BOSTON HERALD, Tuesday, February 26, 2002
Is two million expelled Serbs enough for “ethnic cleansing”?
by Don Feder, Boston Herald, 26 February, 2002
2 million Serbs were expelled from Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo, and 240 of
their churches were destroyed. When this happens to anyone else,it’s called
ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide.
As the war in Afghanistan goes on, the ghost of interventions past sits in a
courtroom in The Hague.
America can drop tons of explosives and send in the Marines to fight Taliban
terrorism. But when the Serbs confronted a similar menace, they were
demonized and bombed for 78 days, and had a province wrested from them and presented to Osama bin Laden’s Balkan brigade.
Slobodan Milosevic has been charged with complicity to commit genocide and
crimes against humanity. Before the travesty is over, he will doubtless be
convicted of running the rail line to Auschwitz.
The former Yugoslav president is a thug whose brutality played into the
terrorists’ hands. Even so, the trial of Milosevic before a U.N. tribunal is
intended to justify our Balkans blunder and discourage serious consideration
of its consequences.
If what happened to Kosovo Albanians and Bosnian Moslems was genocide, what of the treatment of Orthodox Serbs? After NATO’s air war, 200,000 were
driven from Kosovo. Most who remain cower behind barbed-wire barricades in
Altogether, two million Serbs were expelled from Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo,
and 240 of their churches were destroyed. When this happens to anyone else,
it’s called ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide.
The tragedy has its roots in the early 1990s, when the West decided Bosnians
and Croatians were entitled to their own states. Fine, said Belgrade, but
why should 2 million Serbs living there be forcibly expatriated? Who would
protect their rights – the Bosnian Muslims who committed genocide against
Serbs in World War II?
When local Serbs tried to secede from the secessionist states, they were
reviled as racists who hated all non-Serbs and lived to rape and plunder.
After Bosnia and Croatia came Kosovo. Albanian Muslims became a majority in
Serbia’s ancient heartland through illegal immigration. They started when
the Kosovo Liberation Army (on the State Department’s terrorist list as late
as 1998) began murdering Serb policemen.
Milosevic overreacted. At Rambouillet, then-President Clinton and Secretary
of State Madeleine Albright gave him an ultimatum (surrender of sovereignty
over all of Yugoslavia) no self-respecting nation could accept. After the
Gulf War, Washington was determined to prove its human-rights commitment by coming to the aid of persecuted Muslims. The result was the creation of a
second de facto Islamic republic in Europe.
In October, NATO’s secretary general, Lord Robertson, warned that the
Balkans must not become another “black hole” of terrorism, like Afghanistan.
He was referring to the operations of our erstwhile allies.
On Oct. 3, the Los Angeles Times reported, “Hundreds of foreign Islamic
extremists who became Bosnian citizens after battling Serbian and Croatian
forces present a potential security threat to Europe and the United States.”
Bin Laden, who’s been heavily involved in the region since 1992, was
reportedly presented with a Bosnian passport for services rendered. The same international legion that’s fighting with the Taliban earlier served the
Islamic cause in Bosnia and Kosovo.
In his Islamic Declaration, former Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic
(celebrated in the West as a multiculturalist) proclaimed, “There can be no
peace or coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic societies and
The Kosovo “freedom fighters” (as Sen. Joe Lieberman once called them) are
equally grateful for Western support. In one of the al-Qaida camps overrun
in Afghanistan, Americans found an entry application from a Kosovo Albanian
that read, “I have Kosovo Liberation Army combat experience against Serb
forces. … I recommend suicide operations against parks like Disney.”
After the subjugation of Kosovo, Muslims moved on Macedonia. Despite a
NATO-brokered cease-fire, on Nov. 11 terrorists killed three Macedonian
policemen who were trying to guard a mass grave said to hold the remains of
civilians killed by the guerrillas.
Is the Albanian area of Macedonia destined to become Europe’s third Islamic
The circus surrounding Milosevic’s trial is meant to distract us from the
reality of our Balkans misadventure – when we went to war not against
terrorism, but in its behalf.