Friday, November 10, 2006

IWPR articles

Commentary piece on the Krajisnik judgement.

Dutchbat to visit Srebrenica
I hope everyone involved has realistic expectations for what this visit will bring.

War Crimes Tribunal Need State Cooperation.


Daniel said...

They are not welcome. Dutch people are same as Serbs. Their report on Srebrenica basicly justified genocide because Srebrenica people, who were under brutal Serb siege, were attacking nearby villages in search for food. Our only true friends are Americans.

Daniel said...

Shaina, here is a long comment that I posted as an answer to your questions, hope it helps, it's just a perspective of one Bosnian that hasn't visited Bosnia since he left it, but is somewhat actively involved in reading Bosnian forums and media, so... hope it helps, hope you will enjoy it, here is the link:

Shaina said...
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Shaina said...

(all of the deleated comments were mine. i decided just to sum up everything in one, hopefully coherent long comment, than several not very coherent responses).

Thanks for your reply to my urban-rural question, I appreciate it.
I wrote a, very short, response to you on that post’s comments page.


Can you please explain to me how you feel the NIOD report “justifies genocide?”
Although the NIOD report is the most massive report on Srebrenica, it is not by any means without criticism, and it is not the “end all, be all” report on Srebrenica.
I am the first to say that the NIOD report is flawed is areas, and that I think that are problems with the report, both in terms of investigation wise and analysis wise.
Scholars and family members who are in a much better position than I am, have also made mention of some of the problems with the NIOD report.
However, while there are many legitimate criticism & problems with the NIOD report on several fronts, I don’t see how the report either overtly or covertly “justified genocide.”


I disagree with you that the “Dutch are the same as the Serbs.”
I’m assuming you are referring to the Dutchbat and not the Dutch as an ethnic group here. Because, IMO, no entire ethnic be it Americans, Bosniaks, Croats, Dutch or Serbs can be wholly generalized one way or the other, good or bad.
Besides, many of the Dutch did give aid the charities and other organizations to help Srebrenica refugees.

But, just focusing on Dutchbat for a moment. The Dutchbat (as a unit), did a lot of wrong things and made many mistakes, but they did not share the same desire as Mladic to kill every adult/teenage male in the enclave. They did not share the desire of the founders of the RS, to create an ethnically pure state founded on ethnic cleansing.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many, many places for criticism of Dutchbat action in July 1995. I believe there might even be a lawsuit against the Dutch government regarding the actions of the Dutchbat.
But, in my opinion, there needs to be a real distinction made between Dutchbat ground troops, who were being shelled by the Serb soldiers, and outgunned and outmanned, and between Dutchbat officers, like Maj. Franken, who for example, didn’t add Hasan Nuhanovic’s brother to the list of UN employees, which led to him being kicked out of the compound and into the hands of his murderers.
The vast majority of criticism for Dutchbat belong with the officers, not the ground soldiers.

Of course, not all ground soldiers are the same either. There was one battalion who acted very inappropriately, giving Nazi salutes, throwing candy as half starved children as a “game.” And some of the Dutchbat soldiers took part in prostitution and black market activities in the enclave, all while criticizing the Srebrenica authorities for engaging in similar practices, while is just beyond hypocritical in my opinion.
But, there were some Dutchbat officers who did behave much better. There was one ground soldier who was friends with the doctors in the enclave, and maintained that friendship years after 1995, and was even asked by survivors to march with them in the “march of death/march of freedom” march in 2005. And beyond this one Dutchbat soldier, there were other soldiers who did act appropriately, and some who gave money etc. to survivors.

Finally, most importantly, in my opinion the blame for Srebrenica lies with Mladic and his warped desire to take over Srebrenica and commit genocide.
However, the international community, including the US, also must take responsibility as well.
In my opinion, their guilt is greater than Dutchbat, who in many ways, were pawns in the bigger game.
It was the UN Security Council, including the US, which created the “Safe Areas” in the first place. These “Safe Areas” which were, although not wholly, mostly disarmed. It was the UN Security Council that created Safe Areas that it KNEW had no ability to defend itself. It was the UN security council who created these safe areas, without having the will nor the guts to send in enough manpower and give them permission to defend the enclave. And none of the UN Security Council nations, including the US, were willing to send their own soldiers to defend the Safe Area.
Now, I should be clear, the US role is not entirely without merit. And the US was of course instrumental in finally intervening militarily against the Serb forces, but the US, and the entire international community also helped create the vacuum of accountability and will that made the non reaction by Dutchbat soldiers and the non reaction by the UN higher ups possible.

In my opinion, the UN higher ups bear more responsibility for the fall of Srebrenica than Dutchbat does (and it goes without saying that Mladic and the VRS deserve the principle and primary blame).
One of the Dutchbat officers even asked permission to shoot at Serb artillery, but he was denied permission by his superiors in the UN.
And, Carla del Ponte has just revealed that international community (not exactly sure which countries and authorities she means) that they knew that Srebrenica was going to be overtaken and that a massacre was going to occur, but they still did nothing to stop it.