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Thoughts On Srebrenica
by Sarah Standefer

[21 July 2001]


With the illegal and dubious "extradition " of Milosovic to the Hague, once again the airwaves and newspapers are referring to the "massacre" of 8000 Muslims by Serbs in Srebrenica, Bosnia in July 1995 when the city was taken over by the Bosnian Serb Army.

This was supposedly the biggest bloodbath in Europe since the holocaust. It gave the war crimes tribunal on Yugoslavia credibilty, and is the basis of the indictments against Radko Mladic and Radan Karadzic, alleged war criminals, second only to Milosovic. It justified NATO bombing and was an important piece in demonizing the Serbs. Was it a massacre or a hoax? A close and careful look at the news and official reports at the time cast considerable doubt on the massacre theory. The evidence shows the news media and the State Department played loose and fast with the numbers of Muslims missing. The official charge that they were massacred was supported by evidence which wilted under scrutiny and to date has never been produced. Most important, UN soldiers in and around Srebrenica at the time say there were no massacres.

Because the news then as now was so anti-Serb and gave lilttle if any of that perspective, a little history is in order. In 1991 the municipality of Srebrenica and surrounding area was 73% Muslim and 25% Serb.

There was little ethnic mixing, which became a problem as tension mounted. One reason for Serb suspicion was a growing Muslim movement to establish a Muslim state within the Bosnian boundaries. To accomplish this, Serbs and Serb villages were attacked. A Serb weekly reported in 1995 that in an area around Srebrenica and including 100 villages, hamlets and towns - since 1992 - 2800 Serbs had been killed and 6000 injured in more than 100 villages, towns and hamlets.

These crimes still haven't been officially investigated, although they have been confirmed by Dutch UN military personnel present at the time. The man most responsible for this scorched earth policy was the infamous Naser Oric (1)

These systematic attacks by Muslim fighters against Bosnian Serb enclaves were the reason the Serbs attacked Srebrenica in July 1995.

Mladic, the Serb commander, informed the UN commander that the attack was to eliminate terrorists and not civilians or UN troops. The decision to capture Srebrenica was made when it was realized that Muslim fighters had fled in large numbers the night before the attack. Most probably they left because it wasn't strategically worth it to them to fight for it. (2)

The public was never informed of these events and circumstances. Instead we were inundated with the stories that 8000 Muslim men were missing and presumed massacred. The number is a falsification and misuses the UN and International Red Cross reports which said 3,000-4,000 had made it to Tuzla Some of them rejoined the Bosnian Muslim forces and some emigrated to NATO countries. Another 3000 men had been arrested in Srebrenica and taken to Serb prisons where the Red Cross visited them.

Captain Schouten, a Dutch UN military officer present in Bratunac, one of the supposed massacre sites, said he didn't believe it happened. He was free to go everywhere and saw no evidence of executions. Captain Schouten's statement was not well covered. (3)

The myth was perpetuated by the efforts to find the corpses. We were told of satellites which could find and take pictures of decomposing bodies in the ground. We were told there were satellite pictures of highly suspicious "disturbed soil" amd "mass graves". (A mass grave isn't necessarily a massacre. It is often the way the military will bury the enemy, and then identification is made after the war). When few bodies were discovered, the stories changed. (4)

First we were told the Serbs supposedly used corrosive materials to destroy the bodies. When that story didn't hold up , we were told they moved the bodies (how could this happen under the watchful eye of the satellites?).

According to the CIA, a satellite photo near Srebrenica which the press was never allowed to see showed a soccer field filled with hundreds, possibly thousands, of what we were asked to believe were Muslim men (1) and boys. Another photo a couple of days later showed the stadium empty and disturbed soil nearby. The immediate explanation was that the Serbs had murdered and buried all these people. The assumption that a soccer field full one day, empty the next, means those once there had been executed is far-fetched. Even if they were Muslims, a probable explanation would be that the people had been sent to detention camps. Members of the Security Council were not shown the original pictures but copies, and one member said she saw Muslim families, not men and boys.

This, of course, also raises questions about the CIA version. In 1995 Richard Goldstone, the chief prosecutor in the Hague, became impatient with the failure of the US to hand over the satellite photos. They were the evidence the war crimes tribunal needed. The photos have never been turned over and will not because they have been classified as "national security secrets."

Is the U.S. governent hiding the proof of a crime or proof that it has no proof of crime?

The massacre at Srebrenica of Muslims by Serbs is a hoax which continues to be trotted out and used to justify the arrest of Milosovic and the criminal US/Nato destruction and bombing of Yugoslavia.

Further reading:

1) 'Five Years On & the Lies Continue' by Jared Israel at

2) For another possible (and rather sinister) reason that members of the Islamist Army fled before Srebrenica was re-taken by the Bosnian Serb Army, see 'Refuting the Srebrenica Myth: An Islamist Perspective' by Konstantin Kilibarda at

3) 'The Construction of a Trauma ' by Abe De Vries at

4) 'David Rohde, Srebrenica and the New Justice' by Jared Israel at

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