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Of 8000 Articles in LA Times on Bosnia and Kosovo, None Were From Serb Author or Scholar


The Mass Grave of 7,000 Victims in Srebrenica that Madeleine Albright showed the world satellite photographs of was hoax

By William Dorich

February 16, 1999

Presented before the World Affairs Council of Orange County in conjunction with the Serbian Unity Congress.

Your invitation for me to present Serbian views before this distinguished organization represents a milestone in the democratic process in Southern California. On behalf of the Serbian community in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, I express our gratitude. I come here tonight knowing full well that I cannot undo more than 7 years of partisan journalism. I am not asking this audience to accept the Serbian claims or positions, only that you apply the traditional American demand for proof before reaching conclusions as you do on most other issues.

In the past 7 years some 8,000 articles have been published on Bosnia and Kosovo in the Los Angeles Times. Not a single article was published that was written by a Serbian journalist, author, scholar or political leader. This same ugly record has been achieved in almost every major newspaper in this nation, with few exceptions. Dr. Alex Dragnich, a Serbian scholar, was a former cultural attaché and public affairs officer in the American Embassy in Belgrade. He is the author of 8 books on Balkan history and politics. He headed the history department at Vanderbilt University where he was the recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award for Outstanding Scholarship. Since 1992, Dr. Dragnich has submitted 42 articles to the New York Times on Bosnia. Not a single one was published.

Serbs have also been personas non grata at the Foreign Relations Committee, the Helsinki Commission and the Human Rights Caucus-where Serbian views have been barred since 1992. The hallmark of a great society is the guarantees and protections it offers dissenting views. The muzzling tactics against the Serbs have even permeated the colleges and universities in our nation where Serbs were systematically excluded from hundreds of Bosnian forums over the last 7 years. Sir Eldon Griffiths is to be congratulated for having the courage to distance himself and this organization from this unattractive abuse of power.

Former board member of Milosevich's Communist bank of Yugoslavia, Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleberger said, "Serbs are not too bright." Richard Holbrooke said Serbs are "Murderous assholes," and in his new book says, "Serbs are evil." Senator Biden said Serbs are "Illiterates and degenerates." Congressman Obey said Serbs are "Pigs," and political cartoonists drew Serbs as pigs turning over outhouses. This is not just shocking racial stereotyping, this is unbridled hatred based on assigning collective guilt to 10 million Serbian people.

Therefore, before I venture into the Kosovo quagmire, I would like to take a few moments to put a human face on an otherwise dehumanized Serbian race. Americans of Serbian heritage are most proud of the 8 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients representing one award for every 100,000 Serbs in the United States. No other group in America can boast of this per capita achievement. Serbs proudly served in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. A building at the Air Force Academy is named in honor of Captain Lance Sijan, a Serbian hero of Vietnam and the first Congressional Medal recipient at the Academy. These Serbs did not distinguish themselves in the service of our country so that their families could be denied equal access to the government.

Serbs are neither interlopers nor carpetbaggers in California-the original Serb settlers came here in 1887 and built their first church in the gold country of Jackson, California in 1894. The first female elected to the California State Senate was Rose Ann Vuich in 1973. After the Apollo disaster, Danilo Bojic of Downey, CA redesigned the new escape hatch. There were 13 Serbian scientists in the initial Apollo program. Mike Vucelic, the project manager, received the Freedom Award from President Johnson.

Over 100 years ago a Serbian immigrant by the name of Nikola Tesla, the son of a Serbian priest, filed the patent on his invention of radio-guided vehicles that make our space exploration possible today. Tesla, the father of the radio, filed a patent suit against Marconi in the 1940s that was upheld in the United States Supreme Court. Tesla was also the inventor of AC electrical current, the fluorescent light bulb and the Tesla Coil which makes motors, air conditioners and refrigerators possible.

As you read about Bosnia and Kosovo in your daily newspapers, I remind you of the words of Socrates, spoken at his trial in his own defense: "I do not know what effect my accusers have had upon you, gentlemen, but for my own part I was almost carried away by them; their arguments were so convincing. On the other hand, scarcely a word of what they said was true."

Now on to Kosovo

The alleged "unilateral" revocation of Kosovo's autonomy by Milosevic in 1989 simply didn't happen as advertised. This claim reminds us of the obnoxious statement made by Goebbels in 1939, "Tell a lie a hundred times and it become the truth." In 1988 the Yugoslav constitution was amended to eliminate the political paralysis in Serbia because autonomous provinces such as Kosovo and Vojvodina were able to veto acts of the Serbian parliament. This would be like the Senate approving legislation and allowing two of our largest states veto power. The constitutional change gave these provinces the right to give their opinions, and if they are rejected, a six-month waiting period ensues. If at the end of that time their opinions are still rejected, the provincial assemblies may force a referendum. Vojvodina gave her consent for this constitutional change in February 1989 and Kosovo gave its consent in March. Therefore, this pretext that something was unilaterally taken away from Kosovo Albanians is pure Albright and Clinton double-speak.

According to the British press, in the weeks that preceded the bombing of American embassies, the CIA broke into the KLA office in Tirana and drove off with a truck load of documents. Three days later the CIA arrested 3 of Osama bin Laden's men being trained for mercenary activities in Kosovo. Bin Laden threatened there would be a price to pay if his men were not released. The price was our embassies. In a September 14th, 1998 article in the Jerusalem Post, Israeli intelligence revealed that Iranian mercenaries or Mujahideen were filtered into the KLA and that these men were trained in Osama bin Laden's terrorist camps in Afghanistan.

Congressman Eliot Engle stood in the square in Pristina last year and told his Albanian audience that he would one day return as the Ambassador to an independent Kosovo. Such shocking statements incited more violence. After Congressman DiGuordi lost his bid for reelection he became a foreign agent representing Kosovo Albanian interests. When Congressman Frank McCloskey lost his bid for reelection, he, too, became a foreign agent and now represents the Bosnian Muslims. When Larry Presslor lost his bid for reelection last year, the senator became a representative of the shadow government of Kosovo. In what is being promoted as the best economy in 3 decades it is most compelling that officials are having a difficult time finding gainful employment in their own country. I suspect the scent of money has a hypnotic influence over such 'outdated' values as patriotism.

Last August in Kosovo, 22 Serbian victims were massacred by the Kosovo Liberation Army who dismembered their victims and burned them in ovens-a hideous duplication of the horrors of the Holocaust. There was no American outcry, nor was there an Israeli voice, reminding the world of their "Never Again" theory. Following the killing of 5 Serbian policemen last month in Racak, the Serbian police invited the Associated Press to film their advance into Racak to arrest the perpetrators. The AP footage reveals that 15 KLA were killed in a pitched battle.

The stage-managed crime scene had a dozen spent shells that could not have possibly killed 45 victims. The brains blown from the skulls of a number of victims shot in the head at point blank range are nowhere to be found. Remember Sarajevo 1995? Muslims blew up their own people in a marketplace to provoke NATO to bomb the Serbs. It worked. The London Sunday Times headline on October 1, 1995, read: "Serbs not guilty of massacre, experts warned the US, mortar was Bosnian." The UN confirmed the report.

Remember Srebrenica? Madeleine Albright showed the world satellite photographs of the mass grave of 7,000 victims that turned out to be a hoax. Mike Wallace and dozens of international journalists went to investigate, all coming away empty handed. Is it true that Naser Oric, the Muslim commander of the so-called safe haven of Srebrenica escaped with 5,000 of his troops before Srebrenica fell to the Serbs according to ICRC document #13 in September of 1995? That Oric showed visiting journalists videotapes of his torture and decapitation of dozens of Serb victims?

Is it true that he has not been indicted and now runs a discotheque in Tuzla? Remember the Hill & Knowlton public relations stunt about incubator babies in the Gulf War that turned out to be a hoax? Remember the Gulf of Tonkin hoax? Remember the Maine? William Walker said the Racak massacre was the worst he has seen. I think not. This is convenient amnesia with overtones of duplicity. During Walker's diplomatic tenure in El Salvador, death squads, trained in the US, decapitated thousands of victims. Their heads placed on pikes were used to dot the countryside, according to Father Daniel Santiago and former Attorney General, Ramsey Clark. In 1989 the Serbian bishop of Kosovo was nearly beaten to death by a gang of Albanian teenagers. He spent 3 months in the hospital nearly dying of his wounds. This was not just any priest, this bishop is the current Patriarch, the Holy Father of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

The mutilated bodies at Racak were appalling, however, the near beating to death of an 85 pound, 5 foot frail 80-year-old Serbian bishop was also appalling. This holy man refused to press charges against those who tried to murder him.

Kosovo is the Serbian Jerusalem, the cradle of Serbian Christianity for over a thousand years. I don't base that remark on personal emotion or religious conviction. Archeological evidence as late as 1912, revealed 1,300 monasteries, churches and other Serbian monuments existing in Kosovo. Sadly, today, only 110 churches and 60 church ruins remain-an example of the spiritual and cultural genocide the Serbs have had to endure in this past 86 years as Croatians, Muslims and Albanians tried to liquidate them. During WWI, hundreds of Serbian churches were destroyed throughout Serbia. In WWII over 400 Serbian churches were destroyed in Croatia and Bosnia along with 438 Serbian priests who were brutally murdered, many at the hands of Roman Catholic priests who fled to Argentina at the end of the war to escape justice.

In the current conflict, 98 Serbian churches were destroyed in Croatia and 114 in Bosnia. Half were plundered of their priceless icons and artifacts before being burned to the ground, perpetrating the largest art theft since WWII. Some of these Serbian artifacts have already shown up in antique stores in central Europe. The remaining churches are so badly damaged they are beyond use or repair. Serbs have lost all hope of receiving any compensation from European banks for stolen gold and property from the 1.5 million Serbs who lost their lives. Serbia was not included in the recent State Department talks held in Washington on this subject of Nazi gold. However, Croatia, Bosnia, Germany and Argentina were invited and they were the worst looters during the Holocaust.

Cleansing Serbs from Kosovo is nothing new. Seventy-seven thousand Serbs were killed in one day at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, 185,000 Serbs were forced out in 1690 and conditions in 1737 forced an exodus of 170,000 Serbs to migrate north. At the Congress of Berlin in 1878, Serbia's international recognition was predicated on 150,000 Serbs leaving Kosovo. Nineteen years later in 1897, 10,000 Serbs were killed in Kosovo and 70,000 were ethnically cleansed by Albanian Muslims. This is where Kosovo becomes personal for me, as my grandparents were cleansed, too.

They resettled in the Krajina region where my father was born. Before he could reach his 12th birthday his family was once again ethnically cleansed-this time by Croatians in WWI. My father and his family then came to the United States as "displaced persons." This was not the end of violence against my relatives. During WWII, 47 Serbs were locked in a Serbian church in the village of Vojnic and burned to death by Croatian Nazis, because they refused to convert to Roman Catholicism. Seventeen of those victims were my relatives, and I was at an impressionable age to integrate this war crime into memory.

Serbia and her allies were victorious in WWI. Serbs marched from the Salonika Front to the Austrian border liberating the Balkans, but it cost Serbia 52% of her adult male population. The cemetery at Salonika tells the real story of valor in WWI-7,000 American tombstones, 11,000 French, 4,000 Italian, 3,000 Russian and 40,000 Serbian graves. The Allied Powers' Entente Plan to compensate Serbia with a much larger territory as the spoils of the war was refused by Serbia in 1915 when she rejected the secret Treaty of London that offered the Serbs all of Bosnia-Herzegovina and large parts of the Croatian Krajina if the Serbs would give up their idea of forming Yugoslavia. This is never mentioned by ignorant journalists who babble on about "A Greater Serbia."

Partisan journalists are hiding one major issue with a shroud, the 17 trillion dollars in physical and mineral assets of Yugoslavia being picked over by vultures from the outside world. Kosovo has one of the largest coal reserves in Europe and a large deposit of lignite from which petroleum can be extracted. Remember, 34 corporate executives were killed in the Ron Brown plane crash. This reveals just how many multi-nationals are whetting their appetites on the spoils of Yugoslavia. Serbs fought these current wars so they would not be dominated by Croatians, Muslims and Albanians who tried to exterminate them just 50 years ago. Now Serbs will need to defend themselves against a new enemy, the multi-national occupiers and the economic slavery of the International Monetary Fund, whose reputation for giving with the left hand while robbing a nation of her assets with the right, is all too familiar.

In a recent interview on 60 Minutes, Leslie Stahl asked Madeleine Albright: "I understand that 500,000 Iraqi children have died due to our sanctions ... was it worth it?" Albright replied, "It was worth it." Our government insists that we have an aversion for assassinating foreign tyrants. Apparently we have no aversion for starving a half million Arab children to death. The Serbian people are now asking how many of their children must die in this bizarre foreign policy of US- imposed genocide by sanctions.

Madeleine Albright omits from her biography that the late Pavle Jankovic, a Serbian journalist, saved her life in WWII. Yesterday in the New York Times she tried to cover 7 years of horrific insults against the Serbian people by saying that her father, the Czech Ambassador to Belgrade said "if he hadn't been a Czech first, he would want to be a Serb." She stooped to defamation and demoralizing an entire Serbian nation, now she professes her "fond memories as a child in Belgrade." Her ability to remember Serbian lullabies didn't wash in Belgrade. This is the same woman who said "Serbs are awful."

In 1991, journalists insisted that "Albanians represented 1.2 million in Kosovo." In 1994 they said 1.4 million. In 1996 they insisted it was 1.6 million. Today we are told Albanians are "90% of 2 million"-as though we are unable to calculate this means 1.8 million, another mysterious 200,000 increase. Borrowing from Socrates, "scarcely a word of what they said is true." The media continues to omit that more than 400,000 Albanians are illegal aliens who crossed the border into Kosovo as easily as illegals cross our border into San Diego each night as we sleep. How compelling that American troops are defending borders in 100 countries, we just can't seem to defend our own. Today, the State Department says the Serbs are 10% of Kosovo, with no explanation that they claimed Serbs were 14% in 1991. Were 4% killed, cleansed, or just made invisible? They also tell us the Gypsies are 7%, the Greeks 2.3%, the Turks 1.5%, the Montenegrins 2%, and others 1%. By my calculations that means the Albanians can't possibly represent more than 50% of Kosovo, after subtracting the 400,000 illegals and the 300,000 who fled to Switzerland, Italy and Germany, most of whom have no desire to return to the povety of Kosovo.

After any peace settlement in Paris, NATO and the OSCE are planning to hold elections in Kosovo without first having a census to determine the legal citizenship of the people in Kosovo. This is just another ruse in this shabby land grab. I remind this audience that 630,000 Serb refugees were in Belgrade prior to the first election in Bosnia. The OSCE sent 16 people and 2 supervisors to Belgrade to register 630,000 Serbs in 4 weeks-they knew it was an impossible task. Only 210,000 Serbs were able to register in time to vote. Izetbegovic won his presidency by 44,000 votes while 420,000 Serbian citizens of Bosnia were denied their legal rights. How immoral that the OSCE congratulated itself for a successful election. Carlos Westendorp, the NATO overlord of Bosnia, now shuts down Serbian radio and television, bans the work of historic Serbian authors and picks the candidates for office, then disqualifies them after being duly elected because he does not like their views on Dayton. This is not democracy in action. Let's call it what it is, occupation!

If NATO's reputation means far more than the sovereignty of Serbia, then Californians had better take notice. By the year 2020 Hispanics will be the majority in California and may wish to seek independence or secede from this state to Mexico. A large number of Hispanics are already calling southern California Azatlan. Political groups have already created an insignia ready for uniforms. And won't we all be surprised when they use Kosovo as their legal precedent? If the KLA accomplishes Kosovo independence, Dayton will disintegrate as the Serb half of Bosnia will attach to Serbia and Croatia will finally demand her slice of Bosnia, too.

Last week, Robin Cook said the "British government has always supported Kosovo independence." Then why have Robin Cook and his government forbade the reunification of Ireland? Why isn't Robin Cook promoting an independent Basque land, a free Wales, a free Scotland, and for that matter, a free Kurdistan?

There will never be peace in the Balkans by prosecuting socially unacceptable camp guards, common criminals, and Serbian generals while President Milosevic, President Tudjman and President Izetbegovic, the 'Commanders and Chiefs' of the armies responsible for this carnage, go free. This free pass reeks of our lack of real commitment to the words written over the doorway of the United States Supreme Court, "Equal Justice Under the Law."

Last month in Cambodia two war criminals responsible for killing over two million Cambodian victims went free. President Clinton was too consumed with his impeachment to notice. Congressman Eliot Engle and Richard Holbrooke, who scream the loudest about human rights violations in Kosovo, suddenly lost their voices. This "see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil" when it betrays our position on human rights is immoral. Holbrooke has just paid a $5,000 fine for ethics violations, why would any Senator in his right mind make that man a UN Ambassador? The plot sickens!

The United States could have stopped this violence in Kosovo months ago if we were honest peace brokers. This could have been accomplished by bombing Tarana and destroying the Albanian government's terrorist training camps and by stopping the illegal flow of mercenaries and weapons into Kosovo. But Washington sees this as a precedent for a new NATO, it goes beyond the Balkans, to authorizing actions anywhere in the world. NATO is acting in the Balkans under US initiative without a UN mandate and in violation of their own 'defensive' treaty. Perhaps in the next Watts riot NATO tanks will be at the corner of Wilshire and Rodeo in Beverly Hills instead of our National Guard.

Let's revisit Albanian autonomy from 1974 to 1989, when a quarter of a million Serbs were forced out of Kosovo. The tactics included firing Serbs from their jobs, the burning of hundreds of Serbian farms, the rape of Serbian girls and Serbian nuns, and the desecration of Serbian churches and the previously mentioned beating of a Serbian bishop. During this autonomy the Cyrillic alphabet of the Serbs was banned by Albanian authorities. Books on Serbian history and religion were removed from Kosovo schools and libraries and burned. The work of one of Serbia's most respected authors, Ivo Andric, the only Yugoslav Nobel prize winner was removed from the curriculum at Pristina University because he considered himself to be a Serb.

During the Kosovo police action that captured the headlines last summer, Turkey was simultaneously slaughtering thousands of Kurds, and NATO pretended not to notice. Turkey killed 34,000 Kurdish citizens in the last 6 years. The Turkish aggression against the Greek island of Cyprus has gone unresolved for 25 years, but Serbs must agree to a peace settlement and the loss of their country's sovereignty in 10 days or be bombed. Why was this policy never applied in Northern Ireland, Palestine, Algeria Afghanistan, Chechnya or Somalia? Last week Senator Frank Wolf of Virginia held a news conference on the subject of the Sudan where one million non-Muslims, mostly Christians, were slaughtered in the past 10 years. Thousands of Christian Sudanese were sold into slavery and thousands of young Christian boys were sold to pedophiles for the sexual appetite of men in that culture.

Senator Wolf said "the Clinton administration has done zip." In other words, President Clinton turned his infamous blind eye to one million Sudanese victims, to slavery and to sexual child abuse, but when 250 Albanian terrorists are killed, suddenly President Clinton knows the solution-laser-guided diplomacy.

Even more outrageous, of the 200,000 Serbs cleansed from Croatian in 1995, who fled to Belgrade, 22,000 resettled in Kosovo with no hope of ever returning to their former homes. Mrs. Ogata of the UN announced in December that these 22,000 Serbs have once again been victims of ethnic cleansing, this time from Kosovo. And your newspapers never printed a word about it.

I was born in the State of West Virginia. At the height of our own civil war, it was the loyal citizens of Virginia who refused to secede from the Union and formed the State of West Virginia in 1863. But Bosnian Serbs who wanted to remain in their 73-year-old union with Yugoslavia were called aggressors.

The beginning of the Balkan quagmire started in 1990 in Foreign Appropriations Bill #101-513, in which Senator Robert Dole buried 23 lines that denied financial aid to Yugoslavia when that nation was 31 billion in debt. The Balkan quagmire began in 1990 in Foreign Appropriations Bill #101-513, in which Senator Robert Dole slipped in 23 sentences that denied financial aid to Yugoslavia when that nation was 31 billion dollars in debt. This bill was a direct violation of the Helsinki Act which forbids "any act of economic or other coercion." In 1990, prior to these wars, the Yugoslav exchange rate was about 165 dinars to one American dollar. I hold in my hand a 500 billion dinar note. Yes-500 billion dinar. The week it was printed its value was 10 cents. A week later it was not worth the paper it was printed on. That is what Senator Dole, Presidents Bush and Clinton did to the people of Yugoslavia and her neighbors, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece whose economies have each suffered over 10 billion dollars in losses from the punishing sanctions on Serbia, their former trading partner.

During the Bosnian Civil War, Libby Dole, president of the American Red Cross, joined the American government in withholding food, medicine, clothing and blood from 10 million Serbs including 1 million refugees. That ugly inhuman process is still in place, it's called by a prettified phrase, "The Outer Wall." Over one million Serbs with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease have gone without medicine and treatment for the past six years. Those who die suffered hideous deaths without the availability of pain-killing drugs. Each year dozens of Serbian babies die from a simple lack of antibiotics and dozens of senior citizens simply gave up and committed suicide. I wonder if Libby Dole will be running for president on her humanitarian record in Bosnia?

I close with the eloquent words of British Historian William Harold Temperley in 1918: "There is no race which has shown a more heroic desire for freedom than the Serbs or achieved it with less aid from others or at more sacrifice to itself."

End quote.

Note: The speaker is the author of numerous books on Balkan subjects. He is a correspondent for The American Srbobran, the oldest Serbian newspaper in the United States, published in Pittsburgh since 1912. He is the recipient of the Order of St. Sava, the highest award given to a lay person by the Holy Synod of Serbian Bishops and an Award of Merit from the Serbian Bar Association of America.

This article does not have permission of the copyright by owner, but is being offered for comment, criticism and research under the "fair use" provisions of the Federal copyright laws. Copyright (c) 1996-99 Serbian Unity Congress. All Rights Reserved.


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Last revised: February 21, 2004