Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Serbian parliament fails to agree on massacre

BELGRADE, July 15 (Reuters) - The Serbian parliament has abandoned efforts to adopt a declaration condemning war crimes because parties cannot agree on what to say about the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of thousands of Bosnian Muslims.

"This is my personal defeat," said parliament speaker Predrag Markovic after consultations broke down late on Tuesday over how to mention Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two.

He refused to allow any debate since it was doomed to end in a divisive vote unless a text were agreed by all in advance.

"No one has the right to score political points on issues such as these," Markovic said. Serbia had wanted to acknowledge Srebrenica before the 10th anniversary of the massacre on July 11.

The Council of Ministers of the loose union of Serbia and Montenegro -- which does not include the two heads of government or respective presidents -- issued a statement on Wednesday condemning "the crime against Bosnian prisoners and civilians".

There should be no collective guilt, it said.

"Those who killed in Srebrenica and who organised and ordered this masssacre represented neither Serbia nor Montenegro but an undemocratic regime of terror and death to which a large majority of citizens put up the strongest resistance."

Some historians would dispute how strong the resistance was. Over half of Serbs questioned in a recent poll said they did not believe their kin had committed war crimes in the 1990s.

But a video broadcast this month showed Serb police torturing and executing six Muslims from Srebrenica in 1995.

It was this shock broadcast, applauded by the West as long overdue therapy, that prompted parliament to try to draft a text showing Serbia is ready to face up to its bloody past.

The video was followed by a surge of media reports that the government was preparing for the surrender or arrest of Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb army commander at Srebrenica wanted for genocide by the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague.


Parliament's deadlock exposed the limits of efforts to bring Serbia to terms with the fact that Serbs were responsible for most civilian deaths in the Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo wars.

Many believe it would be dishonourable to hand over Mladic to a court they consider incorrigibly biased against them. But Western powers want Serbia to acknowledge atrocities and close the war chapter, before joining NATO and the European Union. The opposition Democratic Party (DS) of President Boris Tadic had wanted to single out only Srebrenica, where Bosnian Serb forces killed up to 8,000 unarmed Muslims in July 1995. "The crime in Srebrenica is considered in Europe as a symbol of all war crimes," said Dusan Petrovic of the Democrats.

But, asserting the moral equivalence that has been the main plank in a wall of denial for 10 years, other parties said it was wrong not to also mention crimes committed against Serbs in the decade of ethnic war triggered by the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Socialist Ivica Dacic said singling out Srebrenica would be capitulating to "those who want to officially condemn Serbia and Montenegro for genocide against Moslems, Croats and Albanians".

Petrovic said opposition from the ultranationalist Radicals and the Socialists of ex-strongman Slobodan Milosevic was no surprise. But he was disappointed not to have the support of Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica's ruling party.

Kostunica's party wanted a resolution condemning Srebrenica but also crimes against Serbs in the Balkan wars.

In similar vein, Wednesday's daily Vecernje Novosti carried photos of a Serb beheaded by foreign Islamic mujahideen fighters who came to help Muslims in the Bosnia war, saying they were from a video even more horrible than that of the Serb police.


Anonymous said...

The true face of the Serbs shows again.

Chris Blaku said...

I'm sorry, but is anyone surprised by this?

Anonymous said...

Surprise, surprise!

Anonymous said...

To support something like this agreement is instant...its quite a surprise they dont learn.

Chris Blaku said...

Instant among civilized peoples yes... However, it is time the Serbians are shown for what they are, war mongers driven by nationalism to a degree not seen since Nazi Germany.

Anonymous said...

I am bemused

Illyr jom said...

I would've been surprised if it had happened. They're still 'in shock'.

Chris Blaku said...

The existence of the tape was widely known in Serbia, especially in the "shocked" town where many of the Scorpions came from.

Tadic was shown the tape weeks earlier, yet once the tape was shown to the world... He suddenly got on TV, lip quivering and all, and told the nation that he was shocked and outraged.

Too little, too late, Tadic.

Anonymous said...

The systemic pathology of vilifying Serbia and ignoring the crimes commited by Muslims and their nefarious proxies in pursuit of their quest to advance the agenda of Islamic dominance needs to be confronted directly and examined for what it is- a byproduct of the moral capitulation of the formally Christian West.

Anonymous said...

As Americans we should never forget the heroic efforts of ordinary Serbians who at great risk to themselves and families saved the lives of countless American bomber crews who would otherwise have been turned over their Nazi overlords by the Croats and Muslim Albanians. All parties must be held equally accountable for crimes committed or the Western elites should back off from the sham of blaming only Serbs.

Anonymous said...

Some idiot with no understanding of history compared the Serbs with Nazi Germany. I use term idiot for only an idiot would fail to see the irony in the fact that Serbs fought against Nazi Croatia and the psuedo SS formations composed of murderous Bosnian Muslims and Albanian gangsters bent on genocide (Jews & Serbs) and a tool of Hitlerite Germany. The Russians made quick work in dealing with these fanatics in Stalingrad!