Sunday, June 05, 2005

Blood on Their Hands - Time Magazine

A shocking video clip brings the war in Bosnia home to Serbs

The video clip from the Bosnian war is profoundly shocking: a Serb Orthodox priest can be seen blessing Serb troops from a unit known as the Scorpions as they head out on their mission in 1995. The same men are then shown forcing six emaciated Bosnian Muslims from the back of a canvas-covered truck. They bind the prisoners' hands, march them into a clearing and machine-gun them, one by one, while the others watch.

The clip, filmed by the unit and obtained by a Serb human-rights investigator, aired last week in the Hague at the trial for war crimes of former Serb strongman Slobodan Milosevic. It was also broadcast around Europe. But it was in Serbia itself that the footage caused the greatest tremor. "Serbia is deeply shocked," Boris Tadic, the reform-minded Serb President, said in a televised address. The images, he said, are "proof of a monstrous crime committed against persons of a different religion ... in the name of our nation."

Serb officials had previously denied that their troops were involved in the Bosnian war. The tape is the first to show that Serb troops — not just Bosnian Serb militia — killed prisoners at Srebenica, Bosnia, where some 8,000 Muslims were murdered. After the tape was shown, 10 Scorpions, including some of the men seen in the clip, were arrested in Serbia on war-crimes charges, in what U.N. war-crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte called a "brilliant operation." Until confronted with this evidence, most Serbs viewed their troops as war heroes and not as criminals. In a recent poll in Serbia, half of the respondents did not know or did not believe that any war crimes had taken place in Bosnia.

Natasa Kandic, the investigator who delivered the tape to the Hague, told Time that it "was not only an important piece of evidence against Milosevic in his trial for genocide, but also a heavy blow to all those who were trying to cover up the role of Serbia in the Srebenica massacre." The 10th anniversary of that massacre is next month, but its history is still being written.


Anonymous said...

Natasha Kandic must receive the highest medal of honour of the independent state of Kosova.

Ms. Kandic lives at least 100 years ahead of any other Serb, and they will live to thank her for the long time to come.

As a Kosovar, I am greatful and I thank her for all the brilliant work she has done in Kosova and elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

When Ms. Kandic receives the highest medal from Serbia, then we will know that the Serbs have progressed. The extent to which Serbs are in denial and even worse, openly justifying their crimes because of the different nationality of their victims, shows they are not at present worthy of the respect of any human being, much less entry into NATO or the EU or to receive US aid.

Anonymous said...

And you shiptars have admitted your crimes, right?

At least we HAVE human rights activists in Serbia who are chasing war criminals. At least Serbia has arrested some war criminals. There is not even a single person in Kosovo who has ever condemned war atrocities committed by KLA against Serbian civilians.

Let he who is without sin...

Anonymous said...

That is because we are the victims and you are the agressors, shit-head. That is why the whole world bombed you.

Anonymous said...

Albanians don't need to chase people and force them to go to ICTY. They fought honestly, and are not bitches to hide from their actions. How can one be considered a hero if he runs away like chicken?

Anonymous said...

Who "owns" the largest number of seats in the Hagg? Serbs. While at the same time all those indicted are national serb heroes, there is definetly something wrong with this country. How can we be so unfortunate to share a border with this messed up place?