Saturday, July 16, 2005

Appalling Barbarity

Natasha Kandic, a human rights activist from
Serbia, recently released a videotape of a gruesome execution of six Muslim men in Srebrenica. While there is no doubt that this horrific footage shocked the whole world, it has not been able to produce a significant outcry in Serbia, let alone among the Serb population in Republika Srpska. This is evident from the fact that more than 50% of the Serbian population still believes that there was no massacre in Srebrenica. The figure is presumably significantly higher among the Serbs in Bosnia. The Serbs’ immediate reaction to this abhorrent atrocity was thus denial. Many Serbs believe that the videotape had been tempered with for the sole purpose of dehumanizing the Serbs. Some Serbs assign the blame only to the individuals who perpetrated this odious act and refuse to admit that the Srebrenica massacre was planned in advance by Mladic and Karadzic. Noteworthy is the fact that thousands of Serb soldiers participated in the attack on Srebrenica, many of whom also took part in the subsequent execution of 8000 Muslim men.

Serbs frequently assert that all sides in the Bosnian war committed war crimes. None the less, evidence gathered by respected fact-finding organizations such as the Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch divulges that only the Serb side committed systematic atrocities, the principal objective of which was to create a “Greater Serbia”. Furthermore, only the Serb side (and in some instances the Croats) committed abhorrent atrocities against civilians, as this videotape proves. Granted, even the Muslim side killed civilians but seldom deliberately and never in such a barbaric and cold-blooded manner.

Most people who have seen this videotape become very upset. One cannot but wonder: are human beings really capable of perpetrating such heinous atrocities? How do you execute someone who is defenseless, powerless and innocent and then continue with life as if nothing has happened? How do you live with yourself? Do the terrifying looks on the faces of these poor men haunt you in your sleep? It is beyond my comprehension that a human being can commit such egregious war crimes. For me, the only word that properly explains the perpetrators of this crime is: monsters. To call them animals would be an insult to animals. Animals do not torture their prey!

What is the most suitable punishment for these monsters? Capital punishment is too lenient. I have a much better suggestion: life time imprisonment without the possibility of parole where they are forced to watch this videotape over and over again and then face the family members of their victims. But then again, monsters do not have feelings; they are unable to feel empathy and compassion for other people and they never show repentance. As long as these savages are at large, there will never be justice in Bosnia let alone reconciliation. All war criminals must be severely punished if we want to achieve a long-lasting peace.

In the meantime, let us hope that the perpetrators of this horrible war crime will receive severe punishments and that the facial expressions of their victims will forever haunt them in their sleep.

Download the video here:

Warning: Viewer's discretion is advised!

Dedicated to the victims of this appalling barbarity! May your soul rest in peace.

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