Monday, July 11, 2005

Commemorating Srebrenica

Dedicated to the innocent people who were killed in the Srebrenica massacre!

On 11 July 1995 an unfathomable tragedy was taking place in Srebrenica before the eyes of the whole world. After three years of occupation and intensive bombardment, Bosnian Serbs finally entered Srebrenica. What followed in the ensuing days constituted one of the most egregious atrocities in Europe since World War II. Approximately 8000 Muslim men were killed by Bosnian Serb forces despite the fact that Srebrenica had been designated a “safe area” by the U.N. itself. Simply put, this meant that the U.N. was supposed to protect the people of Srebrenica if they came under attack. They failed to keep their promise.

Ten years have passed since the massacre in Srebrenica. Paradoxically, according to some estimates more than 50% of the Serbian population still believes that there was no massacre in Srebrenica. Needless to say, this figure is probably much higher among the Serb population in Bosnia. Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, the ones held most accountable for the massacre in Srebrenica, are considered heroes in the Serb Republic of Bosnia. Still at large, Mladic and Karadzic are believed to be hiding in Serbia. Why provide shelter for notorious war criminals guilty of having committed heinous war crimes?

Recently, a video tape was released the importance of which cannot be overstressed. The video tape shows a gruesome execution of several Muslim men. These men are taken to an execution site and subsequently shot point-blank. The Bosnian Serb soldiers who committed this abhorrent atrocity appeared completely unaffected by their barbaric war crime. One cannot but wonder: are human beings truly capable of perpetrating such enormities? I strongly doubt it. In my opinion, only a monster can kill a defenseless civilian in cold blood. I sincerely hope that these monsters who committed this despicable atrocity will be severely punished.

This videotape has been shown in Serbia but has not been able to significantly sway the public opinion. Many Serbians still contend that the video has been tampered with and manipulated in some way. What does it take for someone to admit the truth? How can we talk about justice in Bosnia when those responsible for the massacre in Srebrenica are still at large? Moreover, those Bosnian Serbs who have been caught and extradited to the War Tribunal in The Hague have received such lenient sentences that speaking of justice is sheer nonsense. Is it reasonable to sentence someone who has been found guilty of killing many innocent people to six years in prison?

As long as war criminals remain at large there will be no justice. I am not referring to Karadzic and Mladic only even though they masterminded everything. All Bosnian Serbs who participated in the massacre in Srebrenica must be punished. Furthermore, Bosnian Serbs must apologize not only for the massacre in Srebrenica but for committing atrocities throughout Bosnia. Only then, I repeat only then will it be possible to start anew.

This is dedicated to the people of Srebrenica who were brutally massacred by Bosnian Serb forces. May their souls rest in peace because they will never be forgotten!

Recommended reading:

-Endgame: The Betrayal and Fall of Srebrenica, Europe's Worst Massacre Since World War II by David Rohde.

- Srebrenica : Record of a War Crime by Jan Willem Honig and Norbert Both.

- Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West by David Rieff.

- Love Thy Neighbor : A Story of War by Peter Maass.

See the video of the abominable execution of the young men here:

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