Reply to Stela Rajic:

Stela Rajic and her family were clearly victims of  serious abuse and injustice, but this experience has crippled her ability to look at the issues with any objectivity. She says that “nothing is black and white,” and that “all sides did atrocities,” but somehow the atrocities of her side get belittled—she tells us that the Bosnian Muslims perpetrated no historical massacre (like Srebrenica or Jasenovac), and that comparing Arkan and Naser Oric is “ridiculous”  because Oric was simply “a local commander of Bosnian army, defending Srebrenica, as of now indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal.” She ignores the Bosnian Muslim (and Izetbegovic) participation in World War II with the lNazis, and her notion that Oric was just “defending Srebrenica” is apologetics of the worst sort—he bragged to John Pomfret (Washington Post) and Bill Schiller (National Post) about having slaughtered Serb civilians in nearby villages and even showed them videos of heads chapped off and  bodies and devastated buildings. She doesn’t mention the importation of  4,000 Mujahadeen into Bosnia and their murderous behavior (along Oric lines, with regular beheadings). She doesn’t like General Mackenzie’s even-handed view of the crimes in Bosnia, so she indulges in a little smear about his “alleged” involvement in a whore-house (Sonja’s motel).


My writings on the Balkans  have been designed to contest a party line that I believe deeply flawed and dangerous. I have never claimed that the Serbs were sweet innocents and did not commit serious crimes, and I have never denied that they carried out executions near Srebrenica in July 1995. But I have contested the party line that they were the sole villains, that they executed 8,000 in July, and that justice has been served in the assessments of  villains/victims and their pursuit in the media and by the Yugoslavia Tribunal, which I regard as a completely politicized body serving as an arm of the NATO powers. As I explained in “The Politics of the Srebrenica Massacre,” the huge mobilization of memorials and coerced confessions of the past month will serve neither justice nor reconciliation. They have an unappetizing political function, that includes, among other aims, putting supposed “humanitarian intervention” in a good light. A political construction of the Srebrenica massacre serves that end. 

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