[Note: A roundup of the English-language blog posts on the ICJ verdict ran on Global Voices this past Wednesday, here.]
Serbia is proclaimed not guilty for the crimes that happened during the Bosnian war – and this is echoed in the country’s news and talk show programs this week. Lately, one could feel a clear “denying guilt” tendencies displayed by everyone who took part in the conflict. That is exactly what has been happening during the last decade, since the end of Bosnian civil war. But debating who is guilty doesn’t solve the issue. It widens the gap between people. People who identify themselves as Muslims, Serbs, and Croats have all evidently committed terrible crimes during the nineties.
After the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict, Serbia's Liberal Democratic Party offered a declaration to be voted by Serbian parliament, which contains an official apology for the Srebrenica massacre (recognized as an act of genocide by the ICJ). The party is supported by numerous non-governmental organizations that seem to promote Serbian guilt. They triggered strengthening of an opposing wave of nationalist movement represented by the Serbian Radical Party, allegedly formed by the domestic secret service during the last decade. Both SRS and Kostunica’s DSS agree to condemn all the atrocities which occurred during the civil war, but would not accept the blame for the Srebrenica massacre. President Boris Tadic will probably try to find a balanced solution.
All political structures would like to take some kind of formal action, but any real determination to solve the problem in its essensc doesn’t exist. What we need is a conversation between the common people who took part in the dispute.
In his blog post called Nation and Simplification, Goran Miletic from Serbia doesn’t seem to agree with the ICJ verdict. Among other things, he writes (SRP):
[…] Once upon a time, there was a big eight-floor-high building [each floor representing a republic], where eight brothers lived with their own families. During the time, and because of certain changes, some of the families decided to live on their own by forming separate flats. The dominant older brother with his huge family didn’t like the idea [so he sent the young leaders to other flats, so they would proclaim their own space]. […] As the time went by, things got tougher, so [Slovenia], who lived at the ground floor [joined the EU building]. [And the people from the Serbian floor started supporting and executing the killings of other floor members…] […]
Spiridon argues that Serbia doesn’t need worse punishment than today’s state:
Serbia has so many problems. There is nobody to blame for the current stage. Current and old political scenes are “black without any white”. Srebrenica crime deserves public and, if you will, official apology. The fact that you feel bad that the nation went trough this without a punishment was nicely commented by Virtualni Vasilije:
“The whole situation fits to my opinion that the major number of these NGOs would like things to seem much worse than they really are. If the situation is better, there is no need for financial support for most of the Non-governmental organizations which exist at the moment. There is no glimpse of will for justice and real fight for humanitarian rights…”
Think abut the babies in a Tirsova [hospital] if today’s reps of political garbage don’t think about them. In case we are forced to pay war damage to Bosnia, the burden wouldn’t be felt by your, [Boris] Tadic’s or [Vojislav] Kostunica’s back. […]
Snezana7plus is bitter because of blog author's words:
As you try to simplify the issues here, I would like to get an explanation of some attitudes.
For example, in that big building […] where the Serbs who respected all other nations lived, the ones who protested against [Slobodan] Milosevic, who suffered because they didn’t want to take part in the war, who went out to be the victims themselves, who even today have many difficulties with the crazy [“politicians”].
You know, I don’t feel right when Americans put me at the same floor and bombed me, it comes even harder when Europe does it, but it is the toughest when someone from that big building does it.
“I really believe that you guys who are reading this aren’t killers, but didn’t some of you stand quiet when you should have spoken up?”
If you believe – you believe, there is no need for you to REALLY believe.
Wise people say, when somebody says “but,” everything before that word can be erased.
Dj responds with a spree of questions:
Am I guilty if my brother rapes my cousin?
Am I guilty if my sister hits a small child with a car at a pedestrian crossing, and if she had stolen the car from my aunt?
Can I be guilty, if my mother goes mad and kills my father?
Am I guilty just a bit if my grandmother refuses to give a medicine to my grandfather, and so he dies?
Where does my guilt stand in the case if my spouse’s mother uses an illegal gun I didn’t know about to shoot a man who tried to rob her?
Am I normal if I don’t feel guilty in any of these cases?