July 11, 2015 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre (a war crime) converted into genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. This court with scandalous protocol is designed to achieve a political objective to convict, e.g. no reasonable doubt, no jury, hearsay evidence allowed, anonymous witnesses, no subpoena for defense. It is largely financed and staffed by the NATO countries that sided with the Muslim side against the Christian Serbs in the Bosnian civil wars that amounted to the Bosnian Jihad. In order to justify the genocide decision the ICTY three judge panel invented its own definition of genocide in contrast to the well-established Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention. The purpose was only to provide a justification for the NATO intervention in the Yugoslav civil wars against the Serbs, stigmatized as responsible for the genocide, but also for the western interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria. Srebrenica is a pillar in Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine designed to legalize western interventions. It also provides an argument that the Republika Srpska (RS)-Bosnian Serb Republic, the Serbian entity created by the 1995 Dayton Accords which terminated the war, as genocide created and thus illegitimate. The Srebrenica case illustrates well that the propaganda and genocide almost always go hand in hand.
For this 20th anniversary a big spectacle is planned at the Srebrenica Memorial Center constructed for that very purpose. It will feature political leaders from the region as well as from some western countries. President Obama has picked former President Clinton to lead the US delegation. Clinton will be joined by members of Congress and the former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. In 2003 President Clinton was paid $250,000 to unveil the Srebrenica monument to Arab mujahedeen fighters in Bosnia rather than to Bosnian Muslim victims who didn’t even speak Arabic. The US taxpayers contributed one million for the monument. Apart from Clinton several foreign dignitaries are expected such as the Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu as well as representatives from several former Yugoslav republics.
The word Srebrenica in the western media narrative stands for the genocide of “8,000 executed Muslim men and boys.” This is incorrect as there was no genocide and the figure of 8,000 is unsupported by the facts. The number of prisoners that were the victims of execution is much lower. The 8,000 number is as credible as Richard Holbrooke’s claim of 300,000 fatalities in the Yugoslav wars as reported in his book To End a War. According to the Information and Documentation Center in Sarajevo the Bosnia’s 1992-95 civil and religious war claimed some 100,000 lives among all three warring parties.
The non-governmental Srebrenica Research Project has published a short info-book Srebrenica 1995-2015: Just the Facts, Without Propaganda or Embellishment. There is substantive evidence that many Muslims, soldiers and refugees, were killed in ambushes and firefights with the Serbs, while conducting a military breakout from Srebrenica on the way to the Muslim controlled city of Tuzla. The UN Secretary General used the figure of ~3,000. Carl Bildt, former Swedish prime minister and diplomat as EU special envoy to the Former Yugoslavia and High Representative for Bosnia, quoted a figure of 4,000 in his book. Former US National Security Agency analyst John Schindler, in his book Unholy Terror, gave an estimate of 5,000, while the ICTY prosecution witness Richard Butler had quoted in his testimonies a number of 2,000. In the western media narrative these Muslims, killed in the battles, are “genocide victims.”
There is substantive evidence that hundreds of Muslim prisoners had been summarily executed but it has yet to be established who issued the order for these executions. In the Bosnian Serb military commander General Ratko Mladic’s ICTY trial, now in the fourth year, it has not produced any hard evidence that he issued the order. The only person convicted by the ICTY is not a Serb but a Bosnian Croat called Drazen Erdemovic, who was identified as a member of the Bosnian Serb military “10th Sabotage Unit,” a multi-ethnic unit including mercenaries with French Foreign Legion backgrounds. Erdemovic’s contradictory and inconsistent testimony was analyzed in German Chivikov’s book Star Witness. Erdemovic was not even able to confirm the date of the massacre before the ICTY and couldn’t remember who issued the order, “some lieutenant-colonel.” He testified of having received up to 12 kilos of gold for certain “services rendered.”
The Dutch daily Algemaine Dahblad (AD) has recently revealed the biggest Srebrenica mystery. It accuses the US, GB and France of having a secret agreement to deny the air support to the Dutch battalion in Srebrenica. The most chilling revelation about Srebrenica comes from Hakija Meholjic, the police chief and the leader of the Social Democratic Party in town, who claimed “Srebrenica was sold.” According to him Izetbegovic planned to swap Srebrenica for Vogosce, a Sarajevo suburb. Izetbegovic told the Srebrenica representatives that President Clinton told him that if the Serbs enter Srebrenica and massacre some 5,000 Muslims there would be NATO military intervention. The SDA promised an investigation that never took place. Apparently, Srebrenica was a propaganda coup that Izetbegovic wanted.
American journalist Diana Johnstone in 2011 summarized the situation: on Srebrenica the facts are partly established, partly disputed, and partly unknown. The Srebrenica Research Project booklet says: “After 20 years, for all the media attention and limelight, the only conclusion that can be made with certainty is that nothing certain has been determined. The main reason for this failure lies in the fact that politics and pragmatic interests have trumped justice and the pursuit of truth. Only an independent, representative, international truth commission could establish the truth.”
However, there is no question that the propaganda pitch, escalated to the point of hysteria, has been a resounding success. Professor Edward Herman, an American scholar, stated “Srebrenica symbolizes the triumph of propaganda at the end of the twentieth century.” Milorad Dodik, the RS president, stated Srebrenica was 20th century’s greatest deception. The ICTY judge Lean-Claude Antonetti, in the dissenting case of the Serbian general Tolimir focusing on Srebrenica, stated: “If the relatives of those killed were to ask me who ordered the killings of their dear ones and why, I wouldn’t know what answer to give them.” Nonetheless, at the ICTY nine Bosnian Serbian Serb defendants have met harsh sentences between nine years and life imprisonment. None of them were accused or convicted of executing prisoners, but on the basis of “command responsibility.”
Some western propagandists, previously journalists, have compared Srebrenica with the Holocaust and Rwanda genocide. One of the most famous Nazi hunters and director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Efraim Zuroff stated that such comparisons were absurd and horrible.
UN Security Council: British and Russian Resolutions
Great Britain has drafted a Srebrenica resolution for the UN Security Council. It consists of 13 points in which the word genocide is repeated 35 times, using the Srebrenica propaganda version, while the term reconciliation is mentioned only there times. The narrative, condemning the Srebrenica genocide includes even a recommendation to the UN members to include crimes like Srebrenica into the school curriculums. Any negation of the genocide should be harshly condemned. It is absolutely anti-Serbian presumably to send a message that Serbia should be punished again this time for not imposing the US/EU sanctions on Russia. In addition it should be noted that for the last 200 years the Anglo-Saxon policies have been anti Orthodox Christian, anti- Serb and anti-Russian.
Serbia has informed members of the UN Security Council that the British draft, even when slightly cosmetically revised, revamped heavy regional emotions and thus would unnecessarily damage the fragile situation in the Balkans and even destabilizes the region by reviving tensions between the Serbian and Muslim people. The Serbian letter points out that the resolution designates Serbia as a genocidal nation. The Serbian government has been in regular communications with Russia and China as two permanent members of the Council. Contacts have been established with temporary members of the Council, e.g. Spain, Venezuela, Nigeria, Chile and Angola. Russian Deputy Ambassador Ilichev told reporters that the British draft was “divisive” and focused too heavily on wrongdoings carried by the Bosnian Serbs. “It focuses on only one aspect. It was only one part of the conflict.” The Russian Federation filed its own balanced resolution focusing on the Dayton Accords, condemnation of all crimes committed in Bosnia and emphasizing coexistence rather than raising tensions. Serbian presidents Nikolic as and Dodik have asked Russian president Putin to veto the British resolution. Russia did veto it. Dodik suggested that acceptance of the British resolution would mean the dissolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In an interview with the Sarajevo Dnevni Avaz, the US UN ambassador Samantha Power, a liberal interventionist close to President Obama, stated that there was absolutely no doubt about the Srebrenica genocide and asserted that the Serbian president Nikolic, Prime Minister Vucic and the RS president Dodik have discredited themselves by negating the genocide. She expects the Srebrenica propaganda version to be accepted both in Serbia and the RS. De facto the Serbs should admit that they were a genocidal nation. The same Serbs who were allied with the US in both world wars and who were subjected to the largest genocide outside of Nazi Germany in WWII by the Croats and the Bosnian Muslims. Samantha Power is silent about the Serbian victims. There were no Serbian victims! She enjoys a reputation for making baseless statements such as accusations of Russian participation in the downing of the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight in Ukraine, despite substantive evidence suggesting that a Ukrainian military jet was involved.
This type of arrogance using propaganda versions rather than facts has caused the US credibility to plummet throughout the world. The Serbian president Nikolic knows that thousands of Serbs were massacred in the Podrinje Region: municipalities of Zvornik, Osmaci, Sekovici, Vlasenica, Bratunac and Srebrenica, by the Commander of the Muslim units in Srebrenica Naser Oric and his troops. The Institute for Research of Serb Suffering in the 20th century has published a list of 3,200 Serb victims. Nikolic said that he would be ready to bow to the Muslim victims in Srebrenica if Izetbegovic’s son Bakir, Bosniak member of the presidency, did the same in Kravica, Bratunac and other places. Oric was recently arrested in Switzerland on the basis of a Serbian warrant but extradited not to Serbia but to the Bosnian authorities. Thus far he has been a free man. Oric was found guilty by the ICTY in 2006 but acquitted on appeal in 2008 for “lack of evidence” despite the fact that he talked freely of killing Serbian civilians to various western media outlets.
It might be appropriate to quote Orwell: “In time of universal deceit, telling truth is revolutionary act.” Some salient aspects of the Bosnian jihad should be remembered.
Chapter V of my book The Revenge of the Prophet: How Clinton and his Predecessors Empowered Radical Islam provided an account of the Bosnian Jihad. A brief summary is provided herein plus a few recent developments such as Leslie Lebl’s book on Bosnia-related terror and Islamism published by the Strategic Studies Institute and US Army War College Press. Ms. Lebl was political adviser to the NATOs Commander of Stabilization Forces (SFOR) in Bosnia in the 1990s.
The dismemberment of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s provided an opportunity for the re-Islamization of the Balkans as a key part of the grand Islamist strategy to Islamize Europe. The rise to power of Alija Izetbegovic, the Bosnian Islamist leader with long-standing ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, and his Party of Democratic Action (SDA) provided an opportunity for the creation of the first Islamist State in Europe. Izetbegovic’s Islamist ideology is reflected in his well-known political manifesto: The Islamic Declaration, which says that Muslims living in a non-Muslim majority country should play by the rules of that country until they are strong enough to overthrow the system and install an Islamic government. No compromise is mentioned in the Declaration, which was distributed to the troops in the Bosnian Muslim Army (BMA). Only Muslims would be allowed full citizenship based on the traditional belief that the rule of non-Muslims over Muslims was blasphemous. Christian majority citizens, Serbs and Croats, didn’t want to be Bosnified under the Izetbegovic rule.
The governments of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the Gulf States, Turkey, Pakistan, Brunei and Malaysia as well as Al Qaeda, Sudan based Armed Islamic Movement (AIM), Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and Egyptian Gama al-Islamiyya all played key roles in providing weapons, training, recruiting mujahedeen and financing in the quest to create the first Islamist state in the heart of Europe. Turkey and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) demanded independence for Bosnia. The publicly stated goal was establishing a global Caliphate.
The tripartite civil war between the Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims erupted in April of 1992 after “foolhardy” (term borrowed from Lord Owen-the EU mediator) recognition of Bosnia’s independence by the US/EU. Prior to that in March 1992 the US torpedoed the power sharing deal (Lisbon Accords) brokered by the EU (then the EC). Helping Muslims in the Balkans was viewed in Washington as the best way of courting favor for the US in the Islamic world. There is a close similarity between torpedoing those Lisbon Accords and the February 2014 Kiev Accords between the EU and the duly elected Ukrainian president Yanukovich. The pattern of US interventions causing bloody civil wars has continued: Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Macedonia, Libya and now Ukraine. President Clinton rejected four peace proposals before ordering war to be terminated in 1995. Staging of the Sarajevo Markale Market massacre, self-inflicted form of terrorism, was used for NATO to bomb the Bosnian Serbs.
Izetbegovic and his SDA became marionettes in the hands of the pan-Islamist coalition. Arab and European jihadists started arriving in Bosnia not to fight only the “Serbian aggressor” but for the first European Islamic State. According to the London-based Institute for International Strategic Studies (ISSS) about 40,000 Islamists served in Bosnia. The jihad was launched in earnest by Iran when they sent the Pasdaran Brigade with some 2,000 fighters. The ultimate target was the Great Satan. The mujahedeen from various countries operated as a battalion of some 2,000 fighters, Al Mujahid, within the 7th Muslim Brigade of the BMA, which became de facto the Al Qaeda terrorist cell in Bosnia. They committed bestialities in the name of Allah such as beheadings. However, since the victims were Serbian Orthodox Christians there was no condemnation in the western media. Al Mujahid became a landmark replicated elsewhere including the present day Islamic State (IS). Senior Al Qaeda leaders visited Bosnia including Bin Laden three times. He was travelling with a Bosnian passport. Al Qaeda established the hub of operations extending into Western Europe and North America enabling the planning of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Reversed Jihad – Bosnian and Kosovo Islamists go to Syria to kill Muslims and Christians
Today the Bosnian Jihad has been reversed with Bosnian Muslims (over 300) travelling to Iraq and Syria to fight with the IS. The director of the Bosnian Intelligence and Security Agency estimated that there were 3,000 potential terrorists. Given that an estimated 4,000 people gather each Friday to hear radical sermons preached at the $30 million Saudi-built King Fahd Mosque in Sarajevo such a number should not come as a surprise. Similarly the Kosovo Jihad has been reversed with about 300 Kosovo Albanians fighting for the IS but that is the subject of Part III.
The Bosnian jihad should be viewed as the cradle of modern jihadism and the initial part of war between Islamism and the West. Regretfully it was not only condoned by the US but also actively assisted. The US Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger at the time said that the goal in Bosnia was to mollify the Muslim world and to counter any perception of an anti-Muslim bias regarding US policies in Iraq in the period leading up to Gulf War I. These policies have backfired. They inspired a terrorist base in the heart of Europe leading to 9/11, a moral debacle by siding with Muslims against Orthodox Christians based solely on ulterior motives, absence of any tangible pay-off for the US and now the creation of the IS in addition to Obama’s premature withdrawal from Iraq.
IS is trying to start a “new front for the Caliphate” in the Balkans. Bosnia is vulnerable because it remains week and fragmented. The BBC documentary presented Bosnia: Cradle of Modern Jihad on July 2.
Vojin Joksimovich, Ph.D. is the author of three books and 120 articles on world affairs
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