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MARCO VAN HEES AND ALEKSANDAR GAVRILOVIC: SREBRENICA GENOCIDE DENIERS

October 5, 2008 11 comments

People Behind Dutchbat Srebrenica Genocide Denial Project: Marco Van Hees and Alexandar Gavrilovic. Plus, Two New Srebrenica Genocide Denial NGOs: Serbian Investigation Society and Historical Project Srebrenica.

PHOTO: Meet two Srebrenica genocide denial activists:
Aleksandar Gavrilovic (left) and Marco Van Hees (right).

Marco Van Hees (34), a former Dutch peacekeeper who was stationed in Srebrenica in 1995, is the driving force behind the recent Srebrenica genocide denial activism. He runs Dutchbat III web site used to twist facts and recruit like-minded activists to join him in his genocide denial evangelism [update: Dutchbat III veterans have condemned Marco Van Hees’s Srebrenica genocide denial activism, read here]. As a Serbian war crimes apologist, Van Hees disagrees with what he calls “the version of events imposed by the Western mainstream media.” His mother is reportedly of Serbian ethnic origin, while his father is Dutch – although we could not confirm this independently.

Recently, Marco Van Hees and 15 former Dutchbat members met with the Belgrade-based Srebrenica genocide denier, Milivoje Ivanisevic, and offered to testify on behalf of Radovan Karadzic – former Bosnian Serb leader who publicly wowed to destroy the Bosnian Muslims from the face of Earth. Activist Dutch veterans, led by Van Hees, told Ivanisevic they had to “protect themselves from the Muslims, rather than protect Muslims from the Serbs” in Srebrenica. What they failed to mention is that Serb soldiers wore Dutch helmets and disguised themselves as UN peacekeepers to trick Bosniak men and boys of Srebrenica into surrendering. Then, they killed them.

His Dutch friend of Serbian orgin, Alexandar Gavrilovic (22), recently formed the so called Serbian Investigation Society in Tilburg, Netherlands. According to Serbia’s daily Vecernje Novosti, Gavrilovic’s parents – originally from Cacak, Serbia – came to the Netherlands 25 years ago. The Serbian Investigation Society is NGO active in translating Milivoje Ivanisevic’s genocide denial material and distributing it in the Netherlands.

“My main mission is for the people to learn the truth about suffering of Serbs, not only in the latest wars, but in the entire 20th century,” Aleksandar Gavrilovic said and added that “For starters, the Society will translate into Dutch the book by Milivoj Ivanisevic, Director of the Center for Research of the crimes against the Serb nation, ‘Srebrenica, July 1995, In Search for the Truth.'”

Their friend, Stefan Karganovic (info), is not by coincidence head of the so called Historical Project Srebrenica (Istorijski Projekat Srebrenica) – another Srebrenica genocide denial NGO located in the Netherlands. He recently announced a lawsuit against the UN and Netherlands because of the alleged “suffering of the Serb population in the UN safe haven.” The Serbs, who never demilitarized around Srebrenica, were not even located inside the U.N. enclave known as ‘Safe Haven’ of Srebrenica. Instead, they were located in ethnically cleansed Muslim villages around Srebrenica. The Serb Army used those villages around the enclave to keep Srebrenica under the brutal siege, frequently preventing humanitarian aid from entering the enclave, as well as bombarding the town and killing its civilians.

Marco Van Hees is more popularly known by his outrageous claims that “no Dutchbat soldier saw or heard of either the killing or raping of the Muslim civilians in Bosnia,” a claim Srebrenica genocide survivors fiercely disagree with (read this book: The United Nations on Srebrenica’s Pillar of Shame: 104 testimonies). The Dutch ‘peacekeepers’ cowardly abandoned the people of Srebrenica in 1995 and left disgusting material behind themselves (see photos of Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica).

In a well scripted Srebrenica genocide denial propaganda, Van Hees twists facts and effectively blames victims for genocide,”There was a lot of crime among the Muslims themselves in Srebrenica… We could see the kind of atrocities Muslims were committing against the Serbs,” – he said to Serbia’s Vecernje Novosti.

Of course, he conveniently fails to mention that Serb-held villages around Srebrenica were military bases from which Serbs launched daily attacks on Srebrenica. Furthermore, in three years of war, Serbs suffered 151 civilian victims around Srebrenica – a figure not even comparable to the crime of genocide their army had committed against the Bosniak population of the enclave. In fact, in 1992 ethnic cleansing campaign, Serb Army attacked Podrinje region in Eastern Bosnia and slaughtered 1000 civilians in that area alone. The campaign forced thousands of Bosniak civilians to find themselves trapped in the enclave of Srebrenica besieged by genocidal Serb forces led by Serb General Ratko Mladic – an indicted war criminal and a fugitive on the run.

According to Marco Van Hees’ twisted mind of genocide denial, “There’s lots of problems with the Muslims”, but “With Serbs there are ‘no problems,’” Dutchbat veteran said to Serbian Vecernje Novosti daily.

Srebrenica genocide resulted in the summary executions of 8,000 Bosniaks, including at last 500 children, and forcible deportations of thousands of women and children. Women would not be spared, but Serbs were sensitive to the public opinion so they opted for forcible deportations instead (read more here) – as concluded by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at the Hague.

15 ACTIVIST DUTCH SOLDIERS TO TESTIFY IN KARADZIC’S FAVOR

August 30, 2008 6 comments

A group of former Dutch soldiers with questionable agenda and pro-Serb leanings are on a crusade to deny Srebrenica genocide and get their 15 minutes of shame…

Acccording to Serbia’s Vecernje Novosti, a group of former Dutch soldiers who were stationed in Srebrenica enclave in 1995, came to Belgrade on Wednesday “at their own expense” to meet with Milivoje Ivanisevic.

Milivoje Ivanisevic is a Belgrade-based Srebrenica genocide denier whose, so called, research has been discredited by the International Criminal Tribunal as “…a shameful denial and relativisation of the facts that this court has established beyond reasonable doubt about the genocide committed in Srebrenica.” (source: ICTY)

This fringe group of Dutch activists, who clearly have questionable agenda and pro-Serb leanings, say they want to testify in Radovan Karadzic’s favor. As ridiculous as it may seem, but these offensive liars and Srebrenica genocide deniers claim that Serb Army did not commit crimes in Srebrenica. Karadzic, the architect of Srebrenica genocide, is currently on trial at the Hague.

We spoke to two Srebrenica genocide survivors and they told us they have dealt with this type of propaganda for the last 13 years. For Srebrenica genocide survivors, this kind of irresponsible behavior, on the part of the Dutch, is nothing new. After all, the Dutch soldiers abandoned people of Srebrenica in 1995 and left disgusting material behind themselves (see photos of Dutch graffiti in Srebrenica).

Activist Dutch veterans told Ivanisevic they had to “protect themselves from the Muslims, rather than protect Muslims from the Serbs” in Srebrenica. What they failed to mention is that Serb soldiers wore Dutch helmets and disguised themselves as UN peacekeepers to trick Bosniak population of Srebrenica into surrendering. In this situation, it was impossible to distinguish between real and fake peacekeepers.

Srebrenica genocide resulted in the summary executions of 8,000 Bosniaks, including at last 500 children, and forcible deportations of thousands of women and children. Women would not be spared, but Serbs were sensitive to the public opinion so they opted for forcible deportations instead (read more here) – as concluded by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at the Hague.

WE WILL NEVER FORGET AND WE WILL NEVER FORGIVE

March 31, 2008 1 comment
[Off-topic: Our response to discredited Srebrenica genocide denier Stefan Karganovic (Stephen Karganovic) regarding the title of this article can be found at this link.]

GRIM ANNIVERSARY: FIVE YEARS SINCE THE FIRST SREBRENICA GENOCIDE VICTIMS WERE BURIED IN POTOCARI


Tuzla, in northeast Bosnia-Hercegovina, has become the temporary resting home for thousands of Srebrenica Genocide victims. According to the British Medical Journal, between 5000 and 6000 unidentified bodies are contained in more than 12,000 body bags of human remains that are currently stored in giant refrigerators, hospital morgues, and a disused salt mine.

The first victims of the genocide in Srebrenica were buried at the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial and Cemetery in Potocari five years ago today. 600 victims were buried on March 31, 2003. Since then a further 2,907 people have been buried.

The international community will continue to support the process of exhumation and identification of the mortal remains so that the families of the victims can bury their loved ones with dignity, OHR/EUSR said.

“Our thoughts are again with all those who have lost family members in the genocide at Srebrenica. Without justice there can be no reconciliation”, said High Representative and EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak today. “OHR is committed to supporting a more effective strategy for conducting investigations and trials of war crimes through a national war crimes strategy, and I have confirmed my full support to the ICTY.”

Truckloads of Victims Thrown into Drina River

Construction workers recently discovered a mass grave near village Klotijevac, Srebrenica, in which 15 bodies were found. These are Bosniaks from this area whose bodies were taken from the Drina River by villagers from Klotijevac and buried.

Amor Masovic, the President for the Commission on Missing Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said that the Srebrenica exhumations will not continue until the Council of Ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina adopts a rulebook about the budget spending. The exception is mass grave in Klotijevac, which will be financed from the last-year’s budget.

If the budget is adopted soon, then exhumations of other Srebrenica Genocide mass graves could continue as early as April.

JASENOVAC RESEARCH INSTITUTE

December 21, 2007 12 comments

Last Updated: January 5, 2008.
DENIAL OF SREBRENICA GENOCIDE UNDERMINES CREDIBILITY OF THE “JASENOVAC RESEARCH INSTITUTE”

Note of Caution: The Washington’s United States Holocaust Museum should distance itself from this organization, and people should exercise caution when dealing with this propagandist Srebrenica genocide denial group that celebrates war criminals.

The New York based “Jasenovac Research Institute” is a Serbian nationalist-run organization which describes itself as “committed to establishing the truth about the Holocaust in Yugoslavia and dedicated to the search for justice for its victims.” However, Bosniak Muslim victims (including women and children) of Jasenovac are conveniently ignored by their research, but that’s another story. The website features photos of innocent children who died in the Ustasha’s run concentration camp – but there is no mention that those innocent victims belonged to all ethnicities, not just Serb. After all, 6 million Jews perished in the Holocaust. The people behind the Jasenovac Research Institute deny the Srebrenica genocide and celebrate Slobodan Milosevic.

The Jasenovac Research Institute recently re-published a book titled: “The Crimes of the Fascist Occupants and their Collaborators against the Jews in Yugoslavia.” In the Foreword of this book, this Serbian nationalist-run organization is calling the findings of the International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) in the Hague “fraudulent.” As you know, the ICTY findings concluded that the 1995 Serb massacres of Bosniak Muslims in and around Srebrenica constituted genocide. The Jasenovac Research Institute calls those findings fraudulent, thus far denying genocide. Here is a quote from the foreword of the re-published book (reviewed by Christopher Deliso) , quote:

“It should be noted that the old ideals of rigor in documentation have long since been lost. A look at any of the modern Yugoslavia’s war crimes trials shows a frantic zeal to uncover ever more evidence and, though numerous snafus have emerged in the Hague due to its presentation of erroneous or even willfully fraudulent information, few whether in the media or the ‘international community’ take much notice of the inconsistencies.”

These types of Srebrenica Genocide denial claims have seriously shattered the credibility of the “Jasenovac Research Institute. But that’s not all; continue reading…

Institute ran by Srebrenica Genocide Deniers

The main contributor to the Institute, and one of its main board members, is Dr. Milan Bulajic. Not surprisingly, Mr Bulajic also denies Srebrenica genocide (source: external link to the Serbian extremist web site), quote:

“Dr. Milan Bulajic said for Glas Javnosti that High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina Paddy Ashdown and the President of the Institute for War Crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina Dr. Smail Cekic want (at any price) to manipulate science to prove that the Serbian Army committed genocide in Srebrenica.”

Mr. Bulajic was the Director of the “War Crimes Commission” of the FRY, an organization formed by Slobodan Milosevic in early 1990s in Serbia to “prove” the crimes the world has comitted against the Serbs. Mr Bulajic published most of his books and works during the war era, with characteristic Serb opinion at the time. The publisher for most of his book is listed as: “The Ministry of Information of the Republic of Serbia”.

Dr. Darko Trifunovic, another Srebrenica genocide denier, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute (more about him here), quote:

“On the page 34. of that report, Trifunovic concludes his ‘analysis’ of the number of Bosniak men and boys who disappeared during the events surrounding the Bosnian Serb take-over of the United Nations ‘safe area’ of Srebrenica with the ‘finding’ that Armed Forces of the Republic of Srpska (VRS) might have executed only less than 100 of ‘Muslim soldiers'”.

Another director of the Jasenovac Research Institute is Srebrenica genocide denier Milo Yelesiyevich. He is the author of the book about: “Ratko Mladic: Tragic Hero” in which he denied Srebrenica genocide and celebrated indicted war criminals Gen Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic.

And here is what Barry Lituchy – self-titled “Holocaust Research Director” of the Jasenovac Research Institute – thinks of Slobodan Milosevic, quote:

“When I heard the news that Slobodan Milosevic had died I did not want to believe it. I did not want to believe that evil had triumphed over good, or that the evil that had been done to this brave and beautiful man could have finally killed him… But you can take solace in the fact that Slobo died a martyr’s death… He is the most famous and most courageous Serb of our time… As I said before, he lived and died for us and for a better world. I know you are proud of him. I feel the same way.” [11 March 2006, “To The Family of Slobodan Milosevic“]

It is obvious that the people behind this organization have as much credibility as Adolph Hitler. The sad part is they are a driving force behind the Jasenovac Research Institute.

Nazi Croatia’s Ethnic Make-up


The territory of the Independent State of Croatia included two constituent units of former Yugoslavia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, with a total population of about 6.3 million. More than half of the population, or 3.3 million, were ethnic Croats (Catholics). The 1.9 million Serbs (Orthodox) were the largest ethnic minority. Other minorities included approximately 700,000 Bosniaks (Muslims), 40,000 Jews, and 30,000 Roma (Gypsies).


PHOTO: The Bosniak Muslim family being taken away to the Jasenovac concentration camp by the Ustasha’s collaborationist regime during the 2nd World War. [Bosnjaci.net Magazine]

Numbers of Jasenovac Victims
(Serbs, Bosniaks, Jews, Roma, Croats, and others)

Bosniaks and Croats were also victims of Jasenovac. According to the U.S. Holocaust Museum:

“The Ustaša authorities established numerous concentration camps in Croatia between 1941 and 1945. These camps were used to isolate and murder Serbs, Jews, Roma, Muslims [Bosniaks], and other non-Catholic minorities, as well as Croatian political and religious opponents of the regime.”

Jasenovac Research Institute claims that 300,000 to 700,000 Serbs died in Jasenovac – the numbers challenged even by the United States Holocaust Museum, quote:

“The most reliable figures place the number of Serbs killed by the Ustasha between 330,000 and 390,000, with 45,000 to 52,000 Serbs murdered in Jasenovac.” [USHMM and Jewish Virtual Library]

In 1998, the Bosniak Institute published SFR Yugoslavia’s List of war victims from the Jasenovac camp. The list contained 49,602 total victims at Jasenovac with 26,170 Serbs, 8,121 Jews, 5,900 Croats, 1471 Roma, 787 Bosniak Muslims, 6,792 of unidentifiable ethnicity and the rest others.

According to another historian, Dr Vladimir Zerjavic, over 12,000 Bosniaks and Croats perished in Jasenovac. One might also read Dr Nihad Halilbegovic‘s study about the Bosniak victims of Jasenovac concentration camp (currently, only the Bosnian language version is available – Bosnjaci u Jasenovackom Logoru, 502 pages, ISBN: 9789958471025 can be purchased at Interliber, popular Bosnian book sale web site).

According to the Jewish Virtual Library, the precise number of Jews murdered in Jasenovac is not known, but estimates range between 8,000 and 20,000 Jewish victims; and the estimate of the number of Romani (Gipsy) victims is beteween 8,000 and 15,000 who perished in Jasenovac.

May souls of all victims rest in peace…

SERBIAN PHOTO PROPAGANDA – FASCIST TECHNIQUES

December 6, 2007 8 comments

PHOTOS OF SREBRENICA GENOCIDE VICTIMS MISUSED BY SERBIAN NATIONALISTS

Content updated December 13, 2007
1. Serbia’s Photo Propaganda
2.
Serbian NAZI past (fascism)
3. Conclusion

PHOTO: Serbian nationalist newspaper misused the above photo of Bosniak Muslim victims by portraying it as a mass grave of Serbs. What you see is a a mass grave of Srebrenica genocide victims (Bosniak Muslims) in a village of SNAGOVO during their exhumation in July 2007 as confirmed by the International Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP) and FONET (Serbian agency selling Associated Press photos). The above photo features ICMP forensic expert Sharna Daley of London UK. This kind of propaganda can be only produced by the sickest minds in order to misinform the public; and this is what they have been doing for the last 15 years with their bold faced lies and propaganda. It’s time for a counter punch. Read more…

1. Serbia’s Photo Propaganda

Serbian nationalist newspaper “Glas Javnosti”- known by its extreme radical rhetoric and publishings of Srebrenica genocide denial material – went one step further in its fascist propaganda by misusing photos of Bosniak Srebrenica genocide mass graves and portraying them as mass graves of Serb victims of the so called “Muslim-Croat terror” – click here to take a look
.

This type of Serbian propaganda is sadly widespread, and it’s a testament of the sickness of Serbian society that will likely take a long time to heal. Unfortunately, it’s nothing new since Serbia hasn’t decontaminated itself from fascism, yet. Serbian nationalists regularly celebrate war criminals as heroes, while Srebrenica Genocide is increasingly being awarded status of a big proud ‘military victory’ over the “Turks” (derogatory name for Bosniaks Muslims).

Here is a photo of a Srebrenica Genocide mass grave excavation in the village of SNAGOVO in July 2007. The ICMP (International Commission for Missing Persons) confirmed to us that the photo features forensic expert Sharna Daley of London U.K. She is a member of a team from the International Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP) inspecting human remains at a Srebrenica genocide mass-grave site in a village of SNAGOVO. She has also been featured in numerous photos on our site, latest one being during Srebrenica genocide mass grave excavation in the village of KAMENICA. Another Serbian source “FONET” (which allows consumers to purchase Associated Press photos) also confirms that the photo refers to the exhumation of a mass grave in SNAGOVO, as previously confirmed to us by the ICMP.


2. Serbian Nazi Roots

The levels of propaganda and hatred against Bosniaks and Croats – stemming from Serbia’s fascist past – have remained relatively constant.

During the 2nd World War, the first experiments in mass executions of camp inmates by poison gas were carried out in Serbia. Serbia was the first country to proudly declare itself “Judenfrei” (“cleansed” of Jews).

In August 1942, Dr. Harald Turner (the chief of the German civil administration in Serbia) announced that Serbia was the only country in which the “Jewish question” was solved and that Belgrade was the “first city of a New Europe to be Judenfrei.” Turner himself attributed this success to Serbian help.

The fight against the Jewish influence had actually started six months before the German invasion when the government of Serbia issued legislation restricting Jewish participation in the economy and university enrolment.

In contemporary Serbian history, the Serbian chetniks of Draza Mihailovic were represented as fighters against the occupier, while in fact they were the allies of the Nazi fascists in Yugoslavia.

It is unequivocally clear that the Chetniks collaborated with the occupiers, both in the military and political sphere, as well as in the domain of economic activity, intelligence and propaganda… (source: the Serbian scholars, Dr. Jovan Marjanovic & Mihail Stanisic, The collaboration of Draza Mihailovic’s Chetniks with the enemy forces of occupation, 1976.)

In conjunction with the war in former Yugoslavia, Serbia has undertaken a campaign to persuade the Jewish community of Serbian friendship for Jews (the Serbian Jewish Friendship Society). This same campaign portrays Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) and Croats as a common threat to both Jews and Serbs, in an attempt to gain Jewish sympathy and support at a time when most nations have isolated Serbia as a Balkan pariah.

However, even as Serbia courts Jewish public opinion, their propagandists conceal a history of well-ingrained antisemitism, which continues unabated in 1992. To make their case, Serbs portray themselves as victims in the Second World War, but conceal the systematic genocide that Serbs had committed against several peoples including the Jews. Thus Serbs have usurped as propaganda the Holocaust that occurred in neighbouring Croatia and Bosnia, but do not give an honest accounting of the Holocaust as it occurred in Serbia.

During four centuries of Ottoman rule in the Balkans, the Jewish communities of Serbia enjoyed religious tolerance, internal autonomy, and equality before the law, that ended with the breakup of the Ottoman Empire and the emergence of the Serbian state. Soon after a Serbian insurrection against Turkish rule in 1804, Jews were expelled from the interior of Serbia and prohibited from residing outside of Belgrade. In 1856 and 1861, Jews were further prohibited from travel for the purpose of trade. In official correspondence from the late 19th century, British diplomats detailed the cruel treatment of the Jews of Serbia, which they attributed to religious fanaticism, commercial rivalries, and the belief that Jews were the secret agents of the Turks. Article 23 of the Serbian constitution granted equality to every citizen but Article 132 forbade Jews the right of domicile. The Treaty of Berlin 1878, which formally established the Serbian state, accorded political and civil equality to the Jews of Serbia, but the Serbian Parliament resisted abolishing restrictive decrees for another 11 years. Although the legal status of the Jewish community subsequently improved, the view of Jews as an alien presence persisted.

The Serbian government under General Milan Nedic worked closely with local Nazi officials in making Belgrade the first “Judenfrei” city of Europe. As late as 19 September 1943, Nedic made an official visit to Adolf Hitler (see picture bellow), Serbs in Berlin advanced the idea that the Serbs were the “Ubermenchen” (master race) of the Slavs.

PHOTO: Serbia’s Chetnik Milan Nedic and Adolf Hitler.

The Serbian Orthodox Church openly collaborated with the Nazis, and many priests publicly defended the persecution of the Jews. On 13 August 1941, approximately 500 distinguished Serbs signed “An Appeal to the Serbian Nation”, which called for loyalty to the occupying Nazis. The first three signers were bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church. On 30 January 1942, Metropolitan Josif, the acting head of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church, officially prohibited conversions of Jews to Serbian Orthodoxy, thereby blocking a means of saving Jewish lives. At a public rally, after the government Minister Olcan “thanked God that the enormously powerful fist of Germany had not come down upon the head of the Serbian nation” but instead “upon the heads of the Jews in our midst”, the speaker of these words was then blessed by a high-ranking Serbian Orthodox priest.

A most striking example of Serbian antisemitism combined with historical revisionism is the case of Bishop Nikolaj Velimirovic (1880-1956), revered as one of the most influential church leaders and ideologists after Saint Sava, founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church. To Serbs, Bishop Velimirovic was a martyr who survived torture in the Dachau prison camp. In truth he was brought to Dachau (as were other prominent European clergy), because the Nazis believed he could be useful for propaganda. There he spent approximately two months as an “Ehrenhaftling” (honour prisoner) in a special section, dining on the same food as the German officers, living in private quarters, and making excursions into town under German escort. From Dachau, this venerated Serbian priest endorsed the Holocaust:

QUOTE: Europe is presently the main battlefield of the Jew and his father, the devil, against the heavenly Father and his only begotten Son… (Jews) first need to become legally equal with Christians in order to repress Christianity next, turn Christians into atheist, and step on their necks. All the modern European slogans have been made up by Jews, the crucifiers of Christ: democracy, strikes, socialism atheism, tolerance of all religions, pacifism, universal revolution, capitalism and communism… All this has been done with the intention to eliminate Christ… You should think about this, my Serbian brethren, and correspondingly correct your thoughts, desires and acts. (Bishop Nikolaj Velimirovic: Addresses to the Serbian People–Through the Prison Window. Himmelsthur, Germany: Serbian Orthodox Eparchy for Western Europe, 1985, pp. 161-162). QUOTE END

To learn more about Serbian involvement in the Holocaust, read:
Serbian portrayal of Holocaust decency is historical revisionism
Serbian anti-masonic (anti-Jewish) exhibition in Belgrade of 1941-42

3. Conclusion:

If Serbia wants to be part of civilized world, then it needs to decontaminate itself from fascistic hatred and stop spreading bold faced lies and propaganda about their perceived victimhood. A nation that lives of mythological history, propagation of lies, constant creation of feelings of victimhood, and Srebrenica genocide denial is not ready to be partner for peace in the region.

BEWARE OF BALKANPEACE.ORG – GENOCIDE DENIAL NGO!

November 7, 2007 3 comments

“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:

Objective

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.

THOUGHTS ON NIOD REPORT, CHOMSKY, UN, DUTCH GOVERNMENT and DEAF HORSES

July 8, 2006 1 comment

RELATIVISM OF JUSTICE: THOUGHTS ON NOAM CHOMSKY, NIOD REPORT, DUTCH GOVERNMENT, U.N. & more…


Blog’s Editorial
Date Published: July 8th, 2006.
Updated again on: July 29th, 2006.
================================================================
Contents:
1. Introduction
2.
Fugitives on the Run
3. On Noam Chomsky & The Leftist Apologists
4.
On (Flawed) NIOD Report & the Dutch Government
5.
More on Dutch & the UN
6. Deaf Horses Gone Blind – ‘Balancing Act’
================================================================
1. Introduction

A child wipes the tears of its grandmother's face as trucks carrying 505 victims of the Srebrenica massacre roll down the main street of Sarajevo, Saturday, July 8, 2006. The trucks loaded with the coffins of newly identified victims of Europe's worst massacre since World War II stopped for a few moments in Sarajevo on Saturday to allow hundreds of people to pay tribute to their beloved ones. The bodies will be buried at Srebrenica on the 11th anniversary of the massacre on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Hidajet Delic)(AP Photo/Hidajet Delic)There are a few days left until the 11th Anniversary of the Srebrenica Massacre – the first legally established case of genocide in Europe after the Holocaust – in which men, elderly and children (boys) were slaughtered, while many women were raped and tens of thousands of them trucked and forcibly deported from Srebrenica.

In the coming days I will be publishing a revised Srebrenica Massacre Report and will report about the 11th Anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre.

A Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) women from Srebrenica reacts as trucks carrying 505 victims of the Srebrenica massacre pass down the main street in Sarajevo, Saturday, July 8, 2006. The trucks loaded with the coffins of the newly identified victims of Europe's worst massacre since World War II stopped for a few moments in Sarajevo on Saturday to allow hundreds of people to pay tribute to their beloved ones. The bodies will be buried at Srebrenica on the 11th anniversary of the massacre on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Hidajet Delic)(AP Photo/Hidajet Delic)This week I’ve been active in reviewing some of the published findings with respect to Srebrenica massacre. I focused on reviewing ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal), U.N. and the Government of Netherland’s findings about Srebrenica. I was also in contact with Noam Chomsky, trying to understand his association with left wing revisionists and Srebrenica genocide deniers.

2. FUGITIVES ON THE RUN

Rejha Ademovic, 60, a Bosnian Muslim woman from the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica, prays Saturday, July 8, 2006, in Sarajevo, in front of the truck carrying the remains of victims, among them her 15-year old son, killed in 1995 in a massacre. The trucks loaded with the coffins of 505 newly identified victims of Europe's worst massacre since World War II stopped for a few moments in Sarajevo on Saturday to allow hundreds of people to pay tribute to their beloved ones. The bodies will be buried at Srebrenica on the 11th anniversary of the massacre on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Hidajet Delic)As you might already know, both the United Nations and the Netherlands have complicity in Srebrenica massacre and their findings are not as objective as one might have expected.

Although primary responsibility for the massacre lies with the Bosnian Serb leadership, they are not the only party to blame for the massacre, as both the U.N and Dutchbat clearly failed to prevent and/or at least try to prevent the Srebrenica massacre.

A Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) woman from Srebrenica cries as trucks carrying 505 victims of the Srebrenica massacre pass down the main street in Sarajevo, Saturday, July 8, 2006. Trucks loaded with the coffins of the newly identified victims of Europe's worst massacre since World War II stopped for a few moments in Sarajevo on Saturday to allow hundreds of people to pay tribute to their beloved ones. The bodies will be buried at Srebrenica on the 11th anniversary of the massacre on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Hidajet Delic)(AP Photo/Hidajet Delic)With respect to Naser Oric, most of his initial charges were dropped or he was acquitted of them – and with respect to those, he is innocent. However, he failed to prevent the murders of about 5 Serb captives, and he is guilty of that, as concluded by the ICTY. Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic are both on the run. Both Karadzic and Mladic are indicted on genocide charges with respect to the killings of over 8,000 Bosniaks in the Srebrenica massacre, as well as other human rights violations.

Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) man cries near coffins of 505 newly identified Srebrenica victims at an abandoned battery factory in Potocari 120 kms north of Bosnian capital Sarajevo, Saturday, July 8, 2006. The bodies will be buried in Srebrenica on Tuesday during the 11th anniversary commemorations of the massacre. Serb troops killed some 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995, and most of the bodies are still missing. (AP Photo/Amel Emric)Most likely, they will never be brought to justice (and I would like to be proved wrong here).

To bring Karadzic and Mladic to justice, the United States Government is offering a reward for information.

A man searches through more than 600 coffins with remains of victims of Srebrenica massacre waiting for the funeral in a factory hall in Potocari on July 11, 2005. REUTERS/Danilo KrstanovicIndividuals who furnish information leading to the arrest or conviction, in any country, of these two fugitives are eligible for a reward of up to $5 million.

In addition to the reward of up to $5 million, informants may be eligible for protection of their identities and relocation for their families. For more information about the reward, see Ratko Mladic & Radovan Karadzic.

3. ON NOAM CHOMSKY & THE LEFTIST APOLOGISTS

Prof. Noam ChomskyI dedicated some time to speak to Noam Chomsky, who answered all my emails. Although I am not going to reveal the contents of emails exchanged with Chomsky, I will take the liberty of posting my general opinion about Chomsky.

As you might already know, Chomsky is considered to be a key intellectual figure within the left wing of the United States politics. And the “leftist apologist wing” is what usually fits the definition of Srebrenica genocide denial and/or revisionism (e.g. Ed Herman and Diana Johnstone). The “leftist apologists” pride themselves on being always on the opposite side of the mainstream media. So, while the media is taking a pro-Israel stance, the leftist apologists will speak on behalf of Palestinian side and bash the Israeli side. Accordingly, while the media is taking a pro-Srebrenica genocide stance, the leftist apologists will speak on behalf of the Serbian side and deny the Srebrenica genocide. More extreme cases of “left wing Srebrenica genocide deniers and revisionists,” as well as Milosevic’s apologists and conspiracy theorists, would include cases like Jared Israel (link) & Francisco Gil-White (who was fired from the University of Pennsylvania for his Srebrenica genocide denial).

While this leftist apologist arrangement of the political spectrum may seem to serve as a counter-balance to the mainstream media, it is actually very selective and most often fraudulent with respect to established facts (e.g. the fact that at least 8,106 Bosniaks perished in the Srebrenica massacre).

The “left wing anti-imperialists” also pride themselves in their – what could be described as – anti-American sentiment and/or never-ending disagreements with American foreign policies, such as the policy of liberating Iraq and Afghanistan from merciless dictatorships, or bombing Serbia to stop Milosevic forces from committing another genocide in Kosovo. For them, Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein were defenders of their people from ‘bad’ NATO attackers.

To get back to the issue of Chomsky, he was voted ‘the leading living public intellectual’ in ‘The 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll’ conducted by the British magazine Prospect. There were 100 nominees in this poll and around 20,000 votes were cast. Whether Chomsky got 1,000 votes, or 2,000 votes, or more or less votes to win the title, is insignificant. What is significant is that nobody used common sense to ask the following question: Can he truly be a leading “global” intellectual with so few votes cast, which were confined only to Britain and the – at that time obscure – British Prospect magazine? If someone is going to be the leading “global” intellectual, then more votes need to be cast and they cannot be confined to obscure British magazines. However you look at it, the term “global” means international, not British; certainly, the term “global” does not mean few thousand votes.

Chomsky is also popular for downplaying the violence and suffering involved in the wars in the former Yugoslavia and shifting the blame to the Western alliance. [read here]

Chomsky’s natural “left apologist wing leanings” dictate his political opinions, but he is careful enough to disassociate himself from Milosevic’s sympathizers. For him, Milosevic is a “terrible” person. However, Chomsky believes that the charges against Milosevic were a “farce”. Here is what he said in an interview for Serbian television: “This trial was never going to hold up, if it was even semi-honest. It was a farce; in fact they were lucky that he died”. (On the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, April 25, 2006)

Here we could see Chomsky – with no legal training in international law – making statements that make absolutely no sense. Milosevic was charged with 66 charges of genocide and other crimes against humanity, one might wonder what were the chances that he would be acquitted of all of them? None.

To my knowledge, Chomsky never directly stated that he denies Srebrenica genocide, but he did support publications which do deny Srebrenica genocide. Examples include his support for Diana Johnstone’s “Fools’ Crusade” book in which she denies Srebrenica genocide and his association with leftist apologist publication ZMag and Edward Herman – both of whom deny Srebrenica genocide. A rebuttal of Edward Herman’s claims was published by Balkan Witness, Edward Herman on the List of Missing at Srebrenica.

Chomsky has been a target of controversy with respect to Srebrenica genocide denial. There is a wonderful article by Marko Attila Hoare titled Chomsky’s Genocide Denial. While, according to my knowledge, Chomsky never directly stated that he denies Srebrenica genocide, he did seem to justify the Srebrenica massacre by suggesting that the massacre was provoked – here is what he said:

Srebrenica was an enclave, lightly protected by UN forces, which was being used as a base for attacking nearby Serb villages. It was known that there’s going to be retaliation. When there was a retaliation, it was vicious. (Civilization versus Barbarism? December 17, 2004).

Furthermore, in his article titled Imperial Presidency, Chomsky provocatively uses quotes when refering to Srebrenica genocide:

…Or Srebrenica, almost universally described as “genocide” in the West. In that case, as we know in detail from the Dutch government report [editor’s note: NIOD Report bias, read bellow] and other sources, the Muslim enclave in Serb territory, inadequately protected, was used as a base for attacks against Serb villages, and when the anticipated reaction took place, it was horrendous. The Serbs drove out all but military age men, and then moved in to kill them. There are differences with Falluja. Women and children were not bombed out of Srebrenica, but trucked out, and there will be no extensive efforts to exhume the last corpse of the packrats in their warrens in Falluja. There are other differences, arguably unfair to the Serbs. [Canadian Dimension, January/February 2005 (Volume 39, Number 1)]

What Chomsky does not know is that before Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) put any armed resistance against this Serbian campaign of ethnic cleansing, several thousand Bosniaks, mainly men and children (boys), were summarily executed. Only then did Bosniaks start attacking the Serb front lines (aka: surrounding Serb villages) to defend the enclave, gather food and possibly break the siege.

However, the judgment in Naser Oric case clearly shows that surrounding Serb villages were used as bases to attack Srebrenica on a daily basis from day one:

Between April 1992 and March 1993, Srebrenica town and the villages in the area held by Bosnian Muslims were constantly subjected to Serb military assaults, including artillery attacks, sniper fire, as well as occasional bombing from aircrafts. Each onslaught followed a similar pattern. Serb soldiers and paramilitaries surrounded a Bosnian Muslim village or hamlet, called upon the population to surrender their weapons, and then began with indiscriminate shelling and shooting. In most cases, they then entered the village or hamlet, expelled or killed the population, who offered no significant resistance, and destroyed their homes. During this period, Srebrenica was subjected to indiscriminate shelling from all directions on a daily basis. Potočari in particular was a daily target for Serb artillery and infantry because it was a sensitive point in the defence line around Srebrenica. Other Bosnian Muslim settlements were routinely attacked as well. All this resulted in a great number of refugees and casualties. (Naser Oric Judgement, pdf format, see pages 43-53)

Human Rights Watch agrees:

Take the events in the village of Kravica, on the Serb Orthodox Christmas on January 7, 1993, for example. The alleged killing of scores of Serbs and destruction of their houses in the village is frequently cited in Serbia as the key example of the heinous crimes committed by the Muslim forces around Srebrenica. In fact, the Oric judgment confirms that there were Bosnian Serb military forces present in the village at the time of attack. In 1998, the wartime New York Times correspondent Chuck Sudetic wrote in his book on Srebrenica that, of forty-five Serbs who died in the Kravica attack, thirty-five were soldiers. Original Bosnian Serb army documents, according to the ICTY prosecutor and the Sarajevo-based Center for Research and Documentation of War Crimes, also indicate that thirty-five soldiers died. [source]

Serb forces continued to attack Srebrenica even after Srebrenica became a “Safe Heaven”:

Later, a Dutch battalion replaced the Canadian troops. The weapons of Bosnian
Muslims were, at least to some extent, turned in or confiscated. Larger military operations by both Bosnian Muslims and Serbs were effectively brought to a halt. However, incidents of Serb military action continued to occur, causing casualties among the Srebrenica population. (Naser Oric Judgement, pdf format, see pages 43-53)

The genocide justifiers have consistently ignored the strong VRS military presence in some Bosnian Serb villages. For example, the village of Fakovici was used as a military outpost through which Bosnian Serb forces launched massive attacks on Bosniak civilians. [source].

Secondly, the Oric judgment found the presence of Serb military in several villages that the Bosniak forces launched an offensive on. Including the presence of sophisticated weapons such as tanks, anti aircraft, rocket launchers etc. Therefore, putting the offensive actions against those specific villages where there was a VRS presence in much different light than the one purported by the genocide deniers. [source].

Now if Chomsky’s justification for genocide equals genocide denial, then one might make the following argument: Although Chomsky defiantly denies being a Srebrenica genocide denier, he does not merely deny the Genoicide he denies his own denial.

For those interested in Chomsky’s make-believe stories, you may read Top 100 Chomsky Lies (in .pdf format).

Highly recommended articles by Dr. Marko Attila Hoare are The Left Revisionists and The Fallacy of Anti-Imperialism.

4. ON (FLAWED) NIOD REPORT & DUTCH GOVERNMENT

Another report that I studied, and that Chomsky used to ‘prove’ his pro-Serb arguments, is the NIOD Report published by the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation. This is the document, commissioned by the Dutch government following criticism of the way its peacekeeping force in the Srebrenica behaved at the time of the massacre. [See: Srebrenica Massacre Lawsuit Against U.N. and Dutch Government]

Although the Dutch government refused to apologize for the failure of Dutchbat to prevent the Srebrenica massacre, the NIOD Report was the Netherlands’s attempt to wash their hands of direct involvement in the Srebrenica massacre. The report is extremely biased in some parts, depending on the sources or references used.

For example, Part II – Chapter 2 talks about “The history preceding the conflict in Eastern Bosnia up until the establishment of the Safe Area“. By reading this part of the report, one can easily get the impression that Bosniaks constantly attacked Serb villages while Serbs were constantly defending themselves from Bosniaks. But since this report was Netherland’s attempt to shift blame by virtues of ‘moral equivalency’, no wonder they came up with such grotesque claims. Earlier U.N. Report 53/35 concluded:

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 NIOD report cites too many biased Serb sources and even suggests that over 1,000 Serbs died around Srebrenica, which was proven to be false by the internationally sponsored Research and Documentation Center (RDC), which concluded that less than 400 Serbs died there, three quarters of them soldiers (source). Manipulating the number of victims is a form of propaganda that in practice is very difficult to deal with. The Bosnian Government did the same in the 1990s, stating that over 200,000 people died. RDC has concluded that not more than 150,000 people died in Bosnia (and RDC’s incomplete data as of today lists around 100,000 people).

Critics of the NIOD Report allege that the massive tome is full of inaccuracies and amounts to a whitewash designed to clear the Dutch of any wrongdoing. IWPR’s piece, titled Controversial Srebrenica Report Back on Table (source), exposes flaws of NIOD Report:

They [the critics] claim that the government-financed report now provides a “one-stop shop” of information for all sides if the conflict, because it was watered down too much for it to take a real position on anything. According to Jan Willem Honig, senior lecturer in war studies at London’s Kings College and co-author of the highly-praised “Srebrenica, Record of a War Crime”, the truth lies somewhere in between. Although he says the report “has an aura of independent academic research,” Honig is critical of its length, saying the sheer abundance of information makes it possible for anyone to pluck from it whatever they need to make their point. This, he says, is a liability because the report is not always consistent. “It’s possible to draw different conclusions from the different parts in the book. Therefore one can imagine it is useful to both defence and prosecution,” he said. Honig said he found numerous errors in the report as well. For example, he said an explanatory map inserted as a graphic aid to explaining the Bosnian Serb battle plan does not correspond with the plan as described in the text. And neither the written description nor the map accurately describe the actual plan. Worse than the inaccuracies, according to Honig, is the fact that the report has no clear objective. “They [the researchers] should have considered better what they wanted to establish with the report. That might have saved thousands of pages. With its leisurely narrative approach they shot themselves in the foot. The project escaped their control; it became too big,” he said. Honig is not alone in criticising the report. Many readers have complained that the index is poorly organised and full of errors, particularly regarding peoples’ names. Even those who worked on the NIOD report have been critical of it. One of the nine NIOD-researchers, anthropologist Ger Duijzings recently told the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, “Information from sources that I found unreliable, I found back in Part 1 [of the report] – used by [fellow-researcher] Bob de Graaf, if he thought it fitted in his argumentation.”

According to Hasan Nuhanovic, who survived Srebrenica massacre, the NIOD Report has not determined the level of responsibility and guilt of the Dutch troops and officials for genocide in Srebrenica [full text].

For more on U.N.’s moral equivalency, read: Bosnia prepares to mark the 11th anniversary of Genocide and Srebrenica Massacre answers (revised edition).

5. MORE ON DUTCH & THE UN

The direct Dutch involvement in the Srebrenica massacre and subsequent shameful collaboration with Ratko Mladic’s genocidal forces is one of the issues in the upcoming lawsuit against the Dutch government and the United Nations. Dutch forces have direct responsibility for the fall of Srebrenica and the subsequent massacre of over 8,000 Bosniaks.

Venezuela’s former ambassador to the United Nations Diego Enrique Arria, recently said: “The Srebrenica massacre “is the greatest cover up in the history of the United Nations.” [source]

Ambassador Arria testified at the International Tribunal that the international community “did not move its little finger” to protect the Muslims in the enclave and “did not make it possible for them to defend themselves”. There was a tendency in the Security Council, he said, to “morally equate the victims and the aggressor”, thus avoiding the need to take action to prevent the humanitarian disaster.

It’s time for the Netherlands and the U.N. to stand up, take responsibility, apologize, and pay reparation for their direct involvement in the massacre, bearing in mind also that class-action lawsuits are rarely unsuccessful.

If the Report was intended to be objective, then it should have included unbiased sources – not just what Serbian apologists for atrocities wrote and published during the war.

I have also skimmed through the Krstic judgment, the verdict that established the legal reality of the Srebrenica genocide. With respect to the background of the conflict, the facts of the case rely heavily on General’s Assembly Report 53/35. Some facts were omitted such as the fact – based on numerous eyewitness testimonies – that surrounding Serb villages around Srebrenica served as fortified Serbian military bases from which Srebrenica was attacked on a daily basis. However, the judgment in Mr Oric case has clearly shown that surrounding Serb villages were used as bases to attack Srebrenica , as I elaborated in part 3 and 4 of this report.


6. DEAF HORSES GONE BLIND – ‘BALANCING ACT’

My impression is that both documents, United Nation’s General Assembly Report 53/35 and the NIOD Report were prepared to provide a “balanced” account of what happened at Srebrenica. In fact, the report is far from being balanced, because in critical parts of the report NIOD researches solely relied on local Serb sources (as I elaborated earlier); thus far, they attempted to “balance” the report at the expense of over 8,000 Srebrenica massacre victims.

One might even get the impression that this Report was made to justify the massacre and point fingers away from Dutch failure in Srebrenica. In some parts of the report, for example, for every critique of Serbs there was one critique of Bosniaks, etc.

This may seem fair, but it’s not.

Imagine if someone raped you and brought you to the court and the judge ruled that both you and your rapists were equally guilty; him because he raped you – and you – because you did not lock your door at night. You may do similar comparison with 9/11 and never-ending justifications of the attack and grotesque conspiracy theories.

Do you think this is fair? In my opinion, there is no room for critique of victims, but again – you may disagree with me. And you are perfectly welcome to do so.

Related:
Moral Equivalism is Flawed