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More on Bosnia


The essay on Bosnia by Michael Adler which appeared in the ESRA 166 edition is in need of comment. It brings to mind an observation by British historian, David Pryce-Jones, "Westerners habitually and ignorantly misconceive the responses they are likely to encounter from the Arabs, unsuitably and even laughably projecting their own political and moral attitudes where these cannot apply." Indeed, the alleged success of the Clinton – Richard Holbrooke in terminating the 1992-1995 Bosnia war requires to be put into perspective. In the first instance, without in any way condoning brutality against innocent civilians, to cast Bosnia as an innocent victim of Serbia's aggression and that Bosnia Muslims fought a defensive war in the name of democracy should be exposed.

Let us recall that in 1970, Bosnia's president, Alija Izatbegovic, proclaimed an Islamic declaration, which resulted in his jailing under the Communist authorities. Not only was his declaration never appealed, he further advocated the "establishment of a unified community extending from Morocco to Indonesia". He had no difficulty in proclaiming that "a few thousand true Islamic fighters succeeded, in 1950, to drive England from Suez". In an interview on March 2012, Jovan Divjak concludes with the statement. "Today the new generations are being brought up on hatred. More than in 1995." With the current upheaval in the Middle East, it is not unreasonable to entertain the idea of yet another Muslim rebellion in the Balkans.

In 1943, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj AminEl-Husseini, created a legion of Waffen-SS, the "Legion Handjar" recruited among Muslims from Bosnia. These 19,000 murderers committed atrocities against the Resistance and the Jewish population in Yugoslavia. The Palestinian Arabs have maintained their link with their Muslim brothers in Bosnia. During the summer of 1992, a delegation of Arab Israelis visited former Yugoslavia, pledging to establish a camp for Bosnian children in the Jewish state.

Dr. Yohanan Ramati, the director of the Jerusalem Institute for Werstern Defence, penned an outstanding article providing a balanced account of the Bosnia War around its commencement in 1992. The essay entitled, "Who Killed Yugoslavia" provides adequate background to demonstrate how "the resultant fighting produced atrocities on all sides, but only the Serb atrocities have received continuous publicity in the Western media." A few salient points he draws attention to:

- Rather than seeking a "greater Serbia", the Serbs decided that the Serb-populated areas of Croatia and Bosnia must be brought under Serb control.

- The Serb case for incorporating the named area in Serbia was totally ignored by the Western powers.

- Nobody asked why the Serbs, who had a dominant position in a united Yugoslavia, should have had an interest in destroying it.

- It is doubtful if Yugoslavia would have disintegrated, had the Western powers wished to prevent it.

- A united Yugoslavia dominated by traditionally pro-Russian Serbs with no fondness for the Germans was the main obstacle to the agenda; destabilizing this country. First, the Germans encouraged the demands of Croatia and Slovenia for independence. Then the Muslims of Bosnia, Herzegovina also made a bid for independence, duly supported by Germany.

- During WW2, the Bosnia Muslims gave considerable support to Hitler and his ally Haj Amin El-Husseini while the Serbs were the backbone of the Yugoslav resistance.

- Bosnia's leader, Izetbegovic, authored "Islamic Declaration" advocating fundamentalism.

- The political goal of Western policies and the Western media was not to justify the establishment of new states on the basis of ethnic self-determination [which would dictate supporting the secession of Serb-populated areas from Croatia and Bosnia], but simply to dismember Serbia and liquidate its influence in the Balkan peninsula.

- Yugoslavia is a subject on which there are few differences between Iran and the Arab states, all of which back unreservedly the creation of another independent European Muslim state in Bosnia.

Thanks to the efforts of the western media, we know of the Serbs being demonized relentlessly. There was no outcry for similar war crimes trials for Franco Tudjman and Alija Izatbegovic as had been pursued for Slobodan Milosevic. Tudjman did become the subject of an investigation by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [ICTY], but was never formally charged for the war crimes that occurred during and after this campaign in August 1995. Tudjman's name appears in the ICTY's indictment of the Croatian general, Ante Gotovina, for war crimes. In it the Chief Prosecutor of the ICTY, Carlo del Ponte, accuses Gotovina and President Tudjman of participating "in a joint enterprise, the common purpose of which was the forcible and permanent removal of the Serb population from the Krajina region" Tudjman died on December 11, 1919 prior to any further action concerning him.

According to Greg Elich [The Invasion of Serbian Krajina]: "In early 1995, the Croatian invasion of Serbian Krajina precipitated the worst refugee crisis of the Yugoslav civil war. Within days, more than two hundred thousand Serbs, virtually the entire population of Krajina fled their homes, and 14,000 Serbian civilians lost their lives. According to a UN official 'Almost the only people remaining were the dead and the dying.' The Clinton's administration's support for the invasion was an important factor in creating this nightmare."

The Bosnia Report published for the period August-November 1999 included a piece. "The Milosevic Indictment is welcome, but what about Tudjman?" by Peter Maas. A commentary also appeared in the NY Times, International Herald Tribune on June 2, 1999. Its author alleges that the Clinton Administration willingness to provide incriminating evidence against Serbian Milosevic sealed his fate and claimed that lack of evidence in the case of [their preferred client?] Tudjman did not. The writer also questioned whether in the event of evidence existing in the vaults of the National Security Agency, the Serbs would have been able to accuse the tribunal of bias.

Archbishop Crammer has penned an Op Ed entitled, "At last – the true horror of the persecution of Serbs by Croats emerges", published on April 15, 2011. He points out how only when the report is of the persecution of Bosnian Muslims a hint of religion enters the equation. He also commends The Guardian for addressing a matter "generally not an angle which interests the 'mainstream media'."

Alija Izetbegoviv, who died on October 2003, was an opportunist and considered controversial. His checkered career commenced on 1990 when he became the first president of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a position he held until 2000. His most notable book, "Islam between East and West and the Islamic Declaration" which surfaced in 1980, explores the notion that "Islam is the only synthesis capable of unifying mankind's essentially dualistic existence". Francisco Gil-White of the Historical and Investigative Research in an August 19, 2005 wide ranging article entitled, "What really happened in Bosnia?" poses a series of insightful questions and answers. As an introduction by Jared Israel, "Emperor's Clothes [October 21, 2003]" notes, "the Islamist takeover of Bosnia was intended as a step towards the creation of a unified Muslim world-state. Quite the opposite of preserving the nonexistent 'Bosnian nation!' And yet the fiction of a Bosnian nation, threatened by supposed Serb secessionists [the Serbs were in fact the people who didn't want to secede from Yugoslavia] was sold to ordinary people in the West." The 3 principal questions raised by Francisco Gil-White and answered by him are:

[a] Who was Alija Izetbegovic: Moderate democrat or radical Islamist?

[b] Painting fascists as victims and their victims as fascists: The mainstream media turned Bosnia upside down.

[c] Who started the war in Bosnia? And who committed genocide? Was it the Bosnian Serbs, as NATO and the mass media alleged, or the Bosnian Muslim followers of Alija Izetbegovic? [It was not a deliberate policy of incitement by Serbia].

In summary, Francisco Gil-White has connected the dots between the US, Europe and Iran in destroying Yugoslavia and empowering radical Muslims in an important strategic area of the world. So much for the wisdom of the State department and the skills of their functionary, Richard Holbrooke! Alija Izetbegovic was under investigation for "war crimes", at the time of his death [October 19, 2005], but not indicted, in a similar fashion to Franco Tudjman.

Jossef Bodansky has produced an exhaustive 3-part series on BALKANIA.NET [Some Call it Peace – Waiting for War in the Balkans, 1996] covering the Dayton-Paris Agreement, the Islamist's peace, the Mujahedin, coping with the presence of I-FOR, the new face of the Bosnian Muslim forces, aid and the terrorist elite, confronting reality, the Islamist infrastructure, the clandestine infrastructure, Iran's own assets, the Islamist elite force, recognizing the threat, Iran's hand, the regional military build-up and dynamics, the transformation of the Bosnia-Herzegovina military, after the experiment, preparing for the fight, between real dynamics and politics, the role of Islamist terrorism, and facing reality and history. This tour de force on the Balkans represents everything that generally eludes the media who are forever "too busy for history". It confirms how the general public has been misled by politicians and the media to understand the real goals and strategies of their respective governments on major foreign political matters. It is this factor more than any other which demonstrates a similarity to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Adler is of the opinion that the major identifiable issues are subject to resolution. In the first instance there is the question of borders. The US presidents have never departed from the Roger Plan, withdrawal to borders described by liberal Abba Eban as "Auschwitz borders". Security minded Israelis cannot entertain this, given the Gaza experience. Which Israeli will consider a divided Jerusalem? It is interesting to recall the great efforts to restore Berlin to a single city and it defies an understanding that the reverse should apply to Jerusalem. As for the refugees, Israel's foreign minister Abba Eban in his November 17, 1958 address to the UN General Assembly's Special Political Committee included the following remarks:

- The Arab refugee problem was caused by a war of aggression.

- The origins of that conflict are clearly defined by the confessions of Arab governments themselves.

- The revenues of the oil bearing countries have opened up great opportunities of work and development, into which the refugees, by virtues of their linguistic and national background, could fit without any sense of dislocation.

- It is necessary to remember that concurrently with the perpetuation of the Arab refugee problem, more than 400,000 Jews were forced to leave their homes in Iraq, Yemen, and North Africa.

- They [Arabs] have been nourished for ten years on one single theme – hatred of Israel; refusal to recognize Israel's sovereignty; resentment against Israel's existence; the dream of securing Israel's extinction.

- Repatriation would mean that hundreds of thousands of people would be introduced into a state whose existence they oppose, whose flag they despise and whose destruction they are resolved to seek.

Yet another liberal Israeli statesman, former ambassador to Canada and advisor to Israeli prime ministers, Yaacov Herzog, had this to say, in his debate with Professor Arnold Toynbee at McGill university, Montreal, 31 January 1961, "The problem will never be solved until the Arab governments are prepared to cooperate in a humanitarian solution. Now to take them [refugees] back after thirteen years, after he [Arab representative] says plainly he wants to destroy us. Why not, indeed! Shall we let them come in and rip us apart? Please commit suicide so that the Arab armies won't have to overwhelm you from without. That, Sir, I think, in the scan of history, you will find no nation prepared to do, and since you said earlier that in certain respects we belong to the category of all other nations in our behavior, in this respect, too, we will not commit suicide."

Michael Adler is confident that a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict "can be hammered out around the conference table". Indeed, but not by the same formula which has been repeated over and over again. Only then, will "the important lessons from the negotiations" possibly materialize in a just peace. Professor Martin Sherman has presented us, in an explicit and detailed piece in The Jerusalem Post, a concrete plan based on a much rejected idea - the humane relocation of the Arabs from the disputed territories. His carefully crafted opinion piece has as an introduction thoughtful words from Andrei Sakharov, human rights activist and 1975 Nobel Peace Prize laureate; "With all the money that has been invested in the problem of [the] Palestinians, it would have been possible long ago to resettle them and provide them with good lives in Arab countries."

While Sherman's essay is directed at the failings of Israel's conservatives, it is the methodology he has developed in terms of a humane relocation of the so-called west bank Palestinians, which represents a definite alternative to the shopworn "peace process". Indeed, the only viable solution to what is nearing a century old conflict.

As a bottom line, radical new thinking is required for Israel to have peace in the area. Rewording Michael Adler's conclusion; there will never be peace until the Arabs forego their obsession to annihilate Israel. 



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