Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Bosnia & Herzegovina: Alexandros Lykourezos

Srebrenica Genocide Blog writes about Alexandros Lykourezos, Ratko Mladic and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

119 comments

  • Owen

    In response to Maja, as a regular reader of Srebrenica Genocide Blog I’d like to say that the blog’s focus has always been the genocidal massacre at Srebrenica.

    The author is fiercely committed to the cause of discovering the truth of what happened and obtaining justice for the victims. His condemnation of the perpetrators and of those who seek to help them and their backers avoid justice is uncompromising, but he’s no nationalist.

    The blog concentrates on Srebrenica, the victims and justice. Nationalism only enters into it insofar as the author is relentless in his condemnation of the nationalists he holds responsible for the atrocity. I have great admiration for his dogged refusal to allow the false narrative propagated by the likes of Serbianna to gain currency.

  • Owen

    Hello Veronica

    Thanks for sorting out the problems. It’s as well that we’re aware that problems can arise in messages getting misdirected and lost, but it’s reassuring you’ve sorted the problem out so diligently.

  • Maya

    My apologies – the website has a section named ‘Serbian Propaganda’, which kind of got me on the defensive. Not all Serbs deny these facts, and by calling it ‘Serbian Propaganda’ instead of ‘Serbian Government Propaganda’ or something similar, the website (to me) appears a bit…one-sided. Perhaps this is just indicative of my own state of mind – I can not fathom that one side can be completely right and the other completely wrong in an argument. I can not equate the Serbian people in this war to the German people in WWII. So I often try to see things from the Serb nationalists’ point of view and try to make concessions to their arguments, and it’s driving me crazy because I can see no logic to it. Just murderous barbaric ultra-nationalism. It’s hard to know what to think, when they claim, like Michael earlier, that 1000s of Serbs were summarily executed by the Bosnians around Srebrenica, or when they come up with a former war prisoners’ society with a huge membership…the examples are numerous. When you’re bombarded with it constantly, you can not help but believe it’s true. Even stupid stuff like ‘We’re not the only ones who committed war crimes, so why are WE the only ones being sent to the Hague’. This argument is wank, but one has to stop and think about it. After all, Serbs constitute 1/3 of the population of Bosnia and we have to live with them. How do we do that, when they won’t accept guilt for Srebrenica etc, and when we can’t forget or forgive?

  • Mayya

    Also, about genocide in Bosnia: it wasn’t done in Srebrenica only, it was done in all Serb-occupied parts of Bosnia, sanctioned and organised by the Bosnian Serb leadership. By kicking people out of their homes, by burning homes, mosques, by raping, murdering and pillaging – in short, by destroying every memory of happiness and all that connects people to their land both emotionally and physically, the VRS have made sure that these people will never come back – is this genocide? Some would argue that it isn’t, and use the milder expression ‘ethnic cleansing’ – but I see no difference between the two and consider any arguments to the contrary highly hypocritical.

  • Owen

    Maya, the point about the use of the word “genocide” in relation to Srebrenica is that it refers to a specific legal finding that the crime of genocide was perpetrated there in July 1995. That is, an offence provided for in law by the International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide was committed. It’s not simply a general description of atrocity, the crime of genocide at Srebrenica is a proven fact in international law.

    Go to the ICTY case index webpage http://www.un.org/icty/cases-e/index-e.htm and under “Select an accused name” pick Krstic, Radislav. When Case IT-98-33 download the “Judgment” documents under Trial Chamber and Appeal Chamber. The court very carefully examined the evidence and the issues. The actual crime of genocide is one that has been very difficult to prove in the courts because of the need to prove intent and to prove it beyond reasonable doubt. The Krstic judgments will tell you a lot about the way the issues were discussed.

    The question of intent has been the stumbling block in achieving convictions across the wider area of Bosnia. You and I may be convinced from the pattern of events that genocide was committed there, but that fact hasn’t been proven in a court of law in any significant case (albeit there have been findings against minor participants). I have to confess that I still don’t understand why the ICTY failed to convict Momcilo Krajisnik on the basis of the evidence produced to it, but the court decided that the evidence of the “mens rea” – the criminal intent” – hadn’t been proven.

    Be absolutely clear, that’s not saying that genocide wasn’t committed in Bosnia. It’s saying that the no-one in any significant position of responsibility has been found guilty of the crime in a court of international law.

    That is why the author of Srebrenica Genocide Blog is so ferocious in his defence of the term “genocide” in relation to Srebrenica. The crime was proven at the ICTY and then endorsed by the highest body in international law, the International Court of Justice.

    The International Court of Justice confirmed the ICTY finding that genocide had been committed by the Bosnian Serbs at Srebrenica – that is now established beyond doubt and quibble. What it failed to do for various reasons was to establish that Serbia had been responsible for genocide. The basis of its finding that genocide hadn’t been proven against Serbia is very cogently argued in the dissenting opinion of Judge al-Khasawneh in the ICJ Case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro)- go to http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=3&k=f4&case=91&code=bhy&p3=4and down the page to Judgment of 26 February 2007 – * Dissenting Opinion of Vice-President Al-Khasawneh, where you can download the .pf file.

    In Judge Al-Khasawneh’s opinion (remember, this is an assessment of the Court’s finding by the Court’s Vice-President) he makes a number of points but there are two very forceful ones as far as the ordinary non-legal observer is concerned. “The Court should have required the Respondent to provide unedited copies of its Supreme Defence Council documents, failing which the Court should have allowed a more liberal recourse to inference” – in other words Serbia concealed evidence and the Court should have drawn conclusions about the nature of the concealed evidence – and, relevant to the point you made, “The Court’s refusal to infer genocide from a consistent pattern of conduct in Bosnia and Herzegovina is inconsistent with the established jurisprudence of the ICTY”.

    I’m sorry, that’s a lot of legal stuff, but the point about it is that it is legal stuff and that countries that are members of the international community and sign up to international conventions are bound by those rulings. Genocide has been proven at Srebrenica. That is something that denialist Serbs can refuse to accept but for the rest of the world is a legal reality.

    You perhaps in the circumstances where you are may not have noticed it, but in the year or so since the International Court’s finding I have noticed a significant fall-off in the activities of those denialists on the internet. The reason, I’d suggest, is that they know (at least the more intelligent ones who have been engaged in strategic campaigning on the issue, that they cannot challenge the International Court of Justice’s conclusion that genocide was perpetrated at Srebrenica by the Bosnian Serbs and that *Serbia was guilty under the Genocide Convention of failing to prevent genocide* without opening up the question of Serbia’s own responsibility for genocide.

    Don’t worry too much about the likes of Michael Averko. They are offensive and their comments upsetting but international law tells us that these people are at least mistaken, and we know what they say to be the wilful lies that they are.

    I’d enocurage you to keep paying visits to Srebrenica Genocide Blog. There’s a mass of relevant information there. And you can be sure that he’ll be keeping us infomrmed about the forthcoming court cases in the Netherlands in which the evidence will be re-examined in the court cases which some of the victims’ relatives are bringing against the Dutch State and the United Nations for their failure to protect the civilian population at Srebrenica.

    Don’t allow the liars to discourage you from telling people the truth.

  • Philip Thompson

    Maya, you are unfortunately wrong. Indeed, the website… ops, the blog contains section Serbian Propaganda, but if you took time to read the article, you would learn that the article refers to the Serbian government, quote:

    “Serbs as people are not inherently evil, but radical and ultra-nationalist Serbian politicians are one of the worst. It is interesting how Milosevic-era propaganda, partly inspired by the Srebrenica Genocide denier Milivoje Ivanisevic, still lives on.”

  • Philip Thompson’s comments are unsubstantiated and broad babble.

    Marko Attila Hoare’s faith in a kangaroo court reveals a flawed advocacy. Years ago, the UN had a resolution linking Zionism to racism. It was an “international” document. Does Hoare agree with that one? A number of legal scholars and astute academics have successfully revealed the faulty manner of the ICTY. Hoare’s ongoing denial of Bosnian Muslim nationalist wrongdoing is in line with his ongoing display of deceit.

    I’m considerably more objective than Hoare. This includes what I’ve said at this thread. On the other hand, he distorts what I’ve said.

    Among the issues, is a fully confirmed review, revealing the Bosnian Civil War deaths at Srebrenica in terms of the ethnic breakdown of those killed and how they were killed (whether by summary execution, collateral damage, or as armed combatants). In that area, the stated Serb deaths have ranged in the hundreds to over 3,000. The former can be considered more believable than the latter. The stated 8,000 Muslim killed in Srebrenica during the war hasn’t clearly confirmed a breakdown on how they were killed (once again: whether by summary execution, collateral damage, or as armed combatants).

    Along with some others, I wasn’t the one with the “poor grasp” of total Bosnian Civil War casualties. Hoare talks about “lies.” How about the “lies” regarding the overly bloated figures of 200,000 or more killed during the entire Bosnian Civil War and rape claims in the tens of thousands? His underhanded acknowledgement of this (at his blog) second guesses the now generally accepted 100,000 figure because of what he calls undocumented war related starvation and disease fatalities caused by the war. Hoare shows no conclusive evidence to support that suggestion. Instead, he brings up other conflicts where such war related deaths have been evident. It’s not evident relative to Bosnia. The civil war related to Biafra clearly included massive death by starvation. Likewise, wars fought in tropical jungle like conditions have led to mass deaths caused by diseases. All this isn’t evident vis-à-vis the Bosnian Civil War.

    My comments about Izetbegovic are more accurate than Hoare’s comments about Draza Miahailovic (reference Izetbegovic’s past in the link to this note).

    Hoare’s portrayal of the USSR in the time shortly before 1941 is in line with his skewed way of distorting the past and present.

    The West’s selling out of Czechoslovakia to Hitler, Poland and Hungary in 1938 made it easier for the Nazis to attack the USSR.

    In point of fact, the USSR offered the West a joint alliance against the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. This offer was rejected. The West was no doubt hoping that the Nazis would just stay East. Recall Truman’s wish to see both regimes bleeding each other to a pulp.

    All this is said with the understanding and revulsion that Stalin’s regime was brutish. It nevertheless had a reasonable basis for making its own deal with the Nazis. One that was encouraged by how the West chose to address the Czechoslovak matter in 1938.

    Considering her fascist display in this discussion, Maja is being quite bizarre in wrongly accusing me of such manner.

    She was the one who brought up Russia. I appropriately replied to her comments.

    Serbianna is far more objective than the Srebrenica Genocide Blog (SGB) and Greater Surbiton (GS). The latter two only post views in line with their overly one sided and often times faulty perspectives. Serbianna posts and links articles with views different from Serbianna’s contributors. Unlike the SGB and GS, I acknowledge Serb wrongdoing in a way that they don’t acknowledge Bosnian Muslim nationalist wrongs.

    Maja/Mayya is quite a flake. On the one hand, she earlier acknowledged Bosnian Muslim nationalist propaganda efforts. On the other hand, she’s mute about gong after such efforts as displayed at this thread.

    Abdic is by no means perfect. The same holds true of Izetbegovic, whose Islamic Declaration and WW II ties I haven’t distorted:

    http://antiwar.com/malic/?articleid=1382

    Fact based opinions citing factual instances. One can find plenty of other instances in well founded support of the above link.

    Bosnia’s Croats very much opposed the Izetbegovic side during the war. This included instances of opposing him in conjunction with Abdic and-or the Serbs. This Bosnian Croat stance only changed after influential forces in the West gave them a carrot to do so. This quite likely included a green light for Operation Storm. In addition, the Croats are said to have skimmed Iranian arms deliveries to Izetbegovic’s side upon delivery into Croatia.

  • Previous attempts to post haven’t appearecd to have gone thru. Apologize if this is a repeat:

    Philip Thompson’s comments are unsubstantiated and broad babble.

    Marko Attila Hoare’s faith in a kangaroo court reveals a flawed advocacy. Years ago, the UN had a resolution linking Zionism to racism. It was an “international” document. Does Hoare agree with that one? A number of legal scholars and astute academics have successfully revealed the faulty manner of the ICTY. Hoare’s ongoing denial of Bosnian Muslim nationalist wrongdoing is in line with his ongoing display of deceit.

    I’m considerably more objective than Hoare. This includes what I’ve said at this thread. On the other hand, he distorts what I’ve said.

    Among the issues, is a fully confirmed review, revealing the Bosnian Civil War deaths at Srebrenica in terms of the ethnic breakdown of those killed and how they were killed (whether by summary execution, collateral damage, or as armed combatants). In that area, the stated Serb deaths have ranged in the hundreds to over 3,000. The former can be considered more believable than the latter. The stated 8,000 Muslim killed in Srebrenica during the war hasn’t clearly confirmed a breakdown on how they were killed (once again: whether by summary execution, collateral damage, or as armed combatants).

    Along with some others, I wasn’t the one with the “poor grasp” of total Bosnian Civil War casualties. Hoare talks about “lies.” How about the “lies” regarding the overly bloated figures of 200,000 or more killed during the entire Bosnian Civil War and rape claims in the tens of thousands? His underhanded acknowledgement of this (at his blog) second guesses the now generally accepted 100,000 figure because of what he calls undocumented war related starvation and disease fatalities caused by the war. Hoare shows no conclusive evidence to support that suggestion. Instead, he brings up other conflicts where such war related deaths have been evident. It’s not evident relative to Bosnia. The civil war related to Biafra clearly included massive death by starvation. Likewise, wars fought in tropical jungle like conditions have led to mass deaths caused by diseases. All this isn’t evident vis-à-vis the Bosnian Civil War.

    My comments about Izetbegovic are more accurate than Hoare’s comments about Draza Miahailovic (reference Izetbegovic’s past in the link to this note).

    Hoare’s portrayal of the USSR in the time shortly before 1941 is in line with his skewed way of distorting the past and present.

    The West’s selling out of Czechoslovakia to Hitler, Poland and Hungary in 1938 made it easier for the Nazis to attack the USSR.

    In point of fact, the USSR offered the West a joint alliance against the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. This offer was rejected. The West was no doubt hoping that the Nazis would just stay East. Recall Truman’s wish to see both regimes bleeding each other to a pulp.

    All this is said with the understanding and revulsion that Stalin’s regime was brutish. It nevertheless had a reasonable basis for making its own deal with the Nazis. One that was encouraged by how the West chose to address the Czechoslovak matter in 1938.

    Considering her fascist display in this discussion, Maja is being quite bizarre in wrongly accusing me of such manner.

    She was the one who brought up Russia. I appropriately replied to her comments.

    Serbianna is far more objective than the Srebrenica Genocide Blog (SGB) and Greater Surbiton (GS). The latter two only post views in line with their overly one sided and often times faulty perspectives. Serbianna posts and links articles with views different from Serbianna’s contributors. Unlike the SGB and GS, I acknowledge Serb wrongdoing in a way that they don’t acknowledge Bosnian Muslim nationalist wrongs.

    Maja/Mayya is quite a flake. On the one hand, she earlier acknowledged Bosnian Muslim nationalist propaganda efforts. On the other hand, she’s mute about gong after such efforts as displayed at this thread.

    Abdic is by no means perfect. The same holds true of Izetbegovic, whose Islamic Declaration and WW II ties I haven’t distorted:

    http://antiwar.com/malic/?articleid=1382

    Fact based opinions citing factual instances. One can find plenty of other instances in well founded support of the above link.

    Bosnia’s Croats very much opposed the Izetbegovic side during the war. This included instances of opposing him in conjunction with Abdic and-or the Serbs. This Bosnian Croat stance only changed after influential forces in the West gave them a carrot to do so. This quite likely included a green light for Operation Storm. In addition, the Croats are said to have skimmed Iranian arms deliveries to Izetbegovic’s side upon delivery into Croatia.

  • Another attempt as the others didn’t seem to get carried over to the “awaiting moderation” note.

    Philip Thompson’s comments are unsubstantiated and broad babble.

    Marko Attila Hoare’s faith in a kangaroo court reveals a flawed advocacy. Years ago, the UN had a resolution linking Zionism to racism. It was an “international” document. Does Hoare agree with that one? The point being that the “international” tag isn’t the end all for determining accuracy and virtue to a given set of issues. All of us haven’t always agreed to what a given international body has determined. A number of legal scholars and astute academics have successfully revealed the faulty manner of the ICTY. Hoare’s ongoing denial of Bosnian Muslim nationalist wrongdoing is in line with his ongoing display of deceit.

    I’m considerably more objective than Hoare. This includes what I’ve said at this thread. On the other hand, he distorts what I’ve said.

    Among the issues, is a fully confirmed review, revealing the Bosnian Civil War deaths at Srebrenica in terms of the ethnic breakdown of those killed and how they were killed (whether by summary execution, collateral damage, or as armed combatants). In that area, the stated Serb deaths have ranged in the hundreds to over 3,000. The former can be considered more believable than the latter. The stated 8,000 Muslims killed in Srebrenica during the war hasn’t clearly confirmed a breakdown on how they were killed (once again: whether by summary execution, collateral damage, or as armed combatants).

    Along with some others, I wasn’t the one with the “poor grasp” of total Bosnian Civil War casualties. Hoare talks about “lies.” How about the “lies” regarding the overly bloated figures of 200,000 or more killed during the entire Bosnian Civil War and rape claims in the tens of thousands? His underhanded acknowledgement of this (at his blog) second guesses the now generally accepted 100,000 figure because of what he calls undocumented war related starvation and disease fatalities caused by the war. Hoare shows no conclusive evidence to support that suggestion. Instead, he brings up other conflicts where such war related deaths have been evident. It’s not evident relative to Bosnia. The civil war related to Biafra clearly included massive death by starvation. Likewise, wars fought in tropical jungle like conditions have led to mass deaths caused by diseases. All this isn’t evident vis-à-vis the Bosnian Civil War.

    My comments about Izetbegovic are more accurate than Hoare’s comments about Draza Miahailovic (reference Izetbegovic’s past in the link to this note).

    Hoare’s portrayal of the USSR in the time shortly before 1941 is in line with his skewed way of distorting the past and present.

    The West’s selling out of Czechoslovakia to Hitler, Poland and Hungary in 1938 made it easier for the Nazis to attack the USSR.

    In point of fact, the USSR offered the West a joint alliance against the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. This offer was rejected. The West was no doubt hoping that the Nazis would just stay East. Recall Truman’s wish to see both regimes bleeding each other to a pulp.

    All this is said with the understanding and revulsion that Stalin’s regime was brutish. It nevertheless had a reasonable basis for making its own deal with the Nazis. One that was encouraged by how the West chose to address the Czechoslovak matter in 1938.

    Considering her fascist display in this discussion, Maja is being quite bizarre in wrongly accusing me of such manner.

    She was the one who brought up Russia. I appropriately replied to her comments.

    Serbianna is far more objective than the Srebrenica Genocide Blog (SGB) and Greater Surbiton (GS). The latter two only post views in line with their overly one sided and often times faulty perspectives. Serbianna posts and links articles with views different from Serbianna’s contributors. Unlike the SGB and GS, I acknowledge Serb wrongdoing in a way that they don’t acknowledge Bosnian Muslim nationalist wrongs.

    Maja/Mayya is quite a flake. On the one hand, she earlier acknowledged Bosnian Muslim nationalist propaganda efforts. On the other hand, she’s mute about gong after such efforts as displayed at this thread.

    Abdic is by no means perfect. The same holds true of Izetbegovic, whose Islamic Declaration and WW II ties I haven’t distorted:

    http://antiwar.com/malic/?articleid=1382

    Fact based opinions citing factual instances. One can find plenty of other instances in well founded support of the above link.

    Bosnia’s Croats very much opposed the Izetbegovic side during the war. This included instances of opposing him in conjunction with Abdic and-or the Serbs. This Bosnian Croat stance only changed after influential forces in the West gave them a carrot to do so. This quite likely included a green light for Operation Storm. In addition, the Croats are said to have skimmed Iranian arms deliveries to Izetbegovic’s side upon delivery into Croatia.

  • In attempting to portray the deaths of 8,000 to 10,000 Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) as an exaggeration or a fabrication, Srebrenica genocide deniers, such as Michael Averko, wildly manipulate geopolitical data, reference works, bedrock historical facts, judicial findings and other sources of information and reportage. Another centerpiece of “revisionist” propaganda attacks the objectivity and legal validity of the International Criminal Tribunal (ICJ) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), where the general history of the genocide was first established.

    As such, Michael Averko’s credibility is shattered. Opinion is cheap, everybody has it. Srebrenica genocide is not a matter of anybody’s opinion, it’s a judicial fact.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.