Truth about Serbia and Recent Balkan War

The Truth About Serbia and the Recent Balkan War

Compliments of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Denver ©1996

"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
(John 8:32)


Bosnia - The Bloodshed and the Blame
by Nora Beloff

A Commentary
by Bishop Isaiah of Denver

This pamphlet is dedicated to all the innocent victims of the civil war in
the former Yugoslavia.

Bosnia - The Bloodshed and the Blame

(The following article was written by Ms. Nora Beloff, who was contacted at
her home in England and gave permission to reprint this article. Ms. Beloff
is the former chief political correspondent of the Observer, and the author
of several books, including Tito's Flawed Legacy.)

It is one of the paradoxes of Yugoslavia's tragic civil war that most of the
leaders of the Jewish community favour the Croats and the Muslims, backed
respectively by the Germans and the Islamic world, against the Serbs, who are
fighting primarily to rescue Serb enclaves from what they see as ethnically
and religiously biased rule.

Every Jew must shudder at the words 'ethnic cleansing' or 'genocide' and this
agonised sensitivity has been exploited, by selective reporting and
unconfirmed atrocities, to make the Serbs appear as Hitlerite aggressors.
Most Serbs see themselves, on the contrary, as protectors of the Serb
minorities who are living inside the internationally recognised but
multi-ethnic provinces of what had been Yugoslavia, as well as acquiring the
access routes to reach them.

Recognising this discrepancy in no way denies the appalling suffering
imposed by the siege of Sarajevo and other contested areas, nor belittles the
efforts to rescue Jews from this inferno.

But what we also need to admit is the overwhelming evidence that, although
the Serbs have the heaviest and most televisable guns, they have no monopoly
on the slaughter and sadism. All three communities, Orthodox, Catholic and
Muslim, incited by vicious nationalist leaders, are guilty of war crimes
against hapless civilians who happen not to belong to their own ethnic group.

In this respect, President Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia is no worse than
President Franjo Tudjman of Croatia or President Alija Izetbegovic of Bosnia.

Political and religious leaders, whether Jewish or not, cannot help being
influenced by a public, enraged by daily TV news bites presented to them by
reporters with no knowledge of the historical or political background and who
compete against each other for the most easily accessible horrors, the
bloodier the better.

Wiser judgements might prevail if the origins of the present conflict were
examined. For there is no good reason to suppose that the dreadful civil war
need never have taken place, had it not been for German and, later, American
promotion of unilateral declarations of independence by the component parts
of the Yugoslav federation – despite both the mixed ethnic composition of the
populations and the repeated warnings from France and Britain.

The Tito brand of Communism was already in an advanced state of decomposition
and, in any case, had never been run for the benefit of the Serbs. New
forms of self-government within appropriate boundaries might, with the help
of international mediators, have been negotiated, with little acrimony and
skirmishes. For when the fighting stops, the contenders, at least those who
survive, will have to go on living within the same geographically narrow
confines, though the present violence may have indefinitely delayed the
ultimately necessary reconciliation.

The simplistic Western view is that the troubles started when Milosevic
re-imposed Serb rule on the Albanian-inhabited Serb province of Kosovo. Like
other Communist bosses, he had recognised that he could retain power only by
playing up the nationalist issue.

What the media ignore is that, in the late 1960s, Tito had transferred power
from the Serbs to his Albanian cronies and, as I saw during my own visits,
they built up local support by harassing and driving out the hated and
vulnerable Serbs.

The Serb response was, of course, excessive but so was the reaction of the
Slovene and Croat nationalists who used the Kosovo issue to fuel hatred and
fear of the Serbs and to incite war hysteria.

Even so, violence might have been averted had the Austrians and Germans not
encouraged the rupture and fostered the belief that the struggle for
independence would have international support.

German intervention was itself provocative. Jews should be the first to
remember that, in 1941, after Belgrade had rebelled against allowing
Yugoslavia to be incorporated into the Axis, an enraged Hitler had condemned
the Serbs to rank with the Jews and gypsies as a people to be destroyed. He
left the genocidal job to his Croat nominee, the extremist Ante Pavelic –
whose daughter has now been re-admitted to Tudjman's Croatia, where she has
registered a party aiming to rehabilitate her father.

Pavelic's followers, the Ustashas, fled after the last war, but they or their
descendants are now either returning to carry on the fight or staying behind
to finance the best public relations firms to demonise the Serbs.

In the cause of European unity, Germany induced the British and French to
recognise Croatia and Slovenia, after which, quite predictably, the rest of
Yugoslavia fell apart. It was not only an example of violence paying – and
UDI is, by its nature, violent – but also showed that what was left of
Yugoslavia, deprived of its main Catholic components, would have been
unacceptably dominated by Serbs.

The U.S. initially opposed the break-up of Yugoslavia but President Bush,
driven by public outrage over TV horror pictures and, more rationally, by the
need to stay in line with a German-dominated European Community, suddenly
changed sides. The last straw may have been when the Muslims, the biggest of
the three minorities of which Bosnia is composed, gave an Islamic twist to
the diplomatic fray.

Bush needed his Middle Eastern friends and could not appear indifferent to
the very real sufferings of the Muslims. Ignoring the fact that one-third of
the Bosnia population is Serbian, he blamed the civil war on Serbian
aggression and UN sanctions were duly imposed.

It doesn't require the perceptiveness of General Lewis Mackenzie, former
commander of the UN peace-keepers, to recognise the fact that the Muslim
leadership is desperate to keep the war going until it provokes international
involvement, the only hope it has of beating the Serbs.

President Izetbegovic's record as a peace-wrecker speaks for itself. In the
summer of 1991, he not only repudiated an initiative for power-sharing
between the Serbs and Muslims in the mixed areas – which he had himself
helped to negotiate – but later denounced his fellow negotiators for 'selling
out' to the Serbs. In early 1992, he demolished the Carrington peace
initiative, also after having seemed to support it, and flatly rejected a
'cantonisation' plan, on the Swiss model, allowing each community to run its
own affairs. Recently, he refused to enter negotiations until after the
Serbs had surrendered.

The Serbs will hardly be reassured by promises of good behaviour coming from
Zagreb or Sarajevo. There is barely a family among the Serb minorities that
does not remember or know of wartime deportations, forcible conversions and
massacres – in which the Muslim extremists were just as active as the Croats.

It is surely not for the Jews to lecture Serbs on genocide; they have
experienced it, too. And, like the Israelis, they prefer to fight than to
accept incorporation into wider communities, where they would be in perpetual

* * * * *

A Commentary

(The following commentary is based on true accounts regarding the breakup of
Yugoslavia as reported by Nora Beloff and by syndicated news columnists
during the past four years.)

Since the publication of the above news article in European newspapers over
three years ago, no American news service or newspaper has found reason to
print it in the United States.

Now the civil war in the area of Bosnia has temporarily ceased. The main
reason for the ceasefire was the bombing of Bosnian Serb areas in August of
1995 by mainly American warplanes. Over 6,000 tons of bombs fell on Serbian
populated areas for a total of fourteen days. Yet no news stories have ever
appeared about the victims of the merciless bombing, which included the
obliteration of Orthodox Christian churches, schools, hospitals, and hundreds
of homes, a tragedy that ended over four centuries of Orthodox Christian life
to its recent residents.

The pretext for this so-called NATO bombing was the last detonation of a bomb
in Sarajevo which was immediately blamed on the Serbian forces, even though
they were not responsible. Now that a good number of Iranian terrorist camps
have been discovered in Bosnia by the U.N. forces, is there any doubt who was
specializing in such bombings in and around Sarajevo? The United States,
however, wanting to find a solid reason for the continuation of NATO, decided
that the bomb explosion in Sarajevo provided a good cause to bomb the Bosnian
Serb people for a total of two weeks of relentless day and night bombings.
Thus NATO formally entered the war on the side of the Bosnian government.

With the recent airplane disaster in Croatia which killed the Commerce
Secretary of our country, Ron Brown, and up to thirty American business
executives, the world began to suspect why the United States intervened in
the civil war. Was it an attempt to open up markets for American business
interests? One wonders, at this juncture, what the main role of NATO is and
will continue to be. It is a fact that for several years the Deutch Mark has
been the main currency in Bosnia, as well as in Croatia, not to mention
Slovenia and the Czech Republic. Are the United States and Germany in
partnership for spreading western business interests as far east in Europe as
possible? And does NATO desire the Eastern Europe countries to join NATO so
that American business interests together with Germany will create new
markets there? What will this mean for the European Common Market? And
finally, is the small American military presence in the former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia an outpost for American business interests? In short,
what is the United States doing in eastern Europe?

If these questions point to such a possibility, then it is understandable why
there is no sense of remorse on the part of President Clinton, the Pentagon,
the State Department, as well as many members of Congress for the successful
efforts that have created a nation called Bosnia, while hundreds of thousands
of Serbian Christians have been decimated and forced to flee to other parts
of Bosnia. In Krajina alone at least 250,000 Serbian Bosnians were forced
out of their ancestral homes – the largest mass exodus of any refugees in
Europe since the end of World War II.

Retired American generals who have been training the Croatians for the past
three years can take the credit for the exodus and the slaughter of the
Serbians in the Krajina region while the U.N. "peacekeepers" were looking the
other way. And those Serbs who could not move out quickly enough were
slaughtered by the Croatian soldiers to the point wherein their blood ran
through the narrow streets of Krajina creating flowing streams of human blood.

The American people heard none of this; for the news blackout by the American
press services was well orchestrated. In fact it was the American media and
especially CNN which had every intention of demonizing the Serbian Christians
and they were more than successful. No American columnist ever bothered to
write about the plight of these victims of the civil strife in former

Actually CNN has been so successful in portraying Serbian Bosnians as
subhuman, that now here in the United States Serbian children from Croatian
and Bosnian concentration camps, who were supposedly brought here for humane
purposes, are being maligned by both school teachers and students in the
public schools in some of our cities and towns.

The United States has entered the war in Bosnia on the side of Croatia and
Bosnia with no intention of assisting the Serbian victims of the American
bombing campaign. Is it possible that as Stalin and Roosevelt divided
Eastern Europe between them, giving Yugoslavia to Stalin and Greece to the
West, now the United States is taking Croatia and Bosnia and leaving Serbia
to the Russians? Does this mean that the United States will help the Bosnian
government push every Serbian out of the areas which Bosnia will continue to
claim and force them into Serbia itself?

On the basis of these possibilities and probabilities the Dayton Peace Accord
will not work. It has succeeded in doing one thing: it has guaranteed a
greater hatred among the people of Bosnia toward one another and awakened
even more bitter memories of the Ustashe and the Bosnian brigades on the side
of Hitler in the 1940s who slaughtered almost one million Serbian Christians,
Jews, and Gypsies. For the present day Bosnian Serbs are the sons and
daughters of those who suffered and died during World War II at the hands of
those pro-Nazis.

President Clinton, the State Department and Pentagon, the Congress, and the
American media have all played a vital role in setting the stage for the
Third World War in the Balkans. Bosnian and Croatian soldiers are now being
trained in other countries for war by American and NATO military experts.
Heavy tanks and artillery will soon be present in Bosnia and Croatia under
the Nazi Croatian and Bosnian emblems found on the flags of those two

On the pretext of continued Serbian resistance, Bosnia and Croatia will lay
claim to more lands and the United States under the guise of NATO will
continue to give decisive support. All the while the United Nations, which
is financially strapped, will continue to remain dormant.

The American media will continue to malign the Serbian people, as was done
with the first American fatality in Bosnia in the recent past. The woman CNN
reporter suggested that he probably was killed in a Serbian controlled area,
rather than on Bosnian ground when the news first broke. No opportunity is
lost to cast suspicion on the Serbians.

Bosnian women and children will be prodded by their leaders in demonstrating
against the Serbians and demanding to return to their original homes in the
areas where the Serbs have since been forced to retreat. The Serbians,
however, will not be able to return to their original homes, since the
constitutions of both Croatia and Bosnia recognize the Serbian people only as
a second class minority, much like the Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland.

Both Croatia and Bosnia have become emboldened by the active assistance they
have been receiving from the United States. This is why they have every
intention of expanding their new nations which Germany and the Vatican first
recognized, even before the United Nations and before boundary lines had been
established. It was this initial recognition which prompted the beginning of

Whether American troops will remain in Bosnia after December 1996 or leave at
that time, the continued presence of American and German military forces in
Croatia and American military advisors in Bosnia indicate that hostilities
are expected to resume.

Since there was no outcry by the American people when the Bosnian Serbs were
bombed continuously for fourteen days and nights and since the Vatican and
some prominent Roman Catholic leaders in the United States considered the
bombings a moral imperative, there will be no outcry by anyone, until the
world realizes that the fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina will no longer be a
military campaign restricted to Bosnia, but will spill over throughout the
Balkans into the Third World War.

"... and they will turn their ears away from the truth,
and be turned aside to fables." (2 Timothy 4:4)




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