Atrocities in Bosnia

August 05, 1992

Sarajevo is a city that worked, where Slavic Muslims and Serbian Orthodox and Croatian Catholics have lived side by side, mingled, been friends and partners. That's why it is a military target of the Serbo-Yugoslavian invasion of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Integration, tolerance, coexistence are given no place in the new Serbian nationalism as advanced by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and his mentor, Yugoslav President Dobrica Cosic.

The State Department has confirmed reports that Croatians and Slavic Muslims are being tortured and murdered in detention camps run by Serbian troops. United Nations human rights investigators have confirmed atrocities.

Atrocities have also been committed the other way, with defenseless Serbs the victims. What distinguishes the crimes committed by the federal Yugoslav and Serbian forces is that they are winning, they are committing more on a greater scale, HTC and they are doing it to adhere to a doctrine of ethnic purification that has no place in modern civilization.

More than one-fifth of Yugoslavs are in families of mixed marriages, in every part of the former federation. This is a war against them.

There are evocations of 1940s Nazi crimes against humanity in the camps, the shooting of babies, kidnapping of orphans, destruction of mosques and churches, mass evacuations of towns and villages for "ethnic cleansing," deportations in sealed freight trains to concentration camps, denials of food to large regions and other mass cruelties. It is Europe's nightmare returned.

The end of communism in Yugoslavia was supposed to mean liberation for the Serbs, Croatians, Slavic Muslims, Albanians, Hungarians and other minorities alike. There is no liberation in the muzzle of a gun. The great military machine that was created to defend Yugoslavian independence from Soviet imperialism is being used to destroy Yugoslavia's own peoples.

Croatian and Bosnian Muslim politicians and officials are not blameless of provocation. But the Yugoslav-Serbian authorities are running methodical atrocities on a scale that the civilized world must not allow, forgive or forget.

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