The European Parliament has reached a decision on January 15, 2009, that the 11th of July each year will be observed across the EU as the Srebrenica Genocide Remembrance Day.
Of course the Srebrenica case was a tragedy, as was the entire Bosnian war, as is every war. There are many open questions regarding Srebrenica, that are somehow swept under the rug. Not to minimize the extent of the tragedy, but the Western media play with the figures just like that – five thousand, seven thousand, eight thousand Bosnian Muslims, and yet a significantly lesser number of bodies has actually been found – that number is in the hundreds, not thousands. The rest of the bodies would have been found by now, as I am sure every inch of Bosnia and Herzegovina was searched. Of all the victims, there were no women and girls – they were safely escorted by buses to Bosnian Muslim territory. Only men and boys were executed at close range, mostly shot in the back of the head – but most of them, even the 16 year olds, were wearing combat clothes of the Bosnian Muslim Army. Some had managed to throw away their military clothes and quickly change to civilian pants and shirts, but they still had the army underwear and socks on. So, not all of them were civilians. Some victims of Srebrenica that were counted as dead, appeared and voted in the Bosnian elections the following year. But, okay, the world has accepted that a very bad thing has happened in Srebrenica. A horrible thing. Serbia has accepted it too, and President Boris Tadic – who has nothing to do with what President Slobodan Milosevic has done – has apologized and has visited Srebrenica.
Even the Bosnian Serbs accept the guilt for Srebrenica, but they ask – why aren’t their victims remembered as well? There was no apology from the Bosnian Muslim or the Bosnian Croat side regarding, for example, the slain Serbs in the Kravice village on Orthodox Christmas, or the murder of several hundred young Yugoslav Army troops in Tuzla, as their convoy was clearly withdrawing… or for thousands of Bosnian Serb civilians that were killed in the Bosnian war. One more thing strikes me as odd. How come the monument to the Srebrenica victims is in Arabic? A couple of years ago I saw a photo of it. President Bill Clinton was standing there, and the inscriptions on the monument were in Arabic. Since when have Bosnian Muslims become Arabs? Since when is their language Arabic? These people are caucasian, white Europeans, and until Bosnian Muslim President Alija Izetbegovic decided that all of Bosnia and Herzegovina would be islamic, these people spoke Serbo-Croatian and acted in a totally European way. Now they are even forbidden to have Santa Claus in Sarajevo. Needless to say, the first building that was renovated in Sarajevo after the war was the Cultural Center of Iran. Turkey was more than happy to finance the renovation of the old, historic Mostar Bridge. I remember that the BBC accused the Serbs – whom else – of destroying the bridge. Only later was it clear that the Bosnian Croats had done it, and even bragged about it.
The world “forgets” what happened in Srebrenica prior to the Bosnian Serb onslaught… The notorious Bosnian Muslim murderer, Naser Oric, was allowed to exit the allegedly sealed-off town of Srebrenica and murder Serbian civilians on Orthodox Christmas, in the neighboring villages. During the war, Bosnian Muslims have killed about 4,000 Bosnian Serb civilians in an around Srebrenica. They did not bus the women and girls out to safety. They killed them all, indiscriminatly. When the Bosnian Serb Army had finally had enough, it decided to go after Oric and his blood-thirsty group. It over-ran the town, the Dutch lightly-armed UN troops were unable to stop it, and the Bosnian Serbs had gathered all the men they could, and shot them. But, as bad as that was, at least they had the decency to let all the females go, which is what the Bosnian Muslims did not do. So, when you look at the whole Srebrenica picture – the before and after, the cause and the consequence, one with just half a brain realizes that the Srebrenica issue is not that simple to grasp. I am not trying to justify what had happened. It is disgusting and it saddens me and revolts me deeply. I am just saying that things in the Balkans are not so simple, and can’t be viewed as black or white. And on countless occasions, we have seen Western politicians and media portray the things exactly that – as black and white. Well, it simply is not so. There is a large gray area in between, ladies and gentlemen. A large gray area.
Why doesn’t the EU remember the 700,000 murdered Serbs at Jasenovac in the Nazi state of Croatia in World War Two? The EU does observe the Holocaust – although what Hitler has done deserves much more observance, and yet it forgets that the second and third largest groups of peoples that suffered the most in World War Two were Russians and Serbs. But, the savagery and the cruelty of the Croatian Nazis or the Ustashe, had surpassed even that of the German Nazis themselves. These were the most horrifying crimes Europe and the world have seen in modern recorded history, and the most massive ever recorded in the former Yugoslavia. But no, we will be silent about that, won’t we? Because the thing happened 60 years ago and because the victims were primarily Serbs. And these days, it is not popular for Serbs to be victims. Global punch-bags, yes. Victims – God forbid.
There were about 96,000 victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 1992-1995 civil war, on all the three sides. Not 250,000 or 300,000 or half a million or a million, as the Western politicians had at first said (and later went silent and reduced the figure). In the same manner, Western politicians are inflating the number of the Srebrenica victims. Each time I see a news report, I see the number inflated by a thousand or two, and without any evidence of that claim. Whether the mainly hypocritical Western countries are doing it to appease Muslim countries from whom they depend on the oil, whether they are just continuing the insane collective punishment of all and every Serb, I do not know.
The real number of victims in the entire Bosnian war is close to 100,000. That is a lot, but nowhere near the Rwanda civil war death tall of 800,000 in a shorter time period than the Bosnian war. Why doesn’t the world hold a Memorial Day for Rwanda? Remembering just Srebrenica would be remembering only one war and one incident, and the victims of one side only – the Bosnian Muslim victims. That would be unfair to the Bosnian Serb or the Bosnian Croat victims. Tears know of no nationality, no borders, no religion, no politics. A mother is a mother in every country, in every religion. Does this mean that Serbian or Croatian victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina do not matter?
All the victims of the Bosnian war should be remembered across Bosnia and Herzegovina alone. That would be sufficient. There is no need for the EU to observe the Bosnian tragedy on a pan-European scale. After all, there is not a single European country that has not committed attrocities at one time or another, and we do not remember that today. Why doesn’t the EU observe the victims of the Crusade Wars, the Collonial Conquests (for example Holland is responsible for killing thousands in Indonesia, and what about the British, the French, the Spanish), etc.
Remembering just Srebrenica alone will not bring Bosnia and Herzegovina and its peoples to healing their wounds. It would mean that all the other victims are forgotten and irrelevant. It would be a good way for many EU countries to wash off their own guilt and have a clearer conscience (at least that’s what they think), but it would not be a true gesture of peace and reconciliation.