From: Bob Djurdjevic <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: The Balkans: More war crime confessions (TiM GW Bulletin 97/11-5, 11/07/97)
FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA
Truth in Media's GLOBAL WATCH Bulletin 97/11-5 7-Nov-97
Topic: BALKAN AFFAIRS
* * * Bosnian Muslim General Accuses Own Troops of War Crimes
* * * A Serb Confesses to Some 80 Killings
TiM EDITOR's COMMENT: Little by little, the truth about the war in the former in Yugoslavia is coming out. And the myths about the "aggressors" and "victims" are being slowly debunked.
In September, a Croat soldier confessed to killing 72 Serbs (see TiM GW Bulletin 97/9-2, 9/09/97). Last month, a book by a Canadian peacekeeper in Sarajevo confirmed that the Bosnian Muslims had killed their own people so as to win the international sympathy and pin the blame on the Serbs. Also last month, a Bosnian Muslim general accused his own troops of committing war crimes. And now, a Serb soldier has come forth with a confession that he had personally killed between 70 and 80 people.
Amid all the blood and gore that you will find in the three stories which follow, there are unidentified culprits who stand out as accomplices to these heinous crimes - the self-righteous "international community." It is for the benefit of the media, and due to the Machiavellian schemes of the "international community," that thousands of innocent Balkan civilians - Muslims, Croats and Serbs - were slaughtered, some even by their own people. And it is the same "international community" that covered up some crimes and exaggerated others
So if the "kangaroo court" in the Hague is ever to live up to its name - a War Crimes Tribunal - it had better set aside a large prisoner dock for the western political and media leaders who sponsored, condoned or covered up such war crimes. And for the Balkan leaders on whose orders the atrocities were committed. Bob Dj.
"The Sharp End, A Canadian Soldier's Story", by James R. Davis, published by Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver/Toronto, 1997, is a story in which the author relates his peacekeeper's experiences in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.
Here some excerpts from the book which provide additional evidence that the Bosnian Muslim government shelled its own civilians in Sarajevo.
"On 17 July (1992), we were tasked to provide VIP security for a meeting between all the factions and Sir Douglas Hurd, the British Foreign Secretary.... We spent the day moving the foreign Secretary around and dodging well-staged incidents the locals (Muslims) put on for his benefit.
At the Bosnian Presidency the TDF (the Muslim Territorial Defense Forces) mortared their own people again as Hurd arrived. He had just dismounted from Kevin's track when several mortars slammed into the square across the road, killing several civilians. It had been staged by the Muslims to impress Hurd. They told him the Serbs did this to them everyday, when in fact they killed their own people again for political reasons.
The Canadian General Lewis MacKenzie, who was the commander of the UN forces in Sarajevo at the time, also described the above incident in his book, "Peacekeeper," also by published Douglas & McIntyre in 1993 as hardcover, and by HarperCollins in 1994 as a paperback.
Here is how Gen. MacKenzie described the same scene:
"On Douglas Hurd's arrival, there were 10 to 15 members of the TDF on either side of the building's entrance as a sort of honor guard. Once he had entered the main door, the group of TDF on the right of the entrance joined the their colleagues on the left, and the entire group walked around to the west side of the building and took cover.
Thirty seconds later, ten mortar rounds landed immediately across the street from the Presidency (building), and seven innocent civilians were killed or seriously maimed. A pre-positioned pair of ambulances and the local television cameramen on the east side of the building rushed to the scene of the tragedy, collected and filmed the dead and wounded, and moved off in the direction of the Kosevo hospital."
At another point in his just-released book, Mr. Davis recalls the following incident in which the Bosnian Muslims even killed their own children:
"That evening there were some kids hanging around on a patio at the base of the building. The guys had thrown them some candy until I told them to stop. I didn't want every kid in the city coming to hang out beneath our windows. Also on the patio was an attractive teenage girl. She spoke some English and was having a conversation with some of our guys who were hanging out the window.
Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, one of the troops saw... a mortar bomb. In the moment before it detonated, he realized it was heading right for the kids. Before he could shout a warning, the bomb exploded. The impact threw our guys back out of the window and onto the floor. Immediately, more rounds followed and the building rocked.
Warrant Sullivan... rushed outside... What he found shocked him to the core. There were little pieces of children everywhere. Arms, legs and blood covered the patio. The teenage girl had died instantly. The other kids were badly wounded. Brit medics showed up and tried to sort out the mess... They got the kids on stretchers and tried to match the arms and legs with the proper child. It was horrible.
Later that night, the platoon area was pretty subdued. Some of the guys blamed themselves for talking to the kids and throwing them candy, but we all knew- we hadn't launched those bombs.
The next morning, a report came in from the observers that no Serb mortars had fired that they were aware of. The trajectory was calculated and it was determined that the Bosnians (Muslims) had mortared their own children. For public relations purposes. Sure enough, the morning news in the city reported that the UN and their Serb allies had killed these children.
We could not believe it. I can't speak for the others, but that morning I would have happily killed any TDF (Muslim) troops I saw. I was growing tired of the whole mess. These people did not care. They were animals.
Still, it was my job. We were still a platoon with a job to do. I tucked all my feelings away and tried to be my normal, carefree self. It wasn't the last time the Bosnians murdered their own people in well-staged attacks for PR reasons."
SARAJEVO, Oct. 25 - "Vehbija Karic is responsible for the massacre on Croatian civilians in Grabovici, " stated a Bosnian Army General Ramiz Delalic, in an interview for the Sarajevo magazine "Danima." This is the first time that a Bosnian Muslim commander has admitted to war crimes committed by soldiers under his command. Delalic who was at that time the commander of the Bosnian Muslim Army's 9th motorized brigade. He also stated that he is prepared to go to the war crimes tribunal at the Hague to testify against his own soldiers.
On September 9, 1993 in the village of Grabovici, Bosnian Army soldiers massacred 32 Croatian civilians. The reports of the massacre were brought to the attention of the international officials soon after it took place but were put aside for political reasons. "With this high level confession the international community will not be able to ignore war crimes committed by Bosnian Muslims anymore" said an unnamed diplomat.
"I don't want to remain quiet anymore, I want to tell everyone the truth," is how Delalic started his confession. He told of how his unit was ordered by the commander of the 1st Corp., Vahida Karavelic, to go to Jablanica for a special commando operation, where he was to meet up with the commander of the 4th corp. Zulfikar Alispagi and others who were involved in the planning. They included Rifat Bilajac, Zicro Suljic, and Vehbija Karic who is a member of the Bosnian Army General Staff.
Karic ordered the soldiers to enter the village and force the Croatians from their homes, those who did not want to leave were to be thrown into the Neretva river. The Bosnian Army soldiers entered the village shooting anything that moved even though they were informed at the briefing before that only women, children and the elderly were in the undefended village. In the murderous orgy that followed one old lady was set on fire while the soldiers rejoiced in her screams.
After the massacre, Alispagi, one of the Muslim commanders, gave the order for the village to be sealed off so as to hide the crime. Delalic claims that he was in Konjic at the time of the massacre and that when he found out he tried to inform his superiors but they were not interested in his report and did nothing to investigate.
Delalic's claims are confirmed by his fellow soldiers. Elvedin Husic stated that everything took place at night and that in the morning there was blood everywhere. Jasmin Medic confirmed that there were 700 soldiers who took part in the massacre. By the morning there were not any Croatians left alive. They then took the bodies to the Neretva river and then threw them in.
BELGRADE, Nov. 7 - Police arrested a bitter former Serb soldier Thursday after he told reporters he killed up to 80 Croats and Muslims, decapitating some, the ASSOCIATED PRESS reported November 7. Slobodan Misic said he came forward because he "had enough of the lies" that Serbia was not fighting its neighbors.
Former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic has always claimed he had nothing to do with either the Croatian or Bosnian war. "The truth has to be told," the Dnevni Telegraf newspaper and the independent Beta news agency quoted Misic as saying in reports published on November 6.
Police in the southern Serbia town of Vranje, where Misic lives, said he was arrested on November 6 and was being questioned. A prosecutor was expected to place him in investigative detention, where suspects can remain for weeks before they are formally charged.
Misic's story could not be independently verified, but it contained the names of commanders and units known to have been fighting in the region. It was the most detailed story on atrocities to come out of Serbia.
His public confession came two months after a similar account of atrocities was published in Croatia. Former soldier Miro Bajramovic told the Croatian weekly Feral Tribune that he killed personally 72 Serbs while fighting for Croatia in 1991 and was responsible for the deaths of 14 others. He was arrested soon after his story was published.
Bajramovic's accusations, which tied high-ranking officials to the killings, have been a source of heated debate for months among Croats, who are accustomed to seeing themselves as victims in the war. Both Misic and Bajramovic said they were tired of high officials glossing over the truth and were bitter that they did the war's dirty work and ended up destitute, while others got rich.
Nicknamed "Cannon," the 50-year-old Misic was quoted as saying that he volunteered to join regular troops from Serbia who fought in Croatia, and later moved on to Bosnia. He said he killed 70 to 80 people, including women and captured soldiers, while fighting around the besieged eastern Croatian town of Vukovar and in the Bratunac-Srebrenica area of eastern Bosnia.
"It's like a drug," Misic said. "It enters your blood and brain, and you simply can't live without it. We burned everything that was in our way, hurled grenades into houses, shot at everyone ... leveled villages to the ground," he was quoted as saying.
---- Bob Djurdjevic TRUTH IN MEDIA Phoenix, Arizona e-mail: email@example.com
(Truth in Media home page)
(Djurdjevic's Oct 1997 FORBES column, "Bet on Asian Large Caps")
(Djurdjevic's Oct 1997 IM column, "Medieval Fiefdoms to Win Over
Centralized Empires?" - IM is a WASHINGTON POST publication)
(Annex Research home page)
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