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Srebrenican myyteistä ja faktoista

Srebrenicasta puhuttaessa kaksi kertomuslinjaa hallitsevat otsikoita vielä yli puolitoista vuosikymmentä tragedian jälkeenkin. Ensimmäinen laajalle yleisölle tarjottu yksinkertaistettu tarina toistaa myyttiä kahdeksasta tuhannesta teloitetusta muslimipojasta ja – miehestä ja kansanmurhasta. Toinen valikoidummalle ja vaikutusvaltaisemmalle suunnattu linja pohjaa Jugoslavian hajoamissotien näennäishistoriaan Haagin kansainvälisen tuomioistuimen ja sitä tukevan poliittisen koneiston tukemana. Useiden kyseenalaisten viralliseen tarinaan liittyvien seikkojen esiinnostamiseksi Haagissa toimiva

The Srebrenica Historical Project -yhteisö on luonut esityksen Srebrenica The guide for the perplexed perusfaktojen läpivalaisemiseksi.

Kysymyksiä (i.a.):

Tässä muutamia aiheellisia kysymyksiä:

  1. Miksi Srebrenican tragedian yhteydessä yhä puhutaan 8,000 teloitetusta yksilöstä kun ainoa kova todiste Haagin tribunaalin käsissä on 442 teloitetun ihmisen jäännökset? Omaa kertomustaan oikeudenkäynnistä toiseen muuttanut, syyttäjän kanssa sopimuksen tehnyt tähtitodistajakin (koska muita silminnäkijöitä ei ole löytynyt) puhui Branjevon farmilla tapahtuneiden teloitusten yhteydessä 1,200 teloitetusta, 115 löydettiin.

  2. Alueen haudoista on löydetty vajaa 4,000 tapausta joista noin 1,500 oli vain ruumiin osasia ja samasta määrästä kuolinsyytä ei voitu selvittää. Kun loppujen osalta DNAankaan avulla kuolinaikaa ja kuolintapaa ei juuri ole voitu määritellä esim sen suhteen ovatko ne tapahtuneet taisteluissa, luonnollisista syistä, teloituksissa tai jopa aiemmin – miksi vain teloituslukua ja sitäkin suurenneltuna käyetään kansanmurhan todisteena.

Faktoja ja argumentteja

Srebrenican yhteydessä kannattaa kokonaiskuvan saamiseksi ottaa huomioon myös muutama muu avainasia, kuten esimerkiksi seuraavat:

  1. Srebrenican kaltaisen tapahtuman tarve ja minimiuhrimäärä määriteltiin Bosnian muslimijohdon taholta jo kaksi vuotta ennen Srebrenican tragediaa tavoitteena saada USA mukaan sotaan serbejä vastaan. Tragediaa valmisteltiin myös sitä edeltävinä viikkoina saman osapuolen toimesta.

  2. Tragediaa edeltäneen kahden vuoden aikana pääosin ulkomaisista bin Ladenin verkoston kautta tulleista jihadisteista koostuva 7. muslimien vuoristoprikaati terrorisoi YK:n demilitarisoidulta suoja-alueelta käsin Srebrenican alueen serbikyliä. Hollantilaisen NIOD:n raportin mukaan muslimien tekemissä etnisissä puhdistuksissa ko alueella kuoli 1,000-1,200 serbisiviiliä ja haavoittui 3,000. Srebrenican alueella asuneista 9,390 serbistä oli puhdistusten jälkeen jäljellä enää 860. Pelko kostosta saattoi olla syynä siihen, että serbijoukkojen saapuessa Srebrenican alueelle muslimijoukot ja armeijaikäiset siviilit pyrkivät pakenemaan kaupungista.

  3. Muslimijoukkojen tuhoamia serbikyliä Srebrenican alueella 1992-1995

  4. Heinäkuun 11. päivänä 1995 12,000-15,000 vahvuinen pääosin taistelijoista ja armeijaikäisistä miehistä koostuva muslimijoukko pyrki pakoon Srebrenicasta kohti muslimien hallussa olevaa Tuzlaa. Joukko joutui serbien väijytykseen kärsien raskaita tappioita taistelussa, ICTYn syyttäjäpuolen mukaan taistelussa kolmen päivän aikana kuolleita oli tuhannesta jopa neljään tuhanteen muslimimiestä.

  5. Sveitsiläinen Alexander Dorin kuvaa Srebrenican numeropeliä tuoreehkossa kirjassaan puolestaan seuraavasti: Srebrenicassa kuolleiden nimilistoja tutkittaessa selvisi mm, että 3,000 kuolleeksi luultua äänesti myöhemmin Bosnian muslimiseutujen vaaleissa; edelleen Dorin arvioi korkeintaan 2,000 Bosnian muslimitaistelijan kuolleen Srebrenicassa ja heistä 1600 pakoyrtyksessä kaupungista. Lisäksi vähintään 1,000 ”Srebrenican kansanmurhan” uhria oli kuollut jo kauan ennen kuin serbiarmeija saapui kaupunkiin.

  6. Myyttiin kansanmurhasta on ladattu niin paljon poliittista arvovaltaa ettei siitä haluta luopua. Srebrenican heinäkuu peitti alleen esimerkiksi heti sen jälkeen elokuussa kroaattiarmeijan toteuttaman Krajinan etnisen puhdistuksen (laajultaan noin viisinkertainen Srebrenicaan nähden), sittemmin liki kaikki läntiset humanitaariset interventiot (R2P) ovat käyttäneet Srebrenicaa esimerkkinä alkaen Kosovosta ja päätyen Libyaan ( “We prevented a new Srebrenica in Libya” (Hilary Clinton)) ja Syyriaan (Ban Ki-moon vaatiessaan nopeita toimia Syyriaan ettei käy niin kuin Srebrenicassa).

Oma näkemykseni

Itse olen tullut siihen näkemykseen, että Srebrenican ”8,000 teloitettua muslimiestä ja -poikaa” on poliittisista syistä ylläpidetty myytti; verilöyly ja tragedia sen sijaan mielestäni ovat tosiasioita mutta ehkä merkittävästi erilaisia kuin iskulauseen omaisesti agitoituna yksiulotteisena kolmeen päivään keskittyvänä musta-valkoisena totuutena.

Srebrenican verilöyly heinäkuussa 1995

Käytettävissä olleen fakta-aineiston pohjalta tilannekulku oli nähdäkseni seuraava: Muslimitaistelijat terrorisoivat Srebrenican alueen serbejä vuosina 1992-1995 julmasti tavoitteenaan alueen etninen puhdistus. Serbijoukkojen tiivistettyä läsnäoloaan kaupungin ympärillä heinäkuussa 1995 päättivät muslimitaistelijat ja armeijaikäiset miehet (12,000-15,000) pyrkiä serbilinjojen läpi muslimien hallinnassa oleville alueille. Mainittu kolonna joutui serbien väijytykseen kärsien merkittäviä tappioita. Srebrenican alueen muslimitaustaiset naiset, lapset ja vanhukset (noin 20,000) ohjattiin serbijoukkojen toimesta busseihin ja turvallisesti muslimien hallitsemalle alueelle, jota sinänsä voi pitää kansanmurhista puhuttaessa hyvin poikkeuksellisena menettelynä. Osa miesten kolonnasta pääsi perille muslimilinjojen sisään, osa (niin sotilaista kuin siviileistäkin) kuoli taisteluissa ja miinakenttiin. Kiistatonta lienee sekin, että osa vangituista muslimimiehistä teloitettiin (vajaasta viidestäsadasta teloitetusta on todisteet mutta luku saattaa hyvin olla suurempikin). Niin muslimiterroria kuin vankien teloituksia on hyvinkin perusteltua kuvata sotarikoksina, rikoksina ihmisyyttä vastaan kuin vuosien 1992-1995 tapahtumia etnisinä puhdistuksina.

Pääblogini artikkelissa

Srebrenica – The guide for the perplexed

käsittelen teemaa laajemmin. Siihen on myös linkitetty vajaa kymmenen tuhatta sivua aihetta käsitteleviä raportteja ym aineistoa.

Srebrenica Historical Project

( http://www.srebrenica-project.com/ )

An excerpt from project’s mission statement:

Our broad purpose is to collect information on Srebrenica during the last conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, defined not as July 1995, but more broadly as 1992 to 1995. That means that we shall be creating a comprehensive and contextual, as opposed to a selective, record of the violence between the communities in that area during the conflict. We shall focus also on crimes committed against the Serb civilians not because we favor them but because so far they have been ignored. We wish to redress that balance, but we will not work under any ideological limitations. A corollary goal will be to launch something along the lines of the South African Truth and Reconciliation commission, with emphasis on truth as logically coming before and as a precondition to reconciliation. That is another reason we wish to do a great deal of empirical work on the neglected crimes against the Serbian population. We shall then proceed to explore reconciliations strategies. The fundamental objective of our project is to rise above politics and propaganda and to create a contextual record of the Srebrenica tragedy of July 1995 which can serve as a corrective to the distortions of the last decade and a half and as a genuine contribution to future peace.

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Joulun alla annoin haastattelun serbialaisen SNP Nashi -organisaation kansainvälisten suhteiden johtajalle Vjekoslav Cerovinalle. Kyseinen SNP NASHI järjestö on vastaavan venäläisen (Putinia ihailevan nuorisojärjestön) tapaan USA, EU ja Nato vastainen, demokraattinen, antifasistinen euraasialaista yhteistyötä kannattava perimmiltään ehkä patrioottiseksi luonnehdittava liike. Mainittu haastattelu on sittemmin levinnyt useisiin muihinkin medioihin kuten mm BTV, eNovosti, Pokretzasrbiju ,Facebookreporter,Blogovnic, Vesti011, privreda , srpskinacionalisti. Koska haastattelu peilaa hyvin blogissani kuluneena vuonna käsittelemiäni teemoja Balkanin osalta esitän seuraavassa siitä lyhennetyn suomenkielisen version.

Alun esittelyssä tuon esiin motivaationi bloggaukseen syntyneen Kosovossa työskennellessäni huomaamastani kuilusta todellisuuden ja läntisestä valtamediasta saamani kuvan välillä kuin myös kuilusta kansainvälisen yhteisön Kosovo-mission virallisten tavoitteiden ja toteiutuksen välillä. Kyseiseen problematiikkaan pyrin aluksi vaikuttamaan lähettämällä päättäjille analyyseja ja sähköposteja havitsematta mitään tuloksia. Bloggauksen aloitettuani palaute on ollut siinä mielessä myönteistä, että poliitikkojen ohella myös ns tavallinen yleisö vaikuttaa edes jossain määrin lukevan kirjoitelmiani ja jopa pitävän niistä. Ja sitten varsinaiseen kysymys – vastaus osioon:

Mielestäsi keskeisin seikka joka tulisi nostaa esiin koskien Jugoslavian hajoamissotia?

90-luvulla kuva Jugoslavian hajoamissodista onnistuttiin ”markkinoimaan” yleisesti serbejä demonisoivana ja toisten etnisten ryhmien esittämisenä yksiselitteisesti uhreina. Nyt kuva on alkanut monipuolistua ja ymmärretään liki kaikkien osapuolten syyllistyneen julmuuksiin. Alueen tulevaisuuden kannalta keskeistä on pohjata näkemykset monipuoliseen mahdollisimman realistiseen perustaan, vain näin mielestäni on mahdollisuus edistää eri etnisten ryhmien toleranssia ja jopa suvaitsevaisuutta ja luottamusta toisiaan kohtaan.

Viime vuosina paljon tietoa, joka osoittaa selvästi, että Srebrenicassa ei ollut esitetty totuudenmukaisesti. Oletko samaa mieltä, että Srebrenican tapauksessa tosiasioita olisi tietoisesti vääristelty?

Srebrenica on onnistunut esimerkki nykyaikaisesta sodasta mediaa hyväksikäyttäen. Bosnian muslimijohtajat olivat jo syyskuussa 1993 (USAn tuella ja siis lähes kaksi vuotta ennen Srebrenican joukkomurhaa) päätelleet, että tarvitaan 5000 muslimin verilöyly Naton intervention toteuttamiseksi serbejä vastaan. Onnistunein hanke oli palkatun yhden USAn johtavan PR-yrityksen hanke kääntää USAn merkittävä juutalaisyhteisö myötämieliseksi muslimeille (ja kroaateille), joka historiallisesti oli melkoinen taidonnäyte. Srebrenicassa häivytettiin onnistuneesti muslimiprikaatin pari vuotta edeltänyt terrori serbejä kohtaan, samoin Srebrenica peitti alleen operaation ”Stormin” joka oli koko Jugoslavian hajoamissotien suurimpia etnisiä puhdistuksia. (Lisää Krajina – Victory with Ethnic CleansingKrajina – Victory with Ethnic Cleansing )

Srebrenican jälkeen, luotua kuva on pidetty hengissä, ja samoja käytänteitä (yksipuolinen tilannekuva, faktojen manipulointi, uhrimäärien moninkertaistus jne) on toteutettu ”humanitaarisen intervention” nimissä Kosovossa ja muissakin selkkauksissa.

Onko kansainvälinen yhteisö on valmis käsittelemään Srebrenican eri tavalla? Mitä voidaan mahdollisesti tehdä tällä alalla?

Kansainvälinen yhteisö, tai ainakin länsivallat eivät ole vielä valmiita myöntämään, että heidän politiikka oli aiemmin valikoivaa ja virheellistä. Toisaalta yhä useampi riippumaton tutkimus osoittaa selvästi, mitä todella tapahtui ja tämä tulee jatkuvasti myös julkisuuteen joten olen varma että eri osapuolet joutuvat tarkistamaan yleistä lähestymistapaansa tähänkin kysymykseen. (Lisää Srebrenica again – Hoax or Massacre? )

Mitä mieltä olet nykyisestä Ratko Mladic’n ja Radovan Karadzicin Haagissa tapahtuvasta oikeudenkäynnistä?

Haagin tuomioistuin voi olla enemmän poliittinen kuin oikeudellinen instituutio. Kuitenkin mielestäni se on hyödyllinen siinä mielessä, että kun sekä syyttäjä että puolustus ovat esittäneet argumenttinsa meillä on jälleen realistisempi kuva tapahtumista.

Mielipiteesi Kosovosta?

Olen edelleen sitä mieltä, että Kosovo näennäisitsenäinen näennäisvaltio, muodollisesti YK: n hallinnoima protektoraatti, josta järjestynyt rikollisuus on luomassa itselleen laillista turvasatamaa ja jonka suhteen länsivallat eivät vielä voi myöntää hätiköityä puolenvalintaa eikä hätiköityä tunnustusta. On valitettavaa, että kansainvälinen yhteisö on koko ajan – jo ennen Kosovon konfliktia – järjestyneen rikollisuuden organisaation, henkilöt ja toimintatavat; kuitenkin taktisten etujen ja näennäisen vakauden nimissä yhteistyötä klaanijohtahien kanssa on pidetty näihin päiviin. (Lisää Captured Pseudo-State Kosovo )

Yksi mielenkiintoinen asia Kosovossa, ja tämä on ensimmäinen maa, joka tunnusti Kosovon itsenäisyyttä oli Afganistan. Tiedämme, että Afganistan on merkittävä tuottaja heroiinin maailmassa, ja Kosovo nimettiin merkittävä keskus huumeiden liiketoimintaa Euroopassa. Molemmissa maissa Nato on miehittäjänä raporttien mukaan heroiinin tuotanto on kasvanut moninkertaiseksi sitten Naton tulon. Mitä mieltä olet johtopäätöksestä, että Nato on suoraan mukana huumausaineiden liiketoiminnassa?

USA oli mukana huumeiden levittämiseen mm Reaganin valtakaudella osana CIAn salaisen toiminnan rahoitusta Nicaraguassa, Iranissa ja Kolumbiassa. Radikaali islam on levinnyt toimintaansa Balkanilla viimeisten 15 vuoden aikana osin huumakaupan sivutuotteena ja toisaalta ”vapaustaistelujen” tarvitsemat aseet rahoitettiin osin huumeilla. Tänään, albaanimafia ohjaa noin 70% EU: hun saapuvasta heroiinista. Vaikka kaikki tämä tapahtui aiemmin USAn tuella niin nykykäytännön uskon olevan lähinnä yksityisyritteliäisyyttä. Minulla ei ole tarkempia tietoja tästä aiheesta. ( Lisää Balkan Route – Business as usual )

Nato tai USA on viimeiset pari vuosikymmentä toiminut Serbian vihollisten suojelijana syyllistyen itsekin sotarikoksiin mm köyhdytettyä uraania sisältävin pommein. Voiko tämä suuntaus muuttua lähitulevaisuudessa?

On jo olemassa moniulotteinen kuva kaikista tapahtumista Jugoslavian hajoamissotien osalta, suuri kysymys on, ettei länsimainen valtamedia eivät koe tarvetta julkaista tätä. Tiedustelupalvelut ja johtavat poliitikot tietävät mitä tapahtui ja miksi, mutta eivät voi myöntää väärää politiikkaa. Kuitenkin peittely ei enää aiempaan tapaan onnistu mm länsimaisten tutkijoiden esittäessä tuloksiaa. Tämä prosessi on jatkuvasti käynnissä ja esimerkiksi sveitsiläisen Dick Martyn raportti Euroopan neuvostolle Kosovon poliitikkojen ja järjestyneen rikollisuuden symbioosista sekä aiemman Kosovon pääministerin Haradinaj’n oikeudenkäynti Haagissa tuovat tälläkin hetkellä asioita esille.

Mikä olisi neuvosi Serbian viranomaisille?

Kaikki Balkanin maat ovat oman kehityksen tiellä. Jostakin maasta tulee pian EU: n jäsen (Kroatia), joistakin hieman myöhemmin (Makedonia, Montenegro, Albania), jotkut etsivät liittolaisia ja muita vaihtoehtoja (Serbia), Kosovo tulee olemaan kansainvälinen suojelualue ennen mahdollista siirtymistään seuraavaksi epäonnistuneeksi (failed) tai jopa kaapatuksi (captured) valtioksi ja Bosnia etsii identiteettiään horjuen hajoamisen ja federaation välillä.

Tässä tilanteessa Serbian merkitys alueen keskuksena voi olla suuri. Olen aiemmin todennut Serbian EU tiestä, että päättäjien olisi hyvä miettiä onko EU kaiken vaivannäön arvoinen päämäärä. Tästä huolimatta suosittelen tiiviiden neuvottelujen jatkamista liittymisprosessin eri luvuista, mutta ei Brysselin vaatimusten takia vaan siksi, että ne voivat edesauttaa kaupankäyntiä, liikkuvuutta ja ylipäätään serbien elinolojen kohentumista. Lyhyesti neuvoni Serbian viranomaisille on pitää vaihtoehdot avoimina keskittymättä pelkästään EU:n. (Lisää Serbia’s EU association is not a Must)

Viestisi Serbian kansalle ja muiden ex-Jugoslavian kansoille?

Edith Durham näki aikoinaan Kosovon ja Balkanin “alueena jossa on tänään elävä menneisyys.” Nykyäänkin tilanne on samankailtainen. Nähdäkseni historian selkiyttäminen testaamalla faktoja, argumentteja ja teorioita on ennakkoehto tulevaisuuteen suuntaamiseksi. Ehkä Etelä-Afrikassa toteutetulle totuuskomissiolle olisi tarvetta myös Balkanilla.

Serbien itse tulee taistella korruptiota vastaan ja demokratian puolesta, ulkomaat tai EU eivät tee sitä puolestanne. Sama koskee muitakin ex-Jugoslaaveja. Olkaa kriittisiä, älkää muodostako näkökantaa vain yhden osapuolen tietojen perusteella, valtamedian sijaan etsikää vaihtoehtoisia tietolähteitä, uskokaa itseenne paremman huomisen puolesta.

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NIOD -raportti Srebrenicasta

Aiemmissa pääblogini artikkeleissa ( Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed” – Finally a Critical Documentary about Srebrenica Tragedy ja Media War of Yugoslav Secession continues ) olen käsitellyt tekijöitä jotka haastavat virallisen kuvan Srebrenican tapahtumista 1995. Esimerkiksi promovoimani norjalaisdokumentti on aikaansaanut kiivasta palautetta niin Norjan kuin Ruotsinkin yleisradioyhtiöille näiden uskallettua esittämään mainittu dokumentti televisiossa.

Fanaattinen, ahdasmielinen, yhteen totuuteen pohjaava väittely, joka enemmän kohdistuu itse mielipiteiden tai tutkimusten esittäjiin kuin itse tapahtumaan, ei johtane sen enempää kuvan tarkentumiseen kuin eri osapuolten suhteiden lientymiseenkään.

Tunnepohjaiselle debatille on kuitenkin vaihtoehtoja, joista merkittävin nähdäkseni on keskusteluargumenttien pohjaaminen faktoihin (tai luultujen tosiasioiden kumoaminen uusilla tosiasioilla). Parhaan välineen Srebrenican suhteen tarjoaa milestäni ns NIOD-raportti, joka on ehkä kattavin akateeminen tutkimus ja dokumentaatio siitä mitä Srebrenicassa tapahtui, mitkä tekijät olivat merkittäviä ennen heinäkuuta 1995 ja mikä oli Srebrenican historiallinen ja poliittinen konteksti.

NIOD Raportti Srebrenican tragediasta
Marraskuussa 1996, hollantilainen NIOD Instituutti (virallisesti silloin: Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie / Netherlands Institute for War Documentation ) sai Alankomaiden hallitukselta toimeksiannon tehdä tutkimuksen Srebrenican tapahtumista antaen samalla tutkijoille käyttöön pääsyn kaikkeen vallassaan olevaan materiaaliin. Yhdeksän tutkijan voimin laadittu raportti julkaistiin 2002 ja siitä jäljempänä olevat linkit johtavat noin 4.000 sivua laajaan englanninkieliseen versioon.

Ja edellisen pitkän johdannon jälkeen alla linkit NIOD-raportin – tämän mielestäni ensiluokkaisen tieteellisen työn – eri osiin:

The NIOD-report:

Kritiikkiä

NIOD-raporttia kohtaan on esitetty kritiikkiä koskien mm sen laajuutta, sisällön hajanaisuutta ja mm nimivirheitä. Samoin on epäilty raportin puolueettomuutta toimeksiantajan takia sikäli että raportilla vierittettäisiin syyllisyyttä hollantilaisrauhanturvaajilta muille tahoille. Fanaattisimmat – lähinnä Bosnian muslimipiirien – jäsenet puolestaan ovat leimanneet raportin sisällön kannattajia kansanmurhan kieltäjiksi, revisionisteiksi tai aina valtamediaa vastaan asettuviksi vasemmistolaisiksi.

Kestävä ajankohtaisuus

Srebrenican tragedia on säilynyt ja säilynee otsikoissa mielestäni vielä pitkään mm seuraavien tekijöiden takia:

  • Bosnian sodan pääsyytettyjen – Karadzic ja Mladic – ICTY prosessi Haagissa on käynnissä ja todistusaineistoa tuodaan esiin niin syyttäjän kuin puolustuksenkin osalta.
  • Joka vuosi Srebrenicassa pidetään teatraalisia hautajaisia oletetuille uhreille jolloin tapahtuman “virallista” versiota tuodaan esiin.
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina valtiona puolestaan etsii yhä identiteettiään mutta kehitys pikemminkin on johtamassa etnisten erojen lisääntymiseen ja jopa valtiorakennelman hajoamiseen, jolloin myös näkemykset Srebrenicasta kärjistyvät.
  • Länsimaisittain Srebrenican käynnistämä sotilaallinen interventio on malliesimerkki R2P:n (velvollisuus suojella, humanitaarinen interventio, sotilaallinen hyökkäys toiseen maahan) soveltamisesta esikuva pyritään pitämään tahrattomana.

Lisäaineistoa:

Aiheesta laajempi artikkeli – NIOD Report on Srebrenicapääblogissani.
Itse NIOD-raportin ohella myös mm seuraavat julkaisut taustoittavat hyvin Srebrenican tragediaa:

  • United Nations Report on Srebrenica 15 November 1999.(note: to access the report, click on the LINK immediately below. You will be directed to a page where you can click on “CLICK HERE TO GET THE FULL TEXT OF THE REPORT”. You will be directed to another page where you can click on your languaqe preference, and the full report should download) LINK )
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NIOD Report on Srebrenica

In my previous articles ( “Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed” – Finally a Critical Documentary about Srebrenica Tragedy and Media War of Yugoslav Secession continues ) I covered issues which are challenging the “official” picture about Srebrenica massacre. As expected there is a heated debate in different forums about events itself and about right to show the other side of the story e.g in public broadcasting company channels. This debate however is cursorily twirling round persons and deadlock opinions, arguments rarely have some base on facts.

Fanatical, narrow minded and many times politically motivated debate is blind alley; many-sided picture about Srebrenica can be illustrated by applying more facts than feelings to discussion. Maybe the best and anyway the most comprehensive source to find not only details and facts but also scientific analysis about them is in my opinion so called NIOD-report.

NIOD Report on Srebrenica

In November 1996, the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (then: Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie / Netherlands Institute for War Documentation ) was instructed by the Dutch Government to carry out a study of ‘the events prior to, during and after the fall of Srebrenica’. For the purposes of this independent historical analytical research, the Government undertook to do everything in its power to grant the NIOD researchers access to the source material at its disposal.

The NIOD Report on Srebrenica tragedy was published in 2002. So far the Report is the most comprehensive academic research and documentation about what really happened in Srebrenica not only in July of 1995 but also before tragedy. The Report describes on its some four thousand pages (yes, 4.000) also wider historical and political context around Srebrenica. The NIOD-report is generally regarded as a first-rate scientific work.

After this long introduction here below finally are links to different parts (in English) of this fundamental independent academic research –

The NIOD-report:

Criticism

Critics especially from Bosnian Muslim side are complaining that Dutch NIOD Report is not as objective as they have expected it to be.  Critics of the NIOD Report allege it was the Netherland’s attempt to wash their hands of direct involvement in the Srebrenica massacre. Also the Report is said to be full of inaccuracies e.g with names and that report is too big, idex is poorly organised etc. There was nine NIOD-researchers and some found information unreliable sources while other found it reliable.

There is also suspicion that the report is made to order by the Dutch government. The background for this is the fact that the government were facing the prospect of a politically motivated parliamentary inquiry into the role and conduct of Dutch military personnel during their presence in the UN-protected Srebrenica enclave in 1994 and 1995.

The supporters – e.g. Noam Chomsky, Ed Herman and Diana Johnstone – of Niod-conclusions have also been labeled as genocide denials, revisionists or representatives of “leftist apologist wing” who pride themselves on being always on the opposite side of the mainstream media. (See e.g Srebrenica Genocide Blog)

An Excerpt: Media manipulation of Srebrenica

(Source: ISSA reports )

Former BBC journalist Jonathan Rooper, who has researched the events in Srebrenica since 1995, says that the region was a graveyard for Serbs as well as Muslims. He observed closely media manipulation during Bosnian War. Instead of acknowledging that there was no support for the original figures, Rooper says a various means were used to prop up the official story.

  • Spokesmen for the Clinton Administration suggested that Serbs might have moved the bodies to other locations. Rooper points out that excavating, transporting and reburying 7,000 bodies was “not only beyond the capabilities of the thinly-stretched, petrol-starved Bosnian Serb Army, but would have been easily detected under intense surveillance from satellites and geostationary drones”.
  • By 1998, thousands of bodies excavated from all across Bosnia were stored at the Tuzla airport. Despite state-of-the-art DNA testing, only 200 bodies have been linked to Srebrenica.
  • Around 3,000 names on a list of Srebrenica victims compiled by the Red Cross matched voters in the Bosnian election in 1996. “I pointed out to the OSCE that there had either been massive election fraud or almost half the people on the ICRC missing list were still alive,” says Rooper. “The OSCE finally responded that the voting lists had been locked away in warehouses and it would not be possible for them to investigate.”

The Bottom Line

“What happened in Srebrenica was not a single large massacre of Muslims by Serbs, but rather a series of very bloody attacks and counterattacks over a three year period.”

(Phillip Corwin, former UN Civilian Affairs Coordinator in Bosnia)

The the tragic events in Srebrenica in July of 1995 are actual and in headlines today and probably during coming years too. The cause from my perspective may be related to four aspects

1st the ICTY process is focusing now to main political figures – Karadzig and Mladic – of Bosnian War and evidences from sides of prosecutor and defence are the core content of trial

2nd every year Srebrenica will be remaind as theatrical funerals of Bosnian Muslims – presumable victims – are taking place.

3rd Bosnia-Herzegovina as an artifical creature is searching some national identity, however ethnic tensions are rather increasing than opposite and politics is more going towards dissolution than unity.

4th Srebrenica is an example of intervention, or R2P context as well modern media war used more or less successfully in conflicts around the world during last decades.

Further reading

To go deeper to Srebrenica problemacy I would recommend besides mentioned NIOD-report also following material:

Stephen Karganovic, Ed., Deconstruction of a Virtual Genocide: An Intelligent Person’s Guide To Srebrenica

United Nations Report on Srebrenica 15 November 1999.(note: to access the report, click on the LINK immediately below. You will be directed to a page where you can click on “CLICK HERE TO GET THE FULL TEXT OF THE REPORT”. You will be directed to another page where you can click on your languaqe preference, and the full report should download) LINK )

I also would like promote the work of Srebrenica Historical Project, which collects information on Srebrenica events.

Srebrenica Historical Project

( http://www.srebrenica-project.com/ )

An excerpt from project’s mission statement:

Our broad purpose is to collect information on Srebrenica during the last conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, defined not as July 1995, but more broadly as 1992 to 1995. That means that we shall be creating a comprehensive and contextual, as opposed to a selective, record of the violence between the communities in that area during the conflict. We shall focus also on crimes committed against the Serb civilians not because we favor them but because so far they have been ignored. We wish to redress that balance, but we will not work under any ideological limitations. A corollary goal will be to launch something along the lines of the South African Truth and Reconciliation commission, with emphasis on truth as logically coming before and as a precondition to reconciliation. That is another reason we wish to do a great deal of empirical work on the neglected crimes against the Serbian population. We shall then proceed to explore reconciliations strategies. The fundamental objective of our project is to rise above politics and propaganda and to create a contextual record of the Srebrenica tragedy of July 1995 which can serve as a corrective to the distortions of the last decade and a half and as a genuine contribution to future peace.

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Balkan, lähi-itä, MENA

Jugoslavian hajoamissotien mediasota jatkuu yhä

“He may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.” (Franklin Roosevelt)

Muutama viikko sitten propagoin uuden Srebrenicaa käsittelevän dokumenttifilmin puolesta. Norjalaistuotos – Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed – esittää tapahtumiin aiempaan läntisessä valtavirtamediassa esitettyyn kuvaan poikkeavan näkökulman kyseenalaistaen samalla mainitun median objektiivisuuden ja itse asiassa osoittaen sen alistuneen asiansa osaavien PR-toimistojen työkaluksi. Dokumentin tekijät ovat joutuneet ajojahdin kohteeksi ja eri yhteisöt ovat kannelleet mm Norjan julkisen sanan neuvostoa vastaaviin sekä dokumentin esittäneen tv-yhtiön elimiin. Reaktio ei sinänsä ole yllätys sillä mediasota alkoi jopa ennen Balkanin sotia sen jatkuessa vielä tänä päivänä.

Dokumentin tekijät, tutkivat journalistit, Ola Flyum and David Hebditch, ovat laatineen valituksiin perinpohjaisen 43 sivuisen vastineen ja tämä kirjelmä – – 2 Response to NHC Complaint ENG – on luettavissa myös pääblogini documentti arkistossa. Ja itse filmi kertauksen vuoksi alla:

Uudessa artikkelissani Media War of Yugoslav Secession continues käsittelen lähemmin mainittua mediasotaa joka tiivistetysti ilmaisten demonisoi serbit, kätki Kroatian fasismin todellisen luonteen ja kanonisoi Bosnian muslimit. Palkatut PR-toimistot lobbareineen tekivät taitavasti työnsä erityisesti Yhdysvalloissa ja opittuja käytäntetä – numeropeli monikymmenkertaisilla kuolinluvuilla, tekaistut todisteet ja median manipulointi – olivat käyttökelpoisia vielä Kosovon sodassakin. Serbit olivat itse asiassa hävinneet mediasodan jo 90-luvun alkuvuosina taistelukentillä tämä realisoitui vuosituhannen vaihteessa ja poliittisilla tantereilla vasta viime vuosina aiemmat liki kiveen hakatut ”totuudet” ovat alkaneet lännessäkin murtua.

Lobbareiden sanoma ei olisi lyönyt toteutuneen loistavasti läpi ilman otollista maaperää Yhdysvalloissa. Neuvostoliiton hajoaminen vei Natolta vihollisen ja uhkasi sotateollisen kompleksin voitontavoittelua luoden kuitenkin samalla uusia mahdollisuuksia monikansallisten suuryritysten laajenemiselle. Yhteneväinen sotateollisen kompleksin ja Pentagonin etu oli luoda Balkanilta Mustanmeren kautta Kaukasukselle ulottuvalle vyöhykkeelle heikkoja, riippuvaisia ja yhteistyökykyisiä nukkehallituksia näiden alueiden sekä energialähteiden ja kuljetusreittien dominoimiseksi sekä taloudellisesti että poliittisesti; liittoutumaton Jugoslavia ei tässä kontekstissa enää ollut käyttökelpoinen.

Näistä teemoista siis laajemmin pääblogini artikkelissa

Media War of Yugoslav Secession continues

Military-industrial Complex shaping US-policy

Global military industrial consumption per year is 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars. US share of the cake is about 40% to the current year, 664 billion dollars. This is a good comparison of the UN budget (27 billion), which is a sum of nearly three per cent of its Member States on military expenditure. Peace work is estimated to get yearly 6 billion and conflict prevention 0.6 billion.

US military-industrial complex has been shaping the country’s economy and affecting its foreign policy. A recent count found the Department (Defense) had 47,000 primary contractors, or over 100,000 firms, including subcontractors. Even academia is in tow, with about 350 colleges and universities agreeing to do Pentagon-funded research.

To keep the media on Pentagon’s side, in the US and elsewhere, the military allocates nearly $4.7 billion per year to “influence operations” and has more than 27,000 employees devoted to such activities.

The international community is now willing to invest 200 times more to the war than peace. Against one peace researcher, is estimated to be more than 1100 researcher for weapon (and their use) developers. The difference in what countries are prepared to invest in weapons and their use is huge compared to what they use for example, poverty elimination and economic development in developing countries. And just poverty is one of the causes of violence.

More e.g in my article $1tn G20 deal vs. MI(MA/E)C

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BalkanBlog

Media War of Yugoslav Secession continues

Who needs facts if a good story is available?” (Ari Rusila)

A few weeks ago I promoted new Srebrenica documentary film Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed . Everybody was not happy about critical view of documentary. E.g the Norwegian Helsinki Committee made official complaint to Norwegian Broadcasting Council and Press Complaints Commission. This is not surprising as media war in Bosnia started same time as war on the ground. While the whole artificial outside forced state creature without any own identity is now openly tottering the media again is the tool to improve political interests.

Filmmakers and investigative journalists Ola Flyum and David Hebditch, authors of “Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed”, have been subjected to denunciations by interested parties in Bosnia and in the Bosniak diaspora for presenting their critical and challenging documentary about the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The filmmakers have prepared a detailed issue-by-issue 43-page Response to the derogatory allegations that have been made against them and this document – 2 Response to NHC Complaint ENG – is available in my document archive.

Media War in Bosnia

The media did more damage to us than Nato bombs.” (Radovan Karadzic)

The ‘Holocaust model’,promoted by governments and media, and generally accepted by western public opinion, presented the war as a genocidal war by Serbs against the Bosnian Muslim (Bosniac) population. The war was presented as morally equivalent to Auschwitz – and western intervention as a moral crusade, which no reasonable person could oppose. Few people in western Europe today believe that Serbs are ‘a nation of genocidal rapists’, but that is how many people saw them in the mid-1990’s.

One fabrication got headlines around the world as in 1992 an ITN TV-news shot footage of men staring out from behind barbed wire. They were Bosnian prisoners inside a Serbian concentration camp, ITN explained. An emaciated Muslim caged behind Serb barbed wire, filmed by a British news team, became a worldwide symbol of the war in Bosnia. But the picture is not quite what it seems. It took years before a German journalist Thomas Deichman described how the famous photo was staged by its takers. The picture was very misleading: the ITN photographers were actually inside the compound, and their subjects were outside the fence, looking in. Deichmann reveals the full story in his article The picture that fooled the world. However by that time (1992) the image had done its deed, labeling the Serbs as genocidal mass murderers.

An expample: How to win media war?

Richard Palmer describes one episode of successful media war in his article What Really Happened in Bosnia publiched in TheTrumpet.com

Serbia’s earliest defeat came in the PR war. Early on, Serbia’s enemies engaged Ruder Finn, an American public relations firm, to get their message out. James Harff, director of Ruder Finn’s Global Public Affairs section, boasted about his success against Serbia.

Nobody understood what was going on in (former) Yugoslavia,” he said in an October 1993 interview. “The great majority of Americans were probably asking themselves in which African country Bosnia was situated.” Ruder Finn took advantage of this ignorance. Its first goal was to persuade the Jews to oppose the Serbs—not an easy task. “The Croatian and Bosnian past was marked by a real and cruel anti-Semitism,” said Harff. “Tens of thousands of Jews perished in Croatian camps. So there was every reason for intellectuals and Jewish organizations to be hostile towards the Croats and Bosnians.”

Harff used a couple reports in the New York Newsday about Serbian concentration camps to persuade Jewish groups to demonstrate against the Serbs. “This was a tremendous coup,” said Harff. “When the Jewish organizations entered the game on the side of the Bosnians, we could promptly equate the Serbs with the Nazis in the public mind.” He continued: “By a single move, we were able to present a simple story of good guys and bad guys which would hereafter play itself. We won by targeting Jewish audience, the right target. Almost immediately there was a clear change of language in the press, with the use of words with high emotional content, such as ‘ethnic cleansing,’ ‘concentration camps,’ etc., which evoked inmates of Nazi Germany and the gas chambers of Auschwitz. The emotional change was so powerful that nobody could go against it.”

The fact that the mujahedin had taken over Bosnian Serb towns and villages, had tortured and executed, had ethnically cleansed and displaced Bosnian Serbs and Croats POWs at will has been ignored. Videotapes and reportage were made of these war crimes so it is easy to create a wider picture also today. 

Srebrenica

Mostly forgotten perspective is the context in which Srebrenica events occurred.

In charge of the Muslim forces in Srebrenica was Naser Oric. Here is how French Gen. Philippe Morillon, commander of the UN troops in Bosnia from 1992 to 1993, described him: “Naser Oric engaged in attacks during Orthodox holidays and destroyed villages, massacring all the inhabitants. This created a degree of hatred that was quite extraordinary in the region ….” In another part of his testimony, he stated, “There were terrible massacres committed by the forces of Naser Oric in all the surrounding villages.” It was this hatred and circle of revenge that led to the Srebrenica massacre. The Serbs finally reacted to Oric’s provocations. When they took Srebrenica far more easily than they thought they would they took their revenge on the men they found there. But, unlike Oric, they let the women and children go. Thus it was not an ethnic cleansing, instead it was a partly crime provoked by crimes on the other side. Partly as mostly the dead in Srebrenica on July 1995 happened when 28. Muslim Division tried to escape from town to Muslim held Zenica (as they knew the amounth of hatred among local Serbs) and lost their life during this operation.

In his latest book titled “Srebrenica — The History of Salon Racism” (Srebrenica — die Geschichte eines salonfahigen Rassismus) published 2010 in Berlin, Alexander Dorin focuses on manipulations with the number of Muslims who lost their lives in Srebrenica. “It is perfectly clear that Muslim organizations listed as Srebrenica victims all the Muslim fighters who were killed in the fights after the fall of Srebrenica,” the Swiss researcher said. Dorin explained that director of the Belgrade Center for Investigation of War Crimes Milivoje Ivanišević analyzed the lists of alleged Srebrenica victims. Ivanišević discovered that, a year after the fall of Srebrenica, some 3,000 Muslim men who were supposedly killed in 1995, were voting in the Bosnian Muslim elections. It asserted that no more than 2,000 Bosnian Muslims had died at Srebrenica – all armed soldiers, not civilians – and that 1,600 of them had died in combat or while trying to escape the enclave. In addition, at least 1,000 of the alleged 1995 “Srebrenica massacre victims” have been dead long before or after Bosnian Serb Army took the town over.

The Star Wittness

Germinal Civikov is a native of Bulgaria living nowadays in The Hague and Cologne. In his book, “Srebrenica: Der Kronzeuge” (Wien: Promedia, 2009, published also in English as ”Srebrenica: The Star Wittness) Civikov explains that the ICTY ruling that genocide was committed at Srebrenica on the orders of the Bosnian Serb leadership is based on the testimony of a single witness, a self-confessed perpetrator of one of the massacres called Drazen Erdemovic. Civikov shows that in fact Erdemovic is a pathological liar, he was a mercenary who fought on all three sides in the Bosnian civil war. He was not forced to commit the massacre, indeed his unit was on leave when the massacre was committed. He was not the victim of a later murder attempt to prevent him from testifying, but instead a thug who quarrelled over money with his fellow murderers.

Best Practice in use: Croatia

In Croatia the right-wing party, the Ustashi, came to power using fascist symbols and slogans from the era of Nazi occupation. Its program guaranteed a return to capitalist property relations and denied citizenship, jobs, pensions, passports or land ownership to all other nationalities, but especially targeted the large Serbian minority. In the face of armed expropriations and mass expulsions, the Serbs in Croatia began to arm themselves. The experience of World War II—when almost a million people, primarily Serbs, but also Jews, Roma and tens of thousands of others died in Ustashi death camps—fueled the mobilization. In deed Slobodan Milosevic was equated with Adolph Hitler, which in case of Croatia is quite strange as the Croatian forces during World War II were actually explicitly pro-Nazi and implemented holocaust against Serbs, Jews and other groups in Jasenovac concentration camp (3rd largest of them in Europe during WWII).

In August 1995, Croatia launched a savage attack on Krajina, a region of Croatia that Serbs had inhabited for 500 years. Within four days, the Croatians drove out 150,000 Serbs, the largest ethnic cleansing of the entire Balkan wars. Investigators with the war-crimes tribunal in the Hague have concluded that this campaign was carried out with brutality, wanton murder and indiscriminate shelling of civilians. These war crimes and cleansing were passed over in silence in western media as Croatia was being advised by a shadowy group of retired American officers who had been sent to Croatia to help it fight against the Serbs. In fact especially western mainstream media actively and carefully ignored and covered up the war crimes that its allies committed in Croatia and later in Bosnia and Kosovo.

It is estimated that more civilians were killed in Krajina than Srebrenica, but this consequence was virtually ignored by the Western media and never regarded, as was Srebrenica, a genocide. For Croatian leaders Krajina was the reward for having accepted, under Washington’s pressure, the federation between Croats and Muslims in Bosnia.

A former US ambassador to Croatia – Peter Galbraith, testifying in The Hague war crimes trial – accused Zagreb of plotting and sanctioning the exodus of Serbs in 1995 to create an “ethnically clean” country.

Croatian authorities either ordered or allowed a mass destruction of the Serb property in former (Serb-held region of) Krajina to prevent the return of the population. I consider that to have been a thought through policy” … ”Croatia was an organised country, its army the most disciplined in former Yugoslavia, and therefore I cannot accept that the illegalities that occurred after Storm were spontaneous,” … “President Tudjman and people around him wanted it, wishing for an ethnically clean country.” (Source BalkanInsight )

<span style="font-family:Droid Serif,serif;">More about ”Operation Storm” in my article Krajina – Victory with Ethnic Cleansing

Best Practice in use: Kosovo

In Kosovo U.S. With help of western media used the same best practice as earlier in Croatia and Bosnia. The main elements were need of humanitarian intervention, multiplying (with 10-50) civilian deaths and fabricating massacres. More coverage e.g in High pressure to fabricate Racak reports ja 10th anniversary of Nato’s attack on Serbia) ). In West the war-crimes and other atrocies aginst Serbs were either ignored or labeled as propaganda. Only years after war some reports or new investigations are telling also the other side of story . One of the most important document is the one which Swiss prosecutor-politician Dick Marty gave for Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on Dec 2010. The report, “Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo” claims that civilians – Serbian and non-KLA-supporting Kosovan Albanians detained by the KLA in the 1999 hostilities – were shot in northern Albania and their kidneys extracted and sold on the black market. It names Hashim Thaçi, the former leader of the KLA and Kosovo’s prime minister, as the boss of a “mafia-like” group engaged in criminal activity – including heroin trading – since before the 1999 war. More e.g in Kosovo: Two years of Pseudo-state and Captured Pseudo-State Kosovo .

Mafia Clans/KFOR sectors -map made by Laura Canali

KLA’s transformation from OC-/terrorist group to freedom fighters was an amazing media victory which guaranteed the occupation and later capturing of Kosovo. Since then the efforts have been made to whitewash the past and creating a quasi-independent puppet state for safe haven for terrorists and OC. One of latest episodes of media war was played recently when Kosovo’s government has discretely engaged the lobbying services of one of Washington’s top firms (Patton Bogg) for $50,000 a month. Frank Wisner, Patton Bogg’s foreign affairs advisor, met Thaci in the United States last July (2011). Interesting detail is that mentioned Wisner was the US’s special representative to the Kosovo Status Talks in 2005 – like in role of neutral facilitator of talks. Wisner played a crucial role in negotiating Kosovo’s independence. (Source BalkanInsight ).

Receptive mind in West

“He may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.” (Franklin Roosevelt)

As described earlier Bosnian Muslims, Croatians, Kosovo Albanians and their hired lobbyists made very successful media campaign for their case in western mainstream media and in capitals of West. However the campaigns might not have been so effective unless the politicians were so amenable to campaigner’s views. In my opinion this receptivity is linked to geopolitical changes and interests. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, US big business was focusing on reshaping all of Europe. Nato had lost its enemy and military-industrial complex was afraid to lose its old markets. Nonaligned Yugoslavia was no longer needed in this context. The interest of US Military-industrial complex and Pentagon’s was in creating weak, dependent puppet regimes to Balkans, Black Sea region, Caucasus in order to dominate these regions and their energy sources and transportation routes – economically and politically. Without this political and business interest it would not be so easy for PR-agencies to demonize the Serbs, to hide the reality of Croatian fascism, to canonize the Bosnian Muslims, and to whitewash OC-clans in Kosovo.

Military-industrial Complex shaping US-policy

Global military industrial consumption per year is 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars. US share of the cake is about 40% to the current year, 664 billion dollars. This is a good comparison of the UN budget (27 billion), which is a sum of nearly three per cent of its Member States on military expenditure. Peace work is estimated to get yearly 6 billion and conflict prevention 0.6 billion.

US military-industrial complex has been shaping the country’s economy and affecting its foreign policy. A recent count found the Department (Defense) had 47,000 primary contractors, or over 100,000 firms, including subcontractors. Even academia is in tow, with about 350 colleges and universities agreeing to do Pentagon-funded research.

To keep the media on Pentagon’s side, in the US and elsewhere, the military allocates nearly $4.7 billion per year to “influence operations” and has more than 27,000 employees devoted to such activities.

The international community is now willing to invest 200 times more to the war than peace. Against one peace researcher, is estimated to be more than 1100 researcher for weapon (and their use) developers. The difference in what countries are prepared to invest in weapons and their use is huge compared to what they use for example, poverty elimination and economic development in developing countries. And just poverty is one of the causes of violence.

More e.g in my article $1tn G20 deal vs. MI(MA/E)C

More aggressive policies needed a justification for intervention so it was not so surprising when US administration rushed to the Srebrenica scene to confirm and publicize the claims of a massacre, just as William Walker did later at Racak in January 1999. The numbergame in media was similar in Bosnia and Kosovo as later the civilian casualties were confirmed to be in reality some 10 % of that what was marketed before attacks. Same time in Bosnia case U.S officials also diverted attention from larger-scale ethnic cleansing such as Croatian attacks on Serb populated UN Protected Areas (UNPAs) in Western Slavonia (“Operation Flash”) and the Krajina region (“Operation Storm”) in May and August of 1995. Maintaining later an image of demonized Serbs helped Kosovo Albanians implement their ethnic cleansing operations in Kosovo.

My view

The bottom line is that the PR-agencies got their message through the western mainstream that some ethnic cleansing was going on in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, US administration used created picture to officially stop it and unofficially to improve their own interests. Now people also outside the Balkans understand that US forces intervened against Serb – supposed – ethnic cleansers, but in reality intervened on the side of Croat and Albanian ethnic cleansers.

Some sources and more:

Media War: The Use and Mis-Use of the Visual Image in News Coverage and Propaganda . A study of the visual media war against the Serbs.

Demonizing the Serbs by Marjaleena Repo June 15, 1999 in Counterpunch

One view about issue in video Bosnia and Media Manipulation and The Politics of Genocide foreword by Noam Chomsky by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson

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Srebrenicasta viimeinkin kriittinen dokumentti

Lopultakin puolentoista vuosikymmenen jälkeen on valmistunut kriittinen dokumenttifilmi Srebrenican tragediasta Bosnian sodan aikana. Norjalaisdokumentti – Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed haastaa aiemmin varsinkin läntisen valtavirtamedian luoman musta-valkoisen kuvan tapahtumista joissa verenhimoiset serbit tappoivat 8.000 viatonta muslimisiviiliä parin päivän aikana. Filmi tuo esiin kuinka muslimijohto jo yli vuosi ennen tragediaa ryhtyi suunnitteleen joukkojensa osittaista uhrausta ja ansaa serbeille Naton ilmaiskujen käynnistämiseksi, myös aiemmin sivuutettu pari vuotta jatkunut muslimiprikaatin raakalaismainen toiminta serbisiviilien teurastajana tulee esiin ja samalla 28. muslimidivisioonan epätoivoinen pakoyritys Srebrenicasta selittää pääosan sittemmin Srebrenican uhreiksi nimetyistä.

Most of the Muslims from Srebrenica were killed while their forces (28th Muslim Division cca 8,000 men) tried to brake-trough from Srebrenica trough 40 miles of Serb-held territory to Muslim-held territory.

Most of the Muslims from Srebrenica were killed while their forces (28th Muslim Division cca 8,000 men) tried to brake-trough from Srebrenica trough 40 miles of Serb-held territory to Muslim-held territory.

Olen itse aiemmin käsitellyt artikkelissani Srebrenica again – Hoax or Massacre? Tapahtumiin liittyvää mediamanipulointia ja numeropeliä. Itse filmistä, sen pohjoismaissa saamista reaktioista ja Srebrenican tragediaa valottavista dokumenteista laajemmin pääblogini artikkelissa

Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed” – Finally a Critical Documentary about Srebrenica Tragedy

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“Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed” – Finally a Critical Documentary about Srebrenica Tragedy

“If you want to use a word “genocide” (for Srebrenica) – then OK, but we need a new word to replace the old “genocide” word…” (Noam Chomsky)

 Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed a Norwegian documentary film directed by Ola Flyum and David Hebditch is now free to watch in Youtube. The film approaches Srebrenica tragedy from a bit different viewpoint than usual in Western mainstream media. Norwegian documentary about Srebrenica challenges generally accepted narratives about the 1995 massacre giving light to the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina from non-biased point of view. It also connects Srebrenica into a wider context that is often ignored by the Western media, showing the crimes committed by the Bosnian army against Serbian civilians and villages in the area. These atrocities may also partly explain why some war crimes happened later in Srebrenica.

Most of the Muslims from Srebrenica were killed while their forces (28th Muslim Division cca 8,000 men) tried to brake-trough from Srebrenica trough 40 miles of Serb-held territory to Muslim-held territory.

Todays picture about Srebrenica is still heavily manipulated. To me its clear that thousands of Muslims were killed in Srebrenica once this place fell to Bosnian Serbian forces as well that some of them were innocent civilians. It is clear too that thousand(s) Serbs were butchered around Srebrenica during Bosnian War 1992-95 e.g. by the 3rd Corps 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade lead by Bosnian Muslim leader of Srebrenica forces Naser Oric. To the Brigade mentioned were subordinated foreign Muslim fighters, also known as mujahedeen, who came from Islamic countries and it operated from “demilitarized safe area of Srebrenica”. This created a degree of hatred that was quite extraordinary in the region.” One possible scenario is that when the Bosnian Serb Army responded to this terror and atrocities the remaining fighters attempted to escape towards Tuzla, 38 miles to the north. Many were killed while fighting their way through; and many others were taken prisoner and executed by the Serb troops. More in my earlier article Srebrenica again – Hoax or Massacre?.

The documentary film “Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed” can be watched by clicking pictures left or from Here!

 

 

 

Reactions

In April of this year Norwegian State Television (NRK) broadcast film “Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed” followed by the equally amazing “Sarajevo Ricochet.” Swedish State Television soon followed. Bosniaks in Scandinavia have voiced outrage over the airing of documentary. Freedom of speech in Sweden too is now seriously threatened by the intimidating pressure on Swedish Broadcasting Service (SVT) , especially from some extremist circles within the Bosnian Muslim community in Sweden. The Danish public broadcasters initially expressed an interest in purchasing airing rights to one of the two documentaries. After witnessing the uproar in Norway and Sweden, they amended their request, having now decided to broadcast both.

Some highlights

“5.000 Muslim lives for air strikes” (President Clinton)

  • The film claims that at that first short meeting Clinton suggested to Izetbegovic another holocaust – sacrifice of 5000 Muslims in Srebrenica and that Izetbegovic shared that sinister plan with Srebrenica defenders delegation. So the men of Srebrenica were sacrificed by their own government for a political objective. The actual motive behind these background machinations might be besides Nato intervention also a land-swap deal acceptable to all sides (Bosniaks/Serbs/Croats).
  • The western mainstream media has demonized Serbs and their action in Bosnia and later also in Kosovo. The atrocities implemented by others have widely ignored. At the start of the 1992-95 Bosnia war, Muslims and Croats were allies against the Bosnian Serb forces, but they fought each other briefly when Croat forces tried to create a separate Croat autonomy in northeastern Bosnia. Now also Bosnian Muslims themselves expose what really happened before, during and after what is been called `the European genocide of our time`.
  • Among numerous of the film’s revelations is the fact that the humanitarian convoys which the Serbs were allowing to pass to Srebrenica were being intercepted by Bosnian “hero” Naser Oric and sold on the black market.
  • Interesting detail is also that Mladic had 1600 armed locals but he didn’t trust them since they lacked discipline and would use every opportunity to revenge warlord Oric’s attacks on the villages.

My  conclusion

With this film the prevailing black-and-white version (perpetuated by the international community and by Bosnian officialdom) of the Bosnian is questionable. General Mladic arrest and theatre in Hague will bring Srebrenica again front of a stage and more facts what really happened in Srebrenica and before tragedy will came public when both the prosecutor and defense have made their case. This may have its effect in already fragmented and fragile Bosnia-Herzegovina. Probably confrontation between three ethic groups will increase and this could lead to the final dissolution of BiH.

More background information and documents

Srebrenica Historical Project

The fundamental objective of project is to rise above politics and propaganda and to create a contextual record of the Srebrenica tragedy of July 1995 which can serve as a corrective to the distortions of the last decade and a half and as a genuine contribution to future peace.

And here is a small selection of articles, documents and analysis, which are also telling the other side of story:

Srebrenica: The Star Witness by Prof Edward S. Herman

Was Srebrenica a Hoax? Eye-Witness Account of a Former United Nations Military Observer in Bosnia by Carlos Martins Branco

Media Disinformation Frenzy on Srebrenica: The Lynching of Ratko Mladic by Nebojsa Malic

Media Fabrications: The “Srebrenica Massacre” is a Western Myth

What Happened at Srebrenica? Examination of the Forensic Evidence by Stephen Karganovic

Using War as an Excuse for More War: Srebrenica Revisited by Diana Johnstone

The Srebrenica Massacre: Evidence, Context, Politics by Edward S. Herman and Phillip Corwin

NIOD (Netherlands Institute for War Documentation)/Srebrenica investigationreport

INTELWIRE.com has published over 2.000 pages of of declassified U.S. State Dept. cablesabout Srebrenica

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P.S:

Fenris film has produced also other interesting documentary movie “Sarajevo Ricochet – The US Green Light” which is is the untold story of how the USA allowed Bosnia to cooperate with al-Qaeda, smuggle arms from Iran and launder terror-money during the brutal civil war from 1992 – 95. Osama bin Laden exploited the conflict for his global jihad – and the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers. It reveals a secret money trail that funded mujihadeen training camps. Co-operation of USA and Iran let Osama bin Laden recruit, import and finance 4.000 mujihadeen fighters into the heart of Europe and Bosnia Herzegovina. In 1996, many of these `holy warriors` moved on to fight in Kosovo, and some became al-Qaeda sponsored terrorists who attacked targets throughout the Western world – including the 9/11 assault on America.

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BalkanBlog, Balkans

Mladic in Hague, Serbia towards EU, reopening Srebrenica

From historical perspective the Mladic’n arrest and the Hague trial serves as formation of a more comprehensive picture of events in the Balkans in the 90’s after the procecutor and the defense have made their case. Issues related to the underlying policy objectives of Srebrenica, events before Srebrenica and the number and the PR game around Srebrenica. Realization of the right however is only theatrical minor point for the EU and for the current Serbian government as both see it only as a formal step towards Serbia’s EU membership.

Serbia’s current government is hoping that Mladic’s arrest will clear the way towards EU membership. In the press conference of Mladic’s arrest President Tadic said “I believe that the doors for Serbia to joining the EU are open”. I disagree, there is lot of issues waiting on the table, minor problems such as accepting Kosovo licence plates and finally (after few years of negotiations) recognition of Kosovo’s independence too. E.g. EU Parliament Rapporteur for Kosovo Ulrike Lunacek said it clearly that extradition of Ratko Mladic to The Hague is insufficient for Serbia to join EU and that Serbia must do a whole lot more if it wants to join EU. “Serbia must show that it is ready to expand relations with an independent Kosovo,” Lunacek said. (Source: Dnevnik ) The technical association chapters need some work and remains to see what kind of EU there is existing when membership is on the door. It also remains to see how long negotiations with EU will continue as after elections the new government can whistle the game over.

Since Serbia’s EU application has its position improved, particularly related with energy issues. When the EU favored Nabucco is practically already dead project e.g. after events on the Arab Street (pipe has political support, but no gas available) and when the Italians and now also the French and German companies are backing Russia’s South Stream are Serbia’s changes to become an energyhub growing. Russia but also Turkey have been activated to wide their economic cooperation with Serbia and for example, last autumn came into force a free trade agreement with Turkey.

My opinion of the membership negotiations has remained relatively the same as follows:

In my previous articles, still and now even more than before I have a view that Serbia should think if joining to EU is worth of time, money and bureaucracy it demands, could the main benefits of EU membership be achieved via “third way”. Despite this I think that at this moment it is good idea to continue EU process but not only to fulfill EU needs but especially the needs of the beneficiaries aka Serbs not EU elite in Brussels.

More about Serbia’s EU perspective in my earlier article: Serbia’s EU association is not a Must

In my opinion more that fast track to EU the Mladic’s trial in Hague will be a fast track to discover what really happened in Srebrenica 1995 and before that. Todays picture about Srebrenica is still heavily manipulated. To me its clear that thousands of Muslims were killed in Srebrenica once this place fell to Bosnian Serbian forces as well that some of them were innocent civilians. It is clear too that thousand(s) Serbs were butchered around Srebrenica during Bosnian War 1992-95 e.g. by the 3rd Corps 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade lead by Bosnian Muslim leader of Srebrenica forces Naser Oric. To the Brigade mentioned were subordinated foreign Muslim fighters, also known as mujahedeen, who came from Islamic countries and it operated from “demilitarized safe area of Srebrenica”. One possible scenario is that when the Bosnian Serb Army responded to this terror and attrocies the remaining fighters attempted to escape towards Tuzla, 38 miles to the north. Many were killed while fighting their way through; and many others were taken prisoner and executed by the Serb troops.

One explanation to the cruelty in Srebrenica can be found from the testimony of French General Philippe Morillon, the UNPROFOR commander who first called international attention to the Srebrenica enclave, at The Hague Tribunal on February 12, 2004. He testified that the Muslim commander in Srebrenica, Naser Oric, “engaged in attacks during Orthodox (Christian) holidays and destroyed villages, massacring all the inhabitants. This created a degree of hatred that was quite extraordinary in the region.”

More in my earlier article Srebrenica again – Hoax or Massacre? .

The western mainstream media has demonized Serbs and their action in Bosnia and later also in Kosovo. The attrocies implemented by others have widely ignored. At the start of the 1992-95 Bosnia war, Muslims and Croats were allies against the Bosnian Serb forces, but they fought each other briefly when Croat forces tried to create a separate Croat statelet in northeastern Bosnia. Only a couple days ago it was reported thatBosnia’s warcrimes court has jailed a Croat ex-soldier for 15 years for the killing of more than 60 Muslim civilians during a brief 1993-94 war between Bosnian Muslims and Croats. Miroslav Anic received a reduced sentence under a plea bargain after pleading guilty to all charges. He was convicted of taking part in a series of attacks by a Croat militia on Bosnian Muslim villages from June to October 1993, it said. Anic had served as a member of the special unit Maturice, operating within the Croat Defence Council (HVO) under the command of Ivica Rajic who was sentenced in 2006 to 12 years in prison by the Hague-based United Nations war crimes tribunal. (Source: Trust.org/Reuters)

Mladic arrest and theatre in Hague will bring Srebrenica again front of a stage and this will have its effect in already fragmented and fragile Bosnia-Herzegovina. Probably confrontation between three ethic groups will increase and this could lead to the final dissolution of BiH. Serbia is keen to secure EU candidate status and Mladic’s arrest may be one step forwards for this aim while same time the trial of Mladic may be one step backwards in Bosnia-Herzegovina for its EU membership aspiration.

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P.S.

Finally a skeptical description – by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey/Pravda – how EU makes Serbia blessed:

And congratulations, Serbia. Now you can join the European Union. Wonderful! Stand back and watch your industry destroyed as what you export is assimilated by German industries, watch your agriculture decimated as you are paid not to produce and your production goes to France before you are left with barren fields, stand back and watch the EU label Slivovica illegal because some idiot in Brussels doesn’t like it. Stand back and watch your unemployment rate skyrocket, watch a clique of elitists whisked off to cushy jobs in Brussels, watch your prices treble and your salaries stagnate and watch your customs destroyed as you become assimilated first by the EU and then by NATO. You will have to pay for it, you know. The people, not the leaders, of course… Nobody will ask you if you want to join NATO but you will be expected to buy its equipment and participate in its wars.

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Balkan, EU

Mladic Haagiin Serbian EU-jäsenyyden osamaksuna

Historialliselta kannalta Mladic’n pidätys ja tuleva Haagin teatteri palvelee osaltaan nykyistä kokonaisvaltaisemman kuvan muodostumista Balkanin tapahtumista 90-luvulla sillä syytteaineiston ohella puolustus väkisinkin tuonee esiin hieman erilaisen näkökulman menneisiin tapahtumiin ja niiden taustoihin. Kysymykset liittyen poliittisiin tavoitteisiin Srebrenican taustalla, verilöylyä edeltäneet tapahtumat, Srebrenicaan liittyvä numero- ja PR -peli tullevat Haagissa esiin. Itse olen mainittua problematiikkaa käsitellyt kirjoituksessani Srebrenica again – Hoax or Massacre? .

Oikeuden teatraalinen toteutuminen on niin EU:n kuin Serbian nykyhallinnon osalta Mladicin pidätyksen suhteen sivuseikka, molemmat näkevät sen vain muodollisena osana EU jäsenyysneuvotteluja. Kun muotopuoli nyt on hoidettu voidaan Brysselissä kuin Belgradissa alkaa pohtia jäsenyyden mielekkyyttä koska vaihtoehtojakin on.

Serbian neuvotteluasema on kohentunut erityisesti energiakysymysten takia. Kun EU:n suosima Nabucco alkaa viimeistään arabikadun tapahtumien takia olla tiensä päässä (putkilla on poliittista tukea vaan toimitettava kaasu puuttuu) ja kun italialaisten ohella myös Ranska ja Saksa ovat tulleet mukaan Venäjän South Streamiin on Serbian merkitys energiahubina kasvanut. Venäjän ohella myös Turkki on aktivoitunut houkuttelemaan Serbiaa mukaan erityisesti talousyhteistyöhön ja esimerkiksi viime syksynä astui voimaan keskinäinen vapaakauppasopimus.

Mladicin pidätys varmistanee EU:n ja Serbian keskeiset jäsenyysneuvottelut siihen saakka kunnes Kosovon asema otetaan pöydälle. Saa nähdä säilyttääkö jäsenyysmyönteinen Serbian nykyjohto asemansa vuosien saatossa vai lopettaako oppositio pelleilyn jo seuraavissa vaaleissa ensi keväänä. Oma kantani jäsenyysneuvotteluihin on säilynyt suhteellisen samana eli tiivistetysti näin:

In my previous articles, still and now even more than before I have a view that Serbia should think if joining to EU is worth of time, money and bureaucracy it demands, could the main benefits of EU membership be achieved via “third way”. Despite this I think that at this moment it is good idea to continue EU process but not only to fulfill EU needs but especially the needs of the beneficiaries aka Serbs not EU elite in Brussels.

( Ari Rusila: Serbia’s EU association is not a Must )

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