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srebrenica_eng - 97371 - 19.10.2016 : Ratko Obrenović Detroit, USA - best (1)

Politics of Genocide: Bosna i Hercegovina

From the book "Politics of Genocide" author dr. Edward S. Herman

During the civil wars that accompanied the dismantling of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the United States, Germany, NATO, and the European Union (EU) all sided with the national groups seeking to break away from the unified federal state, and opposed the national group that held out for the longest time to preserve it, the Serbs; this placed the Western bloc solidly behind the Croats and Slovenes, then the Bosnian Muslims, and finally the Kosovo Albanians. The wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1995) and Kosovo (1998-1999) received enormous attention in the United States and in the West generally, helped along by the creation of the ICTY and its determined service on behalf of NATO and its Yugoslavian clients (the Bosnian Muslims, Croatians, and Kosovo Albanians) and in opposition to the demonized Serbs. Because the wars were supported and even carried out by the NATO powers, and there was significant ethnic cleansing and ethnic killings, it goes almost without saying that not only "ethnic cleansing" but also the words "massacre" and "genocide" were quickly applied to Serb operations. The remarkable inflation of claims of Serb evil and violence (and playing down of NATO clients' violence), with fabricated "concentration camps, " "rape camps," and similar Nazi- and Auschwitz-like analogies, caused the onetime head of the U. S. intelligence section in Sarajevo, Lieutenant Colonel John Sray, to go public even before the end of the wars in Bosnia with his claim that "America has not been so pathetically deceived since Robert McNamara helped to micromanage and escalate the Vietnam War. Popular perceptions pertaining to the Bosnian Muslim government have been forged by a prolific propaganda machine. A strange combination of three major spin doctors, including public relations (PR) firms in the employ of the Bosniacs, media pundits, and sympathetic elements of the US State Department, have managed to manipulate illusions to further Muslim goals."

The Bosnian government started claims of 200,000 deaths by early 1993, only some nine months after the start of these civil wars, and figures such as this and 250,000 (and sometimes higher) quickly became institutionalized in the establishment media, helping to push the "genocide" claim and to justify calls for foreign intervention to protect the Bosnian Muslims. But this claim came to grief in 2005-2007, when two different studies, the first sponsored by the ICTY itself and the other by the Norwegian government, concluded that the Bosnian conflicts had resulted in combined deaths on the order of one hundred thousand for all sides, including both civilians and military victims. Given their sources, these findings could not easily be ridiculed as "holocaust denial" or "revisionism, " but they were treated in very low-key in the Western media, only slowly displacing the much higher 200,000- 250,000 figures and with no analyses and explanations of the earlier gullible acceptance of the implausible and unverified Bosnian Muslim propaganda claims.

Of course, the "Srebrenica massacre" of July 1995 has been cited heavily and repeated endlessly, and with the greatest indignation, to demonstrate that "genocide" actually had taken place in Bosnia. This was helped along by the fact that both the ICTY Trial Judgment and decision on Appeal in the case of the Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic argued that genocide could occur in one "small geographical area" (the town of Srebrenica), even one where the villainous party had taken the trouble to bus all the women, children, and the elderly men to safety - that is, incontestably had not killed any but "Bosnian Muslim men of military age. "90 As Michael Mandel observes, "Genocide was transformed in this judgment, not into mere ethnic cleansing but into the killing of potential fighters during a war for military advantage. In the Krstic case, the concept of genocide, except as pure propaganda, lost all contact with the Holocaust- a program for the extermination of a whole people." The case for eight thousand "men and boys" being executed at Srebrenica is extremely thin, resting in good part on the difficulty in separating executions from battle killings (of which there were many in the July 1995 Srebrenica actions), partly on highly contestable witness evidence (much under coercive plea bargaining), and an interest and passionate will-to-believe the worst of the thoroughly demonized Serbs. A videotape of Bosnian Serbs killing six Bosnian Muslim men, far from Srebrenica and of dubious provenance, was read even by respectable Western analysts as serious evidence that eight thousand had been executed at Srebrenica.

But even if an event such as the Srebrenica massacre occurred exactly as accepted by the Western establishment, we are still faced with the anomaly that the total number of deaths in Bosnia (one hundred thousand on all sides), and even more so the number of Bosnian Muslim civilian deaths during the four years of "genocide" (some thirty-three thousand in all), pales into relative insignificance when compared to the deaths suffered by Iraqi civilians during the thirteen-year-long "sanctions of mass destruction" and the now seven-year-long U. S. invasion and occupation. Given the 800, 000 and one million death estimates for the two Iraqi cases, deaths there exceeded the Bosnian Muslim civilian death toll by 24-to-1 and 30-to-1, respectively. However, as Table 1 shows, the use of the word "genocide" was greater for Bosnia by six times for the sanction-deaths and thirty-seven times for deaths during the invasion-occupation. The anomaly of disparate word usage (and differential attention and indignation) can only be explained by the adaptation of the media and intellectuals to the propaganda and public relations needs of the Western political establishment. They are very attentive to and passionate about Nefarious, hence "genocidal, " bloodbaths; but they are exceedingly quiet over those that are Constructive and display "complexities."

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