1. "Where is your sympathy for those who lost their lives at Mostar? That city was nearly completely destroyed. I’ve been there and Sarajevo too. Both very sad, but Mostar was like nothing I’ve seen before."

    I have enormous sympathy for those of all ethnicities who lost their lives in Mostar, as a result of both the JNA/BSA attacks on the city in 1992 and the later hostilities, generally characterised by brutal, one-sided attacks by the HVO on east Mostar, in 1993 & 1994.

    As for the destruction of the city, it was extremely extensive on the east side of the city and extremely moderate on the west side. There were certainly similar levels of destruction in other places and parts of the country (Aerodromska, Sarajevo and Gornji Vakuf/Uskoplje, Gorazde, etc) but, yes, Mostar was the most ravaged of all.

    Do not be under any illusion that the Serbs took no part in the destruction of Mostar as JNA/BSA attacks on the city in the first half of the war caused massive material damage.

    "there was Croatian-Bosniak & Bosniak-Bosniak fighting as well. You simply can not attribute 100% of their losses to the Serbian side."

    I do not attribute 100% of their losses to the Serbian side. I am well aware of the complexities: Croats killing Bosniaks, Bosniaks killing Bosniaks and Serbs killing Serbs.

    "We must stop the one sided finger pointing and work towards a future of peace, or the cycle of violence will merely continue."

    I couldn't agree more.

    "James and Lenard, I question whether you’ve ever really talked openly with Serbs about what happened, or traveled through those areas where we suffered the most. If I am mistaken, please inform me."

    You are very mistaken here Matthew.

    I disagree with many of your conclusions Matthew but yours is one of the most moderate, informed and educated Serb voices on this particular forum and I respect you for that.
    (Alexander James, 16 December 2007 09:04)
  2. James, you are correct, I did not read your post as carefully as I should have.

    That being said, since Tokaca’s total numbers agree with the ITCY, but his interpretation of who was a solider and who was not is vastly different, I think we can safely question the methodology in his determining who was a civilian. Determining ethnically is relatively easy, who engaged in combat is not so clear.

    He appears to go against the conventional wisdom of how the war in Bosnia was waged. The Serbs were supposed to be much better armed and the Bosniaks were supposedly out gunned. Yet going off Tokaca’s numbers, the Serbs and Croatians would have had to suffer a far greater amount of the causalities in the armed engagements. On the surface it does not make much sense.

    The ITCY’s numbers seem more realistic. It puts the Serbian causalities at about 29% for soldiers and 30% for civilians. About what you would expect considering the Serbs were certainly not grossly outmatched on the battlefield.

    Also, how would you count “civilians” that pick up arms and committed war crimes? Should they be counted as civilians or combatants?

    As distasteful as it is, this issue must be addressed as well in order to have a full understanding and comprehension of the situation.

    In the Nasir Oric case, the ITCY let him off with a 2 year sentence because “…it has not been established that the Accused could have prevented wanton destruction by civilians that were present before, during and after attacks in MASSIVE numbers and who were beyond any control… The picture that emerges from the evidence is not one of an organised army with a fully functioning command structure, but one of local groups remaining relatively independent and voluntary and a mass of uncontrollable civilians that were present at every attack.”

    [link]

    Clearly those who were brutally murdered at Srebrenica were not completely innocent civilians, but something in-between.

    Most certainly the poor Bosniaks suffered the brunt of the crimes against humanity in Bosnia, but there was Croatian-Bosniak & Bosniak-Bosniak fighting as well. You simply can not attribute 100% of their losses to the Serbian side.

    Where is your sympathy for those who lost their lives at Mostar? That city was nearly completely destroyed. I’ve been there and Sarajevo too. Both very sad, but Mostar was like nothing I’ve seen before.

    I apologize if you dislike the fact that we Serbs have been forced to closely monitor the “facts” and question everything, but when the western media was making outrageous lies during the war just to justify taking sides, we’ve naturally had to stand up for our rights and seek the truth of events.

    It was certainly in no way like the Nazi slaughter of the Jews. The Jews offered no organized resistance (outside of the very minor Warsaw uprising) and had no history of genocide or oppression towards the Germans.

    The Balkans is simply a brutal place at times where horrible things happen to those on all sides. We must stop the one sided finger pointing and work towards a future of peace, or the cycle of violence will merely continue.

    “Also told them and assisted them to burn the apartments ,houses ,factories or anything they could not take with them and they did. Same with Krajina in Croatia”

    Lenard, I’ve been to Pale in Sarajevo and I have family from Krajina. I can say with 100% certainty that my family did not burn down their own home and spray paint it with Ustashe graffiti. I drive through Krajina every year and it’s still a wasteland.

    James and Lenard, I question whether you’ve ever really talked openly with Serbs about what happened, or traveled through those areas where we suffered the most. If I am mistaken, please inform me. James, your arguments are well documented and cited with facts and I respect you for that even if I disagree with your conclusions.
    (Matthew, 15 December 2007 23:56)
  3. Matthew:

    I certainly am not "playing with the numbers" and quite clearly indicated that I was referring to CIVILIAN deaths in my previous post.

    Here is the link from the official Research & Documentation Center website:

    [link]

    Simply download the 'Bosnia and Herzegovina' figures which are in Powerpoint format. Open the presentation and go to slide number 36.

    I continue to agree with you and Princip that the facts are important and note with interest that the Scotsman article you linked puts the 'total killings reportedly carried out by Serbs' at 90%.
    (Alexander James, 15 December 2007 21:35)
  4. Alexander,

    Can you please cite where the Book of the Dead says only 10% of the deaths in the Bosnian war were Serbs? You are “playing with numbers” as Tokaca likes to say.

    “According to this data, 89 per cent of victims were men and 10 per cent were women. In terms of ethnicity, 65.88 per cent were Bosnian Muslims or Bosniaks (64,036), Serbs comprised 25.62 per cent (24,906), Croats 8.01 per cent (7,788) and various others 0.49 per cent.”

    [link]

    Tableau put the percentage at 30% for his report to the ICTY.
    (Matthew, 15 December 2007 20:27)
  5. Another point why the Serbs left the federation like in the suburbs of Sarajevo and other areas that the Serbs controlled. Were to be returned to the control of the government of Bosnia at the end of the war the leadership of the Srbska told them and threatened them to leave. Also told them and assisted them to burn the apartments ,houses ,factories or anything they could not take with them and they did. Same with Krajina in Croatia the Serbs had evacuation plans if they lost and President Misolevic of Serbia wanted them to leave thats why he gave them less help and withdrew support from Krajina. He wanted the Krajina Serbs to populate Kosovo and the Serbian army to drive out the majority of the Albanians out of there. It was all about ethnic engineering that the Serbs elites and politicians were all about and planed. The Serbs in those areas were used and triked by the leadership of the Serbia. Some realized what was happening but it was to late and they were replaced with more loyal dupes of Belgrade.
    (Lenard, 15 December 2007 16:23)
  6. @ Ratko: "Another fair comparison would be to look at the total number of people killed and how these numbers reflect the population make up."

    As concluded so far by the Research and Documentation Center's "Bosnian Book of the Dead" (mentioned by Matthew here)"of the civilians killed in the Bosnian war, 83 percent were Bosnian Muslims, 10 percent were Serbs and more than 5 percent were Croats, followed by a small number of others such as Jews or Roma."

    @ Matthew: "There’s enough confusion and misinformation already out there about the conflict and that is the root of the problems in the region."

    I'm sure you're partially referring to the Research and Documentation Center's exhaustive research into Serb casualties in Bratunac which found the commonly held Serbian figure of 3,000 dead to have been "an evident falsification of facts... the overall number of victims is three to nine times smaller."

    Their research concludes that the number of civilians killed in Bratunac during the war may have been 119.

    @ Princip: "the actual numbers & facts make all the difference if you want reconcilation and truth to help move the region away from the vicious circle of endless conflict."

    I completely agree with you Princip, well said!
    (Alexander James, 15 December 2007 09:29)
  7. Wiki isn’t much of a reliable source, but it’s a good place to start research if the actual article is backed up with the proper source itself. In the Diaspora section it list 100,000 Albanians as being killed during the war in Kosovo and that’s clearly very wrong but often repeated as fact.

    However, using Wiki’s numbers, they place the most current numbers as 2% minorities in the Federation (2002) down from 25.8% in 1991, and 12% minorities in RS (2006) down from 45.6% in 1991. You can look in the upper top right side where they list the current population, size etc.

    That works out to 446,777 Serbs cleansed in the Federation and 422,535 Croats and Bosniaks cleansed in RS. All you showed by citing the 1996 numbers is that minorities continue to leave the Federation, while minorities are returning to RS. That troubles me, how about you?

    Wiki hardly backs up Lenard’s assertions that RS suffered far greater from ethnic cleansing than the rest of Bosnia. The reality is Serbs make up the vast majority of those who were displaced and remain so in the Balkans overall. What I want is for TRUTH & Reconciliation. Not endless unfounded accusations and one sided finger pointing.

    TROJAN, I believe I called for condemnation of the crimes committed at Srebrenica, even calling it “horrifying”. Most Serbs I know feel the same way.

    For the record, I like Bosniaks a great deal, they tend to be educated, urban and intellectual. I did my part to build bridges by appearing on RS Television participating in round table discussions with a Bosniak humanitarian organization. Something for which I was proclaimed a traitor publicly for doing.

    So if you want to call me an evil nationalist, go ahead, it just lets me know I’m on the right track if the extremes on both sides disagree with me.

    People tend to forget a number of things about Bosnia. First off, the clear majority of the population, Serbs and Croatians, wanted to break off and join their respective homelands. Serbs were also victims in considerable numbers, according to the ITCY 30% of the victims of the war were Serbians, their population was roughly 31%-34%. The Croatians also engaged in brutal crimes against the Bosniaks, like what occurred at Mostar. Finally, its been proven time and time again that the crimes attributed to Serbs were often initially doubled, tripled or in the case of Kosovo, increased by 50 TIMES (Yes, that is not a typo). I still read in the Western Media that 250,000 Bosniak civilians were murdered in Bosnia, 50,000 raped, things like that.

    So yes, numbers do matter in a lot of ways. We need to be objective about the situation and use facts and reason, not blind emotion. Certainly Serb forces committed grave crimes and for those I am ashamed. But treating the situation as 100% one sided for decades after the war came to an end only hurts the future and divides the communities further. I personally feel that because the crimes of WWII were swept under the rug, it directly contributed to the brutality, misunderstanding and fear that arouse in Bosnia in the 90’s. We must not let that happen again. The sad reality is as horrible as Serbian crimes were in the 1990’s, it did not change the population demographics anywhere like how WWII affected the Serbian population distribution in the region. Serbs were the largest ethnic group in Bosnia before WWII and never managed to recover after that. Kind of strange how Serbs were so scared of being ethnically cleansed that they picked up arms, and in every area they lost control they were pretty much completely cleansed. It’s almost like they knew what their fate would be.

    As far as Kosovo affecting Bosnia, it most certainly does. Every single explanation on why Kosovo is “unique” applies to Bosnia. NATO involvement, EU territory, massive crimes, a majority of the population wants to break off.

    Someone please tell what the difference is, and why if the US can insist on meddling in Kosovo, why can not Belgrade meddle in Bosnia?
    (Matthew, 15 December 2007 08:08)
  8. Mathew: Fore your information.A plan to execute the men of Srebrenica

    Although Bosnian Serb forces have long been blamed for the massacre, it was not until June 2004 — following the Srebrenica commission's preliminary report — that Serb officials acknowledged that their security forces planned and carried out the slaughter. A Serb commission's final report on the 1995 Srebrenica massacre acknowledged that the mass murder of the men and boys was planned. The commission found that more than 7,800 were killed after it compiled thirty-four lists of victims.

    The question of why the executions took place at all is not easy to answer. During the Radislav Krstić's trial before the ICTY, the prosecution's military advisor, Richard Butler, pointed out in taking this course of action, the Bosnian Serb Army deprived themselves of an extremely valuable bargaining counter. Butler suggested that they would have had far more to gain had they taken the men in Potočari as prisoners of war, under the supervision of the International Red Cross (IRC) and the UN troops still in the area. It might then have been possible to enter into some sort of exchange deal or they might have been able to force political concessions. Based on this reasoning, the ensuing mass murder defied military explanation.

    Although a number of women and children were murdered, together with a relatively large number of older men, the main focus of the VRS was on able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60.
    (Lenard, 15 December 2007 06:28)
  9. can you imagine: tadic insists that srebrenica remain in RS! serbia still feels that they can do whatever they choose (mass genocide, thru their JNA and "bosnian serb" forces), and then insist that it all remain set in stone... is this the pro-western, progressive president of serbia, as proclaimed by media? it is a sick joke. once upon a time, i think for the 10th anniversary of the srebrenica genocide (8,000 -- 7,000; really the nationalists disgust me)tadic tried to grab a spot at the july memorial service; the bosnian widows and survivors, as if in unison, shouted out in their righteous fury: tadic, Stay Home -- we don't want you! my sentiments exactly, to him and the whole corrupt and two-bit regime in blgd.
    (robert0, 15 December 2007 06:26)
  10. "Belgrade was no longer interfering in Bosnia-Hercegovina’s internal affairs"

    Yeah but Serbija's enemies still are.It is not up to the people of Bosna Mr.Lajčak
    it will not be up to they until your position is abolished and until America and the EU stop colonizing Bosna.You can say Kosovo-Metohija is not tied to Bosna until you are blue in the face but that will not make it so.Kosovo IS tied to Bosna if it was not would the west need to keep telling us over and over it was not? And anyone whom uses Wikipedia to support a claim has no credbility since anyone can create/edit
    the information contained in it.
    (Jovan z, 15 December 2007 03:17)
  11. “According to the 1991 census of BiH, the population of present-day territory of Republika Srpska”

    My doubt: how could a 1991 census be conducted in territories that have been clearly defined just in 1995?

    Anyway, we must remeber that Wikipedia articles related to Yugoslavia, Serbs and Serbia are in most of cases completely contaminated by pro-Serb-nationalist editors there.

    1389 is over. 1999 is over. Velijka Srbija is over.

    Long live Western World. Long live America. Long live European Union.
    (Bad Gorilla, 15 December 2007 01:14)
  12. So Lenard - wheree did those extra 547,741 Serbs come from?

    "According to the findings, an estimated 1000 artillery shells rained on Sarajevo daily. Serb snipers targeted children, bread lines, and water cues. In the face of all that evidence, I'm really curious why feel compelled to defend Serbia's actions in the war. Were it me, I'd try really hard to make amends.
    (Marty, 14 December 2007 19:13)"

    Serbia wasn't involved in the siege of Sarajevo
    (PJD, 15 December 2007 00:26)
  13. Lenard,

    Would you please so kind to get the numbers from the Bosnian-Croation Federation as well. The increase of Serbs in Republika Srpska is due to ethnic cleansing of Serbs by your friends. Please specify who were the others (Roma?) and where did they go? Another fair comparison would be to look at the total number of people killed and how these numbers reflect the population make up. As long as you use some simple numbers to blame only Serbs it is better to stop this nonsense and do something more productive.
    (Ratko, 14 December 2007 22:41)
  14. Lenard,

    Maybe Republika Srpska gets its independence and merge to Serbia and guess what Srpska will be granted that freedom from BiH sooner or later.
    (bmrusila, 14 December 2007 21:59)
  15. TROJAN,

    the actual numbers & facts make all the difference if you want reconcilation and truth to help move the region away from the vicious circle of endless conflict.

    Clearly TROJAN you would prefer it to continue - especially as again you even inflate (Matthew said "less than 7000") what you pretend to accept!
    (Princip, UK, 14 December 2007 21:19)
  16. "Murder is murder, ethnic cleansing is ethnic cleansing!!! The numbers and % do not really make a difference.
    (TROJAN, 14 December 2007 17:55)"

    The problem is that very few people talked about ethnic cleansing when Serbs are the victims and this is always justified by the fact that it is OK because the Serbs are the so-called bad guys. A recent independent report actually showed that the majority of people killed in the Bosnian were due to combat (and the percentages reflected the population make up) and due to starvation (which makes also sense in a war). No matter who you are war is bad and has bad long-term effects for all involved. With respect to Bosnia the Serbs had to fight against the Bosnaks and the Croats (minority against a majority). In the coming days all kinds of numbers will be flying around again so the West can keep making its false case against Serbia and Serbs as has been done for the past 17 years (and so we do not care anymore (already for a long time)).
    (Milos, 14 December 2007 21:13)
  17. To Zoran and Leonard:

    Read the court transcripts from the ICTY, they're illuminating. I recommend a recent one wherein the ICTY convicted Gen. Dragomir Milosevic of murder, inhumane acts and waging a campaign of terror for orchestrating the last 15 months of the 1992-1995 barrage of the Bosnian capital. Remember when he claimed that the Bosnians were killing themselves? Apparently, he was lying.

    According to the findings, an estimated 1000 artillery shells rained on Sarajevo daily. Serb snipers targeted children, bread lines, and water cues. In the face of all that evidence, I'm really curious why feel compelled to defend Serbia's actions in the war. Were it me, I'd try really hard to make amends.
    (Marty, 14 December 2007 19:13)
  18. Mathew here is your statistics and so called lies. 1991
    According to the 1991 census of BiH, the population of present-day territory of Republika Srpska numbered 1,619,165 inhabitants, including:

    * Serbs = 880,171 (54.4%)
    * Bosnian Muslims/Bosniaks = 466,458 (28.8%)
    * Croats = 150,414 (9.3%)
    * others = 122,122 (7.5%)
    1996
    In 1996, the population of Republika Srpska numbered 1,475,288 inhabitants, including:

    * Serbs = 1,427,912 (96.8%)
    * Bosniaks = 32,344 (2.2%)
    * Croats = 15,028 (1.0%)
    * others = 4 (0.0%)

    It has improved slightly for the minorities percentages in Srpska in 2007,info from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    (Lenard, 14 December 2007 19:09)
  19. ok if it's only 7000 then thats fine.

    Whats you point Matthew anyway??? Murder is murder, ethnic cleansing is ethnic cleansing!!! The numbers and % do not really make a difference.
    (TROJAN, 14 December 2007 17:55)
  20. Matthew; lies are all they have, they use them to cover up who the real culprits/aggressors were/are.
    (Zoran, 14 December 2007 17:40)
  21. You have it a bit backwards there Lenard. RS has about a 12% minority population, while the Federation has about a 2% minority population. Also the “Book of the Dead” put the number killed at Srebrenica at less than 7000, still horrifying and to be condemned, but not the 8000 that’s always been claimed.

    Just out of curiosity, why do people like you Lenard feel the need to make up lies like that? There’s enough confusion and misinformation already out there about the conflict and that is the root of the problems in the region.
    (Matthew, 14 December 2007 16:41)
  22. Sure clearly defined entity of Srpska as President of Serbia Boris says. On the brutal ethnic expulsion of 94% of Bosniaks ,98% of Croatians and 99.9% of others other ethnicity's from Srpska by the Serbs to this day. The 10s of thousands murdered people in Srpska and the 8,000 murdered in cold blood from the town of Srebrenica also 17,800 still missing to this day and showing up in mass graves in Srpska. Is this what the President of Serbia Boris Tadic and Belgrade support. What a shame on any people how support this in humen injustice and a place that is founded on a such horrendous crimes.
    (Lenard, 14 December 2007 13:00)