Following the publication of my extensive article Being a British Serb - living in contrariety, regarding British Serbs like myself, I received a comment from an "anonymous" person, who expressed views regarding recent Balkan history still held by many Serbs today. Here is his comment in full:
Sounds like the Brit Serbs are too cowardly and/or lazy to defend their own people in a negative atmosphere. With "Serbs" like these, no wonder Serbia doesn't do well.
Furthermore I see you push a lot of the mainstream media false accusations and propaganda against Serbs - at least you seem to agree with it or believe it is true unquestioningly - when in fact and true analysis of the claims show they fall apart. The Balkan wars WERE set up and there was bias against Serbia and Serbs from the start. It was planned to break up Yugoslavia into little pure or ethnically divided statelets. Britain was one of the countries involved with this along with the U.S. and Germany, and still others went along. So many of the "witnesses" against the Serbs have proven themselves bald-faced liars at the Hague. Yet the Hague allows these perjurers to get their propaganda set as the official "truth". There were also staged-for-the-cameras incidents in Bosnia and even some UN personnel and international officials testifying for the prosecution (against Serbs) have admitted Muslims DID stage and provoke attacks and further were witnessed killing their own people (other Muslims) to have the Serbs blamed.
23 June 2010 00:01
Putting aside his view on British Serbs' "cowardly and/or lazy" nature and Serbia's progress in the world - and whether the two are linked - I wish to respond to the main substance of his comment, which unfortunately was not about British Serbs. And I will do so in point by point fashion, and I will refer to the anonymous person in the second person, thus creating a dialogue between myself and him/herself.
- "…I see you push a lot of the mainstream media false accusations and propaganda against Serbs - at least you seem to agree with it or believe it is true unquestioningly - when in fact and true analysis of the claims show they fall apart."
- "The Balkan wars WERE set up and there was bias against Serbia and Serbs from the start."
- "It was planned to break up Yugoslavia into little pure or ethnically divided statelets. Britain was one of the countries involved with this along with the U.S. and Germany, and still others went along."
- "So many of the "witnesses" against the Serbs have proven themselves bald-faced liars at the Hague. Yet the Hague allows these perjurers to get their propaganda set as the official "truth"."
- "There were also staged-for-the-cameras incidents in Bosnia and even some UN personnel and international officials testifying for the prosecution (against Serbs) have admitted Muslims DID stage and provoke attacks and further were witnessed killing their own people (other Muslims) to have the Serbs blamed."
Interesting assumption you make: you assume that I either agree with or believe "unquestioningly" something you consider to be "mainstream media false accusations and propaganda against Serbs".
Actually, if you had read my articles Serbs, Media, Justice and Me! and Serbs, Media, Justice and Me! contd., you would've learnt that I used to think the same way as you do: I used to blame the West for the break up of Yugoslavia, and I used to think that all the war crimes accusations against Serbs were "lies", just like you do now.
Surprised? But what could've changed in me? Well, Anon - if you don't mind me calling you that - I really did do a lot of genuine analysis of virtually all those claims. And what happened? I was deeply moved to discover how my former way of thinking could not stand the test; it could not refute a single aspect of the reality of all those war crimes! Can you believe that?
Ah, but really Anon? 'Cause if that was the case, like a lot of Serbs still believe - and I used to believe, then how come the West only decided to intervene in Bosnia towards the end of the war? Have you ever asked yourself why they didn't bomb the Bosnian Serbs at the beginning of the war? You see, many believe if the West had done that, they would've prevented numerous deaths on all sides and brought the war to a speedier end. What do you think?
"[L]ittle pure or ethnically divided statelets", does that include the "Greater Serbia" project? Wasn't that supposed to be ethnically "pure", or do you deny that it happened? I used to be in denial about "Greater Serbia"; I used to think that that was a bare-faced, Western media "lie" used to smear us Serbs. Of course, the West didn't actively support "Greater Serbia", but neither were they resolutely opposed to that campaign earlier on in the conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia, as explained above.
As for Germany, a lot of Serbs resented Germany's support for an independent Croatia, understandably for historical reasons, i.e. Germany's Nazi past and the fascist Croatian puppet state during World War Two. Some Western politicians were likewise critical of Germany for supporting Croatia's independence. That's all true. But didn't you know that Germany only recognised Croatia at the end of 1991 in December, which was months after the war had started?
Ah, so you still think those witnesses were "bald-faced liars"? Oh dear, Anon! I was the same; I thought that way too. But the thing that you don't appreciate, which I used to refuse to accept as well, is how these are people who lost everything and are deeply traumatised by what they experienced during war. Because of this trauma, many are psychologically scarred and this affects their everyday life. So if they do contradict themselves, or otherwise come off irrational in your eyes, try to bear in mind that they are victims of war, and don't assume that they are "liars".
Now, you will tell me, "But look at us Serbs, we are victims too!" And yes, Anon, we are victims as well; many of us have also lost everything that we had held dear, and as a result, there are many Serbs who are likewise deeply traumatised, and living daily with psychological scars. However, I take it that you only care about Serb victims, some Serb victims more than others I bet. I, on the other hand, sympathise with all victims of conflicts, especially with people from the Former Yugoslavia, because that's where I come from and because all of us former Yugoslavs, whether we identify as Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks or anything else, have family histories that are full of war stories from various periods of Balkan history - in fact, there are too many stories of war in our families!
Oh yes, blame the victims, why don't you! But ask yourself this question: why would the Bosnian Muslims/Bosniaks of Sarajevo have staged a single shelling incident against their own people on any given day at that time, when they had been shelled constantly for over three years by the Bosnian Serbs? Have you not heard of the Siege of Sarajevo? If not, I can understand how; I heard that people in Serbia during that time had no idea that there was such a siege being laid against that once-Olympic city! And yet you blame the Western media for leading campaign of deception, and not Milošević's régime!
And as far as I understand, the Bosnian Serbs were found responsible for both attacks on Markale market in Sarajevo, despite a concerted propaganda effort to lay the blame at the Bosnian Muslims. And not only that, Serb General Stanislav Galić was found guilty for the first attack in 1994, convicted of not just one, but five counts for crimes against humanity, including murder and other inhumane acts, and one count for violations of the laws or customs of war.
So Anonymous, you blame the West for breaking up Yugoslavia rather than Serbian nationalism, which caused so much ethnic tension before the wars, and then destroyed millions of lives during those wars? You either deny that our war-time leaders ever committed ethnic cleansing - i.e. expelling people from their homes - or you accept that they did all that, but it all was done for our "safety" to "protect" us from "Ustaše" and the like!
I was just like you - in fact, I used to dream how one day I would liberate my people from "lies"! Alas, that was not to be: those "lies" I detested turned out to be actually true, whereas those "truths" that you are convinced by turned out to be disgracefully false.
So I'm sorry Anon, sorry if I've disappointed you. Call me a "traitor" or whatever you like! Be rude at my parents' expense, why don't you! Think however you want to think, but know that you can never change the truth, especially that which has passed before us, however much you wish you could.