Now isn’t this interesting. Herman protests that just because he rejects the “standard narrative” on Srebrenica doesn’t mean he supports genocide (denial is a form of support, as we all understand vis-a-vis Holocaust revisionism), yet he assumes that because I do accept the overwhelming evidence in support of the Srebrenica massacre, this means that I am engaging in “apologetics for war.” It means nothing of the sort. I opposed US military intervention in the Balkans. But that opposition cannot be predicated on genocide denial or bogus moral equivalism or (worse) simply flipping reality on its head and portraying the Serbs as the victims and Bosnian Muslims as the aggressors.
I never claimed the Bosnian Muslim leadership were paragons of virtue who never told a lie. But I find it amusing that Herman is convinced by the names and addresses of Serb victims supplied by the Belgrade ambassador, but not those of the 7,800 men documented as missing from Srebrenica by the ICMP (which Herman sarcastically calls “Bosnian Muslim truth-tellers” despite the fact that they aren’t Bosnian Muslims).
Herman “implies” the Sarajevo market bombings were black propaganda jobs by putting the allegation in the mouths of others rather than making the claim himself, and it is telling that these are overwhelmingly US government and military sources at a time when Washington was seeking an excuse not to intervene (as evidenced by the supposed necessity of the Bosnians to resort to such dirty tricks).
Funny that Herman turns to “NATO-war-supportive” IWPR to discredit Momir Nikolic’s testimony. But IWPR seems to be the only outlet which (to their
credit) reported on his perjury, which shows they have more integrity than those who cite them in this instance.
There are plenty of other examples we could turn to. Nikolic’s co-defendant Dragan Obrenovic states that he received orders that the Srebrenica prisoners were to be shot, and describes the slaughter in intimate detail in his official confession. He notes at one point that a commander “was angry as the last group of prisoners were not taken to the dam to be executed, but were executed right there at the school and that his men (the 6th Battalion Rear Services) had to clean up the mess at the school, including the removal of the bodies to the dam.” Bosnian Serb Army infantryman Drazen Erdemovic (who first volunteered his guilt to foreign journalists and pleaded for their help in fleeing Bosnia) tearfully told the court of his participation in the killing. “I had to do it. If I’d refused, I would have been killed together with the victims.” There are no allegations of perjury in these cases.
These accounts are also backed up by forensic evidence: tribunal investigators exhumed hundreds of blindfolds and ligatures along with the bodies, and in many cases hands were still tied behind the back. Foresnic specialists also found evidence of reburial, such as parts of the same body in separate graves. If this is all fabricated, its a pretty vast conspiracy.
The post-Yugoslav wars have been full of ghastly atrocities. Srebrenica was one which clearly crossed the line to genocide. I have never heard leftists contest that the 1981 El Mozote massacre in El Salvador (1,000 dead, by high estimates) or even the 1997 Acteal massacre in Chiapas (45 dead) were acts of genocide. But 8,000 dead at Srebrenica is dismissed as imperialist propaganda. We excoriated the Reagan administration for denying the massacre at El Mozote, but now engage in precisely the same behavior vis-a-vis Srebrenica. So much for moral consistency.
Croatia’s 1995 “cleansing” of 200,000 Serbs from the Krajina was a massive war crime, but was it genocide? Nobody ever claimed 8,000 were killed. If Herman thinks the “cleasning” of Krajina was genocide, I wonder if he will concede the same to the forcible expulsion of more than twice as many Muslims from Serb-controlled Bosnia between 1992 and 1995, or that of 800,000 Kosovar Albanians by Serbian forces in 1999? I have never denied the genocide of Serbs by the Croatian regime (not the Bosnian Muslims) in World War II, but it is rather beside the point here.