BEWARE OF BALKANPEACE.ORG – GENOCIDE DENIAL NGO!
“THE CENTRE FOR PEACE IN THE BALKANS”
BEWARE: This organization was established by the Serbian nationalists in Toronto (Canada) and serves as an extended hand of Belgrade propaganda
Above: Screenshot of “The Centre for Peace in the Balkans” promoting Srebrenica genocide denial material with Edward Herman’s article: “The Politics of the Srebrenica Massacre.” Many similar articles (written by infamous genocide deniers) can be found on their site. To read response to Herman’s denials and conspiracy theories, click here.
Full article continues below…
The Centre for Peace in the Balkans (balkanpeace.org) is a Serbian propaganda media outlet based in Toronto, Canada. Here is a quick overview of this organization:
This organization presents itself as “balanced and accurate,” “non-profit corporation” with appealing ‘non-partisan’ name working for “peace” and against “the West’s flawed Balkan strategy” in the Balkans, “striving to advocate a balanced and accurate presentation” of the situation in the Balkans and to bring “NATO and military political leaders to stand trial.”
The main objective of this Serbian organization is to manipulate the public opinion with misinterpretation of facts concerning the recent conflict in the Former Yugoslavia. While there is plenty of material on their website portraying Bosniaks, Croats, and Albanians as “terrorists”, there is not a single piece of material on their web site condemning widespread human rights violations and massacres committed by the Serbs. In fact, this seemingly “peace-oriented” web site contains Srebrenica genocide denial material from many disgraced conspiracy theorists (see screenshot).
Who is behind ‘The Centre for Peace in the Balkans’?
‘The Centre for Peace in the Balkans’ was founded by a young Serbian nationalist – Nikola Rajkovic – who was (according to the Serbian Unity Congres) “born in Montreal, but now permanently resides in Toronto, Canada.” Rajkovic is actively involved in regularly updating the site with copyrighted material lifted from the Reuters, Associated Press, and other stories he finds interesting.
In January 2002, Nikola Rajkovic was elected to serve as a member of FR Yugoslav Council of Diaspora by then Serbian-run Government in Belgrade. The Council is better known as the Canadian-Serbian Council. Nikola Rajkovic is also a Vice-President of Serbian National Shield Society in Canada – an organization run by Serbian immigrants.
According to the Serbian Unity Congress, “Council members from the Motherland have been named on the basis of recommendations received from the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church.”
This same Church – namely the Serbian Orthodox Church – has been actively involved in encouraging their own people to support imprisoned Serb war criminals at the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia at the Hague. The Orthodox priest, Father Vojislav Bilbija, even laughed at their indictments for genocide and human rights violations, quote: “[the] individual prisoners have told him that their indictments are so unbelievable that the only thing left for them to do during court trials is smile bitterly.” (See “Loneliness worse than imprisonment for Hague prisoners,” The Path or Orthodoxy, January 2002)
‘The Centre for Peace in the Balkans’ & Srebrenica Genocide Denial
The interesting aim of ‘The Centre for Peace in the Balkans’ seems to be the creation of an atmosphere of exaggerated and false messages of pure Serbian ‘innocence’ in the conflict. Those views deemed to be fit to serve Serbian propaganda are gladly published on their web site. Their favorite essays are republished from such widely circulated Srebrenica genocide denial sources as Edward S. Herman, Stella L. Jatras, Jared Israel, Diana Johnstone, George Pumphrey, Milivoje Ivanisevic, Yossef Bodansky, Nebojsa Malic, David Peterson, and other conspiracy theorists (see here).
As respected British historian Marko Attila Hoare noted:
Quote: “Not a single respectable work of scholarship has been produced by any member of this political category in the West, though they have produced an enormous quantity of what can most charitably be described as extended political tracts, based…largely on other political tracts by other Balkan genocide deniers…. the ‘anti-war’ people in the West write propaganda rather than history about the Balkans; necessarily so, since they believe Yugoslavia was destroyed by a Western or German imperialist conspiracy, and this is not a viewpoint that anyone who actually does research on the subject can sustain. The average MPhil student here at Cambridge would be embarrassed to produce the sort of rubbish churned out by Michael Parenti, Diane Johnstone, Kate Hudson and other ill-informed genocide deniers, whose sole purpose is to confirm other lefties in their anti-Western prejudices.” End Quote (Srebrenica and the London Bombings: The ‘Anti-War’ Link)
The one of the saddest activism by this ‘Centre for Peace in the Balkans’ is the denial and manipulation of Srebrenica genocide. Even though more than 6000 bodies were recovered from Srebrenica’s mass graves and await DNA identification, Serbian propagandists and their revisionist friends hold onto their fictious belief that the number of killed was actually less than 2,500 and that Srebrenica genocide never happened. They even refuse to acknowledge the term Genocide when refering to the Srebrenica massacre and they regularly quote each other in every source they publish (it’s a well established circle of conspiracy theorists drawing opinions from each others’ pre-determined conclusions).
New York – Srebrenica Sisterhood: 7/11 and 9/11
The friendship between the New York and Srebrenica was viewed as a main threat to the twisted nationalist minds running this, so called, ‘Centre for Peace in the Balkans.’ As a result, ‘The Centre for Peace in the Balkans’ voiced its anger against the Srebrenica-New York sisterhood proposal – a symbolic link between Bosnian and American tragedy (9/11 and 6/11). In fact, according to Nikola Rajkovic’s logic published on his web site:
Quote: “Implying that the terror suffered by 9-11 victims in New York is similar to civil war suffering in Srebrenica is factually wrong. As such, a sister-city relationship between New York City and Srebrenica should not be established since it would be an insult to the memory of 9-11 victims.” End Quote
Of course, Nikola Rajkovic and his make-belief “Centre for Peace in the Balkans” fail to grasp that Srebrenica massacre is not just a “civil war suffering” – it’s a genocide. More clearly, it’s a genocide perpetrated by the forces under the command of former Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his war-time General Ratko Mladic. Both of these fugitives from justice succeeded in executing planned genocide (read Karadzic’s words) with full logistical support of Serbia. Therefore, Nikola Rajkovic’s hate-inspired statements are insult not only to the victims of 7/11 and 9/11, but also step back for any chance of lasting peace and ethnic reconciliation. As of today, Rajkovic’s “Centre for Peace in the Balkans” still refuses to call for an arrest of indicted Serb war criminals who committed genocide in Srebrenica.
Nikola Rajkovic Fears Serb Children Will Learn About Genocide
The founder of ‘The Centre for Peace in the Balkans’ – Serbian nationalist Nikola Rajkovic – is obsessed with perceived bias of anything “Western” against Serbia. One has to glance over his article, “Serbdom in the 21st Century” (which he published at Serbian Unity Congress web site), to understand the level of his obsession against Western influence on Serbs and Serbia:
Quote: “…the Serbian name and identity has been under a constant media and public relations attack… there is an identifiable group of foreign journalists and foreign policy makers who have built their entire careers on denigrating the Serb name and reputation…. Serbdom will continue to suffer catastrophic consequences… Are the Serbs of Yugoslavia prepared to be made the scapegoats for the wars of the 1990s? …picking up the local (foreign) newspaper or turning on the television usually means enduring the following headline, Evil Serb convicted of genocide. What kind of effect will such unchallenged propaganda have on Serbian children living abroad? What will Serbian children say when they are asked to identity their heritage? …the long-term consequences of unchallenged propaganda and racism in foreign languages will be catastrophic to our identity and culture. If you need more proof, just read the foreign newspapers of the last ten years.” End Quote
And again, ‘The Center for Peace in the Balkans’ founder, refuses to challenge his own logic. He plays innocent card by suggesting that he does not understand why his people were in the news and why individuals from his people were accused and convicted of genocide, wide scale massacres, ethnic cleansings and other evils. For him, Serbs and Serbia are pure victims and he is more frustrated about Serb children learning that individual Serb people committed genocide against Bosniaks, than condemning those same crimes of genocide (let alone calling for war criminals hiding in Serbia to be arrested).
Rajkovic is disturbed by “foreign newspapers” for documenting wide scale massacres in Bosnia and Kosovo; these massacres were overhelmingly committed by the Serb (para)-military forces under the leadership of indicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic and his indicted partner in crime General Ratko Mladic, both wanted on genocide charges and both fugitives from the international justice. He avoids condemning them or publishing any material criticising Serbs or Serbia.
Recommending Denial of Reality
‘The centre for Peace in the Balkans’ does not hide it’s bias; it recommends links to other web sites containing Srebrenica genocide denial material, and some of them include “Emperor’s Clothes,” “AntiWar,” “CounterPunch,” “ZNet,” “FrontPage Magazine” and sources of fiction and conspiracy.
Five Principles by De La Brosse
The fundamental principles of Serbian propaganda, highlighted by de la Brosse, haven’t changed. Five key principles are:
1. Keep it simple;
2. Project one’s own faults onto the enemy;
3. Use the news to one’s own advantage through exaggeration, distortion and omission;
4. Repeat the message endlesly; rely on myths and (revisionist) history; and
5. Create a national consensus.
The Serbian propaganda has been based on the same techniques as used by Adolf Hitler, with the added power of television and the Internet. To weld the population together, official propaganda draws on the sources of the Serbian mystique, that of a people who are ‘mistreated’ victims and ‘martyrs’ of history and that of Greater Serbia, indissolubly linked to the Orthodox religion and Eastern-Orthodox allies (e.g. Russia, Greece).
This type of propaganda clearly operates as a denial movement whose real aim is to fully absolve Serbia and Serbs of any responsibility for widespread war crimes, ethnic cleansings, and genocide in Srebrenica perpetrated for the sake of unfulfilled “Greater Serbia” dream.