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Alija Izetbegovic

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Topic: Alija Izetbegovic
Posted By: Mila
Subject: Alija Izetbegovic
Date Posted: 30-Dec-2005 at 19:40
ALIJA izetbegovic

Alija Izetbegovic was born on August 8, 1925, in the northern Bosnian town of Bosanski Šamac - one of five children born to a distinguished but impoverished family descended from former Ottoman aristocrats from Belgrade who moved to Bosnia after Serbia gained independence from the Ottoman Empire.

View from the minaret of a mosque, Bosanski Samac - 1925

In 1927, the family moved to Sarajevo. Izetbegović became closely involved in Bosniak society as he grew up during the 1930s and 1940s. In 1941, when Izetbegović was 16, Nazi Germany invaded Yugoslavia and incorporated the territory of the present-day Bosnia into the "Independent State of Croatia" ruled by the fascist Ustaše movement. The largely Croatian Ustaše, the Serbian Chetniks and the Communist partisans of Josip Broz Tito all vied for the support of Bosniaks.

During the war, Izetbegović joined the Young Muslims (Mladi Muslimani) organisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, then headed by the conservative cleric Mehmed Handžić. Similar to its namesake organisations in other countries, the Young Muslims advocated a return to the Islamic way of life and the idea of Ummah (a unified Muslim community).

Immediately after the war, Tito's government undertook a severe crackdown on ethnic, religious and non-Communist political activity, executing tens of thousands and imprisoning hundreds of thousands more.

Izetbegović was caught in the net in 1946: he had published a dissident Islamic journal entitled Mudžahid (Soldier of God). He was sentenced to three years for anti-communist activities and upon his release in 1949, he began studying at the University of Law in Sarajevo, graduating in 1956.

He worked for nearly 30 years as a lawyer, but continued to promote an essentially Bosniak and Islamic viewpoint, publishing a number of dissident works during this period.
He argued that Yugoslavian (and especially Bosnian) Muslims needed to be more rigorous in their practice of Islam, pointing out that their Bosniak identity was now defined by their Islamic adherence. He warned that if they did not make more of an effort to differentiate themselves, they would risk being re-submerged by Croatian and Serbian nationalism.

In 1970, Izetbegović published a manifesto entitled The Islamic Declaration, a work which contributed greatly to his later portrayal as an Islamic fundamentalist. He highlighted the decayed state of Islam and called for an religious and political regeneration across the Muslim world, although the book made no reference to Bosnia.

From an Islamic point of view, this was nothing new and it was very much in accordance with traditional Qur'anic principles. It was also not a programme of Islamic fundamentalism: Izetbegović explicitly accepted innovation and the "achievements of Euro-American civilization." He spoke approvingly of the high educational and economic standards prevailing in the West and urged that "instead of hating the West, let us proclaim cooperation instead of confrontation."

However, his arguments were fundamentally at odds with both the anti-nationalist ideology of Communist Yugoslavia and with the later nationalist sentiment in Croatia and Serbia, which emphasized both nations' Christian heritage.

Izetbegović wrote what is generally regarded as his major work, Islam Between East and West, in 1980. He declared that this was not a "book of theology" but a serious attempt to define the "place of Islam in the general spectrum of ideas." It compares the ideas within Islam to those of other beliefs (including; among others, Christianity, Communism and Humanism) and makes a dialectic argument for the importance of Islam and the need to serve God.

The introduction of a multi-party system in Yugoslavia at the end of the 1980s prompted Izetbegović and other Bosniak activists to establish a political party, the Party of Democratic Action (Stranka Demokratske Akcije, or SDA) in 1989. It had a largely Muslim character; similarly, the other principal ethnic groups in Bosnia, the Serbs and Croats, also established ethnically based parties.

The SDA won the largest share of the vote, 33% of the seats, with the next runners-up being nationalist ethnic parties representing Serbs and Croats. Fikret Abdić won the popular vote for president among the Muslim candidates, with 44% of the vote, Izetbegović closely behind with 37%. According to the Bosnian constitution, the first two candidates of each of the three constitutient nations would be elected to a seven-member multi-ethnic rotating presidency (with two Croats, two Serbs, two Muslims and one Yugoslav); a Croat took the post of prime minister and a Serb the presidency of the Assembly.

Abdić agreed to stand down as the Muslim candidate for the Presidency and Izetbegović became President with the support of the Bosnian Serb leadership.

Bosnia's power-sharing arrangements broke down very quickly as ethnic tensions grew after the outbreak of fighting between Serbs and Croats in neighboring Croatia. Although Izetbegović was to due to hold the presidency for only one year according to the constitution, this arrangement was initially suspended due to "extraordinary circumstances" and was eventually abandoned altogether during the war as the Serb and Croat parties abandoned the government (although many individual Serbs and Croats continued to work and fight for it).

When fighting broke out in Slovenia and Croatia in the summer of 1991, it was immediately apparent that Bosnia would soon become embroiled in the conflict. Izetbegović initially proposed a loose confederation to preserve a unitary Bosnian state and strongly urged a peaceful solution. He did not, however, subscribe to the "peace at all costs" view and commented in February 1991 that "I would sacrifice peace for a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina ... but for that peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina I would not sacrifice sovereignty."

By the start of 1992 it had become apparent that the rival nationalist demands were fundamentally incompatible: the Bosniaks and Croats sought an independent Bosnia while the Serbs wanted it to remain in a rump Yugoslavia dominated by Serbia. Izetbegović publicly complained that he was being forced to ally with one side or the other, vividly characterising the dilemma by comparing it to having to choose between leukaemia and a brain tumour.

In February 1992, Izetbegović called a national referendum on independence for Bosnia, despite warnings from the Serbian members of the presidency that any move to independence would result in the Serbian-inhabited areas of Bosnia seceding to remain with the rump Yugoslavia. The referendum was boycotted by Serbs, who regarded it as an unconstitutional move, but achieved a 99.4% vote in favour on a 67% turnout (which almost entirely constituted of the Bosniak and Croat communities).

Sporadic fighting between Serbs and government forces occurred across Bosnia in the run-up to international recognition. Izetbegović appears to have gambled that the international community would send a peacekeeping force upon recognising Bosnia in order to prevent a civil war, but this did not happen. Instead, war immediately broke out across the country as Bosnian Serb and Yugoslav Army forces took control of large areas of Bosnia against the opposition of poorly-equipped government security forces.

For the next three years, Izetbegović lived precariously in a besieged Sarajevo surrounded by Bosnian Serb forces. He denounced the failure of Western countries to reverse what he termed "Serbian aggression" and turned instead to the Islamic world, with which he had already established relations during his days as a dissident. The Bosnian government received money, arms and a number of volunteers from a number of Muslim countries, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Libya.

However, the fundamentalist Islamists became unpopular even with many of the Bosniak population. Although Izetbegović regarded them as symbolically valuable as a sign of the Islamic world's support for Bosnia, they appear to have made little military difference and became a major political liability.

In September 1993, the Congress of Bosnian Muslim Intellectuals adopted the term Bosniak instead of the previously used Muslim. Some within the other nationalities objected to the name as they saw it a tactic to dominate Bosnia. Izetbegović, who previously opposed the name Bosniak as historically it represented Bosnian Croats as well, now fully supported it.

After the Bosnian war was formally ended by the Dayton peace accord in November 1995, Izetbegović became co-president of Bosniak-Croat Federation, loosely linked by a weak central government with the Bosnian Serb Republic. His party's power declined after the international community installed a High Representative to oversee affairs of state, with more power than the presidents or parliaments of either the Bosniak-Croat or Serb entities.

He stepped down in October 2000 at the age of 74, citing his bad health.

However, Izetbegović remained popular with the Bosniak public, who nicknamed him "Dedo" or Grandpa. His endorsement helped his party to bounce back in the elections of 2002.

He died in October 2003 of heart disease complicated by injuries suffered in a fall at home.">
VIDEO: Alija Izetbegovic's funeral

Izetbegović was married to Halida Repovac and they had three children Lejla, Sabina and Bakir. The Spanish newspaper El Mundo declared him "Person of the Year" in 1995. He has received the "Reward from King Feysal" and a medal from "The Center For Democracy, Washington." His most famous book outside Yugoslavia was Islam Between East And West, which has been published widely in a number of languages since its release in 1984. Other published works include The Islamic Declaration, Problems of Islamic Renaissance, My Escape to Freedom, Notes from Prison, 1983-1988 and most recently the memoirs Inescapable Questions: Autobiographical Notes.

This may not be a just peace, but it is more just than the continuation of war

Do we want the Muslim peoples to break out of the cycle of dependence, backwardness and poverty? ... Then we can clearly show the way which leads to this goal: the generating of Islam in all areas of personal individual life, in the family and society, through the renewal of Islamic religious thought and the creation of a unified Islamic community from Morocco to Indonesia.

There are immutable Islamic principles which order relations between people, but there is no Islamic economic, social or political structure which cannot be changed... Nothing which can make the world a better place can be rejected out of hand as non-Islamic; ... In order to be Islamic, a solution must fulfill two conditions: it must be maximally efficient and maximally humane.

Islam must take the initiative of recognizing motherhood as a social function. Harems must be abolished. No one has the right to refer to Islam as a reason to keep women disenfranchised: abuse of this kind must be brought to an end.

In the struggles for the Islamic order, all means are permissible except one: crime. No one has the right to defile the good name of Islam by the uncontrolled and superfluous use of force. The Islamic community should once more confirm that justice is one of its keystones... Formula: the aim justifies the means has become the cause of numberless crimes. A noble aim cannot command unworthy means.

- Alija Izetbegovic


Posted By: OSMANLI
Date Posted: 31-Dec-2005 at 05:18

Very good topic Mila

Alija Izetbegovic a true hero. A man that all Bosniaks and infact all Bosnians can look upto.

Inshallah, He may receive the peace and blessing of Allah as well as the Jannah (paradise) in the Akhira (hereafter).

Rest In Peace


Posted By: Surbel
Date Posted: 02-Jan-2006 at 07:39
Alija Izetbegovic, the leader of the Muslim faction in the three-cornered ethnic and religious war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992-1995) died in Sarajevo on October 19 at the age of 78.

Izetbegovic was born in 1925 in the northern Bosnian town of Bosanski Samac into a family of impoverished Ottoman aristocrats (beys) whose identity was not "Bosnian" except as a social-geographic fact. His father, an accountant, moved the family to Sarajevo in the 1930s, where Izetbegovic completed his primary and high school education, and—after World War II—the law school.

A devout Muslim from his early years, Izetbegovic was 16 when Yugoslavia was invaded in 1941 and Bosnia-Herzegovina handed over to the newly-proclaimed "Independent State of Croatia." Like many Muslims Izetbegovic avoided identifying himself either with the Ustasa regime and its anti-Serb atrocities or with the two resistance movements, Royalist Chetniks and Communist Partisans, whose rank-and-file was overwhelmingly Serb. He was sympathetic to the Nazi-sponsored campaign to assert a "Bosniak" Muslim identity, however, and in 1943 joined the Young Muslims, and organization sponsored by El Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, that provided thousands of volunteers for the 13th SS Hanjar ("sword") division composed solely of Bosnian Muslims. Izetbegovic’s wartime activities earned him a three-year jail sentence from Tito’s victorious Partisans; that was not to be his last spell in prison, however.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Izetbegovic was a well-known and respected figure among the Islamist-minded Muslim intellectuals. His reputation was enhanced by the publication, in 1970, of the Islamic Declaration, a pamphlet that earned him a second jail term some years later. The Declaration advocated Islamic moral and religious renewal, and political and armed struggle for the establishment of an Islamic polity: "The Islamic movement must, and can, take over power as soon as it is morally and numerically so strong that it can not only destroy the existing non-Islamic power, but also build up a new Islamic one." Its author asserted the "incompatibility between Islam and non-Islamic systems. There is no peace or coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic social and political institutions." IzetbegovicД’s disdain for "Western" values was particularly evident in his dismissal of the Kemalist tradition: "Turkey as an Islamic country used to rule the world; Turkey as an imitation of Europe is a third-rate country the like of which there is a hundred in the world." He accepts the "achievements of Euro-American civilization", but only in the sphere of "science and technology." True to the shari’a-based "Pact of Umar," he allows that the non-Muslims may have religious rights within an Islamic state—but only "on condition that they are loyal." His goal is umma, the creation of a single Muslim polity, "religious, cultural and political, since "Islam is not a nationality, but it is the supra-nationality of this community." This "united Islamic community" will rang "from Morocco to Indonesia."

Izetbegovic came to national prominence as a political leader of Bosnia’s Muslims in early 1990, when the break-up of the League of Communists set the stage for multi-party elections in Yugoslavia’s six federal republics. In Bosnia-Herzegovina dozens of new parties came into being, but only three of them mattered—all three organized firmly along ethnic, that is, national-confessional lines. The Muslims led the field with the establishment, in March 1990, of Stranka Demokratske Akcije - SDA (Party of Democratic Action), with Izetbegovic at its helm. At first some Muslims expected that the SDA could represent the interests of their community without becoming "Islamist," but Izetbegovic firmly promoted a clerical line. One of the founders of the SDA, Adil ZulfikarpasicД, who wanted the party to be "a civic, liberal organization," was sharply rebuked by IzetbegovicД, who told him that "five hundred imams" would play a key role in it.

At the first multiparty election (fall 1990) the three nationalist parties were absolute winners. In the Assembly in Sarajevo, of 240 seats the Muslim SDA won 86 seats, the Serb SDS took 72 seats and the Croat HDZ 44. The three parties soon agreed on a power-sharing arrangement. IzetbegovicД was elected President of a seven-member, multi-ethnic rotating presidency; a Croat took the post of prime minister and a Serb the presidency of the Assembly.

Those three parties represented real, traditional national diversity as against a Yugoslav-Titoist synthetic, composite identity. After almost five decades of Communism this was a blast of fresh air; it was not necessarily the precursor of war. It was a natural response to the decay of communist authority. Had Yugoslavia not been breaking up in 1991-92, this emphasis on traditional identities would have passed as a natural democratic readjustment to reality. The parties representing Serbs, Croats, and Muslims were not simply in coalition; they were natural allies while Bosnia remained at peace—although they would become just as natural enemies if Yugoslavia were to fall apart.

Izetbegovic was a man of strong character and deep convictions. He was a sincere opponent of secularism and an advocate of Shari’a law and political Islam. But while he was a pan-Islamist in global terms, once he assumed the Presidency he started acting locally as a strictly "Bosniak" nationalist, claiming, for instance, that the Muslims were a nation with a separate language. He also asserted that for "almost a thousand years Bosnia has existed as a distinct political entity." While devoid of any basis in reality, this claim was meant to foster Bosnian-Muslim nationalist identity. At the same time he presented a pluralist face to the West, using the rhetoric of of multi-ethnic and multi-confessional coexistence. The Islamic Declaration was reprinted in Sarajevo in 1990 with Izetbegovic’s approval, indicating that he had not abandoned the positions dating back to 1970 or even earlier. The Serbs and Croats of Bosnia have been censured by some media in the West for insisting that Izetbegovic should be taken seriously as an Islamist. In fact there is no community in Europe where such opinions as his would not cause extreme concern.

Izetbegovic faced a dilemma after the elections of 1990 regarding the future constitutional arrangements for Yugoslavia, and Bosnia’s place in it. Earlier in that year nationalist forces had already triumphed in Slovenia and Croatia. In December Slobodan MilosяevicД’s Socialist Party of Serbia gained an overwhelming victory in Serbia’s elections. The media in different federal republics had been busy pursuing openly nationalist themes, and the politicians were never far behind. In the referendum held in December 1990 the Slovenes voted for an independent and sovereign state. By March 1991 Slovenia was no longer sending conscripts to the federal army.

On 25 June 1991 Slovenia and Croatia declared independence, a move that triggered off a short war in Slovenia and a sustained conflict in Croatia. These events had profound consequences on Bosnia and Herzegovina, that "Yugoslavia in miniature." The three parties managed for most of 1991 to cooperate in the power-sharing exercise, but by the end of that year they all had their separate agendas and concerns. The Serbs adamantly opposed the idea of Bosnian independence. The Croats predictably rejected any suggestion that Bosnia and Herzegovina remains within a Serb-dominated rump Yugoslavia. As for IzetbegovicД, already in September 1990 he argued that Bosnia-Herzegovina should also declare independence if Slovenia and Croatia secede: "If necessary, the Muslims will defend Bosnia with arms." The moment that Izetbegovic declared he would not remain in a Yugoslavia without Croatia he made the Republic a hostage to events outside its boundaries, and war became a near-certainty. On 27 February 1991 he went a step further by declaring in the Assembly: "I would sacrifice peace for a sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina, but for that peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina I would not sacrifice sovereignty."

Rising inter-ethnic tensions in the summer of 1991 were aggravated by IzetbegovicД’s burgeoning contacts with the Islamic world. In July 1991, during a visit to Turkey, he put in a request for Bosnia to join the Organization of Islamic Countries—without consulting his coalition partners, and in spite of the fact that it had a Muslim plurality, but certainly not a majority.

Some Muslims were concerned by what they perceived as Izetbegovic’s fatalistic acceptance of huge risks in pursuit of independence. ZulfikarpasяicД went to see IzetbegovicД in mid-July 1991, and obtained his agreement that he should contact the Serb leaders and negotiate with them on future constitutional arrangements. The result was "the Belgrade Initiative" providing for a Serb-Muslim power sharing arrangement. It was immediately rejected by IzetbegovicД, however. To this day, ZulfikarpasяicД remains convinced that a unique chance to secure peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina had been lost, and he places the responsibility firmly on Izetbegovic.

A key development that escalated tensions occurred during the night of October 14-15, when Izetbegovic's deputies joined forces with the Bosnian-Croat HDZ to push through the Assembly a "memorandum" proclaiming sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, paving the way for its formal secession from Yugoslavia. The vote was taken in spite of Serb protests, SDS deputies having walked out, and by a simple majority although two-thirds of deputies' votes were required by the Constitution. By that time the question of Bosnia and Herzegovina had become internationalized. In September the EC organized a peace conference under the chairmanship of Lord Carrington. Attached to the Conference was an arbitration commission headed by the French constitutional lawyer Robert Badinter who was to rule on recognition claims by Yugoslav republics. At that time it was assumed that any recognition of former republics would follow an overall Yugoslav settlement. On 29 November Badinter ruled that Yugoslavia was in a state of "dissolution", rather than an existing country from which republics were seceding. This was a controversial opinion, and it pushed Bosnia closer to war. By the same yardstick applied by Badinter, it could be argued that Bosnia itself was as deeply in the process of "dissolution."

On 23 December Germany jumped the gun and recognized the independence of Slovenia and Croatia. On 9 January 1992 the Bosnian Serbs responded by announcing the formation of an autonomous Serb Republic within Bosnia and Herzegovina, warning that they would secede if Bosnia were to proclaim independence. The Croat-Muslim coalition in the Bosnian Assembly nevertheless decided, on 25 January, that a referendum on independence would be held at the end of February. This vote was taken, as in October 1991, in disregard of the Serb opposition, and in violation of Bosnia's constitution.

The referendum on independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina took place on 29 February and 1 March. The Serbs duly boycotted it, determined not to become a minority in an independent, Muslim-dominated Bosnia- Herzegovina. In the end 62.68 percent of all voters opted for independence, overwhelmingly Muslims and Croats; but even this was short of the two-thirds majority required by the constitution. This did not stop the rump government of IzetbegovicД from declaring independence on 3 March.

Simultaneously one last attempt was under way to save peace. The Portuguese foreign minister Josй Cutileiro—Portugal holding at that time the EC Presidency—organized a conference in Lisbon attended by Izetbegovic, Karadzic, and the Croat leader Mate Boban. The talks went surprisingly well at first, and the three parties agreed that Bosnia-Herzegovina should be a single, independent state internally organized on the basis of ethnic regions—the so-called "cantonization." The breakthrough was due to the Bosnian Serbs' acceptance of a single, independent Bosnia and Herzegovina, provided that the Muslims give up on a centralized, unitary state. Izetbegovic appeared to accept that this was the best deal he could make, but soon he was to change his mind.

Just as Germany had recklessly pushed for early recognition of Slovenia and Croatia in December 1991, the United States played a key role in the recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina three months later. It has been suggested that the U.S. actively encouraged IzetbegovicД to reject the EC-sponsored Lisbon plan. The key event was the meeting in Sarajevo between IzetbegovicД, who had recently returned from Lisbon but was already criticizing the agreement reached there, and Warren Zimmermann, the US Ambassador in Yugoslavia. The American view, according to Zimmermann, was that "a Serbian power grab" might be prevented by internationalizing the problem. So when Izetbegovic said that he did not like the Lisbon agreement, Zimmerrmann remembered later, "I told him, if he didn’t like it, why sign it?" A high-ranking State Department official subsequently admitted to The New York Times that the US policy "was to encourage IzetbegovicД to break with the partition plan."

Once he knew that American recognition of independence was imminent, Izetbegovic had no motive to take the ongoing EC-brokered talks seriously. Only had Washington and Brussels insisted on an agreement on the confederal-cantonal blueprint as a precondition for recognition, he could have been induced to support the Cutileiro plan. But after his encounter with Zimmermann Izetbegovic felt authorized to renege on tripartite accord, and he believed that the Clinton administration would come to his assistance to enforce the independence of a unitary Bosnian state. Josй Cutileiro was embittered by the US action, and accused Izetbegovic of reneging on the agreement. Had the Muslims not done so, Cutiliero concludes, "the Bosnian question might have been settled earlier, with less loss of life and land."

More than a decade later it cannot be denied that Izetbegovic’s role in Bosnia’s descent to war was crucial. In early 1992 most Muslims were prepared to accept a compromise that would fall short of full independence—especially if full independence risked war—but Izetbegovic demanded a leap in the dark. His motive was less fear of being left "alone" in Yugoslavia with the Serbs than the pressure that was put on him first by the German government acting unilaterally, then by the EC following his lead, and finally by the Clinton administration. Had the pressure been the other way, it is scarcely possible to doubt that Izetbegovic’s choice would have been more cautious - even if we see him as tempted by Islamist ambition. And if Bosnia had stayed inside Yugoslavia, it is plain that the Serbs would not have fought. Milosevic would have had no mechanism for controlling the republic. The wars in Yugoslavia would have ended with the cease-fire in Croatia of 2 January 1992.

Germany, the EU and the US, some of them perhaps unwittingly, handed Izetbegovic his strategy on a plate: to provoke the intervention of the powers that offered diplomatic recognition. The subsequent crimes of the warring parties, however severely they must be judged, were the consequence of a great, complex, and international blunder, they were not pre-existing strategies which explain Izetbegovic’s decision to secede.

The effect of the legal intervention of the "international community" with its act of recognition was that a Yugoslav loyalty was made to look like a conspiratorial disloyalty to "Bosnia"—largely in the eyes of people who supposed ex hypothesi that if there is a "Bosnia" there must be a nation of "Bosnians." This was a major success for Mr. Izetbegovic’s political objectives, and a major disaster for all three nations that live in Bosnia—as well as for the interests of the United States in the Balkans.

Once the war started the Serbs had an edge in weaponry but the numeric advantage lay with the Muslims, who were able to win in the end with international help. Even before the first shots were fired, Acting Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger made it clear that a goal in Bosnia was to mollify the Muslim world and to counter any perception of an anti-Muslim bias regarding American policies in Iraq. The subsequent portrayal in the American media of the Muslims of Bosnia as innocent martyrs in the cause of multicultural tolerance concealed the fact that the war was not only ethnic but also religious in nature. A few lonely voices in the U.S. warned that Izetbegovic did not want to establish a multiethnic liberal democratic society, but they were ignored. The U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Office saw the situation more clearly than the politicians when it stated, in 1993, that ideal of multi-ethnicity "may appeal to a few members of Bosnia’s ruling circles as well as to a generally secular populace, but President Izetbegovic and his cabal appear to harbor much different private intentions and goals."

The parallel demonization of the Serbs was a school text case of media-induced pseudo-reality in the service of an Administration that had decided to side with Islam in the Balkans. In a complex conflict with confusing and contradictory pieces, Americans were offered a powerful package that simplified the equation into a clear-cut morality play: saving the Muslims would thus expiate for not saving the Jews of Warsaw or Budapest fifty years earlier. Izetbegovic’s Western apologists dismissed his Islamic Declaration as a passing indiscretion "taken out of context." The Parisian ex-communist "philosophe" Bernard Henry-Levy even declared that Izetbegovic’s policy "has been demonstrably against the establishment of an Islamic state."

President Clinton was still in the White House, however, when a classified State Department report warned that the Muslim-controlled parts of Bosnia were a safe haven for Islamic terrorism and that hundreds of foreign mujaheddin—who had become Bosnian citizens and remained there after fighting in the war—presented a major terrorist threat to Europe and the United States. The findings of the report were summarized in the words of a former State Department official: Bosnia was "a staging area and safe haven" for Osama bin Laden’s terrorists.

The threat of Islamic fundamentalism in Europe finally persuaded the U.S. and other Western nations to oppose the presence of foreign mujahedeen in Bosnia as part of the November 1995 Dayton peace agreements, which specifically called for the expulsion of all foreign fighters. But Izetbegovic calmly circumvented the rule by granting Bosnian citizenship to several hundred Arab and other Islamist volunteers, thus ostensibly eliminating their "foreign" status before the accord took effect. By 1996 even The Washington Post—normally supportive of Clinton’s Balkan policy—confirmed that "the Clinton Administration knew of the activities of Bin Laden’s so-called Relief Agency, which was, in fact, funneling weapons and money into Bosnia to prop up the Izetbegovic Muslim government in Sarajevo."

From that point on Washington had complained periodically and ineffectually to Izetbegovic about the continued presence of the mujahadeen in Bosnia, but to little avail. In 1999 the U.S. established that several suspects linked to Bosnia were associated with a terrorist plot to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport. Some months earlier an Algerian with Bosnian citizenship tried to help smuggle explosives to a group plotting to destroy U.S. military installations in Germany. The State Department tried to force his deportation from Bosnia, but only when the U.S. threatened to stop all economic aid Izetbegovic agreed to do so.

Izetbegovic stepped down in 2000, but he had prepared a cadre of Islamic hard-liners loyal to him. They were deeply embedded in Bosnia’s state structure, and to this day they are suspected of operating their own rogue intelligence service that protects Islamic extremists. In addition to being a terrorist base, Bosnia has become a staging post for illegal Muslim immigrants from the Middle East making their way into Western Europe. Most of them are economic migrants, but European officials fear that many terrorist operatives and their potential recruits are slipping in. In 2000 up to 10,000 migrants a month were smuggled through Bosnia to Western Europe. Senior Muslim politicians in Sarajevo were not interested in stopping this trade in human cargo, and they had no reason to try. To most of them, and especially to the political class nurtured on Izetbegovic’s ideology, it is a great and good thing to help as many of their co-religionists as possible settle in the infidel West.

In the aftermath of 9-11 no effective anti-terrorist strategy is possible without recognizing past mistakes of U.S. policy that have helped breed terrorism, starting with Dr. Brzezinski’s unholy alliance with jihad 14 years ago. Eight years of the Clinton-Albright Administration’s covert and overt support for Izetbegovic and his ilk have been a foreign policy debacle of the first order. Its beneficiaries are Osama bin Laden—since 1993 a Bosnian citizen, compliments of then-President Izetbegovic—and his co-religionists in Sarajevo, Tirana, and Pristina. If we are to take the War on Terrorism seriously, such blunders need to be recognized and rectified. Taking a long and sober look at Alija Izetbegovic’s political record and legacy would be an important first step.

When your heart is empty,your
mind is worth nothing.

Posted By: Surbel
Date Posted: 02-Jan-2006 at 08:08
Carla del Ponte, it is your duty to immediately indict and publicly call for the immediate arrest of Alija Izetbegovic for genocide, crimes against humanity, violations of the laws and customs of war and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.

Between November 18, 1990 and November 21, 1995 acting individually or in concert with Haris Silajdzic, Ejup planning, preparation or execution of the destruction, in whole or in part, of the Bosnian Serb and Bosni Croat national, ethnical, racial or religious groups, as such, in several municipalities, including but not limited to: Brcko; Bugojno; Busovaca; Doboj; Jajce; Kakanj; Maglaj; Mostar; Novi Travnik; Prijedor; Sarajevo; Travnik; Tuzla; Vares; Vitez; Zavidovici; Zenica; and Zepce.

In particular, through his position as the President of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Supreme Commander of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ABiH), Alija Izetbegovic, acting individually or in concert with Haris Silajdzic, Ejup Ganic and others, directed and controlled the ABiH and government authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina who participated in crimes committed against Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats.

Some of the worst crimes were committed by the ABiH 3rd Corps 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade. Attached to and subordinated to the ABiH 3rd Corps 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade were foreign Muslim fighters, also known as mujahedeen. The mujahedeen, who principally came from Islamic countries through Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, began to arrive in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 - at the invitation of Alija Izetbegovic. The Sarajevo magazine "Dani" reported in its issue of January 19, 1998 that: Arabs told the locals [of the village of Guca Gora, ten kilometers from Travnik] that they were invited to Bosnia-Hercegovina to fight. To the question about who invited them, one local replied: "That's what we wanted to know as well. They said: 'Alija Izetbegovic.'"

The commander of the mujahedeen was an international terrorist named Abdelkader Mokhtari (also known as Abu Ma'ali), who is a top lieutenant of Osama bin Laden. The Honorary Commander of the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade was Alija Izetbegovic. One of the worst crimes committed by the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade, pursuant to orders issued by their Supreme Commander Alija Izetbegovic, was the slaughter of Bosnian Serb POWs in Vozuca. Following the fall of Vozuca on September 11, 1995, Izetbegovic reviewed his troops on September 12 - an event documented on video in the documentary "Sehidi Bosne". According to an AFP report of September 13, 1995, Izetbegovic congratulated his troops by exclaiming: "In Vozuca, you have broken the backbone of the Chetnik (Serb) enemy. You show the way-how we could continue with the aim of liberating our country."

Alija Izetbegovic failed to abide by the laws and customs governing the conduct of armed conflicts, including the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the additional protocols thereto. Alija Izetbegovic is individually responsible for crimes committed against Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats, pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Individual criminal responsibility includes planning, instigation, ordering, committing or otherwise aiding and abetting in the planning, preparation or execution of any crimes referred to in Articles 2 to 5 of the Tribunal Statute. Alija Izetbegovic, while holding the positions of superior authority as set out above, is also criminally responsible for the acts of his subordinates, pursuant to Article 7(3) of the Tribunal Statute. A superior is responsible for the acts of his subordinate(s) if he knew or had reason to know that his subordinate(s) were about to commit such acts or had done so and the superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent acts or to punish the perpetrators thereof.

Carla del Ponte, we call on you to immediately indict Alija Izetbegovic in the name of justice and humanity!

Im sure,if he is still alive he will be in International Court of Justice where all war criminals belongs.

Note:" Crime is always a crime no matther which side commited it ".

When your heart is empty,your
mind is worth nothing.

Posted By: Komnenos
Date Posted: 02-Jan-2006 at 08:24
Surbel, first of all, name your source for these articles, otherwise your posts will be deleted.
The second one sounds familiar, I think it has been published by Serbian ultra-nationalists activists, who are lobbying for the release of the reknown war-criminal and mass murderer Slobodan Milosevic, who currently is on trial in The Hague.

In any case, wouldn't it be a bit too late to indict Izetbegovic, as he's by all accounts dead, unless you suggest we dig up his corpse again and try it then, as done in the famous "Cadaver Synode" in 897 AD.

Having said all this, in view of all these admiring hagiographies, an informed critical appreciation of the man wouldn't be out of place. Maybe somebody more neutral than either Bosnians or Serbs.


Posted By: Mortaza
Date Posted: 02-Jan-2006 at 08:40

writer of first  article is this,  He is also a serbian ultra-nationalist. -

Ph.D. Srđa or Serge Trifković (Serbian Cyrillic: Срђа Трифкови 15;) (born July 19, 1954, in Belgrade) is a Serbian historian, journalist and political analyst, and former spokesman for the Bosnian Serb government. [1] He is a naturalized citizen of the United States, where he resides.

He is a controversial writer who has been described both as a "man of extraordinary intellectual courage" by Professor Paul Eidelberg the director of the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy [2] and a "noted Islamophobe" by Stephen Schwartz of[3]


  • - 1 Biography
  • - 2 Controversial views
  • - 3 Books
  • - 4 External links

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Trifković earned a BA in international relations from the University of Sussex in 1977 and another, in political science, from the University of Zagreb in 1987. Since 1990 he has held a Ph.D in modern history from the University of Southampton, UK, and he has pursued a post-doctoral research degree at the Hoover Institution in California.

Beginning in 1980, Trifković has been a TV broadcaster for BBC World Service and Voice of America and later a journalist covering southeast Europe for U.S. News & World Report and the Washington Times, during which time he was an editor for the Belgrade magazine Duga.

Trifković has been a visiting scholar for the Hoover Institution, the University of St Thomas and Rose Hill College. He has published op-eds and commentaries in The Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and The Philadelphia Inquirer, and been a commentator on numerous national and international TV and radio programs, including the Oliver North Show, (MSNBC), CNN, CNN International, BBC World Service and CBC. He edited and contributed to Liberty, the newspaper of the Serbian National Defense Council of America. He has been the foreign affairs editor for the paleoconservative magazine Chronicles since 1998.

Trifković has worked as a political consultant to Aleksandar Karađorđević and Vojislav Koštunica, as an adviser to Biljana Plavšić, and as representative of the Republika Srpska in London. In March 2003 he testified as an expert witness for the defense before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the trial of the Serbian politician Milomar Stakić, who was later sentenced to life imprisonment for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Controversial views


He has written two books:

The latter was subject to dispute in 2005 between CAIR and National Review where by CAIR has sought to have the book withdrawn from sale alleging that its content was Islamophobic.

Posted By: Surbel
Date Posted: 02-Jan-2006 at 08:56

When your heart is empty,your
mind is worth nothing.

Posted By: Surbel
Date Posted: 02-Jan-2006 at 09:22 C%2C%20ALIJA&sort=newest ......Alija Izetbegovic le&sid=515

When your heart is empty,your
mind is worth nothing.

Posted By: Mila
Date Posted: 02-Jan-2006 at 10:32
Well, that article may not be from the most appropriate sources - but Alija Izetbegovic was under investigation for war crimes at the time of his death.

The ICTY caused quite a fuss in Bosnia and Herzegovina by not waiting until after the funeral to release this information. (It's kind of taboo in Bosnian culture to slander a deceased person, whether what you say is true or not - I assume it's similar everywhere else.)

Now - Carla del Ponte also said because he was under investigation no one should jump to conclusions. She said it would be irresponsible that the President of Bosnia and Herzegovina was not under investigation for war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Whether guilty, or whether innocent, an investigation had to take place.

From my point of view: Izetbegovic was the only one calling for tolerance and peace. No one can dispute that.

Moderate Serbs, and probably rightly, say he did this simply because he had no other choice. If Croats and Serbs ever managed to get along, Bosniaks would be finished. It's only by siding with one or the other that we've ensured our survival for as long as we have. Remember, a greater percentage of the overall Bosniak population was killed during WWII than during the 1992-1995 genocide.

So he was an evil nationalist who chose tolerance as his weapon to reach his nationalist objectives.

He was certainly associated with whatever Bosniaks committed war crimes, he was their President.

And that's the worst that can be said of him.


Posted By: Mila
Date Posted: 02-Jan-2006 at 10:41
And my two favorite Izetbegovic quotes:

"For revenge we shall rebuild our homes, our libraries, our universities, our schools, and we shall be, again, something that is beautiful and good."

And, RE:

"He insists that the massacre of several thousand Muslims in Srebrenica was as a "stage-managed massacre" and "self-inflicted",[5], and a "long-debunked myth".[6].

He also claims that the figure of 250,000 Bosnian Muslims dead in the entire conflict is actually as low as 2,500

"And when the Serbs finally manage to kill me, they shall tell the world I have taken my own life."


Posted By: Surbel
Date Posted: 02-Jan-2006 at 11:32
Srebrenica: The Untold Story
By Carl Savich


Introduction: What Really Happened in Srebrenica in 1992-1993?

On Thursday, February 12, 2004, the former UN commander in Bosnia-Hercegovina, French General Philippe Morillon, testified at the Hague trial of Slobodan Milosevic. He was the last major prosecution witness against Milosevic before the prosecution finished its case. He was supposed to provide "the smoking gun" against Milosevic by showing that Milosevic bore responsibility for the fall of Srebrenica on July 11, 1995 and for the alleged massacre of "7,000 Muslim men and boys". He failed, however, to provide a smoking gun. Instead, Morillon inadvertently revealed what had lead up to the fall of Srebrenica. He stated that "in Srebrenica something terrible could happen" and that he "foresaw Srebrenica", that "there was going to be terrible tragedy in Srebrenica." The fall of Srebenica was the result of and a reaction to Bosnian Muslim attacks against Bosnian Serbs in the Srebrenica area. Morillon was the commander of UN troops in Bosnia-Hercegovina from September, 1992 to July, 1993. He was referring to the fall of Srebrenica in 1995 and the alleged executions of Bosnian Muslim troops and irregular forces. In 1993 he had established the "safe haven" of Srebrenica to save it from military defeat after the Bosnian Muslim offensives had failed.

But why did Morillon suspect that "something terrible could happen" in Srebrenica? What happened in Srebrenica before its fall in 1995 that would lead him to this conclusion? This part of the Srebrenica story is suppressed and stringently censored by the US government and media and the historians and the news services. This is the story that is covered-up by the so-called West. What happened in Srebrenica in 1992 and 1993? This is the untold story of Srebrenica.

Why was Morillon concerned for Srebrenica? What happened to warrant his fears and concerns? In the BBC article "UN General ‘foresaw Srebrenica'", February 12, 2004, it was reported:

He told the tribunal that he feared that attacks by Muslim forces in which Serbian civilians had been targeted, had enraged the Bosnian Serbs and would result in fierce retaliation in the city.

In the February 12, 2004 AP article by Toby Sterling, "French General Says He Warned Milosevic", Morillon testified that he had talked to Milosevic to intervene "to prevent a massacre" in Sreberenica in 1993. Milosevic pressured the Bosnian Serbs to halt their offensive and to allow the UN to set up a "safe haven" for Srebrenica. Milosevic had influence or power over the Bosnian Serbs until May, 1993.

Why was Morillon imploring Milosevic to intervene in Bosnia? What precipitated the Srebrenica crisis? The AP story alluded to this in the following statement:

Morillon feared that attacks by Muslim forces on Serbian civilians had enraged the Bosnian Serbs and would result in fierce retaliation.

The Western media used the euphemistic terminology of "attacks" to diminish and lessen the impact of Bosnian Muslim crimes against humanity and violations of international law. Bosnian Muslim Government troops had in fact engaged in a planned and systematic policy of murdering Serbian civilians in the Srebrenica pocket, by terrorizing them to leave their villages. By using the sanitized term of "attacks", the Western media seeks to negate the fact that these Muslim attacks were war crimes and even constitute genocide against Bosnian Serbs. In other words, the terms were carefully and judiciously chosen to cover-up facts and crimes by the Bosnian Muslims. Ironically, this cover-up of Bosnian Muslim war crimes was perpetrated during a so-called war crimes trial.

Why couldn't the truth be told about Srebrenica? Why did the Western media engage in propagandistic falsifications of the facts and in infowar brainwashing? This is because the media does not want to inform its readers or listeners that the Bosnian Muslim Government committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide against the Bosnian Serb population. Why not tell the truth? After all, this is supposed to be the "free world", the "democratic" world, the New World Order? Why the media brainwashing and propaganda? To tell the truth about Srebrenica would result in an objective and factual account of the events that occurred during the Bosnian civil war of 1992-1995. This would undermine the position of the US/NATO and ultimately the purpose of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The US/NATO/EU rationale is based on a scenario of good guys and bad guys, a simplistic black and white dichotomy that assigns sole criminal culpability or responsibility on the Serbian people. Culpability is denied to US/NATO proxies/client states. By telling the truth about Srebrenica, this dichotomy would be negated and a complex picture of a civil war would emerge where culpability was shared by all the actors and participants. This is why what happened in Srebrenica remains censored and covered-up.

Civil War in Eastern Bosnia

The civil war in eastern Bosnia erupted in April, 1992, when Bosnian Serbs, Muslims, and Croats began seizing territory. On April 6, the European Community (EC), later the European Union (EU), recognized Bosnia as an independent state. The US followed on the next day. Bosnian Serb forces seized Srebrenica and held it for three weeks. On April 20, 1992 Bosnian Serb militiamen were ambushed by Bosnian Muslim forces near Potocari. Half a dozen of the Bosnian Serbs were killed. This started the killing in the Srebrenica area. The Bosnian Serbs then retaliated. On May 3, Bosnian Serb forces killed thirteen Bosnian Muslims. Four days later, the Bosnian Muslims retaliated, in an attack in which an elderly Serb farmer with poor eyesight "was burned up in his house." On May 8, one of Naser Oric's men shot Bosnian Serb political leader Goran Zekic in the head and attempted to throw a grenade in his car as he was driving from Srebrenica to Bratunac, killing him. Zekic was the leader of the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) as the representative from Srebrenica in the Bosnia-Hercegovina Parliament and had been a judge in Srebrenica. His assassination exacerbated the conflict. The remaining Serbs in Srebrenica fled to Bratunac, while Bosnian Muslims in Bratunac were driven out.

The Bosnian conflict was a classic civil war in which differing and opposing factions seize territory and mutually expel populations of the opposing faction. What happened in Bosnia was not different from any other civil war. The same happened in the ethnic and religious conflict in Cyprus between Greeks and Turks. Each ethnic faction established control of territory driving out the population of the opposing faction. Cyprus was divided into two ethnic zones, a northern Turkish zone and a southern Greek zone, divided by the UN Green Line of separation. An estimated 200,000 Greek Cypriots were forced out of the north while 60,000 Turkish Cypriots left the south zone. In 1974, 40,000 Turkish troops invaded Cyprus and occupied 37% of the island. Cyprus thus was divided into two zones. The same happened in the Lebanese civil war that erupted in 1975 between Muslim and Christian factions. The Shi'ite, Sunni, and Druze Muslim factions were opposed by the Christian Phalangist and Maronite factions. Both factions were made up of Arabs. The city of Beirut became a war zone and was divided by the Green Line into Muslim and Christian sectors. During the civil war, 44,000 were killed, 180,000 were injured, while thousands were displaced and became refugees. During the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 1948, Israeli forces occupied Palestinian territory and drove out the Palestinian population, settling the territory with Jewish settlers and refugees from Europe. Israeli forces are alleged to have destroyed 400 Palestinian villages and to have driven out 840,000 Palestinians while killing 15,000 Palestinians.

Bosnia was not different from these conflicts, indeed, from any civil war that preceded it. US/NATO/EU propaganda made the Bosnian civil war a focus of attention because the US/NATO/EU sought the dismemberment of the former Yugoslavia, the "Balkanization" of the former Yugoslavia, because it would facilitate NATO and EU expansion into eastern Europe and the Balkans. The way US/EU/NATO expansion could be facilitated was by isolating a single faction that was perceived to hinder that expansion. Creating a propaganda rationale based on genocide and the Holocaust was what the US government devised as a way to intervene militarily to ensure the expansion of US/NATO/EU interests. This is the reason why the genocide/Holocaust propaganda was utilized by NATO. It was the way to make an end run around international law and sovereignty and achieve military intervention and occupation by NATO. And, indeed, that is precisely and exactly what resulted. NATO still occupies Bosnia-Hercegovina in 2004.


Srebrenica became a Muslim enclave and stronghold early in the civil war. The Muslim military command at Muslim-held Tuzla pumped weapons and equipment and Bosnian Muslim troops into the Srebrenica pocket. Bosnian Muslim military offensives were then launched from Srebrenica against Bosnian Serb-held villages. A major goal of the military operations was to establish a link with Muslim-held territory near Tuzla. The military offensives out of Srebrenica were lead by Naser Oric. His forces had taken and burned over 50 Serbian villages and killed hundreds of Serbian civilians and soldiers. He even reached the Serbian border at Skelani and threatened to cross over and occupy Serbian territory. Who was Naser Oric? On April 17, 1992, at the beginning of the Bosnian civil war, Naser Oric was made commander of the Potocari Territorial Defense. Naser Oric was born on March 3, 1967 in Potocari, a neighboring village of Srebrenica. His parents were Dzemal Oric and Hata Mustafic. Chuck Sudetic noted in Blood and Vengeance that "Naser Oric's grandfather had been a member of the Ustase during World War II." He went to a trade school where he learned metalworking. In 1985 and 1986 he served his compulsory military service in the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia where he was part of a special unit for the nuclear and chemical defense of the JNA, the Yugoslav National Army. He achieved the rank of Corporal in the JNA. In 1988, he took a six-month course in Zemun, Serbia, to become a police officer. Oric worked as a bouncer in a Belgrade disco in the late 1980s. He enlisted in a special police unit as part of the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MUP) that Milosevic assembled in Kosovo to combat Albanian separatists who were engaged in a terrorist war against Kosovo civilians and police. He then became a bodyguard to Milosevic. He was then transferred as a police officer to Ilidza, a suburb of Sarajevo. In late 1991, Oric was moved to the police station in Srebrenica. On April 8, 1992, he was made police chief of Potocari. On April 17, the Potocari Territorial Defence was created and Oric was made commander. On May 20, Oric was appointed commander of the Srebrenica Territorial Defence. On June 27, 1992, Sefer Halilovic, the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command Staff of the Army of Bosnia-Hercegovina, confirmed Oric as commander. On August 8, 1992, his position as commander was re-confirmed by the Presidency of Bosnia-Hercegovina. In 1995, the 8th Operation group Srebrenica HQ was re-designated the 2nd Corps, 28th Division. On March 1, 1994, Oric was awarded a "Golden Lily", the highest military award by Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command. On April 15, 1993, he had been awarded a Certificate of Merit. On July 17, 1994, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier. Oric had de facto and de jure control over the Muslim military units and irregulars in the Srebrenica area, including the two infantry brigades of the 28th Division.

Naser Oric's forces killed over a thousand Bosnian Serb civilians and troops in the Srebrenica area and burned and destroyed at least 50 Serbian villages. It was these Bosnian Muslim attacks that caused a Bosnian Serb reaction and ultimately culminated in the Bosnian Serb takeover of Srebrenica on July 11, 1995. In Endgame: The Betrayal and Fall of Srebrenica, Europe's Worst Massacre since World War II, Christian Science Monitor reporter-turned-historian David Rohde conceded that "Serbs estimated that 2,000 Serbs---mostly soldiers but also several hundred civilians---had died around Srebrenica since the outbreak of the war. Over 50 Serb villages were burned, according to Serbs, and dozens of Serb graves desecrated…."

According to Bosnian Serb General Milenko Zivanovic, the commander of the Drina Corps, "Naser Oric's soldiers burned his village and his house to the ground on June 21, 1995. Twenty-seven Serbs died in eleven towns around Ratkovici. Naser's men desecrated the graves of his mother and other Serbs by knocking over their headstones.…"

Rohde chronicled the string of attacks and atrocities committed by Oric's forces in Srebrenica: "Forty-six Serb men were allegedly missing after the attack on Zalazje on the Serb holiday of St. George's Day in May 1992. A St. Peter's Day attack on July 12, 1992, left 120 dead in Zalazje. In Kravica, more than 100 Serbs, including ten to fifteen women, were allegedly killed; civilians were burned alive in their houses when the Muslims took the town in the surprise Orthodox Christmas attack in January 1993…."

Rohde discussed many of Oric's atrocities as "spectacular accounts" by Serb nationalists or propagandists, or Serb "claims": "Some of the more spectacular accounts involved Muslims beheading Serbs, cutting bodies in half with chain saws, nailing men to trees and skinning them alive. One story Serb propagandists seized on was that Muslims kept sheep in the Serbian Orthodox church in Srebrenica. The story was partially true. One group of men returning from a successful trip to Zepa or a raid on an outlying Serb village had corralled several dozen sheep in he local church. The sheep were held there for several days before they were sold for as much as 100 deutsche marks apiece."

Rohde admitted that "Oric's men did commit atrocities, but how many is unclear. He was cavalier enough to show a videotape of a burned-down Serb village and headless Serb corpses to foreign journalists visiting the enclave in February 1994. Several Muslims and Dutch peacekeepers reported seeing a photo of Oric standing over a Serb corpse in the ruins of a village. "

Rohde is disingenuous and intellectually dishonest here. The atrocities and war crimes that Oric committed were well-documented and the evidence incontrovertible. The Bosnian Serbs had statements of eyewitnesses, affidavits, police reports, reports submitted to the UN, MUP reports, autopsy reports, photograph and video documentation, and Bosnian Serb prosecution documents. Indeed, Naser Oric's forces had videotaped many of their atrocities and war crimes against Bosnian Serbs. The evidence was overwhelming, but Rohde made a conscious decision to ignore and sicount it because it ran counter to the US government and media propaganda or information war. Oric himself provided the self-incriminating evidence by videotaping his atrocities.

The Bosnian Muslim forces chose Orthodox festivals and holidays to launch their attacks on Serbian villages. On May 6, 1992, on the Orthodox religious feast of St. George (Djurdjevdan), the village of Bljeceva in the Bratunac municipality was attacked by Muslim forces under Hasib Ibrahimovic. The Gniona attack was led by Naser Oric himself. An elderly Bosnian Serb woman, Kosana Zekic, "whose throat was slit inside her house," was one of the civilians killed. In Gniona, an ailing and half-blind man, Radojko Milosevic (born 1928) was burned to death in his own house and the village was destroyed and burned. In this attack, Oric used loudspeakers to announce himself: "This is Naser Oric speaking…" He demanded that Serbs surrender or they would be killed. Gniona was the first Serbian village completely burned and destroyed in eastern Bosnia.

On May 7, 1992, in an attack on the village of Osmace in the Srebrenica municipality, seven Serbs were killed. Naser Oric organized and ordered this attack.

On May 21, a truck taking eleven Serbian civilians from Podravanje to Milici was attacked and eight Serbs were killed.

On June 21, in an attack on Ratkovici, 18 Serbs were killed. Radenko Stanojevic had his throat cut while Desanka Stanojevic was burned in her house.

On August 8, 1992, Jezestica was attacked. Andjelko Bogicevic, born in 1965, had his head cut off and taken away by Muslim forces.

On June 30, Brezani was attacked and 19 residents killed. Milos Novkovic was beheaded while Vido Lazic was crucified and set on fire. Kristina Lazic was set on fire in her house.

On July 5, 1992, Krnjici and Oricevi were attacked and 16 killed. The throat of elderly Bosnian Serb Vaso Paraca, born in 1912, was slit.

Rohde sarcastically dismissed Bosnian Serb claims that the Srebrenica area was an "epicenter of genocide" where Serbian civilians were being systematically killed, mutilated, having their throats slit, beheaded, tortured, and driven from their villages. Rohde attributed the irrefutable evidence of Bosnian Muslim war crimes in the Srebrenica area to "Serb nationalists". Rohde did concede that Oric and his forces deserved punishment: "Naser Oric and the Muslim soldiers who may have deserved retribution were in Tuzla…." According to Rohde, "Serb nationalists" did not care. This is a bit of sophistry and self-delusion on the part of Rohde. His implication is that Oric and his forces were guilty of committing atrocities and deserved punishment, but because they were evacuated from Srebrenica by helicopter to Muslim-held Tuzla, then the Muslim military forces in Srebrenica should be let off the hook and amnestied. But why did the Bosnian Muslim Government and the military command abandon their troops in such a cowardly manner in Srebrenica, knowing they would face punishment and retribution for atrocities and war crimes that they committed? Why did Oric flee? By committing massacres and atrocities against Bosnian Serb civilians and soldiers, was it reasonable and logical to expect that the Bosnian Serb forces would not take Srebrenica as they did in 1995? Rohde is a self-deluded propagandist.

In the Srebrenica pocket, it was Naser Oric's forces who were attacking villages and occupying territory. These Bosnian Muslim offensives and attacks forced the Bosnian Serbs to launch a counterattack. Morillon explained why the Bosnian Serb forces were counterattacking in Srebrenica: "Oric was responsible for several massacres in which dozens of women and children had been killed, and it seemed to me there was more hatred in that one small corner of Bosnia than anywhere else… Mladic wanted to avenge his dead."

Oric's war crimes and atrocities provoked the Bosnian Serb response. New York Times journalist Roger Cohen emphasized the war crimes committed by Oric's forces as a cause for the Bosnian Serb retaliation: "Naser Oric, a former bodyguard to Milosevic, who placed himself at the head of an increasingly effective Bosnian guerrilla force that, in the fall and winter of 1992, wreaked havoc on surrounding Serb villages. Oric liked to show visitors videos of piles of Serb bodies. He would boast about the number killed in a succession of lightning raids in the Bratunac area in which Serb communities were massacred and buildings torched. …Mladic liked to usher United Nations officials into desecrated Serb cemeteries in Bosnia in order to explain why he could never trust "the Turk".

Several news accounts managed to sneak through the US government and media censorship. These news accounts brazenly and arrogantly detailed the war crimes committed against Bosnian Serbs. In The Toronto Star article "Fearsome Muslim Warlord Eludes Bosnian Serb Forces", July 16, 1995, Bill Schiller described his visit to Oric's headquarters in Srebrenica in 1994:

I met him in January, 1994…Oric, as blood-thirsty a warrior as ever crossed a battlefield, escaped Srebrenica before it fell…On a cold and snowy night, I sat in his living room watching a shocking video version of what might have been called Naser Oric's Greatest Hits….There were burning houses, dead bodies, severed heads, and people fleeing….Oric grinned throughout, admiring his handiwork. "We ambushed them," he said, when a number of dead bodies appeared on the screen. ..The next sequence of dead bodies had been done in by explosives: "We launched those guys to the moon," he boasted. …When footage of a bullet-marked ghost town appeared without any visible bodies, Oric hastened to announce: "We killed 114 Serbs there."…Later there were celebrations, with singers with wobbly voices chanting his praises…Lately, however, Oric increased his hit-and-run attacks at night. And in Mladic's view, it was far too successful for a community that was supposed to be suppressed….The Serbs regard Oric…as a war criminal.

But because Oric was a proxy and client of US/NATO, he was not regarded a war criminal by the US/NATO.

In the February 16, 1994 Washington Post article "Weapons, Cash and Chaos Lend Clout to Srebrenica's Tough Guy", John Promfret described Oric's atrocities and war crimes: "Nasir Oric's war trophies don't line the wall… They're on a videocassette tape: burned Serb houses and headless Serb men, their bodies crumpled in a pathetic heap…. "We had to use cold weapons that night," Oric explains as scenes of dead men sliced by knives roll over his 21-inch Sony."

Pomfret acknowledged that the Muslim troops in Srebrenica sneaked past the U.N. Canadian observation posts to take "pot shots" at Serbian troops.

The US government and media propaganda claimed that the Bosnian Muslim faction supported a "multi-ethnic", "secular", and "tolerant" state. This US infowar was conducted on behalf of their Bosnian Muslim proxies. But what the US government/media propaganda censored were the following facts. In Srebrenica, the Bosnian Muslim Government forces blew up and demolished the Orthodox Church of the Shroud of the Holy Mother of God built in 1903, even though it was outside the zone of military operations. The parish hall was also demolished by Bosnian Muslim forces. The Church of the Holy Archangel Michael built in 1971 was blown up and completely destroyed. In Kravica, north of Srebrenica, the interior of the parish church was plundered and damaged. The parish hall was completely burned down. The church cemetery was partly damaged. When the Bosnian Serb forces retook Serbian villages, they found that the Bosnian Muslim Army had written on a Serbian house "Izlam ce pobedi" (Islam will win). Bosnian Serb civilians and soldiers had their throats slit, their eyes gouged out, their brains extracted; they were mutilated, burned, roasted on spits like animals, circumcised, massacred on Orthodox holidays. Only US government and media propaganda could claim that these actions represented a "multi-ethnic", "tolerant", "pluralist", and "secular" Bosnian Muslim Government and Army. How credible and believable was this US government and media propaganda?


On September, 1992, Oric planned an attack on the Serbian village of Podravanje which was on the road between Srebrenica and Zepa. Oric sought to drive out and ethnically cleanse the Serbs from the Srebrenica/Zepa area to clear the road between the two towns. Oric assembled troops with the commander of Zepa, Avdo Palic. Oric made use of torbari, or the bag people. These were "a horde of Muslim refugees, men and women, young and old." Sudetic described them as follows: "Thousands strong, these people would lurk behind the first wave of attacking soldiers and run amok when the defenses around Serb villages collapsed. Some of the refugees used pistols to do the killing; others used knives, bats, and hatchets."

In Podravanje, history was repeating itself. During World War I, Austrian and Bosnian Muslim troops had burned the Serbian village down. During World War II, Bosnian Muslim troops in the Ustasha formations had murdered 250 Bosnian Serbs and had also burned the village down a second time. Sudetic explained these genocidal attacks against Serbs in Podravanje as follows: "They had not forgotten that the Austrian army, which included many local Muslims, had burned their village in 1914 and that the Ustase, who also included many Muslims from neighboring villages, had killed over 250 Serbs and burned the place in 1942 and 1943."

This is how Sudetic described the Bosnian Muslim attack on Podravanje: "At six o'clock in the morning on September 24, 1992, Muslim soldiers opened fire on Podravanje from three sides. The Serbs tried to defend the village but panicked and ran when they realized how grossly outnumbered they and how quickly the Muslims were coming at them. The Serb fighters left behind men and women who had been wounded and killed by Muslim gunfire. Then the torbari rushed in. Muslim men shot the wounded. They fired their guns into the bodies of the Serb dead. They plunged knives into their stomachs and chests. They smashed their heads with axes and clubs, and they burned the bodies inside buildings. Oric's men grabbed half a dozen prisoners; one, a fighter from Serbia who had relatives in Podravanje, was beaten to death, and the others emerged bruised and battered when they were exchanged a month later. …The torbari plundered everything else."

The 31 Serbs killed in Podrovanje had their throats slit, others were beheaded, burned, and some had their stomachs slit open.


On September 24-26, 1992, 37 Serbs were killed when Oric's forces attacked the villages of Nedeljista and Rogosija in the Milici municipality. Most of the victims were first wounded in the legs and then were burned. Two victims were impaled. Those who were wounded had their throats slit, others were decapitated, some had their skulls smashed with axes and sledge hammers and their brains extracted. Some of the dead and wounded were circumcised and several were castrated. These atrocities and war crimes were carried out under the command of Naser Oric, Fadil Turkovic, and Becir Mekanic.

Grabovacka Rijeka

Two weeks later, on October 5, Oric attacked the Serbian villages along the Drina River by the Grabovacka Rijeka. The Muslim forces attacked in overwhelming numbers of troops who were followed by the torbari. Sudetic described the attack as follows: "Again the Serbs panicked. Again the stragglers were killed and their bodies mutilated. Again Oric's men captured weapons, and the torbari streamed back to Srebrenica with bags stuffed with food."

Loznicka Rijeka

On November 28, the first UN humanitarian aid convoys reached Srebrenica. Forty tons of food were brought in. The Muslim military command along with the torbari called on Oric to organize more attacks against Serbian villages and civilians. The Muslim military command in Sarajevo sought to use Oric's offensives to create a diversion as a diversionary tactic. The Muslims wanted to tie down Bosnian Serb troops in the Srebrenica pocket to allow the Muslim forces to launch an offensive north of Tuzla. They also wanted to maintain a crisis situation in eastern Bosnia to gain media attention and intervention by NATO.

On December 14, Oric's forces attacked the Serbian villages astride the Drina River in Loznicka Rijeka. Sudetic described the attack: "The Serbs, caught completely off guard, waged war from the windows of their houses. Women picked up automatics and blasted away. Villagers scurried toward the river and were pinned down on the bank. Muslims cut many of them down at almost point-blank range as they tried to cross the river in panic. About 130 Serbs had been living in Loznicka Rijeka, and by midnight a quarter of them had been killed. Scores more Serbs had perished in the villages to the north. The Muslims had seized about forty square miles of territory…."

Kravica Attack

On January 7, 1993, Orthodox Christmas, "a high holy day for the Serbs, a national as much as a religious occasion" according to Sudetic, the Bosnian Muslim forces based in Srebrenica launched a massive attack against the Serbian village of Kravica, northwest of Srebrenica. Cakes, bread, salads, and meat were prepared for the Orthodox Christmas festivities. Two weeks before the attack on Kravica, Oric's forces had taken the neighboring town of Glogova killing "a number of Serb men" and critically wounding the military commander of Kravica, Jovan Nikolic. The Muslim troops were able to surround the town and to cut the only asphalt paved road to Bratunac. The only access to Kravica now was a dirt path that was constructed across the mountains to the Drina River two years earlier. There were about 300 Bosnian Serb defenders at Kravica.

Sudetic described the Muslim attack on Kravica as a calculated, premeditated assault: "Naser Oric had spent days preparing his attack. It came with anything but surprise. After dark on Christmas Eve, some three thousand Muslim troops assembled on the slushy slopes hilltops around Kravica. Behind them lurked a host of torbari who lit campfires to warm themselves. At dawn they started clattering pots and pans. "Allahu ekber! God is great!" the men shouted. The women shrieked. Shooting began. The Serb men in Kravica scrambled into their trenches. They told their wives and mothers they would be home in a few hours."

The Muslim attack was from the direction of Potocari. Muslim troops were burning houses in Serb hamlets above Kravica under a Muslim assault from Glogova. The Serbs attempted to hold out but were overwhelmed by the overwhelming numbers of Muslim troops, ten to one.

Sudetic described the scene when Muslim troops entered Kravica: "The first of the torbari to arrive in Kravica found entire Christmas dinners that had been waiting to be eaten by Serb men who had gone off to fight that morning thinking they would be back by noon. Three Muslim soldiers barged into one home and stood there as if paralyzed at the sight of the pastries and the jelly, the bottles of brandy and the roast pork on the stove. They laughed and shouted and plunged into a cake. The ashes of burning houses and stalls fell like snow on the hillside. The pigs ran wild. Sheep were butchered and roasted on the spit or herded back to Srebrenica with the cows and oxen. The dead lay unburied, and within days the pigs, dogs, and wild animals had begun to tear away at the bodies….The torbari combed the homes in Kravica for the next two weeks scavenging for food."

The torbari located frozen potatoes, pickled peppers, a sack of oats, and a pair of bell-bottom pants. Forty-five Serbs died in the Kravica attack, thirty-five of them were soldiers. All 690 houses in Kravica were looted and set on fire. Bosnian Muslim Mirsad Sulejmanovic "Skejo" said that "after the attack on Kravica, Naser's soldiers caught five or six Serbs in the village of Kajici and they slit their throats." Oric now had occupied 350 square miles of territory in eastern Bosnia.


In January, 1993, Oric attacked the town of Skelani on the Drina River. Hundreds of Serbian civilians fled eastward across the Drina River into Serbia in boats. Muslim troops advanced to about a hundred yards from the steel-girder bridge in Skelani. The Muslim forces sought to take the bridge and to blow it up. Sudetic described the attack as follows: "gunfire ripped back and forth across the river, but the Serbs held the Muslims off. During the gun battle, a Muslim machine gunner cut down panicked Serb villagers, including women and children, as they tried to scurry across the bridge to the safety of the Serbian side." The images of Bosnian Serb civilians fleeing across the Drina River from Bosnia into Serbia were similar to those in World War II when Serbian refugees fled from Bosnian Muslim and Croat Ustasha troops.

Bosnian Muslims fired artillery shells into Serbia. The Serbian town of Banja Koviljaca was hit by three 82 mm caliber artillery shells fired by Bosnian Muslim units from Bosnia into Serbia. A 79 year old woman, Vera Vukasinovic, was killed, while another Serbian civilian was seriously injured.

Sudetic described the effect the border attack had in Serbia: "The stories of the fleeing civilians shot down on the Skelani bridge enraged all of Serbia." Mladic was able to launch a counterattack that drove northwest and pushed the Muslim forces back into Srebrenica. The Bosnian Serb forces stopped at Kara Marko's Territory ten miles southwest of Srebrenica. In Srebrenica itself, the Muslim troops retaliated against Serbian civilians in the town. Sudetic described what happened in Srebrenica as a result of the counterattack: "A double murder had been committed the night before in the apartment building just below the Celik house. A Muslim soldier seeking revenge for the death of a relative, a military-police chief killed near Skelani, had used the butt of his revolver to smash the skulls of a Serb man and his elderly mother." They were Slobodan Zekic and his mother Zagorka. Dragica Vasic knew them both. Sudetic described the murder: "Dragica had known both of the victims; Slobodan Zekic and his mother, Zagorka, were the second Serb family that Dragica had seen murdered since the war began. Zagorka, an elderly woman, had suffered a stroke and had been bedridden for years; and Slobodan, a middle-aged former factory worker, had stayed on in Srebrenica to care for her."

Oric's offensives now provoked a Bosnian Serb counteroffensive. This is when the so-called Western media began covering the conflict in eastern Bosnia. So long as the Bosnian Muslim troops were killing Serbian soldiers and burning Serbian villages and massacring Serbian civilians, the West did not cover events in eastern Bosnia. There was a virtual news blackout in the West of Oric's offensives in eastern Bosnia. The systematic slaughter of Serbian civilians and the burning of Serbian villages was not news. As Misha Glenny explained in The Fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War: "The Bosnian Government troops moved swiftly through Serbian villages, slaughtering a large number of civilians on the way. Because the atrocities were being perpetrated by Muslims, they received relatively little attention in the world media." But once Mladic launched a counteroffensive, then the spotlight was focused on eastern Bosnia and it became the major news story in the world and became a primary focus of the Bosnian civil war. Then Srebrenica became the front page news story around the world.

Oric's attacks had led to counterattacks and refugees fleeing the scene of the fighting. The Serbs claimed that "the Muslims fired on their own civilians fleeing toward Tuzla." By February 9, 1993, Mladic had launched a full-scale counteroffensive against Oric's troops. Five days later, Bosnian Serb troops took the town of Kamenica north of Srebrenica. Sudetic described how journalists were shown incontrovertible evidence of Bosnian Muslim war crimes and atrocities: "Foreign journalists escorted to the Kamenica area by the Serb army were shown corpses that had been devoured by animals and other bodies that had been pulled from a pond and exhumed from three muddy graves on a forested ridge. The Serbs alleged that the bodies belonged to prisoners whom the Muslims had tortured and killed."

Even when they witnessed Bosnian Muslim atrocities and war crimes with their own eyes, the Western media still was able to dismiss them with the phrase "Serbs allege".

At this stage a major propaganda operation was launched. The Muslim leadership in Sarajevo then demanded that the UN deliver food to the Srebrenica pocket. The Bosnian Muslim leadership boycotted UN aid deliveries to Sarajevo, demanding aid be sent to Srebrenica. It was a form or extortion or blackmail. Philippe Morillon reacted against this Muslim blackmail. According to Sudetic, Morillon saw through the Muslim plan: "He condemned the Muslim aid boycott as a ploy to lure the Western nations into intervening militarily." Morillon alleged that the Muslims and the media were exaggerating the events in eastern Bosnia to get the US/NATO to fight on the Muslim side against the Bosnian Serbs. This is when the infamous Muslim ham radio operators appeared on the scene detailing preposterous propaganda stories which the US media and government lapped up as truth. Morillion, however, "dismissed these reports as lies."

This all resulted in a crisis. The Muslim boycott and media propaganda allowed the US to push the lift and strike strategy. US Secretary of State Warren Christopher argued for more aggressive aid deliveries to Srebrenica. On February 27, two US Air Force C-130 cargo planes clandestinely flew with their running lights shut off from Rhein-Main air base in Frankfort, Germany, into Bosnian air space and delivered a million leaflets over Srebrenica and Zepa notifying them that aid shipments would be dropped. The next night, four C-130s parachuted supplies north of Srebrenica in Muslim-held Cerska. But by this time, the Bosnian Serb troops had taken most of the town and seized the US aid packets.

What followed was the ratcheting up of the US propaganda war on behalf of its surrogate forces, the Bosnian Muslim army. Anders Levinsen from Denmark, who headed the UNHCR office in Tuzla, wanted to get the US/NATO to intervene against the Bosnian Serbs. So he compiled summaries of the reports from the Muslim ham radio operators. These were passed on to Sadako Ogata, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, who quoted Levinsen's line: "Civilians, women, children and old people, are being killed, usually by having their throats cut." These reports came from Bosnian Muslim "government officials" and Muslim ham radio operators. And as Ogata emphasized, they had an interest to exaggerate and falsify the facts. They were in fact propaganda. Nevertheless, Ogata stated that:" If only ten percent of the information is true, we are witnessing a massacre in the enclaves without being able to do anything about it."

This was an example of propaganda projection, or inversion, "zamena teza" in Serbian, psychologically projecting one's own crimes onto the enemy. The Bosnian Muslim forces were routinely and systematically cutting or slitting the throats of Bosnian Serb civilians and soldiers. This Bosnian Muslim war crime was then imputed to the Bosnian Serbs. Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung termed this "the shadow", projecting the worst vices and crimes onto an Enemy or Other. The person consciously blocks out his or her own guilt or knowledge of culpability, denies or suppresses it, while projection into onto another, or the Other, the Enemy, the Shadow. A schizophrenic orientation results where all positive traits are conscious while all negative traits are transferred to the Other. It is the result of a paranoid orientation. Moreover, the paranoid exhibits infantile characteristics that vacillate between sadistic domination to submissive or masochistic victimization. This is demonstrated in the Srebrenica case where Bosnian Muslim troops slit the throats of Serbs and decapitate them and mutilate their bodies in the sadistic domination cycle or phase but then shift to the victimization phase when they become victims. The infantile paranoid personality is unbalanced and unstable and thus vacillates between sadistic cruelty to passive victimization. It takes one to know one. The propagandist accuses the enemy of committing crimes which in fact the propagandist himself is guilty of. The propagandist merely projects these crimes on the Enemy. In short, the propagandist looks into a mirror when devising a propaganda construct for the Enemy. This can be seen in the Srebrenica case. The Bosnian Muslim ham radio operators accused the Bosnian Serbs of cutting the throats of Muslims when in fact the Bosnian Muslims were guilty of this. The Bosnian Muslims decapitated Bosnian Serbs, mutilated their bodies, burned their bodies, roasted them on spits, gouged and cut out eyes, performed circumcisions. Bosnian Muslim troops routinely and systematically decapitated Bosnian Serb soldiers and civilians. When the Bosnian Muslim forces exchanged bodies with Bosnian Serb forces, the Bosnian Serbs discovered that the Muslims routinely and systematically decapitated Bosnian Serb troops. In 1994, Bosnian Muslim troops violated a UN exclusion zone around Sarajevo and slit the throats of 20 Bosnian Serb soldiers and military support personnel, including four female nurses, and then mutilated and burned the corpses. Bosnian Muslim troops routinely cut the throats of Bosnian Serb soldiers and civilians. These Bosnian Muslim crimes were projected on the Bosnian Serb people and leaders.

Morillon was able to verify and determine for himself that the Bosnian Muslim claims were lies and propaganda constructs. Morillon went to Konjevic Polje north of Srebrenica and found no fighting or starvation there. Morillon concluded: "I did not see any trace of massacres." It was only a ploy to get the US/NATO to save Oric's troops from military defeat. The Bosnian Serbs wanted to exchange the Serbs in Tuzla for Muslim civilians in the Srebrenica pocket. But Oric and Izetbegovic wanted to use the Muslim civilians as hostages and human shields in the conflict. The torbari were also useful as scavengers and paramilitaries for Oric's forces.

Srebrenica Safe Haven

On April 17, 1993, Srebrenica was made a "safe haven", but Muslims continued to kill Serbian civilians and engage in sabotage activities. On May 27, 1995, Muslims from Srebrenica attacked Rupovo Brdo in the Milici municipality and killed five Serbian civilians who were cutting wood in the forest. On June 23, four Serb civilians were killed in the Skelani municipality. Three days later, Visnjica in the Milici municipality was attacked and one Serb killed and two injured and the village was burned down.

Nazi and Ustasha Legacy in Srebrenica

US government and media propaganda sought to censor and suppress the Nazi and Ustasha legacy in Srebrenica. US propaganda presented the Srebrenica crisis as sui generic, as a conflict with no prior history. By censoring and suppressing the Nazi and Ustasha legacy of Srebrenica, the US/NATO falsified the motivations of the Bosnian Serb leaders, many of whom had lost relatives to Bosnian Muslim and Croat Nazis and Ustashas during World War II. Roger Cohen explained that this Nazi/Ustasha legacy motivated Ratko Mladic: "Mladic, born in the Bosnian village of Bozinovici in 1943, lost his father in 1945 to the combined forces of Nazism and Croatian fascism. It was through this prism that he saw the war." An inscription in Srebrenica noted that 145 Serbs were killed in the town during World War II, 36 of them being children under the age of seven. In 1914, the Austrians had tried 20 of the most prominent Serbs in Srebrenica for "treason" and several thousand Serb families were expelled from Srebrenica.

Mladic saw the recognition of Croatia and then Bosnia by first the Vatican, then a re-united Germany, derisively dismissed as the "Fourth Reich", as a repeat of history, as occurred on April 10, 1941 when the Vatican and Germany recognized the Croat and Bosnian Muslim Independent State of Croatia, Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska (NDH). Cohen noted that the unilateral German recognition was perceived by Mladic as reflecting an anti-Serbian agenda:

When, in December 1991, the European Union was browbeaten by Germany into recognition of Croatia, Mladic called the decision "a second Munich." In the barracks of the Bosnian Serb army posters showed soldiers wearing Nazi uniforms above a screaming slogan---"Are you ready for Deutschmocracy?"

Mladic asked Lt. General Lars Wahlgren of the UN forces: "General, do you remember your father?" "In my case," Mladic continued, "my son is the first in many generations to know his father. Because there have been so many attacks on the Serb people, children do not know their fathers."

Simplistic Good Guys and Bad Guys Scenario

Dutch Lt. Colonel Ton Karremans explained that culpability should not be assigned to one faction: "The Muslims burned 192 villages in Eastern Bosnia. Therefore I am saying that in this war there are no ‘good guys' and ‘bad guys'."

Honig and Both noted that the Bosnian Muslims bore responsibility for the crisis in Srebrenica:

Dutch contacts with the members of the Srebrenica presidency were far from easy. The Dutch were blamed for the perceived failure of the UN to do enough for the people of Srebrenica. Matters were not helped by the character and behaviour of the dominant personalities in the enclave. Naser Oric, the overall military commander, and his two main ‘brigade' commanders, Zulfo Tursunovic (281 Bde) and Hakija Meholjic, appeared to the Dutch to be little more than gangsters, who terrorized the refugee population and profited greatly from the war. These men jealously protected their own fiefdoms. As the refugees were not represented in the local government, international aid agencies suggested in the second half of 1993 that the refugees should elect their own representative to assist in the distribution of food. The man was found murdered the day after his election.

Honig and Both also explained that Oric's attacks on Serbian villages and civilians around Srebrenica had led to the recent fighting and the strained relations:

Oric and his cronies were also responsible for much of the trouble with the Serbs, which stemmed from Muslim raids on Serb communities just outside the enclave. Also, Oric's men had the disconcerting habit of taking up positions close to the Dutch and then opening fire on the Serbs, hoping to entice them and the Dutch into a firefight. At times, when the Presidency found the Dutch insufficiently accommodating at supplying them with desired items, they would turn off the water supply to the Dutch compounds. Local commanders would stop Dutch patrols when it suited them. The Dutch were not at all impressed by the behaviour of the Bosnian Army, and many of the Dutch soldiers had little sympathy for the Muslims. Most shared the judgement of General Nikolai's predecessor, Dutch general Jan Willem Brinkman, that the Bosnian conflict was ‘not a matter of good guys against bad guys'.

In The Fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War, Misha Glenny noted the "complex origins of the Bosnian conflict for which the Serbs are not solely responsible." The first UN commander in Bosnia, Canadian Major General Lewis MacKenzie, described the Bosnian civil war as follows: "Dealing with Bosnia is a little bit like dealing with three serial killers." He noted that all three factions had committed war crimes and atrocities. UN Secretary-General Bhutros Bhutros Ghali, an Egyptian, dismissed Bosnia as "a rich man's war", noting that there were a dozen places around the world that greater humanitarian disasters than Bosnia. In Rwanda, a real genocide was allowed to occur because it was totally ignored by the US and the West. Why? The victims were black and US/NATO/EU interests could not be advanced. The US/NATO did not seek expansion in Rwanda.

The Bosnian Muslims alienated and lost the support of UN personnel by killing UN troops and even their people merely to gain sympathy and score propaganda points to induce US/NATO military intervention against the Bosnian Serbs. UN commander Sir Michael Rose from the UK dismissed Muslim propaganda as "images of war" meant to induce NATO/US bombing against the Bosnian Serbs.

The Bosnian Muslim troops alienated the Dutch UN contingent by killing a Dutch UN soldier. UN Dutch Private Raviv van Renssen, a gunner, was killed when Bosnian Muslim troops threw a grenade at his armored vehicle. He failed to close his hatch in time and was hit in the head by shrapnel.

Morillon went to Srebrenica to prevent a humanitarian disaster. "I wanted to avert a catastrophe," Morillon said. Morillon established the safe haven of Srebrenica but no provision was made for the demilitarization of the enclave. What resulted was that the Muslim military sent reinforcements and arms and weapons into the so-called safe haven. UNHCR humanitarian aid convoys delivered a total of 5,858 tons of aid in 1994. In 1993, 8,916 tons were delivered. The Dutch UN battalion, Dutchbat III, was assigned to protect UNHCR aid deliveries. The Bosnian Muslim forces continued to engage in hit and run tactics, however, killing Bosnian Serb civilians and soldiers. Srebrenica became a military base for the Bosnian Muslims, who were using the Muslim civilians as human shields.

Chetniks, Ustashas, and Turks

All three factions in the Bosnian civil war referred to each other not as Bosnian Serbs, Muslims, or Croats, but as "Chetniks", "Ustashas", and "Turks". Why? The US government and media never delved into this phenomenon. These were ethnic stereotypes or archetypes, caricatures, that were ingrained during World War II when Bosnia was engulfed in a civil war between the same factions. The Western media never sought to explain or comprehend the roots to the Bosnian conflict. The US government and media carefully suppressed and covered up the historical background to the civil war during World War II. For example, although the Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS Division Handzar/Handschar was one of the largest and most photographed SS divisions during World War II, US and Western historians, analysts, and pundits could never locate any photographs or any historical information or documentation of the famous division. There was even a famous German news reel from 1944 showing Heinrich Himmler reviewing the Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS troops. But all of this was meticulously and carefully covered up by the US government, media, and historians. Similarly, the US government, media, and scholars could never obtain any information about the Ustasha NDH regime in World War II. The US government and media knew nothing about Jasenovac, the largest concentration and extermination camp in the Balkans during World War II. The US position was that by presenting the World War II background it would be helping the Serbian position so it was meticulously suppressed, censored, and deleted.

The Bosnian civil war of 1992-1995 was merely the continuation of the civil war of 1941-45. It was the final chapter or denouement of that earlier conflict. The ethnic animosity or ethnic hatreds could be explained and understood if the World War II civil war was examined and analyzed. But the US government and media sought to explain the Bosnian conflict as sui generis, with no connection to World War II. Moreover, by perceiving each other as "Chetniks", "Ustashas", and "Turks", all three factions sought to dehumanize and objectify the others in stereotypes created by the Communist regime of Josip Broz Tito, which defined the national identities of all three groups in this way. What resulted was a caricature and propaganda construct or image of the enemy which allowed for the killing of that Other. It was much easier to cut the throat and cut the head off of a caricature and Communist-created stereotype than it was of a human being not so dehumanized. The US propaganda machine failed to take into account this Communist era dehumanization that had occurred. All three factions were programmed and brainwashed to see each other in these negative stereotypes by the Communist regime. This stereotyping was one of the reasons that compromise was not possible.

Morillon explained this historical animosity as follows:

They were in this hellish circle of revenge. It was more than revenge that animated them all. Not only the men, women, the entire population was imbued with this. It wasn't the sickness of fear that had infected the entire population of Bosnia-Hercegovina, the fear of being dominated, of being eliminated. It was pure hatred.

War Crimes Indictment

Naser Oric was arrested on April 10, 1993 by SFOR/NATO forces in Tuzla. He was indicted by the ICTY for violating the Laws and Customs of War by committing murders, wanton destruction, and plunder. His arrest and indictment reflected a change in the policy of the Hague, which assigned sole criminal culpability to the Serbian faction in the civil war. In an April 11, 2003 Globe and Mail article, it was noted that "the Muslims have been seen so far only as victims in Srebrenica." Nevertheless, Oric was not seen as a war criminal by Bosnian Muslims: "Mr. Oric is considered a hero by Bosnian Muslims." In a news report by Voice of America (VOA) of April 16, 2003, it was noted that "Naser Oric is considered a hero to many Bosnian Muslims." One man's terrorist and war criminal is another man's patriot and freedom fighter. The Women of Srebrenica Union protested in front of the UN Mission building maintaining that the arrest of Oric "is an act of hatred towards the Moslems" because "he defended his own people in 1992." NATO secretary-general George Robertson stated that "each fugitive sent to The Hague makes it easier to build a lasting peace in the Balkans." NATO wanted to dispel the impression that it was anti-Serbian.

Naser Oric had been questioned and released in 2001. In the AP story "Protesters Storm U.N. Building in Bosnia" by Aida Cerkez-Robinson for April 2, 2001, it was noted that Oric was questioned and released: "U.N. officials, however, said Oric had been brought in for questioning, but had left the building and has not been indicted." "We want Naser!" Bosnian Muslims screamed in support of Oric. Jim Landale, an ICTY spokesman, noted that Oric was "called in for questioning about a routine investigation."

Naser Oric was finally indicted for war crimes in an indictment dated March 28, 2003 by ICTY prosecutor Carl Del Ponte in Case No: IT-03-68-I. In Counts 1-2, Oric was charged with Murder and Cruel Treatment.

Oric was charged with the following killings. On September 25, 1992, Dragutin Kukic was beaten to death in the Srebrenica Police Station. Between February 6 and March 20, 1993, Jakov Dokic, Dragan Ilic, Milisav Milovanovic, Kostadin Popovic, Branko Sekulic, and Bogdan Zivanovic were killed in the building behind the Srebrenica Municipal Building.

Oric was charged with Cruel Treatment for the treatment of Bosnian Serb detainees between September 24 and October, 1992 at the Srebrenica Police Station by the Bosnian Muslim Military Police. Nedeljko Radic was beaten with wooden poles and iron bars, punched and kicked. His teeth were forcibly extracted using pliers. Muslim soldiers then urinated in his mouth and he was forced to swallow urine. His teeth were broken and his ribs were fractured. Slavoljub Zikic was punched with fists and beaten with boots. He was beaten with rifle butts. He was beaten unconsciousness. His teeth in his upper jaw were broken and his ribs fractured. One of his shoulders was broken. His vision and hearing were impaired. Zoran Brankovic, Nevenko Bubanj, and Veselin Sarac were punched, kicked, and beaten with wooden poles and iron bars.

Between December 15, 1992 and March 20, 1993, Ilija Ivanovic was beaten with fists, wooden poles, metal bars, baseball bats, and kicked with boots. He was stabbed with knives. His ribs were fractured, his teeth, nose, and cheekbone were broken. His head was smashed against metal bars and concrete walls, until losing consciousness. Bosnian Serb civilians Rado Pejic, Stanko Mitrovic, Miloje Obradovic, Mile Trifunovic were beaten with wooden poles, baseball bats and metal bars, kicked and punched, losing consciousness. Pejic lost so much weight as a result of the beatings and inhumane treatment that he was unable to walk and was exchanged on a stretcher.

Oric was charged as follows: Count 1: Murder, a violation of the Laws and Customs of War under the ICTY and Geneva Conventions. Count 2: Cruel Treatment under the tribunal and Geneva Conventions. Counts 3-6 were wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, not justified by military necessity, plunder of public or private property. From May 1992 to February 1993, his forces burnt, destroyed, plundered a minimum of 50 predominantly Serbian villages and hamlets. "As a result, thousands of Serb individuals fled the area." Cattle, furniture, and television sets were plundered.

In a 1998 UN Report to the Secretary-General termed the Srebrenica Report, the UN conceded that Naser Orc's forces "used techniques of ethnic cleansing" in burning Serbian villages and terrorizing Serbian civilians to flee. It was also conceded that they "apparently tortured and mutilated" Bosnian Serb civilians and soldiers. The Report also acknowledged that "Serb sources claim that over 1,300 people were killed" in the Srebrenica area by Naser Oric's forces based in Srebrenica. The UN further acknowledged that the Bosnian Muslims had the 28th Division in Srebrenica, made up of 3,000 to 4,000 Bosnian Muslim soldiers.

US/NATO propaganda claimed that Srebrenica was made up of unarmed, Bosnian Muslim civilians. The ICTY indictment of Naser Oric for war crimes, however, lists the following military formations in the Srebrenica area: Company Srebrenica from Independent Battalion Srebrenica, Brigade Potocari, Brigade Suceska, Brigade "3 Maj" Kragljivoda, Independent Battalion Osmace, Company Pusmulici of the Srebrenica Independent Battalion, Independent Battalion Skenderovici, 114th East Bosnian Brigade, Independent Battalion Voljavica, Independent Battalion Biljeg, 1st Cerani Detachment, Company Kazani from Independent Battalion Srebrenica, Independent Battalion "5 Juli" Tokoljaci, 6th Detachment Kamenica, and Company Stari Grad. The Bosnian Muslims were organized in military formations and were equipped with AK-47 assault rifles, machine guns, grenades, grenade launchers, mortars, artillery, anti-tank missiles, and even tanks. Helicopters were used to transport arms and personnel from Tuzla. In the US propaganda on Srebrenica, it is erroneously stated that civilians were executed after the fall of the town. The AP and the Detroit Free Press stated that Srebrenica was the worst "massacre of civilians" since World War II. But this is untrue. When Srebrenica fell, the Bosnian Serb forces made certain that civilians, women, and children would not be harmed. Srebrenica was made up of armed formations of the Bosnian Muslim Army. They were combatants. By the same token, the killing of thousands of Bosnian Serb combatants would be an instance of a massacre. But the US government and media apply differing and contradictory standards. The number of Bosnian Muslim troops or POWs allegedly executed at Srebrenica is disputed. CNN gave a figure of 6,000 Muslim men and boys executed. AP and The Detroit Free Press gave a number as 8,000 Muslim men and boys executed. The New York Times and the US State Department number is 7,000. Other figures are of 7,000-9,000 executed. None of these figures have been substantiated. The propagandistic term "Muslim men and boys" is purposely misleading. These men were members of the armed forces, i.e., the Bosnian Muslim Army, they were combatants who had violated the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of POWs by torturing, mutilating, and executing Bosnian Serb POWs. These Bosnian Muslim solders had also burned at least 50 Serbian villages in eastern Bosnia and had tortured, mutilated, and murdered Serbian civilians.

One of the problems with the "safe area" or "safe haven" concept was that it failed to adequately provide for the demilitarization of the safe areas. The Bosnian Muslim military and political leaders took advantage of this loop hole to turn Srebrenica into an armed military base. This is something that has been covered up about the safe havens. Also covered up is the fact that Srebrenica was captured after the Bosnian Muslims violated a cease-fire and launched multiple offensives against Bosnian Serb forces, seizing Bosnian Serb territory and killing and injuring Bosnian Serb troops. The Bosnian Muslim violations of the cease-fire accords and the bombing of Bosnian Serb targets by the UN/NATO forces made the safe haven agreements null and void and Srebrenica became a legitimate military target. As Lewis MacKenzie noted, the capture of Srebrenica was "all very explainable".

On November 6, 1992, Bosnian Muslim military units from Srebrenica attacked and captured the village of Kamenica in the Zvornik district, in which action Bosnian Serb soldiers were captured. When the troops of the Republika Srpska recaptured Kamenica in February, 1993, they discovered seven mass graves containing the bodies of 41 Bosnian Serb soldiers. The exhumed bodies were examined by pathologist Major Zoran Stankovic, who was able to establish that the arms and legs of the majority of the bodies had been broken and the heads had been smashed and cut off. Some of the bodies still had the wires, belts, and cables, with which they were tied up and tortured. Eight of the bodies were so badly mutilated that they could not be identified. The Bosnian Muslim units murdered not only Bosnian Serb civilians, but also Bosnian Serb POWs in violation of the laws and customs of war and the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of POWs. When enemy combatants commit blatant and incontrovertible war crimes, they abrogate reciprocity. When they are taken prisoner themselves and became POWs, they are subject to execution by the opposing armed forces. During the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 in World War II, German troops wore US military uniforms and spoke English to create chaos and confusion behind US lines. When captured, these German troops were executed by American firing squads because they had violated the laws and customs of war. Similarly, the German armed forces executed US and British POWs who attempted to escape from German POW camps because they violated the laws of the combatant country. This is why there are conventions and international guidelines for the reciprocal treatment of POWs. But once the Bosnian Muslim armed forces were executing, torturing and mutilating Bosnian Serb POWs, they were committing clear-cut war crimes that abrogated the application of the Geneva Conventions with respect to themselves. The Bosnian Muslim troops were war criminals that could justifiably be executed when captured by Bosnian Serb troops. This is an aspect of the Srebrenica story that is ignored. Bosnian Muslim troops abrogated the requirement that they be treated as POWs under the Geneva Conventions and international law because they had committed war crimes against Bosnian Serb civilians and soldiers.

ICTY Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte's indictment of Naser Oric for war crimes in Srebrenica is a whitewash while at the same time a belated attempt to acknowledge the war crimes committed by the Bosnian Muslim Government and armed forces against Bosnian Serbs. The indictment seeks to minimize the war crimes committed by Oric and to limit their scope to Oric, exculpating Bosnian Muslim military leaders and the Muslim political leadership. Alija Izetbegovic and Ejup Ganic escaped culpability and criminal liability. Oric was indicted in 2003 after being apprehended by NATO forces in Tuzla where he had lived with his family since 1995 after he was evacuated from Srebrenica by helicopter to Muslim-held Tuzla. The war crimes with which he is charged by Del Ponte are limited to killing seven Serbs and torturing several civilians in Srebrenica and for burning and destroying at least 50 Serbian villages in the Srebrenica area. But the nature of the crimes committed by Oric constitutes crimes against humanity and genocide. Bosnian Serb civilians were systematically murdered by having their throats slit, their bodies mutilated, their heads cut off, and their corpses burned. Serbian villages were systematically burned and destroyed in a policy e

When your heart is empty,your
mind is worth nothing.

Posted By: merced12
Date Posted: 28-Jan-2006 at 17:25

he is hero

rahat uyu bilge kral

------------- -
16th century world;
Ottomans all Roman orients
Safavids in Persia
Babur in india
`azerbaycan bayragini karabagdan asacagim``

Posted By: Jay.
Date Posted: 28-Jan-2006 at 17:56
Alija did commit war crimes, though...

Samo Sloga Srbina Spasava
Only Unity Can Save the Serb

Posted By: ill_teknique
Date Posted: 28-Jan-2006 at 21:09
Originally posted by Jay.

Alija did commit war crimes, though...

I'm not a fan of his but no matter what you will have to admitt that it was nothing on the scope of karadzic and milosevic.


Posted By: YuGo
Date Posted: 28-Jan-2006 at 21:13

If the crimes were small, or large the world should still know about the crimes he commited, if he is to be commited guilty for war crimes. Not saying he will, but if he does...


Posted By: ill_teknique
Date Posted: 29-Jan-2006 at 09:02
Originally posted by YuGo

If the crimes were small, or large the world should still know about the crimes he commited, if he is to be commited guilty for war crimes. Not saying he will, but if he does...


People try to compare all sides to milosevic in order to aleviate from the fact that he initiated the war.


Posted By: Cunctator
Date Posted: 23-Feb-2006 at 21:10

I don't think that there is any need to compare Izetbegovic to Milosevic to argue that the former warranted being investigated, and probably should have been indicted, for war crimes.

Although Serb nationalists have put out a lot of material on Izetbegovic, not all of what they provide is incorrect. His connection to the SS Handzhar division during WW2 is cited in many places, although he was not directly involved in the massacres of Serbs that that organisation committed. He was a recruiter. Interestingly, his bodyguard during the Bosnian War was called Handzhar.

His connections to extremist Muslim groups is also true. He was a personal acquaintance of the chief ideologist in the Islamist regime in Sudan -- that connection is probably the way that Bin Laden's followers were able to enter Bosnia. (Unconfirmed stories are all over that Bin Laden travelled to Sarajevo at least once, perhaps more often, to meet Izetbegovic.) And Izetbegovic did protect the mujahideen fighters when the US and others demanded that they leave, as stipulated in the Dayton Peace Accord.

I always found it interesting that whenever there were stories in the media of a sealed indictment for Izetbegovic, he suddenly had to travel, including to Saudi Arabia for health reasons.

In the Bosnian war, none of the main characters were pure of heart. The Serbs were never very clever about manipulating international public opinion, while the Bosnians hired Rudder-Finn out of New York. That company fashioned an image, that has lasted to this day, that the Bosniaks were a nation of victims led by a kindly old grandfather like figure. The war was far more complicated.

Posted By: malizai_
Date Posted: 02-Mar-2006 at 17:23

When the conflict first started i wanted to learn more about this politician who was stuck been a rock and a hard place. I did a search at the Town library and found a book written by him.

Having read the book I realised that he was more of an intellectual than a politician, it also led me to conclude at that time that as long as he is around the Bosnians may get something out of the conflict.

His single most achievement was to keep the defined boundaries of bosnia as they were b4 the start of the conflict. I think the bosniaks owe him a debt of gratitude.

I do not know of war crimes sanctioned by him, and therefore can not comment. But would like to see some independent evidence if it exists.



Posted By: Mila
Date Posted: 02-Mar-2006 at 18:14
Well the evidence will be sketchy at best, Malizai. It's not as though he shot anyone, and in his public speeches he always expressed the need for tolerance and urged all Bosnians to come together.

Now, does that mean he didn't tell his military commanders to kill every Serb they laid eyes on, of course not. I don't believe that happened but he was in charge and under his watch things most certainly did happen to Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Serbs. In the wider context of the war... am I going to lose sleep over it? Probably not... but I don't think it should go unknown either.

Whatever happened has to be brought to the surface and justice has to be served. If not, you will have people on one side saying - as they do - that not a single Bosniak solider committed a single crime during the war. You'll also have people on the other side saying - as they do - that thousands of Serbs were fed to lions in Sarajevo for public amusement.

Have the truth of whatever crimes were committed by Bosniaks recorded should be as important for every Bosniak, nationalist or not, as it is to every Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Serb.

And all of that is just politics, saving face, etc, etc, etc.

What it really comes down to is someone's mother, someone's son, someone's husband - and there are family members who deserve the know the truth and have anyone responsible punished. That has to overshadow all the politics but I just try to explain, even politically - it's very important.


Posted By: DayI
Date Posted: 02-Mar-2006 at 18:49
Alija Izzetbegovic, great man may he R I P.

Bu mıntıka'nın Dayı'sı - [IMG - -

Posted By: Mila
Date Posted: 02-Mar-2006 at 18:52
I saw something on the news that Turkey named a mosque for him in the Little Bosnia district of Baliksehir.


Posted By: YuGo
Date Posted: 02-Mar-2006 at 19:37

This is no way, is trying to attack Alija Izetbegovic.,,91134-bosnia_p3705,00.html -,,91134-bosnia _p3705,00.html

I found this video, it is a small documentry about radical islamists in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It also shows Alija Izetbegovic meeting with radical islamic soldiors. It's worth a watch! I don't know where else to put it, and since it shows a clip of Alija, I supose this is the best place.

What are your opinions about this video?

Posted By: Mila
Date Posted: 02-Mar-2006 at 23:50
You can attack him all you want to - and if you do so with anything worth mentioning (like a video of him meeting with mujahedeen) all the better.

Well, my opinion is this...

Alija Izetbegovic said, while he regrets bringing Arab fighters to Bosnia (mainly for the public relations problems this caused), in the same circumstances he would do the same thing again because we were desperate and needed all the help we could get.

In the area between Zenica and Tuzla, where most of the mujahedeen operated, they most certainly made a difference in the defense of the Bosniak population. That doesn't mean we shouldn't hold them and ourselves responsible for any crimes that were committed against other ethnic groups.

As for Izetbegovic... he must certainly have at least heard reports of crimes being committed by the mujahedeen (Bosniak soliders as well, of course, but I'll stick with the mujahedeen for now). Whether or not he believed they were true can be debated. There were constant reports of massacres of Serbs by Muslims coming from the Serb side. "Serbs are being fed to lions in Sarajevo", "Serbs must ride the yellow trams", "Trebinje has been destroyed, thousands dead", etc, etc, etc. It's possible Izetbegovic heard of these crimes and thought they were simply more of these morale-boosting stories designed to push the Serbian soldiers.

Where I can't really dismiss Izetbegovic's involvement is when you realize he met with this mujahedeen, as your video shows. These fighters didn't put on a show for Izetbegovic, that would be foolish to even imagine. If they discussed policy, if they discussed their actions... and common sense dictates they did... then Izetbegovic must have known their methods and what they planned to do to ethnic Serbian soliders, and probably civilians as well.

Either way, if he was alive he would have to answer for their crimes. Incompetence is not an excuse for war crimes and if they were committed under his watch, as they certainly were, then he should have some responsibility in that. I'd like to think he'd have taken it, but who knows.


Posted By: Mila
Date Posted: 03-Mar-2006 at 00:04
By the way, YuGo...

I'll mention this here because it's not worth a new thread and I know you'll check back.

Dodik is new Prime Minister of the Republika Srpska and, although he is severely denying it in the news now, he allegedly said his goal was to be the last Republika Srpska Prime Minister.

I don't like him - he's still a Cetnik, but he's about as good as they come. He accept the Republika Srpska in 1992 but he was still opposed to Karadzic. He's bumped the nationalists from power twice now...

He cooperated fully with the Hague last time and he'll certainly do that again.

So we'll see. Could be good news who knows.


Posted By: erci
Date Posted: 03-Mar-2006 at 00:05
Originally posted by merced12

he is hero

rahat uyu bilge kral

Last I heard these words was in the Conan comics in Turkish.Nice words nevertheless...

Posted By: YuGo
Date Posted: 03-Mar-2006 at 19:10

@ Alija Izetbegovic,

I don't have much of an opinon of him, Mila. He is just anouther war criminal to me. Saying anything more than that, and I will be considered a Serb nationalist by Bosniaks, and attacked by all of your Turkish, and Soudi Arabian friends!


I will say, I was ready to punch my monitor when I first saw that video, I was so angry. Seeing that Islamic flag over the map of Bosnia Herzegovina, and destroying the Serbian Orthodox Church, and the fact that most of them still live in Bih today just infuriates me!

@ RS Prestident,

I supose that is good news? Anything that gets RS closer to unification with the Federation is good news to me!

Why is he a Cetnik to you, by the way? lol, I don't know much about this man.

Posted By: Jay.
Date Posted: 03-Mar-2006 at 20:44
Yugo, I shall punch the moniter with you.

Posted By: Bosniathebestcountry
Date Posted: 08-Mar-2006 at 00:02

I never heard of any bosnians ever (except the controversial hanjar division from WWII) destroying serbs or serbian property or hating on orthodox religion. Its all propagandanized B.S.

The serbs are and always will be the ones blamed for the '92 war. there is no excuse for it. and whats worse...that war accomplished absoloutley nothing, in fact it messed things up much worse.

Alija Izetbegovic....many bosnians like him but many dont cuz they thought he was "too soft" and a coward and he never shouldve signed the Dayton contract because the bosnian army at the end stretch had a very big chance at winning the war because they started forcing the serbs out slowly. 

In my opinion, he seemed like a good person who only wanted peace. A good president?....i dont know.

You know, btw... i'm also from Bosanski Samac. I left it when i was 4 because of the war of course. I got a chance to visit it one time right before i came to the states and i bathed in the magnificent river Sava. It used to be a beautiful, peaceful little city and now..... an empty depressing place, with like 8 bosnian-serbs and 2 bosnian-muslims living in it and its belonging to "srpska republica". Every ex-samcanin (no matter what ethnic background) that sees samac now cries when they visit it.

Posted By: Mila
Date Posted: 08-Mar-2006 at 00:23
Thats common for everyone. Even if the city still had much of its pre-war population and had been significantly rebuilt, you'd still cry to see it for the first time since the war.


Posted By: Bosniathebestcountry
Date Posted: 08-Mar-2006 at 01:05

LoL, yeah but in that case youd probably cry in happiness, not sadness. Samcan people are so pissed off and sad most dont even want to visit, its too painful. Walking around dowtown and you see a bunch of villagers? mostly serbian village people that were located around samac before.

Posted By: Mila
Date Posted: 08-Mar-2006 at 01:25
Nah, still sadness I think. I remember the footage of refugees returning from Turkey in 1996 - and even with Sarajevo burried in Bosnian flags and the city free from the siege, they still were devastated.

There was a documentary by a Norwiegan filmmaker and he followed a Bosnian Serb family returning to Sarajevo from Belgrade after the war. They were on the bus and once they got close enough in the finished film he stopped narrating and just had subtitles of what was being said. And the mother of the family saw the city and kept saying, "Heart of Jesus, heart of Jesus, oh my God, oh my God, heart of Jesus, heart of Jesus..." and crying. And he just kept that footage unedited for at least 10 minutes. At the end she stopped saying heart of jesus and started saying oh my city, oh my city, oh my city, oh my city - completely hysterical.

It felt like 10 years just watching it.

There was a photography book by Roger Richards...or Richard Rogers, I can't remember - called Impressions and it was photographs of refugees taking a walk downtown for the first time on their return.

He divided them not my people, but by reaction. It was really nice. So the first one was five people, five different pictures, with their hands over their mouths and watering eyes. Then different progressions for the following sets, and the last ones were four or five different people kneeling in the middle of the sidewalk and crying. One Catholic woman had her hands over her face but from cry-praying, not just crying - she had those beads in her hands. And there was an old guy who prayed the Muslim way, with his head down, etc.

Really good piece of history recorded by these things. This was still back when the refugees were hated for having left at all, and welcomed back the same way you'd welcome a traitor.


Posted By: YuGo
Date Posted: 08-Mar-2006 at 16:16


Originally posted by Bosniathebestcountry

I never heard of any bosnians ever (except the controversial hanjar division from WWII) destroying serbs or serbian property or hating on orthodox religion. Its all propagandanized B.S.

The serbs are and always will be the ones blamed for the '92 war. there is no excuse for it. and whats worse...that war accomplished absoloutley nothing, in fact it messed things up much worse.

Alija Izetbegovic....many bosnians like him but many dont cuz they thought he was "too soft" and a coward and he never shouldve signed the Dayton contract because the bosnian army at the end stretch had a very big chance at winning the war because they started forcing the serbs out slowly.

In my opinion, he seemed like a good person who only wanted peace. A good president?....i dont know.

You know, btw... i'm also from Bosanski Samac. I left it when i was 4 because of the war of course. I got a chance to visit it one time right before i came to the states and i bathed in the magnificent river Sava. It used to be a beautiful, peaceful little city and now..... an empty depressing place, with like 8 bosnian-serbs and 2 bosnian-muslims living in it and its belonging to "srpska republica". Every ex-samcanin (no matter what ethnic background) that sees samac now cries when they visit it.

I respect your opinion, although I can't say I feel the same way.

For you to say that you have never heard of Bosniaks massacring Serbs and Croats... is very surprising. Have you ever been to central Bosnia, or heard of what had happened in places like Zenica, or Maglaj? Even in Srebrenica, for years before the horrible massacre of thousands of Muslim men in the town, Serbs were the victims (kind of the same story in Knin, except the Croats were the victims for years, then ending up massacring the Serbs, in the last days of war).

You have to understand that it isn't even important who started the war, or who had the most dead etc. The most important thing is that we as a country, Bosnia and Herzegovina try to rebuild this country into what it once was. Nothing would make me happier than seeing a Muslim woman take her child to the Ferhadija Mosque in Banja Luka, and at the same time a Serb Man with his children in the Orthodox Church in Mostar.

I can also relate to you when you talk about going back to your hometown, and it not being what it was before the war. I think all places in Bosnia are like that, both in the RS and Federation. Even if they rebuild all the Mosques, Orthodox and Catholic Churches.. we have to wonder will towns like Mostar, Banja Luka, or Drvar ever be the same again?

Posted By: Mila
Date Posted: 08-Mar-2006 at 16:25
It wasn't as though the massacre of Srebrenica was the first time these people saw a Serb either, though, YuGo. The city was held under constant shelling and sniper fire for years as well.


Posted By: Cunctator
Date Posted: 08-Mar-2006 at 18:43


I respect your opinion but I just do not share it, and I understand but cannot endorse your feelings. (Not having a drop of Slavic blood in my veins, I have "no dog in this fight." to quote George Bush Sr.) Nevertheless, let's be frank, Izetbegovic was no saint, and there were atrocities committed by all sides in the Bosnian war, and they are documented. (Orric is on trial at the Hague for committing many such crimes, and we know that the ICTY were sitting on an investigation of the Bosnian president and only announced its existence when he died.) As to Izetbegovic's tolerance for other cultures/religions, I am no authority. However, I do recall very clearly that he publicly complained about the behaviour of Bosnians during the Christmas 1995 and New Year 1996 celebrations as not being consistent with Islamic faith. Such an opinion is again consistent with his beahviour and ideas during the Second World War and immediately after.

Civil wars are reputed to be the most bloody. In the Bosnian Civil War all sides had their heroes and villians, and all had victims of war crimes. The Bosnians were the most skillful at orchestrating global public opinion and the image of the beleagured old man in beseiged (though the tunnels at the airport made it a rather porous seige) aided that effort. The Serbs were, by far, the least skilful, made no effort at public relations in the West and are now blamed for everything that happened. And Serb leaders were possibly the least photogenic. It will probably take another generation before the historians can do a really good in-depth study of the events a decade and more ago.

Posted By: Mila
Date Posted: 08-Mar-2006 at 19:05
I don't believe in making the aggressors equal to their victims at all, Cunctator. We don't say WWII was a civil war between Germans and Jews because of the Warsaw uprising... it just seems strange to me.

You have a side in this war with an official policy of ethnic cleansing - so official that this is where the term "ethnic cleansing" comes from. The West didn't invent it, the Belgrade authorities did. You have village after village, town after town, city after city being attacked for days and sometimes weeks, sometimes months, sometimes years. Those that fell were 'ethnically cleansed' and dedicated in celebratory, televized ceremonies as gifts to the Serbian people.

If you want to compare Naser Oric to that, go ahead. Maybe if he had been commiting his crimes in Novi Sad while Belgrade was under siege and half of western Serbia was occupied by Bosniaks it would make sense.

I will never accept that Naser Oric's crimes were acceptable or even necessary, but I will never say all sides were equal.

EDIT 1: And "Bosnian civil war" makes me sick. The first people killed in Bosnia were Herzegovinian Croats massacred in 1991 by the Yugoslav People's Army during the war in Croatia. The first Serbian soliders to enter Bosnia following our referendum of independence crossed over the Sava from Croata. That's there independent countries involved before, and literally on day 1.

EDIT 2: To me this "all sides were equal" approach is just like people saying, "I don't care what homosexuals do, I just don't want to see it."

It's the form of denial and prejudice that is still politically correct and, in some circles, acceptable.

EDIT 3: It started as, "Nothing happened."

Then it went to, "They did it to themselves."

Then it went to, "Okay, we did it, but they did more."

Then it went to, "Okay, we did it, but they did it too."

Someday, hopefully soon, it will be "Okay, we did it - and they did that."


Posted By: Bosniathebestcountry
Date Posted: 08-Mar-2006 at 20:51
Bosnia was destroyed the most in this war. and thats the bottom line. Slovenia had like what....4 days of war? croatia 6 months? bosnia.....4 years! the west knew what was happening, the serbs would massacre a village, they would put on bosnian army sings and stuff like that to make it look like "the muslims did it". You dont need to tell me anything. Bosnia was betrayed and annihilated in this war. And who knows if it will ever recover. 

Posted By: Cunctator
Date Posted: 09-Mar-2006 at 21:28


I am not disputing that atrocities were committed. That would be very foolish. All I am saying is that all sides committed war crimes and all sides had innocent victims. Does it really matter if one side killed 10,000 and the other only 2,000? (I am choosing those numbers arbitrarily.) To suggest that one side was all good and the other all bad only serves to obscure the reality on the ground. I am certain that the Serbs did kill many more than the Bosniak forces, but that is to be expected -- they were better equipped and armed and were on the offensive for much of the war. But, many of the Serbs were just as fearful of living under Bosniak rule as vice versa, and that fear grew as the war continued -- I know that you will not like reading that, but it is true and is often obscured by the nationalist rhetoric of the leaders and by media reports that tended to paint the war in black and white colours. 

I cannot agree with one of your statements. The situation of the Bosniaks did not at all resemble the situation of the Jews under Nazi rule (to use your example), although I am certain (and your last posting demonstrates this) that many people felt and still feel that way. It is one thing to force a people to leave their homes in the course of which some people are murdered, and another to create an elaborate system to exterminate a whole race. The latter never happened to the Bosniaks.

I would also point out that many Balkan wars have tended, historically, to involve what we call today "ethnic cleansing". The Republika Srpska wanted to push the Bosniaks out of as much territory as possible and eradicate their presence. The Bosniaks did much the same with the Serb minority in Sarajevo. After Belgrade was defeated, the Albanians have been doing this since 1999 in Kosovo. And we should not forget earlier examples -- where are all the Turks that used to live in the region? They didn't all move back to Turkey. In this sense, what happened in Bosnia is just another chapter in that region's bloody history. That is not to minimise recent events, or to be morally equivocal, but it is an attempt to put them in some perspective.

As to your disputing my term "Bosnian civil war", I do not care about the label. We can call the war by whatever name is agreed upon. All three combatants in Bosnia (Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks) had outside help, in different amounts but it was still from outside. I do not have any figures to cite, but I think it is generally accepted that most of the fighters in the Republika Srpska and Bosnian-Croat Federation were from within Bosnia itself.





Posted By: strategos
Date Posted: 09-Mar-2006 at 22:01
Perhaps it is time Republika Srpska joins Republic of Serbia


Posted By: Mila
Date Posted: 09-Mar-2006 at 23:33
I responded so many times and each time I deleted it.

Originally posted by Cunctator

All I am saying is that all sides committed war crimes and all sides had innocent victims.

I would never claim otherwise. Thinking that disproves or even validates the dynamics of the war as I explained them is desperate.

Originally posted by Cunctator

Does it really matter if one side killed 10,000 and the other only 2,000?

Of course it matters. It matters even more than more than 100,000 were killed in an organized, purposeful campaign using everything from arbitrary executions to concentration camps.

Originally posted by Cunctator

I cannot agree with one of your statements. The situation of the Bosniaks did not at all resemble the situation of the Jews under Nazi rule (to use your example), although I am certain (and your last posting demonstrates this) that many people felt and still feel that way.

You're right, it doesn't compare at all. In fact, Greta Ferusic - who survived Auschwitz - said life in Sarajevo during the siege was even worse.

Originally posted by Cunctator

It is one thing to force a people to leave their homes in the course of which some people are murdered, and another to create an elaborate system to exterminate a whole race. The latter never happened to the Bosniaks.

Actually, that's called genocide - and it did happen to the Bosniaks.

Originally posted by Cunctator

The Bosniaks did much the same with the Serb minority in Sarajevo.

Blasphemy. Sarajevo still has all of its Orthodox Churches, Banja Luka dynamited all of its more than 40 Mosques, all of its more than 15 Roman Catholic churches, as well as it's two Synagogues - one of which wasn't even a Synagogue anymore.

Banja Luka's Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats were herded onto cattle cars and many were sent to their deaths at 23 concentration camps in and around the city of Prijedor. Sarajevo's Serbs remained in the city until the United Nations refused to allow them to continue construction of a Berlin-style wall and opted to award the whole of the city to the Bosnian government. Sarajevo's Serbs packed up their belongings, dug up their graves, and moved the living and the dead a few kilometers east. Serbian forces set fire to everything as they fled - especially the homes and belongings of the 40,000 Serbs who refused to leave. All of this has been well documented and could only be disputed in bad faith.

Originally posted by Cunctator

After Belgrade was defeated, the Albanians have been doing this since 1999 in Kosovo.

The Republika Srpska was an important lesson for the Kosovar Albanians - kill who you can, drive away who you can't, and the United Nations will allow you to establish you're own entity on the territory. The UCK's own documents prove as much.

And as for strategos, well...

I hate stooping so low... but perhaps it's time Vojvodina joins Hungary and Kosovo joins Albania. Then we'll have a little war to ethnically cleanse Bosniak-dominated regions of southern Serbia. Then, we'll of course, have to attack Serbian-dominated territory to create an ethnically homogenous land bridge linking the Republika Bosnjacka to Bosnia and Herzegovina proper. Then they have the Republika Srpska and we can have our Republika Bosnjacka.

I'd rather not, but if people like you get to make the decisions perhaps we will see it.


Posted By: Mila
Date Posted: 09-Mar-2006 at 23:41
A little message from Sarajevo's Serbs who stayed behind in regard to your claims that Serbs were ethnically cleansed from Sarajevo, Cunc.

The president of the Serb citizens council/Citizen's movement for equality, Mirko Pejanović, stated that "Nobody, not even Bukejlović, can change or cover up the truth for the sake of current political needs. In Sarajevo, during the four year siege carried out by Karadžić's military forces and the SDS, there were deaths of Sarayliyas of all ethnicities. The people were both suffering and dying from hunger, cold, they were being killed by mortar shells... among the 12,000 killed Sarayliyas recorded in the war, at least one fourth were members of the Serb nation or had Serb ethnic ancestry. Thus, we can not talk of an extermination or genocide of Serbs, but of a responsibility of the SDS and Karadžić's military forces for the overall extermination of Sarajevo and Sarayliyas, and within that of the Serb people".

There's a careful refutation of the rest of the claims there as well: -

EDIT: Anyhow, I'm so sick of this conversation and it was so nice not to have it for so many weeks. I've made my point - the same points I've been making for a decade - and now I'm, once again, bowing out.


Posted By: Jay.
Date Posted: 11-Mar-2006 at 12:10
Alija is nothing but a war criminal just like Milosevic and Tudjman.

Samo Sloga Srbina Spasava
Only Unity Can Save the Serb

Posted By: Cunctator
Date Posted: 11-Mar-2006 at 17:12

No Jay, it isn't anywhere near as simple as that. Black and white distinctions just don't apply there. The nature of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, and the tensions and feelings the fighting reflected and gave rise to, complicates such assertions. Each of the three main leaders -- Tudjman, Milosevic and Izetbegovic -- all appealed to nationalists. (Milosevic was probably the least so committed to nationalist ideals, and far more an opportunist who manipulated such feelings.) Therefore, each was seen at the time, and for many long after, as a hero in his own land. Again, Milosevic, having lost all his wars is the least regarded as a hero.

I am sure Mila will disagree with what I have written, but so be it. Still, I will read whatever she writes (and will think about it) because it is always very interesting.

Posted By: Jay.
Date Posted: 24-Mar-2006 at 16:14
Originally posted by DayI

Alija Izzetbegovic, great man may he R I P.

Great man? He killed many people just like Milosevic and Tujman.

Posted By: Jay.
Date Posted: 24-Mar-2006 at 16:18
Originally posted by Cunctator

No Jay, it isn't anywhere near as simple as that. Black and white distinctions just don't apply there. The nature of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, and the tensions and feelings the fighting reflected and gave rise to, complicates such assertions. Each of the three main leaders -- Tudjman, Milosevic and Izetbegovic -- all appealed to nationalists. (Milosevic was probably the least so committed to nationalist ideals, and far more an opportunist who manipulated such feelings.) Therefore, each was seen at the time, and for many long after, as a hero in his own land. Again, Milosevic, having lost all his wars is the least regarded as a hero.

I am sure Mila will disagree with what I have written, but so be it. Still, I will read whatever she writes (and will think about it) because it is always very interesting.

I don't really agree. You said that each leader was seen at the time, and for many long years, a hero in his own land. Milosevic was still hated by many Serbs. Alija was still no liked but some Muslims. But, the thing that PISSES me off the most is when the media just concetrates on Milosevic and inflates numbers of deaths in the war. No one even knows Alija or Tujdman or what they did during that war.

Posted By: Cunctator
Date Posted: 25-Mar-2006 at 00:38


I agree about the need for balance in the study of what happened in BiH. I cannot recall who said it, but there is a saying that "truth is the first casualty in war." In the Balkan wars on the 1990s, that is absolutely the case. It would seem that all sides lied and misled a great deal. To me, the worst example is the coverage of events leading up to the Kosovo war and what has happened since then.

I also agree that lots of people disliked/hated/despised Milosevic and Izetbegovic. But many, perhaps the overwhelming majority in each community, did not. If I were "dictator of the world", I would never have created the Hague Tribunal and would never have tried anyone for war crimes. I would leave judgements to the governments of the former combatants (who could, if they wanted, have their own trials) and history professors.

Posted By: amar94
Date Posted: 12-Aug-2017 at 14:31
do anybody know some closer information about this pic from alija izetbegovic? (which city?, when?,....) thanks in advance


Posted By: medenaywe
Date Posted: 13-Aug-2017 at 04:18
It is tipical "road of stateman" on Balkan.It always has started with prizonBig smileActours of movie "Fail of Yugoslavia" are all dead now!Conspiracy!?!

Posted By: medenaywe
Date Posted: 13-Aug-2017 at 04:26
Bosanski Shamac,birth place.

Posted By: amar94
Date Posted: 13-Aug-2017 at 07:12
are you sure? because the car number plate is an american, and the house behind him has an average american style, such house designs doesnt exist in bosnia and hercegovina. i think that this pic was taken in america but the question: where exactly? when? has he lived in america?.....

Posted By: red clay
Date Posted: 16-Aug-2017 at 10:47
The Lic. plate may be from here in NJ. That's an older model Ford. The house is a typical condo type.

"Arguing with someone who hates you or your ideas, is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter what move you make, your opponent will walk all over the board and scramble the pieces".

Posted By: medenaywe
Date Posted: 16-Aug-2017 at 14:24
Sorry I did not understand you are looking for the name of place on photo.Check where his resident place was by plates on car.

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