“Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed” – Finally a Critical Documentary about Srebrenica Tragedy

September 25, 2011

“If you want to use a word “genocide” (for Srebrenica) – then OK, but we need a new word to replace the old “genocide” word…” (Noam Chomsky)

 Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed a Norwegian documentary film directed by Ola Flyum and David Hebditch is now free to watch in Youtube. The film approaches Srebrenica tragedy from a bit different viewpoint than usual in Western mainstream media. Norwegian documentary about Srebrenica challenges generally accepted narratives about the 1995 massacre giving light to the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina from non-biased point of view. It also connects Srebrenica into a wider context that is often ignored by the Western media, showing the crimes committed by the Bosnian army against Serbian civilians and villages in the area. These atrocities may also partly explain why some war crimes happened later in Srebrenica.

Most of the Muslims from Srebrenica were killed while their forces (28th Muslim Division cca 8,000 men) tried to brake-trough from Srebrenica trough 40 miles of Serb-held territory to Muslim-held territory.

Todays picture about Srebrenica is still heavily manipulated. To me its clear that thousands of Muslims were killed in Srebrenica once this place fell to Bosnian Serbian forces as well that some of them were innocent civilians. It is clear too that thousand(s) Serbs were butchered around Srebrenica during Bosnian War 1992-95 e.g. by the 3rd Corps 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade lead by Bosnian Muslim leader of Srebrenica forces Naser Oric. To the Brigade mentioned were subordinated foreign Muslim fighters, also known as mujahedeen, who came from Islamic countries and it operated from “demilitarized safe area of Srebrenica”. This created a degree of hatred that was quite extraordinary in the region.” One possible scenario is that when the Bosnian Serb Army responded to this terror and atrocities the remaining fighters attempted to escape towards Tuzla, 38 miles to the north. Many were killed while fighting their way through; and many others were taken prisoner and executed by the Serb troops. More in my earlier article Srebrenica again – Hoax or Massacre?.

The documentary film “Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed” can be watched by clicking pictures left or from Here!

 

 

 

Reactions

In April of this year Norwegian State Television (NRK) broadcast film “Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed” followed by the equally amazing “Sarajevo Ricochet.” Swedish State Television soon followed. Bosniaks in Scandinavia have voiced outrage over the airing of documentary. Freedom of speech in Sweden too is now seriously threatened by the intimidating pressure on Swedish Broadcasting Service (SVT) , especially from some extremist circles within the Bosnian Muslim community in Sweden. The Danish public broadcasters initially expressed an interest in purchasing airing rights to one of the two documentaries. After witnessing the uproar in Norway and Sweden, they amended their request, having now decided to broadcast both.

Some highlights

“5.000 Muslim lives for air strikes” (President Clinton)

  • The film claims that at that first short meeting Clinton suggested to Izetbegovic another holocaust – sacrifice of 5000 Muslims in Srebrenica and that Izetbegovic shared that sinister plan with Srebrenica defenders delegation. So the men of Srebrenica were sacrificed by their own government for a political objective. The actual motive behind these background machinations might be besides Nato intervention also a land-swap deal acceptable to all sides (Bosniaks/Serbs/Croats).
  • The western mainstream media has demonized Serbs and their action in Bosnia and later also in Kosovo. The atrocities implemented by others have widely ignored. At the start of the 1992-95 Bosnia war, Muslims and Croats were allies against the Bosnian Serb forces, but they fought each other briefly when Croat forces tried to create a separate Croat autonomy in northeastern Bosnia. Now also Bosnian Muslims themselves expose what really happened before, during and after what is been called `the European genocide of our time`.
  • Among numerous of the film’s revelations is the fact that the humanitarian convoys which the Serbs were allowing to pass to Srebrenica were being intercepted by Bosnian “hero” Naser Oric and sold on the black market.
  • Interesting detail is also that Mladic had 1600 armed locals but he didn’t trust them since they lacked discipline and would use every opportunity to revenge warlord Oric’s attacks on the villages.

My  conclusion

With this film the prevailing black-and-white version (perpetuated by the international community and by Bosnian officialdom) of the Bosnian is questionable. General Mladic arrest and theatre in Hague will bring Srebrenica again front of a stage and more facts what really happened in Srebrenica and before tragedy will came public when both the prosecutor and defense have made their case. This may have its effect in already fragmented and fragile Bosnia-Herzegovina. Probably confrontation between three ethic groups will increase and this could lead to the final dissolution of BiH.

More background information and documents

Srebrenica Historical Project

The fundamental objective of project is to rise above politics and propaganda and to create a contextual record of the Srebrenica tragedy of July 1995 which can serve as a corrective to the distortions of the last decade and a half and as a genuine contribution to future peace.

And here is a small selection of articles, documents and analysis, which are also telling the other side of story:

Srebrenica: The Star Witness by Prof Edward S. Herman

Was Srebrenica a Hoax? Eye-Witness Account of a Former United Nations Military Observer in Bosnia by Carlos Martins Branco

Media Disinformation Frenzy on Srebrenica: The Lynching of Ratko Mladic by Nebojsa Malic

Media Fabrications: The “Srebrenica Massacre” is a Western Myth

What Happened at Srebrenica? Examination of the Forensic Evidence by Stephen Karganovic

Using War as an Excuse for More War: Srebrenica Revisited by Diana Johnstone

The Srebrenica Massacre: Evidence, Context, Politics by Edward S. Herman and Phillip Corwin

NIOD (Netherlands Institute for War Documentation)/Srebrenica investigationreport

INTELWIRE.com has published over 2.000 pages of of declassified U.S. State Dept. cablesabout Srebrenica

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P.S:

Fenris film has produced also other interesting documentary movie “Sarajevo Ricochet – The US Green Light” which is is the untold story of how the USA allowed Bosnia to cooperate with al-Qaeda, smuggle arms from Iran and launder terror-money during the brutal civil war from 1992 – 95. Osama bin Laden exploited the conflict for his global jihad – and the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers. It reveals a secret money trail that funded mujihadeen training camps. Co-operation of USA and Iran let Osama bin Laden recruit, import and finance 4.000 mujihadeen fighters into the heart of Europe and Bosnia Herzegovina. In 1996, many of these `holy warriors` moved on to fight in Kosovo, and some became al-Qaeda sponsored terrorists who attacked targets throughout the Western world – including the 9/11 assault on America.

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After 9/11 – The Bottom Line

September 19, 2011

While soap opera on the WTC square is over again it might be time to make a cool assessment – what is the bottom line behind correct statements, condolences and sentimental sob stories. It is understandable that sc human interest aspect gets the main role in headlines, it as well conspiracy theories are good marketing tool for media. The other perspective can be found by studying the main economical and political beneficiaries due to 9/11 and after that.

The main beneficiary last ten years has been U.S. Military-industrial complex. War on terror is a lucrative business and the extra profit can be made through complicated and nontransparent nature of money flow (on August 2011 U.S Congress investigation reported USD 30 billion waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan). Anyway quite reliable estimations suggest that cost of War to the United States in Afghanistan have been around USD 450 bn and in Iraq USD 800 bn so these these two total USD 1.250 bn (it is 1,250,000,000,000 bucks) only in US, the US allies increase minor part the investment mentioned. The effect of 9/11 to turnover of military industrial complex is huge: spending after 9/11 is 3 to 4 times compared pre 9/11 spending, it is more than spent at height of cold war with communist block.

The WTC attack shifted drastically political playground for benefit of military-industrial complex as finally after the breakup of Soviet Union there was again an enemy to justify military spending. The WTC attack also boosted neo-conservative/neo-imperialist right wing policy in U.S into new highs and this policy has some common interests with business life. The war on terror has demanded U.S to establish new military bases abroad which by change are located near important gas and oil fields or near energy transport routes. Also the intervention logic is strangely following the U.S energy needs.

Besides war profiters the 9/11 boosted also civilian security sector. Not only airports got new security measures but also the societies, the physical and virtual environments are now better guarded and followed than before. Politically a phrase “every Muslim is not a terrorist, but every terrorist is Muslim” is now popular in western societies creating tensions not only on the frontiers between the cultures but also inside U.S and Europe.

Coming back to humanitarian aspect after 9/11 the numbers are shocking. Coalition military fatalities (deaths) in Afghanistan are nearly 3,000, accidentally now almost the same than with 9/11 attack. Estimation of direct and indirect deaths of civilians is 18,000 – 40,000. In Iraq the death toll of coalition forces is nearly 5,000 but for civilians the war have been fatal. Different estimates suggest hat the death toll of Iraqi civilians is from 700,000 to even 1.2 million people due the conflict. So for comparison the deaths caused by the U.S. invasion of Iraq are already over the death toll of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Some conspiracy theories suggest that 9/11 was planned and partly implemented by U.S government and/or by military-industrial complex to boost their political and economical interests. I doubt that this is true. There might be some reason to draw conclusions that 9/11 was allowed to happen but better explanation could be the uncoordinated information flow in U.S homeland security machinery. Instead of active planning of 9/11 by U.S officials and business sector in my opinion the fast commercialization of WTC attack is realistic approach as the bottom line is that both U.S military-industrial complex and its political wing or “War Party” in U.S institutions still are the biggest beneficiaries after 9/11.

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More about the role of U.S. Military-industrial complex in Will Coin work in Afghanistan? and some alternative approaches to military interventions in Peacemaking – How about solving Conflicts too?


Re-Inscribing the Paradigm: Conflict Resolution Through Children

September 14, 2011

In my opinion long term conflict resolution and sustainable peace building is successful only if implemented on grassroots. Finding good practices and applying “lessons learned” are more than needed to restore trust between conflicting parties. As a guest post I have here an article written by Dee Mason. She describes one good and tested practice.

Re-Inscribing the Paradigm:

Conflict Resolution Through Children

by Dee Mason

In many wholesale conflicts, such as those of the Balkans or the Middle East, the seeds of the disagreements between the groups of people involved were planted generations ago. The violence and unrest continues, due to a series of real or imagined slights that act like matches applied to dry tinder. Traditionally, governments uninvolved in the conflicts have either attempted to step in, with varying results, or have simply stood by and watched the involved powers destroy each other, as if they are viewing a slow moving train wreck. Since the roots of the various conflicts often run quite deep, addressing the fundamental factors in the conflict can often feel like Sisyphus and the rock. However, there are some organizations that are attempting to make headway via alternative routes, and in one case in particular, they seem to be succeeding.

Seeds of Peace, a peace mediation organization founded by journalist John Wallach, decided to approach issues of conflict resolution in areas where the disagreements were thoroughly entrenched, by working with children and teens in the regions, rather than adults. The goal of the organization was to break the cycles of violence before they became cemented into the emotional identity of each program participant. To that end, Mr. Wallach created a summer camp in Otisfield, Maine, which welcomed 46 teenagers from Israel, Palestine, and Egypt during the summer of 1993. The teens, which were handpicked by their respective governments, were asked to dialogue, plan, and work together over the course of the summer. They were also invited to the signing of the Oslo Agreement that year.

Over the course of the next few years, more and more countries began to send delegations to the camp, and additional sessions were added to accommodate the number of participants. Delegations were sent from Morocco, Jordan, Tunisia, Qatar, and the Cypriot region, and by 1998, the program had more than quadrupled in size. The first Middle East Youth Summit was held in Switzerland, made up of Seeds of Peace alumni. The group generated the Charter of Villars, a peace treaty between Israeli and Palestinian delegates. In late 1999, the Center for Coexistence was opened in Jerusalem, and became a safe house of sorts for Seeds of Peace participants and their families. In 2000, the Balkans and Yemen were added to the ever-growing number of regions sending delegations, and a year later, delegates from the India-Pakistan conflict were also added. The Maine Seeds program was also created during this time, after the cities of Lewiston, Maine and Portland, Maine were selected as refugee relocation points for people fleeing unrest in the Sudan, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The International Youth Summit for Uprooting Hatred and Terror was held at the United Nations in direct response to September 11th, and was attended by politicians and leaders from multiple countries, as well as 120 Seeds of Peace participants. In 2002, Afghanistan was also added to the list of participating countries.

After the passing of founder, John Wallach in 2002, Seeds of Peace continued its mission. Since then, it has convened a number of historic youth summits, has created a successful exchange program between youth from various conflict countries, additional regional offices have been opened, and Graduate and Women’s Leadership programs were launched. Seeds of Peace has made an impact on their delegate regions, and more importantly, the delegates have made an impact on each other. Though there is clearly more work to be done, humanizing the “enemy”, re-inscribing the paradigms of hatred and distrust that have destroyed so many lives, is an incredibly vital pursuit. One can only hope that Seeds of Peace will be successful enough, that 25 years from now, they will no longer be necessary.

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As a professional travel writer, Dee Mason has a vested interest in international affairs. On her downtime, you’ll find her taking advantage of luxury ski holidays when the season comes around and generally living the high-life the rest of the year.


R2P vs Facades of Interventions

September 6, 2011

The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is a relatively new international security and human rights norm to address international community’s failure to prevent and stop genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.  When and where to intervene has came more and more actual question during last decades in western foreign policy.  The wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have been claimed to be justified attacks in name of humanitarian intervention or recently due the R2P norm. On the other hand there is questions why the same nor has not been applied in Syria, Somalia, Burma, Sudan etc.  Official high-flown statements are normally dealing R2P issue from perspective of humanitarian need or to build a democratic state in intervention region. In my opinion an opposite approach is more dominating on the ground – approach where intervention logic is traced from needs and motivations of intervener not from those in mission theatre.

From my point of view the key question is whom the interventions are protecting. The answer may be related to three issues:

  1. Does the implementing power have economical, military and/or political interests in the intervention region?
  2. Is the possible intervention region on border zone of sphere of economical, military and/or political influence?
  3. Is some party in possible intervention region enough rich or skilful to manipulate public opinion in intervener countries to get them on their side?

Looking interventions during last twenty years most of the mentioned three issues have been driving force for attacks. Balkans draw new lines in sphere of influence between great powers, same with Afghanistan in addition that country has also raw materials, in Libya and Iraq oil and gas fields were good motivation as they are also with possible attack to Iran in near future. In all cases the biggest beneficiary has been U.S. military-industrial complex. One could estimate that humanitarian interventions in Africa will start immediately when enough big oilfield will be discovered in conflict region.

Excerpt

R2P – Responsibility To Protect

The term Responsibility To Protect (“RtoP” or “R2P”) was first presented in the report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) in December 2001. As the UN debated major reforms of its human rights system, the idea of committing to an international R2P gained support from many governments and civil society organizations from all regions. UN Security Council’s Resolution 1674 on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict includes the first official Security Council reference to the Responsibility to Protect. On January 2009, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a report entitled Implementing the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP). The report outlines measures and actors involved in implementing the three-pillar approach as follows:

Pillar One stresses that States have the primary responsibility to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

– Pillar Two addresses the commitment of the international community to provide assistance to States in building capacity to protect their populations related to issues mentioned in 1st pillar.

– Pillar Three focuses on the responsibility of international community to take timely and decisive action to prevent and halt issues mentioned in 1st pillar.

Creating the facade

Manipulation of public opinion is effective way to get wider support for wars – and their huge costs – abroad. Terrorist and criminal organizations transform without delay into allies and/or freedom fighters (al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Bosnia, KLA in Kosovo, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, al-Qaedea figures now power in Tripoli) while the enemy will be demonized (Serbs, Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda). Number game with deaths is easy way to get attention in nearby regions. So in Bosnia the numbers needed were planned already some two years before Srebrenica, in case of Kosovo U.S. officials claimed that from 100,000 up to 500,000 Albanians had been massacred. When the figure later was near 10.000 from all ethnic groups together the bombings were already over.

With cases more far away from western civilization other fabrications – than number game – have been useful such as WMD’s in case of Iraq, safe haven for terrorists in Afghanistan and probably possible bombings against Iran will be justified with nuclear thread. One should also note that interventions can (secretly) begin before any public decisions (e.g. in Bosnia with operation “Storm” and in Libya special forces operated months before UN decisions).

The used operational chart with last big conflicts has been following:

1st creating imaginary thread (Iraq/WMD, Afghanistan/Taliban, Balkan Wars/ethnic cleansing…),

2nd destroying the enemy by cluster bombs, depleted uranium war heads, contract killing, torture etc.,

3rd bringing democracy and stability in form of puppet governments and ousting local more or less selected authorities.

Official high flown statement of course are speaking humanitarian intervention, R2P, peace enforcement, defending democracy etc to hide real motivations.

Not even the foggiest idea what’s next

One problem is that intervention plans cover only the first stage concentrating to get justification for attack and to get fast tactical military win and forgetting what to do after military success (or especially without it). In my opinion most of the problems in Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan are based to poor planning before intervention. For example in Bosnia despite international community’s state building efforts the country is splitting parts. Since war 15 years ago foreign aid has exceed USD 80 bn for artificial creature designed in Dayton agreement aiming multi-ethnic state with EU perspective. As a result Bosnia is now even more divided, with less national identity, 20 percent of population living under the poverty line, with a nightmare triple administration plus international supervising governor.

In Kosovo since intervention international community has worked over ten years with capacity building of Kosovo administration. First idea was to develop standards (of democratic state) before status (after being UN protectorate), then after couple of years the slogan transformed to “standards and status” and again after a couple of years “status before standards”; now after unilateral declaration of independence the standards have not been any significant issue in Kosovo and the outcome I have summarized as follows:

as Serbian province, occupied and now international protectorate administrated by UN Kosovo mission; as quasi-independent pseudo-state has good change to become next “failed” or “captured” state; today’s Kosovo is already safe-heaven for war criminals, drug traffickers, international money laundry and radical Wahhabists – unfortunately all are also allies of western powers”.

What will be the result with last intervention to Libya remains to seen but something tells the situation now in Tripoli where members of the Al Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – LIFG, are now in control. Their commander Abd Al-Hakim Belhadj, an al Qaeda veteran from Afghanistan, now calls himself “Commander of the Tripoli Military Council.” So when U.S in the name of “war on terror” just killed al-Qaeda leader OBL it now helps radical Islam groups gain power In Libya in the name of humanitarian intervention.

One reason for failures of R2P might be poor situation analysis due lack of reliable information or as an intentional practice to avoid unwanted deductions.

Intervener problem

My conclusion is that the great powers implement interventions whenever and wherever they see it beneficial for their military, economical and/or political interests with or without UN approval while humanitarian and legal aspects are serving only nothing but a facade. One of the main problems with implementation of R2P is – in my opinion – that so far U.S and NATO have been the main actors with or without UN authorization. Public missions included e.g. the Implementation Force (IFOR) and Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia from 1995 to 2004, Operation Allied Force in Kosovo from March to June 1999 , the Kosovo Force (KFOR) from June 1999, and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan since 2001 and the latest one is Operation Unified Protector in Libya which began on 27 March 2011. In this framework R2P has reduced to one extension of U.S foreign policy and its needs and interests.

For increasing credibility of R2P principle the role of NATO should be minimized by strengthening capabilities of some wider organizations. The most important actor should be UN with its related bodies.

From European perspective the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) forms good base to develop R2P capacity; OSCE is the world’s largest regional security organization and the most inclusive playing an essential non-military role in promoting peace and stability and advancing democracy and human rights in Europe. The OSCE offers a forum for political negotiations and decision-making in the fields of early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation.

It is sad that EU has outsourced its foreign policy to U.S., it is blindly following U.S. military suspicious strategies and cowboy policy only to have good transatlantic relations – this keeps EU always as bystander in international politics. However despite this the fact is that the EU already belongs to the world’s largest providers of international assistance so it could have a great role to play in responding more effectively to protect civilians from mass atrocities and in assisting other states and institutions to develop the capacity to do so.

Intervention logic should be applied

 From my perspective developing R2P from slogan to practice an intervention logic should be obligatory and it should be transparent as only through outside critics it can be justified as meaningful tool. I have some doubts if intervention logic even exists related (humanitarian) interventions during last decades.

In my opinion R2P is similar like other development programs or projects. There is identified crisis, problem that should be solved; objectives are defined, outputs, activities, resources (inputs) are planned to achieve immediate and finally overall objectives. This both ways vertical logic should be checked at each level by the horizontal logic specifying result indicators, control methods for achieving results, and the assumptions and risks which will affect outcomes. This procedure and its further developed forms – called as Logical Framework matrix or LogFrame – is normal practice e.g. while channeling international aid into field.

The core problem from my perspective with R2P is that the slogan is serving as facade of interventions not as principle supposed applied on the ground. The logic will be thrown away when real aims of activities are hidden. When the implementing power has economical, military and/or political interests in the intervention region – in the operational theatre – the problems and needs of supposed beneficiaries are minor points similar way than collateral damages are only regrettable side-effects during main mission. By applying logical framework approach to R2P it is possible achieve more comprehensive approach to conflicts including not only immediate intervention but also life after that. 

LogFrame for R2P figure can be found below and from LogFrameR2P

Intervention Logic for R2P by Ari Rusila

Ari Rusila’s BalkanBloghttps://arirusila.wordpress.com

Intervention Logic Horizontal logic

F

e

e

d

b

a

c

k

Vertical levels
Overall objective: wider goal, a project is steered to its attainment. At all levels ►►►►
1. Narrative description2. Indicators of achievement
3. Verification methods
4. Assumptions and risks
Immediate objective: a desired situation after completion of a project. It should be SMART (specific, measurable, accurate, realistic and time related)
Outputs are items of value developed by the project for the beneficiaries. With the aid of output resources, the beneficiaries should to achieve their immediate objectives.
Activities: to produce the outputs it is necessary to implement a number of certain activities ( tasks and actions)
Inputs are the material, human or financial resources for the completion of the activities

Creative Commons License
LogFrameR2P by Ari Rusila is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at arirusila.files.wordpress.com.
More e.g. in my related articles:

Interventions in general: Multifaceted Intervention Practices , Is Peace more than absence of the War? and Peacemaking – How about solving Conflicts too?

U.S. practising intervention first in the Bosnian War 1992-95 and selecting terrorist/OC-groups to U.S. allies (More e.g. Srebrenica again – Hoax or Massacre? and Krajina – Victory with Ethnic Cleansing and the outcome Bosnia on the road to the EU, sorry to Dissolution )

Racak fabrication and “humanitarian intervention” aka since WWII first ever full scale bombing operation in center of Europe 1999 ( High pressure to fabricate Racak reports and 10th anniversary of Nato’s attack on Serbia)

About U.S. strategy in Afghanistan: Will COIN work in Afghanistan?

Other related articles: Libya Intervention is creating problems instead of solving them and Some framework to Syrian crisis


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