Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lying to Defend Official Truth

It was only a matter of time before the guardians of Official Truth embarked on a campaign to defend Ejup Ganić from charges of war crimes. Radio Free Europe, an official propaganda outfit of the US government nonetheless posing as a bastion of journalistic integrity, did so through an interview with Jovan Divjak, titled "What Really Happened During the Dobrovoljacka Attack?"

The intent of the story is obvious from the choice of Divjak as the principal witness. He is a Serbian-born former Yugoslav Army colonel, who in April 1992 joined the Izetbegovic regime and was expressly promoted to general rank. Along with Vehbija Karić and Stjepan Šiber he was part of the first (decorative) "multiethnic" staff of the Bosnian Territorial Defense, and therefore nominally in charge of the militia that undertook the Dobrovoljačka ambush.

Another indicator of the story's slant can be found early on, in the description of the retreating Army column, allegedly "loaded with ammunition and weapons that Serbian forces would use during their three-year siege of Sarajevo." Even if this were true, how could anyone have possibly known this at the time of the ambush?

But as I explained before, it isn't true. The Army troops in the city at the time were fresh recruits, in early stages of their basic training. What was being evacuated on May 3 was the HQ complex of the 2nd Army District, the contents of which consisted overwhelmingly of paperwork, not weaponry. Ganić apologists have already claimed that the haul from the ambushed convoy was "40 rifles". Well, what was it - a handful of rifles, or truckloads of ammo that bombed Sarajevo for three years? They can't have it both ways.

Divjak gives a fanciful account of the events of that day, claiming that the Army was actually attacking Sarajevo and that his militia was acting in self-defense. He says the "Yugoslav Army tried to take control of the city" on May 2. But his entire evidence for this is a couple of trucks driving along the river! To understand that Divjak's account is rubbish, you need go no further than his claim that a "special forces unit from Niš" was "holed up in the Dom Armije building."

I can testify, under oath if necessary, that there was no such unit in that building. How do I know? I lived across the street and was able to actually see what was going on with my very own eyes. The Dom Armije (Army House) used to be an officers' club back during the days of Austria-Hungary. The Yugoslav Army used it as a concert hall and movie theater. The recruits stationed there at the time were trying to salvage music instruments when they were charged by the Muslim militia. There were no "Niš special forces."

The 63rd Airborne Brigade, based in Niš, was used by the Muslim media as a general bogeyman throughout the war. Over and over again, every time the Muslim troops suffered a crushing defeat in battle (which happened often), they'd blame "special forces from Serbia" and in particular the 63rd. Yet it never took part in the Bosnian War - except in the imagination of the Sarajevo regime.

Divjak's story of what "really" happened is riddled with inconsistencies and paradoxes, and doesn't correspond to reality whatsoever. This isn't necessarily his fault; that's how Official Truth reads, and he's just following the script. The reason he was chosen as the spokesman was that he's an ethnic Serb. This is supposed to demonstrate that the "Bosnia-Herzegovina Territorial Defense" and the "Army" it later became were multi-ethnic, democratic, tolerant, a strictly defensive force for the innocents beset by evil genocidal Serbs, whom even their own "honest" people abhorred and fought.

Facts, of course, indicate otherwise. Divjak "left" the Yugoslav Army after a court-martial conviction for illegally distributing ammunition and equipment to renegade TD forces. He joined Izetbegovic's regime to avoid prison. For the first few months of the war he was one of the public faces of the "Bosnian" army, and then quietly shunted aside to "cooperate with civilian structures." He didn't actually command the militia that besieged the Army posts or ambushed the columns; those men took their orders directly from Izetbegović (through Ganić or otherwise). Even though he was used and discarded by the Muslim regime he helped legitimize, Divjak cannot admit this, or two decades of his life would become meaningless. So he lies, both to himself and to the rest of the world.

What really happened in Dobrovoljačka was that the militia loyal to the Izetbegović regime illegally besieged the Yugoslav Army, and then proceeded to attack the Army convoy that was under UN protection and whose safety was guaranteed by Izetbegović himself. The only thing realistically in dispute is whether that guarantee was violated by Ganić and the militia commanders with Izetbegović's approval, or without.

Either way, any sort of trial will reveal that this was no "heroic defense." Worse yet, it will become obvious that the war was no "aggression by Serbia and the Yugoslav Army," undermining the entire narrative that forms the foundation of Official Truth about Bosnia. This is why the Bosnian Muslim public so vocally demands Ganić's release.

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