What really happened in Srebrenica

The Hague Tribunal has stretched the definition of genocide to such extent that the term loses the terrible dignity of describing the most gruesome crimes of extermination of the entire population. In Srebrenica, during the Bosnian war between 1992 and 1995, roughly one fifth of the region’s entire Muslim population perished in fighting or by other means. To claim that an area in which some twenty percent of the allegedly targeted population lost their lives has been subjected to genocide is absurd. To its designers and perpetrators, this accusation serves the legal purpose of denying the legitimacy to the Republika Srpska, and the political and propaganda purpose of demanding its abolition. 

Diana Johnstone says that everyone who “retains a capacity for critical thinking should regard the lavish public breast-beating over ‘Srebrenica’ with certain skepticism.” Her warning is apt: there is the regrettable tendency in Western media reporting and analysis to look at events in the eastern Bosnian enclave in isolation from the time continuum. 

“What happened in July of 1995 is a matter of record. Srebrenica fell rather unexpectedly to Bosnian Serbian military forces,” explained Dr. Srdja Trifkovic in his interview for CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa.

“A considerable number of Bosnian Muslims of military age, most of them armed, retreated in the direction of Tuzla. Some got through; some were killed while fighting their way; and some were taken prisoner and executed by the Bosnian Serb army. Between seven and eight thousand Bosnian Muslims departed Srebernica in the hope of reaching the town of Tuzla. There is no conclusive research to tell us how many of them survived, how many of them were killed in the fighting while trying to reach Tuzla, and how many were executed by the Bosnian Serb forces after being taken prisoner.” 

The much hallowed number of 8.000 still a matter of dispute 

In Potocari, the village just outside Srebrenica, where the monument to the victims of the alleged massacre is situated, you can see the names of over 8.000 Muslim men. “That list covers not only Srebrenica, but seven or eight other municipalities in the region,” says Trifkovic.

“The Muslims themselves, when erecting the shrine to the victims of the events of Srebrenica, couldn’t come up with the magic number of Eight Thousand – short of resorting to the inclusion in that total of people from many surrounding municipalities, which had nothing to do with Srebrenica itself and most of them military victims of fighting. This in itself indicates that the myth of mass executions simply does not stand scrutiny.” 

What did Muslims do to Serbs? 

One cannot understand what happened in Srebrenica in July of 1995 – Trifkovic insists – without looking at the events of previous three years, between late spring of 1992 and summer of 1995. During that period Srebrenica was an armed camp used by the Muslim forces to terrorize the surrounding Serbian communities and kill hundreds of unarmed civilians. That facts are not denied even by the ICTY at The Hague.

The Memorial Centre in Bratunac, the Serbian town not far from Srebrenica, has hundreds of photographs of Serbs killed by the Muslims during that period. All of them were killed by the armed Muslims belonging to Naser Oric’s forces coming out of Srebrenica.

“A particularly gruesome crime happened on Serbian Orthodox Christmas in January 1993 in the villages along the Drina valley, such as Kravice, when children as young as 5 and 6, as well as elderly women of 80, were killed by having their throats split or having clubs smashed into their heads,” explains Trifkovic. 

“At the time of the fall of Srebrenica there was considerable bitterness in the Bosnian Serb ranks against the Muslims in the town. On the one hand Srebrenica was the headquarters of the 28th Muslim division and the hotbed of terrorism that was the springboard for offensives against the surrounding Serbian communities in which hundreds of Serb civilians were gruesomely slaughtered. At the same time Srebrenica was supposedly immune from attack because it was a designated UN ‘safe heaven’.” 

“The record of Srebrenica as described by the UN Tribunal at The Hague is neither legally nor logically coherent,” according to Trifkovic:

“Srebrenica was proclaimed to be a genocide in the trial of Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic, on the strength of the claim that even the deportation of children, women and elderly men from Srebrenica was an act of genocide. Even though there were no written or oral orders to the effect that a genocidal intent was existent and even though no such orders actually exist.”

Muslims of Srebrenica sacrificed by Izetbegovic and Clinton

In his interview for the Sarajevo newspaper Dani, Hakija Meholjic, president of the SDA (Stranka demokratske akcije) for Srebrenica, declared in June 1998 that Bosnian Muslim president Alija Izetbegovic had told a delegation from Srebrenica something very interesting four years previously: “I was told by Clinton in April 1993 – Izetbegovic said – that if the Chetniks [Bosnian Serb forces]  enter Srebrenica and carry out a slaughter of 5,000 Muslims, then there will be a Western military intervention.”

“I wrote an article exploring this same possibility in late July 1995,” says Trifkovic. “It was headlined ‘Is Izetbegovic scarifying a pawn in order to win the game?’ although Miholjic’s account was not yet known at that time.”

“When something so unexpected and apparently illogical happens as the sudden fall of Srebrenica, we should immediately ask the question who gains – cui bono. It is obvious that in case of Srebrenica it was the Muslim side. Miholjici’s account offers the explanation for what is otherwise inexplicable. For over three years Srebrenica has resisted Serbian attacks. It was saved in the nick of time from falling to the Serbs in spring of 1993 when the French General Philippe Morillon rode into Srebrenica in an armed personal carrier. And yet in the summer of 1995 it suddenly falls almost without any fighting.” 

The quote by Miholjic is a serious indictment against Izetbegovic, says Trifkovic, but it is not surprising.

“Why should we be surprised that Izetbegovic was prepared to sacrifice Srebrenica if we know, as we do by know, that he staged a number of the so-called massacres in Sarajevo, including the famous ‘breadline massacre’ in the spring of 1992 and the Markale market explosion in February of 1994. These were stage-managed stunts done by Muslims themselves in order to create suitable images of blood and gore that would be presented around the world as a result of Serbian atrocities, and thus contribute to political decisions favourable to the Muslims.”

“Such cynical exploitation of human life for political purposes is the hallmark of the Muslims in general, notably in the West Bank and Gaza, and of the Bosnian Muslim strategy in the 1990s in particular,” says Trifkovic. 

“Both NATO and the Bosnian Muslim leadership needed Srebrenica – not only for the bombing of the Bosnian Serbs in August of 1995, not only for the subsequent support to the combined Muslim – Croatian offensive against the Serbs, but also for the continuous claim that the Bosnian Serb Republic [Republika Srpska] is a flawed entity that does not deserve to exist.”

Manipulation of reality

Srebrenica will be used as an anti-Serb trump card for a log time to come, Trifkovic warns:

“In the record of the wars of the Yugoslav disintegration there are several similar myths which need to be debunked, including the so-called Racak massacre in January of 1999. It was cooked up by the KLA Albanian terrorists, aided and abated by the U.S. ‘diplomat’ William Walker. The events in Vukovar in the fall of 1991 are in the same league. These are supposed to atone for, and even eliminate any collective memory of the real genocide committed by the Croatian Ustase against the Serbs during World War Two between 1941 and 1945.”

“Srebernica” is an ongoing brazen manipulation of reality in order to obtain certain short-term political goals. That manipulation is still continuing, 14 years after the event. This only testifies to the lack of ability of the Western media class to think critically and to analyze Balkan events objectively, concluded Trifkovic.

Dr. Srdja Trifkovic is historian, author and former foreign affairs editor of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture — http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/?cat=4  and  www.trifkovic.mysite.com