Friday, July 22, 2011

Srebrenica - Izdani grad (A town betrayed)


As reviewed by Julia Gorin:
"Srebrenica: A Town Betrayed" follows interviews and revelations by Bosnian-Muslim investigative journalist Mirsad Fazlic, who doesn’t appreciate the fictitious, black-and-white version of the Bosnian war that is perpetuated by the international community and by Bosnian officialdom, which still honors wartime president Alija Izetbegovic as a national hero when Fazlic and others know he was the opposite. The film really begins only at the four-minute mark, and its main shortcoming is the ubiquitous, stubborn marriage to the notion that the number “7-8,000 killed” is anything other than a concoction that the world has been working backwards for 16 years to make seem real.
Among numerous of the film’s jaw-dropping revelations — including the fact that the humanitarian convoys which the Serbs were allowing to pass to Srebrenica were being intercepted by Bosnian “hero” Naser Oric and sold on the black market (and including Srebrenica police chief Hakija Mehovic describing the meeting at which the Bosnian leadership floated a proposal by Bill Clinton that 5,000 Srebrenica residents be sacrificed) — are the following:
1. “Mladic had four tanks and 400 men. In reserve he also had 1600 armed locals. But Mladic didn’t trust them since they lacked discipline and would use every opportunity to revenge [Srebrenica warlord] Oric’s attacks on the villages. The Serbs were outgunned by NATO’s fighter aircraft, 450 Dutch peacekeepers and Oric’s 5,500 soldiers.” (The first fact is important as a contradistinction to the Mladic that has been presented to the public, and there is more in the film in that regard. The latter factoids are important to illustrate that Srebrenica was set up for the Serbs to overpower, with the Muslim side “winning by losing,” as Nebojsa Malic calls it.)
2. In reference to the 50 Serbian villages that were being attacked by the Muslims of Srebrenica: “Especially disturbing was a religious dimension to the killings. Men were castrated in an anti-Christian gesture of circumcision. Pregnant women were disemboweled with cuts in the form of a cross. Some people were crucified, nails driven through their hands.”


3. “In April 1993 military chiefs from both sides — General Sefer Halilovic and General Ratko Mladic — signed a UN plan for Srebrenica and the other cities to become demilitarized zones. The Muslims promised on their side to stop the aggression against the Serbs around the enclaves and against the 15,000 Serbs still living in the capital Sarajevo.” (The Muslim side naturally didn’t hold to their end of the bargain, but what makes the excerpt exceptional is the word “aggression” for once attributed to the correct side of the Bosnian war.)
4. “Islam will win, since Bosnia is an Islamic country.” (Graffiti on the walls of a destroyed building in Kravica, where on January 7, 1993 — Orthodox Christmas — Muslims destroyed the town, killing 49 men, women, and children.)


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