An open letter by Herb Brin,
the oldest working journalist in America
April 14, 1994
President Bill Clinton
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
I am aware of the anguish in your heart over the Bosnia
and Iraq situations. All Americans understand how deeply troubled you are
in these difficult times. Yet, I must add this note of caution and for a
very special reason.
It happens that Heritage publications were the first newspapers
that urged your support for the presidency. The very first indeed!
Larry Lawrence asked me to write a suggested Jewish New
Year message for you upon your election -- which I did.
Dee Dee Myers knows the role our papers play in California.
I watched her grow into maturity as a public relations specialist.
At Heritage, we love her!
Now, a year ago, I went to Bosnia
to see for myself what was meant by ethnic
the rape stories
attributed to the Serb armies in the field.
I was concerned by the fact that the Serbs, Jews and
Gypsies of Yugoslavia
were brutally victimized during World War II by the Croatian
Ustasha created by a monster named Artukovic for Adolph Hitler.
The Serbian people lost more than a million men, women
and children in the Hitler years. The Jews lot 65,000. And who can know the
tragedies suffered by the Gypsies!
When I visited the Serbian front
a year ago, I learned to my dismay that the rape story was a
In wars, rapes occur
-- but in the hundreds of thousands and as a
means of so-called "ethnic cleansing?"
This was incredible and false. After reporting the facts, and Dee Dee knows
me for being an accurate journalist, the rape story fell apart and disappeared
from the national media.
It happens that, at 79, I am the
oldest working journalist in America.
Certainly the oldest to visit the war fronts both in
Bosnia and in the Middle East.
I found the Serbian soldiers to
be utterly truthful and honorable.
I found a war in the former Yugoslavia
which the Serbian young men and women
refused to lose. That is the national
purpose of any army in the field.
And after suffering the most heinous
losses in World War II to the Croats
and the Muslims, the Serb forces
were not about to be defeated this time around.
Nor slaughtered as they were at
the Croatian death camp known as Jasenovac.
The Serbian people were the staunchest allies of the United
States in World War II.
The Muslims gave haven to Hitler's notorious friend,
Mufti of Jerusalem.
I would suggest to my President not, I repeat -- not to
hurt the Serbian people more.
The decision to bomb the Serb position
in Bosnia breaks my heart.
With all human respect,
o Jewish view
o Resurrected Turkish Empire
o Resurrected Nazi Croatia
The truth belongs to us all.
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Last revised: October 8, 1997