Updated: Oct 16, 2022
More than 20 years after the Srebrenica massacre, Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladić was found guilty of war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) for the former Yugoslavia and sentenced to life in prison on November 22, 2017.
Along with Mladić, the ICTY convicted the other so-called “Butcher of Bosnia”, the Bosnian Serb and former Republika Sprska leader Radovan Karadžić to 40 years imprisonment on March 24, 2016. On July 22, 2016 he filed an appeal against his conviction. The appeal was rejected on March 20, 2019 and the sentence was increased to life imprisonment.
Meanwhile, it fully exonerated the Bosnian Muslim army commander Naser Orić of similar charges which outraged the people of Serbia.
Yet, it was the same court that posthumously exonerated former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević in 2016. (Read related article below). If you weren’t aware of the latter, it’s because it was not widely reported in Western media. Milošević is still generally viewed to be the central villain of the entire conflict even though the charges against him didn’t hold up, but not until a decade after he died of heart failure while on trial in the Hague.
The ICTY in its ruling stated “there was no sufficient evidence presented in this case to find that Slobodan Milošević agreed with the common plan to create territories ethnically cleansed of non-Serbs.”
The ICTY, established in violation of the UN charter, is itself viewed to be an arm of NATO and biased against the Serbs but even it seems to have determined that any alleged war crimes and ethnic cleansing by the Bosnian Serbs was strictly a Karadžić-Mladić affair and not part of a chain of command leading to Milošević.
This is not what was presented by NATO and its media surrogates at the time which was that the Bosnian Serbs were acting under direct orders from Belgrade.
The narrative was that Milošević’s policies and the Serbian government shared as much of the blame, while the reality is that an extremely complex conflict was simplified into a heroes and villains story in order to sell military intervention to the public.
Not only were atrocities committed on all sides in the Yugoslav wars, but the NATO powers sided with right-wing nationalists in Bosnia and Croatia and extremist separatists in Kosovo against the Serbs in order to ensure their own geopolitical interests in the breakup of Yugoslavia.
In fact, the entire foreign policy of the west toward Yugoslavia facilitated the very problems it used military intervention to ‘solve.’
During the Bosnian war (1992–1995), war crimes by the Bosnian Serbs were given widespread attention while those committed by the Bosnian Muslims were given little to none.
The Bosnian Muslim army was provided CIA arms and training that is well documented. The hidden connection between Bosnian Muslim militants and international terrorism is revealed in the documentary Sarajevo Ricochet, where an investigation discovers that Bosnian Muslim militias, composed of mujahideen rebranded as freedom fighters, received smuggled arms through phony relief agencies connected to Saudi Arabia and the members of al Qaeda who participated in both the 1993 WTC bombing and Osama bin Laden himself.
Also linked financially to the front humanitarian organization (known as Third World Relief Agency) was Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Defense Minister, Hasan Čengić. Bosnia became a training ground for global jihad and the army enjoyed support from foreign volunteers from various Muslim countries in mujahideen fighters that committed executions, beheadings and torture of captured Serbs.
It was the infamous massacre of Bosnian Muslims in the village of Srebrenica in 1995 which thrust NATO’s military involvement into the conflict. Undoubtedly a war crime, what was disputed was whether it constituted an act of genocide since the victims were almost exclusively several thousand Muslim men and boys at the hands of the Bosnian Serbs.
Women and children were specifically separated and evacuated out of the town under Mladić’s orders just prior to the killings. The possibility that the carnage in Srebrenica could have been the result of revenge executions in retaliation for the widespread terrorism committed against dozens of Bosnian Serb towns by the Bosnian Muslim army for years under the warlord Naser Orić was never explored.
Some of the well documented acts by Orić’s forces included executions, beheadings, eye gouging and even disembowling Serbs and the victims included many women and children.
What took place in Srebrenica was certainly a horrific crime, but it could only be seen as unprovoked and not the result of grudge killings if removed from the context of the dozens of raids of Serb villages neighboring Srebrenica.
Orić and his militias had been carrying them out for two years up until that point but this was widely suppressed. Srebrenica was stage managed as an unprovoked atrocity committed by evil villains against pure victims in order to sell the case for military intervention against one side.
It has even been since portrayed as an act of genocide when it was one instance of many throughout the entire Yugoslav wars of summary executions. Executions, rapes and torture were committed by all sides.
To call it genocide is an insult to the victims of the holocaust in the former Yugoslavia of which the majority were Serbs. There is no doubt Serbs did their share of war crimes and ethnic cleansing in the Yugoslav wars, but NATO and its media stenographers only told part of the story that was fundamentally a civil war and not genocide.
The number of dead in Srebrenica also may have been inflated to 8,000 when its actual number is significantly lower, according to scholars such as Edward S. Herman, Diana Johnstone, John Pilger, Michael Parenti, and former Attorney General and human rights lawyer Ramsey Clarke who defended Milošević in the Hague tribunal.
Many of the dead could have been those killed in the battle for the town, considering that the victims were virtually all male and Mladić’s forces had evacuated Muslim women and children out of the town.
This would not have been the only occasion of inflated numbers of victims for sensationalism during the wars as the media had routinely repeated ad nauseam wildly erroneous statistics such as 100,000 Bosnian Muslim women having been raped by Serbs, an impossible number when the Bosnian Serb army was only 30,000 strong.
Srebrenica also may have been strategically sacrificed to be deliberately defenseless by Bosnian Muslim forces so as to provoke NATO military intervention against the Serbs by crossing U.S. President Bill Clinton’s ‘red line.’
The town of Srebrenica had been a safe zone under the UN peacekeepers which Orić and his forces used to shield themselves in between their attacks on Serb towns and it was not protected in this instance.
In the stunning documentary Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed, a police chief of the town shockingly claims that in a meeting with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s President Alija Izetbegović, Clinton suggested his ‘red line’ was that at least 5,000 Muslim lives would need to be lost in order to justify any NATO air strikes against Serb forces.
It would not have been the first time ‘false flags’ may have been used by the Bosnian Muslims. There had been two bombings of markets in Sarajevo, known as the ‘Markale massacres’, that were immediately pinned on the Serbs when much of the evidence gathered and eyewitness accounts suggested they were staged attacks that came from areas held by Bosnian Muslim army forces.
Even accepting the stated number of victims, this amount did not exceed the amount of Serbs killed by the Bosnian Muslims in the villages surrounding Srebrenica which was never demilitarized despite being under Dutch UN peacekeeping forces which Orić took full advantage of.
NATO, an organization that was designed as a strictly defensive military alliance during the Cold War, needed a new purpose and was given one in its illegal offensive attack in Operation Deliberate Force against the Bosnian Serbs.