In order to provide you with a more detailed analysis on the unfortunate events from July 1995 please read excerpts from the excellent analysis Ratko Mladic Srebrenica: memory loss of massacres by all sides and the role of Alija Izetbegovic from May 17, 2012 by Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker from Modern Tokyo Time:
Srdja Trifkovic who is an historian comments that “It is often pointed out that Srebrenica was an UN “protected zone,” but it is seldom noted that the enclave was simultaneously an armed camp used for attacks against Serb villages in the surrounding areas. Muslim General Sefer Halilovic confirmed in his testimony at the Hague Tribunal that there were at least 5,500 Bosnian Army soldiers in Srebrenica after it had obtained the “safe haven” status, and that he had personally arranged numerous deliveries of sophisticated weapons by helicopter.”
The importance of the above quote is that the Muslim General Sefer Halilovic acknowledges the sizeable Bosnian Muslim armed forces in Srebrenica and that sophisticated weapons were delivered. This was a strange “protected zone” which not only allowed the Bosnian Muslim units to slaughter Serbians in surrounding areas but it also enabled re-militarization. Of course, the same process is now happening in Syria whereby the opposition obtains more external military support, while at the same time the central government is lambasted for being militarist. It is not only blatant double standards but it is the direct covert participation of outside forces, who then manipulate the media in order to distort the “real picture” on the ground.
Srdja Trifkovic also comments that “During the Bosnian war between May 1992 and July 1995, several thousand Muslim men lost their lives in Srebrenica and its surroundings. Most of them died in July of 1995 when the enclave fell unexpectedly to the Bosnian Serb Army and the Muslim garrison attempted a breakthrough. Some escaped to the Muslim-held town of Tuzla, 38 miles to the north. Many were killed while fighting their way through; and many others were taken prisoner and executed by the Bosnian Serb army.”
Philippe Morillon further testified that the crimes committed by Bosnian Muslim forces were “extraordinary” and made the Serbs’ desire for revenge to be“inevitable.” This does not justify the events that took place once Bosnian Serbian units took control of Srebrenica because like Srdja Trifkovic comments “Many were killed while fighting their way through; and many others were taken prisoner and executed by the Bosnian Serb army.”
However, the media neglect of the massacres against Orthodox Christians in and around Srebrenica – and such leniency taken against Bosnian Muslim individuals who committed such crimes – not only leaves a sour taste – it is a falsification of history and covers up many untold stories which helps to dehumanize the Serbians. It also negates to share responsibility where it belongs – this applies to all parties who committed massacres. This also includes the United States and CIA which conveniently “overlooked” 8,000 of the most brutal and fanatical Islamists to enter Bosnia on false passports in order to slit the throats of Orthodox Christians.
Major-General (Ret) Lewis Mackenzie who is a retired Canadian general also raises serious doubts about so-called “good” and “evil.” In his article called “The real story behind Srebrenica. The massacre in the UN ‘safe haven’ was not a black and white event,” which was published in The Globe and Mail (July 14, 2005), he clearly highlights neglected facts behind the “real” Srebrenica.
Lewis MacKenzie comments that “As the Bosnian Muslim fighters became better equipped and trained, they started to venture outside Srebrenica, burning Serb villages and killing their occupants before quickly withdrawing to the security provided by the UN’s safe haven. These attacks reached a crescendo in 1994 and carried on into early 1995 after the Canadian infantry company that had been there for a year was replaced by a larger Dutch contingent.”
“The Bosnian Serbs might have had the heaviest weapons, but the Bosnian Muslims matched them in infantry skills that were much in demand in the rugged terrain around Srebrenica. As the snow cleared in the spring of 1995, it became obvious to Nasar Oric, the man who led the Bosnian Muslim fighters that the Bosnian Serb army was going to attack Srebrenica to stop him from attacking Serb villages. So he and a large number of his fighters slipped out of town. Srebrenica was left undefended with the strategic thought that, if the Serbs attacked an undefended town, surely that would cause NATO and the UN to agree that NATO air strikes against the Serbs were justified. And so the Bosnian Serb army strolled into Srebrenica without opposition.”
General Morillon comments bluntly about the Muslim warlord called Naser Oric because he states that “Naser Oric was a warlord who reigned by terror in his area and over the population itself. I think that he realized that these were the rules of this horrific war, that he could not allow himself to take prisoners. According to my recollection, he didn’t even look for an excuse. It was simply a statement: One can’t be bothered with prisoners.”
The brutal civil wars throughout the former Yugoslavia led to the ethnic cleansing of Serbians in Krajina. However, not only was nothing done about this, the Croatian forces who did this had been backed by America and other nations during the conflict. Indeed, all sides, irrespective of religion or ethnicity had used similar methodologies in their areas of power.
Also, the ghosts of past Muslim SS Units who supported Nazi Germany alongside Croatian fascists, was still etched into the memory because the events of World War Two were never reconciled under communist rule after the war. Therefore, with this, and the Ottoman Muslim past of enslaving young Orthodox Christian boys and then converting them to Islam – then the fear was not based on myths or on distant memories. On the contrary, the divisions within the former Yugoslavia were witnessed by the surviving elderly generation on all sides whereby histories meant different things.
Lord Owen supports the comments of General Morillon because on page 143 of his book, Balkan Odyssey, the respected Lord Owen comments that “On 16 April I spoke on the telephone to President Milosevic about my anxiety that, despite repeated assurances from Dr. Karadzic that he had no intention of taking Srebrenica, the Bosnian Serb army was now proceeding to do just that. The pocket was greatly reduced in size. I had rarely heard Milosevic so exasperated, but also so worried: he feared that if the Bosnian Serb troops entered Srebrenica there would be a bloodbath because of the tremendous bad blood that existed between the two armies. The Bosnian Serbs held the young Muslim commander in Srebrenica, Naser Oric, responsible for a massacre near Bratunac in December 1992 in which many Serb civilians had been killed. Milosevic believed it would be a great mistake for the Bosnian Serbs to take Srebrenica and promised to tell Karadzic so.”
Lewis MacKenzie states that “two wrongs never made a right, but those moments in history that shame us all because of our indifference should not be viewed in isolation without the context that created them.”
Many Bosnian Muslim figures also point the finger at Alija Izetbegovic because clearly the power of the Bosnian Serbs in this period was much reduced after the arming of both the Bosnian Muslim forces and military of Croatia. Indeed, how is that Alija Izetbegovic sent Bosnian Muslim forces to crush Muslims loyal to Fikret Abdic in the west – yet, he did nothing apart from notify the Bosnian Muslim military leaders in Srebrenica to abandon this area before Bosnian Serbs entered?
By glossing over the massacres of 3,500 Orthodox Christians in and around Srebrenica; the role of the United States in turning a blind eye to 8,000 international Islamists (some members who did September 11 had learnt much in Bosnia); the actions of the Bosnian Muslim leader, Alija Izetbegovic, in abandoning the Muslim enclave; and other important factors. It entails that Srebrenica is being manipulated for all the wrong reasons and that the dehumanization of the Serbians is a convenient way for Western powers to gloss over the reality on the ground. It also suits the Bosnian Muslim leadership which abandoned the enclave despite fighting against fellow Muslims in the west.
In a past article by one of the writers of this article, it was stated that “… it is clear that “the real Srebrenica” is not being told and the same applies to the “hidden Islamic jihad” which took place during the civil war and how ex-President Bill Clinton gave the green light to Islamists from all over the world to enter Bosnia.”
“Srebrenica should be remembered but it should be remembered in its duality and this applies to thousands of innocent Orthodox Christians and Muslims who were killed by both sides. It also should be remembered that Bosnian Muslim forces had slaughtered thousands of Christians first in the surrounding region of Srebrenica and that the “safe haven” was abused. Military generals from the international community who were in Bosnia state this clearly, and Morillon testified in court.”
The over simplification of major media outlets shames the mass media in general because the same cover up and lack of basic facts, are still being told by major international media agencies. Indeed, the coverage and headlines in some media outlets is bordering on anti-Serbian racism. Also, to gloss over the events of what happened prior to the Bosnian Serbs entering Srebrenica is not merely shoddy journalism, it is open manipulation and propaganda.
If healing is to take place in Bosnia between the various communities which share two entities, then all sides must acknowledge that massacres took place within each community. The alternative is that “hatred” will be manipulated by extremist Bosnian Muslims and likewise, extremists in the Bosnian Serbian community will manipulate the open bias towards them. Tens of thousands of individuals were killed on all sides and if the next generation is to rebuild then it can only rebuild under a fair and honest approach.
Ratko Mladic may or may not be a war criminal depending on different opinions; however, if he is a war criminal then where are the Bosnian Muslim war criminals? For that matter, where are the American war criminals which dropped Agent Orange over Vietnam and so forth? This is the problem because leading powers can bomb nations in distant lands because nothing ever happens. After all, they control all the power mechanisms. Therefore, one hundred thousand Iraqis are allowed to be killed because of failed policies because leading nations will not be held accountable.
Also, from the point of view of Ratko Mladic, if 3,500 Orthodox Christians were killed despite Bosnian Serbian units trying to contain the Bosnian Muslim units; then how many Orthodox Christians would have been slaughtered by Naser Oric and Muslim units if the Bosnian Serbian units had not been able to contain the Muslim forces to a certain degree?
Given the statement by General Morillon that Naser Oric had commented that “One can’t be bothered with prisoners” and then times this by the massacres that units did under him; then clearly Ratko Mladic is viewed differently by segments of the Bosnian Serbian community who were protected by units under him. After all, if Naser Oric and Bosnian Muslim units had been able to kill thousands of Bosnian Serbs despite the armed forces of the Bosnian Serbs in eastern Bosnia. Then it is clear that units under him would have killed untold numbers if they had been given a free reign and this applies to beheadings and burning people alive.
It is clear that hatred in this part of Bosnia was unsurpassed compared with other areas and this is based on the brutality of both sides. Also, Bosnian Muslim leaders point the finger at the Bosnian Muslim leadership in Sarajevo which abandoned the Muslim enclave. It is clear that many events are extremely murky and have been covered up in order to suit several important agendas.
Professor Muhamed Filipovic, Bosnian ambassador to the United Kingdom (1994-96), commented that Alija Izetbegovic had given the Bosnian Serbs the green light to enter Srebrenica. He states that “Serbians are going to be allowed to enter Srebrenica” before they did without any Muslim units fighting. This was ordered by Alija Izetbegovic because of an agreement with the Bosnian Serbs.
Hakija Meholjic, former Srebrenica police chief, states that “We saw the treachery. Both by Alija Izetbegovic and by the international community – There are just good and bad people in every nation. Alija was a bad man.”
It is therefore essential that all areas surrounding the reality of what happened in and around Srebrenica is debated openly, irrespective of the “bad light” that may ensue on both the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Serbian leadership. It is known that thousands of innocent Muslims and Orthodox Christians were killed by both sides. Also, senior figures within the Bosnian Muslim leadership in authority, and within Srebrenica, make it clear that Alija Izetbegovic sacrificed Srebrenica. He also did this despite knowing the brutal reality of what Bosnian Muslim forces had done prior to the Bosnian Serbs entering.Therefore, the role of major media institutions in ignoring the enormous complexity of Srebrenica is nullifying the real issues of what happened, both prior, during, and after the Bosnian Serb units entered Srebrenica.
This means that the open manipulation of events suits both the Bosnian Muslim government and Western powers which played “a dirty game” during a brutal civil war. Irrespective of the final verdict against Ratko Mladic, it is clear that he is “a scapegoat” in many areas even if he was responsible for war crimes which led to the deaths of many Muslims.