So Serbia is innocent of genocide, is it?
It doesn’t matter that for three years Ratko Mladic, the savage puppet of Milosevic, rampaged up and down and across Bosnia-Herzegovina, laying waste wherever he went. Who remembers July 1995? Who remembers Mladic’s advance from one so-called UN safe haven to the next, destroying and slaughtering as he went? Did they forget what we all knew would happen as we watched his advance in fascinated horror? That when Srebrenica finally fell, Mladic would grin, and smoke his cigarette, and tickle the kids under the chin, and tell them not to be afraid, and that he would then slaughter them? Which is exactly what he did to 8,000 of them while the Dutch peace-keepers looked on and did nothing.
Don’t they remember how each town was attacked and nobody tried to stop it?
Who could forget the French hero general, Philippe Morillon hopping onto a truck out of the doomed town, assuring the terrified people that he would return to protect them, knowing full well that he would not? Knowing that the UN safe haven was only for him and his men, and was never meant for the Bosnian people.
It doesn’t matter that, hard on the heels of Mladic ‘s armies, came the savages who called themselves Tigers and Eagles. Arkan’s football thugs, Red Star Belgrade supporters club, now in uniform and carrying guns, completed the murders that even the JNA soldiers recoiled from committing. Rolling hand-grenades into cellars full of cowering, terrified women and children. Šešelj ‘s extreme-right nationalist party, also in uniform and armed, doing the same. Arkan, the criminal, the forger, the mobster. Šešelj , the respected academic turned murderous thug. All of them engaging in starvation, terror and mass rape as a weapon of drunken war. Arkan, Željko Ražnatovic , later exterminated by Milosevic in a hail of lead when his usefulness was all ended.
Who has forgotten the obscenity that was the burning of the Sarajevo library by the professor of English literature in Sarajevo University: an attempt to exterminate the spirit and memory of an entire people? But not genocide. Oh God, no: he only tried to wipe out the memory of their very soul. He only tried to erase their history and their culture, but somehow this is not genocide.
Vukovar was not a Bosnian town. It used to be in North-East Croatia, but is now gone. The absolute destruction of Vukovar was a symbol of what the JNA and Arkan and Šešelj and all the other murderers would do when they moved on to Bosnia, and everybody knew it at the time too. Who doesn’t remember the laying waste of the city of Vukovar? Have they forgotten the complete annihilation of that town so that hardly one brick was left on top of another?
Have they forgotten the concentration camps? Have they forgotten the rape camps? Have they forgotten that Milosevic was able to switch off the savagery whenever it suited him?
Have they forgotten Karadžic? The doctor. The psychiatrist. Don’t they remember how Serbia kept that disgusting abomination and blasphemy against his profession alive?
How could they forget that Mladic , the brightest and best officer of his generation, now turned savage, could only sustain his campaign with the support of Serbia? Does no-one remember that it was Serbia who supplied, fed and fuelled the ridiculous statelet of Republika Srpska and its genocidal armies led by the brightest, the best, the most savage of military officers, Mladic ?
Have they forgotten that Mladic now moves freely within Serbia, comfortably retired on his general’s pension and protected by government agents?
How could they forget all this and conclude that Serbia is innocent of genocide?
For once, my friends, I have to tell you that Bock is speechless.