Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bosnia versus Serbia at The Hague

The ongoing trial between Bosnia and Serbia at The Hague is a trial of the century, the importance of which cannot be overstressed. This is simultaneously a trial between the truth on one hand and disinformation and propaganda on the other hand. Bosnia is charging Serbia with genocide and aggression. For justice to be served, it is imperative that Bosnia wins this trial and that the Serbian government be convicted of genocide. Furthermore, the Serbian government must pay restitutions to the survivors of the Serbian aggression. The symbolic value of the outcome of this trial is perhaps even more important than coercing the Serbian government to pay the damages. If Bosnia wins then the Serbian people will have to admit the truth and face the irrefutable fact that their government was aiding and abetting the Bosnian Serb army at the time of the war in Bosnia. If Bosnia wins then hopefully more than 50 percent of the Serbian population will finally come to terms with the fact that the Srebrenica massacre did take place in which approximately 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed. According to some estimates, more than 50 percent of the Serbian people still deny that there was a massacre in Srebrenica. If Bosnia wins, hopefully Ratko Mladic will no longer be considered a war hero among many Serbians. If Bosnia wins then Serbian schoolbooks will hopefully contain the truth about the war in Bosnia and Serbia’s role in the Bosnian carnage. If Serbia is convicted of genocide then the Serbian people will once and for all have to confront their past.

I hate to think what might happen should the verdict turn out to be in favor of Serbia. If Serbia is acquitted, then Serbian nationalists and certain left revisionists in the West will win a crucial battle and will certainly do everything in their power to spread even more misinformation and propaganda about the war in Bosnia. They will seek to rewrite the history. Let us hope that this will never happen. Needless to say, this would also be a huge setback for the survivors of the Bosnian war who suffered at the hands of the Serbian aggressor. The acquittal of Serbia would be an unfathomable injustice to the Bosnian people. The least that the people of Bosnia deserve is justice and justice cannot be done without the truth. Serbia must accept responsibility for the war in Bosnia and more importantly acknowledge its pivotal role in enabling the genocide of Bosnian Muslims.

Subsequently, the importance of this trial cannot be exaggerated. The Bosnian government has already presented the court in the Hague with some 32,000 pages of evidence material more than sufficient to prove Serbia’s role in the war in Bosnia. The evidence is abundant and incontrovertible containing video and audio documents that implicate the Serbian government in the Bosnian war. The defense has so far failed severely to refute any of the claims presented by the Bosnian government. I am therefore optimistic that justice will be done.