Ivo Skoric on Fri, 30 Jul 2004 08:38:07 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Re: Ongoing Dutch Srebrenica Blues ...

I think everybody was surprised by the ferocity and speed of the 
horrendous atrocities committed against Bosnian Muslim men of 
Srebrenica by the advancing Serbian irregulars under the command of 
Ratko Mladic. I think "international community" as a whole is a bunch 
of surprised people. 

For them atrocities like Srebrenica are something that happened in 
Europe in 12th century. They simply missed to notice the modus 
operandi of the Greater Serbian Time Machine under Slobodan 
Milosevic, which succesfully drove the whole nation 600 years into 
the past, to repair all the wrongs, to drive the proverbial Turks out 
of the Balkans NOW as they have failed to do so centuries ago.

On the other hand, I am still surprised that Dutch government 
resigned over Srebrenica. Why do Dutch insist on their guilt? They 
certainly share the blame - but what about French? what about the US? 
what about the UN? then, of course, the Serbs actually did the 
killing, yet they still behave as if their role in the massacres was 
somehow minor compared to the Dutch and French... and even the 
Izetbegovic's government can be found culpable in Srebrenica case, 
since he was unwilling both to withdraw from Srebrenica and to commit 
to protecting it. So, why do Dutch insist on their principal guilt 

It is hard to prove what Sacirbey is saying. All that backroom deals 
are hearsay. But then HE is the one to know about them. It is not a 
question about him being a reliable source. It is a question of him 
saying this NOW, a decade after the massacres. What was he waiting 

Bildt is generally hated by everybody in former Yugoslavia. But he is 
safely out of the way. Perhaps, he is very tired himself. Such a deal 
could look like him, based on the rest we know of him. The fact that 
he was ready to concede to the most powerful contestant in the region 
(Serbs) in order to secure peace, is well documented. It is also the 
reason why he is not well liked by Croats and Bosnians.

Holbroke, on the other hand, doesn't look at first like someone who 
would endorse that deal. The US was a champion of the Bosnian Muslim 
cause, wasn't it? But Holbroke was looking for a deal. And enclaves 
were a big obstacle to drawing a cease fire border between the 
warring parties, achieved at Dayton under his watch.

Furthermore, the satellite pictures of the mass graves created by 
Serbs after they over-run Srebrenica, released by CIA, were the 
turning point in the US media treatment of the Bosnia topic. Maybe, 
Holbroke suspected the massacres would happen, providing a good photo-
op for his agenda?

It is understandable why Sacirbey would turn against Holbroke now. 
While he is still deceptively handsom, Sacirbey just spent many 
months in a US prison. For no particular reason at all. Long 
detentions without trial, formerly a hallmark of the rogue regimes, 
in post-9/11 America are becoming the judicial norm. He must be at 
least a bit angry at the US at the moment. Maybe he expected in vain 
that his influential friends would get him out quickly? 

This is the perfect way of getting back to them, now. Holbroke is 
slated for the post of Secretary of State in the Kerry-Edwards 
administration. The story that he is somehow personally responsible 
for the worst massacre in Europe since the end of WW II, would 
certainly diminish his chances to hold that post. I mean, Republicans 
will devour H's flesh in public, if Sacirbey can substantiate his 

On 29 Jul 2004 at 17:10, Patrice Riemens wrote:

Re: The last Ivogram about the misadventures of Mohamed Sacirbey...

There was a quite extraordinary sequence of two evening programmes
about the never ending Sebrenica affair on the Dutch public TV 
channel NOS/Nova yesterday and the day before yesterday. The full 
article (in Dutch) is at:


The day before yesterday (I did not see that one), M.Sacirbey, just
released on bail, and systematically refered to as "Mr Shakkerbee"
(should be "Saadjeerbei"), told the interviewer that the Srebrenica
enclave basically not only had been given up by the International
forces, but was actually betrayed and its erasure made part of a deal
between Bildt (European negotiator) and Holbrooke (the U.S. one) with
the Serbians.

Getting rid of the enclaves would 'ease up' the peace process and
simplify its 'geography'.  According to Sacirbey, the Dutch 
government (whose troops were 'protecting' Srebrenica) was kept in 
the dark about the deal. The subsequent massacre of 8000 Muslim men 
was of course not scripted beforehand (?) and an extremely bad 
'surprise' to the parties concerned ...

But the next day got really interesting (I saw that one) when Joris
Voorhoeve (who was the Dutch defense minister then, and thus
responsible for the troops)  was asked to react on Sacirbey's
assertions. He denied them en bloc, while admitting separately to 
each and everyone of them! The problem, he said, was that Sacirbey 
was 'vastly exagerating', and was 'deeply frustrated by the outcome' 
(and 'understandably so'). Asked to clarify the difference between 
his on the whole take and these separate admissions, Voorhoeve could 
only reply that Sacirbey could not ('ever') prove what he was 
asserting. He added that Srebrenica was the most horrendous human 
rights crime in Europe since WWII. And that he personally could not 
sleep for years because of it. (He looked quite healthy though, 
thanks God)

In the end the fall of Srebrenica caused the fall of the Dutch
government, though it is not clear if other causes were involved (the
coalition was tired, and there were elections coming up anyway). 
There have also been countless commissions of enquiry, including a
parliamentary one. None got very far in getting the whole picture.
Mohamed Sacirbey is also a tricky subject by himself in the
Netherlands, since he had a relationship with Mabel Wisse Smit, who 
is now married with Queen Beatrix's second son (the current PM had 
the couple conveniently demoted from Royal Family status ...)

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