The Hague Inquisition convicted Bosnian Serb General Stanislav Galic Friday, of “command responsibility” in the siege of Sarajevo. According to BBC, Galic was found guilty of “murder” (?) and “infliction of terror,” and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
I lived in Sarajevo during the war, in the Muslim-held part of the city, and experienced first-hand many of the attacks for which Galic is accused. I agree that their objective was to terrorize civilians, and thus put pressure on their government (Izetbegovic) to negotiate a peace. But how is this different from “bombs for peace” pursued by NATO?
Remember, these are people who decided NATO didn’t commit any war crimes in 1999 simply because NATO told them so. The only difference between terrorizing civilians and targeting infrastructure in Sarajevo (1992-95) and Serbia (1999) is that the former was done by the Bosnian Serbs (declared a priori evil) and the latter by NATO (forces of goodness, by own definition). There’s the old double standard again.
Also, according to news agencies, the Inquisition’s verdict claims it was established as fact that Bosnian Serb forces fired on the Markale marketplace in 1994. But as far as I’ve heard, no evidence has emerged to support that conclusion. Though the media and the international public opinion were quick to blame the Serbs for all three major incidents (breadline 1992, marketplace 1994, and marketplace 1995), there are issues of ballistics, physics and logic that remain troubling to the present day. In other words, I don’t think the Inquisition “proved” squat.
Now for the BBC report itself. It ends with this paragraph:
“Nearly 12,000 people – including more than 1,000 children – were killed during the siege of Sarajevo, which human rights groups described as the worst siege in Europe since the end of World War II.”
This is one of those “editorial guidance” notes that purports to convey information conveniently impossible to verify. Even the official Bosnian Muslim line (subject to casualty inflation) was 10,000, last I’ve heard. Note that these “human rights groups” are not named. And since there hasn’t been a major conflict in Europe since WW2, bringing it up is redundant – except to perhaps associate Serbs with Nazis again. And that could be the key to the passage: between the numbers and the WW2 comparison, this reads exactly as the obligatory editorial guidance in every story about Srebrenica, a tragedy that is also a major propaganda issue.