By: Armin Aljovic
I don't believe that denying Srebrenica genocide by Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic was a slip of the tongue. Rather, it seems like a well-planned sequel of Milosevic's politics from the nineties, temporarily aestheticized during Zoran Djindjic's and Boris Tadic's presidential mandates, only to suddenly rise again with radical Aleksandar Vucic. A professor from Zagreb, Andjelko Milardovic brutally described him as a 'waxed chetnik' (without beard, symbol of chetniks).
In an interview for Deutsche Welle, Brnabic said: I don't believe it was a genocide. I think... you know, I think it was a horrible, horrible crime, but essentially, genocide is when...genocide is when you kill the entire population, women, children, which was not the case there.' Therefore, more than 8,000 dead bodies and thousands of displaced survivors is not a sample big enough for Vucic's spokeswoman. So the job would have been if there had been no survivors. And even then, it would have been debated as to the definition of the crime because when qualifying a crime, it is important who was being killed?!
Brnabic responded to the (expected) reactions in the same fashion as her superior would have: 'Concerning the statement and reactions from Sarajevo, I will not make further comments. I'm not going to discuss this any further. I have no comment in the interest of regional cooperation, I want us to do what we can today and to look towards the future.'
Therefore, Serbia's highest political ranks continues to hide behind collectivity of the nation: 'Everybody's against Serbs and only Serbs are for peace' and 'We want the peace, but others do not.'
Brnabic's statement cannot be observed as an isolated case. At the moment of her denying the Srebrenica genocide, the war criminal convicted for the Srebrenica genocide, Ratko Mladic called the studio of Belgrade TV Happy, which is partly financed by the Serbian government. Another convicted war criminal and the former Vucic's boss Vojislav Seselj was sitting at the studio. The criminals started chatting: 'Kisses from grandpa Ratko... say hello to Voja... I beat him in chess game'. They all act as if Mladic is a worker of a Belgrade company, calling from his business trip to Lybia to the radio program to say hello to his wife and children. Nobody ever mentions any victims.
The Hague Tribunal qualified the Srebrenica crime as – genocide. Similar verdicts were read at other courts. The world powers such as the United States, Great Britain and some other countries, signed a resolution on the Srebrenica genocide. The late UN General Secretary Kofi Annan once said: 'Srebrenica will forever haunt our history'. Never mind what world says... Brnabic came forward to explain that Srebrenica crime was not a genocide by definition: 'Genocide is when you kill the entire population, women, children and that was not the case there'.
In civilized societies, revisionism is considered a criminal offence. Germany has been punishing Nazis if denying Holocaust. Just in October last year, the German court convicted an 88-year old woman and sentenced her to 6 months in prison for denying Holocaust and spreading hatred.
Ursula Haverbeck who consider herself a revisionist historian, at a public event in January 2016 stated that 'there had been no gas chambers in Auschwitz'. The court in Berlin pronounced Haverbeck guilty as charged having reviewed a short record of her speech in which, according to her statement, cited a book and did not express her own opinion. The court, however, concluded that the speech was hers and sentenced her to prison for 6 months.
Why is Germany punishing revisionism of history? Because it is, by definition, preparation for a new crime. Is Ana Brnabic only one of Vucic's many 'introductory speakers' for new slaughters in the Western Balkans?
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