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DISSECTING MILOSEVIC PROPAGANDA

October 15, 2007 Comments off

Today we examine one of Slobodan Milosevic’s carefully authored propaganda materials titled:

“Memorandum on War Crimes and Crimes of Genocide in Eastern Bosnia (communes of Bratunac, Skelani and Srebrenica) committed against the Serbian population from April 1992 to April 1993.”

Srebrenica genocide denial web sites have been circulating above document as “official U.N. conclusions” about alleged “Moslem terror” against Serb civilians around Srebrenica. The problem is that these allegations are NOT official U.N. conclusions – as deniers tirelesly portray them. The allegations contained in the above document have been discredited by the United Nations War Crimes Court, Serbia’s Human Rights Watch, as well as internationally backed Research and Documentation Center (tip: if you click on the actual links, you can get more information).

Slobodan Milosevic was in no way naive or stupid; he knew what he was doing. In a bizarre way, he was a clever mass murderer; but his attempts to shift blame on the victims failed miserably. However, war-time Milosevic Government’s propaganda is well and alive even today.

Here is the latest comment coming from an individual who runs two extremist blogs (which do not deserve to be ‘featured’ at Srebrenica Genocide Blog), quote:

“You’re leaving out the fact that Bosnian Muslims massacred Serbs between April 1992 and April 1993 in the communities of Bratunac, Skelani, and Srebrenica, as though there have been no crimes committed by Muslims… If you wish, I can post on this blog the UN id number of the documents relating to the post above. Genocide is difficult to hide, even for the UN Caliphate.”

OUR RESPONSE: No, you don’t need to post any UN id numbers – we will do it for you; we already know which document you are refering to. Be careful what you call “facts”; first get your story straight. The document you are refering to is: UN id # A/46/171 and S/25635, titled: “Memorandum on War Crimes and Crimes of Genocide in Eastern Bosnia (communes of Bratunac, Skelani and Srebrenica) committed against the Serbian population from April 1992 to April 1993.”

The copy of this document can be found on most Srebrenica Genocide denial websites, one of them being “Emperor’s Clothes” (web site run by Jared Israel, long-time Milosevic’s apologist and disgraced Srebrenica Genocide denier). This individual has reduced his existence to Srebrenica genocide denial claims and celebration of a mass killer – Slobodan Milosevic.

In fact, the document “A/46/171 and S/25635”, does NOT contain any official U.N. conclusions (aka: facts). This document had been carefully drafted by Slobodan Milosevic‘s “Yugoslav State Commission for War Crimes and Genocide” and submitted to the U.N. on June 2 1993 by a right-wing Serbian ambassador Dragomir Djokic.

Milosevic’s ambassador, Dragomir Djokic, kept close ties with then Bosnian Serb “Iron Lady” Biljana Plavsic, discredited professor of biology whose ‘scientific research’ included such genetic discoveries as her theory that “Muslims are genetically deformed”. This supposedly respected biologist, with her enviable reputation as a university professor and expert, has been tireless in propagating these ‘scientific discoveries’ of hers. It was her conception of the biological supremacy of the Serb race and nation which led Biljana Plavsic (and people associated to her) to encourage ethnic cleansing and on that basis commit mass crimes in Bosnia. From the very beginning of the war Plavsic was already invoking Dragoljub-Draza Mihailovic, leader during World War II of the Serbian nationalists better known as Chetniks and a proven collaborator of the German occupiers: “He fought for the unification of all Serbs within a single Serb state… Uncle Draza intended to cleanse the future united Serb lands of all enemies of Serbdom and Orthodoxy, as well as of anti-national elements.” [sources] This is the kind of person Dragomir Djokic closely worked with.

In order to justify wide scale ethnnic cleansing and mass killings of Bosniaks, Serbian ambassadors submitted various (later discredited) statements and propaganda allegations to the U.N. including the one we are discussing right now: “Memorandum on War Crimes and Crimes of Genocide in Eastern Bosnia (communes of Bratunac, Skelani and Srebrenica) committed against the Serbian population from April 1992 to April 1993.

In his submission, Milosevic’s ambassador Djokic asked the U.N. to circulate document as “Official U.N. Document”, so he could ensure that Serbia’s propaganda claims are strenghtened within diplomatic circles (pay attention to his words), quote:

“I should be grateful if you would have the present letter and its annex circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under item 115 (c) of the preliminary list and of the Security Council.”

When Djokic submitted these allegations about “Moslem terror” against “Serb civilians” to the U.N. in 1993, he conveniently avoided mentioning that Bosnian Serb forces, with full logistical support of his Government, killed about 15,000 Bosniaks in various parts of Eastern Bosnia and ethnically cleansed over 90% of predominantly Bosniak territory of Podrinje. He conveniently left that part out, because Djokic was nothing more than disposable hand of Slobodan Milosevic’s propaganda machine of the 90’s.

Any ambassador can submit any document to the U.N.; it’s part of a fairness process. But to claim that this document reflects ‘official U.N. conclusions’ is nothing more, but a bold faced propaganda. The document is nothing more than an official submittion of Yugoslav Ambassador to the General Council, but the allegations contained in this document are NOT official U.N. conclusions. This is just a submittion (allegation) by Yugoslav side, NOT an Official U.N. conclusion as Srebrenica Genocide deniers and pro-Milosevic apologists want you to believe. And it is absolutely crucial to keep this distinction in mind, not only for the purpose of fairness – but also for the purpose of the truth.

During Srebrenica Genocide trials, the International Criminal Tribunal at the Hague, as well as Human Rights Watch, and the Research and Documentation Center have completely discredited allegations contained in this document – as we reported on numerous occassions, especially in the following article: Falsification of Serb Victims Around Srebrenica: What does the International Criminal Tribunal says?

As an alternative to Serbia’s long-time discredited allegations, one should read official U.N. conclusions. So where do you find them?

For official U.N. conclusions that have nothing to do with (pro)-Milosevic’s discredited propaganda, one might consider reading Official U.N. Report A/54/549 titled: “The Fall of Srebrenica” (1999). You can read bits and pieces of this report at Srebrenica Genocide Blog in a section: Role of Bosniak Forces on the Ground (must read) and our evolving article mega-article Questions and Answers About Srebrenica Genocide.

SERBIAN PROPAGANDA: METHODS OF FORCED CONFESSIONS & TORTURE

August 14, 2006 8 comments

SERBIAN PROPAGANDA – CASE FILE: ALIJA SELIMAGIC

Serbian Army tortured Bosniak civilian into making a false video-confession of crimes against the Serbs. Then, Yugoslav (aka: Serbian) government used his confession for propaganda purposes, manipulation of truth and reports submitted to the U.N.

Alija Selimagic was a Bosniak civilian captured by the Serb forces in northern Bosnia (1993) then beaten and tortured into confessing that he committed war crimes against the Serbs. Yugoslav (aka: Serbian) government used video recording of his forced confession in propaganda purposes and in preparation of reports that were submitted to the United Nations.After beating, torturing and then forcing captured Bosniak civilian, Alija Selimagic, to confess on tape that he killed dozens of Serbs, the Federal Yugoslav Government [aka: Serbian Government] used his forced confession to make a report which was submitted to the U.N. This is one of the methods Serbian government used in manipulating truth about the ongoing slaughter of Bosniaks.

Although this happened in 1993 and has no relevance to Srebrenica massacre, it is time to put an end to this propaganda.

This is not the only instance in which Serbian government manipulated truth. There are dozens of reports that Serbia’s government submitted to the U.N. and which were portrayed by Serb propagandist and genocide denial websites as “Official U.N. documents” [example from Serbian nationalist and genocide denial website, here ]. They are far from being official U.N. documents as they were not prepared by the U.N.; they were prepared by the Serbia’s government led by Balkan’s Hitler, Slobodan Milosevic. The reports are as amateurish as one can find, and are based on Serb nationalist newspaper writings and similar discredited sources.

It is also possible to find references to Serbia’s report about Alija Osmanagic in U.N.’s Prison Camps report dating back to 1994. It is sad that U.N. would use such propaganda reports in its research references when they were clearly submitted by genocidal Milosevic’s government when it was clear that these reports lacked any credibility (e.g. there was no such crucial information as names of victims, their JMBR numbers, addresses etc. Serbia’s government relied on Serb nationalist newspaper writings, rumours of rapes, and similar old propaganda tricks.)

This is not the first time that Serbian propaganda hit the nails. The case of Rade Rogic was particularly interesting, because it touched me and this blog personally [read here].

The internet has supplied a much broader audience for propaganda activities. Bosnia has been the main target of Serbia’s nationalist propagandists. Now we can also find Serb-authored videos of Alija Izetbegovic being portayed as ‘Islamic terrorist’, which I will get back to later.

Serbs have been extensively using videos downloaded from Chechen websites showing Chechen wariors beheading Russian soldiers. These videos were authored to falsely portray Bosniaks beheading Serbs – then used in propaganda purposes. Due to lack of credibility, these Serb-manipulated (edited) videos were not even accepted into the ICTY evidence. Videos are very bad quality and last only few seconds to few minutes and are available from website of Republika Srpska Secretariat for relations with ICTY, same agency reponsible for issuing first Srebrenica report and denying that Genocide took place in Srebrenica [see propaganda clips in action here].

Now back to Alija Selimagic, who was beaten, tortured, and then forced to confess that he killed dozens of Serbs in the Northern Bosnia. One of the videos on a noted Bosnian Serb propaganda website shows Alija Selimagic confessing killings and rapes of dozens Serbs. [To view video of this frightened and badly tortured man’s forced confession click here].

Here is a testimony of my former war-time high-school teacher, Mr. Dragan Lukac [Bosnian Croat], who managed to survive Serb-run concentration camp in Bosanski Samac. I remember Mr. Lukac as a man of honor. We looked up to him, he was not only cool, he was our role model. All students respected him. He had a courageous manly composure and he was a guy who respected himself and others. Now he is working for State’s Intelligence Agency (SIPA). Dragan Lukac also testified as a witness at the International Crimes Tribunal. In his testimony, he also gave an account of Alija Selimagic – Bosniak civilian badly beaten, tortured, and then forced to confess killings of Serbs on tape so that Milosevic’s government could use it in propaganda activities and submit it to the U.N. Here is an excerpt from Dragan Lukac’s testimony at the ICTY:

This abuse took place at night in that room by the military policemen who I guess were on duty there that night. They used no instruments while beating us but, rather, used their fists and boots, especially one who used particular moves which led me to believe that he had trained — he was trained in martial arts. Among the four persons whom we found in the room, the one who was singled out for beating especially was the man in civilian clothes, and later on I learned that this person’s name was Alija Selimagic. He was an ethnic Bosniak and came from the area of Bosanski Brod. This person was in a fairly bad physical and mental condition, from which I concluded that he must have been beaten even before we arrived. He looked completely lost, and from what he was saying, in other words, from how he was answering questions of the military policemen, it was clear to me that he was mentally incoherent, because his answers made no sense and were incoherent.

The next day – this was now on the 13th of May – all of us who were in that room were moved to the prison room in the compound, which is a small-size room. From the outside, the military police guarded the room. During the night, several members of special police or some elite unit from Nis, some parachute unit that is part of JNA – and Nis, by the way, is a city in southern Serbia – they beat most of us, again without using any instruments, and then again they singled out this Selimagic for beating.

Q. What did they use if they didn’t use their instruments — any instruments?
A. I don’t remember them using anything. I think they just punched and kicked.

You can read full testimony here.

Now, back to Alija Izetbegovic. Another offensive lie is that war-time president Alija Izetbegovic was a mujaheedin or “Muslim terrorist” etc. Izetbegovic – leader of Party for Democratic Action – was one of key figures responsible for destruction of communism in Yugoslavia. He fought for democratic, secular, multicultural, and internationally recognized Bosnia-Herzegovina. He wrote several books analyzing Islam. Serb propagandists took some of his statements out of context, as Noel Malcom (“Bosnia: Short History“) pointed out.

More than any other text, the Islamic Declaration is cited by Serbian nationalist propaganda as evidence of dangerous ‘Islamic fundamentalism’ in Europe which must be suppressed… or else. Often cited to justify persecution of the Bosnian Muslim civilian population during the former war, the Declaration and its author, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, former president of Bosnia, have been demonized and frequently blamed for the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. One might explain these accusations as viscous political propaganda brought on by war. However, as early as 1983, Izetbegovic and his writings were the target of a virulent campaign against Islam in Communist Yugoslavia. This campaign had its contemporary roots in the early 1970’s when Bosniaks were allowed for the first time to declare themselves as a national group, but its deeper roots may lie in what Serbian scholar Bogdan Denitch calls “the pathological suspicion and hatred of Muslim Slavs.”

Serbian propagandists (and other left-apologists) took out of context President Izetbegovic’s words from Islamic Declaration (Izetbegovic’s book criticising Islamic governments): “There can be no peace or co-existence between the Islamic Faith and non Islamic institutions”. Part II of the Declaration, “The Islamic Order,” explains how Muslim society should be reorganized based on Islamic principles. Parts of this section are often quoted out of context to prove that the Declaration advocates violence. It is crucial to note that Izetbegovic was speaking here of Islamic countries in which false modernist or conservative Islamic doctrines have been institutionalized in the political and social system. He was simply criticising Islamic governments and in many instances praised Western achievements. He was not speaking of Western countries or his native Bosnia-Herzegovina (Bosnia is not even mentioned in the book). A close reading of the Declaration reveals that Izetbegovic was advocating a cultural, not a political revolution, especially in countries (like Yugoslavia) where Muslims were a minority. As Noel Malcolm pointed out, Bosnia was not even mentioned in Izetbegovic’s book and he even praised Christian governments and Christian achievements in arts and science.

SICK REASONING (JUSTIFICATION OF SREBRENICA MASSACRE)

June 22, 2006 4 comments

SICK REASONING: ATTEMPT TO JUSTIFY SREBRENICA MASSACRE

Today I received a comment from someone who identified himself (or herself) as “Canuck10”. Here is my response to the comment:

Canuck10 said:
The simple and most effective solution which the Serbs wanted before the war even began, was a division of land. If the Bosnian Muslims had agreed to the reality that Croats and Serbs have no interest in living in a Muslim-dominated Bosnia, the war would never have started.

My Response:

Srebrenica Massacre (7/11 1995) - Srebrenica child being led away to slaughter

The simple and most effective solution for Serbs was not to boycott the referendum for Bosnian independence. Had they participated, Bosnia would never have been able to gain 60>+% of votes in support for independence. With regard to the division of Bosnia, I need to remind you that this could only happen if three ethnic groups agreed to divide Bosnia politically between Serbia and Croatia. Bosnia-Herzegovina has never belonged (and will never belong) exclusively to Serbs to decide what to do with it. Bosnia-Herzegovina has never been “Muslim-dominated” as you state. Before the war, the Bosnian government was comprised of all ethnicities. Even during the war, the Bosnian government fought for a democratic, united, secular, and internationally recognized Bosnia-Herzegovina. Of course, Serbs had problems with western style democracy and secularism, because they felt comfortable with Milosevic’s type of socialism.

Canuck10 said:
With respect to Srebrenica, it was unfortunately a legitimate military target. The so-called “safe haven” was used to protect Naser Oric, an indicted Muslim war criminal, who ran raids from Srebrenica for years, killing and butchering Serb civilians in the surrounding towns. He even videotaped his murder sprees. As a result, the town became a legitimate military objective and was destroyed. The American military doctrine of applying overwhelming force against a target is well understood and was applicable here.

My Response:

Srebrenica Massacre (7/11 1995) - Srebrenica children being slaughtered by Serbian forces (Scorpions)

You are doing a bad job of trying to justify the slaughter of over 8,000 Bosniaks, many of them children. In other words, your reasoning is sick. Let’s put it this way, if largely demilitarized Srebrenica was a ‘legitimate’ military target as you state, then surrounding Serb villages were also legitimate military targets for Oric’s raids because all these Serb villages around Srebrenica were nothing more but fortified Serbian military strongholds from which Serb forces bombed Srebrenica civilians on a daily basis (read Srebrenica Massacre Answers for more detailed account of Serbian military strongholds in Serb villages around Srebrenica). Another thing: While Bosniaks demilitarized enough for UNPROFOR to issue a press release, on 21 April 1993, saying that the process had been a success, Serbs never demilitarized around Srebrenica. Serbs clearly violated the demilitarization agreement!

Let’s quote some facts. Here is a short excerpt from United Nations’ General Assembly Resolution
53/35 that addresses the issue of demilitarization.

Criticisms have also been leveled at the Bosniaks in Srebrenica, among them that they did not fully demilitarize and that they did not do enough to defend the enclave. To a degree, these criticisms appear to be contradictory. Concerning the first criticism, it is right to note that the Bosnian Government had entered into demilitarization agreements with the Bosnian Serbs. They did this with the encouragement of the United Nations. While it is also true that the Bosnian fighters in Srebrenica did not fully demilitarize, they did demilitarize enough for UNPROFOR to issue a press release, on 21 April 1993, saying that the process had been a success. Specific instructions from United Nations Headquarters in New York stated that UNPROFOF should not be too zealous in searching for Bosniak weapons and, later, that the Serbs should withdraw their heavy weapons before the Bosniaks gave up their weapons. The Serbs never did withdraw their heavy weapons. [Read full report]

Srebrenica Massacre (7/11 1995) - Srebrenica mother cries on her sons' graveyardWith respect to Naser Oric – It should also be noted that Naser Oric is not on trial for genocide, nor is he on trial for mass murder of Serb civilians. During the Bosnian war (1992-1995), Srebrenica was under constant siege by Bosnian Serb millitary; no food or medical supplies were allowed into the enclave. Apart from never ending starvation, the civilian population of Srebrenica was subjected to constant Bosnian Serb & Serbian artillery attacks. The only way to survive was to counter-attack surrounding Bosnian Serb villages (which served as Bosnian Serb military bases) and search for food and other supplies. In fact, long before Naser Oric counter-attacked these villages, close to 90% of Bosniak population of Eastern Bosnia was ethnically cleansed by Bosnian Serb and Serbian military forces.

With regards to Naser Oric’s raids, here is a short excerpt from United Nations’ General Assembly Resolution 53/35 that addresses this issue:

A third accusation leveled at the Bosniak defenders of Srebrenica is that they provoked the Serb offensive by attacking out of that safe area. Even though this accusation is often repeated by international sources, there is no credible evidence to support it. Dutchbat personnel on the ground at the time assessed that the few “raids” the Bosniaks mounted out of Srebrenica were of little or no military significance. These raids were often organized in order to gather food, as the Serbs had refused access for humanitarian convoys into the enclave. Even Serb sources approached in the context of this report acknowledged that the Bosniak forces in Srebrenica posed no significant military threat to them. The biggest attack the Bosniaks launched out of Srebrenica during the more than two years which is was designated a safe area appears to have been the raid on the village of Visnjica, on 26 June 1995, in which several houses were burned, up to four Serbs were killed and approximately 100 sheep were stolen. In contrast, the Serbs overran the enclave two weeks later, driving tens of thousands from their homes, and summarily executing thousands of men and boys. The Serbs repeatedly exaggerated the extent of the raids out of Srebrenica as a pretext for the prosecution of a central war aim: to create geographically contiguous and ethnically pure territory along the Drina, while freeing their troops to fight in other parts of the country. The extent to which this pretext was accepted at face value by international actors and observers reflected the prism of “moral equivalency” through which the conflict in Bosnia was viewed by too many for too long. [Read full report]

Srebrenica Massacre (7/11 1995) - Srebrenica boys, before being led away and murdered.When it comes to Naser Oric – he had every right to videotape Serbian military casualties around Srebrenica. Military targets are always justified. Bosnian government forces also had their share of military casualties (read here) that were videotaped by Serbian forces. One of many things that Canuck10 forgot to mention is Serbian propaganda of lies and deceit, as I already exposed it in a case of alleged beheading of Rade Rogic video. [PS: Since you are here: you might also be interested in a case of videotaped slaughter of Bosnian teens and children by Serbian Scorpions around Srebrenica. It seems Canuck10 forgot to mention that story – to read background click here].

With respect to the alleged Serb civilian casualties around Srebrenica, let me quote conclusions made by internationaly funded Research & Documentation Center (RDC) in Sarajevo, which is comprised of Bosniak, Croat, Serb, and international investigators. In fact, the allegations that Serb casualties around Srebrenica, between April 1992 and December 1995 amount to over three thousand is an evident falsification of facts:

Perhaps the clearest illustration of gross exaggeration is that of Kravica, a Serb village near Bratunac attacked by the Bosnian Army on the morning of Orthodox Christmas, January 7, 1993. The allegations that the attack resulted in hundreds of civilian victims have been shown to be false. Insight into the original documentation of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) clearly shows that in fact military victims highly outnumber the civilian ones. The document entitled “Warpath of the Bratunac brigade”, puts the military victims at 35 killed and 36 wounded; the number of civilian victims of the attack is eleven. [Read full report]

In fact, less than 2,000 Serb civilians died in all of Bosnia as concluded by RDC (data, as of Dec 15, 2005).

Srebrenica Massacre (7/11 1995) - Srebrenica girl remembers her murdered family years later and cries; wounds are still fresh.With regard to the American military doctrine of applying overwhelming force against a target, I have yet to see American military forces slaughter over 8,000 innocent men, teens, elderly and children in one day. Take Iraq for example, have you ever seen American forces slaughter over 8,000 unarmed civilians in one day there?

So, stop using America for all your socialist excuses. American military has done more good than bad and one simply cannot compare professionally trained American soldiers with Serbian thugs who wandered Bosnia seeking to rape, mutilate, ethnically cleanse, and destroy democratic, secular and internationally recognized Bosnia-Herzegovina.