JAMES LUKO – DISGRACED GENOCIDE DENIER Tuesday, Nov 10 2009 

Borrowed from Srebrenica Genocide Blog.

DISCREDITED GENOCIDE DENIER JAMES LUKO IS BACK

The former Operations Officer for the Belgrade-based Hague Tribunal’s Liaison Office — and the former ‘human rights investigator’ who is on record for denying the Srebrenica genocide — is back to his old tricks again. We find James Luko on NolanChart’s web site in a self-described profile titled “Confessions of an Ethnic Cleanser.” (1)

To quote from his own words, “Actually I’ve been quite quiet these years about all these issues of the OTP, ICTY [the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia], Srebrenica, UN and ICTY corruption.” In his comments, he denied that genocide took place in Srebrenica and he announced that he would testify in Radovan Karadzic’s case. Here is what he said:

“The crimes of Srebrenica indeed included-extra-judicial killings and ethnic cleansing by Serb forces. I agree with those charges and they were in my reports and for which I will later testify at Karadzic’s hearing. However, I do not agree… that Genocide was intended or committed.” (2)

Imagine this discredited genocide denier, James Luko, testifying at the trial of Radovan Karadzic and pretending to be fair and balanced? Based on his history of distortions, he is a perfect fit for the Karadzic defense. We hope Prosecutors first Google his name before they cross-examine him. According to his web site, he is writing a book regarding his ‘experiences’ with the UN and the Tribunal titled “Inside the Hague Tribunal” – yet another genocide denial garbage, certainly not an academic resource.

 

This morbidly pro-Serb activist, the former “human rights investigator” was so biased that he even filed false reports back to the U.N. trying to deny that genocide ever took place in Srebrenica. James Luko is also a man who attempted to equalize Bosniak suffering in the besieged Sarajevo with that of the Serbs who kept the city under the siege and killed 10,000 – 15,000 of its residents, 1500 of them children (photo of dead children in Sarajevo morgue, killed by Serbs during the siege of Sarajevo).

It is important to note that James Luko does not posses academic skills, experience and credentials that would enable him to judge/interpret what does and what doesn’t constitute a case of genocide; he certainly never worked as an international judge. In this regard, he is incompetent. Consider the following two statement by James Luko:

“In my first report to Geneva, to the UN Centre for Human Rights, that Srebrenica, specifically was NOT Genocide for the fact that the Serb military collected and sent most women and children to Bosniak controlled territory. By no defination can this be labelled Genocide.” (3)

In support of his genocide denial diatribe, he used one of the weakest arguments available:

“The genocide will be interpreted ‘BROADLY’ to encompass ethnic cleansing elements to make the charge stick as I fully agree that by sparing most women and children- Srebrenica simply does not qualify for the generic idea and concept of what genocide is.” (4)

Let’s review some facts. First of all, the ICTY’s definition of what constitutes genocide is not “BROAD” but “very narrow.” For example, the Court still has not ruled that genocide occured in municipalities other than Srebrenica. Second of all, women and children were not spared during the Srebrenica massacre, as James Luko would want us to believe. Women and children were forcibly expelled from the enclave, many of women were mistreated and raped. Many boys were killed, many traumatized. (see the account of a survivor of the massacre – “a very young boy emerged from the heap of bodies, covered in blood and mangled flesh“). Also see the account published by Serbian journalist Snezana Vukic at the time of the Srebrenica genocide, on July 18, 1995:

“Zarfa Turkovic says she watched through half-closed eyes, pretending to sleep, hoping she would not be next, as four Bosnian Serb men raped a 28-year old Muslim woman… ‘Two took her legs and raised them up in the air, while the third began raping her. People were silent, no one moved. She was screaming and yelling and begging them to stop. They put her a rag into her mouth, and then we were just hearing silent sobs coming from her closed lips. When they finished, the woman was left there.'” (5)

Furthermore, in the Krstic Appeal ruling, the Hague Tribunal revealed why Serbs massacred only men and boys:

31. As the Trial Chamber explained, forcible transfer could be an additional means by which to ensure the physical destruction of the Bosnian Muslim community in Srebrenica. The transfer completed the removal of all Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica, thereby eliminating even the residual possibility that the Muslim community in the area could reconstitute itself. The decision not to kill the women or children may be explained by the Bosnian Serbs’ sensitivity to public opinion. In contrast to the killing of the captured military men, such an action could not easily be kept secret, or disguised as a military operation, and so carried an increased risk of attracting international censure. (6)

(For more facts about the rapes of women during the Srebrenica massacre, see our article, titled: “Were men and boys the only victims of the Srebrenica genocide?“)

Blinded by his conviction that genocide never took place in Srebrenica, James Luko continues to use cheap and already highly discredited arguments in which he attempts to dispute the numbers of the killed in Srebrenica. Here is what he said:

“The scale of killings in Srebrenica, well, yes, the 8,000 figure is of course just an exaggerated number from incomplete and duplicate lists, which was VERY common and not entirely the fault of agencies like UNHCR and ICRC. How many bodies does ICTY have ? Well in reality, perhaps 1,500-2,000 separate bodies identified- and of those, approximately 400-500 show evidence of execution… massive crimes took place- but 8,000 ? Can’t be proven and highly unlikely. But, as you know, when dealing with this issue- the victors need to work with large numbers.” (7)

James Luko apparently does not know (or doesn’t want to know) that all duplicate victim’s names had already been removed from the list of missing, according to the highly respected Hague Tribunal’s expert Ewa Tabeau. (8) Furthermore, the DNA results of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) support an estimate of 8,100 Srebrenica genocide victims. So far, the identities of 6,186 genocide victims have been revealed by the DNA analysis. The DNA was extracted from these bone and blood samples. Additionally, approximately 4,000 DNA-identified bodies have so far been laid to rest at the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial in Potocari.

Consider this distorted statement by James Luko:

“I can also confirm that our UN Office in Bosnia was regularly reporting the direct reports of Bosniak attacks on Serb villages around Srebrenica, but we were repeatedly ignored.” (9)

As a matter of the fact, between 1992 and 1995, militarized Serb villages around Srebrenica had been used to attack and destroy nearby Bosniak villages around Srebrenica, as well as to launch brutal attacks on Srebrenica. (10) Serb village of Kravica had a large cache of weapons and was used to stage attacks on Srebrenica and nearby Bosniak villages. Furthermore, Serbs used their villages around Srebrenica to block humanitarian aid coming into the Bosniak enclave, which caused Bosniaks to start dying from starvation and engage in counter-attacks for the purpose of obtaining food and demilitarizing heavily armed Serbs around Srebrenica. According to the U.N. Report (1999) about the Fall of Srebrenica:

“A third accusation leveled at the Bosniak defenders of Srebrenica is that they provoked the Serb offensive by attacking out of that safe area. Even though this accusation is often repeated by international sources, there is no credible evidence to support it. Dutchbat personnel on the ground at the time assessed that the few “raids” the Bosniaks mounted out of Srebrenica were of little or no military significance. These raids were often organized in order to gather food, as the Serbs had refused access for humanitarian convoys into the enclave. Even Serb sources approached in the context of this report acknowledged that the Bosniak forces in Srebrenica posed no significant military threat to them. The biggest attack the Bosniaks launched out of Srebrenica during the more than two years which is was designated a safe area appears to have been the raid on the village of Visnjica, on 26 June 1995, in which several houses were burned, up to four Serbs were killed and approximately 100 sheep were stolen. In contrast, the Serbs overran the enclave two weeks later, driving tens of thousands from their homes, and summarily executing thousands of men and boys. The Serbs repeatedly exaggerated the extent of the raids out of Srebrenica as a pretext for the prosecution of a central war aim: to create geographically contiguous and ethnically pure territory along the Drina, while freeing their troops to fight in other parts of the country. The extent to which this pretext was accepted at face value by international actors and observers reflected the prism of ‘moral equivalency’ through which the conflict in Bosnia was viewed by too many for too long.” (11)

After being confronted with the above facts, James Luko responded the following:

“In this case, I think the details of the village attacks, back and forth, Bosniak vs. Serb- is now irrelevant, it was a dirty war. UN Operation Posts cleary recorded attacks by both sides.” (12)

Additionally, James Luko’s distortions have already been rebuted by the Trial Judgment in the Naser Oric case. The Oric judgment makes it clear that Serb villages around Srebrenica were heavily militarized bases from which Serbs launched brutal attacks on Bosnian Muslim villages, as well as on the town of Srebrenica itself. As stated in the Judgment, quote:

“Between April 1992 and March 1993, Srebrenica town and the villages in the area held by Bosnian Muslims were constantly subjected to Serb military assaults, including artillery attacks, sniper fire, as well as occasional bombing from aircrafts. Each onslaught followed a similar pattern. Serb soldiers and paramilitaries surrounded a Bosnian Muslim village or hamlet, called upon the population to surrender their weapons, and then began with indiscriminate shelling and shooting. In most cases, they then entered the village or hamlet, expelled or killed the population, who offered no significant resistance, and destroyed their homes. During this period, Srebrenica was subjected to indiscriminate shelling from all directions on a daily basis. Potočari in particular was a daily target for Serb artillery and infantry because it was a sensitive point in the defence line around Srebrenica. Other Bosnian Muslim settlements were routinely attacked as well. All this resulted in a great number of refugees and casualties.” (13)

According to the Judgment, the Bosnian Muslim villages around Srebrenica were totally unprepared for war:

“In comparison, it appears that the Bosnian Muslim side did not adequately prepare for the looming armed conflict. There were not even firearms to be found in the BosnianMuslim villages, apart from some privately owned pistols and hunting rifles; a few light weaponswere kept at the Srebrenica police station.” (14)

The Judgment makes it clear that Serb village of Kravica was a military base from which Serbs launched deadly attacks on neighbouring Bosnian Muslim villages and town of Srebrenica itself. The Bosniak counter-attack on Kravica on the 7 January 1993 followed as a result of Serb blockade of humanitarian aid and constant attacks on nearby Bosnian Muslim villages. According to the Judgment:

The fighting intensified in December 1992 and the beginning of January 1993, when Bosnian Muslims were attacked by Bosnian Serbs primarily from the direction of Kravica and Ježestica. In the early morning of the 7 January 1993, Orthodox Christmas day, Bosnian Muslims attacked Kravica, Ježestica and Šiljkovići. Convincing evidence suggests that the village guards were backed by the VRS [Bosnian Serb Army], and following the fighting in the summer of 1992, they received military support, including weapons and training. A considerable amount of weapons and ammunition was kept in Kravica and Šiljkovići. Moreover, there is evidence that besides the village guards, there was Serb and Bosnian Serb military presence in the area. The Trial Chamber is not satisfied that it can be attributed solely to Bosnian Muslims. The evidence is unclear as to the number of houses destroyed by Bosnian Muslims as opposed to those destroyed by Bosnian Serbs. In light of this uncertainty, the Trial Chamber concludes that the destruction of property in Kravica between 7 and 8 December 1992 does not fulfil the elements of wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages not justified by military necessity.” (15)

The Judgment also confirms that Bosniak refugees in the besieged enclave started dying from starvation caused by the Serb blockade of humanitarian aid. As a result, Bosniaks had to counter-attack Serb military bases around Srebrenica to obtain much needed food and other necessities for the survival:

“Between June 1992 and March 1993, Bosnian Muslims raided a number of villages and hamlets inhabited by Bosnian Serbs, or from which Bosnian Muslims had formerly been expelled. One of the purposes of these actions was to acquire food, weapons, ammunition and military equipment. Bosnian Serb forces controlling the access roads were not allowing international humanitarian aid – most importantly, food and medicine – to reach Srebrenica. As a consequence, there was a constant and serious shortage of food causing starvation to peak in the winter of 1992/1993. Numerous people died or were in an extremely emaciated state due to malnutrition.” (16)

We could go on and on rebutting outright lies promoted by James Luko, but he doesn’t deserve more of our time since all of his genocide denial arguments have already been discredited not just by us, but also by the Hague Tribunal, independent human rights organizations, and survivors of the massacre.

James Luko is simply a man who has reduced his life for the purpose of genocide denial. Currently, he makes living by selling wine over the internet and doing some consulting work in Beijing China. (17)

References / Footnotes:

(1) http://www.nolanchart.com/author1111.html

(2) http://www.nolanchart.com/article7012.html

(3) Ibid.

(4) Ibid.

(5) http://srebrenica-genocide.blogspot.com/2009/08/serbs-raped-bosniak-women-in-potocari.html

(6) http://www.icty.org/x/cases/krstic/acjug/en/krs-aj040419e.pdf

(7) See footnote #2

(8) Conflict in Numbers, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia,
http://www.helsinki.org.yu/doc/testimonies33.pdf

(9) See James Luko’s comment (#6) agreeing with the genocide denial article written by Ari Rusila, http://arirusila.cafebabel.com/en/post/2009/07/19/Srebrenica-again-Hoax-or-Massacre

(10) http://srebrenica-genocide.blogspot.com/2009/07/serb-villages-around-srebrenica.html

(11) Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to General Assembly resolution 53/35, The Fall of Srebrenica, section: B. Role of Bosniak forces on the ground, see excerpts here:
http://srebrenica-genocide.blogspot.com/2005/12/un-report-fall-of-srebrenica-role-of.html

(12) See footnte #2

(13) Naser Oric judgment, http://www.icty.org/case/oric/4

(14) Ibid.

(15) Ibid.

(16) Ibid.

(17) “Luko Wines” by James Luko http://www.lukowines.com/

About Bosnian Genocide deniers in Congressional hearing Friday, Apr 10 2009 

Hearing :: The Western Balkans: Challenges for U.S. and European Engagement

Print

THE HELSINKI COMMISSION

THE WESTERN BALKANS: 
CHALLENGES FOR U.S. AND EUROPEAN ENGAGEMENT

REPRESENTATIVE ALCEE L. HASTINGS (D-FL),
CO-CHAIRMAN, HELSINKI COMMISSION

REPRESENTATIVE CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH (R-NJ),
RANKING MINORITY MEMBER, HELSINKI COMMISSION

REPRESENTATIVE ROBERT B. ADERHOLT (R-AL),
COMMISSIONER, HELSINKI COMMISSION

SPEAKERS:
LORD PADDY ASHDOWN,
FORMER HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

IVO BANAC,
BRADFORD DURFEE PROFESSOR OF HISTORY,
YALE UNIVERSITY

IVANA HOWARD,
PROGRAM OFFICER FOR CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE,
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY

JAMES LYON,
SENIOR ASSOCIATE,
DEMOCRATIZATION POLICY COUNCIL

THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2009

Congressman Chris Smith who pointed out to the important issue of Bosnian Genocide Deniers.

Congressman Chris Smith

REP. SMITH: But the concern that I have now is that there is a – almost similar to what we see with Holocaust deniers, there is a Srebrenica denial movement. I recently went online and read for hours some of the garbage that is being promoted by some – it’s hard to say who they are – that Srebrenica never occurred. I was with Ray Sirich (ph) two years ago when a re-internment occurred for those who were brutally butchered in Srebrenica, a so-called U.N. safe haven – and was again greatly impressed by his restraint, by his sense of inclusion. You know, the form of Islam that he believes so passionately in embraces others, does not exclude others, and I do happen to believe that he is a model, frankly, that needs to be emulated because he has done such a wonderful job. In looking through some of the garbage on the Internet dealing with Srebrenica, there was a picture, Mr. Chairman, when President Clinton – so former president at the time in 2003 – was in Srebrenica, and right below the picture it says, this never happened, and there’s Ray Sirich standing with President Clinton, as I did two years later with him at a re-internment ceremony. So I’m very concerned that that myth-maker, which has real consequences in the real world, might negatively impact and lead to – and I was glad to hear you say you don’t think it will go back to fighting, but it could go back to some very nasty things. And if you would speak to that, your view on Ray Sirich, if you wouldn’t mind giving that, and secondly on constitutional reform. Like, I think, members of this commission, I believe passionately that, you know, we’re looking at a Bosnia that’s in a Dayton limbo. They simply – you know, the legislators have power but it has been so carefully circumscribed by the rules that they can’t write laws, and we need constitutional reform. We need – you know, for that democracy to break out of the blocks and really come into its own, they have to be able to write laws. And small minorities can object and thereby kill any reforms that that wonderful country needs. And so if you could speak to the constitutional reform issue but also Ray Sirich, the work that he’s done, perhaps, and this whole issue of denial of the horrific events that occurred in Srebrenica.
FORMER HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA Peddy Ashdown

Peddy Ashdown

LORD ASHDOWN: Thank you, Congressman. You raise two very important points. First of all, I mean, it is a regrettable fact that you will always find denialists, but they tend to be a minority. However, I have to say that you are absolutely right in identifying the baleful effect of this on those who suffered. Now, let’s be very clear: All three ethnicities suffered during the war. There were black deeds done by all sides, but none to the extent of Srebrenica, and indeed of the other killings perpetrated on the Muslim community, largely but not exclusively by the Serbs. It’s not to say the Muslims in Bosnia necessarily had cleaner hands. They were done on the other side as well. But I think my old friend Cliff Bond, who I see sitting behind you, used to always tell me that about 80 percent of those crimes were committed by Serbs. Now, that’s not a reason to condemn the whole nation there of Serbs. They’re a very great nation indeed, and in many ways people regard them as being the fulcrum of the Balkans. But it is the past and we need to recognize the past. So I agree with you about your concern about that.

SREBRENICA HISTORICAL PROJECT – GENOCIDE DENIAL NGO LED BY STEFAN KARGANOVIC (STEPHEN KARGANOVIC) Saturday, Apr 4 2009 

Taken with permission from Srebrenica Genocide Blog.

SREBRENICA HISTORICAL PROJECT – GENOCIDE DENIAL NGO LED BY STEFAN KARGANOVIC (STEPHEN KARGANOVIC)

Response to discredited genocide denier Stephen Karganovic, aka: Stefan Karganovic – founder of the so called “Srebrenica Historical Project”

PHOTO: The 1995 Srebrenica genocide resulted in a mass scale ethnic cleansing and forcible deportations of 25,000-30,000 people, as well as summary executions of at least 8372 men, boys, and elderly.

Reading time: ~15 minutes (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)
Stephen Karganovic (aka: Stefan Karganovic), founder of the so called “Srebrenica Historical Project”, is one of the most manipulative genocide deniers we’ve seen so far. As a man with questionable credibility, he praises anti-semitic extremists as credible sources to “prove” that genocide in Srebrenica had not happened. He served as a defence team’s interpreter for a convicted war criminal Momcilo Krajisnik. Last year, Karganovic was the organizer of a genocide denial conference in Banja Luka that was attended by Rajko Kuzmanovic (President of Bosnian Serb entity known as Republika Srpska) and Milorad Dodik (Premier). Both of them offered their full political and financial support for Karganovic’s “Srebrenica Historical Project” farce. Now, Karganovic’s “Srebrenica Historical Project” is responsible for the propaganda stunt of filing a civil action with the court in an attempt to portray Serbs as the equal to the genocidal suffering of Bosniak population at Srebrenica under siege (1992-1995).

“WE WILL NEVER FORGET, AND WE WILL NEVER FORGIVE”

On his web site, Stephen Karganovic accuses this blog of being “Moslem-sponsored Srebrenica Genocide Blog.” The founder of this blog is not a Muslim – as Karganovic claims, nor is this blog sponsored by anyone. The nationality of the blog’s editor is none of Karganovic’s business, especially because Karganovic associates himself with people who hate Jews.

Karganovic tries to discredit one of our articles titled “We Will Never Forget and We Will Never Forgive.” The question is: Why should we forget the Srebrenica genocide? Why should we offer our forgiveness to the genocidal criminals like Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic who murdered at least 8,372 Bosniaks and forcibly expelled 25,000-30,000 people from the U.N. “protected enclave in a mass scale ethnic cleansing? Jewish people would certainly not “forgive-and-forget” the Holocaust, so why should Bosniaks forgive and forget the Srebrenica genocide?

Is there a point in arguing with Karadzic’s sympathizers, followers, and apologists? According to the Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel: “No point in arguing – the pigheaded Karadzic denied it all.” Srebrenica genocide deniers are no different than their”role model,” Radovan Karadzic, who is currently on trial for genocide at the Hague.

UNQUALIFIED KARGANOVIC CHALLENGES FORENSIC SCIENCE

Stefan Karganovic’s lack of respect for DNA science is appaling. On his genocide denial web site, conveniently titled “Srebrenica Historical Project,” he alleges the following:

Out of the 8000 victims who were allegedly shot by the army of the Republic of Srpska, there is no relevant expert evidence for even 10% to prove that. The material cited by the Moslem side as evidence would not pass muster with any professionally responsible crime lab, let alone a serious forensic examination in a court of law in the civilized world.”

Karganovic’s allegations are rather laughable. The forensic examinations and DNA identifications of Srebrenica genocide victims have been performed by the ICMP’s most advanced DNA system in the world (see press release). The world renowned International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is a scientific organization of the highest repute in its field. Currently, it has three forensic facilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, two of which focus on human remains related to the fall of Srebrenica (Podrinje Identification Project and Lukavac Reassociation Centre). It employs a staff of 170 scientists, forensic anthropologists, and researchers. The forensic examination data and DNA results from the ICMP have been extensively used as evidence at the UN-based International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [aka: the World Court]. The ICMP is also on record for assisting in the identification of September 11th terrorist attack victims in New York, Hurricane Katrina victims in Louisiana, Typhoon Frank victims in Philippines (on Interpol’s request) and many other high profile cases.

Karganovic goes on to claim that “Serbian civilian victims… have been processed according to the highest internationally recognized standards,” while forensic examinations of Bosniak victims “would not pass muster with any professionally responsible crime lab.” Of course, his self-serving allegations are nonsense. Each exhumed victim of the Srebrenica genocide has gone through extensive forensic and DNA analysis by the world renowned ICMP labs with the most advanced DNA system in the World. On the other side, war-time Serb casualties from Bosnia and Croatia had been ‘processed’ and ‘investigated’ mostly by radical Serbian ultra-nationalists in Belgrade. For example, military pathologist Zoran Stankovic – a well known Serbian ultra-nationalist and a personal friend of indicted Serb war criminal Ratko Mladic. Stankovic’s ultanationalist forensics were gratefully accepted by media outlets like Glas Javnosti and Politika – owned and operated by the members of a right-wing ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party. In 2007, Glas Javnosti misused photos of Srebrenica genocide mass graves and portrayed them as graveyards Serbs who died as a result of the so called “Muslim-Croat terror.”

Unqualified Karganovic distorts the facts behind forensic evidence, without providing any sources or evidence for his dubious claims. Here is what he said:

“If a public hearing on the merits of the resolution had been held, the parliamentary committee would undoubtedly have been informed that 8000 Muslims were not lined up and shot and that the utmost number of victims of the Srebrenica massacre in July of 1995 is around 3400, assuming that each forensic report is taken at its face value as proof of execution, something that is not even theoretically possible. That is because slightly over 50% of those post-mortem reports refer to body fragments, such as a jaw or a femur, which zealous ICTY forensic experts elevated to the status of ‘cases’ but from which no credible conclusions about the cause and manner of death can be drawn. In fact, in about 50% of the cases, ICTY forensic specialists themselves stated in their reports that they are unable to determine the cause and manner of death, notwithstanding their obvious motivation to present satisfactory results to the institution which hired them.”

Karganovic’s arguments are classic examples of genocide denial that can be applied to all genocides that occured in the history of human kind, including the Holocaust. According to Kathryne Bomberger, the director general of the International Commission on Missing Persons, DNA samples support the number of at least 8,000 Srebrenica genocide victims. “We can tell this based on the rate of blood-sample collection. You have to collect at least three different family members’ blood samples for every missing person…. In 1999 we had hit a brick wall in making identifications—if there was no body there was no crime. After [former U.S. secretary of State] Madeleine Albright said [the United States] had satellite photos showing mass graves, the perpetrators went out and dug the bodies and moved them. We found one body in four different locations 50km [30 miles] apart,” she said. What kind of qualification does Karganovic have to challenge the science of DNA forensics? None.

On his web site, Karganovic refers to “several thousands” Serb victims in villages around Srebrenica – a number that had been grossly inflated and found to be inaccurate by the UN-endorsed Research and Documentation Center, ICTY’s Office of the Prosecutor, and Human Rights Watch. In reality, between 1992-1995, Serbs suffered 151 civilian casualties around Srebrenica (not “several thousands” as claimed by Karganovic) . During the same period, Bosniaks (Muslims) suffered approximately 1,000 victims as a result of the Bosnian Serb terror from militarized villages around Srebrenica – (no need to remind our readers that this mass scale murder of Muslim civilians in and around Srebrenica occurred well before the July 1995 genocide).

STEFAN KARGANOVIC’S ANTI-SEMITIC FRIEND

On his “Srebrenica Historical Project” web site, Stefan Karganovic devoted a lengthy page to his activist-friend – Dmitar Stoyanov, Bulgarian EU parliament deputy – praising him of saving “the honor of the European Parliament” for his opposition to the Srebrenica Genocide Resolution. Stoyanov is better known as hater of Jewish people or anti-semite. According to IsralNetDaily, Stoyanov said that “Jews have too much media influence and exploit economic crises in poor countries.”

Karganovic’s associate, Dmitar Stoyanov, told Britain’s Daily Telegraph that, “There are a lot of powerful Jews, with a lot of money, who are paying the media to form the social awareness of the people. They are also playing with economic crises in countries like Bulgaria and getting rich. These are the concrete realities.” Stoyanov and his anti-semitic Attack Party are also known for their hatred of Bulgaria’s Roma, or Gypsy population, which they label as criminal and lazy. The Attack Party’s leader, Volen Siderov, who has made numerous anti-Jewish statements, finished second in the first round of Bulgarian presidential elections last October with 21.5 percent of the vote.

Karganovic is a man of many talents, a habitual liar of the highest caliber, and a man without credibility. For example, he praises Jewish people when he sees fit to exploit their suffering for his own political gain. He accuses those who stand up against genocide denial of performing, what he calls, “a pathetic attempt to hitch a ride on the coattails of Shoah.” At the same time, he honors and associates himself with one of the worst anti-semites, like Dmitar Stoyanov. What a hypocrite!
The Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL), describes Stoyanov as “the youngest member of the European Parliament – [who] used the occasion of ITS’s foundation to launch a bitter attack on what he called the ‘Jewish establishment.‘” ADL reported on its web site that “Stoyanov has also refused to retract comments in which he railed against ‘powerful Jews.'”

EQUALIZATION OF VICTIMS AND CRIMES

In his carefully crafted argument, he presents sugar-coated version of the Srebrenica genocide denial by evoking emotions of Serb casualties to introduce – what he calls – the ‘positive aspect’ of his motivations:

“What we wish to achieve – and now we pass on to the positive aspect of our answer – is to ensure that victims from around Srebrenica during the three year period, 1992-1995, receive the same notice and the same recognition as Moslem victims from Srebrenica during the three day period in July of 1995. Period. That is all. Has anyone anything to say against this?”

First of all, Karganovic’s attempt to label 151 civilian Serb casualties in villages around Srebrenica as victims of genocide is unacceptable and factually wrong. Karganovic’s case for giving them the “same recognition” is based on deliberate and motivated misrepresentations promoted by his own genocide denial “Srebrenica Historical Project” farce. Second of all, there can never be any equivalence or comparison between the individual war crimes and the monstrous crime of genocide. The extreme gravity of genocide makes it the crime of all crimes. Third of all, isn’t it time for Karganovic to recognize genocide at Srebrenica and stop lecturing us what we should and should not do? If Karganovic wants to be taken more seriously (which is impossible considering his public denials of Srebrenica genocide), then why doesn’t he acknowledge that Serbs around Srebrenica slaughtered approximately 1,000 Bosniaks between 1992 and 1995? And we are talking about events before the 1995 Srebrenica genocide.

People like Karganovic are more than willing to accept the version of history that suites their pre-conceived conclusions. This version of ‘history’ is excessively promoted by the Serbian Radical Party establishment. According to Human Rights Watch findings published on July 11, 2006:

“The ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party launched an aggressive campaign to prove that Muslims had committed crimes against thousands of Serbs in the area. The campaign was intended to diminish the significance of the July 1995 crime, and many in Serbia were willing to accept that version of history.

But as the Oric judgment makes clear, the facts do not support the equivalence thesis. Take the events in the village of Kravica, on the Serb Orthodox Christmas on January 7, 1993, for example. The alleged killing of scores of Serbs and destruction of their houses in the village is frequently cited in Serbia as the key example of the heinous crimes committed by the Muslim forces around Srebrenica. In fact, the Oric judgment confirms that there were Bosnian Serb military forces present in the village at the time of attack.”

Commenting on the allegations of Serb victims around Srebrenica, the Office of the Prosecutor within the U.N.-based International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia cautioned that Serb casualties around Srebrenica cannot be counted as victims in the same way as victims of the Srebrenica genocide:

“Military or Police casualties from combat should not be considered victims in a criminal investigation context, in the same way people are victims from war crimes, such as summary executions. Before speaking about the whole area of Podrinja, including at least the municipalities of Srebrenica, Bratunac, Vlasenica and Skelani, I would comment on the various figures circulating around the Kravica attack of January 1993. The figures circulating of hundreds of victims or claiming that all 353 inhabitants were ‘virtually completely destroyed do not reflect the reality.”

A CASE OF RETALIATION FOR “EARLIER CRIMES”?

Stefan Karganovic’s logic is based on a false assumption that Srebrenica massacre was a result of the so called Serb ‘retaliation’ for “earlier crimes” that Bosniaks allegedly committed against the ‘demilitarized’ Serbs around Srebrenica. At least, that’s how Karganovic sees his own version of history, based on his own opinion – not facts. But, the reality is different.

What Karganovic refuses to mention is the fact that Serbs stationed in villages around Srebrenica never demilitarized, even though they were required to demilitarize as per the demilitarization agreement. Militarized Serb-held villages around Srebrenica served as the bases from which Serbs launched military attacks on the Enclave – killing Bosnian Muslim civilians at will. For example, in 1993, Serbs from militarized villages around Srebrenica massacred 62 Bosniak children in Srebrenica, and wounded 152 (video link). In a period between 1992 and 1995 (and these events preceded genocide), Serbs in villages around Srebrenica killed approximately 1,000 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) civilians, torched all Muslim villages in the area, and committed mass scale ethnic cleansing, rapes and murders in the Podrinje region.

In response to Karganovic’s allegation, here is a short excerpt from United Nations’ General Assembly Resolution 53/35, quote:

“A third accusation leveled at the Bosniak defenders of Srebrenica is that they provoked the Serb offensive by attacking out of that safe area. Even though this accusation is often repeated by international sources, there is no credible evidence to support it. Dutchbat personnel on the ground at the time assessed that the few ‘raids’ the Bosniaks mounted out of Srebrenica were of little or no military significance. These raids were often organized in order to gather food, as the Serbs had refused access for humanitarian convoys into the enclave. Even Serb sources approached in the context of this report acknowledged that the Bosniak forces in Srebrenica posed no significant military threat to them. The biggest attack the Bosniaks launched out of Srebrenica during the more than two years which is was designated a safe area appears to have been the raid on the village of Visnjica, on 26 June 1995, in which several houses were burned, up to four Serbs were killed and approximately 100 sheep were stolen. In contrast, the Serbs overran the enclave two weeks later, driving tens of thousands from their homes, and summarily executing thousands of men and boys. The Serbs repeatedly exaggerated the extent of the raids out of Srebrenica as a pretext for the prosecution of a central war aim: to create geographically contiguous and ethnically pure territory along the Drina, while freeing their troops to fight in other parts of the country. The extent to which this pretext was accepted at face value by international actors and observers reflected the prism of “moral equivalency” through which the conflict in Bosnia was viewed by too many for too long.”

PRAISING DENIERS, CONDEMNING HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS

Throughout his genocide denial web site, Karganovic re-publishes outdated and already discredited diatribes written by science-fiction experts advocating Srebrenica genocide denial. No new names here. It’s an old circle of deniers that quote themselves. To name a few: Christopher James – Slobodan Milosevic apologist; Tara McCormack – writer for SPIKED, the successors of Revolutionary Communist Party’s LM/Living Marxism that participated in denial of existence of Serb-operated Concentration Camps in Bosnia (see photos of Bosniak and Croat civilians in Concentration Camps); Lewis MacKenzie – alleged concentration camp rapist who was never at Srebrenica and therefore not someone who argues on the basis of an adequately informed position (MacKenzie’s Srebrenica genocide denial debate is based on a wilful disregard of ICTY deliberations). On Karganovic’s web site, we also find a group of other heavily unreliable sources, like George Bogdanich, Diana Johnstone, Phillip Corwin, Carl Savich, Michael Parenti, Edward Herman, Jonathan Rooper, and other revisionists and apologists for war crimes and genocide.

Karganovic refers to Srebrenica genocide as “the phony Srebrenica narrative,”and labels Serbian human rights activists as “Self-Hating Serbs.” The target of Karganovic’s rage is projected toward respected Serbian human rights activists with an international repute, namely Natasa Kandic, Biljana Kovacevic-Vuco, and Sonja Biserko. He also targets other respected Serb journalists, like Svetlana Lukic and Svetlana Vukovic. Vojvodina political activist Nenad Canak, who argued in support of a change in Serbia’s criminal code to make genocide denial a criminal offense, can also find himself on Karganovic’s “Self-Hating Serbs” list.

Furthermore, Karganovic goes on to condemn legal findings of the Srebrenica genocide handed down by the two highest World Courts (ICJ and ICTY), arguing in his own stupidity that “the truth needs no laws to support it.” His version of the “truth” is, of course, manufactured and promoted by the Serbian ultra-nationalist circles. Karganovic’s “truth” is based on unsubstianted personal opinions, a cricle of sources with no credibility (we already mentioned some of them above), manipulations, fallacies, and distortions used in Srebrenica genocide denial purposes. In other words, his version of the “truth” is a bold faced lie.

KARGANOVIC’S PHOTOS OF SERB GRAVESTONES

Stefan Karganovic published a gallery of Serb gravestones he claims to be located in Srebrenica. He labeled all photos with one word: Srebrenica. In fact, these gravestones are located at a Serb Military Cemetery in a nearby ethnically cleansed town of Bratunac (bordering Srebrenica municipality). The cemetery contains gravestones of Serb soldiers (Chetniks), most of whom died attacking “safe haven” area of Sarajevo. They died under the leadership of two Bosnian Serb terrorists, namely Gen. Stanislav Galic and Gen. Dragoljub Milosevic.

The Bosnian Serb Gen. Stanislav Galic had been convicted on terrorist charges for his involvement in terrorizing citizens of Sarajevo during the longest siege in the modern European history. Galic was sentenced to life imprisonment by the U.N. based court at the Hague. Another Serb General, Dragoljub Milosevic, had also been convicted on terror charges and sentenced to 33 years in jail for his involvement in Sarajevo terror campaign.

According to the Research and Documentation Center in Sarajevo (research data certified by the experts from the U.N.-based International Criminal Tribunal):

“Under the Dayton Peace Accords, the suburbs of Sarajevo held by the VRS [Bosnian Serb Army] were to be re-integrated into the city of Sarajevo . The then leadership of the RS called on the local Serb population to leave Sarajevo and even take the graves of their loved ones with them. In fact, such a large majority followed the instructions that parts of the city of Sarajevo remained deserted for months. The remnants of their loved ones have been buried in Bratunac after the war, but their deaths are presented as the result of actions taken by the Bosnian Army units from Srebrenica.”

WHY KARGANOVIC CHOSE LOCAL CIVIL COURT?

Karganovic’s goal is to make grossly inflated numbers of Serb casualties around Srebrenica “the subject of an official finding by a foreign court,” namely a local Dutch civil court which is unqualified to pass judgments of international importance, especially judgments that concern grave violations of war crimes in another country. Only the UN-sponsored International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia can deliberate serious issues of war crimes in the Former Yugoslavia and make factual verdicts based on the international law. The local Dutch court that Karganovic filed his lawsuit with is the same local court that dismissed the case filed by Mothers of Srebrenica Association against the Netherlands for the failure to prevent Srebrenica genocide in 1995. Karganovic’s case will also likely be dissmissed – and he knows it – but he will use bits and pieces of information from the trial transcripts to support his discredited claims and continue misinforming the public.

AND THE LAST POINT, BUT NOT LEAST

To prove his point about the Serbian ‘victimhood’ in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Stephen Karganovic uses the so called “UN Document” titled “Memorandum on War Crimes and Crimes of Genocide in Eastern Bosnia (communes of Bratunac, Skelani and Srebrenica) committed against the Serbian population from April 1992 to April 1993.” This document, filed under “A/46/171 and S/25635“, does NOT contain any official U.N. conclusions. The copy of this document is used on many Srebrenica genocide denial web sites, one of them being “Emperor’s Clothes” (web site run by Jared Israel, long-time Milosevic’s apologist and disgraced Srebrenica Genocide denier). The document had been carefully drafted by Slobodan Milosevic’s “Yugoslav State Commission for War Crimes and Genocide” and submitted to the U.N. on June 2 1993 by Serbian ambassador Dragomir Djokic. At the time, Djokic had worked in concert with then-Bosnian Serb “Iron Lady” Biljana Plavsic, professor of biology whose ‘scientific research’ included such genetic discoveries as her theory that “Muslims are genetically deformed”.