Friday, July 15, 2005

Srebrenica: Inside Out and Backwards

The American echo machine has begun thundering against Serbia again, with the tenth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre coming up.

Julia Gorin has written a long article putting the Balkans conflict into perspective. She writes that all sides -- Croat, Muslim and Serb -- committed atrocities in the former Yugoslavia, but only the Serbs admitted to any wrongdoing.

A lot of otherwise sane commentators, who have an understanding of the danger posed by international jihadism, don't recognize it when they see it in Kosovo and Bosnia. Jay Nordlinger had a jolly visit to Albania, which is fine, but he blithely nods toward Kosovo without acknowledging that Albanians are doing anything ugly or dangerous there. The Gorin article starts with a Hannity and Combs decision to run a propaganda film about Srebrenica.

The whole article contains details left out of the American press because they don't fit the template, but Gorin gets into some analysis that I had been wondering about.

Why have the Serbs become so wicked in our eyes after their having been one of America's most consistent allies in Europe? One reason, it's a to prove our credibility in the Muslim world -- "See? Look how good we are? We bombed the sh*t out of a friendly Christian European country to save your hides" -- while skating uneasily over the fact that a certain portion of the Balkan Muslims are jihadists also and not persuaded to be less hostile to the Great Satan for its occasional usefulness.
Understandably, for Sean Hannity the broadcast offered a rare chance to throw a bone to the Muslim world — precisely the purpose the Serbs have been serving for the rest of the globe all along. (Because somehow, even while atrocities across the planet are indeed brought to us by Muslims, in a bizarre twist from the trend, we found a singular, exceptional case not of Muslims waging a jihad, but of secular Europe's religious misfits doing so, the Orthodox Christian Serbs.)

Second, Gorin observes that the Serbs have bought into the cultural self-destruction theme. A Serbian man writes:
In my country today it is almost illegal to say that we are right. Sometimes when I wake up, I believe that I live in Albania or Croatia. Even our own media are anti-Serbic! Only few media are free to comment anything, others are under democratic censorship. ...

Gorin says that Serbs are betraying their own history in order to get back into the international community, and that may be true, but there's an element of cultural suicide in a lot of Western mainstream media, and I wonder if that may not be part of what's going on in Serbia.

Finally, thanks to Wesley Clark (remember him?) and Clinton's diversionary war on Serbia, we've put an al-Qaeda beachhead in the Balkans, and now a move is afoot to finish the job by handing Kosovo its "independence." Independence from Serbia, but it would certainly be another thug state, this time in Europe.

In the meantime, this is a piece of information that needs to be heard by anyone serious about the war on terror:
In contrast to the current anti-Serb orgy, we haven't heard much about all the Bosnian charities being monitored or raided for funding terrorism, or about the Bosnian who was one of the masterminds behind the Madrid bombing, or about the six Algerian-born Bosnian citizens held at Guantanamo for planning to blow up the American and British embassies in Sarajevo (NY Times, 10/21/04), or about Bosnia issuing passports to Osama bin Laden and his second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri, who has operated camps and WMD factories throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia. Nor will we hear that the terrorists who carried out a spate of suicide attacks in Iraq last August, including one at the UN headquarters that killed 22, were trained in Bosnia, or that al Qaeda's top Balkans operative, al-Zawahiri's brother Mohammed, had a high position in the KLA. We'll never know that Bosnia today is the "one-stop shop close to Europe" for all the terrorism needs — weapons, money, documents — of Chechen and Afghani fighters passing through Europe before heading to Iraq. Little wonder, then, that when SFOR (the UN Stabilization Force in Bosnia) intercepts weapons shipments to Iraq, we don't hear about that either.

When members of the Left tell us that our own international blunders have enlarged international jihadism, they have a point. Unfortunately, they're usually not looking at the Balkans either.

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