Greater Surbiton

The perfect is the enemy of the good

Thirteen years since Srebrenica; thirteen facts to refute the theorists of an ‘anti-Serb imperialist conspiracy’

YUGOSLAVIA BOSNIASince last week was the thirteenth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, this would appear to be a good occasion on which to recapitulate some facts related to the Bosnian genocide and international ‘efforts’ to punish its perpetrators.

1. Two different international courts have recognised that the Srebrenica massacre was an act of genocide: the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY); and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

2. A third international court, the European Court of Human Rights, has determined that genocide occurred in northern Bosnia in 1992. This means that three different international courts have recognised that genocide occurred in Bosnia in 1992-95. Be this as it may…

3. Only a single individual, Bosnian Serb deputy corps commander Radislav Krstic, has been successfully prosecuted for a genocide-related offence by the ICTY.

4. Not a single official from Serbia or Montenegro has yet been convicted of any war-crime in Bosnia by the ICTY – but not because any has been acquitted.

5. Rather, only six officals from Serbia or Montenegro were ever indicted for any war-crime in Bosnia by the ICTY in the first place. Two of these have died and proceedings against the other four are ongoing. The maximum possible number of such individuals who could be convicted by the ICTY is therefore four.

6. Serb or Serb-controlled forces were responsible for at least 86% of the killing of civilians in the Bosnian war, and for over 80% of the killing of civilians in the Wars of Yugoslav Succession as a whole.

7. Nevertheless, of 159 individuals indicted by the ICTY, only 108 or 68% were Serb officials (including non-Serbs employed in the Serb military or security forces). 51 or 32% were Croat, Bosnian Republic, Kosova Albanian or Macedonian officials.

8. Ratko Mladic, architect of the Srebrenica massacre, and Radovan Karadzic, the wartime Bosnian Serb leader, have still not been arrested, despite the continuous presence of international forces in Bosnia since the Dayton Accord was signed. This has not prevented Serbia from signing a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU this year.

9. Nevertheless, Serb nationalists and their apologists in the West have spent the last seventeen years or so whining about how the whole world is against them, and how everything that has happened in the former Yugoslavia is just one big anti-Serb conspiracy organised by Western Imperialism, ‘the media’, the Vatican, Islam, the Jews, the Comintern, the Martians, etc. etc. etc.

10. Although the establishment of the ICTY (unlike the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, for example) was authorised by the UN Security Council, Serb nationalists and their apologists in the West routinely claim that the ICTY is ‘illegitimate’; a ‘kangaroo court’; ‘NATO court’; etc.

11. Milorad Dodik, prime minister of the Republika Srpska / Serb Republic, has refused to respect the ruling of the ICJ that genocide occurred at Srebrenica.

12. Serbia was found guilty by the ICJ of a failure both to prevent and to punish the crime of genocide.

13. Even so, Serb leaders are in the habit these days of accusing others of failing to respect international law…

Tuesday, 15 July 2008 Posted by | Balkans, Bosnia, Croatia, Former Yugoslavia, Genocide, Kosovo, Macedonia, Red-Brown Alliance, Serbia, The Left | 2 Comments