Reviews

Setting History Straight

Having sensed in the 1990’s that most European and American reporting about the Balkans was suspect, I find that this investigative study by a young German journalist, associated with the publication Junge Welt, fills in gaping holes in the received account of a controversial phase of recent history.  Contributing to my uneasiness over the establishment’s presentation of the Balkan unrest was the contradiction between two situations: the supposedly desperate plight of the outnumbered and out-armed Muslim population in Bosnia and Kosovo and the fact that the Muslim armies not only held on there but, in the Krajina, managed, with the aid of Croatians and mysterious foreign volunteers, to dislodge Serbian populations.  There was also the problem of the uneven reporting about which ethnic minority was committing what when and against whom.  Thus, while the Serbs’ shelling of Sarajevo in 1992-93 and the Srbrenica massacre of captured soldiers and some civilians in 1995 received considerable news coverage, very little came through, as Jürgen Elsässer points out, concerning the Muslims’ wholesale murder of Serbs—a carnage that may have involved as many as 3,000—in Sarajevo in 1993.  Nor did one learn from the Western media about the torture and killing of at least 1,000 Serb captives at the Muslim internment camp at Celebici.  Bosnian Muslim president Alija Izetbegovic...

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