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Soj, yo u'll have to explain your understanding of the Srebrenica thing to us. I can't assess it at all.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jul 1st, 2005 at 12:07:06 PM EST
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All parties of former Yugoslavia have blood on their hands - Croatians, Bosnians, Serbs and KLA/UKC in Kosovo. No one can put blaim on Dutch peacekeepers who had no heavy armor, just a few troops, no food and supplies and left abandoned by the UN political leadership Akashi and military leadership under UNPROFOR French General Janvier.

The Guardian - "There are only two parties who could and should apologise in Srebrenica - the Serbs and the Dutch," said Tomislav Jakic, foreign policy aide to President Stipe Mesic of Croatia. Dutch peacekeepers stationed in Srebrenica in 1995 have been criticised for abandoning the Muslim enclave to the invading forces of the Bosnian Serb commander, General Ratko Mladic.

When you have trust in the UN International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, the arrest warrants for General Ratko Mladic and political leader Radovan Karadzic should have been effected by NATO forces in the last 10 years!

UN ICT - President Meron will once again call for the arrest and transfer of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. As stated at the UN Security Council earlier this month, the Tribunal will not have fulfilled its historic mission - and it will not close its doors - until Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic have been brought to The Hague and tried before the Tribunal in accordance with the full procedural protections recognized by the ICT jurisprudence.

I will do a follow-up with a Dutch input on Srebrenica.

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'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jul 1st, 2005 at 01:17:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I should write an entire Diary on this I know but first.. there is no evidence that a massacre occurred in Srebrenica.  Period.

  1. There is a group of people who constantly put forward the thought that there was a Srebrenica massacre and it was the "worst holocaust in Europe since WW2".
  2. That group is the same which obtained the video shown in Serbia and Bosnia last month, showing eight people being executed by a Scorpions unit.  It was horrible and despicable, but not the "worst holocaust in Europe since WW2".
  3. The Scorpions unit was a Croatian Serb unit, not a Serbian Serb unit.
  4. There were many, many incidents of groups of people being slaughtered, including BY both Albanian forces AND by NATO forces as WELL AS Serbian forces.  As Oui says, there's a lot of blood on everyone's hands
  5. Mass graves have been found of both Serbian and Albanian victims

That's the shortest version of Srebrenica.. click on the links in the PDB to read more details of that SPECIFIC INCIDENT.

It was a horrible war perpetrated under illegal pretenses and many horrible things happened, but most important is that Srebrenica was NOT the "worst holocaust in Europe since WW2" or "worst incident of genocide" or anything else.

Pax

Night and day you can find me Flogging the Simian

by soj on Fri Jul 1st, 2005 at 01:33:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
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was based on false information of mass graves - 10,000 killed - in Kosovo, published under leadership of Bill Clinton. The option was used to get NATO approval of all member states to start retaliation on Serbia. Led also to near confrontation between NATO - read US forces - and Russian forces flown into Pristina airport to prevent a NATO led attack on Serb positions in Kosovo. This confrontation involved General Wesley Clarke, and is by itself worthy to be covered in a diary.

Soj - you are mistaken on the massacre at Srebrenica. I followed it very closely at the time from The Hague. I became convinced in mid-July 1995 of the massacre by Bosnian-Serbs under command of General Ratko Mladic. Within a fort night 7-8,000 Bosnian males were slaughtered and their bodies dumped in mass graves or left in the surrounding woods where the men were shot without provocation as they tried to flee the enclave of Srebrenica. To deny this historic fact is not correct.  I agree it should be placed within the content of the Balkan wars of former Yugoslavia. IMO a conflict of revenge for affairs not settled in the aftermath of Worl War II, just check out the personal family circumstances of Ratko Mladic.

All the facts and evidence of bodies recovered from these graves are minutely detailed by specialists for identification and to be used as evidence in the trials at the UN ICT in The Hague.  

Radislav Krstic (IT-98-33) was originally indicted together with Vinko Pandurevic

The Indictment "Srebrenica"  --  Factual Allegations:
The Amended Indictment dated 27 October 1999, generally alleges that in early July 1995, units of the Drina Corps of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) shelled the Srebrenica "safe area" and attacked Dutch-manned United Nations observation posts which were located there. VRS forces subsequently entered Srebrenica.

By 18 July 1995, those forces either expelled or killed most of the members of the Bosnian Muslim population of the Srebrenica enclave. As a result of these actions, the VRS forces virtually eliminated the presence of any Bosnian Muslims in the Srebrenica enclave area, thus continuing an ethnic cleansing campaign which had begun in the spring of 1992.

From October 1994 until 12 July 1995, Radislav Krstic was the Chief of Staff/Deputy Commander of the VRS Drina Corps. He was promoted to the rank of General-Major in June 1995 and assumed command of the Drina Corps on 13 July 1995.

Appeals Judgement: 19 April 2004, sentenced to 35 years' imprisonment.

I can refer you to a scientific, historical document from NIOD in Amsterdam, the institution that got the official order from the Dutch government and PM Wim Kok to do a complete and independent research on Srebrenica. The publication after seven years led to the resignation of the purple administration of Wim Kok and the devastating defeat of the Labor party in May 2002.

Investigation by the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation

The letter of 6 September 1996 from the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defence to the Lower House announced the Governments intention to instruct the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) to investigate events before, during and after the fall of Srebrenica. The Government attaches great importance to a scholarly historical investigation of this kind.

From Press Summary:  

(10) The tragic nadir of the fall of Srebrenica was the mass killing of thousands of Muslim men by Bosnian Serbian units. A large number of the men were members of the Bosnian Muslim army (ABiH) who had attempted to break out of the enclave to Tuzla with some of the male population during the night of 11 July. The decision to break out and thus to give up further resistance was taken entirely outside the UN and UNPROFOR. The flight to Tuzla and the mass executions which followed, took place entirely out of view of Dutchbat. Suggestions that the Muslims were killed "under the eyes of Dutchbat" are unfounded in relation to this mass slaughter.

(10) The decision on mass executions was most probably made after 11 July when it became clear that the breakout led by the 28th division prevented the handling of affairs that had been planned. No written order has been found. The outbreak was a complete surprise, and it came at a very bad time for the VRS. Along with the already existing hatred, eagerness for revenge and the wish for ethnic cleansing, it was one of the factors that led the Bosnian Serbs to settle accounts harshly with the Muslim population of the enclave. This turned into an organised mass slaughter. It is unlikely that is was planned long in advance with this specific form and scope. It is more plausible to suppose that the Bosnian Serbians had counted on a surrender of the ABiH troops and a deportation of the population from the enclave after 'screening for war criminals' and transfer of the troops to prisoner-of-war camps.

(10) It was precisely in the treatment of the many prisoners that the Bosnian Serbs lost control of themselves. In some places the Muslims were slaughtered like beasts. They included men who had been separated from the women outside the Dutch compound in Potocari at the transfer of the population to Tuzla. That mass murder was the intention is also clear from the fact that, after the prisoners had been taken, no measures were taken to see whether there were 'war criminals' among them, no prisoner-of-war facilities were found, no food or drink were organised, identity cards were destroyed, and no distinction was made between combatants and non-combatants.

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'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jul 1st, 2005 at 04:46:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I appreciate the documentation, however let's stick to the facts

  1. 8,000 men, most of whom were combatants in an ongoing war, ended up dead or missing
  2. There are no Dutch witnesses to a single death
  3. There was no single "mass" grave, but a multitude of mass graves, containing these men.
  4. There are many mass graves in both Bosnia and Kosovo, containing dead from completely unrelated incidents
  5. All the graves of Srebrenica men combined add up to 3,000 meaning there are 5,000 either missing or unaccounted for - either they're in undiscovered graves or they died ELSEWHERE (or are living elsewhere, potentially)

Does that negate the fact the men of Srebrenica died a horrible death? No.  But that doesn't make it "the worst genocide since WW2" either.

Let's also not forget neither Mladic nor Milosevic has ever been convicted of anything, regardless of how you feel about these men.

I'm not arguing that something horrific didn't happen, I'm saying that it has not been accurately represented for a reason - as part of a propaganda campaign against the Serbian government.

Pax

Night and day you can find me Flogging the Simian

by soj on Fri Jul 1st, 2005 at 05:03:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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