sarajevo.  In that book Izetbegovic advocates Sharia law and the establishment of “a united Islamic community from Morocco to Indonesia”. He wrote that the establishment of an Islamic order was his “incontrovertible and invincible aim”. In Izetbegovic’s view “the Islamic movement should and can, take over political power as soon as it is morally and numerically so strong that it can not only overturn the existing non-Islamic power, but also build up a new Islamic one”. He branded Western feminists “a depraved element of the female sex” and said, “There can be neither peace nor coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic social and political institutions”.


Under the circumstances, the Bosnian-Serbs had every right to break away from Bosnia and re-join what was left of Yugoslavia. To call the Serbian war effort an aggression for “Greater Serbia” is grossly dishonest. The Bosnian-Serbs had the same right to leave Bosnia and re-join Yugoslavia that West Virginia had to break away from Confederate Virginia and re-join the Union during the civil war.


The rhetoric that our media and our political establishment have used to describe the Bosnian civil war is some of the most malicious propaganda ever conceived. To illustrate the point I’ll use their “Bosnia rhetoric” to describe the American civil war: “In 1861 Abraham Lincoln committed an aggression against the Confederate States of America. Over the course of the war, Lincoln’s thugs systematically seized Confederate territory in a genocidal quest for ‘Greater America’. Lincoln’s war killed more than 600,000 people and left millions homeless. Lincoln, better known as ‘the butcher of Gettysburg’, was not brought to justice for his crimes until he was slain by a Confederate loyalist named John Wilkes Booth in 1865.”


Obviously, that tendentious description of the civil war is one of the most intellectually dishonest things ever written. Unfortunately, our news media and our political establishment describe what happened in Bosnia in precisely that fashion. It is time to call these people out, the next bleeding hart that bemoans “Karadzic’s genocide in Bosnia” and smugly applauds his capture as “a victory for international justice” needs to be put in their place.


No matter what you’ve been told, there was nothing especially evil about the 1992-95 war in Bosnia compared to any other war. The war killed about 100,000 people including the civilians and soldiers from each side. While that’s a lot of people it’s not a remarkable death toll for a war. It certainly isn’t indicative of genocide or anything even close.


When the United States firebombed Tokyo on the night of March 9-10, 1945 we killed 100,000 Japanese civilians in that one night of bombing alone. Does that mean Franklin Roosevelt was a genocidal monster? Coalition forces estimate that they killed 100,000 Iraqi troops during Operation Desert Storm in 1990-91. Does that make George H.W. Bush guilty of genocide? If it’s absurd to accuse Bush and Roosevelt of genocide, then it’s equally absurd to accuse Radovan Karadzic.


Radovan Karadzic’s fight to keep his people from being ruled by Islamic extremists is no less valid than the U.S. war against Imperial Japan or the U.S. campaign to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. If anything Karadzic had more of a right to stand and fight on the territory where his people lived than the United States had to take the fight halfway around the world to Japan and Iraq.


If Radovan Karadzic marshals the evidence already on record at the Tribunal, and if he supplements it with the documents and evidence that undoubtedly came into his possession as the President of the Bosnian Serbs he will bury his opposition. The people who are pointing their self-righteous fingers at him today could very well regret the day they ever put him on trial. Then again, his accusers have been dishonest from day one they will probably keep repeating their story no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary. They’ve been lying for sixteen years and there’s no reason to think they’ll stop now. It is time to call these people out and start applying some common sense to our understanding of the Bosnian war.


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